Fuzzy Nation

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Fuzzy Nation [Unabridged]Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
Published: 2011
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

This is the third novel I’ve listened to Wil Wheaton narrate, the second written by John Scalzi, and he always does a great job. I don’t know why I seem to go into these books thinking I’d rather have someone else reading, but by the end of the first chapter I’m always enthralled.

Scalzi is officially in my good books after this one as well. Things were a bit patchy after RedShirts, and I was happy to find I loved Old Man’s War, but I was still a bit wary going into this one. In a way this book was the tie-breaker, and we came out on the positive.

This is a re-imagining of 1962’s Little Fuzzy, a novel which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t know existed. It apparently has the same characters and plot, but has been updated for modern audiences. Something about that really puts me off, as someone who enjoys classics and finds it charming to read something out of date, but try not to let that stop you from reading this if you feel the same. It really is terrific.

On an unpopulated planet far from earth, ex-lawyer Jack Holloway works as a contracted prospector for a major interplanetary mining corporation. On returning to his home one day after work, he comes face to face with what appears to be a regular small furry animal, but soon he begins to wonder if this species understands more than he initially thought. If they’re proven to be sentient, the mining on the planet must stop, and a lot of people will be out of a lot of money.

Fuzzy Nation is hilarious, exciting, and thought-provoking. The characters spend a lot of time discussing what it means to be human, and it eventually turns into an interesting courtroom drama. If I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll ever read the original by H. Beam Piper to compare, but Scalzi seems to have done a good job with the update.

I don’t remember there being music during the audiobook at all, which is great as I typically can’t stand that, but it ended with the most out-of-place 80s guitar riff I’ve ever heard. It actually made me laugh out when the book finished, and I couldn’t tell if it was intentionally cheesy or not. It was very The Breakfast Club, in a good way I think.

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