Sunday, April 3, 2011
Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper
A fairly well known and apparently fairly respected book. I picked this up because John Scalzi is going to publish a ”reboot” of this series and I wanted to find out what is so special about it.
A man is prospecting for rare jewels in a forest on an alien planet owned by a private corporation encounters fuzzy cute aliens and makes friends with several. The company controlling the planet gets very worried, because if the planet is found out to have sentient life the government will take over the planet and the company will lose its' lease. The bulk of the book is about preparing to the trial which will determinate if the fuzzies are sapient or not. Eventually the matter is decided in extremely easy, almost in deus-ex-machina way.
The writing is fluent and easy to read, but the characters are very black and white, and some attitudes are more than a little questionable. Even after the fuzzies are non-surprisingly shown to be “people” and sapient creatures, the “good guys” treat them as little more than as very nice and revered pets.
If I had read this when I was eleven, I would probably have loved this really, really much. Now it feels fairly childish and seems to be aimed for very young audience, clearly for younger kids than for example Heinlein's juveniles are. I wonder why this book needs a ”reboot”. Well, I might think otherwise if I had read this when I was eleven...