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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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Mar 30, 2009

Nice review of the Virga books

From Porter Square Books in Boston

I'm just emerging into that phase of the Virga series when the books can be reviewed as a whole; and of course this won't seriously happen for another couple of years, when Ashes of Candesce is finally out.  But it's starting, and a very nice, and highly favourable review of the series as a thing in itself is now online at the Porter Square Books blog.

You can read the review yourself if you're interested; I was just very proud to read the following bit (talking about Queen of Candesce):

Following the machinations of Venera and her enemies really did remind me of Frank Herbet’s Dune; it is a rare treat to read about smart people outsmarting other smart people.

Mar 07, 2009

First review of The Sunless Countries

I'm not even done the book; how weird is that?

So I'm in my office going through the page proofs of The Sunless Countries, worrying that the pacing is off, and I decide to procrastinate by doing some ego-surfing--and what should I find but a review of TSC!  A favourable one!  And he doesn't even mention the pacing.

Schroeder evokes the slow, crushing drift into ideological nonsense in a distressingly compelling way, & puts Leal [Maspeth] in the heart of it; should she collaborate with the Eternists to try to salvage some representation of science & history (even if she has to teach it as heretical, along side accepted dogma) or should she make a meaningless stand?

Wow.  This is like getting a newspaper from next week.  It also suggests to me that the current practice of sending out Advanced Reading Copies this early needs to be reconsidered, because that practice is predicated on it taking reviewers months to get their reviews out.  I could literally tweak the book right now to solve some of the issues the reviewer, Mordecai, raises.  Luckily he hasn't found many.

Very timely and useful.

Weird, though.

Feb 10, 2009

VIRGA omnibus edition now available

...If you're a member of the Science Fiction Book Club, that is

The Books of VirgaThe SFBC has made the first two volumes of the Virga saga, Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, available together in an omnibus edition (link to Canadian site; the US site is here but doesn't have a direct link to the VIRGA page).  The SFBC is a venerable and highly respected institution in science fiction and fantasy publishing; they previously made my first novel, Ventus, available.  

The price for members of this edition is $15.99, but if you join you can have it for $0.20.

By the way, one of one my favourite features of this edition is the wonderfully over-the-top cover by Dave Seeley.  Dave and I tossed many ideas back and forth, and he consulted with me at each stage of the process.  That is indeed the vitriolic Venera Fanning, riding bike-back with Hayden Griffin in the skies of Slipstream. 

Feb 03, 2009

Six for Six in Locus Magazine

Pirate Sun made their recommended reading list for 2008.

It's February, and time to confirm once again that Locus Magazine really really likes me.  Pirate Sun is one of the twenty novels they recommend out of the hundreds published in 2008.

So, every one of my Tor novels has made this list--six in a row.  I guess this means that, as far as Locus is concerned, I'm one of the top twenty SF novelists working in English.  (I can hear the chant now:  "We're number 20!  We're number 20!)

This recommendation appears to have nothing to do with, and no influence on, sales; but I can't exactly complain, can I?  The list is chosen by a pretty heavy-hitting set of reviewers and editors, all of whom are experts in the field.  Collectively, they read pretty much everything that comes out every year.  So it's hugely flattering that they've given me this rare vote of confidence not just once, but with every book I've written.

Hmmm... maybe, then, I should write another novel.  What to call it?  Perhaps... Ashes of Candesce? ...


Jan 28, 2009

Taiyo no Naka no Taiyo

Sun of Suns available now from Hayakawa Publishing, Inc.

Japanese SoSThanks to the commitment of Hayakawa Publishing and the hard work of translator Naoya Nakahara, you can now read Sun of Suns in Japanese.  I'm delighted to have this edition in my hands--and there's more announcements of foreign sales to come!

If you want to order a copy of Taiyo no Naka no Taiyo, you can do so from Amazon Japan, or direct from Hayakawa's website.

It's always been a major ambition of mine to be read in Japan.  I can't tell you how honoured I feel that it's finally happened.



Jan 27, 2009

The Sunless Countries

Coming August 4th, Book 4 of Virga

I'm excited to announce that my next book is ready and will be published this summer.  The Sunless Countries is the fourth book in the Virga trilogy (let me explain).  It continues and expands upon the story begun in Sun of Suns, but is sufficiently stand-alone that you can still view the first three books as a single unit.  --That is, there's an arc and a set of characters that begins and completes in books one to three; Sunless Countries branches off from there, but contains some familiar faces, for instance Hayden Griffin.The Sunless Countries

There's a couple of reasons why I'm doing the series this way.  Firstly, I hate having to buy every book in a series in order to keep up with the whole storyline.  That makes it all one big book, so why not just publish it in one volume?  Missing a book in such series is rather like missing an episode of Lost.

So The Sunless Countries is its own thing.  Doing things this way lets me approach each book afresh, and I think you'll find it shows.  Start with Sunless countries if you want; it's just as good an introduction to Virga as the previous novels. 

The other main factor in my deciding to do it this way is that... well, this world is just so damn rich!  When I wrote Sun of Suns I discovered that there was much more to this setting than I could possibly encompass with a single novel, or even a single plotline.  One element that I hadn't fleshed out to my satisfaction was the nature of the world outside Virga.  With The Sunless Countries, we're finally doing that.

Finally, I'm continuing my ongoing experiment of telling a slightly different kind of story with each of these books.  The Sunless Countries focuses on Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, a history tutor in the sunless nation of Abyss.  When the famous sunlighter--Hayden Griffin--comes to town, she's both attracted to him as a real hero, and repelled by his association with the local, corrupt government. 

Yet at the same time that Griffin arrives, so does something else--a great voice issuing from the darkness, crying words that no one in Abyss, or Virga, wants to hear...

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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."