Brandon Sanderson Newsletter for September 2014
Hey, all. Brandon here with a quick newsletter. I’ll be heading out to the Writing Excuses retreat very soon, and after that will be at New York Comic Con. But before I go, I wanted to mention a few books to keep your eyes out for. (And at the end, there’s a surprise for you, as thanks for being on the mailing list.)
Paperback of Steelheart is out!
First item of business is the Steelheart paperback, which launched this past week with brand-new cover art. I’m very excited about this book, and the sequel is coming out in January, so I hope you’ll give it a look if you haven’t already.
Here’s the blurb:
There are no heroes.
Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.
Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.
It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.
My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.
I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
And here’s a link to sample chapters. Give the prologue a read if you’re curious. It stands pretty well on its own!
The Way of Kings is free in ebook in the US!
If you missed the news, The Way of Kings is free as part of a promotion on iBooks in the US for the launch of iOS 8. From now until the end of the year, you can download it completely free in iBooks on your iOS device or a Mac, or just using iTunes even on a Windows computer. And, not to be outdone, Amazon price-matched it for the Kindle in the US, though I’m not sure how long that will last. (Do note also that the book is DRM-free, so if you download it from either place, you should be able to read it on a variety of devices—or even your desktop computer.)
This is pretty awesome, so go grab a book before it goes back to regular price! And if you don’t mind sharing the link with your friends, I’d appreciate it. I figure with Book Three in the works (no release date yet, sorry), the more people who read the first, the better!
A Cosmere story, “Sixth of the Dusk,” in Shadows Beneath
If you follow my blog and social media feeds you heard about this a couple of months ago, but I’ve released an anthology with the Writing Excuses crew (Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells) called Shadows Beneath. It includes four pieces of short fiction, as well as:
- Transcripts of the original brainstorming sessions for each story, recorded on Writing Excuses. (You can listen to them here.)
- The first draft of every story, for comparison purposes to the final draft.
- Transcripts of workshopping sessions we did for each story. (These also ran as episodes of Writing Excuses here.)
- A special “visual changes” version of each story, where we compared the first draft with the last one and put a strikethrough on each word deleted and an underline on each word added. (This will allow you to directly see the editing process of each writer.)
- Plenty of other bonus features for each story, including essays on writing and the editing process, other drafts, and other surprises.
If you are a writer or know someone who wants to become one, or if you just love to see things behind the scenes, I can’t think of another resource like this one. In this anthology you can see the step-by-step process of four different writers and follow the journey from ideas to polished works. But even if you aren’t a writer, this collection has four amazing stories that are well worth the value. (And check out the cover by Julie Dillon, who won a Hugo Award this year for her artwork.)
My story in the anthology is a novella set in the Cosmere, the universe shared by Mistborn, the Stormlight Archive, Warbreaker, Elantris, and the novellas The Emperor’s Soul and “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.” This new novella, “Sixth of the Dusk,” takes place on a previously unseen planet where people use birds to grant them magical talents, and a solitary island trapper discovers a plot to destroy his way of life—and maybe his entire culture. This story does some things I’ve been playing around with for a while, so I hope you’ll check it out. You can read an excerpt here.
Legion: Skin Deep preorder
Final item of books-coming-out business is Legion: Skin Deep. This is my second novella in a sequence about Stephen Leeds, a man with a very strange brain. This is a bit of a departure for me, a contemporary thriller instead of a fantasy novel, but each story still has its fill of Sanderson craziness.
The first one is a few bucks for digital download, and the second one (which is twice as long) has a limited edition signed leatherbound hardcover for sale on the publisher’s website. It should be released in November, and there will also be a cheap ebook edition released about the same time. (And if you buy the hardcover directly from Subterranean, you get the ebook for free.)
For those wondering, yes, there will be a non-limited-edition version of the hardcover coming probably next year sometime, after the limited edition sells out. We’re not sure when that will be, but it will be coming. (And the first book will go back into print relatively soon, so stay away from the two-hundred-dollar copies on eBay.)
Bonus for newsletter readers!
I want to start adding in little scenes of what I’m working on for mailing list members, as a thank you for letting me email you. So thanks! The following is a scene from Stormlight Three. Yes, it has big spoilers for Words of Radiance, so I suggest not continuing further until you’ve read that book!
Also, do be aware that the chapter is very rough, and hasn’t seen an editor’s eyes (or even had a second look-through by me). So it’s bound to have plenty of errors, and might transform dramatically before it’s in the finished book.
Still, I hope you enjoy it—and as always, thanks for reading!
(The preview chapter was an exclusive for newsletter subscribers. Sign up here.)