Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


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


For my old weblog material, visit

Nov 23, 2015

Lockstep wins 2015 Aurora Award

Filed Under:

I share this award with Charles de Lint--the vote was a tie!

Aurora Award WinnerYesterday we held the 35th Annual Aurora Award ceremony, at Canvention here in Toronto.  I was up in the Best Young Adult Novel category, along with a field of impressive peers.  My novel Lockstep tied with Charles de Lint's Out of This World to win in the Young Adult category.

I'm thrilled and honoured to be in the company of such fine writers.  I'm also delighted to have won in the Young Adult category, as this seals an Aurora win for me in each of the Short Story, Novel, and YA Novel classes.

It's an early Christmas present, and I'm grateful to everyone who contributed to the awards, and in particular the Aurora Committee who have worked so diligently for 35(!) years now to bring this award to the Canadian readership.

Nov 04, 2015

License Expired Book Launch

Filed Under:

Appropriately, at the Pravda Vodka Bar

If you're in the Toronto area in November, make sure you come down to Pravda to help us launch License Expired, the unauthorized James Bond anthology.  This is going to be huge fun, with readings, grandiose speeches and yes, vodka.

License Expired Book Launch

Oct 20, 2015

My World Fantasy Con Schedule

See you in Saratoga

I'm not primarily a fantasy writer, but some great works have had a huge influence on me--most importantly, Mervyn Peake's epic Gormenghast.  I read The Lord of the Rings like most kids, and was on my third read of it when I discovered Peake.  After finishing Gormenghast, I didn't return to Tolkien for another twenty years.

I'll be going on about that and other stuff on my panels, but heck, I'm really there just to hang out and talk, so if you're going to the convention look for me.  I'll be around and happy to shmooze.

The schedule:

City Center 2B Magic is the essential ingredient of Epic Fantasy… except when it isn't. 
Can a story be Epic Fantasy if there isn't a spell hurling mage? Do all quests need a wizard? The panel will discuss how magic is used in Epic Fantasy and some of the texts that do things a little differently. 
Paul DiFilippo (mod.), David Keck, Kate Laity, Karl Schroeder


1:00City Center 2B The Fantastic Cities of Monstrous Magnitude 
Epic Fantasy has created some of the most arresting and wondrous architecture ever dreamed of. The panel will discuss some of their favorite settings in Epic Fantasy and why those cities and buildings evoke such wonder. 
John Clute, Gemma Files, David Levine, Karl Schroeder
Reading, 11:00, in Broadway 2

Sep 01, 2015

LA Keynote on Sept. 30

I'll be talking fiction as futurism

Wednesday, Sept. 30, I'll be speaking at the Foresight & Trends conference in Los Angeles.  My topic?  The same subject on which I wrote my Master's thesis:  the use of fictional narratives in foresight studies.  This time, though, I'll be getting recursive by reciting several possible "plotlines" that exemplify different aspects of the method. The full agenda description for my talk is:

Plotlines: Using Stories to Analyze the Future

Acclaimed science fiction writer and futurist Karl Schroeder will describe the plotlines of three possible novels. Each of the stories captures the complex essence of one emerging megatrend. Together, they reduce what might be a long, tedious analysis of demographics and drivers to something vital and easily memorable. The stories are, “Decapitation,” about blockchain technology and how Distributed Autonomous Corporations put a company’s CEO, CFO, and upper management out of work; “The Lady (almost) Vanishes,” about how emerging tech is making it impossible for people to disappear; and in “The Garbage Miners,” how a strike by workers who convert trash into feedstock for 3d printers nearly shuts down the country.

So, the talk serves a double purpose--to describe the technique, and to show it in action.  I hope you can be there!

Aug 19, 2015

Sunday signing in doubt

Filed Under:

Last minute flight changes. Grrr

It doesn't look like I'll be able to make my Sunday book signing at Sasquan.  I'm trying to make other arrangements, but meanwhile, if you want something signed, plan to waylay me after one of my other panels, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or arrange an alternate meetup.  I'll keep you updated as this situation evolves.

Aug 13, 2015

Loosed Upon the World

Filed Under:

An apocalypse just for you, coming Sept. 15, 2015

Loosed Upon the WorldJohn Joseph Adams' glorious climate-change anthology Loosed Upon the World will be coming out this September from Saga Press.  The book has stories by Kim Stanley Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Robert Silverberg, Greg Benford and lots of other.  I have two stories in the anthology:  "Kheldyu," my most recent and most pessimistic Gennady Malianov piece, and "Mitigation," the open-Arctic-ocean romp that Tobias Buckell and I wrote together.

Climate change isn't your ordinary apocalypse, since it's actually already upon us.  It's a slow, nearly imperceptible alteration of all our affairs--"boiling the frog" but not necessarily all negative.  It's not a destroyed world that results, but a reconfigured one.  Loosed Upon the World explores this ambiguity with panache and energy--and a book like this is long overdue.  

Document Actions
Log in

Forgot your password?
New user?
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.


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter
    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."