Thriller 2 Edited By Clive Cussler Bibliography

Jeffery Deaver's The Weapon, about the limitations of torture, and Ridley Pearson's Boldt's Broken Angel, which features a race to prevent a cop's death, provide solid bookends to this nifty all-original anthology, the sequel to 2006's Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night. The 23 selections—all by members of International Thriller Writers Inc.—score hits more often than misses. One of the few non-Americans, Spaniard Javier Sierra, might claim the blue ribbon with his tale of impending apocalypse, The Fifth World. Lisa Jackson's Vintage Death keeps the reader guessing and on tenterhooks from start to finish. Marcus Sakey's The Desert Here and the Desert Far Away tests the strength of the bonds forged in the current Iraq War when comrades return home. Other contributors include Robert Ferrigno, David Hewson, Jon Land, Carla Neggers and R.L. Stine. In addition to a brief general introduction, Cussler supplies intros to the individual stories. (June)
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Clive Cussler
BornClive Eric Cussler
(1931-07-15) July 15, 1931 (age 86)
Aurora, Illinois,
United States
Period1973 –
Official website

Clive Eric Cussler (born July 15, 1931) is an American adventure novelist and underwater explorer. His thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than 20 times. Cussler is the founder and chairman[1] of the real-life National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which has discovered more than 60 shipwreck sites and numerous other notable underwater wrecks. He is the sole author or lead author of more than 70 books.

Early life[edit]

Clive Cussler was born in Aurora, Illinois, and grew up in Alhambra, California. His mother Amy's ancestors were from England and his father Eric was from Germany.[2] He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14.[3] He attended Pasadena City College[1] for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. During his service in the Air Force, he was promoted to sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service (MATS).


After his discharge from the military, Cussler went to work in the advertising industry, first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation's most successful advertising agencies.[1] As part of his duties Cussler produced radio and television commercials, many of which won international awards including an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.[citation needed]

Following the publication in 1996 of Cussler's first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the Board of Governors of the State University of New York Maritime College who accepted the work in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis. This was the first time in the college's 123-year history that such a degree had been awarded.[1]

In 2002 Cussler was awarded the Naval Heritage Award from the U S Navy Memorial Foundation for his efforts in the area of marine exploration.

Cussler is a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers.[4]

Literary career[edit]

Clive Cussler began writing in 1965 when his wife took a job working nights for the local police department where they lived in California. After making dinner for the children and putting them to bed, he had no one to talk to and nothing to do, so he decided to start writing.[5] His most famous creation is marine engineer, government agent and adventurer Dirk Pitt. The Dirk Pitt novels frequently take on an alternative history perspective, such as "what if Atlantis were real?" or "what if Abraham Lincoln wasn't assassinated, but was kidnapped?"

The first two Pitt novels, The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg, were relatively conventional maritime thrillers. The third, Raise the Titanic!, made Cussler's reputation and established the pattern that subsequent Pitt novels would follow: a blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, beautiful women, and sunken treasure.

Cussler's novels almost always begin with a chapter taking place in the past. These contain none of the novel's main characters and often seem disconnected from the plot until the main characters discover a mystery or secret connecting the events in the first chapter to the rest of the story. This almost always comes in the form of a long-lost artifact which holds the key to the villain's or hero's objectives. Often in the first chapter, a ship or plane carrying a top-secret, important, or dangerous cargo is lost and never found, until it is recovered by a modern character later in the book.

Cussler's novels, like those of Michael Crichton, are examples of techno-thrillers that do not use military plots and settings. Where Crichton strove for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. The Pitt novels, in particular, have the anything-goes quality of the James Bond or Indiana Jones movies, while also sometimes borrowing from Alistair MacLean's novels. Pitt himself is a larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines.

Cussler has had more than seventeen consecutive titles reach The New York Times fiction best-seller list.


As an underwater explorer, Cussler has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites[6] and has written non-fiction books about his findings. He is also the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), a non-profit organization with the same name as the fictional government agency that employs Dirk Pitt. Cussler owns a large collection of classic cars,[6] several of which (driven by Pitt) appear in his novels.

Important finds by Cussler's N.U.M.A. include

  • The Carpathia. The ship famed for being the first to come to the aid of Titanic survivors.
  • The Mary Celeste. The famed ghost ship that was found abandoned with cargo intact. (The identification of this wreck as the Mary Celeste has since been placed into a state of question after one researcher disputed the claim's authenticity.)[7]
  • The Manassas. The first ironclad of the civil war, formerly the icebreaker Enoch Train.
  • The H. L. Hunley. The first submarine to successfully sink an enemy vessel - during the American Civil War.

A visual and interactive depiction of Cussler's NUMA Foundation Expeditions has been made available as an extension of NUMA's original website.

Media appearances[edit]

In what started as a joke in the novel Dragon that Cussler expected his editor to remove, he now often writes himself into his books. At first he wrote himself simple cameos, but later as something of a deus ex machina, providing the novel's protagonists with an essential bit of assistance or information. Often, the character is given an alias and not revealed as Cussler until his exit with the characters remarking on his odd name. The cameos include the Pitt adventures, as well as the Fargo Files books Lost Empire, Spartan Gold, Kingdom, and The Tombs had Cussler making an appearance. The Tombs also includes his wife, Janet.

There are at least two other types of recurring in-jokes that are less obvious to a casual reader. One is the frequent reuse of the name Leigh Hunt for different characters in different novels. Seventeen books have had a character with this name, frequently in the opening prologues, frequently a sailor, usually dying; a notable exception is the first (in chronological order) Dirk Pitt adventure, Pacific Vortex, in which Admiral Leigh Hunter is a major character, commander of the 101st Recovery Fleet in Hawaii. In the introduction to Arctic Drift, Cussler says there was a real Leigh Hunt who died in 2007 and the novel is dedicated to him. Another is that significant events in several novels occur on July 15 (Cussler's birthday). He also uses the name "Periwinkle" in his works. In The Adventures of Vin Fiz (and in other works as well) there appears a donkey named Periwinkle. In Valhalla Rising, Periwinkle is the name of a catamaran in which Pitt, Giordino, and Misty Graham are rescued by none other than Mr. Cussler himself. Cussler's friend Craig Dirgo is mentioned in several books.[citation needed]


  • The first film of a Clive Cussler novel was Raise the Titanic! (1980), starring Richard Jordan as Dirk Pitt, Jason Robards as Admiral James Sandecker, David Selby as Dr. Gene Seagram, Anne Archer as Dana Seagram.
  • Paramount Pictures released Sahara on April 8, 2005, starring Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt, Steve Zahn as Al Giordino, William H. Macy as Admiral Sandecker, and Penélope Cruz as Eva Rojas. It grossed $122 million with $241 million in production and distribution expenses.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Clive Cussler married Barbara Knight in 1955, and they remained married for nearly fifty years until her death in 2003.[9] Together they had three children — Teri, Dirk, and Dayna — who have given him four grandchildren.[citation needed] Cussler's daughter Teri is the creator and manager of the Cussler Museum[10] in Arvada, Colorado, which display's Cussler's collection of classic automobiles.


Dirk Pitt Adventures[edit]

1) Although published in 1983, Pacific Vortex! was written and takes place before The Mediterranean Caper.
2) Also published as Mayday!
3) Novels featuring Dirk Pitt, and his children, Dirk Pitt Jr. and Summer Pitt.
4) Novels co-authored with Clive Cussler's son, Dirk.

The NUMA Files[edit]

This series of books focuses on Kurt Austin, Team Leader of NUMA's Special Assignments division and his adventures. Some characters from the Pitt novels appear such as Sandecker, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and St. Julien Perlmutter. Pitt makes brief appearances in the books Serpent, White Death, Polar Shift, Devil's Gate, The Storm, Zero Hour, and Ghost Ship and is mentioned in Lost City.

The Oregon Files[edit]

The Oregon Files features a ship named the Oregon which Cussler introduced in the Dirk Pitt Adventure Flood Tide (1997). While appearing to be a decrepit freighter, it's actually a high-tech advanced ship used by an unnamed and mysterious "Corporation" under the leadership of Juan Cabrillo. The ship is run like a business, with its crew being shareholders, taking jobs for the CIA and other agencies to help stop crime and terrorism. The crew is adept at disguises, combat, computer hacking, and more, to aid their missions. Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and Dirk Pitt all make cameo appearances in the fourth volume, Skeleton Coast (Cabrillo speaks to Pitt on the telephone; and Austin and Zavala appear at the end).

Isaac Bell Adventures[edit]

These books are set mostly in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century. They center around Isaac Bell, a brilliant investigator for the Van Dorn Detective agency, which appears to be modeled after the real-life Pinkerton Agency. Like Pitt, Bell has an affinity for automobiles and is a crack shot. The first book reveals that Bell survives into 1950 with a wife and grown children. Though the setting is a century ago, the books still qualify as techno-thrillers, since they feature the advanced technology of that time such as private express trains, telegraphs, telephones, dreadnought battleships and early airplanes.

Fargo Adventures[edit]

The series focuses on Sam and Remi Fargo, a couple who are professional treasure hunters.


Children's books[edit]

(*) indicates books co-authored with Paul Kemprecos.
(†) indicates books co-authored with Graham Brown.
(‡) indicates books co-authored with Craig Dirgo.
(§) indicates books co-authored with Jack Du Brul.
(‖) indicates books co-authored with Justin Scott.
(^) indicates books co-authored with Grant Blackwood.
(+) indicates books co-authored with Thomas Perry.
(×) indicates books co-authored with Russell Blake.
(≠) indicates books co-authored with Boyd Morrison.
(**) indicates books co-authored with Robin Burcell.

Recurring characters[edit]


Dirk PittMain character of the Dirk Pitt adventure series, Head of NUMA and previously Special Projects Director of NUMA
Al GiordinoDirk Pitt's sidekick
Admiral James SandeckerRetired Admiral, Original Director of NUMA, now the Vice President
Rudi Gunn2nd in command NUMA
Dirk Pitt, Jr.Son of Dirk Pitt
Summer PittDaughter of Dirk Pitt
Jack DahlgrenDirk Pitt Jr's sidekick
Kurt AustinMain Character of The NUMA Series, and Special Assignments Team Leader
Joe ZavalaKurt Austin's Sidekick, and Member of the Special Assignments Team
Paul TroutMember of the Special Assignments Team
Gamay TroutMember of the Special Assignments Team

Fargo Adventures[edit]

Sam FargoMain character of the Fargo adventure series
Remi FargoMain character of the Fargo adventure series
Selma WondrashThe Fargo's chief researcher
Wendy CordenAssistant researcher under Selma
Pete JeffcoatAssistant researcher under Selma
Rube HaywardThe Fargo's CIA contact

The Oregon Files[edit]

Juan CabrilloChairman of the Corporation
Max HanleyPresident of the Corporation
Richard TruittVice President of Operations for the Corporation
George AdamsHelicopter Pilot / Operative
Rick BarrettAssistant Chef / Operative
Monica CrabtreeSupply and Logistics Coordinator / Operative
Carl GannonGeneral Operations / Operative
Chuck 'Tiny' GundersonChief Pilot / Operative
Michael HalpertFinance and Accounting / Operative
Cliff HornsbyGeneral Operations / Operative
Julia HuxleyMedical Officer / Operative
Pete JonesGeneral Operations / Operative
Hali KasimCommunications Expert / Operatives
Larry KingSniper / Operative
Franklin LincolnGeneral Operations / Operative
Bob MeadowsGeneral Operations / Operative
Mark MurphyWeapons Specialist / Operative
Kevin NixonMagic Shop Specialist / Operative
Sam PryorPropulsion Engineer / Operative
Gunther ReinholtPropulsion Engineer / Operative
Tom ReyesGeneral Operations / Operative
Linda RossSecurity and Surveillance / Operative
Eddie SengDirector of Shore Operations / Operative
Eric StoneControl Room Operations / Operative
Langston Overholt IVThe Corporation's CIA contact

Isaac Bell Adventures[edit]

Isaac BellMain character of the Isaac Bell adventure series and Chief Investigator of the Van Dorn Detective Agency
Marion MorganIsaac Bell's fiancée, and later, wife
Joseph Van DornOwner of the Van Dorn Detective Agency
Archie Abbott(actual name, Archibald Angel Abbott) College friend and fellow detective to Isaac Bell at the Van Dorn Detective Agency
Judge James ComdenPowerful and corrupt political antagonist, contemporary to Isaac Bell
Aloysius "Wish" ClarkeDetective of the Van Dorn Detective Agency, senior to and casual mentor to a younger Isaac Bell, besot by alcoholism

Other co-authors[edit]

Cussler has co-authored books with other writers, such as Russell Blake.[12]


External links[edit]

  1. ^ abcd"NUMA.Net Clive Cussler Biography"(Web Article). Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  2. ^Cussler, Clive; Dirgo, Craig (1 October 1998). "Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed". Simon and Schuster – via Google Books. 
  3. ^Cussler, Clive; Dirgo, Craig. Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-02622-4. 
  4. ^"Simon Clive Cussler Biography". Archived from the original(Web Article) on June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  5. ^" Clive Cussler Biography"(Web Article). Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  6. ^ abCussler, Clive (2004-10-26). Valhalla Rising. Berkley Trade. Inside dust jacket flap. ISBN 978-0-425-20404-7. 039914787X. 
  7. ^Jonathan Thompson (2005-01-23). "Dating of wreck's timbers puts wind in sails of the 'Mary Celeste' mystery". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  8. ^Glenn F. Bunting, $78 million of red ink?, Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2007.
  9. ^"TV.Com Clive Cussler Biography"(Web Article). Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  10. ^Cussler, Clive (2016). Built to Thrill. Putnam. p. 198. 
  11. ^"The Assassin". 
  12. ^Rivera, Jeff (January 18, 2014). "Indie Author Russell Blake on Working with the Great Clive Cussler". Huffington Post The Blog. 

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