I had an impression humor in Scalzi's fiction was intended only for US readers, but this one should be broadly comprehensible. Good stuff - sort of like A Bertram Chandler rewriting Fredric Brown's "Arena" (download), with the twisted rules Ender had to fight with in Card's "Ender's Game".
Story summary.Diplomacy with aliens called Korbans requires one of the human "CDF soldiers", one who hasn't fought for years, to fight a sort of multi-round wrestling match in an arena with a Korban. And with rules all twisted against him. And he's required to lose, but not by a large margin!
Fact sheet.First published: tor.com, sometime in July 2008.
Download full text from publisher's site.
Related: Stories of John Scalzi.