Twenty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before he had been an English major at Baltimore's Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it "the perfect yarn." Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense.
Tom Clancy lives in Maryland. His bestselling books include The Hunt for Red October, Debt of Honour, Mission of Honour, Executive Orders, The Bear and the Dragon, Cold War, Red Rabbit, Rainbow Six, The Teeth of the Tiger and Cutting Edge.
Jack Ryan/John Clark Universe Chronology
Main article: Ryanverse
In the order in which they occur in the storyline (and when they occur):
* Without Remorse (1970)
* Patriot Games (1981, based on a reference to Ryan's age, which is 31 at the beginning of the novel. This roughly fits with a reference to the Princess of Wales expecting a second baby – in reality, Prince Harry was born in September 1984)
* Red Rabbit (circa spring of 1982, based on references to living Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Suslov, both of whom died in 1982, as well as Jack Ryan Jr.'s age in the novel, 6 months)
* The Hunt for Red October (1984)
* The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1986) – "The first chapter is set in January and states that Ryan is 35 years old. It also has references to the other books set earlier. For example the Foley's have been in Moscow for almost four years. The book must begin (not including prologue which was set end of previous year) in January 1986.
Starting with the following novel, the series becomes distinctly different from real history as noted below.
* Clear and Present Danger (1988)
* The Sum of All Fears(1990–91) – Israel partially cedes sovereignty over Jerusalem to the Vatican and Saudi Arabia, and the city becomes a UN protectorate policed by Swiss Guards. Residents of Jerusalem can choose between either Vatican, Israeli or Islamic judicial law. Denver is devastated by a terrorist nuclear explosion. The book occurs after the Persian Gulf War and before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is implied that both events occur at the same time in the Ryanverse as in actual history (of the Soviet Union dissolution), 1991. In the earlier chapters it states that it had almost been two Novembers since President Fowler had been elected, making the beginning set in 1990.
* Debt of Honor (1995–96) – The U.S. and Russia destroy all of their ballistic missiles. After crippling the US economy and becoming a nuclear power, Japan invades and takes the Marianas Islands; the US and Japan fight a brief war, which the Japanese lose (they are subsequently denuclearized); an embittered Japanese pilot and proponent of the war crashes a 747 into the US Capitol Building immediately after Ryan's confirmation vote for the Vice President, killing most of the House and Senate, the President, all nine Supreme Court justices, the senior military establishment (including the JCS), and most of the Cabinet; Ryan is left in charge of a gutted government. The end of the book occurs shortly after the New Hampshire primary, which shows that the novel takes place during the 1996 election. Of interest, but not crucial to the plot of this or further books is that North and South Korea were said to be unified at some point between The Sum of All Fears and this book.
* Executive Orders (1996) – Saddam Hussein is assassinated; Iran and Iraq merge forming the United Islamic Republic; the UIR launches a biological attack on the U.S. using the Ebola virus; the US launches the Second Persian Gulf War against the UIR and defeats them; the Ayatollah is killed in a smart-bomb attack by the US.
* Rainbow Six (Takes place between Executive Orders and The Bear and the Dragon most likely 1998-1999 from a statement saying that it had been a year and a half since Jack became president and the date of the video game)(although events seem to be based on the Sydney Olympics held in 2000) RAINBOW – an elite counter-terrorist force – is created and engages terrorists across Europe. Ecoterrorists plan to create a genetically-enhanced virus based on Ebola and cancer cells, which they plan to use to wipe out much of the world's population.
* The Bear and the Dragon (2000) – Russia is admitted to NATO; China and Russia fight a major war, in which the US intervenes on its NATO ally's side. It implies that the British Prime Minister is Tony Blair.
* The Teeth of the Tiger (2005, based on the age of Jack Ryan Jr.) The U.S. is now engaged in a global war on terrorism, in response to the September 11th attacks which occurred in the Ryanverse as they did in the real world. It is mentioned that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq occurred in the Ryanverse continuity, and that the Jerusalem Treaty signed in The Sum of All Fears has failed as Israelis and Palestinians went back to fighting each other.
* Dead or Alive (2007, based on Jack Ryan's announcement that he would run against Ed Kealty for President "in the coming year") – The Umayyad Revolutionary Council (the Ryanverse's version of Al-Qaeda) and its leader "The Emir" (based on Osama bin Laden) plan a string of major attacks on the U.S. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, as in our timeline, and President Kealty is in the process of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, a process that began in our timeline in 2009. A character also explicitly refers to the date as May 2010, in the process of decoding encrypted messages.
If you would prefer to read the books by publication date here is the order as provided by Wikipedia
The Hunt for Red October (1984)
Red Storm Rising (1986)
Patriot Games (1987)
The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
Clear and Present Danger (1989)
The Sum of All Fears (1991)
Without Remorse (1993)
Debt of Honor (1994)
Executive Orders (1996)
SSN: Strategies for Submarine Warfare (1996)
Rainbow Six (1998)
The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
Red Rabbit (2002)
The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)
Dead or Alive (2010, with Grant Blackwood)