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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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Feb 06, 2012

The Sunless Countries paperback

Coming in May. Get the whole set!

Sunless Countries Trade editionYeah, it's about time. The Sunless Countries will be arriving in trade paperback edition on May 8 or thereabouts. This is another fine edition and looks great next to the Cities of the Air and Pirate Sun trades. When it's out you'll be able to buy all the Virga books except for Ashes of Candesce in this format. They're beautiful editions and I highly recommend going this route if you want to quickly get up to speed with the editions.

On the other hand, I'm hoping to set up an offer on this site of signed original hardcover editions of all my books... hopefully in the next week or so. So maybe you want to hold out for that hardcover original...

Jan 09, 2012

Read the prologue to Ashes of Candesce

It's available now

Ashes of CandesceAshes of Candesce will hit the shelves on February 14, but meanwhile, has an excerpt you can read online! I hope you like it.

Ashes brings together all the disparate plot threads from the first four books, and wraps them all up in one epic adventure. You'll encounter all the main characters from the previous books, and some surprising new ones. And, we finally get to see more than just a glimpse of the strange posthuman world that lies outside Virga.

The Virga series has been a great ride, and I hope you enjoy reading the cataclysmic ending as much as I did writing it.

Nov 17, 2011

Previewing this Saturday...

Guess what this is about

Yes, it's finally (almost) here: the graphic novel version of Sun of Suns! And I'll be doing the full reveal and talking extensively about the project this weekend at SFContario, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Sun of Suns Issue 1 Cover

Sun of Suns is set in the world of Virga, the ultimate hyper-technological-post-singularity-cannons-and-swordfights-pirate-infested steampunk playground of the imagination. There's much to say about the new project, and I'll be unveiling the artists, our writer and editor and their work on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. For now, you'll have to get by on this teaser image. 

Hope to see you there!

Apr 20, 2011

Cover art for Ashes of Candesce

...I'm stunned

Ashes of CandesceTor has unveiled the cover art for my next Virga novel, Ashes of Candesce, and this time, Stephan Martiniere has outdone himself.  I've always been delighted with his covers--as a matter of fact, not two hours ago I was in a framing store arranging to have the Lady of Mazes cover piece framed--but THIS!  This is by far the most gorgeous cover he's done for one of my books.  But what makes it such a personal and emotionally moving experience for me is that, as with his image for Queen of Candesce, this is a particular, specific scene from the book that he's represented here--and he's captured my vision perfectly.  I got all choked up when I saw it; and then I danced around in delight for ten minutes.

And who exactly is that, standing at the top of the stairs?  And where is she?  You've met her before, and very recently, in the series.  The light that floods the scene is not that of Candesce, the sun of suns, nor is it the light of any sun we've yet seen in these books--but the sun that's casting that light is very important to one of our main characters. --And that's all I'll say about it for now.

I could not be happier.  Thank you, Stephan, for this stellar piece of art, and thanks, Tor, for believing in this series.

Feb 22, 2011

Pirate Sun Arrives in Germany March 8, 2011

Segel der ZeitMy German editions of the Virga books have been spectacular, and the third in the series, Segel der Zeit, is no exception.  You can order it now from, since it'll be released in only a couple of weeks. These mass-market editions are gorgeous, and I can't wait to get my comp copies!







Jun 30, 2010

Sunless Countries shortlisted for the Sunburst Award

Canada's juried SF/Fantasy award has some strong contenders this year - plus me

Sunburst AwardThe short list for the 2010 Sunburst Award has been announced, and once again I'm on it!  Here's what they have to say about The Sunless Countries:

Immediately captivating, this is equal parts great world-building and strong characterization. Wonderfully original settings and visual detail light up this richly imagined world. Leal, her friends and her enemies are vividly drawn and sympathetic. Particularly impressive is Schroeder's ability to make this, the fourth book in the Virga series, as accessible to readers as the first.

The complete list of shortlisted works:

  • Charles de Lint, The Mystery of Grace (Tor, ISBN: 0765317567)
  • A.M. Dellamonica, Indigo Springs (Tor, ISBN: 0765319470)
  • Cory Doctorow, Makers (Tor, ISBN: 0765312794)
  • Karl Schroeder, The Sunless Countries (Tor, ISBN: 0765320762)
  • Robert Charles Wilson, Julian Comstock (Tor, ISBN: 0765319713)

The short-listed works in the young adult category for the 2010 Sunburst Award are:

  • Megan Crewe, Give Up the Ghost (Henry Holt, ISBN: 0805089306)
  • Maureen Garvie, Amy By Any Other Name (Key Porter, ISBN: 1554701422)
  • Hiromi Goto, Half World (Penguin, ISBN: 0670069655)
  • Lesley Livingston, Wondrous Strange (HarperTeen, ISBN: 0061575372)
  • Arthur Slade, The Hunchback Assignment (HarperCollins, ISBN: 1554683548)
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors!

(Best thing about this award?  It comes with a medal.)


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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."