Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fuzzies and Other People, by H. Beam Piper

(pb; 1984: third book in the Fuzzy Sapiens series)

From the back cover:

“... Following Piper’s tragic suicide in 1964, there were persistent rumors that he had written a sequel to Fuzzy Sapiens, a third Fuzzy novel; some of his friends had been told about it, a few had even read parts of it. But the manuscript itself remained lost until it was discovered in a trunk in a basement in Pennsylvania.

“Now, at last, return to Piper’s Zarathustra. It’s been twenty years for us – but only three months since Jack Holloway found and befriended a small golden-furred being... three short months that have changed both their lives...”


Piper dropped the ball on this one. The second sequel in the Fuzzy series feels like a half-hearted thematic and structural retread. The issues aren’t as vital – they’re more legal technicalities than anything – and it doesn’t get good until the last third, when Little Fuzzy returns to the wilderness, where he may or may not link up with a band of other Fuzzies (briefly seen in Fuzzy Sapiens) to save the day for other characters, and themselves.

The wilderness parts with Little Fuzzy are good. The rest of it’s okay, but I’d only recommend it for completist readers or diehard Fuzzy fans.

Two other Fuzzy books have been published, neither of them written by Piper. I won't be reading them (I'm "Fuzzied out"). If you're interested in reading them, the titles are: Fuzzy Bones, by William Tuning, and Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey, by Ardath Mayhar.

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