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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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Gunnerkrigg Court

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My favourite webcomic is now a book. Buy it!

Gunnerkrigg CourtI don't read very many web-based comics.  I don't find many of them are very good.  So it's come as a surprise to me that I'm totally hooked on Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court, a Gormenghastian saga about a very strange school/factory/city and the enchanted and often sinister forest that lies next to it.

Antimony Carver is a new student at the school called Gunnerkrigg Court.  She's come from the hospital where she spent much of her sheltered youth watching her mother slowly wane and die.  Now, at the Court, she has the chance to make friends and learn how the world works.

Except that Antimony's world is far stranger than she (or we) could have imagined.  It's a madhouse of ghosts and robots, forest spirits and virtual classrooms; a school so huge and labyrinthine that whole neighbourhoods of it have remained unexplored for who-knows-how-long.  The story unfolds at a rate of three pages per week (updated on mondays, wednesdays and fridays) but as it's up to Chapter 22 and the chapters average 30 pages in length, there's plenty of reading to do to catch up.

I'm completely addicted.  I'm also delighted that you can now buy the first volume of the series on Amazon.  Siddell's work deserves wide recognition and praise.  Gunnerkrigg Court brightens up at least three days of my week, and for a writer and artist to be able to sustain such a high quality of output for so long is itself a feat worthy of recognition. 

All hail the Court, and three cheers for Antimony Carver!

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Agreed, and a recommendation

Posted by Chris McLaren at May 01, 2009 06:53 AM
I just found this in print form a couple of weeks ago, and am now in the process of catching up to the current web serialization. Good stuff.

Have you ever taken a look at Dresden Codak? I think you'd find something to like there--particularly in the "Hob" storyline.

The strip is here:

A little thing I wrote up about it is here:[…]/

Me too!

Posted by Adam Crowl at Jun 04, 2009 06:04 AM
Dammit Karl! You've gone and gotten me hooked on it too!

Web comics... too... much... time... wasting... need more...

Come on Friday's instalment of "Terror Castle"!
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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."