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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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Lady of Mazes

Nov 19, 2009

La señora de los laberintos

Lady of Mazes is out in Spanish, and getting great reviews

La senora de las LabyrintosI basically wrote Lady of Mazes for Europe.  I thought that of all people, Europeans would understand what I was getting at when I talked about a world of customizable realities and a technology of cultural preservation.  Canadians too, I hasten to add; I was lamenting aloud about the death of the counterculture to a Quebecois friend of mine, and he said, "The counterculture isn't dead.  It's other countries."  (This statement will make perfect sense to the Quebecois, and to Europeans and pretty well anybody in the world--except Anglos and particularly mainstream Americans--because everywhere in the world must constantly compare their own cultural productions to those of America.  It's not a bad thing, necessarily; it's just something we're all aware of all the time.)

So I'm delighted that thanks to the staff at the Factory of Ideas, and the hard work of my translator, Virginia Sanmartín López, Lady of Mazes is now available in Spanish, from a variety of booksellers including and  It's also getting good reviews--for instance this one in Literatura Prospectiva and this one by LiteRatos.  (Both reviews acknowledge that it's a difficult read, and that, of course, was the case for many people with the English edition, too.  I refused to dumb down this book.)

One thing that particularly delights me, for no reason, is that the round-trip translation through Google of Lady of Mazes, to La Senora de los Laberintos and back to English, is The Lady of the Labyrinth.  Which, perhaps even better than my original, indicates just who it is I'm alluding to here. 

Mar 31, 2009

Jo Walton weighs in on Ventus

A nicely balanced review, and a good explanation of 'thalience'

VentusOver at, Jo Walton speaks about her recent discovery of my first novel, Ventus.  It's a nice review and a good introduction to some of the ideas in the book.  Ventus, mind, is the sequel-of-sorts to Lady of Mazes, and moreover is available from this website as a free ebook if you're interested in checking out my work with no commitment cost.  If you're at all interested, check out Jo's review, then come back and grab a copy of the novel.

Aug 16, 2008

Jo Walton on Lady of Mazes

Filed Under:

A great review over at

Jo Walton has some very kind words to say about Lady of Mazes; it's the sort of review I could have hoped for more of when the book first came out.  Actually, the public reception to this novel perfectly encapsulates my career:  rave reviews, nobody buying.  Jo talks about how much she enjoyed the novel, and how surprised she was that it wasn't being talked about everywhere.  I wasn't surprised--more like, resigned. 

Somebody recently told me, "science fiction can only look in one direction at a time, and right now, that direction is Charlie Stross."  (Who is, I hasten to add, eminently worthy of our regard.)  But it does seem to be the case that "there can be only one" in SF, or at least it seems that way when it comes to SF novels in any given year.  I'm currently enjoying the irony of having thousands of people become aware of my work through the free download version of Ventus--for which I receive nothing, of course--rather than, say, through my current, critically-acclaimed, award-nominated series.  I've given up trying to figure out why this sort of thing happens, but I know I'm far from alone--check out Kaythryn Cramer's list of 100+ people who have never won a Hugo, for instance (it's astonishing who's on it).

Anyway, my warm regards and thanks to Jo for talking about the book that is, in many ways, my favourite--Lady of Mazes was certainly the more challenging and rewarding project I've ever undertaken, and of all my characters Livia Kodaly is closest to my heart.

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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."