Currently Reading…

stars Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi

Before I read Scalzi’s Hugo-nominated novel, Old Man’s War, I thought I’d read the first novel he’d written and which, following Cory Doctorow’s example, he made available online for free (although I read the hardcover version. The experience was a delight.

This is a very silly, irreverent story. But then, I’m attracted to silly and irreverent, so I fell into the book with a big splash then swam to the end in a few hours.

Tom Stein, a young Hollywood agent, is hired by aliens to figure out a way to introduce them to the human race without said human race freaking out. There’s reason for that: the Yherajk, although intelligent and polite, look like the Blob on a good day, and communicate by farting. They need an image.

Despite being a first book, the story feels polished and is full of delicious details on the biz. The tone, as I said, is irreverent and Hollywoodian: gossippy, a bit mean, biting and sharp. The story has no pretension. It’s just plain fun.

Well worth reading, especially as a pick-me-up end of winter blues.

Correction of entry above, made at 16:00: John mentions that he offered Agent in 1999 online, before Cory Doctorow ever offered his first novel. See John’s comment attached to the entry.

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2 thoughts on “Currently Reading…

  1. John Scalzi

    Glad you liked it!

    Small point of clarification: I put the novel online in 1999, which is before Cory was doing his thing. What Cory *did* pioneer (as far as I know) was releasing a book simultaneously in print and free online version. The print version of Agent didn’t come out until 2005.

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