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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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Karl Schroeder

Feb 05, 2015

Class visit (and you can drop by)

I'll be at the University of Toronto February 26, reading and answering questions from 7:30 pm

They're studying Sun of Suns at the U of T this term and Professor Michael Johnstone has invited me down to talk to the class on February 25th.  This event is open to the public, so if you want to come by, we'll be at the Muzzo Family Alumni Hall 400, at 121 St. Joseph Street.  We'll be starting at 7:30 p.m. with a reading, and then I'll be doing a Q&A.  My priority is to answer queries by the students, but I'm not about to turn down any good question.  Afterward, there'll be signing.

I'm flattered that the class has chosen Sun of Suns, and would like to thank Prof. Johnstone and the class for inviting me in.

Feb 01, 2015

Lockstep makes Locus's Recommended Reading List

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...And that's nine for nine! Every novel I've published since 2000 has made the list

Once again, Locus Magazine has put me in their annual Recommended Reading List. This time it's for Lockstep (which will be out in paperback in March) but, in a twist, they've included me in the Young Adult category rather than Science Fiction.

I don't know how to feel about that.  I'm flattered to be told that I'm a success in the YA category, and I sort of understand why I'm there, in that Lockstep's protagonist is not an adult, there's no sex or graphic violence, and all ends well.  But since when were those things required to make something an "adult" book?  I wasn't writing a book to exclude a young audience, but then, I wasn't writing it to exclude an adult audience either.  When I was growing up, these categories weren't so distinct and the result was I was reading books like The Worm Ouroborous and Dune when I was twelve.  And why not?  My nephew read Ventus when he was the same age and had no difficulty with it; so what's with this YA stuff? 

I wrote Lockstep to consciously hie back to the classic space operas of the 1950s and 60s, but updated and--unlike every book that's used faster than light travel to generate its galactic empire--scientifically possible with what we know today.  That was all.  Whether kids read it or adults wasn't the point.

All of which means I'm overjoyed to be selected again for the list, and not at all upset to be in the YA category.  I just don't really understand why the category exists.  It's worrisome in that many potential adult readers who might really enjoy it may not even consider the book because of that categorization. That would be a shame for everybody involved.

Ah well.  Thanks, Locus, and everybody who's enjoyed the novel--whether you consider yourself an adult, a "youth" or (and this is what I hope) another kind of person who falls into no marketing category:  namely, a reader.

Jan 11, 2015

...And on to Boskone

Filed Under:

Boston in February - just like Toronto in February, but with a party

I'll be attending Boskone 52 February 13-15, 2015, and will be on the program. (In particular, I'll be autographing Sunday morning and holding a Kaffeeklatsch that afternoon if you want to drop by and chat.)  Here's my schedule:

The Cutting Edge

Friday 14:00 - 14:50, Harbor II (Westin)

Panelists discuss scientific and engineering developments that are new or emerging, and then venture into the realm of those that may be just a short step from development. What ideas are within our reach that recently seemed like pure science fiction? And what direction will technology likely take in the future?

Tom Easton (M), Guy Consolmagno, Justine Graykin, Mark L. Olson, Karl Schroeder

Energy Futures

Friday 18:00 - 18:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

"We'll freeze in the dark!" "Peak oil is yet to come!" "Solar is the future!" "Coal means energy independence!" There has to be more to the future of energy than mindless slogans, doesn't there? In this panel we discuss what we know, what we can expect, and think about what we don't know regarding energy over the next few decades.

Vincent Docherty, Mark L. Olson, Karl Schroeder

Dune — 50 Years later

Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Harbor I (Westin)

Frank Herbert's Dune, published in 1955, was an epic science fiction saga that won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award in 1966. Now, 50 years after its publication, we look back at the legacy left by Frank Herbert and his unique vision of a feudal interstellar society that was rocked by political machinations, contentious religious orders, and a very lucrative spice trade — and giant worms! How has this seminal work held up over time? What place might it take in the science fiction hall of fame? Panelists also discuss the impact that Dune has had on their own work as well as on the development of science and science fiction.

Kenneth Schneyer (M), Scott Lynch, Beth Meacham, Joan Slonczewski, Walter Jon Williams, Karl Schroeder

Autographing: A.C.E. Bauer, Darlene Marshall, Leigh Perry (Toni L. P. Kelner), Karl Schroeder

Sunday 10:00 - 10:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

A.C.E. Bauer, Leigh Perry, Darlene Marshall, Karl Schroeder

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder


Sunday 14:00 - 14:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)


Back to the Confusion next weekend

Filed Under:

I'm not on any programming, but am happy to visit with old friends and make new ones

I'll be visiting Michigan to attend Back to the Confusion next weekend, January 16-18, 2015.  

Confusion is one of my favourite conventions.  I've made some enduring friendships there, and it's proven to be one of those stealth cons where the most surprising people show up, and you can actually have them to yourself for a while.  Not to knock the big cons, and maybe part of it is because Michigan has a kind of a Canadian vibe to it that helps me feel comfortable there, but really, it's just a great con.

Hope to see you there!

Dec 15, 2014

Ebook edition of The Claus Effect available today

My first novel, written with David Nickle, is finally available in ebook form, thanks to ChiZine Publications

The Claus Effect ebookThere 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.

Dec 03, 2014

Will Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Nanotech, Synthetic Biology and Other Forms of Futuristic Technology Replace More Work than They Create?

Filed Under:

The Millennium Project is launching a new study to explore global long-term structural unemployment, new forms of work, futuristic economics, and strategies for governments, corporations, universities, NGOS, and individuals to pursue for improving global prospects

(PRWEB) November 30, 2014

“Future artificial intelligence that can autonomously create, re-write, and implement software simultaneously around the world is a unique historical factor in job displacement,” says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project, and adds that, “the Internet is also a historical factor in job creation. Information and means of production are far more open and distributed in the forthcoming biological and artificial intelligence revolutions than they were during the industrial revolution and the information revolution; hence, the frontiers for work may be greater than the information age revolution.”

Millennium Project Full SizeThe Chairs of The Millennium Project’s 50 Nodes around the world were asked to rate 19 potential global futures research studies as to their priority to be performed by the project. The future of work and income gaps was rated the most important. “Long-term and large-scale strategies are needed locally, nationally, and globally to address the potential scope and spectrum of unemployment and income gaps in the foreseeable future due to the acceleration, globalization, and integration of technological capacities, population growth, and current economic assumptions,” says Elizabeth Florescu, Director of Research of The Millennium Project.

 The Pew Research Center found that leading expertsare divided about whether future technology will replace more jobs than they create by 2025. “The assumptions behind both of these potential futures should be identified, assessed, and explored in depth for their long-term implications and systematically discussed in workshops around the world,” says Cornelia Daheim, Chair of the Millennium Project’s Node in Germany and Head of International Projects at Z_punkt the Foresight Company. Individuals and institutions interested in being involved in this research are invited to contact the Project.

The Millennium Project is a global participatory think tank connecting 50 Nodes around the world that identify important long-range challenges and strategies, and initiate and conduct foresight studies, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Its mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual "State of the Future" reports, the "Futures Research Methodology" series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies. Over 4,500 futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities have participated in The Millennium Project’s research, since its inception, in 1991. The Millennium Project was selected among the top ten think tanks in the world for new ideas and paradigms by the 2013 University of Pennsylvania’s GoTo Think Tank Index, and 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its contributions to collective intelligence systems. The 2013-14 "State of the Future was named November 2014 “Book of the Month” by Global Foresight Books.

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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."