Finally, we close with a 21-gun salute to Tom Clancy, the Baltimore author who came out of nowhere to invent the detail-heavy genre known as the "techno-thriller." Clancy died Oct. 1 at age 66. A former Maryland insurance agent, Clancy wrote 19 novels, including "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger." The author was known for his best-selling espionage thrillers set during the aftermath of the Cold War.
So meticulous and exacting was Clancy about ensuring, for instance, that the correct types of bullets were fired from the correct kinds of guns that the author was forced to deny that he'd obtained classified information from the CIA. Clancy¿s final novel, "Command Authority," was co-written with Mark Greaney and published Dec. 3.