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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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Queen of Candesce

Nov 05, 2008

Pre-order Queen of Candesce paperback now

It's coming at the end of December. Here's how to get it

Queen of Candesce is already available in hardcover and in audiobook format as well.  The paperback edition is on its way.

If you've been holding off buying QofC because it's only in hardcover, I heartily encourage you to give this edition a look.  While Pirate Sun has been selling like hotcakes and is getting a very good critical reception, Queen of Candesce is my personal favourite of the Virga books to date (is an author allowed to say stuff like this?  My editor may kill me).  Rollicking adventure aside, QofC is set in a unique environment even for Virga:  the inbred, decadent wheel-world of Spyre.  It also features Venera Fanning, who has been one of the most fun characters I've ever written about.  Not only that, I think it's the funniest book I've written.  It continues the saga of Virga, opening the world, characters, and situation out in new directions.  If you enjoyed Sun of Suns, you'll love Queen of Candesce.

And for all of you who complain that I don't promote my work enough:  so there!

Aug 25, 2008

Coming in December

Queen of Candesce will be out in paperback in time for New Year's. Here's what the cover looks like

Queen of Candesce mass market cover artThis is my all-time favourite cover for my books, just barely edging out another Martiniere cover, the one for Lady of Mazes.  What's so cool about this image is that it's a faithful rendering of the last scene of Chapter 1, but it manages to look like it's some sort of abstract fantasy.  In fact, everything in this scene is possible (if not plausible) physically, part of the "Newtoninan SF" principle I've been using in these books.

Aug 06, 2008

Queen of Candesce in audiobook form

The second Virga book is out in audio format.

As previously mentioned, Sun of Suns is out in audiobook format; you can get it at and also download it directly into your iPhone or iPod Touch from iTunes (i think).  But, as promised, the other Virga books are following quickly, and now Queen of Candesce is out!

Pirate Sun should follow in short order.  Since each of these books clocks in at about 10 hours in length, they should provide plenty of jogging, exercise-biking, or commuting time. 

I'm finding it really interesting listening to these books.  I've started with Sun of Suns, and thought initially that it would be really weird and, well, narcissistic if I did more than listen to the first chapter.  But the thing is, though I know what's happening and what's to come, and often wince at what I actually wrote down, the experience of hearing the story told by someone else actually changes it.  For the very first time since I started writing, I'm having the (partial) experience of encountering my own work as a reader.

There's a certain melancholy to being a writer, in that sense:  you write the books you want to read, but once they're done you can't read them.  But, while the experience of encountering the books through the readers isn't completely fresh, it's different enough to greatly reduce that sense of melancholy.  And I never expected that.

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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."