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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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Jan 29, 2009

My heart surgery

Filed Under:

I'm fine. But I haven't talked about this until now

I had surgery on September fifth (the day after my birthday) to repair an ascending aortic aneurysm.  This is an inevitably fatal condition which is almost always asymptomatic, so people who have it often have no warning before it kills them.  Thus, I was very lucky to have it diagnosed (seven years ago) and ultimately repaired.

This period has been an intense and emotionally trying one for me--not to mention physically excruciating.  Thus, I chose not to publicize what was happening; I needed my privacy to deal with the experience. 

The surgery went like clockwork, but I had some heart rhythm problems afterward that kept me in the hospital an extra week.  There were a few trips to the ER once I was discharged, as well.  The first day I was home I was too weak to make it up the stairs, so I slept on the couch, and for weeks I was able to walk only short distances--a few meters initially, later half a block at a time--and could not lift more than five pounds without risking rupture to my sternum.  I came home with a three-page list of drugs I was on, from anti-arhythmics to blood thinners to more exotic things whose ultimate purpose I never learned. 

A number of people were highly supportive during my recovery, and I still haven't figured out how to properly thank them.  I may never be able to do it to my own satisfaction.

I still have a few issues to sort out, ironically with my eyes and balance, but it's no longer fair to keep this to myself.  I'm out and about again--doing the Cryptic ConFusion con last weekend, and Boskone in a couple of weeks--and it's not fair to surprise people with this particular piece of news.  And anyway, it's now in the past.

I'm happy to be back in the game and writing again.  2009 should be a good year.

May 20, 2008

Busy busy busy

Filed Under:

Oh, yes, I'm having fun lately... but blog updates suffer

Just thought I should summarize what I'm up to lately, which is quite a lot:

  • I'm finishing The Sunless Countries for Tor.  I just burned a city and the protagonist has sold out to the enemy.  Ah, it warms my heart!
  • I'm working on a talking-book novella for a secret project.  It should be announced at Worldcon.  And no, I can't say more.
  • I have four other short story/novella commissions I'm trying to meet.  This will be quite a year for short fiction for me.  I rather dried up there for several years, during the period when I was writing Permanence and Lady of Mazes.  But I'm back, and having loads of fun.
  • I'm thinking about how to top Virga.  Ha!  No mean feat--but just wait until you see where The Sunless Countries takes us.  After I'm done with you, you'll be willing to believe in Santa Claus again.

As usual, the more productive I'm being on the fiction side, the less frequent my updates on the website.  It's a handy barometer for how hard I'm working, as a matter of fact.  So if you don't hear from me for a while... think 'good stuff coming.'

Mar 06, 2008

SciBarCamp is full up

Filed Under:

Here's a brief un-program for the event

SciBarCampNext weekend's first SciBarCamp is now full, with well over 100 confirmed attendees.  The event's happening at Hart House, which is a magnificent location in the heart of Toronto (the University of Toronto takes up a square mile of the downtown core).

Fear not if you were hoping to come but were unable.  We want this event to be the first of a regular series.  Just make sure you follow the news at the SciBarCamp website, and sign up early!

SciBarCamp's deliberately vague schedule

The program for SciBarCamp will be decided in a collaborative way involving all participants on the opening night (Friday night).  This is when all the talks and discussions will be scheduled.

The start and finish times for each day have been decided, and are set out below.  The opening event on Friday night will be integral to the whole weekend, so please plan to attend on this night as well as on the rest of the weekend.

FRIDAY, March 14: 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Edit section

The program for the weekend will be decided.  Bring along your ideas and suggestions for talks or discussions you'd like to see happen.

SATURDAY, March 15, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Edit section

The first day of talks, discussions, performances, and demos.

SUNDAY, March 16, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Edit section
The second day of talks, discussions, performances, and demos.

Feb 27, 2008

Martiniere wins silver Spectrum Award

Filed Under:

Congratulations to all the winners

As reported over at The Art Department, Stephan Martiniere, my cover artist for the Virga books, has won the Spectrum Silver Award for book covers, for his cover art for City Without End by Kay Kenyon. The art director was Lou Anders, who just bought a short story of mine.


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


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 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 ( 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

More information can be found at


Jan 28, 2008

Meet the new Blog

Filed Under:

Better tech, less spam


New blog comix

...And that about covers it.  The old blog turned out to be perfect spambot chum; it was getting eaten alive by them.  Anyway, it didn't use up to date RSS or ATOM, and that made it invisible to a lot of legitimate web tools, like RSS aggregators. 

The fact is that there was tons of information on the old site, but it was all buried in blog posts that you had to search through.  This time around I'm going to be building separate static pages for my books, and there's a calendar app that puts my appearances etc. in one easily-found place.  There's a home page where I can highlight stuff (like the upcoming Pirate Sun), and I can add new sections as I want.

There's still a lot to do, but I hate those tacky "under construction" signs that people put on websites.  If a page is empty, you can assume I'm working on it.  If it's a bit clumsy looking, you can rest assured I'll improve it.  In particular, I'm slowly adding more graphical stuff and navigation options.  Obviously, the book pages aren't complete yet--but I want them to look really good, so they'll take some time.

In order to keep the spambots out, I've had to require that you login to comment.  Luckily, it's easy and fast to create yourself an account, and I'm hoping to institute OpenID login in the near future.

Anyway, here it is for good or ill.  The site's scheduled to go live on Monday, Jan. 28, 2008.  We'll see if it crashes big-time in the next couple of weeks, or turns out to be stable.  Opinions?  Let me know.

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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."