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Although it's been years since I read them, I was reminded a little bit of Keith Laumer's Retief stories while reading Trang. But only a little bit. Phillipe Trang is also a diplomat, but he's cut from an entirely different cloth that Retief. For one thing, he's more idealistic. For another, mankind is just entering what passes for galactic society in Trang.
Most of the novel takes place five years after the discovery of a portal in the Saturn system (that's the moon system of the planet Saturn, in our solar system, in case you were wondering). Phillipe Trang is a rising young diplomat who has been selected to be the first ambassador to the alien station on the other side of the portal.