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Agent to the Stars: 04/18/10
Sitting on the shelf above Shriek in the new science fiction books at my library was Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi. What attracted me to it was the retro cover the Tor paperback edition has. What I didn't know is that I was picking up a book with an interesting pedigree. Like the Nancy Drew series, Agent to the Stars has been rewritten to modernize it. At least it was done by the original author and not entirely at the behest of the publisher.
Thomas Stein is mid level agent in Hollywood. He has the usual selection of TV stars and movie starlets, each one requiring special handling. He thinks he has everything under control until his boss calls him in with an extra special assignment: finding a way of selling the Yherajk to Earth.
The Yherajk are an intelligent, peaceful species but they look like newfu (Teen Titans, "Employee of the Month") and they smell like my husband's socks. They have created a half human / half Yherajk who is to work with Thomas Stein to come up with a way to introduce his species to the rest of humanity.
While all this intergalactic stuff is happening, Stein still has his regular clients. Things quickly get complicated.
The rewrites that Scalzi did were to update the jokes to bring the story from the 1990s to the late 2000s. What I enjoyed most was how he captured how the film and television industry works. Pop culture jokes or not, his basic understanding of the Hollywood culture is what makes the novel work.
Agent to the Stars was my introduction to John Scalzi. I have since subscribed to his blog, read a second book and bought a third to read.