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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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1,192919,803 (3.91)66

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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 |
I really loved it. Couldn't put it down. Stayed up all night reading. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
So good in audio. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
review to come..it's too late to write coherent thoughts, except that I LOVED this and basically read it in one sitting. So readable and just so entertaining and intriguing.

Okay, real review here:

I have no idea why it took me so long to pick this up. I was phenomenal. I was so engrossed in the story and just wanted good things to happen. It was a really quick read and I loved the writing.

I picked this up because I had just finished Ninth City Burning and I was in the mood for science fiction. I was trying to read Furthermore for the Booktube SFF awards but I'm just not feeling that book. I'm really glad I put that down and picked this book up. It was so worth it.

I really enjoyed the characters and the Fuzzies. Holloway was pretty funny and snarky and just great. I enjoyed that he grew to recognize his flaws and that he accepted them and just kept being himself.

The world was really cool to learn about and I really enjoyed the legal side of it.

  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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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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