Tom Kratman

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Tom Kratman
Born (1956-09-04) September 4, 1956 (age 64)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Author
Language English
Alma mater Boston College
Genre Science fiction

Tom Kratman is a U.S. science fiction author and retired United States Army officer.[1]


A young Sergeant Kratman, 21 years old, on his way back to the jungle, circa 1977

Kratman enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1974 and his early service included a deployment to Panama with the 193rd Infantry Brigade.[2] He attended Boston College on an Army scholarship and was commissioned as an officer in 1980. His further service included three more years in Panama and two years at the United States Army Recruiting Command. He was then attached to the 5th Special Forces Group during the Persian Gulf War.[2] Kratman left active service for law school in 1992, graduating in 1995 after which he practiced law for some years. He was called back for service in 2003 and ended his Army career as Director, Rule of Law, for the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.[2] Kratman retired in 2006 as a lieutenant colonel and became a full-time author.[1][2]

Kratman met his wife in Panama, and has four children and three grandchildren.[2]

Writing career

Kratman was recruited as an author by ex-soldier and publisher Jim Baen who "recruited a batch of younger, like-minded authors from similar backgrounds";[3] Kratman, Michael Z. Williamson, David Drake and John Ringo.[3] Commonalities in the works of these authors include the setting of a civilization in decline with heroes battling against conventional wisdom.[3] Kratman's first novel, A State of Disobedience, deals with a revolution against tyranny in a future United States.[4]

In the Desert Called Peace sequence, the hero battles a worldwide Caliphate.[4] The second novel in the series, Carnifex, was praised by Publishers Weekly for its action sequences, characterization and attention to philosophy of war.[5] The third novel, The Lotus Eaters, placed #8 in the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list in the hardcover science fiction category.[6] The fourth novel, The Amazon Legion, was praised for its realistic descriptions by Booklist reviewer Jessica Moyer, who also cautioned that "repeated discourses on the physical limitations of women" might annoy female readers.[7] The fifth novel, Come and Take Them, was reviewed positively by San Francisco Book Review which described it as engaging and well crafted with Kratman excelling in "graphic descriptions of outrages and suffering."[8]

Kratman's novels reflect many right-wing themes[9] and he "delights in offending left-wing sensibilities".[5] Reviewer Liz Bourke describes the roles played by women in Kratman's work as reminiscent of 1970s military science fiction by authors such as Jerry Pournelle.[10]

Kratman was nominated for a Hugo award for his novella Big Boys Don't Cry in 2015, as a result of the Sad Puppies campaign.[11][12][13] Kratman's story placed third while "no award" won the most votes.[14]

Published works


  • "The Amazon's Right Breast" (2011) As part of Baen's Free Nonfiction 2011.[15]
  • "Indirectly Mistaken Decision Cycles" (2012) As part of Baen's Free Nonfiction 2012.[16]
  • Training for War (April 2014) (ISBN 978-1625793027), Baen Free Nonfiction.

Standalone works


Legacy of the Aldenata

A Desert Called Peace (Carrera)



  1. 1.0 1.1 Robson, Seth (1 July 2016). "Former troops building second careers in military science fiction". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 14 November 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Author Tom Kratman". Retrieved 14 November 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Buchanan, Craig (2015-04-16). "Sci-Fi Battlefields". The Big Issue: 30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Clute, John. "Kratman, Tom". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Carnifex". Publishers Weekly. October 8, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Best-Selling Books ; Week Ended April 25; With data from Nielsen BookScan". 30 Apr 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Moyer, Jessica (April 15, 2011). "The Amazon Legion". Booklist Online.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. David Lloyd Sutton. "Come and Take Them". San Fransisco Book Review.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Nicholson, Blair (2016). A Literary and Cultural History of Military Science Fiction and the United States of America, 1870s-2010s (PDF) (PhD). University of Waikato. pp. 216–221.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Bourke, Liz. "Admirals and Amazons: Women in Military Science Fiction".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "2015 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 15 Jan 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Walter, Damien (6 April 2015). "Are the Hugo nominees really the best sci-fi books of the year". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Schneiderman, Miles (14 August 2015). "Sad Puppies, Rabid Chauvinists: Will Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi's Biggest Awards?". Yes! (U.S. magazine). Retrieved 25 July 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Free Nonfiction 2011, Baen Ebooks
  16. Free Nonfiction 2012, Baen Ebooks
  17., Castalia House, February 24, 2014

External links