art by Jake Johnson

Theoryland Resources

WoT Interview Search

Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.

Wheel of Time News

An Hour With Harriet

2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

Theoryland Community

Members: 7653

Logged In (1): sakrsaulb,

Newest Members:johnroserking, petermorris, johnadanbvv, AndrewHB, jofwu, Salemcat1, Dhakatimesnews, amazingz, Sasooner, Hasib123,

Theoryland Tweets

WoT Interview Database

Home | Interview Database

Interviews: Reddit 2012 (Non-WoT)







  • 1

    This thread has all of Brandon's non-WoT Reddit comments from the year 2012, starting in January. Occasionally, when he's doing a Q&A, we do a separate report for that.
  • 2

    Question (January 2012)

    This book is pretty good...!!!


    This comment is in regard to Infinity Blade: Awakening.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Ha. I saw this one the other day, and did a double take myself. For the record (if it needs to be said) I didn't write the review. I assume that a person can input whatever name they wish when writing reviews.

    --Brandon Sanderson


    Who cares where it's posted, just buy the book and read it.

    --Brandon Sanderson


    Just admit it. You're so proud of it, you decided to put your Brandon it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nice try, Brandon.
    (...somebody was going to say it. Might as well get the sweet, sweet, karma myself.)


    Brandon has actually perfectly orchestrated this entire thread. They may appear to be separate accounts, with separate account ages, but it's all been designed to fit the marketing strategy. Now, you might need to ask yourself, am I Brandon too...? Or, more importantly, are YOU Brandon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some people said to me, "Brandon, I know a man has to have goals, but you do realize how tough it will be to become ALL OF REDDIT, don't you?"

    I replied that if I could not invent millions of fake accounts on a website and contrive fake conversations between them to give a semblance of life, what kind of writer would I be?


    Then... That would mean that you, Brandon, are concerned about a conspiracy that you started... And that I, also Brandon, am replying to you (me) about my(your) conspiracy that we are all me.


    My initials are B.S.
    Coincidence? We'll let /r/conspiracy decide.


    "And on that fateful night, the 'Nice try, Brandon' meme was born."


    And on the morrow, "Nice try, Brandon" was buried in concrete, weighed with heavy things, and thrown in the depths of the ocean, never to be heard from again.


    Please, gods of reddit, let it be so. A good meme must be given freedom to die—not forced on in a cruel mockery of life, like the lifeless horrors of Chuck Testa's lab.
    Friends don't let friends end up on Knowyourmeme


  • 3

    HyperCalcium (January 2012)

    Does he have an AMA? I want to ask him if he accidentally writes a whole novel when he trips over furniture. Does he have a typewriter glued to each hand? How can anyone type that much? I should go do the math on average word written per minute to fire out that many books.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    It looks a little more impressive than it is. A few things to consider:

    I sold Elantris in 2003, but it wasn't scheduled to come out until 2005. Therefore, I had a three year period until Mistborn was scheduled (in 2006). I wrote the trilogy 2003-4-5, then wrote Warbreaker in 2006. In 2007, I wrote a book that I didn't believe was good enough, so scrapped it.

    In 2007, the Wheel of Time was offered to me. I wrote book 12 in 2008, for a 2009 release. However, Warbreaker was still in the pipeline, and also scheduled for 2009.

    2009 was the hard year, the one that makes me look super prolific. I wrote both WoT 13 and The Way of Kings. And really, the two were done over an 18 month period, stretching well into 2010.

    2010 was, then, a recovery year. That's why Alloy of Law is my only full-length release this year, as it was written last year. This year I've written the final WoT book (and I'm not done yet...)

    So, what you're seeing IS the result of a lot of hard work, but it looks far more impressive than it really is. The big reason for that is that I had a long running start, with several books in the pipeline.


  • 4

    Jestyr (January 2012)

    Seriously...This is the crap I hate - Amazon Kindle Link [The book in question is Blue Moon Rising.]

    Kindle Price - $12.99
    Paperback Price - $6.00

    How is that even close? I will buy this book once the price is reasonable. I am OK playing the same price as a paperback, even though that is still highway robbery.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    The book has been out so long, you have every reasonable right to assume it will be priced much lower than it is. But, in this case, you are also missing an entire piece of the puzzle.

    The paperback listed there is a remaindered version of the trade paperback. Remaindered meaning that Amazon probably didn't buy it from the publisher, but from a wholesaler, who bought it from the publisher at deep discount. The book is officially out of print, and the pricing on the kindle edition reflects the last in print edition—meaning the $15 trade paperback.

    Once again, I agree the book is too high priced. However, ebooks and print books are always going to be handled by different arms of the publishing business—and the different distribution methods are going to create oddities like this. Being mad about this would be like getting mad at finding a $2 copy of an old game in a bargain bin at Walmart when you just saw the downloadable version for $5 on Steam. The only difference here is that for books, Amazon is both Walmart and Steam.


  • 5

    dedbodiez (January 2012)

    Is every single one of these books worth reading? Regardless of 'personal preferences' or how I operate the flow chart?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    I appear on this list twice, so perhaps that makes me biased. As much as I though the original poll was a little too weighted toward authors who have made a big splash recently (like myself), rather than those who have proven staying power, I see almost no misses on this list.

    Now, the true answer to your question is going to be shaped by your own motives. Do you want to explore the genres and their roots? Are you as interested in investigating market trends as you are in looking at literary achievements? This list has both.

    You said that this is throwing away personal preferences, so let me tell you why these books are worth your time. These are some of the most important and influential books in their respective genres. They will give you a good grasp on the foundations of modern sf/f, and they run the spectrum, offering a wide variety of writing and story types.

    Looking just at the fantasy, we have everything from early sword and sorcery, to contemporary literary fantasy. Epic, quest, Arthurian, it really is a quite all-inclusive list. If you really want to understand fantasy and science fiction, this list will get you there quite well.


    lol no, there is a lot of unremarkable genre pulp in there and some stuff that doesn't even measure up to the standards of genre pulp (yes Goodkind I'm talking about you).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I looked through your history, expecting a troll, but didn't find one. Many of your posts seem very thoughtful. That makes this post all the more baffling to me. "A Lot" of this list is "Unremarkable?" What would you consider remarkable, then?

    George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Tolkien, LeGuin, Gaiman, Alan Moore, Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Clarke, Stephenson, MZB, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, and Cormac McCarthy are "Unremarkable?"

    Or are you turning your nose down at the bestsellers, like Brooks and Eddings? Can you really call books that have shaped a generation of writers and sold copies in the millions "Unremarkable?"

    Snobbery is not disliking something. Disliking market fiction is just fine. It IS snobbery, however, to flippantly dismiss something that millions of others find remarkable because you either don't understand it, or don't take care to. Popularity is not an indication of quality, but most of these books have proven to not just be popular, but influential, genre-defining, and well worth reading.

    To quote Stephen King, in his National Book Award speech: "What do you think? You get social or academic brownie points for deliberately staying out of touch with your own culture?"


            |I looked through your history, expecting a troll, but didn't find one. Many of your posts seem very thoughtful.

    I never troll. People call what I do "trolling" when I don't sufficiently coddle them with unearned respect but that's bullshit on their part.

            |Or are you turning your nose down at the bestsellers, like Brooks and Eddings? Can you really call books that have shaped a generation of writers and sold copies in the millions "Unremarkable?"

    I've read a fair amount of Eddings so I'm pretty comfortable in calling his work unworthy of remark.

            |Popularity is not an indication of quality, but most of these books have proven to not just be popular, but influential, genre-defining, and well worth reading.

    I don't see how the Belgariad defines anything, it looked like the sheer condense essence of derivation to me when I read it and I can't imagine anyone being influenced by it to do anything but perpetuate cliche.

            |To quote Stephen King, in his National Book Award speech: "What do you think? You get social or academic brownie points for deliberately staying out of touch with your own culture?

    Keeping in touch with mainstream culture is not without value, but there is stuff both more mainstream and of higher quality than the big turds on this chart like Goodkind and Anthony. Not to mention that reading a novel is a significant time investment—taking a couple of hours out of your day to watch a popular movie is one thing, but spending time you could have been reading Vonnegut on reading licensed D&D or Star Wars novels (or Twilight, which is more popular than either) is not good prioritization.


  • 6

    ALCLEMFAAL (April 2012)

    Mistborn:Birthright website is up.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    I'm going to write the dialogue and have a lot to do with the story. That's the only part I can really guarantee, but these guys are pretty awesome.

    Also, I've seen early gameplay demos of Pushing and Pulling with Allomancy. It gave me chills.


    Can you tell us what genre it's going to be (action, rpg, etc...) or is that confidential information?


    Action RPG.


    Looking at LittleOrbit's web site, I think we shouldn't be expecting Skyrim here...


    Little steps. I've pitched an open-world, Skyrim-like RPG (set in a new world I designed) to game developers before, but I don't have the video game experience to persuade them.

    These guys are solid. The games they've done before were to stabilize the company, but guys on the Mistborn team worked on Fallout (the original ones) and others worked on Baldur's Gate.

    Our goal is a third-person action RPG like Demons' Souls or The Force Unleashed with a heavier storytelling focus and a good system for Allomantic powers. If I can get the city to be somewhat open-world, like Infamous, I'd like to go that way—that may or may not be viable. We don't know for sure at this point.


  • 7

    The_March_Hare (April 2012)

    Came for the ass kicking, left cause of ass kissing.


    ...You do realize that Brandon wrote this?


    Sadly yes, I heard about him writing it last week, was extremely hype for it. And all for this, something that reads like mediocre fan-fiction. With great expectations comes great disappointment.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    In that direction lay a trap.

    I've stated before that I am uncomfortable with these cage matches because the pairings are often silly, and because I have trouble believing some of the characters would actually fight one another for any reason.

    Because the nature of the whole things is so ridiculous to me, I couldn't possibly play it straight. And if I did, the effort required to make it work would distract me from other projects&madsh;and I would have to write both characters out of character to the point that it would just come off as lame.

    And so, you get a silly conversation. That was really my only option here, I'm afraid.


    This is in reference to the Suvudu cage match between Kelsier and Moiraine.


  • 8

    DBSTEVENS (April 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    One thing I've found is that writers really like to talk about writing, and I'm no exception. The problem is, the longer we write, the more most of us seem to move by instinct rather than intention. Perhaps that is a result of becoming increasingly comfortable with our own process.

    Regardless, it can sometimes become difficult to describe what we do and why. I sometimes feel like I act more like an expert than I truly am. I'm mostly trying to describe my process after-the-fact, and my analysis may or may not have any validity.

    For what it's worth, however, here is a video of me talking about some of these same concepts at JordanCon a few years back.


  • 9

    VodkaGimlet (April 2012)

    I was surprised to see that the production company made the trailer. Is this a thing? Taking pieces from other films and stitching them together in "mood trailers?" I've seen them before, but I always just assumed they were fan-made.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    It appears this is, indeed, a "thing" in Hollywood recently. Another producer, completely independent from these guys, had one done for Steelheart (another project I'm trying to get off the ground.) He used the word "Ripomatic" instead of calling it a mood trailer, but it was basically the same thing.

    EDIT: word flow.


    I guess it if it helps, I can't gainsay it. But no dialogue, conflicting styles (I never really saw the Lord Ruler looking like Xerxes), and no consistency in actors ostensibly playing the lead characters doesn't really do a lot to suggest to me what the film would look like. I would think something like a motion comic would convey it better—though I suppose it would represent a greater intensity of funds and effort.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. These things cost much less, and they do a lot that Hollywood likes—namely, associates your story with other popular stories. That alone makes me skeptical of them. This trailer, though, did seem to make an effort to cut in a way that didn't emphasize the original films. Xerxes is the most glaring to me, and was the part I liked the least.


    This is about the "mood trailer" that Paloppa Pictures released for Mistborn.


  • 10

    Andy_Digital (April 2012)

    Steelheart? Another project you'd like to elaborate on?? I swear you live in a magical world where time is no object. Keep on producing and we'll keep consuming.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    World where people gain superpowers, but only evil people get them—and so naturally take over. The story is about a group of ordinary people who work underground, secretly, and assassinate those with superpowers.


  • 11

    doshiamit (April 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the only time a reviewer will highlight brevity as a distinguishing feature of my work.

    Good article, by the way.


  • 12

    Dmartin16 (May 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    It was the hat. Put on a man's hat, surround your mind with his way of thinking, and it changed you. A man in dock worker's clothing passed by, shoulders slumped, whistling a sad tune. Wayne picked up the melody. Rough life, that was, working the docks. You had to commute each day on the canal boats—either that, or find a bed out near the waterfront, where you were about as likely to get stabbed as have breakfast. He'd lived that life as a youth. Had the scars to prove it, he did. But as a chap grew, he wanted more to his days than a fight on every corner and women who couldn't remember his name one day to the next.


  • 13

    Kilomtrs (June 2012)

    So in the trilogy, we see that when someone has a Hemalurgic spike implanted in them, they can hear Ruin talking to them, both as a vision and in their head. However, we learn in the Hero of Ages that Ruin cannot hear a person's thoughts no matter how much under Ruin's influence they are.

    In Alloy of Law, we see that Wax (and other Pathians) uses an earring to "pray" to Harmony, and we see that Harmony can hear his thoughts and respond.

    So I guess this leads to three questions:

    1. How does Harmony hear the thoughts of Wax, when it's explicitly pointed put that Ruin cannot?

    2. Are the earrings that the Pathians use Hemalurgicly charged, as otherwise they would be of no use to Ruin, and therefore Harmony?

    3. Or did Harmony completely change how that aspect of Hemalugy works?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    How this all works dates back to the original design of the Magic system.

    I wanted Ruin and Preservation to be complimentary opposites, like many things in the Mistborn world. Allomancy, for example, has Pushes and Pulls were are less "negate one another" opposites, but instead two sides to the same proverbial coin.

    Ruin is invasive. The power is more "Yell" than "Listen." The philosopher would probably have some interesting things to say about the masculine symbolism of Hemalurgy and its spikes.

    Ruin can insert thoughts. That power, however, can't HEAR the reactions. It's about invasion.

    Preservation, however, is the opposite. Preservation listens, Preservation protects. (Perhaps to a fault—if there were no Ruin, there would be no change to the world, and life could not exist.) Because of this, Preservation can hear what is inside people's minds. It cannot, however, INSERT thoughts. (This is important to the plot of Hero of Ages.)

    Harmony is both, the two complimentary opposites combined. And so, he inserts thoughts with Ruin and still uses Hemalurgy. He can also listen.

    Yes, Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)


  • 14

    bettse (June 2012)

           |Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)

    Doesn't that imply it was shoved through someone's heart at one point (ala Steel Inquisitor creation process)?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Yes, the metal would have to have been part of a spike that at one point was used to kill someone and rip off a piece of their soul.


  • 15

    tsaot (June 2012)

    I'm an avid Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, but it seems all the authors my dad has introduced me to are dying off (Gordon R. Dickson for example) and as there is no rating system for book content, it's hard to find new authors that keep the sexual content to at least a PG-13 level. So far I've struck out with Old Man's War (while not graphic, the sexual content was rather high), George RR Martin, and Mercedes Lackey. So fellow saints, what have you found that's good?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon Sanderson here, with a few suggestions.

    Garth Nix is wonderful. If you haven't tried Sabriel, I suggest it.

    Mary Robinette Kowal writes regency-style fantasy novels. I find them different, clever, and fun.

    A Fire Upon the Deep is one of my all-time favorite SF books. I can't remember if there are content issues. I'm in a re-read right now, and it is as delightful as I remember it being. But something might come up that I didn't remember being there from a read last decade.

    Tad Williams is wonderful, but very long-winded. (I happen to like how long-winded he is, but I should warn that is his style. Very little tends to happen at the start of one of his novels, as it's all set-up.)

    L.E.Modessit Jr. writes epic fantasy after the older style—more slow-paced, lots of description. I find his books to be quite good, but they're not for everyone. They do tend to be very clean, though. (Same goes for Terry Brooks, who has a strong personal rule that he will never write, or cover blurb, something that is not clean. His books do feel a tad out dated these days, though.)

    Other LDS author pals of mine who write mainstream sf/f: Shannon Hale, James Dasnher, Jessica Day George. All YA, all very good writers. Also, if you haven't read Eric James Stone's nebula-winning short piece "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made," look it up. I think he posted it free on his website. It's about an LDS branch president on a space station in the sun, trying to help beings made of plasma live the law of chastity. Really.


  • 16

    MichaelJSullivan (June 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Had insomnia tonight, and I decided to fill this out.

    So...uh...I might have skewed your data a little.


  • 17

    jdiddyesquire (June 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thanks, all, for the good wishes on this.

    I first started talking about Steelheart a number of years ago. (Five, maybe six?) It was one of the projects I'd been planning to do in 2007 when the Wheel of Time came along and kind of distracted me.

    Unable to work on it for years, I instead did up a proposal and started shopping it in Hollywood. I got interest, but everyone said "We'd be more comfortable if the book were done." So, over the years, I slowly pieced together an outline in my spare time and did chapters when I could. (I think a reading I did of the prologue of this last year is floating around on-line somewhere.)

    One of the problems with working on the Wheel of Time is that it's so time-consuming, I basically can't work on any other big project while writing it. I stay creative by changing to new ideas and new concepts whenever I start feeling burned out—I work on them for a short time, then get my groove back and turn to the larger project.

    That's why you see all kinds of little projects popping out here and there from me. I can't do Stormlight 2 at the same time as WoT. Two big series are just too much to do at once; one would suffer. Yet, I still need artistic liberation now and then to try something new and refresh myself.

    The two novellas I'm releasing this year (Legion, The Emperor's Soul) and the short Mistborn novel last year (Alloy of Law) are things that came out of these side deviations. Steelheart is another. Shouldn't affect Stormlight 2 very much. I always like to have one large project and a handful of smaller ones running at the same time.

    It may seem like a lot to have on my plate, but if you add Alloy of Law, Steelheart, and the two novellas together they are combined around half the length of The Way of Kings. (And took about 1/10 the brain space...)

    I don't want to make excuses for not doing Stormlight 2, but this might give a little insight as to why you keep seeing all of these other projects popping up.


    Are any of these stories within the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Emperor's Soul, a novella, is in the cosmere.


  • 18

    PirateBrittany (June 2012)

    Disappointed in GRRM; Looking for a Series with Substance

    I will most certainly be slaughtered for this, but here goes:

    I did not enjoy George R. R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire as much as I had hoped I would. My roommate had been recommending the books to me for years, and prior to the series premiere of the HBO show, I read them.

    I felt as though the writing was mediocre, at best; the plot was slow and stagnant at times. To me, it became repetitive. When book 5 came out this past summer I thought now maybe this one is better... after all, GRRM certainly took his time writing it. Ultimately, I was wrong. Knowing that the most recent book's time-line overlaps that of the previous book I still closed the novel feeling jipped, almost conned into buying yet another book that offered me very little.

    All of this being said, I am coming to you for suggestions as to what my next read should be. I enjoy fantasy novels, historical fiction, sci-fi, etc.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    This is a tough one to answer for the OP, in my opinion. It's perfectly okay not to like GRRM, but I'd like to know more about what she/he likes or doesn't like before giving suggestions.

    Rothfuss's books or my books could be good suggestions here—but they could also be horrible ones. PirateBrittany, what have you liked in the past? Do you want something more literary? Something more fast paced? Something with more worldbuilding?

    Pat's prose is awesome—if that's something that interests you, read Name of the Wind. But if you want something faster paced than GRRM, this might not be the right suggestion. In that case, maybe Codex Alera or Brent Weeks would be better. If you want something more focused on a single, powerful character (instead of the huge cast of GRRM) something like The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms would be a good suggestion.


  • 19

    Schrodingers_Ferret (June 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    My new desktop image.



  • 20

    WhlskeyDrunk (July 2012)

    With all the kerfluffle over Sanderson lately, I decided to start reading Deadhouse Gates. Hadn't been reading more than 10 minutes and came across this great quote.

    People of civilized countenance made much of exposing the soft underbellies of their psyche—effete and sensitive were the brands of finer breeding. It was easy for them, safe, and that was the whole point, after all: a statement of coddled opulence that burned the throats of the poor more than any ostentatious show of wealth.

    So the reason that Erickson is so amazing is because he is an excellent writer. That is all.

    Ps If any r/fantasy Sanderson fans can find anything close to this excellent prose, I will donate 20 dollars to Doctors Without Borders. And ten if they can't just so I don't feel like a dick.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was confused about this post. Usually, when I start a kerfuffle, I'm aware of it... (I guess, from below, it's about giving away books?)

    In other news, Steven Erickson is quite awesome. I'm confused as to why there needs to be a post like this, however. I have never claimed my prose is like his. What I do is different from what he does.

    Your challenge is like sauntering up to an archer, slapping $20 on the table, and daring him to hit the same target with a pistol instead of the bow. You are assuming that my writing is trying to do what Steven's does. I happen to belong to a different school of thought. (Google Orwell's windowpane prose, if you're curious.)

    That said, I very much enjoy Steven's writing. Just as I play the trumpet, but quite enjoy listening to the violin. If you prefer one far over the other, then by all means, please read what you enjoy! But why draw a line in the sand like this and insist that for your preferred writer to be considered excellent, you must denigrate another?


    Not denigrating Brandon, just pointing out that there is a difference. I honestly enjoy your writing and hope you don't take this personally. That thread was one of the most vapid and stupid threads that I have seen on r/fantasy. This place is starting to feel like Enews instead of honest, inspired fantasy discussion and I felt like making a thread to circlejerk actual writing instead of another celebrity sighting.

    EDIT: But seeing that you are here, how bout giving us what you consider your most inspired prose. I will not judge and will ask r/fantasy to do the same. I will then donate the money by tomorrow night.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, I got it. Looking at it again, I was probably too touchy. I can read your post for what it is, now.

    Erickson deserves more attention. The guy is amazing. And, truth be told, I find myself envious of what he can accomplish sometimes with both prose and characterization. Beyond that, the guy has guts. Starting books as he does—stories that feel like a punch to the face—takes some real dedication.

    I do sometimes worry about getting over-saturated on reddit. I post here, and so people tend to be somewhat kind to me—but if I get talked up too much, a point comes where raised expectations can work against me.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.


    Well thanks to reddit, your books are my holiday reads. I hope you live up to the hype. =p I'll also have the first Malazan which I've started and, well, one doesn't expect writing quite like that in most books. I'm mostly intrigued by yours as I hear there's some pretty neat stuff and magic and all.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I hope you enjoy them. But, for goodness sake, don't believe ALL of the hype. My goal has always been just this: to write nifty stories. I'm far from the best writer in fantasy right now. (In my opinion, that award would either go to Guy Kay or Terry Pratchett.) Like all writers, I do some things well, and other things not so well. I'm proud of the Mistborn Trilogy, however. I think I was able to do some things with the genre that I (at least) hadn't seen before.


    Not sure if you're still reading this thread, but your post got me thinking.

    Not sure why, but it certainly seems like it's the way of the internet to list, rank, compare, and nerd out to the point of hyperbolic insult when it comes to your particular favorite thing. I agree with you when you say that you and Erikson are trying to accomplish different things, and comparing the two shouldn't happen. You're both fantasy authors, and are big parts of the new surge of fantasy popularity of the last 15-20 years, so I assume some of that just comes from being peers in the same field along with Martin, Abercrombie, etc. Add that in to the zeitgeist of the internet, which as I said above seems to be to compare everything, and I guess that's what it stems from. (Seriously, who cares if XBox 360 or PS3 is more powerful? They both have great games, play them both!)

    Sadly, I've even succumbed to this nasty tendency before. You get caught up in the discussions and arguments on places like reddit and before you know it you're slinging mud with the rest of them. I'm a self confessed Malazan fanboy, but I've also read everything you've ever written, but in some comparison threads I've felt the need to weigh in unnecessarily. For that, I sincerely apologize. I've loved everything you've written, and I guarantee you that I'm a "first day purchase" person of yours for the rest of your career.

    I'm not trying to confuse honest critiques with internet fanboyism, either. I've criticisms of everything I've ever read, and that's okay. When weighing in on your books, I might discuss my dissatisfaction with your female characterizations in many cases, and that's not meant to be an insult, just honest opinion. There are plenty of things about Erikson's works that drive me nuts, but I love him, too...As there are about all authors. The problem is that, once again, when it comes to the internet, everything changes. Criticisms are taken to the nth degree, and instead of "I have a problem with this, it becomes "x author is the worst thing that's ever happened to fantasy and I hope he dies in a fire." It is, sadly, the anonymity of the internet combined with the usual member-waving that takes places in threads like this.

    Critiques should be honest and free of aggrandizing, and you should be able to like one author and not denigrate another. Though I haven't done this with you, I've been guilty of it in other places, and you're right...It's unnecessary. So, I apologize.

    Thanks for reading, and keep up the great work. Looking forward to many, many more stories. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Just noting that I did see this, and appreciate the thoughtful reply. You have a nifty new tag in my RES... :)


  • 21

    p0x0rz (July 2012)

    I also love how you evolved the world for The Alloy of Law. Despite it not being as "heavy" as some other stuff like Way of Kings and the trilogy, it was almost my favorite things you've written. I know it was supposed to be a "bridge" novel between trilogies, but is there any chance we'll see those characters again? Wax and Wayne are probably my favorite literary pairing since Tehol and Bugg or Arthur and Ford. :)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    I am working on a sequel, as I was fond of the book too. It will be a side project, however, so I can't promise when it would be out.


  • 22

    Supahamir (19 February 2012)

    We also meet three other people who can travel between the worlds, two of whom we've met before (one in Elantris and one in Mistborn), who are apparently trying to track Hoid down.

    Brilliant, just brilliant.


    This really makes me excited to meet Blunt from Dragonsteel.

    Peter Ahlstrom ()

    Blunt is NOT from Dragonsteel. :)


    Brandon later said that Blunt is from White Sand.


  • 23

    STIGMATA07 ()

    Correct me if I am wrong. But has Brandon not been planning sequels for Elantris and Warbreaker?


    BUt writing a sequel after the fact does not mean the first book is not Stand-Alone.

    The question will be whether the 2nd book is as stand-alone as Warbreaker was, for instance.


    Totally true! That's why Fellowship of the Ring, Eye of the World, A Game of Thrones, A New Hope, and The Final Empire were all standalones!

    (In less snarky terms, Elantris and Warbreaker may both be less obviously part of a series, but there's pretty obviously a ton of story hooks for potential sequels. Hell, Warbreaker ended with two characters going off on adventures! Brandon has said he's always planned on them being part of series.)

    Peter Ahlstrom ()

    Brandon also adds story hooks even if he never plans on writing more. That's because books with no story hooks feel artificial to him. He wants to give a sense that the characters lived before the book started and will continue to live on (at least, those who don't get killed) after the book ends.


  • 24

    Kaladin_Stormblessed (July 2012)

    My Dad's moving, so he let me pick through his book collection and choose some to take home with me. It's like Christmas in July.

    My Dad got me into reading fantasy and scifi when I was in Elementary School, but he wouldn't let me read many of these because of cough mature content cough (I'm looking at you, Wizard's First Rule & Stranger in a Strange Land). It was really, really cool to be able to go through his collection and pick up some older books in the genre that I had never even heard of.


    Dune, Children of Dune, and Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

    A Heinlein Trio by Robert A. Heinlein

    Sword, Elfstones, Elf Queen, Druid, Wishsong and Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks

    Kingdom of Summer by Gillian Bradshaw

    The Dragonstone by Dennis L. McKiernan

    The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

    Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind (I know, I know, the first book's not bad on its own though)

    The Lost Swords (The First and Second Triads) and The Complete Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen

    The Once and Future King by T.H. White

    The Hollow Hills, The Crystal Cave, and The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart

    Demons & Dreams (The Best Science Fiction and Horror), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (This one has a short story by George R. R. Martin)

    Darkspell by Katharine Kerr

    Stranger in a Strange Land (uncut) by Robert A. Heinlein

    The Book of Lost Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien

    The Bardic Voices Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey

    The Bachman Books by Stephen King

    and finally,

    Buck Rogers hardcover collection

    I've only read about half of these. The covers on some of them are so deliciously 80s and 90s...

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    I haven't seen a number of those covers in a long, long time.

    I'll second the Saberhagen, by the way. I really enjoyed those books. (And, of course, if you haven't read Dune or Dragonriders, they're both awesome.)


  • 25

    notjcg007 (August 2012)

    Just finished The Way of Kings Stormlight Achives.

    If you, like me read Mistborn and wanted more then do not hesitate to read this book. It is definitely slower, but this book is fast on so many other levels. I really wanted B Sanderson to immediately finish more Mistborn books. Now, I do not care if he eats, sleeps or spends time with his family. I am willing to sell my house and buy him a lifetime supply of Red Bull so that he can finish the rest of these books. Great books and stories. I wish that damned wax would hurry off 75%!

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Whelp, guess I'd better get off of reddit and go back to writing again.


  • 26

    elquesogrande (September 2012)

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Not sure what I think of this. Right now, one of the main things that a NY publisher can give you is their distribution chain. Print still makes up a lot of sales, and it's almost impossible to get into physical bookstores in a wide release without a large publisher.

    Selling with the intention that it will be ebook only means you lose out on this. Granted, a solid editor is worth some amount. Marketing for a book like this basically will boil down to "We will pay Amazon/iBooks to give good placement for the novel." Publicity will be non-existent. (They aren't going to put you on tour or bring you to BEA for an e-original.)

    I'm entrenched in NY publishing, and feel they've done right by me, so I'm not one of these "you MUST self publish" types. However, something about this posting makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps it's because they look like they're specifically seeking people who don't know much about the business, and might not understand a horrible contract if offered one. Then again, I might be too wary.


    So, to break this down. As much of an opportunity this is, there's still some stuff not right about it because it won't ever be in print? Crap, back to the long arduous path of writing and publishing. Once you think the skies have opened up, you find it's full of lightning.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What I'm saying is that this might not be better than just publishing the book yourself in ebook form. It COULD be better, but it's not a slam dunk.


  • 27

    tritlo (September 2012)

    Great effort from Brandon!

    Hey all,

    I just wanted to share with you this mail I got from Subterranean Press, through which Brandon sells his new book Legion.

    Here it is.

    I think this is a great development, and I hope this experiment succeeds. Keep up the good work, Brandon!


    That is fantastic. Brandon appears to be approaching the ebook market in a really wonderful way, embracing it, and delivering intuitively. Now that I have an ereader, I don't buy physical books as much, but I love having the actual paper copy, too.

    I wonder if this is for anyone who buys it hereon out, as well? The website doesn't seem to have those details available. EDIT Brandon Sanderson is a really rocking dude. (reddit thread)

    I will happily purchase the paper copy of books if an ebook comes along with it. Does anyone know which version, the paper vs. electronic, gives more to the author? Ultimately, I want to pay my dues here! Brandon is a really great author, and I'd love to support him as best I can. (Would it be weird to check out a copy from the library, then paypal/mail Brandon the retail price of the book? He's an exception- I wouldn't do that for every author!)

    Anyway, I love ebooks and this is a great step towards helping and forwarding the market. Kudos Brandon, thank you for all you do, and for furthering this cause.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The offer will last the life of the book.

    In this case, I make about the same from either copy, so don't worry about that. Do remember that this is a novella, however, so either think of it as a very long short story or a very, very short novel. At $20, that length can be a bit pricy for some wallets, which is one reason for the $2.99 ebook.

    If you ever read my books from the library, don't feel bad about me money wise. I love libraries, and your interest in my books there makes them order in more copies. If you want to give something back to me in that case, just loan one of my books that you own to someone else and get them to read it. That can do wonders for an author.


    Just a heads-up: you may want to have the folks at work on their SEO a bit. The page to purchase the ebook version of Legion doesn't come in the first page of search results for "Sanderson Legion ebook."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. Okay, I'll give them a heads up. Thanks. :)


  • 28

    piderman (September 2012)

            As I write this, my novella Legion is being uploaded to the various ebook stores. It should now be for sale everywhere at $2.99.

    Except Europe where it's $5.74 on Kindle.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's odd. It shouldn't be that expensive. We did the ebook ourselves, so maybe we got a wire crossed somewhere.

    Just checked, and it's the right price at Amazon France and Amazon Germany have it at close to the right price. In which country is it showing up that expensive? I'll go get it fixed.


    Even though you can set the prices individually for each country, I think the actual sale price is often more expensive in Europe. This is a 2011 thread about it on the amazon forums. So I think there's nothing you can do about that.

    One alternative: Smashwords is a good way to sell ebooks to people in other countries. Whenever someone from another country has a hard time buying my novel, I usually point them there.


    If it's been going on since January 2011 as Moses says, and that does seem to be the case, then it looks like all we can do is tell people to buy elsewhere than Amazon.

    All of the versions are DRM-free, so you can buy it elsewhere and then convert it for your Kindle. Or you can just buy it from Dragonmount; they include both mobi and epub, and you can put the mobi right on your Kindle.

    I did email Amazon about it earlier today but we'll see if they say anything different.

    I've seen people in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland report it as being $5.74, and someone in Mexico sees a $4.99 price. It's very annoying.


  • 29

    speakstruth (September 2012)

    Possible TV show of Brandon Sanderson's Legion!


    It was a great story with lots of promise.

    I just fear it'll get turned into crap. I loved the book Flashforward and look what they did to that trying to make it a TV show. =P

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have high hopes—but, then, I always have high hopes. One problem is that about eight months after we sold this, a show with a similar premise came out. (Called Perception.) That might have killed our chances. We'll see.


  • 30

    Question (September 2012)

    Who do you see as the lead in the Legion tv show?

    Personally, I can see Hugh Laurie being brilliant in that role.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fun fact: I usually don't 'cast' people in my books. They are who they are in my head, and that is not any actor in specific. However, for some reason, in writing Legion I didn't follow this. The aspects all naturally became either actors or people I know—perhaps because they are fabrications within a fabrication.

    Anyway, the main three—Ivy, JC, and Tobias—are all based on famous actors. The other aspects are generally people I've met that I found interesting.


  • 31

    gyroda (September 2012)

    Fantasy novel cover art

    Thought I'd just put this out here, I've noticed that the American cover art and British cover art tend to be very different, the British ones tend to be more minimalistic with a little overdose of "Hooded-ninja-wizard" whereas the American ones seem to have more in them, like they're displaying a scene from the book.

    Just wondering, which does everyone prefer and why? I kinda prefer the British ones (although I might be biased there, I'm too used to them) as the American ones seem a bit cheesey and off-putting a lot of the time.

    Examples (including some hooded-ninja-wizards):

    Mistborn 1 UK US
    Assassin's Apprentice UK US
    Magicians' Guild UK US
    The Painted Man UK US

    Feel free to bring up other countries covers as well. I just picked those two as they're the ones I see most often.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    My editions from Spain tend to look like daytime soap operas.

    Elantris US

    Elantris Spain

    The Japanese, unsurprisingly, is manga-like.

    French is flowing and stately.


  • 32

    trimeta (November 2012)

    Is The Emperor's Soul available as an ebook?

    I know the paper copy is available from many retailers, but I've pretty much switched to reading books on my laptop or Kindle. Is there a way for me to buy a copy of The Emperor's Soul in a digital format?

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    Yup, Monday, I believe. The March date is for the UK publisher's ebook release. Until then, you'll be able to get it from me, and once they release theirs I will withdraw mine from the UK store and let them sell it.

    Sorry it took a little extra time—we weren't expecting the print book to go live as soon as it did. Do note, however, that (like Legion) I will send you a free ebook if you buy the print edition.