ell, gang, I’m here to encourage you in a light summertime underdog tale that combines a smart-aleck disbarred lawyer-space prospector protagonist with the repartee of John McClane, a pyrotechnic-trained dog, sci-fi aspects in the eponymous fuzzy ewok-like creatures, and court scenes worthy of a meld of “A Few Good Men” and “Matlock”. This goulash of a book works, it’s fun, but it ain’t great literature– get over it.
The book in question is Fuzzy Nation, a ‘reboot’ by John Scalzi of H. Beam Piper’s 1962 classic Little Fuzzy. I am unfamiliar with the original work. The story, according to a blog post by Mr Scalzi, is that he used the core and characters of the Piper’s work just as a mind clearing exercise to see what he could make of the story; a palate-cleanser for some tough work-life events (read the blog here: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/04/07/the-super-secret-thing-that-i-cannot-tell-you-about-revealed-introducing-fuzzy-nation/)
Then, he said, “Hey, this’s kinda good!” and contacted Piper’s estate and got permission to publish after he had completed it. So he had FUN writing it, not with a goal or deadline.
It was a decent introduction to this author for me; now I’ll go back and see if I like his ‘work’ books as much as I enjoyed his writing exercise/tribute/fan fiction book. Meanwhile, if you need a fast, fun read with some surprising twists and a little moisture in your eye, come visit the “Fuzzy Nation”.
PS The audio book for Fuzzy Nation read by Wil Wheaton, won the 2012 Audie Award for the Best Science Fiction Audiobook.
p.s. And thanks to Patricia Raymond (some relation) for her excellent review. I’m going to have to check it out!