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.
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.
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:
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.
My first novel, written with David Nickle, is finally available in ebook form, thanks to ChiZine Publications
There came a dark December when David Nickle and I got fed up with jolly Santa and all the false cheer of this God of Consumerism, and decided to do something about it. (Actually, it was summer and we were on writer's retreat in the country, but this version plays better, don't you think?) The result was a short story, The Toy Mill, that subsequently won Canada's 1993 Aurora Award for best short spec-fic story of the year.
A few years later we resurrected cold dead Claus in a short novel, which we wrote together over a weekend for the 3 Day Novel Contest. The result was The Claus Effect which, while it didn't win the contest, was published by Tesseract Books in 1997.
Fueled by a diet of chocolate-covered coffee beans, lack of sleep and an unremitting mix-tape loop of nauseatingly peppy Christmas jingles, The Claus Effect emerged from our first-generation laptops as a hallucinatory ode to the fall of Soviet Russia, the depradations of consumerism, to all the world's lost children and lost dreams, and the bizarre, terrifying figure at the center of this cyclone--his red greatcoat flapping, his beard whipped by glacial cold: our fever-dream of timeless, pitiless, relentless Claus.
You can buy The Claus Effect in ebook form now thanks to ChiZine Publications.
We're touring for this one. Details below
Neal Stephenson's inspired vision to inspire a new generation to enter the sciences and engineering, the Hieroglyph Project, has launched its self-titled anthology. We held a book launch here in Toronto on Sept. 13, which was well attended, and will be doing more events over the next month, all across North America.
Here's what people are saying about Hieroglyph so far:
Goodreads (average rating of 4.6 out of 5 so far)
Slate (story excerpt)
io9 (Madeline Ashby's story excerpted)
There's going to be a lot more; this is just a sample. Meanwhile, we're doing launch events across the country. I'll be attending two more, myself: on October 2, I'll be in Washington, and we'll be discussing Hieroglyph at the World Bank Narrative Hackathon in Phoenix, AZ October 21-25th. Hope you can make one of those!
(My story in the anthology is "Degrees of Freedom," which is about a separatist Haida nation in the Pacific Northwest that uses new technologies of governance to render the current national and provincial governments in the region obsolete.)
The first episodes of the graphic novel version of SoS have been collected in a single volume. You can buy it now!
Run on over to Blind Ferret and you can pick up the print edition of Sun of Suns, Vol. 1. This volume collects the first episodes of the story. You'll meet all the main characters here: Hayden Griffin, our sullen hero; Lady Venera Fanning, mad princess and spymaster; Martor the ship's go-fer, and even the pirate Dentius and his men.
The script for this excellent adaptation is by Jeff Moss, the ink's by Guy Allen, and color by Michael Birkhofer.
This was an amazing project and I had great fun working with such talented artists to bring my visions of Virga to life. I hope you enjoy the result.
My latest "scenario fiction" for the Canadian military is out
Back in 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a short novel, which they named Crisis in Zefra, about future peacekeeping and the evolution of the military in the 21st century. Zefra did very well; you can learn more about it elsewhere on my site. In 2010, they commissioned a second project.
Crisis in Urlia is now published. You can read it online for free or download the PDF. Where Zefra concentrated on military evolution on the squad level, Urlia is about command-and-control, and includes a vision of a crowdsourced military that some might find downright shocking, as well as side forays into online nations and religions, post-agricultural food supplies, and 3d printed buildings.
These works view the future through a particular lens (that of the military) but include as broad (practically epic, in fact) synopsis as I could craft of all the changes facing humanity and our environment over the next thirty years or so. In terms of the rigour that went into them, they're probably my best science fiction.
Saturday, March 29 at 3, at Bakka Books here in Toronto
Fresh out of a dentist's appointment, I will be launching Lockstep at Bakka-Phoenix Books on Saturday, March 29 at 3:00. There'll be entertainment (me), copies of Lockstep to be signed and book-related ideas to be explained, and other novels to be bought (hint: we'll be breaking into the vault to offer some out-of-print hardcover editions of novels like Ventus and Permanence).
If you're really lucky you'll get to hear me do a reading with my mouth still frozen from the dentist. Major fun!
You can get to or contact Bakka-Phoenix here:
84 Harbord St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 1G5
It's a beautiful edition
The mass market paperback edition of The Sunless Countries will be released tomorrow, May 8, 2012. This book starts a new storyline, but brings in some old friends and definitely begins tying up the loose ends (and there are many) from the previous three books.
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:
For a complete bio, go here. To contact me, email karl at kschroeder dot com
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:
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.
"Lean and hugely engaging ... and highly recommended."
--Open Letters Monthly, an Arts and Literature Review
(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."