Writers often say that in good writing every word matters, and nowhere is that more true than in copywriting. Summing up a 600-page novel in less than 150 words might sound difficult, but it's also a lot of fun, as much an art as a science. If you haven't read any of the books mentioned below, follow the links and read the samples without fear--I've vowed to never give away the secrets of a story in my copy.

Copywriting Samples

Tor Books: Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind
(mass-market paperback, September 1998)

A Plague of Prophecy

Wielding the Sword of Truth, Richard Rahl has battled death
itself and come to the defense of the D'Haran people. But now
the power-mad Emporer Jagang confronts Richard with a swift
and inexorable foe: a mystical plague cuttin a deadly swath
across the land and slaying thousands of innocent victims.

To fight the plague Richard and his beloved Kahlan Amnell will risk every-
thing to uncover the source of the terrible plague--the magic
sealed away for three millennia in the Temple of the Winds.

But when prophecy throws the shadow of betrayal across their
mission and threatens to destroy them, Richard must accept the
Truth and wind a way to pay the price the winds demand...or he
and his world will perish.

Tor Books: The Callahan Chronicals (sic) by Spider Robinson
(trade paperback omnibus, October 1997)

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is the neighborhood tavern to all of time and space,
where the regulars are anything but: time travelers, talking dogs, alcoholic vampires,
cybernetic aliens--and a group of people who really, truly care about each other. It's
the rare kind of place where bad puns are as appreciated as good conversation.

Time Travelers Strictly Cash is their policy, but then again everybody pays cash at
Callahan's. Lay your money on the bar, name your poison, step up to the line drawn
on the barroom floor, and after drinking make a toast and throw the glass into the
fireplace. It's an odd tradition (don't worry about the cost--Callahan gets the glasses
at a bulk discount), but one that's led to some interesting stories.

Callahan's Secret may be something even the regulars would never guess. Then
again, it may be as simple as listening to those post-toast stories. After all, like
Callahan says, shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased--a simple concept
that could, after a few drinks, lead to saving the world...

This omnibus edition contains the trio of books that introduced the world to Mike
Callahan, Jake Stonebender, Doc Webster, Mickey Finn, Fast Eddie Costigan, Long-
Drink McGonnigle, Ralph Von Wau Wau and the rest of the regulars of Callahan's
Place in the stories that helped Spider Robinson to win both a John W. Campbell
Award and a legion of fans.

Tor Books: Marrow by Robert Reed
(hardcover, August 1999)

Back of jacket:

It is the Ship.

Its origins unknown, it is larger than
the planet Jupiter, billions of years old,
and travels the stars manned by an
immortal crew tending to passengers
from a thousand alien races.

But deep inside the Ship is one of its
darkest secrets, something that will
eithe illuminate or destroy everyone
on board.

Jacket flap:

The Ship has roamed the universe for
longer than any of the near-immortal crew
can recall, its true purposes and origins
unknown. It is larger than many planets,
housing thousands of alien races and just
as many secrets.

Now one of those secrets has been
discovered: at the center of the Ship is...
a planet: Marrow. But when a team of the
Ship's nest and brightest are sent down to
investigate, will they unlock the secrets of
its creation--or will they be destroyed by
the forces that have hidden Marrow for
millenia, and bring doom to everyone
on board?

Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated
author Robert Reed spins an extraordinary
epic of adventure and wonder on an
epic scale in this novel based on
his acclaimed novella.

Tor Books: O Pioneer! by Frederik Pohl
(hardcover, May 1998)

Winner of science fiction's triple crown of the
Hugo, Nebula, and the John W. Campbell
Memorial Awards for his science fiction, Grand-
master Frederik Pohl has created a novel of
science fiction in the classic mold with O Pioneer!

Earth isn't room enough for Evesham Giyt, a
solitary and brilliant hacker who longs
for the long-gone frontiers and hardy pioneers of
the past. Following the discovery of a technology
allowing instant transport to distant worlds, he
leaves Earth for the beautiful and rugged colony
world of Tupelo, where he is soon surprised to find
himself a respected member of the community and
elected mayor of the colony's human population.

For humans aren't the only race to arrive on
Tupelo: as mayor, Giyt is part of a council of races
trying to peacefully coexist on Tupelo--a difficult
task, given their disparate cultures and traditions.
It becomes even more difficult as Giyt begins to
realize that humanity may have other plans for
the planet of Tupelo and the alien races who
live there.

It's up to Giyt to uncover the truth and to try and
carve out a future not just for humanity but for all
of Tupelo...

Full of aliens and excitement, O Pioneer! is
rousing adventure on the high frontier from
one of the all-time greats.

Tor Books: World Order by Andrew Goliszek
(hardcover, February 1998)

Back of jacket:

Officially, the United States does not produce
biochemical weapons.


Deep beneath the Pentagon, scientists in an ultra top-secret
laboratory have worked for decades to create an arsenal of
bioweapons for the United States and its allies, manmade
diseases that can cause waves of slow, terrible death.

Officially, the United States does not use biochemical weapons.


World Order is an explosive thriller with an inside line on the
possible causes of the Gulf War Syndrom virus. Highly respected
medical researcher Andrew Goliszek has access to inside
information and highly sensitive government documents. With
World Order he warns of a terribly real threat to our nation and
the world.

Jacket flap:

A top-secret project created by a renegade Pentagon
unit has loosed a terrible new weapon, and only
two people can prevent a shift in the global
balance of power and the deaths of millions.

NASA senior investigator Linda Franklin is
sent in to inspect a crash site, only to discover
the wreckage of a plane that doesn't exist. She
has unwittingly stumbled onto a high-level
conspiracy that has already killed other
interlopers and is now coming after her.

Soon she realizes she holds evidence of a
Pentagon plan called "World Order", a plan to
use a horrible biochemical weapon that shouldn't
exist, one developed by the Pentagon but used
by Saddam Hussein against American soldiers
in the Gulf War. As she frantically searches for
help in uncovering the project's secrets, every-
one she contacts either disappears without a
trace or ends up dead. She's completely alone
until one man, John Peterson, joins her. Together
they are thrown into a dangerous game of cat
and mouse with a ruthless group of conspirators
out to detroy the global balance of economic
power--and anyone who gets in their way.

Author Andrew Goliszek has used formerly
classified information secured through his
contacts in the biomedical community to
shine a bright light into the dark corridors
of power in this pulse-pounding thriller and
to tell a story all the more chilling...because
the line where truth ends and fiction
begins in this novel is nothing but a blur.

Tor Books: Children of Amarid by David B. Coe
(mass-market paperback, June 1998)


A thousand years ago in Tobyn-Ser, Amarid and Theron
discoverd magical crystals that enabled them to bond with
hawks to produce powerful magic. Together, they started
an order, dedicating themselves to using their powers to
help their people. Theron was expelled from the Order for
abusing his power, but ever since, the Children of Amarid
have faithfully upheld their vow using their power selflessly
to protect the land and its poeple.

Now the idyllic peace of Tobyn-Ser has been shattered
by news of mages destroying crops, burning villages, and
murdering innocents. Rumors even say that Theron has
returned from the dead to wreck vengeance on Tobyn-Ser
and the Order that spurned him.

Uncovering the truth about the renegade mages and
restoring peace to the sundered land will take a young but
powerful Hawk-mage named Jaryd across the length and
breadth of Tobyn-Ser, a journey he must complete before
it's too late to save the Order...and the world.

Corsair Publishing: Dragon Hordes by Bryan Winter
(softcover, September 1998)

It's a time of war. Bloodthirsty hordes
march across ravaged battlefields, while
massive engines of war lay desperate
siege to immense strongholds, and huge
clouds of hideous beasts darken the
skies. You are in command of a mighty
force fighting an unending battle for
precious eorthblood, the vital resource
central to the balance of power.

Dragon Hordes includes everything you need to play!

  • Easy-to-learn rules for simultaneous battles on land, sea and air
  • Detailed histories of Eorth's six major factions, each desperately
    attempting to gain the upper hand in a war-torn world
  • Complete lists of the beasts and war machines for all factions, allowing you to field powerful and specialized armies
  • Descriptions of the incredible magical powers conferred by
    Eorthblood, and how to use them to annihilate your opponents
  • Options for playing single-battle scenarios and extendable campaigns
  • All the markers, templates and pieces needed to immediately begin play

Corsair Publishing: Sketch! by Seth Johnson and Brian Schomburg
(softcover, August 2000)

Pack your pencils and prepare for
a journey to the heart of the
universe: the planet Sketch,
where good and evil are locked in
constant struggle, with fame and
fortune hanging in the balance!

  • Perfect for beginniners, with both basic rules and the expanded game included.
  • Uses the fast and easy Draw It! character creation system.
  • Requires only a six-sided die, pencil, paper, and the art supplies of your choice.
  • Includes the Sketch Adventure Generator, your launchpad to thousands of adventures on Sketch.

Play anything you can draw, from
stick figures to the Mona Lisa. Create
heroes who want to save the city, or
villains who want to destroy it. Charge
into battle, or gather a group of friends
and explore the strange and wonderful
world of Sketch. Anything is possible!

Besides, how many games encourage
you to play with your crayons again?

See the back cover (85K)

Lowell House: Bangs and Whimpers, edited by James Frenkel
(hardcover, October 1999)
The End is Near!

How will the world end? When will the final
trumpet sound? And who will be left to
tell the story? Nineteen top authors explore
a variety of fates, from the tragically sublime
to the achingly funny.

Lowell House: Technohorror, edited by James Frenkel
(trade paperback, October 1999)
Can horror be found in a phonograph?

Or a train?

In a laundry machine?

On television?

In a slot machine?

It can.

Sixteen top authors explore the terror
that surrounds us.