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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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Karl Schroeder

May 16, 2016

Keynote at Sector 3.0 in Warsaw

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I'll be speaking May 18, 2016 on "Humans in the digital world"

Sektor 3.0

I'm excited to be traveling to Warsaw, Poland, this week to give a talk at the Sector 3.0 conference.  This year's theme is "humantech" and I'll be talking about the potentially transformational impact that blockchain technologies may have on our civilization.  Forget self-driving cars, this is where the real action is.

Copernicus CenterThe event is taking place at the stunning Copernicus Center.  In the afternoon of the 18th I'll also be speaking on Campus, about a five minute walk from the Center, on the general subject of reinventing democracy using modern technologies and--more importantly--our newly unfolding empirically-based understanding of human nature and cognitive science.

I've always wanted to visit Poland, where my family came from 140 years ago.  Ironically, the weather in Warsaw this week is exactly the same as the weather in Toronto--cool, but warm enough to get out and about and enjoy spring in Europe.  Which I full intend to do.  Thanks to Jean Ekwa and the rest of the organizers of the conference for inviting me.  I hope I make it worth their while.

Apr 22, 2016

"The Dragon of Pripyat" reappears France

Stellar French SF magazine Bifrost is marking its 20th year in print.  As part of the celebration, they're republishing highlights from their past issues, and have honoured me by choosing "The Dragon of Pripyat" as one of the reprints.  You can find the retrospective issue on their website.

Apr 20, 2016

Warsaw, Sector 3.0

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I'll be there May 18, 2016

Poland has a very dynamic and forward-looking nonprofit sector, and recently the country has been encouraging local libraries at the town and village level to modernize and innovate.  It’s part of an effort to empower local people, organizations and small businesses.  Since a lot of my recent work is on governance and in particular, local government and autonomy, I’ve been invited to Warsaw to talk about “technologies of trust” at this year’s Sector 3.0 conference.  This will be happening on May 18-19, at the stunning Copernicus Science Centre; I’ll be speaking at 10:00 A.M. on the 18th.

I'm really looking forward to this.  The European foresight and innovation community is daring and creative, and this event looks like it'll engage all levels of society in just the kind of dialogue and exploration I enjoy!

I'll add more details as I get them, and hope to livetweet as much of the event as I can.

Nov 23, 2015

Lockstep wins 2015 Aurora Award

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I share this award with Charles de Lint--the vote was a tie!

Aurora Award WinnerYesterday we held the 35th Annual Aurora Award ceremony, at Canvention here in Toronto.  I was up in the Best Young Adult Novel category, along with a field of impressive peers.  My novel Lockstep tied with Charles de Lint's Out of This World to win in the Young Adult category.

I'm thrilled and honoured to be in the company of such fine writers.  I'm also delighted to have won in the Young Adult category, as this seals an Aurora win for me in each of the Short Story, Novel, and YA Novel classes.

It's an early Christmas present, and I'm grateful to everyone who contributed to the awards, and in particular the Aurora Committee who have worked so diligently for 35(!) years now to bring this award to the Canadian readership.

Nov 04, 2015

License Expired Book Launch

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Appropriately, at the Pravda Vodka Bar

If you're in the Toronto area in November, make sure you come down to Pravda to help us launch License Expired, the unauthorized James Bond anthology.  This is going to be huge fun, with readings, grandiose speeches and yes, vodka.

License Expired Book Launch

Oct 20, 2015

My World Fantasy Con Schedule

See you in Saratoga

I'm not primarily a fantasy writer, but some great works have had a huge influence on me--most importantly, Mervyn Peake's epic Gormenghast.  I read The Lord of the Rings like most kids, and was on my third read of it when I discovered Peake.  After finishing Gormenghast, I didn't return to Tolkien for another twenty years.

I'll be going on about that and other stuff on my panels, but heck, I'm really there just to hang out and talk, so if you're going to the convention look for me.  I'll be around and happy to shmooze.

The schedule:

City Center 2B Magic is the essential ingredient of Epic Fantasy… except when it isn't. 
Can a story be Epic Fantasy if there isn't a spell hurling mage? Do all quests need a wizard? The panel will discuss how magic is used in Epic Fantasy and some of the texts that do things a little differently. 
Paul DiFilippo (mod.), David Keck, Kate Laity, Karl Schroeder


1:00City Center 2B The Fantastic Cities of Monstrous Magnitude 
Epic Fantasy has created some of the most arresting and wondrous architecture ever dreamed of. The panel will discuss some of their favorite settings in Epic Fantasy and why those cities and buildings evoke such wonder. 
John Clute, Gemma Files, David Levine, Karl Schroeder
Reading, 11:00, in Broadway 2
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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."