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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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For my old weblog material, visit

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


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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.

Feb 08, 2008

Vote Venera in '08

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Because nomination is the sincerest form of flattery

Yes, there is an alternative!  It's awards season again, and my latest novel Queen of Candesce is eligible--for the Hugo, the Aurora, and others.  If you were a member of Worldcon last year, or are already this year, you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo--but better do it soon, because the deadline is the end of February! 

Similarly, Canadians can nominate for the Aurora online, but be quick about it.  Nominations close March 17.

And why do I think you should nominate Queen?  Well, don't take my word for it:

With Queen of Candesce, Karl Schroeder's Virga saga establishes itself as an SF saga of the same order as LeGuin's Earthsea stories, Asimov's Robot stories, and Niven's Ringworld stories.

--SF Revu

Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley’s Gaean trilogy and Jack L. Chalker’s Well of Souls series, Schroeder’s saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building.

--Publisher's Weekly

Queen of Candesce . . . offers a generous abundance of reading pleasure, and its confirms that Karl Schroeder belongs in the front ranks of SF world-builders.

SF remains the home to some of the most visionary writers of the day, and to some of the most overlooked.  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

Vote Venera
Vote Venera in '08!

Feb 06, 2008

. . .And speaking of being singled out

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Pirate Sun will be August, 2008's SciFi Essential book

Once again the SciFi channel is gracing me with a special honour:  Pirate Sun will be August, 2008's SciFi Essentials title. 

The SciFi Essentials home page describes the programme like this:

Each month we select a new book as a SCI FI Essential. That means it deserves to be counted among the finest works of the genre.

My novel Lady of Mazes was also a SciFi Essential, back in 2005. 

This month, by the way, the Essentials book is Paul Melko's Singularity's Ring, which is just fantastic.  This is a first novel that reads like the work of an accomplished master. Melko's a superhot talent, and I hope the Essentials seal of approval gives this book the attention it deserves. 

Okay, THIS is bragging

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Locus has listed every one of my books in the top two-dozen for its publication year; so why am I still struggling to establish myself?

I just received the February edition of Locus magazine, and lo and behold Queen of Candesce has made their Recommended Reading list for 2007.  It's one of 28, as usual--a little over two dozen science fiction books that this industry mag recommends, out of approximately 250 published last year.

Of course this is great--but here's the thing:  every one of my novels has made this list.

My books regularly make various top-ten lists, but this list is important because it's some of the genre's chief reviewers and critics weighing in.  I believe, since we're up to five in a row, that I can sense a trend here.  And you'd think it would be a good sign--but nothing in publishing is easy to interpret.  I still feel like the best-kept secret in SF; I mean, if I'm so shit-hot, why is it that not a single one of my books has gone into a second printing?  If every one of my novels since the year 2000 has hit the top-ten recommendation lists, why do I still get invited to participate in convention panels for new and first-time authors?  Why am I not on the top-ten sales lists?

It could be I have a face only a reviewer could love.  --And mind you, I'm not complaining because, after all, I am being regularly published.  My fantasies of being a science fiction writer are getting indulged by the real world. 

Maybe, in the end, that's as good as it needs to get. 

. . .Naaaaaaw.  I still want that bestseller.

Feb 04, 2008

I'm writing short stories again

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Toby Buckell and I have just sold one; another comes out next month

Kickass space opera master Toby Buckell and I just blitzed a story ("Mitigation") and sold it to Pyr's next anthology, Fast Forward 2.  It's a gonzo, post-cyberpunk romp through an open arctic ocean about twenty years hence.Solaris New SF 2

Also, my short story "Book, Theatre, and Wheel", will appear in the Solaris Book of New SF #2, which will be on sale in March!  (Actually, you can order it now; it'll be in the stores in March.)

These are both going to be fantastic anthologies, featuring some of the finest of the current generation of SF writers (and, for some reason, me).  They're also triumphal examples of the new generation of SF publishing houses--neither big presses nor small houses, but something in between:  medium-sized publishers, an animal that was never able to survive in the wild before.  Both Pyr and Solaris are surviving--and thriving!--which signals a new era of choice and flexibility for both readers and authors.  All in all, a very good time for science fiction.





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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."