Thursday, June 02, 2011

Book Review: Fuzzy Nation

You know what "nerve" is? It's when you read somebody else's book and decide that you could write it better. You know what "balls1" are? Balls are what you have when you decide that you can write somebody else's book better than they did AND they won a Hugo for their book. So John Scalzi has balls.

"Fuzzy Nation" is meant to be a reboot of the H. Beam Piper trilogy that started with the 1965 Hugo Award winning "Little Fuzzy". Comic books reboot. Comic books reboot all the time. Movies reboot. Of course, they usually reboot comic book based movies. Books don't reboot. At best someone new continues the series after the author dies, or, in some cases, says "fuck it, you guys write it". Thus "balls".

And Scalzi's balls are well deserved. I haven't read the original yet, but I plan to. Without getting into a comparison of the two I can tell you that I really enjoyed "Fuzzy Nation". Right on page one it had me hooked. And I kept on reading. Tore through it in no time at all. And it kept on right until the end. It made me laugh in several places. It had several tense moments. It has some court room drama that'd get most lawyers disbarred. Our hero got in jams and managed to stick it to The Man repeatedly. At the end you want to read the next book enough that you're likely to go back and start reading the original series.

What's it about? On the planet (right there you know it's sci-fi) Zara XXIII our hero is contracted to survey the planet for valuable resources for ZaraCorp to strip mine. Having found an incredibly valuable vein of jewels that will make him filthy rich (really. Just disgustingly rich) he returns home to find his treetop cabin inhabited by some manner of bipedal cat. Having made friends with the Fuzzy creature he then has a dilemma. It's intelligent, but if it's sentient like his ex-girlfriend says, then ZaraCorp has to leave the planet and he doesn't get a dime from those jewels he found.

I haven't mentioned that it's a Young Adult book. Nor have I mentioned that there's not at all subtle messages about environmental protection, treatment of indigenous people, and importance of the... uh... cough... the Prime Directive.

It's a fantastic book. I got autographed copies for the kids of a friend just because it was a Scalzi book. Now I'd get it for them even if I wasn't already a fan of the author.

You can get the original "Little Fuzzy" book from [link] or [link].

1 Balls. Hee hee hee hee hee.

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