Fuzzy Nation

John Scalzi
Fuzzy Nation Cover

Fuzzy Nation


I'm three books into my love affair with John Scalzi's writing. He is clearly a master of snark, which his main characters wield with deadly precision. And who better to narrate the book than Wil Wheaton who does a great job of capturing the masterful way Scalzi uses tone to deliver his characters and their message.

Things are perhaps a little too perfect for Scalzi's characters. They always seem to get the huge win in the end as a result of their mostly well-orchestrated plans and ability to adapt to any situation. I suppose this could get tedious after a while if it truly is a constant in his books, but for now I'm content with the all-loose-ends-tied-up results where the little guys win as a result of the characters actions. I'm even okay with the neon sign moral that appears in the epilogue of each book.

In this case, the little guys are actual little guys. Fuzzy cat-sort-of creatures that befriend Jack Holloway on the planet where he and his dog have just discovered a huge vein of sunstones, which are going to make Jack and the company he is/was contracted to, very, very rich. It becomes a case of big corporation against possibly sentient creatures and Jack, the disbarred lawyer with questionable motives.

While Jack is not a likable character and by no means tries to be a likable person, the fuzzies are, and before long, unsurprisingly, their survival became very important to me. I did not, however, expect to spend most of their fight for survival inside a courtroom when the story became Law & Order in space. That's not a complaint. Scalzi's approach to science fiction is so refreshing and fun and and he perfectly captures human nature at its best and worst.