John Ringo

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For the 19th century American outlaw and gunslinger, see Johnny Ringo. For John, Ringo, Paul and George, see The Beatles.
For other uses, see Johnny Ringo (disambiguation).
John Ringo
John Ringo.jpg
Born (1963-03-22) March 22, 1963 (age 52)
Miami-Dade, Florida, United States
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Science fiction, military science fiction, military fiction, political thrillers

John Ringo (born March 22, 1963) is an American science fiction and military fiction author. He has had several New York Times best sellers.[1][2][3] His books range from straightforward science fiction to a mix of military and political thrillers. To date, he has over three million copies of his books in print, and his works have been translated into seven different languages.[4]


Ringo's childhood was spent largely in transit; by the time (1981) he graduated from Winter Park High School in Winter Park, FL, he and his family had spent time in 23 foreign countries, with Ringo attending classes at fourteen different schools. Among the countries he spent the most amount of time in were Greece, Iran and Switzerland before settling with his parents and six siblings in Alabama. This amount of travel led to what he refers to as a "wonderful appreciation of the oneness of humanity and a permanent aversion to foreign food."[5]

After graduation, Ringo joined the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of Specialist as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. During his four years of active duty, he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, reflagged into 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment when the 82nd reorganized its 3rd Brigade, plus two years of reserve duty with the Florida National Guard. Among his awards are the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Grenada), and the National Defense Service Medal.

After discharge, he enrolled in college and studied marine biology, picking up an associate's degree. However, he quickly discovered that marine biology would only "pay for beans"[5] and became a database manager to support his wife and two daughters. His life had settled into a fairly sedate pattern when, in 1999, he had the idea for a science fiction story that involved an alien invasion and a military response that became the novel A Hymn Before Battle, the title being a homage to the poem "Hymn Before Action" by Rudyard Kipling.

He submitted the novel to publisher Jim Baen of Baen Books. The book was initially rejected, but Jim Baen, through his discussion with John Ringo on the publisher's website forum personally took a look at the novel and quickly bought it.[citation needed] The success of the book, and the books that followed, allowed Ringo to quit his database management job and become a full time writer. As of 2010, John Ringo had written or co-written (with David Weber, Michael Z. Williamson, Julie Cochrane, Linda Evans, Travis Taylor, and Tom Kratman) 33 novels. One of the appeals of his works is his inclusion of fans' names into novels as "red shirts" who die gloriously. He also has often integrated elements of the 82nd Airborne into his works, 2nd Battalion 325th Airborne Infantry in A Hymn Before Battle, his old 1/508th Parachute Infantry in Yellow Eyes, and the 555th "Triple Nickels/Black Panthers" in Gust Front and its sequels.

He has also penned a number of op-ed pieces for the New York Post,[6][7][8][9] been a guest commentator for Fox News and National Geographic,[10] and is currently working with a screenwriting partner in adapting three of his novels, A Hymn Before Battle, Ghost, and Princess of Wands to the screen.[11]

In 2012, he was presented with the Phoenix Award at DeepSouthCon 50 in Huntsville, Alabama in recognition of his contributions to science fiction literature.[12]

Ringo currently lives in Chattanooga, TN. Before that, he lived in Jefferson, GA from 2003-2005 and Commerce, GA from 1995-2003.

Published works[edit]


Black Tide Rising Series[edit]

Series based on a zombie apocalypse, but dealing with living, near-rabid, infected humans rather than the living dead. The story centers around a family of survivalists (mother, father, and two teenage daughters) who get early warning of the plague and escape by boat, only to realize that they are the best hope for others stranded at sea.

Troy Rising Series[edit]

Main article: Troy Rising

Legacy of the Aldenata Series[edit]

Also known as the "Posleen Series" and "Posleen War Series"[14] after the name of the invading species besetting and successfully conquering much of Earth.

Posleen War—Central Storyline[edit]
Hedren War[edit]
Posleen War Sidestories[edit]
Cally's War Spinoff Series[edit]

Co-written with Julie Cochrane, this series is more cloak and dagger spy genre fiction as the humans strive to overcome the game rigged by the Darhel race that has the rest of the galaxy's races in virtual thralldom—except for the Posleen and humans whom they fear. The Darhel systematically use humans to combat the Posleen, while bleeding the humans when and wherever possible by underhanded clandestine acts to weaken the future options of humanity.

Spinoff Books[edit]
This sequel is set about a millennium after the other main Posleen series works.

Empire of Man series[edit]

Also known as the "Prince Roger Series"

Co-written with David Weber, with multiple books still under contract

  1. March Upcountry (May 2001) (ISBN 0-671-31985-X)
  2. March to the Sea (Aug 2001) (ISBN 0-671-31826-8)
  3. March to the Stars (2003) (ISBN 0-7434-3562-1)
  4. We Few (2005) (ISBN 0-7434-9881-X)
Omnibus collections
  1. Empire of Man (February 2014) ISBN 1476736243; collects March Upcountry and March to the Sea
  2. Throne of Stars (August 2014) (ISBN 978-1-4767-3666-2);[13] collects March to the Stars and We Few

The Council Wars Series[edit]

Paladin of Shadows Series[edit]

This is a series of contemporary era techno-thrillers, much like Tom Clancy's works but with less politics and a closer to the ground level and action focus.

Ringo has stated that these novels stem from a nagging idea between contracted books. He believed the concept was too over-the-top and offensive to be of much interest to his usual audience, and so wrote the first book with no intention of publishing it, as a way to get the idea out of his head. However, during interactions with fans, he mentioned the unpublished story and was surprised that the premise was met with enthusiasm.[15] The Paladin of Shadows series contain graphic scenes of bondage, torture, and underage (by United States law) sex, as Ringo's protagonist's anti-terrorism missions butt heads with harsh economic realities of commercial sexual slavery in Eastern Europe and its connection to funding arms for terrorist organizations.

The central hero, Michael Harmon (A.K.A. Mike Jenkins, A.K.A. Ghost), is a self-proclaimed sadist, repressed rapist, former United States Navy Boatswain's Mate 1st Class, and a trainer of US Navy SEALs. While walking home from his night class and ogling women on the campus of the University of Georgia, he witnesses a coed being the victim of a snatch-and-grab. He impulsively follows the kidnapper and rescues several abducted women and earns the gratitude of several nations, a small fortune, and a series of high-level political connections in the process of experiencing a life change. The work is, in fact, three connected anti-terrorism novellas spanning about a year, backstory omitted from the last two, where 'Jenkins' takes on a certain James Bond-style sole operator/loose cannon role. The work features scenes involving the interception of two nuclear devices, saving Paris and Washington, D.C., while featuring a travelogue through part of the seamier sides of the Balkans and European parts of the former Soviet Union.

In the second work, he buys an estate in eastern Europe (the country of Georgia to be specific) that has an entailed ancient warrior tribe, called the Keldera, who bestow on him the honorific "The Kildar" (Warlord, Baron, or similar title). The Keldera aid him in reducing tensions in the Caucasus. Again the book shows a life transition, this time from a sole shooter to a local, politically connected, warlord. In subsequent books, the tribe, now being trained up into a superb light company, goes operational and is employed as a deniable black ops force by the United States for the next several works. By A Deeper Blue, some of the Keldaran force has been trained in both SCUBA and HALO jumps; while Tiger by the Tail shows the force on an extended training mission in the Pacific gradually being trained en toto as a force equivalent to U.S. Navy SEAL Teams—but with Company strength.

Other major/recurring characters in the Paladin of Shadows series include Charles Adams, a retired SEAL Master Chief, intel specialist and former USMC Sergeant Patrick Vanner, United States Army War College graduate Colonel David Nielson, a retired Special Ops Civil Affairs Specialist who serves as Mike's de facto Chief of Staff and the only American officer on his senior staff, Captains Kasey Bathlick and Tamara Wilson (call signs Dragon and Valkryie), two Marine Corps helicopter pilots, Captain John Hardesty, a charter pilot for Chatham Aviation in England/former Royal Air Force Major/Squadron leader who frequently flies Mike around the globe, Colonel Bob Pierson, the Office of Strategic Operations Liaison at the Pentagon who serves as one of Mike's primary contacts within the United States government, 2nd Lieutenant Britney "Bambi" Harder, who was rescued by Mike in "Ghost" and by "A Deeper Blue" is a junior intelligence officer at United States Special Operations Command Headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Anastasia Rakovitch, a masochistic 26-year-old Russian-born woman given to the Kildar by an Uzbek sheikh who now serves as his harem manager, Daria Koroleva, the Kildar's personal assistant, Katya "Cottontail" Ivanova, the sociopathic man-hating whore-turned-spy and assassin, and David and Amanda Cliff, the President and First Lady of the United States.

Looking Glass Series[edit]

Also called the "Voyage of the Space Bubble" series

All books titles in the series are phrases taken from the poem "Jabberwocky", which is mentioned repeatedly in the later novels.

Special Circumstances Series[edit]

Non-series novels[edit]

Short stories[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Sluggy Freelance, a webcomic featured in the Posleen Series books; a SheVa tank is named after the character Bun-bun. A character styled after Bun-bun is featured in the Council Wars series.[16]
  • Schlock Mercenary, a webcomic. The Troy Rising series is inspired by the universe of Schlock Mercenary at the point of first contact. (The webcomic itself takes place far into the future.)
  • The Crüxshadows, mentioned in the Paladin of Shadows series; the protagonist makes numerous mentions of the song "Winterborn" in particular.[17] The main characters in Claws That Catch also play "Return" in order to defeat the aliens.[18] The book Eye of the Storm quotes the song of the same name a few times. In the novel Von Neumann's War, the song "Citadel" is the anthem of the soldiers and it is played during the final showdown. The Black Tide Rising series also quotes the Crüxshadows extensively.


External links[edit]