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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

Jul 17, 2015

Lockstep nominated for the Aurora Award

Filed Under:

In the Best Young Adult Novel - English category

My novel Lockstep is up for an Aurora!  I'm in good company, nominated alongside people like Kelley Armstrong and Charles de Lint.  I've previously won the award, in particular for my novel Permanence, but that was in the Best Novel - English category.  It's cool to be nominated in the YA category because I was hoping that this book would appeal to a younger audience as well as my established fans.  The nomination suggests that I didn't completely fail in doing this.  

The awards will be handed out on the weekend of November 20-22nd, 2015, at the SFContario 6 convention in Toronto.  For more information (like, if you want to vote), see the Aurora Awards website.

The Year's Best Science Fiction, 32nd Annual Ed.

Filed Under:

A story I'm proud to see included

Years Best 32My short story "Jubilee" can be found in The Year's Best Science Fiction, 32nd Annual Edition, edited by Gardner Dozois.  "Jubilee" is set in my Lockstep universe, but it explores the ideas of that book from the outside in.  It's about a hereditary caste of couriers who transfer letters between two people who live in separate locksteps.  The couriers live in real-time, but the Authors, as they call them, are from locksteps that only awake at 30 and 29 year intervals, respectively.  Centuries pass between jubilees--those brief times when both locksteps are awake at the same time. 

Here's the thing, though:  the letters are just love-letters between two teenagers from different worlds.  "Jubilee" is a love story, but one that's played out over hundreds of years and mediated by people who live their entire lives in between the exchange of two letters.

This story was huge fun to write, and was originally published on  I'm delighted to see it in print form, and especially in a place like the Year's Best.

Apr 07, 2015

Duration of Things: a showing at Trinity Square Video

Isabell Spengler, film artist from Germany, and I will be discussing time and perception at Trinity Square Video April 8, 2015. You're welcome to join us

My interests in time and in what is "really real" meet this week in an exhibit and discussion at Trinity Square Video in downtown Toronto.  I'll be talking duration and solidity with German filmmaker Isabell Spengler, whose exhibition Two Days at the Falls will be showcased at the galllery.  This should be a mind-bending excursion to the edges of what we know, and I'm really looking forward to it--so come join us, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376.  We're right at Spadina so the easiest access by TTC is the Spadina Streetcar; there are numerous Green-P and Blue-P parking garages in the neighbourhood as well.  For more information about the event and the gallery's ambitious science-fiction oriented programme, check out the press release.

Ad Astra schedule

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


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...


Readings: Karl Schroeder & Hayden Trenholm ◼Readings & Podcasts

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Room: Buttonville

Panellist: Hayden Trenholm

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

Filed Under:

...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.

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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."