I really don’t have a whole lot to say about Golden Dreams. I enjoy it. It makes me tear up in the right places, and laugh out loud where it should. Ardath Mayhar captures the essence of Fuzzies very well, although there are a few inconsistencies. For one, she has all Fuzzies aware of the story of rescue coming from the stars. In Piper’s books no Fuzzies mention this, and in Tuning’s he has Little Fuzzy and the other southern Fuzzies completely ignorant of the idea. Stargazer is the one who shares that story with the Hagga (big ones) in the Tuning book. She also has the names of the guys who capture the bunch of Fuzzies who become Ruth Ortheris’s Fuzzy family wrong, but that just feels like me nitpicking.
Honestly, while not as gripping as the original Piper books, it is well written and a lot of fun. She emphasizes the lack of gender divided tasks among Fuzzies, and the importance of fun to Fuzzies as a whole. She begins her story a generation past when a landslide cut the Fuzzies off from the technology and tools they’d salvaged from their downed ship, and follows the deterioration of their culture as they are forced to spend more and more time hunting and gathering, as well as trying to survive on a planet with many large predators who think Fuzzies, or Gashta, taste great. I think she successfully conveys the gradual loss of knowledge as the stories are passed on orally, although if the original Fuzzies had a system of writing, as they must have being an interstellar travelling race, I am a little dubious that would have disappeared entirely by the time she says it does.
But again, the bulk of my criticisms sound like nitpicking. I find this book superior to Fuzzy Bones in most ways, lacking only a focus on the current Upland Fuzzies. Hearing the coming of the Marines and the ensuing archeaological dig described from the point of view of the Fuzzies would have made me happier.
Apart from the story of the ship and stars being credited to more than just Stargazer, there’s really nothing in this book to contradict either the 3rd Piper book, nor Tuning’s book. In the second and third Piper book they are aware of the group of Fuzzies up north who haven’t migrated, but he doesn’t explore them. Having read all of the books in rapid succession this last week, if you want no sizeable or jarring contradictions, read the three Piper books and this one. If you don’t care, or are a completeness nut, then pick up Tuning’s as well.