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Little Fuzzy (Fuzzy Sapiens #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  5,759 ratings  ·  328 reviews
The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet lock stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government. Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene ...more
Audio CD, 3 pages
Published February 4th 2007 by Audio Realms (first published 1962)
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Pepper Thorn
First I'd like to say that this isn't really a review of Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation. It's a comparison of Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation and Piper's original Little Fuzzy. I came to both of these books clean, with no previous knowledge or biases. Although, in honor of full disclosure, I have read the majority of Sclzi's previous work and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first exposure to Piper but I plan to seek out more of his work as a result of this book.

I really enjoyed both books and if pressed I don't
Yes, this book is a bona fide SF classic, but admittedly it hasn't aged that well. I first read this in my early teens, and just reread it this year after loving Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation reboot.

The original is a quick read, fast-paced and unforgettable, so it's still worth your time, but the characters do seem a bit wooden and stuffy (and often downright boring). This book introduces some of the politically-incorrect ideas that Scalzi avoided entirely, which permeate the sequel Fuzzy Sapiens to a
The only thing that makes Little Fuzzy a science fiction story is it being set on another planet. There are no rayguns, only occasional mention of spaceships, no otherworldly technology that keeps the story going (I'm pointing this out mainly to suggest that people who don't ordinarily read science fiction might like this tale). Okay, there are viewscreens, and alien lifeforms, and mysterious bioreactive gems, and a colorful lie detector, but they don't get in the way of what's really interestin ...more
3.0 stars. A good, fast read that will make you smile. The tone reminded me a lot of some of Clifford Simak's work (i.e., down home, rural SF with a heart). Also a nice exposition on what it means to be a sentient being. A recommended classic.

Nominee: Hugo Award for best Novel (1963)
Charlotte Jones
I picked this book up because I bought Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi and found that it was inspired by this classic science-fiction novel, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper.

This novel took me completely by surprise. At under 300 pages the amount of world building that happens is amazing; it isn't particularly extensive but Piper creates such a plausible human colony and system on a future planet and it made sense. The politics of the new world were fascinating and a lot of the corruption was what made
First published in 1962 and good enough to be nominated for the Hugo Award for best novel in 1963 (Philip K. Dick won that year with The Man in the High Castle) Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper makes me wonder how influential this book was in the 60s, not just in science fiction or even in literature, but in the 60s culture.

Working well on many levels, this is a fun story about Earth colonists coming into contact with cute little fuzzy bipeds, but also a serious discussion about what it means to b
This was a decent little story that I probably wouldn't have ever read if not for John Scalzi's reboot, Fuzzy Nation. That book was just so awesome, I had to see about the source material.

Also, this audiobook was a surprise attachment to the Fuzzy Nation audiobook, so it was right there. Just press "play".

That said, this wasn't as entertaining. It was good, it's just that Fuzzy Nation was incredible. Scalzi did some things that were improvements on the original story. That said, there wouldn't e
Apr 30, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by:
Shelves: scifi
4 fuzzy little stars for this throwback to the golden age of SciFi, where a complete story could be written in less than 200 pages. Little Fuzzy is not complex, the good guys (and girls) are good and the bad guys get it in the end. Looking forward to Fuzzy Nation and had to get this one done first.
Tomek Piorkowski
Little Fuzzy is an old-school sci-fi novel which still has relevant things to say about corruption, bureaucracy, and bending the rules to your own ugly favour.

The planet Zarathustra, at first thought nearly worthless, was sold by the interstellar government to a corporation, which discovered that Zarathustra had amazing mineral and natural wealth. The catch is, that if intelligent self-conscious life is discovered, then the corporate lease on the planet cancels with immediate effect. And that's
Kat Klein
I think I read Little Fuzzy about 30 or so years ago when I was in high school. I read it along with the sequel Fuzzy Sapiens and adored them. To me, they were right up there with L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series. About 5-6 years later I got hold of Fuzzy Bones, which was the 3rd book, written for the series by a different author. H. Beam Piper having died, before finishing book 3. I can't quite express how disappointing Fuzzy Bones was. It almost ruined the entire series for me. However I spent ...more
Jared Millet
Here's an oldie that I never got around to, but finally did thanks to the Scalzi reboot (which I haven't read yet - had to clear this one out of the way first).

Little Fuzzy is cute. Seriously, this has got to be the most soft-hearted, chipper, and downright adorable science fiction novel I've ever read. If that was Piper's intent (and I think it was) then he succeeded. In a era of rip-roaring pulp adventure, HBP took the time to write a gentle, slow-paced book examining the impact of humans on a
Jason Seaver
A classic science-fiction novel from the early 1960s, "Little Fuzzy" is an excellent example of the genre transitioning from militaristic, engineering-oriented action to something with a much broader purview. Indeed, it opens with a discussion of human-caused climate change, and spends much of its time in a courtroom, attempting to establish legal precedent.

As with many "Golden Age" authors, Piper's prose is crisp and efficient, a model of clarity that nevertheless establishes multiple character
MB (What she read)
Apr 14, 2010 MB (What she read) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to MB (What she read) by: The Whatever
Ultra enjoyable! Lovely little sci fi character-driven first contact story that I picked up and read in one setting. On to the next in the series...

I could tell that this story was completely plotted out before-hand. It was very tightly written with no red herrings or extraneous unnecessary material. As a reader, I respect that! And although first published in 1962, it didn't seem dated, except for all the smoking. (I don't think we'd exactly encourage teaching other species to smoke nowadays--u
Casey Hampton
Jack Holloway is a human prospector on the planet Zarathustra. As Holloway works his claim, he encounters an indigenous life form dubbed Little Fuzzy. These creatures appear quite intelligent. But if the Little Fuzzy proves to hold sapient intelligence, it'll cram a giant monkey wrench into the industrial machine that is planetary mining and mineral extraction. It's Little Fuzzy verses big money in this quaint 1962 SF adventure.

While H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy might show its age, its message s
Great fun. Well told. Raises obvious, but intriguing questions about recognizing sentience in others.
“Little Fuzzies” (1961), a Hugo nominee and considered a classic work of scifi by H. Beam Piper. It’s initial theme is of the exploitation of resources and the environment of an alien planet. It predates Ursula le Guin’s “The Word for World Is Forest ” by a decade. The secondary and primary theme is of the colonization and the exploitation of sapient indigenous peoples on an alien planet, making the point, intended or not, that the more “sophisticated” newcomers that come to a “new land” tend to ...more
I read this book following the advice of other readers: If you're going to read both "Little Fuzzy" and "Fuzzy Nation", read them in that order so as to be delighted twice rather than delighted once and disappointed once. I have not read the latter, but having read John Scalzi's other works, I can understand the advice.

"Little Fuzzy" is an enjoyable, simple story simply told. It has a science fiction feel without focusing on the technology. Rather, it focuses on cultural, economic, and ethical
"Little Fuzzy" is one of only two children's books I have held onto for my adult life, and like the other one I've added to my permanent library, I held onto it because it beautifully places complicated and nuanced issues in front of young children who otherwise would be reading cute (but tiring) morality tales a la 'Frog and Toad.'

Fundamentally, this book revolves around the question of to whom do we, as moral beings, owe duties? It is easy to look at your neighbor and agree that it would viol
My father was a huge fan of H. Beam Piper, and when I saw (randomly) that Little Fuzzy had been recorded by Librivox I thought “what the hell, if I don’t like it I can shut it off.” I did not shut it off. I listened raptly, and instead of being bored with “vintage Sci-Fi” I found a new genre to love. Classic Sci-Fi is so different from what is Sci-Fi today. It seems as though all the authors of the time worked in an understood universe where there were hundreds of planets that the Terran Federa ...more
Having read this book after reading Fuzzy Nation, this one felt pretty antiquated. I think I liked this one better than Fuzzy Nation, though. I liked how the story really developed the concept of sentience. I have to wonder where Piper got his definition of sentience (a topic not covered to the same extent by Fuzzy Nation); it was pretty interesting to read. Still, it was kind of drawn out. I listened to this one because it came free with the Audible version of Fuzzy Nation. The narrator was par ...more
I did read Fuzzy Nation first, so it's a little like seeing the movie and then reading the book (and therefore this review is a little backwards), but I thoroughly enjoyed both. Although the plot follows basically the same outline, there were enough differences and twists to keep me reading into the wee hours, long after I should have gone to sleep. If you've ever wondered about the definition of sapience, these two books will give you fairly much all the arguments (albeit with fake references). ...more
Sweet story, has the harder grown up aspects, involving the humans and contrasts the innocence of the Fuzzy population, with the grittier and mercenary aspects of humanity in space. I loved how the 'Fuzzies' get the best out of the humans and few characters in this are really hateable, they're all just trying to find the best solution. I've marked it 3/5 as it's a great story but, for modern tastes, a little too talky in places and some may find it a bit slow moving. But if you're willing to giv ...more
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I listened to Fuzzy Nation, written by John Scalzi, a couple of months ago. It is the re-imagining of Piper's Little Fuzzy. I thought it was a great story. I was surprised and pleased to find that my audiobook also included the recording of Little Fuzzy.

It was fascinating to see the differences in the two books, the same story but with some different twists and turns and some definite changes in the characters. I can see why Little Fuzzy is considered a classic. Both books are good and have thei
David Caldwell
This is another one of those books that I read many years back and remember fondly but most of the details are ...uhm ,well fuzzy.

What I do remember is that the story was basically that a large corporation buys a planet to mine its resources. Then small humanoid creatures are discovered. Slowly but surely, people realize these creatures could be as intelligent as humans. The problem with this discovery is that if there is an indigenous sentient race, the corporation would lose control of the oh
Silvio Curtis
This book and its sequel were some of the first science fiction I read, the first, I think, in the interstellar colonization subgenre. Actually, I read them out of order the first time. It's about the first contact between humans and Fuzzies, which I call the ultimate cuddly savage - little furry babyish vaguely humanoid aliens with unlimited happy kindness. They are discovered on a frontier planet called Zarathustra, most inconveniently for the Chartered Zarathustra Company, which automatically ...more
What is sapience? The word comes from the Latin sapientia, meaning "wisdom". It is related to the Latin verb sapere, meaning "to taste, to be wise, to know"; the present participle of sapere forms part of Homo sapiens, the Latin binomial nomenclature created by Carolus Linnaeus to describe the human species. Linnaeus had originally given humans the species name of diurnus, meaning man of the day. But he later decided that the dominating feature of humans was wisdom, hence application of the name ...more
Maria M. Elmvang
A 4.5 star review.

Little Fuzzy was recommended to me by an online friend after I asked for suggestions of "comfort books". I'd never even heard of it before, but as I managed to find it for free on both Amazon and Librivox that same day, I decided it was a sign and that I had to read it.

It's a quick read - not even 6 hours - and utterly adorable. The plot is nothing out of the ordinary, but I loved the characters, and it made for very enjoyable reading indeed.
Paul Bonamy
I read Little Fuzzy primarily because I had just finished Fuzzy Nation, and was curious about the original. On the whole Scalzi's offering (FN) did a very nice job of hitting the highlights of Piper's (LF), without being a simple retread. They are different stories which happen to share a common outline.

Little Fuzzy is definitely a book of its time. Everyone seems to smoke, guns are everywhere (which, granted, makes a level of sense on a largely unsettled world), and most of the characters are
This is a light hearted tale of what happens when a space going human civilization, which although it has discovered strange life forms on other planets, has never discovered another self-aware, intelligent species - until now.

A maverick miner (is there any other kind?) working his claim on a planet controlled and exploited by a powerful company discovers and befriends a fuzzy creature, essentially a teddy bear like creature. "Little Fuzzy," as he becomes known, soon brings his family to live wi
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Henry Beam Piper was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales.
More about H. Beam Piper...

Other Books in the Series

Fuzzy Sapiens (8 books)
  • Fuzzy Sapiens (Fuzzy Sapiens, #2)
  • Fuzzies and Other People (Fuzzy Sapiens, #3)
  • Fuzzy Ergo Sum
  • Caveat Fuzzy
  • Fuzzy Bones
  • Golden Dream
  • Fuzzy Nation
Fuzzy Sapiens (Fuzzy Sapiens, #2) The Fuzzy Papers (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1-2) Space Viking Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Paratime Police) Fuzzies and Other People (Fuzzy Sapiens, #3)

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