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Joe Clifford Faust, 40, is a mild-mannered copywriter and PR director at little, unprepossessing Wern Rausch Locke Advertising in Canton, Ohio -- but he's got a Mephistophelian side. In '96 and '97 his sci-fi/advertising novels -- Ferman's Devils and Boddekker's Demons -- were published as Bantam Spectra paperbacks. The novels are known as Download 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 From the Files of Pembroke Hall, an ad agency whose slogan is "Selling you to the world since 1969." Though he's also published five sci-fi novels that have nothing to do with advertising, "these books are a story I wanted to do for a long time," he says. "I love novels about advertising, but the advertising is always a prop for something else. Here, the agency is a character in itself."

Set in an unnamed year in the next century, Faust explains, the books are "about a street gang that become superstars after appearing in a soap commercial. They're like the Beatles, except the Beatles didn't leave a trail of dead bodies behind them." Negotiations for film rights are underway, says Faust, and the novels are now available in an omnibus edition from the Science Fiction Book Club. Besides the fact that sci-fi tale spinning is considerably more glamorous than, say, creating ads for Canton's Alliance Community Hospital Emergency Center, "the nice thing about writing novels," Faust points out, "is the client doesn't send you a note that says, 'Can't this be more better?' I really got

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