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)
Engrossing story. Simply stunning performance.
This book draws you in slowly and Wheaton's narration does the same. It isn't showy and it seems very simple and understated at first but this book got me by the first third so bad that it just consumed all the free time I had this weekend! I'm actually glad it wasn't longer!
Jack, the main character, is so lovably caustic.
Yes, but you aren't getting anything else out of me.
If you like sci-fi or courtroom dramas this is likely to be a winner for you. It probably isn't for everyone. Wheaton's narration is solid but understated which is not everyone's preference. His pacing is excellent. He does a great job with the difficult creature voices but he makes no attempt at Jim Dale style theatrics. That said each character, and all dialogue, is easy to follow--no easy feat for Scalzi's fast paced banter.
Fuzzy Nation brings back what I miss about older science fiction books. When I was growing up I could take any of my brothers science fiction or fantasy books down from his shelf and spend a weekend reading the entire thing. That's the way I feel about this book and I would recommend this to anybody who misses those books from the 60s and 70s or to a person who has not read any scifi before. The book is well written and Wil Wheaton delivers another great performance. Thanks for bringing new life to a classic book.
The snappy dialogue was excellent and the courtroom banter was tight and funny. The only problem was that the word "Said" was said way too much. Every bit of dialogue had a Holloway said, or an Isobel said, and it became a little annoying but the story and Wil Wheaton's performance definitely made up for that one bad point.
Holloway. That was one well written character. He was what we wish we could all be, a mix of hypercompetence and jackass.
The last one, I don't want to spoil it, you'll see/hear.
In a world where giant lizards will eat your brain comes the cutest species ever to fuzzy up the screen.
Get this book. It's well worth the price and it will make you smile. Often on the train people would wonder why I just started snickering.
I relied on reviews to buy this. Initially I was a bit uneasy about a new slant on an old favourite, but it took very little time before I was convinced. This is a really good story, with some bits being signalled very clearly in advance, but always enough suspense to keep the listener hooked. My only (small) criticism is the constant "He said" , "..... said" at the end of speech. The narrator distinguishes between characters very well and there no need for this. I bought another John Scalzi book (Agent to the stars) because I was so impressed with this.
Say something about yourself!
This is my first 5 star listen in my 16 years as an audible listener. This story was like the perfect meal. It was well balanced, charming, not too sweet, not too heavy but still had substance; it was fun but not stupid with the perfect narrator. It was and is completely satisfying.
I enjoyed it so much I made my daughter (aged 40+) listen to it and she was just as charmed. I will listen to it again on my next long drive and enjoy again and I can't listen to many things twice.
I listened to part of the second half which was the original story and while it had all the same ingredients, it was just not the same caliber and I couldn't finish it. It was, however, interesting how the same information presented differently could make such disparate impressions.
I have recommended this book to several friends! This book really gets you in the head of the main character, in a way that you can witness the hilarious internal dialogue that goes on in our heads already unnoticed.
The 'I can't put it down' ness of the story.
Yes. Very Yes.
Scalzi's "reboot" was nicely done, and Wil Wheaton does a great job. The original version was a nice addition, although the narrator for that story was robotic at times.
The universe rearranges itself to accomodate your picture of reality.
I really liked this story. It was fun and the humor was right up my alley.
I have listened to several Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi's other books. I have enjoyed every one of them. The stories are hilarious and Wil does a great job as narrator.
I've listened to both Fuzzy Nation and Little Fuzzy (the original story) and they are both great books with very different paths to the end. I found Fuzzy Nation to be a little more realistic in terms of today's society, but I am sure in another fifty years there might be room for an even more updated book and we'll have the Fuzzy Solution or something like that. Anyhow, listen to both. They are equally good.
My only disappointment is the rest of the Fuzzy series are not available in audible formats.
Reboots/Reimaginings are common these days in film, but this is the first time I've seen it done with a book. This is a revision of H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy. It is fascinating to see what Scalzi thought needed to change and what stayed the same.
I missed this in the description, but the book is in two parts. But it turns out the Scalzi version is the first part, and the Piper version is the second part. Was a surprise to me.
There are two readers, and Wheaton's version of Scalzi is excellent. I'm not sure who did the Piper version, but it was very strange. Holloway's voice is almost annoying.
Listening to the old one is reminiscent of an episode of Mad Men, except every character doesn't have despicable morals. But they do all smoke and drink any chance they get and women play a small role in the book.
Overall the Scalzi version is the quality you'd expect from him - high. Wheaton is an excellent reader. The Piper version is good, but the reader leaves something to be desired. Together they are a study in culture and time.
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