Top 5: Tom Clancy Novels (R.I.P.)

Top 5

Recently author Tom Clancy passed away at the age of 66.  Clancy’s military fiction was a big part of my teenage years and I thought I would rate my personal top 5 Clancy novels and following those is a reprint of the obituary I published on the day of his passing.  
1. Without Remorse
Without Remorse, Tom Clancy

2. The Sum of All Fears
The Sum of All Fears, Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan

3. Debt of Honor/Executive Orders (really one huge 2200 page novel)
Debt of Honor, Tom Clancy, Jack ryanExecutive Orders, Tom Clancy, jack ryan







4. Rainbow Six
Rainbow Six, Tom Clancy

5. Patriot Games
Patriot Games, Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy


Author Tom Clancy has passed away at the age of 66, according to the New York Times.  Clancy died last night in a hospital in Baltimore.

Clancy was one of the definitive military/espionage writers of the late-Cold War to post-9/11 era.  His books were cutting edge in their vision of global politics and threat assessment.  In his book Debt of Honor, published in 1994, terrorists from Japan fly a hijacked airliner into the US Capitol during a joint session of Congress, killing most of the government.  At the time it seemed wildly fictional.  Seven years later, it proved eerily prophetic.

Clancy’s most enduring creation was the character of Jack Ryan, a history professor reluctantly pulled into a career with the CIA.  Ryan rises through the books until he’s Vice-President when the Debt of Honor plane crash elevates him to President of the United States.  Later books would also feature Ryan’s son, Jack Jr., following in his father’s footsteps in the current war on terror.

Most of Clancy’s novels feature Ryan in some capacity or another and four of Hollywood’s biggest actors have portrayed him onscreen.  Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October; Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear & Present Danger; Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears; and the series is rebooting with the self-titled Jack Ryan starring Chris Pine set to release this Christmas.

I devoured Clancy’s novels during high school.  I’ve never really had a fear of page count where books were concerned and you can probably credit Clancy for that as some of his could be used as effective blunt force weapons in hardback (I think Executive Orders is in the 1300 page range).  I read them because my grandfather read them and it gave us something to talk about, but I really ended up getting into them and a lot of what I know about military, intelligence, and geo-political worldview came from reading Clancy’s books.

He wasn’t Twain or Steinbeck, but he never pretended to be.  He wrote what he knew and meticulously researched.  He wrote compelling, intelligent, complex fiction.  His grasp of global and military trends was uncanny and there’s no one else writing the genre he dominated that’s even worth mentioning.  Literature is poorer for his departure.  I’ll paste the AP obit below.

In a career that spanned three decades, Clancy became one of the most successful figures in publishing. His name above a title was a calling card that conferred best-seller status on his espionage and military thrillers and inspired a dizzying array of tie-ins ranging from movies to video games. His books reveled in the technological details of spy-craft and weaponry, spending paragraphs recounting the various features of a nuclear submarine or a fighter plane,  for instance.

His most enduring creation may have been Jack Ryan, the patriotic and morally upright CIA analyst turned politician at the center of more than a dozen novels including “The Sum of All Fears” and “The Cardinal of the Kremlin.” The character was notable because his life and ascent mirrored the tectonic changes taking place in American foreign policy throughout Clancy’s writing career, as the country moved away from Cold War brinksmanship and turned its gaze to terrorist threats in the Middle East.

The character will appear once again in “Command Authority,” an upcoming novel scheduled for release on Dec. 3 that finds Ryan returning to the hot spot where it all started and grappling with a new threat in Russia.

The printed page could not hold Ryan. His literary exploits inspired four big-screen adventures, with Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck all portraying the intelligence expert in commercially successful films like “Clear and Present Danger” and “The Sum of All Fears.” “Jack Ryan: Shadow One,” a fifth Ryan film starring Chris Pine and directed by Kenneth Branagh, opens in theaters this December.

In addition to films, Clancy lent his name to a series of popular video games such as “Splinter Cell” from game maker UbiSoft. He was also a part-time owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

A political conservative and prominent supporter of the National Rifle Association, Clancy made headlines when he blamed liberal lawmakers for gutting the CIA and indirectly causing the attacks on September 11.

“The CIA was gutted by people on the political left who don’t like Intelligence operations … and as a result of that, as an indirect result of that, we lost 5,000 citizens,” the author told Bill O’Reilly during a FOX News appearance shortly after the attacks.

12 New X-Men Days of Future Past Photos (4 Days Until the Trailer)!!!

X-Men Days of Future Past, X-Men, Magneto, Beast, Iceman, Shadowcat, Storm, Rogue, Mystique, Professor X, Wolverine, HavokWhile we all wait for the first official trailer for Bryan Singer‘s X-Men Days of Future Past to drop on Tuesday, Empire Magazine and Entertainment Weekly both have new images of the film.  The film itself won’t open until May 23, 2014, but the buzz on the trailer is huge.  It was shown at Comic Con and nearly brought the convention center to its imaginary knees.
X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Kitty Pryde, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Iceman X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Wolverine, Logan, Hugh Jackman X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Mystique, Jennifer Lawerence, Raven Darkholme X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Professor Xavier, Charles Xavier, Patrick Stewart X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Professor Xavier, Charles Xavier, James McAvoy, Magneto, Erik Lenssher, Michael Fassbender X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Magneto, Erik Lenssher, Michael Fassbender X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Logan, Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, Erik Lenssher, Magneto, Michael Fassbender, Charles Xavier, Professor Xavier, James McAvoy X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Trask Industries, Bolivar Trask, Peter Dinklage X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Mystique, Raven Darkholme, Jennifer Lawrence X-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Erik Lenssher, Magneto, Michael FassbenderX-Men, Marvel, Mutants, X-Men Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer, Professor Xavier, Charles Xavier, Erik Lenssher, Magneto, Ian McKellan



Every Star Wars Original Trilogy Character in One Poster

Star Wars, Every Star Wars Character
What else is there to say other than I want this to be wallpapering the entire length of the hallway by the end of the day? MINIONS! I SUMMON THEE!

Killing Time – October 24, 2013

Killing Time

Old Time, that greatest and longest established spinner of all!…. his factory is a secret place, his work is noiseless, and his hands are mutes.
~Charles Dickens

 This may be a somewhat obvious statement to those who have followed the blog or know me in real life, but I read a lot.  When I was a kid, I was always the one in the corner with a book.  I’d sneak them into church, not out of disrespect, but because-purely from a narrative standpoint-they almost always topped what I was going to hear.  I had them in my textbooks in high school and college because, there, they ALWAYS topped what I was going to hear.  I had a friend put it to me quite well once.  I’d rather live in other realities, because I have no idea what to do with this one.  That’s very true and remains so to this day.  So, what to do about that?  Sign up for Audible so that now even driving and walking let me read?  Bully!

Killing Time milestones this week: The numbers dip hasn’t quite resolved itself, but we had a good enough week to push past 32k and 33k, so thanks for visiting so much.  The Latest vs. Greatest feature seems to be quite popular from the numbers, so I’m going to have to start doing some research if I’m going to keep cranking them out once a week.

The most popular article of the week was a summary of what TV Shows Have Been Renewed or Canceled This Season Thus Far.  We also had a change atop the all-time most viewed article.  The mutant phenomenon that was The Lone Ranger Trailer #4 getting over 1200 hits and becoming my most-viewed article (despite my essentially stating how much I thought it would suck) has been eclipsed by thousands of yellow minions pushing my Despicable Me 2 Review to the top of the heap.

No new countries this week to visit.  French Guiana, I’m honestly just passive aggressively hostile toward you right now.  I don’t have the energy to engage in a long debate and to reiterate how border security along the Maroni River is shoddy so anyone in Suriname thinking of trying it….

Homeland: Phantom Pain by Greg Gerr
Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane
Legion by Brandon Sanderson
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Blu Ray:
The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season One
Grey’s Anatomy Season Ten
Brooklyn Ninety-Nine Season One
Arrow Season Two
New Girl Season Three
The Blacklist Season One
Damages Season Five
Scandal Season Three441

Song of the Week: “Wonderboy” by Tenacious D (NO idea why)

Video Game:
Hitman: Absolution (first Hitman game I’ve played; any others recommended?)
Borderlands 2 (I’m getting really tired of dying on ult. vault hunter mode)
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate
Men in Black Alien Attack (thank you Game Fly for 180 achv. points in 15 min.)
* XBOX Live, gamertag: sleeplessdave; feel free to friend me!

Thanos Rising by Jason Aaron
Avengers Vol. 3: Prelude to Infinity by Jonathan Hickman

The Monument’s Men Will Now Open 2/7/2014. Clooney makes me look stupid…er.

The Monuments Men, Matt Damon, George Clooney, John Goodman, Bill Murray

A day after I swore that Monuments Men would end up in the Fall of 2014 so it could compete for Oscars, George Clooney announced his World War II picture will now open February 7, 2014.  Clooney apparently doesn’t really care that no picture, no matter how good, gets Oscars opening before June.  He just wanted to put out the best movie he could.  Tip of the cap, George.