Thomas L. Clancy Jr. (born April 12, 1947) is an American author of political thrillers heavily based on intelligence and military science concepts. His earlier books have a definite taste of the Cold War.
- Tom Clancy -
Whilst the literary merit of his books is disputed by many professional authors and reviewers (who regard Clancy's prose as pedestrian), most have been bestsellers. Fans of his work appreciate the well-thought-out plots and the attention to technical detail (helped by extensive contacts in the US military, perhaps encouraged by the uniformly favourable view of the American law enforcement and military communities portrayed in his work). The Hunt For Red October
, Patriot Games
, Clear and Present Danger
, and The Sum of All Fears
have been turned into commercially successful films.
In recent years, his novels have become more political, showcasing many of his conservative, pro-military and law-enforcement beliefs. In Executive Orders, his signature character Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States. Some Clancy fans have objected to this focus on politics rather than on the military subjects that his novels are famous for. Nevertheless, his books have continued to sell briskly.
Clancy has written several nonfiction books about various branches of the US armed forces (see nonfiction, below.) Clancy has branded several lines of books with his name that are written by other, acknowledged authors following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy's works: Tom Clancy's Net Force, Tom Clancy's Op-Center. Clancy's name has also appeared on several computer games of the military simulation variety, notably Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear, both of which have sequels and expansion packs.
In 1997 Tom Clancy signed a book deal with Pearson Custom Publishing and Penguin Putnam Inc (both part of Pearson Education), that paid him US$50 million for the world-English rights to two new books. He then signed a second agreement for another US$25 million for a four-year book/multimedia deal. Clancy followed this up with an agreement with Berkley Books for 24 paperbacks to tie in with the ABC television miniseries "Tom Clancy's Net Force" in an agreement worth US$22 million bringing the total value of the package to US$97 million.
(All but one of Clancy's novels feature Jack Ryan and/or John Clark.)
- The Hunt For Red October
- Clancy's first novel. Jack Ryan assists in the defection of a respected Soviet naval captain, along with the most advanced missile sub of the Soviet fleet. Movie (1990) stars Alec Baldwin as Ryan and Sean Connery as Captain Ramius.
- Red Storm Rising
- war between NATO and USSR (no Ryan or Clark)
- Patriot Games
- Chronologically first book featuring Ryan. Ryan saves the Prince of Wales from terrorists, who go after Ryan and his family. Movie (1992) stars Harrison Ford as Ryan, and has a fictional lord instead of the Prince of Wales.
- The Cardinal of the Kremlin
- First appearance of John Clark. Secret anti-satellite lasers (SDI), high-stakes diplomacy, spies and computer geeks.
- Clear and Present Danger
- Drug war in Colombia. Ryan and Clark finally meet; first appearance of 'Ding' Chavez. Movie (1994) stars Harrison Ford as Ryan and Willem Dafoe as Clark.
- The Sum of All Fears
- Israel loses a nuke, which terrorists use to foment war between US and Soviets -- averted by Ryan in a cliffhanger. Movie (2002) stars Ben Affleck as Ryan, and changes identity and motivation of the terrorists.
- Without Remorse
- Chronologically first book featuring John Clark. Set during the Vietnam war, tells how Clark became a CIA agent. Jack Ryan's father has a key role; Jack Ryan has a tiny cameo.
- Debt of Honor
- Clark and Ding help Ryan avert (win?) a war with Japan; a Japanese pilot avenges his son's death by crashing his airliner into the US Capitol, killing the entire Congress, Supreme Court, and all but two White House officials, which segues into...
- Executive Orders
- Sequel to Debt of Honor. Ryan, propelled into presidency, survives press hazing, assassination attempts and biological warfare -- Clark and Ding trace the virus to a Middle Eastern madman, and the US military goes to work.
- Rainbow Six
- Released to tie in with the computer game of the same name. John Clark leads elite anti-terrorist unit and averts worldwide genocide attempt by environmental fanatics. (Jack Ryan is mentioned, but does not appear.)
- The Bear and The Dragon
- War between Russia and China, Ryan recognizes independence of Taiwan and US Air Force helps Russia defeat Chinese invasion.
- Red Rabbit
- Back when he was a humble CIA analyst, Ryan aids in the defection of a Soviet officer who knows of a plan to assassinate the Pope.
- The Teeth Of The Tiger
- Features the rise of Jack Ryan's son, Jack Ryan Jr, as an intelligent specialist following the retirement of Jack Sr. from the Presidency.
- Special Forces
- Armored Cav
- Fighter Wing
- Into the Storm
See also: List of other novelists