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Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#1 Share

Questioner

What is the most interesting or awesome thing you found in your South American research for The Aztlanian?

Brandon Sanderson

What is the most awesome thing I've come up with in my research for The Aztlanian.  So the question, for those of you who read The Rithmatist, I'm working on a sequel doing a lot of research on South American and Central American cultures. The Aztecs all the way down to the Incas *audio obscured* city was just so cool reading about that. One of the big things that I discovered was that a lot of records indicate that Meso-American culture was way bigger than, way more populated than people are usually taught. It's just that they lost somewhere around 60%-- This enormous number to diseases that were brought over. Way more than I originally expected. And reading about some of this, like the early accounts of how many people there were, their civilizations. Later on when the explorers really started coming, talking about there being these ghost cities, of empty-- the people all left them because so many people died and things like this. That what happened was almost like a post-Apocalyptic-- Like when the invasion of the Aztecs, of Mexico, was happening they were basically invading a post-Apocalyptic society where everyone was already dead. They'd even lost their emperor, Montezuma the First had died from this stuff. It's very interesting, all these things reading about-- There is a ton to learn.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#2 Share

Questioner

What’s it looking like for the book series of The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

I am writing the second one right now, it is my current project. It is going to be a trilogy. The second one should be out next summer. And they are going to go to South America. It's going to be fun.

Footnote: The Aztlanian was not, in fact, published in Summer 2015.
Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
#3 Share

Questioner

When is Rithmatist 2 coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist 2 is the number one requested book that people ask of me. I know more people are waiting for Stomrlight 3, but they can see the progress bars and things like that, so they know it's coming. Rithmatist 2, I might write between Stormlight 3 and 4. I tried to write it, and since they were going to South America, and I had not done my research, I was not able to accurately represent an alternate earth version of the cultures, like the Nahuatl, the Mexica people, so I stopped to stop and read, like, ten books on that, which prevented me from writing the book at that point. Now that I've done the research, I can, I feel, write the book, and do justice to it, but I have to now find a slot in my schedule, because the slot that was in my schedule I spent doing research. You wouldn't have wanted the book that would have come out if I hadn't done that research. You know all this buzz about Harry Potter and Native Americans? Mine would have been ten times worse, just because you write from a position of ignorance, so I was starting, and I was like, "No, I can't do this." So now, I think I can do this, and I think it will be good, but now I have to find the time. I'm sorry.

Orem signing ()
#5 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When is the second Rithmatist book coming out?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I put an update on my blog two days ago, so you can look in there. I'm having a lot of trouble writing it.

Footnote: The post in question, the 2017 State of the Sanderson, can be found here.
Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#6 Share

Questioner

When is the second book of The Rithmatist coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't written it yet. I started doing the research, and it was so much work I realized I needed more time to do it, because I'm going to South America in it, and I just needed to know South American cultures better, so I decided I need to take another year to do research. So I'm doing research for it right now, I'm going to write it hopefully after I finish the next Stormlight book, and then we'll release it soon after. So it's a little ways away.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#7 Share

KalynaAnne

We've kind of circled around the issue, but Professor Layton has talked about conics in general. Are we going to see hyperbolic lines and parabolas *audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

So, there is discussion of that in my notes, we'll see if I can get to it. It's more-- The cultural stuff for book two is more important to me right now, I'm not sure how far I will advance Rithmatics in the next book or not, but we will do some kind of origin stuff and fundamentals in the next one.
State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#8 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Secondary Projects

The Rithmatist

This continues to be the single most-requested sequel among people who email me or contact me on social media. It is something I want to do, and still intend to, but it has a couple of weird aspects to it—completely unrelated to its popularity—that continue to work as roadblocks.

The first problem is that it's an odd relic in my writing career. I wrote it as a diversion from a book that wasn't working (Liar of Partinel, my second attempt at doing a novel on Yolen, after the unpublished novel Dragonsteel). It went really well—but it also was something I had to set aside when the Wheel of Time came along.

I eventually published it years later, but my life and my writing has moved in a very different direction from the point when I wrote this. These days, I try very hard to make stories like this work as novellas or standalone stories, rather than promising sequels. I feel I did promise a sequel for this one, and I have grand plans for it, but the time just never seems to be right.

The other issue is that writing about that era in America—even in an alternate universe—involves touching on some very sensitive topics. Ones that, despite my best efforts, I feel that I didn't handle as sensitively as I could have. I do want to come back to the world and do a good job of it, but doing an Aztec viewpoint character—as I'd like to do as one of the viewpoints in book two—in an alternate Earth…well, it's a challenge that takes a lot of investment in research time.

And for one reason or another, I keep ending up in crisis mode—first with Stormlight 3 taking longer than I wanted, and now with The Apocalypse Guard not turning out like I wanted. So someday I will get to this, but it's going to require some alignment of several factors.

Status: Not yet. We'll see.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#9 Share

Questioner

What's the update on the next Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Next Rithmatist. So, there's no big update on that. If you didn't hear, when I wrote Alcatraz 5, the reason I wrote it was I wanted to do another teen book. I had planned Rithmatist 2, my outline was not good enough. I started writing it, and didn't feel confident in the book. I scrapped the outline, and I read five books on Aztec culture. And then, by the time I had done my research and rebuilt the outline, I did not have time to write the Rithmatist 2 before my other deadlines were due, so I wrote Alcatraz 5, 'cause it's shorter and faster and doesn't require five books worth of Aztec culture research. That's why Alcatraz 5 is coming out this year instead of Rithmatist. It would have been Rithmatist 2 if the outline had been better.

What that means now is my schedule is: Stormlight 3, Apocalypse Guard 1, Wax & Wayne final, Apocalypse Guard 2, Stormlight 4. If I'm ahead on any of those things at any point, I can slide in Rithmatist. But the reason it's so slow, by the way, what happened with Rithmatist, for those who don't know the story, I wrote Rithmatist in 2007. It was the last book I wrote before the Wheel of Time came along and just completely destroyed and changed my career, like, you know, a freight train. A freight train full of gold, so don't get me wrong; it was a very nice freight train. But it still slammed into me. And it upended everything. I had planned to do Rithmatist 1, 2, 3 as my next books. But then Wheel of Time came in, and Tor was like, "No, you need to work on this." I'm like, all right. We'll shelve Rithmatist," but that meant it got shelved for, like, four years, right?. And then when I came back to it, it was after the Wheel of Time, so it was the orphan child of the previous career path I was on. And my pet career path turned towards, "I need to do Way of Kings now," which I had been planning to wait to do after RIthmaist, because I wanted to have Way of Kings out for Wheel of Time fans, because I knew Wheel of Time fans would like Way of Kings a lot. So, that's why Rithmatist seems to be getting such little love. I do want to do it, but I was on a long career path, and then I got shifted quite dramatically. Alcatraz was a different thing, that was the publisher dropping the series, which was why it took so long to get 5 out.

So, I apologize for that. I will try to slip it in at some point,. but I can't promise when, because of... I can't delay Stormlight, and some of these other things.

 

Oathbringer release party ()
#11 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why do you decide to do more series like Apocalypse Guard or the Secret Project [Skyward] when you still have so many more unfinished sequels?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's a good question. No, it is totally legit. *laughter* So, I did finish Legion. I did that. So, those who are looking for that, that will come out next year. Why do I do it this way? Well, most of the time, it's because I try a book, and it doesn't work. Rithmatist fans probably know, I tried to write Rithmatist 2, I built an outline, I started writing it, and the book didn't work. I wasn't-- the outline was wrong on that one. I got, like, three chapters in, and I'm like, "Nope. This book is broken." And it was mostly due to my lack of research into the proper things to do the book the right way. And because Rithmatist and Alcatraz, which you'll get Alcatraz 6 eventually, those are the two that are looming most; those are side projects. Those are things that I do for fun. They have to slot in between my main projects, if that makes any sense. Like, I have to do them when there's time from other projects. So, for instance, I couldn't go to Random House and say, "I'm gonna do Rithmatist 2 sequel," because Rithmatist is not their series. It belongs to Tor. So, if I wanna do more with Random House, I have to do something that works for them. And that's kind of the long and short of it.

I mean, I will get around to things like Warbreaker and Elantris sequels. *cheers* But the thing about those is, those are sequels to the worlds, not necessarily sequels to the characters. I won't promise you that the same characters will appear in them. Some of them will. But it's the idea that those are standalone books that I plan to do more in the world, and the time isn't right in the cosmere to do those. For something like Rithmatist, that's more pressing, because I'm like "that promises a sequel with the same characters". But I have to find out how to write it first. And, for various reasons, a Rithmatist sequel is really tricky to pull off. So, that's kinda the answer to it. Sometimes, I also just need a break to do whatever my mind wants to do. It's not a very satisfying answer, but it is the way my brain works. But you can know that if it's, like, one of the main line things that I've got contracts for, that I won't be doing that to you on. So, Stormlight will be pretty regular, Mistborn will be pretty regular. But some of the side projects, it's just when it's right it's right.

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#12 Share

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How many books are gonna be in The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...I originally plotted it at three. I tried to write the second book a little while ago, and it didn't work. It's called-- The second book is called The Aztlanian, and it takes place in the city of Tenochtitlan. And I just did not have my Aztec culture down well enough, and that was part of why the book was failing. And so, I'm going to give it another try. But that's why you don't have it yet; it's one of those books that's been hard for me to get.

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
#13 Share

Questioner

When might we expect a sequel to Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

When might you expect a sequel to Warbreaker.  Okay, let me go down the list. I have, finished, three books, alright?  The finished books are: Bands of Mourning, which is the sequel to the one you-- many of you bought today; I have finished Calamity, the last book of the Reckoners; and I’ve finished, a while ago, the fifth book of the Alcatraz series, for the middle-grade series.  Which I finished a while ago, but we had to wait for the contracts to run out before I could release it, it’s a big complicated thing.  So those are in the queue, and they are coming.

Now I am writing, right now, Stormlight 3.  Yes working on that.  It’s actually-- Anytime I mention Stormlight people are contractually obligated to shout in my crowds.  So I’m finishing that and my goal is to have it done by May or June. If it is done by May or June the publisher has said they will publish it Christmastime, so November/December next year.  If I miss May or June then it gets pushed back to the Spring sometime.  So just watch the progress bars on my website and you’ll see-- you’ll be able to gauge.  It’s slowed down a lot because of revisions and touring but they should pick back up as soon as I get home.

After that I’m going to write a book called the Apocalypse Guard, which is my follow-up to Steelheart.  Not the same world but the same style, fast-paced, frantic action sort of things.  In the US those are published as teen books, here they’re published as adult books, I don’t even know what they are but I want to have a follow-up for my teen publisher.  Something that’s similar.  So we’re going to do that, then I’m going to do Rithmatist 2, and then I will do finally the fourth Wax and Wayne book which will wrap up Era 2 of Mistborn.  Then I will do Stormlight 4.

If the book, such as Warbreaker sequel, is not in that list it means it is coming post-Stormlight 4.  So we’ve got a little ways to wait, but I will get around to doing them, I promise.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#14 Share

Questioner

How long until the next Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, that's the slow one. Stormlight 3 taking as long as it has, that's what it has slowed down. I keep saying it's only gonna be a couple years, but-- I don't know, honestly...

My goal is to start closing up some of theses series in the next couple of years, so I'm hoping to finish off the Legion trilogy and Wax & Wayne next year, and just start closing some things off.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#15 Share

Questioner

The Rithmatist 2 kind of took a... <stage to the background with everything>. Do you have any idea when that's gonna be...?

Brandon Sanderson

We're getting close. We're getting close. I will do it most likely between Stormlight 3 and 4, somewhere. I can't promise where, but it's getting really close. I'm going to start reading the first book to my son very soon; he's nine now. And once I read it out loud with him I will be ready to write the second. I'll be back in the world.

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
#16 Share

Brandon Sanderson

Introduction

We are approaching Koloss Head-Munching Day—the day of the year that happens, by utter coincidence, to coincide with my birthday. (December 19th.) I’m turning forty this year, which isn’t as dramatic for me as it might be for some others. From the way I act, people have been joking for the last twenty years that I was “born forty.” I guess I’m finally just catching up.

It’s been almost twenty years since I finished my first book. I can remember joking with my friends in college (whom you might know as Lieutenant Conrad from Mistborn and Drehy from Bridge Four) that by forty, we were all going to be rich and famous.

The thing is, I always intended to make that dream happen. Not necessarily for the “rich” part or the “famous” part, neither of which interested me a great deal. I just knew that without a solid, stable writing career, I’d never be able to make the Cosmere happen.

Perhaps that’s where this whole “born forty” thing came from in the first place. I basically spent my twenties writing, slavishly trying to figure out how to craft stories. Friends would tell me to relax, but I couldn’t, not when these dreams of mine were so big. It should be mentioned that despite what our society would like to believe, hard work doesn’t always equate with success. For me, luck played a huge part in my being able to sit here and type this out for you.

Still, here I am, and I honestly can’t imagine things having gone better. People often seem bemused by my productivity; when I get together with fellow authors, they sometimes jokingly refer to me as “the adult” in our group. I get this—for a lot of them, writing is more of an instinctual process. Sitting and talking about the business side of things, or their goals for writing, flies in the face of the almost accidental way they’ve approached their careers. And it works for them; they create great books I’m always excited to read.

However, sometimes there’s also this sense—from fans, from the community, from us authors in general—that whispers that being productive isn’t a good thing. It’s like society feels artists should naturally try to hide from deadlines, structure, or being aware of what we do and why we do it. As if, because art is supposed to be painful, we shouldn’t enjoy doing our work—and should need to be forced into it.

If there’s one thing that has surprised me over the last ten years, it’s this strangeness that surrounds my enjoyment of my job, and the way my own psychology interfaces with storytelling. People thank me for being productive, when I don’t consider myself particularly fast as a writer—I’m just consistent. Fans worry that I will burn out, or that secretly I’m some kind of cabal of writers working together. I enjoy the jokes, but there’s really no secret. I just get excited by all of this. I have a chance to create something incredible, something that will touch people’s lives. In some cases, that touch is light—I just give a person a few moments to relax amid the tempest of life. In other cases, stories touch people on a deep and meaningful level. I’ll happily take either scenario.

Almost thirty years ago now, I encountered something remarkable in the books I read. Something meaningful that I couldn’t describe, a new perspective, new emotions. I knew then that I had to learn to do what those writers were doing. Now that I have the chance to reach people the same way, I’m not going to squander it.

I guess this is all a prelude to a warning. I’m working on a lot of projects. Many of these tie together in this epic master plan of mine, the thirty-six-(or more)-book cycle that will be the Cosmere. Even those books that aren’t part of the Cosmere are here to challenge me in some way, to push me and my stories, to explore concepts that have fascinated me for years.

These last ten years have been incredible. I thank you, and I thank God, for this crazy opportunity I’ve been given. I don’t intend to slow down.

I’m not embarrassed to be “the adult.” Even if I’ve only just hit the right age for it officially.

My Year

2015 was a bit slower than last year was, as I spent a lot of time editing.

January–May: Calamity

The bulk of my writing time this year was spent on Calamity, which I’d been putting off last year in order to write the two new Mistborn novels. Looking back at my records, I finished the last chapters in early May.

This was interrupted, on occasion, for revisions of various books—and for the Firefight tour, along with a trip to Sharjah in the UAE. Busy times. So busy, in fact, that it’s taken me all the rest of the year to give full feedback to the writers who took my class. I managed to grade their papers in May, somehow, but promised them each a personalized look at their final story submissions, which I’m only now finishing up.

June–August: Stormlight Three

I did squeeze in some writing time for Stormlight in here, though not a whole ton of it got done. I had to stop for revisions, touring, and travel through most of September and October.

September–October: Revisions and a Secret Project

Traveling so much made it difficult to do Stormlight 3 writing, which requires a lot of time investment. So between revisions, I managed to finish a project I’ve been working on for about a decade now. (Yes, a decade.) You’ll see this soon. It’s a novella.

November–December: Stormlight Three Again

I plan to keep on this one until I finish it, as I’ll talk about below. However, if you want to read a little about my writing time in November, you can read this other blog post.

Big List of Things I’m Working On

Now, let’s get to it. Each year around this time, I take stock of my many projects. You can read last year’s post here, to compare and see how things have been progressing. (And to see how well I did in my plans for 2015.)

Thank you in advance for continuing to give me the freedom I feel I need to jump between different worlds. While I know it’s frustrating sometimes that I’m not working on your world, the greater plans I have for all this require me to approach things in a certain way. Both for my health as a writer, and to bring about some large-scale awesomeness.

I’m going to go down the list of projects I’m working on, starting with what I consider my “main” projects. These are getting the focus of my time right now. From there, I’ll move on to things that I’m still toying with doing sometime soon.

Then it gets a little more speculative.

Enjoy!

Main Book Projects The Stormlight Archive

Stormlight is going very well. I’m working on Book Three, which I’m calling Oathbringer. (That is likely at this point to be the final title.) This is my main project, and I won’t be writing any new prose on other stories until it is done. You can follow the progress bars!

Release dates for this book are still in flux. Even if I finish it early next year, it could be a year or more until you see the book. The amount of editing, continuity, and art that these books require creates a need for a long lead time. I’ve told people that Fall 2016 is the earliest they’d see it, but my team has been warning me that’s not realistic. We’ll see, but for now you should assume on a 2017 release.

What does this mean for my once optimistic “one Stormlight book every eighteen months” goal? The more I work on these books, the more uncertain I am about that. The outline for Oathbringer, for example, took about a year for me to nail down. Considering how many moving pieces there are in these books, it’s tough to judge how long they will take to write. And while there are books I can force through if some things aren’t right, I can’t afford to do that on this series.

I’ll continue to write Stormlight books at as quick a pace as is reasonable. I consider this my main project for the next decade or two, and am dedicated to it. But each book, as I’ve said before, is plotted as four books in one. So even if I release them once every three years, you’re getting four “books” in three years.

We’ll see. I’ll try to pick up the pace. In the meantime, I’ll try to get some short stories in the world out for you. (More on this later.)

Status: Book Three in Progress

The Reckoners

The last book of the trilogy is complete, revised, and turned in. It’s coming out in February, and is—indeed—the ending.

I have not closed the door on doing more in the world, but it will not be for a while. If I do return, it will be like a Mistborn return, where the focus of the books shifts in some way and I create a new series. I like leaving endings as endings, even if the world and some of the characters do progress.

I’m extremely pleased with the last book. I look forward to having you all read it, and I am grateful to you all for supporting this series. There were voices that told me something outside the Cosmere would never sell as well as something inside—but this series is neck-and-neck in popularity with Stormlight and Mistborn. It’s a relief, and very gratifying, to see that people are willing to follow me on different kinds of journeys.

Status: Completed!

Mistborn

And speaking of Mistborn, how is Scadrial doing? My current plan is still to have the Mistborn books stretch throughout my career, establishing stories in different eras of time with different sets of characters.

The original pitch was for three trilogies. The Wax and Wayne books expanded this to four series. (You can imagine Wax and Wayne as series 1.5, if you want.) This means there will still be a contemporary trilogy, and a science fiction trilogy, in the future.

I have one more book to do in the Wax and Wayne series, and I’m planning to write it sometime between Stormlight books three and four. Until then, Wax and Wayne three—The Bands of Mourning—comes out in January!

Status: Era 1.5 book three done; book four coming soonish

Secondary Book Projects Elantris

I do still intend Elantris sequels. (And the enthusiasm for the leatherbound edition proves that people are still interested in the world.) Right now, I have them scheduled to be slotted in once Wax and Wayne is done. We’ll take a break from Scadrial at that point, go back to Sel and do some Elantris books, then hop back to the 1980s era Mistborn series.

This slots an Elantris sequel into the spot between Stormlight books 4 & 5. It is coming, just more slowly than I’d once hoped.

Status: Delayed, but coming before too long

The Rithmatist

Book two of The Rithmatist (called The Aztlanian) is another thing on my schedule that I need to get to soon. If you didn’t read last year’s update on the book, I tried writing this—and found I didn’t have a strong enough grasp on the historical period and culture to do it justice. So I stopped and did a bunch of research, but by the time I finished, I needed to be back to work on my main projects.

Therefore, I’ve slotted this in after Stormlight 3 as well. Hopefully it won’t get pushed back again. Usually I try to do about equal in pages to a Stormlight book between Stormlight books. That gives me room for three smaller books. Right now plans are for these three books to be The Lost Metal (Wax and Wayne 4), The Atzlanian, and a new project. (See below.)

Status: Delayed, but maybe coming soon

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

Here’s another one we’ve been able to clear off my list. With Tor republishing the first four books of this series throughout the spring next year (starting in February), I am at last able to get the fifth book (and the final one Alcatraz will write) out to you fans.

The new art for these editions has me very excited. For once I think we have covers that indicate to readers the tone of the books. Book Five should be out in the summer, though I believe Tor is scheduling it for August instead of June. It is written, and I’m doing final edits on it right now. (In the evenings after I feel I’ve hit my wordcount goal for Stormlight.)

If you haven’t read these books, give them a browse once they come out again in the spring. They’re very fun, but very different from my other books. They’re insane, fourth-wall-breaking comedies, so they’re certainly not for everyone. They have been an excellent way for me to blow off steam and refresh myself between longer, more ponderous books.

Status: Book Five Completed!

White Sand

For those who don’t know, this is a book I wrote around the same time as Elantris—but which I didn’t ever sell. Once I was published, I considered releasing it, but felt it needed a solid revision before I could do so.

Well, that revision was delayed time and time again, until the point where I decided I probably would need to just rewrite the book from scratch if I ever did release it. An interesting opportunity came along a few years later, however, and that changed my perspective. You see, the comic book company Dynamite Entertainment had come asking if I had anything, perhaps an unpublished novel, that would make a good graphic novel.

This seemed the perfect opportunity to make use of White Sand. I didn’t have time to do revisions, but another writer could take my words and adapt them (really, what the book needed was a trim anyway) into a graphic edition. We said yes, and started into the process.

I’ve said before, Dynamite has been excellent to work with. Rik Hoskin, the person hired to do the adaptation, is a fantastic writer—and he really managed to preserve the core of my story, using my own dialogue and descriptions, while cutting out all the chaff. The artist Julius Gopez, the colorist Ross Campbell, the letterer Marshall Dillon, and the editor Rich Young have all done a fabulous great job.

The novel is big (no surprise), so it’s going to be released as three graphic novels. The first of these is almost ready, and we’re expecting a release sometime next year.

Tertiary Book Projects

Now we move on to some of the projects that are itching at me, and I do intend to do someday—but which are delayed indefinitely until I figure out the right time to do them.

Warbreaker

While some characters from Nalthis have made appearances in other books, I still don’t have a specific timeframe for when I’ll go back and write the second Warbreaker book. (Titled Nightblood for the time being.)

I know a lot of people really want this book, and I intend to do it, but I have to find time for the Elantris sequels first. So you’re unlikely to see it until Elantris is finished. (Sorry.)

Status: On Hiatus

Legion

I owe people another (and final) Legion novella, and I plan to do this as well. Novellas aren’t as big a commitment as novels, obviously—that’s part of why I do them. But I don’t know when I’ll squeeze this in, with all the things I’m doing right now. It could happen literally at any time—but I don’t expect it in 2017, to be honest.

Status: On Short Hiatus

Cosmere Short Fiction Collection

For a while I’ve been thinking that I need to collect all the various pieces of Cosmere short fiction and put them into a single collection, for those who don’t like hunting around for them.

This might be the year to do that. If Stormlight doesn’t make it into 2016, we might be able to get a collection (with a Stormlight novella) out by the end of the year instead. Something to tide you over, at least, until book three comes out.

If we do this, my goal will be to have it include every piece of short fiction from every source up until now and bind it together in a handsome hardcover that will look nice on the shelf next to your other books.

This will give you multiple options for the short fiction, if you want to collect it. We will continue to do our little two-novella collections (like the Perfect State and Shadows for Silence double that we just released.) So if you’d prefer to collect those in the smaller size, I anticipate everything eventually being released in that format too. However, if you’d like one thick tome, every ten years or so you should see a bigger collection.

More on this as it develops. Right now I’m toying with the title Arcanum Unbound, and would love to include a star chart of all the cosmere worlds in it.

Projects in Development

These are projects you might have heard of, but for which no solid evidence of them ever being released is out there. On occasion I might do readings from them, and I might tinker with them—but I don’t have much specific to tell you about release dates.

New YA Series

I am developing a new YA series to be released after the Reckoners with the same publisher. I can’t say much about it right now, though we will probably do some announcements regarding it during the Calamity tour. If all goes well, the first book of this trilogy will be the third shorter novel I write between Stormlight 3 and 4.

I always need to have something new to be working on, if only in the back of my mind, to help prevent burnout. I’m excited about this series right now, and actively working on the outline. But I won’t be digging into writing it until next summer or fall, depending on when Stormlight Three is done. So I don’t expect a release for a while yet.

Status: Outlining

Adamant

Some of you have heard readings from, or seen excerpts of, this epic science fiction series that I’ve been working on. I finished one novella in the world, and am pleased with it, but I have no immediate plans for writing the rest. Perhaps I’ll feel different once Stormlight is done and I’m satisfied with it. (It’s always possible I’ll need a break between projects where I can do something very different.) We shall see. I have no plans to release this in 2016.

Status: On Hiatus

Dark One

A perennial favorite on the State of the Sanderson is this YA series about a boy who discovers he’s the Dark One, a figure from prophecy fated to destroy the world. My outlines are looking okay for this one, but it doesn’t feel like the right time to do it. I pitched it to my editors at Random House along with the new YA series above, and we all agreed the other project was a better follow-up to the Reckoners.

Dark One is bound to get done someday. That day isn’t now.

Status: No Projected Start Date

Death by Pizza

I had a nice breakthrough on this book recently, making the main character far more interesting. (For those who don’t know, this is about a necromancer who owns a pizza joint.) However, this remains a very out-of-left-field project for me, and something I did mostly for fun. (I have a nearly complete draft of the entire book.)

I don’t anticipate doing this anytime soon, though I did briefly consider it as an alternative to the new YA series listed above. It’s still just too strange for me to want to do right now. Perhaps eventually.

Status: On Hiatus

Dragonsteel/Liar of Partinel

This is Hoid’s origin story, a prequel to the entire Cosmere. The time is not right. It’s going to happen eventually, but I feel that I shouldn’t dig into this until Stormlight is completely done. (All ten books.) So don’t hold your breath on this one.

Status: Loooong way off

Silence Divine

This story (which is the one about a world where catching a disease grants you magical talents) is another perennial State of the Sanderson participant.

I did some work on a short story in this world a while back, and liked it, but didn’t have time to finish. (This is the thing I did readings from during the Words of Radiance tour, I believe.) It’s set in the cosmere, and I have plans to someday write this—but I’m not sure when I’ll do it. Could be a long way off still.

Status: On Hiatus

Soulburner

This is an outline I developed last year during a lull—a kind of space-opera-fantasy-hybrid like Dune or Star Wars. The setting is awesome, one of my favorites. Very distinctive.

I don’t have a story for it yet though. I’m just putting it on here so that you know that wacky things are still bouncing around in my head, looking for a way out. It’s not something I’m going to release anytime soon, but if I ever do, you can point here and say, “Hey, I saw this first!”

Status: No Projected Start Date

Aether of Night

Another of the books I wrote around the time of Elantris, and another one that’s not half bad—but still in need of a solid revision.

I’ll likely do something with it someday. In the meantime, if you want to read it, you can send us an email to ask for a copy. (Consider it a thank you for getting this far in this huge post.) I’d ask that you’d consider signing up for my mailing list when you do email me, as that’s how I get the word out on when I’m doing signings and when I have cool new things to release. But that’s not required in order to get the book.

Projected Novel Release Schedule

There’s a good chance I won’t hold to this, but just so you know, here’s how I view my upcoming novel release schedule (not including any novellas or short stories that may or may not appear during moments when I need to do something new):

January 2016: Wax and Wayne 3 February 2016: Reckoners 3 (final book) June 2016: Alcatraz 5 Sometime 2017: Stormlight 3 Sometime 2017: Rithmatist 2 Spring 2018: New YA project 1 Fall 2018: Wax and Wayne 4 (final book) Sometime 2019: Stormlight 4 Sometime 2019: New YA project 2 Sometime 2020: Elantris 2 Sometime 2020 New YA project 3 (final book) Sometime 2021: Stormlight 5 (ending of first arc) Sometime 2022: Elantris 3 (final book)

Conclusion

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you that the list was big.

It’s been quite the year. Lots of travel, lots of meeting people and signing books. My tenth year doing this. I’ve spent the last decade kind of looking at myself as one of the new kids in the fantasy market, but I suppose it’s time to admit that I’ve become—albeit not a member of the old guard—one of the genre’s more established names.

As always, you make this possible. Here’s looking to another excellent year. Merry Christmas, and a Happy Koloss Head-Munching Day, to you all.

Brandon Sanderson December 2015

Steelheart Portland signing ()
#17 Share

Kogiopsis

Are we going to see Native Americans in the Rithmatist series?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes you will. The Native Americans have mostly moved to South America, but there's a Native American main character in the second book.

Kogiopsis

Yes!

Brandon Sanderson

What happened is the– a lot of them got pushed into South America, where the Aztec Empire is alive and well and strong. And so their perspective on what's going on is very different from the perspective happening in Joel's school, so you will see a different perspective on things.

Kogiopsis

Excellent.

Brandon Sanderson

It was already dangerous though, what I'm doing, and I realize this, for those very reasons. Very sensitive issues. Like when I used the Mary Rowlandson account, which is kind of a controversial account as it is, I understood that I was potentially opening a can of worms.

swamp-spirit

But I mean, I really– I just want to say this, that I really appreciate as a reader that you go into diversity because I know it is a risk, and it means so much to readers to have you writing a different set of characters and people people can relate to.

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#18 Share

Questioner

Do you know when the next Alcatraz book will come out?

Brandon Sanderson

Working on it slowly, but it's happening. This one, Oathbringer, took longer than I expected, so it slowed me down a little bit. But it shouldn't be too much longer.

Questioner

Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist, that's the other one. No promises of when; working on it slowly.

Boskone 54 ()
#19 Share

Questioner

Have you ever read 1491 by Charles C. Mann?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I have.

Questioner

Did that inform [plans for The Aztlanian]…

Brandon Sanderson

That did inform, that was one of the main books I went to in my research where they’re like, you need to read this book. I read that book and I loved it. Even the book points out some people don’t agree with this hypothesis, but it feels right to me, so I’m running with that idea.

Questioner

Even if the details weren’t totally clear in the archeological record, the story in it is just...

Brandon Sanderson

Is great. This is the idea that South America in particular but, Central America and parts of North America, were much more densely populated than we assumed and the introduction of diseases that the Europeans brought was more devastating than previous people had theorized. Which is really, really interesting, because it deals with this other idea of America Pox, right? Why did the Europeans not get a disease? Why is there no mythical America Pox that was given back to them? That’s a big question that people have. If you haven’t thought about it, you’re like “Hey, yeah!”. They were both isolated populations from one another, why was there no disease transfers? One of the big theories is that this goes back to animals. Most deadly diseases that we have transferred from animals to humans and they kill us because diseases don’t actually want to kill you. They want you to get sick enough to keep spreading the disease, as long as you have the disease, and if it kills you, it fails in that. Most of them, there are some that, you know. A lot of diseases that are deadly to us were not deadly to cattle, where they originated, and they jumped species. The argument is, and some disagree with this, but the argument is Europeans had these animals that they used. They moved them into the seas with them, they caught a whole bunch of these terrible diseases that wiped out big populations, but they got over it. And in North and Central and South America, they did not have as many animals living in close proximity to humans in large population centers, and so the diseases did not pass to humans, and there were no big deadly diseases for the Europeans to catch when they came over.

[says he got the term America Pox from CGP Grey, a Youtuber, who he likes watching and was clearly reading some of the same books]

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#20 Share

Questioner

When is the second [Rithmatist] coming out.

Brandon Sanderson

It is the most requested book I get, of a sequel. Oathbringer took a little bit longer than I expected, so I can't promise anything right now, but Rithmatist keeps staying right on the top of that list of to-do. I hope to do it soon.

Boskone 54 ()
#21 Share

Questioner

You said writing the sequel to The Rithmatist is really challenging. Why is that?

Brandon Sanderson

Because when I started work on it, it was pre-Wheel of Time. The series got preempted by Wheel of Time, so it’s been ten years now since I wrote the first book. And I held it off and didn’t publish it for like five years, because I knew, I wanted to be closer to publication when I did a sequel. But when I dove back into the sequel a few years ago, I just wasn’t pleased with my outline anymore. One of the real challenging aspects of The Rithmatist is dealing with real history, real cultures, the fact that we have a bunch of colonialists living in America and all of this stuff and what happened to the indigenous peoples, and handling that without sticking my foot in my mouth is also really tricky. So you mix those two things, and I want to be very careful. So instead of writing the book, I read three books on Aztec culture. But then I didn’t have time to write the book. Eventually I will get to it, but it’s got some trickiness because of that.

Calamity release party ()
#23 Share

Questioner

So in the Rithmatist... The constable had acid wash over him and it destroyed the thing that possessed him. The professor who got acid dumped on him did not have the thing expelled. Why the difference?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out in the next book.

Questioner

Ah, got another read and find out.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#24 Share

Questioner

Is there ever going to be a Rithmatist sequel?

Brandon Sanderson

There will be, eventually. I've had troubles getting it off the ground. Just the outline hasn't worked and things like that. But I'm still trying, so.