Book FAQ

TC Post: 2000-06-25 TC Post: Clancy Speaks Again Briefly Publishing Record TC Post: Research

TC Post: 2000-06-25
TC Post: Clancy Speaks Again Briefly
Publishing Record
TC Post: Research



Tom Clancy FAQ - Books


The following sections deal mainly with Tom Clancy's books. While there may be a few references to the movies made from his books, the movie chapter will contain more details relating to them.


Questions & Answers

Book Summaries, Publishing Record, and Reference Data

Publishing Record

Ryanverse Books

Op-Center Books

Power Plays Books

Non-fiction Books


Questions & Answers

B1 -- What do all these letters mean? What is all this stuff with acronyms?

The letters are acronyms for the titles of the books written by Tom Clancy. They are used to avoid typing the name of a book zillions of times during a discussion. Most of them are made up of the first letters of the words in the title. Case is important, but not critical. They are (in no particular order):

RSR  Red Storm Rising 
WR  Without Remorse 
R6  Rainbow Six 
PG  Patriot Games 
HFRO or HfRO  The Hunt for Red October 
COTK  Cardinal of the Kremlin 
CAPD or CaPD  Clear and Present Danger 
SOAF or SoAF  The Sum of All Fears 
DOH or DoH  Debt of Honor 
EO  Executive Orders 
OC  Op-Center 
OC:MI  Op-Center: Mirror Image 
OC:GS  Op-Center: Games of State 
OC:AW  Op-Center: Acts of War 
Sub  Submarine (nonfiction) 
FW  Fighter Wing (nonfiction) 
AC  Armored Cav (nonfiction) 
MC  Marine (nonfiction) 
82  Airborne (nonfiction) 
FF  Into the Storm (Gen. Fred Franks) 
Pol  Politika 
SSN  Book companion to SSN Game 
Tiger Every Man a Tiger
Carrier Carrier (nonfiction)
RR Red Rabbit
TBatD The Bear and the Dragon
TotT Teeth of the Tiger
NF Net Force series
BR Battle Ready


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B2 -- What books has Tom Clancy written? In what order were they written? In what order do they take place?

The list of books that Tom Clancy wrote or provided significant contribution in order of publication is:

  1. The Hunt for Red October
  2. Red Storm Rising
  3. Patriot Games
  4. The Cardinal of the Kremlin
  5. Clear and Present Danger
  6. The Sum of All Fears
  7. Without Remorse
  8. Submarine (non-fiction)
  9. Debt of Honor
  10. Armored Cav (non-fiction)
  11. Fighter Wing (non-fiction)
  12. Executive Orders
  13. Marine (non-fiction)
  14. SSN
  15. Into the Storm with General Fred Franks (non-fiction)
  16. Airborne (non-fiction)
  17. Rainbow Six
  18. Carrier (non-fiction)
  19. Every Man a Tiger with General Chuck Horner (non-fiction)
  20. The Bear and the Dragon
  21. Red Rabbit
  22. Teeth of the Tiger
  23. Battle Ready (non-fiction)


Red Storm Rising is not related to any of the other books. The storyline, characters, etc. from Red Storm Rising do not carry over into other books.

Submarine, Armored Cav, Fighter Wing, Marine, Airborne, and Carrier are nonfiction books. Into the Storm is a semi-autobiography with the VII Corps Commander from the Persian Gulf War.  Every Man a Tiger is a semi-autobiography with the Air Component Commander from the Persian Gulf War. Battle Ready follows General Tony Zinni through the Marine Corps from Vietnam to the 2nd Gulf War.

The Op-Center series was not actually written by Tom Clancy; the books in that series are independent of all Clancy's other works.  Politika is also a fiction book based on a computer game but is more similar to the Op-Center series in that it was not actually written by Tom Clancy.

Tom Clancy's Netforce was developed by Clancy and Dr. Steve Pieczenik, MD, the co-author of Tom Clancy's Op-Center series. See Tom Clancy FAQ - General for more information.  A total of seven Netforce books have been written to this point.  All are intended for "young adult" audiences.  Netforce was also the subject of a television mini-series.

SSN is a fiction book based on a computer game.

The remainder of the books make up the Jack Ryan, or "Ryanverse", storyline. He appears in all of them, although sometimes in a minor role.  In Rainbow Six, Jack Ryan is not specifically mentioned but longtime readers of Clancy works will recognize his presence. The storyline order of these books is NOT the same as the publication order.   Information regarding the Ryanverse books is found on this page: Ryanverse.

Clancy has stated that his books have been published in the order of their completion. The Hunt for Red October was the first Tom Clancy book published. He started Without Remorse and Patriot Games first, but didn't complete them. After Red Storm Rising was published he went back and completed Patriot Games. After The Sum of All Fears he apparently went back and reworked and finished Without Remorse.   

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B3 -- In what order should I read Tom Clancy's books?

So far, there is no consensus in the group of the correct order to read Clancy's novels.

My suggestion is to read the books in the Jack Ryan storyline order. This applies to the Jack Ryan storyline novels only. In this way, novels in the "future" of Jack Ryan will not be "spoiled".  Other people vehemently disagree and say to read them as they were published.  Others are just happy to read them as they acquire the books.

Remember, this is just a suggestion. It is not *necessary* to read the books in any particular order to enjoy them.

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B4 -- What is Clancy's best book?

This question is debated constantly. These has been no answer so far, and there never will be. "Best" depends entirely upon what _you_ like to see in a book.

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B5 -- I've read all of Tom Clancy's books. What other authors write books like him?

Names mentioned in newsgroup discussions are:

Gerry Carroll
Richard Aellen 
Ted Albury 
Steve Bartman  
Mark Berent 
Larry Bond 
Dale Brown 
James Cobb 
Larry Collins 
Stephen Coonts 
Harold Coyle 
Clive Cussler 
Len Deighton 
Ken Follett 
Frederick Forsythe
W.E.B. Griffin 
Richard Hagberg 
Marshall Harrison 
Payne Harrison 
Eric L. Harry 
Richard Herman 
Stephen Hunter
John LeCarre 
Robert Ludlum 
Harrison Marshall 
David Poyer 
Craig Thomas 
Barrett Tillman 
Duane Unkefer 
Tom Wilson                                     

No assertion is made whether you will like or dislike any of these authors. These authors have been mentioned in various discussions in the newsgroup.

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B6 -- Where did Jack Ryan really go to college?

I remember the Admiral in The Hunt for Red October mentioning that Jack Ryan attended the Academy. He must have meant Annapolis. But the history here says he didn't. Where did he go to college?

You're confusing the movie version of HFRO with the book. In the book storyline, Jack Ryan did *not* attend or graduate from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. He *did* teach history there. See the John Patrick Ryan and Family biographical data. The movie scene with Admiral Painter and Captain Davenport is *not* from the book.

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B7 -- What is bug juice?

Bug juice is a US Navy name for a fruit flavored drink served on board vessels of the US Navy. It is an alternative to coffee and water. It comes in several flavors and colors. The colors have no relationship to flavor. Those in the know prefer the red variety. In a historical context, the term bug juice was sometimes used to refer to bootleg alcohol during WWII made from the fuel used to power US torpedoes. It was also referred to as "gilly" juice. One reference has it that extremely strong coffee was sometimes also referred to as bug juice.  Recently, John Steinke reported that the early packages of Kool-Aid had Bugs Bunny on them.   From this came "Bug's Juice" and, then simply "Bug Juice".

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B8 -- When will the next Jack Ryan story be published? When will Clancy's next book be published?

Red Rabbit was released August 3, 2002, That is the last fiction book "strictly" in the Ryanverse written exclusively by Tom Clancy (i.e the Op-Center and Netforce books were not written by Clancy). Clancy mentioned two other projects earlier (see this newsgroup post).   The first was Red Rabbit dealing with Ryan's early career. The second, the "Project HITS," surfaced as Teeth of the Tiger in August 2003. This book, while we include it in the Ryanverse, begins a departure from Jack Ryan himself and begins to explore other factors and people in the world. A whole new cast of characters is introduced, and while taking place against a backdrop of the Ryanverse, indicates that we may, sadly, have heard the last of John Patrick "Jack" Ryan, Sr.

As of this date (April, 2004), we do not have a future schedule for the next fiction book.

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B9 -- Why doesn't Tom Clancy's Op-Center seem to be up to his usual quality of writing?  What's the deal with the Op-Center, Power Plays, and NetForce books?

This is what Tom Clancy wrote about Op-Center:

Clancy on the origin of Op Center.

This is public information. Steve Pieczenik MD and I were at my home
waiting for a friend to appear for a business meeting when I started
talking about a moribund TV project I'd worked on mainly as a joke. Steve,
it turned out, had a similar project behind him, and it turned out that
his project and mine both had an element which the other lacked. So, we
blended the ideas into what was actually his title "Op Center," and
approached Brandon Tartikoff to work with us on it.

The books are "spin-offs" from the TV mini-series. Clancy and Peiczenik created the original idea, characters, and situations. The manuscripts are written by other authors. The Op-Center book manuscripts are credited in the acknowledgments sections to Jeff Rovin.

A similar thing has happened with the Power Plays and NetForce books.  Power Plays are being made into games (Politika and and NetForce was an ABC Mini-series.

Short answer, because Clancy did not write the books.  He only came up with the concept.

For further amplification, Ogden Johnson, III, an active newsgroup participant, offers the following:

For the umpteenth time in this forum, the formulation 'Name of Author's Name of Series', in this case Tom Clancy's Net Force and previously Tom Clancy's Op Center, has been common in the publishing world for over four decades [that I know of] to indicate that the book has been written using a concept, or characters, or whatever, from the named author, *by another writer*, who is usually credited on the cover under the title, but not always.

The situation has been complicated by the prediliction of, first, made-for-TV movies, and now, theatrical movie releases to make sure you know that this is not a run-of-the-mill, really cheapo and dumb, TV movie, but one based on a real Jacqueline Suzanne, Sidney Sheldon, Steven King or whoever book. That way, you will not feel so bad at the run-of-the-mill, really cheapo and dumb, TV movie. This is the total opposite of the publishing industry formulation.


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B10 -- Op-Center: Why don't the book and the movie match?

I read the book and saw the movie. The two didn't even have the same story line. One was a conflict in Korea. And the movie was about missing warheads in the Soviet Union. (Russia). What's going on?

The following answer provided by Douglas Adams (

Op Center was designed as a focal point for stories and books to be
written around. All it involves is the Op Center itself and the cast of
characters, which can be used over and over in a variety of situations.
The book and the TV movie used the Op Center core with different

This kind of thing has gone on for a long time in s.f. and fantasy (For
example:  Thieve's World, by Robert Lynn Asprin and the Berserker series,
by Fred Saberhagen), where a well known author creates a world/situation
for other authors to use. Why can't people accept that here?

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B11 -- Clancy was supposed to be publishing a collection of political essays by the end of 1995. What happened to them?

Tom Clancy writes: "'Reality Check' is on hiatus. Why? The political landscape changed too fast."

AMAZON.COM continued to list it as a "not yet published work" until February, 1998. All orders have now been canceled.

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B12 -- Was Ryan really confirmed at the end of DOH?

Clancy intended that Ryan should be confirmed, but he made a mistake under pressure to meet his publisher's deadline.

Jack Ryan's nomination for the Vice Presidency was perfectly legal. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides that "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President..." This part was followed.

The remainder of the Amendment reads "...who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress." Clancy made the mistake of saying Ryan only had to be confirmed by the **Senate**, not the full Congress. Clancy has stated that this mistake was made under deadline pressure and should be ignored. Further books in the series will pretend the mistake never happened.

The remainder of the procedure, i.e. the confirmation by voice vote, is correct. The fact that Ryan was never sworn as Vice President is irrelevant, because the Amendment states that he shall take office "upon confirmation by a majority vote...". Also, he was already under oath from his CIA and USMC days.

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B13 -- What did the final question in EO mean?

At the end of the final press conference in Executive Orders, Ryan answers "Yes, I will" to an implied question. The question is "Will you run for election?" (Re-election is not an issue, since he was never elected to the office he now holds).

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B14 -- Time conflicts in the books

Hey! The dates in this book don't work out! What's going on here?

Yes, there are time/date conflicts in the books. It is fiction, folks, so not everything has to match the "real world" perfectly. Clancy has stated that there are three irreconcilable time conflicts in Without Remorse alone (I haven't figured them out myself). That's likely to happen in fiction.

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B15 -- Ryan's Intelligence Stars

In the first chapter of Sum of All Fears, the National Security Advisor remarks that Ryan has "Two Intelligence Stars, the submarine business... and the thing with Gerasimov." The text then says "Jack actually had three. But the decoration for the third was locked away in a very safe place, and was something so secret that even the new President didn't and wouldn't ever know."

It is often wondered what the third star is for. The first is obviously for bringing in Red October in HFRO. The second is for arranging Gerasimov's defection in COTK. The third, most secret one, is for Ryan's rescue of the US troops in Colombia during CAPD.

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B16: Did Trent and Fellows survive DoH?

Many people think Congressmen Trent and Fellows died in the catastrophe at the end of Debt of Honor. This is simply not true, as can be seen by reading the book.

Trent and Fellows were with Ryan and his family at the time of the explosion. Ryan survived; the Congressmen survived. Quoting from Debt of Honor: "'Let's go!' Andrea Price screamed before anyone else, and with that, the agents lifted every member of the family, carrying- dragging them back to the Longworth Building, leaving the two House members to catch up on their own." This *clearly* shows the Congressmen were alive after the explosion.

Quoting further: "'What the hell was that?' Sam Fellows gasped..." "Trent and Fellows just watched, waving the others on their way."

Furthermore, in Executive Orders, during the funeral scene in EO (page 95), the news commentators say the following:

"What do we really know about Mr. Ryan?"

"Not much," the commentator admitted. "His government service has been almost exclusively in CIA. He has the respect of Congress, on both sides of the aisle. He's worked with Al Trent and Sam Fellows for years - that's one of the reasons both members are still alive. ..."

Trent and Fellows survived. There can be no argument on this point.

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B17: Where did the idea for HfRO come from?

The following was offered by Daniel Khaykis.

The following interview question and answer was taken from a transcript at

Q: Mr. Clancy how did you get the idea for HfRO? TC: The Hunt for Red October is based on a real incident. On November 8, 1975, the Soviet Krivak class missile frigate Storozhedoy [ NOTE: actually it is pronounced Storozhevoy, translates "Guardian" ] attempted to defect from Latvia to the Swedish island of Gotland. The mutiny was led by the ship's political officer whose name was Valeri Sablin, the mutiny was unsuccessful, the ship was stopped, Captain Sablin was captured, arrested, court martialed [ NOTE from DK: court martial began July 13, 1976 ], and executed by Soviet military authorities.

Addition to TC's answer:

While the "officially" announced intention of Sablin was defection, in reality, if I remember correctly, he intended to sail to Leningrad and openly declare his position against Politburo.

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B18: Is John Clark black or white?

Clark is white of Irish heritage. This fact has been mentioned many times is several of the books.  Red Storm Entertainment, in developing the game companion to "Rainbow Six" did have sketches of John Clark and Ding Chavez on their website.  The sketches are now missing on the website unfortunately.  Owners of the Rainbow Six game can see both John Clark and Ding Chavez.

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B19: What is the CIA Organizational Structure?

The following was written by Jackie McElroy, B.A., E.M.D. and posted to alt.books.tom-clancy.  Note that this structure existed until the Clinton Administration.  It is no longer the same.

It is kind of confusing but kind of organizationally orderly also.

Basically, the organizational structure at the top level of Cia runs as thus:

Director of Central Intelligence
Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
        and then the heads of the Directorates:
Deputy Director of Intelligence (handles estimates, interpretation, 
Deputy Director of Operations (handles agent recruitment, covert ops,
        liasion with other servies)
Deputy Director of Science & Technology (handles S&T)
Deputy Director of Administration (handles, well, administrative 
        stuff, like personnel, logistics, finance, and security.

In addition to being the head of the CIA, the Director of Central Intelligence is 
also the titular head of the entire U.S. intelligence community. There are various 
staffs assigned to his office to help him in that role. The Deputy Director of 
Central Intelligence more-or-less sees to the daily run-of-the-mill operations 
of the CIA itself.                                     

You may wish to check out the intelligence community's (CIA's) website: particularly given the changes instituted by Clinton.

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B20: How does he (Tom Clancy) know all this stuff

Clancy has stated numerous times that all information in the books is public information. The afterword to Sum of All Fears (as well as being a plot element) made reference to the fact that much of the necessary information is found in public sources. You just have to look for it. This is the latest post to the newsgroup regarding a part of this recurring thread:

How Does He Know All This Stuff

Clancy has also stated numerous times that if anyone gives him classified data he will immediately turn them into the appropriate authorities.

On 02/12/2000, Clancy posted a message that contains more on this subject.  This message is here.

What about classified information or whether the CIA and FBI ever contacted him?  This message from TC dealing with this subject is here.

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B21: Light Weapon in DOH

A book by Col. John Alexander, USA (ret.) was recently published which includes the light weapon.  The book is called "Future War" and is described in the non-fiction section of this FAQ.

Clancy's post to the newsgroup regarding the light weapon in DOH was as follows.

I am restricted by contract in what I can say about it. I was interested in the *how* mechanism of the instrument's effectiveness, and so I called a friend at Johns Hopkins (I hesitate to reveal names; suffice it to say a high-ranking ophthamologist who treats me) who admitted to me that he wasn't sure, and so he referred me to a NEURO-ophthamologist who then speculated on how it had to work. I had to give him specifications in lumens (don't ask; I didn't memorize it and I don't know where my secretary filed it). He gave me a twenty-minute education in how the eye nerves interface with the nervous system (which is his mission in life), and as the old joke goes, I learned more about penguins than I ever wanted to know.
The effectiveness of the weapon is distance-limited due to the inverse-square law. Within a given radius it will cause incapacitation from neural shock. For a far larger radius it will dazzle very badly. At a radius as yet undetermined it will cause retinal burns, and the issue of UV shielding has not yet been resolved to my satisfaction. This thing will fry a person's eyeballs. I'm not an engineer, and in any case, though I regard this gadget as a potentially very useful home-defense weapon, not to mention it's law-enforcement applications, I am fearful of its falling into criminal hands. So, no, guys, I will not discuss it in an open forum. I *have* discussed it with some FBI and USSS friends, and made the proper contacts for them.

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B22: Value of books

Occasionally, questions pop up about either offering Clancy books for sale, or asking to buy them. Here, is a link to a "price guide" for Tom Clancy first editions.

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Publishing Record

Listed here in publishing order are the most of the books authored by Tom Clancy. The name of the publisher, the date of first release and the copyright owner are included for both hardcover and paperback editions.

Thanks to the following people: Andrew Toppan, Michael Sensor, Bob Inskeep, Joe O'Connell, Mike Patterson, Tim Klevar, Robert Keller, J.D. Frankland, Cath Aiken, Ian Heywood, Nicolas Weeger, Peter Zaadstra and Lars Dierich.

I have not spent any time updating this and if anyone wishes to do so, please send your suggestions or corrections to

Publishing Record

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