Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia
by Zeke Teflon
See Sharp Press, $12.95, 303pp
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Unlikely hero Kel Turner plays blues, rock, salsa, and cowpunk guitar in the bar scene on Earth in the not-so-distant future. It’s retro night at the local saloon and everyone wants to hear Free Bird, Stairway to Heaven, and
. This is sheer torture for Kel and his band, who play their own versions of the future hits -- the lyrics of the songs are irreverent, fantastic, and absolutely funny. Kel is set up by a jilted girlfriend, tried and convicted for engaging in terrorism, and deported to a prison planet over 100 years away from Earth. Upon arrival (the prisoners are transported in cold sleep so as to survive the long journey), the prisoners are turned loose to do whatever they wish. Kel meets up with his old friend Chuy from south
and finds that communications with Earth were lost more than 20 years ago. Their misadventures take them unwittingly and unwillingly to each of the religious and political cults that have sprung up on the penal planet. Their goal is to get to
; where everyone is equal, members of a free and self-sufficient society. Kel's ultimate goal (not necessarily shared by Chuy) is to get back to Earth.
Each chapter is titled with a definition from The American Heretic's Dictionary or The Devil’s Dictionary (with a peppering of memorable J.R. Ewing, Al Capone, Lewis Carroll and Nietzsche quotes). A very enjoyable read: the tale is negative and humorously offensive entertainment with a big dose of reality that made me laugh out loud. ~~ Marie Davis
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