Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller 

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Bio

Tom Clancy is usually credited as being the author who created the "techno - thriller" genre. He certainly played a major part in it's development.

He took the traditional "thriller-espionage" genre and added technical accuracy and procedural information which had previously only seen the light of day in official instruction manuals.

Clancy co-authored Red Storm Rising with Larry Bond. This is an epic of the genre. Covering a war on land, sea and air between the Soviets and the West is a big undertaking. I've read my copy so many times it has fallen apart... time for a new one!

Title About Image
Airborne: A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force

Ingram:
"Offers a detailed, fact-filled examination of the Airborne Task Force, complete with exclusive photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and an extensive interview with the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, General John Keen. Original."

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment

Amazon.com:
"A penetrating look inside an armored cavalry regiment--the technology, the strategies, and the people... profiled by Tom Clancy.

His first nonfiction book, Submarine, captured the reality of life aboard a nuclear warship. Now, the #1 bestselling author of Clear and Present Danger portrays today's military as only army personnel can know it. With the same compelling, you-are-there immediacy of his acclaimed fiction, Tom Clancy provides detailed descriptions of tanks, helicopters, artillery, and more--the brilliant technology behind the U. S. Army. He captures military life--from the drama of combat to the daily routine--with total accuracy, and reveals the roles and missions that have in recent years distinguished our fighting forces."

Armored Cav includes:

  • Descriptions of the M1A2 Main Battle Tank, the AH-64A Apache Attack Helicopter, and more
  • An interview with General Frederick Franks
  • Strategies behind the Desert Storm account
  • Exclusive photograph, illustrations and diagrams
  • PLUS: From West Point cadet to Desert Storm commander, an interview with a combat cavalry officer on the rise. an extensive interview with the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, General John Keen. Original."
Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
The Bear and the Dragon Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
The Cardinal of the Kremlin Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Carrier: A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier

FlyingSinger reported:

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller: Carrier: A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier

Tom Clancy's Carrier: A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier also offers a ""you are there"" perspective, but that of a visitor more than a true insider.

In typically Clancy fashion, Carrier is full of details on every aspect of aircraft carriers, from the process of building one, to the organization of the battle group (CVBG) to the aircraft and weapons themselves. He also includes an interview with Admiral Jay Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations, a report on a large fleet training operation that Clancy and his research assistant actually witnessed (JTFEX 97-3, a joint task force exercise), and a fictional scenario of a future (2016) crisis in the Indian Ocean, following a war between India and Pakistan that has gone nuclear.

A US CVBG plays a key role in preventing the expansion of the conflict. There are cutaway illustrations of the aircraft, black and white photos, and a detailed glossary. It's a virtual encyclopedia of aircraft carrier information -- but unfortunately it often reads too much like an encyclopedia.

I found the information interesting but the writing rather dry and long-winded (despite the fact that I'm a fan of Clancy's fiction). I think of this book as a key reference on carriers and naval aviation, though for this purpose, an index would have sure been a nice touch.

Book Description:

"They are floating cities with crews of thousands. They are the lynchpins of any military strategy, for they provide what has become the key to every battle fought since World War I: air superiority.

The mere presence of a U.S. naval carrier in a region is an automatic display of strength that sends a message no potential enemy can ignore. Now, Tom Clancy welcomes you aboard for a detailed look at how these floating behemoths function. With his trademark style and eye for detail, Clancy brings you naval combat strategy like no one else can.

Carrier includes:

  • Takeoffs and landings: flying into the danger zone
  • The aircraft onboard: their range, their power, their weaponry
  • The role of the carrier in modern naval warfare
  • Exclusive photographs, illustrations and diagrams
  • An interview with the U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson
Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Clear and Present Danger Remember the F/A-18 Hornets in Clear and Present Danger?

Jarmo Lindberg from Fighter Squadron 21 in Finland and Fighter Tactics Academy reports:

"In Tom Clancy's 'Clear and Present Danger' book there was CDR Jensen in an A-6E dropping the special cellulose bomb with no fragments. In the movie the jet was the F/A-18. During NATOPS conference 1994 I met the then VFA-125 standardization officer 'Kid' Pallen who told me in the bar that he flew the jet for the film.

The Paramount Pictures people had just emerged one day in his office and told him that they had a clearance from the Navy to drop a couple of laser guided bombs from the Hornet for the film.

"Sure!!!!" said Kid and checked the news. And sure enough, they DID have the clearance. So after some frantic searching they found the bombs and loaded them. Kid took off and joined with the Paramount Pictures Learjet which had a special camera through the floor.

They flew several passes so that Kid approached the Learjet from behind and below. But they couldn't drop the bombs because they were over desert and they should have been over the "Colombian" jungle. Finally (when the sun was already going down) they flew over some clouds and decided to drop the bombs there. So Kid got rid of his ordnance just before sunset and the Paramount crew got their shots for the movie."

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Debt of Honour In Tom Clancy's Debt of Honour a labyrinthine plot unfolds as a Japanese industrialist sets about winning the war 50 years on with a very different set of weapons. Not as much weaponry featured in this book as we've come to expect from Clancy but an engrossing read nonetheless. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Every Man a Tiger

Amazon.com :

"This Tom Clancy real-life military thriller is more nuanced than his novels, because its object is not simply to dramatize armed conflict but to relate the life lessons of his source, jet-pilot-turned-Desert-Storm-air-commander General Chuck Horner.

Horner is no war cheerleader like General "Buck" Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove. He loathes the arrogance of the backwards, nuke-happy Strategic Air Command and the madly out-of-touch Vietnam War planner Robert McNamara. McNamara confesses his folly in two books, Argument Without End and In Retrospect, but Horner's you - are - there account more vividly demonstrates Vietnam's grim lessons.

He flew an F-105 Thunderbird "Thud" fighter in the Wild Weasels, the unit with the highest medals-per-aircrew ratio, knew pilots who were stoned to death by villagers, and realized all the bombing did zero good. "All we really had to do was befriend Ho," says Horner sensibly. "Seems he wasn't part of a monolithic Communist plot, and hated the Chinese more than anything else."

Horner is savvy about the screwups, the achievements, and the political maneuvering in and after the Gulf War, as leaders and branches of service battled for PR victories. His idea of a hero is Boomer McBroom's pilot Captain Gentner Drummond, who won a Flying Cross medal for refusing AWACS orders to down a jet that turned out to be a Saudi ally.

Horner thinks the interservice and international cooperation in the Gulf War was way better than in Vietnam, but there's ample room for improvement. The action scenes aren't quite as brilliant as those in Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, but Clancy fans will find plenty to admire. Horner's improbable survival of a 150-m.p.h. near-crash in Libya in 1962 belongs in a Tom Clancy film." - Tim Appelo

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Executive Orders Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing

Amazon.com :

" ...an insider's look at an Air Force combat wing--the planes, the technology, and the people...

Tom Clancy's previous explorations of America's armed forces, Submarine and Armored Cav, revealed exclusive, never-before-seen information an the people and technology that protect our nation. Now, the acclaimed author of takes to the skies with the U.S. Air Force's elite: the Fighter Wing.

With his compelling style and unerring eye for detail, Clancy captures the thrill of takeoff, the drama of the dogfight, and the relentless dangers our fighter pilots face every day of their lives, showing readers what it really means to be the best of the best."

Fighter Wing includes

  • Detailed analyses of the Air Force's premier fighter planes, including the F-15 Eagle
  • Exclusive photographs, illustrations, and diagrams
  • An insider's look at the people behind the planes and weapons
  • Combat strategies and training techniques used by the U.S. Air Force
Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare

Amazon.com :

" Non-lethal weapons may sound like an oxymoron, or something found only on Alice in Wonderland battlefields. In reality, however, they are important security tools for armies and law enforcement officials (think tasers and tear gas).

Author John Alexander describes all the justifications for non-lethal weapons: they come in handy during peacekeeping operations, help combat terrorism, and head off revenge before it is sought. ("They thank you when they wake up and they're not dead," a Las Vegas cop tells Alexander.)

The most fascinating parts of Future War, however, are the descriptions of cutting-edge weapons. The sticky foam gun, for example, immobilizes targets by spraying a powerful gluelike adhesive on them. Acoustic blasters issuing low-intensity pulses can cause "perceptual disorientation" among troops. One anti-vehicle technology called the Silver Shroud "is a ballistically deployed polymer film that literally wraps up a targeted vehicle."

A set of accompanying photographs - illustrations are one of Future War's attractions - hows a car becoming enveloped in a sheet of aluminum foil. Perhaps the most bizarre non-lethal weapon in this fascinating book involves scattering pheromones (a chemical substance that evokes sexual responses in members of the same species) on an area to make it uninhabitable.

Writes Alexander, "Imagine trying to sleep or work in an area that is attracting every ant, cockroach, or spider from miles around." No thanks: better to lose a battle than fight that kind of enemy. And that's exactly the point." - John J. Miller

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
The Hunt for Red October The Hunt for Red October was his Clancy's first big hit, rocketing to prominence when the movie version starring Sean Connery was released. When a Soviet sub commander defects with the latest Russian "stealth" sub, a complex cat and mouse game unfolds beneath the sea. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Into the Storm: A Study in Command

Amazon.com:

"Tom Clancy's latest love-letter to the military-industrial complex focuses on the Army - and Fred Franks, a general who helped smash Iraq in the Gulf War.

In this first volume of a series on the intricacies of military command, Clancy traces the organizational success story of the U.S. Army's rise from the slough of Vietnam to the heights of victory in the Persian Gulf. In 1972, the Army lacked proper discipline, training, weapons, and doctrine; all these would be overhauled in the next 15 years. For those readers keen on such nuts and bolts, the book will be fascinating.

But the book truly sparkles when Franks tells his story. A "tanker" who lost a foot in the invasion of Cambodia, he is a man of great courage, thoughtfulness, and integrity. One cannot help but wince when a civilian tells him, "You and those boys did that for nothing." And for all the acronyms and military history, that is what this book is about: healing the wounds Vietnam inflicted. "But this time [the Gulf War], it was going to end differently. They all would see to that." "

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit

Booklist:

"Since Clancy's fictional hero Jack Ryan began his career as a marine officer, few fans will be surprised that his creator now turns his attention to the corps and treats an aspect of it as effectively as he did the subjects of his three previous nonfiction military studies: Submarine (1993), Armored Cav (1994), and Fighter Wing (1995).

After summarizing the marines' history, unique ethos, and weaponry - both specialized and borrowed, including the formidable ships of the amphibious navy - Clancy focuses on "the most `Marine' unit left in the Corps today," a Marine Expeditionary Unit - Special Operations Capable.

Such a unit is one of the corps' and the country's seaborne emergency response teams, each with infantry, armor, air, and logistical components adding up to about 2,000 men and each able to carry out an astonishing variety of war-fighting and peacekeeping activities. Clancy amasses the information, writes clearly, provides an invaluable bibliography, and generally takes the lay reader where it would be very difficult to go without Clancy's guidance. Highly recommended." - Roland Green

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
The Net Force series is co-written with Steve R. Pieczenik. I haven't read these but I did see the movie which was darn good! The plots revolve around a crack FBI outifit set up in 2010 to battle cyber crime. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force #4: Breaking Point Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Cybernation Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Cyberspy Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Point of Impact Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Runaways Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force #10: Safe House Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Shadow of Honor Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: The Ultimate Escape Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Virtual Vandals Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: The Deadliest Game Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force #12: Duel Identity Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force #13: Death World Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: End Game Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Gameprey Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: The Great Race Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Hidden Agendas Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: High Wire Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force #3: Night Moves Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: One is the Loneliest Number Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Net Force: Private Lives Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center Clancy's series about a hi-tech Government organisation for fighting unconventional battles. I haven't read them - they are co-written with Steve Pieczenik. Some like them, some don't - follow the links to Amazon and you can read excerpts and make up your own mind. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Acts of War Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Balance of Power Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Divide and Conquer Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Games of State Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Line of Control Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Op-Center: Mirror Image Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Patriot Games

In Tom Clancy's Patriot Games Jack Ryan (from The Hunt For Red October) is back in his job as an intelligence analyst for the CIA.

His attempt at thwarting an assassination in England puts his family in the firing line and the stage is set for a hi-tech battle against terrorists. The book was made into a successful movie starring Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan.

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Rainbow Six This book about a covert special ops team spawned a successful series of games. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Red Storm Rising Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces

Book Description:

"In his first two Commanders books, Tom Clancy teamed with armor and infantry General Fred Franks, Jr., and Air Force General Chuck Horner to provide masterful blends of history, biography, you-are-there narrative, insight into the practice of leadership, and plain old-fashioned storytelling. Shadow Warriors is all of that, and more, for in the words of Lieutenant General Bill Yarborough, "There are itches that only Special Forces can scratch."

The training, resourcefulness, and creativity of the SF soldier make him capable of jobs that few other soldiers could handle, in situations where traditional arms and movement don't apply. Carl Stiner was only the second commander of SOCOM, the U.S. Special Operations Command, responsible for the readiness of all the Special Operations forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, including the Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Rangers, Delta Force, Air Force Special Operations, PsyOps, and Civil Affairs.

Together, he and Clancy trace the transformation of the Special Forces from the small core of outsiders of the 1950s through the cauldron of Vietnam and to the rebirth of the SF in the late 1980s and 1990s as the bearer of the largest, most mixed, and most complex set of missions in the U.S. military. From Vietnam and Laos to Panama and El Salvador to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq, these are stories of raids, counterterrorism, hostage rescues, reconaissance, counterinsurgency and psychological operations-and also of building settlements, teaching civilians, cleaning up water supplies, and saving lives.

It is a front-row seat to a man, an institution, and a way both of war and peace that together make this an instant classic of military history."

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Special Forces: A Guided Tour of U.S. Army Special Forces

"The seventh in a series of books by Tom Clancy offering in-depth tours of the U.S. military, Special Forces surveys the soldiers who "are perhaps America's most professional and capable warriors."

Who are they? They are the men--and only men, for women are not allowed to become SF soldiers--who are "specially selected, specially trained, specially equipped, and given special missions and support." The Army Special Forces--known to much of the public as Green Berets - are often the first troops on the scene in a crisis. They're also incredibly versatile: "If you're looking for a Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger, don't expect to find them in today's Army Special Forces." That's because specialized missions - involving anything from psychological operations meant to undermine enemy morale to guerilla warfare in remote jungles - require flexibility.

"Specialized missions (paradoxically) require a broad range of general capabilities and skills," which means SF soldiers, "while physically fit, tend to be more balanced (like triathletes) than specialized (like marathoners and weightlifters)."

Clancy and his coauthor, John Gresham, describe how SF soldiers are recruited, trained, and assigned. There are plenty of interesting notes about SF culture: They don't especially like being called "Green Berets," for instance, even though most units carry a copy of the John Wayne movie The Green Berets in their traveling video libraries. They are typically in their 30s, divorced and remarried, intelligent, interested in the news, and able to speak more than one language. There are also lots of details on weaponry, chronicles of training missions, and plenty of maps and pictures. The book ends with a fictionalized account of an SF mission in 2005 and 2006.

Special Forces is replete with Clancy's tough-guy prose: "The overall media presentation of the Army Special Forces has generally been one of contrived crap." And the book is essentially a celebration of a premier fighting force, rather than a critical treatment of it. But this is not necessarily a weakness. Special Forces will appeal to anybody interested in the modern military, and it may bring civilians closer than they'll ever come to these important troops." - John J. Miller

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
SSN: Strategies of Submarine Warfare

"Chinese hardliners have staged a daring raid on the Spratly Islands, one of the world's last great untapped oil reserves, setting the stage fora rejuvenated Communist dictatorship. Representing the United States is the commander of an improved Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine the, USS CHEYENNE. Over 360 feet long and brimming with state - of - the - art electronic warfare systems, she is the finest fast attack submarine in the world."

The Cheyenne can hardly lose in this collection of "scenarios" pitting the crew and vessel against the hapless Chinese. Not only are they faster, quieter and deadlier - but apparently smarter too!

After reading about the 5th scenario in which the Chinese blunder hopelessy yet again into another trap you wonder if they know one end of a ship from another - let alone anything about military tactics? Maybe they haven't read Tom Clancy's books?

This was pretty unbearable and runs against the grain of what I have heard from Australian and UK ex servicemen, that you should always regard the enemy as being competent at the very least.

A puzzling voyage to the bottom of the quality ocean from the Clancy arsenal.

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship

Amazon.com :

"Never before seen by the general public: a rare glimpse inside a Los Angeles-class (SSN-688) nuclear submarine ... with Tom Clancy as your guide.

Only the author of The Hunt for Red October could capture the reality of life aboard a nuclear submarine. Only a writer of Mr. Clancy's magnitude could obtain security clearance for information, diagrams, and photographs never before available to the public. Now, for the first time, every civilian can enter this top secret world and experience the drama and excitement of this stunning technological achievement.... the weapons, the procedures, the people themselves... the startling facts behind the fiction that made Tom Clancy a #1 bestseller."

Submarine includes:

  • Exclusive photographs, illustration, and diagrams
  • Mock war scenarios and weapons launch procedures
  • An inside look at life on board, from captain to crew, from training exercises to operations
  • The fascinating history and evolution of submarines
  • PLUS: Tom Clancy's controversial views on submariner tactics and training methods.
Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
The Sum of All Fears

The Sum of All Fears revolves around a plot by Middle Eastern terrorists to construct a nuclear device with the intention of letting it off in the U.S.A. and Jack Ryan finds himself yet again in the firing line. The plot runs on several levels at once and it certainly kept my attention.

The book was later made into a successful movie.

Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
Without Remorse Set in 1970, Tom Clancy's "Without Remorse" describes John Kelly , a former US Navy SEAL returning from Vietnam to America to find a different sort of war going on. He meets a woman who has fallen foul of drug dealers and sets out to methodically avenge her. Tom Clancy, author and pioneer of the Techno-Thriller:
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