Review: Fuzzy Nation

Fuzzy Nation
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Leave it to John Scalzi to do a reboot right.

I should preface this by saying I’ve never read the original novel that Fuzzy Nation pays homage to, but after reading/listening to Fuzzy Nation the book will probably make its way onto my to-be-read pile in the near future.

Jack Holloway is a disbarred lawyer, working as a prospector on the distant planet Zarathustra. While surveying a local mountain with his companion Carl, a dog who can set off explosives, Jack discovers a rich vein of sunstones, the most valuable gem in the universe. Suddenly Jack is going to be rich beyond his wildest dreams, as will ZaraCorp, who own the mining rights to the planet.

That is until Jack comes home to find a new creature has broken into his jungle dwellings. Dubbed a “fuzzy” by Jack, the creature is highly intelligent and adaptive, which could be a huge problem for ZaraCorp. If the creatures are proved to be sentient, then ZaraCorp must give up all rights to exploit the new found mineral wealth of the planet and pack up shop.

Jack turns to his ex-girlfriend and ZaraCorp biologist, Isabel to help him look into the matter and to determine if the fuzzies are sentient.

Written in the vein of Scalzi’s The Androids Dream, Fuzzy Nation is a masterpiece by one of the genre’s best working authors. If you’re only familiar with Scalzi from his military SF “Old Man’s War” series, leave those expectations at the door. Fuzzy features the same kind of addictive, compelling writing but there’s a lot of humor, fun and serious thought-provoking stuff at work here. In fact, I may even go so far as to declare this my favorite work by Scalzi to date.

The audio version is a delight as well. Read by Wil Wheaton, the story comes alive though Wheaton’s delivery. In his introduction, Scalzi says he can think of no one better than Wheaton to read the audio version of his book. And having heard it, I heartily agree.

If you’re looking for a thought-provoking, stand-alone sci-fi novel that shows the genre can still be fun, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Fuzzy Nation.

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2 Comments

Filed under review, science fiction

2 responses to “Review: Fuzzy Nation

  1. Sarah

    I really liked this one too. It prompted me to pick up more from Scalzi.

  2. This one was a whole lot of fun. I read it last year when it was released and was really taken with it. I too have not read the original, but knowing that it is a reboot takes nothing away from the fact that it felt like Scalzi’s hands were all over it. So much fun. It isn’t my favorite…I think it will be hard to top Old Man’s War for me…but it is right up there with his other books.

    I didn’t realize Wheaton narrated the audio version. I’m going to have to pick that up, he does a nice job as an audio book narrator.

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