Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fuzzy Bones

Fuzzy Bones

William Tuning

Date: December, 1981   —   used only   —   Book

product page


Fiction, Science Fiction

H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy series was always popular, so much so that when he died, they decided to grant another author the chance to add to the series. William Tuning did— and then a couple of years later, they discovered the manuscript to a third book of Piper's, which is still in print. Tuning's foray, which might be thought of as an alternate universe entry, is largely forgotten.

Which is a pity, really. The style of the book is different, and the plot a bit strange in parts (one gets the sense that Piper wished to imply something that is fully revealed in this book, and I would argue that it's much more effective as merely a hint), but overall, Tuning's writing style is solid and, in a way, more complex than Piper's. I'm actually reminded of the difference between the Oz books of L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson; Thompson is a better writer, though Baum manages a stronger sense of wonder. Similarly, Tuning's book is more complex, but the characters are slightly more accessible in Piper's books.

Furthermore, Piper's books are concerned with the law and with justice, something made very clear from how the central events of two of his three books are trials, and the third deals with the application of law. Tuning is more concerned with the origins of Fuzzies (hence the title) and throws off the trial that is the central feature of Piper's third book with a two-line aside. More importantly, Tuning set the book up so that a sequel was possible, if not precisely necessary; one can certainly imagine what is to go on afterwards.

No comments: