RE: Famous Technical Writers

Subject: RE: Famous Technical Writers
From: Elizabeth Whitaker <elwhitaker -at- FTC-I -dot- NET>
To: George F Hayhoe <george -at- ghayhoe -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 14:35:03 -0500

At 09:03 AM 11/16/99 -0500, George F Hayhoe wrote:
>Although he sold insurance before writing his first
>best-seller and has never worked as a technical writer as
>far as I know, my vote would go to Tom Clancy. His gift for
>explaining technology is truly amazing, especially in his
>early novels before his contracts apparently specified that
>he be paid by the pound for final manuscript drafts. ;)
>IMHO, _The Hunt for Red October_ contains some of the most
>brilliant technical prose I've ever read.

I certainly agree.

When I finally surrendered to curiousity and bought a copy (my
first) of Red October, then newly in paperback, I'd been working
in a small office in the Navy complex at Crystal City that was the
program office for something I'd never heard of that was a
piece of equipment used by submarines. (I was there as
the fill-in during the regular secretary's maternity leave.)

The engineers, most of whom were nice guys, did their best
to explain submarine transducers -- but their
explanations didn't make any sense. All I could figure out
was that they had some sort of relationship to sonar:
we shared space with the sonar program office.

Tom Clancy explained submarine transducers beautifully
in The Hunt for Red October.

Elizabeth Whitaker
ELWHITAKER -at- ftc-i -dot- net

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