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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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Sun of Suns

Oct 24, 2011

Polish edition of Sun of Suns arrives

Filed Under:

I love days like this

Polish Sun of Suns coverI received my comp copies of the Polish edition of Sun of Suns today. You never know when stuff like this is going to show up, so surprise packages are always exciting.  I love the edition, it's a nice substantial paperback with original cover art.

This edition joins the Japanese and German translations, making this my most internationally successful book yet.  (Other languages I've had books translated into? French, Spanish, Lithuanian and Russian. Not a bad haul--though I still don't have actual copies of the Russian editions, sadly.)

The Poles recently bought ebook rights to Sun of Suns as well, which should make for an extended run in that market. 


Jun 18, 2010

Coming July 6: Cities of the Air

The best introduction to Virga yet

Cities of the AirIn three weeks Cities of the Air hits the stands.  In some ways it's nothing new:  Cities is Tor Books' omnibus edition of the first two Virga books.  You might wonder why we're doing this when the paperback editions of these books are already available.  But with Pirate Sun coming out in trade paperback in the fall, if you haven't familiarized yourself with Virga yet, you can do it by just picking up Cities.  Together, Cities of the Air and Pirate Sun form the full story arc for the first part of the series.  If, after reading them, you've still got a taste for the weightless world I've constructed, The Sunless Countries is out now in hardcover, and Ashes of Candesce will be coming next year.

Dec 30, 2009

Virga: Cities of the Air

It's available now for pre-order, and will be published July 6, 2010

Tor Books has been very happy with my Virga books, so much so that they've decided to release a new, omnibus edition of the first two.  Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce will appear together in one volume, entitled Virga:  Cities of the Air.  This book will hit the stores on July 6, 2010, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon.

Yes, there is in fact already an omnibus edition of these books--it's Virga 1.2, from the Science Fiction Book Club (advertised in the right-hand sidebar of this page, with cover art by Dave Seeley).  That edition is only available to book club members, though; the new omnibus will be from Tor and will be in bookstores everywhere (and, presumably, in ebook form too).  We hope to have further omnibus editions to round out the series.

Jul 14, 2009

Coming March 2010: Planet der Sonnen

Sun of Suns in German

Sun of Suns continues to spread around the world.  The Germans are the latest to announce an edition, and check out the cover art!Planet der Sonnen It's by Ioan Dumitrescu; you can find more of his work at the CG Society.

I like the design elements on this cover, which was crafted by Nele Schütz Design; I may poach it for a re-do of my site banner, which currently uses the excellent Stephan Martiniere cover for Queen of Candesce.  In any case this is a beautiful cover and a beautiful design, and I look forward to holding this edition in my hands.

Jun 02, 2009

Sun of Suns audiobook is free until June 12

Just head over to and pick up your copy



To promote the upcoming release of The Sunless Countries, we've decided to offer the Sun of Suns audiobook for free download.  There's a discussion about it going on right now at; for the download itself, go to the site.

Now, since I'm the author anything I say about the quality of the story itself is obviously biased; but I can say without reservation that the reader, Joyce Irvine, does an excellent job with my material.  If there's flaws in my prose she easily talks around them, and she's a great choice for the material.  (And if you like how she does this, you should try her dry and distantly amused rendition of Queen of Candesce!)

All of the Virga books are available in audiobook format; The Sunless Countries will be as well.  And don't forget that Metatropolis, currently nominated for a Hugo Award, is also available from


May 14, 2009

Russian update

Sun of Suns (Солнце Солнц) is now available, and you can still get Ventus (Вентус)

I've had two books translated into Russian so far:  Ventus, and Sun of Suns.  Both are published by AST in Moscow, and are available online through the Ozon bookstore.  (For instance, here's the link to Sun of Suns, and here's where to find Ventus.)

Russian Sun of SunsThe summary for Sun of Suns describes the book this way:

История Хайдена Гриффина - обычного мальчишки из искусственной галактике Вирга - огромного наполненного воздухом шара, в центре которого сияет Солнце Солнц, гигантский ядерный реактор - сад, где растут, как цисты, зародыши солнц поменьше.

История его родного мира, уничтоженного флотом "кочевой" планеты Слипстрим.

История его похищения и его странствий с космическими пиратами. История его опасных приключений - поисков легендарных сокровищ древнего капитана Анетина и смертельной борьбы с представителями цивилизации Искусственных сущностей, захватившей уже едва не все планеты за пределами Вирги...

And here's their description of Ventus:


Russian Ventus...Вентус. Планета, на которой люди, веками остававшиеся рабами ИскИнов, поднимают наконец восстание против `хозяев`.

Вентус. Планета, на которой людям-повстанцам просто нечего терять!

Здесь сражаются до последнего.

До последнего вздоха. До последней пули.

Здесь цена выживания человечества проста: `Свобода - или смерть!`

I don't read Russian very well, but this seems to be a really over-the-top description--"here, they battle to the last breath!"  But hey.  If it sells books, go for it. 

But now I'm curious.  If anybody has read either or both of these translations, I'd love to know what you thought of them.  It's always really cool to find out, once the translation to a language is complete, how ideas and characters--and, well, just story--translate to other cultures.


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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."