Creator Tom Clancy Discussion

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04:47:44 AM Jun 18th 2012
Okay, overall the page is fine. BUT there is one major issue here: the person who wrote the page seem to have a bit of a rosy tinted glasses view of Tom Clancy, in that he or she seems to allude that the strawmen that Clancy uses constantly are acceptable targets for ridicule. That kind of crap goes into YMMV if -anything-, the main page is to remain neutral for a damn good reason.
07:03:32 AM Aug 30th 2010
Cut this bit. Care to name some examples that aren't already explained under Tech Marches On or other tropes? Without it, this seems more like Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.

  • Did Not Do The Research: Despite his reputation, he has made incredibly obvious mistakes that show serious lapses in his research, especially in later books.

07:20:14 AM Dec 19th 2010
edited by kurushio
Three things from later books would come to my mind (and I love TC's early works up to Do H, liked EO well enough, but was very, very disappointed with Rainbow Six and Bear & Dragon):
  • In R6, German long-rifleman Dieter Weber is a Feldwebel (~E-6/OR-6), paratrooper and graduate of the German Army's mountain leader school. So far, so good, although you'd seldom find that combination outside the KSK - which would suit Rainbow just fine. But he is also mentioned to be a member of the GSG 9, which is and never was part of the German military. It's part of the Federal Police, and its members are recruited from the state and federal police forces, not from the army. There has never been a Feldwebel rank in the Federal Police, and its members cannot be easily transferred to military organizations.
  • In Bear & Dragon, he treats computer documents written in Chinese characters (which he incorrectly calls ideograms) as graphic files, not as text documents. Office software is perfectly capable of handling Chinese writing and saving it as a .doc or .odt. Frankly, the idea is hilarious: If it were graphic files, how would the secretary be able to write her bosses' diary that fast? With a graphic tablet? I'm willing to cut Clancy some slack in his... slightly warped portrayal of Chinese culture, considering that the Ryanverse is considerably different from ours since Soa F, but this was one really unnecessary error - which he turned into a small plot point that actually seemed to show off his work.
  • Bronco's F-15C is carrying 8 AMRAAMS and 8 Sidewinders in one of the battles. I don't know if it's possible to fix twin rail launchers under the wing hardpoints like it's done with the F-18, but it still sounds a bit excessive. To be fair, I'd rather put that under Protection from Editors - noticing that would have been their job.

I really don't want to sound like I'm nitpicking, but it's because he usually shows his work that such errors become irritating.

Cheers, kurushio (Yes, actually named for the Japanese sub in Do H.)
07:11:42 AM Dec 20th 2010
Here's the thing. Those aren't incredibly obvious mistakes. They're things that no casual reader would ever notice and that only show up under detailed scrutiny. (Well, maybe not the ideograms thing, but still...)
04:19:45 PM Dec 20th 2010
edited by kurushio
Fair point. (Well, for a German troper and reservist like me, the first one is incredibly obvious, but I know what you mean.) It's just the fact that Clancy usually gets things like ranks and equipment right that bothered me. I think the GSG9 thing would be a more of a case of Small Reference Pools, and I guess the other things (and more to come as I am having my biannual complete Clancy reading weeks) would find a place among more differenciated tropes as well.
07:17:13 AM May 21st 2010
I know that disgruntled fans will list every character they think is "too good" as a Sue, but really, Jack Ryan only fits a small subset of the rules. He certainly acts as an Author Stand-In, and he's definitely responsible for solving a great many problems that other people can't. However, there's a reason that he's at the front of the plot: he's the protagonist. Further, he has completely realistic doubts and angst, suffers insults and injuries, and does not suck the plot into revolving entirely around himself. Every single Wish Fulfillment character is not a Sue.
11:09:29 AM May 21st 2010
edited by TigerHunter
I'm not a disgruntled fan, I quite enjoy the books. See Likeable Sue.

Let's review the basic criteria for Mary Sue, shall we?

-Unusual backstory? Not really. Self-made millionaire who left Wall Street because he was disgusted by the greed he saw in his bosses and coworkers isn't too unusual, but it doesn't exactly help the argument against his being a Sue.

-Highly respected by the protagonists, anyone who dislikes them is portrayed in an unsympathetic light? Check. Pretty much everyone Ryan meets takes a quick liking to him and will generally comment on his being a cut above the rest, even people from nations the U.S. isn't friendly with. The only non-villains I can think of who dislike him are Ed Kealty (womanizing, self-serving asshole who wants Ryan's job) and Elizabeth Elliot and Bob Fowler from The Sum of All Fears (who have federal agents tail him to find an excuse to fire him before being forcibly removed from her post and resigning in shame, respectively).

-Other characters forced to the sidelines as Ryan solves their problems for them? Checkity check. Even if he doesn't suck the plot into revolving around him and other characters (mostly the field operatives) still play significant roles, he still gets shunted to the forefront of things on a regular basis. Patriot Games would probably be the ur-example, since it starts with him single-handedly taking out three gunmen unarmed to save England's royal family and the entire rest of the plot does revolve around him and the ULA's attempts to kill him.

Like I said in the entry I added, he's independently wealthy, has hardly any moral failings (the only immoral things he does that I can think of are engaging in insider trading, the consequences for consist of two paragraphs, one mentioning that he's being investigated by the SEC and a later one mentioning that he got off on a technicality; and thinking a dirty thought about a woman who wasn't his wife in Clear and Present Danger) and if the plot features him in any significant way, he'll be the one to end up saving the day. Even in The Sum of All Fears, where the terrorists succeed in carrying out their attack, he still manages to save millions of additional lives by preventing Fowler from nuking Iran. And then there's the whole becoming president thing, which would probably tear it all by itself.

So yeah, I think there's a pretty good case for him being a Sue. Even if you disagree, the page on Mary Sue specifically notes that the term doesn't have any concrete meaning, so the entry is valid even if it warrants a YMMV disclaimer.

I'll give you a chance to respond before re-adding the entry, but at the moment I don't see any reason not to.
12:39:03 PM May 21st 2010
edited by Fighteer
You just said it yourself, it's too subjective to be a viable main article entry. Consider that Suedom itself is about as controversial a topic as exists in fandom, and that the Mary Sue archetype was originally supposed to be about Fanfiction, not canon characters.

Anyway, however objective you try to be about assigning the criteria, you automatically piss off the element of the fanbase that likes the character and considers Mary Sue to be a negative trope (which it is, almost by definition). We have a word for this: it's called Flame Bait, and we specifically discourage it on main article pages.

In short, I don't disagree with you about many of the points being made about the Jack Ryan character. I am saying that it's controversial enough (for a popular series by a popular author) that you're begging to have an Edit War (or worse, a Flame War) about it. There's a reason the trope hasn't been listed on the main page before, or has been removed. Subjective Tropes should never be listed on a main work article unless there's overwhelming agreement from the fans.

I should also add that the entry for any Sue character is by necessity a Wall of Text that is horribly intrusive in what's supposed to be a brief, witty summary. I found this out the hard way when listing one of my favorite characters under Canon Sue — it worked much better just putting it on the trope page.

Also, what... Likeable Sue? Who the hell thought that was a good trope idea? By the dicussion, nobody else likes it either.
02:47:31 PM May 24th 2010
Which is why Canon Sue was created. I concede to your points about subjectively and intrusiveness, though.
06:42:37 AM Mar 24th 2010
Camacan, the point of having those be redlinks is that someone can create them later if they want to, and won't have to go back and fix all the wicks.
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