Resurrecting this thread because my latest book deserves an entry:Temporary Duty
Summary: First half of book introduces the Hero, John Peters, as a low-ranking hillbilly enlisted man in the Navy, detailed to a alien trader spaceship to set things up for the arrival of a detachment of Naval aviators. These pilots are flying their own jets, modified for Outer Space by removing the existing engines and replacing with magic go-machines.
John turns out to have an amazing knack for the alien language and learns it fluently within a month, using complex imagery and 5 syllable words in the language. No one else achieves this level of fluency in the next 2 years (except some of the aliens, with English). John speaks English with terrible grammar, indicating his hillbilly origins, but speaks the alien language like an Oxford scholar.
In the first three quarters of the book, John stumbles into one situation or another (which he somehow always saves), and is yelled at all the time by his superiors, regardless of whether it makes sense. The aliens, however, all grow to love him for his plain-spoken ways, and over the course of the book he makes a fortune (in alien money) with his savvy trade assistance. And of course, in every completely new situation John encounters, he responds with either super-human sensitivity and insight, or ninja fighting ability (as appropriate).
The last quarter of the book details the following:
- his overcoming a trio of assassins,
- being kidnapped by competing space traders,
- outwitting his captors, and thus gaining their grudging respect
- being offered a nubile teen companion (whom he gently turns down because he has moral standards),
- being offered two willing adult women, who are stunningly beautiful and inexplicably human,
- escaping (with the women, who would otherwise have been killed for some reason),
- in a spacecraft he has learned how to fly, and now owns because he stole it,
- discovering he has impregnated both his companions who were, of course, instantly and permanently devoted to him,
- building a mini-empire, of which he is undisputed leader (but a kind and fair one, naturally),
- and eventually having tea with the US President as an equal Head of State
I'm sure it needs hardly to be said that everyone who didn't like John turned out to be a blustering buffoon or worse. Lucky for us, John stayed modest, humble, and sensitive to the end. <sigh>