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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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"Little Brother" pulls no punches. Read it

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There is probably no book more likely to be banned this summer than Little Brother. Every kid should read it

Napoleon was denounced as dangerously liberal when he introduced a law forbidding husbands from beating their wives with any wooden implement thicker than their thumb. Even the most hide-bound American conservative is traitorously liberal by the standards of 200 years ago.  In fact, the history of these past two centuries could be seen as the record of humanity being dragged, kicking and screaming, out of a nightmare of violence and hatred inconceivable to us now--while at every stage, there's been people desperately trying to drag us back.

This long war--the real long war, and the only one--has its set-backs.  It's up to each generation to re-invent civilization, to reaffirm it and to fight once again against fear, prejudice and easy solutions. Often, the weapon of enlightenment for a generation is a book.  Sometimes, those books are just so much damned fun to read that you forget, for a while, that their purpose is deadly serious.

Little BrotherLittle Brother is huge fun.  It's nominally a "young-adult" novel (whatever that means) but it doesn't condescend to its readership.  People die in this story. People--good people, whom we cheer for--are tortured.  Not everything turns out okay.  But there's also triumph here, and it's our triumph, because Little Brother is a novel that is also a resistance-fighter's toolkit, a manual for subversives, and an inspiration.  There is probably no book more likely to be banned and burned this summer than Little Brother.  Every kid should read it.

Want specifics?  Well, the story begins with San Francisco's Bay Bridge being blown up by terrorists.  Four thousand people are killed, and a small group of high school students is rounded up in a random sweep by the Department of Homeland Security, and treated very, very badly.  One of them, Marcus Yallow, vows revenge when they're released, because his best friend Darryl has not been released.  He hasn't even been acknowledged to be missing.  He's just gone.  (Is this likely?  Ask Maher Arar.)

The book is the story of Marcus's (successful) war to take down the DHS.  If that were all, Little Brother would still be a great read, a wonderful revenge fantasy against the stupidities of the past eight years.  The thing is, that Little Brother doesn't just show Marcus taking down the DHS; it shows how he does it.  How you could do it.

This is where Little Brother leaves fictional territory, and becomes the kind of book that gets banned.  It teaches kids how to spoof government security measures.  It teaches them how to become invisible to the DHS's spying eyes.  It unlocks the secrets of cryptography, hacking, and disinformation.  It gives all these tools to you.  More importantly, it gives all these tools to your kids.

I'm old enough to remember previous salvos in the long war.  Back in 1974 Alan Wingard published The Graffiti Gambit, about a TV-signal hacker who scrawls graffiti across the faces of politicians as they're giving speeches on TV.  It's a grim book:  our hero's arrested, tortured, and eventually lobotomized by the Feds.  I was about 12 when I read it, the same age many of Cory's readers are going to be.  If you're under 25 today, Little Brother will serve as a good introduction to what's been going on all these years--updated for the 21st century.

If you'd like another perspective on the book, from someone who is under 25, check out Madeline Ashby's review.   She's more qualified than me to talk about the impact this novel is going to have.  Check out her comments, and then order your copy.

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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)

     β€œAn 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. ”
    β€”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."