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


Filed Under:

Possibly the most important word in the world right now

Slashdot. Ah, Slashdot! So much gets reported there, and so often is it mauled in the comment threads. Take this recent thread on the discovery of a way to increase the CO2 absorbent qualities of a particular plastic. I actually made this subject one of my projects at school, and have posted a tiny summary of our findings elsewhere on this site

Slashdot's usual pundits reacted to this little news item with derision and bewilderment. However, if this simple plastic both absorbs and releases its CO2 rapidly, and if it can withstand more than a few hundred cycles of doing it before deteriorating, it could literally save the planet. There's really nothing else out there you could say the same about.

It's like this: if you chase the references at the bottom of my page on carbon air capture, you'll discover that no amount of emissions reductions nor geoengineering of global temperature will prevent climate disaster at this stage. Even if we stopped putting new carbon dioxide into the atmosphere overnight, what's already there will continue to acidify the oceans and alter the climate for centuries. We are already on an irreversible course to mass extinction.

...Unless it somehow became feasible to remove the CO2 that's already in the air. Some of the Slashdot commentators naively suggested planting trees, but that's not actually a viable solution (especially as we are cutting trees down far faster than we can reforest, and the climate will kill forests faster than we can replant them anyway). What's needed is an industrial-scale solution. People like David Keith and Klaus Lackner have experimentally proven that it can be done, and even Keith's system, which uses off-the-shelf chemicals and processes, is economically viable provided there's a high price on carbon. However, if the polyethylenimine results hold up, they'll represent an orders-of-magnitude reduction in the difficulty of capturing atmospheric carbon. This translates to commercial viability at a credible carbon price. 

In other words, we don't have to either bury our heads in the sand or accept the inevitability of mass desertification, mass extinction, ocean anoxia and economic catastrophe. When combined with actual emissions reductions, carbon air capture technology has the potential of returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels of CO2 within our lifetimes. It is the only measure that can actually reverse climate change. 

So remember the word polyethylenimine. This unassuming plastic might just save the world.

Document Actions

This may buy us 50 years or so,

Posted by Paul Taylor at Feb 09, 2012 03:47 PM
but by the time two more centuries have passed, we'd better have significant colonies on other planets:[…]/

I haven't 'done the math' myself; but if Murphy and some of his commenters are correct, human-kind is toast unless we find, or build, other worlds to call home. Of course, decimation of the human population would solve the problem for at least several more centuries...
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."