Techno Thrillers

The "Ultimate" war story
The Ultimate war story...?

     There are quite a number of people writing what I call "Techno-Thriller" literature, genuine or otherwise. Authors such as Patrick Robinson (USN), Dale Brown (USAF), Dan Brown (NSA) Clive Cussler (N.U.M.A.) and Chris Ryan (S.A.S) have all realized that there is a demand for this type of literature, thus making unclassified or declassified technical information more accessible to the person in the street, either directly as a result of reading their books or through researching on Internet.

Dale Brown
Dan Brown
Clive Cussler
Patrick Robinson
Chris Ryan

      Following the decline of the Soviet Union and the end of an era, the risk of a major conflict between two Superpowers receded and new dangers emerged. The need for a constant surveillance was considered more than ever necessary as technological breakthroughs changed - and still change - the rules and frontiers become all the more virtual. One author read the signs right and made a major industry out of the resulting literature he wrote: Tom Clancy.
Since the middle of the 1990s The World Wide Web -  Internet - with its liberalization, free for all access/distribution of information, ideas and  material, became a common vector for "White Collar" crime. The need for a supervisory body to control the web was discussed at length with it's "fors and againsts" and in the meantime,  a new line of "2nd Generation Techno-Thrillers" sees the light of day.
In the "Net Force" series Tom Clancy presented his vision/version of a virtual Policing Body (all be it American) acting as watchdogs. Events in 2010, ie. Wikileaks showed that this wasn't as simple to implement as might be thought.

NB. Clancy himself understood the potential of Internet and Computers. After writing numerous successes Clancy switched to producing Video Game spin-offs of successes such as Rainbow Six.

When Technology Encounters the Occult

      Another author writing some interesting material is Dan Brown. In his first book 'Digital Fortress' Brown deals with "Cryptology" through the eyes of an NSA Specialist. With his bestseller the "Da Vinci Code", Brown looks into the origins of Christianity, the templars and secret societies, whose leading members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci himself. The novel tackles cryptology, symbology, occult branches of the Roman Catholic church (more radical than the Jesuits) and takes his readers on a virtual journey around the Louvre museum and Templar churches in London and Scotland.
The Ariane line in Brown's stories seems to be cryptology and symbology* and he explains in detail their uses and aims, be it with the NSA, the NRO, the Priory of Sion or the Vatican.
*Dan Brown also talks of Ambigrams (Ambi= Both ; Gram= Word) such as in the images below (which normally spin but Google doesn't know how to do that!):

Angels and Demons
Double click on the ambigrams

Logos courtesy of the Dan Brown website

     Whereas Tom Clancy stories appear to revolve around the physical and the tangible, hinting only at the obscure or the secretive (ex: Special armed forces units) Brown stories use the physical and the tangible as a starting point (NSA in Fort Meade or the Louvre in Paris) and then develops the obscure , fringing on the esoteric with excursions into the occult to explain the usurping of the Pagan Pentacle by Aleister Crowley & Co...
Apart from the obscure, the occult and the esoteric another central theme of Dan Brown's is the Conspiracy theory. He punctuates his books with interesting "Did you knows", explaining the origin of the triangle and "ALL-SEEING EYE" with the ominous "Novus Ordo Seclorum" right next to "In God we Trust" on the US 1 dollar bill.
NB. Dan Brown has written 5 Novels to date: 'Digital Fortress', in 1998, 'Angels and Demons' in 2000, 'Deception point' in 2001, 'Da Vinci code' in 2003 and 'The Lost Symbol' in 2009.

Post Scriptum. I initially wrote the first draft of this page in the early 2000's, even earlier than 2004 noted below, and on rereading the text it's clear that the topic doesn't scratch the surface of what Internet is all about but then that's not what its all about either... Or maybe it is because here's a person using the tools available to air thoughts and ideas that may , or may not, get read. In 2000 when I initially created the "Planet Waves" website there was no Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or even Blog sites. Today I have most of these and yet I still get pleasure in writing away on topics of interest to me - not really caring if the pages are visited or not - and on a more subtle level, making the most of Tools and Technology that weren't available to the general public 10 years ago to transmit the material.
I'll check this page out again in 4 or 5 years time to see how things have progressed since the day of writing, which happens to be 02nd of January 2011.

Disclaimer. Book covers and logos appear on this page by kind courtesy of their rightful owners and for purely personal documentary purposes. No property is claimed, except for the written text, and no commercial profit is intended or made from their appearing on this page.

©N.Richards 12/2004, 2011 & 2013