I just heard, a couple days late, that the author, Tom Clancy, died on the 1st of October. He was 66 years old.
He was best known for his military and espionage fiction storylines set in the 20th century, during and after the end of the Cold War. He also put his name to several video games. Most of his novels were best-sellers, and they had over 100 million copies in print.
He was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, as am I. And he was a lifetime supporter of conservative and Republican causes in America. I’ll try not to hold that against him.
I have to be honest. I haven’t read all of his works, but those I did sometimes I read several times over. I can’t even tell you which would be my favorite, but it might be The Hunt for Red October. His ability to paint a scene with words was amazing, and he made it seem like you were right there in the thick of the action. Several of his works were made into movies, but they were poor shades of the originals, and didn’t do the books justice. They didn’t even come close.
To me, Tom Clancy epitomized the term ‘historical fiction‘. His research was so detailed, his references so accurate, that even the wild impossible storylines were made to seem real, as if they really had happened. Often, we have to turn off our logical brains and engage in ‘willing suspension of disbelief‘ in order to enjoy some works of fiction. I never had to do that with Clancy. I wondered, at some points, whether his story was more accurate than actual history.
I will miss him.