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Downloads

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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conventions

Jan 11, 2015

...And on to Boskone

Filed Under:

Boston in February - just like Toronto in February, but with a party

I'll be attending Boskone 52 February 13-15, 2015, and will be on the program. (In particular, I'll be autographing Sunday morning and holding a Kaffeeklatsch that afternoon if you want to drop by and chat.)  Here's my schedule:

The Cutting Edge

Friday 14:00 - 14:50, Harbor II (Westin)

Panelists discuss scientific and engineering developments that are new or emerging, and then venture into the realm of those that may be just a short step from development. What ideas are within our reach that recently seemed like pure science fiction? And what direction will technology likely take in the future?

Tom Easton (M), Guy Consolmagno, Justine Graykin, Mark L. Olson, Karl Schroeder

Energy Futures

Friday 18:00 - 18:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

"We'll freeze in the dark!" "Peak oil is yet to come!" "Solar is the future!" "Coal means energy independence!" There has to be more to the future of energy than mindless slogans, doesn't there? In this panel we discuss what we know, what we can expect, and think about what we don't know regarding energy over the next few decades.
 

Vincent Docherty, Mark L. Olson, Karl Schroeder

Dune — 50 Years later

Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Harbor I (Westin)

Frank Herbert's Dune, published in 1955, was an epic science fiction saga that won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award in 1966. Now, 50 years after its publication, we look back at the legacy left by Frank Herbert and his unique vision of a feudal interstellar society that was rocked by political machinations, contentious religious orders, and a very lucrative spice trade — and giant worms! How has this seminal work held up over time? What place might it take in the science fiction hall of fame? Panelists also discuss the impact that Dune has had on their own work as well as on the development of science and science fiction.

Kenneth Schneyer (M), Scott Lynch, Beth Meacham, Joan Slonczewski, Walter Jon Williams, Karl Schroeder

Autographing: A.C.E. Bauer, Darlene Marshall, Leigh Perry (Toni L. P. Kelner), Karl Schroeder

Sunday 10:00 - 10:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

A.C.E. Bauer, Leigh Perry, Darlene Marshall, Karl Schroeder

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

 

Sunday 14:00 - 14:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

 

Back to the Confusion next weekend

Filed Under:

I'm not on any programming, but am happy to visit with old friends and make new ones

I'll be visiting Michigan to attend Back to the Confusion next weekend, January 16-18, 2015.  

Confusion is one of my favourite conventions.  I've made some enduring friendships there, and it's proven to be one of those stealth cons where the most surprising people show up, and you can actually have them to yourself for a while.  Not to knock the big cons, and maybe part of it is because Michigan has a kind of a Canadian vibe to it that helps me feel comfortable there, but really, it's just a great con.

Hope to see you there!

Aug 17, 2013

My 2013 Worldcon schedule

It's a busy one, though I'll only be there for Saturday and Sunday

Keeping in the spirit of dumping all kinds of news at once, here's my schedule for the 2013 World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which is taking place over the Labour Day weekend. It's a whirlwind visit as I need to get back to Toronto to continue futuring for my new employer, Idea Couture. Luckily, I've got lots going on. If I'm lucky, I'll even get there early enough Friday night to take over the bathtub bar at the Tor party. We'll see. Meanwhile, here's my itinerary:

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Saturday 10:00 - 11:00

Karl Schroeder 


Autographing: Ellen Datlow, Josh Rountree, Karl Schroeder, Lynne M. Thomas

Saturday 12:00 - 13:00

Ellen Datlow , Lynne M. Thomas , Josh Rountree  , Karl Schroeder 


Consensual Reality: Your Relationship to the World

Saturday 15:00 - 16:00

Google Glasses, augmented reality, kinetic gaming, tactile transmission systems. These and other new technologies are on the horizon to transmogrify sense and sensation. Google glasses are the first step to putting an overlay on the reality we see. This opens the door to hiding the ugly and changing what we see. When we do this socially it leads to possible consensual reality as in the works of Vinge, Schroeder and others. What will such capability mean in reality? Has science fiction explored the societal consequences?

Edie Stern (M), Yasser Bahjatt  , Walter Jon Williams  , Ben Bova  , Karl Schroeder 


Kaffeeklatsch: Nancy Kress, Edward M. Lerner, Karl Schroeder

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00

Edward M. Lerner  , Nancy Kress  , Karl Schroeder 


Speed-Forecasting Workshop

Sunday 10:00 - 13:00

We will do a quick analysis of the future, with the end product being four scenarios that highlight different possibilities. Come take your work to the future!

Karl Schroeder


Have We Lost the Future?

Sunday 14:00 - 15:00

Where science fiction once looked to the future as the setting for speculation, nowadays the focus seems to be on alternate pasts, fantasy worlds, or consciously "retro" futures. We're no longer showing the way to what things might be like. We discuss whether this is connected to the general fear of decline and decay in the English-language world -- or has science fiction simply run out of ideas?

Karen Burnham (M), Brenda Cooper  , Karl Schroeder  , Willie Siros  , Derek Kunsken 


As You Know, Jim...

Sunday 15:00 - 16:00

Exposition is never easy. How can writers communicate the details of a setting, magical system or incredible scientific breakthrough without losing half their audience? What makes a readers eyes glaze over and how do you avoid it?

Michelle Sagara (M) , Tanya Huff  , Karl Schroeder  , Jack McDevitt  , Walter Jon Williams 


First Contact Without a Universal Translator

Sunday 17:00 - 18:00

How do we establish a common conceptual base to communicate with another species? Sure, we have numbers and the hydrogen atom in common, but how far would that get us in a world of beings who share none of our sensory apparatus?

Lawrence M. Schoen (M) , Paige E. Ewing  , Karl Schroeder 

By the way, if you want to plan your days, the entire schedule is or will shortly be online at http://www.lonestarcon3.org/guests/appearing.shtml.  

That's it. See you all there!

 

Jan 15, 2013

Attending Immortal Confusion this weekend

Filed Under:

It's in Dearborn, MI, January 18-21, 2013

I was a late addition to Confusion's roster of guests this year; my fault, for having such a crazy schedule lately that I don't know where I'll be until I'm there. We always enjoy Confusion, though, and I'm looking forward to the new venue and to seeing lots of friends.  

So, I hope to see you there!

Oct 16, 2012

The Future of Science Fiction

I'll be on a panel on this subject Nov. 7

My editor, David Hartwell, and Elizabeth Bear and I will be talking about the future of SF at the annual New York Library Association conference, which is being held in Saratoga Springs, NY. This is pretty timely as there's a fair amount of buzz on the subject lately, mostly touched off by Paul Kincaid's review of several Year's Best story collections; I've put in my two cents about that already. 

So I've talked about rolling up our sleeves and reinjecting energy into the genre; but what does that look like? Well, for starters, it looks like Hieroglyph, which I'm part of. The Hieroglyph project is looking for new symbols of a viable future. If you imagine all our existing glyphs--the rocket ship, the robot, the flying car--as crusted and plastered over with decades of associations and past interpretations, then it seems really hard to see the excitement that once lay under all that cruft. (The quintessential example for me is Star Trek, where the first series was about the adventure of space exploration, and the subsequent series deteriorated into sentimental tales about managerial team-building in a variety of idealized office buildings called Enterprise, Deep Space Nine etc. Where's the excitement in that?) So what can we create now that has the same mythic dimension to it, the same instantly recognizable impact, as the finned rocket ship, or the metal man? Hieroglyph is about consciously crafting such new mythic symbols.

As an ironic counterpoint to that, one of my long-term projects has been to show how, without invoking any new science or technology, we can still invent entirely new science fictional settings, places so gobsmackingly cool that any number of novels and stories could be set there without exhausting them. (I'm talking of course about Virga, and my forthcoming Lockstep.) The idea here is that we are so far from exhausting the wonder in what we already have that it's hardly even necessary to invoke new tech or science to create fantastical and unheard-of visions. I've proven this with the worlds of Permanence and Sun of Suns; I'm about to do it again with Lockstep. There's nothing wrong with a new hieroglyph, but what we already have is amazing enough, if we get off our fat asses and use our imaginations a bit.

Partly, though, the future of SF has to do with reinventing the future itself. After getting a degree in foresight and practicing futurism for a few years now, I can see how the vision of the future of SF really has diverged from the projections made by professional futurists.  Science fiction's future is no longer our future. But it could be.

So this is what we'll be talking about on the 7th in Saratoga Springs. And it's also what I'll be twittering about for the next while--and, most importantly, my next stories and novel are going to explore some new directions. Look to this space, and those. It's coming.

Nov 17, 2011

Previewing this Saturday...

Guess what this is about

Yes, it's finally (almost) here: the graphic novel version of Sun of Suns! And I'll be doing the full reveal and talking extensively about the project this weekend at SFContario, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Sun of Suns Issue 1 Cover

Sun of Suns is set in the world of Virga, the ultimate hyper-technological-post-singularity-cannons-and-swordfights-pirate-infested steampunk playground of the imagination. There's much to say about the new project, and I'll be unveiling the artists, our writer and editor and their work on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. For now, you'll have to get by on this teaser image. 

Hope to see you there!

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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."
    --SFRevu.com


    "...A rollicking good read... fun, bookish, and full of insane air battles"
    --io9.com


    "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."
    --Locus