Fuzzy Sapiens (The Other Human Race)

Fuzzy Sapiens - H. Beam Piper This is the second of the Fuzzy books that feature among the most memorable aliens in science fiction. Mind you, they're so cute as to induce sugar shock. Creatures "two feet tall, with wide-eyed... face... covered with soft golden fur," playful, sane, sweet and emotionally and intellectually about ten years old. The first book dealt with some sophisticated concepts. The "Fuzzies" are on a planet colonized by humans and largely owned and ruled by a corporation under a charter only valid if there are no sapient indigenous life forms. So when the Fuzzies first show up, it soon becomes a very serious matter indeed whether they're just cute animals--or people. The second novel develops some issues not resolved in the first one, and is still entertaining, although perhaps not as fresh in conception. I did like how in the second novel things were less black and white. Piper's not an elegant prose stylist. There are point-of-view jumps, and flaky section breaks (might be more an issue of bad editing than writing) and at times clumsy phrasing. But Piper's a good storyteller nevertheless and presents appealing characters--human and non-human alike. It's an good read.