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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.

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award nominations

Jul 17, 2015

Lockstep nominated for the Aurora Award

Filed Under:

In the Best Young Adult Novel - English category

My novel Lockstep is up for an Aurora!  I'm in good company, nominated alongside people like Kelley Armstrong and Charles de Lint.  I've previously won the award, in particular for my novel Permanence, but that was in the Best Novel - English category.  It's cool to be nominated in the YA category because I was hoping that this book would appeal to a younger audience as well as my established fans.  The nomination suggests that I didn't completely fail in doing this.  

The awards will be handed out on the weekend of November 20-22nd, 2015, at the SFContario 6 convention in Toronto.  For more information (like, if you want to vote), see the Aurora Awards website.

Feb 28, 2012

"Deodand" and Metatropolis: Cascadia nominated for Audie Award

June 5 at the New York Historical Society

Nominated again! This time it's for Metatropolis: Cascadia, the second audiobook project set in the near-future world of the Cities. This volume features stories by me, Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, Ken Scholes, and Toby Buckell. You might remember that the first Metatropolis was nominated for a Hugo Award, so this continues the tradition and it's pretty exciting!

Here's the full roster of nominees under the Best Original Work category:

  • Macbeth: A Novel by A.J. Hartley and David Hewson, narrated by Alan Cumming (Audible, Inc.)
  • METAtropolis: Cascadia by Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, Ken Scholes, Karl Schroeder, and Tobias S. Buckell, narrated by Rene Auberjonois, Kate Mulgrew, Wil Wheaton, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton (Audible, Inc.)
  • The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Vol. 3 by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane, narrated by Stacy Keach and a full cast (Blackstone Audio)
  • Prayers: A Personal Selection by various authors, narrated by Michael York (eChristian, Inc)
  • Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Audible, Inc.)
  • The Witches of Lublin—Collector's Edition by Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth Schwartz and Yale Strom, narrated by Ellen Kushner and a full cast (SueMedia Productions)

This is a pretty solid lineup. What really scares me is that we're up against one of the idols of my youth, Stanislaw Lem, whose Solaris has been made into movies at least twice, and stands the test of time as a true classic of SF. Yikes.

The gala and awards ceremony will be held on June 5. I've got it on my calendar and will be crossing my fingers and toes. 

Sep 08, 2010

Always the bridesmaid, part 7

As always, I NEARLY made the Hugo ballot this year.

What does it mean for a writer to consistently be in the top 10-to-12 nominees for Science Fiction's top (English) award--i.e., with every novel?  Damn little, in terms of sales or public recognition, I'd say.  Nonetheless, I present with some bemusement and not a little world-weariness, my standing in this year's Hugo nominations.  (First number is the number of actual nominations each title received.)

Voting ballot:

142 The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (20.3%)
105 The City & The City, China Mieville (15%)
100 WWW: Wake, Robert J. Sawyer (14.3%)
77 Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (11%)
62 Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, Robert Charles Wilson (8.9%)
62 Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente (8.9%)

The nearly-made-its:
53 Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (7.6%)
49 This Is Not a Game, Walter Jon Williams (7%)
49 Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett (7%)
45 Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson (6.4%)
42 Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (6%)
40 Makers, Cory Doctorow (5.7%)
40 The Sunless Countries, Karl Schroeder (5.7%) <-- Grrr. Argh.

Damn.  But, hey--at least I know that there's some people out there who really like my stuff. And look on the bright side: I only need to drum up a couple dozen more fanatical readers with Ashes of Candesce.  Looking at the numbers, I guess that means I'll have to make it at least 55%  better than The Sunless Countries.  And don't worry--I'm working hard on that.


Jun 30, 2010

Sunless Countries shortlisted for the Sunburst Award

Canada's juried SF/Fantasy award has some strong contenders this year - plus me

Sunburst AwardThe short list for the 2010 Sunburst Award has been announced, and once again I'm on it!  Here's what they have to say about The Sunless Countries:

Immediately captivating, this is equal parts great world-building and strong characterization. Wonderfully original settings and visual detail light up this richly imagined world. Leal, her friends and her enemies are vividly drawn and sympathetic. Particularly impressive is Schroeder's ability to make this, the fourth book in the Virga series, as accessible to readers as the first.

The complete list of shortlisted works:

  • Charles de Lint, The Mystery of Grace (Tor, ISBN: 0765317567)
  • A.M. Dellamonica, Indigo Springs (Tor, ISBN: 0765319470)
  • Cory Doctorow, Makers (Tor, ISBN: 0765312794)
  • Karl Schroeder, The Sunless Countries (Tor, ISBN: 0765320762)
  • Robert Charles Wilson, Julian Comstock (Tor, ISBN: 0765319713)

The short-listed works in the young adult category for the 2010 Sunburst Award are:

  • Megan Crewe, Give Up the Ghost (Henry Holt, ISBN: 0805089306)
  • Maureen Garvie, Amy By Any Other Name (Key Porter, ISBN: 1554701422)
  • Hiromi Goto, Half World (Penguin, ISBN: 0670069655)
  • Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange (HarperTeen, ISBN: 0061575372)
  • Arthur Slade, The Hunchback Assignment (HarperCollins, ISBN: 1554683548)
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors!

(Best thing about this award?  It comes with a medal.)


Aug 12, 2009

Always the bridesmaid, part 6

Nearly made it onto the Hugo ballot. Again

Just for archival purposes, I'm noting the nominations breakdown for the 2009 Hugo Awards went like this:

Top 10 Novel Nominations

Little Brother Cory Doctorow 129

Anathem Neal Stephenson 93

The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman 82

Saturn’s Children Charles Stross 74

Zoe’s Tale John Scalzi 54

Matter Iain M. Banks 49

Nation Terry Pratchett 46

An Autumn War Daniel Abraham 46

Implied Spaces Walter Jon Williams 45

Pirate Sun Karl Schroeder 41

Not too bad; although I'm nowhere near the top 5, the 5-to-ten nominees are all clustered within 40 to 50 nominations each.  Let's all start a chant now:  We're number 10!  We're number 10! 

Heck, that's pretty damned good, considering the wealth of talent that's out there these days.

What's actually more encouraging is that the two short stories and one novella I wrote last year (I also published an older story in 2008) all made respectable placements on the list.  Clearly, I must write more short works...

Jun 07, 2009

Publisher's Weekly loves METAtropolis

Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, John Scalzi and I reviewed

Here's what Publisher's Weekly has to say about the upcoming (August) print edition of our Hugo-nominated shared world project, METAtropolis:

Editor Scalzi (Zoe’s Tale) and four well known writers thoughtfully postulate the evolution of cities, transcending postapocalyptic clichés to envision genuinely new communities and relationships. Selfsustaining walled cities struggle with their responsibilities to dying suburbs in Scalzi’s “Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis”; goods are exchanged through multiple microtransactions in Tobias S. Buckell’s “Stochasti-City” and a reputation economy in Elizabeth Bear’s “The Red in the Sky Is Our Blood.” A lone man attempts to overthrow an early enclave in Jay Lake’s “In the Forests of the Night,” while Karl Schroeder’s “To Hie from Far Celenia” brilliantly combines steampunk, urban sociology and network theory as entire subcultures go “off the grid.” Each story shines on its own; as a group they reinforce one another, building a multifaceted view of a realistic and hopeful urban future. (Aug.

Edited by John Scalzi. Subterranean, $30 (264p) ISBN 978-1-59606-238-2 )


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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.


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    Coming on June 18, 2019

    "Science fiction at its best."

    --Kim Stanley Robinson

    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."