Book Review: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Book Review: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

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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Book Review, Divergent by Veronica Roth

Book Review, Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent Is the breakout novel by author Veronica Roth, and is the first of yet another YA distopian trilogy. To be honest, I have got mixed feelings about this novel, and for the first time in my life will actually just suggest watching the movie instead of reading the book.
From wikipedia:
In a post-apocalyptic Chicago, survivors were divided into five factions based on their dispositions: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the intellectual. Each year, all sixteen-year-olds take an aptitude test that describes the faction for which they are best suited. After receiving the results, they can decide whether to remain with their family’s faction or transfer to a new faction. Those who do not complete initiation into their new faction become “Factionless” and are forced to live in poverty on the streets of the city.

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior is born into an Abnegation family. She doesn’t feel she belongs in Abnegation, because she doesn’t see herself as naturally selfless. Her aptitude test results are inconclusive and indicate aptitude for three factions – Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. The test proctor warns her never to tell anyone that her results were inconclusive because that makes her a ‘Divergent.’ Beatrice agonizes over Choosing Day, unsure about staying in Abnegation with her parents or moving to a different faction. On Choosing Day Beatrice decides to leave Abnegation and join Dauntless. Her brother Caleb chooses Erudite.

Naturally there is an attempted coup in the dystopian world, in which Tris gets caught up. I don’t want to give you too many spoilers, so yea, If it sounds interesting to you already then stop reading my review and go buy the book.

I’ve got to give props to Mrs. Roth, she does write exceptionally well, but I just feel as though there are too many plot and logic holes in the story. There’s no real reasoning behind any of the technology showcased in her fictional world, and that’s something that just bugs me. Nevertheless, the sci-fi aspect of the book still turns my bookworm on.

Overall, the storyline has a lot of potential, almost endless potential in fact, which will probably be enough to convince me to overlook the logic holes and have a gander at the second novel in the series.

I give Divergent a respectable rating of 6.8/10, the same score I gave to Mockingjay, the least endearing of the Hunger Games books.

Book Review: Ready Player One

Book Review: Ready Player One

Ernest Cline, you 80’s pop culture loving genius bastard! Ready Player One is positively the best book I’ve read in yonks. As a music loving, strategy gaming junkie this book was right up my metaphorical alley!

From the back cover:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Essentially 14 hours of pop culture-spewing epicness. The audiobook is read by Whil Weaton! WHIL WEATON PEOPLE! Big plus for me, hearing Whil read a novel which which features himself.

There aren’t any serious plot holes, and the ending is expertly rounded off.

I give it a 9.9/10. Best rating I’ve given any book since I first read Magician by R.E.Feist

If you have any reading suggestions or comments, feel free to leave a comment.