Tom Clancy


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!

Selected books

Red Storm Rising

Co-written with the author of the wargame Harpoon, Larry Bond, this is a classic. I re-read my copy so many times it fell apart.

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.

SSN: Strategies of Submarine Warfare

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 otherwise impressive Clancy arsenal.

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.

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."

Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment A penetrating look inside an armored cavalry regiment--the technology, the strategies, and the people... profiled by Tom Clancy.

The Bear and the Dragon

Not read.

The Cardinal of the Kremlin


Carrier: A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier

As reported by Flying Singer.
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.

Clear and Present Danger

Book and a movie.
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.

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.

Every Man a Tiger 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.

Executive Orders


Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing insider's look at an Air Force combat wing--the planes, the technology, and the people.

Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare 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).

Into the Storm: A Study in Command 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.

Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit

Booklist: 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.

Net Force

The Net Force series is co-written with Steve R. Pieczenik. I haven't read these but I did see the movie which was darnn good!
The plots revolve around a crack FBI outifit set up in 2010 to battle cyber crime.
Net Force
Net Force: Breaking Point
Net Force: Cybernation
Net Force: Cyberspy
... and dozens more last time I looked.


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. Go to Amazon and you can read excerpts and make up your own mind.
Op-Center: Acts of War
Op-Center: Balance of Power
Op-Center: Divide and Conquer
... and dozens more last time I looked.

Patriot Games

Book and movie.
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.

Rainbow Six

This book about a covert special ops team spawned a successful series of games.

Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces

From Amazon: Carl Stiner was only the second commander of SOCOM, the U.S. Special Operations Command. 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.

Special Forces: A Guided Tour of U.S. Army Special Forces

Amazon: 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.

Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship 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.

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.