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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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Sep 01, 2015

LA Keynote on Sept. 30

I'll be talking fiction as futurism

Wednesday, Sept. 30, I'll be speaking at the Foresight & Trends conference in Los Angeles.  My topic?  The same subject on which I wrote my Master's thesis:  the use of fictional narratives in foresight studies.  This time, though, I'll be getting recursive by reciting several possible "plotlines" that exemplify different aspects of the method. The full agenda description for my talk is:

Plotlines: Using Stories to Analyze the Future

Acclaimed science fiction writer and futurist Karl Schroeder will describe the plotlines of three possible novels. Each of the stories captures the complex essence of one emerging megatrend. Together, they reduce what might be a long, tedious analysis of demographics and drivers to something vital and easily memorable. The stories are, “Decapitation,” about blockchain technology and how Distributed Autonomous Corporations put a company’s CEO, CFO, and upper management out of work; “The Lady (almost) Vanishes,” about how emerging tech is making it impossible for people to disappear; and in “The Garbage Miners,” how a strike by workers who convert trash into feedstock for 3d printers nearly shuts down the country.

So, the talk serves a double purpose--to describe the technique, and to show it in action.  I hope you can be there!

Aug 19, 2015

Sunday signing in doubt

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Last minute flight changes. Grrr

It doesn't look like I'll be able to make my Sunday book signing at Sasquan.  I'm trying to make other arrangements, but meanwhile, if you want something signed, plan to waylay me after one of my other panels, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or arrange an alternate meetup.  I'll keep you updated as this situation evolves.

Aug 13, 2015

Loosed Upon the World

Filed Under:

An apocalypse just for you, coming Sept. 15, 2015

Loosed Upon the WorldJohn Joseph Adams' glorious climate-change anthology Loosed Upon the World will be coming out this September from Saga Press.  The book has stories by Kim Stanley Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Robert Silverberg, Greg Benford and lots of other.  I have two stories in the anthology:  "Kheldyu," my most recent and most pessimistic Gennady Malianov piece, and "Mitigation," the open-Arctic-ocean romp that Tobias Buckell and I wrote together.

Climate change isn't your ordinary apocalypse, since it's actually already upon us.  It's a slow, nearly imperceptible alteration of all our affairs--"boiling the frog" but not necessarily all negative.  It's not a destroyed world that results, but a reconfigured one.  Loosed Upon the World explores this ambiguity with panache and energy--and a book like this is long overdue.  

Jul 28, 2015

James Bond lives ... in Canada

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And the anthology is coming out this fall

License ExpiredA funny thing happened in 2015. James Bond came out of copyright... in Canada.  Everywhere else in the world, as far as I know, you still have to deal with the estate of Ian Fleming to clear any new Bond books or movies--but not here.  So, in an incredibly gutsy move, writers Madeline Ashby and David Nickle decided to edit together and publish an anthology of brand new James Bond stories... which they have done.  The anthology is coming from the ballsiest publisher on the planet, Chizine Publications, and is called License Expired:  The Unauthorized James Bond.  You'll be able to buy and read it in November... if you're in Canada.

This is going to be one of the most talked about anthologies of the year.  --Not because it's about Bond, but because the stories are good.  Great, some of them.  I have one, "Mosaic," and I'll make no claims for its quality, but with authors like Charles Stross contributing, and completely new and daring takes on Bond, his exploits and foibles, this is collection is huge fun.  I'm proud to be a part of it.

Jul 17, 2015

My Sasquan Schedule (Revised August 19)

I'll be at Worldcon this year. Here's how to find me.

I hope to see you in Spokane.  Here's what I'll be doing:

The Changing Face of Hard Science Fiction

Thursday 16:00 - 16:45, Bays 111B (CC)

Hard science fiction has roots that at least go back to Verne, and it's been a major part of the field -- some would argue it's been the center of the field, or even the only real SF -- since at least the 1940s.  But like the rest of SF, it has evolved and change.  Where is it now and where is it going? 

The Future of Government

Thursday 17:00 - 17:45, 300B (CC)

We like to think that US democracy is the ultimate and best form of government. But the world has seen many different forms of government over the centuries, and even today many different forms exist around the world. What will governments in the US and other countries be like in the next 10, 50, or 200 years? How will changing technologies and world conditions (e.g., climate change) affect those forms? Are there forms of government that have been proposed that have never existed in the real world, but might?

Genre and the Global Police State

Thursday 20:00 - 20:45, 300C (CC)

Thanks to the Five Eyes -- the joint intelligence sharing treaty between the USA, UK, Australia, and others -- and the total penetration of the internet by NSA/GCHQ monitoring, we now live in a society that is a secret policeman's dream. Wikileaks and then Edward Snowden blew the lid off the scandalous subversion of western democracies by unaccountable secret government agencies. In past decades, SF and fantasy provided a vehicle for trenchant social and political commentary on on-going cultural changes (consider "The Forever War" as a comment on Vietnam), but where are the genre works dealing with the global police state?

SF and Futurism (Moderator)
Friday, August 21 2015, 1:00 pm 
with Trina Marie Phillips, Matt Wallace 

Kaffee Klatsche 

Friday, August 21 2015, 4:00 pm 

Saturday, August 22 2015, 12:00 pm 

Climate Change and Health

Sunday 11:00 - 11:45, Bays 111B (CC)

The climate is changing in ways that have big implications for the future well-being of humans. There will be direct effects (e.g., heat stress) and indirect effects (e.g., disease-carrying mosquitos moving northward). The panelists will discuss what is happening now, what we can expect in the near future, and what might occur down the road if climate change continues on its present course.


Sunday 12:00 - 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

I won an AnLab Award!

Filed Under:

Analog is one of the oldest, most prestigious SF magazines

I've been awarded the 2014 Analytical Laboratory award for Best Fact Article for my piece, "Lockstep:  A Possible Galactic Empire," first published in May, 2014.  You can read up about the awards and the full listing of recipients here.

This award might not be well known outside SF circles, but for me, it's huge.  Analog is, after all, the quintessential Golden Age SF magazine, first appearing as Astounding in the 1930s.  This is the magazine famously edited by John W. Campbell, who shepherded the careers of people like Isaac Asimov and another southern Manitoban SF writer from the Mennonite community, A.E. van Vogt.  Many of the most prominent names in science fiction had their first publications in Analog.  To be honoured with an award from this magazine fulfills one of my bucket-list dreams. 

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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.


Twitter Updates

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    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."