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quarta-feira, março 12, 2008
Retro Science Fiction : Fuzzy Creatures by H. Beam Piper
Piper belonged to a school of writers, who didn’t question the notion that Man was the best thing that had happened to the Universe. His was a literature of high organization and obscure knowledge. He also believed in the reconciliation of problems by logic, common sense or compromise, and in the last resort, by justifiable force.
The three fuzzy books that I’ve just read (“Little Fuzzy”, “Fuzzy Sapiens”, “Fuzzies and Other People”) have a coziness that is lacking in the rest of Piper’s work. The coziness consists of a creature twelve twenty-four inches tall, a ball of fur with large brown eyes and lacking all malice. Compare with the Moties from the book by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle “The Mote in God’s Eye”… Quite different, but the intrinsic qualities of both books are not much different! The same voiceless characters, also quite a number of main figures, usw. All in all I much prefer the Fuzzy creatures than the Moties. The Moties are quite laughable in terms of character building for a start. Sometimes they look like some guys I know … eh eh eh. Not much alienness!
For me the Fuzzies can be seen as symbol of conscience, of lost innocence. The struggle to prove and then assert the sapience of these creatures lifts these trilogy above the pulp fodder that was published at the time.
A long time ago I had read the first two books of the trilogy (the third was not available to me at the time). Now I decided to re-read the complete trilogy “The Complete Fuzzy”, which comprises the three books.
Unfortunately these novels cannot withstand the test of time. By today’s standards this trilogy is just a bunch of drivel. There are too many main characters, and they all seem the same. Even the Fuzzies seem the same, that is, it’s very difficult to tell them apart. The characters read like some 50’s pulp fiction romance (“Astounding Magazine”, “Amazing Stories” and so on) and behaved quite unlike anyone I know, despite the fact that the books were written in the 60’s. Maybe it's simply a reflection of the time when the novel was written. Still I got a kick while re-reading these trilogy. I still have fond memories of reading them in the 80’s. I’ve always been a sucker for retro-SF-books…The test of time is a bitch. The eyes that read those books back then are not the same that have read them now. That’s the problem. For those of you who like to dwelve into retro SF, I think this trilogy is going to be a safe bet. For those who don’t stay clear.