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03 December 2009


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Liz Palika

I would want one of Anne McCaffrey's telepathic golden dragons from Pern; one bonded only to me.

A huge powerful telepathic flying dragon! sigh....

Christie Keith

Does it surprise you my favorite fantasy animals are a hawk and a horse, and not a hound?

Gina Spadafori

A hawk, no.

A horse, yes.

Gina Spadafori

I always wanted (and still do) to live in the undeveloped Florida Keys and have a bottlenose dolphin to swim with.

I would not name him "Flipper," though.

H. Houlahan

Well of course there is Shadowfax.

And a mighty hound named Huan in the Silmarillion, in the lay of Beren and Luthien. Huan is torn by his loyalty to his master and doing the right thing. He is doomed to have the power of speech three times before he dies. He is a real dog.

A more working-class dog is Garm, in the short story "Farmer Giles of Ham." Also recognizable as a dog.

I mean, how can one discuss fantasy animals and neglect the Father of the entire genre?


Pegasus, the Winged Horse. Wondrous abilities and beautiful to boot.

Unicorns are pretty, but I never understood why they have seemed to catch the public imagination more than the Winged Horse.

Of course, then there are Winged Unicorns . . . . . . . . . .

Nathan Winograd

Dino from the Flinstones. But does that count?


As a young child, I so wanted a dog like Nana in Peter Pan...loving guardian, playmate, nursemaid, grandmotherly, disciplinarian with a nurturing heart. I finally found her (Sparky, aka Nana-dog)when I was in my 30's. She's no Newfie or St. Bernard, just an ESy mix.


Have to put in a plug for the Companions from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. :P (And the Firecats, and Tayledras hawks!) And Caitlin Brennan's awesome, awesome horsegods in her book series that starts out with "The Mountain's Call"- Brennan is a real-life Lippazan person and it shows.

How about Ein, the datadog corgi from the anime Cowboy Bebop?


Reepicheep the mouse!!

Pretty much the only rodent I'd want in my house :)


Murgatroyd the tormal in Murray Leinster's Medship series. Murgatroyd is essentially a familiar: companion, partner and research subject to Calhoun of the Med Service, aboard the Medship Aesclipus Twenty.

Also, the Ungrukh in Phyllis Gotlieb's 'Starcats' series, who are panther-like telepathic cats with prehensile tails and almost-hands.

H'm. Both of these are science-fiction rather than fantasy, but then, most times the distinction is fuzzy - a lot of hand-waving about 'advanced technology' or the like, rather than magic.

Gina Spadafori

I'm caffeinated enough now to realize that after years of blogging here, Christie FINALLY figured out a way to post a picture of Xena and stay on topic. Ha!


The owl that plays Hedwig is wrong sex.

Male snowy owls are more purely white than the females are.

Male: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photographer_in_alberta/4131655326/

Female: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photographer_in_alberta/4131590604/in/photostream/

Hedwig: http://www.lauraerickson.com/bird/Species/Owls/HarryPotter/HarryHedwig.jpg


I wanted Snowfire, a wild white stallion from the late 1950's movie of the same name. But mostly I just wanted to BE a horse.

Christie Keith

I know, Gina. Is it not awesome?


My fave is Pantalaimon in the Pullman Trilogy. More: http://www.hisdarkmaterials.org/srafopedia/index.php/Pantalaimon

H. Houlahan

I am going to put in a shameless plug for animals in speculative fiction by my peeps:

Our friend Mary Soon Lee's short story "Crew Dog," which you can buy as an e-book for less than fifty cents here: http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b4559/Crew-dog/Mary-Soon-Lee/?si=0

If your eyes are dry at the end of that one then you have no heart at all. Mary was a member of the writers' workshop Pittsburgh Worldwrights with Professor Chaos, and spends plenty of time around our SAR dogs.

In dead-tree YA land, there are Professor Chaos' alien S'lens -- two stories featuring them have been published in Cicada -- "A Technical Fix" in March/April 2002 and "The Humanoid Element" in January/February 2008.

The S'lens and their "alien" world are a politically safe way for Professor Chaos to fictionalize some of the things we come across in the SAR world.


Hmmm never was much of a fan of fantasy of science fiction. So I guess the best I can come up with there is I'd really love to have my own wookie.

But as for my favorite fictional animal I think that would have to be Ruffly of Susan Conant's Ruffly Speaking.

H. Houlahan

Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October is delightful, morbid, witty, irreverent and populated by animal familiars (cat, bat, dog, rat, snake) who are far more rounded and appealing than their two-legged counterparts.

It is more enjoyable and comprehensible if the reader is familiar with HP Lovecraft's mythos.

I have a hard time choosing my favorite familiar animal from the cast of characters. Snuff the dog narrates, and he's a fine and dutiful partner to his master, Jack, but has his own things going too.


I liked the flying dragon thing in Never Ending Story, but he looks like a dog to me. I wanted one.

Also, I remember how I could not handle reading Clifford books because I really wanted to meet Clifford or have my own big red dog. When I found out that was not a possibility, I was heartbroken. Couldn't even look at the books anymore.

I don't watch a lot of fantasty or sci fi, which is kind of sad... But my fantasy dog crush is Brian from The Family Guy. He's my grown up version of Clifford. It's heartbreaking. A smart, political, martini-drinking, prius-driving, adorable dog. And we'll never be able to hang out. Love that guy.


Toto from the Wizard of Oz (In the books it was reveled that he could talk).

Shadowfax for sure...and a whole ton of other horses from many fantasy novels.

Original Lori

Not fantasy, but Jack the Brindle Bulldog from Little House on the Prairie Books. But back then I thought brindle meant tough and heroic , which he was.


Comment by Gina Spadafori — December 3, 2009 @ 8:05 am

I’m caffeinated enough now to realize that after years of blogging here, Christie FINALLY figured out a way to post a picture of Xena and stay on topic. Ha!

Except that I thought she was more into Gabrielle . . . . . . . . . .

Mary Mary

I walked everywhere when I was a kid. Out of boredom, to travel to friends' homes, to go buy Doritos at the small store about a mile from home. Doritos were invented when I was around 10 or 11.

(Do any children walk ANYwhere these days? I see them getting rides home from the busstop -- like one-quarter mile from their houses!).

I digress.

When I was 7 or 8, while taking a long stroll somewhere, I would usually pretend I was riding the range with the guys from Bonanza and the Big Valley.

I think this is not quite what you mean but it will have to do.


I think the first book I ever read that wasn't a picture book was Black Beauty (I was about 7). I still remember crying at the end. I think the 2 books every child should read before they're out of 8th grade are Black Beauty and The Diary of Anne Frank.

Snoopys Friend

I love animal movies and can watch the DVD's over and over again - especially those with dogs - and even TV reruns with pets - so I don't have a favorite but must admit that there is an episode of Murder She Wrote that features "Jack" the Standard Poodle that is close to the top and as an added bonus there is a Doberman in it too.

Kim Thornton

Well, it wasn't fantasy (not in the strict sense, anyway), but the Black Stallion.

Kim Thornton

I would also like to have Temeraire, the dragon from Naomi Novik's series.

Liz Palika

Kim: Temeraire was awesome! Although I liked the first books better than the last couple.

But a dragon, yes. Either Temeraire or one of Anne McCaffrey's.

Susan Fox

I'm with Liz, but I was thinking more of one of the fire lizards of Pern. Something not quite so high maintenance since I'm not sure where I'd find enough wherries to keep one of the big dragons fed.


Pshaw Susan. Even I, non fantasy reader that I am, know that the dragon can feed you. As long as you aren't a picky eater.

Christine Church

I never had a favorite fantasy animal because I was too busy obsessing about wanting my own REAL horse! Now I have my own horse and he IS my "fantasy" animal because he's so terrific, saved my life and saves my sanity regularly. =]

But, if I needed to pick an actual fantasy animal, I pick the unicorn. I love dragons too and have a really cool one in the novel I am pitching right now.


I still find the daemons from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series to be one of the most compelling parts of those books:



The Ghatti "Khar'pern" from the series by Gayle Greeno. They are a cat animal that bonds with one human who then become a pair who are like judge and jury for the citizens of their planet. (colonized by people from Earth) They are telepathic but only with their bondmate. Oh and they are native to the colonized planet.

As a kid though my favorite was the telepathic winged unicorn from A swiftly tilting planet by Madeline L'engle.


My favorite fantasy animal companion is the wolf Nighteyes in Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy.

Snoopys Friend

I fell in love with the "Bird" in "UP" I think her name was Kevin.


I agree with Liz and Susan; I've always pined for one of Anne McCaffrey's dragons. I grew up loving her Pern books and I still wish my dogs could communicate with me telepathically. I would be happy with a fire lizard, too, but I think it would need to be in addition to a full sized dragon.


Also, I very much admired Laura's dog, Jack, in the Little House books. I wish my dogs could have some of his adventures. I think I thought 'brindle' meant fluffy, though ;).

Theresa Quintanilla

I always loved the Chesire Cat in Alice in Wonderland because he seemed like a sympathetic adult. Someone you could trust to be truthful and reliable.

Kristy B

Well. . .

Trigger, Roy Rogers's horse (I know I know)

Brego, LOTR Movies

Shadowfax LOTR Books (and of course the horses in the movie were breathtaking)

SO I am a horse girl-but

I have always adored Kodo and Podo of Beastmaster fame.

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