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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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The Million

Jun 02, 2018

The Million excerpt online

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You can read the opening of The Million over at the Verge

The Million is slated for publication on August 14, 2018.  If you're curious you can read an excerpt now at The Verge.  I'll be doing more as the publication date approaches, including blog posts, partial reveals of the world and ideas, etc.  The Million's a new "playground of the mind" for me, with infinite possibilities.  I've only been able to explore a few of them in this first novella, but I'm definitely eager to do more.

Apr 11, 2018

The Million reveal at

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The Million will be published on August 14, 2018.

The has officially unveiled its summer lineup for 2018, and The Million is now slated for release on August 14.  Here's a link to the announcement.  I'm looking forward to people's reactions to this one--I had particular fun imagining this world of outrageous wealth and power.  What a great setting for a story about betrayal, deception and disguises--and, of course, school!

Jan 30, 2018

The Million: Let's talk about money

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Actually, let's not. Because, let's face it, if you're one the Million you don't have your own money--you have your own economy.

If you're thinking about wealth in terms of money, you're just not thinking big enough.  This was one of the principles I decided to run with when I set out to write The Million.  I mean, this is a story about the literal inheritors of the Earth--the culmination of human civilization, distilled down to a population small enough to prevent the extinction of the species, and large enough to permit diversity, creativity and ambition to flourish.  One million people, who have inherited all human history, all human art, all our accomplishments, our homelands, cities, technology and, yes, money.The Million

Think of The Million as Downton Abbey without the servants.  In the future, after all, we assume robots and AI that serve us hand and foot.  You want an suborbital spaceplane?  How about a whole air force of them that can do aerobatics around you while you fly yours?  You want a yacht?  Why not a migratory island?

No amount of thinking big is big enough for understanding the ordinary lives of the Million. Just one teaser:  while you're drowsing in bed, not yet fully awake, an army of bots has fanned out across the land, looking for individual stands of ripened wild wheat.  By the time you're blinking at the cathedral ceiling of your bed-chamber, they've picked thousands of wheat seeds, judged them and selected the best, and have ground them into flour.  When you finally stagger downstairs, thinking about the temporary city your cousin built for last night's party, with its crowds of fake humans revelers, the smell of fresh baked bread entices you to the kitchen where you see the newly cut loaf... and decide to have something else instead.

The one thing you won't be doing, as a citizen of the Million, is going online.  Or watching television.  Why watch a recorded program--so gauche!--when you can summon a set of robot players to perform the thing on sets built just-in-time by your other army of carpenters?  Why play a first-person shooter on a console when you can have a city neighborhood built to play out a raid for real?  Or, when it comes to romance--well, the possibilities are endless.

So:  forget money.  Forget the whole concept of wealth, it no longer applies. 

What does still apply, even in this world, though, are jealousy, envy, pride, ambition, and deceit.

What's all the wealth in the world worth, after all, if you can't conspire against your neighbours...?

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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)

     β€œAn 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. ”
    β€”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."