Review: Fuzzy Nation

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

9647532Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn’t care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp’s headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation’s headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that’s not up for discussion.

Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.

But there’s another wrinkle to ZaraCorp’s relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.

Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack’s outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp’s claim to a planet’s worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the “fuzzys” before their existence becomes more widely known. 


Maybe I’m just choosing the wrong John Scalzi novels, but I’m starting to suspect that he’s highly overrated. Fuzzy Nation, which is based off the H. Beam Piper novel Little Fuzzy, takes what could have been a very serious and compelling Sci-Fi work asking deep and meaningful questions, and turned it into an action-adventure-courtroom-drama. Continue reading “Review: Fuzzy Nation”

Review: Zoe’s Tale

2102600Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi

Series: Old Man’s War
Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating: ⋆⋆


How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?

I ask because it’s what I have to do. I’m Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.

Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don’t know my tale: How I did what I did — how I did what I had to do — not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I’m going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.

It’s a story you know. But you don’t know it all.


My dad gave me this book for Christmas, I think because he knows that I think Ender’s Shadow is one of sci-fi literature’s great achievements. But I think that my dad forgot two key things about Ender’s Shadow. 1) Though you CAN enjoy Ender’s Shadow on its own, its true genius is best appreciated after you have already read Ender’s Game. 2) Orson Scott Card is one of a kind.

Zoe’s Tale is similar in that it is based on a series, but told from a different character’s point of view. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Zoe’s Tale reads more like a young adult book than science fiction. The writing is so-so at best, and it’s utterly predictable. The character of Zoe is pretty stock, and all of the sarcasm (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) got pretty redundant by the end of the book. I mean, seriously, did EVERY SINGLE character have to be sarcastic, sassy, and full of attitude? Maybe Scalzi’s original series, Old Man’s War, is better, but based on this book I can definitely say I’m not going to read it.