Fuzzy Nation

Scalzi, John

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Fuzzy Nation
Jack Holloway, prospecting on Zara XXIII for ZaraCorp, finds an immensely valuable stream of sunstone. But when he forwards footage of the planet's catlike, native "fuzzies" to a biologist friend --who believes the "fuzzies" are sentient--hired company thugs, murder, and arson soon follow to protect ZaraCorp's mining interests.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765328540
Branch Call Number: SF SCALZI 2011
Characteristics: 301 p. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

Disbarred lawyer Jack Holloway is working as a miner when he stumbles across a possibly-intelligent species he then feels obligated to protect. A reboot of a 1962 classic.

From the critics

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Mar 17, 2015
  • GuyN rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A reasonable expansion of an Scifi short story where the interests of a mega corporation conflict with the survival of a cute, cat-like fuzzy native species. Is it sentient? While not epic, this a an enjoyable and sometimes sardonically funny read.

Jan 07, 2015
  • joshualatos rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A sort of sci-fi courtroom drama. It's funny, easy to read, and at the same time discusses larger issues of the morality of humankind. This is one of those books I'd recommend to my friends.

Sep 04, 2014
  • AngryCrow rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I haven't read the original, but purely as an entertaining book, it is certainly entertaining. John Scalzi has his flaws, but his stories never cease to be amusing. A book filled with Scalzi's usual humor, as well as an assortment of somewhat unusual characters. Entertaining and thought provoking.

Aug 14, 2013
  • YourUserName rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Not having read Piper's original books, I can't compare them to Scalzi's "reboot," but I enjoyed the brisk pace, snappy dialog, and vivid description. On a planet with so many voracious predators it seems a little hard to believe the fuzzys could exist, not being able to do much more than scratch and bite a potential attacker -- but Scalzi's skill as a writer makes it easy to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride.

Jan 25, 2013
  • FatCat22 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A whole different cast than the original "Little Fuzzy", save two. However, Jack Holloway is a much younger man, and Little Fuzzy is not an innocent tyke.

The setting is similar. The plot summary the same: Zara(thustra) Company's charter is null and void if there is indiginous sapient life on the planet.

The action, politics and characters are harsher than H. Beam Piper's original telling. But I think this plays to an audience that is nearly 3/4 of a century later than the original readers.

Nov 17, 2012
  • pinky0203 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I just finished this and must say that while I enjoyed it and cried when he describes the death of two of the Fuzzies, I felt like there was something missing. The original series by H. Beam Piper takes place over several books and I almost get the feeling that this may be in store for this remake. Scalzi does make some changes to the original story and that's okay, otherwise it would just be the old story with updated tech. But I am curious whether he plans any sequels such as Piper wrote which go into more depth about the Fuzzies. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Mar 27, 2012
  • tedward07 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

For those who have not read the original Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper this will be a pleasant read at the beach. For those who know the original you might enjoy the updated technology and John Scalzi's pleasant writing style but you may be disappointed.

As a fan of the original and of Scalzi's Old Man's War series I had high hopes for this "reboot". In many ways it worked very nicely as I enjoyed the characters and writing style and appreciated the simple, yet important updates to technology. Certainly Piper's technology seemed very dated in a world where we have iPads for instance.

What let me down however was the emotional core of the story. Piper's Fuzzies were part of a believable culture, integrated into their ecosystem. Scalzi has taken a great leap backward turning the Fuzzies into sentient housepets in a frenzy of colonial paternalism.

The most egregious change is the omission of the key scene in the entire narrative. ** SPOILER ALERT** Scalzi has completely excised the funeral scene after a fuzzy is killed by a company goon. The death still happens but this moving and crucial scene of burial rites that causes the whole book to change is totally absent.

It is clear Scalzi is a fan but the missing scene was one of two or three key moments in the original that I felt left holes too big to fill.

Jan 25, 2012
  • WomanOfMystery rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book is great fun but seems to get lost when it turns into a courtroom drama. But this is a short read so it is worth pushing through.

Sep 29, 2011

Read for our sci-fi club - as an ebook, along with Piper's book.
FUZZY NATION - by John Scalzi, and LITTLE FUZZY, by H. Beam Piper. Scalzi's recent novel is based on Piper's 1962 Hugo-nominated novel. The original plot is that of a somewhat cynical explorer/ miner who tries to protect suspected sapient local fuzzy beings from the ethically challenged mining company wanting to plunder the planet. Scalzi redoes the story by tweaking characters, settings, and motivations, as sort of a "reboot." In the earlier version, written post-World War 2, the military are the good guys and step in to maintain justice, battling secret agents and corporate greed. In the later version, most of the main characters are lawyers. Both versions centre on the discussion of what exactly defines intelligence, and what differentiates man from animal. We all enjoyed the stories, one of us via a library text, one as e-book, and one as audible book. An e-book is, of course, easier to carry around on an iPhone or netbook, but harder to just bookmark and leave on a table for later. Or lend to a friend. The audio book version can be a little slow to follow – you can't skim - but is ideal for a long car trip. That is until sudden traffic decisions distract you from the book. Or not. Bonus – the audio version is narrated by Wil Wheaton, of Big Bang Theory fame.

Aug 29, 2011
  • Clsomers rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I was thoroughly skeptical. I'm a big fan of the original Little Fuzzy, having first read it as a teenager and many times since. When I saw that Scalzi had written this book, a "reboot" of the original, I just didn't get it. Sure, the original was kind of old fashioned, but it was still cute and the environmental and moral themes were still just as valid. What the heck was a reboot and what was the point?

Well, I guess I was wrong, because I really enjoyed this book. I read a few of Scalzi's interviews about the book, and I think I understand a bit better now. He's just a huge fan. He was at a low point in his writing, feeling uninspired and out of sorts, and he wanted to do something just for fun, so he wrote this, basically as a piece of fan fiction. Kind of like people write Star Trek books (which I enjoy) or the way movies keep getting remade with updated casts and technology.

This is a bit of a combination of those ideas. It's not exactly the original story, in fact pretty much the only character who remains the same is the main character, Jack, and even he's petty different in appearance and personality than the original Jack. The fuzzles are somewhat different as well, with much less direct interaction with the other characters until the end of the book, making them much less of a fun feature in this book and my only real disappointment. But somehow the overall structure of the book, the scaffolding, is the same, and it's very fun and very effective. The book is a David a Goliath story, Jack vs. the company, that unfolds on several levels, and Scalzi plays it out like a master. Somehow the simple and straightforward storytelling, very much reminiscent of Piper's original style, turns into a masterful courtroom coupe de grace that I think would have made Piper proud.It had a lovely old-fashioned charm that felt timeless. His Jack may not be such a nice guy, but he's the guy the fuzzies need. I was entertained from beginning to end.

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