Kelly's Reviews > Fuzzy Nation

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
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Jun 21, 12

bookshelves: listened-to

I listened to this as a book on tape and, while doubtful initially about Wil Wheaton as a reader as I was pleasantly surprised particularly toward the end of the book.
I’ve not read any of John Scalzi’s books nor the original story “Little Fuzzy” That Mr. Scalzi has updated. I had chosen this tale on the assumption that it would be humorous, and it is. The book though has so much more than just humor going for it. For one thing Scalzi really takes time to develop his main character Jack Holloway. Holloway is definitely a man who has his own best interests at heart and a gentleman more than willing to bend the various rules and regulations or his current profession as a surveyor in search of the next big thing. He is also very clever and cunning and Scalzi is very good at showing us how clever Holloway is in his negotiations with Zarathustra, the conglomerate he is under contract to, as Zarathustra tries to undermine his claim to the sunstones (a very rare gem) Holloway discovers.
In the meanwhile Jack has discovered a very cute, cat-like creature in his house and he begins to observe it and later its relatives. Hoping to return to the good graces of on ex-girlfriend who also happens to be the planetary biologist, he invites her to study the fuzzys. She determines that these creatures must be sentient. As per regulations hearings must be held to determine if the fuzzys are sentient. If they are then all mining must be stopped on their planet. The plot moves along at a good clip as we are witness to the various hearings as well as the machinations of Zarathustra to ensure that the fuzzys are removed. There is definitely some slapstick and wisecracking going on but there was, for me anyway, pathos and a couple of very touching scenes, something you don’t usually get with slapstick. I also appreciated the fact at a couple of the usual conventions were not followed – i.e. Jack doesn’t get the girl nor does cute doesn’t equal safety.
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