Scalzi’s reboot of H. Beam Piper’s classic 1962 novel, Little Fuzzy, takes the original plot and characters and reimagines them for a modern audience. Published with the blessing of the Piper estate, this is a fast-paced and witty tale with much to recommend it. However, Jack Holloway is nearly indistinguishable from Scalzi’s other sarcastic and smart-mouthed protagonists, and while this isn’t a problem, it is a flaw that readers may find distracting.
Jack Holloway, an independent surveyor and prospector on the ZaraCorp-controlled planet of Zarathustra, discovers a seam of tremendously valuable and rare gemstones, and is able to lay claim to a significant percentage of the future income. When Jack arrives back at his camp, he discovers that his home has been infiltrated by a small bipedal creature, covered in golden fur and almost impossibly cute. Shortly thereafter, the Fuzzy’s entire family arrives, proceeding to complicate matters tremendously because they appear to be sentient, and ZaraCorp’s right to exploit the planet rests on their ability to certify that Zarathustra is empty of sentient beings. (TOR, May, 304 pp., $24.99)