Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


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.

Personal tools

book launches

Jul 18, 2008

Sun of Suns audiobook is out

The complete, unabridged text is available for download from, and soon on iTunes

You can listen to the complete text of the novel, read by Joyce Irvine.  This is the first of three rapid-fire releases coming from MacMillan audio--the next two books in the series, Queen of Candesce and Pirate Sun, should be made available within the next few weeks.

To get it, bounce on over to the page at  And enjoy!

Jul 14, 2008

Read the Prologue to Pirate Sun

It's out in three weeks... here's a teaser

 “One thing I can guarantee,” said Venera Fanning. “There has never been a prison break quite like this one.”

 The barrel-shaped tugboat was so old that moss had spread continents over its hull, and tufts of grass jutted from its seams like hairs from an old man’s chin. The powerful drone of the vessel’s engines, as its small crew tested them, put a lie to any impression that it was feeble, however. In fact the bone-rattling noise of the test quickly drove Venera and her small group away from the drydock framework that enclosed the tug.

Venera turned away from it and squinted past the light of Slipstream's sun. The city of Rush spread across half the sky, its gaily bannered habitat cylinders turning majestically among wisps of cloud. It was mid-day and the air was full of airships, winged human forms, and here and there cavorting dolphins.

 One figure had detached itself from the orderly streams of flying people, and was approaching. Venera saw that it was a member of her private spy network, a nondescript young man dressed in flying leathers, his toeless shoes pushing down on the stirrups that drove the mechanical wings strapped to his back. He hove to and she admired the sheen of sweat on his shoulders as he saluted. “Here's the latest photos.” He proffered a thick envelope; Venera took it, forgetting about him instantly, and tore it open.

 Her fingers rose of their own accord to touch the scar on her jaw as she looked at what the pictures revealed: the planes and corners of a stone prison that hovered alone in cloudy skies. Not one building, but six or seven that had been lashed together over the decades, the blocky, boulder-like edifice hung half-wreathed in its own fog bank. The blocks, spheres and triangles of the Falcon New Prison were of various architectural styles and colors, literally thrown together and hybridized with clumsy wooden bridges and rope-and-chain lashings into one cancerous monster whose only common element was that all its windows were barred.

 With no gravity to flatten it, the composite prison was stable enough; storms were rare on the edge of civilization and there were no obstacles for the place to run into in its endless drift. The New Prison was a child of neglect, a forgotten mote on the fringe of the vast cloud of worker's dormitories, collective farms and planned cities that was Falcon Formation. Most of the cargo delivered here was on a one-way journey.

 Venera intended to make an unscheduled pick-up.


May 12, 2008

French mass-market edition of Permanence

Now available from!

My second novel, Permanence, has been released in a beautiful mass-market edition.  The cover art is cool--it shows Rue's Ediacaran fossil pendant, which figures prominently in the story.

Amazon describes the novel like this:Ventus Folio SF edition

La jeune Rue Cassels est née et a toujours vécu dans le Halo, cette région riche en naines brunes située à mi-chemin entre le Système solaire et les Mondes illuminés. Fuyant la tyrannie de son frère Jentry et l'ambiance interlope de la station d'exploitation cométaire Allemagne, elle s'empare d'une navette pour rejoindre Erythrion. Chemin faisant, elle fait valoir ses droits sur un objet stellaire non répertorié, ignorant que sa découverte aura des répercussions sans précédent. Avec ses combats spatiaux, ses énigmes extraterrestres plus anciennes que l'humanité et ses planètes exotiques décrites avec minutie, Permanence est un roman palpitant, s'inscrivant dans la mouvance du Nouveau Space Opera illustrée par des auteurs comme Iain M. Banks, Peter Hamilton ou Alastair Reynolds.

My first novel Ventus is also available in Folio SF mass-market format.

Apr 30, 2008

Collective Intelligence

Filed Under:

I contributed to this massive tome, edited by Mark Tovey, which explores the nascent science of collective decision-making

Collective Intelligence expert, editor of WorldChanging Canada, and all-around polymath Mark Tovey has released a huge collection of essays optimistically entitled Collective Intelligence:  Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.  There's contributions from dozens of experts in this nascent field, as well as activists and stakeholders in a variety of different disciplines who are experimenting and refining the ideas behind CI.  To name just some of the people involved in this project:  Tom Atlee, Howard Rheingold, Jerome C. Glenn, Jaron Lanier, Thomas Malone, Pierre Levy, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Alex Steffen--and myself.  I contributed a short fiction piece that starts the whole collection off.  There's an afterward by former prime minister Rt. Hon. Paul Martin.

Collective Intelligence is not yet a mature field, either in terms of research or application.  This book accepts that, and asks what first steps are needed to get us on the road to understanding CI.  There's a healthy dose of skepticism--Jaron Lanier provides a good dollop--and I have my own reservations about the ultimate power of this idea; but it has to be explored, and CI may just turn out to be the key to the next step of human social evolution.  We owe it to ourselves and our children to find out, and this book starts the process off with a bang.

Apr 28, 2008

Audiobook schedule for Virga books

Filed Under:

I don't have specific dates, but here's what I know

Tor has told me that they're going to release the Virga books in audiobook format (through MacMillan's audio division) on an aggressive schedule.  I don't have exact release dates, but here's the general timing--and it's quite tight:

  1. Sun of Suns will be out in June
  2. Queen of Candesce will be released in July
  3. Pirate Sun will be out in August, essentially simultaneously with the release of the print version.
Log in

Forgot your password?
New user?
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.


Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter
    Mailing List

    Stay informed about new book and story releases, public appearances, readings etc.

    * indicates required
    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."