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Dead Space (Charlie Willis Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Lee Goldberg
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ex-cop Charlie Willis handles "special security" at Pinnacle Pictures. His job: to protect the studio and its stars, to stop scandals before they explode, to keep the peace in the land of make-believe. When Pinnacle revives the cult, 1960s TV series "Beyond the Beyond" as the cornerstone of a fourth network, two powerful forces fight for control of the show—a talent agency that uses blackmail, torture, and murder to keep its clients on the A-list, and a homicidal legion of rabid fans led by an insane actor who thinks he's in outer space.

(This book, the sequel to "My Gun Has Bullets," was originally entitled "Beyond the Beyond" when it was published by St. Martin's Press in 1997)


“Goldberg uses just about everything he can think of to send up the studio system, fandom, Star Trek, Trekkies, agents, actors… you name it, he’ll make you laugh about it.” Analog

"An outrageously entertaining take on the loathsome folkways of contemporary showbiz," Kirkus Reviews

“Mr. Goldberg has an observant eye and a wicked pen!” Washington Times

“[It] reads like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland set against the venal world of the TV industry. It’s wonderfully revealing and uncannily accurate,” Vancouver Sun (Canada)

"Some of the easily recognizable actors, agents and producers who are mercilessly ribbed may find it hard to crack a smile at the author's gag-strewn prose, likewise those seekers after politically correct entertainment. But the rest of us should have no trouble….the novel's satiric slant is strong enough to have an effigy of Goldberg beamed into outer space at the next Star Trek convention," Los Angeles Times

"Pinnacle Pictures has decided to revive a 25-year-old cult sci-fi TV show called Beyond the Beyond, but somebody keeps killing off the new cast. Is it the Hollywood agent who eats human flesh? The aging actor who still thinks he's a starship captain? The fans who live only to attend conventions? This sharp roman a clef goes where no Hollywood satire has gone before—altering just enough facts to avoid the libel courts but still smacking of a certain je ne sais Trek. It probably won't make Goldberg, a television writer and producer (Baywatch, Spenser: For Hire, seaQuest), the most popular boy on the Paramount lot, but it's a stingingly funny novel just the same."
—Entertainment Weekly

"The hilarious follow-up to Goldberg's witty debut, My Gun Has Bullets...[this book] skewers the entertainment business, which Goldberg knows well," Oline Codgill, Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

"As in his riotous novel My Gun Has Bullets, TV writer/producer Goldberg once again bites the hand that feeds him, laughing all the while. Inspired silliness," Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

When a Hollywood studio, as part of its ambition to launch a new TV network, decides to remake a science-fiction series that became a cult hit after cancellation 25 years ago, all hell breaks loose. This time out, ex-cop Charlie Willis (My Gun Has Bullets, 1995, TV writer-producer Goldberg's debut audit of filmdom's ranking grotesques) has what could prove a mission impossible. As security head at Pinnacle Pictures, he's responsible for protecting a considerable corporate investment in the revival of Beyond the Beyond. But, unfortunately, the actors and production talent associated with the futuristic fantasy's renaissance soon find themselves under intense, often deadly, pressures. Initially, Charlie suspects Clive Odett, head of a rapacious agency known only as The Company, which will stop at nothing to control hit programs. While Odett and his murderous minions are indeed making key players offers they can't refuse, the down-and-dirty work is being done by a band of maniacally devoted fans who view any changes in the cast or format of Beyond the Beyond as sacrilege. Abetting their homicidal efforts to maintain the status quo ante is Guy Goddard (a deranged has-been who starred as Captain Pierce, heroic helmsman of the starship Endeavor on its abortive treks through the dark side of a vividly imagined cosmos). As the death toll mounts, an increasingly desperate Charlie makes himself a target by purporting to replace a slain teen idol in the role of Captain Pierce. In costume (if not character), the down-to-earth house dick, in a fashion befitting the La La Land setting, tempts a host of hostile fates to save the studio's prize property. Black comedy from the Left Coast--and an outrageously entertaining take on the loathsome folkways of contemporary showbiz. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


"The novel's satiric slant is strong enough to have an effigy of Goldberg beamed into outer space at the next Star Trek convention." -- Los Angeles Times

"This sharp roman a clef goes where no Hollywood satire has gone before--altering just enough facts to avoid the libel courts but still smacking of a certain je ne sais Trek. It probably won't make Goldberg, a television writer and producer, the most popular boy on the Paramount lot, but it's a stingingly funny novel just the same."  Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 404 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456501682
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Adventures in Television (July 16, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002HWSL5K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I've Read In A Long time! February 15, 2011
I made the mistake of starting this book late at night when I had to get up very early the next day for work. I told myself I'd only read for a half hour or so. Well, that didn't happen. I loved the book right from the beginning and I ended up reading about a hundred pages that night. I was tired at work the next day, but it was well worth it!

I loved this book. The story is very compelling and the characters are fantastic. Also, what I loved most is that DEAD SPACE is hilarious. I laughed out loud many, many times while reading it.

As I got towards the end of the book, I got a little bummed out knowing that my time with the book was close to ending. To me, that's always the ultimate indicator of a great book.

Like I said, I loved this one!

P.S. - I'd like to also suggest two other of Lee's books that I love: MY GUN HAS BULLETS and THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE. If you're looking for great reads, you can't go wrong with them!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated satire January 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very, very funny book, but as one other reviewer said...really 3 books in one. The beginning was complicated with so many characters, in such twisted subplots, I was half-way through the book before I had them straight. That said, this bizarre story is on-target with the sci- fi crowd, those die-hard Trekkies (and die hard they do). Snork (Spock), Pierce (Kirk) are ready to annihilate the evil aliens (the Company) who have are replacing the starship crew with the young and beautiful in the new TV remake. You smile, you laugh and you keep turning the pages. The private investigator part, was long did this guy have to go until he guessed who may be behind all the murders, explosions, etc??? Yet the action never lets up and you are car-jacked into the third weakest subplot, the killer agents of Hollywood. If you think your boss is bad, wait till you meet these. This was the least funny, just lots of blood. Beware, Goldberg is like Bentley Little, there is no sexual situation or blood bath too extreme to include, so not for the squeamish. Overall, great read, written in the 90's but still better than many over the last decade.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over-the-top fun! February 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Making fun of Hollywood isn't new. There are a lot of TV shows and movies that do it. Heck, Kathy Griffin is making a career out of it. But this is the first time I've seen a book hit the mark. Mr. Goldberg uses his extensive behind-the-scenes knowledge of Hollywood to make fun of movie stars, showbiz, Trekkies, Star Wars fan boys, and all the other movers and shakers. There are two relatively 'sane' people the story revolves around and, well, the rest are pretty much bat poop crazy! I hope you laugh, gasp, and chuckle as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Romp March 6, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoy Lee Golberg's writing. The prequel to this one "My Gun Has Bullets" was hysterical. This one is too. The characters are well drawn and the author's descriptions are so vivid one can imagine it happening as one is reading it. In fact in recalling on Mr. Goldberg's 'Monk' books I remembered it so vividly I was sure it was an episode from the series.
The characters are indeed characters with a capital 'C'. They are zany, wacky, loony, nutty,impossible, implausible, and yet believable. I would say that one has to suspend reality, which is true, but somehow the author leads you along the path so it seems real, plausible even.
There are several ongoing stories. One deals with a remake of a Star Trek type TV show. Mr.Goldberg manages to deftly parody the obsessiveness of Trekkies who will go do anything to ensure that the original characters stay in the remake of the show. Another deals with a studio security guard and former actor Charlie Willis who will do anything to protect the studios stars. Anything. A third is about the first woman head of a studio with a twist. Then there is the ongoing story of a hapless producer Eddie Planet (pronounced like Plan A...reminiscent or Mrs. Bucket on 'Keeping up Appearances') who is insecure and in a continual stew and always scheming. He has a plaque that says "Reserved for Mr. Planet" that he puts on tables from the finest restaurant to Kenny Rogers Chicken restaurant.
And sprinkled through are a myriad of intriguing folks and plots and subplots and twists and turns that will keep you reading and engaged.
Sit back and enjoy this very funny book and be glad you're not a character in it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of Carl Hiaasen... on steroids May 10, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the reviews of Mr Goldberg's books I thought they would be interesting reading material - especially when I found the Monk connection. In a way the characters in Dead Space remind me a little of those by Carl Hiaasen as they appear in a larger-than-life way with what appears to be a preposterous plot. But this is not to the book's detriment as i found the characters and situations very amusing. Having worked with some aging stars in a former life I did find some of the stuff very believable - and then you realise these people are serious about stuff you would not believe.

As a father of a young daughter I found the comments about his own daughter being sheltered from the book to be very apposite. Not for those who object to swearing and sexual imagery but for those that do not find these subjects offensive the book is a hoot. Having once been near a video-game convention his description of the sci-fi fans is really accurate. I find the way the characters are described makes them very accessible.

Despite the different themes running through the book I had no trouble reading it as each element seemed sufficiently separated to make the book easy to follow and yet they were cleverly linked together at the same time. I found the book hard to put down!

I'm now about to read his other books having completed The Walk which was equally enjoyable
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great story from Lee Goldberg!
"Dead Space" by Lee Goldberg is a classic by one of America's most prolific authors whose credits include the screenplays for Monk and numerous other major TV series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dave H
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Enjoyed this book very much. Lee Goldberg is a writer worth buying.
Published 6 months ago by amazon.buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Lee's books
This sequel to My Gun Has Bullits is every bit as fun and quirky. Love the characters and I do mean "characters" that populate Lee's books. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Red Rose
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead space
Didn't interest me. Just couldn't get into it wasn't anything like I though it would be. Sorry I bought the book
Published 16 months ago by Sylvia Dooley
4.0 out of 5 stars Tongue in cheek
Dead Space, like My Gun Has Bullets, is an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek satire about Hollywood and the TV industry. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars one of worst books ever!
Terrible read. Dialogue was among silliest ever possibly strung together in one book. Looking forward to read the sequel soon.
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead space
I Don,t know quite why I continued reading this. Book(?) But I did and got a few chuckles ,but just a few, out of it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Charlie Rose
3.0 out of 5 stars Dead Space is high fructose.
I really enjoyed the first Lee Goldberg book that I read (Watch Me Die)and since then I have read King City and now Dead Space. Read more
Published on October 29, 2012 by F. A. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars A wild ride through the worlds of H'wood studios & sci-fi fandom
To get a sense of Lee Goldberg's DEAD SPACE, imagine combining the essences of "The Player" (Robert Altman's 1992 satire of Hollywood studios) and "Galaxy Quest" (the 1999 take-off... Read more
Published on March 9, 2011 by philosophymom
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang Meets Trekkies
I've never read Mr. Goldberg's books before, but after finishing Dead Space, I'll probably check out his back list of other titles like: The Walk, The Man With The Iron-On Badge,... Read more
Published on February 25, 2011 by Aaron Hilton
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More About the Author

Lee Goldberg is an ex-Navy SEAL, freelance Sexual Surrogate and a professional Pierce Brosnan impersonator.

Okay, that's not true. But he wants this biography to be really exciting, so pay attention. If things bog down, I've been instructed to add a car chase or some explicit sex.

Here's the real story. Lee Goldberg writes books and television shows.

His mother wanted him to be a doctor, and his grandfather wanted him to go into the family furniture business. Instead, he put himself through UCLA as a freelance journalist, writing for such publications as American Film, Starlog, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle (He also wrote erotic letters to the editor for Playgirl at $25-a-letter, but he doesn't tell people about that, he just likes to boast about those "tiffany" credits).

He published his first book ".357 Vigilante" (as "Ian Ludlow," so he'd be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlum) while he was still a UCLA student. The West Coast Review of Books called his debut "as stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort," singling the book out as "The Best New Paperback Series" of the year. Naturally, the publisher promptly went bankrupt and he never saw a dime in royalties. (But the books are available on the Kindle as "The Jury Series")

Welcome to publishing, Lee.

His subsequent books include the non-fiction books "Successful Television Writing" and "Unsold Television Pilots" ("The Best Bathroom Reading Ever!" San Francisco Chronicle) as well as the novels "My Gun Has Bullets" ("It will make you cackle like a sitcom laugh track," Entertainment Weekly), "Dead Space" ("Outrageously entertaining," Kirkus Reviews), "Watch Me Die" ("as dark and twisted as anything Hammet or Chandler ever dreamed up," Kirkus Reviews).

"Take me now," she moaned, "you hot writer stud."

She tore off her clothes and tackled him onto the floor, unable to control her raging lust. Nothing excited her more than being around a writer with a big list of books.

Got your attention again? Good. I don't know about you, but I was starting to nod off. Where was I? Oh yes...

Goldberg broke into television with a freelance script sale to "Spenser: For Hire." Since then, his TV writing & producing credits have covered a wide variety of genres, including sci-fi (SeaQuest), cop shows (Hunter, The Glades), martial arts (Martial Law), whodunits (Diagnosis Murder, Nero Wolfe), the occult (She-Wolf of London), kid's shows (R.L. Stine's The Nightmare Room), T&A (Baywatch), comedy (Monk) and utter crap (The Highwayman). His TV work has earned him two Edgar Award nominations from the Mystery Writers of America.

His two careers, novelist and TV writer, merged when he began writing the "Diagnosis Murder" series of original novels, based on the hit CBS TV mystery that he also wrote and produced, and later wrote the 15 bestselling novels based on "Monk," another show that he worked on. He's also the co-creator of Amazon's "The Dead Man" series of monthly horror novellas and the author of the crime thriller "King City." Most recently, he teamed up with Janet Evanovich to write the New York Times bestselling books "The Heist" and "Pros & Cons."

But perhaps he's best known for his pioneering work mapping the human genome and negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Goldberg lives in Los Angeles with his wife and his daughter and still sleeps in "Man From UNCLE" pajamas.

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