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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.

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Karl Schroeder

Dec 01, 2020

The Suicide of Our Troubles

Filed Under:

...Is the title of my latest short story, up now on Slate.com.

You can read the story for free on Slate. As a bonus, journalist Anna V. Smith has written a companion piece for the story, which is here.

"The Suicide of Our Troubles" is set in the same universe as my novel Stealing Worlds, and in fact happens at the same time and in the same city. I guess I'm not quite done talking about the personhood of natural systems, which is a theme I've been writing about for twenty years now.

I hope you enjoy the story, and if you do, pass on the link!

Sep 22, 2020

Polyplexus Ask Me Anything session

Sept. 22, 2020 you can join me for a 90 minute conversation about systems--natural, artificial, and in between

On Sept. 22, the gracious people at Polyplexus are hosting me for a 90 minute discussion about our planetary crisis and potential solutions to it that involve systems thinking--and, potentially, a turning-away from the linear, mechanistic industrial culture we currently have.

Go register on Eventbrite or Polyplexus.com to join the session. The session will be moderated by Laura Anne Edwards, NASA Datanaut and TED Resident.

Aug 18, 2020

Wegetit becomes real

A technology I imagined for the Hieroglyph anthology is being built

The super-cool hackers over at queeriouslabs.net have coded an experiment based on one of my stories!

Back in 2014 I published "Degrees of Freedom," in the farsighted short story anthology Hieroglyph (which was edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer). The story is about indigenous rights, self-government, and new technologies for governance, and man did it have legs! It's still being taught at a couple of universities and garnered interest from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other entities.

Now, the adventurous hackers over at queeriouslabs.net have built a test version of it! You can try it for free over at the We Get It website.

In the story, wegetit.com is a popular site that's used as a kind of funnel to feed discussions into policy-generating forums. You can have conversations about any subject on wegetit, but one of the things it does is expect you to define your terms. In other words, when I used the word "liberal" in this post, what do I mean by it? When you use it in your reply, what do you mean? The theory is that the permanent rolling meltdown of understanding we see in social media is largely the result of people misunderstanding what each other mean by very basic words. I say something I think is innocuous, you get triggered by it because a word I understand one way is read by you in an entirely different way. And it goes back and forth, amplifying mistrust and enmity.

Wegetit tries to dampen out this feedback system by guaranteeing that people understand what each other mean, not just read what each other say. This first version is very bare-bones, but that's how systems are developed. You can just give it a whirl and see where it leads you. I'm playing with it and having a great time.

Thankis, queeriouslabs!

Aug 12, 2020

ReCONvene this weekend

Filed Under:

Join me, Alastair Reynolds, Ted Chiang, Martha Wells, Erine Underwood and R.W.W. Greene on Saturday

The one-day (but heavy-hitting!) ReCONVene SF convention takes place this weekend. I'll be joining the above authors for the following panel:

 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The AI Amongst Us Format: Panel

15 Aug 2020, Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Earthseed Room (Online Convention (via Zoom))

AIs are here, slipping through our everyday world, crunching numbers, sorting data, and learning their field of study at an exponential rate. However, general artificial intelligence still remains a distant digital dream. Has AI failed us or have we failed AI? Has innovation stalled? What can researchers learn from science fiction regarding sentient AI systems? What grains of innovation inspiration remain untested within the pages of novels and will increased computing power help bridge that uncanny gap?

(As you can imagine, I have a few ideas about this...)

 

Jul 28, 2020

My CoNZealand Schedule

Here's what I'll be up to during the 2020 Worldcon.

This year's Worldcon is virtual, so you can easily attend! Zip on over to the CoNZealand website to get registered and attend any or all of the events below. Particularly of note for me this year, you can come to my reading, attend my Kaffeeklatsch, or join the discussion on my idea of "thalience."


Future Laws

 Format: Panel

29 Jul 2020, Wednesday 10:00 - 10:50, Programme Room 1 (Webinar) (Programming)

Law changes when the world changes. When you can duplicate a person, who owns the house? Which one is married to the spouse? How do you define property when physical objects are almost worthless but computing power is in short supply? Is it ethical to genetically "correct" autism in the womb? We're going to have to decide.

 

Future Economics

 Format: Panel

29 Jul 2020, Wednesday 13:00 - 13:50, Programme Room 4 (Webinar) (Programming)

Will we ever fully disentangle from the physical? Blockchains, crytocurrency, differently organic sentinence. Will economic concepts of supply, demand, money, resources hold up? Evolve? Or be completely different?  And what might they look like?

Kaffeeklatsch: Karl Schroeder

Format: Kaffeeklatsch

31 Jul 2020, Friday 13:00 - 13:50, Kaffeklatch and Literary Beer Room (Programming)

Would you like the chance to video chat with nine other fans and a writer? Grab your favorite beverage and sign up for a spot!


Reading: Karl Schroeder

Format: Reading

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 09:30 - 09:55, Reading Room 2 (Programming)

 

The Day After Tomorrow: Near Future SF

 

Format: Panel

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Programme Room 3 (Webinar) (Programming)

 

What are the challenges of SF set in the near future? What are good examples?

Thalience and Sentience

 2 Aug 2020, Sunday 13:00 - 13:50, Programme Room 4 (Webinar) (Programming)

Thalience and sentience. Is there really a difference? How do we tease it out?

 

Mar 25, 2020

Two hour interview on Singularity Weblog

This is my second time talking with Nikola Danaylov

About eight years ago, I sat down with Nikola to talk about all things Singularity--or, as it turned out, all the reasons I thought the Technological Singularity is an idea whose time has passed. Now, in spring 2020, we got to talk again, and we had a lot to catch up on. 

What might be most interesting about this interview, which ranges across many topics, is that we did it just pre-COVID-19. The disease was out and ravaging China and Iran, but it hadn't really established a presence in Canada yet. Nonetheless, what I wanted to talk about with Nikola was how we can remain optimistic when humanity's options and power seem increasingly constrained. The context of the discussion was global warming, but the ideas apply equally well to the pandemic.  Head on over to the Singularity Weblog, and hear for yourself.

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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