Customer Reviews


27 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overt plagiarism done better than the original?
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...
Published on 14 Mar. 2013 by Toby Andersen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy Nation Review
Fuzzy Nation was a fun read.

The story revolves around Jack Holloway, a mining surveyor on an alien planet. The narrative style is easy to read and is a little comical at times, though I can't be certain if this was the author's full intent.

Holloway is a likeable character, in that he embodies a lot of cliched and overused character traits, such as...
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Price


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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.

But then I come to my sympathy for the other side. As a writer, the fact that this book is not original is a big deal. Nothing is really original in science fiction, or at least very little. Everyone steals little things and big things from everywhere, and have done for the last 40 years. But to do it like this so obviously! An author, a good author, is not just a hack. They make up the plot, dialogue and characters and one other rather important thing - the concept. Scalzi didn't make up the thing that in my opinion is the hardest to get down as perfectly as Piper did - the concept. Fuzzies on an exploited colony planet, sf courtroom drama for their very sentience. It's perfect. But it's Piper's not Scalzi's. Maybe this doesn't matter to some, but I wonder about stories I've written and how I'd feel if someone had the audacity to redo it, whether they could do better or not.

In the end I have to remain honest to my gut reaction, rather than my intellectual property rights brain. Fuzzy Nation outdoes Little Fuzzy in almost every respect and to an incredible and honed standard. It has something only the very best stories have - that self-contained world, tiny cast, pitch perfect prose and up-all-night plot. And Holloway. Scalzi's new Holloway is quite possibly the most interesting character I've read in months. Holloway is a wonderfully flawed lead, with more facets and motives to his character than most authors manage from their entire cast. Even when his morals and motives are exposed I still think there were reasons and motives underneath.
I can't recommend it enough and it so off the beaten track with respect to the bulk of the current SF shelf.
And yes, I really am going to give it a 10. As a writer I dream of concept as perfect as this and then pulling it off even better than the original author is an incredible achievement.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different from other John Scalzi books but no less entertaining, 29 July 2011
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Hardcover)
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. The trial in question, in fine Scalzi fashion, is riveting both inside of the court room where Holloway as an unconventional lawyer shines, and out with the intrigue surrounding the case.

One of the best parts of this book is that despite him being the main character, Scalzi doesn't reveal all about Holloway's motivations, leaving us to puzzle them out ourselves. It is clear that Scalzi was shooting for a level of ambiguity depicting him at times as self-centered and greedy, and on other occasions as uncommonly altruistic, but always with the chance of having ulterior motives. Not only does this make the outcome of the story less predictable, but when all is said and done, we can always have some doubts about Holloway's integrity, which is not something that can be said of most protagonists. If nothing else it makes him intriguing and lends authenticity to his portrayal.

Fuzzy Nation moves at a hearty pace and, like all Scalzi novels, is a painless read, any flaws it might have quickly set aside in favor of the overall appeal. Some will wonder weather it lives up to Scalzi's other novels, but such a comparison would ultimately be useless. Fuzzy Nation certainly has recognizable Sclazisms, but it's a very different type of book from any of his others I've read. Fans aside, this fun, clever and absorbing novel should be a guaranteed read for any science fiction enthusiast with a mind to read a good novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy Nation Review, 16 Dec. 2014
By 
Daniel Price (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Kindle Edition)
Fuzzy Nation was a fun read.

The story revolves around Jack Holloway, a mining surveyor on an alien planet. The narrative style is easy to read and is a little comical at times, though I can't be certain if this was the author's full intent.

Holloway is a likeable character, in that he embodies a lot of cliched and overused character traits, such as cracking one-liners and generally not taking things too seriously (think cliche Hollywood action hero) that made this piece quite fun to read and often made me grin.

The book is good overall, with an interesting story, entertaining characters and a somewhat goofy ending. It's not full-on comedy, but it's not full-on realistic, either. That is the best description I can give for the feel of it. This is far from being a literary masterpiece, but it clearly isn't intended to be. It's fun read and that will make you grin now and then.

Personally, I haven't read the original story that this is apparently based off, so this review evaluates the book on its own merit.

It's not amazing, but it's not bad, either. The one thing that really grinded my gears about the writing, though, was that the author (or the editor, perhaps) seems to have a fetish with dialogue tags. Literally, after every single piece of dialogue, there was a he/she said tag, even when there were only two characters talking and the conversion was well-established, so the reader already knew who was saying what. It was totally unnecessary and got to the point where I genuinely wondered whether it was an attempt at filling out the word count, as the piece is long enough to be a full-length novel, though didn't really feel like it to me.

I am going to be quite wary of this author and will not be reading any of his other works if I find this trend is the same elsewhere.

In short, a decent book, but nothing special.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars From War to Legal Drama, 21 Sept. 2012
By 
Querl Dox (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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 taking on someone else's vision, in this case a reboot of H Beam Piper's 1962 novel Liitle Fuzzy. Heck, if Star Trek can reboot and Spiderman can reboot why not an old novel?
The central character creatures of the novel are the 'Fuzzies', inhabitants of a world being plundered and ravaged by the Zarathrustra prospecting corporation. The world is up for grabs by this Corporation as long as there is no sentient species of the world that can stop the claim. Are the fuzzies the world's sentient species?. Jack Holloway is the lead prospector working for the Corporation and is the other central character human who just gets pulled in to the fight for wealth when he discovers how rich he can be with his percentage of a claim to a masive discovery of valuable jewels, which might just have to be sorted out by legal means... or perhaps by other more nefarious means. Can Jack come out of this with integrity (if he has any) or will he be just a caualty of Corporate greed and nasty tricks.
The novel is well written, intruiging and Scalzi can really do more than War, he can do legal drama. Is there nothing Scalzi cannot do? I look forward to his take on the world of disposable 'Star Trek' crew members in Redshirts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Hardcover)
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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good reworking of an s-f classic, 8 Feb. 2013
By 
Sooz (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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. Initially, I was slow to read this as I like the original, but reading a sample on my Kindle convinced me to give it a go - and I am glad I did. It is intelligent and well thought through. Key events remain, although a couple are changed but in ways that work well, and which fit with the rework. The character of Jack Holloway is different - logically so, to fit the reworking - and is consistent with the reworked story. While I can't really say I am *glad* 'Little Fuzzy' has been reworked, this has been done very well, and earns the stars I am giving it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good re-telling of a classic, 22 Dec. 2012
By 
D. R. Cantrell (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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.

Last year John Scalzi, with the blessings of Piper's heirs, released this "reboot", in which he tells broadly the same story with just a few little tweaks for a modern audience. There is more corporate wrong-doing and less government in Scalzi's version, for example, and more of people figuring out stuff on their own instead of government scientists.

Scalzi's re-telling of the story is a fine piece of work, as I expected from reading some of his previous stories, and I recommend it to you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
By 
Barry Carroll "Sci-Fi Fan" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Scalzi is irreverent as always, 17 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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 terraforming and mining of planets.

This is not part of Scalzi's enjoyable Old Man series, but readers who enjoy his writing will surely enjoy the geeky fun he has here. Don't expect anything too deep and meaningful and you'll be fine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Scalzi strikes again!!!, 17 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fuzzy Nation (Mass Market Paperback)
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 examine even more carefully, his impact on the environment around him. Mr Sclazi expanded on a theme and, with his usual flair, created a story that both amuses and admonishes; entertains and challenges his readers. An excellent read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Fuzzy Nation
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (Mass Market Paperback - 14 May 2012)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews