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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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Aug 05, 2019

My Dublin 2019 Worldcon schedule

How and where to find me during Worldcon

Here's my schedule.  I'm not going to be in Dublin very long, so I'm going to prioritize meeting people and socializing over sightseeing.  You can expect to find me around the con most of the time from Thursday afternoon to Sunday.

Autographs: Thursday at 14:00

 

15 Aug 2019, Thursday 14:00 - 14:50, Level 4 Foyer (CCD)

 

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

 

16 Aug 2019, Friday 13:00 - 13:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)

 

Reading: Karl Schroeder

 

16 Aug 2019, Friday 15:00 - 15:20, Liffey Room-3 (Readings) (CCD)

 

Space opera is for robots; soap opera is for people

 

Format: Panel

 

17 Aug 2019, Saturday 10:00 - 10:50, Liffey Hall-2 (CCD)

 

Will humans ever live long-term in space, or is it easier to let our ‘mind children’ go to the stars, whether as uploaded minds or independent intelligences? If humans (or AI) leave for space, would we miss them?

 

Lauren James (Walker Books) (M),  Diane Duane (The Owl Springs Partnership), Karl Schroeder (Tor Books), Laurence Raphael Brothers

 

What I learned along the way

 

Format: Panel

 

17 Aug 2019, Saturday 15:00 - 15:50, Wicklow Room-3 (CCD)

 

Writing is a many wondrous thing filled with highs and lows, but those lows can be really tough to navigate either after a great success or after a lack of success. Rejection is something every writer has to face, but how do writers keep writing in the face of failure? What lessons have they learned along the way? Our panellists share the ups and downs of a writing life.

 

Aliette de Bodard, Ian R MacLeod (M), Karl Schroeder (Tor Books), George Sandison (Titan Books), Nina Allan

 

 

 

Jan 24, 2019

Boskone 2019!

I'll be attending this Boston convention again this year, Feb. 15-17, and reading from my new novel, Stealing Worlds

Boskone is held at the Boston Weston Waterfront, close to all the best action in downtown Boston.  I'm flying in Thursday night so I'll be available to chat, sign and read from Friday afternoon onwards. 

Here's my final schedule. What's on here matches closes my current obsessions, and a lot of these topics are front and center in Stealing Worlds.  So expect me to be vocal, opinionated, and engaged!

The Most Alien Aliens

 

15 Feb 2019, Friday 16:00 - 16:50, Burroughs (Westin)

 

How can you design a really GOOD alien? How can writers/artists imbue their creations with a genuine sense of otherness? What do our depictions of aliens tell us about ourselves?

 

James Cambias, Dr. Stephen P. Kelner Jr. (Ascent Leadership Networks) (M), Jeffrey A. Carver, Laurence Raphael Brothers (Freelance), Karl Schroeder

 

Near-Future SF

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 12:00 - 12:50, Harbor II (Westin)

 

1984 was published in 1949. 2001: A Space Odyssey was published in 1968. Neither was predictive ... at least for the year they were putatively about. Should science fiction set in the near future try to be prophetic? Can it avoid becoming dated? Does it always have to be dystopic? There’s a lot of it out there these days, but what makes a near-future story successful?

 

Fran Wilde, Michael Swanwick, Karl Schroeder, Paul Di Filippo (M), Brett James

 

Economics in SF/F Worlds

 

Format: Panel

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 14:00 - 14:50, Burroughs (Westin)

 

Whether you deal in coin, platinum, electronic credits, or chickens, all societies rest upon an agreed-upon economic foundation. However, fantastic fiction rarely features a reference to any body that establishes and monitors a financial system. How important is it to see a working (or failing) economy in an SF/F world? Can you realistically have a cashless society (Star Trek) or a civilization run by orcs (LOTR)? What are the economic drivers that keep these worlds turning? Fellowships that cross multiple borders to throw away precious metal objects so rarely pay well. How do our heroes and villains survive without visible incomes of any kind?

 

MR Richardson (Room 10 Publishing) (M), Fonda Lee, Karl Schroeder , Steve Miller (Liaden Universe), Mr. Walter H. Hunt (Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts)

 

Reading by Karl Schroeder

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 15:00 - 15:25, Griffin (Westin)

 

Autographing: James Cambias, Daniel M. Kimmel, Bracken MacLeod, Karl Schroeder

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 16:00 - 16:50, Galleria - Autographing (Westin)

 

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 17:00 - 17:50, Galleria - Kaffeeklatsch 1 (Westin)

 

If Only It Were Real

 

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 20:00 - 20:50, Griffin (Westin)

 

What science fiction concept, other than space travel, would you most like to see realized? Flying cars? Matter replicators? Time travel? Why? What would be the impact on civilization of this wish fulfillment? Flying cars crashing into buildings, replicators putting manufacturers out of business, time travelers running wild, oh my!

 

Alan Brown (M), Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Mary Anne Mohanraj (Speculative Literature Foundation), Karl Schroeder

 

The Limits of Automation

 

17 Feb 2019, Sunday 10:00 - 10:50, Burroughs (Westin)

 

When, how, why, what? Following up on last year's "The Future of Work" ... How far can we reasonably project that automation of jobs will advance in the real world in the next 10 years? Why? What limits to automation are presently visible? What plausible limits have we not yet encountered? What about the longer term? What jobs can we reasonably expect will be completely automatable in years to come? We'll focus on technical aspects, not so much on societal acceptance, and not at all on societal impact.

 

Mark Olson (M), Jeff Hecht, Karl Schroeder, Laurence Raphael Brothers (Freelance), Brianna Wu

 

When Robots Take Over (Our Jobs)

 

17 Feb 2019, Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Burroughs (Westin)

 

Twentieth-century history shows that automation can increase productivity and stimulate new employment. More recent developments, however, haven't always been so productive or stimulating (e.g., grocery store self-checkouts). Are we nearing a point of no return — when technological advances chiefly function to replace human labor? What happens to society once work gets scarce, and stays that way? And what might the transition to that brave new (jobless) world entail?

 

Mark Olson (M), Karl Schroeder, B. Diane Martin, John P. Murphy, Brianna Wu

 

 

Feb 10, 2018

My Boskone 55 Itinerary

Some fun topics this year, plus a reading and signing

Here's my Boskone schedule for 2018:

Technology and the Crisis of Conscience

Format: Panel

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, Marina 4 (Westin)

Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. Characters like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Masamune Shirow's Major demonstrate some consequences of the headlong pursuit of scientific breakthroughs. What are the real stakes in the playing-god game? Will we use technological advances for good or evil? What will guide us? And how does fiction help inform our ethical dilemmas?

Pete Hollmer, Karl Schroeder, JeffWarner (M), LJ Cohen, Cady Coleman

Colonialism and the New Space Race

Format: Panel

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 11:00 - 12:00, Burroughs (Westin)

European expansion into the American West and other "new frontiers" used to be portrayed as a great adventure — and a civilizing enterprise. For those being invaded, however, colonial expansion has been less pleasant. The Space Act of 2015 allows the commercialization of space by private entities. But if powerful technocrats like Elon Musk use tropes from Westerns to promote Mars exploration, will we venture into space with the same old colonialist attitudes? Or can we learn from history, and approach space exploration with new mindsets?

Allen M. Steele (M), Vandana Singh, Pete Hollmer, Karl Schroeder, William Hayashi

Modern Marvels

Format: Panel

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 15:00 - 16:00, Burroughs (Westin)

Our panelists consider their favorite gadgets, and list their Top 10 — including landmark examples from the past, as well as modern gadgets that are currently changing the future.

Priscilla Olson (M), Karl Schroeder, Geary Gravel, Daniel P. Dern, Carrie Cuinn

Reading by Karl Schroeder

Format: Reading

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 16:30 - 17:00, Griffin (Westin)

Karl Schroeder

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

Format: Kaffeeklatsch

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, Harbor I - Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

Karl Schroeder

The Future of Work

Format: Panel

18 Feb 2018, Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

How has innovation — changing technologies, new digital platforms, advanced AIs — altered the fundamental nature of work? While humans may always have a place in the labor hierarchy, just where will we find ourselves on the food chain? Is there room for everyone? Specifically, how will technology eliminate current jobs and enable new ones?

Mark L. Olson (M), Karl Schroeder, James Cambias, Jeff Hecht, B. Diane Martin

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Aug 05, 2016

Worldcon : Final Schedule

This is the definitive one

Here's my final (-ish) schedule.  Things can always change on the day-of, but you should note that I've got a few events on Friday, so make a particular note of that; if you want to see me, Friday's a good day.  Here's the full schedule, including times and locations:

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Friday 10:00 - 11:00, 2203 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)

Karl Schroeder

An Idiot's Guide Revisited, circa 2000

Friday 13:00 - 14:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

It's circa 2000 and authors Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder just published The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Science Fiction. Fast-forward 16 years later, and the world of publishing has evolved, but how much has it really changed? Cory and Karl take a look back and discuss what they got right, what they got wrong, and how things have changed over the years.

Karl Schroeder, Cory Doctorow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Literary Beer : Lawrence M. Schoen, Karl Schroeder

Friday 16:00 - 17:00, Literary Beer Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen, Karl Schroeder.  [Yay, Lawrence!  You should sign up to talk to him, he's a fascinating guy and vastly entertaining.  I can only promise to show up, myself.]

Futurism vs. SF

Friday 18:00 - 19:00, 2209 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Science Fiction explores the future.  Futurism explores the future and tries to relate it to the real world.  What causes someone to be a Futurist rather than a science fiction author?  Where are the overlaps and the differences between the two practices?

S.B. Divya (M), Karl Schroeder, Andrea Phillips, David Brin

"Ellie's Last Line". Scriptwriting and Narrative for Videogames

Saturday 11:00 - 12:00, 2209 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Some of today's most popular video games are based upon narrative storytelling, but that's only part of conveying the tale implicit in a videogame. What does it take to develop a game script? Participants discuss the ins and outs of building a quality gaming script.

Seth Dickinson, Karl Schroeder (M), Carol Wolf, Brianna Spacekat Wu

Societal Aspects of Technology

Saturday 13:00 - 14:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

If your cellphone died would you be late for work? When your power goes out, would you dispair for entertainment? In a world where people are digitally dependent, what will happen when energy fails us? Downton Abbey dramatized the advent of home electricity, the telephone and the radio. How did those advances change social lives? Instead of bringing us together, have phones increase our isolation? We discuss how technology changes the way people communicate and relate in society. 

Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Andrea Phillips, Edward M. Lerner (M), Karl Schroeder, David Brin

The Future of Government

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

The world has seen many different forms of government over the centuries. What might governments be like in the next 10, 50, or 200 years, and how will changing technologies and world conditions (e.g. climate change) affect those forms? Are there forms of government that have been proposed that have never existed in the real world, but might?

 

Cat Greenberg (M), Matthew Johnson, Dr Jamie Metzl, Karl Schroeder, Ada Palmer

Autographing: David Boop, Ellen Datlow, Richard Hescox, Jack McDevitt, Karl Schroeder

Sunday 10:00 - 11:00, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

David Boop, Ellen Datlow, Richard Hescox, Jack McDevitt, Karl Schroeder

Is Mining the Asteroids Feasible?

Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, 2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Once the province of science fictiion, asteroid mining is moving into the realm of venture capital, with startup efforts from here to Luxembourg. A number of approaches exist, none of them downselected by experience... yet. Does it make more sense to bring raw material back or process it in situ? What might the near term, mid term and far term of asteroid mining look like? 

 

Karl Schroeder, Dr. Jordin Kare, Courtney Schafer, Les Johnson (M), Jennifer Brozek

Oct 20, 2015

My World Fantasy Con Schedule

See you in Saratoga

I'm not primarily a fantasy writer, but some great works have had a huge influence on me--most importantly, Mervyn Peake's epic Gormenghast.  I read The Lord of the Rings like most kids, and was on my third read of it when I discovered Peake.  After finishing Gormenghast, I didn't return to Tolkien for another twenty years.

I'll be going on about that and other stuff on my panels, but heck, I'm really there just to hang out and talk, so if you're going to the convention look for me.  I'll be around and happy to shmooze.

The schedule:

Thursday:
City Center 2B Magic is the essential ingredient of Epic Fantasy… except when it isn't. 
Can a story be Epic Fantasy if there isn't a spell hurling mage? Do all quests need a wizard? The panel will discuss how magic is used in Epic Fantasy and some of the texts that do things a little differently. 
Paul DiFilippo (mod.), David Keck, Kate Laity, Karl Schroeder

Friday:

1:00City Center 2B The Fantastic Cities of Monstrous Magnitude 
Epic Fantasy has created some of the most arresting and wondrous architecture ever dreamed of. The panel will discuss some of their favorite settings in Epic Fantasy and why those cities and buildings evoke such wonder. 
John Clute, Gemma Files, David Levine, Karl Schroeder
Sunday:
Reading, 11:00, in Broadway 2

Jul 17, 2015

My Sasquan Schedule (Revised August 19)

I'll be at Worldcon this year. Here's how to find me.

I hope to see you in Spokane.  Here's what I'll be doing:

The Changing Face of Hard Science Fiction

Thursday 16:00 - 16:45, Bays 111B (CC)

Hard science fiction has roots that at least go back to Verne, and it's been a major part of the field -- some would argue it's been the center of the field, or even the only real SF -- since at least the 1940s.  But like the rest of SF, it has evolved and change.  Where is it now and where is it going? 

The Future of Government

Thursday 17:00 - 17:45, 300B (CC)

We like to think that US democracy is the ultimate and best form of government. But the world has seen many different forms of government over the centuries, and even today many different forms exist around the world. What will governments in the US and other countries be like in the next 10, 50, or 200 years? How will changing technologies and world conditions (e.g., climate change) affect those forms? Are there forms of government that have been proposed that have never existed in the real world, but might?

Genre and the Global Police State

Thursday 20:00 - 20:45, 300C (CC)

Thanks to the Five Eyes -- the joint intelligence sharing treaty between the USA, UK, Australia, and others -- and the total penetration of the internet by NSA/GCHQ monitoring, we now live in a society that is a secret policeman's dream. Wikileaks and then Edward Snowden blew the lid off the scandalous subversion of western democracies by unaccountable secret government agencies. In past decades, SF and fantasy provided a vehicle for trenchant social and political commentary on on-going cultural changes (consider "The Forever War" as a comment on Vietnam), but where are the genre works dealing with the global police state?

SF and Futurism (Moderator)
Friday, August 21 2015, 1:00 pm 
with Trina Marie Phillips, Matt Wallace 

Kaffee Klatsche 

Friday, August 21 2015, 4:00 pm 

Reading 
Saturday, August 22 2015, 12:00 pm 

Climate Change and Health

Sunday 11:00 - 11:45, Bays 111B (CC)

The climate is changing in ways that have big implications for the future well-being of humans. There will be direct effects (e.g., heat stress) and indirect effects (e.g., disease-carrying mosquitos moving northward). The panelists will discuss what is happening now, what we can expect in the near future, and what might occur down the road if climate change continues on its present course.

Autographing CANCELLED - TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Sunday 12:00 - 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

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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