However in January my novel Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood, and the Bartender’s Guide finally came out and at last I was free. I’ve just finished Scalzi’s book and while it’s a very different story there are enough similarities that I might have become seriously disillusioned if I had read it prior to finishing mine.
I’m not going to offer a side by side comparison. I found it an enjoyable spoof of the movie business from an odd angle (the protagonist, Tom Stein, is a talent agent) with a genuinely likable, if unusual, alien in Joshua, a shapeless blob who is able to meld with other creatures. One thing we do share in our respective books is a desire to make the aliens not only friendly but possessing a real sense of humor.
Ultimately Scalzi (in his introduction) calls this an early work, where he was trying to see if he could write a novel. He has since proven that many times over. I’m glad I finally got to read it and I can only hope if I get another idea for a novel, he doesn’t get there first.