Set in a dystopian society in the not-too-distant future, this sci-fi novel follows the misadventures of a bar musician and army vet who's set up on terrorism charges and deported to a single-continent prison planet. After a fight in which he nearly kills a neo-Nazi, the antihero main character flees to the other end of the continent with a prisoner he knew from Earth—a Mexican anarchist and fellow musician—on a Gulliver's Travels–type journey through a number of political and religious cult compounds. With comical depictions of the various cults they encounter on the way, Free Radicals insightfully explores the often-failed attempts at utopia and the day-to-day life of two traveling musicians.
Pseudonymous nonfiction author (The Complete Manual of Pirate Radio) and musician Teflon delivers an action-filled fiction debut filled with bizarre ideas, social commentary, and a retro vibe. Sometime in the future, musician Kel Turner is hauled off to Extrasolar Penal Colony 3, a planetwide prison where the only rules forbid rebelling or attacking the guards. Among political prisoners and cultists, he eventually meets his old friend and bandmate, Chuy, and the two of them attempt to make do with their new lot in life. Teflon doesn t try for subtlety, leading to occasionally painful exposition dumps early on and undeveloped villains later (futuristic Nazis complaining about the New Jew Order, etc.), but he throws in enough drunken concerts, narrow escapes, and over-the-top characters to create a solidly entertaining, if unpolished, atmosphere. The end result is reminiscent of early Mick Farren, a goofy but entertaining story that shows promise.