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I have some great news for all the US and Canada readers: in preparation for the Oathbringer release later this year, Tor.com is offering a free download of the ebook edition of The Way of Kings, the first volume of the Stormlight Archive, today and tomorrow (March 23rd and 24th, 2017).

— Please take note —

This free ebook download will only be available for 48 hours. You can only download the file between 12:00 AM ET, March 23 and 11:59 PM ET, March 24.

Note: This offer is only available in the US and Canada. We apologize for the geographic restriction, unfortunately it is required for various legal reasons.

Last week Tor.com revealed the cover for Oathbringer, the third volume in the Stormlight Archive, by artist Michael Whelan. You can see the cover below, but if you'd like more detail, I would suggest you reading the post on Tor's website.

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Adam here. Brian McClellan is a favorite with members of team Dragonsteel; you can read previous posts from Isaac and me experience more uncontrollable gushing about The Powder Mage trilogy, specifically The Crimson Campaign and The Autumn Republic.

Brian recently released his follow-up to The Powder Mage trilogy with Sins of Empire that builds on the all the ideas set forth in the previous books. The setting switches from Adro to the capital city of Fatrasta, Landfall. Here we see a repressive government headed by Lady Chancellor Lindet and her psychopathic right-hand man, Fidelis Jes leader of the secret police known as the Blackhats. Unease is increased as the native Palo, the most subjugated of Landfall, begin to secretly campaign about the atrocities of the government via a manifesto called The Sins of Empire which begins to steer the populace toward rebellion. To quell the imminent insurrection, Lindet tasks powder mage Vlora and her Riflejack Mercenary Company to defend the city and keep order. Meanwhile, Fidelis Jes orders one of his blackhats, Michel Bravis, to investigate the origins of The Sins of Empire and bring in the individuals responsible. Things become more complicated for our cast as Mad Ben Styke, falsely imprisoned by Fidelis Jes, escapes a prison work camp with the help of the enigmatic Gregious Tampo, who is too well-informed and resourceful to be the mere lawyer he claims to be. The book finishes in standard McClellan fashion: in a furious, visceral, and relentlessly thrilling melee that became a familiar sensation during the original trilogy.

Needless to say, Brian is one of the first authors I recommend to people when they ask for recommendations. If you like Brandon's books–and since you're reading this I will assume you do–these should suit you fine.

Also, our resident artist Isaac–who also said, "this is Brian's best book to date"–also did the map work for these books and you can check them out below!

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Adam here. As you can probably imagine, Brandon's inbox is flooded daily with questions ranging from inquiries about his favorite color to asking how everything in the cosmere ends. For obvious reasons, Brandon can’t answer all of these.

What I am going to start doing is to create a weekly poll of questions—hopefully none of which will get an immediate RAFO—on Facebook so you get to help decide which question Brandon answers later that week. Some weeks you will see more than one poll—like this week—as I need to have several questions ready for the time that Brandon will be touring.

If you want to help decide what questions get answers, pay attention to Brandon's Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as I will be announcing when the polls become active.

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Developing Your Own, Personal Style
, Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard talk about your voice as a writer, your authorial style, and the aesthetics you employ, and how this is an expression unique to you. And with that definition out of the way, our discussion focuses around how we go about identifying, developing, and embracing our personal styles.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Warbreaker, Vivenna was manipulated into approving Denth’s plans, thinking they would benefit Idris. This week, in chapters twenty, and twenty-one, Siri’s new nighttime routine is disrupted, and Vasher begins some manipulations of … SQUIRREL!

You can see the February Twitter post archive here and March's here

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In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Q&A on Viewpoint, Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard answer your questions about viewpoint. Here they are!

  • Do you have tips and tricks for making 3rd-person omniscient compelling?

  • How do you make 3rd-person limited compelling?

  • Is it normal to need several drafts to nail down a character’s voice?

  • What’s the best way to portray an unreliable 3rd-person limited narrator?

  • What are your most effective methods for immersing yourself in character attributes so that you can get the voice right?

  • How do you choose between 1st and 3rd person?

  • How do you select the viewpoint character for a scene?

  • How do you smoothly transition between viewpoints?

  • How do you prevent character voices from blending into each other and becoming indistinguishable?

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Warbreaker, Siri had everyone blushing with her new bedtime routine, while Lightsong tried unsuccessfully to call in sick. This week, in chapter nineteen, Vivenna’s prejudices are on full display, even as her inexperience sets her up for further manipulation.

Brandon recently did an interview with Bulgarian fantasy outlet Shadowdance. You can read the interview in English or Bulgarian here:

You can see the February Twitter post archive here.

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Hey, all! I’ve been deep into revisions on Oathbringer. Turns out, big books don’t just take a long time to write—they take a long time to revise. (Who knew?)

Last year during my trip to the United Arab Emirates, I took a break from working on Oathbringer to write a novella, as is my habit to refresh myself now and then. Other than Edgedancer (the Stormlight novella in Arcanum Unbounded), this is the only thing I had time to write last year that wasn’t Oathbringer.

Snapshot is one of those stories that, once I had the idea, wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote it furiously, having only about a week’s time to finish it, and I’m very pleased with the product: a kind of cyberpunk–detective thriller mashup. As we’ve posted earlier, Hollywood quickly snatched this one up, and it’s currently under option to MGM.

I think you’ll like it! The print edition is only available in a special edition leatherbound from Vault Books that will be released soon (though we will also a cheap hardcover toward the end of the year). But as is our tradition, we’re simultaneously releasing an ebook for a few bucks, DRM-free, in all markets. So you can choose whether you want the expensive collector’s edition, or the quick ebook. (Audible has also released the audiobook today.)

Please give the story a look on its explanation page, where you’ll find a synopsis and links to the first two chapters. Also, note that if you buy the print edition in any format, we’ll happily send you the ebook for free at your request. (This will be handled via a coupon for my store.)

On Short Fiction

This seems a good time to take a moment and talk about the various editions I have out for my short fiction.

There are several motives that war within me when it comes to producing editions of my work. The first is that I really don’t want people to feel they have to pay multiple times for the same piece of fiction. I figure once you’ve paid me for it, you’re good, and you should have access (at least in ebook form) to that story for the rest of your life, whenever you want to read it.

At the same time, I want to provide different distinctive editions of the works for people who like them. This sometimes conflicts with my first impression because of additional costs involved. For example, doing an audiobook is more expensive than a print book as—once all the work is done for the print book—you then have to hire another team to take that text and make an audio version. I haven’t realistically found a way to bundle audio, print, and ebook together. (Though I do think the industry will need to figure this out eventually.)

I think the best I can do for now is give away ebooks of the books I myself publish for free, once you have a print edition. (Note the emphasis—I don’t have the legal right to do this for books like Mistborn and The Way of Kings, which were published by Tor. I can only do it for my self-published ventures, like most of my novellas.)

In addition, however, I can talk about in what formats these novellas will be available, and when. This at least lets you know whether you want to hold off getting one until your preferred format is available. So here is what I see us doing with these for the foreseeable future.

Option One: Individual cheap ebook
Available DRM-free from most ebook vendors on launch day.

Option Two: Individual audiobook
These depend on Audible or some other company wanting to release an edition. (They did so for the Legion books, for example, but not others.)

Usually, individual audiobooks for shorts are a bad value for readers—as the Audible economy depends on people using credits on stories, and there are no “half” credits. Which means a credit can be applied to a three-hour novella or a full-length novel at twenty-plus hours.

So you can’t depend on these existing. Sometimes they will, but not other times.

Option Three: Individual leatherbound hardcover
I’ve done these for most novellas, partnering with places like Subterranean and Vault Books. These are meant mostly as collector’s items, and usually have a short and limited print run. For those who want each individual novella separate and in its own book, this is your best option.

Option Four: Dragonsteel edition hardcover
These editions are often printed as “doubles” around the holidays, and sometimes (before official publication) go with me to conventions as convention exclusives.

This is the economical way to get a print edition, as they usually cost $20 and have two stories. (Snapshot, for example, is being published with another story called Dreamer this fall, and will be at conventions with me all summer.)

However, there’s a windowing of a few months on most of these, meaning you can’t get it immediately. This is by request of the publishers of the leatherbounds, who want a small exclusivity window.

Option Five: Collection version (ebook, audio, print)

I will be doing two types of collections moving forward. Cosmere stories (in the Arcanum Unbounded tradition, likely named Arcanum Unbounded II, III, etc.). These will collect in a single edition all the stories that haven’t been collected so far. (Arcanum Unbounded, for example, contained every Cosmere piece of short fiction that had been published up to that point.)

These are for the completionists who want everything, but who don’t mind waiting. They’re also very economical, as if you wait for the paperback edition, they will probably give you a dozen stories (of various lengths) for around ten bucks.

I do anticipate doing a non-Cosmere collection within a year or two, which will include stories like Snapshot and Perfect State. (And probably the Legion novellas, unless they become their own thing.)

Option Six: Dragonsteel collection leatherbound

If there is interest, we might do a leatherbound edition for the 10th anniversary of the collection, like we’ve done with Elantris and are currently doing with Mistborn. So if you like leatherbounds, but miss the initial limited edition, these will eventually be available—but they are a looong way off.

Anyway, I hope that lets you plan! Thank you for your interest in these smaller stories. Your enthusiasm for them is part of what keeps me so productive, as I don’t feel locked into doing one type of story. Overall, this makes even things like Stormlight move faster, as I remain engaged and excited as an author moving between projects.
And do please consider giving Snapshot a look!



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Hello, everyone! I’ve had my nose to the grindstone working on Oathbringer. However, as awards season is upon us again, I’m pausing to do my yearly roundup of what I have that is eligible.

I know that to many of you, the science fiction awards (and the occasional drama surrounding them) are of little interest. However, I think it is important for me to support these awards, as they are valuable for our community.

Science fiction and fantasy, as genres, have become increasingly mainstream. In addition, those outside fandom are coming to understand us better. However, we continue to face unfair treatment by certain literary circles. We can’t simply say, “Hey, you shouldn’t regard an entire genre with derision, particularly when the genre is so wide,” without in turn saying, “Take a look at these books as great examples of what we do well.”

It is important that we in the genres uphold what we think is excellent about what we do. Those authors—and the world at large—deserve to understand that we’re proud of ourselves and of what we accomplish.

At worst, awards are a popularity contest. And that’s just fine. At their best, though, they are the means by which we grow as a community.

This year has a special difference from previous years, in that the Hugo Awards is trying out an award for Best Series. Below I've listed what I have that is eligible for the Hugo and Nebula awards this year.

Hugo Awards nominations are open to all members of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Science Fiction Conventions, and the deadline is March 17. You had to be a member by January 21st to nominate, but it's not too late to become a member of the 2017 Worldcon in order to vote on the final ballot once it's announced.
The Nebula nomination deadline, for SFWA members, is tomorrow, February 15.

Best Novel

  • The Bands of Mourning

  • Calamity

  • The Dark Talent

(Note: Calamity and possibly The Dark Talent are also eligible for consideration by the Andre Norton Award jury.)

Best Novella

  • Mistborn: Secret History

  • Edgedancer (appeared in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection)

(Note: Both of these novellas are slightly over 40,000 words and thus are eligible as novels for both the Nebula and Hugo Awards. However, under the Hugos’ 20%/5,000-word category relocation rule, they are also eligible for the Best Novella Hugo Award, where they fit best.)

Best Series (Hugo Awards only)

  • Mistborn

  • The Stormlight Archive

  • Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

In these award eligibility posts, I generally pick one thing I’d like to highlight for awards consideration. Usually it’s a novella or novel I think represents my best work of the year, or the one that I think stands best on its own.

This year, however, I feel that my novellas and novels don’t work independently. The novellas are both parts of larger series, requiring foreknowledge to really work. The two novels I released were the third in their respective series.

(Arcanum Unbounded could be eligible for the World Fantasy’s anthology award, but that is juried by a committee. So it’s up to whoever is part of that jury, not the voting public.)

Therefore, the thing I’d like to highlight this year is Mistborn for the Best Series Hugo Award. Mistborn had two entries this year, and I do think I’m doing something particularly interesting with that series. (Taking an epic fantasy world and pushing it toward a modern-day urban fantasy.) I would rather people consider it, than the Stormlight Archive, as I’d prefer the attention be on Stormlight in a year when it has a full novel in consideration. Hopefully we will have many more years of the Series Hugo to consider worthy works.

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Brandon will be in Boston next week for Boskone 54 below is a brief overview of his schedule. You can see all the details, including his future trips, on his Upcoming Events page.


My Toughest Book
Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Time: 17:00 - 18:00


Mistborn: House War Game Demo
Time: 11:00 - 12:00

Building a Career
Time: 13:00 - 14:00

Boskone Book Club: The Rithmatist
Time: 16:00 - 17:00


Reading and Q&A
Time 12:00 - 13:00

Time: 13:00 - 14:00

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Variations on Third Person, Brandon, Mary, Dan, Howard focus their discussion on the third person POV, and some variations on them, like omniscient and limited, and some sub-variants like cinematic and head-hopping.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Warbreaker, our main protagonists all gathered in the arena, and the priests began their debates. This week, in chapter sixteen, the subject of war with Idris becomes the focus; both Siri and Lightsong are deeply disturbed.

You can see the February Twitter post archive here.

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Adam here.

Yes, you read that right. Snapshot, Brandon's forthcoming novella, was just optioned by MGM. Broken Road Productions and Entertainment 360 (Office Christmas Party) are to produce.

If you're not familiar with Snapshot, you can find a brief synopsis below. You can use the widget to the right to see preorder options in your region. It will also be available on Audible, but their preorder link is not yet live.

Now, as always, this option news doesn't mean that a film will definitely be made—they don't yet have a director or actors, and many film options never make it that far. But I for one hope it happens, because this story would be great to see on the big screen!

If you could re-create a day, what dark secrets would you uncover?

From New York Times #1 bestselling author Brandon Sanderson comes a detective thriller in a police beat like no other. Anthony Davis and his partner Chaz are the only real people in a city of 20 million, sent there by court order to find out what happened in the real world 10 days ago so that hidden evidence can be brought to light and located in the real city today.

Within the re-created Snapshot of May 1st, Davis and Chaz are the ultimate authorities. Flashing their badges will get them past any obstruction and overrule any civil right of the dupes around them. But the crimes the detectives are sent to investigate seem like drudgery—until they stumble upon the grisly results of a mass killing that the precinct headquarters orders them not to investigate. That’s one order they have to refuse.

The hunt is on. And though the dupes in the replica city have no future once the Snapshot is turned off, that doesn’t mean that both Davis and Chaz will walk out of it alive tonight.

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Brandon, while touring in Italy for his European tour last fall, sat down for a few minutes with Isola Illyon –an online publication known in Italy as a central hub for information on fantasy and gaming– to talk about fantasy, and whatever else came to mind.

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Project in Depth, “Risk Assessment,” by Sandra Tayler, Brandon, Mary, Dan, Howard, with Sandra Tayler discuss "Risk Assessment". This Project in Depth episode contains spoilers for “Risk Assessment,” which is included in Force Multiplication: Schlock Mercenary Book 12. The story was written by Sandra Tayler, and illustrated by Natalie Barahona. Howard handled the writing and illustrating for the framing story, but this episode isn’t about that part.

Risk Assessment is a romance wrapped up in an adventure and is very different from most of the rest of Schlock Mercenary. Have a listen, and Sandra will tell you about it.

If you want to learn more about the application process for 2017 WX Retreat Scholarship, you can read today's post by Dan Wells. If you don't know the details regarding the Writing Excuses retreat for 2017, Dan also wrote a post about it last week.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Warbreaker, Last week, Lightsong learned the theology of his own religion, and Siri discovered that she’d survived the night after all. This week, in chapter thirteen, Vivenna tries to figure out how to keep her skin and her ideals intact, and Siri is prepared for presentation at the Court of Gods.

You can see the January Twitter post archive here.

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In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Variations on First Person, Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard spend a few minutes on the administrative stuff before jumping into January’s structural topic, the first person voice, with a discussion of the variations in how that POV is presented. We cover some of the different first person POV styles, what sorts of stories they’re often best-suited for, and how we go about writing them well.

Tor.com's Warbreaker Reread: Last week, in chapter ten, Vivenna was repeatedly sent spinning as she tried to cope with mercenaries and the death of Lemex. This week, in chapter eleven, we return to a decidedly bored Siri, as she attempts to find something interesting to do with herself—since kneeling naked on the floor for hours is definitely not at the top of the list.

You can see the December Twitter post archive here.

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