Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tom Clancy 1947 - 2013

It is with profound regret that I must report the death of geopolitical, military and espionage novelist Tom Clancy at only 66 after a short illness.

Clancy was best known for an entire genre of novels that are set in a sprawling single universe that often feature the character of Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who later becomes the President of the United States. His first novel The Hunt For Red October became an international bestseller and was turned into a major motion picture by Paramount with Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery and is considered by many to be the best submarine movie of all, further cementing Clancy's place in history.

A further three of Clancy's best selling novels; Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears were also given the Hollywood treatment with Harrison Ford and later Ben Affleck portraying Ryan. Several attempts to start work on the 1993 novel Without Remorse have been made but nothing has yet come to pass. Chris Pine will however protray the titular character in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit due for release at Christmas.

Clancy was no stranger to Television. In 1995 a book series he created with Steve Pieczenik known as Tom Clancy's Op-Center was turned into a TV miniseries starring Harry Hamlin. Later in 1999 Scott Bakula starred in Tom Clancy's Net Force, based on a second series of novels created by Clancy and Pieczenik.

Tom Clancy's name is known by almost every video gamer in the western world. He founded Red Storm Entertainment in 1996 to develop games based on the Tom Clancy's Power Plays novel series but the developer earned more attention for their acclaimed hostage rescue simulator Rainbow Six which was developed concurrently with Clancy as he wrote the novel of the same name. Ubisoft later purchased Red Storm and all IPs including Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon along with the licencing rights to Tom Clancy's brand name which had earlier been attached to Ubisoft's own Splinter Cell. Ubisoft continues to produce games under the Tom Clancy brand with new entries every year such as Ghost Recon: Online in 2012, Splinter Cell: Blacklist this year and both Rainbow Six: Patriots and The Division slated for 2014.

A life member of the NRA, Clancy was a conservative and held Republican views. He wrote his dedication to figures such as Ronald Reagan who had called The Hunt for Red October "my kind of yarn." After September 11th 2001, he publicly accused the left wing of being partially responsible due to their gutting of the CIA.

Born Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland, he lived there until his death. He divorced his first wife Wanda King in 1999 before marrying Alexandra Marie Llewellyn later that year. He is survived by his wife and 5 children.

The personal influence Tom Clancy has had on my life is evident as you look at some of the contents of my office shelves here; All four movies adapted from his books are in my DVD collection [as is the Net Force miniseries]. All the Ubisoft games I own have Clancy's name on the cover. And on the bookshelf sits the hulking 336 page tome - Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a rare non-fiction book by the man which I purchased not long after I first pinned on my eagles and was offered command of an MEU. It helped me make a decision which maneuvered my career to bring me to where I am today. So thank you Tom Clancy, and rest in peace because without you there may never have been a Whopper's Bunker.


Civilian Overseer said...

I hear he is writing a 3rd testament in heaven as we speak.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

You heard right"!!!

Eamo said...

Red Storm Rising was the first Clancy book I read, couldn't put it down, it was frackin' awesome man!