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

Thesis finished - now for the defense

It's my birthday and I ain't writin' no more

Yesterday I finished and submitted my Master's thesis for the Strategic Foresight and Innovation programme at OCAD University. This doesn't mean I've graduated:  I have to defend the sucker first.  But I'm in training for that now, learning to duck and weave and generally keep ahead of touchy questions, such as "Mr. Schroeder, WTF?"

It was also, coincidentally, my birthday yesterday.  I seem to be marking major moments like this lately; three years ago, I had heart surgery a day after my birthday. (Many of you will have noticed that my newest novel, Ashes of Candesce, is not appearing until February, 2012--a couple of years after the last book; blame the surgery.  It knocked me back for a good year and totally blew my publishing schedule.  With the thesis out of the way and my health excellent again, I should now be able to catch up.)

Anyway, with all that out of the way, I should be able to turn my attention more intensively to writing--and blogging.  My recent tenure at Charlie Stross's blog indicated that there's a high level of interest out there for some of my ideas, many of which I was only able to scratch the surface of at Charlie's place.  Perhaps now is the time to lay out all my cards.

With that in mind, I've revamped the comments mechanism on this site; anonymous comments are now allowed.  It's a bit of a clunky system, since the comment form doesn't have a field for you to enter a name; you'll have to do that in the body of the comment and that's not ideal. It's still better if you register on the site before commenting, but I may make that harder in an attempt to keep the bots at bay.

I'll see how well the anonymous commenting goes; if I get seriously spammed or the trolls start coming out, I will rescind the system without hesitation. But hopefully it'll work and we can have some good discussions!

Document Actions

Happy birthday :-)

Posted by Anonymous User at Sep 05, 2011 10:26 AM
Happy belated birthday, Karl. Here's to hoping there'll be many to come - and many great books on the way. :-)

PS: Hoping some more will be in the way of Ventus, IMO the best of what you've written so far.

- Tor

Testing + Happy Birthday!

Posted by Trey Palmer at Sep 05, 2011 03:52 PM
Since I'm signed in, let's see what happens...
Anyway, Happy Birthday! Looking forward to Ashes of Candesce. Any progress on a cover blurb so we can get a clue about what its about?


Ashes blurb

Posted by Karl Schroeder at Sep 20, 2011 02:33 PM
I've put a little teaser up in the new Ashes page, which you'll find under the Books section of the website. Basically, it's the grand wrap-up for the series. Many things blow up. The Queen of Candesce is finally revealed. Artificial Nature is further obfuscated. That sort of thing.

defending your thesis

Posted by john l clarke III at Sep 07, 2011 12:34 PM
I recall a wonderful scene in Getting Straight, with Elliot Gould, as he defends his thesis - I certainly hope your effort is more successful than his :)
And Happy Birthday.
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)

     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."