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Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
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Agent to the Stars (2005)

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,284699,571 (3.86)109
"The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish." "So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal." "Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it's quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he's going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
A very old-fashioned SF + Hollywood story. An up and coming Hollywood agent is given the job of selling alien brain-stealing blobs -- but friendly! -- to an unsuspecting population. It's the standard stereotypes for Hollywood types, plus classic Heinlein featured characters. Given this was Scalzi's first novel, not even meant for real publication, it shows a sure hand in being breezy with the dialog and skipping quickly over each cliche.

Recommended as entertainment -- highly recommended if you're a big fan of early Heinlein. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Jul 10, 2019 |
John Scalzi wrote this book as practice to become a novelist, and it shows. There are glimmers of his future brilliance and everything I loved about Redshirts, but this novel is really, really rough. The characters all have roughly the same personality. The aliens are bizarrely casual and blase and far too human. The solution to the problem of introducing the aliens to humanity is preposterous and ridiculous (We're body snatchers! We stole this poor woman's body and inhabited her for over a year! Let's all be friends! Except you, North Korea. No one likes you). The conclusion is way too drawn out.
So no, this book didn't work so well for me. I definitely see the potential, and John Scalzi has grown so much as a writer since he first wrote this book. He's capable of much better. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
Agent to the Stars was absolutely fabulous! Scalzi has been on my to-read list for ages, but I just never got around to it. So, when the audio of this book popped up on my Audible recommendations, I snagged it without a second thought. It wasn't until I sat to listen to it that I realized that Wil Wheaton was the narrator. WIL WHEATON! Let me tell you, he's the perfect choice for this story. Sarcastic, and brilliant. More on that in a second.

I think this was the perfect entry point to the world of Scalzi for me. This book is on the shorter side, but (at least according to my Scalzi addicted friends) still has his trademark sense of humor. I was wholly impressed at how easily he managed to mesh together more serious topics with a dry wit that just made me want to laugh out loud. The concept of aliens coming to Earth isn't anything new. However, the way that it's handled here is definitely outside of what we're used to. It was extremely well done, and hilarious to boot! I fell in love.

Now, as a narrator I truly think Wil Wheaton was an excellent choice. He mastered our main character, Tom Stein, immediately. Tom's trademarked dry wit, and no nonsense attitude, came to life in Wheaton's voice. While I admit that Wheaton isn't the best at female voices, he still managed to do justice to all the other supporting characters as well. By the time I reached the middle of this story, Tom WAS Wheaton. Wheaton was Tom. I enjoyed every minute of it.

This just makes me want to go hunt down more Scalzi! If you have some free time, give this audio a shot. It's worth your time. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Novela de lectura rápida y fluida, sin contratiempos ni baches. Recomendable para unos días de lectura entretenida. ( )
  maxtrek | Jan 30, 2019 |
I'm sorry that the rating sistem does not allow for half-stars, because this book rates more than just three.

This is John Scalzi's very first novel and it shows, because the storytelling is not as fluid as in his later works, yet it's still an entertaining and delightful read.

Even as early as this first book, Scalzi knew how to mix humor and seriousness - what I've come to recognize as the trademark of his writing - and to present deep and thought-provoking ideas in what deceptively looks like a simple fun story.

Once more I'm convinced that I could never go wrong with any of his books.
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scalzi, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blanchet, PascalCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drechsler, ArndtCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallo, IreneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krahulik, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book was originally dedicated to Natasha Kordus and Stephen Bennett, friends of old, and still is.

It's also now dedicated to Bill Schafer, friend and original publisher of this novel.

And to Irene Gallo, who (with help from John Harris, Shelley Eshkar, Donato Giancola, and Pascal Blanchet) has made all my books at Tor look so good.
First words
"Fourteen million and fifteen percent of the gross? For Michelle Beck? You're out of your fucking mind, Tom."

Headsets are a godsend; they allow you to speak on the phone while leaving your hands free for the truly important things. My hands were currently occupied with a blue rubber racquetball, which I was lightly bouncing off the pane of my office window.
Quotations
On the whole, people took it rather well. The only place that rioted was North Korea.
It was only afterwards, after all, that people realized she wasn't human.
. . . some academy members petitioned to have Michelle disqualified as the Best Actress winner. Their rationale was that not only was she not really human, there was no way to determine that she was, in fact, female.

The academy voted down the proposal in the interests of interspecies peace.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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http://www.scalzi.com/agent/ (Online version from author)
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