Welcome To terminalrun.com, Cyberspace Home Of National Bestselling Submarine Fiction Author Michael DiMercurio



I am a retired Newport News Ship Building and Dry-dock Co. employee. In 1976 I was working on the Thomas Jefferson during its overhaul, working on the automatic maneuvering and docking system. I came upon the Jon Or head in Navy terms, I chickened out and went to the head at pier head. Would you be so kind and tell me all about the valves or how one would use.

Thank you very much

J. W. Walters

Hi JW,

Toilet procedure is simple:


This is the most important thing for the nonqual to learn. The toilet looks kind of like a regular toilet, except that it's made of stainless steel and has an eight-inch ball valve at the bottom. A small globe valve through a 1- inch pipe fills the bowl with seawater.

You do your business and then stand up and pull the long bar handle of the ball valve. The ball valve opens, connecting the toilet basin with the sanitary tank, and the waste flows down the pipe into the tank. Talk about stink! Then refill the bowl with seawater.

On the older subs, when the sanitary tank was full, it would be "air loaded" with 700 psi air so that the sewage would leave the ship and be discarded to the ocean. This required that all the heads (bathrooms) have signs posted on them reading:


If you see that sign, DO NOT FLUSH! If you do, you will get 700 psi solid waste blown in your face. Sometimes annoying people are set up so that they go in to use the toilet without a sign on it. They open the ball valve and get a facefull.

In one ship, the unpopular chief always opened the ball valve when he was still sitting on the throne. When they "got" him, he opened the ball valve while sitting on the toilet during a sanitary blow. They say it was like a ping pong ball on top of Old Faithful! The high-pressure air had to go somewhere[md]you couldn't have it go overboard, or you could be detected by the bubbles. So[md]get this[md]the air was vented inboard and brought into the ship. They used a charcoal filter to make the incoming air less stinky, but the filter was overwhelmed in no time. For some reason, my bunk was always located by the charcoal filter! Phew!

Modern nuke subs have sanitary pumps (called "shit pumps") that are positive-displacement piston pumps that pump the sanitary waste it overboard. This is a more complex thing to maintain. (Besides being complex, it ain't pretty!) The pumps also tend to be noisy. One sub's sanitary pump was so loud that the sub could be detected 40 nautical miles away.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio


I just had to write and tell you that I am about through the series. Am at the part of the book here the younger Pacino was out of his way out of the Piranha when it got sunk. Just wished to say that I have immensely enjoyed reading these and am looking forward to the next one. Regards

Paul Selzer
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Hi Paul,

You're missing out on the 6 great novels that came before TERMINAL RUN! I hate when that happens!

Glad to hear you like the book, and keep going.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mr. DiMercurio,

Kudos on Terminal Run ! Wow ! I just finished the book ( it was hard to put down ), and felt it my duty to congratulate you. This is the first of your books I've ever read, and it wont be the last. I am going to start from the beginning and work my way back to TR.

I'm not sure if you are aware of Mark Berent and his series ( no it doesn't involve the sea - and yes it's all about fighter jocks ) - but you should really look into linking his website to yours. Until reading TR, I didn't think I would ever read as tight a collection of characters ( literally ) that evolved through Rolling Thunder to Eagle Station. Don't take this comparison as a slight. Other than the connection that Robert Mason delivers in Chickenhawk - no one author out there has made their read as riveting and effortless as TR.

Voyage of the Devilfish it is. All ahead flank !

Brent Prokop

Dear Brent,

Thanks so much for the good words and the comparison. I'll look into the web link.

Read the entire series ASAP and report back!

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mr. DiMercurio,

I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you that you are one hell of an author. I have been hooked on your books ever since I picked up one of your out of curiosity. I think I got Attack of the Seawolf, but I had to stop reading it once I started reading it and I found out that you had written other books. Your writing style and characters were so realistic, that I had to start from the beginning. The way that you write, you are able to bring the story right out of the pages for me. I feel as if I am right there in the middle of things, whether it's a major sub evasion tactic, or something else happening to Michael Pacino, and now to his son, Anthony Michael Pacino. I can't drop one of your books once I get a hold of it. I finished your latest one in two days, and I am just itching for more. You are truly one of the greats. Thank you for who you are, and what you give to us out here with your gift of writing.

Jerry Dean

P.S. Any inside scoop on when the next book will be published and if it will be a continuation of the current storyline?

Hi Jerry,

It was great to hear from you about the entire series. My son (13) told me last night that he likes to imagine that I'm sitting next to him telling him the story. If he'd stopped there, that would have been great. But of course he goes on to say that because of that, it was "disturbing" when he got to the scene in the DSV between Pacino and Alameda...Thanks, Son.

Anyway, I hope you'll stay tuned for the next one.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

your books are wonderfull can not wait till the next one do you have another in the works yet i just bought terminal run it was execellent

thank you
Robert Gass

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the good words. In fact, the next novel is coming along well and is extremely cool. Meantime, THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES (a tongue-in-cheek look at submarines) is coming in January 03.

Plus, don't forget to read the entire Pacino series, as there's more out there!

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Hello Michael DiMercurio:

My name is Dave Woodbury, and I live in St. Cloud, Florida. I'm retired, and am an avid reader. I read primarily three authors. Alexander Kent, W.E.B. Griffin, and Michael DiMercurio. That, sir, is from me, a real compliment. I have read all of your books, and within a year or so, I will read them again. I like to do that, as you get many things out of a book the second and third times around.

My passion is for military action novels, and yours fit my needs to a tee. Not only that, they are very well written, with very few dead spots, and are exciting and very suspenseful.

I hope you will publish many more, and I hope that I'm here to read them. My compliments to you and your writing ability.

Dave Woodbury
St. Cloud, FL

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for your endorsement! I had to laugh about the "dead spots" -- I'll claim that all those are due to my editors!

Best thing about your Email is you didn't mention Mr. Clancy or Patrick Robinson. You're not missing anything!

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mister DiMercurio,

With my father, a Vice Admiral (Ret), being a submariner for many years, I've always enjoyed reading about the "silent service!"

Being fortunate enough to find Attack of the Seawolf and just finishing Terminal Run I am eagerly waiting to find more of your books on the shelf!

Please keep writing the wonderful books as you have one dedicated reader here!


Jim Steele
Prattville, Al.

Hi Jim,

At Annapolis I had a roommate who used to fantasize that he had a tough sounding name like "Jim Steel." He's missing the E on the end, but I wondered for a second if you were that old roommate, playing a joke on me!

But since you got the cool name and liked the books, that's made my day. Don't forget the others in the series and stand by for THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES, which the Admiral may enjoy.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mr. DiMercurio:

The following is a copy of the review I wrote for Terminal Run at Amazon.Com. I hope it meets with your approval sir.

Tim Sharp Sends.

Do you want to know what it's like to be aboard a nuclear attack sub? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to command man and machine acting as one in a shooting war? Can you think of anything more terrifying than being on the business end of a hostile torpedo? Can you even imagine what it smells like on a sub with 150 men, 500 feet below the surface of the ocean? If you really want to know the answers to questions like these then you have to read Michael DiMercurio's books. I have read all seven of them several times and I can tell you that DiMercurio is the best of the best. He has no rival as an author of submarine warfare novels. No other author writes with such authenticity and imagination. Terminal Run starts fast and furious and will leave you guessing what comes next until the last page. If you feel the call of the sea and have the heart of a warrior then you have to buy Terminal Run. Quite simply, it will leave you speechless and take you into a world few of us will ever know.

Hi Tim,

Thanks so much for the accolade on Amazon. That helps so much -- author careers have been terminated by Amazon reviews!

I'm working into the wee hours on the next book, and THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES is due out in Feb.

Take care, and thanks again.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

I love military novels, and I find yours especially good. I did not serve in the military but I have great respect for our armed services.

Your books are great because of all the technical detail in them. The plots are also exciting, but few novelists have the experience to make the elements of a military novel come together.

I have read all your books and look for new titles. Please do not resort to creating a writing factory as some have done. TC comes to mind. If you are not going to write the whole novel, admit it to the rest of us. I buy the book and not the author's name on the cover.

Even your web page is interesting. I loved reading your bio. Thanks.

I teach writing at the University of Phoenix. I am going to refer to your work as an example.


Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

Hi Gregory,

Thank you so much for your e-mail. I've had good reviews and complaints about technical detail. I've heard from those who wouldn't normally be readers who don't like it, but that's one reason I'm in business. Take the techno out and it's a Lifetime TV movie.

I think publishers would like faster writing, but I agree that some members of this club have used formula writing. A lot of my own work follows a particular cycle, but I think it can be rewarding and entertaining because of the familiar rhythm rather than in spite of it.

My first attempt at nonfiction comes out soon, in the misnamed COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES, which is a tongue-in-cheek look at these war machines, and a reply to Clancy's SUBMARINE. Hmmm, perhaps I should send him a copy of CIGS...

Beat Army,

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Mr. DiMercurio,

Recently, I was looking through a small bookstore here in town, and found a forlorn and well-read copy of Voyage of the Devilfish. Being a Clancy fan, in addition to being a former Navy Brat (My father is a US Submarine Force Sailor, with service on mostly 637's, like the Hammerhead), I have always liked reading about the boats in any form I can find. After finishing it, I can safely say that Clancy should take some serious lessons from you on Submarine Tactics and Command Procedures! I had read Attack of the Seawolf previously, and was never able to find a copy of VOTD until only a few days ago. Needless to say, I'm re-reading AOTS, and will be purchasing the remaining books of the series soon.

Just to give you an idea of how much of a fan I am of your work, I'm in the process of sketching a version of the USS Devilfish insignia, as described in your book :) With your permission, I would like to have it made into a patch for wear on my old flight jacket, to be worn with pride alongside the patches of the Sturgeon, the Parche, the Narwhal, the Henry Clay, the Chicago, and the Seawolf that grace this jacket now.

Mr. DiMercurio, thank you so very much for your great books! I can assure you that as long as you keep writing, I'll keep reading!


Joshua Maerker
Pascagoula, MS

Hi Joshua,

I really enjoyed your e-mail! Of course, it's always a bonus to have Clancy denigrated in an e-mail to me! Please let me know what you think of the rest of the books, and post reviews on Amazon.com and bn.com.

Thanks again. Back to work,

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

I began reading your first book a few months back, and I must admit I have purchased all the other books for future reading. A am absolutely entriqued at all the detail and plots. Your books are so life like, and the thrills just will not stop. I have been unable to locate Phoenix Sub Zero at the book stores, but I assure you I won't rest until I have found it for my collection. When will your next book by available?


Hi Carlos,

Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I'm pleased to announce that PHOENIX SUB ZERO is being reissued in the coming months with a sexy cover, so it will be more available very soon!

The next novel is in the works. I'm calling it TITLE CLASSIFIED as a working title because my titles have been grabbed by competitors when I've put plans up on the website. But it's going very well.

Thanks again for the compliment, and stay tuned for THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES.

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio


I just submitted a review of your latest book to Amazon. Great work! The review should be posted within a week.

All the best,
Tom Schmid

Here is your review the way it will appear:

Two Pacinos, better than one!
Reviewer: Tom Schmid from Toluca Lake, CA United States I am a big fan of this series, and Mr. DiMercurio has not failed to keep me hooked with his latest installment. "Terminal Run" is a highly character driven and action packed novel that doesn't let you go until the last page. The twist that he throws at the end is unpredictable, and innovative for a book of this genre.

There are a few authors, like John Sandford with his "Prey" novels, that can keep continuing characters, and the situations that they face, fresh and unique to the prior books in their series. Mr. DiMercurio is one of those who able to accomplish this difficult task. His main characters age and have careers that are realistic. They are also not omnipotent and without flaws.

He is also able to tweak your imagination with the potential capabilities of future military hardware. The hardware is not perfect, and goes through a real-world evolutionary growth process. It truly makes you wonder what equipment the Navy is carrying on our new Seawolf class and upcoming Virginia class submarines.

My only disappointment in reading "Terminal Run" is that I have to wait for his next installment. As with all of this novels, this book is a stand alone. There are brief mentions to storylines in his previous books, but they are not spoilers. Once you give this book a read, you will find yourself ordering the prior six books in this series.

Hi Tom,

Thanks so much for the good words!

I had a great time writing TERMINAL RUN and the next book is really shaping up, so please stay tuned.

Don't forget about THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES coming in Feb 03,

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Terminal Run is the best of all your books. I read the all and each book becomes more of a page turner then it's previous brother or sister.

Keep up the good work.

Ed Otter

PS Only connent I can make is that your books should have been numbered so as to eliminate the confusion of which president is going to set your crew free to attack the enemy.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your comments. I wonder myself if my titles should be "A is for Attack," "B is for Bilgepump," etc. But alas, I guess I'll just stick to the website descriptions. I've tried to make them as stand-alone as possible, with just enough summary of the past to make it have the richness of history...

Thanks again,

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mike,

I just finished reading Terminal Run today; I've been enjoying it while travelling by train to work. A superb thriller once again! I've posted a review on Amazon.co.uk, and have cut and pasted it into Word so I can put it on bn.com, Amazon US, also UK bookstore WHSmith has a review site now. I've attached it to this e-mail, I hope you find it helpful.

All the best,

Nick Warren

al52dragon from Newport, South Wales, UK
Michael DiMercurio is back with the latest installment in his series focused on ongoing hero Admiral Michael Pacino, although there are many exciting and well-fleshed out new characters who steal pride of place in this fast-moving story. Set in the year 2019, the US Navy's latest fully-automated sub USS Snarc controlled by a bio-computer artificial intelligence system is stolen by Pacino's old adversary(from two previous books VOYAGE OF THE DEVILFISH and THREAT VECTOR), a Russian sub commander named Alex Novskoyy. Working under a new identity, he gathers together a team of disaffected followers and steals the Snarc. At the same time, US secure communications are attacked in a new type of cyberwar and codes compromised. Meanwhile, Pacino's son Anthony is taking command of the USS Piranha, undergoing a training session and passing his first dive test. In this future navy, women are allowed on to submarines and this can cause the odd complication, note Anthony's sudden romance with his commanding officer Carrie Alameda! China is making noises in the Far East, threatening to invade India. Their newly modernized fleet sets sail on a collision course with US naval forces. Is Novskoyy somehow involved with world events here? And when the Piranha is attacked and sunk, who will survive? You will surely guess the ending . . . or will you? The narrative holds your attention throughout, especially with DiMercurio's descriptions of future weapons systems that may be feasible one day and blazing action scenes as Chinese and American subs square off in a decisive battle. I also liked the paragraphs on how artificial intelligence and molecular nanotechnology came to be and how they were applied to military use - and it also goes to show that this fantastic new technology does not always run as planned! The human-AI interactions aboard the hijacked Snarc show just that! At least DiMercurio has the guts to inject some sci-fi elements into his stories to make them really entertaining rather than just churning out the same old stuff like some authors tend to do. So this novel is highly recommended. If you're new to this excellent author, this is a good place to start and then go back to the previous entries in the series to understand the timeline better. His website at www.terminalrun.com is also well worth a visit.

Hi Nick,

Great to hear from you, and I'm glad you liked TERMINAL RUN. I'm always anxious to hear the opinion of the sophisticated writers -- in both good and bad ways, since I'm sure I'll be barbequed (what word do they use in the UK for barbequed? roasted on a spit?) for some impulsive writing decision. In any case, hope you're well, and take care.

P.S. I loved the review!

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio

Dear Mr. DiMercurio,

I've been a reader since my parents read to me as a child. I read all the childhood stories, then in H.S. the book reports were not a real challenge. As I progressed I noticed what drew my attention the most, "Discription". Discription creates a picture, a place, an object, even a system. I cut my teeth on Louis LaMour and his discriptive writings, and you too have that special talent also.

Having served a hitch in the Navy, I realized then what advances were established in the "Tech" areas, that the general public is not aware of, or can imagine exists for the Services to use. Your writing, tho' fiction, still has potential of being true, or even in production unknown to the public. I commend you on your imaginative development of scenerio's that create all the intense situations that make for a great read.

I'm grateful for finding you as "Another" great discriptive writer that I can depend upon to produce an exciting, suspenseful story to enjoy. Keep up the good work, friend.


Orrin Burke

Hi Orrin,

It was great to hear from you about the book. My 13 year old son likes to say he imagines I am sitting next to him reading aloud to him when he reads the books. Of course, he has to ruin the thought by saying, "so you can imagine how disturbing it was when I got to page so-and-so (sex scene). Did you have to do that, Dad?"

Thanks for the words on the descriptions. I practiced by describing reality in 6000 pages of diaries from my youth. An abridged version might make decent reading someday...

See you at test depth,

Michael DiMercurio



First in an electrifying new series from “A MASTER RIVALING TOM CLANCY.”

--Publishers Weekly

U.S. Navy submarine commander Peter Vornado is at the top of his game in underwater warfare when a devastating illness takes him out of the service and almost to the grave. Without duty, honor, or something to fight for, his life is as good as over.

But the CIA needs a man like Vornado…

A terrorist cabal has acquired a scrapped Soviet sub from the Cold War -- a technologically advanced failure still able to outrun any torpedo or enemy vessel and strike at will. With a nuclear payload, it will enable them to strike directly at Israeland throw the world into chaos. All that remains is to modernize the sub with the latest technology.

Only one man can infiltrate the group, take the helm, and stop a holocaust -- a man who has already stared down death, and is ready to do battle once more…

“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”

--Joe Buff, author of Crush Depth and Thunder in the Deep

Order EMERGENCY DEEP At Amazon.Com!
Order EMERGENCY DEEP At Amazon U.K.!

[Terminal Run]
Terminal Run
[Threat Vector]
Threat Vector
[Piranha: Firing Point]
Piranha: Firing Point
[Barracuda Final Bearing]
Barracuda Final Bearing
[Phoenix Sub Zero]
Phoenix Sub Zero
[Attack Of the Seawolf]
Attack Of the Seawolf
[Voyage of the Devilfish]
Voyage of the Devilfish

Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey



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