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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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public panels

Feb 04, 2021

My Boskone 58 Schedule

I'll be attending Boskone virtually this year, and you can too

I've got some really cool programming lined up for this year's Boskone, which will be happening February 12-14, 2021. To become part of it, head on over to

The con has managed to pander to most of my obsessions this time around, so I'm looking forward to these panels. It's going to be great to be on these with old friends like Charlie Stross, Vandana Singh, Cory Doctorow, Toby Buckell, Allen Steele, Mark Olson and Walter Jon Williams. Check out the schedule, and I hope you can drop by!


Radical Economics in Speculative Fiction Format: Panel

12 Feb 2021, Friday 15:30 - 16:30, Burroughs (Webinar) (Virtual Westin)

Currently scholars from around the world are calling out the inherent injustice and destructive nature of endless economic growth. New economic theories are coming up, from degrowth and agrowth to eco-anarchism and eco-socialism. How does science fiction reflect these ongoing paradigm shifts in our world? How may we take these real world ideas and play with them in fiction?

S.B. Divya, Karl Schroeder, Vandana Singh, Charles Stross

Into the Great Unknown: Migration as Plot Format: Panel

12 Feb 2021, Friday 17:00 - 18:00, Griffin (Mtg Room) (Virtual Westin)

Floods. War. Famine. The 10 plagues of Egypt. Any number of calamities can cause peoples to move en masse from their home and travel into the great unknown in search of survival, safety, and security. Migration is depicted in various ways from caravans to generation starships. What do we need to consider when telling these stories? What can and / or should be left behind? How do we handle exploration into the unknown? What part might a people's history, or that of a character, play in the story?

Vandana Singh, Tobias Buckell, Carlos Hernandez (M) , Aliette de Bodard , Karl Schroeder

Reading: Cory Doctorow and Karl Schroeder Format: Reading

12 Feb 2021, Friday 20:00 - 21:00, Indy D (Mtg Room) (Virtual Westin)

Karl Schroeder, Cory Doctorow


Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder Format: Kaffeeklatsch

13 Feb 2021, Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, Indy B - Kaffee (Mtg Room) (Virtual Westin)

You must signup to participate in this session by clicking on the blue button to the right to "Sign up and add it to your schedule." Space is limited to 25 people.

Karl Schroeder

Are We Ever Getting Off this Rock? Format: Panel

13 Feb 2021, Saturday 19:00 - 20:00, Harbor Ballroom (Webinar) (Virtual Westin)

Could there be permanent settlement anywhere but Earth? What would it take to create a colony elsewhere in our solar system? The three most important factors in determining the desirability of a property are "location, location, location." What are the hot properties in our neck of the woods?


Allen M. Steele, Karl Schroeder, Kenneth Schneyer (Johnson & Wales University), Mark Olson

Imagining the World of the Future Today Format: Panel

14 Feb 2021, Sunday 13:00 - 14:00, Marina Ballroom (Webinar) (Virtual Westin)

It's typical in the science fictional future, for the human population to not be jobless or homeless while robots take over work of all kinds or the Earth (dystopic or post-apocalyptic futures excepted). How do we perceive the evolution of human work? How do we avoid the parenthetical exceptions above? Everything is on the table and the future is ours. 

Walter Jon Williams (Word Domination), Alastair Reynolds , Linda D. Addison , Allen M. Steele (M), Karl Schroeder

Sep 22, 2020

Polyplexus Ask Me Anything session

Sept. 22, 2020 you can join me for a 90 minute conversation about systems--natural, artificial, and in between

On Sept. 22, the gracious people at Polyplexus are hosting me for a 90 minute discussion about our planetary crisis and potential solutions to it that involve systems thinking--and, potentially, a turning-away from the linear, mechanistic industrial culture we currently have.

Go register on Eventbrite or to join the session. The session will be moderated by Laura Anne Edwards, NASA Datanaut and TED Resident.

Aug 12, 2020

ReCONvene this weekend

Filed Under:

Join me, Alastair Reynolds, Ted Chiang, Martha Wells, Erine Underwood and R.W.W. Greene on Saturday

The one-day (but heavy-hitting!) ReCONVene SF convention takes place this weekend. I'll be joining the above authors for the following panel:


Saturday, August 15, 2020

The AI Amongst Us Format: Panel

15 Aug 2020, Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Earthseed Room (Online Convention (via Zoom))

AIs are here, slipping through our everyday world, crunching numbers, sorting data, and learning their field of study at an exponential rate. However, general artificial intelligence still remains a distant digital dream. Has AI failed us or have we failed AI? Has innovation stalled? What can researchers learn from science fiction regarding sentient AI systems? What grains of innovation inspiration remain untested within the pages of novels and will increased computing power help bridge that uncanny gap?

(As you can imagine, I have a few ideas about this...)


Jul 28, 2020

My CoNZealand Schedule

Here's what I'll be up to during the 2020 Worldcon.

This year's Worldcon is virtual, so you can easily attend! Zip on over to the CoNZealand website to get registered and attend any or all of the events below. Particularly of note for me this year, you can come to my reading, attend my Kaffeeklatsch, or join the discussion on my idea of "thalience."

Future Laws

 Format: Panel

29 Jul 2020, Wednesday 10:00 - 10:50, Programme Room 1 (Webinar) (Programming)

Law changes when the world changes. When you can duplicate a person, who owns the house? Which one is married to the spouse? How do you define property when physical objects are almost worthless but computing power is in short supply? Is it ethical to genetically "correct" autism in the womb? We're going to have to decide.


Future Economics

 Format: Panel

29 Jul 2020, Wednesday 13:00 - 13:50, Programme Room 4 (Webinar) (Programming)

Will we ever fully disentangle from the physical? Blockchains, crytocurrency, differently organic sentinence. Will economic concepts of supply, demand, money, resources hold up? Evolve? Or be completely different?  And what might they look like?

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

Format: Kaffeeklatsch

31 Jul 2020, Friday 13:00 - 13:50, Kaffeklatch and Literary Beer Room (Programming)

Would you like the chance to video chat with nine other fans and a writer? Grab your favorite beverage and sign up for a spot!

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Format: Reading

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 09:30 - 09:55, Reading Room 2 (Programming)


The Day After Tomorrow: Near Future SF


Format: Panel

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Programme Room 3 (Webinar) (Programming)


What are the challenges of SF set in the near future? What are good examples?

Thalience and Sentience

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 13:00 - 13:50, Programme Room 4 (Webinar) (Programming)

Thalience and sentience. Is there really a difference? How do we tease it out?


Feb 07, 2020

Silicon Flatirons

Filed Under:

I'll be a guest panelist this Sunday at this annual conference

We'll be discussing "Technology optimism and pessimism" at this year's Silicon Flatirons conference in Boulder, Colorado. Here's who I'll be speaking with:

Keynote Panel: A Conversation About the Future
  • The Honorable Phil Weiser — Moderator
    Attorney General, State of Colorado; Founder and Executive Fellow, Silicon Flatirons; Adjunct Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Casey Fiesler — Panelist
    Assistant Professor, Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Patty Limerick — Panelist
    Faculty Director and Chair of the Board, Center of the American West, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Karl Schroeder — Panelist
    Futurist and Author

My Boskone 57 schedule

I'll be packing a lot into two days. Come out and visit

Here's what I'll be up to--a particularly fun set of panels this year!

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Format: Reading

 14 Feb 2020, Friday 20:30 - 20:55

 Your Generation Ship Has Landed! Now What?

 14 Feb 2020, Friday 21:00 - 21:50

Our behemoth of a spaceship has been in transit since the days of our many-times-great grandparents. We've finally reached an Earth-like planet and are ready to go. What will our panel (of appointed/anointed/hereditary/elected?) leaders suggest doing first? Have they forgotten something important? Watch the panel map out our future and that of the human race on this, our new home. Then suggest your own ideas.

 100 Years From Now…

 15 Feb 2020, Saturday 12:00 - 12:50

 The world as we know it has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. How about the next 100? What might everyday life be like a century from now? What technological marvels will the near future bring? What social changes will take place? How about natural and human-made disasters? Overall — where will we be, and how will we get there? Is the Singularity coming? "Day Million"? Or will our grandchildren herd sheep and shiver in the dark?

Futuristic Societies in Science Fiction

 15 Feb 2020, Saturday 14:00 - 14:50

 Creatures that are part human and part machine. Sentient alien species. People living on ships and across time itself. The future is full of people. So what does it mean to be a person in the future? How might futuristic societies evolve based upon their surroundings and histories? How can we escape the perils and pitfalls of contemporary social norms in order to create societies that feel completely fresh and new?

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

 15 Feb 2020, Saturday 16:00 - 16:50


 15 Feb 2020, Saturday 17:00 - 17:50

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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."

    "...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."