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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

Sep 14, 2011

Thesis defended successully

Which means I will shortly be awarded a Master's degree in foresight. I guess that officially makes me a futurist

I've been doing foresight work for about ten years now, as a side activity with strange hooks and connections into my science fiction writing. It was always evident to me that there was a lot more to it than the wild-eyed prophets and professional futurists like Alvin Toffler made evident; so, when an opportunity to gain a degree in it came up, I jumped at it.

--Actually, it's not that simple.  In early 2009 I was recovering from heart surgery and really, badly needed something to make me enthusiastic about getting out of bed in the morning, because just getting out of bed was really physically difficult.  Undertaking the degree gave me something to shoot for, and helped get me over the difficult convalescence period.  It was also, well, just a hell of a lot of fun.

Now I'm done, and I'm pretty bummed about it, because over the course of the programme I got to know a lot of really amazing people, some my classmates, some my instructors, and some consultants and business people who came in to mentor us. I was part of the first cohort in the foresight programme at OCAD, and we became a pretty tightly-knit group.  I'll be sad not to be seeing everybody on a weekly basis, though I hope to keep up my contacts with as many of my classmates and instructors as possible.

So, now what?  Oh, who knows!  It's not like recruiters are going from town to town snapping up recent Futurism graduates.  This was always going to be a profession where we defined our own path.  But that's half the fun of it, especially for someone like myself who's used to being adventurous in my career choices.

...All of which means, that hey, if you happen to hear about any futurist jobs opening up in your neighbourhood, well, drop me a line, eh?  I could sure use the work.

Jul 20, 2011

Scientific American Does Metaphysics: Deja Vu

I commented on this issue back in 2003. SciAm has finally caught up

The August, 2011 issue of Scientific American has an article by George F.R. Ellis about whether we can prove that a multiverse exists.  I did a double-take when I saw this, because it reminded me that back in 2003, SciAm had published an article by Max Tegmark claiming that it does exist.  At the time I wrote this blog entry pointing out that Tegmark's article wasn't based on science at all, but was pure speculation.  Nice to see somebody agrees with me.

Dec 01, 2008

In time for Christmas - The Claus Effect returns

My first novel is back and available

About ten years ago, David Nickle and I collaborated on a comic adventure entitled The Claus Effect.  This was a first novel for both of us, and it did very well.  But, you know, you expect that over time these things fade.  So imagine my surprise and delight when David told me the other day that there's a considerable stack of Claus Effects available in downtown Toronto--specifically at the modestly-named World's Biggest Bookstore just north of the Eaton Centre.  This is both excellent news and fantastic timing, since TCE is, after all, a Santa Claus story--albeit a Santa Claus who's psychotic and bent on world destruction.  David and I had tons of fun writing this little epic, and now's your chance to read it in all its cynical glory.

Sometimes, books last.  Ten years on the shelves is pretty good.

Oct 26, 2008

I'm Minicon 44 Guest of Honour

I'm excited to be asked to be GOH--and pumped that Stephan Martiniere, my cover artist, will be Artist GOH

I'll be GOH at Minicon, Minnesota's longest-running science fiction convention, over Easter weekend, 2009.  Past GOH's include luminaries such as Gordon R. Dickson, Poul Anderson, Theodore Sturgeon, Larry Niven and Jack Vance.  I'm honored to be in their company!

Minicon is an annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans sponsored by the Minnesota Science Fiction Society (Minn-StF). The convention is held each year in or near Minneapolis, Minnesota over Easter weekend.  The convention has been running annually (and sometimes twice a year!) since 1968.


Hope to see you there!

Aug 07, 2008

Great review of Pirate Sun on Sci Fi UK

They say "planetary romance is alive and well"

Britain's Sci Fi UK website has a smashing review of Pirate Sun.  It's worth quoting at length:

This series by Schroeder succeeds remarkably on two distinct levels. Actually, three levels if you count the hybrid fusion of its two modes as a separate success itself.

On the one hand, the series exemplifies all the many wonders inherent in the Big Dumb Object-or "extremely alien environment"-mode of SF. ...Schroeder has conjured up a mind-croggling "steel beach" to add to the genre's rich roster of such places, worked out its mechanics and cultures with masterful ingenuity, and then figured out what kind of adventure such a place would best support...

But on top of this, he has found a way to legitimately recreate the melodramatic thrills found most prominently in the literature from what editor and critic David Pringle calls "the Age of the Storytellers." The exploits of Chaison and Venera, and the gleeful yet bloody-minded pellmell tone and pace of the telling, hark back to Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexander Dumas and, of course, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Jul 02, 2008

Thanks for the Locus Poll votes!

Filed Under:

Queen of Candesce was one of Locus Magazine's readers' favourite books last year

I just got the July, 2008 issue of Locus magazine, and lo and behold the results of the Locus Poll are out.  Queen of Candesce got an extremely respectable 830 points worth of votes, which places me in the company of authors like Ian McDonald, Charlie Stross, and Bob Wilson as one of their readers' favourite authors of 2007.  

I knew the magazine's reviewers liked that novel--and truth to tell, I've always gotten a great critical reception for my work.  But it's hard sometimes to judge how the readers--people who aren't in the book industry in one way or another--feel about my stuff.  This is a great boost.  To all of you who voted for me... thanks!

And, oh yes, there's only four weeks until Pirate Sun comes out!  So there's much more to come.

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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."