Reboots are common thing in films and TV, less so in books. As someone who….. let’s say does a little more than dabble in to the old science fiction genre, i’m a little ashamed to say i have never heard of H. Beam Piper; who wrote a book called “Little Fuzzy”. So it was not until my favorite author John Scalzi announced that he was to be remaking the book that it came on to my radar. I hope that one day soon i will be able to read H. Beam Piper original book, but for now i’m going to talk about the remake (boot?) itself. So giving for the fact that i have not read the original I have no idea which is the better version, or how much it differs……………
So here is the boring part, if you are not interested in finding out the story; I always find it much better not knowing; i’d skip this next paragraph.
A disbarred lawyer, takes up a mining contractor job…. why? who knows. This is a sci-fi (syfy Not) book so it is of course on another planet. Due to some things happening (my lazy writings back), involving letting a dog blow up a cliff, our main character discovers a huge amount of a rare material, only found on the planet. It basically makes him the richest contractor in the universe. That day he makes another discovery though, in his tree top cabin, he finds that it has been broke in to, not by a person but by a cute cat like creature; enter the fuzzys. Our character Holloway has never seen this animal before, but he takes and instant liking to them. Through his study and the study of his ex-girlfriend/biologist, he notices how much smarter they are than just a normal animal, they make his well trained dog look like…… well a dog. More evidence is found, that show that maybe these animals, are more than just animals. The book quickly turns in to a court room drama, with at one point 3 cases going on at once.
If you did not read the above paragraph, i will just say that the story is great, and while there is not so much plot twist as gentle bends, you will be engrossed throughout.
Scalzi has a unique way of blending hardcore science fiction with comedy, while this is not his funnest work (That award goes to Agent to the stars) it has a few laugh loud moments, and more than enough chuckles to help the pages tick over. Most of these come from the main character with his dry sense of humor and sarcasm. Sarcasm is a common theme in all of Scalzi main characters, from all his novels, and by reading his blog whatever (http://whatever.scalzi.com/) you can see he is not short of that either. Some may even call them all smartarses.
Typicaly i’m not one to swayed by seeing cuteness or a description of it, my dog being the only thing i want go “awwwwwwwww” at, but i have to admit the idea of this little fuzzy family did bring a little one out of me. The fuzzy’s them self play an integral role, misconceptions that Holloway makes are proven wrong, which goes along way to prove just how alien the world is.
I said before that this book goes in to a court room drama. It’s not all that common for a Sci-fi book to go in this area and when it started i was slightly skeptical. The Author does it well, i in my misguided way have had a problem with law story’s, thinking they would be boring, turns out the’re not (at least not this one). I now know that the trick is in the dialogue, it makes the characters believable in their own extreme ways, and the book flows with an even pace because of it.
Now on the pace of the book; one of my few disappointed was how quick i read it. It is Scalzi’s first full book in two years while i’m not expecting him to do a James Patterson and create a factory that spews out 15 books a year, but i felt there was still areas that could have been explained in this book. Suppose that some say the key to a good book though it leaves you wanting more, though i don’t really agree with that, anything that makes me vauguly frustrated, is not a good thing.
While i hate to compare, if you do, which i hate to do, to Scalzis other books it fits more on the more lighter end of his literary spectrum. While it’s not the bright pink that was agent of the stars, it was defiantly a light blue. Looking at what Scalzis last commercial release was The gods engine, which clearly was a Dark bloody red on the spectrum, i think it’s safe to that Fuzzy Nation is nowhere near that colour. I think this is an allegory has gone as far as it will now. Though there is something to say for the colour green and old mans war.
I’m not expecting any sequels to this book (even though the original spawned a few) but it would be a nice surprise if this story does make a comeback. All in all very good book, something i was expecting and while i may be ever so slightly biased toward him (my favorite author who happens to be creative consultant on Stargate) i still know a good book when i read one. This is one. I thinks it’s safe to say i’v bummed the author and the book enough for you to know that it will be a high score.
So with out further ado it’s a:
Whatever Scalzi does next i will be there (hopefully) to cheer him on and read it, whether this will be a sequel to a previus book, a brand new one or even more novellas. He has not yet has a miss yet, in this hit and miss industry; which is a rare thing indeed.