Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about Tom Clancy the novelist; for the member of the Irish folk band The Clancy Brothers, see Tom Clancy (singer)
Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (born April 12, 1947), who writes under the name Tom Clancy, is an American author of political thrillers heavily based on intelligence and military science concepts; his name is also a brand for similar books written by other authors. His earlier books have a definite focus on the Cold War.
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 apparent attention to technical detail in military matters (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), although some other elements of his stories (e.g. computing and biology) are less well-researched.
In the year 2000, Tom Clancy attempted to purchase the Minnesota Vikings, and had a purchase agreement in place, but the deal fell through when his divorce settlement significantly decreased his net worth. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Community Projects & Public Affairs for the Baltimore Orioles.
Recently, Tom Clancy has criticised the US-led invasion of Iraq, citing it as proof that "good men make mistakes". Battle Ready, his latest book is a collaboration with another war critic, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, and had heated arguments with Richard Perle  . In opposing the war, Clancy joined other leading military writers such as Robert Clark Young.
The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears have been turned into commercially successful films with actors such as Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck as Clancy's most famous character Jack Ryan. As with most series of movie adaptations of popular novels, there is great controversy amongst fans concerning the (non-)canonicity of the movies, most of which take fairly extensive liberties with the series' plotlines.
In recent years, his novels have become more political, showcasing many of his conservative, neoliberal, pro-military, anti-abortion, and law-enforcement beliefs. In Executive Orders, Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States. Some of Ryan's policies include a new way of fighting the War on Drugs and tax reform (with a flat tax). Some Clancy fans have objected to this focus on politics rather than on the military subjects for which his earlier novels are famous. Nevertheless, his books have continued to sell briskly, perhaps due to momentum from his previous popularity. He returned, somewhat, to his earlier approach with The Bear and the Dragon, which starts off as a political novel, and metamorphoses into a war procedural about 2/3 the way through.
Clancy has written several nonfiction books about various branches of the US armed forces (see non-fiction listing, 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:
These are sometimes referred to by fans as "apostrophe" books; Clancy did not initially acknowledge that these series were being authored by others, only thanking the actual authors in the headnotes for their "invaluable contribution to the manuscript".
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.
In 1996, Clancy co-founded the computer game developer Red Storm Entertainment and ever since has had his name on several of Red Storm's most successful games. Red Storm was later bought by publisher Ubisoft Entertainment who continues to use the Clancy name. These games series include:
- Rainbow Six — based on the novel of the same name
- Ghost Recon
- Splinter Cell — recently spawned a line of books under the pseudonym David Michaels
All of the games bearing the Clancy name have been very successful spawning several sequels and expansions.
(All but one of Clancy's novels feature Jack Ryan and/or John Clark.)
By publication date
- The Hunt for Red October (1984)
- Red Storm Rising (1986)
- Patriot Games (1987)
- The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
- First appearance of John Clark. Secret anti-satellite lasers (SDI), high-stakes diplomacy, spies and computer geeks.
- Clear and Present Danger (1989)
- The Sum of All Fears (1991)
- Without Remorse (1993)
- Debt of Honor (1994)
- Executive Orders (1996)
- SSN (1996)
- Rainbow Six (1998)
- 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 (2000)
- Red Rabbit (2002)
- 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 (2003)
- Features the rise of Jack Ryan's son, Jack Ryan Jr, as an intelligence analyst for The Campus, an off-the-books intelligence agency, following the retirement of Jack Sr. from the Presidency.
By series chronology
- Without Remorse
- Patriot Games
- Red Rabbit
- The Hunt for Red October
- The Cardinal of the Kremlin
- Clear and Present Danger
- The Sum of All Fears
- Debt of Honor
- Executive Orders
- Rainbow Six
- The Bear and the Dragon
- The Teeth of the Tiger
- Submarine (1993)
- Armored Cav (1994)
- Fighter Wing (1995)
- Marine (1996)
- Into the Storm (1997)
- Airborne (1997)
- Carrier (1999)
- Every Man a Tiger (1999)
- Special Forces (2001)
- Shadow Warriors (2002)
- Battle Ready (with Anthony Zinni, 2004, ISBN 0399151761)
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