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Mistborn
Weblog for Writer Brandon Sanderson
Kara here with an update on Brandon’s store, just in time for the holidays. We’ve been busy putting together several new products, and I’m excited to tell you about them.

First off, you might’ve heard rumors about our continuing the line of books we began with our leather edition of Elantris last year. This year, I’m officially announcing the release of our Tenth Anniversary leather edition of Mistborn: The Final Empire. These are signed and numbered and go on sale December 1st. Numbers are first-come, first-serve, though like last year, many of the low numbers will be sent to independent bookstores like: UBooks, BYU Bookstore, Murder by the Book, Mysterious Galaxy, Subterranean Books, Powell's, Borderlands Books, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Weller Book Works, and the King's English.



Due to printing delays and Brandon’s touring schedule, we will not be able to guarantee delivery of this item in time for Christmas.

Like our edition of Elantris, the Dragonsteel edition of Mistborn is bound in premium bonded leather, and the pages are smyth-sewn, not glued like most regular books. Mistborn is printed in black and red inks on quality, acid-free paper, includes a bound-in satin-ribbon bookmark, full-color endpapers by Steve Argyle, gilded pages, and two-color foiling on the cover. A 24-page art gallery starts off the edition and features never-before-seen artwork and a new 2-page map of the Final Empire. We’ve made this the most beautiful edition of Mistborn yet, taking the best from the designs of the Era 1 and Era 2 books and melding that with what we began with the leather edition of Elantris. The Dragonsteel Leather edition of Mistborn is 672 pages.

A few months back, Steve Argyle revealed one of his Vin paintings, which we commissioned for the endpapers of our edition of Mistborn. We’ve created a large 18 x 24 poster of Steve’s beautiful illustration to adorn your walls. This same image is available in other formats—including as a playmat—at Steve’s store.



In addition to the Vin poster, we’ve also printed up full-color posters of some of the maps from our latest releases: a 12 x 16 of the Cosmere Constellations endpaper from Arcanum Unbounded, a six-pack of the star charts of the systems discussed in Arcanum Unbounded (each map 8 x 12) in print for the first time in color, a 12 x 18 of the map from the White Sand graphic novel, and an 18 x 24 of the new map of the Final Empire found in the leather edition of Mistborn.



One last item I want to highlight is our 2016 Holiday Cards, featuring original Mistborn Santa artwork by Shawn Boyles, who created the Dragonsteel logo and the map for Warbreaker. Printed on pearlescent cardstock, these cards sparkle just a little bit, like the morning sun on new-fallen snow. Yes, they are just that cool, and I hope you enjoy sending them to friends and family over the holidays. Comes in a 12-pack with matching pearlescent envelopes.

christmas-card

Watch the store over the next few weeks because we might be adding one or two new decals as well.

Just a few words on holiday shipping. Here are the deadlines for ordering items in order to receive them by December 24. Ordering earlier than this is even safer.
November 20: Personalized books, for international delivery.
December 1: Non-personalized items for international delivery.
December 5: Personalized books for US delivery.
December 15: Non-personalized items for US delivery.

We give these dates only as recommendations. If you order by these times, we promise we will do our best to get your order to you in a timely manner, but because of the many factors outside of our control, we cannot guarantee deliveries will arrive by December 24th.

Happy Holidays from the Dragonsteel Team. May you have a great December and look forward to a bright New Year!

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Adam here. Brandon is currently heading out to the airport to start his "short" tour for Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection. If you're not familiar with what Arcanum Unbounded is, check out Brandon's introduction to it here. I have listed his tour stops below, but if you want to see details, please visit the Upcoming Events page.

  • 11/29 - Fort Collins, CO - Old Firehouse Books

  • 11/3 - San Fransisco, CA - Borderlands

  • 12/1 - Seattle, WA - University Bookstore

  • 12/3 - New York City (Hoboken, NJ) - Little City Books

  • 12/6 - Chicago, IL - Volumes Book Cafe



If you would like to listen to an excerpt from Arcanum Unbounded, here is a sample of the Emperor's Soul prologue for your listening pleasure.



For all of Brandon's Spanish readers: Brandon was interviewed by a local news station during his visit to Spain last month. You can give it a watch here!

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Fantasy Food, with Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch, Howard and Dan met up with Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch met up at GenCon Indy to talk about fantasy food, and how to engage your readers’ appetites with uour fiction. They talk economics, logistics, sensory engagement, and goof off quite a bit in the process. They might have been hungry at the time. There is good fun to be had here, and plenty of (pun intended) food for thought.

Last week, in chapters four and five in the reread for Warbreaker, Siri arrived in T’Telir, observed by Vasher and Lightsong This week, in chapter six, This week, she enters the God King’s palace and is readied for her husband.

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My new book is out today! Supposedly, it’s a short story collection, but I’m not known for the “short” part so much as the “story” part. So, really, it’s a collection of long stories, with some shorter pieces gluing them together.
Almost a decade ago, I decided I wanted to be better at short fiction. Until that point, I’d written almost exclusively novels in my attempts to learn to be a writer. But there’s something magical about short(er) fiction. I love it when I'm able to sit down, pick up a book, and read a complete story in one sitting. Some of the most powerful works of literature, including A Christmas Carol, and Animal Farm, are actually short fiction, a form we call the novella.
Over the last ten years, I’ve fallen in love with writing novellas. While I have written a few true short stories (you’ll find a couple in the collection) my true talent is in my ability to set a world, populate it, and drag a character through it to see how it leaves them changed. Novellas are, essentially, short novels--and boy, they are fun to write.
The cornerstones of this collection, then, are its novellas: one set on the world of Elantris (The Emperor's Soul), another on the world of Mistborn (Secrect History), and the third on the world of The Stormlight Archive (Edgedancer). Two other worlds (Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell and Sixth of the Dusk) will give many of you something new to taste, so the collection doesn’t just revisit what has come before.
One of the fun things about this collection is the chance you have to watch my progress as a writer. you can read some of my earlier short stories (Hope of Elantris and the Eleventh Metal) to give you something to compare to things like my most recent work (Edgedancer), written exclusively for this collection.
Even if you’re so-so on story collections, please give this book a try. I think it will change your mind. If you hate them with the white hot burning passion of the sun...um...Oathbringer is almost done. You can read that next year.
Before I leave you, let me mention the coolest part about the collection: in-world star charts and essays about the planets by Khriss, one of the great scholars in the cosmere, and the one who has been writing the Ars Arcanum section in many of my books (hence the title Arcanum Unbounded). I'm very happy with the illustration of her on the cover. All the new art in this collection is great, including star charts and full-color end pages in the American edition. You’ll find it to be a handsome book, well deserving of a place on your shelf.
Many people have asked me where they can read more about the cosmere–the connectivity between the planets of my epic fantasy works. Well, you’ll find that here – secrets, hints, and even some outright explanations.
This contains every scrap of cosmere short fiction I’ve done so far, so if you've been a little overwhelmed trying to collect it all, you can find it here. We stuck it all in, including things like Hope of Elantris and Allomancer Jak, which were never intended to stand alone, just so you’d have it, if you wanted it. Now you don't have to worry about being confused or left out when other fans discuss them.
The collection is in ebook, audiobook, and gorgeous hardcover. Enjoy, and thanks for giving it a chance!
Also, don’t forget my release party tonight, and my short tour starting next week.

If you’re hungry for Oathbringer updates, check out this reddit thread from last week.

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Hey, all! I've been working very hard on Stormlight Three, trying to get it done before I go on tour for Arcanum Unbounded (which comes out next week, hint hint). The tour actually happens a few weeks later. See the (unfortunately short) list of cities here.

However, if you're looking for something to read now, rather than waiting all the way until next week, might I give you a suggestion? Dan, my podcasting buddy and longtime friend, has just released what might just be the best book of his career.

He'd probably be the first to admit that Extreme Makeover is a very strange book. On one hand, it's a satire of the corporate world. On the other hand, it's a doomsday party which counts down to the very end of the world. It's funny, but not in a stand-up comedy way. More in a "I can't believe he's going there" kind of way.

Like most of Dan's books, it has sf elements, but plays to a wide audience–as long as they're willing to accept a strange premise (in this case, a health and beauty company that develops cloning technology). Reviewers are comparing it to Vonnegut, and I'd agree with that assessment.

Before becoming a full-time novelist, Dan worked for a health and beauty company in their writing department. He was exposed to a lot of the insanity that happens in such places, and is fully capable of skewering it–but the book is far deeper than that. It's the most fun you can probably have reading about the end of the world.

So if you're looking for something strange, thoughtful, and mixed with a shade of gallows humor, give the book a try.

Brandon

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Karen here, one of Brandon's assistants. I'm usually in charge of continuity: making sure that little details, like the color of a minor character's eyes or the shape of each kind of spren, are consistant from one book to the next. I also keep a master timeline so that each viewpoint character lives the same number of days between joint scenes.

I occasionally get assigned other tasks that require attention to detail and the ability to organize large amounts of information so that the important bits are easily accessible. Think Himalaya from Alcatraz vs the Knights of Crystalia.

Brandon has wanted a FAQ on his website for years, but it has always been a lower priority than say, getting books edited and published. When the subject came up again, I volunteered and we all agreed that it was a job perfectly suited to my skill set. The last person who worked on the task gave me hundreds of pages of interviews, responses to fan mail, transcripts of Q&A sessions at signings, and lists of the sort of questions that should be covered.

My task was to:

1. Edit the questions. Most fan mail is a bit down from rambling, with paragraphs about why they want to know the answer, and details and examples that clarify what they're asking about. The FAQ needs a single sentence of about five to seven words.

2. Edit the answers. These questions are, by definition frequently asked, and Brandon answers them slightly differently each time. I combined the answers so that they included all the juicy details without a ton of repetition.

3. Weed out the irrelevant. It's fun to know that someone named their baby Kaladin, or what Brandon's favorite pizza topping is, but those don't really belong in the FAQ.

4. Organize the questions. A FAQ is no good to people if they can't quickly find the answer they're looking for. Brandon specifically asked for a nested structure to group similar questions together and make it less intimidating than one giant list.

I do want to warn that when you get into questions about specific books, there are major spoilers. Even reading the questions, without looking at the answers can be dangerous. I recommend reading an entire book or series before digging into its section in the FAQ.

I know that the FAQ is not complete. There are many more old interviews archived in the database at Theoryland.com that I'm slowly getting to while also working on continuity for Oathbringer. You can always send questions and comments through the fan mail form , but if you think your question will have general appeal and ought to be addressed in the FAQ, you can send them directly to me at karen@brandonsanderson.com and I'll try to get an answer for you. Brandon and I reserve the right to RAFO any question that deserves it.

I hope this resource that will be interesting and useful to you, the fans. I hope it will answer questions that you've always kind of wondered about, but never asked. So dig in, binge read if you want, and enjoy yourselves. I present to you, the FAQ!

Karen

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Adam here.

Brandon is not human. I haven't ascertained exactly what he is. He could be a robot, which is a common theory posed by many of his readers due to his prodigious production rate. Maybe he’s an alien or some other unknown quantity, but he is most assuredly not of the human variety. This couldn't have been made any plainer to me than it has over these last several weeks while following him around Europe. 

Brandon had some type of interaction or event with his readers almost every day, many of which were signings that lasted several hours. He had meetings with publishers, and he somehow managed to continue his work on the book he's writing. (Oh, and did I mention that there was an eight-hour time difference?) I felt constantly worn out and am still trying to recover. (I woke up at 3:00 am this morning, so that's not going very well.) Brandon mentioned in passing a few times that he may have been fatigued. I am fairly certain that he just needed to go plug himself in to recharge his internal battery. I felt exhausted after three weeks and he spends almost half of his year traveling! 

All teasing aside, this trip gave me a greater understanding of the strain Brandon puts himself under. I know why he does it. He loves and appreciates every single one of his readers and would feel negligent if he missed out on an opportunity to show that to you. I know he was grateful for your patience as you waited in line, often for many hours, to get your books signed or snag a photo with him. I will be posting pictures of some of the people Brandon met, some exceptional fan art, and maybe some cosplayers on Brandon's social media over the next several weeks. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did!

Calamity and The Bands of Mourning have both been voted into the Semi-Final round in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards, so thank you for your voting thus far! If you'd like to vote again, you can find Calamity in Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, and The Bands of Mourning in Fantasy.

The Humble Bundle fantasy/sf RPG ebook bundle, that features three of Crafty Games' Mistborn Adventure Game books, expires in just over five days. So if you've been curious to give them a try, now is a fantastic time.

Brandon has done quite a few interviews of late, two of which are now live. The first was with Hank Garner on the Author Stories Podcast, where they discussedBrandon's first introduction into fantasy by his eighth grade teacher, how his two year missionary journey to Korea informed his later writing, and why fantasy resonates with people in emotionally powerful ways. The second was recorded a few weeks ago in Paris by Le Point Pop (you can see a small snippet below) and also translated to French for any of Brandon's readers who can read French –or who are as clever as I am and can push the translate button at the top of the page.


Brandon Sanderson, l'auteur fantastique bientôt... by le-point-pop
In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Elemental Issue, with Desiree Burch, we focus on November's elemental genre: Issue. We were joined by actor, writer, and comedian Desiree Burch. The Elemental Issue is similar to the Elemental Idea, but explores a point of social conflict, like racism, teen pregnancy, or corporate greed. Authors writing Elemental Issue stories raise questions for the readers. We talk about how to go about writing these without sounding preachy, and without writing polemics.

Last week, in chapter three reread for Warbreaker, we leave the Idrians in their respective muddles, and go to meet Lightsong in the Court of Gods. This week, in chapters four and five, Siri arrives in Hallandren, evoking consternation, frustration, and interest on the part of our POV characters.

I will be updating the twitter feed for November on Monday, but if you aren’t caught up with October’s feed, you can see it here.

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Adam here. Sorry about missing last week's update post; I have been traveling in Europe with Brandon (mostly, but I will get to that in a minute) and didn't have good internet access. So if you have been lost—or as I like to imagine it, wallowing in the pit of despair—without my weekly update, for this I am sorry. I will try to make it up to you.


I took a small jaunt away from Brandon for a few days to see a few of the sites in other nearby countries, and I thought it would be fun to take signed bookplates to stuff into Brandon's books as I came across bookshops during my travels. I didn't achieve the level of success I had envisioned—two clerks in a Kraków, Poland, bookshop didn't want any part of my mission—but I was able to find a few shops in Prague (I really enjoyed this cover of Calamity) who were carrying some of Brandon's works. The Kanzelsberger A.s. and Knihkupectví Academia bookshops, both on Václavské nám, were both faux "Brandalized." I will continue doing this throughout the rest of Brandon's tour, so keep an eye on these weekly updates, or Brandon's Twitter and Facebook feeds, to find out where.

Starting tomorrow (Thursday) and through this weekend, Brandon will be doing three events in Barcelona. Then on Monday he'll be in Lisbon for a signing. See his events page for details.

Weekly Update



Humble Bundle has put up a fantasy/sf RPG ebook bundle that features three of Crafty Games' Mistborn Adventure Game books. This is running for only two weeks, so if you haven't had a chance to pick up these RPG books yet, this is a good chance.

The first round of this year's Goodreads Choice Awards is now open for voting, and Brandon has two books nominated: The Bands of Mourning in Fantasy, and Calamity in Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.

In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Horrifying the Children, with Darren Shan, the Writing Excuses crew with the aid of Darren Shan (Cirque du Freak or any of fifty other books), breaks down writing horror for children and young adults.

Last week, in chapter one reread for Warbreaker, we met the Idrian royal family and were introduced to the political tensions that drive much of the plot. This week, in chapter two, the sisters express their dissatisfaction with the exchange in no uncertain terms, and another plot-critical decision is reached.

And with the announcement last week that DMG Entertainment has optioned the entire Cosmere series for film, with a movie for The Way of Kings fast-tracked for production, Tor.com has put up a dream cast post for that movie. Check it out.

The Twitter post archive for October is up to date.

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Hey, all. I’m still in Europe on tour. (I’ll be in Barcelona next, followed by Lisbon.) But I don’t want to get so busy with this and writing Stormlight Three that I forget to give you a heads-up on Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, coming out this month.

When it became apparent that Stormlight Three wouldn’t be ready this year, I talked to my publishers, and we decided that I should write a novella instead, to tide people over. This gave us a perfect opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while: release all of the Cosmere short fiction together in a single volume, so you don’t have to hunt it out or worry you’ve missed something.

So this collection, while including a sizable Stormlight story (about Lift), has every bit of published Cosmere short fiction I’ve done up to this point—including all the novellas, as well as some little bits and pieces from here and there. Tor.com just posted the table of contents, and a giveaway sweepstakes for the book started today.

The collection has star charts for the various worlds, and a short essay about each world from Khriss, the scholar who writes the Ars Arcanum for each novel. Tor.com should be putting up a preview example for both of these next week. I’ve also written a short annotation for each story.

Whether you’re a Cosmere scholar yourself and want the juicy details in the essays, or a casual fan who just wants some good stories, I think you’ll love this collection. Standalone stories like The Emperor’s Soul have had fantastic reviews and won awards, while stories like Mistborn: Secret History expand on the lore and characters of books you’ve already read.

I’ll be doing a release party in Utah, followed (after the Thanksgiving holiday) by a short tour. Find the details here!

Thanks! I’ll write something more when the book is actually available, but for now you can preorder it at your vendor of choice.

As always, if you’re planning to see me on tour, I suggest that you buy the book from the store where I’ll be touring. But you certainly don’t have to wait for the day of the signing to do so, particularly since it will be a week after the release when I tour. Just make sure the bookstore knows, when you buy, that you’re planning to attend the signing—some of them do have limited seating or other restrictions that might require a ticket or a receipt.

Thanks so much for all your support over the year! Stormlight Three is coming along well, I promise. Around this time next year, I should be writing a post like this to introduce it to you!

Brandon

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In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Elemental Drama as a Sub-Genre, the Writing Excuses crew turns their focus on elemental drama. This can be tricky as it's basically "character change," and a great many stories use character change in some way—it's almost ubiquitous. In this episode they pick at the ubiquity, and look at the many different ways in which character change can be featured, and what sort of tools writers have at their disposal to make this happen in stories.

In case you missed Alice Arneson's first post introducing Tor's continuing reread for Warbreaker, you can find it here. This week, in the prologue, we see Vasher and Nightblood escape a Hallandren dungeon.

The Twitter post archive for October is up to date.

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Goldenhand

goldenhand-cover

Garth Nix
(Note: For an explanation of my Goodreads policy, please see here.)

For Writers
The Short Version
Rating Notes
Bias Notes

Anyone who hasn’t read Sabriel, the beginning of the Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix, is missing out. I consider reading it, during the years I was trying to break in, to be one of the fundamental experiences that helped me shape my philosophy on magic systems and worldbuilding.

Needless to say, I love the magic and worldbuilding of these books—though perhaps someday I’ll do a review of Sabriel itself, and delve into what I love about the worldbuilding in these books. This review is about Goldenhand, a later installment (book five, I believe, though one of those is a prequel) in the series. I found it to be an excellent continuation.

I’m impressed that Mr. Nix has kept my attention and excitement for the series over all these years, doling out new volumes carefully and expanding the magic system at a controlled rate. (And introducing new characters to become the new viewpoints as others close their arcs.) I feel he’s added good flourishes here and there to give the magic depth, but never let it spiral away from him, as was the potential at any given point.

For Writers
One highlight for me in this book involved Mr. Nix’s continued ability to introduce compelling characters with a variety of backgrounds. Pay attention to how he gives strong, but different, motives to the primary players—and how he quickly establishes those motives and keeps them central to each character’s through line.

I also admire his ability to write a young adult series that is firmly secondary world fantasy, with challenging worldbuilding and politics, while still keeping the narrative focused on younger characters, maintaining the feel that this is correctly shelved in teen. I think the character motivations, the sense that these are people still searching for their exact place in the world, is part of what makes this work.

Finally, I would suggest a study of Mr. Nix’s pacing methods. Sabriel was the first fantasy novel I can remember that used a more intense, “thriller style” method of pacing. (I see this in the works of [author:Jim Butcher|10746] and [author:Brent Weeks|1370283] as well.)

Notice how Mr. Nix writes this book to encompass a relatively short period of time, with constant motion and action. He uses frequent cuts between viewpoints to deemphasize downtime, increase tension, and propel the story. He also consistently employs small chapter-end hooks that are frequently resolved in the early pages of the next chapter, using them to bridge chapter (and character) breaks. I’m not always a fan of this style of cliffhanger, as it can wear thin by the end of a book, but they work very well with the format and structure of this book.

The Short Version
Here’s what I sent the publisher as a blurb for the book. “Garth Nix is one of the best worldbuilders in fantasy, and this book is merely further proof. I love the Old Kingdom series, and Goldenhand is an excellent continuation, packed with the excitement and passion of a storytelling virtuoso at the height of his abilities.”

Highly recommended for anyone. Sabriel, the first in the series, is one of my go-to suggestions, as I feel it does a large number of things very well, and has a broad appeal for a wide variety of readers.

Rating Notes
I noticed no content in this book requiring specific warning.

Bias Notes
I have met Mr. Nix several times at conventions, and we are on friendly terms. I received this book for free from his publisher, who was pursuing a cover blurb.

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