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What was the book where a lizard climbed into a brain machine with a boy to save the planet? I think it was a lizard - definitely some pet - and it gave them extra brain power to save everybody. I read this book (maybe short story) back in high school (~1998) & I haven't been able to get it out of my mind or find any information about it.

  • I read this book (maybe short story) back in high school (~1998) & I haven't been able to get it out of my mind or find any information about it. – 1Question Nov 26 '17 at 23:00
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    Probably Alan Dean Foster's The Tar-Aiym Krang (1972), which concludes with the protagonist, a telepathic young boy named Flip, climbing into an ancient alien weapon to try to activate it before the minions of an evil empire can claim it. If I recall correctly, his mental powers aren't strong enough until his minidrag, Pip, curls up next to him under the headset. I couldn't find a complete plot summary online to link to, though there are versions of the cover showing Flinx and Pip on a table under a dome. – jeffronicus Nov 27 '17 at 3:37
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    @jeffronicus - I also thought of the Tar-Aiym Krang... Pip's contribution to Flip and the machine matches the question's description fairly well. – Megha Nov 27 '17 at 8:15
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    Too broad? You're kidding, right? I read this question and instantly thought of Flinx and Pip and the Tar-Aiym Krang – straycat Nov 27 '17 at 20:48
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    Thanks guys!!! I never would have remembered that title, but that's right! I remember the name Pip now. – 1Question Nov 27 '17 at 21:35
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This is most likely Alan Dean Foster's The Tar-Aiym Krang (1972), the story of a psychic orphan named Flinx (short for Philip Lynx) and his flying, poison-spitting minidrag Pip, who are recruited by Commonwealth agents into an interstellar quest for an ancient alien device.

Flinx, the agents, and the merchant captain they've hired follow the clues to a building on a desolate planet filled with alien ruins. While Flinx, the agents, and the merchant captain explore the building, a ship carrying the unscrupulous Rashaleila Nuaman arrives in orbit to steal the discovery to sell it to the rival Aann Empire.

In the building, the team finds a raised dais with a transparent domelike helmet mounted overhead, but the team begins to leave as Nuaman sends a team of warriors to take over the discovery. Pip flies away from Flinx and settles under the helmet, and the planet's surface begins to shake. Flinx runs to retrieve the minidrag, but as soon as his head passes under the dome he falls unconscious and the dome bursts into color. The ancient alien device powers up, releases Flinx's blocked psychic potential, and destroys Nuaman's shuttle and ship.

Flinx's powers are then put to use in 12 additional novels.

Flinx and Pip in the alien device

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