Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

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.

The book
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 and respect.

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 degree.


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.