NESFA Members' Reviews

Agent to the Stars

by John Scalzi

Subterranean Press, 2005, ISBN 1-59606-020-4

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

Tom Stein is a rising young Hollywood agent, with a few—okay, one somewhat promising client, Michelle Beck. But since he's just landed Michelle a deal for $12 million and 15% of the gross for her next movie, at the moment they're both really hot.

And then Tom's boss, Carl Lupo, offers him a somewhat more unusual client. A client with a serious image problem. A truly out-of-this-world client.

Literally, as it turns out.

We're not alone in the universe, and friendly aliens are now in orbit around Earth. Unfortunately, they're shapeless, ugly blobs, and they stink. Anticipating some difficulties if they announce themselves without any preparation or expert advice, they've contact one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood—and he has now dumped the problem on Tom.

But Tom's life isn't complicated enough yet, and his hot deal for Michelle Beck, followed by the off-loading of many of his lesser clients onto a junior agent (to clear his schedule to handle our alien visitors, the Yherajk), has attracted the predatory interest of a reporter for the sleaziest scandal sheet in Hollywood, The Biz. Michelle is determined to land a role that's way beyond her abilities right now (maybe ever). The Yherajk on-planet representative has taken over the body of Tom's neighbor's dog Ralph.

And then things start to spiral completely out of control.

This is whacky, fast-paced fun, an entertaining send-up of both Hollywood and sf.


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