Deep Dive Into Out of the Ashes and Into the Fire

Earlier this week we shared the dedication for Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes. That dedication has stood the test of time in the short time the series has been rebooted. Here is our Author’s Introduction to Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire:

The setting for Into the Fire is Northeast Asia, the center of enormous strife today and the cauldron where the next superpower confrontation could well take place. The issues causing discord in this region go back several millennia and it is unlikely they will resolve themselves in the next few years. Today’s fiction may, in every sense of the word, be tomorrow’s headlines. At the center of this story is North Korea. As Adam Johnson noted in the Reader’s Guide for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, “It is illegal for a citizen of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to interact with a foreigner.” In a nutshell, this helps understand why North Korea is the most isolated nation in the world and why that nation’s decision-making is often completely unfathomable. Little wonder The Wall Street Journal called Johnson’s book, “The single best work of fiction published in 2012.”

Juxtapose this against the widely-heralded United States “Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific Region,” and you have the compelling ingredients for conflict—you don’t have to manufacture them. What North Korea does will continue to bedevil the United States—and the West for that matter—for the foreseeable future. The Hermit Kingdom remains the world’s most mysterious place. As a Center for Naval Analyses Study noted, “The Kim-Jong-un regime has not completely revealed itself to the outside world.” Not to put too fine a point on it, North Korea would likely qualify as one of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s, “Unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

North Korea is not new to the Tom Clancy Op-Center series. The first book of the original series, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center, was set in North Korea. The plot line for that book, published in 1995, had renegade South Korean soldiers setting off a bomb in Seoul during a festival and make it look like it was done by North Korea. Without putting too fine a point on it, the plot points of Tom Clancy’s Op-Center were skillfully manufactured two decades ago and the reader did not have to suspend disbelief to that great an extent. Now, with today’s confluence of similar geopolitical imperatives in Northeast Asia—with tensions between and among China, North Korea, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and other nations in the region flaring frequently—Into the Fire readers will have no need to suspend disbelief. What is happening in North Korea today could become the world’s worst nightmare tomorrow.

Book signing today at Barnes and Noble Mira Mesa!

Advance Praise for Tom Clancy’s Op-Center

booklistonline

Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to. It comprises two print magazines, an extensive website and database, e-newsletters, webinars, and other resources that support librarians in collection development and readers’ advisory.

Booklist reviews singled out Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes and Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire for high praise. Their reviews struck a chord for readers as well as for libraries who have ordered both books. The phenomenon of the rebooted Op-Center series is catching on for a wide audience.

Review for Out of the Ashes | Review for Into the Fire

Book signing today at Bay Books in Coronado!

Out of the Ashes Meets Into the Fire

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Today, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire is released for the first time as a trade paperback publication. Additionally, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes is being re-released as a mass market paperback. We expect demand for both books to be strong. Why? Because the kind churn in today’s world says we still need heroes – heroes like those serving in our military and other government services who go “downrange” to protect the freedoms we hold so dear. Here is how we put it in the Dedication to Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Decades ago, Winston Churchill famously said, “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”  More contemporaneously, in the 1992 film, A Few Good Men, in the courtroom dialogue, Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) responds to an aggressive interrogation by Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) with, “We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns…Because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”

This book is dedicated to the selfless men and women – in and out of the military – who toil and sacrifice in obscurity so we may sleep safely at night.  They receive no medals or public recognition, and few know of their risks, dedication, and contributions to our security.  They endure lengthy – and repeated – deployments away from their families.  Yet they stand guard “on the wall” for all of us, silently, professionally, and with no acclaim.

Stay tuned to this website for more on the subject….

Reboot!

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When Dick Couch and I were offered the opportunity to “re-boot” the Tom Clancy Op-Center series we wanted to pick the spot where we knew there would be churn when the book was published – and for some time afterwards. The Middle East was our consensus choice. As we put it in Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

The Muslim East and the Christian West have been at war for over a millennium. They are at war today, and that is not likely to change in the near future. As Samuel Huffington would put it, the cultures will continue to clash. In the past, the war has been invasive, as during the time of the Crusades. The Muslims have also been the invaders as the Moors moved north and west into Europe. Regional empires rose and fell through the Middle Ages, and while the Renaissance brought some improvements into the Western world, plagues and corrupt monarchies did more to the detriment of both East and West than they were able to do to each other. 

In time, as a century of war engulfed Europe and as those same nations embarked on aggressive colonialism, the East-West struggle was pushed into the background. But it was not extinguished. The rise of nationalism and weapons technology in the nineteenth century gave rise to the modern-day great powers in the West. Yet the East seemed locked in antiquity and internal struggle. The twentieth century and the thirst for oil were to change all that. 

The seeds of modern East-West conflict were sown in the nations created by the West as Western nations took it on themselves to draw national boundaries in the Middle East after the First World War. After the Second World War, Pan-Arab nationalism, the establishment of the state of Israel, the Suez crisis, the Lebanese civil war, and the Iranian revolution all kept tensions high between East and West. Then came 9/11. While it was still a Muslim-Christian, East-West issue, the primacy of oil and oil reserves remained a catalyst that never let tensions get too far below the surface.

The events of September 11, 2001, and the invasions that were to follow, redefined and codified this long-running conflict. It was now a global fight, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Yemen to North Africa and into Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and beyond. It was global, nasty, and ongoing. Nine-eleven was pivotal and defining. For the first time in a long time, the East struck at the West, and it was a telling blow. 

Surveys taken just after 9/11 showed that some 15 percent of the world’s over 1.5 billion Muslims supported the attack. It was about time we struck back against those arrogant infidels, they said. A significant percentage felt no sympathy for the Americans killed in the attack. Nearly all applauded the daring and audacity of the attackers. And many Arab youth wanted to be like those who had so boldly struck at the West. 

But as the world’s foremost authority on the region, Bernard Lewis, put it, the outcome of the struggle in the Middle East is still far from clear.  For this reason, we chose the Greater Levant as the epicenter of our story of Op-Center’s reemergence.

As we suggest – this churn will last a long time. And these maps help tell the story:

See these maps here

 

The Mideast – Perpetual Churn

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Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes takes the reader on a fast-paced thrill ride through Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and the Greater Middle East.

 

How many of us really understand the Mideast – even though it dominates today’s headlines and as ISIS/ISIL continues its atrocities in more and more countries.

When we began to do our research and due diligence to conceive and write, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes we started out with scores of scholarly books to consult. We whittled that down to just a dozen key books that helped us understand the conundrum that is the Greater Middle East.

At the very top of that short list was Bernard Lewis classic: The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. We commend it to anyone who wants to begin to understand this complex region in 2014. Here is what Booklist has to say about this gem:

For more than 50 years, Lewis has strived mightily and successfully to explain the cultures and histories of Middle Eastern peoples to Western readers. The task of writing a political history of the region has already been fulfilled by him and by many others. In his latest work, Lewis has chosen to accentuate the social, economic, and cultural changes that have occurred over 20 centuries. He ranges from seemingly trivial concerns (changes in dress and manners in an Arab coffeehouse) to earth-shaking events (the Mongol conquest of Mesopotamia) in painting a rich, varied, and fascinating portrait of a region that is steeped in traditionalism while often forced by geography and politics to accept change. As always, Lewis is eloquent, incisive, and displays an intuitive grasp of the social dynamics of the culture he describes. Both scholars and general readers with an interest in the Middle East will find this work a delight.

Read more here how “life imitates art” with Out of the Ashes

http://georgegaldorisi.com/understanding-the-mideast

American Sniper – and More!

Out of the Ashes

Tom Clancy’s complex, adrenaline-fueled military novels spawned a new genre of thrillers and made him one of the world’s best-known and best-selling authors. When Clancy died in October of last year, one of the most celebrated authors of our generation no longer walked among us.

Many people had – and continue to have – diverse options about Tom Clancy. However, most agree, above all else, he was prescient about the future of geopolitics, intelligence, military operations and emerging technology and weaponry. In his own words:

I hang my hat on getting as many things right as I can. I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real — that’s the spooky part.

Tom Clancy also left a gift for aspiring writers with words that are as important today as when he said them years ago He said none of his success came easily, and he would remind aspiring writers of that when he spoke to them:

I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work.

Read more here:

http://georgegaldorisi.com/what-made-tom-clancy-so-unique

 

Two Re-boots

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Last year saw two “reboots” the Tom Clancy Op-Center series and another movie starring Jack Ryan – the fifth movie with “America’s Action Hero.” Both were hits.

There are compelling reasons why this is so. With threats from emerging superpowers, rogue nations and, increasingly, terrorists of all stripes, Americans want to know who will protect them.

Increasingly it is our nation’s special operators. That is why the international action-arm of our re-booted Op-Center series is the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Comprising the most capable special operators from all the U.S. military services, they are the ones most frequently “on that wall” protecting us.

Read more here how “life imitates art”

American Sniper – and More!

How do we feel about our special operations professionals? Most of us want them “on the wall” protecting us from forces that would harm us and our nation.

It is no surprise that the movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s best-seller has been such a mega-hit. It has resonated with Americans of all stripes.

We’ve come full circle. Recently, Rorke Denver spoke to the issue of why American Sniper has touched so many of us – and he takes on those who would denigrate heroes like Chris Kyle.

We know Rorke Denver as Lieutenant Rorke Engel from the movie Act of Valor and from our Novelization of that movie, Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor. He knows whereof he speaks, having spent years with the SEAL teams, a command position training SEALs, and writing a best-selling book about his experiences.

We have carried this tradition forward in our re-boot of the best-selling Tom Clancy Op-Center series. We honor special operators for what they are – quiet, dedicated professionals.

Here is what we said in the dedication of the first book in the new series, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes:

Decades ago, Winston Churchill famously said, “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” More contemporaneously, in the 1992 film, A Few Good Men, in the courtroom dialogue, Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) responds to an aggressive interrogation by Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) with, “We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns…Because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.”

This book is dedicated to the selfless men and women – in and out of the military – who toil and sacrifice in obscurity so we may sleep safely at night. They receive no medals or public recognition, and few know of their risks, dedication, and contributions to our security. They endure lengthy – and repeated – deployments away from their families. Yet they stand guard “on the wall” for all of us, silently, professionally, and with no acclaim.

Tom Clancy’s Op-Center

Out of the Ashes

The enormous success of Tom Clancy’s mainline books spurred several series that became part of the Clancy “brand,” among them, Tom Clancy’s Net Force and Tom Clancy’s Op-Center. The Op-Center series included twelve books, all written between 1995 and 2005. For a number of reasons, the series stopped in the mid-2000s.

A decade later we have revived the series. We are dedicated to following the fine Clancy tradition of making these books prescient. Yes, a good plot, compelling characters and all the things a reader must demand from a novel are there. But so is a view of a future. What threats will dominate U.S. security thinking in the future. What will the intelligence communities need to do to uncover threats to American security and prosperity? How will the military and other agencies organize to take on these threats – both internationally and within our borders?

Our first new Op-Center book, Out of the Ashes, has now been out for almost eight months. The first major review of the book, from Publisher’s Weekly, was also prescient. Issued two months before Out of the Ashes release date, suggested the book would do well – and it did – rising quickly on the Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today best-seller lists. Here is the PW review.

Fans of the original Op-Center series created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik that ended with Jeff Rovin’s War of Eagles (2005) will welcome this solid continuation from Couch (SEAL Team One) and Galdorisi (Coronado Conspiracy). The original Op-Center, “an information clearinghouse with SWAT capabilities,” fell under the budget ax and was disbanded, but after a horrific series of bombings at four NFL stadiums, U.S. president Wyatt Midkiff decides to dust off the Op-Center file and bring the group back to life. Chase Williams, a retired four-star Navy admiral, agrees to head the new center and hunt down the terrorists responsible for the devastating attack. The trail takes the men and women of the revitalized agency into the Middle East, where they find a new plot aimed at the American homeland. This thriller procedural packs plenty of pulse-raising action. The open ending promises more to come.

See an excerpt here

Clancy Rules!

Out of the Ashes

We don’t know whether our first book of the rebooted Tom Clancy Op-Center series, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center: Out of the Ashes, or our forthcoming book in the series, Clancy’s Op-Center: Into the Fire, will ever be made into feature movies, but Clancy’s work does seem to have a penchant for finding its way to the silver screen.

Obituaries for the late Tom Clancy covered a wide range of information about the author – universally recognized as the best military-technical-thriller writer of his generation. But what every obituary noted – and emphasized – was that Clancy was prescient. He wrote about intelligence, military and technical matters in fiction – and fiction always seemed to have a strange way of becoming fact years later.

With this year’s release of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” the fifth Clancy movie is now part of our culture. Someone once said, “Never trust a man with two first names,” but that wit obviously was not referring to Jack Ryan, the C.I.A. analyst and reluctant action hero of Tom Clancy’s series of spy novels. The closest thing pop culture may have to an American James Bond, the character has now appeared in five films. It turns out that every era gets a Jack Ryan to fit the times.

Read more here about Jack Ryan films