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.
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.
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:
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.
James Graves has been thinking about my Virga books, and the TV series Firefly. He's got a fabulous post over on his blog about how you could make everything in Firefly make perfect sense--in scientific and logical terms--if Whedon had just set the series in Virga to start with. He even recasts the episodes in the new setting, and judges individually which ones it would improve. Ha!
In some ways this doesn't surprise me at all. After all, I deliberately created Virga as a scientifically possible setting for classic space opera storytelling. That's what Virga is is for. So, I'm not that startled that Firefly could be recast in this setting: you could in fact redo many many classic stories and series within a Virga-like setting. For those of us who still wish there could be a space-opera-like future, well, this is the place where it can happen. That's why I designed it.
James has done a lot of work on this particular mashup, and deserves our applause for it. He's certainly got mine--and he's got me thinking about how I might be able to write a few new short stories that riff on this stuff.
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:
For a complete bio, go here. To contact me, email karl at kschroeder dot com
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:
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.
"Lean and hugely engaging ... and highly recommended."
--Open Letters Monthly, an Arts and Literature Review
(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."