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REAL TIME CHRONOLOGY OF TOM CLANCY’S NOVELS

 The books take place in real time in the following order:

 Without Remorse

Patriot Games

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

Red Storm Rising  - Since there are neither historical events nor characters common to any of the other Tom Clancy novels, it cannot be determined when Red Storm Rising is set, so I was unable to place that book in its proper place in the above sequencing.

That above chronology sequence is demonstrated by the following:

Without Remorse  (Published in 1993 but SET in 1971):

Clancy begins and ends this novel with reference to actual historical events; Hurricane Camille in October, 1969 and the return of the Prisoners of War (POW) from Vietnam in February, 1973.  The third historical event in this book is the Son Tay Raid, which happened in November, 1970, and was an attempted rescue of some American POWs in Vietnam.  On page 437, Clancy also mentions a fourth historical event – the capture of the USS Pueblo on January 23, 1968.

 In Chapter 1, Clancy actually tells us that it is November (he does not specify the year) and John Kelly is demolishing a structure damaged by Camille, so it has to be 1969 at least.  In this chapter, Trish Kelly is killed in the automobile accident and Helen Waters is brutally murdered.  Clancy then tells us that Chapter 2 takes place the subsequent May, (again, no specific year) when Kelly meets Pam Madden and the real story begins.  The story ends with the “death” of John Kelly and his re-birth into the CIA as John Clark.  The book, however, doesn’t end until many months later, in February 1973, with the return of the POWs Kelly tried to rescue.  The events in this story can best be dated by starting at the end and working toward the beginning – and that is what I have done below.

 We have a very accurate real (actual events) timeline at both ends of this book (although it runs for almost 2 1/2 years); and it looks like this:

  – October, 1969 – Hurricane Camille ravages the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (historical fact, no page reference);

– November 21, 1970 – The Son Tay Raid attempts to rescue some American Prisoners of War (POW) from the North Vietnamese (historical fact, no page reference);

 – November, 1970 – John Kelly is demolishing a structure in the Gulf of Mexico which was damaged by Hurricane Camille (page 11), Trish Kelly and her unborn baby die in the vehicle accident (page 15) and Helen Waters is murdered (page 16);

 – May, 1971 (Memorial Day weekend – page 20) – Kelly meets Pam Madden and the story begins (page 19);

 – July, 1971 – on page 165, we learn that the total time Kelly and Pam were together was 3 weeks, which means Pam was killed in June; that plus Kelly’s hospital time makes it July;

 – Summer, 1971 – we learn on page 172 that Kelly was still in the Navy as a Boatswains Mate First Class in 1968, was promoted to Chief Boatswains Mate by Admiral Maxwell in 1968, that he rescued Admiral Maxwell’s son in 1968 and that his firefighter father died on the job of a heart attack in 1968;

 – Summer, 1971 – on page 174, Admiral Maxwell and Kelly are discussing a raid to free some of the American POWs and Kelly says “…like Song Tay?” (the correct spelling is Son Tay) so we know the conversation happened after November, 1970;

 Summer, 1971 on page 175, Admiral Maxwell says “The mission has to go in the fall, this fall…” so we know it is not yet fall;

 – Summer, 1971 – on page 279, a Marine Colonel says “The job will last two to three months.”  He is speaking of the attempt which would be made to rescue some of the POWs, and it tracks with the timeline of the story;

 – August, 1971 – on page 527, Emmet Ryan says “…they’d been on this case, this endless series of deaths, for more than six months,…“.  (6 months from Helen’s death would have been May and 6 months from Pam’s death would be December, so this time reference doesn’t seem to work with anything else in the story since Emmet says it on the same page as the college reference below.);

 – August, 1971 – on page 527, Emmet Ryan says of his son – “Jack would be returning to Boston College in another week or so”; so we know the end of summer is imminent;

 – October, 1971 – on page 537, Emmet Ryan says to his son, Jack, “Eleven months’ worth, Jack” referring to the murder cases he had been working on since November, 1970.  That would make it October, 1971,which tracks with the timeline of the story.

 – ??, 1971 – on page 605, Tom Douglas says “…it was eight months now since the death of a sad, petite girl named Helen Waters.  Then Pamela Madden.  Then Doris Brown.” (8 months from Helen’s death would have been July, so this time reference doesn’t seem to work with anything else in the story since we know it is already at least October.);

 – January, 1972 (at the latest, it could have been earlier) – John Kelly “dies” and is re-born into the CIA as John Clark (pages 635 and 636), thus ending the story;

 – June, 1972 (at the latest, it could have been earlier) – 5 months after Kelly “dies”, Sandy O’Toole quits her job in Baltimore and relocates to the Tidewater area of Virginia (page 637);

 – June, 1972 (at the latest, it could have been earlier) – John Clark and Sandy O’Toole are married (assumption based on moral climate at the time, no page reference);

 – June, 1972 – Maggie Clark is conceived (assumption based on birth date, no page reference);

 – February, 1973 – some of the American POWs return home (historical fact, also page 639);

 – Early in 1973 (for our purposes, let us say March) – Margaret Pamela “Maggie” Clark is born.  On page 639, February 12, 1973, Sandy rests John’s hand on her belly to “…feel the movement of their soon-to-be firstborn…” and that was Maggie.

   Ages of:          John Kelly – 26 (see page 582).  Kelly was still in the Navy in 1968 (page 172) but it was late in his enlistment and we know that he served for 6 years (page 582).  He was promoted to Chief in 1968, so let’s say he got out in 1969.  That means he enlisted in 1963 at age 18 (page 582), so he was born in 1945.  If he was 26 in W.R., then it dates the preponderance of the story in the novel to 1971.

                        Emmet Ryan – 48.  We learn on page 71 of T.H.F.R.O. that Emmet was 19 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December, 1941; that means he was born in 1922 and 48 years later is 1970, not quite confirming the above date sequences, but coming close;

                        Jack Ryan – 19 years old as a sophomore at Boston College (see page 527).  This is somewhat confusing because Emmet Ryan only says (in 1971) “Jack would be returning to Boston College in another week or so”.  He could be going back for his sophomore, junior or senior year.  I’m guessing sophomore year, because Jack has told his Dad that the Marines would “…pay for the last two years…” (meaning ROTC); if so, Jack was born in 1952;

                        “Portagee” Oreza – nearly 28 (see page 34);

                        Rachael Oreza – 5 years old (see page 572).

 

Patriot Games  (Published in 1987 but SET in 1983 and 1984):

 This book opens on a Fall Wednesday in London (pages 13 and 57).  We know Sally Ryan is 4 years old near the beginning of the book and that her Dad, Jack, is 31.  If Jack was born in 1952 (see W.R.), then P.G. starts in 1983 and ends in July 1984 with the birth of Jack Jr.  That is contradicted by the electrician on page 438 who says it is almost 70 years since 1919, which makes it 1988 at the latest.  I would be more comfortable with dating the book if he had said almost 65 years, but then Clancy has also provided conflicting date information in other books.

   Ages of:          Jack Ryan – 31 (see page 34).  On page 35, we learn that Jack’s Marine Corps career only lasted 3 months, that his back was injured in a helicopter crash in Crete and that he had been treated at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.  (Also, on page 570 of C.A.P.D., we learn that Jack was 23 years old when he was injured – which makes it 1975 at the time of the accident.)  On page 46, we learn that Jack met Cathy through her father, Joe Muller, that Jack was wearing a back brace and that the Navy surgeons had made inadequate repairs to his back.  Subsequently Cathy, who was studying to become a surgeon and by now engaged to Jack, brought him to Doctor Stanley Rabinowitz, professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, to be evaluated.  Dr. Rabinowitz repaired Ryan’s back.  On page 53, we learn that the Queen intends to invest Jack as a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order (KCVO), that henceforth he shall be Sir John and Cathy shall be Lady Ryan.  Ryan’s adaptation of The Canary Trap (the function of which is to determine who “sang”), is explained on page 101.  Jack wrote a document, Agents and Agencies, which had four sections, each with a summary paragraph.  Each summary paragraph has six different versions and the mixture of those paragraphs is unique in each numbered copy of the document.  The expertness of the report, plus the adaptation, provided by Ryan while he was an outside consultant, caused Admiral Greer to offer Ryan a slot within the CIA which he turned down.  On page 140, we learn that Ryan’s parents died in a crash at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport only 19 months after his crash in Crete.  On page 167, we learn that Ryan met Robbie Jackson the preceding March, only 9 months earlier.

Cathy Ryan – undetermined.  On page 41 we learn that Cathy’s Mom died about 3 years ago.  On page 110, we learn that she was raised in Westchester County, NY.  On Christmas morning (page 181), Jack gives Cathy a gold necklace which will be mentioned in three other books –  T.C.O.T.K. (page 314), T.S.O.A.F. (page 531) and E.O. (page 269).

                        Sally Ryan – 4 (see pages 14 and  94)

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – born in mid-summer (on July 31st) at the end of this book

                        Kevin O’Donnell – 34 (see page 74

                        Dan Murray – 40s (see page 85)

                        Bill Shaw – mid-forties (see page 216)

                        Gus Werner – 35 (see page 489)

 

 

The Hunt For Red October  (Published in 1984 but SET in 1986):

 

We know the Ryan family is in England and Christmas is approaching (pages 19 and 37).  Sally is worried that Santa won’t find them because “We’re not where we were last year.”  Also, Jack decides (page 20) to “..play with his kids.”  This book therefore takes place after Patriot Games since they only had one kid, Sally, until the very end of P.G.  Based on Sally’s age, this book takes place in 1985; based on Jack Junior’s age, it takes place in 1986.  The Ryan family has been in England “close to a year” – and Ryan had been a stockbroker for 4 years - page 44; meaning before P.G.  On page 100 we learn that Ryan’s Marine career had ended after only 3 months when his platoon’s helicopter had crashed on Crete; the 3 month time is confirmed on page 289.  On page 339 we learn that his Father and Mother were killed in an aircraft accident 10 years ago and that he started work full time for the CIA 2 years ago (1984, which checks with P.G. if it is 1986).  The preponderance of the information indicates Red October takes place in 1986.

Ages of:  Jack Ryan – 34 (based on his year of birth being 1952)
Cathy Ryan – undisclosed
Sally Ryan – 6 (first grade, see page 38)
Jack Ryan Jr. – 2 (see page 38)

                        James Greer - 66 (see page 37); he made the switch from Line Officer to Professional Spook in the early sixties – and that was 20 years ago (page 42)

                        Skip Tyler was playing football at Annapolis 16 years before (see page 45)

                        Mike Mancuso – 8 (see page 383)

                        Dominick Mancuso – 4 (see page 383)

 

 

The Cardinal of the Kremlin  (Published in 1988 but SET in 1987):

 

On page 19, we learn that T.C.O.T.K. starts almost one year after T.H.F.R.O. when Clancy says of Red October…”wetting the submarine’s keel for the first time in nearly a year.”  That places this book in the 1987 timeframe.  Jack’s age also makes it 1987.  Ryan also says he will fly to Moscow in January (page 20), so the book probably starts in November.  On page 33, Golovko references P.G. which he says happened “almost five years before”.  That would indicate this book takes place in 1988.  However, Jack also says, on page 150, “Five years ago, I had people try to kill my wife and kid.  They had to fly three thousand miles to do it, but they came anyway.”  That reference to P.G. would make it 1989 and so would little Jack’s age; but it can’t be 1989 because of Ryan’s age so it seems that Clancy has provided conflicting information once again.  Additionally, on page 44 we learn that the CARDINAL’s wife died 30 years ago next month.  It is January, so she died in February and they would have been married 50 years this coming July 14th.  Since the elder son was killed in 1956, short of his 17th birthday, he was born in late 1939 or early 1940 with the marriage taking place in 1939 – and that also indicates that it is 1989.  Filitov was arrested in February – page 293.  On page 314, Ryan refers to a gold necklace which he’d given to Cathy “…a few years before.” This is the same necklace mentioned on page 181 of P.G., page 531 of T.S.O.A.F. and page 269 of E.O.  On pages 347 and 348 we learn that Jack Ryan was in second grade in 1958; if so, he was probably born in 1951, not 1952 as gleaned from W.R. and it is 1986 now.  But that isn’t too precise, because since we don’t know the actual MONTH of his birth, he still could have been born in 1952.  On page 460, we learn Jack Ryan joined the CIA on a part-time basis 4 years ago (P.G.) and became a full-time analyst soon after, that also confirms that it is 1987.  On page 469, we learn that Gerasimov has been married for 25 years.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – 35 (see pages 33 and 334)

                        Cathy Ryan – undisclosed

                        Sally Ryan – undisclosed

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – 5 as a kindergartner (see page 65)

                        Eddie Foley – 7 (see page 78)

                        Ed Foley – 33 (see page 79)

                        John Clark – “a little over 40” (see page 232)

                        Al Gregory – 29 (see page 50)

                        Nikolay Gerasimov –53 (see page 212)

                        Maria Gerasimova – 50 (see page 468)

                        Katryn Gerasimova – 18 (see page 470)

 

 

Clear and Present Danger  (Published in 1989 and SET in 1989):

 

We know from page 15 that the sitting President has been in office for over 3 years and that it is late Spring, so Election Day is only 5 or 6 months away (recognizing that 1989 was not a Presidential election year).  The book ends in early November, when Bob Fowler is elected President of the United States.  John Clark has been in the CIA for nearly twenty years (page 45) – a full 20 won’t happen until late 1991.  On page 121, Ritter says “Just a few months ago a crash operation went bad because of an illegal turn” – he refers to T.C.O.T.K. which took place in 1987.  On page 123, Ryan tells us that it has been “only six years since he started with the Agency” and that he had “known Greer for less than seven…” and he repeats the 6 year timeline on page 306.  Since Jack started working for the CIA as a response to the terrorist attack on his family (in Patriot Games) in 1983, it must now be 1989.  The President of the United States is serving his first term – page 394 and doesn’t repeat because Bob Fowler beats him.  John Clark talks about W.R. as happening “…almost 20 years earlier” on page 417 – and that doesn’t rule out that C.A.P.D. happens in 1989.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – 37 (see pages 123 and 306 where Jack tells us he has been with the CIA for 6 years – that is, since Patriot Games when he was 31.  Also, on page 215, Ryan says he is “…short of 40” and on page 476, Ryan tells us his feeling “…as he marched toward 40”.  We also learn on page 570 that the CH-46 helicopter crash on Crete happened when Jack Ryan was 23 years old, which was in 1975.)

                        Cathy Ryan – undisclosed

                        Sally Ryan – undisclosed

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – undisclosed

                        Ding Chavez – 26 (see page 47) and Ding has completed 9 years of Army service

                        John Clark – well over 40 (see page 44)

                        Bronco Winters – 27 (see page 153)

                        Carol Zimmer – 36 (see page 164)

                        Maggie Clark – 17 (see page 282; since we know she was born in the Spring of 1973, it is now supposedly at least March of 1990)

                        Patsy Clark – 14 (see page 282)

                        Pete Connor – 40 (see page 14)

 

 

Book Title To Be Determined  (Published in 200?, but set in 1990/1991)

 

I believe there is another Clancy book, albeit an unpublished one, that takes place between the end of C.A.P.D. and the beginning of T.S.O.A.F.  I base this belief on the following:

 

On page 576 of T.S.O.A.F. we learn that there is an aircraft silhouette painted on the left side of Robby Jackson’s F-14.  Under it, Clancy tells us, printed in small letters, is :  “MiG-29, 17-1-91”.  What that means is that Robby shot down a MiG-29 on January 17th, 1991.  Note well the specific date; Clancy isn’t all that generous with dates, is he?  (One of the other month/day/year references I recall is the Epilogue title on page 639 of W.R.)  Since the shoot-down doesn’t appear in any Clancy book yet published, he must intend to fill the gap at some future date (this was written when I figured it out in Fairfax, VA on 05/25/01).  Also, on page 669 of T.S.O.A.F., Robbie talks about “his Iraqi victim” in a shoot-down.  Furthermore, on page 629 of D.O.H., we learn that Robbie had gotten a kill during the Persian Gulf War.  (Not to be confused with Robby shooting down four Libyan MiG-29s on pages 668 and 669 of T.S.O.A.F.).

 

 

The Sum of All Fears  (Published in 1991 and SET in 1991 and 1992):

 

This book takes place almost two years after C.A.P.D.  The book opens early in the baseball season (page 44) and Bob Fowler is the President (page 24).  On page 126, Fowler recognizes that “the first two years of his administration…” were already history he and speaks of the upcoming mid-term election; so since he was elected at the end of C.A.P.D., it is now 1991.  That two year timeline is repeated on page 149 where the election is marked as “almost two Novembers ago”.  On pages 342 and 343, we learn that it is September and the Ryan kids are back in school.  Sally should be 11 years old since she was already 4 when her brother was born…but Clancy says 10 for Sally and 7 for Jack Jr. on page 345.  So, since little Jack was born in July, 1984, that confirms it as being 1991 and Jack Ryan would therefore be 39 years of age.  On page 257, Liz Elliot asks of the CIA; “Did they predict 1989?”  That past tense question also means we are past 1989 in time.

 

On page 46, Clancy tells us about the eight Zimmer kids, but Buck Zimmer dies in Ryan’s arms (end of C.A.P.D.) telling Ryan he has seven kids and Ryan promises to take care of them.  Presumably, Carol was pregnant and Buck didn’t know.  We learn the truth of this at the bottom of page 512.  Anyway, in T.S.O.A.F. much is made of the relationship Ryan has with the Zimmer family.  The newest child, Jacqueline Theresa Zimmer, was born after Buck died (page 294).  Liz Elliot tries to destroy Jack and break up his marriage by exposing his alleged “illicit” relationship to Carol Zimmer.

 

On page 249, General Ben Jakob says, of Ryan, “…been in the trade for what – not even ten years…”  This is good news; if it is now 1991, as I believe, and P.G. began in 1983, as I believe, Ben Jakob’s statement is within those years.

 

A recapitulation of Ryan’s career (through the time of this book) is on page 340.  In reverse order, he was:

-        Deputy Director of the CIA;

-        Deputy Director (Intelligence) of the CIA;

-        Analyst, then Special Assistant, to Admiral James Greer, the Deputy Director (Intelligence) of the CIA;

-        Instructor in History at the Naval Academy;

-        Graduate (Ph.D. candidate) student at Georgetown University;

-        Broker at the Baltimore office of Merrill Lynch;

-        An Officer in the US Marine Corps.

 

On page 526, Clark makes a bargain with Bob Holtzman.  Clark agrees to tell Holtzman the details of Gerasimov’s defection “…Five years from today…”  In return, Holtzman agrees to reveal the source of the leaked information about Ryan.  Holtzman subsequently identifies Liz Elliott as the source and Cathy Ryan decides to seek her revenge after Clark tells her who tried to break up her marriage.

 

On page 531, Clancy has Jack place a gold necklace around Cathy’s neck and comment that “It was one he’d given her on the Christmas before Little Jack was born.”  This is the same necklace mentioned on page 314 of T.C.O.T.K., page 181 of P.G. and page 269 of E.O.

 

On page 574, Ryan promises Cathy that he would be out of the CIA no later than April 1st of the current year – and that is very good news for Cathy!

 

On page 626, we hear about the new Strategic Air Command (SAC) command post completed in 1989...and we’re still within the 1991/1992 timeframe.  At the end of this book, Bob Fowler resigns the Presidency and is succeeded by the Vice President, Roger Durling.  After the deaths of Qati and Ghosn, the three hundred year old sword by which they were executed is presented to Jack Ryan by Prince Ali – page 796.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – undisclosed, but probably 39.  Ryan’s three Intelligence Stars are mentioned on page 24, but only two of them are tied to specific events.  We know that the other one was for C.A.P.D.  Jack is in the number two position at the CIA in this book, after what he calls his “brief stint as DDI” (page 47). 

                        Cathy Ryan – 36 (see page 346)

                        Sally Ryan – 10 (see page 345) (11 would be the correct age here)

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – 7 (see page 345)

                        Katie Ryan – conceived in mid-to-late January, before the Super Bowl (see pages 540 and 773 where Cathy tells Jack she is a late, but only a day late), so she was probably born in November, 1992

                        Arnie van Damm – 50 (see page 23)

                        Ben Goodley – 27 (see page 257)

                        Dutch Claggett – 36 (see page 281)

                        John Clark – late 40s (see page 295)

                        Daryaei – approaching 70 (see page 793)

 

 

Debt of Honor  (Published in 1994 and SET from October 1994 to February 1995):

 

D.O.H. begins in October, 2 ½ years after T.S.O.A.F. ends (see pages 15 and 16) and Jack Ryan has been in the business world of Merchant Banking the whole time.  On page 23 we learn that Katie Ryan would be 2 years old in another month; so that confirms she was born in November.  On page 751 we learn that D.O.H. is ending 10 years after P.G., or in 1994.  By Sally’s age, by Katie’s age and by Ding Chavez’s age it is also 1994.  That much confirmation makes it pretty convincing that the book must be set in 1994.

 

Even more surprising is the confirmation provided by Manuel “Portagee” Oreza’a age.  In W.R., he was 27, and that was 1971.  In D.O.H. he is 50; that’s 23 years older and makes the year 1994!!

 

On page 250, the fabrication of the nuclear device in a cave in Lebanon is described, confirming that D.O.H. tales place after T.S.O.A.F.

 

And finally, near the end of the book on page 748, the President says “…my main job for the next nine months is to get reelected.”  So, since election day is in early November, that tells us that it must be early in February and the book started the preceding October.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – undisclosed.   On page 23 we learn that Jack Ryan had never had a brother.

                        Cathy Ryan – undisclosed

                        Sally Ryan – 15 (see page ??)  On page 82 Jack says his elder daughter would soon start dating.

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – undisclosed

                        Katie Ryan – 23 months (see page 23) (if she was born in November 1992, as I believe, it would now be October 1994)

                        Ding Chavez – 31 (see page 30)

                        Patsy Clark – 21 (see page 30)  Patsy’s age doesn’t match the expected time line.  She was only 14 in C.A.P.D., and 7 years later would make it 1996, not 1994.

                        George Winston – 40 (see page 61)

                        John Clark – undisclosed.   On page 69 we learn that Clark trained Mary Pat and Ed Foley “20 years ago”

                        Chris Scott – 34 (see page 216)

                        Ron Jones – short of 40 (see page 256)

                        Rachael (Oreza) Chandler – approaching 30 years old (see page 360)

                        “Portagee” Oreza – 50 (see page 404)

                        Sandy Richter – 46 (see page 648) over 29 years of Military service and 6,751 flight hours (see page 649)

 

 

Executive Orders  (Published in 1996 but SET from February to August, 1995):

 

(I say August because Jack Ryan talks of running for office for 10 weeks on page 18 of T.B.A.T.D.  Since he did say he would run at the end of E.O. (page 874) and he hadn’t even started running at the end of the book, 10 weeks before the first week of November is some time in August).

 

PROBLEM:  On page 16, Pat O’Day tells Dan Murray that the death toll from the destruction of the Capitol Building was “…lots worse’n Oklahoma”.  The Oklahoma City bombing happened on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people – so either I have all the dates wrong or Clancy is providing bad information.

 

We know that E.O. is a continuation of D.O.H. with the last scene in D.O.H. being the first scene in E.O.  The month is still February, confirmed on pages 83 and 86.  Sally Ryan is still 15, Katie is still 2.  On page 151, Jack Ryan says he “…started working inside” when he was 31 – that refers to P.G. when he was 31 and Sally was 4.  That makes E.O. 11 years later, and yet again, 1995.

 

Also, Ryan, stunned as he is, thinks he will be serving as President for only a few months.  This book starts in February and ends well before election day since Ryan says he will run for the office on page 874.  (Ryan’s election “run” is partially described in T.B.A.T.D., pages 18 – 20.  It is Spring when the attack on Katie is made – page 605.

 

The fate of Bob Fowler is confirmed on page 20; he resigned after the end of T.S.O.A.F. and his Vice president, Roger Durling, took over.  The sequencing of the books is also confirmed on page 60 where we see “…after the terrorist incident in Denver…”, which was T.S.O.A.F.  Also, Cathy speaks of her associate Bernie Katz who “went over (to Saudi Arabia) in 1994”; clearly speaking in the past tense on page 112. 

 

On page 257, Bob Holtzman tries to get John Clark to give him some information.  Holtzman cites a “deal” they had made on page 526 of T.S.O.A.F.  Holtzman provided some information to Clark in return for Clark’s promise to tell Holtzman about Gerasimov’s defection.  The deal had a five year time clause on it (starting no earlier than 1991) and Clark tells Holtzman that “Time isn’t up yet”, so we know it is not yet 1996.  On pages 751 and 765 we learn that John Clark was in Iran in 1979 and in 1980.  This fits the time line of these novels, because these two years are not included in any of the books.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – undisclosed.  (Theoretically, he would be 43 if he was born in 1952).  His Quantico time was “more than 20 years before” (page 107) and that would check with the dates above.  Ryan’s first Intelligence Star is mentioned on page 419 by a disgruntled CIA employee leaking information to Donner.

                        Cathy Ryan – 40 (see page 352)  Cathy learns she is winning the Lasker Memorial Public Service Award on page 76. 

                        Sally Ryan – 15 (see page 75)  Interestingly, on page 115, Clancy tells us the Ryans took their daughter (Sally) to Disney World “just after their daughter’s third birthday, not long before their trip to England”, and that trip was at the beginning of P.G.  This means Sally would be three years old in P.G., not four as Clancy tells us on page 94 of P.G. – another apparent inconsistency.

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – undisclosed.  (We do learn, on page 359, that Jack Jr. and Sally attend Saint Mary’s School outside Annapolis, MD.  Saint Mary’s School enrolls students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.)

                        Katie Ryan – not-yet-three-year-old (see page 631)

                        Kyle Ryan – on page 685 we learn that Cathy has discovered that she is pregnant with what will turn out to be Kyle

                        Mark Durling – 9 (see page 98)

                        Amy Durling – older than Mark (see page 100)

                        Ding Chavez – undisclosed

                        George Winston – undisclosed.

                        Megan O’Day – 2 ½ (see page 279)

                        Daryaei – 72 (see pages 225 and 590)  This works – if he was “approaching 70” in 1992 (page 793 of T.S.O.A.F., then he could certainly be 72 in 1995!!

 

 

Rainbow Six  (Published in 1998 but SET in 1995, 1996 or 1997, I really can’t tell):

 

R.S. is full of conflicting time line information.  It is almost as if Clancy can’t make up his mind, OR he wrote both books (R.S. and T.B.A.T.D.) simultaneously and just got confused as to which one he was working on at any particular moment.  For instance:

-        Virtually all the evidence in T.B.A.T.D. points to the fact that T.B.A.T.D. happens within a few months of the end of E.O. and therefore R.S. would come after T.B.A.T.D.  But that can’t be because there are two major (and many more minor) problems with that sequence.  The first and most obvious is the age of John Conner Chavez, Patsy and Ding’s son.  He is born on page 550 of R.S. and Clancy has him just learning to walk on page 277 of T.B.A.T.D., clearly the walking comes after the birth.  The second big one is the first half of Chapter 19, starting on page 270 of T.B.A.T.D.  In this section, all the RAINBOW exploits from R.S. are in the past tense.  It’s almost as if R.S. starts before the end of E.O. and ends before the start of T.B.A.T.D., but there doesn’t appear to be enough time for that to have happened.

-        Kirilenko and Popov talk about NATO being a possible threat to Russia (page 354) when we know Russia was admitted to NATO in T.B.A.T.D., so we know this part of R.S. came before that part of T.B.A.T.D.

-        On the bottom of page 219 we learn that two years have passed since E.O.  But that has to be incorrect, since we already know that T.B.A.T.D. takes place in the year immediately following E.O.

-        Kirilenko is talking to his desk officer in Moscow (page 358) and he learns that Clark has met personally with Golovko.  On page 621 we learn that the meeting happened just 18 months ago.  That happened first in E.O., so this part of R.S. happens 18 months after that part of E.O. which makes it early in 1997.

-        On page 477 Clancy has the character Popov say “…only a relatively few months before, America had been attacked with biological warfare”, killing about five thousand people.  That also refers to E.O.

 

Patsy Chavez is now a Medical Doctor (pages 75 and 76) and is in her intern year (page 90).  She was only in pre-med (not Medical School) on page 70 of D.O.H. (set in 1994 and 1995), so Clancy hasn’t had enough time to put her through three years of Med School to get to her intern year, and that event didn’t make it into one of the books – just another time inconsistency unless this book is really set in 2001 as two of the clues would indicate.  Her Dad thinks she probably got pregnant on her wedding night (page 2), six weeks ago (page 11), so they probably married in early to mid- October. 

 

Al Stanley was a Major in the Special Air Service SAS before being seconded to the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) before being assigned to RAINBOW.  John Clark worked with him in Romania eight years before (page 2).  (We haven’t heard that story from Mr. Clancy yet).  Also on page 2 we learn that Clark was a “friend” of the President (the only President he was friends with was Jack Ryan).  On page 3 we learn that Clark, by moving to England, will be “missing the end of the football season”, so it’s Fall (confirmed on page 16), probably around Thanksgiving.  On page 11 we learn that John and Sandy had been married 25 years – since they were married in 1972 (W.R.), it is now 1997.  On the other hand, page 23 tells us that Clark had 30 years in the CIA; that started in 1971, so it would now be 2001.

 

On page 23 we learn that RAINBOW was Clark’s idea.  His history is presented on page 28.  We learn that:

            Clark was a former Chief Boatswains Mate in the US Navy and that, as a SEAL, he had been awarded the Navy Cross, 2 Silver Stars, 4 Bronze Stars, with Combat-V and 3 Purple Hearts.  (That makes him a very, very serious player).  Additionally, he has been awarded 4 Intelligence Stars by the CIA.

 

On page 369 we learn that the Russian file on Clark contains information that he:

            Had met with Golovko, had gotten Gerasimov’s wife and daughter out of Russia, had operated in Romania (second time we were told this, but it is not yet the subject of a Clancy book), had rescued Koga and helped eliminate Daryaei.  Golovko set up Ding and John’s entry into Iran (page 344) – past tense.  The removal of Gerasimov’s wife and daughter happened “…10 years ago…” (page 374) and that took place in T.H.F.R.O. in 1986.

 

Clancy speaks of the “new” President on page 79 and a “new” Senator on page 80.  The indication is we are not very far past Jack’s swearing-in.  On page 93 he tells us that the President was “…in his first year and a half of holding office…”.  Jack was sworn-in upon the death of his predecessor in February 1995 – 18 months after is August 1996.  Conversely, Jack was inaugurated in January 1996, and if that is the start date Clancy had in mind, then 18 months after that is July 1997.

 

On page 522 Clancy has Julio Vega say “He and Chavez went back nearly ten years.”  He refers to when the two met – in C.A.P.D. which was published and set in 1989, but that only makes almost ten years between the publication dates, not the real time dates.  On page 642 Clancy tells us that the ebola attack (E.O.) happened 18 months ago.  This 18 month time line keeps repeating and that makes it 1997.  Page 651 tells us that Carol Brightling didn’t join the government until after the ebola attack.

 

PROBLEM:  On page 574 Clancy gives us another hard date – this one is November 21, 2000.  It is supposedly the date on which a batch of vaccine was manufactured and I suppose it is intended to show that it is now 2001.  If it is, it contradicts a whole lot of other information in the book.  Clancy is pretty stingy with actual dates, so when he gives us one, we should pay attention.  Either I have all the dates wrong again or Clancy is providing bad information again.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – undisclosed, Jack is hardly mentioned in this book.

                        Cathy Ryan – undisclosed

                        Sally Ryan – undisclosed

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – undisclosed

                        Katie Ryan – undisclosed

                        John Clark – page 34 tells us Clark is “…closer to 60 than to 50…; and he is described as “…well over 50…” on page 90

                        Malloy daughters – 10 and 8 (see page 187)

                        Eddie Price – 41 (see page 30)

                        Colonel Johns – undisclosed, but he “retired about 5 years ago” (page 198)

                        Mary Pat Foley – mid-forties (see page 349)

                        JC Chavez – born (see page 550)

                        Ding Chavez – undisclosed, but he has completed his MS in International Relations (page 90); on page 25 Clancy tells us Ding is 5’ 7”; on page 48 of C.A.P.D., he told us he was 5’ 8” tall.

                        Patsy Chavez – undisclosed, but she has completed Medical School (pages 75 and 76) and is in her Intern year (page 90)

                        Al Stanley – younger than John Clark by 5 years (see page 485)

 

 

The Bear and The Dragon  (Published in 2000 but SET in 1996):

 

This book takes place in the year after Executive Orders.  We know that primarily because Jack Ryan is the newly elected President of the United States (see pages 18 and 49).  Remember, in D.O.H., Ryan became President on the death of President Durling at the end of the book.  And Durling only asked Ryan to become Vice president until the election was over and the new administration took over – a period of only 11 months (page 748 of D.O.H.)!  So, since the election itself isn’t described in either E.O. or this book, we know that all of E.O. took place prior to that election, that the new administration has been in place since the January Inauguration, and it is a Ryan administration.  Additional confirmation is below.

 

Ben Goodley is the National Security Advisor (page 16), not the Acting National Security Advisor he was in E.O.  The Premier of the People’s Republic of China mentions details from D.O.H. and E.O. on page 27 and Zhang Han San mentions them on page 33.  Ryan says “…O’Day had saved his daughter’s life less than a year ago…” on page 83 and we know it was Spring when Katie’s life was threatened.    On the same page, Ryan says “…last year we got the jerseys and stuff for his son”…; referring to the Stanley Cup winners’ visit to the White House (page 576 of E.O.).  Speaking of educating Ryan about politics, on page 86 Arnie van Damm says “…I’ve been trying to do that for over a year now…”, referring to the lessons he has constantly provided ever since Jack first entered the Oval Office upon the death of Roger Durling.  Also, Arnie tells Jack on page 139 that “…you can be in this job another seven-plus years and retire…”; this confirms that Jack is still in the first year of his (elected) Presidency.  On page 247, Scott Adler says “…last year, after the Airbus shoot-down…”, another reference to E.O.  On page 253, Clancy speaks of “…soldiers who’d fought the previous year in Saudi Arabia”, yet another reference to E.O.

 

The 747 crash into the House of Representatives (the end of D.O.H.) happened “15 months ago” – see page 88 of T.B.A.T.D.  On page 264, Bart Mancuso says, (of D.O.H.), “…the little shooting war they’d engaged in 2 years before…”.  We get another timeline on page 727 where Fang Gan says “Iran underestimated the Americans just last year, causing disaster for them and the death of their leader…”, a reference to E.O.   Additionally, on page 738, speaking about the potential compromise of  a member of the Russian President’s security detail, an FSS officer says “…that nearly happened to the American President last year, you may have heard,…”, another E.O. reference.  A troubling statement is made on page 878, where we read “America had fought against China only once, in Korea nearly 60 years ago.”  That would make it 2010 at least!!!  Also, Ed Foley, on page 978, says “Clark had been CIA’s official iceman for close to 20 years.” And since he didn’t undertake that role until 1972, that would make it about 1990 or 1991; so again, there is some conflicting timeline information at both ends of the spectrum presented by Mr. Clancy.

 

On page 987, Clark says: “…Couple years ago we set up this group, called RAINBOW, special operations, counter-terror…”; but this two year time line doesn’t fit.  On pages 987 and 988, we learn that Colonel Malloy left RAINBOW and took over VMH-1, flying the President and the First Lady, something he does throughout T.B.A.T.D.

 

  Ages of:          Jack Ryan – undisclosed.

                        Cathy Ryan – undisclosed.

                        Sally Ryan – undisclosed.

                        Jack Ryan Jr. – undisclosed.

                        Katie Ryan – 4 (see page 561)

                        Kyle Ryan – less than 12 months (the description of his birth is on page 182)

                        John Clark – over 50 (see page 978)

                        Chet Nomuri – 29 (see page 113)

                        Lian Ming – 24 (see page 104)

                        Megan O’Day – pre-schooler (see page 561)

                        Mike Mancuso – college age (see page 53), 22, based on Dominick being 4 years younger in T.H.F.R.O.

                        Dominick Mancuso – college age (see page 53) 18, based on Mike’s age

                        Eddie Foley – 18; freshman in college (see page 115)  (Eddie was not yet in college on page 576 of E.O., when the Captain of the team winning the Stanley Cup suggested he go to Renssalaer – where he is in this book)

                        Katie Foley – 16 or 17 since she already drives and hasn’t completed high school (see page 303)

                        General Sinyavskiy – 46 (see page 881)

 

 

Red Storm Rising  (Published in 1986 but since there are neither historical events nor characters common to any of the other Tom Clancy novels, it cannot be determined in which year the book is SET therefore I cannot place it in the chronology).

 

 

 

Written by:  Robert Keith Miller. P.E.

                   Captain, Civil Engineer Corps

                   United States Navy (Retired)

 

Fairfax, Virginia

 

Unpublished work © 2001 Robert K. Miller