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I read it at least a decade ago. It basically involved a couple of men being selected to be sent to Earth to spy on it. One was a sports hero/pilot; good looking etc, the other was kind of a shadow agency spy, bureaucrat.

Some technologies I remember in it:

  • loaded dice that worked by being sticky on the inside (shadow guy was trying to trick the other with loaded dice just to find out that the pilot obliviously shook them too hard making them heat up and ruining them for cheating)
  • shadow guy being able to black mail people with letters stuck inside mail chutes that would release if he didn't drop an envelope containing the info strip every day (preventing people he was blackmailing from killing him, his superior I think)

I remember the sports game being considered very dangerous. Book overall was humorous in tone, including the shadow guy getting thrown out of his apartment and the landlady even sweeping up the dust and putting it in a bundle wrapped up on the curb with his furniture for him to take. I recall a scene where he tried to have the pilot guy ambushed with taser type weapons coming out of a game, to no avail.

5

As discussed in the comments, this is The Invaders Plan from L Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth series.

  • 1
    i.e. apocrypal texts of scientology. – Michael Brown May 17 '13 at 20:47

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