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Mistborn
Weblog for Writer Brandon Sanderson

Hello, all! My new book is coming out next week! Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds is a compilation of three stories that tie together to form a single narrative. Two of the stories (Legion and Legion: Skin Deep) were available previously, but the third (Lies of the Beholder) is exclusive to this edition.

I’d really appreciate it if you would have a look at it, and maybe give it a preorder if it looks interesting. It’s got a patented Brandon Magic System™, only this time applied to a modern-day setting—and in specific, one person’s very unusual way of seeing the world.

In conjunction with the book’s release, I thought I’d delve into some of the themes I find interesting (both in writing, and in the way I see the world) that made me write the series in the first place. So I present to you a three-part series of blog posts centered around this idea. I’m calling it Voices in My Head.

One of the most common questions I get, as a writer, is some variation on, “Do you ever hear voices, or feel like your characters are real?” People ask it timidly, as they don’t want to be offensive, but there seems to be genuine curiosity about the way a writer’s brain works. (Other variations on this theme are questions such as, “What are your dreams like?” or “Do you ever get so wrapped up in your worlds that you have trouble coming back to our world?”)

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All,

I have decided for certain that I will be attending FanX (formerly Salt Lake Comic Con). If you haven’t been following the drama, I joined in many other authors signing a letter that challenged the convention to do a better job presenting a safe place for our fans to attend.

While FanX has made a number of missteps along the way, I feel encouraged by their progress. I feel that at the very least, FanX will now take complaints seriously—and I feel that my fans can have a reasonable expectation that if an incident does happen, they’ll be listened to. I commend FanX on the steps they’ve taken, and I hope that it isn’t simple lip service, but represents a sincere desire to improve how they deal with harassment at their convention.

In any case, I’ll be happy to see many of you there. We should be posting my schedule soon!

p.s. If it turns out I’m wrong—if FanX continues to mishandle your harassment complaints and/or you encounter a situation where you feel FanX has encouraged a dangerous or hostile environment at this year’s convention—I would encourage you to email me. (You can do so anonymously.)

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had an excellent time at Worldcon this year. We got a chunk of Writing Excusesepisodes recorded, and I was able to hang out with a number of friends I hadn’t seen in a while. On top of that, I felt that the panels went well, even if they were a little crowded in the rooms. (Apologies to any of you who might not have been able to get in.)

The Hugo Awards ceremony was a delight. We didn’t win the Best Series award, but to be honest, at only three books into the Stormlight series it might have been a little preemptive to give it any awards. We’ll see how things go as the series progresses. Many congrats to Lois McMaster Bujold (the winner), who is a favorite around the Dragonsteel offices. She’s a fantastic writer, well worthy of the award.

Oathbringer still has one shot at an award, the Dragon Award, given out at look at the thing.)

This, like the Gemmell, is a fan-voted award. So if you feel inclined to vote for Oathbringer, you can sign up at the form on this website. They’ll send you a ballot to fill out, though you need to do this before the end of August to vote. The award does seem to be getting some traction, so maybe give it some attention!

As always, however, I strongly urge you to be a thoughtful voter when it comes to awards. Don’t vote for Oathbringer just because I wrote it—only do so if you think this book, in specific, deserves the award. And there are some other excellent nominees, so if you enjoyed one of those more, then vote for it!

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Adam here. I have some exciting news for those of you in driving distance of Idaho Falls, Idaho. This Saturday Brandon will be appearing at Iona Days just a few miles away. You can see his full schedule below, as well as on his Upcoming Events page, but it will include a short presentation, reading, Q&A, and signing. Those who come to the presentation will be given wristbands that will give them priority position in the signing that immediately follows the Q&A.

The Grand Teton Mall Barnes & Noble will also be on site, so if you're looking for a book—including the leather bound editions of Elantris, Mistborn: The Final Empire, and The Well of Ascension—you can find them there. They are also (generously) donating 15% of their net sales to Brandon's Lightweaver Foundation (more on this in a minute); donations that will be matched by Brandon.

If you're not able to attend and still want to buy some books (not just Brandon's) while supporting charity, you can use these vouchers in any B&N store on July 21st and 22nd. They will also be active for any B&N online purchases through July 27th. Some exclusions apply. Please see vouchers below for details.



Iona Days

Location: Iona Square on Main Street (park near the Iona City Building)
Reading and Q&A: 2:00 p.m.
Signing: 3:00 p.m.

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, What Writers Get Wrong, with Wildstyle, Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard talk with special guest Wildstyle. Recorded live at GenCon Indy 2017.

Last week, in Tor.com's continuing reread of Oathbringer, Shallan, as Veil, confronted the Midnight Mother in the depths of Urithiru. This week, in chapters thirty-one and thirty-two, Kaladin, near Revolar, upon seeing a group of human's unprepared for an oncoming Highstorm somehow uses Windspren to create a windbreak that allows them get to safety.

The Twitter Archive for June is up to date.

I found this week's featured cosplay of a Steel Inquisitor, by EHyde, on Brandon's official fansite 17thshard.com. She wrote a little post if you want to know more about it.

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All,

I don't normally discuss charged issues on my social media, but I do find harassment at science fiction conventions a topic that is very important to discuss. It is also very relevant to my fans, as conventions are often how they interact with me.

Recently, Salt Lake City’s biggest media convention (FanX, formerly called Salt Lake Comic Con) has made some troubling missteps. First, it grossly mishandled harassment claims—then it doubled down on its mistakes, bungling interactions with voices that have called for reform.

Some authors I respect deeply have composed an open letter to FanX, calling for them to do better—and I have co-signed it. Many of these authors have spoken better about this specific issue than I can, and I encourage you all to read what they have said. I believe that conventions like these (alongside the smaller literary conventions that were so instrumental in my road to publication) are important parts of our community—and it is essential that they provide a place where victims are not silenced and harassment is not tolerated.

For now, I am still scheduled to appear at FanX this fall. My team and I have been evaluating whether or not this is a position we can still take—and it will greatly depend on how FanX responds to this letter in the next few weeks. I will keep you informed of our decision—and if I do decide to bow out of FanX, I will try to schedule some replacement signings instead.

Best,

Brandon

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Adam here. In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Character Nuance, Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice talk about characters who have conflict built right into them; characters whose attributes and attitudes might seem to contradict one another; characters who like, y’know… actual people.

Last week, in Tor.com's continuing reread of Oathbringer, we jump back in time again, thirty-three years, as Dalinar shows what a warrior armed with Shardplate can do to… well, pretty much anyone without Shardplate. It does have a few disadvantages, though. This week, in chapter twelve, we get to watch Dalinar attempt to play politics, with careful guidance from his wife and various scribes. Why don’t people just say what they mean?

The Twitter Archive for April is up to date.

In honor of JordanCon next week, here is an excellent Aes Sedai cosplay from The Wheel of Time.

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Dragonsteel art director Isaac here. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me post about the maps for the latest Osten Ard books by Tad Williams: The Heart of What Was Lost and The Witchwood Crown. The original trilogy was what hooked me on epic fantasy in the late 80s/early 90s, and the maps for the series were part of what got me into cartography. So to be able to create new maps of Osten Ard has been something of a dream project.

These books were also foundational in Brandon’s early reading in the genre. He gave the newest books this quote:

“Tad Williams is a master storyteller, and the Osten Ard books are his masterpiece. Williams’ return to Osten Ard is every bit as compelling, deep, and fully-rendered as the first trilogy, and he continues to write with the experience and polish of an author at the top of his game.”

I was thrilled when Brandon supported the Indiegogo campaign for merchandise based on Tad’s worlds by buying the map of Osten Ard. I’ve tried to make this the essential map for the series. Remember those foil Middle Earth maps from when the movies were big? Well, I was able to get a hold of the original supplier, and that’s who’s printing the Osten Ard map. It’s going to be gorgeous, and the only way to get it is through Tad’s Indiegogo campaign. We might have a few left over after that, but I wouldn't risk it if you really want one. There's only a little over a week left.



For those of you waiting for a foil version of the latest Roshar map found on the back of the dustjacket for Oathbringer, keep an eye on the store over the next month or two. I hope you’ll enjoy these, as I’m quite excited for them. Thank you for reading the books. Thank you for enjoying the maps in them. You make it possible for me to do something I absolutely love.

Adam here. In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Q&A on Heroes, Villains, and Main Characters, Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard answer your questions about heroes, villains, and main characters. Here are the questions:


  • How do you make planned power increases not seem like an ass-pull¹?

  • What do you do when your villain is more interesting/engaging than your hero?

  • How do you know when a character is unnecessary and needs to be removed from the story, or killed off in the story?

  • What tricks do you use when you want the reader to mistakenly believe a character is a hero, rather than a villain?

  • Which is more fun for you: creating a villain, or creating a hero?

  • How many side characters can you reasonably juggle in a novel?

  • What are the drawbacks to making your villain a POV character?

  • If your villain doesn’t show up until late in the story, how do you make their eventual appearance seem justified?

  • How do you get readers to like a character who is a jerk?



Last week, we continued on with Kaladin's heart-wrenching homecoming before he headed off to hunt Voidbringers. This week, in chapters eight and nine, we return to Urithiru for disturbing drawings, cooperative cartography, international intrigue, and mystifying murder.

The Twitter Archive for March is up to date.

This week's featured cosplay is of Syl and Kaladin from Emerald City Comic Con.

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Hey, all. It’s awards nomination season again!

As is tradition, I’d like to do a quick post highlighting what I have that is eligible for the various awards in sf/f. As always, I request that you nominate based on work, not author. If you are eligible to nominate, and truly think one of the works below is among the best you read this year, I’d love to have your vote.

Nominations for the Hugo Awards are now open. In order to nominate you need to have already been a Worldcon member (Helsinki, San Jose, or Dublin) as of December 31st, but members who join this year's convention anytime may vote on the final ballot once it’s available.

Here’s what I have eligible in what category:

Best Novella:
Snapshot

Best Novel:
Oathbringer

Best Related Work:
Writing Excuses Season 12

Best Series:
The Stormlight Archive

As usual, I tend to highlight one of my releases. This year, to no surprise, I’d like to focus on Oathbringer and the Stormlight Archive. I feel that the Stormlight Archive has a good shot at a Best Series Hugo—it is my best work, and the previous volume missed a nomination by a fairly small margin of votes. I feel the series does interesting things with worldbuilding and narrative that Hugo voters would consider valuable to the fantasy genre as a whole.

If you’re eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards, but haven’t read any of the Stormlight Archive, I’d be happy to provide a review copy of the first book to you for your consideration. The Hugo Awards nomination deadline is March 16th.

Other awards this year of interest, with who can nominate (and any notes on categories for the above works), are below. As always, the best reward for a novelist is the fact that people are reading the novels—and I don’t stress awards season very much. But I do like what these awards do for the community, and find it important to support them and fandom in general as it works to highlight our genres and the best they can provide.



  • Nebula Award


    • Members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America can nominate by February 15th.


  • World Fantasy Awards


    • Members of the World Fantasy conventions can send eligible works to the panel of judges before June 1st.


  • David Gemmell Legend Award


    • Nominations are now closed. Voting on the long list of nominees opens to the public on February 16th, with final public voting beginning on April 20th.

    • The Legend Award is for novels. The Ravenheart Award is for novel cover illustrations.


  • Dragon Awards


    • Nominations are open to the public now through June 20th, with final public voting beginning on August 1st.

    • Oathbringer is eligible for Best Fantasy Novel. (I recommend nominations go there rather than in Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel; you can’t nominate it in two categories.)

    • White Sand Volume 1</a> is eligible for Best Graphic Novel.

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Adam here. In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, What Writers Get Wrong, with Aliette de Bodard, Dan, Mary, Aliette, and Howard discuss "What writers get wrong." This year the third-week episodes will follow this theme and each of the episodes will feature an expert guest who will help us understand what writers get wrong about something in which they have expertise.

Aliette de Bodard will be co-hosting several of these week-three episodes, but this week her role is “subject matter expert.” She has several fields of expertise, and among the hats she expertly wears which writers often fail to correctly describe is a hat labeled “motherhood” (note: not an actual hat.)

Many of you may have already seen Brandon's post yesterday regarding the board game based on his Reckoners books from Nauvoo Games, but if you haven't, here is the game trailer which will begin its Kickstarter on February 13.


If you want a bit more detail about the game, you can watch the game overview with the design prototype.



There will be a special post tomorrow from Arcturus XR. The VR company that produced "Escape the Shattered Plains VR Experience" which is set to release next month, so keep your eyes open for that.

The Twitter Archive for January is up to date.

This week's featured cosplay is of Shallan by Yashuntafun.

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For those who didn’t see it, right before he left on vacation a few weeks ago, Peter arranged for his daughter to do the ceremonial “stair toss” of the new Stormlight book. This is a tradition that started when she was a baby, and tossed the manuscript of The Way of Kings down the stairs. Now we get her to do it each time.

This blog post is going up a little later, as Peter took some deserved time off, but now that he has time to edit again I wanted to get something up on the website to celebrate. A few days back, the last version of the proofread was turned in. My team has finally finished the laborious process of copyediting and proofreading the books—which is the last major step in sending the book to press. (I finished my last part, the final revision, back in June.)



This means that Oathbringer is in, once and for all. It’s actually coming! Brace yourselves. Tor will be releasing sample chapters every Tuesday on their website. (By my suggestion, we’re going to do about a quarter of the book this way.) The prologue and first three chapters are already up there for you to read.

In conjunction with the book’s launch, we actually have a couple of Kickstarters coming up. I feel good doing these now, as the Mistborn board game is done and shipping—I don’t want to have too many of these things going at once. However, two others that we’ve been working on for a few years have come together around the same time, so I hope you’ll forgive us running them in succession.

The first is a concept album of instrumental music, inspired by the Stormlight Archive. This one is up and running, and you can kickstart it here.

Once that’s done, Shire Post Mint, which does in-world coinage for fantasy books, will be launching another Kickstarter. They’ve already done a lot of high quality work for various book series, and now they are minting some beautiful coins with designs by my team. We’ll be supporting them in a kickstarter for Mistborn coins running from September 28th to October 28th. Details will be coming soon.

So, you can have your pick! Stormlight music, in-world Mistborn coins, or both. In the future, we’re hoping to do a few more board games (one based on the Shattered Plains and one based on the Reckoners books) and maybe even a calendar.

The release date for Oathbringer is November 14th for the US and Canada, and November 16th for the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. You can preorder at your store of choice, and doing that is always appreciated. We’ll also be shipping out our traditional Weller Book Works signed editions. Look for details on that in a month or so. Also, we should have release party details for you before too long.

I know that Poland, Spain, France, and a few others are actively working on translations shooting for as close to the English release date as possible. But it’s a big book. In fact, my biggest so far.

I’ll be doing a very short tour in the States—one of the problems with releasing so close to the holidays is that squeezing tours in is tough. After Thanksgiving, though, I’ll go back out and do an equally short tour in the UK. Dates for the US tour are up on Tor.com already, but I don’t have exact dates for the UK yet. Should be around the last week of November.

This has been an incredible journey. The book took years of work, but it came together wonderfully. I’m excited to be sharing this series with you, and have planned a few blog posts about the history of Stormlight (and the cosmere) for you to read sometime around the book’s publication date. So watch for those! And Peter is putting together a number of deleted scenes from old drafts of the first two books to release during the next two months, so that's something else to look forward to.

In the meantime, I’ve launched into my next project, a series called The Apocalypse Guard, which has some loose connections to The Reckoners.



The pitch is as follows: Emma is the office intern (and Coffee girl) to the Apocalypse Guard—a supergroup that saves planets from cataclysmic events. During a series of attacks that leave the Guard crippled, Emma gets trapped on a doomed planet they were planning to save—but one they no longer have the resources to defend. Emma is left to try to survive the coming apocalypse, or somehow figure out how to save the planet—neither of which are things her clerical internship prepared her for.

The Apocalypse Guard is a fun, fast-paced adventure with (hopefully) some very cool worldbuilding. It also asks the very important questions: Who fetches Superman’s coffee, and what does she do when the world is falling apart?

Our target release date is next fall. You can follow along with the percentage bar on my website—though I should note, it’s a percentage bar (right now) for the entire trilogy, which I’m writing straight through. (Something I haven’t done since the Mistborn trilogy, but which I’ve been keen to try again.) I’ll be stopping between books to do some novellas or other shorts. (Odds are, right now, that I’ll write Legion 3—the last of that series—between books one and two of the Apocalypse Guard.)

As always, thanks for putting up with the schizophrenic insanity that is my writing schedule. Know that your willingness to embrace some of these crazy ideas—like Steelheart and Legion—is part of what makes me so excited to keep doing this job. I always have something new and bizarre to look forward to writing.

Brandon

P.S.
My current expected writing schedule involves taking a year and a half to do other projects, then diving back into Stormlight.

2017
June–August: Apocalypse Guard One (Fall 2018 Release)
Early September: Legion 3 (Sometime 2018 Release)
Late September–December: Apocalypse Guard Two (Mid 2019 Release)
Late December: Random Novella
2018
January–March: Apocalypse Guard Three (Mid 2020 Release)
April–July: Wax and Wayne Four (Series finale, Fall 2019 Release)
August–December: Undecided (Rithmatist 2, maybe?)
2019
All months: Stormlight Four (Fall 2020 Release)

The State of the Sanderson in December will have more details. For now, I hope you enjoy Oathbringer! I’ll be sure to do some posts early next year, gearing you up for next year’s books, the Apocalypse Guard and the final volume of Legion.

Brandon

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