Agent to the Stars
Whenever I’m recommended a darn good yarn by a reliable source, I add it to a special to be read list. And this was the case of Agent to the Stars by American John Scalzi.
Little did I realise that this read involved dipping my first tentacle into the Sci-Fi pool, an oversight for which I thank my lucky stars. Sci-Fi movies do not tend to ding my dong in quite the same way as drama or rom coms, and I would no doubt have given the book a miss. As things turned out, I was sucked in before the penny dropped, and I can warmly recommend this novel as a Sci-Fi starter for other souls disinclined to be entertained by aliens.
The action takes place in Hollywood plus on an alien spaceship. Obviously. Our human hero is a hot young agent who survives on his quick wit, astute observations and reputation of being a decent dude. Our outspoken alien stinks of rotting fish but his heart, if he’d had one, would have been in the right place. The dialogue in this book is some of the best I’ve read.
Suffice to say, the twists and turns are as plausible as they are absurd. I buy in to the alien attributes, believe as gospel the interesting ins and outs of Hollywood culture, and raise more eyebrows at the antics of our human representatives than those of our alien friends. In short, I’m enlightened and entertained. And wondering why on earth this approachable gem has not been made into a movie.
In short, I’m slimily grateful for whoever, human or alien, recommended Agent to the Stars to me.
Quotes from Agent to the Stars:
“Look,” he said. “We’d like you to return the salary.” “Oh, is that all?” I said. “Heck. That’s easy. The answer is no.” “What?” “No.” “No?” “What part of that two-letter word don’t you understand, Brad?” I asked. “Was it the vowel that threw you, or the consonant?”
“That’s a distinction that’s going to make a lot of difference to the ninety percent of humanity that doesn’t know the difference between astrology and astronomy.”
“What if I told you that that which makes you fundamentally human is something that you share with another people, a people so different from you that they might appear strange or frightening at first glance. A people who might terrify you from appearance alone. Could you make the jump, and understand that inside, they are not so different at all?”