Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
My first Scalzi experience was Red Shirts. It was funny and extremely fun to read. Agent To The Stars is all of the above, but a bit less complicated.
You don't have to like science fiction to enjoy this book. But I wouldn't advise either book if you don't like the humor of Woody Allen. I loved both books, laughing all the way through...
This is my first book by John Scalzi, but definitely not the last. His sharp anad slightly sarcastic humor, effortless wit and narrative flow remind me a lot of "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The characters are interesting, multi-dimensional and over the top, while still believable and very much likable. The way the story weaves through the fantastic elements and the mundane elements is thrilling.
Separate tip of the hat to Wil Wheaton, an excellent narrator. His characters are very distinct, his technique is flawless and Joshua the Alien sounds like a true hipster, which, i guess is expected for a gelatinous life form.
I would recommend this book, you will enjoy it!
Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom.
This book sold me on Wil Wheaton's abilities as an audiobook actor. I first tried out Fuzzy Nation and was extremely bored and, because I liked the Old Man's War series so much (with William Dufris) I blamed Wheaton for ruining Scalzi's writing. Well, I was shown in this book that I was completely wrong.
Wheaton perfectly portrays the human male and female characters as well as the androgynous alien characters, giving them a wonderful balance of the human qualities they hope to convince us they have and the alien qualities that are inherent to their nature.
The book is surprisingly suspenseful, flawlessly weaving its way through comedy, tragedy, and tragicomedy to portray a fairly plausible set of circumstances that had you in the midst of all of the uncertainty. I found myself wanting to try to help the protagonists in their dilemmas, brainstorming ideas as the book went on. I laughed out loud, and constantly wanted to applaud Scalzi on his cleverness.
The extraterrestrials are a very different sort, exceptionally creative and unique in design. I worked my way through this book months ago and still think about the mechanistic details of the aliens and their reproduction. Yes, there is some pretty detailed alien reproduction in this book, but it's... to use a cliche... out of this world.
Scalzi's Old Man's War series is superb, but it's pretty grim stuff. Agent to the Stars is just as good, but has a lighter tone and often (though not always) goes for the funny. Wil Wheaton's voice and voice acting matches the material perfectly. Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation is also narrated by Wil Wheaton; I'm planning to buy that too.
I picked this up for some light reading between big novels (plus it was on sale at Audible). I was very impressed with the quality of the writing. Scalzi could have just written a simple comedy but instead he really developed the characters and worked hard to keep the plot moving forward.
I really need to start proof reading my Reviews before I post them.
this story is so many things. wonderful, warming, inspiring, omg why did you make me cry, and witty, funny, clever.
The best part of the Audible Frontiers project is that the editors know what makes a great listen. This is not John Scalzi's finest novel - but it's made infinitely better by a pairing with the best possible performer for this work - Wil Wheaton.
Other reviewers are correct - this is just plain fun. But it's also an interesting attempt at commentary on American entertainment culture. I point that out because sometimes folks need an "excuse" to spend a credit. But never mind that - this story is a hoot and this is a great listen.
Fun characters, interesting premise, satisfying conclusion. I consumed it over a weekend, and will likely listen again. I like these people. You will too.
I am an artist and I love to listen to books while I work. Books have always been an important part of my life. Audible Rocks!
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The Idea of an alien race needing an hollywood agent to be introduced to earth is creative and funny. Lots of humor including some laugh out loud moments with a wise cracking alien that looks like a jello mound.
Now I am someone who does not think that bad language enhances a story but often detracts from it, so when the 1st sentence of the book included an F-bomb I was worried.
There is some language, but not enough to ruin the book and the main culprit was a very discusting person who was not in the book for long. I enjoyed the story and the characters. The reader did an excellent job.
Good lighthearted read! I recommend it.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Wil Wheaton's well-honed humorous reading of John Scalzi's now-well-refined humorous science fiction writing (now well refined, given that this was Scalzi's first try at it). The story itself is good, and it's good fun, but it's generally facile. But the combination of humor in the writing and the reading makes it irresistible good fun.
Tom, the narrator and main character, is expert at putting people in their place and getting what he wants and needs from them, no matter who they are. That he does this so easily and often is the main reason why I label the story as facile, but it's also the source of much of the good fun of the book. And certainly the most incendiary such moment is when he endures the tirade of a bitch of an actress/singer over a change in agent and then totally tells her where to get off.
I've listened to Wil Wheaton previously reading Scalzi (Fuzzy Nation) and reading another author (Ready Player One) and there is no doubt that he is a major reason why their brand of humorous science fiction works so well in the audiobook format. I've also read Scalzi in print (Android's Dream, which Wheaton narrates in audio, though I haven't listened to it -- yet) and Ready Player One (before I listened to it), so I can say with the full confidence of knowing the flip side that Wheaton is a significant contributor to my enjoyment of the audio versions. He reads fast, which I like, and with a humorous tone -- call it facetious, sarcastic, smarmy, or whatever -- that is pitch perfect for this type of material.
Not that kind of book. Scalzi does pivot halfway through from a Hollywood satire about an agent dealing with actors, directors, producers, etc. (and then of course having to represent an entire alien race) to more serious issues of the Holocaust, the rights of the terminally ill, and the sanctity of individuality, but he never lets the humorous engine that drives this book sputter, so there is really nothing that is ever emotionally moving.
I loved science fiction as a kid -- the kind of space opera that kids eat up -- and have since been drawn on an intermittent basis to humorous SF (Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, Harvey Jacobs's brilliant short story The Egg of the Glak, stuff like that). But mostly in my adult life, I gravitated toward literary fiction, and away from the SF genre (and indeed most genre novles). But there has definitely been a renaissance lately in what I believe is good, literary, and most importantly humorous science fiction writing that has brought me back -- Scalzi, Cline's Ready Player One, Christopher Moore to some extent (though he is more on the supernatural side and only sometimes science fictiony). And I would be remiss in failing to point out that audio versions of these books are a big part of that personal renaissance because they are so much fun. (I would also be remiss in failing to point out that the more serious sub-genre of teen dystopia has also been a big part of my return to SF, and that too in part in audio format).
But first, coffee.
Fun mental bubble gum. The story is quickly paced (which, let's be honest, is code for an all-plot book) and full of snark, sarcasm and deadpan one-liners. The story, while light hearted, does have some well-measured intellect for its fresh and original approach to alien contact.
The real focal point for this audiobook is Will Wheaton. He delivers the the witty repartee of the characters without breaking a sweat. His narration is the most delightful I've listened to in a while and naturally matched to sardonic attitudes of the cast of characters; which is a compliment, I promise. Well done, Mr. Wheaton!