Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War (Hardcover)

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What will the next global conflict look like? Find out in this ripping, near-futuristic thriller.

The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor–style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel — no matter how sci-fi it may seem — is real, or could be soon.


About the Author

P. W. SINGER is an expert on twenty-first-century warfare. His award-winning nonfiction books include the New York Times bestseller Wired for War.

AUGUST COLE is a writer and analyst specializing in national security issues, and a former defense industry reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Praise For…

"Ghost Fleet is what Call of Duty would be like if it put on a tie and went to Capitol Hill."--Playboy

"A harrowing, realistic future of world war...Ghost Fleet also comes with hundreds of footnotes explaining how every single military technology, 'sci-fi' weapon and geopolitical trend mentioned in the book is grounded in reality. That's why, rather than simply a good read, Ghost Fleet can come across as a 400-page warning."--Wired

"Ghost Fleet brings back memories of Tom Clancy's technical savvy with the human touch of Herman Wouk.”--Max Brooks

"If you’ve been looking for a smart update to Tom Clancy, this is for you." —Foreign Policy

"When two experts on modern warfare get together to write fiction I get in line to read it...summer is fading fast and August approaches. Get Ghost Fleet to read on the beach."--Forbes

"Its often jaw-dropping explorations of how new technologies might be used should make this book required reading for all military personnel...Ghost Fleet is the best techno-thriller since Red Storm Rising."--War on The Rocks

"A ripped from the headlines novel about war that’s just around the corner...Exciting."--Buzzfeed

"If colleges ever decide to offer courses on first-person shooter video games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, they should use the novel Ghost Fleet as the primary textbook.”--Forbes

“It’s easy to see why “Ghost Fleet” has captured the imaginations of foreign policy experts in the U.S. and abroad. The techno-thriller, by P.W. Singer and August Cole, not only tells a crackling-good story but also casts light on the warnings that have come from many quarters about the risks of offshoring U.S. defense procurement....A perfect summer read. If what you like is edge-of-the-seat action, you’ll have trouble putting it down. And even if thrillers aren’t your thing, the book will well repay a read, if only for the disturbing questions it raises.”--BloombergView

"Ghost Fleet is a strangely satisfying blend of storytelling and strategy, of fiction and non-fiction. In an era where most people prefer not to think about all the horrible things that could go wrong in the world, it's good to know that there are writers like Singer and Cole who not only think about them, but also do so in a readable and enjoyable style."--Huffington Post

"Beyond fast and fun reading, Ghost Fleet’s biggest draw is its unified, multi-domain vision of future warfare...the result is a vibrant vision of conflict in the information age—and hopefully the closest we’ll get to the real thing."--Business Insider

"A highly realistic portrayal...a tremendous book"--Defense News

"The First 'Post Snowden' Technothriller"--the Intercept

"Fascinating...Though it is fiction, the authors have taken great pains to keep their storytelling realistic....Ghost Fleet has a certain weight. Cole and Singer are so steeped in future wars that they depict the fighting — on the ground, in space and on the Internet –with an air of indisputable authority....Ghost Fleet is full of wonderful moments. It’s got space pirates, drug-addled hackers out of a William Gibson novel and American insurgents fighting occupation in Hawaii. Cole and Singer make these fantastical elements work, and weave them into the story."--Reuters

“Its like the Battlestar Galactica reboot meets Band of Brothers meets Hunt for Red October meets Call of Duty.”--Yahoo! News

"A novel that reads like science fiction but bristles with rich detail about how the next World War could be fought."--Vice

"With their new techno-thriller, Ghost Fleet, Peter Singer and August Cole take an unexpected twist on the classic Clancy formula, producing a book that is equal parts science fiction and science fact...The book is a ‘must read’, the kind of book you read in a day and relentlessly turn page after page."

"Ghost Fleet is not only a riveting novel, it is science fiction at its best. It helps us ask the right questions about our future - questions the answers to which might help us take advantage of technology while minimizing risk to humanity."--H. R. McMaster, Author, Dereliction of Duty, Lt General, US Army, Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

"It's a page turner...Thoughtful, strategic and relevant." --Admiral Jonathan Greenert, 30th Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy

"It’s Tom Clancy for the twenty-first century, a rip-roaring, “near-futuristic” thriller...The book is peppered with real-life military facts and figures, but it moves so briskly you may hardly notice that you’re learning as you go."--Council on Foreign Relations

"Ghost Fleet Nails The Perfect Vision of World War III...a futuristic techno-thriller that’s as plausible as it is entertaining. Make no mistake, however, this is no technical slog — it’s a highly readable and engaging thriller that sets a new standard for techno-thrillers."--io9

"An engaging, ‘near-futuristic’ war-thriller packed with cutting edge technologies...[Yet] also pays homage to the works of master military strategists Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz and Alfred Thayer Mahan."--Real Clear Defense

"Singer and Cole have crafted an eminently readable novel, which is both highly entertaining and sobering. If you have ever wondered how today's tech trends might affect future conflicts there is no doubt about it; you will want to read this book."--Small Wars Journal

"Ghost Fleet is a great book." --Kevin Mauer, author of the New York Times Bestseller No Easy Day 

"An absolute pleasure to read. It contains much of the same storytelling as a work by someone like Tom Clancy, but with an intensity, depth of knowledge, and vision infrequently found in those books. It is an expansive work in its scope, and one that will undoubtedly retain its relevance for years to come....Ghost Fleet is an enjoyable book. It is a fun book. What’s more, it is an insightful and prescient book, without forcing the reader to ever acknowledge that fact." 

“Ghost Fleet is a gripping account of an all-too-possible future where America has lost its technological edge and US-China relations have deteriorated to the point of war. Although American decline and US-China conflict are by no means inevitable, this exciting techno-thriller provides an ominous warning of what might be coming our way if the forces of disorder get the upper hand.” -Jamie Metzl, author of Genesis Code and The Depths of the Sea

"Tom Clancy fans will relish Singer and Cole’s first novel, a chilling vision of what might happen in a world war launched by a Chinese sneak attack on America’s eyes and brains in outer space. Singer, a military strategist, and Cole, a former defense-industry analyst for the Wall Street Journal, easily wed their knowledge to a fast-moving plot and characters who make an impression, even the minor characters who appear briefly. After the global economy tanks, urban workers’ riots sweep China, but instead of repressing the workers themselves, the military ousts the Communist leaders, clearing the way for a new government. When the Chinese strike, the Americans fight back.
Among the many heroes is Cmdr. James Simmons, who assumes command of the USS Coronado when its captain is killed. Detailed endnotes documenting the real-world technologies and trends behind the book make the fiction even more plausible."--Publishers Weekly

 "It is the kind of book that can educate and provide food for thought to a national security geek (not to mention the general public) as to some of the latest technical developments and their warfighting implications - and provide an excellent tool to research them, to boot.  In lawyerly professional terms, it’s the sort of book that helps a lawyer understand the ‘client’s’ thinking."

"Ghost Fleet is a page-turner filled with thrills and chills, but it is also more than that. Drawn from real world trends in cyber tech, intelligence, and defense, it offers a haunting glimpse into our future that you'll find hard to forget." —Nina Jacobson, Producer of The Hunger Games

“I couldn’t put this one down. Reads like the very best of classic Tom Clancy, updated for the 21st century, persuasive in its detail, simultaneously thrilling and terrifying.” —Phillip Meyer, author of The Son

"Global war between China and the United States — unimaginable?  Hardly.  In Ghost Fleet, Peter Singer and August Cole lay out a plausible, frightening, and pitch-perfect vision of what such a war could look like in the near future.  This page-turning marvel is the best source of high-tech geopolitical visioneering since Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising and Sir John Hackett's The Third World War.  A startling blueprint for the wars of the future and therefore needs to be read now!" —Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret); Supreme Allied Commander, NATO, 2009-2013; Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

"Ghost Fleet is a thrilling trip through a terrifyingly plausible tomorrow. This is not just an excellent book, but an excellent book by those who know what they are talking about. Prepare to lose some sleep." —D.B. Weiss, Writer and Executive Producer of HBO's Game of Thrones

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544142848
ISBN-10: 0544142845
Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 30th, 2015
Pages: 416
Language: English