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Downloads

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

public speaking

Apr 07, 2015

Duration of Things: a showing at Trinity Square Video

Isabell Spengler, film artist from Germany, and I will be discussing time and perception at Trinity Square Video April 8, 2015. You're welcome to join us

My interests in time and in what is "really real" meet this week in an exhibit and discussion at Trinity Square Video in downtown Toronto.  I'll be talking duration and solidity with German filmmaker Isabell Spengler, whose exhibition Two Days at the Falls will be showcased at the galllery.  This should be a mind-bending excursion to the edges of what we know, and I'm really looking forward to it--so come join us, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 376.  We're right at Spadina so the easiest access by TTC is the Spadina Streetcar; there are numerous Green-P and Blue-P parking garages in the neighbourhood as well.  For more information about the event and the gallery's ambitious science-fiction oriented programme, check out the press release.

Feb 20, 2014

Mathematics in Science Fiction - this weekend

I'll be one of the speakers at the Fields Institute's panel discussion

How does math influence science fiction?  In my case, I'm functionally inumerate and yet have created hard-SF universes that others have written scientific papers about.  How does that work?  This Saturday myself, Suzanne Church and Tony Pi will be talking about the intersection point of math and imagination--and perhaps, about the idea that there's no real difference between the two.

See you there!

Fields Institute Event

Aug 17, 2013

My 2013 Worldcon schedule

It's a busy one, though I'll only be there for Saturday and Sunday

Keeping in the spirit of dumping all kinds of news at once, here's my schedule for the 2013 World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas, which is taking place over the Labour Day weekend. It's a whirlwind visit as I need to get back to Toronto to continue futuring for my new employer, Idea Couture. Luckily, I've got lots going on. If I'm lucky, I'll even get there early enough Friday night to take over the bathtub bar at the Tor party. We'll see. Meanwhile, here's my itinerary:

Reading: Karl Schroeder

Saturday 10:00 - 11:00

Karl Schroeder 


Autographing: Ellen Datlow, Josh Rountree, Karl Schroeder, Lynne M. Thomas

Saturday 12:00 - 13:00

Ellen Datlow , Lynne M. Thomas , Josh Rountree  , Karl Schroeder 


Consensual Reality: Your Relationship to the World

Saturday 15:00 - 16:00

Google Glasses, augmented reality, kinetic gaming, tactile transmission systems. These and other new technologies are on the horizon to transmogrify sense and sensation. Google glasses are the first step to putting an overlay on the reality we see. This opens the door to hiding the ugly and changing what we see. When we do this socially it leads to possible consensual reality as in the works of Vinge, Schroeder and others. What will such capability mean in reality? Has science fiction explored the societal consequences?

Edie Stern (M), Yasser Bahjatt  , Walter Jon Williams  , Ben Bova  , Karl Schroeder 


Kaffeeklatsch: Nancy Kress, Edward M. Lerner, Karl Schroeder

Saturday 17:00 - 18:00

Edward M. Lerner  , Nancy Kress  , Karl Schroeder 


Speed-Forecasting Workshop

Sunday 10:00 - 13:00

We will do a quick analysis of the future, with the end product being four scenarios that highlight different possibilities. Come take your work to the future!

Karl Schroeder


Have We Lost the Future?

Sunday 14:00 - 15:00

Where science fiction once looked to the future as the setting for speculation, nowadays the focus seems to be on alternate pasts, fantasy worlds, or consciously "retro" futures. We're no longer showing the way to what things might be like. We discuss whether this is connected to the general fear of decline and decay in the English-language world -- or has science fiction simply run out of ideas?

Karen Burnham (M), Brenda Cooper  , Karl Schroeder  , Willie Siros  , Derek Kunsken 


As You Know, Jim...

Sunday 15:00 - 16:00

Exposition is never easy. How can writers communicate the details of a setting, magical system or incredible scientific breakthrough without losing half their audience? What makes a readers eyes glaze over and how do you avoid it?

Michelle Sagara (M) , Tanya Huff  , Karl Schroeder  , Jack McDevitt  , Walter Jon Williams 


First Contact Without a Universal Translator

Sunday 17:00 - 18:00

How do we establish a common conceptual base to communicate with another species? Sure, we have numbers and the hydrogen atom in common, but how far would that get us in a world of beings who share none of our sensory apparatus?

Lawrence M. Schoen (M) , Paige E. Ewing  , Karl Schroeder 

By the way, if you want to plan your days, the entire schedule is or will shortly be online at http://www.lonestarcon3.org/guests/appearing.shtml.  

That's it. See you all there!

 

Apr 16, 2013

Three Talks: Fahrenheit 451 - Parallels in the 21st Century

These will be taking place at Toronto Public Library branches in April; details below

Starting this week I'll be doing several talks and speed-forecasting exercises around the city of Toronto, to help Toronto Public Library celebrate Keep Toronto Reading 2013. Everybody's invited to come out and to participate. These are going to be short, focused sessions--an hour on average--so we won't have time for long debates or in-depth analyses. However, one thing I'll be hoping to do is an exercise I call 'speed forecasting.'

Scenario-based forecasting is a foresight methodology that goes back to the RAND Corporation and Hermann Kahn, the man who inspired the character of Dr. Strangelove. Generally, scenario design is a meticulous process that takes months and involves a research phase, consultations and often several rounds of workshops convened for experts in the field being analyzed.

We're going to do the whole thing in a half an hour.

While we'll be leaving the smoking wreckage of a decades-old methodology in our wake, I guarantee you we'll have fun and it'll be an interesting glimpse into the future. So, come on out on one of the following dates and places, and join in!

April 18, 2013: Spadina Road Branch

When: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: 10 Spadina Road, Toronto

April 22: Pape Branch

When: 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: 701 Pape Avenue, Toronto

April 30: St. Lawrence Branch

When: 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: 171 Front Street East, Toronto

Feb 02, 2012

Speed forecasting on Feb. 10

Filed Under:

I'll be compressing a months-long process into 25 minutes in front of a live audience. Interested? Come on out

On the evening of February 10, 2012, I will be joining Jody Culham and John Godfrey at the Toronto Reference Library, where we'll be doing some cool stuff. As part of the Treehouse Talk series, we'll each present and do a short exercise designed to provoke thought and discussion, starting at 6:30 in the evening and running until 8:15. I'm not sure what Jody's talk will be on, but John's will be on "Is Global Citizenship Possible?" 

My talk/exercise will be "Tomorrow's Toronto: A Foresight Exercise on the Future of our City." I'll be using some foresight-oriented brainstorming techniques with the audience to try to derive a set of sketchy but evocative scenarios for Toronto's future. My part of the evening should take about 40 minutes.

Of course, this will only happen if Toronto city employees are not locked out. I'll keep you posted on that one.

ADDENDUM:

The evening went very well, although I did get kinda excited and flip my lapel mic into the audience at one point. I soldiered on with a hand-held unit and finished my presentation with, if I do say so, some aplomb.

Much thanks go to the founders of the Treehouse Talks series and to the Metro Reference Library staff who patiently set up and facilitated for us. It was a great evening!

Nov 23, 2011

Thank you all!

I had a great time at SFContario, and was honoured to be the Canvention guest

The second SFContario was a roaring success according to everybody I've talked to--and I had a great time too. Of course it was an honour to be the GOH this year, and I tried to meet and talk to everybody I could. The panels were fun, but most important for me was the opportunity to connect up with people I don't get to see too often.

There are lots of people to thank, from the con committee to the diligent volunteers. My primary contacts were Alex von Thorn and Diane Lacey, who made sure I was provided for and my weekend organized.  

It was good connecting up again with the Hartwells, the Swanwicks, John Scalzi, and many other American friends who braved the November weather to come up. 

I think the high point of the convention, for me, was being interviewed by Lawrence M. Schoen on Saturday morning--not for the ego-boo, but because I've known Lawrence for a few years and our conversations are always wide-ranging and surprising. This one was no exception, and it was a delight from start to finish.

I hosted the English-language Aurora Awards this year, which was also a stellar honour. I don't feel I completely lived up to the responsibility because I accidentally sent my dress clothes home with my wife Saturday night and only discovered the gaff just prior to the ceremony--so I had to host it in a T-shirt and jeans. My apologies to everyone, particularly the Aurora committee, for looking like a slob at such an important event. 

The ceremony itself was packed, however, and the atmosphere was actually quite electric. I've never seen such an enthusiastic and engaged crowd at an Aurora ceremony; it was the audience and participants that brought the event back to the peak of significance it deserved. I thank you all.

I wish the convention all success next year, and the same for all my fellow writers and the winners and nominated Aurora alumni. You deserve your days in the sun.

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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."
    --SFRevu.com


    "...A rollicking good read... fun, bookish, and full of insane air battles"
    --io9.com


    "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."
    --Locus