I wrote this a while ago, and never posted it, for reasons unknown. But anyway,
here is my review of Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi.
Fuzzy nation is about a man named Jack Holloway who works as a surveyor
on a far off planet. He used to be a lawyer back on earth, but was disbarred
and now works for ZaraCorps, a huge corporation surveying and exploring far off
planets. When he blows up a cliff wall by accident he is fired and at the same
time gets the right to a seam of sunstones, extremely valuable minerals. When
he comes home he finds a little creature there. The little creature is soon
called a fuzzy by Jack and is soon joined by a little family. They are a
completely undiscovered species, sending Jack’s biologist ex-girlfriend into a
tizzy, and they seem to be very intelligent and Jack starts to wonder if they
might be more than just animals.
I was a bit meh about this. It was entertaining enough and it was
interesting, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I thought it was going to
be more sci-fi-y, there’s a good sentence. It was a lot more courtroom drama
than I expected. A lot of it takes place in the courtroom trying to decide
whether or not the Fuzzys are sentient.
It was interesting to see how the company of ZaraCorps tried to fight
the idea of the Fuzzys being sentient. And it was interesting to see how they
had made these new laws to try to be fair to the new planets they’re
excavating, but at the same time screwing the populace of the planet out of any
value they could get out of the place themselves.
I thought it was an interesting look at how we see sentience, how we see
value. And how we have sort of set ourselves up as the masters and supreme rulers
and how we are the ones to decide whether other species are worth our concern
I liked Jack Holloway. I think he was fascinating in that he seemed to
always have a plan to both benefit himself and the Fuzzys. He was complicated
and seems to be completely self-serving, but you’re never quite sure what his
objectives are, or what his motivations are. Even at the end I felt like he’d
grown a lot, but I’m still not entirely sure about him.
So I thought it was fine. I don’t know exactly why I expected it to be
different, I just thought it was going to be a certain way, and then it wasn’t
exactly that. So it’s my fault. But it just wasn’t what I had expected. So it
disappointed me a bit. I was expecting a bit more action. There were
heart-breaking moments, there was an interesting discussion about how we see
life and sentience. The dialogue was interesting. The world building was really
cool, and the weird corruption was cool. Jack and some of his friends had
impressive moral centers.
Something that really bugged me, and I can’t say why it bugged me so
much, was that Jack Holloway was referred to as Holloway. Instead of as Jack.
Why? It’s told from his perspective, does he refer to himself by his last name?
Jeez it bugged me. I can’t tell you why, but it pissed me off to a bizarre
I thought it was fun, and cool, a bit disappointing. I’d still like to
read more Scalzi though. I think it’d be fun.