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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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book launches

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. 

Jan 09, 2009

Pre-order the print edition of METAtropolis

Subterranean Press has put up the pre-order page for the print edition of METAtropolis.  You can find it here, and if you want to order the book directly, you can do so from here.METAtropolis print edition

Didn't know this was coming?  Well, we'd been discussing it from the very beginning, and Audible was kind enough to give us the print rights to do with as we pleased.  The result is that these excellent novellas have a chance of reaching an even broader audience. 

Thanks to both Audible and Subterranean for believing in this project--and thanks especially to John Scalzi for his light touch as an editor.  It's a talent desperately needed when you're "herding cats" on such a strong set of personalities as we had here, and John handled it with aplomb.

Dec 29, 2008

Arrival of the Queen

I've got copies of the paperback edition of Queen of Candesce in my hands at last, and tomorrow you can too!  It's quite a gorgeous edition, showing off Stephan Martiniere's artwork to best advantage. It's due to hit the shelves on the 30th, but you can probably find it already.

It helps to have read Sun of Suns before diving into this book--but it's not essential.  I wrote QofC as much as a standalone as I could, so even if you haven't tried any of the Virga books yet, you can certainly start with this one.

A great new year's gift to me, to have it show up today.

Oct 22, 2008

Metatropolis is out!

Filed Under:

As I'm currently recovering from a little medical problem and have no energy to post at length these days, I'll let John Scalzi tell you all about it.  He does a much better job of it than I would, anyway.

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.

Aug 04, 2008

Pirate Sun is out!

The third Virga book brings back some old friends... and jousting cities

Sales seem brisk on Amazon, even though the official release date is tomorrow; and people are telling me that they've been seeing it in the stores and buying it already (thanks, Fred!).  There seems to be a gratifying level of interest out there, and early reviews have been highly favourable.

Pirate SunLet me warn you, though:  Pirate Sun is the most adrenalin-packed of the three Virga books.  I know the first two just tore along, with sword-fights, boarding parties, naval/aerial battles and lots of intrigue.  Pirate Sun ups the ante on all this stuff.  It's a cross between The Odyssey and The Three Musketeers, and starts with a prison-break unlike any you've ever heard of (I guarantee that!).  Along the way you'll encounter a Virgan flood (also unlike anything else you've seen) and a battle between two cities where they throw whole neighbourhoods while trying to encircle and absorb one another.  (A little hint about that:  the fantastic cover art by Stephan Martiniere is actually an accurate rendering of a scene from that part of the book.)

 I'm now in the middle of editing the fourth book, The Sunless Countries.  Don't despair:  Pirate Sun wraps up the major plotlines that were kicked off in Sun of Suns The Sunless Countries will expand the world of Virga in new directions, introduce some new characters, and answer some of the questions raised in the earlier books.  

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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."