Back to: Before I go ... | Forward to: Introducing: John Meaney

Introducing: Karl Schroeder

Here's the formal intro:

Karl Schroeder has published nine novels and is currently finishing a Master's degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. His books include Ventus, Lady of Mazes, and the Virga series, which is more or less "Master and Commander" but set in a world without gravity. When he's not writing he works as a futurist for government and industry clients. Right now he's writing the greatest near-future science fiction adventure novel about stakeholder management systems that the world has ever seen. You can find his personal blog at

And here's the informal one:

I first met Karl about six or seven years ago. I'd run across his fiction earlier, following up a personal rec by Cory Doctorow who was excited about him for some reason. It didn't take me long to figure out why. His first novel, Ventus (that's a free ebook edition) hit me between the eyes with a mix of fresh thinking about space opera, nanotechnology, terraforming, and information theory. Since then, he's only got better: "Lady of Mazes" was a tour de force, and his Virga series are both good quasi-steampunky fun and an exercise in applied hard SF world-building that doesn't have many equals right now. If you like Charles Stross novels (subtype: the SF ones) you'll probably like Karl's books too.

I'm really pleased that he's agreed to guest blog while I'm away-from-keyboard, and I hope you will be too.



Sadly, I couldn't find any Karl Schroeder books on Kindle in English and my German isn't that good.

I don't carry books around with me while I commute and that's the bulk of the time I have available to read.

he works as a futurist for government and industry clients

Is that a thing? Awesome.


Lady of Mazes was one of the most straight-up impressive reading experiences I've had. (On a list with Acceralndo by Stross, Diaspora by Egan, A Fire Upon the Deep by Vinge, Blightsight by Watts, and probably something by Stephenson).

Ventus and Virga are also filled with brilliance (and also super fun high adventure). Also, his stories in each of the Metatropolis books are total knock-outs.

Karl Schroeder continually demonstrates that he is one of the most unique, insightful, and irreplaceable voices in SF.


Agreed. I bought the first in the Virga series after Charlie's recommendation, and pretty shortly ended up buying the rest.


I got Sun of Suns in my mailbox as a PDF when TOR was mailing out books by new authors as samples a few years ago, got hooked on the series.

But in terms of his "Big Idea" books I actually liked Permanence best, dunno why it got such mixed reviews.


I have Lady of Mazes, Ventus, and Virga, but Ventus is the only one I've read so far. I liked it a lot.


I've just started Ventus myself (using the EPUB from the website) and am enjoying it immensely.


I first read Lady of Mazes and was blown away by both the ideas and the writing. Since then I've read Ventus, Permanence, and three of the Virga books so far, and been similarly impressed (though I have to say I still think Lady of Mazes is the very top of Schroeder's form). One aspect of the world-building in Ventus and Lady of Mazes that I like very much, and that reminds me of Charlie's Singularity Sky universe, is the depth and originality of thought about posthuman societies he's done.


I've just read that free Ventus edition, and was extremely impressed. I'll be buying more for sure.

Neal, I'm going to be checking out the ones I haven't read from that little list now... all the ones I have, I agree with you on.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on July 20, 2011 12:07 PM.

Before I go ... was the previous entry in this blog.

Introducing: John Meaney is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog