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Agent to the Stars

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Author: John Scalzi
Published: 1999
Language: English
Wordcount: 97,107 / 273 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 79.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 40,844
Added to site: 2006.02.28 12996
License: ©

The space-faring Yherajk people have come to Earth to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. Gaining humanity's trust isn't easy when you look like a B-movie terror, and Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal.

Thomas Stein knows all about closing deals -- he's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents, but he's about to learn it's one thing to sell your client when she's a hot young starlet and another thing entirely when your client is an alien species!

Show Excerpt

're good, you're good.

Chapter Two

I came out of the bathroom with 30 seconds left on the ticker, and started walking briskly towards the conference room. Miranda was trotting immediately behind.

"What's the meeting about?" I asked, nodding to Drew Roberts as I passed his office.

"He didn't say," Miranda said.

"Do we know who else is in the meeting?"

"He didn't say," Miranda said.

The second-floor conference room sits adjacent to Carl's office, which is at the smaller end of our agency's vaguely egg-shaped building. The building itself has been written up in Architectural Digest, which described it as a "Four-way collision between Frank Gehry, Le Corbousier, Jay Ward and the salmonella bacteria." It's unfair to the salmonella bacteria. My office is stacked on the larger arc of the egg on the first floor, along with the offices of all the other junior agents. After today, a second-floor, little-arc office was

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.4 from 27 reviews: *****

A highly entertaining book.

Go ahead - what have you got to lose?

Bill Boyd

Not what i expected but a great read, highly recommend this one.


This book certainly has an interesting premise. Imagine aliens that look like phlegm and smell like a house full of frat boys after a baked bean cookoff. Well worth reading!


This book is a very humorous take on the normal light hearted Sci-Fi genre .
I have not giggled this much while reading Sci-Fi since I read A Cat That walked Through Walls by Robert Anson Heinlein .


Very funny look at first contact with an engaging alien species. Smelly but likeable they decide a Holywood agent is needed to introduce them to the planet. Full of witty one liners and dialogue garnered from their view of earth via our radio and TV output. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a light read.


Very funny, perceptive, rips Hollywood up. Would have been more highly rated were it not for the typos. A good number of typos, not very well proofread. But lots of fun anyway.

Dick Thornton

An absolutely wonderful science fiction book. I thought the genre was dead, having turned into horror, fantasy, and such. Thank you, Mr. Scalzi, for this captivating story!


I agree with the other reviewers good story very funny and couldn't put it down would recommend it will probably read again


I would give it 2 million stars if I could. This was an amazing book and everyone should read it and enjoy it.
One of the funniest books I've ever read.


Seriously good sci-fi isn't meant to be funny!

But this tale breaks that stereotype wide open. Tho I can't help but envisage the lead in the film version being played by Will Smith!

Hat's off! A great tale and interesting angle on 'first contact'


Loved it! This is a great fun read and a new take on the "first contact" theme. Will definitely look out other books by the same author.


Such an enjoyable book. I loved the author's imagination, his characters, his writing style and his sense of fun. I hope to see another book from him in the future. Well done.


So you are an alien who is in the form of a gelatenous cube with pseudopods, and communicate by smells that turn the stomach of humans. You want to make friendly contact with the human race. How do you do it? Why hire a Hollywood agent to represent you of course. The harried agent takes the job to be the first to introduce the Yherajk to humans and needs to come up with a really good plan of presentation. The story then takes the reader for a really hilarious ride through scenarios such as the alien befriending and finally inhabiting the agent's neighbor's old dog when it gets a heart attack. And then it gets hired out to be a trained movie dog!

Many yuks at this very bright and light hearted story of first contact. Great fun. Thanks John Scalzi.


I really enjoyed this. It's fast, fun, very well-written and turns all the known sci-fi cliches about aliens on their heads.


I'm always hesitant to explore unknowns like this: an author's first work, self-published, and freely distributed? Sounds a little risky to me. Actually, don't let that push you away. This is a fun book to read, very much worth the time.


Surprisingly funny with some seriously thought provoking moments. I was totally, but positively, surprised


Sorta like a funny science fiction. Well worth reading, especially if you can look at your science fiction as sorta tongue in cheek. I am not a sci-fi fan but I enjoyed the book alot. Recommend it highly!!


In an E-Book-No-Man's-Land like Germany books like Jgrund genugohn Scalzis Agent to the Stars are nearly the only possibility to read contemporary e-books. But fortunately this book isn't only a rare but a excellent way out off the readers desert. Funny, exciting and a lot of words to think about. Sufficient to keep my Sony Reader.

teresa selling

I found this to be a very entertaining title.


A quick read. Good but not great.

I found this book purely by accident; just a random choice.

What amazing fortune! I love Sci Fi, and I thought this book excellent. I haven't laughed at a book, any book, so much for a long time!

There is so much good about it, I could not list, but the slant it takes with First Contact situations was unusual and brilliant.

I was 100% gutted when I got to the last page, could have read on for hours.

Only thing is now, will my luck hold out for the second choice!


R Stephan

Worth reading, fun and all that.

Besides, it makes a point in a difficult debate: when to stop the intensive care machines? Scalzi's answer is: when you know exactly that the patient does not want to live. We just don't know, at the moment, how to get that answer (not even if the patient is awake, I might add).

Joe Romaninsky

This novel is just plain fun. It's not hard sci fi, but who cares? Reminds me of some of Donald Westlake's comedic early novels (e.g., God Save The Mark).

A witty and often hilarious take on First Contact, in which a theatrical agent is given the task of introducing the first representative of a friendly alien species from outer space to the world without setting of a planet-wide panic. Good stuff!


hilarious and thoughtful at times , this book is a great read for lazy summer afternoons.

H. Dufresne

A quick, amusing read. Fun, but not completely without depth.

Well written entertainment - witty and engaging.


Fun, worth downloading.



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Author of the Day

Kim Richardson
Kim Richardson is the award-winning author of the bestselling SOUL GUARDIANS series, the MYSTICS series, and the DIVIDED REALMS series. Kim's books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. As our Author of the Day, she tells us more about The Complete Soul Guardians Collection.
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