What's a more realistic alternative to Tom Clancy books?

What's a more realistic alternative to Tom Clancy books?

I do like military fiction, combined arms warfare stuff and jerking off to military tech, but I do not like superhero protagonists, world-saving plots and the focus being on "glamorous" special force operators and spies.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    red storm rising was a documentary I'm sorry to tell you

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >red storm rising was a documentary I'm sorry to tell you
      /thread

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      it was even a bit generous, but shockingly accurate.

      https://i.imgur.com/PVg3J7V.jpg

      What's a more realistic alternative to Tom Clancy books?

      I do like military fiction, combined arms warfare stuff and jerking off to military tech, but I do not like superhero protagonists, world-saving plots and the focus being on "glamorous" special force operators and spies.

      go outside, dig a hole, put one of those wavy sprinklers so it occasionally sprinkles on it, then sit it in for 3 months. you can get a realistic war experience that way.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      His coauthor on RSR gets a lot of credit there. Clancy’s solo works start off good but go rapidly into pulpy genre fiction (which is not bad in and of itself, but doesn’t fit the topic of the thread)

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >coauthor
        Larry Bond

        yeah, i also found the cold war novels set during the 70s-80s that were more about spook drama with the occasional assasination or shooting way more appealing. there's just something so homely about them, which quickly gets lost once the iron curtain falls and the gang is rushing from one action packed firefight to the next and there's an all out war every other year.
        i mean i also liked them very well, like an extensive action movie in book form they can be pretty kino, but the magic of the chronilogically first few titles is gone once every nation in existance is declaring war on america for the smallest reason.
        his crimean war novels were pretty neat, it's sad he didn't manage to live for another decade to finally see shit go down just like in his japanese animes

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >I do not like superhero protagonists, world-saving plots and the focus being on "glamorous" special force operators and spies.

    Try the following:

    1. Wilbur Smith's The Dark of the Sun

    2. Frederick Forsyth's The Dogs of War

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    How about less realistic. Well less realistic in a near-future-tech sense, but better developed characters.

    War in 2020. American helicopter cavalry pilots in a COVID-ruined world fight proxy wars against ascendant Japan.
    Subterrene War. An American war reporter, two clones, and a divorced SOF operator suffer through underground trench warfare in Europe after a China/America war goes nuclear.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There were a run of authors in the late 80's and early 90's that followed the military-technical genre Tom created.

    Look up:
    -Harold Coyle
    -Larry Bond
    -Stephen Coonts
    -Ralph Peters

    Suggested starting reading from these authors:
    -Team Yankee
    -Red Phoenix
    -Flight of the Old Dog
    -Red Army

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      > Flight of the Old Dog
      Unfortunately, Dale Brown is even more unhinged than Clancy at his worst.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Chains of Command was positively insane, but I read it in 2014 when the Crimean crisis was ongoing and it must have been one of the first books to involve an independent Ukraine, so it felt relevant

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          So you must have missed the book where Russia nukes the US and the US kind of just shrugs it’s shoulders and says “whatever”

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Oh wait, I forgot an important point.
            Russia nukes the US and then nukes itself.

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              CoC is even worse IMO by virtue of a lone Ukrainian pilot casually noooking Moscow because he was very angry
              And the passive-aggressive author self-insert MC who gets all the women by being an absolute dick towards everyone he meets

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >-Harold Coyle
      His early stuff was good. Team Yankee especially. Focused on small unit tactics.
      >-Larry Bond
      Hit or miss. Europe goes to war. South Africa implodes. Best Korea invades South Korea. All are ok. Some of the character development is cringe. Avoid books he co-authored with Jim DeFelice as those are shit (I'm convinced Jim did the writing and paid Larry for the co-author).
      >-Stephen Coonts
      Flight of the Intruder was the only book of his I read. Worth reading. Ignore the shit movie
      >-Flight of the Old Dog
      That's Dale Brown. Stop at this book. Pretty soon the series evolves into B-52 does gymnastics in stealth mode while singing show tunes. Fricking awful and absurd.
      Sadly, I'm not aware of a new entrant onto the scene that can tell a story like Clancy could and weave in the technical detail.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >co author
        happened a lot. sometimes authors collaborate for one book, with an established author working with a newer author, and then the newer author would take on more or all of the responsibility of doing the latter books in the series. Sometimes this was set up by their publisher

        the rendezvous with ramma series is a good example of this

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Coontz was actually a driver, and you can tell that Clancy wasn't. His aviation scenes, especially naval aviation, suck. I think he was just not that interested in it or wanted to avoid getting lumped in with the TOPGUN craze at the time

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >you can tell that Clancy wasn't. His aviation scenes, especially naval aviation, suck
          He was an insurance salesman. That's it.
          He was just a bit autistic about naval stuff but boats, not air wings.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Team Yankee is fricking ass I don't know why people keep recommending it

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      All of you need to read Chieftains

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Alistair Maclean
    Len Deighton
    Ken Follett
    John Buchan
    Frederick Forsyth
    Yulian Semyonov
    Vladimir Bogomolov
    Most of those are mostly spy fiction and at least one of mentioned is a military detective.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Tom Clancy

    More realistic? The Better Butter Battle comes to mind.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    raven one

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >superhero protagonists
    I hate that being a competent character automatically equals superhero shlock in this wave of contrarianism.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It's about relatability. Incompetent people want to self-insert into fiction, instead of view different personalities and worlds interacting in novel ways, so anyone more competent or less pampered threatens their self-image.

      It's not a new mode of human failure but (although zoomers excel in many ways) it is one which seems to be more common in their bracket.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >implying people read in 2024

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It's about relatability. Incompetent people want to self-insert into fiction, instead of view different personalities and worlds interacting in novel ways, so anyone more competent or less pampered threatens their self-image.
        It is about relatability, but it's not about competence - it's about agency. It's about the world, in Clancy's books, being simple enough that it revolves around the actions of a group of named characters, whose actions ultimately determine the fate of whole countries and the world. Jack Ryan is the main offender, but really any Clancy book can be boiled down to a cast of like 10 named people, whose alliances and disagreements matter, and nothing else does.

        IDK, do you feel like you possess the agency to change the world and determine whether a war starts or ends with your decisions? I know I don't. That's why I can't relate to Clancy characters - I'm not interested in stories about Ubermenschen and epic heroes. I am interested in stories about sentient cogs in massively complicated machines who secure small individual victories, not global ones, and how each person's small individual quest ultimately weaves into the fabric of history without any grand design.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >It's about the world, in Clancy's books, being simple enough that it revolves around the actions of a group of named characters, whose actions ultimately determine the fate of whole countries and the world.
          >any Clancy book can be boiled down to a cast of like 10 named people, whose alliances and disagreements matter, and nothing else does.
          Ehhhh, I kind of see where you're coming from, but it's also rather inaccurate.
          Yes, there are main characters.
          Yes, they tend to be involved in the major events of each story being told.
          That's how franchises work.
          But the street gang that kills John Kelly's new hooker gf aren't main characters, and they propel the main story of Without Remorse by their actions.
          Dmitry Popov is hardly a staple character of the Ryan series, and yet he drives most of the major events of Rainbow Six from the shadows.
          It's less so the actions of that few determining the fate of whole nations and the world, and more so the fact that their characters are involved in events started by other people (typically not main characters) that have that kind of importance. Horizon Group, the Rising SunBlack person Japanese Business men of Debt of Honor, hell even the Muslim terrorists that wreck the oil fields in RSR? These are the ones driving events that our main characters happen to be involved in.
          And they don't always come out on top. Cool Grandpa Secret Service Agent in Without Remorse dies, as do several other Secret Service agents on the attack on Jack's dsughter's pre-school, Robby gets got later on, D'Agostino gets immolated in the State of the Union attack.

          tl;dr it sound like you're complaining about the fact that a series can have main characters who figure centrally into stories and are competent in problem solving.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Cool Grandpa Secret Service Agent in Without Remorse
            meant *in Executive Orders

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            > But the street gang that kills John Kelly's new hooker gf aren't main characters, and they propel the main story of Without Remorse by their actions.
            I agree that this episode in Without Remorse is one of the parts that trigger my autism the least.
            Ultimately Clancy is OK in some places, but in others he's doing this thing that I dislike a lot, and for me he ultimately does this too much.

            Although honestly, if I were to write the military fiction book I'd like to read, I'd go one of three ways:
            > a book with literally no main character, every chapter is written from a point of view of a different person with a different position in the setting
            > a book written as an in-universe historical account/intelligence report, maybe with some creative footnotes/notes in the margins/attachments
            > a book with main characters and conventional story, but the story is only a small part of the wider conflict and the stakes are not "turn the conflict around" but "kind of maybe make a difference".

            For a very good example of the last thing, consider Sicario (the movie). It's not based on a book, but it's clear they read Against All Enemies for inspiration. MC is basically a nobody who tags along with the actual prime movers of the plot because of a bureaucratic formality. These prime movers spend the entire film on an assignment that isn't concerned with the whole country Mexico, or even a single cartel, but one specific cartel leader. It's part of a broader geopolitical narrative, but for the struggle of the main character cast, the stakes are "human-sized".

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Here's the cool think about literature, anon - write the book you want to read. The elites don't want you to know this, but the ideas on the pages of books are free, you can write them at home. I have over 458 books.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >The elites don't want you to know this, but the ideas on the pages of books are free
                Actually the elites are working hard on making that not be true.
                You can't write a song any more without someone having to check every sequence of notes that might belong to a copyrighted track.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                let it go, olivia

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >> a book with literally no main character, every chapter is written from a point of view of a different person with a different position in the setting
              >> a book written as an in-universe historical account/intelligence report, maybe with some creative footnotes/notes in the margins/attachments
              >> a book with main characters and conventional story, but the story is only a small part of the wider conflict and the stakes are not "turn the conflict around" but "kind of maybe make a difference".
              It's only very loosely /k/ related but there's a great scifi book by Doris Lessing that does kind of most of these: Shikasta
              It's kind of a weird book in the form of mission reports and jumping around between lots of different events and times.
              The story is kind of about a psychic war fought between different empires who are using Earth as a proxy war/future colony.
              The author was an anarchist, socialist (in the European sense) and anti-apartheid activist and a lot of other things. She got into mysticism later which influenced the sci fi novels I think.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Cool Grandpa Secret Service Agent in Without Remorse dies,
            Man, I still wince when Russell dies, same with Chuck Avery in Patriot Games.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >It's about relatability. Incompetent people want to self-insert into fiction, instead of view different personalities and worlds interacting in novel ways, so anyone more competent or less pampered threatens their self-image.
        It is about relatability, but it's not about competence - it's about agency. It's about the world, in Clancy's books, being simple enough that it revolves around the actions of a group of named characters, whose actions ultimately determine the fate of whole countries and the world. Jack Ryan is the main offender, but really any Clancy book can be boiled down to a cast of like 10 named people, whose alliances and disagreements matter, and nothing else does.

        IDK, do you feel like you possess the agency to change the world and determine whether a war starts or ends with your decisions? I know I don't. That's why I can't relate to Clancy characters - I'm not interested in stories about Ubermenschen and epic heroes. I am interested in stories about sentient cogs in massively complicated machines who secure small individual victories, not global ones, and how each person's small individual quest ultimately weaves into the fabric of history without any grand design.

        Ordinary people thrust into dangerous situations or where the fate of the world hangs in the balance is a common trope in storytelling. I think it helps the writer explain the world to the reader a bit better, because the characters are figuring things out as they go along, and they just by accident or circumstance happen to know one thing which put them in the larger situation not of their own choosing but play a pivotal role. Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day is "the guy" who understands what the alien signal is about (or whatever it was). And then he eventually scooped up and the generals can do the "well who is this guy and what the hell is HE doing here???" routine.

        Jack Ryan in Red October is "just an analyst" who happens to know a lot about the Russian navy and this particular submarine captain, and he's way in over his head, but shows a lot of courage and then becomes an agent for the historical "event" to revolve around but embodied in a single person. And that also allows for some bathos in the writing from time to time, which is to bring down the seriousness of the situation to the trivial which has a comedic effect:

        This is harder to sustain several novels in and now Ryan is president and is doing everything Clancy would do if he was president. But I think storytelling or the tradition of Western lit has its own "logic." You know, all of this was done by the ancient Greeks and English during the Renaissance and everyone since then has just been retelling the same stories over and over again. Which is fine. Clancy might be a hack but he hacked with the best of them.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Clancy characters ARE kind of ridiculous though, like with every set of side characters you meet they all have 3 PhDs and so do their wives and their kids are all blond blue-eyed alpha Chads and Stacies with 140 IQ
        There's a big gap between incompetence and being a Clancy character

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Clancy characters ARE kind of ridiculous though, like with every set of side characters you meet they all have 3 PhDs
          I don't know, I applied for a job doing some really cutting edge stuff that I think got folded into to the loyal wingman project eventually. I probably didn't get the job because I only had a masters in the field and most other candidates would have all had at least one PhD. You see a lot around in the MIC and related areas, at least among the civilian population there.

          Analysts don't have a chest full of ribbons to show off so PhDs in Farsi literature, political science and military history is the kind of mix that they're going to have and they'll probably marry someone they met in college on one of these PhDs programs.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Tom also had a breeding/pregnancy fetish and included it in every single novel of his, which is extraordinarily based.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            How can one man have such good taste?

            The only negative I can say about Clancy is that he’s the one responsible for the misconception of “Diesel electrics are always quieter than nuke subs because nuke subs cannot turn off their pumps”

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The third world war.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This, together with its sequel, are more or less what *started* the genre. Throw in the Reader's Digest article on Top Gun that led to the movie, and the Science magazine article on SSNs, and you've got the basis for dozens or even hundreds of '80s novels and several movies.

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The full pic is funnier.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >I do like military fiction, combined arms warfare stuff and jerking off to military tech, but I do not like superhero protagonists, world-saving plots and the focus being on "glamorous" special force operators and spies.
    Ignore all that silliness and introduce yourself to the refined, yet cutthroat world of The Service.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The lack of dale brown is sad.

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If it hasn't been mentioned I will. This book is a bit frightening close to what's been happening recently. Disease, world instability, war in Mexico and Russia this book was prophetic.

  14. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    While I’ve only read a couple of his books so far, I quite enjoy James W Huston. He’s a little bit more grounded than Clancy.

  15. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Someone from the previous Clancy thread reccomended me Red Hammer 1994 and I absolutely loved it. The nuclear warfare scenes were awesome and unlike anything else I've read in the genre. It still has the technothriller issue of just ending the plot very suddenly.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >I do like military fiction, combined arms warfare stuff and jerking off to military tech, but I do not like superhero protagonists, world-saving plots and the focus being on "glamorous" special force operators and spies.
    Then avoid Jack Carr's books at all cost

    I honestly don't know why I listened to them all, they're pretty hokey, albeit they have their moments. He does geek out with small arms which can be entertaining but otherwise it's some weird author's projection of himself into the super handsome Navy SEAL sheepdog that's very humble that everyone absolutely loves and nobody can get close to killing who is called upon to save the world more than once.

    It gets worse than that, you should read it/listen to it to see how bad it can be.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Neal Stephenson's REAMDE is a fun romp, terrorists and spies and stuff, though it has some near scif fi elements like an advanced VR MMORPG and competent Russians

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >competent Russians
      Suspension of disbelief ruined.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Neal Stephenson's REAMDE
      Meh.
      Read Cryptonomicon or Show Crash. They're better.
      REAMDE just struck me as generic book #4 to fill a contract.
      > at least it wasn't as bad as the fricking Baroque Cycle
      > that shit went on for . . . ever
      > 3 books could have been boiled down to 1 coherent book

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >snow crash

        That book is so perfectly incomprehensible that it loops around to being fricking great.

        While we're discussing cyberpunk, I'd reccomended Hardwired.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >>snow crash
          >That book is so perfectly incomprehensible that it loops around to being fricking great.
          Snow Crash is only good if you're so far into Cyberpunk that obvious parody is lost on you because you suspended disbelief on all that shit a long time ago and it's all good with you now.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    was thinking of writing a techno Thriller for the modern era. would you guys buy that shit, or would my audience be mainly boomers?

    I'm talking like basically red storm rising, but for the 2020s.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'd give it a look, sounds interesting

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'd not mind reading this, anon. I think it would be good if you wrote it. RSR is one of the better Clancy books, too...
      except one part, which I have to squint to convince myself it's not there when I read it.

      >muslims blow up a single oil refinery in southeast russia
      >oh no, our economy is in shambles
      >so let's shart a sham disarmament,
      >then a false flag operation,
      >then a world war lite in Europe
      I can imagine politburo being economically incompetent, but perhaps not to this level. Modern wars with near-peer adversaries, with all of the technology and combined arms warfare, are hilariously expensive affairs (for any country, not just those that the western military-industrial complex is gouging).
      No single act of terror can convince anyone but the most ideologically autistic ruler who has literally nobody around to talk him out of it to start the kind of war Clancy is writing about there. You can start an asymmetric short-and-sweet war based on an act of terror, kind of like 9/11 and GWOT, but not more than that.

      So if you do write it, please have a better premise. Three ideas for doing better than what Clancy did:
      >have a story about how a given country has a single breaking point event, thinks they're going into a short and sweet war, but stumbles into something more serious and has to bring more and more forces to bear as time goes on
      or
      >start the book 30 years into the future with a recap of a series of issues which ultimately all combine into the situation where yes, a war with a near-peer adversary actually does make sense
      or
      >the war is not between world power countries, but local players with centuries of animosity, like Azerbaijan and Armenia, or India and Pakistan. Technology is cheap enough that even these countries have functional if small navies and air forces so that you don't have to write a whole book about militants on hiluxes. World powers have proxy interests surrounding the conflict and participate in it by espionage.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        to elaborate on one point, because I don't want to contradict myself
        > Modern wars with near-peer adversaries, with all of the technology and combined arms warfare, are hilariously expensive affairs (for any country
        > local players with centuries of animosity,
        > echnology is cheap enough that even these countries have functional if small navies and air forces
        Again, in the last idea, we're talking about local powers for whom long history of animosity does provide justification for an all-out war. Also, they will not be fielding cutting-edge equipment - rather, older hand-me-down stuff from their bigger world-power partners, which is relatively cheap. They can still use modern tactics with it - tactical advisors and intelligence cost much less than a fleet of F-22s or nuclear submarines.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    shits all fricked, man

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