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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.

Personal tools

public panels

Jul 17, 2015

My Sasquan Schedule (Revised August 19)

I'll be at Worldcon this year. Here's how to find me.

I hope to see you in Spokane.  Here's what I'll be doing:

The Changing Face of Hard Science Fiction

Thursday 16:00 - 16:45, Bays 111B (CC)

Hard science fiction has roots that at least go back to Verne, and it's been a major part of the field -- some would argue it's been the center of the field, or even the only real SF -- since at least the 1940s.  But like the rest of SF, it has evolved and change.  Where is it now and where is it going? 

The Future of Government

Thursday 17:00 - 17:45, 300B (CC)

We like to think that US democracy is the ultimate and best form of government. But the world has seen many different forms of government over the centuries, and even today many different forms exist around the world. What will governments in the US and other countries be like in the next 10, 50, or 200 years? How will changing technologies and world conditions (e.g., climate change) affect those forms? Are there forms of government that have been proposed that have never existed in the real world, but might?

Genre and the Global Police State

Thursday 20:00 - 20:45, 300C (CC)

Thanks to the Five Eyes -- the joint intelligence sharing treaty between the USA, UK, Australia, and others -- and the total penetration of the internet by NSA/GCHQ monitoring, we now live in a society that is a secret policeman's dream. Wikileaks and then Edward Snowden blew the lid off the scandalous subversion of western democracies by unaccountable secret government agencies. In past decades, SF and fantasy provided a vehicle for trenchant social and political commentary on on-going cultural changes (consider "The Forever War" as a comment on Vietnam), but where are the genre works dealing with the global police state?

SF and Futurism (Moderator)
Friday, August 21 2015, 1:00 pm 
with Trina Marie Phillips, Matt Wallace 

Kaffee Klatsche 

Friday, August 21 2015, 4:00 pm 

Reading 
Saturday, August 22 2015, 12:00 pm 

Climate Change and Health

Sunday 11:00 - 11:45, Bays 111B (CC)

The climate is changing in ways that have big implications for the future well-being of humans. There will be direct effects (e.g., heat stress) and indirect effects (e.g., disease-carrying mosquitos moving northward). The panelists will discuss what is happening now, what we can expect in the near future, and what might occur down the road if climate change continues on its present course.

Autographing CANCELLED - TRYING TO RESCHEDULE

Sunday 12:00 - 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

Apr 08, 2015

Ad Astra schedule

I'll be there this weekend, Saturday 11th and Sunday the 12th of April, 2015

Saturday

A Trillion Is a Statistic ◼Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Room: Markham B

Panellists: Andrew Barton, Ian Keeling

It happens so often in science fiction there's a name for it: "earth-shattering kaboom." From Lensmen to Ender's Game and beyond, sf has been solving problems with genocide for decades. Is this just authorial laziness, motivating heroes with a big enough bang, or is reflective of something dark in the genre's soul?

A.I. and Us: Heuristics of Surpassing the Human Brain ◼Science & Technology

Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Room: Aurora

Panellists: Hayden Trenholm, Madeline Ashby, Nina Munteanu

When the BBC posts an article reporting the world's preeminent theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warning that AI will eventually spell the end of the human race, all eyes turn to predictions of the Singularity. Those same predictions put it within the prime of the upcoming generation of scientists and engineers, so what teachings can the current generation pass on to insure the singularity doesn't mean the end of the human race? Or is the deprecation of our intelligence inevitable...


Sunday


Readings: Karl Schroeder & Hayden Trenholm ◼Readings & Podcasts

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Room: Buttonville

Panellist: Hayden Trenholm

Feb 20, 2014

Mathematics in Science Fiction - this weekend

I'll be one of the speakers at the Fields Institute's panel discussion

How does math influence science fiction?  In my case, I'm functionally inumerate and yet have created hard-SF universes that others have written scientific papers about.  How does that work?  This Saturday myself, Suzanne Church and Tony Pi will be talking about the intersection point of math and imagination--and perhaps, about the idea that there's no real difference between the two.

See you there!

Fields Institute Event

Aug 17, 2013

My 2013 Worldcon schedule

It's a busy one, though I'll only be there for Saturday and Sunday

Keeping in the spirit of dumping all kinds of news at once, here's my schedule for the 2013 World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which is taking place over the Labour Day weekend. It's a whirlwind visit as I need to get back to Toronto to continue futuring for my new employer, Idea Couture. Luckily, I've got lots going on. If I'm lucky, I'll even get there early enough Friday night to take over the bathtub bar at the Tor party. We'll see. Meanwhile, here's my itinerary:

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Saturday 10:00 - 11:00

Karl Schroeder 


Autographing: Ellen Datlow, Josh Rountree, Karl Schroeder, Lynne M. Thomas

Saturday 12:00 - 13:00

Ellen Datlow , Lynne M. Thomas , Josh Rountree  , Karl Schroeder 


Consensual Reality: Your Relationship to the World

Saturday 15:00 - 16:00

Google Glasses, augmented reality, kinetic gaming, tactile transmission systems. These and other new technologies are on the horizon to transmogrify sense and sensation. Google glasses are the first step to putting an overlay on the reality we see. This opens the door to hiding the ugly and changing what we see. When we do this socially it leads to possible consensual reality as in the works of Vinge, Schroeder and others. What will such capability mean in reality? Has science fiction explored the societal consequences?

Edie Stern (M), Yasser Bahjatt  , Walter Jon Williams  , Ben Bova  , Karl Schroeder 


Kaffeeklatsch: Nancy Kress, Edward M. Lerner, Karl Schroeder

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00

Edward M. Lerner  , Nancy Kress  , Karl Schroeder 


Speed-Forecasting Workshop

Sunday 10:00 - 13:00

We will do a quick analysis of the future, with the end product being four scenarios that highlight different possibilities. Come take your work to the future!

Karl Schroeder


Have We Lost the Future?

Sunday 14:00 - 15:00

Where science fiction once looked to the future as the setting for speculation, nowadays the focus seems to be on alternate pasts, fantasy worlds, or consciously "retro" futures. We're no longer showing the way to what things might be like. We discuss whether this is connected to the general fear of decline and decay in the English-language world -- or has science fiction simply run out of ideas?

Karen Burnham (M), Brenda Cooper  , Karl Schroeder  , Willie Siros  , Derek Kunsken 


As You Know, Jim...

Sunday 15:00 - 16:00

Exposition is never easy. How can writers communicate the details of a setting, magical system or incredible scientific breakthrough without losing half their audience? What makes a readers eyes glaze over and how do you avoid it?

Michelle Sagara (M) , Tanya Huff  , Karl Schroeder  , Jack McDevitt  , Walter Jon Williams 


First Contact Without a Universal Translator

Sunday 17:00 - 18:00

How do we establish a common conceptual base to communicate with another species? Sure, we have numbers and the hydrogen atom in common, but how far would that get us in a world of beings who share none of our sensory apparatus?

Lawrence M. Schoen (M) , Paige E. Ewing  , Karl Schroeder 

By the way, if you want to plan your days, the entire schedule is or will shortly be online at http://www.lonestarcon3.org/guests/appearing.shtml.  

That's it. See you all there!

 

International Festival of Authors

Filed Under:

Come on out on Thursday!

I'm going to have the privilege of sitting down with Hugo Award winning author Robert Charles Wilson this Thursday for a public discussion about worldbuilding. You're invited to come down and sit in. Bob and I will be chatting at the International Festival of Authors. The venue is the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place down at Toronto's harbourfront.

You can find further details here--but briefly, it's starting at 5:30 on Thursday August 22, 2013. Adding structure and sanity to the discussion will be Bert Archer, noted author, critic, journalist and essayist. It should be a lively combination, especially since Bob and I have such widely divergent (but equally rigorous) approaches to presenting our worlds. No hints--you'll have to show up to find out what I mean.

Oct 16, 2012

The Future of Science Fiction

I'll be on a panel on this subject Nov. 7

My editor, David Hartwell, and Elizabeth Bear and I will be talking about the future of SF at the annual New York Library Association conference, which is being held in Saratoga Springs, NY. This is pretty timely as there's a fair amount of buzz on the subject lately, mostly touched off by Paul Kincaid's review of several Year's Best story collections; I've put in my two cents about that already. 

So I've talked about rolling up our sleeves and reinjecting energy into the genre; but what does that look like? Well, for starters, it looks like Hieroglyph, which I'm part of. The Hieroglyph project is looking for new symbols of a viable future. If you imagine all our existing glyphs--the rocket ship, the robot, the flying car--as crusted and plastered over with decades of associations and past interpretations, then it seems really hard to see the excitement that once lay under all that cruft. (The quintessential example for me is Star Trek, where the first series was about the adventure of space exploration, and the subsequent series deteriorated into sentimental tales about managerial team-building in a variety of idealized office buildings called Enterprise, Deep Space Nine etc. Where's the excitement in that?) So what can we create now that has the same mythic dimension to it, the same instantly recognizable impact, as the finned rocket ship, or the metal man? Hieroglyph is about consciously crafting such new mythic symbols.

As an ironic counterpoint to that, one of my long-term projects has been to show how, without invoking any new science or technology, we can still invent entirely new science fictional settings, places so gobsmackingly cool that any number of novels and stories could be set there without exhausting them. (I'm talking of course about Virga, and my forthcoming Lockstep.) The idea here is that we are so far from exhausting the wonder in what we already have that it's hardly even necessary to invoke new tech or science to create fantastical and unheard-of visions. I've proven this with the worlds of Permanence and Sun of Suns; I'm about to do it again with Lockstep. There's nothing wrong with a new hieroglyph, but what we already have is amazing enough, if we get off our fat asses and use our imaginations a bit.

Partly, though, the future of SF has to do with reinventing the future itself. After getting a degree in foresight and practicing futurism for a few years now, I can see how the vision of the future of SF really has diverged from the projections made by professional futurists.  Science fiction's future is no longer our future. But it could be.

So this is what we'll be talking about on the 7th in Saratoga Springs. And it's also what I'll be twittering about for the next while--and, most importantly, my next stories and novel are going to explore some new directions. Look to this space, and those. It's coming.

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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