Submarine Novels

What books do I recommend, other than my own? Let’s have a look…

My favorite nuclear age submarine novels:

  1. The Hunt for Red October. The Granddaddy of Them All (Post WWII). I wasn’t even thinking about the Navy when Tom Clancy wrote his landmark novel which launched his epic career and opened the way for modern submarine fiction. But the book gained popularity while I was becoming a naval officer at the U.S. Naval Academy, and it was significant within our geeky culture.
  2. Deep Sound Channel. This is the first of a six-book series by Joe Buff, who in my opinion is the most scientifically gifted submarine author. He’s a research machine, and he weaved space-age composite materials and uber-deep nuclear blasts into great battle scenes which I consider the technical manual for future super-deep warfare. Unfortunately for fiction fans, he’s moved on to non-fiction and is working on a 200,000+ monster about nuclear deterrence that I’m looking forward to reading.
  3. Trident Deception. Rick Campbell’s debut is solid throughout, and it involves a cool “risk” or two where the author experiments with “what if” it really happened in combat. He also has good intrigue on land, rounding out an exciting plot with memorable characters on and off the submarine. Most notably, this is the only book in my Top 5 that’s part of an active series. This book may rise in my rankings as it has time to sink into my brain as a fond memory like the others. Check it out!
  4. Scorpion in the Sea. It’s one of two I read while I was curled up in my rack on an actual submarine. P.T. Deutermann’s submarine novel involved older technology even for its time (twenty-five years ago), but as a character-driven story, it’s a gem worth remembering. The final climax scene is still emblazoned on my memory.
  5. Phoenix Sub Zero. Although it’s the third in a series, it’s the first book I read by Michael DiMercurio. It’s one of two I read while I was curled up in my rack on an actual submarine. It’s the book I credit with rekindling my interest in submarine fiction after putting down The Hunt for Red October. The author stopped writing the series after nine or ten books, but it’s still a series worth checking out.