I’ve been struggling the past few days with the promo capsule for Anzu.

I’m not the first person to say this: The blurb is harder to write than the book.

I’ve tried flowery, street-level, sophisticated, wordy, brief, academic … The next day, author’s remorse sets in and I start over.

Ya, ya … start a thread on an author’s site … did that … wrote more junk.

Until today … Two gentlemen on a Facebook public group – Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors – pitched in for an impromptu workshop, and I think we hammered it out.

Ken Britz played the decisive card when he told me to write ad copy. Here’s what I did.

The Anye race is dying: A fading sun, a declining population and an estranged confederacy are collectively signaling the end of an advanced civilization.

 Rivan Saraf is tapped-out as a military first responder, too much the enlisted man to be an officer, and already trained as a physicist. When a discovery at a high-energy research lab puts him on the run from agents of a foreign power, Rivan must lead a technological revolution that could save his race from extinction.

The Anye Legacy series honors the visionary traditions of hard science fiction. Inspired by screenwriter Joss Whedons’ skill at wrapping the fantastic in the mundane (Firefly, The Avengers) and cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson’s holographic realism (Spook Country, Snow Crash), Anzu is a provocative story about a society confronting the apparent winter of its existence.

The last paragraph came out of advice I read elsewhere, directly turned out of long storage by Ken’s words: Give the prospective reader something to compare your book to. I can see how that might help.

Thanks, Jim Aikin and Ken Britz.

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