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 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. I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure how you can get ahold of at the moment, but I'll find out. 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.
It's available now
Ashes of Candesce will hit the shelves on February 14, but meanwhile,Tor.com has an excerpt you can read online! I hope you like it.
Ashes brings together all the disparate plot threads from the first four books, and wraps them all up in one epic adventure. You'll encounter all the main characters from the previous books, and some surprising new ones. And, we finally get to see more than just a glimpse of the strange posthuman world that lies outside Virga.
The Virga series has been a great ride, and I hope you enjoy reading the cataclysmic ending as much as I did writing it.
Coinciding with the launch of the paper edition of The Sunless Countries, MacMillan and Audible.com have released the audiobook version!
As with the previous books, this one is read by the inimitable Joyce Irvine, with David Thorne. They bring a great one-two punch to these stories; I'm very lucky to have such lively and entertaining readers.
I wish I could release the persistent massively multiplayer online role playing version on the same day as well, but that's a little harder to do. But hey, if you have the coders and a server farm just sitting around idle (hint hint, Matrix Online), maybe we should talk.
A fourth Virga book? Where can we go after Pirate Sun?
What do you do when you've created an open-ended universe of unmatched richness and potential? You keep exploring it! I'm very far from exhausting the possibilities of my world Virga, and here's The Sunless Countries to prove it. This novel is connected to the previous three in the series, but doesn't require that you've read them. It introduces new characters in a new setting while retaining enough links to the other books for fans of those stories. It really is all one grand epic tale, but I've tried to keep the action local in each book, and that's definitely the case here.
Meet Leal Hieronyma Maspeth. She's a history tutor at the University of Sere, in the nation of Abyss. Leal's a curious mixture of discipline and unbridled imagination: she works hard to get ahead in her cut-throat academic world, but nonetheless dreams of being swept away by the dashing sun lighter, Hayden Griffin, who has recently come to Sere to build a new sun for some other country.
As events conspire, she will end up meeting Griffin, but nothing is like she imagined it would be. In particular, she never dreamt that something ancient and terrible might awaken in the darkness beyond Sere's streetlights--perhaps a fabled worldwasp, come to wreack vengeance on humanity for some long-forgotten slight. Nor could she have anticipated that, in Abyss's current anti-intellectual backlash, she would end up being the only person who even knows what a worldwasp is, much less how to deal with it...
The Sunless Countries will be appearing on bookshelves within the next few days. I've just received my first copy (and, by the way, on the actual book, the bands of colour on the top and bottom aren't lime green like they are in the above picture; they're indigo/purple, to go with the overall design). In a couple of days, you too can meet Leal, and the worldwasps...
(Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce are combined in Cities of the Air)
“The most thought-provoking and interesting work of hard SF that
I've read in the past year."
"With paradigm shifts one inside another like a set of Russian dolls, this splendid novel propagates into a demolition derby of Big Ideas. Required post-human reading.”
—Scott Westerfeld, author of The Risen Empire
“An astonishing saga. One helluva read!”
“Karl Schroeder has always had a knack for intelligent and provocative thought experiments disguised as space opera. Now he ups the ante with a fascinating riff on consensual [and conflicting] realities. Lady of Mazes contains more cool ideas than Ventus and Permanence combined.”