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Jack Holloway lives a solitary life in a wilderness of planet Zarathustra, itself "owned" by the Chartered Zarathustra Company, which installed basic services and colonial outposts initially, and now reaps the benefits of new discoveries, such as the valuable 'sunstones' mined by Holloway until he befriends a tiny, golden-furred humanoid that he names 'Little Fuzzy.' Little Fuzzy brings his family/tribe to meet Holloway and the lot of them promptly adopt Holloway as well. Upon discovery that the Fuzzies intelligence may qualify them as a sapient species, the Company moves against them.
The extra-solar world of Zarathustra is devoid of intelligent life, or at least it was thought to be until prospector Jack Holloway discovers a race of Ewok-like Fuzzies. But the company that has been exploiting the planet for its resources will lose its charter if sapient life is discovered, so Holloway must find a way to keep the Fuzzies from being foundin order to keep the charter. Holsopple reads in a pleasant, sonorous tone, using one unadorned voice for narration and a series of others for character dialogue. The vocal shifts are subtle but effective, and make the dialogue sound rather like real conversation, rather than simply words being read from a page. Some of the dialogue is a bit silly (Holloway constantly refers to himself as "Pappy Jack" when talking to the Fuzzies), but Holsopple manages to pull it off. The end result is a faithful adaptation of Piper's beloved 1962 classic (a Best Novel Hugo Award nominee) that fans both new and old should enjoy.