In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesn't care to talk about. On the distant planet Zarathustra, Jack is content as an independent contractor for ZaraCorp, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that's not up for discussion.
Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.
But there's another wrinkle to ZaraCorp's relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species. Then a small furry biped - trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute - shows up at Jack's outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp's claim to a planet's worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the fuzzys before their existence becomes more widely known.
©2011 John Scalzi (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
“[Scalzi’s] style and skill make it a highly entertaining read. It succeeds both as a new novel from a talented writer and as a tribute and gateway to Piper’s work.” (Wired)
"It’s a wonderful book.... [T]he way that Scalzi puts that wonderful novel of Piper’s into a fresher context is cynically lovely.... Year’s best? Yeah, one of them." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
“A perfectly executed plot clicks its way to a stunning courtroom showdown in a cathartic finish that will thrill Fuzzy fans old and new.” (Publishers Weekly)
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Scalzi does a fine job re-writing this story. I was entertained almost all the way through. I would have given this 5 stars, but (1) Scalzi didn't invent the story, and (2) I tend to reserve 5 stars for novels I think will be enduring SF classics.
The characters, the humor.
The politics of the company exploiting the Fuzzy Nation, what allowed them to be able to use the resources, and what would keep a big company from being able to exploit the planet. Very interesting, incredibly easy (and fun, even) to extrapolate to modern events. I also liked the ideas about language.
I love all Wil Wheaton's readings, he's by far the reader I listen to most, and often without even realizing it. I've listened to a lot of John Scalzi's as well, and they don't get old, always independently enjoyable.
I was a little concerned that an actor was going to read this book. Sometimes the talent doesn't translate to audiobooks, but Wil Wheaton does a pretty good job. I wish that he could have varied his voices more for the human characters, but he is good enough that I would listen to other books narrated by him. The story also is interesting and engaging with a surprise at the end.
This is the first review that I’ve written, typically I don’t really feel motivated to do so, but this was such a good listen that I felt compelled to write something. I was a little hesitant at fist with Will Wheaton narrating; he’s a good guy and all, but I wasn’t too sure if I could listen to him talking for hours and hours. I was wrong. He did a GREAT job reading, and as Scalzi stated in the intro, Will really was the best choice for this duty. I’m actually going to pick up some of his other reads now. I really enjoyed this book. The main character was fun and just complex enough to keep you guessing. The overall plot felt like it came from the ‘60s as the original had (most of the modern Sci-Fi that I’ve read tend to such downers), but it felt “cleaned-up” and modernized as was the intent. Probably one of my favorite “reads” so far.
I’ve listened to a few of Scalzi’s other books; enjoyed them all. I was initially hesitant about Will Wheaton, but ended up really enjoying his performance. I will be looking for more of his works on Audible.
I definitely would have liked to have listened to this in one sitting. I do my audiobooking during my commute, and I found myself sitting in the car several times after arriving at my location, not wanting to stop listening.
Yes - I am already listening to it again. The story is fun, light, entertaining, hilarious, smart-mouthed - and well-constructed. And as always, Wil Wheaton is a fabulous narrator. I would happily listen to Wil Wheaton read my grocery list.
The last half is a fun rollercoaster of moments. I don't want to give anything away.
Tie between Holloway & Papa.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
This story, about a rogue with a golden heart who suddenly finds both his fortunes and role reversed overnight, is equal parts courtroom drama and light sitcom. Aside from the setting- a vaguely described backwater jungle planet, and the newly discovered alien which resembles Spielberg’s Mogwai, there isn’t an awful lot of Science Fiction in the novel. Hollywood could substitute a remarkably intelligent species of primate from a faraway jungle and film the movie on the cheap. Nonetheless, the witty dialog and legal twists are entertaining enough to hold the reader’s attention through to the end. There’s a fair amount of wish fulfillment as Scalzi sets up the pins of his unlikable villain characters, only to knock them all down in the end with their deserved comeuppances. One personal pet peeve was the overuse of the dialog denoting words “He/She said”. I would have found it less distracting and more descriptive if the verb choice was more varied. This is most noticeable during rapid exchanges, and when experiencing the story in audiobook form. Wil Wheaton, incidentally, does a terrific job narrating and his performance absolutely drips with snark. Overall, I enjoyed the story quite a bit, but would recommend Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” series to those seeking thicker SF concepts, or “Redshirts” to those who want a good laugh at the genre’s many clichés.
This was a good book to listen to in the car, because I was never lost and I could usually guess accurately what was going to happen next so it didn't bother me to turn it off at the end of my commute and return to it the next day. That being said, it was a cute book, well written with interesting if rather cliched characters. I just wish that it had done something even remotely unexpected. Everything plays out exactly how you expect it is going to. Wheaton's narration was enthusiastic, he did a good job. Overall good but not exceptional.
I read speculative fiction, YA, mysteries, entertaining nonfiction, & occasionally, heavier literature. I want it well written & literate.
Yes, because it is a fabulous roller coaster ride. Exciting and funny, this book begins with an apparently morally bankrupt character trying to weasel out of responsibility for an environmental disaster he has caused. By the books end you are cheering for him. Making that journey had me sitting up until three in the morning, listening in the dark.
Jack Holloway, the main character is a sleaze bag. A wisecracking disbarred lawyer, who teaches his dog to detonate explosives. Will he do the right thing in the end? Read it and find out.
Wheaton is a fine, interesting reader. I was particularly struck by his voicing of the alien creature, Papa. It was much, much better than the narrator's voice inside my head, and added so much to the story.
Many times I laughed out loud. Once I cried.
This book is based on a sixties novel, "Little Fuzzy". I was surprised when I went looking how to spell a character name to learn fans of the original novel seem to really hate this book. Not having read it, I have no way to compare. Perhaps Mr. Scalzi sacrifices some of the depth of the original for an exciting read? Maybe listening to a talented reader bring it to life makes it more than it would be in print? I only know I really, really enjoyed listening to it, as I did the other two Scalzi novels I have listened to., and I have just added another to my library.
The Scalzi/Wheaton combination is a can't miss. I'm not sure I could have enjoyed this anymore than I did. Only gripe is I wish this had been longer because I didn't want it to end.
Report Inappropriate Content