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


Mar 21, 2008

24 hours in the air... Perth... Swancon day 1

After having kids, 30 hours without sleep doesn't faze you

The first time we went to Perth, seven years ago, we took a packed 747 and the flight was hellish.  By the end the toilets were backed up, I was crawling under the seats to try to sleep, we'd run out of food and there was nothing to do.  This time, the plane was a brand-new 777 with little movie screens in the seat-backs, we were fed at perfectly strategic times, the toilets were clean, and Paige was very well behaved.  I wasn't even sore when we finally arrived in Perth.

Kings Park

This was good, because I was supposed to be in front of people, doing panels with Ken MacLeod and others, less than 24 hours after we'd arrived.  Despite the 13-hour time difference between Toronto and Perth, this has turned out not to be a problem.

Swancon's being held at the All Seasons Hotel, not the one we're staying at, but about a mile distant.  I sauntered over from our hotel about an hour before my first panel, through neighbourhoods that seem to have been utterly transformed since 2001.  Downtown Perth's quite familiar to us, but last time  parts of it had a rough look to them.  These parts seem to have been bulldozed and replaced by new and upscale establishments; downtown is being gentrified. 

The Good Friday morning was bright and warm (19 C overnight, warming up to 33 by the afternoon), with just a few people about; I passed through a gorgeous little park with gigantic, sprawling tropical trees and a dance troupe warming up on the lawn; past late-night clubs with their doors open to air out in the morning light; past 100-year-old stone buildings with wrap-around balconies, reminiscent of New Orleans.

Then it was time to talk about the Singularity with Ken MacLeod and Dirk Flintheart, and then the obsolescence of the "brain is computer" paradigm with  Ken and David Cake.  I sort of breezed through these despite being addled from lack of sleep; the real challenge was talking, without notes, for an hour by myself on the subject of foresight studies vs. traditional futurism.  This talk was scheduled for 4:00 p.m., which is 3:00 a.m. Toronto time.  I had a really great time and chatting with the attentive and interested audience for an hour was easy.

Tomorrow should be interesting.  Either it all catches up to me and I collapse into a drooling mass of inappropriately cold-weather-oriented clothing; or I'll be fully adjusted to the time change and raring to go.  I'll let you know.


Mar 17, 2008

Off to Australia

We'll be there for a month. Yes, the pets have a house-sitter

I'll be attending Swancon later this week.  You can find a programme here (although, it doesn't have names on it and I'm not entirely clear on which panels I'll be on).

Our itinerary takes us first to Perth for the convention, then up to Kalbarri for a week and then outside Geraldton.  If you'd like, you can check out some of these locations in Google Earth.  I will be posting pix as I can, though for some of the time I will be off the grid entirely.

This is an important point:  you may not be able to get in touch with me.  Use email, certainly, but don't be surprised if even that doesn't work, or is delayed.  The people who're staying at our house will be monitoring the phone, and we'll be giving our Aussie contact info to close friends and family; so if it's urgent you can find me.  If even email doesn't work, try posting a reply to this message.  I'll be checking the site whenever I can.

And yes, I'm taking the laptop, and working on The Sunless Countries while we're there.

Feb 19, 2008

Boskone: a great time

Filed Under:

My schedule at Boskone was packed this year, but luckily the Westin Boston Waterfront has a great lobby, which doubles as a bar; this meant that any time I wasn't on a panel or giving a talk or signing books or reading, I was lounging in a high-traffic area.  As a result I was able to connect with a lot of people--really, truly too many to list here--and because there was such a large contingent of Tor Books employees there, also get in a good deal of business.  Huge thanks to the organizers, in particular Mark Olson, for inviting me down this year.

There's a bunch of photos online showing the mayhem--just hop on over to Irene Gallo's website and check out her  Friday and Sunday posts. Here's one I borrowed with her permission, showing Rick Berry (left) and I in approximately the state we were in all weekend:

Boskone Friday

I'd decided to stick around until Monday for a change, so I was able to head out with a small group to Rick's studio on Sunday evening.  Hanging out with the artists was one of the high points of the weekend for me--it's something I rarely get to do, but they're such a literate and interesting group of people--so I had a great time.  When we got back to the convention we found a dead dog party in progress, and were given some fine Ardbeg scotch (which brought tears to my eyes in more ways than one).  Dave Seeley was gracious enough to show up late that night for a further round of joviality before the scotch took hold and I drifted off.

Pleasant company, good food and drink, nice surroundings, and successful business transacted--who could ask for more?

Feb 14, 2008

Boskone changes/additions

Filed Under:

Kaffeeklatsch, reading, signing, and more

Head on over to the Events page of my site for details about my final itinerary at Boskone. 

Feb 03, 2008

My Boskone Schedule

Filed Under:

What I'll be up to in Boston next weekend

These are preliminary items; I'm likely to have some stuff added for Sunday as well.  Also, readings, signings, and Kaffeeklatsches are not yet scheduled so you can expect some action there too.


  •  Frida         6pm  Applied SF: Using SF in the Real World
    Karl Schroeder   
    When he's not writing science fiction, Karl Schroeder is a consulting futurist for government and industry.  Sounds like a perfect job? Hear all about it!
  •   Satur        10am  Building a Great Battle     
    James D. Macdonald, Tamora Pierce, Karl Schroeder  
    Whether it takes place in the expanse of space, an open field, or a  dark street, what brings a great battle to life on the page? How must a writer manage pace and description so the reader gets a sense of the action?
  •  Satur         12 noon       The Appeal of the Lawless Elite       
    Alexander Jablokov 
    Beth Meacham  
    Patrick Nielsen Hayden
    Paul Park 
    Karl Schroeder        
    Editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden has said, "Much of the genre works by    appealing to our wish that the world s extra-legal violence be under the control of the kind of smart people we admire. The Second  Foundation and the X-Men -- and, for that matter, the Scooby Gang    and the Laundry -- are all, to some extent, basically the Ku Klux Klan, except that the extrajudicial violence they carry out is  (we re assured) merited and just." Discuss.
  • Satur         2pm          Who'd'a Thunk It? Unexpected Uses of Technology       Tobias Buckell       
    Chad Orzel       
    Karl Schroeder
    Charles Stross   Numerous technologies wind up getting used for quite different    purposes than their originators expected. Consider dynamite, bubble wrap, speed trap radar, screensavers, the Internet's massive if not main use as a conduit for pornography, and laser pointer cat toys.  What other example suggest themselves? Does this phenomenon make  basic research more desirable, or less? Is it ever discussed in SF?  Consider some of the great SFnal inventions (the hyperdrive, AIs, cyperspace, anti-gravity, boosterspice, positronic robots, personal force fields). Can you extrapolate some unexpected uses for them?
  • Sunday sometime (not fixed yet):  Space War: How Would It Really Be Waged -- and Why? 
    (Pretty much what it says: Say we have a Galactic Empire or a hostile Mars or whatever.  Take a realistic look at space warfare.)
  • Also Sunday  Global Warming: The Realities
    (The idea is not to debate whether or not it's real - of course it is --  but to take a scientific look at some of the more inflated claims and at some of the possible solutions.)



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."