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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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ordinary bragging

Jun 18, 2008

My story "The Hero" will be in Eclipse 2

...And yes, it's a Virga story

I'm actually engaged in writing several stories set in my world of Virga (the setting for Sun of Suns, Queen of Candesce, and the forthcoming Pirate Sun).  "The Hero" is the first--thanks to Jonathon Strahan for choosing it for Eclipse 2!

I'm in pretty amazing company with this anthology; here's the lineup:

The Hero, Karl Schroeder
Turing’s Apples, Stephen Baxter
Invisible Empire of Ascending Light, Ken Scholes
Michael Laurits is: Drowning, Paul Cornell
Elevator, Nancy Kress
The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm, Daryl Gregory
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, David Moles
The Rabbi’s Hobby, Peter S. Beagle
The Seventh Expression of the Robot General, Jeffrey Ford
Skin Deep, Richard Parks
Ex Cathedra, Tony Daniel
Truth Window: A Tale of the Bedlam Rose, Terry Dowling
We Haven’t Got There Yet, Harry Turtledove
Fury, Alastair Reynolds

I won't say anything about what "The Hero" is about, except to say that it does have to do with one of the major plotlines running through the first three Virga books; and it doesn't have any of the characters from those books in it.

Apr 10, 2008

Queen of Candesce up for Locus Award

Anyone can vote, but the deadline is April 15

I just found out that Book II of my Virga series, Queen of Candesce, is on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Locus Award!  (I should have known this--aren't all the Locus Recommended Reading titles on the ballot?)  In any case, I'm quite proud of the company this puts Queen in, next to books by Brian Aldiss, William Gibson, Joe Haldeman, and Charlie Stross.  The downside to being on such a prestigious list is that my chances of winning are miniscule, but the ballot is of the Australian Rules type, where you can choose your top five works in order of preference.  (The ballots hold a kind of run-off election against each other that allows a candidate who's nobody's first choice, but everybody's second choice, to win.)  So, who knows, maybe Queen will be everybody's second-favourite book of last year!  (Venera would fall to the ground and gnash her teeth at that thought.)

One oddity of the ballot is that the web page makes it look like you have to be a Locus subscriber to vote.  You don't.  Anybody can vote, you just have to include some identifying contact information, which Locus will keep confidential.

There are a lot of categories for this award, including short story, novelette, best art book etc.  So zip on over and vote; it's painless and at the very least will let you settle in your own mind what your favourite works were last year.

Feb 06, 2008

. . .And speaking of being singled out

Filed Under:

Pirate Sun will be August, 2008's SciFi Essential book

Once again the SciFi channel is gracing me with a special honour:  Pirate Sun will be August, 2008's SciFi Essentials title. 

The SciFi Essentials home page describes the programme like this:

Each month we select a new book as a SCI FI Essential. That means it deserves to be counted among the finest works of the genre.

My novel Lady of Mazes was also a SciFi Essential, back in 2005. 

This month, by the way, the Essentials book is Paul Melko's Singularity's Ring, which is just fantastic.  This is a first novel that reads like the work of an accomplished master. Melko's a superhot talent, and I hope the Essentials seal of approval gives this book the attention it deserves. 

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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."