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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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shameless cadging

Jun 03, 2009

Monstrous Affections is ready for pre-order

David Nickle's short story collection is creepy and fun. You'll want it

Monstrous AffectionsIn the interest of full disclosure, let me say right off the bat that I've written an award-winning short story and a novel with David Nickle.  I consider him one of the finest horror writers around, and in combination we've crafted some pretty weird stuff; but by temperament David's always been a short fiction writer.  His best pieces are small, intricately-crafted, and often disturbing glimpses of humanity's dark side.  Now, he's finally collected some of them into a book you can buy.  The book is Monstrous Affections.

David's work is by turns horrific, touching, and wickedly funny--sometimes all at the same time.  (Consider a vampire-as-special-needs-kid story where the poor misunderstood vampire toddler is swarmed by righteous preschoolers and--well, you can imagine.)  David's got a blog you can check out, The Devil's Exercise Yard, which is lots of fun, and of course you can still find copies of the novel we wrote together, The Claus Effect, which is basically a James Bond thriller with Santa Claus as the super-villain.

Monstrous Affections is available now for pre-order from the Horror Mall (as warm and cuddly a website as you can imagine).  The book will be released on Halloween of 2009; but by ordering it now, you send a strong signal to the publisher and other interested parties that you're interested in David's work.  And, if you later forget that you've put in the order, you'll have a pleasant little surprise in your mailbox around Halloween (and it won't be a stick or somebody's left ear!  Although, who knows, you might get that too).

Apr 10, 2008

Queen of Candesce up for Locus Award

Anyone can vote, but the deadline is April 15

I just found out that Book II of my Virga series, Queen of Candesce, is on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Locus Award!  (I should have known this--aren't all the Locus Recommended Reading titles on the ballot?)  In any case, I'm quite proud of the company this puts Queen in, next to books by Brian Aldiss, William Gibson, Joe Haldeman, and Charlie Stross.  The downside to being on such a prestigious list is that my chances of winning are miniscule, but the ballot is of the Australian Rules type, where you can choose your top five works in order of preference.  (The ballots hold a kind of run-off election against each other that allows a candidate who's nobody's first choice, but everybody's second choice, to win.)  So, who knows, maybe Queen will be everybody's second-favourite book of last year!  (Venera would fall to the ground and gnash her teeth at that thought.)

One oddity of the ballot is that the web page makes it look like you have to be a Locus subscriber to vote.  You don't.  Anybody can vote, you just have to include some identifying contact information, which Locus will keep confidential.

There are a lot of categories for this award, including short story, novelette, best art book etc.  So zip on over and vote; it's painless and at the very least will let you settle in your own mind what your favourite works were last year.

Feb 29, 2008

Today is Hugo nomination deadline

Filed Under:

Run, don't walk, to

Last Chance to nominateWhat more's to be said?  Hugo nomination season was brief this year; it's highly likely as a result that you wield disproportionate power if you nominate and vote because nomination numbers are always very low.  Literally, every single nomination counts for this award, and books can get on the ballot with as few as 30 nominations.

Nomination for this award is perhaps the most concretely effective thing you can do to support the career of writers you like.  Of course I'm shamelessly cadging for Queen of Candesce here, but there's plenty of other award categories that would benefit from your opinion, such as best short story, best novella, dramatic screenplay etc. 

That said, if you're not already a member of Denvention, you're out of luck. I suspect this sort of draconian membership is part of the reason the nomination numbers are so low (doubtless there's a flame-ridden discussion thread about that around somewhere)--but hundreds of people who could nominate don't, and I'm sure many of them intend to but are caught with their pants down when the deadline passes. 

Feb 08, 2008

Vote Venera in '08

Filed Under:

Because nomination is the sincerest form of flattery

Yes, there is an alternative!  It's awards season again, and my latest novel Queen of Candesce is eligible--for the Hugo, the Aurora, and others.  If you were a member of Worldcon last year, or are already this year, you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo--but better do it soon, because the deadline is the end of February! 

Similarly, Canadians can nominate for the Aurora online, but be quick about it.  Nominations close March 17.

And why do I think you should nominate Queen?  Well, don't take my word for it:

With Queen of Candesce, Karl Schroeder's Virga saga establishes itself as an SF saga of the same order as LeGuin's Earthsea stories, Asimov's Robot stories, and Niven's Ringworld stories.

--SF Revu

Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley’s Gaean trilogy and Jack L. Chalker’s Well of Souls series, Schroeder’s saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building.

--Publisher's Weekly

Queen of Candesce . . . offers a generous abundance of reading pleasure, and its confirms that Karl Schroeder belongs in the front ranks of SF world-builders.

SF remains the home to some of the most visionary writers of the day, and to some of the most overlooked.  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

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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."