I have been a big fan of writer Walter Boyne for many years. He is one of the few aviation writers to succeed as both a fiction and nonfiction writer, and I've read almost everything he's ever written over the course of the last thirty years. Boyne knows whereof he speaks---he was a jet fighter pilot in the fifties and also the director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I got acquainted with Walt a few years ago, when I sent him a copy of my book Untold Valor, and Walt was good enough to read it, blurb it, and recommend it to the company that eventually published it, Potomac Books. My admiration for Walt's writing precedes the fact that he helped me out as a fellow writer, so this is, I hope, an unbiased review of Walt's latest book, Supersonic Thunder.
If you enjoy great aviation historical fiction, I can think of no one who does it better than Walter Boyne. In his latest, Supersonic Thunder, Boyne continues following the saga of the fictional Shannon family as they witness the continuing development of the jet age in America. Also followed are developments in England, France and Russia. Special projects covered in this, the second in the trilogy, include the race to build an SST, the competition between Douglas (soon to be McDonnell Douglas) and Boeing for the passenger jet market, the beginnings of the space program (including Sputnik and Gemini), the U-2 spy plane program, the SR-71 Blackbird, the development of the first super-carrier--the Boeing 747--and much more.
If you have never read a Walter Boyne book, you have missed out on perhaps the best aviation historical fiction in the world. Boyne's series on World War One and Two, the Eagles Trilogy, is simply magnificent. He also did a book on the Wright Brothers, 'Dawn over Kitty Hawk', and a fictionalized history of the Air Force, Wild Blue. Boyne has also written literally dozens of works of nonfiction. Perhaps his most acclaimed is 'Beyond the Wild Blue', a history of the United States Air Force.
I'm a big fan of Boyne's work, and have been for several decades. If you've never picked up one of his books, I urge you to do so.
Walt has a personal website at http://www.air-boyne.com/index.htm. Check it out!
Order Supersonic Thunder here: http://www.amazon.com/Supersonic-Thunder-Novel-Jet-Age/dp/0765308444/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-0080273-1490215?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189974774&sr=8-1
The final book in the trilogy, Hypersonic Thunder, will be out in the fall of 2008. I eagerly await its publication.