Read Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper Online


The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet lock stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government. Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the sceneThe chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet lock stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government. Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene with his family of Fuzzies and the passionate conviction that they were not cute animals but little people. An 1 disc MP3-CD Edition....

Title : Little Fuzzy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780843959116
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 252 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Little Fuzzy Reviews

  • Lyn
    2019-04-20 17:15

    First published in 1962 and good enough to be nominated for the Hugo Award for best novel in 1963 (Philip K. Dick won that year with The Man in the High Castle) Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper makes me wonder how influential this book was in the 60s, not just in science fiction or even in literature, but in the 60s culture. Working well on many levels, this is a fun story about Earth colonists coming into contact with cute little fuzzy bipeds, but also a serious discussion about what it means to be a sentient, thinking individual. And more than that, this may also be read as either an allegory for an individual’s relationship between big business and big government; also for a statement about indigenous people's rights.Many critics have noticed the libertarian themes to this work (Piper was nominated posthumously for the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award for Best Classic Libertarian SF Novel in 1997), but I must observe that big business was cast as the villain early in and it was big government that came in to save the day. Of course, there are plenty of examples of individuals standing up for each other, and doing what's right in spite of possible negative consequences.This has been described as a young adult or juvenile novel. I cannot agree as the characters step out of the 60s drinking like fish and smoking like chimneys, and there is some nefarious suggestions and brutal violence. Perhaps the cute little fuzzies are the origin of this classification, and this makes me wonder about influences on Gremlins and / or the Ewoks.Finally, this could have been an even greater classic. Several times while reading, I thought I had a 5 star vote, but Piper's villains are one dimensional straw men and the denouement is watered down. For these reasons, I will likely read John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation and check out his Fuzzy "reboot". Even that said, this is a fun book and a must read for classic sic-fi fans.

  • Apatt
    2019-05-02 18:27

    I remember loving this when I first read it as a teen, rereading it decades later I can see why I loved it then and why I am a little less keen on it now. The “Fuzzy” aliens are very cute, as shown on the various book covers, or if you visualize them fromH. Beam Piper’s descriptions. They look cute and the act cute, they must be one of sci-fi’s most charming alien species. My teen self was indeed very charmed, my current self was reminded to make an appointment for my annual dental checkup. Even with all the cuteness overload Little Fuzzy only reads like a children’s book half the time, the other half is a more mature exploration of the meaning of sapience* and a theme of understanding and compassion toward less civilized, sophisticated or educated folks. I enjoy both the juvenile and the mature facets of the book though I have to confess I do find much of it too calculatedly cute, especially with names like Pappy Jack (nickname for Jack Holloway) for the main character, Goldilocks, Cinderella, Ko-Ko etc. for the aliens. I find the aliens too cute and too anthropomorphized to be believable, for example they think of humans as “the Big Ones” who are mostly good and want to live with them for comfort and protection. A lot of humans are of course very keen on them on account of their extreme cuteness, the situation just seems too pat and overly idealistic to me.The theme of “what is sapience?” is – for me – the best aspect of this book. It starts with a simplistic definition of “anything that talks and build a fire” to more rigorous tests of language, communication, problem solving, social interaction etc. Here is an example passage:“It isn’t communication, it’s symbolization. You simply can’t think sapiently except in verbal symbols. Try it. Not something like changing the spools on a recorder or field-stripping a pistol; they’re just learned tricks. I mean ideas.” I like how Little Fuzzy developed into a courtroom drama where the aliens’ sapient status is at stake. The arguments are very interesting though the antagonists who oppose to recognizing the Fuzzies as sapient never become much of a threat. The human characters are all forgettable including Jack Holloway himself. The Fuzzies are of course very well-conceived and vividly described, though too deliberately cute for my taste.The Fuzzies are likely to be the inspiration for the Ewoks in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (an observation made in many other reviews of this book). The plotline also remind me a little of the Athsheans from Ursula Le Guin’s excellent and more seriousThe Word for World Is Forest, though Little Fuzzy predates Le Guin’s book by many years.The most obvious book inspired by Little Fuzzy is of course John Scalzi’s popular “reboot”Fuzzy Nation. I have not readFuzzy Nation but in general reviews tend to be very positive, the book is a commercial success, and having read some of his other novels I believe he probably did a very good job. My only reservation is that I don’t like the idea of rebooting books, I think we have enough of that sort of thing in movies and I hope it does not become a trend for authors.In any case Little Fuzzy is something of a minor classic and I highly recommend it to the young and old alike. It is also in the public domain so you can legally grab a free e-book from Project Gutenberg, or a free audio book from Librivox (quite nicely read actually).________________________________Note:* For some reasonH. Beam Piper prefers "sapience/sapient" over the more common "sentience/sentient" often used in science fiction. If I understand correctly “sentience” is more related to responses to or consciousness of sense impressions, whereas “sapience” places more emphasis on the ability to think, and to reason. If this is wrong please enlighten me in the comments.

  • Jim
    2019-05-09 17:20

    I read this before! Actually, I might have many years ago, but my main memories are from Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. It's been a while since I read that, but I'm wondering just how close a homage should be to the original. I'm also wondering why Scalzi bothered. I thought this aged well. Sure, there were a few outdated elements such as typewriters, tapes, & developing movie film, but they weren't bad - just gave it a bit of flavor. I don't recall the discussions of sapience as any better, either. That was quite well done, especially for the time. I don't think we've crowded sapience into any tighter of a corner since this was written, even with all our work on artificial intelligence. Surprising & a bit sad.The court scenes caught my attention. There was definitely a McCarthy era ("1984", Cold War or CIA?) flavor to them with the pre-signed warrants, surveillance, & spies. There was also an old west flavor to them which was fun. I'm sure some will knock this for the lack of female characters, but the one it did have was very well done. Only having one made sense given the frontier, the almost western flavor, of the novel & the times. Jack's character would certainly be at home prospecting in the Rockies. I loved his reputation. He was a hoot.I highly recommend reading this before Scalzi's book. It was good, but this was the masterpiece from which it was copied.

  • Pepper Thorn
    2019-05-19 22:25

    First I'd like to say that this isn't really a review of Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation. It's a comparison of Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation and Piper's original Little Fuzzy. I came to both of these books clean, with no previous knowledge or biases. Although, in honor of full disclosure, I have read the majority of Sclzi's previous work and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is my first exposure to Piper but I plan to seek out more of his work as a result of this book. I really enjoyed both books and if pressed I don't think I could choose a favorite between them. In many, many ways they are nearly the same and completely equal. No shock there since one is a reboot of the other. But in others they are very different. Scalzi's Fuzzy planet is a much more dangerous place than Piper's. This adds tension in some key places and makes both the evolution of the Fuzzies and the fact that they haven't been discovered earlier make more sense. Facts and situations in general seem better thought out in Scalzi's version. On the other hand, Piper's soft hearted space cowboy is a much nicer person and an easier character to identify with. Scalzi's Jack Holloway is, in his own words, not a good man but he is more interesting for it as are his relationships with the rest of the scaled down cast. Piper fits an amazing host of characters in such a short novel. Piper's Little Fuzzy exudes an almost literal haze of the late 50's and early 60's. This is where Scalzi has an advantage and is the reason for his reboot. Sure people write in paper diaries, watch film strips on actual projectors and record on tape recorders but it's not just about the tech. The characters in Piper's novel drink like fish and smoke like chimneys. Many of them would, by today's standards, be considered alcoholics but it's expected behavior here. There is only a single female character among a sea of males and the first of the two times we see from her viewpoint it says, "She ought to have known this would happen. It always did. A smart girl, in the business, never got involved with any one man; she always got herself four or five boyfriends, on all possible sides, and played them off against one another." Sorry, that just doesn't cut it today. And then there's the treatment of the Fuzzies. Even though they spend the book trying to prove that the creatures are sentient, they treat them like they're somewhere between a mentally retarded child and a well trained dog. That, I think bothered me the most.That's not to say that Piper doesn't have some points over Scalzi. Little Fuzzy has a more richly complex plot that makes it feel like it's the longer book (it's not) and left me feeling more replete. It gave the satisfaction of a complete meal where Fuzzy Nation left me wanting dessert. Overall, they are both excellent book and both worth the read. Scalzi does a great job of piquing interest in Piper's work, fuzzy and not fuzzy. For fresh readers, especially ones who didn't experience the 50's and 60's personally, I world recommend starting with Scalzi's reboot. This perspective, I think, would allow them to appreciate Piper's work for what it is instead of what it is not.

  • Bryan
    2019-04-24 23:08

    Yes, this book is a bona fide SF classic, but admittedly it hasn't aged that well. I first read this in my early teens, and just reread it this year after loving Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation reboot. The original is a quick read, fast-paced and unforgettable, so it's still worth your time, but the characters do seem a bit wooden and stuffy (and often downright boring). This book introduces some of the politically-incorrect ideas that Scalzi avoided entirely, which permeate the sequel Fuzzy Sapiens to a greater degree. Politically incorrect in that the fuzzies are at the same time considered "people" but are also adopted by humans and treated as though they were children - sounds like a preferred method for dealing with a primitive society whose intelligence doesn't seem to have developed to your level yet.But these criticisms are minor in the first book, even though they impact the sequel more so. (And then the final book in Piper's trilogy, Fuzzies and Other People, redeems things for the most part.)A classic SF must-read novel. 4.5 stars.

  • stormhawk
    2019-04-27 22:13

    The only thing that makes Little Fuzzy a science fiction story is it being set on another planet. There are no rayguns, only occasional mention of spaceships, no otherworldly technology that keeps the story going (I'm pointing this out mainly to suggest that people who don't ordinarily read science fiction might like this tale). Okay, there are viewscreens, and alien lifeforms, and mysterious bioreactive gems, and a colorful lie detector, but they don't get in the way of what's really interesting.It's about what it takes to be a person, and how that really needs to be reexamined sometimes.And besides, I love courtroom dramas.

  • Stephen Collins
    2019-05-15 20:27

    This one those special classic sf books that you look for because people have told you how good it is. Do know what ? they were 100% right too.So if can find these books even if there taty don't put it back buy it .

  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2019-05-06 20:12

    According to Piper, no one loves land-prawns--not even another land-prawn--fortunately, on the internet, no one knows you're a zebralope. No one can leg sweep you, flip you on your back, then behead you just so they can slurp on your tasty insides--in fact I'm pretty sure fuzzies love eating land-prawns.(view spoiler)[ Piper misses the mark in documenting the protection of the ditsy fur bearing "fuzzies" of the genus Fuzzy-Fuzzy-Holloway, when he could have been documenting the attempted genocide of Landus-Prawnus-Tastyus.On the surface it seems like Jack Holloway saved the fuzzies, but those who really understand Zarathrusta know Holloway was manipulated by several land-prawn secret societies to identify with them, and as a byproduct saved the misunderstood and wrongly despised land-prawns.One should only read this if one wants to see how humans can be turned to your purposes by introducing them to anything that resembles a walking teddy bear.LP4l!(hide spoiler)]

  • Stephen
    2019-05-06 21:36

    3.0 stars. A good, fast read that will make you smile. The tone reminded me a lot of some of Clifford Simak's work (i.e., down home, rural SF with a heart). Also a nice exposition on what it means to be a sentient being. A recommended classic. Nominee: Hugo Award for best Novel (1963)

  • Liz Janet
    2019-05-08 23:37

    In a planet called Zarathustra, a species of small fuzzy creatures live. The planet is in the first stages of colonization and is currently owned by a company that is reaping the benefits of the land. One of the workers of the company befriends one of the fuzzies and discovers they are more than simple animals, and so begins the main conflict of the novel. If it is proven that these creatures are sapient, with intelligence and communication, the Company would have to stop as it would make the land a protected aboriginal zone. We then follow the repercussions of the decisions made by the Company and the research that has been done on these creatures. “If you don't like the facts, you ignore them, and if you need facts, dream up some you do like” I always saw this novel as an allegory of indigenous people's rights, with the fuzzies being its own culture but being seen as less due to their difference to humans. Perhaps at the time this was written, it was safer to write aliens as the other instead of other humans, which is similar to how X-Men are cast as different so everyone can identify with them instead of targeting any one particular group. However, the novel does a good job of exploring the meaning of what is like to be conscious being, and how others will try to demean entire cultures (in this case a species) in order to continue to reap the benefits provided by the land that would be considered stolen otherwise. Like other reviewers have pointed out, it gets taken from the ability to make fire to deeper forms, such as the ability to communicate with definite language and their capability to socially interact. The second big theme comes from all the references of big business versus big government. Many have deemed this novel as libertarian, people that have studied the book for years, so I know my opinion wont as valid as theirs, however, I struggle with completely agreeing with them. Although much is shown about the benefit of independent business and small governmental control, big government is the deciding factor that leads to the ending we wanted. This is a satisfying novel about funny creatures, astuteness, business versus government; nonetheless, it relies too much on the arguments, leaving behind flat villains that are as compelling as the "Blue Marvel villains". I recommend you read this book alongsideFuzzy Nation, it is more challenging to see if the parody and the original are as similar as some suspect, and which one is better.

  • Charlotte Jones
    2019-04-24 17:10

    I picked this book up because I bought Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi and found that it was inspired by this classic science-fiction novel, Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper.This novel took me completely by surprise. At under 300 pages the amount of world building that happens is amazing; it isn't particularly extensive but Piper creates such a plausible human colony and system on a future planet and it made sense. The politics of the new world were fascinating and a lot of the corruption was what made me so intrigued in this story. The book brings up a lot of questions about what is an animal and what is a sapient being which I found to be an interesting topic that was informative and thought-provoking without ever bogging down the plot. I have to say, the only thing I had a slight problem with in this book is some of the outdated opinions, particularly regarding women; this novel was published in 1962 so some of the roles women were stereotyped into annoyed me slightly but sometimes I think that this should be expected on a science-fiction novel of this time. Overall, I found this an action-packed and thought-provoking read with an interesting plot and great world and character development. I would definitely like to read more H. Beam Piper in the future and will be trying to get hold of a copy of the other two books in this series.

  • Jared Millet
    2019-04-25 01:19

    Here's an oldie that I never got around to, but finally did thanks to the Scalzi reboot (which I haven't read yet - had to clear this one out of the way first).Little Fuzzy is cute. Seriously, this has got to be the most soft-hearted, chipper, and downright adorable science fiction novel I've ever read. If that was Piper's intent (and I think it was) then he succeeded. In a era of rip-roaring pulp adventure, HBP took the time to write a gentle, slow-paced book examining the impact of humans on an environment, first contact with an alien race that is neither all-powerful, militaristic, nor malevolent, and even by the end examining the very nature of "sapience" itself.If the book has a failing - and it does - it's that there isn't enough narrative tension to sustain the story. The good guys are too competent and the bad guys are all bumbling idiots (except for the Big Bad, who completely disappears before the last third of the book - I guess he got while the gettin' was good). As a result, there's never any real sense of jeopardy for the characters and never any doubt as to how the issue of Fuzzy Rights will resolve itself.On top of this, the book basks itself in Fifties kitsch, complete with highballs and nonstop smoking. It'll push a few nostalgia buttons for some, but others might find it anachronistic and jarring. That's just something you have to accept with the classics of SF. In the end, Little Fuzzy was a pleasant, thought-provoking read, despite being about as suspenseful as an episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

  • MB (What she read)
    2019-05-02 22:12

    Ultra enjoyable! Lovely little sci fi character-driven first contact story that I picked up and read in one setting. On to the next in the series...I could tell that this story was completely plotted out before-hand. It was very tightly written with no red herrings or extraneous unnecessary material. As a reader, I respect that! And although first published in 1962, it didn't seem dated, except for all the smoking. (I don't think we'd exactly encourage teaching other species to smoke nowadays--unless you're working for a tobacco company and need new markets?)3.5 stars for me.

  • Mike
    2019-05-14 19:19

    4 fuzzy little stars for this throwback to the golden age of SciFi, where a complete story could be written in less than 200 pages. Little Fuzzy is not complex, the good guys (and girls) are good and the bad guys get it in the end. Looking forward to Fuzzy Nation and had to get this one done first.

  • Got My Book
    2019-05-22 00:26

    Also posted on my blog Got My Book. A classic Adult SF that stands up better than some but still has issues. BOOK DETAILS:Little Fuzzy by H Beam Piper, read by Peter Ganim, published by Audible Studios (2009) / Length: 6 hrs 25 minSERIES INFO:This is Book #1 of the "Fuzzy Sapiens," series and the only one available on audio. Note: two of the sequels were written by Piper, with some additional ones that were written by other people. There is also a "reboot" of this novel written by John Scalzi.SUMMARY:I have been rereading a lot of classic SF now that I have a blog, and some of them have really made me cringe. This one isn't quite as bad. My biggest problem with it lies in the, I really hope we eventually outgrow such behavior, colonial attitudes. It is made clear from the beginning that proving that the Fuzzies are sentient won't mean that their planet will be given back, just that it will be governed differently.CHARACTERS:Jack: He's an old codger you definitely shouldn't mess with, but he's actually quite amiable (rather than cranky). There are tons of interesting tidbits thrown out about him, but never explained. When did he set off a thermonuke? Who did he leave behind? How did he end up on Zarathustra, and does he have any plans for the wealth he may find prospecting.As is typical for almost all classic SF written by men, the ratio of men to women is way above 50%. The only main female character, Ruth, is at least intelligent & educated and contributes significantly to the outcome.Also, most of the characters appear to pretty un-diverse. There is one man named Akmed. He is described as being the local police leader's "driver," but I think he is simply the officer who "rides" with the chief & does the driving rather than a menial. He also seems intelligent and is sympathetic to the Fuzzies.WORLDBUILDING:This planet has a wealth of strange flora & fauna. And I love the way they name things (if a planet is known to be inhabited, they ask a native and write down whatever they say, regardless of whether it is an answer or not).There isn't a lot of truly advanced technology, other than space travel, from our current prospective. The most out-dated technology is the lack of digital media & data transmission. They still use tape & film.PLOT:The book starts with a chapter or two of Jack just going about his daily routine, before introducing the first Fuzzy. I think this is important as a contrast to how isolated his life was before they showed up.Although there have been sequels written (both by Piper & others), this book really can stand on it's own. It ends with the ruling and subsequent consequences & plans.HIGHLIGHTS:--A custom that has developed for formal video communications is for people to "shake hands" by each using a "Chinese" like shaking your own hands gesture.--The agent is revealed--Although there's a lot of social drinking going on, Jack avoids drinking away his problems (and another character is struggling with that)"Take a drink because you pity yourself, and then the drink pities you and has a drink, and then two good drinks get together and that calls for drinks all around."CONTENT NOTES(?): There is a lot of smoking & drinking going on. / This is the wild west of the galaxy, i.e. when Jack shot people who tried to rob him, it was listed as suicide / There is a brutal (though not gory) murder.NARRATION:Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Accents = There are some, but who can judge them in the far future. They didn't bother me. / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Fine / Emoting = Good / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual, and it was a touch fast. / I heard 1 or 2 small errors.He has a very deep voice, that I didn't love. Mostly I think this is a case where I'm neutral on the narrator. He didn't distract from my enjoyment, but didn't increase it either.

  • Brady
    2019-05-12 21:31

    Down-to-earth good guy finds a family of adorable furry animals and has to protect them from the evil Company who wants to kill them so they won't stop it from making money. Little Fuzzy is summer 2016's cutesy animated Disney flick, transmogrified into a brooding philosophical sci-fi novel from 1962.Again, to wit: This is a space opera featuring small fuzzy animals. Good guys are very good, bad guys are very bad except (view spoiler)[ when they've witnessed the error in their ways, which almost all of them do by the end (hide spoiler)], most of the conflict manifests in erudite scientists discussing what it means to be "salient" (no, literally, not facetious at all, that's the plot of the story), and there's never even a little bit of fear that evil will win. And yet I loved it.I mean, it was like some kind of stunt, where H. Piper takes this kind of dreadful, thwart-it-with-a-cross premise and makes it enjoyable. Piper's got this kind of demanding, all-right-let's-up-and-at-em-move-along-now that carries you easily to the next page. The hero, static and unconflicted, is a blast to be with. The dialogue is fun. The plot never surprises (unless it's pleasant surprises) but things do happen, every page.I must have been reading too much ancient plodding prose lately if a normal book like this totally blew my mind. Whatever, I enjoyed it.

  • Kat Klein
    2019-05-18 22:37

    I think I read Little Fuzzy about 30 or so years ago when I was in high school. I read it along with the sequel Fuzzy Sapiens and adored them. To me, they were right up there with L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series. About 5-6 years later I got hold of Fuzzy Bones, which was the 3rd book, written for the series by a different author. H. Beam Piper having died, before finishing book 3. I can't quite express how disappointing Fuzzy Bones was. It almost ruined the entire series for me. However I spent another 10 years or so re-reading the first 2 books, and pretending that there was no 3rd. Then, about 10 years ago, I discovered Fuzzies and Other People. A nearly completed manuscript by Piper years after his death, which nicely wrapped up all the loose ends. After Fuzzy Bones, it was a heady book :)I realize that Little Fuzzy and the rest of the series is terribly dated. Smoking is a common occurence, and allowed anywhere. Women tend to be secretaries, or babysitters, or get married. However the story itself - The Fuzzies - were wonderful, and in spite of everything, timeless. In fact I still re-read the series probably once a year or so.

  • Tomek Piorkowski
    2019-05-08 22:16

    Little Fuzzy is an old-school sci-fi novel which still has relevant things to say about corruption, bureaucracy, and bending the rules to your own ugly favour.The planet Zarathustra, at first thought nearly worthless, was sold by the interstellar government to a corporation, which discovered that Zarathustra had amazing mineral and natural wealth. The catch is, that if intelligent self-conscious life is discovered, then the corporate lease on the planet cancels with immediate effect. And that's what this story revolves around: the discovery of an almost sentient species, and the legal wrangling and political backstabbing that occurs as different interests attempt to define sentience to suit their own purposes.The novel finishes as an amazing sci-fi court-room drama, and ask important questions about what is consciousness, sentience, and what checks and balances are needed to prevent people using the law to further their own unethical ends.It's a great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The copyright was never renewed and the story is now public domain.

  • Chris
    2019-05-18 21:16

    This was a decent little story that I probably wouldn't have ever read if not for John Scalzi's reboot, Fuzzy Nation. That book was just so awesome, I had to see about the source material.Also, this audiobook was a surprise attachment to the Fuzzy Nation audiobook, so it was right there. Just press "play".That said, this wasn't as entertaining. It was good, it's just that Fuzzy Nation was incredible. Scalzi did some things that were improvements on the original story. That said, there wouldn't even be a Fuzzy Nation if it weren't for this book.On the audio, well. The narrator also wasn't as good as Wil Wheaton. This guy made Jack Holloway's interactions with Little Fuzzy sound like episodes of Mickey Mouse's Playhouse. Only without the "Hot Dog Song". (Don't judge me, my 1 year old grandson lives with us).But yeah, without this, there would be no Fuzzy Nation. And just mayhap, there would have been no Ewoks either.

  • Jason Seaver
    2019-04-20 18:27

    A classic science-fiction novel from the early 1960s, "Little Fuzzy" is an excellent example of the genre transitioning from militaristic, engineering-oriented action to something with a much broader purview. Indeed, it opens with a discussion of human-caused climate change, and spends much of its time in a courtroom, attempting to establish legal precedent.As with many "Golden Age" authors, Piper's prose is crisp and efficient, a model of clarity that nevertheless establishes multiple characters and points of view without confusion. It is, at times, humorously dated for a twenty-first century reader, with its "developing film" and "typewriters", but it is a story whose central ideas endure.

  • Jeff Yoak
    2019-05-02 17:15

    This book is the book upon which Fuzzy Nation is based. Though I waited a month and a half to read this one, they are just too similar to finish this now. I will pick it up in a few years.

  • Ron
    2019-05-17 22:28

    Great fun. Well told. Raises obvious, but intriguing questions about recognizing sentience in others.

  • Daphne
    2019-04-24 23:31

    This one was actually absolutely adorable. It wasn't deep, and characters weren't perfectly drawn, but there was something irresistibly endearing about it.

  • Roger
    2019-04-28 18:26

    Little Fuzzy is an official SF classic. One of the reasons I have always liked the science fiction genre is that it allows us to externalize a problem so that we can contemplate it. In other words we get to look at something from a slightly different angle. Looking through a mirror darkly may grant clear vision. Quick synopsis: sometime several hundred years from now the Zarathustra Company holds the rights to all the natural resources of the planet Zarathustra. And this is planet rich in natural resources. All is running smoothly-till someone discovers the Fuzzies, furry diminutive aliens who may actually be thinking beings rather than animals. Of course if that is found to be true there go all those lovely profits...This is why a novel written in 1962 is still topical over five decades later. We all know this story, because history is littered with similar examples. I live in a country that used to define people of color as three fifths of a person. Nothing more need be said. We (humanity) really does not have a good track record when it comes to dealing with others we perceive as different from ourselves. Not only are we abysmal in our treatment of our own species we really don't do any better in our treatment of other species. Dolphins and whales may be possessed of an intelligence similar to our own-we are still slaughtering them. Would we recognize an intelligent species if we found them? Would we want to? There is a lot of great food for thought in Little Fuzzy. Recommended highly.

  • Nooilforpacifists
    2019-05-17 17:34


  • Denis
    2019-05-11 19:35

    “Little Fuzzies” (1961), a Hugo nominee and considered a classic work of scifi by H. Beam Piper. It’s initial theme is of the exploitation of resources and the environment of an alien planet. It predates Ursula le Guin’s “The Word for World Is Forest ” by a decade. The secondary and primary theme is of the colonization and the exploitation of sapient indigenous peoples on an alien planet, making the point, intended or not, that the more “sophisticated” newcomers that come to a “new land” tend to either eradicate the aborigines and/or take a patronizing parental role over them - considering them as children of the state and/or property: “everyone wants a Fuzzy” and most people of means does indeed have one in these Fuzzy stories. The bulk of this novel is written as if it were intended for young readers - the Fuzzies are simply too cute to be taken seriously, even by the characters in the story, yet much of the subject matter in this story such as murder by stomping, suicide and an extended court scene intended to determine whether the Fuzzies are to be determined to be sapient or not, is hardly the stuff of children stories.**The second book, “The Other Human Race” is pretty much the same minus the initial world-building, the trial and so on, therefore there is less going on. The bulk of the book is spent on describing how the Fuzzies are treated after being declared as legally sapient. It seems, sadly for them, that they are just short of lab-rats as their psychology, biology, nutritional requirements and so on are studied. And there is the whole political malarkey of whether to charge a fee to adopt one of these “little people” who seem to want nothing more out of life than than to be loved and played with, and above all, kept safe.***The Third installment "Fuzzies and Other People" (apparently found after Piper's unfortunate death in 1964 and published twenty years later in 1984) is a bit of an improvement from the second book, there being more actual ‘story’ in there, confirming that the Fuzzies are truly intelligent beings and not simply cute clever pets. H. Beam Piper’s pros were not the poetic and lush stylings of Sturgeon, Le Guin or Bradbury. Nor did he tell an adventure story the way Heinlein and De Camp or Anderson did, or had the knack for evoking a sense of wonder or create the wild and weird outer-world alieness atmosphere that van Vogt or PKD seemed to, so effortlessly. And finally, nor was he capable of writing convincingly of the mechanics and intricacies of science the way Clarke and Asimov could, but he was definitely a man of unique and provoking ideas and the scifi pulps were the perfect vehicle for him to express them - check out “The Cosmic Computer ” and his “Paratime” stories along with a hand-full of his excellent shorter works.

  • Darren
    2019-04-28 18:20

    I read this for two reasons.First, at a certain point in my youth, I would sit in the library everyday with The Art of Michael Whelan, which I could not sign out from the library, only read in the Special Collections center. And so whenever I see one of his covers, I want to read the book.Second, and I think this is true for a lot of people, was John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation. Because of this last, I found I could not read this without comparing it mentally to Scalzi's retelling.This book is superior to the retelling in every way, except one. Although Scalzi has called his book a reboot, I think retelling is more apt. There are almost no functional plot differences between Piper's original and Scalzi's version. From the fuzzy family, to the war of evidence, to the murder, the court trial, the frequency, and the conclusion of the trial. They're reasonable hand drawn facsimiles of each other. Most of the changes Scalzi made, like the dog who blows up cliff faces, or sandwiches instead of Extee rations/Wonder Food, are things which weren't missed, when I did not find them here in the original. Things he left out in his retelling, like verifidication, were missed. Verifidication allows us the scenes which define sapience, without having Papa Fuzzy give his testimony in English, as in Fuzzy Nation. The one thing Scalzi really did do better was the end of the trial. In Little Fuzzy, the bad guys (the corporation in charge of the planet) completely fold. They are all, to a man, won over by the cuteness and intelligence of the fuzzies. In some ways, this is fine, but there are a few scenes where it does strain credulity. This is a minor quibble, though. It was the ending of the court case which bothered me, and, I think must have been the reason Scalzi undertook an updating of the story. In Little Fuzzy, the fuzzies are all declared sapient beings by military tribunal, the corporation loses control of their planet, and the friends of the fuzzies become the governors of the planet. Any human from elsewhere is free to come to the planet and mine it of resources, the chief one of which is the adorable fuzzies, with hints that they are likely to be kidnapped as pets, which is to say slaves. In Fuzzy Nation, the fuzzies are declared sapient by military tribunal, and given control of their own planet, and all its resources. It's not hard to see why I consider Scalzi's ending much better. This was still a good and enjoyable book, though, and answers its own chief worry ("What is sapience?") much better than Fuzzy Nation did.

  • KatHooper
    2019-05-16 18:08

    ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.The Zarathustra Corporation owns and has been mining the planet of Zarathustra for years. They’re allowed to own the planet because it contains no sapient races. But when prospector Jack Holloway discovers a potentially sentient mammalian species, the Zarathustra Corporation may lose its charter and, therefore, the planet’s resources that they’ve been exploiting. What exactly are these little fuzzy creatures? Pets or people? It makes a big difference to Zarathustra Corporation.I read H. Beam Piper’s 1962 Hugo-nominated novel Little Fuzzy in preparation for reading John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation, his recent “reboot” of Piper’s classic. Little Fuzzy is a quick read featuring cute Ewok-like creatures whose sapience could do great financial damage to a very large corporation. Holloway, who calls himself the creatures’ “Pappy Jack” tries to protect the Fuzzies while the Zarathustra corporation argues with biologists and psychologists about their classification. Are they sapient? How do you define sapient? Must they be able to speak? Light a fire? Bury their dead? Use weapons? Think consciously?The whole question about sapience is interesting, but the novel tends to get bogged down in it — there’s a lot of dialogue about the definition of sapience and the legal issues it brings up, and eventually the issue goes to court, where’s there’s even more talking. I think I would have enjoyed this part more if the discussion hadn’t felt like it was written in the 1950s. The science, especially the psychology, is noticeably dated, a common problem with old SF. For example, when the characters discuss consciousness, Freud’s ideas about id, ego, and superego are espoused. The trial proceedings also don’t fit modern methods (e.g., calling witnesses that the other side isn’t aware of). I can see why Scalzi felt the need to update Little Fuzzy. Other than the science and court procedures, though, Little Fuzzy feels quite current. It’s a sweet story that will please most readers and would be appropriate for a young audience, too.I read Little Fuzzy on audio. It is included in Audible’s downloadable version of John Scalzi’s new Fuzzy Nation. It is NOT included in the CD version of Fuzzy Nation. You can purchase Little Fuzzy separately, but why would you want to do that when you can get both for one credit by buying Fuzzy Nation? In either case, Little Fuzzy is narrated by Peter Ganim who does a nice job. His reading of the narrative is straightforward and austere, but his dialogue is lively and appropriately inflected.You can download a free print version of Little Fuzzy because it’s in the public domain or get it free on Kindle from Amazon.Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

  • Casey Hampton
    2019-04-28 21:15

    Jack Holloway is a human prospector on the planet Zarathustra. As Holloway works his claim, he encounters an indigenous life form dubbed Little Fuzzy. These creatures appear quite intelligent. But if the Little Fuzzy proves to hold sapient intelligence, it'll cram a giant monkey wrench into the industrial machine that is planetary mining and mineral extraction. It's Little Fuzzy verses big money in this quaint 1962 SF adventure.While H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy might show its age, its message still holds an edge. At what point do we as sentient beings stop exploiting natural resources/habitat for profit. Since we are still struggling to come to terms with this question today, it's fun to examine this problem when set against a distant planet with cute fuzzy tool-wielding prawn-eating creatures.I discovered Piper's Little Fuzzy through John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation. Scalzi wrote his book in tribute to Piper's work, and I can see why. Piper writes a fun SF story that evokes thought and problem solving. Scalzi's book possesses more immediacy than Piper's Little Fuzzy, and Scalzi creates a character in Holloway that is less heroic than Piper's Pappy Jack. I prefer Scalzi's interpretation to Piper's, but that is due to writing style more than anything else. Piper's work possesses more content while Scalzi's work holds more character intimacy and action.Jim Roberts narrates this audiobook, and initially I wasn't thrilled with his slow-paced delivery. It seemed too deliberate and too aged for my perception of Holloway. But then I realized that my mental image of Jack Holloway was from Scalzi, and Piper's Pappy Jack is different. When I concluded this, I realized that Roberts was a great match for Piper's Holloway. And while the POV doesn't entirely rest upon Pappy Jack's shoulder, it does for the majority of the story. Roberts and Holloway became one, and I came to truly enjoy the reading style of Jim Roberts.I recommend this to anyone who enjoys classic SF. It's more thought-provoking than action driven, and in this light, it succeeds.

  • Matthew
    2019-04-20 17:19

    "Little Fuzzy" is one of only two children's books I have held onto for my adult life, and like the other one I've added to my permanent library, I held onto it because it beautifully places complicated and nuanced issues in front of young children who otherwise would be reading cute (but tiring) morality tales a la 'Frog and Toad.' Fundamentally, this book revolves around the question of to whom do we, as moral beings, owe duties? It is easy to look at your neighbor and agree that it would violate a moral duty if you were to stab him to death in cold blood. It is easy enough to think the same thing about killing a human being on the opposite side of the world by pressing a button that launches a missle from the seat of your government. What about those beings normally outside of our moral intuitions, though? Ultimately, what we must ask ourselves, and answer, and what this book places before children in their first one or two years in elementary school is the question, "Do non-humans count?"I laud this book, not only for being a good story with adorable illustrations and supporting an ethical principle with which I personally agree, but with having the temerity to trust that young children are capable of at the very least receiving a controversial question about which to ponder and sort out their feelings. For those of us who can recall with fondness the song lyrics which espoused, "I believe the children are our future," it is simply shocking that more books aimed at the very young have never amounted to more than 'See Spot Run'.