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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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short stories

Jan 29, 2009

"Mitigation" to be in The Year’s Best Science Fiction #14

...Maybe this will inspire our reviewers to stop mis-naming the story "Migration"

David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer have chose the short story Toby Buckell and I wrote last spring, "Mitigation," to be in their annual Year's Best collection.  For me, this is a chance to shine with one of my favourite authors of SF's new generation.  It's also flattering that, of three short stories I wrote last year, two of them have chosen as Year's Best entries (the other being "The Hero" which Gardner Dozois has picked up for his collection).

Writing this story was a blast.  Toby came up from Ohio and crashed on my couch for a weekend, and I wrote at the desktop while he had his laptop open on said couch.  We played literary hopscotch, with him writing one scene while I wrote another that preceded or followed it.  Coffee, lots of laughs, and blasting electronica from my stereo (most Delerium, which I often use while writing) completed the scene.

Thanks to David and Kathryn for choosing this story for their anthology.  And special thanks are due to Lou Anders for believing in Toby's and my vision, and accepting "Mitigation" for Fast Forward 2 in the first place.

Jan 12, 2009

Fast Forward 2 nominated for P.K. Dick award

Great going, Lou!

Here's the official word:

The judges of the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

  • EMISSARIES FROM THE DEAD by Adam-Troy Castro (Eos Books)
  •  ENDGAME by Kristine Smith (Eos Books)
  • FAST FORWARD 2 edited by Lou Anders (Pyr)
  • JUDGE by Karen Traviss (Eos Books)
  • TERMINAL MIND by David Walton (Meadowhawk Press)
  • TIME MACHINES REPAIRED WHILE-U-WAIT by K. A. Bedford (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 10, 2009 at Norwescon 32 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel, SeaTac, Washington.

Jan 08, 2009

"The Hero" in Year's Best, 26th edition

Filed Under:

My first Virga short story makes it into Gardner Dozois' annual collection

Gardner Dozois has posted the table of contents for his 26th Annual Year's Best SF collection.  He's selected my short story "The Hero" as one of the featured stories, which puts me in fine company indeed. Eclipse 2

"The Hero" is the first short story I've set in the world of Virga (setting for my last three novels) and it's a pretty intense little romp through some of the stranger places in that world.  It was published originally in Eclipse Two, edited by Jonathon Strahan; in fact, it leads off that collection.  "The Hero" is peripherally connected to the grander plot of the novels, but as with the books themselves, it's also a stand-alone piece that doesn't require familiarity with the rest of the series.

Needless to say I'm thrilled--enough so that I've started on a couple more Virga short stories.

Dec 03, 2008

Great review of Fast Forward 2 in Futurismic

Filed Under:

Toby Buckell and I contributed a story, and this reviewer loved it

The review talks about all the pieces in the anthology, and reinforces the widely held impression that this has been a very good year for science fiction short stories.  When it comes to the story "Mitigation" written by Tobias Buckell and myself, Futurismic has this to say:

“Mitigation” by the potent double-act of Karl Schroeder and former Futurismic staffer Tobias Buckell takes the best of both writers. Buckell’s instinct for fast-moving action drives the plot, while Schroeder’s concern with (and deep knowledge of) the impending ecological crisis provides the set and setting for a classic double-bluff. It’s a good balance; the bleakness of the impending future is mitigated by the snappy pace, so you take on board the underlying message without being drowned in it.

There's a lot more in this rich and detailed review, so head on over to Futurismic and check it out. 

Oct 13, 2008

Download first Metatropolis story for free

The story is Jay Lake's excellent "In the Forests of the Night"

You can try out Metatropolis, the shared world anthology from, before buying.  There's a sample from my own story, "To Hie from Far Cilenia", or if you want you can listen to Jay Lake's excellent story, "In the Forests of the Night" in its entirety.  

Audible and I have been collaborating on other projects as well.  In fact, you can now download the first three Virga books, unabridged, in audiobook format from Audible.  I've been having a rollicking good time listening to them myself--it's quite an experience when your own words come back to you through someone else's voice! 



Jun 18, 2008

My story "The Hero" will be in Eclipse 2

...And yes, it's a Virga story

I'm actually engaged in writing several stories set in my world of Virga (the setting for Sun of Suns, Queen of Candesce, and the forthcoming Pirate Sun).  "The Hero" is the first--thanks to Jonathon Strahan for choosing it for Eclipse 2!

I'm in pretty amazing company with this anthology; here's the lineup:

The Hero, Karl Schroeder
Turing’s Apples, Stephen Baxter
Invisible Empire of Ascending Light, Ken Scholes
Michael Laurits is: Drowning, Paul Cornell
Elevator, Nancy Kress
The Illustrated Biography of Lord Grimm, Daryl Gregory
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, David Moles
The Rabbi’s Hobby, Peter S. Beagle
The Seventh Expression of the Robot General, Jeffrey Ford
Skin Deep, Richard Parks
Ex Cathedra, Tony Daniel
Truth Window: A Tale of the Bedlam Rose, Terry Dowling
We Haven’t Got There Yet, Harry Turtledove
Fury, Alastair Reynolds

I won't say anything about what "The Hero" is about, except to say that it does have to do with one of the major plotlines running through the first three Virga books; and it doesn't have any of the characters from those books in it.

Feb 04, 2008

I'm writing short stories again

Filed Under:

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."