|Born||December 19, 1975|
|Education||Brigham Young University|
|Period||2005 - present|
|Influenced by||Robert Jordan, David Farland, Barbara Hambly|
Brandon Sanderson (middle name Winn) is an American fantasy author.
Brandon Sanderson was born in December 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested for him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This all changed in 8th grade when an astute teacher, Mrs. Reader, gave Brandon Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. Brandon thoroughly enjoyed this book, and went in search of anything similar. He discovered such authors as David Eddings, Melanie Rawn, Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, and Orson Scott Card. Brandon continued to be an avid reader through junior high and high school. He liked epic fantasy so much that he even tried his hand at writing some. His first attempts, he says, were dreadful.
In 1994 Brandon enrolled at Brigham Young University as a Biochemistry major. From 1995-1997 he took time away from his studies to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Brandon often says that it was during this time in Seoul, Korea that he realized that he didn't miss chemistry one bit, but he did miss writing. Upon his return to BYU Brandon became an English major, much to the dismay of his mother, who had always hoped he would become a doctor.
Brandon began writing in earnest, taking a job as the night desk clerk at a hotel because they allowed him to write while at work. During this era he went to school full-time during the day, worked nights to pay for his schooling, and wrote as much as he could. He says it made for a rather dismal social life, but he finished seven novels during his undergraduate years. Brandon submitted many manuscripts for publication ... and accumulated quite a pile of rejection letters. In spite of this he continued to be a dedicated writer.
Volunteering for The Leading Edge - BYU's Sci Fi/Fantasy magazine - was a wonderful experience for Brandon. He read lots of submissions, formed some lifelong friendships, and even served as Editor in Chief during his senior year.
Brandon learned much about the business of being a writer by taking a class from David Farland, author of the popular Runelords series. One piece of advice Dave gave Brandon was to attend conventions, such as WorldCon and World Fantasy, in order to connect with industry professionals. Brandon and a small group of friends who were also aspiring writers began to do so. He eventually met both his current agent and one of his editors at conventions.
It was in 2003, while Brandon was in the middle of a graduate program at BYU, that he got a call from an editor at Tor who wanted to buy one of Brandon's books. Brandon had submitted the manuscript a year and a half earlier, and had almost given up on hearing anything, so he was surprised and delighted to receive the offer. In May 2005 Brandon held his first published novel, Elantris, in his hands. Tor also published Brandon's Mistborn trilogy, and has released Warbreaker, The Way of Kings, The Rithmatist, Words of Radiance, Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, Edgedancer, and Oathbringer since, with other Sanderson titles to follow in the future.
In 2004 after graduating with his Master's degree in creative writing from Brigham Young University, Brandon was asked to teach the class he had taken as an undergraduate student from Dave Farland. In spite of his busy schedule, Brandon continues to teach this one section of creative writing focused on science fiction and fantasy because he enjoys helping aspiring writers. It also gets him out of the house, he says.
In July 2006 Brandon married Emily Bushman. Emily and Brandon ran in many of the same circles at BYU during their student days, since Emily majored in English as well. They never met, however, until a mutual friend set them up on a date in 2005. Emily had spent seven years as a teacher, but chose to quit with the birth of their son Joel in October 2007. Emily now works from home part-time as Brandon's business manager.
Brandon's repertoire expanded into the children's market when Scholastic published Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, a middle-grade novel, in October 2007. Nancy Pearl gave this book a very favorable review on National Public Radio, which pleased Sanderson fans. Since the release of Alcatraz, Brandon has enjoyed visiting schools and interacting with younger readers.
In December 2007 Brandon was chosen by Harriet Rigney to complete A Memory of Light, the final book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. It was released on the 8th of January, 2013.
The novelette, Defending Elysium, was first named honorable mention in a Writers of the Future contest in early 2003. It originally appeared in the October/November 2008 Asimov’s Science Fiction (in the US) and the UPC Science Fiction collection (in Europe). It was winner of the UPC science fiction award, and was the last short story Brandon wrote before he sold Elantris to Tor Books. It is available for online reading and hardcover purchase.
There is a draft chapter of Brandon's unfinished novel Mythwalker from 2001 here. Brandon later repurposed some elements of this story into Warbreaker, Mistborn, and The Way of Kings.
Sanderson published his first novel, Elantris, through Tor Books on April 21, 2005, to generally positive reviews. Elantris tells the story of the cursed inhabitants of a once-great city who once wielded powerful magic.
In January of 2006, Brandon wrote the short story Elantris - The Hope of Elantris. It is available for online reading on his website. Also in 2006, Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first book in his original Mistborn trilogy was released. (The Mistborn are "allomancers", or people who have the ability to "burn" various metals and alloys after ingesting them in order to enhance their senses and allow them control over powerful supernatural forces.)
Sanderson followed up in 2007 with a sequel, Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, which continues the story and delves into the origins of the mysterious and all-pervasive mist which enshrouds everything on this world at night and even sometimes during the day. His next work was the young adult novel Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, about a boy named Alcatraz who has a unique gift: he's very good at breaking things. He also has a group of evil librarians who are bent on taking over the world.
In 2008, Sanderson released two science fiction short works, Firstborn (a Tor.com Original available as an ebook) and Defending Elysium, as well as the final book in the original Mistborn trilogy, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages and an Alcatraz sequel, Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones.
Tor Books published Sanderson's Warbreaker in 2009. He originally published it on his website a chapter at a time while writing the novel from 2006 to 2009, with the final version being what was published through Tor. The novel was released under a Creative Commons license and is available either printed from Tor or as a free download from Sanderson's site. The same year saw a third Alcatraz book, Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia, which follows Alcatraz as he and his companions continue their fight against the cult of evil librarians.
After Robert Jordan's September 2007 death, Sanderson was selected by Harriet McDougal (Robert Jordan's widow), to complete the final book in Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. McDougal asked him to complete the series after being deeply impressed by Mistborn: The Final Empire. Tor Books made the announcement December 7, 2007. After reviewing what needed to be done to wrap up the series, Sanderson and Tor announced on March 30, 2009 there would be a final three books instead of just one. The first of these, The Gathering Storm, was published October 27, 2009, and reached the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover fiction.
Sanderson then released the first novel, The Way of Kings, in a planned ten-novel epic fantasy series titled The Stormlight Archive. It reached #7 on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, and it remained on the list for an additional three weeks. Towers of Midnight, the second-to-last novel in The Wheel of Time series, was released just over a year after The Gathering Storm on November 2, 2010, also debuting at number one on the bestseller list. The fourth Alcatraz novel, Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens, was released a month later on December 1, 2010.
A novella ebook, Infinity Blade: Awakening, based on the action role-playing iOS video game Infinity Blade developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games, was released on October 4, 2011. Mistborn: The Alloy of Law, set approximately 300 years after the events of the original Mistborn trilogy and published by Tor Books, was released on November 8, 2011, where it debuted at #7 on the bestseller list.
In 2012, Brandon wrote the Kelsier prequel story, Mistborn: The Eleventh Metal, for the Mistborn Adventure Game from Crafty Games. It is available for online reading. On August 31, 2012, Sanderson released a science fiction novella ebook entitled Legion. Another novella, The Emperor's Soul - Hugo Award Winner for Best Novella - was published on October 10, 2012 by Tachyon Publications.
A Memory of Light, the final book in The Wheel of Time series, was released on January 8, 2013 and reached #1 on multiple best seller lists. A YA/middle grade novel, The Rithmatist (the first in a new series), was released on May 14, 2013. The A Memory of Light deleted sequence, River of Souls, included in the Unfettered anthology edited by Shawn Speakman, was released by Grim Oak Press on June 21, 2013. The anthology is available as an ebook. On August 20, 2013, the second novella ebook in the Infinity Blade trilogy, Infinity Blade: Redemption, was released by Chair Entertainment Group. Steelheart (the first novel in the new young adult series, Reckoners), was released on September 24, 2013 through Delacorte Press in the United States and through Gollancz in the United Kingdom. On December 3, 2013, the short work ebook Mitosis (an 'interquel' in the Reckoners series) was released by Random House. Included in the anthology, Dangerous Women, released on December 3, 2013 and edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, was the novella, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. It is now available as an independent ebook.
On March 4, 2014, Words of Radiance - the long-awaited second novel in The Stormlight Archive following The Way of Kings - was released by Tor Books. On April 3, 2014, Brandon revealed a new short story in the horror anthology Games Creatures Play, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. Dreamer is rather unlike anything Brandon has written previously. Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology which includes the novella, Sixth of the Dusk, was released by Dragonsteel Entertainment on June 30, 2014. The novella is now available as an independent ebook. Legion: Skin Deep, the sequel to Legion, was released by Subterrenean Press in a limited edition (2500 numbered copies, bound in leather, signed by the author) on November 6, 2014. It was also released by Dragonsteel Entertainment as an ebook on the same date.
On January 6, 2015, Firefight (the second novel in the Reckoners series) was released through Delacorte Press in the U.S. and various regions around the world. On March 31, 2015, Perfect State was released as an ebook by Dragonsteel Entertainment. Mistborn: Shadows of Self, the sequel to Mistborn: The Alloy of Law and published by Tor Books, was released on October 6, 2015.
Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning, the sequel to Mistborn: Shadows of Self, was released by Tor Books on January 26, 2016. Mistborn: Secret History, a spoiler-full volume for the original Mistborn trilogy, was released in ebook format by Dragonsteel Entertainment also on January 26, 2016. Calamity, the third novel in the Reckoners trilogy, was released through Delacorte Press on February 16, 2016. The first graphic novel, White Sand, in what will be a trilogy, was released on June 28, 2016 by Dynamite Entertainment. Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians, Book Five: The Dark Talent was released by Tor/Starscape on September 6, 2016. On November 22, 2016, the anthology, Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, was released by Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC and includes the novella, Edgedancer, which bridges the gap between 2014's Words of Radiance and the anticipated Oathbringer of 2017.
The novella, Snapshot, was released in ebook format by Dragonsteel Entertainment on February 17, 2017. Edgedancer was released as a separate volume from that of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Tor Books on October 18, 2017. Oathbringer, the third novel in The Stormlight Archive, was released by Tor Books on November 14, 2017.
On February 20, 2018, Dynamite Entertainment released White Sand II. Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds - inclusive of the novellas, Legion and Legion: Skin Deep, and the new novella, Legion: Lies of the Beholder - was released by Tor Books on September 18, 2018. Skyward, Brandon's admitted as-close-to science fiction novel as he's written, was released on November 6, 2018 by Delacorte Press. On December 12, 2018, io9 revealed Brandon's latest novella, Magic: Children of the Nameless, written in collaboration with the story team of the game, Magic: The Gathering, at Wizards of the Coast.
The Original audio novella - co-authored with Mary Robinette Kowal - was released on September 14, 2020. The e-book novella, Dawnshard, originally due in late October, was released on November 5, 2020.* Rhythm of War, book four in The Stormlight Archive, was released on November 17, 2020.
The hardcover copy of Dawnshard was released in early 2021. Cytonic (i.e., Skyward III) was predicted to be available by the summer of 2021, The Lost Metal (i.e., Wax and Wayne IV) by the fall of 2021.
Lux, the Reckoners audiobook, co-authored with Steven Michael Bohls, was released on July 22, 2021. According to Peter Ahlstrom, this audiobook will be the only version of the novel for a full year given contractual obligations with Audible.
Redawn, the second novella in the Skyward Flight Series, also written with Janci Patterson, was released on October 26, 2021.
Evershore, the third novella in the Skyward Flight Series, again, also written with Janci Patterson, was released on December 28, 2021.
Alcatraz 6 has been predicted to be available sometime between 2021 and 2022.
The same goes for the Dark One graphic novel, due 2021-2022.
Stormlight Five (the final in the first five novels of the complete series) is due in 2023. The focus is supposed to be on Szeth. Brandon has said that his goal for book five is to come to a kind of "mid-series climax," wrapping up several of the main plot arcs, but that there WILL be things after that book, still dangling, and that he won't get to until the back five books.
All of Brandon Sanderson's books (apart from his young adult series) share a single creation myth, a single cosmology. The connection between them in the greater world, is the universe known as the cosmere. These books include:
- The Way of Kings (2010)
- Words of Radiance (2014)
- Arcanum Unbounded (2016)
- Edgedancer (2016)
- Oathbringer (2017)
- Dawnshard (2020)
- Rhythm of War (2020)
- Stones Unhallowed (2023)
- Mistborn: The Final Empire (2006)
- Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (2007)
- Mistborn: The Hero of Ages (2008)
- Mistborn: The Alloy of Law (2012)
- Mistborn: Shadows of Self (2015)
- Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning (2016)
- Mistborn: Secret History (2016)
- Mistborn: The Lost Metal (due 2022)
- Elantris (2005)
- Warbreaker (2009)
- The Emperor's Soul (2012)
- Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell (2013)
- Sixth of the Dusk I (2014)
- Sixth of the Dusk II
- Edgedancer (2016)
- Wandersail (working title; due 2020-21)**
- Dawnshard (2020)
- Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection (2016)
- Elantris - The Hope of Elantris (2006)
- Mistborn: The Eleventh Metal (2012)
- Aether of Night (unknown)
- Untitled Silverlight Story (unknown)
- Untitled Threnody Story (unknown)
- The Silence Divine (unknown)
The left-side chart can be used as a reference to determine in just what order one might read the cosmere books. It is current as of January 2016. One can start with any book in a purple oval, but it has been recommended by many that the reader not familiar with Brandon's work should not start with The Stormlight Archive series.
The right-side chart above is slightly more updated on the order in which one might read the cosmere books. It is current as of May 2016.
*According to Brandon, in a Facebook post dated 11/5/20, "Dawnshard is ready! BackerKit is currently sending emails with download information to those who backed the Kickstarter campaign. Right now, it's only available for those who participated in the Kickstarter - but we expect the retail release to go up on the ebook websites within a few days."
**Wandersail became Dawnshard.
- Book 12: The Gathering Storm (2009)
- Book 13: Towers of Midnight (2010)
- Book 14: A Memory of Light (2013)
- Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (2007)
- Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (2008)
- Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia (2009)
- Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens (2010)
- Alcatraz Versus the Dark Talent (2016)
- Bastille Versus the Evil Librarians (predicted 2021-2022).
- Awakening (2011)
- Redemption (2013)
- Steelheart (2013)
- Mitosis (2013)
- Firefight (2015)
- Calamity (2016)
- Lux (2021)
- Snapshot (2017)
- The Dark One (due 2021-2022)
- Defending Elysium (2003)
- Firstborn (2010)
- Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds (2018)
Mainframe is an audiobook company that Brandon created with Max Epstein. The three novellas in the Skyward series, The Original (co-authored with Writing Excuses co-host, Mary Robinette Kowal) and Lux are part of his Mainframe project.
According to Brandon, Max is the driving force behind Mainframe. (He was also one of the first people in Hollywood to see the value in Brandon's work as it relates to films.)
According to Max, by the end of 2021, they will have successfully released four projects. On the way are two which are currently scheduled for release in 2022. Both are with their partners at Recorded Books.
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 they could've released this in 2021, their primary decision to push this to 2022 was because of the four months of back-to-back Cytoverse releases, which will culminate with Evershore.
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 created. Dan Wells co-wrote this with Brandon (along with a larger Dark One novel that will be released after Forgotten, though likely not until 2023).
The Original (2020)
- Lux (2021)
- Sunreach (2021)
- Redawn (2021)
- Evershore (2021)
Brandon doesn't really consider the things that he's telling readers as Words of Brandon to be canon. He considers them to be insight into the development process of the stories at their current state, and there are things that he will change.
- Hope ...
- Eleventh ...
- Shadows ...
- Sixth ...
- Alcatraz Five
- The Dark Talent
- Legion Trilogy
- Magic novella ...
- Free novella ...
- White Sand III
- The Original
- TSA Four
- Cytonic, The Lost Metal
- Lux co-author
- Facebook post
- Alcatraz 6
- Dark One
- Skyward Four
- State of the Sanderson 2020
- Stormlight Five #1
- Stormlight Five #2
- Rhythm of War
- Stormlight Five
- The Lost Metal
- TLM Update
- TLM Cytoverse Update
- White Sand
- Graphic novels
- White Sand II
- White Sand III
- Sixth of the Dusk
- Cosmere unbound ...
- Dark Talent
- Alcatraz 6
- Lies of the Beholder
- The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds
- AG 1
- AG 2
- AG 3
- Dark One
- Skyward I
- Skyward II
- Skyward III
- Skyward IV
- Sunreach novella
- Redawn novella
- Evershore novella
- Magic novella ...
- Legion Collection