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)
I loved this book! It is the first Scalzi novel I have listened to and I could not put it down, which might have upset my girlfriend a bit.
Reading is a Virtue
I would listen to Fuzzy Nation again, both to Scalzi's take on the story, and to Piper's original version which comes as the second half of the down load. I had not previously read Piper's and thus was surprised at the contrast it presents between the 1960s and more current visions of a science fictional future. While there is a lot of paternalism demonstrated in Piper's story, aspects of the effort to show the Fuzzies as sentient seemed reveal a far more modern take than I expected. My only real objection was the fact that while the characters claim that Fuzzies are sentient, they have no problem claiming them as their own. I guess sentience does not prevent people from wanting to claim one as a pet.
Perhaps having listened to Scalzi's version first had some affect on my perceptions, as he does a far better job of portraying the Fuzzies as ultimately capable of running their own lives and claiming responsibility for their own well being. Needless to say I enjoyed listening to both versions of the story, and I am particularly glad that Scalzi chose to write his own version of the story (Professional fan fiction?). I would not necessarily ever have learned of the original if he had not, and I think he more than did justice to Piper's original idea for the story. Wheaton is a good narrator too. All in all, the books were both well worth the time and credits!
While I wouldn't necessarily compare Fuzzy Nation to another book, I do like the fact that it can be seen as another perspective of eco-science fiction, and since I enjoy the sort of science fiction written to provide alternative perspectives on the world, the universe, and what might happen based on how we use our resources.
I do not want to say too much because it would give away the stories. I guess I am not trying to prove that I listened....
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
This audiobook is divided into two parts. The first half (about 7 hrs 20 minutes) is a rewritten modernized version of an older story, and the second half is the original version. I only listened to the first half, so that is what I'm reviewing.
This is a good story, an other-worldly scifi dealing with issues totally different from the usual startship battles and wars against alien invaders. It is at times heartwarming and at times sad, but is entertaining all the way.
The narrator does a good job but doesn't change voices with the characters. Once I noticed he said the wrong character's name and then corrected it right afterwards. That's a no-no in my book for a professional recording, so I give him a 3.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
This book is a reboot of a classic novel (this is explained in the introduction by John Scalzi), and it's pretty damned good. If you've read any of Scalzi's other novels, and you enjoyed them, you'll enjoy this too. It's witty, smart, well paced, etc. Wil Wheaton is excellent (again) as the narrator. But wait there's more! After you're done with the John Scalzi novel, then the original novel begins. My initial thought was, I just heard this story, but that's not the case. The very general plot of the book, "a prospector discovers a fuzzy animal in his shack" is the same. After that, the stories are their own, both enjoyable, well written, and narrated perfectly. If you don't enjoy both novels, chances are you don't speak English, in which case what the hell are you doing reading this?
Absolutely, Narrator does a fantastic job. The book is funny and spellbinding.
Good guy is an ex-lawyer turned surveyor who distributes justice with a quick tongue and sly wit.
Very honest and interesting, tho after hearing the first part it is very difficult to try and listen to the 2nd part (the original book). Mostly because the first part is just so good! Hard to live up to I guess
Any time Holloway pisses someone off
Alien yet familiar in the best kind of way
If you liked Ready Player One this will have this will have a similar underdog appeal, and the same great performer! The difference is you 80s freaks and gamers won't have any of those nostalgia connections.
First Scalzi. I was a little hesitant when I heard in the author notes that this was a remake or take off from a previous book. Having not read the original, I have no complaints. The story seemed fresh to me...
Wil Wheaton did a great job here as he did with Ready Player One (pretty sure that was Wil) in fact some of the character names were similar enough to send your mind on little dead ends trying to remember the connections.
Possible that someone would make this into a movie, but it might be short on action and a good chase scene...
Recommend this for all age groups. When I finished I had a big smile on my face. Totally enjoyed and will read again in the future. This book is up with my favourites.
I have always loved reading, helping people to find a passion for these amazing books lead me to work in a local bookstore.
The story of this novel offers great food for thought, how would humans deal with the discovery of a new intelligent species, how would corporate interests weigh when placed on the scales against the sanctity of a species right to grow in their own world?
This book provides an excellent opportunity to think about these questions and Scalzi's hero leaves you with an impression of truly weighing these questions for himself in the novel without ever simply spelling it out, this balance keeps the book from devolving into simple preaching about the expansion of a more powerful culture into the territory of a less powerful one.
I would also suggest reading Old Man's War by Scalzi.
I would reccomend this story to a friend because it is very true to the feeling and spirit of the original which has been one of my favorites of all times.
It was very memorable when you learned more about the motives behind the actions of the characters.
I love the different personalities Will was able to bring to the characters through his use of inflection and tone.
I listen while I commute and I force myself to wait until my next commute to continue. This one I found myself wanting to find a reason to take a drive just so I could continue.
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