Modern Signed Books – Interview with Mark Greaney about True Faith and Allegiance (as Tom Clancy)
When the cold war ended and the last spy came in from the cold, it was predicted that the espionage novel would fade with the “duck and cover” films. No longer were we under the constant threat of annihilation – we were finally free from the fear of nuclear war, and our way of life seemed secure. So did the spies created by John le Carré, Frederick Forsyth, and the rest of those who so skillfully managed the genre disappear from the literary scene? The answer is a resounding no. The world, as it turns out, isn’t safe after all.
A new kind of threat emerged and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich was where it was born. A Palestinian group calling themselves Black September took 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team hostage and eventually killed them. Terrorism was born that dark day in Germany, and we have watched it spread throughout the world, eventually landing on our own shores.
Since that time our enemies have taken many names – PLO, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hamas, and now Isis have grabbed the headlines, all state-sponsored terrorist groups with the expressed objective to destroy the West, its allies and its influence. In recent days Isis, a self-declared Islamic State that has seized over a third of Iraq, has boldly executed US trained Iraqi defense forces, destroyed religious sites including Jonah’s tomb, ordered the genital mutilation of all women between the ages of 11 and 46, and ordered all Christians to convert, leave or die.
In a world turned upside down a new breed of thriller writers emerged, establishing a new genre replete with 21st century characters shaped to meet the challenges of this new threat, a threat with a growing arsenal of weapons and tactics each intended to use violence against civilians. Ken Follett, Robert Littell, Robert Ludlum, and Tom Clancy took the lead in introducing us to this new era of thrillers, soon followed by Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and of course, Daniel Silva.
Jason Matthews, a 33-year veteran of the C.I.A. who “served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national-security intelligence” arrived with RED SPARROW, turning his considerable knowledge of espionage into a startling debut.
I AM PILGRIM is the best spy novel I have read in ten years – written by Terry Hayes. The first novel by Hayes, a filmmaker with a huge resume with Mad Max, the Road Warrior, and Beyond Thunderdome to his credit, is sure to follow with many more installments.
Matthew Palmer is a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, currently serving as political counselor at the American Embassy in Belgrade. His recent debut, THE AMERICAN MISSION, is a top notch political thrill ride that delves into very complicated world of central African politics.
As a long time fan of the spy novel – Matt Damon was only ten years old when I first read The Bourne Identity – I have followed the genre’s transit to its current form with more than casual observation. The new breed of thriller writer has incredible style, an authentic voice, bringing to life characters that demonstrate reckless courage in the face of overwhelming odds. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
When THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER arrived on the scene in 1984 the cold war was still in full swing, it was a period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 the United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union. Tom Clancy emerged from nowhere to become the dominant voice in a new genre filled with techno-thrillers and Cold War novels. So impressive was his grasp of the technology of warfare, when he met the Navy Secretary, the official demanded: “Who the hell cleared it?”
Clancy’s main character, Jack Ryan, soon became the country’s symbol for strong leadership as he traveled a bumpy road from the Navel Academy to the Oval Office. In EXECUTIVE ORDERS, Ryan, issues a foreign policy doctrine which defines his administration’s international perspective. The Ryan Doctrine states that the U.S. will no longer tolerate attacks on “our territory, our possessions, or our citizens,” and will hold whoever orders such attacks accountable.
Over the years that followed Clancy wrote or co-wrote 25 novels in all, each one a bestseller. THREAT VECTOR and his final novel, COMMAND AUTHORITY, were co-written by Mark Greaney. Continuing a with a world alive with action and remarkable individuals, Greaney now brings us SUPPORT AND DEFEND featuring Dominic Caruso, nephew of President Jack Ryan, as he faces the deadliest challenge of his career.
Clancy is gone, but his voice is still echoing in a world where the Cold War has ended, but the dangers we face are just as dangerous. Now more than ever we need heroes like Jack Ryan.
His first four are by all accounts the most desirable, simply due to their scarceness. The Hunt for Red October, his first title, had a very small run published by the Naval Institute Press. This is the book that launched Clancy’s writing career, and introduced us to his most enduring character, Jack Ryan. Collectible first editions are now bringing as much as $3000.
His second book, Red Storm Rising, is one of my favorites. It was largely written by Larry Bond, and is Clancy’s only stand-alone thriller. All of his other novels are in someway related to Jack Ryan. A collectible first will cost about $75.
His third novel, Patriot Games, takes Jack Ryan to the UK, where he is caught by chance in a terrorist attack and ends up saving the life of the future King of England. IRA terrorists face down Jack and the Prince of Wales in a finale that is really far-fetched, but nevertheless quite suspenseful. You’ll want to find a copy with the “errata sheet” laid-in. It explains some of the errors in the book. A copy can cost as much as $150.
The fourth Clancy book, The Cardinal of the Kremlin, take us into Soviet Russia where the personal aide to the Soviet Minister of Defense, a national war hero seeks to defect to the US. Jack Ryan helps him, codename “Cardinal” escape. A copy is about $50.
After these four, you can pretty much take your pick. After The Cardinal Clancy’s popularity was at such a level that first edition runs were massive, so nice copies are plentiful and cheap.
The last book written by Clancy was in 2003, Teeth of the Tiger. Seven years pass before another Clancy title is released.
Dead or Alive, written by Grant Blackwood, was published in 2010, and spent along time at the top of the NY Times list. Blackwood, writing as David Michaels, also penned several of Clancy’s paperback thrillers.
In 2011 Against All Enemies was released, this one written by Peter Telep. A second title, Search and Destroy by Telep was supposed to follow in 2012, but was cancelled. Telep also wrote some of Clancy’s paperback releases.
In 2011 Clancy began working with Mark Greaney, who began the relationship with Clancy in 2011 by writing Locked On. That was followed in 2012 by Threat Vector, and the last book, Command Authority in December 2013.
What the future holds for Clancy’s characters, and legacy is yet to be written, but a safe bet is that we have not heard the last of Jack Ryan.