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The Radioactive Redhead (Daw Science Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Dec 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books (6 Dec. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756402824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756402822
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.5 x 16.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,427,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ultra-lightweight SF-private eye farce, June 18, 2007

This review is from: The Radioactive Redhead (Daw Science Fiction) (Paperback)
This book is Mike Hammer Jonesing on helium.

It's fast. It's sometimes funny. It's literary junk food, full of empty intellectual calories, but oh, so tasty.

The gimmick of the series, of which this is the third outing, is that a private eye straight out of a 1948 pulp magazine is operating in the California of 2060 (which oddly enough, just happens to have a foreign-born, ex-athlete, ex-star with a strong accent as governor.) The PI has a curvy female (sort of) as his assistant/secretary, a curvy, hot-tempered fiancee (sort of) and a curvy, musical (sort of) superstar client.

The plot is concerned with the machinations of the entertainment industry at its darkest and with pop-superstar angst. How can it be less than funny?

This is really more a satire of present goings-on than a traditional SF projection of the future. As such, its roots not only go back to Mickey Spillane but to Pohl and Kornbluth who were producing such things, albeit with a grimmer tone, for Galaxy Magazine back in the 1950s (and, of course, to Jonathan Swift, long before that.)

We've come a long way from "I, the Jury" and "Gladiator-at-Law," Baby.
This book is Mike Hammer Jonesing on helium.

It's fast. It's sometimes funny. It's literary junk food, full of empty intellectual calories, but oh, so tasty.

The gimmick of the series, of which this is the third outing, is that a private eye straight out of a 1948 pulp magazine is operating in the California of 2060 (which oddly enough, just happens to have a foreign-born, ex-athlete, ex-star with a strong accent as governor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a102cb4) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bc0fe64) out of 5 stars Dos what a Gates Book 18 Feb. 2006
By Adam Semon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Zach is at it again, and what an opener..

I am re-reading the book and it gets better and better.

HARV is at his best, and the laughs never-end. What a compliment to the cross-genre of pulp mysteries and Science Fiction.

This series is a must have... I love it and can not wait for the nest one to come out.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a3ba78c) out of 5 stars As always in a Zachary tale, zaniness rules 25 Dec. 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 2060 feeling at times extinct especially when he is on a case, Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last private eye on Earth. His assistant Artificial Intelligence HARV has been downloaded into his brain. Though helpful HARV seems to find ways to irritate Zach especially when he experiments on himself without warning the sleuth. However, this time his partner goes to far when HARV decides to find his feminine side and undergoes a sex change operation so that he is now the she HARA.

Zach goes to the Oakland Kabuki Palace Theater and Dinette to meet with a potential client. Kabuki Droid Assassins try to kill him as part of the production The Revenge of the Forty-Seven Samurai. He survives the onslaught and manages to save the life of teen superstar Sexy Sprockets, who the People Against Talentless Acts (PATA) want dead. Things turn worse when the beleagured sleuth learns he is also the star of a new reality show Let's kill Zach so he asks his psi "niece" Carol to help him before realizing that she dyed her hair red same as Sexy and HARA; three redheads cannot be good for anyone's health let alone the world's last private detective.

As always in a Zachary tale, zaniness rules as the last living private eye struggles with three lethal scenarios. The network's reality show stars him in a death role; PATA efforts to kill Sexy though he somewhat agrees with their cause; and finally dealing with three volatile redheads at the same time that could lead any male into suicide just to escape. The amusing science fiction mystery story line is lighthearted fun as the escapades keeping coming at Zach.

Harriet Klausner
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a5244e0) out of 5 stars This book delivers 12 Dec. 2005
By A. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To begin, I'm a fan of this Ganem/Zakour series, so I'll admit to a probable bias. This book is about the adventures of Zachary Nixon Johnson, the last private eye on earth in the year 2060. It's set in the future, which makes it science-fiction, but is also a mystery and comedy as well. This episode is by far the smoothest of the series as the story moves at a consistent pace while focusing more on characterization than story. It's funny, witty and continues the series without any tired rehashing of the previous 2 books to get new readers up to speed. It continues to develope the returning characters as well as some nicely rounded new ones. If you are a fan of the first 2 books, you'll definitely want to get this one. If you're not, read the first one and then graduate to the next two. Since these books are mysteries, I refuse to review them in any such way as to tip-off a reader as to the ending. That being said, I'd advise anyone who reads this book to pay very little attention to, and draw no conclusions from, the cover and the synopsis on the back. They are misleading, to say the least.

Ultimately, if you're a lighthearted soul with a sense of humor, get this book, it's 7 bucks and a quick read. Enjoy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a11e258) out of 5 stars Great, but not 'Great' 2 Feb. 2006
By Peter Isaacson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I saw that this book, the third in the series was coming out I bookmarked it and bought it. It's just as enjoyable as the previous two, but a bit lacking.

It takes a bit of talent to combine SF, Humour, & hard-boiled detective fiction.....these guys manage to do it pretty well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a35a15c) out of 5 stars Shows once again that redheads are nothing but trouble 1 Aug. 2007
By K. Sozaeva - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's the not-too-distant future, but the world is a very different place. Reality TV is the preferred entertainment of the masses. Entertainment moguls will go to whatever lengths necessary to procure their next "big" star. Teen pop sensations rise to meteoric heights on their looks and dancing ability - singing talent need not apply. Teen slang is impenetrable to adults . . . wait, that's not so very different, is it?

Well, they have hover-cars. Blasters. Laser knives. How cool is that? Not to mention maid-bots, Kabuki androids and interactive computers that are intelligent enough to be your personal assistant.

Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last practicing private eye in the world and he loves his job - most days. Today, he's not so sure. He accepted an anonymous meet at a Kabuki theatre, only to be attacked upon arrival by the entire Kabuki android cast. In the process, he stops to save a luscious redhead, who we learn is named Sexy Sprockets, a teen pop super star. The next day she contacts him and announces that she needs a bodyguard, that she has received death threats. He agrees to take the case. To make matters worse, HARV - his computerized personal assistant, the most powerful computer in the world - has decided that he wants to "experience" life as a woman. As a long, lean, gorgeous red-head woman who calls herself HARA. Throw in Sexy's three back-up dancers - Missy, Sissy and Lusty, all themselves redheads - and Zach's niece Carol and he is surrounded by redheads. To make matters worse, the Faux network has decided that their new reality TV show will be called "Let's Kill Zach!" and they keep sending assassins after him. Between protecting his client and himself and trying to make peace with his increasingly wrathful girlfriend, Electra Gevada, Zach can't seem to win for losing.

Zakour and Ganem are geniuses with the English language and playfully flex and pull at it as much as possible to create some truly awe-inspiring puns and word by-play. This is definitely a book for those who love pulp sci-fi, detective noir or just a fun, well-written novel.
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