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.
I'll be adding new stories here periodically. First of all, you can try my Aurora-award nominated short story "Hopscotch." The year this was nominated, another of my stories was also nominated: "The Toy Mill," which I wrote with David Nickle. "The Toy Mill" won the award; but I've always been fond of "Hopscotch." Here it is, in its entirety excerpted from my collection The Engine of Recall.
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.
(Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce are combined in Cities of the Air)
“The most thought-provoking and interesting work of hard SF that
I've read in the past year."
"With paradigm shifts one inside another like a set of Russian dolls, this splendid novel propagates into a demolition derby of Big Ideas. Required post-human reading.”
—Scott Westerfeld, author of The Risen Empire
“An astonishing saga. One helluva read!”
“Karl Schroeder has always had a knack for intelligent and provocative thought experiments disguised as space opera. Now he ups the ante with a fascinating riff on consensual [and conflicting] realities. Lady of Mazes contains more cool ideas than Ventus and Permanence combined.”