Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi


Science FictionAgent to the Stars by John Scalzi Agent to the Stars
John Scalzi; Tor 2010

How would the world react if a jello-like alien appeared on the president’s, queen’s, premiere’s or other world leader’s doorstep? Could this alien arrive at the United Nations without guns being aimed at it? So how does a friendly alien race that looks like the Blob Who Ate New York approach humanity with accord and good will? What do the Yherajk do? They decide to approach a Hollywood agent instead.

Tom Stein is a mid-level agent for the agency. Carl Lupo, the owner, calls him for a meeting. Tom hadn’t met Carl since the perfunctory meeting when Tom started as an agent. Then Carl asks Tom to dump almost all his clients. But Carl isn’t firing Tom – he’s giving Tom an exclusive client. Now Tom has the job to figure out how Joshua, the Yherajk, can be made acceptable for mankind. If anyone can make the Yherajk acceptable, someone in Hollywood can. An agent’s job is to sell perception. Tom has just been given his most difficult client ever. And if he makes a mistake here, he won’t work in Hollywood again.

Agent to the Stars is one of John Scalzi’s humorous novels – the kind that remind us of the fun we can have with a story, whether it’s science fiction or regular fiction. It is a book that keeps a smile on the reader’s face – except perhaps when an actor suffocates and nearly dies. First Contact with an alien race is not easy. If the aliens look somewhat humanoid, it can be easier. But when a being is so utterly alien that it would frighten a person completely, the barrier may be too much to get past.

Scalzi realized the best way to bring something so foreign to acceptability is for it to have a spin doctor. Hollywood agents are possibly the best spin doctors in the world right now. Scalzi loves to have fun with his novels (check Redshirts – I’m just sayin’).  Agent to the Stars takes a serious problems of racism and prejudice and turns them into fun.

Don’t expect great literature. Instead, let loose and have fun. Then picture the Yherajik (who speak through noxious smells) and understand the genius of Agent to the Stars.

More books by John Scalzi

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