Fuzzy Nation Starred Review in Publishers Weekly

The first media review of Fuzzy Nation is in from Publishers Weekly, and it’s got a star and everything. Click through that link for the whole review (PW deserves your eyeballs), but here’s what I’m pretty sure will be the eventual pull-quote (whole or in parts) for the later editions:

A perfectly executed plot clicks its way to a stunning courtroom showdown in a cathartic finish that will thrill Fuzzy fans old and new.

I’ll take that. Yes I will.

Hey, spring is turning out all right so far!

How is your day?

39 Comments on “Fuzzy Nation Starred Review in Publishers Weekly”

  1. Shortly after reading this post:

    “Hey, a review? That must mean the book is available!”

    *Checks release date on Amazon.com*

    “Wait, May 10?!?”

    You’re an evil man, Scalzi. In a good way, but still….

  2. Still waiting. Am I missing any posts where you agonized over whether a given manuscript of yours would be picked up or not? I need company in my pain.

  3. I’m glad Fuzzy Nation is doing so well. Spring has started here, but it’s snowing. How beautiful. It’s also my 14th wedding anniversary, so I would say things are going well. Have a wonderful day John!

  4. Wonderful news! I can’t wait to read it!
    My day? Thanks for asking! After a long weekend visiting family and getting home late I’m a…little fuzzy. (smirks and gets back to work)

  5. Excellent review. Congratz!

    I am looking forward to buying one and having it signed when you arrive in Salt Lake City.

  6. Congrats! You must be very pleased! And meanwhile, in Edmonton, not a hint of spring on the horizon today. Flurries, slightly below 0C, snow everywhere.

  7. Eeek! Courtroom drama…? I do not know anything about the original source material but “courtroom showdown” would have been my last guess as to what type of book this is.

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang of Space Command

    Congratulations. I will have to get Fuzzy. Get it? Get Fuzzy? Get i- hello? Hello?

  9. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    Congratulations! Is this your first PW starred review?

  10. Bob Portnell – Sparks, NV USA – In no particular order: Husband, parent, child of God, technical writer, stargazer, gamer, and in no particular order.
    Bob Portnell

    Well done, you!

  11. I used to work for a printing company. It was an entry level job, but one of the few perks was access to the company subscription to Publisher’s Weekly. I haven’t read too many since I left, but I’m sure they are at my local library.

  12. I just pre-ordered Fuzzy Nation for my Kindle. I figure this is the fastest way I could get a copy.. ( watches clock) .

  13. In this case, yes, it’s good. When PW gives a star to a book, it’s signaling that it’s one of the standout books of the week.

  14. well then extra gongrats on the star as well as for great review (I’ve already pre-orderd from amazon – for some reason I cannot do pre-orders on my sony reader portal – are you listening Sony? you just lost $15)

  15. John, if one were to get the original Piper book and your book, is there an order you’d recommend to read them?

  16. I noticed this in the PW review: “…changes the hero from a grandfatherly miner to a handsome hunk…”
    Heinlein used to write himself into every book, too. .

  17. WizardDru:

    I don’t think it matters, although Piper’s book is already available, which makes it easy to read it first.

  18. Congrats, John, I wish you well and hope that I can buy the book before my library gets a copy. It they get it before I get some cash, I will save up and buy The God Engines . Keep writing & inspiring.

  19. Spring? What spring? Mother nature decided that it would be just a little bit funny to dump 15cm (that’s over a foot!) of snow on my corner of the world…

  20. although Piper’s book is already available,

    And for only $0.99 on the nook, no less. In three different editions! Done and done.

  21. I know I’m way the hell early – but do the prospects of an audiobook version look like, John? I’m snorting Audible like an 80’s movie star . .

  22. Congratulations John! I also read the Piper book because of interest in your re-boot. I enjoyed all the drinking and smoking. It sure took me back to earlier times! I think they spent the whole book in a drunken smoky haze. ha ha! I look forward to your take on the story.

  23. Congratulations!

    @#25: “When PW gives a star to a book, it’s signaling that it’s one of the standout books of the week.”

    So much for disintermediation.

    Yes, there can be value added in a hierarchy of editorial opinions by People With a Clue.

    As to the misunderstandings about Nabakov, in a recent thread, a writer’s writer’s writer, you might ask Dr Mary Turzillo. Nabakov was one of her 3 PhD dissertation examples, in depth, on Unreliable Narrators.

    The misunderstadning comes, perhaps, from someone who took Humbert Humbert at his word.

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