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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.

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Stealing Worlds - NOTE: New Site Coming Soon!

Sura's father has been murdered, and whoever killed him is coming after her. She has to run--but how do you disappear in an America where surveillance is everywhere?

Stealing WorldsSura Neelin's latest Mcjob has fallen through.  In her mid-twenties now, no longer brave enough to burgle houses as she used to, Sura's got no money, few friends, and a mountain of debt. Then she hears that her father has been murdered somewhere in Peru--and apparently the killers are after her next.

Suddenly only the run, trying to ease into a fake identity that her dad posthumously provided her, Sura learns that disappearing in the mid-21st century surveillance state that is America is almost impossible.  Then she meets Compass...

A Near Future Thriller

Stealing Worlds is what cyberpunk might be if it were set right now, in a world of down-at-heel strip malls, fast food outlets, and only so-so AI.  There are self-driving vehicles, but nobody can afford to buy a car anymore.  People have augmented reality glasses, but they're just one more channel for advertisers to paste billboards over everything.  But in this world of crumbling parkades, abandoned shopping malls and ever-present security drones, Sura discovers an alternative--a virtual world laid over the real one, where people invent new societies and new economies at will, and where community is no longer a dirty word.  Reinventing herself as Countess Vesta, scion of an imaginary family from an imaginary Europe in the steampunk AR game Rivet Couture, Sura walks off the Earth and into Wonderland.

Countess Vesta still has a problem, though:  someone is still hunting Sura Neelin.  And so Sura will ultimately have to find a way to live in two worlds--crumbling, decadent America, and the vibrant Frames--all while solving her father's murder... and preventing her own.

Read an Excerpt

Head over to and you can read an excerpt from Chapter 1. In this clip, Sura is dusting off old skills--breaking into the former family home...

Listen to the Audiobook carries a masterfully read audiobook version of the novel.  Give it a try!Stealing Worlds audiobook

Early Reviews

"A propulsive, heartfelt, wise and generous near-future novel that holds out a hope we desperately need." Locus

“Lesser writers use technology as a metaphor; Schroeder is a master of rigor in technological speculation. Part prophet, part critic, Schroeder is a hell of a storyteller.”―Cory Doctorow.  Check out his full review on boingboing.

“Karl Schroeder seizes cyberpunk traditions and larps them into the onrushing era of blockchains, sentient contracts and rapid-paced convulsions of reality!”―David Brin, author of The Postman and Existence.

“This is a vivid exploration of what the coming decades might really be like, combining several major contemporary forces for change, like AI and climate change and online gaming, in a startling new vision. Add a tense plot and engaging characters, and the result is science fiction at its best.”―Kim Stanley Robinson

"Readers looking for a little optimism mixed in with grim predictions will find a good balance here."--Publishers Weekly
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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.

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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."