“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Didactic Mind, Ep. 50: Interview with LTC Tom Kratman

by | Oct 11, 2020 | Podcasts | 2 comments

This week marks a special milestone – 50 episodes of any podcast are a pretty good collection, especially when they are each an hour long or more. I’m not saying they’re ALL gems, because they’re NOT – I have at least enough self-awareness to know full well that my rants can be hit-or-miss – but evidently people do like what I have to say. So marking the 50th such podcast would of course require something interesting.

And through a very fortunate combination of events, we have today’s 50th-episode podcast, which consisted of an interview with one Tom Kratman.

Many of you know who LTC Kratman is – he comments on my blog and has done for years, which is how and why we got to talking. For those of you who don’t know of him, his CV is quite amazing. Tom Kratman was/is:

  • An Army Ranger and later Special Forces warrior who served in Iraq and other theatres;
  • A former infantry company commander who served all over the Middle East and Europe;
  • A really-for-real lawyer, with a degree and everything (just don’t ask him for law advice these days);
  • A former member of the faculty of the Army War College;
  • A prolific, very well-known, and well-published sci-fi author for Baen Books and other publishing houses;
  • A political commentator and writer for a number of different websites, such as the sadly-defunct EveryJoe.com;
  • A husband with a beautiful wife of more than 40 years, a father and grandfather;
  • A guy whose visage has been known to make jihadis shit their beds;
  • Someone who really likes – and, more importantly, understands how and why and when to use – capital punishment;

Most of all, LTC Kratman is just a really interesting guy who is a lot of fun to talk with. I had a lot of fun doing this interview and it was truly a pleasure, an honour, and a privilege to put this all together.

What you will find below is actually “only” the recorded part of a much longer conversation on Zoom – we were talking for nearly 2.5hrs, I think, and it was a fascinating discussion. I learned a lot of things that I’d never known before about the military, politics, history, and various other topics, and it’s my privilege to share them with you through this podcast.

MANY thanks to Tom Kratman for graciously lending a big chunk of his time to allow some random shlemiel on the internet to interview him at such length, and for his continued patronage of this blog. As you will hear toward the end of the interview, he has a HUGE number of writing projects on his plate right now, so do keep an eye out for those books to drop in the near future.

If you like what you hear in this interview, please make sure you buy Tom’s books – links are given right below the podcast itself. There are a few more that I missed out, in the form of compilations that were done with others such as our beloved and dreaded Supreme Dark Lord (PBUH) Vox Day and various authors, but the ones in the list below are by Tom pretty much exclusively. (Yes, even the ones co-authored with John Ringo, which were like 90+% Tom’s work. LTC Kratman pointed out that the hysterical bit about “snorting VX” in, I think, Yellow Eyes, was “100% John Ringo”. Knowing what little I do of the Mad Prophet Ringo, that doesn’t surprise me.)

Here’s a list of Tom’s currently published books (affiliate links), in order of release year:

I’ve read all of these except for the Countdown series and the last two books in the Carreraverse. I’m quite looking forward to reading through Book 8 in the series soon, and as you’ll find out in the interview, there are some interesting ideas that LTC Kratman is working on right now which should bear fruit over the coming months.

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  1. JohnC911

    Hi Didact,

    Thank you for fixing the comment section.
    I hope you are well.
    Anyway great interview.
    What books of his should I start with?

    • Didact

      Caliphate or A State of Disobedience are superb standalones. The latter is a bit less polished, I think that was his first major book and it definitely showed in terms of style and structure.

      Yellow Eyes and The Tuloriad require knowledge of John Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata series before you can really get into them. But I think The Tuloriad is superb – it’s written in such a way as to tell an epic and yet intensely personal story. I really can’t say enough good things about that book.

      If you like Caliphate, give the Carreraverse books a shot. A Desert Called Peace and Carnifex are really one huge book split into two not-that-much-smaller books, but they are excellent. I also REALLY enjoyed The Rods and the Axe, but you have to get through the rest of the series first.

      You can get an idea of LTC Kratman’s writing style by reading some of the “Rants” on his site. “The Amazon’s Right Breast”, in particular, is both highly entertaining and very informative.


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