Little Fuzzy (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1)

By H. Beam Piper

Rating: 3 stars

On a newly colonised word on the edge of human space, Jack Holloway is a sun-stone prospector. Searching for the rare jewels that are worth a fortune back on Earth he finds a small, furry humanoid creature in his homestead that he soon makes friends with, and discovers can use tools and and has a family that he moves in as well. However, when he informs the Company that runs the colony that a sapient native species exists, that would invalidate the Company’s charter for the world so they try to first suppress the knowledge of the species, that Holloway has named ‘Fuzzies’. During a discussion between Holloway and Leonard Kellogg, a Company representative, he kills a Fuzzy, which leads to a trial, hinging on whether or not the Fuzzies are actually sapient.

This is quite a philosophical little book (available for free on Project Gutenberg) with discussions on intelligence and what sapience means. While the definitions in the early part of the book are quite simplistic (talking and making fire) by the end, much more complex definitions are proffered for what is, undoubtedly, a difficult subject.

Apart from Holloway, the characters in the book are mostly fairly two-dimensional, but it’s the philosophical debate about sapience that is the core of the book, the characters being mostly there to either support different points of view, or provide foils to debate with. Enjoyable if you take it for what it is.

Book details

ISBN: 9780843959116
Publisher: Cosmos Books
Year of publication: 1962

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