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Fuzzy Nation (Fuzzy Sapiens #7) (2011) 4 stars

Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn't care to talk about. Hundreds of miles …

Enjoyable remake of a classic with more characterization and less deus ex machina.

5 stars

It feels weird to rate this higher than the original it’s based on, H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy. I’m not sure it’s actually a better book, but it is more enjoyable, largely because it’s written in a more modern style and to today’s sensibilities. The characters are more distinct, the personal stakes are higher, the corporate malfeasance and environmental exploitation are amped up, and the twists are carefully set up instead of dropping in out of nowhere.

Fuzzy Nation tells largely the same story as Little Fuzzy: a prospector on a company-owned planet encouters a cute animal species that may or may not be sapient, in which case the company loses its license to exploit the world, finishing with a courtroom drama over murder charges and whether the fuzzies are people or animals, with a major breakthrough in communication settling the question. But it takes a different enough path that …