Agent to the Stars
Mr. Scalzi has been one of my favorite writers for a few years; his ability to capture how people think about situations and merging that with futuristic technology and aliens (that don't just come across as funky humans) was almost mind blowing in Old Man's War and utterly enjoyable in The Androids Dream. When I saw Agent to the Stars and realized it was Mr. Scalzi's first work it became a must have so I could how far he'd come and what he was like getting started as a young writer.
This is a first contact book, humans aren't aware of space aliens (other than Hollywood) and aliens have been observing us for sometime via tv (those broadcasts going into space and being received, makes you wonder the perspective they'd have of us). Since these aliens don't want to come in and conquer us and their afraid their characteristics might be a little shocking at first, they decide to contact a Hollywood agent to prepare humanity for them and to function as their agent to humanity.
This is an extremely fun read; in so many ways it's hard to believe this was his first book. The aliens are absolutely fresh (in thought and other ways, you need to read it to learn how) and inventive. Their originality, while not 100% solid (many limitations to a species like this) does promote the situation Mr. Scalzi writes. Merging this with Hollywood agents and the environment they work in and handle makes this a scream of a read. I was seriously considering this for 5 stars but found certain aspects of the aliens a little to unbelievable and the story slightly contrived (but not much given what you hear about Hollywood). However this is a solid 4 star read because the characters are so lovable and the plot keeps you coming back to see what's next.