June 18th, 2012 / 12:24 pm
Author Spotlight



Clancy predicts a totally unfunded secret intelligence agency that publishes eBooks that go on to predict the state of war and peace. He is the cultural side of the police state – the non-state state. He predates Jack Bauer by decades. He invents a protomasculine character haunted by the cold war, in seamless transition into the near-warless future. The 90s never died, they just killed. Every dad read this shit and every dad wondered what would need to be done in a worse-case scenario. Wife, kids, house, Xbox, netbook, and cruise missile. Tom Clancy’s next book will be about the war that hasn’t happened yet. The big war. The quiet war that lasts forever. Drone strikes like cymbal crashes. Cyber attacks by children in China. An Etsy dirty bomb. The the hyperpoliticical bedroom radicalism of London’s East End Tumblr scene. He only wants to tell us that we are never safe from stories of violence and instability. There is always the threat that our lives might need to mean something: quickly, violently, profitably.

Tom doesn’t seem to completely understand the techno-military state he helped to imagine. But that’s OK – how can anyone? The contradictions within his ethic make it feel more real.


“Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.”

“Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he’s a Mac user, he’ll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?”

“Back in pre-Revolutionary America “cruel and unusual punishment” meant the rack and burning at the stake… in more recent rulings it has been taken to mean the absence of cable television and denial of sex-change operations, or just overcrowding in the prisons.”

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

“To truly feel like we’re fighting terrorism, we need as much intelligence and infiltration as possible into known rivals of democracy.”

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  1. deadgod

      And the people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat–they’re our kids.

      Of America, this is largely not true. –and of neo-con bullshitters, shamefully untrue. –and of Etch Headroomney, predictably untrue.

      In this book, you talk about an intelligence agency that is not tied to the federal government.  […]

      It’s “unfunded” – funds itself.

      Well.  That’s like calling the Mafia an “unfunded” corporate enterprise.

  2. Erik Stinson


  3. deadgod

      Quotes from the interview you link to.  What’s the “what…”?