The Kill-o-Zap is a blaster gun weapon which was wielded by the police from Blagulon Kappa when they came to Magrathea to arrest Zaphod. It was first mentioned in the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and subsequently referenced throughout the series in the role of a standard and widespread brand of raygun.
In the third book, Life, the Universe and Everything, the group armed themselves with Kill-o-Zap guns against the Krikkiters. Arthur Dent struggled to use the gun; he "fumbled to release the safety catch and engage the extreme danger catch as Ford had shown him."
In the second novel, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, it is said that the designer of the gun "had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush." It was said that he'd been told to "make it evil," to make it clear that the gun had "a right end and a wrong end," and to make it obvious to anyone at the "wrong" end that "things are going badly for them." It was said that if it was necessary to attach spikes, prongs, and "blackened bits" all over the gun, then: "so be it."
Presumably, the name is meant to evoke the 'overkill' of the destructive potential of the weapon, as well as parodying the general SF tendencies in naming guns. Also, it could likely be a play on kilowatt, kilovolt et cetera.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- Life, the Universe and Everything
- The Kill-o-Zap gun appeared in a video from the YouTube channel InRangeTV titled: SHOT Show 2019: Kill-o-Zap Gun.