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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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Dec 15, 2014

Ebook edition of The Claus Effect available today

My first novel, written with David Nickle, is finally available in ebook form, thanks to ChiZine Publications

The Claus Effect ebookThere came a dark December when David Nickle and I got fed up with jolly Santa and all the false cheer of this God of Consumerism, and decided to do something about it.  (Actually, it was summer and we were on writer's retreat in the country, but this version plays better, don't you think?)  The result was a short story, The Toy Mill, that subsequently won Canada's 1993 Aurora Award for best short spec-fic story of the year.  

A few years later we resurrected cold dead Claus in a short novel, which we wrote together over a weekend for the 3 Day Novel Contest.  The result was The Claus Effect which, while it didn't win the contest, was published by Tesseract Books in 1997.  

Fueled by a diet of chocolate-covered coffee beans, lack of sleep and an unremitting mix-tape loop of nauseatingly peppy Christmas jingles, The Claus Effect emerged from our first-generation laptops as a hallucinatory ode to the fall of Soviet Russia, the depradations of consumerism, to all the world's lost children and lost dreams, and the bizarre, terrifying figure at the center of this cyclone--his red greatcoat flapping, his beard whipped by glacial cold:  our fever-dream of timeless, pitiless, relentless Claus.

You can buy The Claus Effect in ebook form now thanks to ChiZine Publications.

Jun 25, 2012

Short stories for sale online

I'm making some of my better stories available as ebooks. You can buy 'em

The Hero coverI haven't got a huge backlog of short stories, but I've been lucky enough to have many of my best collected in the book The Engine of Recall, which is still available. Not all my good stuff made it into that collection, however--mostly because my editor, Robert J. Sawyer, wanted to focus on my strictly science fictional output. That naturally excluded "The Toy Mill" for instance--but it also left other fantasy I've written, as well as works I consider SF, but Rob did not. 

I've started transforming some of these works (previously published, but not collected) into individual bite-sized ebooks. Initially, you can find them on, but I'll be making epub versions as well; it's just a matter of finding the time for that, as it's a little more hands-on than the Amazon conversion.

As of now, you can find three of my stories on

  • "The Hero" - A Virga short story. In fact, this story is an integral part of the Virga series, and contains revelations that fill in major gaps in the overall story. It recounts certain key events that occur between Pirate Sun and The Sunless Countries, but it can also stand on its own--in fact, it makes an excellent introduction to the Virga universe for anybody who's considering taking the plunge.
  • "Dawn" - My only vampire story to date. I call this my 'anti-Anne Rice' story; perhaps it's just the sort of vampire story that a writer with a pacifist Mennonite background would write. What's coolest (for me) is that this story came to me in one of the most cinematically visual dreams I've ever had. I can still picture it... so I had to write it.
  • "Book, Theatre, and Wheel" - Is this SF at all? Slipstream, maybe. Set during the Inquisition, this is a meditation on memory systems, isolation and the self-invention of new mythologies...  
I hope to make other stories available soon. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these three.

Apr 24, 2012

Get Sun of Suns for $2.99

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If you've been thinking of dipping your toes into the Virga universe, there's no time like the present

Sun of SunsAs the drum rolls in anticipation of the May 8 launch of the Trade paperback edition of The Sunless Countries, we're slashing prices to entice you holdouts into reading the first of the Virga series, Sun of Suns.  If you read on the iPad or Nook, the good news is you can get it for $2.99. If you're in the Amazon ecosystem, the price is (puzzlingly) a little steeper at $4.68. Good prices all, though. Hit one of the links below to give Virga a try!

Jun 08, 2011

New ebook: The Engine of Recall

I've self-published my first short story collection, and you can have it for $.4.99

Robert J. Sawyer originally edited and published The Engine of Recall through his imprint, and he recently contacted me to point out that I had retained the ebook rights.  So, I've prepared an ebook edition of my first collection of 'hard' science fiction short stories, and made it available (so far, on  You can download it now!  (And to sweeten the pot, you can read a sample story first if you'd like.)

One of the attractions of going through Amazon is the higher royalty rate authors can achieve.  I make more from a sale of Engine at $4.99 than I would from a sale of the hardcover at $27--so buying the ebook is an inexpensive way to support my writing habit.  (Not, mind you, that the hardcover edition isn't gorgeous as well, as is the trade paperback edition.  Both are worthy of shelf space for those of us who still value the heft and sensuality of traditional books.

The Engine of Recall collects some of my best stories, including "Halo" (which inspired my novel Permanence), "The Dragon of Pripyat" (which introduces Gennady Malianov, the pathologically-shy Ukrainian arms inspector who's also the hero of my METAtropolis stories) and a story written specially for this book, "Alexander's Road."

Self-publishing an ebook is not a new experiment for me--I did it with Ventus a couple of years back.  Doing it through Amazon and selling it is new, though.  A lot of us authors are trying this route lately, with varying levels of success.  I'm going to be very interested to see how this particular experiment goes!

Nov 26, 2009

Virga on the iPhone

Visit the App Store for some Karl Schroeder reading

Just when I thought life couldn't get any stranger, MacMillan starts releasing my books as iPhone apps!  This is very cool.  Since they apparently don't have the licensing rights to sell the app into Canada, I can't confirm its presence in the iTunes Store; however, you can find my latest Virga novel, The Sunless Countries, at

Not only that, but The Year's Best Science Fiction: 26th Annual Collection is also available; it contains my popular Virga story, The Hero.  

And here's what they'll look like in your iPod or iPhone:

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Aug 04, 2008

Ventus downloads continue strong

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I'm delighted that so many readers are getting to know me through this, my first and in some ways, favourite novel

Oh, it's terrible to play favourites.  It's just that I lived with Ventus for so long--it took seven years to write--and it was my first published solo novel.  I've offered it as a free download for nearly a year now, and it's still in high demand: for instance, last month, in July 2008, I recorded 1300 downloads from this site alone.  Since it's also available now from many public ebook sites, I have no idea what the actual numbers are like. 

Thanks to everybody who's enjoying the book, I'm gratified I've been able to share this world and these characters with you.

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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."

    "...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."