John Scalzi is a science fiction author best known for his breakout novel Old Man's War
, which Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden bought after John serialized it on his blog.
Old Man's War is a cracking adventure story, but Scalzi's career has been largely as a comedy writer (he's the force behind the Uncle John's Bathroom Readers), and now we have a comic novel to prove it: Agent to the Stars.
Agent to the Stars is the story of Thomas Stein, a junior agent in a cuthroat Hollywood agency who finds himself representing an entire alien race to humanity. The aliens are Frederic-Brown-esque wiseacres, and Stein's own voice is perfectly balanced on the edge between cynical and compassionate, making him one of the most likable characters I've encountered in a comic novel since Oliver, the hero of Bradley Denton's masterpiece Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede.
I finished Agent to the Stars last night before bed. Like Old Man's War, the story has brilliant pacing -- often I'd sneak a chapter on the tube, and when I reached my stop I'd get off and keep reading, shuffling along the platform rather than stuffing it back in my bag.
I'm going on a family vacation next month and I'm going to pack this in my suitcase. It's the perfect book to cuddle up with during a relaxing holiday.
Update: Brent sez, "It should be added the cover is drawn by the brilliant Mike Krahulik, artist of the infamous webcomic Penny Arcade and well as a founder of the totally awesome Child's Play Charity. Child's Play raises money to put video games in children's hospitals around the world."
Update 2: Tyler sez, "Agent to the Stars is, and to my knowledge always has been, available free on Scalzi's website, as well."
Update 3: John Scalzi sez, "I would note that if people purchase A2S directly from Subterranean Press, 10% of the cover price goes directly to the Child's Play charity. It was our way of thanking Mike Krahulik for his awesome cover."
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
When you’ve had a long day and it’s time to unwind, there’s a lot you can do to relax: drink some tea, take a shower or even read a book. But there’s one thing that’s essential to a comfortable night’s rest—and that’s investing in some really good sheets. Enter Bamboo Bed Sheets. These quality sheets retail for $120, but […]
The Avantree Powerhouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station brings high quality, high power, and still keeps your work space or home looking neat and organized. The best part about this charger is its capacity. It comes packing 4 USB charging sockets and a powerful 4.5A/22.5W output.. Its smartport technology means you don’t have to worry about frying your battery, either—it […]
With this comprehensive course in App & Game Development for iOS and Android, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this career opportunity without committing to going back to school full time. You’ll learn how to build immersive, interactive games and apps from start to finish using Python, C#, Unity, and HTML—some of the most in-demand programming […]