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.
The first episodes of the graphic novel version of SoS have been collected in a single volume. You can buy it now!
Run on over to Blind Ferret and you can pick up the print edition of Sun of Suns, Vol. 1. This volume collects the first episodes of the story. You'll meet all the main characters here: Hayden Griffin, our sullen hero; Lady Venera Fanning, mad princess and spymaster; Martor the ship's go-fer, and even the pirate Dentius and his men.
The script for this excellent adaptation is by Jeff Moss, the ink's by Guy Allen, and color by Michael Birkhofer.
This was an amazing project and I had great fun working with such talented artists to bring my visions of Virga to life. I hope you enjoy the result.
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.
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."