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Nick Pollotta & Phil Foglio: Illegal Aliens (1989)

(This is repost from LJ)

Spherical alien ship lands on the Central Park of the NYC and teleports a group of test subjects inside to test their suitability to enter the Galactic League. Or that's what they say. The humans just happen to be a gang of street thugs. And the hilarity ensues.

Fully international but clandestine First Contact Team of the United Nations springs into action (once they have stopped their poker game and taken over the world's computer network). They have their hands full when the world panics according to national stereotypes. Secretary-General of NATO goes bonkers, aliens inside and outside the ship suffer from faulty universal translators and two agents fight over a suitcase nuke - among other things. And the street gang ends up representing the human race trying to stay alive, until the First Contact Team has to rely on feminine viles to get the spacecraft away from them. And in the midst of all this is an innocent four-armed alien engineer who just tries to survive the change of ownership of the spacecraft.

And that's only the first half of the book. After the Dirtlings have almost got away with fooling the Golden Ones, the Galactic Police, they send the Earth's only spaceworthy prototype ship to try to contact the Galactic League - without a navigation cube. Because the Golden Ones try to capture them, they have to contact the galactic equivalent of seedy dives and smugglers to try to find their way. And after their equivalent to the Away Team gets into trouble in an asteroid belt, the newly formed Space Marines have to shoot the place up.

This book has apparently been out of print for a long time for whatever reason (because nobody could figure out how to turn it into a multimillion toy franchise?). It is also one of the rare funny books that I keep reading and rereading for my own amusement. The pure space opera with similar storyline could become macho nonsense but at least Foglio (who has at least illustrated the book) has never taken himself very seriously with his erotic innuendos. Don't know about Pollotta, really.

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