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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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shameless bragging

Mar 20, 2009

Metatropolis nominated for Hugo award

We're up against the Dark Knight, Iron Man, Hellboy II and Wall-E. But I remain optimistic.

Here's the complete nomination results--and congratulations to all my friends who were nominated in other categories!  The awards will be handed out at Anticipation in Montreal, which happens August 6-10, 2009.

 Nominated works


Best Novel
(639 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Novella
(337 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
  • “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008) – Read Online
  • “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
  • “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2) — Free download
  • “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette
(373 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008) — Read Online
  • “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2) — Read Online
  • “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
  • “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008) — Read Online
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008) — Read Online

Best Short Story
(448 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008) — Read Online
  • “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
  • “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
  • “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book
(263 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Graphic Story
(212 Ballots / Bulletins)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
(436 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
  • Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
  • METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
  • WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
(336 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
  • Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
  • “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
  • “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
  • “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form
(377 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Ellen Datlow
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form
(273 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist
(334 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine
(283 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
  • The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
  • Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine
(257 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
  • Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
  • The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
  • Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer
(291 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Chris Garcia
  • John Hertz
  • Dave Langford
  • Cheryl Morgan
  • Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist
(187 Ballots / Bulletins)

  • Alan F. Beck
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Sue Mason
  • Taral Wayne
  • Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
(288 Ballots / Bulletins)

*(Second year of eligibility)

Feb 03, 2009

Six for Six in Locus Magazine

Pirate Sun made their recommended reading list for 2008.

It's February, and time to confirm once again that Locus Magazine really really likes me.  Pirate Sun is one of the twenty novels they recommend out of the hundreds published in 2008.

So, every one of my Tor novels has made this list--six in a row.  I guess this means that, as far as Locus is concerned, I'm one of the top twenty SF novelists working in English.  (I can hear the chant now:  "We're number 20!  We're number 20!)

This recommendation appears to have nothing to do with, and no influence on, sales; but I can't exactly complain, can I?  The list is chosen by a pretty heavy-hitting set of reviewers and editors, all of whom are experts in the field.  Collectively, they read pretty much everything that comes out every year.  So it's hugely flattering that they've given me this rare vote of confidence not just once, but with every book I've written.

Hmmm... maybe, then, I should write another novel.  What to call it?  Perhaps... Ashes of Candesce? ...


Jan 29, 2009

"Mitigation" to be in The Year’s Best Science Fiction #14

...Maybe this will inspire our reviewers to stop mis-naming the story "Migration"

David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer have chose the short story Toby Buckell and I wrote last spring, "Mitigation," to be in their annual Year's Best collection.  For me, this is a chance to shine with one of my favourite authors of SF's new generation.  It's also flattering that, of three short stories I wrote last year, two of them have chosen as Year's Best entries (the other being "The Hero" which Gardner Dozois has picked up for his collection).

Writing this story was a blast.  Toby came up from Ohio and crashed on my couch for a weekend, and I wrote at the desktop while he had his laptop open on said couch.  We played literary hopscotch, with him writing one scene while I wrote another that preceded or followed it.  Coffee, lots of laughs, and blasting electronica from my stereo (most Delerium, which I often use while writing) completed the scene.

Thanks to David and Kathryn for choosing this story for their anthology.  And special thanks are due to Lou Anders for believing in Toby's and my vision, and accepting "Mitigation" for Fast Forward 2 in the first place.

Dec 29, 2008

Bookgasm: Fast Forward 2 best book of the year

Bookgasm has chosen Lou Anders' excellent anthology Fast Forward 2 as its best SF book of the year.  They say:

Anders has assembled some of the best and brightest current stars of the genre, and they turned in stories that, as a whole, really do represent the cutting edge of fiction. From a fashion designer who grows living gowns to a raid on the doomsday seed bank to a young man getting Cyrano-with-a-twist dating advice in the India of the future, FAST FORWARD 2 is the book to read this year.

Oct 23, 2008

First reviews of Metatropolis are highly favourable

Tor's site in particular had a lot to say has a review of Metatropolis here.  They really liked it, the reviewer, John Joseph Adams, going so far as to say, "Overall, METAtropolis is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in a long time."  He follows that up with praise for each of the stories, and the narrators, three of whom are Battlestar Galactica actors.  But I really got happy when he said this:

The two standout stories, I thought, were the two with the most complicated titles—Scalzi’s Utere Nihil Non Extra Quiritationem Suis and Karl Schroeder’s To Hie from Far Cilenia. Scalzi’s is the most accessible and fun; Schroeder’s is the most inventive and full of gosh-wow sensawunda.

This is fantastic--another case where I had literally no idea how my story was going to be received.  It's... well... more than a bit strange.  But with the other pieces to anchor the world a bit, I guess it works.

Meanwhile, over at is another great review, praising both the stories and the excellent narration.  They have this to say about my story, "To Hie from Far Cilenia:"

...And last is Karl Schroeder’s story, “To Hie from Far Cilenia”, read by Stefan Rudnicki. This is a wonderful story of cities of a different type. Idea-rich, action-packed - it’s got it all. It’s a perfect cap to a great bunch of stories, taking things in a completely different direction. A virtual world superimposed on the “real” one, but isn’t the virtual one just as real? Rudnicki is excellent, like always.

Hey Mom, I made some sensawunda!

Feb 06, 2008

Okay, THIS is bragging

Filed Under:

Locus has listed every one of my books in the top two-dozen for its publication year; so why am I still struggling to establish myself?

I just received the February edition of Locus magazine, and lo and behold Queen of Candesce has made their Recommended Reading list for 2007.  It's one of 28, as usual--a little over two dozen science fiction books that this industry mag recommends, out of approximately 250 published last year.

Of course this is great--but here's the thing:  every one of my novels has made this list.

My books regularly make various top-ten lists, but this list is important because it's some of the genre's chief reviewers and critics weighing in.  I believe, since we're up to five in a row, that I can sense a trend here.  And you'd think it would be a good sign--but nothing in publishing is easy to interpret.  I still feel like the best-kept secret in SF; I mean, if I'm so shit-hot, why is it that not a single one of my books has gone into a second printing?  If every one of my novels since the year 2000 has hit the top-ten recommendation lists, why do I still get invited to participate in convention panels for new and first-time authors?  Why am I not on the top-ten sales lists?

It could be I have a face only a reviewer could love.  --And mind you, I'm not complaining because, after all, I am being regularly published.  My fantasies of being a science fiction writer are getting indulged by the real world. 

Maybe, in the end, that's as good as it needs to get. 

. . .Naaaaaaw.  I still want that bestseller.

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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)

     “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."