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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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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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Cover and OpenID

Posted by Jason M. Robertson at Jan 28, 2009 01:34 PM
And it looks like yet another sweet Martiniere cover, but the framing elements seem to be headed more and more into conflict with the central art.

On another note, is it just me or is logging in with OpenID not actually working?

Re. Cover and OpenID

Posted by Karl Schroeder at Jan 30, 2009 07:07 AM
They did the same thing with Pirate Sun--mocked up the cover around the same green frame, which they ended up changing in production. So I doubt the colour scheme will be the same in the end.

Yeah, I know about the OpenID problem. I have to unload it and reboot the site, which I haven't had the courage to do yet. (Or energy--I have to do a complete backup etc.)
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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."