Posts Tagged ‘Little Fuzzy’

Crossed another milestone in the year end milestones. The 4000 pages record has now been bumped out to over 4200 pages. With probably another 5 pages to go today finished up 1,260,809 words. What will be the next milestone before the end of the year?

As I achieved this victory, I was looking at Apple’s iBookstore and found a wealth of books that Project Gutenberg ProjectGutenberg-freeebooksonlinedownloadforiPad%2CKindle%2CNook%2CAndroid%2CiPhone%2CiPodTouch%2CSonyReader.agh4YJXRHTgx.jpg had transcribed. Little did I think I would find one of my favorites there, and one that I had been thinking of rereading. Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper which should still be under copyright. It is not 75 years since publication, though Piper did kill himself in the sixties.

I wrote a review for it at LibraryThing in my copy of the Fuzzy Papers


This is a dual book combining Little Fuzzy and Fuzzy Sapiens, and though I have read it several times, my memory, specifically is a little fuzzy. Charming, heart-warming are keywords that I can attribute to these tales. It deals with our human expansion to the stars and our encountering those little green martians we have always expected. Accept they are not what we have thought.

That have not always been there in their UFO’s spying on us, or are part of a xenocidal race that wants our extinction. If anything man wants to see the end of the alien. Perhaps bleeding heart liberals would be the thought of the defender of the Fuzzy, but Piper writes of Fuzzy in such a way as to make then an endearing race. Part little child, part puppy dog, if my memory is correct.

The conflict is that if there are alien intelligences out there, who owns that world. We have seen Cherryh look at this from a distance in Downbelow Station, and the same with Weber in On Basilisk Station, but those books were not focused on the thought of someone speaking up for that Alien’s rights and ensuring that they are protected. That is the plot line here. We have a company world that wants to exploit the world, we have a native intelligence that needs to be defended working within the system, but unable to articulate for themselves their defense. Hence a really great set of books that led to two additional authors writing books about them, and then years after Piper’s death, a third tome being unearthed and published.

Here are 4 pictures of this work from the Internet
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Downloading the manuscript onto my iPhone, I was thus able reread this work that has stuck with me for more than 30 years once more, my copies of the books in the series are in storage. It took an hour here, and another there and went pretty quickly. The screen size of the iPhone only allowing 3 or 4 sentences per page.

In comparing my review to the reread the book is dated and the editing, while the subject matter does reflect science fiction of he sixties, a great deal of time is spent on the subject of sapience in the creatures, who are more cat like then puppy-dog like. Perhaps Piper had a kitten at the time he wrote the book. The conflict is there, and there are heartwarming scenes. Point of view changes too drastically sometimes. And some character could be better fleshed out. Once the action shifts to the courtroom and the scientists, we become victims of the sixties and their exploration of things that had not been worked on before.

A great deal of the court room drama is over the scientists definition of sapience, which had been discussed when our lovable aliens had first been met. Now as a forty year old instead of in my teens so much closer to when the book was first written, I see the technical mistakes as well as see that the scenes could have been better worked on. To heighten the drama there are red herrings and these probably need some more interaction, or build up so that the areas that are thick with science can be reduced.

We love these Fuzzies and though I know having read this many times that the Fuzzies have to be regarded as sentient, there should be more drama showing that it is not going to be a homerun. More doubt, less assurance. That would sharpen it.

Yet still a great way to spend a few hours with a book nearly fifty years old and a story though dated, still brings tears to my eyes and a giant smile at all the right times.

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