Friday, November 18, 2011

Something lighter...Fuzzier...

The last two days have been somewhat heavy topics, and my depressed brain can't handle it all the time. If I don't write about something less serious, I'm going to explode. In fact, I'm sorely tempted to rant about the Republicans and their ridiculous attempt at making a run for the White House -

Calm down, Rob. Caaaaaalm.

So, I wrote a week ago about wanting to rewrite Little Fuzzy for the fun of it. I wandered about the web, trying to see if there was anything else I could learn about H. Beam Piper's Fuzzies, and learned something new: that there was a third Piper novel about them. How I'd missed this before, I have no idea. But when I found it for a mere $1.99, I just couldn't pass up the chance to buy it.

I learned a few other things along the way. Mr. Piper, as he should be called if I'm going to respect his works, published The Other Human Race, later to be called Fuzzy Sapiens, in 1964...and then committed suicide. There's some argument as to why he ended his life. The argument seems to be between financial woes, family troubles, and wanting to hurt his recently divorced ex-wife. Whatever the case may be, there was rumor of a third novel, of which the manuscript had been lost.

It resurfaced in 1984 and was published under the title of Fuzzies and Other People. This was the book I bought...and cost more to ship than the actual product. Go figure.

Of course, I started reading it immediately...and have become suspicious. Did Mr. Piper truly write this, or is this someone's attempt at hackery? If the former, then the reason it wasn't published was probably because the author felt it needed a great deal of polish. I would agree with his assessment, as there are inconsistencies between novels. If it was the latter, then it was a weak attempt.

Here's what has me wondering what's what...The Fuzzies can speak, but have issues with the pronunciation of some English words. When given a vioce in the previous novels, there was nary an R to be found, with L's becoming rare from time to time. One of the characters, "Uncle Gerd" to the Fuzzies at that point, referred to him as "Unka Gehd." This was consistent in the first two novels. This third one, however, has the Fuzzies using the occasional R, and it has me thinking that either Mr. Piper was so distracted that he forgot an integral part of what made Fuzzies so adorable - their child-like speech patterns - or that the hack who tried to cash in on Mr. Piper's work had overlooked it.

But I'm enjoying the book. It's different, in that for the first time there is more focus on the Fuzzies on their own, and not all about humans and what humans do in one situation or another. I like the creative thinking, terming the idea of sundown as "the sun going to its sleep-place." A fact is an "everyone-know-thing." And Fuzzies don't die, so much as they "make dead."

With this bit of babbling complete, I'm off to get things done...I hope. Be well, and DFTBA.

Edit: I finished reading the book not long after this post, and definitely came away feeling like there was something wrong with the story. The previous novels weren't very long, and this one is similar in length...but it seems as though portions are missing. Just toward the end, in the second to last chapter that seems unattached to anything before it. That is, you have to look back and attach it to someone, which is rather messy writing coming from Mr. Piper.

Perhaps my fun project should be putting the polish on this novel? It could certainly use it, and, who knows...? It might even be something worth talking to the Piper Estate about.

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