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."
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]