Net Force: Night Moves

Did Tom Clancy actually write this? I’m not sure, but I can’t find any other author listed. Night Moves is the only book I have read from the Net Force series. The book was written¬†in 1999, and is set in 2011 – the “future” where computers, and especially Virtual Reality, are way more advanced than they are today in 2018, and people use really cringe-y computer slang to go with their cringe-y VR worlds and “hacking” by doing things like walking through a VR jungle.

The storylines of Alex Michaels and John Howard’s son, (I don’t remember, and didn’t write down, his name), could be completely cut from the book. Michaels, the alleged leader of the Net Force team, spends the entire book struggling with his romantic entanglements, (which even the book, written before the turn of the millennium, admits would make heads spin in PR – never mind the current environment around sexual harassment in the workplace). He doesn’t do anything to move the core story forward. As for Howard Jr, a high school student and competitive boomerang thrower, he throws boomerangs with names that were probably cool in 1999 and tries to figure out which girl he should go for – that’s not the Clancy I came for!

There’s the core of a decent story here, between hunting down a former Russian operative in the Nevada desert, to tracking down a bad actor with a supercomputer, and a billionaire English lord who likes black powder, but it hasn’t aged well, and has more storylines than desired.

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Red October

Remember the film The Hunt for Red October? You’re probably aware it’s based on a Tom Clancy novel of the same name, (if you weren’t there’s your new trivia fact for the day). I’ve seen the film a few times over the years but hadn’t read the book until recently. I wasn’t sure if the book would be that enjoyable since I already knew the outcome, and a lot of the thrill of reading a Tom Clancy novel is wondering what happens next. I had no need to worry the book was great, even though I already knew the ending.

When a book is made into a movie it often has a lot cut out, the plot is condensed, and things are generally “hollywoodized.” This is exactly what happened to Red October. For example in the Film Jack Ryan ends up on the American submarine the USS Dallas for a while. In the book he never gets on the Dallas, but instead spends time on the British carrier HMS Invincible. The British involvement is entirely eliminated from the movie, (surprised? Welcome to hollywood).

No matter how you look at it both the film and the book very entertaining, and interestingly, the film doesn’t disappoint as many film adaptations of books do, (maybe it’s because I saw the film first).

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