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Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Fuzzy Nation

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Fuzzies (alt 4)

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1,2149410,024 (3.91)72

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Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
The author has a talent for writing. I rolled thru this book in 2 nights. Main character and dialogs are just amazing, really fun to read. Definitely recommend. ( )
  Alex_Larikov | Mar 6, 2019 |
Every single Scalzi book I read, I end up loving, and this was no exception.

The story itself concerns a classic trope: the big, bad corporation working to exploit a planet’s resources and trying to ignore the existence of a sentient indigenous race, so that the controlling authorities will not stop them. Of course the trope also requires a brave hero who will defy the big, bad corporation and win against all odds.

The way John Scalzi deals with this story makes all the difference, though: with his usual humorous and light-handed style he manages to present the situation without falling into clichés, and so the tale remains consistently entertaining, engrossing and delightful.

For starters, the indigenous sentients - the Fuzzies - are not simply cute creatures: they are built, page after page, toward a surprise revelation that defies any reader expectation. Their antics, in the course of the novel, are thoroughly entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud in more than one occasion.

The hero himself, Jack Halloway, is hardly hero material at all: he’s more of a rogue watching out for his best interests, and even when he sides with the Fuzzies he does so with an eye to his advantages as well. Which makes him very human, and therefore even more likable, as are secondary characters Isabel (Halloway ex-girlfriend) and her new fiancée. These three often engage in delightful verbal sparring that is reminiscent of comedy movies from the ’40s and ’50s and livens up an already sparkling tale.

A special mention should go to Carl, Halloway’s dog, trained detonator of explosives and wonderful comic relief, both on his own and in the company of the Fuzzies. Even if you’re not a dog person, you will love Carl without reservations.

As I’ve come to expect by now, under the first layer of humorous, entertaining storytelling, Scalzi deals with more serious issues and manages to blend the two sides of the equation in a seamless way, at the same time keeping his readers interested and involved. The pace is quick, the characters believable and likable, the story engrossing: I could not have asked for better.
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi is a reimagining of H. Beam Piper's novel Little Fuzzy. It is a great story about a disbarred lawyer who is currently a prospector on Zara XXIII where he encounters a new, intelligent species. It is humorous, has great character development, and memorable scenes. ( )
  ladyoflorien | Nov 19, 2018 |
Half a century ago, H. Beam Piper gave us the wonderful story, Little Fuzzy. Delightful as it still is, in some ways its age shows. John Scalzi, one of the many who loved Piper's Little Fuzzy, rather more recently set himself to writing an updated, 21st century story of the Fuzzies, originally just as a writing exercise for his own edification and pleasure. It couldn't end there, of course, and after book contract negotiations somewhat more complex than average, you can now read Fuzzy Nation.

The story is basically the same. Jack Holloway is a prospector on a planet being mined by a huge, multisystem corporation. He's got a past he doesn't talk about, and he's difficult and a known troublemaker, and just generally doesn't deal with rules well. One day, a furry, bipedal creature about four feet tall shows up at his cabin, and all heck breaks loose.

At first, it's fairly mundane heck: The creature is small, agile, and has amazing manual dexterity, has no idea what's what in the cabin, and is terrified of Jack's dog, Carl. Then things get a little more complicated. This is a new life form, a mammal-like biped on a planet that has mostly reptilians. The logical person to report this to is his ex-girlfriend, who is the company's staff biologist, and just a bit annoyed with Jack, just because he lied under oath, claiming that she had lied about him teaching his dog to set off explosives...

It's tricky, and it gets trickier when she starts to suspect that the Fuzzies aren't just clever animals, but people.

The difficulty level goes through the stratosphere when the corporate chairman's son shows up on a tour, and becomes directly involved in making sure the Fuzzies aren't declared an intelligent species, bringing the company's mining operations to a crashing halt.

Scalzi's Jack is a different character than Piper's Jack, and the Fuzzies are different, too. They remain complex, interesting beings who keep surprising the humans around them. It's a lot of fun, both entertaining and thoughtful.


I bought the ebook edition. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Well up there on the list of worst books I have finished. The characterizations aren't even paper thick. ( )
  breic | Jul 1, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Mary Robinette Kowal, a good friend and even better writer:


Ethan Ellenburg,who did more work to make this happen than either of us expected. His efforts are greatly appreciated.

The author additionally bows deeply in the direction of H Beam Piper, for the most obvious of reasons.
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Jack Holloway set the simmer to HOVER, swiveled his seat around, and looked at Carl.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.… (more)

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