Big Boys Don’t Cry by Tom Kratman

Castalia House today announced BIG BOYS DON’T CRY. Now available from Amazon, it is a novella from military science fiction author Tom Kratman, known for
A Desert Called Peace and the Carrera series. The novella follows the
life cycle of a Ratha, a sentient future supertank that dutifully fights
Man’s battles on dozens of alien worlds. But will the massive creature
still be grateful to its creators when it discovers it has a conscience?
And how long will an intelligent war machine with enough firepower to
flatten a city be content to remain Man’s obedient slave?

I asked Tom for his thoughts on the publication of BIG BOYS DON’T CRY:

“Not many people think of it this way, but the Boloverse, as in the late Keith Laumer’s Bolos and the spin-offs, is one of the most liberal themes in science fiction.  It’s especially funny precisely because almost nobody understands that it’s liberal.  Why do I say it’s liberal?  Because it’s all about the easy, certain, and reliable programming of altruistic values in sentient beings.  Brother, sister, that’s the penultimate CORE of liberalism.  Interestingly, since the stories can move even me, it suggests to me that we ALL have some liberal in us.

Big Boys Don’t Cry isn’t a Bolo story, either in the special military technical details or in the theme.  What it is, though, is a deconstruction of that liberal meme on the easy, certain, and reliable programming of altruism in sentient beings.

“It’s also, I think, a pretty good story.”

From the early Amazon reviews:

“Colonel Kratman, the evil, cruel, soulless, right-wing, misogynistic, war
mongering, homophobe has gone and written a tale of loss and betrayal
and honor and redemption that broke my heart….”

“This is my first time reading Kratman. His reputation suggested he was
someone who could weave clever and hard-hitting military sci-fi prose
and this novella is a testament to that.”

“I can gladly recommend it to all lovers of military science fiction.”

“This is one of the darker SF books I have ever read.”

“This book is brutal and moving and worth every penny spent, every minute reading it.”