State of the Sanderson 2021

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Name State of the Sanderson 2021
Date Dec. 20, 2021
Entries 13
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#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


Is it me, or does it feel like this year just kind of vanished into vapors?  I can’t believe we’re already back to December and I’m working on another State of the Sanderson.  After 2020 (which felt like it lasted an eternity), perhaps I should be grateful.  At the same time, it feels really soon to be gearing up for the daunting task of writing another Stormlight book–and book five (the final volume of the first sequence) at that.

Regardless, I continue to be deeply grateful to all of you who continue to follow me on this journey.  It’s been a strange year for me, for more than one reason.  Eventually perhaps I’ll be able to explain more of why that is.  But for now, it’s time for the State of the Sanderson: my yearly wrap-up post where I tell you in-depth about everything I’m working on.

Warning: these things are usually pretty long.  They stay up all year, available prominently on my website.  For reference, last year’s State of the Sanderson can be found.

Enough of an introduction, then.  Let’s get into it!

#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


Like always, I keep tabs on everything I did through the year via a spreadsheet.  Usually this lists all of my trips and tours also–but there were barely any of those this year!  So, we’ll just talk about the books I worked on.

January 1st-March 31st: Cytonic and Sunreach

I spent the bulk of the first part of my year in the Cytoverse, working hard on two stories that are both now out!  Cytonic, book three in the Skyward series, came out last month.  (Thanks to all who attended the convention and who supported the book its first few weeks!  We outsold the previous book in the same timeframe, which is one of the most important metrics for book sales.)

In case you haven’t seen yet, I also co-wrote a series of novellas in the Skyward series with my good friend Janci Patterson.  The first two of those are out, with the third one (starring Jorgen!) coming right after Christmas.  I hope you’ll check them out.  They are a lot of fun, and add some important backstory to what other characters are doing during the events of Cytonic.

April 1st – September 20th: The Lost Metal, ReDawn, Evershore

Most of this extended stretch was spent working on the final book of the Wax and Wayne series of Mistborn books.  (It should be out for Christmas 2022.)  This was a longer write than the other Wax and Wayne books, as I increased the book-length by 50% (and gave the story a little more outlining time) to make certain to wrap up things in style.

While working on that, I also managed to get work done on the other two of the three novellas I wrote with Janci.  Basically, anytime I needed a break from Wax and Wayne there was something else to work on, so I had a nice rhythm here.  I dove right into the 2.0 of Wax and Wayne once the 1.0 was done, and the beta reads finished up in November!

September 21st-October 31st: Various Revisions and Consulting

After getting that second Wax and Wayne draft done, there were just a lot of little things demanding my attention that I’d been putting off.  Some Wheel of Time scripts, some work on the various film projects for my other series, and loose ends of various other things I needed to do.

All this kept me busy until near the end of October, and so I decided to spin my heels a little until I could do NaNoWriMo officially, starting November 1st.  Which takes us to…

November 1st – End of December: Defiant

One of my goals this year was to tie up both Wax and Wayne and the Skyward series (at least the Spensa arc of it, see below.)  Assuming I can finish up this month strongly, I should be able to do that–as far as rough drafts are concerned.  I’ll still need to do some revisions on Defiant next year, but all of the actual writing should be finished–making both of these series a wrap.

That leaves me free to tackle Stormlight Five all next year!

#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


As I mentioned above, Janci and I have co-written three novellas in the Skyward series.  Those join The Original and Lux as stories created as part of my Mainframe project.  (Mainframe being an audiobook company I created with my good friend–and all around excellent guy–Max Epstein.)

Max is the driving force behind Mainframe.  (He was also one of the first people in Hollywood to see the value in my work as it relates to films.)  We’ve got a couple more projects coming in 2022 that I’m excited about, so I’m going to let him tell you about them here!

Thanks, Brandon! As mentioned above, throughout, and below, by the end of this year we will have successfully released four projects. And of course we have more on the way, two of which are currently scheduled for release in 2022. Both are with our partners at Recorded Books, who have been excellent.

The first is the audio exclusive Stephen Leeds: Death and Faxes.  This is a new Leeds story within the Legion universe[, with a co-writer]. While we could have released this in 2021, our primary decision to push this to 2022 was because of the four months of back-to-back Cytoverse releases, which will culminate with Evershore in a few short weeks. We’re very excited about Leeds and can confirm that we have the wonderful Oliver Wyman back in the booth as narrator. More information to come as we get closer to our June 2022 release date.

Death and Faxes will be followed up later in 2022 by Dark One: Forgotten, an audio series that ties in with the larger Dark One universe that Brandon has created.  Dan Wells co-wrote this with Brandon (along with a larger Dark One novel that we’ll be releasing after Forgotten, though likely not until 2023). We’re all very excited about how the pages for Forgotten have turned out, and we can’t wait for you to hear them. We’re currently planning on six episodes with a full cast, sound design, and music. Very exciting stuff in the year ahead with more to follow shortly.

#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


The Stormlight Archive

I didn’t do much work on Stormlight this year, as my focus was on other series.  But I did want to mention that we plan to get Dawnshard in audio out very soon.  Hopefully within the next few months. Max, with Mainframe, has created the audio for it–via the always excellent Kate Reading and Michael Kramer.

Obviously, the big motion on this series will happen with Stormlight Five starting in January, with a target for a Christmas 2023 release.  (It could end up coming out in the spring of 2024, depending on how difficult a write it is.)  Also, I will very likely do a Rock novella as part of the Words of Radiance leatherbound kickstarter in the summer of 2023.

So check back for updates as I work through the book, which will include Szeth’s flashback sequence!


As I’ve talked about already, Cytonic and two of the novellas are out.  While I’m writing this, I’m around two-thirds of the way through the final novel–which, with the Jorgen novella out this month, will mark the end of this first sequence.

Turns out, Janci and I had a lot of fun working together on the novellas.  Our plan was to do another set of them between books three and four, but the timing was tight on these first ones–and that was a tad stressful.  So we’re now working on doing some follow-ups to the first four-book series.  We’ve brought on Darci Cole, an excellent writer and one of the beta readers on the Skyward series, as a co-writer as well.

Together, we’re deciding where to take the Cytoverse and what the right things will be to bring to you after Defiant is done.  There will be more, but Book Four also involves some major changes and interesting turns.  So I won’t say more now, other than that if you love the series, I can promise you more is coming.


Wax and Wayne Four, The Lost Metal, is done and the beta readers have already finished going through it!  One of my jobs will be to get a 3.0 draft of it done in the coming months, opposite working on Stormlight Five.

As many of you may know, I do two writing sessions a day—the first one from around 1:00 until 5:00, and the second from around 10:00 to 2:00 a.m.  In 2022, I’m going to try doing something new–writing prose on Stormlight in the afternoon session, then doing revisions on Mistborn in the evening session.  I’m curious whether this works for me, and if so, whether it’s better or worse for my pace and my enjoyment of the process.

I’ll bring you some updates as I proceed!

#5 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


Alcatraz Series

As I warned you last year, 2021 was going to be spent on repackaging this series–and getting the art for the sixth book done.  I also co-wrote this one with Janci, as I got about halfway through it back in 2014 and got stumped on something, so I went to her for help both with that and with smoothing out the character voice.  (This one is from Bastille’s viewpoint.)

So, there’s not much of an update from last year.  The first five books are coming out with new covers in 2022, culminating with the final book on September 20th. Final revisions for the book are in, and artwork is approved for the new covers of the early ones, so we should be super close.

Their release schedule is below, including the brand new sixth book!

  • May: Book 1: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
  • June: Book 2: The Scrivener’s Bones
  • July: Book 3: The Knights of Crystallia
  • August: Book 4: The Shattered Lens
  • September: Book 5: The Dark Talent
  • September: Book 6: Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians

Dark One

A second Dark One graphic novel is in the works for those who enjoyed the first!  But in case that’s not your thing, you can go read the Mainframe update above, where we’re working on a prose version. That should be released first in audio, but Dan Wells is currently drafting from my original outline for that–and I’ve read some of his work on it, which has made me very excited. In the meantime, enjoy Dark One: Forgotten, a shorter tie-in that Dan and I have created for release this fall.

Elantris, Warbreaker, Rithmatist

Nothing here, again.  (Yes, Rithmatist fans, I hear you screaming at the screen.)  Elantris/Warbreaker sequels aren’t planned until after Stormlight Five, as I’ve been saying for years now.  Rithmatist might be a little closer than it was, as we’ve been researching potential co-authors who have knowledge and background in the real-world Aztec lore I’d like to incorporate into the book.  So don’t give up hope.  But, like finishing Alcatraz, this is more a labor of love than a mainline series of mine, so it has to take a back seat to the main stories I’m telling.

Part Four: Updates on Secondary Projects

Songs of the Dead

Moving this one back to minor projects this year.  Though Peter Orullian is still working on it, this is one of the co-authored projects that has turned out to be a more difficult write.  He’s spent this year on revisions of it, and I hope you’ll all be able to read it someday.  But we need to make sure it’s working right first.

The Reckoners

If you didn’t see that there is a new Reckoners novel out…then there’s a new Reckoners novel out!  It’s called Lux, and I co-authored it with Steven Michael Bohls, another of my writer friends.  (This was a Mainframe project, and so it was an audio original.)  The reception was great, and the sales were great too, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we did another one soon.  But we’re figuring out when and how to do this.  (Also we plan a print edition sometime, but at the very least an ebook should come out around the one-year mark of the audio edition.)

The Original

This first of the Mainframe projects will soon be getting an ebook release!  So if you don’t like audio, take heart.  It’s coming in January.  I wrote it with the excellent Mary Robinette Kowal, and it’s a kind of cyberpunk/action/mystery.

Check out the pitch for it here!

White Sand

We should have the graphic novel omnibus coming at you sometime in the near future. I hear that the individual original volumes are sometimes going for a lot of money, but I’d suggest not grabbing one of those but waiting for this new edition. We’ve spent a lot of time making it the quintessential White Sand graphic novel experience, updating text and dialogue to be more in line with the Cosmere. There are 38 new pages at the beginning, revised text and art throughout, a new map and glossary, and fourteen Ars Arcanum pages. We think you’re really going to enjoy experiencing the complete package.

All Others

If there’s something not on this list you’re waiting for, then there’s not really anything to update you upon.  Other novellas and small projects continue to bounce around my brain, but I haven’t had time for most of them lately.

#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


The Wheel of Time

Hey, the Wheel of Time television show is out!  I don’t agree with all of the decisions made in the creation (and it includes some content that I find objectionable).  However, I do like the team working on it, and I feel they’ve listened to my voice as I’ve advocated for a lot of things behind the scenes.  You can read some of my spoiler-ish thoughts on the WoT subreddit here, here, and here.  Overall, I think they’re doing a great job.


 I’m still developing (in a hands on way) a Mistborn feature film.  I’ve written a treatment, some actual scenes, etc.  I can’t tell you much about it other than that I feel very good about the motion on this for the first time ever, as I have some really excellent partners on the project.

The Stormlight Archive

Likewise, I’ve been working very hands-on in creating the Stormlight Archive as a premium cable television show.  This is with Dan Mintz and DMG, who has had the rights forever.  I’ve enjoyed my time working with him, and have enjoyed his thoughts as a partner.  I think this will happen someday, though I’m not sure when and with whom.

Other Properties (Film/Television)

Other things are moving (slowly) behind the scenes, but I wouldn’t say that anything else is very far along.  The pandemic slowed down a lot of Hollywood for various reasons.

Other Projects (Video Games) 

I’ve been working on a video game for several years, and I suspect it will be announced this year.  So, commence speculation!  (Note: it’s not for one of my properties, but something new that I built with them.  It’s a game company many of you will have heard of, but probably not the one you’re thinking about right now.  Not that other one either.)

#7 Copy

Isaac Stewart


Brotherwise Games

Brotherwise Games, the team that created Call To Adventure: The Stormlight Archive, would like to announce a new project: Stormlight miniatures. They’re working very closely with Isaac and the Dragonsteel team to create official sculpts of more than 20 characters. The miniatures will be standard scale (28mm-32mm), unpainted but highly detailed. This project will head to Kickstarter in summer of 2022. You can sign up for more information at the Brotherwise Games website.

The Kings Wild Project

Jackson Robinson and co at the Kings Wild Project have created a fantastic deck of Mistborn playing cards that are currently up for pre-order. They visited a few months ago and filmed some of Brandon’s reactions to the cards themselves.

Nauvoo Games

Nauvoo Games ran a Kickstarter in late 2020 for The Reckoners: Steelslayer expansion to their Reckoners game. They have some nicely detailed updates on their Kickstarter page, including a way to lock in a late pledge. The game is being shipped internationally, and the latest update from November has some specifics for what to expect depending on the continent.

The Black Piper

The producers of the Kaladin Album are waiting on their hardcover art books to arrive and will send them to backers soon after that. They’re unable to sell the exclusive hardcover edition outside of the Kickstarter, but for the Dragonsteel convention in November, they were able to make available some softcover versions as a bundle with the album. Some of the second edition softcover art book/album bundles are still available for a limited time.

Here’s a list of our other licensees in case you would like to check out some of the awesome things they’re doing

#8 Copy

Kara Stewart


We’ve had a busy but amazing year! The first half of 2021 was focused heavily on fulfilling rewards for pledges made during our 2020 The Way of Kings 10th Anniversary Leatherbound Edition Kickstarter campaign. We shipped tens of thousands of packages all around the world and are proud that the majority of our backers received their rewards within a year of making their pledge. Many of these items are now available on our store for those who may have missed the Kickstarter campaign, and The Way of Kings leatherbound will continue to go in and out of stock as we sell out and reorder them. Note: the next printing currently in production will not be signed by Brandon.

Speaking of our online store, we have rebranded and are now Dragonsteel Books! You will still receive the same great service and products, but we are positioning ourselves to continue to grow and provide a wider array of products in future years. Watch our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for announcements of new products and events, restocks on your favorite products, and more! We might have some fun surprises in store!

One of our proudest moments of the year was Dragonsteel 2021, the first multi-day event held in conjunction with the release of Cytonic, the third installment of Brandon’s Cytoverse series. We had two days of games, panels with experts and fans, live painting sessions, puzzles, cosplay, and exhibitors from Brandon-affiliated authors, artists, and partner vendors. We look forward to doing something like this again—stay tuned for future announcements!

Did I mention the future? This year we’ve restocked leatherbound books of The Way of KingsMistbornThe Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. We are actively working on another restock of these books as well as Elantris and Warbreaker. However, we are excited to announce that in late 2022 we will be debuting the leatherbound editions of The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self! These books will be individually bound and initially sold as a bundle for $150. After the first printing is sold out, future printings will be sold separately for $100 each like our other leatherbound books. Watch for preorders of these books to open up sometime next year.

Since 2022 will also include the release of the print edition of the Skyward Flight collection, the sixth book in the Alcatraz series, and The Lost Metal, watch our store for potential signed books and swag bundles for these three titles. We hope you will join us!

#9 Copy

Peter Alhstrom


Since Elantris was published in 2005, Brandon’s reach has expanded every year. As of now his books have been translated into 35 different languages and have sold over 21 million copies.

The newest language releases coming up include Arabic (Mistborn and Legion), Persian (Warbreaker), and Bengali (Legion). It’s an exciting time to be a Sanderson fan.

Brandon’s German and French publishers sent along some announcements, so if you read those languages you’re in for a treat!


Recent and upcoming releases from Heyne

  • 15, 2021: “Der Rhythmus des Krieges” (Rhythm of War, part 1), in hardcover / ebook / audio download format
  • 21, 2021: “Der Turm der Lichter” (Rhythm of War, part 2), in hardcover / ebook / audio download format
  • 8, 2022: “Sturmklänge” (Warbreaker, reprint with new cover design), in trade paperback / ebook / audio download format
  • 25, 2022: “Das Original” (The Original, with Mary Robinette Kowal), audio download (at Random House Audio)
  • 12, 2022: Dawnshard (German title to be determined), in trade paperback / ebook / audio download format

For Brandon Sanderson fans who would like to buy German editions of his work we can recommend:

  1. a) the Otherland Berlin fantasy and science-fiction bookstore who are eager to provide everyone with their genre book of choice; they do not have an online store, though, but do answer requests promptly and friendly;
  2. b) Thalia ships internationally, but only to some European countries; and of course
  3. c) our own Penguin Random House online store; we sell German and English books by Brandon Sanderson and ship internationally.

We successfully launched our German landing page for all things Sanderson, where you can find all of his translated work, from Penguin Random House publishers as well as from others.

Recent and upcoming releases from Droemer-Knaur

  • Skyward – Der Ruf der Sterne: 1 July 2021 (ebook) & 2 August 2021 (paperback)
  • Starsight – Bis zum Ende der Galaxie: 1 February 2022 (ebook) & 1 March 2022 (paperback)

Brandon also did an interview with Droemer on Instagram.


In 2021, at Le Livre de Poche, we published, simultaneously in paper and digital formats, Rhythm of War (Rythme de Guerre) in January, alongside with the mass market edition of Oathbringer (Justicière). Last May we published the second installment of the Cytoverse, Starsight (Astrevise), and last September the mass market edition of Skyward (Vers les étoiles).

In January of 2022 we will publish Children of the Nameless (Les Enfants de l’Innommé), Brandon’s incursion in the Magic: The Gathering multiverse. The mass market edition of Starsight will be out in early May. For the end of 2022, the spin-off to the Stormlight Archives, Dawnshard (Aubéclat), will hit the stores in September and the mass market edition of Sixth of the Dusk (Sixième du crépuscule et autres nouvelles) will come out in November.

As always, French editions of Brandon Sanderson’s work are available worldwide in online bookstores such as Place des libraires, Mollat, Décitre, Furets du Nord, Dialogues, Cultura, or online retailers like, Amazon, Rakuten, Momox and many other, but don’t forget to ask your local bookseller if he can get it for you!

You will find all the many ways to get Brandon’s book in French on our website.

#10 Copy

Adam Horne


We have some new and exciting things happening on YouTube right now. We recently started a new series called Five Favorites where Brandon and a guest discuss their five favorite “somethings.” So far we’ve been fortunate enough to have Will Friedle, Brandon Mull, Kevin J. Anderson, and Daniel Greene. We have some exciting guests planned for next year, and I look forward to seeing your reactions! You can watch all the released episodes here.

And in case you missed it (I’m sorry if you did!), we recently did a giveaway for the Twelve Workdays of Christmas—which concluded during the spoiler livestream last week—where we gave away a bunch of awesome stuff, including signed sets of books, two Rhythm of War advanced reading copies (ARCs), and we capped it off with a full set of our leatherbound book collection! Across the whole campaign nearly 100,000 of you entered to win, which really shows how awesome you all are, and I wish I could send something to all of you.

We’ll be occasionally doing more of these types of giveaways, so if you don’t want to miss one, be sure to follow Brandon across all his social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube). YouTube in particular is the best place to keep a close eye on what Brandon’s working on. So if you’re interested in following that, be sure to subscribe there. If you only want to know about the big stuff that’s happening, subscribing to his newsletter is probably the best option for you, as we only send a few out each year.

#11 Copy

Jane Horne


Thank you to everyone who donated this year to our annual holiday ornament fundraiser! This year we were able to raise $42,328 for the School Zone at the Primary Children’s Miller Family Campus in Lehi, Utah. We appreciate every donation and are amazed at the fan support this year! Ornaments are currently in production and will be shipped by the end of January 2022.

We also want to thank Malkier Talks, who ran a 24 hour WoTaHoliday Charity Livestream. Their efforts brought in a total donation to The Lightweaver Foundation of $10,752.

Thank you again for all your support this holiday season and year! We are excited for what 2022 has to bring!

#12 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


Last year, I suggested this schedule for the next few years:

Fall 2021: Skyward 3Spring 2022: Alcatraz 6Fall 2022: Wax and Wayne 4Spring/Summer 2023: Skyward 4Fall 2023: Stormlight 5

Well, I got Skyward 3 out, and have finished Wax and Wayne 4 and am close to finishing Skyward 4. The only change there that seems likely is that Alcatraz 6 is come out at the very end of summer, and the first five Alcatraz books are getting a rerelease first. Adding in a few other things, my release schedule looks like this:

December 28th:  Evershore (the third Skyward novella) ebook and audio

January: The Original ebook

February: Dawnshard audiobook [THIS IS NOT FIRM]

April: Skyward Flight hardcover collection

May: Alcatraz 1 paperback rerelease

June: Legion: Death and Faxes, Alcatraz 2 paperback

July: Lux (Reckoners) ebook, Alcatraz 3 paperback

August: Alcatraz 4 paperback

September: Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz 6), in hardcover, ebook, and audio; Alcatraz 5 paperback

October: Dark One: Forgotten audio

November: The Lost Metal (Wax and Wayne 4), in hardcover, ebook, and audio

I’ll be spending the entire year writing Stormlight 5!  So you can follow along, as always, with the percentage bars on my website.

#13 Copy

Brandon Sanderson


Whew!  That’s something, isn’t it?  Reading through all of that, you might think I’m stretched a little thin.  However, the bulk of this is centered around letting me focus my attention on the Cosmere.  The co-authored Mainframe projects are ways for me to tell stories with the help of talented writers–scratching the itch of storytelling these stories while leaving me with more time to devote to things like Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive.  Hosting a convention instead of going on tour is much, much easier on me–it lets people come to me, rather than me flying around to meet people in small groups.  Having the YouTube channel instead of going out to a lot of different comic cons lets me be available to fans, but also allows me to sign stacks of pages at the same time, so it’s not cutting into what would otherwise be writing time.

So far, it’s been working well.  All of this is why, for example, I’ve been able to dedicate more time to the Mistborn and Stormlight adaptations.  I worry more about overwhelming all of you than I do about overwhelming myself, though (admittedly) that second one is also a danger.  I’m trying to make sure I have a good work/life balance, so that I can continue telling stories as long as you all are willing to put up with me.

A strange, and very ephemeral year though it’s been, I’m still honored to be your storyteller.  Thank you for supporting me, my work, and my team.

Here’s to many more, and a year of working on Stormlight!


Event details
Name State of the Sanderson 2021
Date Dec. 20, 2021
Entries 13
Upload sources