Zakour, John
Ganem, Lawrence

Author Website | Reviews | Bibliography & Rights Information

To see quotes and reviews for an individual work, simply click on a title.

The Zach Series | Biblio. & Rights Info
The Plutonium Blonde
The Doomsday Brunette
The Radioactive Readhead
The Frost-haired Vixen
The Blue-haired Bombshell (DAW Books, 2007)
The Flaxen Femme Fatale (DAW Books, 2008)
The Sapphire Sirens (DAW Books, 2009)

Young Adult Novels | Biblio. & Rights Info
Baxter Moon: Galactic Scout (Brown Barn Books)
Illusia (Meadowhawk Press)


DAW Books, 2001
Russian rights to AST; Czech rights to Baronet
"the best humorous sf title of 2001" - Science Fiction Chronicle

An excellent first novel in the style of the great Douglas Adams ... This novel can be universally recommended to anyone with a funny bone. Pulp fiction enthusiasts in particular should pick the novel up, if only to see the contemporary state of the genre. Here's hoping Zakour and Ganem are at the beginning of a long career.


A light, witty SF detective novel ... consistently funny throughout ... a fun weekend read for fans of the genre, obviously written by fans, and worth reading.

--Ain't it Cool News

Surprisingly clever ... spoofs the genre and everything else in sight.

--Science Fiction Chronicle (Best of '01)

A fast-paced science fiction noir thriller that has entertaining plot twists.

--Romantic Times

Fast-paced, witty and shrewd ... futuristic pulp for the thinking reader ... No one who got two paragraphs into this dark, droll, downright irresistible novel could ever bear to put it down until the last heart pounding moment.

--SF Site

A tongue-in-cheek hardboiled attitude .. good fun for those who can handle the concentrated doses of humor.


Funny, enjoyable, very well written, extremely well plotted, and contains good tech and lots of subtle humor (both geeky and otherwise). It's also a great detective story that kept me guessing on a lot of things until the very end, and it's graced with all the stock detective story situations and twists that make the great detective novels fun--but with distinctive Zakour/Ganem twists. I can't recommend The Plutonium Blonde highly enough.

Manages to blend the pulpy hard-boiled detective genre with pulpy sf for an entertaining read that pokes fun at both. The writing and dialogue is snappy and smart and the story is fast paced. I can't recommend enough for anyone looking for a fun twist on sf and detective novels.

--Pink Raygun

The book is hilarious. [It] delights in them [puns] and being a science fiction novel just makes it easier. The AI-protagonist interaction is hilarious. There is a general feeling that the authors were enjoying themselves a lot as they were writing this - and as such, I highly recommend it.

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A wonderfully bizarre bunch of suspects ... a fun, thoroughly off-the-wall investigation.


"A thoroughly enjoyable take on the whole genre, totally tweaked for a reader who needs a break from hard-boiled action. I was truly surprised by the cleverness of the story, never going for the quick out, but building on those notions we have seen before in the genre."

-- Bookgasm

"A good one! If you like your humor slapstick and inventive, you need look no further for a good fix."

--(Science Fiction) Chronicle

"A near-perfect murder mystery. The interactions between these off-the-wall characters is surprisingly realistic. The personalities are well formed and the relationships believable."


"Flat out fun. Readers never know what to expect, but they should know it is going to be wilder and more outlandish than anything they're picturing."

--SF Site

"Readers will find themselves in stitches of laughter. This work of speculative fiction is first class entertainment."

--Midwest Book Review

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There is so much humor in the tale that readers will find themselves instantly laughing out loud.

--Alternative Worlds (Harriet Klausner)

Engaging as well as funny in a blunt trauma sort of way. What intrigues me is how closely the adventures of Zach Johnson map into more serious SF and mystery themes. Just with an overdose of puns, classic comedy references (let's hope it doesn't occur to the author to mine the Three Stooges for physical comedy next), and thriller cliches. Unlike stories that take themselves seriously, though still use shopworn components but hope you won't notice, here the author knows you're going to notice, so he puts bells on them and dances them around the plot. Like fruitcake, you wouldn't want a steady diet of it, but it might just be the thing for a happy holiday read. Ho, Ho, Ho.

--SF Revu

I will say in all honesty that I love this book. I thought it was great. You can't get any better than killer robots, superhuman females, and genetically engineered elves. Zach Johnson is wonderful as a futuristic Humphrey Bogart, constantly hassled and harassed by his holographic sidekick, swaggering around New Frisco in his fedora and trenchcoat. The was actually the third in a series centering around Zach and I plan to pick up the other two as well.


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A lot of fun. Thrills and chills interspersed with groaners and guffaws. What more could you ask?

--Critical Mass

Some slapstick humor and a healthy dose of action. The end result is an oddly-entertaining tale with a pleasantry retro feel to it. You'll never able to accuse this series of being great literature, but for sheer unadulterated fun, it's hard to beat. I always enjoy installments in this series. Good fun, and worth checking out.

--SF Site

A wonderful mixture of humor and adventure, this science fiction mystery was a fun treat.

Zach is back with this amusing satire... Zakour spoofs the DC insiders with this entertaining outsider futuristic murder mystery.

--Genre Go Round

A very fun read... Zakour has written a book well worth reading, a book that is enjoyable, and one that I found myself flipping through again and again... If you haven't already picked up some of his books, go do it now.

--In Order to Write

Sure to make you smile... one of those guilty little pleasures we all need at the end of a long day.

--Grasping with the Wind

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"Plenty of humor to be mined from a premise such as this one, and Zakour does not disappoint. There's plenty of slapstick and situational humor but the real success here comes in the dialogue. The rapid-fire back-and-forth between Johnson and, well, pretty much everyone else results in a lot of smiles and more than a few literal laugh out loud moments."

--The Maine Edge

"It's goofy, it's quirky, it's iconic in its own way, and it's way too much fun... another exciting episode in the career orf Zachary Nixon Johnson... here's hoping the next book shows up soon.

-- SF Site

"It's fun, it's funny, and it channels a lot of golden age tropes to perfection. You can't go wrong with Zakour."

-- SF Revu

"Readers will enjoy the latest misadventures of the last private sleuth."

--Genre Go Round

"Like its predecessor The HitchhikerÕs Guide to the Galaxy, Flaxen is full of ridiculous situations, tons of deus ex machina, and sience gone wile. But unlike AdamsÕ story, the absurdity is kept to a more manageable level. ZakourÕs novel has more wit and slapstick in it as well. Another entertaining novel from John Zakour É Flaxen is good humor, equal parts wit, slapstick and SNL style dialogue."

--Grasping for the Wind

"Pure fun, from beginning to end. Combining clever humor, classic noir, and futuristic science fiction, this latest installment of ZachÕs Hair Color series is even better than the previous. I couldnÕt put this one down. Wonderfully colorful characters, a couple big surprises, and lots of laughs -- science fiction fans shouldnÕt miss this new release."

--SciFi Chick

"Once again, Zakour hits a home run. With HARV's biting wit, Zach's old-fashioned ideals, and dangerous babes abounding, this is a must-read for fans of noir, sci-fi, and anything in between."

--Book Fetish


"Playful pastiche of hard-boiled detective novels with a SF twist ... the pulp-style plot and chaacters have plenty of atmosphere while Zakour's examination of whether humanity is the sole province of humans adds depth."

-- Publishers Weekly

"Revels in humorous quips and repartee"

-- SF Revu

"This fun offbeat sci fi reminds me of reading Tom Swift or Johnny Quest, only a bit more adult ... I love every bit of it."

--Night Owl Reviews
Top Pick!

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"The gags fly thick and fast (the author writes them for a living), and his ever-cocky protagonist repeatedly saves the day -- usually in a spectacularly destructive way. Fans of Kathy Mackel's tongue-in-cheek romps will happily tune into this one."

-- Booklist

"Its simply written, easy-to-follow narrative will appeal to adventure fans."

-- School Library Journal

"A funny and exciting new science fiction book for youth. The characters are the highlight of his book. Each is unique and adds to the fun and imaginative setting. Youngsters will enjoy this science fiction adventure with snarky computers and plenty of action."

-- SciFi Chick

"A lot of fun...puns galore, friendly banter, royalty with attitude, and good-old-fashioned shootouts to provude hours of amusement. If you like the young adult science fiction books of the '70s and '80s, give [it] a try. I hope it gives you the same nostalgic feelings and laughter that it gave me."

-- SF Revu

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  7. THE SAPPHIRE SIRENS (DAW Books, 2009)

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