Which of Tom Clancy’s titles are the most collectible?
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.