Fuzzy Nation

303 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2011 by Tor.

OCLC Number:

View on OpenLibrary

View on Inventaire

5 stars (1 review)

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 …

2 editions

Enjoyable remake of a classic with more characterization and less deus ex machina.

5 stars

It feels weird to rate this higher than the original it’s based on, H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy. I’m not sure it’s actually a better book, but it is more enjoyable, largely because it’s written in a more modern style and to today’s sensibilities. The characters are more distinct, the personal stakes are higher, the corporate malfeasance and environmental exploitation are amped up, and the twists are carefully set up instead of dropping in out of nowhere.

Fuzzy Nation tells largely the same story as Little Fuzzy: a prospector on a company-owned planet encouters a cute animal species that may or may not be sapient, in which case the company loses its license to exploit the world, finishing with a courtroom drama over murder charges and whether the fuzzies are people or animals, with a major breakthrough in communication settling the question. But it takes a different enough path that …