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.
Easily had for $0.99 at http://www.comixology.com/Virga-1/digital-comic/DIG004336
Aaaand here it is!
You can't imagine what it's been like having to keep all this under wraps. I mean, I could talk about the fact that the comic was being developed, but practically every day I would get some amazing new art in my inbox... which I couldn't show anybody. Now, finally, Sun of Suns is here in the medium it was truly meant for, and we can share the vision.
And just wait for Issue #2...
Here's a teaser for you. Watch http://virgacomic.com for the launch
You can pre-order it now.
The last Virga book, Ashes of Candesce, is doing well in hardcover, and still getting great reviews. It'll be published in trade paperback format early next year: March 12, 2013, to be exact.
For some perverse reason I'm really excited about the prospect of lining up all the trade editions of these books. I loved the hardcover editions and have done that with them on my bookshelf, of course; but there's something about the trade books that I keep coming back to. The design of both editions is stunning and elegant... but I think I like the trade editions a teeny bit better.
There. I've said it. Now ignore all that and buy the hardcover edition because... well, you know... I'll make more from it.
I'm making some of my better stories available as ebooks. You can buy 'em
I haven't got a huge backlog of short stories, but I've been lucky enough to have many of my best collected in the book The Engine of Recall, which is still available. Not all my good stuff made it into that collection, however--mostly because my editor, Robert J. Sawyer, wanted to focus on my strictly science fictional output. That naturally excluded "The Toy Mill" for instance--but it also left other fantasy I've written, as well as works I consider SF, but Rob did not.
I've started transforming some of these works (previously published, but not collected) into individual bite-sized ebooks. Initially, you can find them on Amazon.com, but I'll be making epub versions as well; it's just a matter of finding the time for that, as it's a little more hands-on than the Amazon conversion.
As of now, you can find three of my stories on Amazon.com:
Reviews for all the Virga books have been overwhelmingly positive
On the heels of great reviews at Locus and Canada's premiere newspaper, The Globe and Mail, I'm delighted that SF Site has looked at Ashes of Candesce and pronounced it good. It's not just a ringing endorsement of this last Virga novel; the message that's emerging from people who've read all five books is that there's no low spot in the series. The books are consistently good.
For me, there's always two goals: each book had to be as good as it could possibly be; and the series as a whole had to be excellent. The reviews for each individual book have been stellar, but it wasn't until I read Greg. L. Johnson, in this latest review, saying "With Ashes of Candesce, Karl Schroeder brings his Virga series to a rousing, fitting conclusion," that I started to believe I'd succeeded with Virga as a whole.
Russell Letson had already said this over at Locus:
In a recent (as I write this) Locus Roundtable post, Karen Burnham posed the question of the appeal of SF and fantasy – ‘‘Why do you enjoy this crazy brand of literature?’’ I responded with several paragraphs of babble, but I think I could have just offered this series as my answer.
All this clearly places Schroeder’s work in discussion with that of Greg Egan, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross, and Vernor Vinge, among others.
In the SF Site review, Johnson also says,
Karl Schroeder is also exploring many of the ideas that have dominated hard science fiction for the last twenty years or so... Those themes place the Virga series and its author in the company of writers like Greg Egan, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, and others.
And, summing up,
That the story and character development never lags as a result makes the Virga series a first-class reading experience both for long term fans and anyone looking for a good introduction to the ideas, and artistry, of contemporary hard science fiction.
I've been proud of the individual Virga books. Now I'm proud of the series, too.
Coming in May. Get the whole set!
Yeah, it's about time. The Sunless Countries will be arriving in trade paperback edition on May 8 or thereabouts. This is another fine edition and looks great next to the Cities of the Air and Pirate Sun trades. When it's out you'll be able to buy all the Virga books except for Ashes of Candesce in this format. They're beautiful editions and I highly recommend going this route if you want to quickly get up to speed with the editions.
On the other hand, I'm hoping to set up an offer on this site of signed original hardcover editions of all my books... hopefully in the next week or so. So maybe you want to hold out for that hardcover original...
(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.”