RIP Tom Clancy

Stuff reports:

, whose high-tech, Cold War thrillers such as “The Hunt for Red October” and “Patriot Games” made him the most widely read and influential military novelist of his time, has died. He was 66.

Penguin Group (USA) said today that Clancy had died yesterday in Baltimore. The publisher did not disclose a cause of death.

“We are saddened by the passing of beloved bestselling author Tom Clancy. Fans worldwide, including us, will miss him greatly,” publisher Penguin Books USA said on its official Twitter feed.

The G.P. Putnam’s imprint that appeared on Clancy’s books is a unit of Penguin.

Clancy died in Johns Hopkins Hospital in his native Baltimore, Maryland, according to US media reports. A hospital spokeswoman was not immediately able to confirm that information.

Clancy arrived on best-seller lists in 1984 with “The Hunt for Red October.” He sold the manuscript to the first publisher he tried, the Naval Institute Press, which had never bought original fiction.

A string of other best-sellers soon followed, including “Red Storm Rising,” ”Patriot Games,” ”The Cardinal of the Kremlin,” ”Clear and Present Danger,” ”The Sum of All Fears,” and “Without Remorse.”

The Sum of all Fears is probably my favourite book. Executive Orders also very good. Actually I loved all the books Clancy wrote. However the books that appeared in his “universe” but were mainly written by someone else were pretty awful.

In 1996 I discovered the world of the Internet and especially Internet newsgroups, or Usenet. There were thousands of news groups including one called alt.books.tom-clancy. Fans could start and respond to threads about Clancy’s books.

After a couple of months I noticed a post from a I assumed it was a fan, but it turned out to be Tom Clancy himself. So for around a decade you could interact with Clancy on the newsgroup, and get clarifications on his books, learn about future books etc. The Internet has been great for bringing authors and fans together, and Clancy was probably the first big time author to be publicly participating in this way.

Anyway very sad that there will be no more Clancy books beyond the one due out this year.

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