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Fuzzy Nation [Hardcover]

John Scalzi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jun 2011
Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn't care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp's headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation's headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, 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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (6 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328540
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 743,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and his debut novel Old Man's War was a finalist for the Hugo Award. His other novels include The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and The Android's Dream. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.

Product Description


" Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy." "--Publishers Weekly, "starred review, on "Old Man's War "" If Stephen King were to try his hand at science fiction, he'd be lucky to be half as entertaining as John Scalzi." "--Dallas Morning News "on "The Ghost Brigades "" Scalzi's captivating blend of offworld adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging." "--Booklist "on "The Last Colony "

About the Author

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and his debut novel "Old Man's War" was a finalist for science fiction's Hugo Award. His other books include "The Ghost Brigades," "The Android's Dream" and "The Last Colony." He has won the Hugo Award, the "Romantic Times" Reviewers Choice Award for science-fiction, the Seiun, The Kurd Lasswitz and the Geffen awards. His weblog, Whatever, is one of the most widely-read web sites in modern SF. Born and raised in California, Scalzi studied at the University of Chicago. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overt plagiarism done better than the original? 14 Mar 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came at Fuzzy Nation as a writer interested in how a published writer would rework an old classic and reboot it for a modern audience. I have to say on finishing that I have a certain sympathy for both sides of the controversy this reboot has caused.
So I started this book by reading the original, Little Fuzzy by H Beam Piper. I'm grateful to Scalzi for somewhat backhandedly recommending me a really great book, that I devoured in a day or two and really enjoyed. The sentience question is dealt with well, but overall the book seemed to miss out on a few of the better legal related things it could have done with the plot. Fantastic concept, of which the closest comparison I can think of is Avatar.
I started Fuzzy Nation eager to see what Scalzi would do with this fantastic source material. But apart from Carl the dog's antics I didn't warm to it. I wondered why Scalzi had bothered. But then I started to appreciate the things he was doing better than Piper, the ex-lawyer was a better fit, the high range audio infused throughout the story, the smaller cast. Reading the books the way I did you couldn't help but compare. I spent more than two thirds of the novel slowly liking it more and more.

And by the end it was clear that Scalzi had taken source material of a charming but slightly flawed novel, and made it into a fantastic novel. By this point I was full of appreciation for just how clever and intricate and downright satisfying this book is throughout. I love it, I unreservedly love it. I rarely give out the perfect score for a story. I think I've done it maybe 10-15 times in more than 500 books. I didn't get there with Old Man's War (although `The Last Colony' wasn't far off) but this is something else. Taken on its merits alone, I'm tempted to actually give it a 10.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I went into Fuzzy Nation unsure of what to expect - I mean a novel reboot? - but I trusted in Scalzi. And he didn't let me down. This is a smart, compelling science fiction novel with a bit of an offbeat nature. Far from the galaxy-wide military science fiction of Scalzi's previous books, Fuzzy Nation concentrates on the fate of one small planet, on the fate of one small people, on the evaluation of what makes a species sentient or not. The varied, intelligent characters are effortlessly engaging carry us through this well executed story. It's not perfect, but Scalzi's latest comes close: diverse, thoughtful and just plain entertaining.

Josh Holloway is a social outlier by choice - he doesn't get along too well with people - yet he's an appealing character from the start. Holloway carries Scalzi's well-known humor and sarcastic dialogue, helping us overcome his unsocial ways and get closer to him through comic relief. How can you not like a character who in the first few pages of a book has his dog set off explosives for him? More than anything else, Holloway is entertaining. He might be a self-absorbed, anti-social man, but he's a funny man and one that has the tendency to get confrontational with people in the most amusing manner.

Unlike Scalzi's most famous work - his `Old Man's War' series - Fuzzy Nation is not military science fiction. That means no shoot-them-up action, space-side battles or planetary assaults, but rather an intimate look at the commercial and judicial turmoil that has arisen on an unexpectedly significant world. A surprising amount of the novel is dedicated to a court case, which is rather unusual for a science fiction novel.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jury's out - final grade to be determined 10 Mar 2012
By nvh65
Grading this book is very difficult because I feel like I'm judging an unfinished project. However, if it is meant to be a one-off entry into the Fuzzy Sapien canon then I hate it. I use that term as a deliberately subjective reaction as there is nothing technically wrong with the story.

It's not a bad book but it is not as charming as the original and my point is that it just feels very much like it's a clearing of the decks to provide a basis for other things. The other things ultimately will decide if this book was a good idea.

With 20/20 hindsight I would have waited to see which direction things were going to go before buying this book. If you're a fan of the originals, or the other additions, this is likely to leave you a bit cold.

If Scalzi doesn't pick the story up and do something with it then this book is thoroughly pointless. Thankfully we know that he's not bad at doing series...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, not a great one. 15 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of John Scalzi's work for a number of years now. It is because of this that I bought Fuzzy Nation without reservation and read it at my earliest opportunity. I should point out that I have not read Little Fuzzy so my thoughts are from someone who is coming fresh to the Fuzzyverse.

I enjoyed reading this book (in two sittings) but it just didn't hit the spot, hence why it lost two stars. I was expecting something with more bite, like other Scalzi novels, but I didn't find any. Perhaps this is because he had to stick with the original book's young-adult theme, I don't know. Apart from some satisfying and intelligent twists in the courtroom scenes it was altogether too light, breezy and predictable.

Other authors whom I enjoy have progressed further as writers in the past few years with novels of increasing complexity and craftsmanship. I would love Scalzi to do the same, and not recycle his characters and dialogue style.

All in all I would still recommend reading this book, but I won't go back for a second helping.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read but not the best Scalzi book
As mentioned in many reviews this is not really an original story but this is an enjoyable read with some nice twists and turns, most of which are pretty obvious, but still a nice... Read more
Published 7 months ago by SlosshyDolphin
2.0 out of 5 stars Rewrites and remakes are ALWAYS worse!
Scalzi is a good author when he finds his own plots, but he should not have tried to rewrite the classic first Fuzzy novel of Beam Piper. His changes are all for the worse. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars The literary SF version of a Disney Film...
...but none the worse for that. This is an ultimately 'heartwarming' SF written with Scalzi's usual good humour and wit. Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. Crombet-beolens
5.0 out of 5 stars Scalzi is irreverent as always
This is a fun rewrite of a story by H. Beam Piper in the '60s. I haven't read that, but this is a fun romp through the politics of a future civilisation, specifically regarding the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Neil
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reworking of an s-f classic
This is a very good reworking of the original 'Little Fuzzy' story. It's eminently readable in itself, as well as respectful towards H Beam Piper's original book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sooz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good re-telling of a classic
Many years ago H. Beam Piper wrote "Little Fuzzy", a fine tale that has now, along with its sequels and its author, slipped into relative obscurity. Read more
Published 20 months ago by D. R. Cantrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Scalzi strikes again!!!
John Scalzi has a knack for creating charaters whom you like in spite of yourself. The story itself illustrates the greed which mankind takes with him to the stars, and the need to... Read more
Published 20 months ago by M. Calliewag Esq.
5.0 out of 5 stars another hit
Once again Mr. Scalzi delivers another amazing story. There's lots of examples of his dry, observational humour. The characters are well developed and believable. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Clavain
4.0 out of 5 stars From War to Legal Drama
Having read John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" and the rest in the series it dawns on the reader that perhaps a writer can be great at battle novels and characterisation but what about... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Querl Dox
1.0 out of 5 stars How did he dare???
I am a fan of H.Beam Piper and regard his Fuzzy books as classics. This book is, to put it bluntly, ridiculous, holes start appearing in the first few pages. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2012 by Andrew Allen
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