Kratman, Tom

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Kratman, Tom

PERSONAL:

Married; wife's name Yolanda; children: three children. Education: Boston College, graduated (cum laude), 1980; attended law school.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Blacksburg, VA. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Attorney and novelist. U.S. Army, served as infantry lieutenant colonel, 1974-2006; lawyer, 1995-2003; Army War College, director for rule of law at U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.

WRITINGS:

SCIENCE-FICTION NOVELS

A State of Disobedience, Baen (Riverdale, NY), 2003.

(With John Ringo) Watch on the Rhine (Die Wacht am Rhein) ("Posleen War" series), Baen (Riverdale, NY), 2005.

(With John Ringo) Yellow Eyes, Baen (Riverdale, NY), 2007.

A Desert Called Peace, Baen (Riverdale, NY), 2007.

(With John Ringo) Mother's Milk (first volume in "Caliphate" trilogy), Baen (Riverdale, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Tom Kratman writes science-fiction novels with a military emphasis and a thematic tie-in to current political events. Kratman served in the U.S. Army for over thirty years and he draws from his military experience in his writing, which includes the novels A State of Disobedience, A Desert Called Peace, and, with fellow sci-fi writer John Ringo, Watch on the Rhine (Die Wacht am Rhein) and Yellow Eyes. Praising Watch on the Rhine in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer praised the coauthors' story about the problems caused when a pacifist society is forced to defend itself in an "audacious and deliberately shocking effort" to illustrate the consequences of "politicians' disastrous insistence on forcing reality into a politically correct mold." In a interview with Toni Weisskopf posted on the Baen Books Web site, Kratman noted that his career in the U.S. military has helped him develop "a lot of technical, tactical, operational and strategic information I don't have to dig for or struggle to understand. Maybe more importantly," he added, "it has given me an unusual degree of experience in people."

Set in 2060, A State of Disobedience fictionalizes a second revolution within the United States. The current president, Wilhelmina Rottemeyer, has created a dictatorship within the country by utilizing terrorism as a means of controlling American citizens. Fuelled by rising discontent, Texas Governor Juanita Seguin retaliates against Rottemeyer after the U.S. military attacks a Texas-based Christian mission with seemingly no provocation. When the government of New Mexico joins Seguin, a second American Revolution begins. AllScifi.com reviewer Harriet Klausner acknowledged the novel—Kratman's fiction debut—as a "gripping futuristic political military thriller." Also reviewing the novel, Lesley Farmer wrote in Kliatt that A State of Disobedience is a "cautionary tale" that is well-stocked with "military action and righteous retaliation."

In an online interview with Blogcritics, Kratman described his writing process, noting that he usually begins his novels by focusing on "a moral, philosophical or political point or points." "From there," he added, "I go with a very rough outline which generally includes ideas, not all of which are usable, for specific scenes.… Then I write it up, usually without a lot of the physical and emotional description. Once that is done, I go through it all again, adding in transition sentences and paragraphs, emotional responses, physical descriptions."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Bookwatch, February, 2004, James A. Cox, review of A State of Disobedience, p. 10.

Kliatt, January, 2006, Lesley Farmer, review of A State of Disobedience, p. 20.

Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of Watch on the Rhine (Die Wacht am Rhein), p. 188.

ONLINE

AllScifi.com,http://www.allscifi.com/ (November 29, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of A State of Disobedience.

Baen Books Web site,http://www.baen.com/ (November 29, 2006), Toni Weisskopf, interview with Kratman.

Blogcritics Online, http://blogcritics.org/ (November 29, 2006), "A Look at the Rhine: Interview with Tom Kratman."

Tom Kratman Home Page,http://www.tomkratman.com (November 29, 2006).*