Bond, Larry 1951-
Bond, Larry 1951-
PERSONAL: Born June 11, 1951; married; wife's name Jeanne; children: Katie, Julia. Education: St. Thomas College, B.S., 1973; Officer Candidate School, Newport, RI, graduated, 1976.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Tor Books, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Writer and board game/computer game designer. Has worked as a computer programmer and as a naval analyst for defense consulting firms. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1975–81, Surface Warfare; Naval Reserve Intelligence, 1982–84.
AWARDS, HONORS: H.G. Wells Award for best miniatures game, 1981, 1987, and 1997, for Harpoon; Wargame of the Year, Computer Gaming World, 1990, for computer version of Harpoon.
(With Tom Clancy) Red Storm Rising, Putnam (New York, NY), 1986.
Red Phoenix, Warner (New York, NY), 1989.
Vortex, Warner (New York, NY), 1991.
Cauldron, Warner (New York, NY), 1993.
The Enemy Within, Warner (New York, NY), 1996.
Day of Wrath, Warner (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Jim DeFelice) Larry Bond's First Team, Forge (New York, NY), 2004.
Dangerous Ground, Forge (New York, NY), 2005.
(With DeFelice) Larry Bond's First Team: Angels of Wrath, Forge (New York, NY), 2005.
ADAPTATIONS: The Enemy Within was adapted as a Web-based game; Dangerous Ground was released as an audiobook, 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Adapting his Harpoon computer game as a book series.
SIDELIGHTS: Former naval officer Larry Bond met techno-thriller novelist Tom Clancy because of Bond's naval simulation board game Harpoon. Clancy and Bond used the game to set up some of the scenarios for Clancy's Hunt for Red October and then worked together to develop his Red Storm Rising, again using board games. Bond also worked on the writing of Red Storm Rising as a sort of apprentice author. Because his experience with Clancy was a positive one, Bond published his own techno-thriller in 1989 and has since written numerous others. Several of his novels have made it to the New York Times bestseller list. A computer techie, Bond has adapted the board games he develops into computer games, his novel The Enemy Within into a Web-based game, and his game Harpoon into a book series.
Bond's books are noted for their size, their non-stop action, and their "sure grip on weaponry and military methods," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor. They parallel current events or plausible scenarios based on current events. In his first novel, Red Phoenix, North Korea attacks a South Korea that has been weakened by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions. American and South Korean forces respond effectively and efficiently. The book's main characters are a U.S. general, an American infantry lieutenant, and a female logistics expert and F-16 pilot. A reviewer for the New York Times Book Review called Bond "a superb storyteller" and noted that he avoids the pitfall of "pulp he-man writing" with his unforced prose style and natural dialogue.
Bond's 1991 title Vortex features a U.S. journalist and a South African military officer trying to derail a fascist South African government's nuclear arsenal. Cuba tries to defend Angola and Mozambique and fails; the United States and the British intervene. A contributor to Chicago's Tribune Books noted that the novel's primary interest is in the machinery of war and the use of suitable tactics. Praising Bond for his storytelling skills in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer maintained that Vortex gives an excellent sense of the limits of military force deployed in an underdeveloped theater, "a type of setting we're likely to be seeing in future military thrillers."
In Cauldron, global trade wars have crippled economies around the world and France and Germany decide to take over the European continent. Only Poland, Slovakia, and the Czechs offer resistance; the U.S. military shows up to help with a tough presidential plan developed in part with the help of a rich industrialist. The book's cast consists of over fifty characters headed by a female trade analyst and a dashing CIA agent who team up with a Russian defector. Since France and Germany are old NATO members, the battles feature American-designed weapons and tactics against American-designed weapons and tactics. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that Cauldron "rattles along at a nice pace," with gadgetry taking a back seat to tactics, "and that's to the good."
Bond's fourth and fifth novels feature Peter Thorn, an army colonel and counterterrorism expert, and Thorn's lover, FBI agent Helen Gray. In The Enemy Within, Muslim terrorists blow up a gasoline tanker on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Washington strikes back with missiles on Teheran and in the ensuing chaos, U.S.-trained General Amir Taleh seizes the defense ministry, with the objective of taking Saudi Arabia. To distract and neutralize the United States, Taleh unleashes fanatical terrorists all over the country; they make their dreadful work appear to be that of American racists and militants. The deception works on Taleh's old friend, Peter Thorn, but working with Helen, Peter eventually figures out the ruse and heads for Iran to take out Taleh before he can invade Saudi Arabia. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the characterization "nuanced," and added that "background detail never gets in the way" of Bond's "expert storytelling." A contributor for Tribune Books, meanwhile, described the book as "quite successful" at providing non-stop action.
Protagonists Helen and Peter team up again in Day of Wrath, this time in Russia to investigate the crash of a cargo plane carrying U.S. arms inspectors. The crash is no accident, they discover, and they find evidence of a hidden shipment of nuclear missiles, which they track all over Europe. The arch-villain of the book is a Saudi prince, the world's richest man, who is really a terrorist planning to destroy America's world reach. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Helen and Peter an "engaging, adventurous romantic couple" with "a flair for high-risk solutions."
Bond returned to submarines for Dangerous Ground, a novel set on board the USS Memphis. The ship, which is due to be decommissioned shortly, finds itself in a dangerous clash with the Russian Navy when it uncovers evidence that the Russians have been illegally dumping radioactive waste in the Arctic Ocean. Following Bond's tradition of including female protagonists in his military works, two female scientists, Dr. Joanna Patterson and Dr. Emily Davis, are on the submarine during this mission. "Despite an obligatory surfeit of naval alphabetese," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor, "this is an engaging read." Library Journal reviewer Robert Conroy also praised Dangerous Ground, calling it "a hugely entertaining adventure."
Beginning in 2004, Bond partnered with Jim DeFelice for the "First Team" series. The first installment, Larry Bond's First Team, introduces the members of this team, a top-secret group of agents armed with the best technology that money can buy, who carry out sensitive and extremely dangerous missions. In Larry Bond's First Team, their mission is to recover nuclear waste that has been stolen by terrorists who are constructing a dirty bomb; in the next volume, First Team: Angels of Wrath, the men are trying to stop a terrorist group's plan to start a religious war. The latter book was praised by a Publishers Weekly reviewer for its "sensitivity" in "explor[ing] the intricacies of Muslim faith and culture," in contrast to many other books in the genre.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 1989, review of Red Phoenix, p. 1329; April 1, 1991, review of Vortex, p. 1530; May 1, 1993, John Mort, review of Cauldron, p. 1547; December 15, 1995, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Enemy Within, p. 666; April, 1998, George Cohen, review of Day of Wrath, p. 1277.
Bookwatch, November, 1991, review of Vortex, p. 9.
Library Journal, May 1, 1989, JoAnn Vicarel, review of Red Phoenix, p. 98; May 1, 1991, William A. Donovan, review of Vortex, p. 104; September 15, 1991, Ray Vignovich, review of Vortex, p. 132; February 1, 1992, Cliff Giaviano, review of Vortex, p. 145; January, 1996, Ann Donovan, review of The Enemy Within, p. 138; June 15, 2005, Robert Conroy, review of Dangerous Ground, p. 56.
Locus, July, 1991, review of Vortex, p. 45; July, 1992, review of Vortex, p. 47.
New York Times Book Review, July 16, 1989, Newgate Callendar, review of Red Phoenix, p. 23; May 13, 1990, review of Red Phoenix, p. 38; June 23, 1991, Newgate Callendar, review of Vortex, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, March 31, 1989, Sybil Steinberg, review of Red Phoenix, p. 45; April 13, 1990, review of Red Phoenix, p. 61; April 26, 1991, Sybil Steinberg, review of Vortex, p. 46; May 11, 1992, review of Vortex, p. 69; May 3, 1993, review of Cauldron, p. 295; December 11, 1995, review of The Enemy Within, p. 55; April 13, 1998, review of Day of Wrath, p. 47; April 18, 2005, review of Dangerous Ground, p. 43; November 7, 2005, review of Larry Bond's First Team: Angels of Wrath, p. 52.
School Library Journal, January, 1990, Karl Penny, review of Red Phoenix, p. 127.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), June 25, 1989, review of Red Phoenix, p. 10; June 23, 1991, review of Vortex, p. 7; May 16, 1993, review of Cauldron, p. 6; February 18, 1996, review of The Enemy Within, p. 6.
Washington Post Book World, July 4, 1993, review of Cauldron, p. 6.
Time Warner Bookmark, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (March 10, 2006), "Larry Bond."