Little Fuzzy was one of my all time favorite books, a fully fleshed world of explorers, prospectors, scientists, soldiers, policemen, government workers, and company people.
It was a fresh new colony planet, lots of room to spread out in, and a real colonial spirit of adventure.
Then a lone prospector came home one day and found a Fuzzy in his shower stall. And the whole world changed. One small, funloving furry humanoid, with golden fur and an insatiable curiosity became the universe's newest recognized sapient race.
But not without problems. The Company that owned the planet only owned it if it wasn't inhabited by an indigenous sapient species, and the race was on. Who would win, a planetwide, multi-million dollar corporate empire, or a cantankerous old gunfighter and his family of cute little critters?
A moral dilemma, loads of fantastic characters, and a world that feels like a real place, all populated with Fuzzies that just want to "make friends."
History was made with the publication of "Little Fuzzy." Followed up by its sequels, "Fuzzy Sapiens" and "Fuzzies and Other People" all written by H. Beam Piper. (Two other sequels by other authors were later written after the author's death, Fuzzy Bones, and Golden Dream: A Fuzzy Odyssey. And recently a "reboot" novel that rewrites the original novel "Little Fuzzy" as "Fuzzy Nation.")
Fuzzy Ergo Sum is the latest of the Fuzzy novels, and it follows on directly from the events of Piper's last original novel "Fuzzies and Other People."
Wolfgang Diehr has managed to capture Piper's voice and feel for the planet Zarathustra (the world of the Fuzzies) with all its complexities and frontier fun. Of all the Fuzzy sequels, (and I've read all the fuzzy novels) this is the one that most reflects H. Beam Piper's original vision and voice.
This hardback from Pequod Press is a quality hardback novel, with a tight binding, crisp cleancut pages and beautiful cover artwork, this is a library quality book, one meant to be read over and over for many years of enjoyment.
It's hard to review the story, because I don't want to give away any of the surprises. There is one central mystery that keeps you guessing then leaves you floored at the end. (Two actually.) But the story starts with a collection of visitors arriving on Zarathustra, a multi-millionaire major stockholder in the Charterless Zarathustra Company has come looking for something, and he's not unwilling to throw around his weight to find it.
A group of illegal sunstone miners have set up a camouflaged camp at the northern end of the Fuzzy Reservation, but they're getting their orders from someone else.
A pair of bounty hunters have shown up to kidnap Gus Brannhard, the current Chief Prosecutor of Zarathustra, and defender of the Fuzzies.
A group of criminals led by a mystery figure is shaking up the Mallorysport criminal underground, the heads of the crime syndicates have never quite recovered from their involvement with the Fuzzy Faginy ring that trained a group of Fuzzies to break into the Company sunstone vault. And the new crime ring intends to break Leo Thaxter, one of the faginy ring, out of prison.
Now all these various threads are starting to come together, and in the meantime life has moved on on Zarathustra, the Fuzzies are learning more and more from their human Big Ones, and when Gus goes missing, troops of Fuzzy rescuers head out mounted on dogs to scour the reservation for him. (When I first saw the cover, "What? Fuzzies riding dogs?" I thought it was strange, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.)
The conclusion of this book left me breathless, and I sincerely hope there is a sequel in the works.
This is a book that H. Beam Piper would be proud of. And if you love Fuzzies, this is a book you definitely need to read. (I paid the full, hardcover price for this, but it was definitely worth it.)
[And, no, for any cynics out there, I'm not affiliated with the publisher or author, I'm not praising this for them. I'm praising this as a reader of the Fuzzy novels who was very excited to see a new book come out. And who was very satisfied with the results. I only finished reading it a half hour ago. And now I realize I don't have any book shelves undusty enough to keep it on. This is one of those books that makes me wish I had a nice home library, someplace dignified where I could keep it until I want to read it again.]
And if the author is reading this. Please write a sequel. I can't wait to see what happens next!