I say ‘by John Scalzi,’ but I should probably put it as ‘by John Scalzi, by H. Beam Piper’ to be more accurate. Fuzzy Nation is a modern reboot of H. Piper Beam’s 1960’s sci-fi novel which went by the name of Little Fuzzy, which was written the with 1960’s vision of what the future would look like. Needless to say it has aged in a less than desirable way. Don’t get me wrong here, the original is still cool, just not particularly accurate. Scalzi, a fan of Piper’s work, said that he aimed to make the story approachable to readers unfamiliar with the original while directing fans to Piper’s books.

I’m not going to give a whole write-up on the plot because that would just ruin it for you, and quite simply because it isn’t necessary. Suffice it to say that the novel is about a slightly futuristic world where corporations are awarded contracts to mine worlds other than Earth for rare minerals and fossil fuels. On the planet in question, called  Zara XXIII, an assholish mining contractor discovers both a large seam of valuable gemstones for his employers, and a new race of mammals all in one day. Havoc ensues on all fronts.

I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the storyline. After the last few long-winded fantasy novels which I have been reading, this was a lovely little story. Short, realistic but truly entertaining. For this I will score the novel a lavish 7/10, the same score I gave to the disappointment that was Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance.

J.S.Dawes

 

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