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LITTLE FUZZY. Mass Market Paperback – 1962
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1962||
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1st edition 1st printing paperback, vg In stock shipped from our UK warehouse
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The main character, Jack Holloway, reminded me of the main character from Keith Laumer's Planet Run, Captain Henry. I guess some would describe him as a manly man getting manly things done. He's a man of action with a moral compass. He's willing to do the nasty work that needs to be done and stand for what's right.
The court room drama seemed a little strained at times, and the occasional shifts to Fuzzy point of view seemed odd, but otherwise the story was well paced and kept my interest.
The eBook was formatted well with no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.
Little Fuzzy takes place on a planet called Zarathustra, some 500 or 600 years from now. A gem prospector, grizzled old Jack Hollaway, is surprised one day by the appearance of a small, fuzzy, previously unknown, bipedal animal, kind of like a teddy bear, but with opposable thumbs. The planet, originally colonized by a large corporation for some 25 years, is known to be home to a large and diverse population of flora and fauna, but not any intelligent ("sentient") life forms. Holloway quickly finds that LIttle Fuzzy is not only cute, friendly and smart, but also seems to be clearly sentient. This is big trouble for the corporation, because according to the rules of colonization, companies cannot own the rights to planets with an indigenous population of sentient beings. Thus, the corporation wants very much to have the Fuzzies declared as non-sentient animals, in the name of money and profits. Much of the novel is given over to consideration of what it means to be sentient, and a bunch of legal wrangling with dialog that reminded me fondly of Robert A. Heinlein.
This is clearly a work from the golden age of sci-fi in the 1960s, and it is a gem. The bad guys (the corporation) and the good guys (Jack Holloway and friends who have actually interacted with the Fuzzies) are boldly penned in black and white, and there is a 1960s style happy ending for all (well, almost all).
I'm sort of amazed that I never ran into this before (and there are other Fuzzy novels by Piper and other authors) but sure am glad I did now. For free too!
Highly recommended for all true sci-fi fans.
Written in 1963, this story is a product of it's time, when space colonization was imagined like idealized colonization of the West. Good ole' guys travel hundreds of light years away to be able to do their manual labor on some quiet planet away from civilization's noise, greed and scurry. Piper's idea how less advanced civilization should be approached is outdated as well - treating young hunter-gather civilization like children or pets because they are cute by human standards quite unsettling to me. The science, especially the psychology, is noticeably dated as well.
While the story is a little too naive and black-and-white for my liking, in the light of the recent events - Enron, Monsanto, big bank bail-outs and so on - it is definitely a guilty pleasure to see big players being held accountable by just and impartial judge, even if it's only Sci-Fi.
Looking forward to reading this novel's reboot by John Scalzi, currently one of my favorite new Sci-Fi authors.
I read it years and years ago as a kid, and I liked it just as much this time around.
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That being said, I personally am not too keen about court cases,...Read more