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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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1,221639,502 (3.88)106
Recently added byRandal37, Nanigae, Darborallen, ackck, private library, econmatrix007, araxhiel, nurho83, liadh
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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
This book by John Scalzi is a humorous SF tale about first encounter aliens to earth who seek out an agent to handle the process. Scalzi is known more for his Old Man’s War. This was his practice novel to see if he could write. He self published it on his website. Requesting readers to send a dollar if they liked it. According to Wikipedia, he made $4000 in 4 years. I read the audio version read by Will Wheaton. It was an easy, and as I am at the lake, I will call it a beach read. Nothing to hard to digest, and a farce on Hollywood and agents as well. (less) ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 16, 2018 |
A Hollywood agent is contracted by an alien species with an image problem. They want peaceful contact with humanity, but they look and smell terrible. It's up to one man to cast them as the friendly aliens while trying to manage the rest of his life and career. Turns out aliens and movie stars work a lot better together than anyone would expect. ( )
  Excelsa | Apr 15, 2018 |
I liked this book. Not quite as funny as Androids but still very clever. I liked the Hollywood angle a lot. If your looking for a quick, light, funny read, this is the book for you. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Summary: Tom Stein, a young Hollywood agent, thinks he's just closed the biggest deal of his career for one of his starlet clients. And then he meets his new client... a member of the alien race called the Yherajk who goes by the name of Joshua. The Yherajk have been monitoring Earth for a while, and they're ready to make contact, but they've seen enough movies to know that when you look like you're made out of snot and you stink like rotting fish, you're going to have a bit of a PR problem on your hands... or your slime tentacles, in this case. So the Yherajk have hired Tom's firm to represent them, and Tom is tasked with finding a way of introducing the Yherajk to humanity, and with keeping Joshua under wraps until they do -- not the easiest thing in an industry where everyone is always looking for the next big thing.

Review: This book was utterly silly, but in the really fun sort of way. It's the first book that Scalzi wrote (although not the first one that he got published), and it is admittedly not quite as polished as some of his later books, although it's quite a bit better than many other first novels I've read. Agent to the Stars is one of Scalzi's "zany farce"-style books, although it's not as intricate as The Android's Dream (where the idea of aliens who communicate through smell reappears), and doesn't have the more serious ethical underpinnings of Fuzzy Nation. That's not to say that there isn't *anything* serious about this book; one of the things the Yherajk can do is take over the bodies and share the minds of other organisms, although they will only do so under strict conditions of consent; Scalzi dabbles with this idea as it applies to things like bodily autonomy and life support / the right to die. But mostly this book is full of a lot of zany alien adventures and fast-talking Hollywood agents. Scalzi's characteristic rapid-fire snarky dialogue is certainly already present in this book, and Wil Wheaton again is the perfect match to read the audiobook - his voice just fits so well with Scalzi's sensibilities. There's not a ton of character development (although there is some, mostly in conjunction with the times this novel brushes up against more serious subjects), but deep multidimensional characters aren't really the point of this novel. The point is: Gross aliens need an agent, wacky misadventures ensue. And sometimes, some wacky misadventures and some good laughs are all you really need. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Fans of Scalzi's later works will find the same fun sensibility and some germs of his later ideas here. Although it's not quite as good as his later novels, it's still a solid pick when you need something fast and fun to read. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jul 20, 2017 |
Agent to the Stars was John Scalzi's first novel, written in 1997, and finally published in hardcover in 2005. It tells the story of Tom Stein, who is a young and upcoming Hollywood agent. Tom has just negotiated a huge contract for his biggest client, Michelle Beck, a clueless blond, when his boss, Carl Lupo invites him to a meeting. As a result of the meeting, Tom becomes the agent to the Yherajk, a group of friendly space aliens who want to make contact with the human race. The Yherajk need PR because they look like blobs of jello and communicate with each other using horrible smells. Tom has his hands full - Joshua, the Yherajk, has come to live with him, Michelle desperately wants the part of a Holocaust survivor, for which she is totally unsuited, in an upcoming movie, and a tabloid reporter has it in for him, costing him some of his remaining clients. When Joshua takes over the body of Tom's next door neighbor's dying dog, Ralph, and Michelle has a freak accident during the casting of her head, it is up to Tom to find a way to fix everything.

I listened to the Wil Wheaton narrated version of this book from Audible.

I thought this book was great! In my opinion, it was funny even though I knew what was ultimately going to happen throughout most of the book. I love Scalzi's sense of humor. There are no complexities here - it is just a fun and easy listen. Wheaton's narration was spot on as it always is (5 stars for the narration.) Scalzi is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

If you enjoy Scalzi or just enjoy humorous science fiction, I think you will enjoy this book. ( )
  rretzler | Jun 9, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

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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Book description
http://www.scalzi.com/agent/ (Online version from author)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765317710, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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