Hugo Award nominee 1963.
Zarathustra was a class-III uninhabited planet, and the chartered Zarathustra Company owned it lock, stock and barrel. They developed it, exploited it and reaped huge profits without any interference from the Colonial Government.
But then, out of nowhere, came Jack Holloway – with a family of Fuzzies and a great deal of evidence that they were more than just cute animals.
If the Fuzzies were a race of intelligent beings, then Zarathustra would automatically become a class-IV inhabited planet, and the Company's charter and privileges would be over.
The chartered Zarathustra Company wasn't going to allow that to happen...
Henry Beam Piper (1904–1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels.
H. Beam Piper was born in 1904. He had no formal education and, at 18, went to work as a labourer for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Largely self-educated, he garnered an extensive knowledge of science and history. In his later years, Piper, a solitary and guarded man, did not tell his friends of his precarious financial state. In 1964, H. Beam Piper shut off all the utilities to his apartment in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and took his own life.