About 17th Shard and Brandon Sanderson

What is 17th Shard?

17th Shard is a fan-run website dedicated to all of the works of fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. Though Brandon does not operate the site, he has given us permission to be his official fansite. As such, we are the most rabid of rabid fanboys. We like to think we’re fun to be around. We discuss all sorts of theories, and generally just dink around. If you like either of these things, you'll enjoy it here!

Who is Brandon Sanderson?

He’s the writer of works such as Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and The Stormlight Archive. Those adult epic fantasies are set in the same universe, known as the cosmere, but it is by no means necessary to know that to enjoy the novels. He has also written the Alcatraz novels, which is a hilarious middle grade series, as well as The Rithmatist, and Steelheart. He was also selected to finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time by Mr. Jordan's widow.

Brandon is known for excellent worldbuilding, deep and original magic systems, great characters, and superb endings. If you haven't read any of his works, the final version of Warbreaker is actually available for free on his website. And because it's a standalone, you won't feel obligated to read a bunch of books for a satisfying conclusion. (It's also great, but we’re not exactly unbiased.) You can download it here.

He has a podcast with Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal called Writing Excuses, which deals with writing advice and giving people excuses to write. It's fifteen minutes long, but don't let that fool you! It’s been going since 2008, and there is several hours of awesome material if you are an aspiring writer.

To our knowledge, Brandon doesn't often come to 17th Shard, but his assistant, Peter Ahlstrom, occasionally stops by.

For a more extensive description, you can check out his slightly outdated bio on his website.


Our site began originally as Hoid's Compendium, created by Mi'chelle Walker. She lives in Utah, and actually had taken Brandon's Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy class at Brigham Young University. When Brandon learned of this fansite, he recommended that instead of naming it after Hoid (a character who is present in all of his adult epic fantasies), naming it after the Seventeenth Shard, an organization of world hoppers with members from all of the cosmere planets. With Brandon's blessing, we became the official fansite for all of his works.

With Mi'chelle's husband, Josh, and her friend Eric from Brandon’s forums on Timewaster’s Guide(which exists now as an archive on our site), work began on 17thshard.com. Eric asked Will, another member on Timewaster’s Guide’s writing group, to help with graphics. Eric's co-administrator on the Mistborn RPG, Kerry, also joined our team. The site opened its doors in a rocky state in the summer of 2010, and the Mistborn RPG was quickly folded into 17th Shard. In February 2011, we upgraded our software, and made the site about fifty times better (just ask about our initial main page--it was bad). Over time, the site has exploded in popularity, far beyond what we would have ever expected considering our humble beginnings!

Our mission

17th Shard (also referred to as 17S) is an online community, home to people who love Brandon Sanderson and his books. We offer a large group of zealous theorizers about the cosmere, Brandon-related podcasts, a well-maintained wiki, a fan gallery, various games an discussions about the books, member blogs, and Mistborn: The Inquisition, an RPG set a hundred years before the fall of the Final Empire, home to many writers. Combined, we want to be the premier place to discuss Brandon, and the center of his fandom. A complete discussion of our site functions, community rules, and a guide to writing good posts can be found here, and we also have help files if you need other assistance (and of course, feel free to contact any of the staff below).

Though Brandon finishedThe Wheel of Time, we are not a Wheel of Time fansite. However, their fanbase is extremely active online, so there are plenty of options for that.

Our staff

We have three head administrators:

Rubix, otherwise known as Josh Walker. He is one of the co-founders and the owner of the site. He and his wife, Mi'chelle, both live in Utah and primarily stalk Brandon. His favorite game is Stones.
firstRainbowRose, otherwise known as Mi'chelle Walker. We lovingly refer to her as Mi'ch. She's the founder of the site, our public relations person, and moderates us in meetings. She likes making cryptic comments on the forums.
Chaos, otherwise known as Eric Lake. He is the day-to-day site administrator. When the site breaks, it is usually his fault. He spends all day on the forums and theorizes about the cosmere a lot. He works on the wiki obsessively, and is a co-admin on the Mistborn RPG.

In addition to them, we have six administrators:

Shivertongue, otherwise Will Raboin. He's our senior graphics design monkey and created all of our art on the site.
KChan, otherwise known as Kerry Stuart. She’s the Highprince of Stuff, and it’s hard to pinpoint something on the site she hasn’t worked on. She’s the co-admin of the Mistborn RPG, skins the site, and rumor has it that she once worked on the wiki.
zas678, otherwise known as Zach Stay. Actually, he is a cousin-in-law of Peter Ahlstrom, and Zach does great work with the Interview Database, theorizing, and is an all-around quote-fetching deity.
Comatose, otherwise known as Matt Wiens. He's a Canadian. Oh, and he's a Mistborn RPG administrator. He's rad.
Joe ST, whose name, as you may have guessed, is Joe. He's our resident Brit, and tries his hardest to keep the wiki editors in line.
WeiryWriter, last, but by no means least, was brought in to help with our news, as well as to work on the interview database.
In addition, we have our moderators:

Global moderators manage all areas of the forums, generally doing a lot of stuff. Our global moderators are: Eerongal, Windrunner, and Kurkistan

Our moderators also help out and manage the community. We have many moderators, including little_wilson, FeatherWriter, E. Hyde, Moru, and moogle.

The final user group aren't 17th Shard staff, but you definitely want to pay attention to them: Team Sanderson. I shouldn't have to tell you what people in this usergroup represent.

Contact and networking

For general inquiries, you can email [email protected]. For any inquiries on site issues, contact Eric/Chaos either via the forums, or you can email him at [email protected].

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter (our Facebook feed draws from Twitter most of the time).

Brandon is great (then again, we aren't unbiased), and he makes effort to communicate with his fans. He's very busy, of course, but he does read all of his email. You can use his Contact form on his website, or just email him at brandon [AT] brandonsanderson.com. He is on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Twitter is probably the quickest way Brandon could respond to you, but he doesn't answer everything due to his busy schedule.

Shameless plugging

There are currently no ads on 17S, though we are in the process of adding them, and we promise you, they will be tasteful. However, at the moment, we’re all putting a fair amount of time into this site will little financial reward, so if you’d like to donate to our cause, you can do so here! Please don't feel obligated to do so, we've made the option available for those who feel inclined, not to make others feel guilty.

We promise not to pocket it and laugh maniacally. Probably.