Book Review: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

On the planet Zarathustra, Jack Holloway is about to strike it rich. A contractor for intergalactic behemoth ZaraCorp, he’s just discovered a mining seam worth billions. It would make the corporation a fortune, and set Jack up for life. Everyone wins – then he discovers the Fuzzies.

Small, intelligent and cat-like, the Fuzzys are the cutest creatures this side of the galaxy. They’ve set up home in Jack’s cabin, and have become best friends with his dog. They’re also standing in the way of ZaraCorp’s profits. For the planet’s resources can only be exploited if it’s free of native sentients. ZaraCorp’s solution: to eliminate the Fuzzys for good. And they’ll permanently silence anyone who interferes – including Jack.

I loved the sound of this book and having thoroughly enjoyed John Scalzi’s The Kaiju Preservation Society decided to give it a read. Before you get to the story in this book there is fascinating authors note which is well worth a read as it gives you the history behind this story – you see this isn’t all that it seems – it is in fact a modernized and updates version of a story called Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper – a reboot if you like. Having read this version I’ve made myself a note to go and track down the original too.

I really enjoyed this one, it was a fast moving little story that had a bit of everything – an evil corporation, a main character with his own moral compass, cool tech, cute (and not so cute) aliens, big questions about what makes a species sentient, a sense of humour and a dog trained to blow stuff up!

Jack is an interesting character – on the one hand he would I suspect be incredibly annoying in a short space of time if he were an actual person but on the page this translated to well to someone who was just the right amount of annoying! He was sarcastic, out for himself and yet also still had strong moral values that ultimately drove his actions.

The Fuzzy’s are adorable, sort of like ewoks crossed with cats (and who wouldn’t love that!) and their development as the story progresses is really well done.

Finally a shout out to what may be one of my favourite ever fictional dogs – Carl, a loyal companion who is great a blowing stuff up!

Fuzzy Nation is available now