We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Agent to the Stars | [John Scalzi]

Agent to the Stars

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.
Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Wil Wheaton, a Star Trek: The Next Generation alum, is a canny choice for narrator of this intersection of science fiction and Elmore Leonard-esque Hollywood farce. In addition to being a rather prominent footnote in sci-fi history, Wheaton’s also got a great voice — sonorous, with an inflection similar to a late-night radio DJ who’s bemusedly sharing an anecdote on air between tracks. His voice also carries a hint of that lilt peculiar to many native Angelenos, which comes in handy when he exaggerates it to Valley Girl-proportions to portray starlet Michelle Beck, former cheerleader and current box office draw.

Hollywood agent Tom Stein is the book’s hero, and when the story begins, Michelle is his most important client. That is, until Tom meets Joshua, an extraterrestrial whose alien race hires Tom and his boss, superagent Carl Lupo, to represent them. The Yherajk have decided their best hope for a peaceful first contact between their race and all of humanity is to out themselves via the movies, and they know if they want to make it in Hollywood, they need good representation.

Wheaton’s voicing of Joshua, who has traveled to Earth as the Yherajk’s representative, is another highlight. Joshua, like his kinsmen, looks like a gelatinous blob, gives off a noxious odor, and slithers around amorphously. He’s also incredibly educated when it comes to human pop culture, having logged countless hours watching sitcoms. Wheaton delivers Joshua’s line, “We look like snot. And we smell like dead fish,” in a nasally deadpan that suits a one-liner-delivering alien to a T.

Even when Scalzi veers into semi-philosophical territory — as when he explores why an alien race would choose a Hollywood debut over staging their premiere in Washington — Wheaton keeps the narration moving with his just-right character voices. Look out for the both silly and spot-on sounding Quebecois accent he uses to portray Roland Lanois, an art-house film director with a critical role in the novel, and for his Buddha-like turn as Gwedif, a Yherajk storyteller. —Maggie Frank

Publisher's Summary

The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it's quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he's going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.

©2005 John Scalzi (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Narrator Wil Wheaton animates the slapstick text with a tone that is appropriate for the story of a young Tinsel Town agent whose other clients are either equally deranged or aren't making him much money.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3510 )
5 star
 (1678)
4 star
 (1345)
3 star
 (389)
2 star
 (57)
1 star
 (41)
Overall
4.2 (3036 )
5 star
 (1351)
4 star
 (1178)
3 star
 (395)
2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (40)
Story
4.6 (3032 )
5 star
 (2037)
4 star
 (783)
3 star
 (168)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (17)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    C. Paget London 12-28-10
    C. Paget London 12-28-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "excellent"

    This author was new to me, as was the narrator,(though of course I remember his roles in Star Trek etc with fondness). Hope it won't be the last. The reading was clear and well punctuated with only minimal thespian over-indulgence. I only tend to write reviews if I have something to complain about or something to praise, happily, this is the latter. The book had me almost rolling on the floor in stiches, a rare event for a Science Fiction book, Audible Frontiers has come up trumps again, well done!

    34 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-19-13
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1040
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    380
    289
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    453
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "John Scalzi's debut"

    Originally posted at FanLit.

    Tom Stein is a young Hollywood agent who used to think that his clients were hard to handle. That was before Tom’s boss assigned him to represent the most important client any agent has ever had to deal with — the first aliens to contact the human race.

    These aliens — the Yherajk — have been watching our TV broadcasts for years, so they know a lot about humans. They are peaceful and want to make a good impression, but they know it’ll be a hard sell. That’s because they look like The Blob, smell like sweaty sneakers, and have some powers that humans are going to find very disturbing. In other words, they seem more like fodder for our horror movies than friends. That’s why they’ve asked Tom Stein’s agency to represent them. So Tom gets to dump his difficult clients off on a junior agent so he can concentrate on figuring out how to give the aliens an image makeover before they’re marketed to the human public.

    If you’re already a fan of John Scalzi’s writing, whether it’s his novels or his blog, you’re sure to enjoy Agent to the Stars. It’s non-stop entertainment that’s crackling with that snide humor he’s famous for. The whole Hollywood culture falls victim to his pen as Tom Stein and his competent assistant deal with divas, Hollywood has-beens, the mother of a pampered child star, nosey reporters, rabid fans, and a dumb blonde who wants to move up from playing beach bunny roles to playing a holocaust victim.

    Yet even as Scalzi delights in poking fun at Hollywood, at the same time he illustrates its cultural significance and shows us how film can be a powerful tool for education, understanding, and social change. Specifically here he highlights the atrocities that were committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A few of these scenes were beautifully poignant.

    Agent to the Stars, published in 2005, was John Scalzi’s first novel and it succeeds in every way. Audible Frontiers put it on audio in 2010 and Brilliance Audio released it in CD format last month. Wil Wheaton, who narrates some of Scalzi’s other work, is absolutely perfect here. Scalzi + Wheaton is a terrific combination. If you’re going to read Agent of the Stars, which you should, please please try the audio version!

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 04-22-11
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 04-22-11 Member Since 2005

    ColoradoRight

    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    1
    Overall
    "Hollywood Agent Represents Stinky Aliens"

    So what would happen if the aliens came, but instead of nice sleek greys like Close Encounters they stank like the worst thing you could ever imagine? Well, John Scalzi - who has obviously had some experience dealing with Hollywood agents - puts together a wonderful story of how this might unfold.


    He has wonderful characters that cover a wide range of possibilities. This is a wonderfully comic romp that pokes fun at many a sacred cow. It also has its very, very somber moments - especially concerning the Holocaust - but is a wonderfully engaging story that you will not want to stop until its completely done.


    The narration by Wil Wheaton - best known as Wesley Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation - is well done. He voices the characters, especially the snarky alien, perfectly.


    You will want to explore all the John Scalzi books after hearing this one

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Story City, IA, United States 01-08-11
    Scott Story City, IA, United States 01-08-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Agent to the Stars is a fun and fantastic read."

    John, Wil - Congratulations to both of you. The audiobook version of Agent to the Stars is one of the best audiobooks I've ever had the pleasure to listen to, out of several hundred, including the Hunger Games & the Harry Potter series. Agent is a fun, breezy tale that's entirely plausible in its non-threatening first contact, and Wil nails the protagonist and other voices in the book.

    -Scott Saunders
    Somewhere in Iowa.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Burrows Chestermere, AB, Canada 03-05-11
    Burrows Chestermere, AB, Canada 03-05-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "sharp funny dialogue, entertaining situations"

    I had read Old Mans War by the same author and while it was good, it was nothing like this book. This one has a new take on the idea that aliens want to make themselves known to us, and it has engaging characters, witty dialogue, and great pacing.

    The naration is excellent, adding to the overall experience.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BJORN L. ANDERSEN 04-01-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Amazing and fun!!"

    Having heard every book John Scalzi have released trough Audible, i expected as usual a good experience. What i didn't expect was that it was so much fun, entertaining and absolute ingenious view of how to introduce Friendly aliens to the humans.
    Wil Wheatons narration was so good and enjoyable that i will from now on vertainly look for his name in future Audio-book releases.
    What a treat!!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-06-14
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-06-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1631
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    102
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    720
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Imagine that you are an Alien race trying to make first contact with earth but are a little worried about the bad wrap you’ve been getting in the movies. What do you do? You get yourself a Hollywood agent. John Scalzi does a wonderful job in this absurdly funny caper. Original, well narrated and a lot of fun.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melvin 04-13-11
    Melvin 04-13-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Think "The Player" or "Entourage" with an Alien"

    This is a wonderfully funny mash up of the Hollywood insider story and a first contact tale. Not only is this imaginative but well executed and oddly genuine.
    Wil Wheaton is a phenomenal reader and I hope he does more.
    John Scalzi's unique voice in SciFi reminds me of Spider Robinson's intro decades ago, just something totally different. He brings a lot to the table with this fairly short story, but with the intelligence and humor you'd expect from Scalzi. The concept he puts forward is crazy, but you gradually start to come around to the idea that it is not only a worthwhile story, but kind of a good idea that you can't believe you haven't thought of before... Aliens really could use representation.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mjayan+100630 Newark, NJ, United States 03-01-11
    mjayan+100630 Newark, NJ, United States 03-01-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    "Good one"

    Thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook and narration is great. Highly recommend this title to all agent lovers

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan CA, United States 10-01-12
    Ryan CA, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    240
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    344
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    43
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another great jaunt by John Scalzi!"

    I've listened to just about every John Scalzi novel available on Audible and I've never been disappointed. While this is billed as science fiction, it had two story lines, one decidedly sci fi and the other modern fiction. Surprisingly, I found both equally intriguing - the tale of a young Hollywood agent and a budding, superstar actress and then there's an alien race looking for representation in how to best introduce itself, politely, to Earth. It just worked!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 276 results PREVIOUS1228NEXT
Sort by:
  • Clement
    London, United Kingdom
    4/2/13
    Overall
    "Good aliens make good stories too"

    This is the first book by John Scalzi I encounter. It's a first person tale of Hollywood agent who will be handed the difficult task to present to the human public a race of benevolent though physically unpleasant, smelly, blob-like aliens. Scalzi offers delectable characters engulfed in a story full of humour and humanity. Wheaton's performance is outstanding and probably one of the most enjoyable I've heard on audiobook so far.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom
    3/1/11
    Overall
    "A "must listen to"."

    One of the most original stories in a very long time. The characters were totally believable and well painted. Excellent plot development, and amusing dialog. Brilliant narration. Cannot wait to download another by John Scalzi.
    Throughly recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    Newbridge, Ireland
    11/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the most unusual stories you will ever read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Its an original idea, very well executed and is hilarious at the right moments


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Agent to the Stars?

    I couldn't possibly spoil the subject matter


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    See above - would be a spoiler


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh lots


    Any additional comments?

    Its absolutely hilarious. Its different and the end is simply a riot. Just wow !
    Highly recommended !!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Annika
    Tallinn, Estonia
    3/31/13
    Overall
    "Weird aliens and a good story"

    Very weird aliens, catching story, a lot of fun and a surprising ending.

    I always thought the aliens stories have to have a full ending. In this case however I was surprised in several ways. It was interesting what he decided to with the aliens and how he integrated them into human world and what happened in the end. The full book was an amazement from beginning till end and that in a good way. It was interesting and non-predictive till the last pages. I loved it and recommend it to every SciFi fan. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Derek
    Whitehaven, Cumbria, United Kingdom
    4/2/11
    Overall
    "My first John Scalzi selection."

    I hesitated when choosing this book as I have nothing in common with the Hollywood scene in which the story is set but I wasn't disappointed.
    I thought that the writing style was witty and the story well paced and easy to follow. I loved the humour as it came as much from the well constructed characters as from the situations in the story. The narration is very good too. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.