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Two new 'Fuzzy' novels published

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Fuzzy NationFuzzy Ergo SumOne of the most "furry" s-f novels was H. Beam Piper's 1962 "Little Fuzzy" (Project Gutenberg) followed by his two sequels, "Fuzzy Sapiens" and "Fuzzies and Other People", about the small furry natives of the planet Zarathustra. The three were republished by Ace Books in a combined edition, "The Complete Fuzzy" ('98).

Now two new authorized Fuzzy novels have been published; "Fuzzy Ergo Sum" by Wolfgang Diehr, and "Fuzzy Nation" by John Scalzi.

Published after Piper's death in 1964, the three original novels were particularly popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s, just when furry fandom was establishing itself. (Two novels by other authors have since been "written out" of the series.)

"Fuzzy Ergo Sum" is a fourth Fuzzy novel, carrying on the story of the Fuzzies and the human settlers of Zarathustra established in Piper's novels. "Fuzzy Nation", on the other hand, is a complete rewrite of "Little Fuzzy", retelling the basic story but changing the details and some of the characters.

Early fannish comments have mostly been pro and con on Scalzi's novel, arguing whether or not Piper's novel needed to be rewritten, and whether "Fuzzy Nation" is an improvement or not.

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Fuzzy Nation appears to have some quite positive reviews online (the first from Cory Doctorow, who also writes for a living).

Apparently it was initially written as fan fiction. I wish I could write fan fiction that good.

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For those not familiar with the series, there's a bit of a weird publishing history. Fred will correct me if I've got details wrong. :) There are also various collections of the stories, but I'm only presenting the basic timeline of when the stand-alone books appeared:

(1) Little Fuzzy (1962, Piper)
(2) Fuzzy Sapiens (1964, Piper), also published as The Other Human Race

(Piper passed away. Other people started writing books set in the story universe.)

(3) Fuzzy Bones (1981, William Tuning)
(4) Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey (1982, by Ardath Mayhar)

(Then a lost manuscript of Piper's is published. Books 3 and 4 are now contradicted and non-canon.)

(5) Fuzzies and Other People (1984, Piper)
(6) Fuzzy Nation (2011, John Scalzi, a reboot of book 1)
(7) Fuzzy Ergo Sum (2011, Wolfgang Diehr, a sequel to book 5, I assume)

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics