Review & Contest: FUZZY NATION by John Scalzi

Let’s get down and dirty with some old-fashioned science fiction today! We’re looking at Fuzzy Nation, the new book from author John Scalzi, and boy is it a good one! I mean, the book starts with a guy’s dog named Carl setting off a little strip mining explosive. Who doesn’t love a book with dogs who can do cool tricks like that? All my dogs can do is bark at the mail carrier (although they do it very, very well).
THE OFFICIAL BLURB: Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn’t care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp’s headquarters on a planet 178 light-years from the corporation’s headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.
            Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is canceling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.
            But there’s another wrinkle to ZaraCorp’s relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.
            Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack’s outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp’s claim to a planet’s worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the “fuzzys” before their existence becomes more widely known.
MY THOUGHTS: First off, if you’re an old-school sci-fi reader, this all might sound kind of familiar, as it is John Scalzi’s re-imagining of the 1962 story Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper, authorized by Piper’s estate. I could act all knowledgeable and scholarly and shoot a bunch of nonsense at you about the original book but, to be honest, I haven’t read it. I’m not familiar with it. I read this cold, as a new story.
            And it works. Jack Holloway is the Han Solo-ish rascal you have to love, thumbing his nose at authority and anything that might threaten his coolness. Yet underneath, he’s a decent guy with a conscience who’s forced by circumstances to take on The Man for the good of these little catlike animals with whom he and Carl the dog bond.Well, yeah, and helping the pretty ex-lover biologist doesn’t hurt.
            The writing is sharp, the humor is sharper, it moves fast, it’s fun, and it has a message that doesn’t have to beat you over the head to make its point. Even if you’re not a hard sci-fi reader (and believe me, I am no fan of the traditional space opera), this is a good read. And now I’m curious enough about the 1962 original story to check it out.
Want to win a copy of Fuzzy Nation? Tell me your favorite sci fi book, if you have one. You know the drill: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Lasers….fire!
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

19 thoughts on “Review & Contest: FUZZY NATION by John Scalzi

  1. I don’t think I have read a sci-fi book before 😮 That need to change. Would love to change that with this book though 😀

    +1 Comment
    +1 GFC Follow – Carina Olsen

  2. A tough one 🙂 But I would go with with The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. A book which really moved me a lot…all of the times I’ve read it 🙂

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    +1 follower


  3. I’d say my favorite is Q-Squared (a Star Trek novel) because it’s falling apart from having been read so much. Peter David wrote it and I love all his sci-fi and fantasy – just the right amount of action and humor (kind of like John Scalzi!).

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follow as Cat

  4. At the moment my favorite is Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard, but I’m slowly getting back into sci-fi again after a long break 🙂
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    +1 follower

  5. Is it too embarrassing to admit that I used to read all the Star Trek books? Well, I did! I can’t pick a favorite though because they were all pretty much as good as the next!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower Julie Witt
    +1 Twitter follower @jwitt33
    +1 RT

    Thanks for a great giveaway!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  6. I don’t have a favorite…just started reading Sci-Fi again. I just started Grimspace, Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series. Totally loving it! Would love to read Fuzzy Nation!!!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower Renee Rearden
    +1 Twitter follower @ReneeRearden
    +1 Retweet

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  7. My favorite sci-fi book changes with what I’m reading and when. 😉 But right now I’m rereading Ursula LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness,” so I’m going to have to give it the title of favorite for right now. 🙂

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  8. Oops, sorry! I forgot to mention: My favourite sci-fi is the classic, The War of the Worlds by H G Wells.

  9. Not a contest post, but I thought others might be interested to know that H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy is in the public domain and available online for free through Project Gutenberg. I’ve downloaded it for Kindle though I haven’t started reading it yet.

  10. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi, is my recently read favorite Sci Fi book. I also really liked Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

    +1 Comment
    +1 GFC follower – Mary Ellen Thompson
    +1 Twitter follower – MaryEllenT

    Thank you for the chance to win!