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Fuzzy Nation | [John Scalzi]

Fuzzy Nation

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 doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Science Fiction, 2012

“[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (3950 )
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4.5 (3470 )
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2 star
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1 star
 (27)
Performance
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  •  
    Jim SNOHOMISH, WA, United States 05-18-12
    Jim SNOHOMISH, WA, United States 05-18-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    12
    Overall
    Performance
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    "What a Hoot! You have done Piper proud."
    What did you love best about Fuzzy Nation?

    Jack Holloway's somewhat caustic and sarcastic sense of humor. Will Wheaton played the part to a tee.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters played off of each other extremely well. Protagonists and antagonists both were well written and represented by the narrator. Just a real laugh and very enjoyable presentation. Well done!


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi (Introduction) ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this was the first narriation by Mr. Wheaton I hves heard. I hope it will not be the last.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I can't say but what a great movie it would make!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Lange Las Vegas, NV United States 05-14-12
    K. Lange Las Vegas, NV United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth a listen for Scalzi Fans"

    Not Scalzi's best, but if your a fan, you'll enjoy it. His sense of humor is there in full force.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sizemore Ashburn, VA United States 05-05-12
    Richard Sizemore Ashburn, VA United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2010

    R. Tom Sizemore

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""He said"..."

    Wonderful story - dripping with the sarcasm of our sociey. Great ending. As an audible book, it does get distracting with all of the 'he said'/'she said' comments. Mr. Scalzi could consider the style as it distracts from the context and listening pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. A. Gordon MOAB, UT, United States 04-30-12
    D. A. Gordon MOAB, UT, United States 04-30-12

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining!"
    If you could sum up Fuzzy Nation in three words, what would they be?

    A delightful read.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi (Introduction) ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have heard all of John Scalzi's books that have been recorded to audio. John is one of my favorite authors. I have heard Old Men's War several times and will hear Fuzzy Nation again also.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed in places. What a delight to have that alien creature constantly sitting on people's heads.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to anyone. It is a wonderful read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Tarrytown, NY, United States 04-27-12
    Joshua Tarrytown, NY, United States 04-27-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Failed attempt at 'freshening'; buy for the B-side"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Absolutely -- but only because H. Beam Piper's original novel is also thrown in for free (part II of this set). Skip the amateur remake and enjoy the bonus classic.


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

    The original (50s era, I believe) showed its age in a few aspects, but this update does nothing for the story. Instead, the main character is reduced to an uninteresting (and overused these days) anti-hero, the fuzzies are reduced to being flat plot elements, and the overall story has been recast into a plastic legal procedural with a splash of eco-minded syrup. There's little here to recommend the rewrite -- in fact skip it and play part II instead; Piper's original novel has been included and is actually worth the listen.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, though it was overall uninspiring. Also, ending every line of dialog with "_____ said" is mind numbing after a while...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JG New York 04-27-12
    JG New York 04-27-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Failed attempt at 'freshening'; buy for the B-side"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Absolutely -- but only because H. Beam Piper's original novel is also thrown in for free (part II of this set). Skip the amateur remake and enjoy the bonus classic.


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi???s story?

    The original (50s era, I believe) showed its age in a few aspects, but this update does nothing for the story. Instead, the main character is reduced to an uninteresting (and overused these days) anti-hero, the fuzzies are reduced to being flat plot elements, and the overall story has been recast into a plastic legal procedural with a splash of eco-minded syrup. There's little here to recommend the rewrite -- in fact skip it and play part II instead; Piper's original novel has been included and is actually worth the listen.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, though it was overall uninspiring. Also, ending every line of dialog with "_____ said" is mind numbing after a while...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 04-22-12
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A successful re-write of Piper's classic"

    When Jack Holloway???s dog blows up a cliff during a prospecting mission on the planet Zarathustra, Jack loses his contract with ZaraCorp. Fortunately, inside the cliff he discovers the biggest vein of precious gems that have ever been found on the planet and he gets to take a percentage of the profits as finder???s fee. Things start to get complicated when Jack returns home to discover that his house has been invaded by a fuzzy mammal that seems a lot smarter than he should be on this planet that has no sapient creatures. When he calls in his ex-girlfriend, ZaraCorp???s biologist, to have a look, they realize that there may be trouble ahead. A sapient race means that ZaraCorp will have to give up their rights to the planet???s resources. Murder attempts and court cases ensue.

    Fuzzy Nation is John Scalzi???s ???reboot??? of H. Beam Piper???s Little Fuzzy. I mostly enjoyed Piper???s original plotline, but his novel got bogged down in long repetitive discussions about sapience which included some outdated ideas about the nature of consciousness. Not his fault, of course, since those ideas were trendy (though not empirically derived) back then, but they did make Little Fuzzy feel dated. In addition, the court proceedings were laughable and this is not likely to be dismissed by today???s readers who have grown up watching courtroom drama on TV.

    In Fuzzy Nation, Scalzi has not only ditched the bad court procedures and old psychology (he replaced Freud???s psychoanalytic theory with Theory of Mind), but he has also eliminated the dull sapience discussions, too. This is still a story about what it means to be sapient, but Scalzi manages to intelligently address the issue without making us watch his characters sit around and talk about it. He also does a better job of explaining why humans shouldn???t be removing resources from planets with sapient races.

    Scalzi???s characters are also more vibrant, especially Jack Holloway who, in Piper???s version, addressed himself as ???Pappy Jack.??? In Scalzi???s version, Holloway is a young hot-head who doesn???t seem to be able to open his mouth without spitting testosterone. Jack???s dog Carl is a welcome addition and his interactions with the cute Fuzzies gives the book some warmth and humor. I also liked Jack???s ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend who becomes Jack???s lawyer. All of the men in Scalzi???s story are unrelievedly aggressive and sarcastic, and I???m tempted to assume this is some manifestation of John Scalzi???s own personality, but instead I???ll argue that those types of personalities are likely to be disproportionately found on a distant inhospitable planet that???s home to man-eating raptors.

    I listened to the audiobook version of Fuzzy Nation which has been produced by Brilliance Audio and Audible Frontiers. It???s the same recording, but the Audible Frontiers version includes H. Beam Piper???s Little Fuzzy. Fuzzy Nation is narrated by John Scalzi???s friend, actor Wil ???Don???t be a Dick!??? Wheaton. He did a great job with all of the characters and he was especially perfect for the role of Jack Holloway. (I guess it???s okay to be a dick if you???re just acting).

    Fuzzy Nation is a successful re-write of Piper???s classic, and I can heartily recommend it. The audio version is especially rewarding. If you want to read Little Fuzzy first, you can download a free print version because it???s in the public domain.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bolton, CT, United States 04-16-12
    Susan Bolton, CT, United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2011

    CorvairLady

    ratings
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    9
    8
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    "Still prefer the original"

    I've read the original series and really prefer it. Might have preferred this if I hadn't already become so use to H. Beam Piper's books. Still an OK listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Apple Valley, UT, United States 03-10-12
    Dave Apple Valley, UT, United States 03-10-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
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    "Wil Wheaton is Excellent"

    Being a purest Little Fuzzy will always be better.
    Having said that, Fuzzy Nation is, as John Scalzi states in the introduction, an updated and quite different storyline. The story moves well and is a page turner.

    I was quite impressed with Wil Wheaton's reading. I have been a fan since his Next Generation days and more recently on SyFy's Eureka.
    He reads the story well and his characters are excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 01-31-12
    Paul D. Singleton Dallas, TX, United States 01-31-12 Member Since 2011

    Men's Minister - Hardcore Christian Men

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    63
    33
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    0
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    "Long live the Fuzzy Nation!"

    Scalzi has written an amazing update of this story. I tried listening to the original, "Little Fuzzy", and was unable to get over the stereotypes that were there. Scalzi has made the story modern while keeping the essence of the original. From Carl's first appearance to Halloway's final words, I truly enjoyed hearing the story in Wil Wheaton's voice. Wheaton did an excellent job with the characters, ascribing a different voice to each of them, giving the listener true enjoyment. The only negative was that chapter breaks seemed to have a "pregnant" pause. I recommend this to anyone who truly enjoys science fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 261-270 of 285 results PREVIOUS126272829NEXT
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  • Andrew
    Chinnor, United Kingdom
    7/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good straight forward science fiction"

    I've never read the original (or, to be honest, heard of it). However this was an easy listen with a satisfying progression through the story. Good science fiction - not overplaying the technology or differences between our time and theirs. A story which tells itself straight - and well read by Wil Wheaton. Made me laugh in a few places too - and I wish the characters could be in further stories (generally a good indicator of a story enjoyed).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rik
    Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
    11/30/11
    Overall
    "As delightful as the original"

    I remember being so busy reading the original Little Fuzzy that I missed a train. This was just as enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    United Kingdom
    9/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Epic but so enjoyable"

    Great fun listen, really enjoyed every minute of it - well read by Wil Wheaton and fast, interesting story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PatM
    Marlow UK
    5/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Charming Wil Wheaton"

    A light, entertaining listen charmingly narrated by Wil Wheaton. Wil does a great job with this story and you can hear how much fun he is having with it. I had a smile on my face throughout and if you are familiar with him as an actor you will imagine him in the star role! It's a relatively short book at 7 hours listening time, however it's a good story and well written. Definitely worth the 7 hours of my time. I wasn't sure about another novel narrated by Wil Wheaton, however this performance has decided it for me and so I'll be downloading "Ready Player One" next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beccameriel
    London, United Kingdom
    4/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uncomplicated, cheerful sci fi - overall fun"

    A engaging sci fi with a satisfyingly anti-corporate message and an overall upbeat mood although there was the odd bit that I found quite moving. Wil Wheaton is a great narrator - just right for the tone of book. And the fuzzies themselves are rather charming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I. Fenton
    Cardiff, Wales
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to Fuzzy Nation the most enjoyable?

    The storyline was excellent and, having read the book it was based on, I was pleased with how well John Scalzi adapted his story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The part when Fuzzy spoke was done so well by the narrator that I could almost see him stood there.


    What does Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The fact that John Scalzi wrote the story before asking H Beam Piper's estate if he could publish it. I also liked the fact that the narrator and author were friends so I knew the narration was done the way the author would have wanted.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh and cry and gasp aloud and I was very emotionally involved throughout.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Anderson
    UK
    7/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Feel good book"

    I have not read this book or its progenitor, which is good since I had preconceived ideas. So no wonder I loved this book from the go. Wil Wheaton's narration style fits Scalzi's books perfectly - it's an easy going, enjoyable listen. Scalzi doesn't write descriptions, just great dialogues and story - I think this is a perfect format for audiobook.
    All in all it's a nice story full of twists and humor, and for me the addition of original book 'Little Fuzzy' by H. Beam Piper was a great bonus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Annika
    Tallinn, Estonia
    3/31/13
    Overall
    "I love Scalzi's SciFi works"

    As already said in the title, I love Scalzi's SciFi works. So was it also with Fuzzy nation. It was very well thought through, very lively and immaginable. It gave a lot to thing about also afterwards. Yes, on many occasions probability seemed overruled, but it was still very much enjoyable. After all, isn't playing with What Ifs the idea of books?

    After I finished Fuzzy nation and started Piper's Little fuzzy, every time I managed to listen to only about 10-15 minutes and then fell asleep. Even when awake, my mind start to wander around. It is interesting though, but not as much as Scalzi's part.

    The most interesting part in listening both versions is to see, how a new author can change it. In this case Scalzi gave a much better feeling and substance to the same idea and made it work for me. So I have to say, that I loved it a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    london, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Excelent"

    This book is punchy, well told and has a lovely anti-corperate message. It's got a good structure to it and moves on at a brisk pace. The characters are very likable as well. I can't really fault it...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nicola
    ascot, berks, United Kingdom
    11/22/12
    Overall
    "Another brilliant book.."

    I only found John Scalzi last year and think his writing and books are brilliant. This is no exception. A re-write of a book from the sixties, which you get free and I'm still working my way through, called Little Fuzzy. Fuzzy Nation is compelling, funny and tragic - I actually got a tear in my eye. Will Wheaton is exceptional as the narrator. Can't recommend highly enough and you don't have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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