Why Did I Wait So Long to Read “Fuzzy Nation” by John Scalzi?


Fuzzy Nation is a fun, humorous novel, a quick read that provides a pleasant escape for a few hours. This “reimagining” of the 1962 Hugo-nominated novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper is, according to author John Scalzi, not intended to replace or improve upon Piper’s book, but is simply a variation on the story, events, and characters Piper created roughly 50 years ago.

When Fuzzy Nation was published earlier this year, I started reading a excerpt on Tor.com (here’s the link, free registration required) and, although intrigued, I moved on to something else when I finished the sample. Last week, however, I stumbled across the book, picked it up and started reading where I left off. I finished it the next day.

Jack Holloway, the main character in Fuzzy Nation, is a roguish maverick who prefers to work alone, save for his dog, Carl, which he has taught to detonate explosives needed in his job as an independent prospector in the employ of ZaraCorp. When Jack (and Carl) inadvertently cause a cliff collapse on the planet Zarathustra, he finds he has uncovered a rich vein of priceless jewels, which he manipulates his ZaraCorp handler into recognizing as his own claim.

However, the only reason why ZaraCorp is allowed to exploit the planet’s resources is because no sentient life has been discovered on Zarathustra — at least until a family of adorable fuzzy biped creatures show up at Jack’s house. Now the race is on to determine whether the fuzzies are people or animals, the outcome of which will determine ZaraCorp’s future exploitation of the planet’s resources.

Fuzzy Nation has a bit of mild language that I know some of my more conservative readers might dislike, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as some books I started and eventually put down because I tired of wading through what seemed to be gratuitous cursing. For me, Fuzzy Nation doesn’t fall into this category. If you don’t mind an occasional curse uttered by a Han Solo type of character, you’ll probably enjoy the book.

If you want more info, here’s the scoop:

Author’s website: http://whatever.scalzi.com/

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (First Edition edition: May 10, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0765328542
ISBN-13: 978-0765328540

Have you read Fuzzy Nation or any of John Scalzi’s other books? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know.

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