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Downloads

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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Karl Schroeder

Feb 20, 2008

6-alarm fire 1 block from Toronto's Bakka Phoenix bookstore

Filed Under:

625 Queen West gutted; Bakka's at 697 QW

Not surprisingly, I can't get through on Bakka's phone line; but I don't think they've been caught up in the disaster.  Bakka Phoenix is Toronto's oldest SF bookstore, kind of a Mecca for SF travelers.  It's where Cory Doctorow worked before he published his first novel; myself, Peter Watts, and many other Canadian SF writers have held book launches and signings there.

A six-alarm fire is one level below the maximum on Toronto's scale.  I'm not sure what seven would look like, but this one involves over 100 firefighters, a dozen fire trucks, and essentially an entire downtown city block on fire.

The big problem is the cold and wind chill; I just saw a picture of a fire ladder completely encased in ice up against the side of a building.  Whatever they spray freezes instantly, so the storefronts, streets and sidewalks in the area are quickly turning into a glacial mess.  There's also a lot of smoke and transit chaos--just not a good place to be right now.

I wish the best for everybody affected; nobody's died, which is a blessing, but many people are homeless and local businesses may be devastated.  It's very sad.

Feb 19, 2008

Boskone: a great time

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My schedule at Boskone was packed this year, but luckily the Westin Boston Waterfront has a great lobby, which doubles as a bar; this meant that any time I wasn't on a panel or giving a talk or signing books or reading, I was lounging in a high-traffic area.  As a result I was able to connect with a lot of people--really, truly too many to list here--and because there was such a large contingent of Tor Books employees there, also get in a good deal of business.  Huge thanks to the organizers, in particular Mark Olson, for inviting me down this year.

There's a bunch of photos online showing the mayhem--just hop on over to Irene Gallo's website and check out her  Friday and Sunday posts. Here's one I borrowed with her permission, showing Rick Berry (left) and I in approximately the state we were in all weekend:

Boskone Friday

I'd decided to stick around until Monday for a change, so I was able to head out with a small group to Rick's studio on Sunday evening.  Hanging out with the artists was one of the high points of the weekend for me--it's something I rarely get to do, but they're such a literate and interesting group of people--so I had a great time.  When we got back to the convention we found a dead dog party in progress, and were given some fine Ardbeg scotch (which brought tears to my eyes in more ways than one).  Dave Seeley was gracious enough to show up late that night for a further round of joviality before the scotch took hold and I drifted off.

Pleasant company, good food and drink, nice surroundings, and successful business transacted--who could ask for more?

SciBarCamp

Here's your formal invitation to a cool and transformative event happening in Toronto in March

 

SciBarCampThis is fun: I'm helping organize a “SciBarCamp” with a diverse group of local people including entrepreneurs, students, artists, and scientists.  The event will take place at Hart House at the University of Toronto on the weekend of March 15-16, with an opening reception on the evening of March 14.

SciBarCamp is a gathering of scientists, artists, and forward-thinking members of the public for a weekend of talks and discussions.  The goal is to create connections between science, entrepreneurs and local businesses, and arts and culture.  The themes are:

  • The edge of science (eg, synthetic biology, quantum gravity, cognitive science)
  • The edge of technology (eg, mobile web, ambient computing, nanotechnology, web 2.0)
  • Science 2.0 (open access, changing models of publication and collaboration)
  • Scientific literacy and public engagement (eg, one laptop per child project, policy and science, technology as legislation, science as culture, enfranchising the poor, the young, the old)

In the tradition of BarCamps, otherwise known as "unconferences", (see BarCamp.org for more information), the program is decided by the participants at the beginning of the meeting, in the opening reception.  Presentations and discussion topics can be proposed at the SciBarCamp website or on the opening night.

The talks will be informal and interactive; to encourage this, speakers who wish to give PowerPoint presentations will have ten minutes to present, while those without will have twenty minutes.  Around half of the time will be dedicated to small group discussions on topics suggested by the participants.  The social events and meals will make it easy to meet people from different fields and industries.  Our venue, Hart House, is a congenial space with plenty of informal areas to work or talk.  There will be free wireless access throughout.

Our goals are:

  • Igniting new projects, collaborations, business opportunities, and further events.
  • Intellectual stimulation and good conversation.
  • Integrating science into Toronto's cultural, entrepreneurial, and intellectual activites.
  • Protoyping a model that can be easily duplicated elsewhere.

Attendance is free, but there is only space for around 100 people, so please register soon by sending an email to Jen Dodd (dodd.jen@gmail.com) with your name and contact details..  Include a link to your blog or your organization's webpage that we can display with your name on the participants list at www.SciBarCamp.org.

More information can be found at www.SciBarCamp.org.

 

Feb 14, 2008

Boskone changes/additions

Filed Under:

Kaffeeklatsch, reading, signing, and more

Head on over to the Events page of my site for details about my final itinerary at Boskone. 

Feb 13, 2008

Engine of Recall page added

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I'm continuing to add to the site. This time, the short story collection

The Engine of Recall ppbkI've just added a page for my short story collection, The Engine of Recall.  You can find it under the My Books item in the left-hand menu.

The success of this collection has inspired me to start writing short fiction again.  I'd won awards, and been nominated for awards, with some of my short work--but, you gotta understand, nearly all of it was originally published here in Canada.  Until very recently, American markets snubbed my short stories.  I'd concluded that, if my short pieces weren't actually bad (some were obviously very good) they didn't in any case match American tastes.  The U.S. and Britain being the biggest markets for short fiction, I'd concluded it wasn't really worth my while continuing to write the stuff if I only sold it locally.

Maybe it's because I'm now known because of my novels; maybe what was needed was all my stories combined together into one big indigestible lump for readers to buy; but now, I'm regularly receiving requests for short fiction from the U.S.  I'm happy to oblige--though slightly bemused, too, by the turnaround.

 

Feb 11, 2008

Immobilized

Filed Under:

Can't do nothing but sit indoors and write. What a shame

I'm more than halfway through The Sunless Countries, and things are heating up.  The weather in Toronto's been cooperating by cooling things down-- it was -18 last night, with a wind chill in the -30s--so I have no excuses not to work on the book.

It all puts me in the mood to write about the nations of permanent darkness that hide in Virga's 'winter' zones.  They're mostly unknown by people who live in the lit countries, as are the vast reaches of blackness that surround the artificial suns.  It's a realm where 'here be dragons' could in fact be true--and in fact. . ., well, I'm not about to spoil it by revealing more.

But it's glorious fun; there remains an unlimited amount of exploration to be done in Virga.  This book will add as much cool stuff as all the previous books combined.

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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."
    --SFRevu.com


    "...A rollicking good read... fun, bookish, and full of insane air battles"
    --io9.com


    "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."
    --Locus