Recent entries

    YouTube Livestream 24 ()
    #1901 Copy


    What is the weirdest, strangest, most odd and possibly ridiculous magic system idea you've ever had?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had a really ridiculous world idea, less a magic system, that's just maybe too weird. The really weird worldbuilding idea I had was: people who live on an enormous boulder being pulled by a giant around a very large, very hot surface. And all the light comes up around. And you have to be constantly moving; the population is migratory, otherwise they'll fall off, things like that. It's not big enough to have its own gravity, but it's big enough that... Basically, you would send people ahead who plant crops. There's people planting crops, and the crops grow as you are migrating. And then you harvest them and send crops up to the people at the front, so a group of people is, like, three clans. This whole society built around which of the three you're part of, and they're always following each other. This thing, like, mulches into the surface below and brings up fresh soil that will grow plants relatively quickly, but you've got to be constantly moving. Like, it rotates ever couple of days, basically. If you sat still for two days, you would be crushed under it.

    That felt really cool, and also maybe just too weird for being weirdness's sake. I never ended up writing that story. But I had some interesting ideas for that. Those are the weird... really weird settings often occur to me more frequently than weird magic systems. A lot of the magic systems that don't make it into the books aren't that they're too weird; they just are dumb. Or they just never click. I haven't been able to find a sound-based, purely sound-based magic system that I like. It just doesn't write well on the page. You can do it; Pat has really great writing about music in his books, and I can write about it kind of from a scientific, technical standpoint like I do in Rhythm of War. But every time I've tried a purely sound-based magic systems, it's one of those things that sounds better (pun intended) in concept than it does work on the page. And it just ends up being one of those things that the reader can't experience, they just have to listen to characters try to explain experiencing it. Where I prefer magic systems that the reader, in a way, feels like they're experiencing. When gravity works differently for Kaladin, you could imagine how that feels, and you can put yourself there and walk on the wall and things like that. And all the music ones have been too much more abstract than that. That might be because my music theory background is wanting. I played trumpet all through high school, I took a lot of music classes and things, but I wouldn't consider myself enough of an expert to really talk about it the way that a true musician does.

    YouTube Livestream 24 ()
    #1902 Copy

    Lucas Blair

    Who's having the best New Years party in the cosmere? Not Elend's book-reading kind of party; the Times Square kind of party.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say the best parties are probably happening someplace like Silverlight. Just because they have access to so much more potential shenanigans, how about that. Like, if you want alcohol from across the cosmere, that's where you can get it. And if you want access to the most scientifically advanced aspects of the cosmere as they're understood and known at a given time, you probably want to go there.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1903 Copy


    So Skyward 3 is focused "mostly on Spensa", meaning there's going to be another POV character?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    That's not what it means.


    Oh ok I just remembered in one of his livestreams Sanderson mentioned the possibility of multiple POVs.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yeah, the audio novellas thing is instead of that possibility.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1904 Copy


    If I were a Knight Radiant before the Recreance, what would my wedding vows be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I suspect this would be flavored toward your Order, and would vary depending on your ethnicity and religious beliefs. However, something along the lines of uniting the two to be one would be thematically appropriate.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1906 Copy


    Can Radiant Soulcasters Soulcast objects into ones of different temperatures? For example turning a piece of the ground into molten metal or turning water into ice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of, but not the way you want. Most things are going to have to be room temperature--so water, but not ice. That said, there are some funky things you can do with pressure and the like if you get more advanced in the skill.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1907 Copy


    Hello, I was hoping to find out whether some stuff I found vague in RoW was supposed to be vague or not.

    In part one, Navani says that some of the fabrials they found in Urithiru worked in ways they understood, but had "spren trapped in Shadesmar" (which by the end we know refers to spren that have manifested as a fabrial), with Soulcasters being the only ones that confuse her.

    Is the intent here supposed to be for us to make the connection that the older fabrials they found use the different types of metals used in modern fabrials? Or is it supposed to be vague how exactly they compare for now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The confusion here is that Navani didn't realize that Soulcasters were a version of something like a Shardblade. She thought that by seeing spren in Shadesmar, it meant that the soulcasters had somehow trapped a spren--but they didn't seem to be trapped in a gemstone anywhere in the physical realm. This is what bugged her.

    It's less about the metal, and more about "where is the trapped spren? I know it's there--I can see it in Shadesmar."


    Does this mean that all the old manifested spren fabrials, like the attractors and conjoiners they found in Urithiru and were able to improve, had weird metals like Soulcasters and it was just their identifiable functions that kept them from being confusing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is correct. (This was regarding old manifested fabrials having weird metals as part of them.)

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1908 Copy


    In WoR and OB we hear about the Veden/Kharbranthian Half Shard shields that can resist Shardblade strikes, and which involve trapping Radiant spren according to Taravangian. In RoW they aren't mentioned, despite the book spending a long time talking about fabrial science.

    Both Oathbringer and Rhythm of War raised some unanswered questions though. First, when the fabrial fails and the Shardblade starts cutting again, has something terrible happened to the spren contained inside the gemstone, similar to when Kaladin stabs a voidspren with Syl in the Kholinar palace? Second, are the honorspren OK with these fabrials, ethically, like they are with other modern fabrials?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do want to get more into half shards when it's the right place, so I'll RAFO most of that for now. I'm not sure EXACTLY what the other questions are asking, as the wording wasn't 100% clear to me, but if you are asking if things like Soulcasters are okay with spren: yes. If it's half-shards, it's a RAFO.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1909 Copy


    1) Is Hoid still holding his Dawnshard?

    2) If not, is the Dawnshard currently hold by Rysn the same as Hoid's or a different?

    3) Nikli mentions 4 Dawnshards. Are there more than that?

    4) Are all the Dawnshards currently (as of SA 4) on Roshar? Or in the Rosharan System?

    5) Are there some of them on worlds we have already seen (Scadrial, Sel, Threnody, etc...)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    1. Hoid Dawnshard is a RAFO.

    2. Same.

    3. There are only four Dawnshards.

    4. RAFO on whether they're on this planet or not.

    These are great questions, but Dawnshard info is mostly for the future cosmere books--and so I consider most of it very RAFOy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Same," here meant RAFO. I answer these quickly, I'm afraid, particularly when they come in a list like that.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1910 Copy


    Considering that bonding a second spren to belong to another Order is possible but never happened, and taking into account that spren get drawn to an individual through their bond, is it possible for an individual to bond another spren of the same Order? If not, then what's stopping them from the bond that doesn't stop bonding to a different Order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This could happen too, I suppose, but it wouldn't increase their strength in the Order.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1912 Copy


    I ask this in a vague manner intentionally, but can we expect to see the Shardplate spren of other Orders being able to do different things on command depending on the kind of spren? Kind of like how Kaladin commanded the windspren to form plate on others and hold back the storm?

    Brandon Sanderson


    Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
    #1917 Copy


    I was wondering if Dawnshards were created at the same time that Adonalsium was.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dawnshards, I’ll have to RAFO that, mostly because my timeline for all the Yolen stuff, with the Adonalsium stuff, is going to depend on writing Dragonsteel. And right now, I intend those to be post-Adonalsium but pre-Shattering. But I can’t canonize that until I’ve actually written that mythology and lore. Because the original intent of the Dawnshards, when you read Dragonsteel Prime (which we’ll release with the Words of Radiance leatherbound), you will find two Dawnshards in there. And their original intent has changed a great deal as I’ve canonized things and really, really dug into building the cosmere. And you’ll see what my kind of original intent for those was. (Or at least I can talk about it.) And it’s changed since then. The way that they were in that book (and have remained so far) is that they are younger than Adonalsium.

    Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
    #1919 Copy


    In reference to the events in Rhythm of War, what is the timeframe for Mistborn Era Three? Is it before? Or after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    After. Era Three is after. Era Three is gonna take place around fifty to seventy years after Era Two. And Era Two is happening in the ten years between Books Five and Six of Stormlight. Era Three will be happening in a post-all-ten-books-of-Stormlight world.

    So I have to jump forward in time seventy years on Scadrial, and then jump backward in time and finish Roshar, and then jump back forward in time. I think it’s all gonna work in the jigsaw puzzle of my brain of how all of this is going. But Karen will tell me if it doesn’t work, and we will adjust appropriately. She keeps the timeline and keeps me honest.

    Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
    #1920 Copy


    Are we ever going to know what caused the chasm line in Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will, hopefully, learn a little bit more about that. Not huge amounts. What I’ve said before in the past is that the cause and effect is mixed up. And I can’t say more without giving away spoilers. But cause and effect is mixed up in that world in that event, specifically. We will learn a little bit more. There are some events surrounding it that are interesting. Hopefully, if I can ever get around to writing Elantris sequels. I can’t even 100% guarantee that that will go in there. But it is planned to go in there, now.

    Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
    #1921 Copy


    Does the fact that Adonalsium has ten letters in his name at all relate to the big magical number on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Complete coincidence. Good question. Excellent question. I came up with the name years before. The name existed before I canonized Roshar as ten. The name existed when I was working on Dragonsteel, before I even had Roshar. Back when Dalinar existed, but Roshar didn’t yet exist. The connection there is a just pure coincidence one. If I’d been really cool, it would have sixteen letters. And maybe, in their languages, it does.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1924 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    So, there you go! Another beast of a document to keep us on track for another year. This has been one of the stranger time periods in my life, and I suspect you feel the same. I simultaneously feel like I was only just doing this, posting a State of the Sanderson for 2019—and also that the times pre-COVID like that were somehow an eternity ago.

    For now, though, I intend to continue doing what I always do. Keep my eyes forward, and continue telling stories.

    Wishing you the best,

    Brandon SandersonDecember 2020

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1925 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    COVID is slowing things down a little—and Stormlight years are always a challenge—so while I was pretty productive this year, it seems impossible to get Wax and Wayne 4 out next year. Indeed, because of COVID delays and publisher worries, even getting Skyward 3 out next year will be a challenge. (Though I’m reasonably confident we’ll do it.)

    So, my schedule now looks like this going forward. As always, this is just an estimate.

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

    Once I’m done with Stormlight 5, it will be time to have another big talk about the future of the Cosmere. But for now, I have to keep my attention focused on that goal.

    If you want to follow along in 2021, I should be able to finish writing both Wax and Wayne 4 and Skyward 4, bringing those two series to a close. If I have any extra time, I’ll probably try to do a draft of The Apocalypse Guard and maybe finish the Sixth of the Dusk sequel novella. In addition, I’ll be doing drafts on the Skyward novellas as they come in, so I’ll be keeping busy!

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1926 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    This year I did something I’d been considering for a while—I asked some of my larger overseas publishers if they wanted to include any updates in the State of the Sanderson. I had a few of them get back, and hopefully we’ll grow this section in future years.

    As a quick aside, I wanted to mention that we’re working to have a broader availability of my Gollancz hardcovers be more easily available in places like the UK and India. Hopefully more on this in the coming months.

    For now, here are a few updates.


    Two of my German publishers sent us a list of recent and upcoming publications.

    From Heyne:

    • Edgedancer / Die Tänzerin am Abgrund: 11 November 2019
    • Children of the Nameless / Die Kinder des Namenlosen: 13 April 2020
    • Oathbringer Vol. 2 / Splitter der Macht: 11 January 2021 (paperback)
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 1 / Der Rhythmus des Krieges: 15 February 2021
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 2 / Der Turm Der Lichter: 24 May 2021

    From Droemer:

    • Skyward / Der Ruf der Sterne: 1 July 2021 (ebook) & 2 August 2021 (paperback)


    Zysk, my YA publisher in Poland, enthusiastically got back to us first with news, follwed by MAG and IUVI. All of my Polish publishers have been awesome, so I hope you’ll support them.

    One of the things I asked these publishers was how people could order the books internationally, if they wanted copies. Zysk has links for those who want to grab the books, though unfortunately this is a place that only ships to Europe. Eventually, I’d like to have links in this section for those around the world who want to order copies, but we’ll start here.

    From Zysk

    1. Skyward (published 2nd of April 2019) and Starsight (published 14th of April 2020)Audio editions of The Skyward Series & The Reckoners Series are available via Storytel.
    2. Zysk plans to publish book #3 in The Skyward Series: “Nowhere”, publication dates to be determined once they receive material.
    3. Polish bookstores which deliver internationally (to Europe)

    From MAG

    Here is their upcoming lineup for 2021:

    • Rhythm of War Vol. 1: March
    • White Sand Vol. 3: March
    • Dawnshard: March
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 2: June
    • Children of the Nameless: June
    • All available 10th Anniversary Editions: Between March and October

    From IUVI

    The whole Acatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series (vol. 1–5) are available to Polish readers.

    1. Piasek Raszida
    2. Kości Skryby
    3. Rycerze Krystalii
    4. Zakon Rozbitej Soczewki
    5. Mroczny Talent

    Audio editions of of Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians Series are available via Storytel.

    If you enjoy reading reviews for translated works, here are a few reviews you can check out.


    From Livre de Poche

    At Le Livre de Poche, we are thrilled to work with Brandon Sanderson and Dragonsteel Entertainment to present his novels to French readers worldwide.In 2020 we published simultaneously in paper and digital formats the Omnibus editions of Legion : The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds (Légion : les nombreuses vies de Stephen Leeds) in May, and most recently – last November – the first installment of Skyward (Vers les étoiles) in trade.

    2021 will be a very busy and exciting year for Brandon’s French fans. In January, the two-volume mass market editions of Oathbringer (Justicière) will be available alongside the first part of the highly anticipated Rhythm of War (Rythme de Guerre) in trade. The second part of Rhythm of War should be published in May 2021.

    Finally, the second installment of the Skyward series, Starsight, will come out in trade in September, alongside the mass market edition of Skyward (Vers les étoiles).

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

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

    En français

    Au Livre de Poche, nous sommes ravis de travailler avec Brandon Sanderson et Dragonsteel entertainment pour proposer ses romans aux lecteurs francophones du monde entier.

    En 2020 nous avons publié simultanément en papier et en numérique la version intégrale de Légion : les nombreuses vies de Stephen Leeds en mai et, plus récemment, en novembre dernier, le premier tome en grand format de la série Skyward, Vers les étoiles.

    2021 sera une année intense et passionnante pour les lecteurs francophones de Brandon Sanderson. En janvier, l’édition de poche de Justicière (volumes 1 et 2) paraîtra aux côtés de la très attendue première partie de Rythme de Guerre. La seconde partie de Rythme de Guerre paraîtra en mai 2021. Enfin le deuxième tome de la série Skyward, Starsight (titre français à venir) sortira début septembre, en même temps que la parution en poche de Skyward, Vers les étoiles.

    Les versions françaises des ouvrages de Brandon Sanderson sont disponibles à la commande dans le monde entier sur les librairies en ligne telles que Place des libraires, Mollat, Décitre, Furets du Nord, Dialogues, Cultura ou sur les plateformes de vente en ligne comme, Amazon, Rakuten, Momox et bien d’autres, mais n’oubliez pas de demander à votre libraire s’il peut vous les commander!

    Vous trouverez toutes les manières de vous procurer les ouvrages de Brandon en français sur notre site.

    A few reviews from my French-translated books.


    From Mondadori (my new publisher there, who we’re very happy to be with)

    Here in Italy, we published the translation of Rhythm of War the same day as the American release. It was a remarkable feat for which we have to thank Gabriele Giorgi, Sanderson’s inexhaustible and heroic Italian translator, who committed to the cause with the usual abnegation and legendary painstaking accuracy.

    2021 will be a year full of Sandersonian releases: we are working on a three-volumes collection of the graphic novel White Sand, which will come out in the first semester, while in the second semester we are planning the release of Arcanum Unbounded, as well as an illustrated edition of Mistborn: The Final Empire, on the heels of the leatherbound American edition. Surprise releases are also not entirely out of the question, although the whole 2021 schedule is still quite fluid in light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, which might cause some delays in the second-semester releases in order to adapt to the shifts in exogenous factors and market conditions.


    From Ediciones B

    We have just released Rhythm of War in trade on 19 November on a simultaneous launch with the US edition. The first print run of the book in Spain was 14.000 copies and we have already reprinted three times in less than a month. (Now we have a total of 30.000 copies printed since publication.)

    The book started very strong in GFK, and reached number 7 of the general trade list of GFK for week 47 and also number 7 of the trade fiction list, with 4.977 copies sold during the first week.

    It also reached number 2 of top 100 of FNAC on the first week of sale, and has been top 1 of November sales in Gigamesh bookstore. It has also been in the top 100 of Amazon Spain during two weeks.

    Before publication, Gigamesh has sold 700 copies in preorder of their limited edition.

    We plan to publish Dawnshard in the summer and our Mistborn 1–3 illustrated edition during the second half of the year. We also plan to publish Skyward 3, depending on the final release date of the US edition and the translation timing.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1927 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    Picture Books

    One of the things I talked about last year was doing a picture book based on “The Girl who Looked Up” from Oathbringer.

    We eventually decided to fold this deal and walk away. The publisher was pleasant, but it became clear we both had different visions of the project, and I wasn’t sure how much control I was going to have over the text and the artwork—something very important to me, especially when it comes to my Cosmere-related works.

    Ideally, I’d still like to do a series of picture books using “The Girl who Looked Up,” “The Dog and the Dragon,” and maybe a few of the other stories-within-a-story that show up in the Cosmere novels. To this end, I actually wrote a different picture book, unrelated to the Cosmere, and am currently shopping it.

    My philosophy again is that I’d like to know more about the market (like with the first tie-in Mainframe stories) before I commit to something involving Cosmere continuity, even in a tangential way. Hopefully I’ll be able to sell this other picture book and get some experience in the market, and then have a better idea of how/when to approach doing the Cosmere Storybook ones. (Where I’d probably want to start with “The Dog and the Dragon.”)

    Board Games and Crafty Updates

    This year saw the release of the Stormlight-themed Call to Adventure board game by Brotherwise Games, who have just been fantastic partners in this area. The board game is fun and has great art. Brotherwise are big fans of the series, and their knowledge of the property shows. More information on their website.

    Additionally, Nauvoo Games ran a Kickstarter for the Steelslayer expansion to their Reckoners board game. We’ve found that Nauvoo creates quality products, and we appreciate their attention to detail on this one.

    Crafty Games also has an expansion coming for their Mistborn: House War board game. This one’s titled Mistborn: The Siege of Luthadel and is currently available for pre-order. Crafty also released some new sets of Mistborn dice this year that are particularly cool, especially the metal ones.

    We also partnered with the folks at Forged Foam, who created these amazing shardblade designs! They are currently out of stock but we’re hoping they’ll be available again soon.

    If you are getting the Orders of the Knights Radiant and Wit coins from our Way of Kings Kickstarter, perhaps you need a beautiful handcrafted wooden coin display to go with it? Dragon Wood Shop is taking preorders now.

    We have a Mistborn card deck in progress with the guys at Kings Wild Project and it is turning out so nicely. We can’t wait for the final product to be out in the world!

    The Kaladin art book is moving and shaking with Petar Panev taking on the art direction.

    And, as usual, our other vendors continue to offer high-quality Cosmere merchandise! Shire Post Mint produces Mistborn coins from two distinct eras in the series. Badali Jewelry features jewelry and accessories inspired by Mistborn, Stormlight Archive, and Elantris. Worldbuilders Market offers a huge variety of products including posters, phone cases, and more.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1928 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    The film/television world is a strange place right now, with COVID, and a lot of things slowed down or got stalled. So there are no big updates for you on anything here, though I’ve still broken everything down here by series. Basically, I’m afraid I have to tell you there hasn’t been motion on any of them.

    That said, there are some cool things happening behind the scenes on a few of these projects. I hope to have announcements sometime this year that will make you excited.


    This is still owned by Dan Mintz/DMG Entertainment. There has been no motion this year.

    Mistborn/Rest of Cosmere

    I still have all of these rights, and have not yet sold them, though I’ve been working on a screenplay for Mistborn myself and have had some interesting opportunities behind the scenes. Nothing I can announce yet.


    Still owned by Cineflix Media. No updates.


    Owned by Universal Television, purchased last year. I’m eager to see what they come up with!


    Optioned by Gaumont with Stuart Beatie, the writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, adapting for an animated series.

    Dark One

    Joe Michael Straczynski wrote a pilot for this earlier in the year, and we’re still shopping it around. It’s been a cool experience so far, working with someone who knows the business as well as JMS does.


    Option lapsed this year. We’ve been looking for another home for this.


    Option lapsed last year. No home for this yet either.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1929 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    White Sand

    I’m moving this Cosmere story to the minor projects for now, since the graphic novels series is finished. (Though Isaac has been working hard on an omnibus version of it, for those who wanted to wait for that.)

    In addition to small fixes to bring the omnibus more in line with the underpinnings of the Cosmere, we’re also adding a 30+-page prologue with art by the amazing Nabetse Zitro, whose work can be found on and on Twitter.

    But as a bit of a teaser, here’s one of his sketches from the prologue, showing Khriss and Baon.Someday, I might do a revision of the original prose novel, which is one of the only ones from my unpublished years that is good enough (with some work) to release. If I do so, I’ll update it to match the graphic novel in terms of characters and narrative—as the graphic novel is Cosmere canon.

    Status: Omnibus in the works

    The Reckoners and Legion

    Both are getting some kind of continuation via Mainframe, my audiobook company. See the announcement up above! I talked last year about maybe doing these, and now they’re both in the works for real.

    Status: Mainframe projects in the works


    Still a cool secret going on here, but I can’t say anything.

    The Apocalypse Guard

    Still plan to do a revision of this and get it out, likely after Skyward Four.

    Other Small Projects

    Things I want to do include: Adamant, untitled Threnody novel, Sixth of the Dusk sequel, untitled Emperor’s Soul sequel, The Silence Divine, Secret Standalone Cosmere Book, that wacky YA Cosmere Book with Magic Kites, Kingmaker (First of the Sun YA novel not involving Sixth), and Aether of Night.

    No progress I can talk about on any of these, though I did do a reading from the Sixth of the Dusk sequel at the Rhythm of War release party.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1930 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    Alcatraz Series

    I’ve been promising Book Six for a while, and we finally have the publisher on board. I’ve been saying this for years, but the book is now complete. But as I said above, publishers really like more time to publish books than I often give them—so here, I decided to let them guide me, as they want to relaunch the series in paperback with new cover illustrations (the illustrator we’re hoping to get is fantastic), and a box set available of the first five books next year for the holiday gift-giving season.

    Those should be coming out next year or early 2022, with the sixth and final book projected to come out in hardcover sometime in spring 2022. I know it’s been a wait, and I apologize, but the last book turned out really cool. It’s from Bastille’s viewpoint, and is coauthored by me and Janci Patterson, one of my writing buddies. It was the fun time we had doing Alcatraz that made me approach her about the Skyward novellas. If you’re curious, give her books a look. I suggest A Thousand Faces.

    Status: Last book (finally) has a publication date. (Though a vague one. First quarter 2022.)

    Dark One

    We released, in limited print quanities, the first Dark One graphic novel, and it’s awesome. The trade release through regular retail channels is set to be released May 2021. The team put together an incredible visual, based on my outline. I heartily suggest you give it a look, if you like graphic novels. We learned a lot working on White Sand, and I think we leveled up with this one.

    We plan there to be three graphic novels eventually, if people like them. However, if you don’t care for graphic novels, I will do a prose/audiobook version of this in the near future, likely as a Mainframe project. The television show is taking a long time, after all. (See below.)

    Status: Out now!

    The Original

    The first of my Mainframe projects was released! Find it on any audiobook site of your preference.

    For now, we have no firm date on ebook/print editions of this, though I anticipate them coming eventually. (The audiobook company we partnered with has an exclusivity period.)

    Status: Out now!

    Elantris, Warbreaker, Rithmatist

    As you probably expected, no motion here. I didn’t plan for there to be any this year, though all three should get a sequel eventually. I’ve been targeting the post-Stormligh-Five timeline for these. I could see slipping Rithmatist 2 in between Mistborn Era 3 books, for example, when I need a break.

    Status: No motion (Sorry again.)

    Songs of the Dead

    This book, about a heavy-metal-singer-necromancer, is still seeing some revision work done on it. We’re trying to find the right home for it, and have gone to some editors for feedback.

    Urban fantasy is a new type of story for me, so we want to make sure we do this right. Peter and I both did a lot of work on it this year, so I’m hopeful we’ll have news on it in the near future.

    Status: In final revisions, looking for a home

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1931 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    The Stormlight Archive

    This was a Stormlight year, as you got not only a new book, but a novella and a non-canon alternate novel!

    Rhythm of War is spending its third week on the New York Times bestseller list as of this writing, and has spent all three of those weeks as the #1 most read book in the country, per Amazon’s charts. So…huzzah! Thank you so much. 2020 might have been a trash year, but I hope this helped end it on a better note for many of you.

    The book did about 40% better in sales than the previous volume, which is amazing. Thank you all for your support. This series is still in active progress, and I’ll dive into Book Five (the final book of the first sequence) in 2022, for a 2023 release. (Which is when we’ll probably do the Kickstarter for Words of Radiance in leatherbound.)

    I also intend to write a novella about Rock to fill in what happened with him after the events of Rhythm of War. The first group of books won’t be finished until then.

    After that, what happens? Well, let’s get to Book Five, and then I can talk about it more.

    Status: New books!

    Skyward Series

    Skyward is my other active project right now. As I said above, I’m working on the third book (out of four) in the series right now, with a goal to have the rough draft done by January 1st. Hopefully we’ll be releasing tie-in novellas right around the time we release the novel, but I can’t promise exact dates.

    I’ve posted some updates on Reddit where you can read more.

    The short version is that I’m working hard on this project. Once it’s done, I will have one more book in the series I want to write. I anticipate doing that final book sometime in the latter half of next year, after I’ve finished writing Wax and Wayne number four.

    Status: Working on it now!


    While I haven’t been active on this series for a few years, I still consider it a main project. Wax and Wayne 4 (the last volume of Era Two) will be my next project, after Skyward 3. Watch for the status bar for that one to pop up sometime in the spring.

    Right now, I’m planning to refine and update the outline for W&W4 while the beta readers work on Skyward 3—which should be around February. Then I’ll start writing probably in March/April, with a goal to finish sometime around July.

    Once that’s done, and Era Two is closed out, I’ll turn my eyes to Era Three. My goal right now is to write all three books in a row, like I did for the first trilogy, maybe with a novella in between from another world to keep me fresh. That’s likely to be my writing for 2023–2025. Once that’s done I’ll dive into Stormlight 6.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1932 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    We had a very successful Kickstarter campaign this year for The Way of Kings! People in the first wave are still getting their books, as the fulfillment warehouse can only ship several hundred each business day, and shipping services are overloaded and behind on shipments due to COVID, increased online shopping, and the holiday season. We’re doing all we can behind the scenes to keep getting these 2020 copies out to Kickstarter backers. For more details, please check out this Kickstarter update. And should you have need to contact us about the Kickstarter, please check the Customer Service heading on this update.

    I’m still signing pages for the 2021 group of leatherbounds that should go out sometime mid-to-late summer of next year, depending on when the bindery can fit us in. Please be patient. It can take up to six months for these leatherbound books to be signed, printed, and bound, their slipcases made, and the whole set assembled and shipped.

    We have decided not to put any other copies up for sale, even for preorder, until these are shipped. While we could start taking orders, it just doesn’t feel right at this point—if I had backed a Kickstarter, I’d expect to get my book before there was even talk of selling more copies to other people.

    Because of this, we decided not to do a new leatherbound next year. We’re moving the Wax and Wayne leatherbound release (which will include the first two W&W books sold together) to 2022. Right now, we anticipate selling those together as a set for around $150—but we’ll decide specifics later. We won’t do a Kickstarter, as we want to reserve those for Stormlight books.

    Next year, our goal will be to get The Way of Kings leatherbound back in print, so people can have it for 2021 holiday presents. I’ll hop away and let Isaac take over to talk about the other Kickstarter rewards that are still in the works. Take it away, Isaac!

    Isaac Stewart

    Hello there, and thanks for taking a moment to read Brandon’s yearly update. He’s already talked a bit about The Way of Kings leatherbound, so I’ll focus this section on the additional rewards, breaking them down into two categories. First, the rewards that were included in some of the higher tiers, like the physical editions of Dawnshard and The Way of Kings Prime. Secondly, I’ll give updates on the stretch goal rewards that came at no additional cost to backers with many of the tiers. (Though many of these rewards were also offered for sale as add-ons in BackerKit.)

    The physical editions of The Way of Kings Prime and Dawnshard are currently in production. We’ve finished the files for both of them and approved the proofs, and both books are in the process of being printed and bound, with a likely delivery to us sometime in January. As soon as we get the books, they’ll start going out to domestic backers. If your address is outside the United States, your books will be shipped together with the stretch goal rewards in order to save on shipping, as was mentioned on the Kickstarter page under the Shipping heading.

    Now on to the other goodies.

    The Bridge Four poster has been shipped out to all backers who have completed their BackerKit survey. So if you haven’t received this (or the digital Dawnshard novella or novella drafts digital package), then the first place to check would be to see if you’ve completed this survey.

    And continuing down the list of stretch goal rewards…

    The Knights Radiant Order patches, art prints, and pins (as well as our orders of the Backer Pin, Chicken Scout merit patch, epic bookmark, and drink coasters) are all done and in our warehouse.

    The Knights Radiant and Chromatic Chicken Scouts sticker sheets and the Journey Before Destination bumper sticker should arrive from the manufacturer sometime this week.

    The Knights Radiant Order coins have all been approved and look fantastic. They are currently in the process of being manufactured. As a teaser, here are three of the approved samples, with a special thanks to Steve Argyle for his sculpting help on these:Not far behind is the Wit/Witless coin, which took a bit more work with the supplier to figure out how to make the tails side of this coin work the way we wanted it to. We’ll know soon if our latest round of changes has the desired effect, but so far it’s looking really promising.

    In order to ship all these in one package, we have to wait until all of the goodies are in hand, and the last thing we’ll likely be waiting for is the Stormlight Playing Cards. The set is done and all art has been turned in, but the printing company has a long lead time, and we’re just at the beginning of the process of approving proofs and getting things moving there.

    As for the digital art package, it’s still in the making, and we’re hoping to release it late this month or in early January.

    Thank you for your support of our Kickstarter, and thank you for your patience as we get all the moving pieces put together.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1933 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    I keep a handy spreadsheet to track my work throughout the year—it has a list of dates on the left, and then a column for words written each day, and other columns for goals and targets and the like.

    One of the ways I keep myself productive on projects is by setting goals and tracking my progress toward milestones. Making progress really helps me feel the book coming together, and it keeps me motivated. It also lets me look back and see what I spent my time doing each year. So, I can give you specific dates of when I was working on what during the year.

    January–July 12th: Rhythm of War

    December 2019 on the 31st, I finished the first draft of Rhythm of War in a marathon writing session. Then, three days later, I launched into revisions. Revising a book this big is a long, involved procedure, using many alpha and beta readers.

    It’s not my favorite part of the writing process, particularly with these long novels that take a ton of effort to revise. However, I’m extremely pleased with the resulting book. These days, I balance my time between Stormlight books and other projects—eighteen months on each, in rotation. It’s been working well, so I imagine continuing it for at least one more cycle.

    That means I’ll start writing Stormlight 5 on January 1st, 2022 for a fall 2023 release.

    July 13th–19th: Songs of the Dead Revision

    You can hear more about this in project updates below. This is a book I’m working on with a friend, Peter Orullian. His latest draft came in, and it was my turn to do some work on a few key parts of the story before turning it back over.

    July 20th–August 26th: Dawnshard

    I would have liked to have had more time between Rhythm of War and Dawnshard, the latest Stormlight novella. (This one focuses on Rysn and Lopen, if you haven’t read it yet. The ebook is out now.) However, since I wanted to get it out to Kickstarter backers before the arrival of Rhythm of War, I had to slot it in as early as possible. To that end, I dove in and finished the first draft in July–August.

    A fun fact in here is that my computer died halfway through writing this one, but I had a new computer within a day—since I work from the cloud, my computers are basically dumb terminals. This is probably my favorite thing about the modern writing process. Unless major cloud services somehow lose all their data at the same time my computer completely dies, I’ll never lose any writing ever again. (Something that has really happened only once in my life, long ago, but it was a perpetual worry for a big chunk of my writing career.)

    August 28th–September 17th: Reckoners Novellas

    My extra time this year gave me time to do a pass on these novellas, which had been in the works for a while now. (See the Mainframe announcement above.)

    My work these weeks, then, was me getting the first drafts from the author and going through for my pass, working on them—mostly in an editorial role, making suggestions and helping beef up the story in various ways.

    We hope to release these in 2021 sometime. So stay tuned!

    September 18th–29th: Skyward Three

    The third Skyward book (out of four) is my current main project, and things are going really well for it. (Particularly because I’m excited about the Janci novellas, and how they’ll tie together with the novel.) I dove into Book Three in earnest in September, first cleaning up the outline, then writing a short chunk of it before Dawnshard revisions came due.

    I did take a day off in here to rent a theater (which was really cheap to do in the COVID months) and go see Tenet with my family. I love me some Christopher Nolan, and wanted to experience it on the big screen. I think you can guess from the way I like to plot that I loved the film—it might just be the most Nolany Christopher Nolan film that was ever Nolaned upon the world.

    October 1st–13th: Dawnshard Revisions

    I actually did a brief 2.0 of this between work on the Reckoners novellas earlier in the year, but the bulk of the revision process happened here, after we got back beta reader feedback.

    Print and audio editions should be forthcoming. I’ve been thinking I’ll probably release the audio under my Mainframe imprint—even though this book isn’t a collaboration—as the print edition’s publisher is undecided as of yet. Translated editions should be forthcoming in most of my major markets.

    October 14th–Now: Skyward 3

    The tentative title is Nowhere. If you want to read the various updates on this book, look at the updates section. (I did also sneak a final polish of Dawnshard in October, and had a week off to do Rhythm of War launch party stuff in November.)

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #1934 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson


    As I will be getting into some of these projects below, I think it’s time to talk a little bit more about Mainframe, my audiobook company.

    A few years back, a friend of mine from Hollywood and I were chatting about how hard it was to get things made for film/television. Such projects are just way too big for us to do on our own. Yet I had a lot of projects I thought would work really well in this space.

    As kind of a stepping stone toward that, the two of us founded Mainframe with Recorded Books being a launch partner. We figured that we could start taking some of the things I wanted to do for film/television and do them as audio originals—as this was a space the two of us, with some help from things like a writer’s room, could do ourselves. This would let me both explore storytelling in some new ways and build toward one of my eventual goals, which is having my own film production company.

    The main goal of Mainframe, then, is to take ideas I have that I (so far) haven’t been able to do anything with, or to take stories I want to see done more as a television show, then try to make audio-drama-style expansions to them.

    The first thing we collaborated on was The Original, which you can find right now on audiobook platforms—and is on sale for just $2.75 on until the end of the year. This was written with Mary Robinette Kowal. I wrote the outline, she did the first draft, I went through (kind of more in an editorial role) and did a second draft, then she did a third draft. I hope you’ll give it a look!

    (Note that it, like the other things that come out from Mainframe, should eventually have ebook/print releases. However, they will need some revision to accomplish that, because they are being written specifically for audio. MRK did some excellent work in this area for The Original, as she has a lot of expertise in the world of audio.)

    Along with The Original, we began several other projects like this for Mainframe. And I finally get to talk about them here! The first is an extension to the Reckoners series. When I wrote the original books, in my pitch to both the publisher and Hollywood, I explained that I’d really like to do a video game or other tie-in to the series by showing a different group of Reckoners and what they were up to.

    To that end, we’ve developed three novellas (cowritten with the talented Steve Bohls)—Author of the middle grade book Jed and the Junkyard War (which has fantastic worldbuilding)—following a new group of Reckoners in the same universe. The novellas start around the time of the end of the original trilogy, then go past them into the future of the series. They can be seen as three “episodes” of a television show, or read together as a single novel, since they are all told from the same character’s viewpoint.

    The second project is working on the Legion/Stephen Leeds series. Many of you may know that I wrote the original novella as kind of a pitch for a television show—and while that show has been in development pretty much continually since then, it’s never actually gotten made.

    Therefore, we decided to try and basically build our own television series based on the concept, only doing it as audio dramas. In this case, we went with a traditional Hollywood writer’s room, letting a “showrunner” (in this case, my partner Max, with whom I founded Mainframe) guide the process. We’re working together on a “pilot episode” in this framework.

    The final project I want to announce is an expansion to the Skyward series. The way the series has gone, the second book focused only on Spensa, without much of a look at the rest of Skyward Flight. As the third novel mostly continues Spensa’s story, I worried about how isolated from the rest of the team the narrative would feel.

    Therefore, Janci Patterson and I have designed a sequence of three tie-in novellas to this series. These will each be from a different viewpoint, three members of the team back on Detritus, running parallel to Skyward Three and having some cool overlaps between them.

    While the previous two announced Mainframe projects will be audio only, it’s our intention to release these Skyward novellas simultaneously in ebook and audio, with a print follow-up. We feel that because the series is ongoing (and these novellas are therefore a little more important for keeping track of the novels), we don’t think audio exclusive is as good an idea for these.

    This may seem like a lot with these three projects, but we’ve been working on most of this for years now—I just haven’t been able to announce it yet. Plus, we wanted to try a variety of different things and see what my readers liked the most.

    The Original is a completely new story. The Reckoners novellas are a continuation of a series I’ve finished. The Legion series is a Hollywood-style adaptation, using screenwriters instead of novelists. And the Skyward tie-ins are unique in that Janci and I are working very closely on a story in progress, with the goal of expanding the narrative to give it more depth. (These should read a little more like the Stormlight novellas I’ve been doing.)

    After a few years, once these are all out, I’m hoping to get some feedback from you all in regards to these projects about what you liked and what you didn’t. The eventual goal will be to try some things like this in the Cosmere (since I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more Cosmere material). However, I wanted to experiment a little first with things outside the Cosmere, where continuity isn’t as complex and the stakes aren’t quite as high.

    So if you want to help me with quality control and making sure we’re doing expansions like this right, check out these projects as they come along! Some of them (like the Reckoners novellas) should be available to grab for free for those of you with Audible Plus, as I believe they’re being released under the Audible Originals banner.

    And lastly, Tor just recently released a new box set of Stormlight books 1-3 and make a great gift last minute gift for the holiday season. We’re not sure, but we’re hoping a year from now that we’ll be able to offer a hardcover box set with the first four books.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson


    Well, this has certainly been quite the year, hasn’t it? Dan Carlin on his podcast likes to quote the old (supposedly) Chinese saying that goes: “May you live in interesting times.” I think I better understand why that phrase is usually used as a curse, not a blessing.

    I like it when things are different; it is good for my writing brain to live in a different way. However, I’d prefer this experience not come at the terrible expense many people have paid this year because of COVID. I hope the vaccines are widely available soon.

    For now, if you can appreciate one silver lining to the pandemic, it’s this: A year of staying home and not touring has led me to be rather productive. I’ve been able to work on a lot of behind-the-scenes projects that will eventually come to light—as well as meeting all of my deadlines for things I wanted to accomplish this year. So hopefully, my stories provide you with a little relief from these “interesting” times.

    If you missed it earlier this year, we released a book I call The Way of Kings Prime. This is the (very, very different) version of the book I wrote in 2002 that I decided not to publish. I started again from scratch in 2009–2010 to create the book actually published as The Way of Kings. If you’re done with Rhythm of War and want some more (non-canon) Cosmere, feel free to give this older one a read. It’s very different.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 1 ()
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    Benjamin Susla

    Did Hoid confirm that Cultivation is a dragon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if Hoid did. I can confirm it for you. Cultivation is. 

    If I RAFO'd that one, everyone would be "Oh it's a secret still." It's not. I could RAFO it so people continue to theorize, which I sometimes like. But it's not suppose to be a secret.

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    Adam Coventry

    Is the important part of the fourth oath of the Windrunners forgiving yourself? Kaladin had to accept that it wasn't his fault for the people that died, and it seemed that Teft was going down a similar path.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I can expand on this one, it doesn't mean that every one of them will take exactly the same shape, but that is a major component in that oath. Speaking those words involves that for most Windrunners. How about that?

    I like the oaths being a little more flexible along those lines, just because they work for more people that way. I like that the oaths express the individuality of the person, and the specific things that they are working on, and getting better at, and learning through the process.

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    Dallen Powell

    Is it easier to travel in the Cognitive Realm because people in the Physical Realm don't understand the immensity of space, and their lack of comprehension condenses the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say that's a factor, yeah. Definitely a factor. I think it's impossible to comprehend the immensity of space even with all the visualizations I've seen.  Yeah, definitely. Good question. 

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 1 ()
    #1945 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the big revisions I did to Dawnshard was: I didn't have viewpoints from him originally, Nikli, because I wanted to maintain the mystique of them [Sleepless]. I realized after the beta read that the coolness of seeing through their eyes was more important, and indeed there was an issue with Dawnshard. I expected, because people had read Oathbringer, and the scene in Oathbringer, that they would immediately pick out who the horde, the Aimian, on the crew was. The tattoos were suppose to make it very obvious what was going on. 

    The emotion I was looking for in the book was not mystery, but instead suspense. These are two kind of complementary emotions, and suspense is - at least as how I'm defining it right now - "Oh no! This terrible thing is going to happen. How are they going to deal with it?" And mystery is "What terrible thing is going to happen? And who is going to cause it?" These are two different emotions.

    If you go into Dawnshard with mystery being your primary expected experience, then what happened to beta readers is, they're like, "Well, Brandon's always tricky about these things. So the fact that he has a person with tattoos on this says that's not the person. That is not the Aimian; that's too obvious. So let's watch and see how he tricks us about who the Aimian is." When my intent was "Here's the Aimian. Be scared because he has a good relationship with Rysn, and terrible things are probably going to happen." That's sad and scary and tense. I realized after reading the beta read, "Oh this is not landing. I need to add a viewpoint as early as I can realistically get it in the story that says 'No, no no no. This is the Aimian. This is the horde. You're right, you're suppose to be worried about that. Not questioning about that.'" So I added that scene. I'm really glad that I did, because I enjoyed writing it. I think it adds a lot to the lore, and it is a fun scene to read, I think.

    I'm very happy for the beta readers being confused on that point, because I think the story landed way better for a lot of the readers, because they could let go of wondering who the Aimian is and focus on the emotion the story is actually stoking in them (or it's trying to), which is the suspense of watching what's going to happen when it happens. 

    This is the reason why I really depend on beta reads, is for reasons like this. When what I'm trying to do doesn't land. A lot of the people talk to the beta readers, I hear, and say, "Why did you talk him into changing this thing that I love!?" That's not what beta readers do. That's not what they're there for. They are there so I can see if what I'm trying to do actually lands, and if it doesn't I can reassess and find a way to make it actually land. Because if you read all of Dawnshard, thinking that the mystery of who is the Aimian is suppose to be the big reveal, and then it just turns out to be the most obvious person, you'd be like, "Wow. That mystery was lame!" Hopefully instead if you read it saying, "Oh, there's an Aimian on this crew. I see who it is. They are gonna try to kill the people on board. That's sad. Hey! I'm kind of liking this character. That's even sadder! How is this ever going to get resolved?" Hopefully that's the emotion you had.

    Footnote: Scene in Oathbringer is I-4: Kaza
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    #1946 Copy


    What happened to Plamry in Dawnshard? When he and Nikli were stranded to keep them from interfering.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was not involved in any of it. He got left when his friend and superior melted into bugs. He's probably having a hard time with that. He was left there and then recovered at the end of the book, after the last chapter. I believe that's what your asking. Plamry is okay physically. What it does to various people to watch people you have known melt into bugs... depends on the individual.

    I've been waiting so long to do more stuff with the hordes. They are one of the very first science fiction races that I developed long ago. They actually appeared in Star's End (which is my second novel, which is terrible). I quickly moved them to the cosmere once I developed the cosmere, because I love them. I think they are lots of fun. They do all kinds of cool things. I really like that there's a really legit species that you refer to as "it," because that's what they are. That's how they see themselves; the swarms. They're one of my favorites, but they did not match being part of the main narrative of The Stormlight Archive for lots of reasons. There is already lots of weird stuff in The Stormlight Archive. They're mostly around because I want to use them later. I was really happy to be able to write a book where I inserted a viewpoint.

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    #1947 Copy


    You mentioned having to pull in plot from the future books for Rhythm of War, because it was originally going to have more flashbacks. What sorts of things got moved up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's see... what was I thinking of when I said that? So, there's been so much rejiggering. The Kaladin scene I mentioned [Kaladin jumping off the tower to save his father] was originally in the third book when I outlined it. It was not in the fourth book. It didn't fit the third book, and it's much better here. That old outline... I'd have to think about what did I actually... I'm sure I was thinking of something, a plot thread that I pulled in while I was doing it. But I don't know what it necessarily was. 

    It was not the Taravangian stuff; that was planned for this book all along. I don't remember what it was. I'm sorry. This is just me; I'm sure I was working on a scene where I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'd planned to do that later, and now I'm doing it here."

    I have no idea what it was. I'm sorry. 

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    bb m

    Has Hoid ever used Allomancy on Roshar or in The Stormlight Archive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. On screen he has. I've mentioned times when he's pulled on emotions, or pushed on emotions? I think he... I'd have to look at the scene and see which one he's doing. But he is playing with people's emotions using Allomancy in a very obvious way. There are other places. He doesn't do it a ton. Wit, as you can see in Rhythm of War, considers too extravagant use of the various arts to be cheating to an extent, because it makes things too easy. There are other reasons to not do it, though. He would become visible very quickly to entities to whom he wishes to remain non-visible if he were aggressively using Allomancy. Allomancy is not a very quiet skill.