Chapters 3 & 4 of Fuzzy Nation at io9

Yesterday, offered up the first two chapters of Fuzzy Nation for your sampling delight — now io9 follows up with chapters three and four, in which Jack Holloway makes the acquaintance of a small, furry creature. No, not ALF. ALF appears nowhere in this book. I just want to make that clear at the outset.  I’m talking about a Fuzzy! Sheesh. In any event, give chapters three and four a whirl, and I hope you enjoy them.

Oh, and the io9 link contains awesome “process” sketches of the scene from cover artist Kekai Kotaki. Worth the click in themselves!

37 Comments on “Chapters 3 & 4 of Fuzzy Nation at io9”

  1. OK, this is now very likely to be my birthday present to myself. I can still see the Piper, but it’s a lot more realistic. And you are obviously a man who has introduced dogs who have never known cats to said cats. I don’t think you said what breed Carl is. I’m picturing a lab or golden retriever, but Carl = Rottweiler to me.

    One criticism: “vector of direction”? Boo! Vectors, by definition, have a direction. Scalzi, I am disappoint.

  2. So chapters 5 and 6 turn up tomorrow where exactly?

    I’m starting to feel like the choices are to buy the book or to read it for free two chapters at a time at a profession of different websites. I’m sure that towards the later chapters the sites will be extremely embarrassing to visit or just have really intrusive animated advertisements.

  3. Kekai’s awesome, good call on grabbing him for the cover. He’s lead concept on ArenaNet’s MMO, Guild Wars. Top talent!

  4. Nicely done – I admit I was a little worried about the addition of Carl, but his inclusion was a great choice. I picture him as a chocolate lab, but that’s clearly because I’m biased by my own dog. Curious you haven’t mentioned Jack’s age in the first 4 chapters (unless I missed it, I admit I kind of tore through them) – based on the cover illustration, he’s younger than the original version. I’m glad that I recently re-read Little Fuzzy – the differences are really fascinating to think about.

    Have there been any other “reboots” of novels like this? There have been countless film remakes, which can be interesting, but I can’t think of any novels that have been updated significantly by a different author. David Gerrold put out an updated version of When HARLIE Was One, but that was a refresh, not a reboot, as they original had gotten fairly dated (now if he would just finish the next fricking Chtorr book). The only things I can think of that are even close to this are books like Ender’s Shadow and, of course, Zoe’s Tale. Both of those were also fascinating to read (and great stories) but they were parallel stories that unfolded at the same time as previous stories (and shared events), not reboots by a new author.

  5. Good read.

    The “vector of direction” did throw me off for a second.

    I’d guess Carl was a terrier of some kind, like a welsh terrier.

    He’s smart, seems to generally make short, rapid movements, and is constantly wound a little tight. That’s pretty much a welsh terrier in a nutshell.

    Labs are smart, and energetic, but usually move like galoots, and have spats of lazy time that might last for hours.

    Did the first four chapters mention his breed but I missed it?

  6. I see … I see … the first science fiction musical farce on Broadway, and the Tony is all yours:

    –> Harry Wilson is tasked with colonizing Melmac. <–

    A chorus line of green dancers in armor! Wirework!! Puppets!!! CATS!!!! FORGIT THE TOUR GIT WRITIN’!!!1!

  7. Oh c’mon guys! You can’t get upset over such a small thing like “vector of direction”. If Niven can get the direction of Earth’s rotation wrong in Ringworld 1st edition, and Brin can use the wrong botanical term in Postman, John is allowed a slip up as well.
    Although I have to say, after seeing Despicable Me about 10 times, “Vector” will always have a new (more disturbing) meaning.

  8. Of course the biggest stylistic difference from Piper is that we are four chapters in without any mention of firearms.

  9. Torture! Scalzi, you writer you! I’m not going to sample a couple chapters here and a couple chapters there, then sit, twiddling my thumbs for days until I can finish reading the book! I’ll see you May 14th, cash in my hand and a look in my eye letting the world know that me and “Fuzzy Nation” will go the distance in one round accompanied only by the sound of ice tea gurgling down my gullett.

    Next Sunday I plan on re-reading (again, but not yet for 2011) the three H. Beam Piper fuzzy novels as an appetizer.

  10. It may behoove me to dig up my copy of that delitefull children’s book “My Friend the Comma” and spend some time re-reading that as well.

  11. You are an evil, evil little man. I was looking forward to getting this for summer reading, and now I have to get it and surreptitiously read it while proctoring exams.

  12. i havent read the original so could you tell me what is the actual conflict here ? the discovery of this new species or what ?

  13. Well, you might call Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars a reboot of Against the Fall of Night; and you might call T.H. White’s The Once and Future King a reboot of The Sword in the Stone. I’m not ready to call either one a total success, but fortunately the original versions are around for comparison.

  14. Schnauzer. Schnauzers are the dogs that blow things up.

    I downloaded Little Fuzzy from Amazon when I pre-ordered Fuzzy Nation this morning. :swear: so much for waiting for the library copy.

  15. Carl’s gotta be a mutt. I mean, so’s Jack, kinda, so that works. And I’m ignoring the picture and visualizing Jack as, well, a tad older than me, just like in the original. I’m REALLY TIRED of barely post-adolescent protagonists (by which I mean anybody under 40. Humph.)

  16. I pictured Carl as a lab mix, and I pictured Jack as being around 35-40; old enough to have graduated from law school, practiced law for a while, and totally gotten over it.

    And I am SO buying this for myself on my birthday, if nobody else buys it for me.

  17. I’m reading Piper’s book now. :D I like his work quite a bit, but never read it. I will certainly be reading your ‘retelling’ of it.

  18. Probably. I’ll announce it here when/if they are.

    Fantastic. I’d much rather purchase a copy there than from Amazon or Borders. Not that I have anything against either of those businesses, but signed + helping small business = crazy delicious.

  19. Not even reading any of these chapters. I hate, hate getting into something and then not being able to finish it. I’ll be buying the book on the 14th (a day before my birthday) and more than likely it will be finished on my birthday.

  20. Lila @26: I think a good deed is in order — gonna buy a couple anyway, may as well throw another on the pile. Hope you are in CONUS, if not will work something out… see above or below to respond.

    And lest one forget: hope you have an excellent Birthday!

    – CJH / esper
    cee hawley six five oh at gee mail dot com

  21. Personally I am going to risk the temptation to read anything before I can read EVERYTHING.

    John, do you know whether there will be a Kindle edition available in the UK at launch? Right now I am getting the standard ‘Tell the publisher I’d like to read this book on Kindle’ message, but I remember reading a comment by you a week or so ago talking about trying to secure a deal.

    Or am I wrong?


  22. Scalzi,
    You are so evil. I was going to make the 4 chapters last until my ebook gets delivered on Tues but, you son-of-a-gun, you got me again. Gone in one night! I am constantly amazed at how skillfully you write first chapters.

  23. No. No. No. I WILL WAIT!!!! Every time I read sample chapters, I get frustrated wanting MORE NOW! So, I will wait. Not very patiently, but I will wait.

    BTW, thank you for allowing the samples to be posted even if I don’t read them.

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