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.
Agent to the Stars is John Scalzi’s first novel, but you’d never know it. It’s hilarious. And wonderful. And just so perfectly entertaining.
A heavy-duty reflection on the nature of humanity… is not what this is. Instead, it’s a fast-paced, in-your-face, silly look at the world of Hollywood, the art of the deal… and aliens.
In this case, very smelly aliens. The Yherajk communicate via smell, so attending one of their senior officers meetings onboard their space ship is likely to make a human vomit or pass out. And yet, they’re a peaceful race with advanced intelligence and technology, and they just want to get to know us.
Tom Stein is placed in the once-in-a-lifetime position of being the man chosen to introduce an entire race to humanity. As a Hollywood agent, Tom is an expert when it comes to making something attractive, garnering attention, and making people want more. But how to package and promote a species that looks like blobs of goo? With Yherajk representative Joshua designated as Tom’s personal liaison, things go from weird to unbelieavably weird in a flash, and meanwhile, Tom is still trying to place his of-the-moment hot actress into the dramatic role of a lifetime.
To say any more would be to ruin the fun. In case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, this is not at all a serious book. As an audiobook, it suited my needs to a T. Light and breezy, it’s a perfect listen for when you don’t need to engage a lot of brain cells. I can definitely attest to the fact that this audiobook made for a great couple of weeks of commuting.
Narrator Wil Wheaton takes the crazy imagination of John Scalzi and turns it into a wild and hilarious performance that’s silly and light, and yet with some surprisingly touching moments too. Such fun. If your sense of humor runs toward goofy and you enjoy wholly unusual sci-fi plots (with smelly aliens), don’t miss this book!
Title: Agent To The Stars
Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: 2004
Audiobook length: 8 hours, 49 minutes
Printed book length: 363 pages
Genre: Science fiction