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 really enjoyed this reboot of an interesting story. Normally I would shy away from this type of technique. But I think Scalzi was as cautious and careful writing it as I was considering listening to it.
Its interesting to have both books to listen to. I was nervous listening to Pipers book afterwards because having read it as a teen i thought it was different. But its incredible how Scalzi really provided something unique and valuable based on the premise the fuzzys.
The trends of the two times are clear: the 60's scifi had an element of preservation and even a bid of wild west (complete with distinctly "good guy, bad guy persona's). I could almost picture Charlton Heston as the protagonist.
Scalzi's book was more contemporary of course including "casual cursing" as part and parcel of the dialogue. He's examines the theme of "a bad man" able to do "a good thing".
There is a bit of "save the whales" message. But mostly its sci-fi Erin Brokovich, story full of a few twists and surprises. And a harder edge.
The protagonist turns out to be less selfish that he is originally portrayed. Nice character developement
Wil Wheaton does a good job. He doesn't try to modify his voice pitch for every character (male or female) like so many other narrators. Instead he saves it for when its most important -- but I won't spoil it.
Haven't read the print version but the audio was great.
The overall plot compares itself to the movie Avatar which portrays a corporation sacrificing an alien species to gain wealth.
Wil Wheaton's performance was excellent.
A huge surprise was finding the original story, "Little Fuzzy" added at the end of Fuzzy Nation.
I had looked at this book a number of times because Wil Wheaton narrates it. But, for a variety of reasons, I hadn't purchased it. The idea that is was based on another book and the fact that the new novel itself was quite short were the two main reasons. However, it was available during the BOGO, so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. I would have paid full price for it.
The novella is wonderful. I love the kind of sci fi where you can forget it's fiction and believe that the story can (or has) happen(ed.) The characters were engaging and believable. The story developed in interesting ways. (I'm trying to be careful not to give anything away.) I'm going to check out John Scalzi's other books now.
Professional librarian type, amateur historian.
This is a twofer. First is John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation, the second is the original a "Little Fuzzy". Having "Little Fuzzy" available, one can really appreciate what Scalzi has done with the story. He has truly modernized it and made it suitable for early 21st century audiences. This is the 2nd Scalzi book I've listened to and he is funny and at times deep and poetic. There were points where I was crying. Not so much with the original.
Part 1, Scalzi's book, I could not put down. He is a great storyteller. Wil Wheaton is also a great narrator for this book giving the varied tones for the different characters. It was to his voice I cried quietly near the end. I won't spoil it by saying why.
Part 2, the original, was just ok, which is why I only gave the story 4 stars.
I really enjoyed the story, but as one other reviewer pointed out, the non-stop "john said" "isabel said" started to distract from the conversational parts of the book. In written form this can easily be glossed over, but in audio form it's distracting to the point that it detracts from the overall experience.
Part one of the audio is Fuzzy Nation (2011) by John Scalzi. Part two is Little Fuzzy (1962) by Beam Piper. I shall review Fuzzy Nation.
The science fiction aspects are interesting. Characters are put in dilemma situations in a futuristic setting. The issue is discovery of a new species and debate over whether or not the new species is sapient or not. If the species is sapient, then a large mineral rights contract for its habit will be canceled.
The plot is well constructed and enjoyable without wastefulness. It kept my interest throughout.
My objection is that the logic leading to the conclusion (self-interest is immoral and self-sacrifice is moral) is flawed. Also, we are supposed to think that it is immoral to extinguish a sapient species and moral to extinguish a non-sapient species.
The emphasis on the evil of self-interest was not present in Little Fuzzy, which I found to be a superior novel.
The audio performance on each novel was equally excellent.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
I love stories and listening is my new favorite way to read them
Funny, Witty, Meaningful
The legal scenes in the courtroom
Papa Fuzzy his character although not human was very much a person. Not something most authors achieve.
This was actually two books. I enjoyed the first one Fuzzy Nation more than the second Little Fuzzy. They were both good but Fuzzy Nation was a bit more interesting and current.
Also, Wil Wheaton had a lot to do with the version I preferred.
Both were worth the credit.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content