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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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The Claus Effect

David Nickle and I wrote a novelized adaptation of our award-winning story "The Toy Mill"

The Beginning:  The Toy Mill


The Claus Effect ebookDavid Nickle and I wrote the zany short story "The Toy Mill" almost twenty years ago on a writing retreat to Hart House Farm, north of Toronto. The story subsequently won the Canadian Aurora Award for Best Short Work, in 1993. Here's what some people have said about "The Toy Mill":

Books in Canada, the country's largest bookseller's review magazine, said this about "The Toy Mill":

For sheer reading enjoyment, it would be hard to beat "The Toy Mill", a deliciously irreverent approach to the Santa myth. David Nickle and Karl Schroeder take a curious little girl on a search for the 'real' Santa Claus, which leads into a land as dark and dangerous as any the Grimms dreamed up. The language crackles with creative intensity and would be a joy to read even if it didn't tell a compelling story...

Quill and Quire, Canada's premiere publishing industry magazine, called it "darkly satirical."

Locus said "The story is a wonderfully nasty take on the Santa Claus legend -- and some of the flaws of modern society."

The Montreal Gazette had this to say:

...Karl Schroeder and David Nickle treat Santa Claus to a satirical muggi

The Claus Effect

ng in "The Toy Mill." Ever wonder why St. Nick delivered the wrong gifts to you year after year? Because, according to this hilarious hatchet-job, he's a crazed misanthrope who couldn't care less. Say it ain't so!

Oh, it is so. We incorporated "The Toy Mill" in its complete form into The Claus Effect, which is a tale that we wrote for the three-day novel contest a couple of years later.  The Claus Effect continues the tale of Emily vs. the Claus, this time into James Bond territory.

The Novel:  The Claus Effect

This is Santa Claus as you've never seen him. Foul-tempered, megalomaniacal, and giddy, he is out for revenge against the girl who brought down his evil empire in the award-winning story "The Toy Mill." And he'll stop at nothing to get his revenge on Emily.

Here's what some reviewers had to say about The Claus Effect:

"The best first fantasy novel of 1998"
--Science Fiction Chronicle

"Tim Burton could make a great movie of this. But don't wait for the movie--buy the book!"

"Any parents that expose their children to this little bit of nastiness should be put away at once."
--Prairie Fire

"Ever wonder why St. Nick delivered the wrong gifts to you year after year? Because, according to this hilariuos hatchet-job, he's a crazed misanthrope who couldn't care less. Say it ain't so!"
--The Montreal Gazette

And last but not least, you can read a recent, complete review of the novel at the Challenging Destinies website.

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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.

The Claus Effect eBook Edition

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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."

"...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."