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I've made my first novel, Ventus, available as a free download, as well as excerpts from two of the Virga books.  I am looking forward to putting up a number of short stories in the near future.

Complete novel:  Ventus


To celebrate the August, 2007 publication of Queen of Candesce, I decided to re-release my first novel as an eBook. You can download it from this page. Ventus was first published by Tor Books in 2000, and and you can still buy it; to everyone who would just like to sample my work, I hope you enjoy this version.

I've released this book under a Creative Commons license, which means you can read it and distribute it freely, but not make derivative works or sell it.

Book Excerpts:  Sun of Suns and Pirate Sun

I've made large tracts of these two Virga books available.  If you want to find out what the Virga universe is all about, you can check it out here:

Major Foresight Project:  Crisis in Zefra

In spring 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a dramatized future military scenario.  The book-length work, Crisis in Zefra, was set in a mythical African city-state, about 20 years in the future, and concerned a group of Canadian peacekeepers who are trying to ready the city for its first democratic vote while fighting an insurgency.  The project ran to 27,000 words and was published by the army as a bound paperback book.

If you'd like to read Crisis in Zefra, you can download it in PDF form.

Personal tools

Current CV (2011)

This page collects all my activities and publications into one big pot

Contact me


Karl in ColourI am a professional futurist as well as one of Canada's most popular science fiction and fantasy authors. I divide my time between writing fiction and analyzing, conducting workshops and speaking on the potential impacts of science and technology on society.  As the author of ten novels I've been translated into about a dozen languages.  In addition to my more traditional fiction, I've pioneered a new mode of writing that blends fiction and rigorous futures research—my influential short novels Crisis in Zefra (2005) and Crisis in Urlia (2011) are innovative ‘scenario fictions’ commissioned by the Canadian army as study and research tools.  In 2011 I attained a Masters degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University in Toronto.

I married Janice Beitel in April 2001--we tied the knot in a tropical bird sanctuary on the shore of the Indian Ocean, Kalbarri Western Australia.  Our daughter was born in May 2003.  We live in Toronto where I'm writing about the evolution of post-bureaucratic governance in the 2025-2035 period.


Novels and Collections

  1. The Claus Effect
    With David Nickle; published by Tesseract Books, fall 1997.
  2. Ventus
    Tor books, December 2000. Ventus was declared a New York Times Notable book in 2001, and was short-listed for the Sunburst Award.
  3. Permanence
    Tor Books, June 2002. Permanence won the 2003 Aurora Award for best Canadian SF novel.
  4. Lady of Mazes
    Tor Books, July 2005. Lady was chosen by the Sci Fi channel as its August, 2005 Sci Fi Essentials book.
  5. The Engine of Recall
    Red Deer Press, April 2005.
  6. Crisis in Zefra, Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts, National Defense Canada; November 2005.
  7. Sun of Suns
    Tor Books, October 2006.  Widely translated (into German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese so far), SoS was also nominated for the 2007 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
  8. Queen of Candesce
    Tor Books, August 2007.
  9. Pirate Sun
    Tor Books, August 2008.
  10. Virga 1.2
    Science Fiction Book Club omnibus edition of Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, December 2008.
  11. The Sunless Countries
    Tor Books, August 2009.
  12. Virga:  Cities of the Air
    July, 2010 omnibus edition of Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, Tor Books.
  13. Ashes of Candesce
    February, 2012, Tor Books.
  14. Crisis in Urlia
    Defense Research and Development Canada, May, 2014.
  15. Lockstep
    March, 2014, Tor Books.

French Editions

  • Ventus 
    Editions Denoel, France, published June, 2002. (Two-volume trade paper)
  • Mass-market single-volume edition, Editions Gallimard, December 2005.
  • Permanence
    Trade paperback edition by Editions Denoel, published in 2005.

German Editions

  • Sun of Suns (Planet der Sonnen)
    Mass market edition by Heyne, published 2010.
  • Queen of Candesce (Säule der Welten)
    Mass market, Heyne, published fall 2010.
  • Pirate Sun (Segel der Zeit)
    Mass market edition published by Heyne, March 2011.

Japanese Editions

Russian Editions

  • Ventus
    Published in Russian by AST Press, Moscow, in 2002.  
  • Sun of Suns
    Will be published by AST Press, Moscow.

Lithuanian Editions

  • Ventus
    Published in trade paper format by Eridanas in 2007.

Spanish Editions

  • Lady of Mazes (La Senora de los Labyrintos)

    La Factoria de Ideas, mass-market edition, 2010.

Polish Editions

  •  Sun of Suns (Słońce Słońc), Ars Machina, 2011. Print and ebook editions. 
  • Lockstep, Astrel (, 2017.

Academic Publications

  • Masum, Hassan, and Schroeder, Karl . “Open Source Biotechnology Platforms for Global Health and Development : Two Case Studies.” Information Technologies and International Development 7, no. 1 (2011): 61-69.
  • Masum, Hassan, Shah, Ronak, Schroeder, Karl,  Daar, Abdallah and Singer, Peter . “Africa’s largest long-lasting insecticide-treated net producer: lessons from A to Z Textiles.” BMC International Health and Human Rights 10, no. 1 (2010): S6.

Nonfiction Books

  1. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Science Fiction, MacMillan; written with Cory Doctorow; August, 2000.

Short Story Publications

  1. "The Great Worm"
    Pierian Spring, Fall 1983. This story won the Pierian Spring Best Story award, 1982.
  2. "The Pools of Air"
    Tesseracts3 anthology, Press Porcepic, 1991.
  3. "Hopscotch"
    On Spec magazine, summer 1992 issue; reprinted in
    On Spec: The First Five Years, Tesseract Books, 1995. Nominated for a 1993 Aurora award.
  4. "The Toy Mill"
    Tesseracts4 anthology, written with David Nickle, Beach Holme Press, 1992. Winner of the 1993 (with David Nickle) Aurora award in the Best Short Work in English category; reprinted in Tor Books'
    Christmas Magic anthology, 1994, and in The Aurora Awards: Thirty Years of Canadian Science Fiction, Nanopress, 2010.
  5. "Solitaire"
    Figment magazine; cover story for Fall/Winter 1992 issue. Reprinted in the April 1997 issue of
    Cosmic Visions (Cosmic Visions Vol. 2 #2).
  6. "The Cold Convergence"
    Figment magazine, spring 1993 issue. Reprinted in the July 1997 issue of
    Cosmic Visions (Cosmic Visions Vol. 2 #5). Won the Context '89 fiction contest.
  7. "Making Ghosts"
    On Spec, Hard SF Issue, spring 1994; translated into French for publication in Solaris, scheduled for late 2002.
  8. "Halo"
    Tesseracts 5 anthology, Tesseract Books, 1996.
  9. "The Engine of Recall"
    Aboriginal SF, Winter, 1997 issue.
  10. "Ball of Blood"
    Horrors! 365 Scary Stories anthology (Barnes and Noble, 1997).
  11. "Dawn"
    Tesseracts 7 anthology, Tesseract Books, Spring, 1999.
  12. "The Dragon of Pripyat"
    Tesseracts 8 anthology, Tesseract Books, Fall, 1999. Reprinted in
    The Year's Best Science Fiction, Seventeenth Annual Edition, ed. by Gardner Dozois, 2000; translated into French for Bifrost magazine (see below).
  13. "Allegiances"
    The Touch: Epidemic of the Millennium, Steven-Elliot Altman (Editor), Patrick Merla (Editor), iBooks, 2000.
  14. "Alexander's Road"
    The Engine of Recall, Robert J. Sawyer (Editor), Red Deer Press, 2005.
  15. "Book, Theatre, and Wheel"
    Solaris Book of New SF #2, George Mann, ed., Solaris, March 2008.
  16. "The Hero"
    Eclipse Two, Jonathon Strahan, ed., Night Shade Books, 2008.
  17. "Mitigation"
    Fast Forward #2, written with Tobias Buckell, Lou Anders, ed., Pyr Books, 2008.
  18. "To Hie from Far Cilenia"
    Metatropolis, John Scalzi, ed.,, audiobook version July 2008, print version July 2009.  Metatropolis was nominated for the 2009 Hugo Award in the category of Best Dramatic Long form. Reprinted in The Year's Best SF 16, ed. by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, Harper, 2011.
  19. "Deodand"
    Metatropolis: Cascadia, Jay Lake, Ed.,, audiobook version November, 2010.
  20. "Laika's Ghost"
    Engineering Infinity, Jonathon Strahan, ed., Solaris Books, January 2011.  Reprinted in Clarkesworld, Issue 100, January 2015.  
  21. "The Desire Lines."
    Metatropolis: Green Space, ed., by Jay Lake and Seanan McGuire,, 2013.
  22. "Kheldyu"
    Reach for Infinity, Jonathon Strahan, ed., Solaris Books, January 2014.  Reprinted in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 9, ed. by Jonathon Strahan, 2015, and in Loosed Upon the World:  A Climate Change Anthology, John Joseph Adams, ed., Saga Press, August 2015.
  23. "Jubilee", published February, 2014.  Reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction, 32nd Annual Edition, Gardner Dozois, Ed., 2015.
  24. "Degrees of Freedom"
    Hieroglyph, Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn, eds., ASU Press, September 2014.
  25. "Mosaic"
    License Expired, ed. by Madeline Ashby and David Nickle, CHI Dunnit, 2015.
  26. "Eminence"
    Chasing Shadows, ed. by David Brin and Stephen W. Potts, Tor Books, 2017.
  27. "Golden Ring"
    Cosmic Powers, ed. by John Joseph Adams, Saga, 2017.
  28. "The Urge to Jump"
    Seat 14C, XPrize, 2017 (available to read at, 2017.
  29. "Too Big to See"
  30. "The Baker of Mars"

Publications in French

  • "Le Dragon de Pripiat", Bifrost (La revue des mondes imaginaires) 26, Spring, 2002.
  • "Profession: Batisseur de Mondes", Bifrost 27, Summer 2002.

Dramatic Writing

  • A Mourning Place SF play, part of a play cycle written by the members of the Cecil Street Workshop. Given public reading on March 25 and April 2, 1993 at Solar Stage in North York.

Other Writing

  • Numerous weblog articles for  
  • "Traitor to Both Sides"
    The New York Review of Science Fiction, April 2005.
  • "Merry Christmas, You Ungrateful Bastards"
    On Spec Summer 1993. An article on the Writing of "The Toy Mill".
  • "Warm Fuzziness: Quantum Mechanics and the New Age"
    Transforum, August 1993. Criticism of "The Tao of Physics".
  • "Worldbuilding"
    On the art of creating fictional worlds, primarily fantastic worlds that have to support strong stories. This article has been widely linked to and circulated on the internet, to strong favourable reviews. A French version of it is available in Bifrost 27, entitled "Profession: Batisseur de Mondes".
  • "Traitor to Both Sides", The New York Review of Science Fiction, March, 2004.


  • The novella "To Hie from Far Cilenia" was nominated as part of Metatropolis for the 2009 Hugo Award under the category Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form.
  • Permanence won the 2003 Aurora Award for Best Long Work, English (novel). The Aurora Award is Canada's top award for SF and Fantasy; it is voted for by the general public.
  • Two of my novels, Ventus and Permanence have been short-listed for the Sunburst Award. Sun of Suns was short-listed for both the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice award for 2007.  Both Permanence and Sun of Suns narrowly missed appearing on the Hugo Awards ballot (dang!).  Sun of Suns needed only six more nominations to be on the ballot.
  • "The Cold Convergence" (then titled "Live Wire") won the Context '89 Short Story contest. Jurors included Charles de Lint.
  • "The Toy Mill" won the 1993 Aurora award for best short work in English, at the 1993 Aurora awards ceremony, Wolfville Nova Scotia, Sunday March 14, 1993. The story "Hopscotch" was also nominated in this category.


  • Small World podcast interview, Feb. 1, 2006. One of the most engaging and far-ranging interviews that I've had the pleasure to do.
  • Locus Magazine, May 2003. A three-page interivew with photos. My picture appeared on the cover.
  • Challenging Destiny, Number 15, December 2002.
  • SF Revu, November 2002.
  • SFSite, June 2002.
  • SF Magazine (France), Spring 2003.

Seminars, Colloquia and Consulting (Foresight Studies)

  • Participant and facilitator for the 2020 Media Futures foresight project (2010-11). Tasks include trends analysis and scenario design.  
  • Board members and attendee at SciBarCamp 2009, held May 8-9th at Hart House in Toronto.
  • Organizer and board member for SciBarCamp, the first of a series of self-organizing colloquia bringing together scientists, technologists, artists and activists in Toronto.  The first event occurred March 14-16, 2008.
  • Scenario designer, facilitator, presenter and writer for Prospective Protective Futures workshop at DRDC, Shirley's Bay, Ottawa, March 27-29th 2006, as well as its follow-up held  March 21-22, 2007. These were foresight exercises for security experts, attended by about 60 people. Both were highly successful, and I managed to have a hand in all the critical exercises and activities.
  • Contracted to write a dramatization, “Crisis in Zefra”, for the Defence R&D Canada (May-June 2004). This dramatization is a novella-length scenario detailing what military operations might be like in thirty years.
  • Facilitator and scenario author for the 2004 NRC Foresight symposium, March 21-22nd 2004, held at NRC headquarters in Ottawa. This year's topic was the future of biotech and health care in Canada.
  • Canada 2025, a two-day workshop held by the "Science and Technology Foresight Pilot Project" of the National Research Council, March 19 and 20, 2003, NRC headquarters, Ottawa. I was one of 80 specialists from all numerous professions called upon to make predictions about where Canada will be in 2025. Our predictions were presented as a policy paper to Cabinet.
  • One of four panelists in a two-day colloquium with some of 2002's Canadian Millennium Scholarship laureates. The Millennium Excellence Awards National Conference, which has the title Think Again 2002 -- Exploring New Paths, took place in Ottawa, Ontario on September 27-28th, 2002.

Invited Talks and Readings

  • Speaker and panelist at the 2011 Applied Brilliance conference and workshop, held Jackson Hole, Wyoming, October 11-14, 2011.
  • Keynote speaker at Bringing Together Communities, an interdisciplinary studies conference at the University of Windsor, February 4, 2011.
  • Keynote speaker at DRDC Managers' workshop, April 6-7, 2010.
  • Keynote speaker at O'Reilly Publishing's Open Source Conference 2009, held in San Jose, California, July 24, 2009.  The subject:  "rewilding" the human species.
    Keynote speaker at Toronto Public Library's Reader's Services Committee annual meeting, June 18, 2009.  Subject:  the future of publishing and writing.
  • Moderator, Green Careers panel, University of Toronto Careers Centre, January 24, 2007.
  • Keynote speaker at 2004 Defense R&D Canada Science and Technology symposium, April 21-22, 2004. The theme of the symposium was "Computers Everywhere and in Everything". My keynote speech was on Imagined Worlds.
  • Keynote speaker at the 2004 NRC Foresight Symposium, March 21-22nd 2004, held at NRC headquarters in Ottawa. This year's topic was the future of biotech and health care in Canada.
  • I was invited to address members of the American Library Association at their annual convention. The seminar, held on June 21, 2003 was very well attended (over a hundred in the audience). A written version of my talk subsequently appeared in The New York Review of Science Fiction under the title "Traitor to Both Sides".
  • Invited participant at the 2003 Science Fiction Research Association annual meeting, held in Guelph, Ontario, June 22, 2003.
  • I am regularly invited to give readings and sit on panels at science fiction conventions across the continent and internationally. Since 2000, I've attended the annual World Science Fiction convention (held in places as diverse as Glasgow, San Jose and Toronto). I have also been a regular guest at Toronto's Ad Astra convention for many years.


  • Since 1998, numerous appearances on the Canadian Space Channel's Shelf Space, a regular spot that appears between regularly scheduled programs.
  • The Space channel did a special on the making of the televised version of Frank Herbert's Dune. In my part of the special I talk about how Herbert's novel was one of the first in SF to use the ideas of the then-new science of ecology.
  • CBC National Magazine Interview: I was interviewed by Hannah Gartner for the national news program Magazine on Christmas Eve, 1996. The subject of the interview was futurism and prediction. The other interviewee was consultant and futurist Frank Ogden. The interview was eight minutes long, and served to end a half-hour special program on Canada in 30 years.
  • I was interviewed by Magic 100, an Ottawa radio station on July 8, 1997 regarding the Mars Pathfinder mission.
  • Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic: Magic In Literature, Discovery Channel series, 1998 (Wilson Coneybear, producer). I was extensively interviewed for this episode of the popular series; its most recent airing on Canadian TV was August 5, 2002.

    Other known Canadian air dates: June 9, 1999; June 12, 1999; June 13, 1999.

Editorial Work

  • Co-editor of Communique, the official publication of SF Canada, 1991.
  • Guest editor for the Hard SF issue of On Spec, spring 1994.


  • George Brown College Writing SF & Fantasy, ELS 9390 (continuing education), Spring, 1992-Fall 1994.
  • World Science Fiction Convention Annual Writer's Workshop, San Jose, August 30-Sept. 2 2002.

Service to the Writing Community

  • Founding member, SF Canada. Vice-president 1994-95; President, 1996-97.
  • Since 1988, I have hosted dozens of writing retreats and workshops for new and established writers in SF, fantasy and horror. The main venue for the retreats has been Hart House Farm, a 200 acre estate in the beautiful rolling countryside of the Caledon Hills in Ontario.
  • Pioneered use of the Internet to bring SF writers together in a growing on-line community. In 1992 I created the SF Canada listserver, which unites members of this organization worldwide.
  • Created listservers for alumni of Clarion (the US national SF writer's workshop) and the francophone SF community.
  • In spring 1995 I created the SF Canada web site as a central clearing house for information on Canadian SF, and as a home for members' web pages, maintained for them as an SF Canada service free of cost.

Professional Affiliations

  • Elected president of SF Canada on July 21, 1996 at the organization's annual general meeting, held at ConVersion XIII in Calgary. I had previously been elected vice president at the Ad Astra 12 Science Fiction convention in April, 1993.
  • Founding Member, SF Canada
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About Me

I'm a member of the Association of Professional Futurists with my own consultancy, and am also currently Chair of the Canadian node of the Millennium Project, a private/public foresight consultancy active in 50 nations. As well, I am an award-winning author with ten published novels translated into as many languages. I write, give talks, and conduct workshops on numerous topics related to the future, including:

  • Future of government
  • Bitcoin and digital currencies
  • The workplace in 2030
  • The Internet of Things
  • Augmented cognition

For a complete bio, go here. To contact me, email karl at kschroeder dot com

Example: The Future of Governance

I use Science Fiction to communicate the results of actual futures studies. Some of my recent research relates to how we'll govern ourselves in the future. I've worked with a few clients on this and published some results.

Here are two examples--and you can read the first for free:

The Canadian army commissioned me to write Crisis in Urlia, a fictionalized study of the future of military command-and-control. You can download a PDF of the book here:

Crisis in Urlia

For the "optimistic Science Fiction" anthology Hieroglyph, I wrote "Degrees of Freedom," set in Haida Gwaii. "Degrees of Freedom" is about an attempt to develop new governing systems by Canadian First Nations people.

I'm continuing to research this exciting area and would be happy to share my findings.

Coming on June 18, 2019

"Science fiction at its best."

--Kim Stanley Robinson

A Young Adult Scifi Saga

"Lean and hugely engaging ... and highly recommended."

--Open Letters Monthly, an Arts and Literature Review

Sheer Fun: The Virga Series

(Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce are combined in Cities of the Air)

 “An adventure-filled tale of sword fights and naval battles... the real fun of this coming-of-age tale includes a pirate treasure hunt and grand scale naval invasions set in the cold, far reaches of space. ”
Kirkus Reviews (listed in top 10 SF novels for 2006)

"With Queen of Candesce, [Schroeder] has achieved a clockwork balance of deftly paced adventure and humour, set against an intriguing and unique vision of humanity's far future.
--The Globe and Mail

"[Pirate Sun] is fun in the same league as the best SF ever has had to offer, fully as exciting and full of cool science as work from the golden age of SF, but with characterization and plot layering equal to the scrutiny of critical appraisers."

"...A rollicking good read... fun, bookish, and full of insane air battles"

"A grand flying-pirate-ship-chases-and-escapes-and-meetings-with-monsters adventure, and it ends not with a debate or a seminar but with a gigantic zero-gee battle around Candesce, a climactic unmasking and showdown, just desserts, and other satisfying stuff."