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Not to be confused with the other author named D. Brown. Also not to be confused with Dale Brown, former basketball coach at Louisiana State University.Once upon a time, there was a member of the United States Air Force. He spent his days as a member of the Strategic Air Command, specifically a navigator-bombardier. He was rather good at it.Then he retired and started writing books. These books involve super-planes, such as the EB-52 Megafortress, a stealth escort bomber. They also sometimes involve nukes being let off. The main plotline through most of his stories involves USAF bomber navigator Patrick Shane McLanahan and his involvement with the supersecret High Technology Aerospace Weapons Center "Dreamland". After McLanahan went his own ways from "Dreamland", Brown also collaborated with Jim Defelice to write more stories centred on Dreamland.He made the plot for a Real-Time Strategy game, Act of War, which features some of the tropes found in his books.
Flight of the Old Dog - When a Soviet laser cannon threatens the deterrent value of American strategic forces and other means of destroying it fail, disillusioned bomber navigator Patrick McLanahan is brought into a secret programme to take a Super Prototype stealth bomber on an Airstrike Impossible against it.
Silver Tower - in which an American space laser mounted on a space station does battle against space Russians IN SPACE!.
Day of the Cheetah - in which a Russian spy attempts to steal an advanced, mind-controlled fighter jet. Does that sound familliar?
Hammerheads - in which drug runners are taken out by V-22s launched from an oil-rig air base
Sky Masters- When an overconfident Chinese Admiral is put on the ropes by the Filipino navy, he resorts to nuking 'em to save his bacon. Emboldened, communist elements within the Filipino government stage a coup. The resultant escalation draws contenders on both the American and Chinese sides, with an early version of the B-2 as Dreamland's dog in the race. Comes with hilariously inaccurate portrayal of both nations' governments and militaries.
Night of the Hawk - in which a friend thought dead is still alive but in Soviet hands, and the Dreamland crew must save him before the CIA get to him.
Chains of Command - Back in Desert Storm, Daren Mace rightfully aborted a secret mission and was ostracised for it, dropped into the USAF reserves where his path crosses with Rebecca Furness, the USAF's first female combat pilot. When a border skirmish between Russia, Ukraine and Moldova goes nuclear, them and theirs are hurled headlong into the power plays of the Russians.
Storming Heaven- in which drug lord Henri Cazaux causes the unplanned destruction of the San Francisco International Airport, decides that Evil Feels Good, and becomes a super-villain powered by the sexual energy of Satan. No, seriously.
Shadows of Steel - When Iran gets frisky with its new aircraft carrier, a secret commando unit is sent by the US to try and deal with it. Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong. In response, people close to the POTUS ask McLanahan out of retirement to support special operations against it. Can he get over his trouble with his hostile copilot before it's too late for the rest of the Gulf?
Fatal Terrain- When Taiwan finally decides to declare independence from China, a cunning Chinese Admiral comes up with an Evil Plan to nuke Taiwanese bases, North Korea and Guam while painting the US and Taiwan as the aggressors.
The Tin Man- in which McLanahan's cop brother gets shot by terrorists and he breaks out the eponymous Powered Armor in search of the culprits.
Battle Born- McLanahan is out to pick up some new talent for Dreamland and sets his eyes on a group of maverick National Guard pilots. However, South Korea pulls off a plan to forcibly reunite the penisula, earning China's ire. As the situation goes From Bad to Worse, the only hope of averting a full-blown war seems to lie in the hands of these unreliable upstarts.
Warrior Class - in which a Russian oilman plans to restore Russia's glory with a Balkan pipeline and some Soviet Superscience of his own, and will brook no interference from the West.
Wings of Fire - After the previous book's events, McLanahan has become part of a new "Night Stalkers" N.G.O. Superpower, dedicated to "firefighting" across the world. When they act against Libyan aggression, however, disaster causes the mission to turn dangerously personal, not helped by the return of an old enemy.
Air Battle Force - in which a seemingly straightforward strike against a Taliban group becomes much more complicated when the Russians use action against that group as a pretext to take on Turkmenistan.
Plan of Attack - The Neidermeyers above Patrick have finally gotten tired of him showing them up, not helped by the events of the previous book, and have him grounded, confined to an insignificant desk job. When his Cassandra Truth about rapid Russian remilitarisation comes true in a brief burst of brutality, though, Dreamland are the only ones able to repay Moscow for their atrocity.
Act of War - When eco-terrorists nuke a major installation of a big conglomerate, it inspires a tough response from the US, who stand up a high-tech joint FBI-Army unit to search for the culprits. However, the mishmash of young hotshots, barely kept in check by an old wardog, may not be up to the task of battling this elusive, resourceful foe, and the rabbit hole goes deeper than anyone initially knows.
Edge of Battle - in which US-Mexico relations grow horribly tense thanks to the warmongering of a drug smuggler masquerading as a revolutionary.
Strike Force - in which McLanahan is asked to intervene in an Iranian power struggle, one where he has to go Enemy Mine with the former Big Bad from Shadows of Steel against the Russian-backed theocrats.
Shadow Command - in which a new Russian president plots the destruction of Dreamland while the Iranian power struggle continues.
Rogue Forces - in which McLanahan's new PMC is called into action over Iraq when Turkey's fight against Kurd rebels spills dangerously into Iraqi territory.
Executive Intent - The testing of a new American Kill Sat has Gone Horribly Wrong, giving China and Russia the leverage to challenge American domination of space.
A Time for Patriots - The US economy has gone down the sewer some time between the previous book's events and this one. In the face of growing anti-government dissatisfaction, McLanahan forms a group to keep the peace against terrorists and Right Wing Militia Fanatics. However, the biggest threat to him and his may instead come from overly paranoid FBI agents lashing out blindly after a sting operation gone wrong, dragging his son Bradley James into the crossfire in the process.
Tiger's Claw - China, having reached an all-new height of power, successfully deploys an antiship ballistic missile, just one of several prongs in their plan to hold off American naval objections to their aggression against Southeast Asia. With the US still mired in economic trouble, though, can its outdated, underfunded forces offer any useful resistance?
Starfire - After a major loss in the previous book, McLanahan's son Bradley now leads a team of engineers designing Earth's first orbital solar power plant, which will transmit unlimited inexpensive energy to the whole planet and serve as an important stepping stone to further space exploration. When this industrialisation of space sparks a retaliatory arms race from America's enemies, however, global war once again looms on the horizon.
Alternate History - Has touches of this. For example, the mess with Libya in Wings of Fire started when apparent Big Bad Zuwayy carried out a coup against then Real Life ruler Gaddafi in the backstory... well ahead of his actual deposal and death in the 2011 Arab Spring.
America Saves the Day - Especially the Patrick McLanahan Series, which also has a heavy dose of Pax Americana flavor within it.
And Your Little Dog Too - The Libyans from Wings of Fire kill Paul McLanahan and abet Pavel Kazakov's henchwoman in killing Wendy McLanahan.
Gryzlov from Air Battle Force threatens Patrick McLanahan this way.
Anyone Can Die - Dale Brown is not afraid to have multiple-book characters, like Brad Elliott, Paul and Wendy McLanahan face the reaper. A Time for Patriots has Leo, Ron and Jon Masters getting killed off. Tiger's Claw takes out Patrick himself!
Went a little overboard in Day of the Cheetah, which was the end of his original book contract and veered into Kill 'em All territory. Later retconned.
Better to Die Than Be Killed: At the end of Sky Masters, the Big Bad Admiral Yin, seeing that his plan is foiled, chooses to blow his brains out rather than return to China in defeat, where he will be humiliated and dishonourably executed.
Big Damn Heroes - Turabi gets saved by Tin Men in Air Battle Force and Plan of Attack.
Bigger Bad: The Chinese presidents and high commands that tacitly condone the generals' and admirals' actions are portrayed as this, in contrast to the Russian presidents who have directly been Big Bads.
Bigger Stick - The entire point of Dreamland and Sky Masters, staying on the bleeding edge of technology. The Americans aren't the only ones with new toys, though.
Boring Invincible Hero - Subverted. The team almost never wins overwhelmingly despite their definite advantages.
Brainwashed - Dave Luger after getting captured by Soviets. He gets rescued and fixed eventually, but the effects still linger.
Broad Strokes: Act of War (the games) are this to the book of the same name. The factions are the same but the continuity has differences.
Call Back - Occurs a few times, one of these being Dave Luger's reaction to seeing a former captor in Warrior Class. In A Time for Patriots there are a few, such as the nanotransponders from Edge of Battle being used on the FBI agents and Pat being reminded of Hal Briggs's death.
Canon Discontinuity - Day of the Cheetah was replaced with Sky Masters which was replaced with Night of the Hawk. Except...
Silver Tower was initially thought dropped from continuity, but the titular space station has reappeared in recent books. A character in Tiger's Claw also makes clear reference to events in Sky Masters.
Canon Welding - Characters from works originally not involving Pat McLanahan, such as Rebecca Furness, have made their way into the main continuity.
Cassandra Truth - At the end of Flight of the Old Dog, Pat casually mentions to his mother that his absence was due to bombing Russia. Played seriously in Plan of Attack regarding the impending Russian attack and Edge of Battle regarding the seriousness of Comandante Veracruz's plan.
Cold-Blooded Torture - Dave Luger faced this during his involuntary stay as a guest of the USSR. Wings of Fire has some redshirts tortured to death by the Libyans. Wayne Macomber experiences this from GRU agents in Executive Intent.
Colonel Badass - Pat McLanahan spends some time in earlier books as this before his promotion to the stars. He's not the only one though.
Coming In Hot - In Air Battle Force Pat lands a damaged Vampire on Diego Garcia despite being repeatedly told not to.
Cool Plane - the Megafortress. Eventually heavily-modded B-1B Lancers show up. Plus the Black Stallion Space Planes. The Russians sometimes have these, like the Fisikous/Metyor-179 Tyenee/Shadow. Then there are the real-world ones jetting about.
Could Have Avoided This Plot: In Shadows of SteelBig Bad Buzhazi is told that he could have avoided getting into trouble with the US had he only destroyed their spy ship but let the crew be, since the US would have swallowed the destruction of the ship in exchange for not letting the truth about it out.
Counter Attack - One new piece of Sky Masters tech in Rogue Forces allows a plane to defeat incoming missiles with Frickin' Laser Beams, then attempt to fry the attacker as well.
Crazy-Prepared - Sky Masters aircraft can mount Russian munitions and have the necessary code to do so, apparently just in case they ever had to.
Cynicism Catalyst - Patrick McLanahan almost losing his younger brother is what drives him on his vigilante quest in The Tin Man, and eventually both his wife and brother get killed.
Even Evil Has Standards - Russian general Stepashin from Plan of Attack, a man with no qualms against nuclear sneak bombings against the US, is disgusted by Gryzlov's use of nukes on Russian soil and the man's apathy about possible Russian survivors.
Everyone Has Standards: McLanahan is a major Military Maverick, but even he finds the National Guard pilots he's scouting out in Battle Born too lax and defiant for anyone's good. At least at first.
False Flag Operation - The Chinese do this in Fatal Terrain to make it seem that Taiwan and the US are attacking them. Pavel Kazakov from Warrior Class does this to trigger a Albania-Macedonia conflict. Zakharov from Edge of Battle does this to make it seem that the American Watchdogs are killing illegal immigrants.
General Ripper - General Park from Battle Born will go as far as having his president killed to get the codes needed for Nuke 'em in order to fight Chinese aggression.
Genre Shift: The Tin Man was the first one to be almost entirely focused on the dirtside perspective, unlike previous titles that were almost solely the flyboys' game. More infantry-centric content started creeping in after that.
Godzilla Threshold: Villainous example in Sky Masters. His flotilla in shambles after a Filipino ambush, with only death or dishonourable retreat on the cards, Big Bad Admiral Yin decided to Nuke 'em. Things go downhill from there.
Heroic Sacrifice - In Flight of the Old Dog Dave Luger leaves the Old Dog to deal with Soviets and let the others get away.
In Fatal Terrain Brad Elliot crashes the crippled "Old Dog" into a Chinese ICBM site
In Battle Born Rinc Seaver "de-stealths" his plane to lure missiles away from their intended target.
Hostage for MacGuffin - In Edge of Battle Jason is made to give up the CID activation code or let some children get killed. He gives in... and, surprisingly enough, Zakharov doesn't backstab him after letting him and the children go.
If I Wanted You Dead...: In Shadows of Steel a back-channel envoy between the Iranians and the US is told that if the President were not in control of the situation, the US would have carried out overt military action already.
Immune to Bullets - Tin Men and CIDs have this, although bigger guns still work. One entering the field is usually a sign that it's time to break out the anti-tank weapons.
It's Personal: In Shadows of Steel, being told that Hal Briggs is with the group he is being asked to help convinces Pat to come out of "early retirement" where more nebulous appeals fail.
Just Plane Wrong: For a man of his background, he knows surprisingly little about aircraft that originated from outside of the US border. One of the most infamous examples is his portrayal of the Chinese Q-5 Fantan as a copy of the Su-22; considering the Q-5 has been exported to Pakistan even before Flight of the Old Dog came out, he has no excuse for ignorance of this magnitude.
Karma Houdini: Chinese President Evils, repeatedly, unlike their Russian counterparts. Also, the Iranian general Buzhazi, who survives Shadows of Steel and returns to benefit from an Enemy Mine.
Karmic Death - General Gary Houser from Plan of Attack dies in the same Russian attack that he kept denying would occur.
Kill 'em All - Happens in Day Of The Cheetah, originally expected to be Brown's last book. Resulted in a number of later retcons of character deaths when Brown's contract was renewed.
Knight in Sour Armor: Pat. The world never gets permanently better, an awful lot of people are Ungrateful Bastards at best, hostile and traitorous at worst, and he's seen too many friends and family die violently, but he keeps fighting to make the world better nevertheless.
Knight Templar - The US finds itself on the slippery slope to this in Edge of Battle, but ultimately avoids it.
La Résistance - In Wings of Fire the Night Stalkers are aided by the Sanusi Brotherhood who are fighting the usurping Libyan dictator.
Lampshade Hanging - in Executive Intent, a State Department official summarizes parts of a supposed plot by China and Russia (which is actually happening), and says the line "I think you've been reading too many cheesy techno-thrillers."
Laser Sight - Pavel Kazakov's men in Warrior Class use these to keep some enemies off their principal.
Last-Second Chance: Offered to Admiral Tufayli in Shadows of Steel and naturally rejected.
The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort - Invoked in Wings of Fire where Hal tells a Night Stalker new to the Tin Man suit to focus on the job and let the suit shrug off small-arms fire rather than obsessing over cover like a normal foot mobile.
Loophole Abuse - The Soviets in Flight of the Old Dog refuse to deactivate the Kavaznya laser under the excuse that the strategic arms treaties never banned ground-based laser systems. The Iranians in Shadows of Steel got their weapons from post-Soviet states that were not covered in the arms control treaties.
Ludicrous Gibs - 23mm rounds make a mess of American airmen in Fatal Terrain and Warrior Class. In Strike Force Hal Briggs goes down this way. Also, anything less than an armored vehicle that takes a hit from a Tin Man's railgun. During a Tin Man assault in Wings of Fire (the same one as mentioned above), the team leader admonishes one of the relative newbies for responding to small-arms fire with railgun fire instead of letting the suits automated defense systems handle it.
Military Maverick - McLanahan and the Dreamland old-timers to a tee. The ease with which they disobey orders (admittedly getting the job done, but still) gets them in trouble. A lot.
Misguided Missile - In Shadow Command the superiority of the Black Stallions over older planes is vividly demonstrated when Boomer guides a pair of Russian missiles back to the planes that had fired them.
The Neidermeyer: One inexperienced Captain in Sky Masters. Also General Gary Houser, who upon having a demoted Patrick reassigned to his command in Plan of Attack proceeds to be a Jerkass and disregard Patrick's warnings as him crying wolf until he dies in the same nuclear attack Patrick was warning him about. Then there's Terrill Sampson, who apparently only regarded Dreamland as "a stepping stone" to his next general's star, allowing the high-tech projects to stagnate under his command. He's on the same plane as Houser.
Neutron Bomb - Used by the Libyans in Wings of Fire. The results were most unpleasant.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - In Air Battle Force the ABF prevents a Russian airstrike by destroying the bombers at Engels AFB, but this motivates Gryzlov to do what he does in Plan of Attack.
Non-Action Guy - Jason Richter starts as one, being not much good without his CID unit, but gets better. Some Sky Masters personnel are also this, never having been military before joining and thus not mentally prepared to use their equipment in an actual combat situation.
Not a Game: In Sky Masters, Patrick calls Dr. Masters out on his flippant, overly casual attitude with regards to the oncoming battle.
Not Now, Kiddo: In A Time for Patriots, a civvie pilot keeps holding off on listening to his son even after the son has proven that his observations are correct. It doesn't end well for the family.
Not Quite Dead - The discovery that Dave Luger is this and the subsequent rescue attempt form the plot for Night of the Hawk.
Not So Invincible After All - Pat gets this while using the first version of the Tin Man suit in The Tin Man. Hal Briggs gets this in Strike Force after running into a Russian trap.
Nothing Personal - In Warrior Class, one of the aircrew of the Russian stealth bomber says so after shooting down an AWACS plane.
Papa Wolf: In A Time for Patriots, when the FBI agents hurt and threaten Brad, Pat pays them right back, forcing them to bug out.
Pay Evil unto Evil - Chris Wohl's killing of Pavel Kazakov in Wings of Fire is undeniably vicious and yet very much the least the scum deserves. In Executive Intent the Chinese respond to a Somali pirate attack on one of their vessels by carrying out a massive aerial and amphibious assault and takeover of Somalia.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits - Task Force TALON starts as a mish-mash of FBI agents, "lab-bound mavericks" and hardened veterans.
Rage Breaking Point: In Tiger's Claw a Drill Sergeant Nasty has it in for Bradley, accusing him of nepotism and insulting Patrick to his face. Bradley tries to rein in his anger at having his father badmouthed, oh he tries, even swallowing his pride and apologising for near-assault even when the other guy stuffs in a bunch of deliberately humiliating extra conditions... but when the Drill Sergeant Nasty just refuses to let it go and sneaks in one last barb sotto voce, oh, it was on.
Ranger - Hal Briggs and Trevor Griffin have gone for the Ranger course. Ray Jefferson was one too.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill - Zakharov from Act of War sends several squads with anti-tank weapons and a helicopter gunship to kill one man. Executive Intent has a Russian fighter jet thoroughly obliterated by a Mjolnir/Thor's Hammer orbit-to-surface kill vehicle, as well as the Chinese approach to taking over Mogadishu.
Too Dumb to Live - Zakharov from Edge of Battle thinks that the illegal immigrants who tried to take on a CID rather than run away were this.
The Yemeni in Executive Intent. After the Chinese prove they're not going to be soft-hearted like the West with their Disproportionate Retribution takeover of Mogadishu, the Yemeni still bomb a Chinese frigate. No prizes for guessing whose shit is going to get wrecked.
Was It Really Worth It? - In Wings of Fire Pat says this after the Night Stalkers get very large paychecks for the mission that saw Paul killed and Wendy missing.
Wave Motion Gun - The Soviets' Kavaznya laser system in Flight of the Old Dog is rated at hundreds of megawatts and able to serve anti-satellite duties.
Weak, but Skilled: In Sky Masters an outdated Filipino naval group puts a modern Chinese force soundly on the ropes.
Weapon of Mass Destruction - In Battle Born, among the weapons used are "plasma bombs" that are explicitly described as transferring the objects their blast converts into the titular form of matter into an alternate universe.
Well-Intentioned Extremist - GAMMA from Act of War is not above using backpack nukes against the big corporations it believes are ruining the environment. Then it turns out that this was the Deceptive Disciple's idea and the apparent Big Bad is also horrified to learn of it.