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  1. 88 points
    This pre-release review is specially approved, and contains no Oathbringer spoilers for any of its pre-release materials. It does contain some Words of Radiance spoilers that are also mentioned in the Oathbringer synopsis. Oathbringer is my favorite book. I know this will seem like an empty statement. We are on 17th Shard, after all. Loving a new Brandon book--especially a new Brandon cosmere book--is par for the course. But, with that said, I've thought about this for a long time, and I truly cannot think of a book I've read that has made me feel the things Oathbringer has. It has the highest highs, the lowest lows, and moments where your eyes go wide in amazement. "Is this really happening right now?" you'll say. Yup. It is. This is the third book of the Stormlight Archive, Oathbringer. I don't think I can overhype this for you. This is the best thing Brandon has written. It isn't even close. I imagine it might just be your favorite book, too. Expert Craftsmanship Oathbringer is a colossal 450,000-word book, longer than Words of Radiance. (Remember when Brandon said Way of Kings was long because it needed to be long, and the next books would be shorter? Bwahaha.) Is it too long? No, there's absolutely no fluff in this book. It's jam packed with so many things. Oathbringer is all killer and no filler. Every scene feels like it belongs. I'm a guy who loves a tight plot--even more than I love worldbuilding--and this book is beautifully crafted. You won't be bored at all. Brandon walks a fine line of things of having events feel natural, but also doing some very unexpected things. There are things that happen in Oathbringer that I didn't expect we'd get until the back half of this ten book series. It's shocking what all happens in this book. Things vaguely referenced that many casual readers probably missed become absolutely central. Brandon explains these elements carefully, so even if you aren't up to speed on the craziness of Stormlight speculation, you won't feel lost here. There's still a depth to the book if you are heavily invested (get it?), and it holds up on a reread. It's astonishing that Brandon crafts something that feels so natural and effortless, because there are a ton of characters in Stormlight. Brandon juggles viewpoints really effectively and we see new viewpoints that add to the world a lot, but we never forget about our main characters. It's probably for this reason that this book feels so tight, because you'd think there's so much space in a book this big, but there's so much to do. Every viewpoint is precious and there's a huge amount to explore. You might even say it is almost too fast, maybe! This book is Dalinar's book, and we get a large flashback sequence from him. It has a lot more flashbacks than Kaladin and Shallan, and honestly I feel like we could have had more than we got, but Oathbringer is a lean story and everything has its piece in the grand story arc. Even though it's huge, when you read this book you'll see it really is one book. Everything is connected. Even though this could really be three shorter books, it's one connected whole. It cannot truly be split. It's one glorious, beautiful whole. Worldbuilding Of course, Brandon has always been known for his worldbuilding. He's been introducing us to the world of Roshar slowly, which sounds hilarious to say considering The Way of Kings had a big learning curve. But seriously, Roshar really has insane depth. Ten Orders of Knights Radiant, Ten Heralds, Ten Oathgates, who knows how many Desolations that happened millennia ago, the Recreance, the Voidbringers, and three Shards on Roshar. There's so much, and those are just the highlights. That alone is enough to keep us going for ten books, but wait there's so much more. How foolish of us. Oathbringer changes so much about Stormlight Archive. We get killer lore in Oathbringer. Things you've wondered for many, many years will be answered. You can really tell Brandon has been worldbuilding this for a long, long time. Things are insanely complex, but also, everything makes sense. There's so much clever, subtle foreshadowing that few have picked up on. Roshar is huge, deep, and you really can get lost in it forever, now more than ever. The beautiful thing is even though we get crazy lore in this book, there's new, absolutely freaking insane puzzles that we never could have expected. Seriously. You all have no idea. It's bonkers. How deep will the lore be just by book five? Words of Radiance ended with the summoning of the Everstorm, which would bring back the ancient enemy of Roshar, the Voidbringers. If you were worried about the Voidbringers being boring or one-dimensional villains, worry not. There's a huge amount of depth to everything with the Voidbringers. Nothing is quite as it seems. It's hard to explain how crazy Roshar is after everything we learn and everything that happens in Oathbringer. Simply put: it's bigger, more epic, and crazier than ever. But Oathbringer never is self-congratulatory on its lore; it is all in the service of this amazing story. Speaking of amazingness... The Avalanche One of Brandon's signatures in his writing is the Brandon Avalanche at the end of his books, where pacing gets very fast, and everything happens all at once. It makes for some amazing endings. You might thinking that you know Brandon's tricks. You'll know how this book goes down. Hah. That's funny. No, you haven't seen an ending like this one. If you were to compare Words of Radiance and Oathbringer's endings, it's not even remotely close which is more awesome: Oathbringer by a mile. The crazy thing is that this book has three separate climaxes. Part One alone has a completely satisfactory conclusion that you could read and say, "Yes, I got my fill, that was awesome." It has another. And then it has the grand finale. Let me try to explain: It starts with us finally seeing [REDACTED] go [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. Then it turns out [REDACTED] didn't [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED], but [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]. You get [REDACTED] and it's immediately time for [REDACTED], and it's this epic [REDACTED] right away. Oh, and not only is it [REDACTED] [REDACTED], but just [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED] is [REDACTED]. It turns out [REDACTED] was the [REDACTED] [REDACTED] was [REDACTED] to be [REDACTED], and for a moment you [REDACTED]. All in [REDACTED] [REDACTED] was so [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] makes [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. All the while, [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] are in [REDACTED] (because of [REDACTED]) at [REDACTED], fighting [REDACTED] and trying to get [REDACTED], but the [REDACTED] refuses to [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] tries to get [REDACTED] to [REDACTED], but [REDACTED] keeps [REDACTED]. All the while there's [REDACTED] [REDACTED] the [REDACTED]. Oh also there are [REDACTED], because why not, clearly more needed to be happening. But then, [REDACTED] (the actual chapter title), [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] just [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED], or [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] faces [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], and it is so [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED]. [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED], reaches [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED] to [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED], and they are [REDACTED] into the [REDACTED] and it's so freaking amazingly awesome. You see [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Oh, and that's just the first half of the avalanche because then [redacted for swearing] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] with [REDACTED] and it's just insane. The most intense thing ever. Hmmm... something tells me that isn't going to come across well with me needing to redact all of that. I did actually write that paragraph, but there was so much happening that it's just a small snippet of how crazy it actually is. Despair. Triumph. The feels are so real in so many ways. It's amazing and perfect and ties everything together brilliantly. Get Hyped This is by far the best Stormlight book and the best book Brandon has ever written. I'm sure there will be some characters’ paths that some will not exactly love, and stuff will definitely break your heart, but I think all of it is necessary and fit perfectly. Brandon's learned so much since Mistborn and The Way of Kings, and it shows. Was it worth the wait? Damnation, yes. I know it's so painful to wait, but given how ludicrously complex this book is, I think Brandon should take his time to outline these. (He's said recently he's outlining Stormlight 4, which he said could take a year and a half, and I do not doubt that.) These are colossal undertakings and I can definitely see why Brandon would get exhausted writing them, even if he loves what he does. I have some worries about the Stormlight Archive as a whole, but they are good problems to have. With Words of Radiance improving on The Way of Kings, with so much more happening, and Oathbringer bringing it to a whole new scale, will the next book be even better? Well, I didn't think it was possible to top Words of Radiance, and that was totally foolish thinking about it now. So, let's consider the alternative: what if the next books are so amazing that the first book is the weakest one? All in all, many of you are here because you loved The Way of Kings, but I imagine some were turned off from that one, and it could be hard to introduce our friends to this amazing series with The Way of Kings. Still, I suppose if our biggest problem is that the later books are so incredible that the earlier ones pale a bit in comparison, that's a pretty good problem to have. I'd happily take that over a beginning that has all the good stuff there, and then have pointless sequels afterwards. Things are looking really great here, both this book and the series as a whole. Oathbringer is, I daresay, a masterpiece and I can't wait for you to read it.
  2. 69 points
    Hey everyone! It’s finally the day we have all been waiting fo-- Oh wait. No, not that day. You still have to wait a week for Oathbringer. But it is the day that I have been working towards for a couple years now. The idea that it is finally out is a tiny bit terrifying, but Harmony is it exciting as well. Before we get into it, we should all thank Theoryland and all those who contributed to their database. They have done a great service to our fandom. We just wanted something more tailored to us, with more features and active development. Here it is. Arcanum, the Brandon Sanderson Archive: https://wob.coppermind.net Take a look. There are over 7,700 entries in there. We did not simply copy and paste a bunch of text from the old Theoryland database. We hunted down audio from many years back and put it into our new system. The result is this for any audio we have found: You can press play on any entry and get the audio of that exact moment. No longer will you have to take it on someone's word on what Brandon said; you can just press play and listen to it! In the process of getting all these audio sources into Arcanum, we found that there were mistakes in some old transcriptions, or things that were never transcribed at all, existing only in heavily paraphrased form. As such we have worked hard to ensure the accuracy of everything that has been inputted into Arcanum. This is trickier than it may sound, as while our brains are good at registering the meaning of what someone is saying, they aren’t always so good at remembering the exact phrasing. If the transcriber is not careful, those mistakes can add up to the opposite of whatever was intended. Our goal is to have a centralized place where everyone can reliably find all audio and all quotes for many years to come, and do so in such a way that we can have these quotes be as accurate as we can get. WoBs for which we don't have audio (or are directly written by Brandon) are always marked as paraphrased, so you won't have to guess which things are accurate and which are not. Audio is the best way we can ensure accuracy, and so we put it front and center. (One note on Words of Brandon: signing lines can be very long, and Brandon's memory is not perfect. Brandon can make mistakes. Brandon can also change his mind when actually writing a book, instead of just talking about it. We do try to denote things like this whenever we catch them, but, at the end of the day, the books are the true sources.) What's in Arcanum right now? It has been a massive undertaking for our small team to import every WoB ever and update things to our new standards with transcriptions. We have a ton of WoBs--over 7,700 of them. A lot of this is from Theoryland, but there’s a good chunk that is brand-new stuff which is not. We have: Every annotation for the main books, including those for The Way of Kings Every relevant quote from Reddit and Twitter we could find Everything from 2014 to the present is fully imported* That includes several events where the full transcriptions were never made available, which include some never-seen-before WoBs: Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing White Sand vol. 1 Orem signing White Sand vol. 1 release party Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 Calamity release party Bands of Mourning release party Shadows of Self Portland signing Shadows of Self release party Firefight release party We are not yet finished importing everything from Theoryland, but we wanted to make sure that Arcanum was live and ready to go for the release of Oathbringer. We focused on events 2014 and forward as that was the point where the WoB situation began to deteriorate and things started to become harder to find. We do have various things from before 2014, most notably the annotations. We also have the A Memory of Light tour in (the Brandon related stuff, not the Wheel of Time stuff, which we are not importing), much of the Steelheart tour, and much of the Alloy of Law tour. We also have some very old, yet foundational events like the Hero of Ages TWG Q&A (where we learned about Shards for the first time), the Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A, and other text events. All said, we needed our Arcanists to transcribe things and we decided to spend our efforts on new things. After the Oathbringer tour we will get these older years inputted, and when there is audio, get it into our new format. If you're wondering whether Arcanum replaces Theoryland, the answer is yes, but on some very old things, we aren't going to do it just like Theoryland did. Theoryland made an event for every one of Brandon's blogs in the beginning, and we are not doing this. Many of Brandon's blogs are updates, announcements, and other things that are not important to search. We are just grabbing the parts of Brandon's blogs that are relevant. There are also a lot of interviews that Brandon did with media outlets that is more of a promotional nature and aren't important for Arcanum. Long story short, we will finish the project of getting everything relevant from Theoryland to Arcanum, but we felt you still should get Arcanum now, because we can wait a bit on some of the older Theoryland stuff being imported. (*There are some events that have general Q&As which are not transcribed yet, but those contain very little relevant information. We will get them in soon.) Other Big Improvements on Theoryland Arcanum has made big strides over Theoryland in usability. Arcanum has a totally responsive design, so it works great on your phone or desktop. Search Searching functionally on Theoryland, or rather the lack thereof, has become an unfortunate meme in the fandom in recent years. As such we’ve made sure our search works. We’ve also made sure to include options to give you more control to fine-tune the results you get. Citations In Theoryland it’s not immediately obvious how to link directly to an entry. For Arcanum we’ve made sure that it's easy to grab a citation, just click that Share link for the direct URL for the entry. You also get this link even in the search results page. How to help One of our primary goals with Arcanum is to make the transcribing process and input process are transparent, rather than be a mysterious cabal of people who input stuff into Theoryland at a very slow pace. And we need your help, too. The biggest help you can be is if you have a recording of a signing or something Brandon said, upload it! This was why we worked so hard to get Arcanum ready for the Oathbringer tour, so we are no longer in the Shadowdays where audio was hidden in random places. We can now have audio in one centralized location where we can transcribe it. Do you have audio? Adding it is easy! Go find the relevant event--we have most events made except very old one; Oathbringer tour events are already added--and on the upper right of the event, click "Upload Sources". Easy! If you get new audio on the Oathbringer tour, don't delay, let's get it into Arcanum so we can transcribe it immediately. If you have old audio from years past, we'd also love to see get that, too! Right now our Arcanist team has done transcribing efforts, and they are awesome and fast. But our plan was always to let the general public assist in transcribing too. This functionality is currently been the top programming priority, but it isn't ready right now. At the very least, you can upload audio. Stay tuned in our Arcanum forum or our Arcanum channel in Discord, and help coordinate event audio and transcription efforts there! Arcanum is a community effort. We can't do this without you. We hope with your help the Oathbringer tour will go smoothly and we'll get new information to you sooner than ever. In 2018, our software will go open source and if you're a web developer, you can go contribute there! If you're in another fandom and you'd like a system like this, you'll be able to make your own installation of it. Credits Arcanum has been in the works, in one form or another, for over two and a half years now. We're thrilled (and terrified) that you all finally get to see it, and we hope it will be everything you wanted it to be. We want to tell you everyone on the team. Our administrative consists of me, Mestiv, and Chaos. I suppose I'm ultimately in charge of this project, and I've transcribed a ton of things. Mestiv is our amazing coder who suggested all of this audio stuff, which changed everything. He's a rock star, and is the real hero. Chaos does a lot of the managerial work keeping everything organized. He also headed up the design team, and helped whip our Arcanists in the right direction to get things ready for launch. Special thanks to Joe_ST, who coded a previous incarnation of our WoB archive and always has sensible suggestions to improve things. Without Joe, we never could have gotten here. Our Arcanists: We invited a bunch of people who provided input, bug testing, and most importantly, worked their butts off inputting and transcribing things. Argent Blightsong Calderis Comatose Dragon13 Extesian jofwu Kandra Kurkistan Oversleep Pagerunner Windrunner Some special thanks: jofwu is a god at transcribing difficult audio (don't listen to the Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken audio unless you want to cry), Argent is an absolute machine of work-ethic and did so much, and somehow Calderis did all his Arcanum work on his phone. Last, but not least, thank you KChan for the beautiful logo, and moru for design help! We really hope you love Arcanum. There's still plenty of work to do on it, but it's amazing. Best, The Arcanum Team
  3. 57 points
    We have a scoop for you today. Recently, a few of us at 17th Shard got to talk to Brandon, and he had a serious bombshell: he secretly wrote a book. Okay, none of us are shocked but that after the announcement of Bands of Mourning, but what we didn't expect was that the project was actually a fully formed Stormlight novel. Not Stormlight 3, but Stormlight 8. "I've been working on this for a long time," Brandon had said. "I have all the Stormlight books plotted, and it was always the plan to skip certain books. We will get back to Stormlight 3-7 eventually." We questioned further, and discovered the answer was time travel. "Time travel has always been a strong component in the science fiction and fantasy community, and I wanted to do it justice. Temporal magics have a role in the Cosmere, as you've seen with cadmium and bendalloy. I've actually seeded this into the Stormlight novels, if you looked closely." "The Truthwatchers watch every time period," he added. But if this was truly the eighth Stormlight book, how would readers who have just read the first two avoid massive spoilers to the fifth book, which will still be a decisive climax, splitting the Stormlight Archive into two five book series. "Since we are following specific characters into the future, they don't know what happens in book five either," Brandon said. When asked on how it would avoid spoiling who lived and died in books 3-7, Brandon just said, "Yeah, it's a fun first few chapters, when they find it all out." It all makes sense. We're insanely excited to see if Brandon can pull this off. There's no release date for the 500,000 word tome, as it requires rewrites. Brandon joked that Tor may need to invent time travel to develop a machine able to print the massive, door-stopping book. "I want to keep everyone guessing," Brandon said. "The fans, my characters. And now Tor can be added to the list of people guessing what will happen next." When asked if he was simply going mad with power, Brandon cackled and did his best Emperor Palpatine impression. It was comparable to Eric's terrible impression, at least a 7/10. But we are sure that Stormlight 8 will be a 10/10. Though, technically, depending on how you count, it would be a 3/10 or 8/10.
  4. 46 points
    Yesterday, at a signing at JordanCon, Brandon read out something that was very old, which he said we had been waiting for "for a long time". He thought it was about eight or nine years old. It is crazy, and very exciting. It's a piece called The Traveler which is quite cosmere-aware, which Brandon thought he could now reveal. We recommend you just read it with no further introduction, but if you want some analysis, scroll on down. Get hyped. All of this is transcribed on Arcanum, and you can listen to the audio from the man himself at the links below. Here is Brandon's introduction to this piece: And so, here it is. Note, again, this is a very early draft from a long time ago. The Traveler A focused southern breeze made the trees sound like they were chattering. Tiny crisp leaves spreading the news of the Traveler’s return. Pure white leaves, clustered along branches like skeletal limbs. Even the bark clinging to the trees was white. In some lands, white meant purity; in others, it meant death. Here, it didn’t mean a thing. It was simply, normal. The Traveler sat on the mossy white ground, back to the tree, legs crossed idly as he picked at a pomegranate, eating the seeds one by one then spitting out the pits. They fell on the stark moss-covered ground, leaving red juice like blood running across a sterile white floor. To say he wore rags would have be an insult to many a goodwife who kept her washing rags in much better shape than the Traveler's costume. Ragged brown and black canvas, tattered cloak, and scruffy beard, rubbed dark with a black material that might have been soot — or ash. The leaves suddenly fluttered excitedly behind him, and a strange puff of wind blew across the trunks. A moment later, a figure in simple gray robes walked into the clearing. Clean-shaven and silver-haired, he had the look of an aged scribe, not haughty, but tired. “So, you’re back,” the elderly visitor said. “Did I leave? I am the lingering odor you can never quite locate, my friend. Just when you think I've faded you open your cupboard and find, in an overpowering reveal, that I've merely been… ripening.” “Hmph, that’s a new look for you.” The Traveler looked down at his ragged clothing. “I’ve been learning to blend in. Hard to do that in one of my normal costumes.” “I doubt you’ll ever be the type to blend in.” “You’d be surprised!” “Is that soot in your hair?” “Maybe.” The elderly man sighed, walking across the short clearing and settling himself down on a large protruding tree root. “You can’t keep doing this.” The Traveler continued to eat his seeds, though he had started to chew them up rather than spitting out the pits. “You will just make things worse.” “Ati and Leras are dead,” the Traveler said, picking a piece of seed out from between his teeth. The elderly visitor said nothing, and the Traveler eyed him, leaning in closely, studying the man's eyes. The pupils were rimmed with a silver far too metallic to be natural, at least for a human. “You sly old lizard!” the Traveler said, pointing. “You already knew! You were watching! And here you were chastising me.” “I did NOT interfere,” the elderly man said. ”You meddle in things we promised to leave alone. Things that we—” Traveler held up a finger, interrupting him, then slowly he pointed at the older man. ”I. Made. No. Promise.” “You made your choice. Why now seek for things you so eagerly denied? My friend, it’s the dangerous desire, the lust for power best untouched, that created the situation in the first place.” The Traveler did not reply. The two sat for a time, listening to the winds through the garrulous trees. “Did you… find what you were seeking?” the elder man finally asked. The Traveler shrugged, picking at another seed and nibbling on it. “You will not find a way to restore what you have lost, old friend,” the aged man said softly. ”It is impossible.” “You don’t know that. The old rules no longer hold.” The Traveler turned the pomegranate over in his fingers. ”Besides, I’ve heard of a place… It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. This isn’t about the dead… or it’s not JUST about the dead, at least.” He dropped the fruit to the ground, wiping his fingers on his riding coat. “So it’s a simple vendetta, then,” the aged man said, sighing. “How many years have you lived, and you still can’t learn the wisdom of just letting go?” “A simple vendetta?” the Traveler said. He rose, stalking up to the older man, holding out a finger and touching the man's chest. “You saw what Ati nearly did.” The Traveler leaned down, face even with that of his older companion. “I would not think it MY vendetta that should worry you, old friend.” Isn't that crazy? It's obviously set right after Mistborn Era 1, right after Hero of Ages, with Hoid (the Traveler) talking to Frost. Not only that but it really sounds like they are on Yolen as well. Remember in The Way of Kings, the part two epigraphs were a mysterious letter of cosmere significance? That was sent to Hoid, from Frost. Then, in Words of Radiance, Frost sent a reply. This is crazy. What do you think? Also note, there's lots more JordanCon to transcribe in the JordanCon event in Arcanum. Come help out by signing up for an account, going to the Sources page, and hitting Edit. Come into our Discord in the #arcanum channel and we can help you out, or go here for a guide on how to do that.
  5. 40 points
    (This special prerelease, spoiler-free review is specifically approved by Team Sanderson.) It's safe to say that Words of Radiance has the most pre-release hype of any of Brandon's solo works to-date. And it makes sense. The Way of Kings was Brandon's best work at the time, and so everyone is wondering, will Words of Radiance live up to the high bar set by book one? This is a sequel that has a ton riding on it. After all, despite the first book's length, there's still so much more of Roshar to explore. There's so many places that The Stormlight Archive can go from here, that it has been hard to predict what would happen in this book, much less a few books down the line. Words of Radiance could fall on its face. So, does it live up to the hype? Storms yes it does. "Of course you'd like the book," you immediately say. "You're a 17th Sharder, you'll love anything Brandon writes." I'd say this is somewhat true. None of us would be here if we didn't like what Brandon's done, but when you are a hyper fan, you set these books up to a high standard. You can see flaws that no one else sees, simply because you are so invested. For a while, I worried that Words of Radiance would end up like The Well of Ascension, which I have some problems with to say the least. I loved Well's ending (which made it entirely worthwhile), but rereading it is a slog for me. Well of Ascension was Brandon's first true sequel, and it shows a bit. Obviously, Brandon has grown a vast deal from almost a decade ago when that book came out, but it was still a worry. Sequels are not easy, to say the least, but it looks like finishing up The Wheel of Time really honed Brandon’s sequel chops. I also worried because--and this may sound like absolute heresy to many of you--I didn't immediately love The Way of Kings when it came out. I've come to love it after rereading it, but the first time I read it, well, while the Battle of the Tower was awesome, I had expected Part Five to be more. In all the Mistborn books the final part of the book contained even more awesomeness, but Way of Kings's final part was admittedly more of an extended prologue to the rest of the series. It took me a while to adjust to The Way of Kings and learn to love on its own merits instead of comparing it to Mistborn, which is a very different type of novel. I say this to convince you that no, we don't believe Brandon Windruns on water. So when I say Words of Radiance is absolutely phenomenal, an amazing achievement, and my favorite Brandon book to date, I'm not being a hyperbolic fan. It really is that good. It takes everything that was great about The Way of Kings and takes it up at least five notches--maybe ten or fifteen notches, even, depending on how you measure your notches. No matter which way you slice this massive tome with a Shardblade (in which case, can I have your Blade? Actually, that might be a bad idea), Words of Radiance is incredible. And when I say that everything is taken up a level, I'm again not being hyperbolic. Did you enjoy the interludes in book one? They are better and more plot important now. The epigraphs here are similarly more awesome and terrifying. The interior art? When you hold the book in your hands and see the gorgeous Shallan endpapers, you'll fall in love. Dan Dos Santos (artist extraordinaire, who did the beautiful US Warbreaker cover) does some art work and it is oh so excellent. You might think that Words of Radiance, being longer than The Way of Kings, would be a chore to get through, but you couldn't be more wrong. The plotting is so much better here. You'll be amazed by how much actually happens in this book. Every part of the book is focused and tight, and it has incredible, thrilling moments all along the way. Do you want to see more magic? Oh, we see more. Words of Radiance expands on the world and characters in such a natural way that you'll be thinking, "of course this is how it should have been. There was no other way." Brandon weaves together character development, tight plotting, and the world and magic of Roshar in a way that I can only describe as masterful. Brandon reveals so much in Words of Radiance. Things I expected to have to wait at least two or three more books to find out are explained in full by the end of the book, which leaves me to wonder "If he’s giving us this information now, what is he holding back?" Not only is the story great, it also has some of the most beautiful writing I've read--I teared up more than once, and that's rare for me--and it also has some of the most haunting writing I've ever read. And it manages to be hilarious, too (let me say that two characters meet in a rather unexpected way and leave it at that). It pulls at your emotions the entire way. It's relentless like that. You can tell how much he has grown as a writer in the years since he wrote The Way of Kings. And then, that ending. That ending. Guys, I'm not trying to deliberately hype it up for you, but you haven't seen anything yet. I had thought of giving you a summary with the spoilers heavily redacted, as in: "Then REDACTED REDACTED with REDACTED, because why not?" But I decided even that was too spoilery. All you really need to know is that there were four separate moments where I screamed "REDACT YEAH!" (insert your favorite storming swear here) in my empty apartment. Note, this was at Very Late O'Clock. So, to my poor neighbors, I would say that I'm sorry, but when you read it, you will understand the awesomeness. It was totally justified for me to scream and wake you up in the middle of the night. Pinky swear. And when the storm passes, after you think days, weeks, and months after you finish as you try to sleep "Wow, that was incredible" (I did this five times that I'm aware of), does Words of Radiance still hold up to a less hyped up mind? It really does, and there's so much depth in the book to dissect. There's also a deeper reason for why it has stuck with me. I love The Stormlight Archive for a lot of reasons, like its deep world and extensive magic. I'm a sucker for that, as many of you on 17th Shard are. But there's something more. As a genre, fantasy, with George R. R. Martin and others, has been trending towards darker, more "realistic" worlds. Stormlight Archive is not that. One criticism I hear about Brandon's works is that his characters aren't gritty or real enough. Well, you know what? I like heroes being heroes. Brandon writes about heroes. When you think about it, that's what the Knights Radiant and the Stormlight Archive are all about. What does it mean to truly be a hero? Having people try and struggle to do the right thing is fascinating, and allows for opportunities where you literally scream with joy (as I did) and just stand up and cheer. I'm so glad Brandon bucks that dark fantasy trend and gives me something to love. Wrap Up Words of Radiance is truly an achievement. It expands on its predecessor, fulfilling the promises it sets up, and manages to surpass it. There is no question about it: this is my favorite Brandon Sanderson novel. When I read The Way of Kings, I had thought that while it was (at the time) Brandon's best written novel, it wasn't my favorite, but that The Stormlight Archive series absolutely had the potential to be Brandon's best series. Well, that was entirely right. There's no doubt about it. Out of five stars, this book is ten heartbeats, with a 2:1 stars to heartbeats ratio. If you adored The Way of Kings, you will be blown away by Words of Radiance. Even if book one didn't thrill you, however, I can't see how you won't be enthralled by this volume. It really is that good. You'll be sold on the entire series with this. Fire and hammer forge a sword; time and neglect rust it away. And the same is true for The Stormlight Archive. Yes, we have seen the time and maybe even felt some neglect, but what Brandon was out of sight doing tempered his skill as a writer, and this book is the reward. The Knights Radiant will stand again, and this book is proof that they will stand for a long time. Thanks to Josh for his contribution to this review. Words of Radiance comes out in the US on March 4th, 2014, and in other territories on March 6th, 2014. Talk about the book in our Words of Radiance board.
  6. 38 points
    “Beautiful destroyer. Blunt and effective. Of all those I've claimed over this brief thousand years, you are the only one I think just might be able to understand me.” -Ruin, Hero of Ages, ch. 57. [CONTAINS OATHBRINGER SPOILERS] I once listened to a speaker presenting on the story-telling potential of role-playing MMOs. The thesis was that, through the mechanics of the open-ended game play, the players became story-tellers, crafting unique collaborative narratives through the actions and interactions of their created characters. The presentation was very well done, and I was pleased to see alternative forms of story-telling (focusing on fantasy!) getting some of the spotlight. However, I wondered about the boundaries of this story-telling model: which stories were allowed in, and which were barred at the door? “What about stories of non-violence?” I asked. While there were options available for those stories, blacksmiths or farmers, the presenter admitted that it would be difficult to advance in the games without violence of some kind, and the story-telling potential would thus be limited. Violence is often a staple of fantasy. One of the escapist attractions of the genre is that feeling of power you feel when witnessing a character you identify with have a moment of awesome. While some of us may be martial arts experts or hardened soldiers in our daily lives, many of us are not, and reading about epic heroes laying waste to their evil enemies can be an empowering and gratifying experience for those of us with frustrations we are unable to take a fist or bolt of magical energy to. There's a reason The Emperor's Soul is about Shai, and not the simple life version of her that would be created if she used her final Essence Mark. One of the reasons we read fantasy is to see extraordinary characters doing amazing things. It is important, however, to question the violence we see when reading. Is it realistic? What do these moments of awesome cost the characters? In my opinion, the cosmere books do a good job of providing diverse moments of awesome, unlike the MMOs from that presentation: Raoden reviving Elantris in a burst of light by scraping the chasm line into the ground, Sazed ascending and recreating the world with the knowledge in his metalminds, or Shallan discovering the secret of the Oathgates through scholarship and ingenuity. On the other hand, many moments of awesome in the cosmere are moments of great violence. So where does this leave us as readers? Are we, like Re-Shephir, creatures “of instinct and curiosity, drawn to violence and pain like scavengers to the scent of blood” (Oathbringer, ch. 30)? I don't think so, and furthermore, I don't think Brandon wants his readers to be mere spectators of blood sport. In particular, Brandon's characterization of Vin and Dalinar, arguably the two most violent figures in the cosmere, displays a sensitive and nuanced approach to depicting violence, thrilling readers with incredible fights scenes, without glorifying killing and death. Awe and disgust may be opposites, but they are brought together in Vin and Dalinar: the beautiful destroyers. The Mistborn Trilogy is known for its gorgeous fight scenes. Mistborn possess a grace that few cosmere killers can match. When Vin sets out with Zane to attack Cett, she doesn’t just go to make a dent in Cett’s forces. The killing is secondary, while Vin’s primary purpose is to awe Cett with her power: While we see men screaming and falling in this scene, Vin captivates the majority of the reader’s attention. She is the “terrible weapon”, a Mistborn at the height of her power. Even without atium, in this scene, Vin demonstrates to Cett’s entire army that none can stand against her. In many ways, this should be a triumphant moment for Vin. After being trapped between two armies, fearful and paralyzed with indecision, in this scene she is unleashed and allowed to stretch her abilities to their full potential. And, after patiently waiting for this moment, it is difficult not to be in awe of her. But at what cost? After decimating Cett’s forces, Vin comes across Cett and his son, one of whom she is convinced is Mistborn. Vin seeks to solve her problems with Cett through violence, but when she finally reaches him, she finds she cannot. Though she commands him to fight her, neither Cett nor his son, Gneorndin, can respond to her challenge. Brandon excites us by setting Vin loose to use her powers, but even the incredible, dazzling violence Vin unleashes is not an answer to her problems. The next morning, when Elend finds Vin, she is consumed with regret, confessing that while her old crew leader, Camon, was brutal and terrible, she likely killed more people in a single night than he had in his entire life. She goes on to say: “My entire life has been death, Elend. Death of my sister, the death of Reen. Crewmembers dead around me, Kelsier falling to the Lord Ruler, then my own spear in the Lord Ruler’s chest. I try to protect, and tell myself that I’m escaping it all. And then…I do something like I did last night” (The Well of Ascension, ch. 44). Following her massacre, Vin struggles to come to terms with being both surviving and causing great violence. This personal conflict is eventually resolved in Hero of Ages, when Vin uses the power of Preservation to destroy herself and Ruin, but along the way Brandon is careful to remind his readers of the human cost associated with his awesome fight scenes, both for the victims, and for the destroyer herself. Brandon continues his discussion of the relationship between beauty and destruction in Oathbringer. Like Vin, violence gives Dalinar a sense of purpose: Dalinar, and the reader along with him, fall under the Nergaoul’’s seductive spell. This moment is one of many where Dalinar is described as being more than a man. Here, he is judgement, sent by the Almighty to test the skill and worthiness of his enemies. While fighting with Blade and Plate might lack some of the otherworldly elegance of Mistborn or Windrunners, Dalinar’s fight scenes in Oathbringer remain captivating, even in their brutality. After hearing about the might and power of the Blackthorn in his prime, the reader is encouraged here to indulge as they enjoy watching Dalinar be awesome (sorry Lift, but you can’t hog it all to yourself). The way Brandon describes Dalinar in these fight scenes resembles how he describes Vin: both come to think of themselves as concepts or roles, rather than as individual people: Vin as Mistborn, and Dalinar as judgement. And yet, even the Blackthorn, who, despite his later redemption is likely the most brutal character in the cosmere, retains enough humanity to recognize the horror of what he is doing: Dalinar’s Shards and incredible fighting skills give him great power to defeat his enemies, but Brandon is quick to point out that there is a cost to getting lost in the glory of battle by emphasizing the destruction Dalinar has caused, and by highlighting that some of Dalinar’s own men also fell to his onslaught. After defeating the enemy general, Kalanor, Dalinar struggles to feel satisfied with his victory: It is this voice which drives Dalinar to continue his killing spree beyond what is necessary to win the battle. He wonders, “Shouldn’t the strongest rule? Why should he sit back so often, listening to men chat instead of war?” (Oathbringer, ch. 26). It is only after the Thrill almost drives Dalinar to kill his brother Gavilar that Dalinar stops and realizes what he has done. Gavilar’s celebration of Dalinar’s great victory is undermined by Dalinar’s feelings of guilt and shame for almost killing his brother. Despite Dalinar’s aptitude for war and fighting, and his oft emphasized disdain for conversation and politics, his great skill and power are not enough to satisfy him. Like Vin, Dalinar’s power and might leave him unfulfilled and unable to solve his problems. When he finally remembers burning the Rift, the voices of Evi and the children he killed haunt him: “Hypocrite, they said. Murderer. Destroyer” (Oathbringer, ch. 100). As he remembers his past, the actions that made Dalinar a fearsome warrior are a source of torment, rather than triumph, for him. Throughout Oathbringer, Dalinar often remarks about how difficult it is to adjust his thinking and unify people with politics and persuasion rather than by brute force, and how ill suited he is to the task of brokering peace. Both Hero of Ages and Oathbringer end with their respective destroyers overcoming inner turmoil to find some measure of self-acceptance. Vin determines that she can destroy to protect and is able to use Preservation in a way Leras never could. In doing so, she overcomes destruction incarnate by defeating Ruin, arguably the greatest destroyer the in the cosmere. Faced with a seemingly unstoppable force in Odium and the Fused, Brandon makes the reader think Dalinar may succumb to his past of destruction and violence and become that which he set out to defeat: Odium’s Champion. Armed with a book and, more importantly, the convictions it has taught him, Dalinar refuses to be a destroyer any longer. While Vin conquers destruction, she does so through continued violence. With Dalinar, Brandon takes his examination of violence further. Despite all of the breath-taking fight scenes in Oathbringer, the most awe-inspiring scene in the novel, and the crux of the epic climax, is the moment Dalinar, surrounded by gloryspren, refuses to give Odium his pain and opens the perpendicularity. In that moment, Daliner bests Odium, not with force, but by taking responsibility for his actions. Similarly, Dalinar overcomes Nergaoul with understanding, rather than a contest of force: While his history of struggle and violence is what allows Dalinar to capture Nergaoul, the capture itself, and the subsequent defeat of Odium’s forces, does not come about through violence on Dalinar’s part. Instead, Dalinar embraces the Thrill, thanking it for what it did for him in the past, and drawing it in close. He convinces it to rest in the gemstone. Like Vin overcoming Ruin, in this scene Dalinar, the destroyer, overcomes a divine force of destruction in a captivating way, but he does it without resorting to violence himself. In both Vin and Dalinar, Brandon sets out heroes who struggle with their self definition in the face of the violence they have committed against others. Brandon juxtaposes the hauntingly beautiful action sequences against the emotional impact those acts of violence have on the human soul, allowing his readers to enjoy the display while still being critical of that enjoyment. In their greatest moments, Brandon shows Vin and Dalinar overcoming violence and destruction, despite their status as destroyers, demonstrating that the ‘moments of awesome’ fantasy is known for do not always need to be violent ones, and that the beauty of destruction comes at a cost. _________ Post Script: As it turns out, Brandon himself has commented on the concept of beautiful but terrible violence in the Well of Ascension Annotations. Unfortunately, I did not find this quote until after I finished the essay above, but it has probably been bouncing around in the back of my head since I originally read it way back when. Enjoy Brandon’s take on the violence in Well of Ascension: Image Credit: "Vin in the Mists" by Xenia de Vries. You can also find her work on Instagram! Used with permission.
  7. 38 points
    Shortly ago, late this night, Brandon has completed the first draft of Oathbringer, the third Stormlight Archive novel. This draft weighs in at a tiny word count of 461,233 words--which, as a comparison, is longer than Way of Kings (which was 387,000), Words of Radiance (at about 400,000), and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (at 455,000 words). So, you know, it'll fit right in your pocket. Brandon says, of course, there is much work to do and that it will be out November 2017. In the process of editing, generally the word count is trimmed quite a bit as prose tightens. What's next for Oathbringer? Peter Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant, explained on Reddit the process: So that's the process! There really is much to do still. (An unrelated, but interesting fact in that Reddit thread is that Brandon sells twice as many ebooks as print, which is pretty insane, I think.) Needless to say, after Edgedancer I can't wait to see what is in store in Oathbringer. If it ends up being longer than Words of Radiance--which I imagine it easily will--I can't wait to have an even bigger epic doorstop. Er... I mean, blunt force weapon. Er, I mean... paperweight! All of those things and more. It will be very multifunctional, I'm sure.
  8. 34 points
    Exciting news! The Stormlight novella--with Lift--that is coming out this fall with the short story collection, Arcanum Unbounded, is now complete, according to comments on Brandon on Reddit. This short story collection is sounding more and more awesome as time goes on. It will contain Mistborn: Secret History, and every published cosmere short story, like Sixth of Dusk, The Eleventh Metal (which was seen in the Mistborn Adventure Game), and The Emperor's Soul. Someone asked on Reddit if it would have more Marsh viewpoints and Brandon responded that it probably would not. It already had stories from Scadrial, and it was really missing Roshar. A few people asked if there would be a Nalthis short story in the collection, and Brandon's responses have been: "If I can squeeze in something from Nalthis, I will." and "It's on the list of 'things to do for the collection if possible' but I need to get the Stormlight story in first." So, maybe? But don't be disappointed if not. Also in Arcanum Unbounded will be something amazing for cosmere buffs: Khriss (the writer of the Ars Arcanums in each book) will have an introduction to each planet, and it will contain a map of solar systems in the cosmere. Hype. Of course, Brandon has a ton of other things on his agenda, like this little thing called Oathbringer, the third Stormlight novel. Well, it's past the halfway mark now on its first draft! UPDATE: Moshe Feder, Brandon's editor, has finished editing the Lift novella. He reveals the Lift novella's length: 40,000 words! To compare, that's longer than The Emperor's Soul, and the long Lift interlude in Words of Radiance was about 10,000 words long. This means Arcanum Unbounded is going to give you a ton of value for your money, especially if you haven't read The Emperor's Soul yet. Moshe only has glowing things to say about the novella, saying it "glows with 'awesomeness'" and calls it a "new mini-masterpiece." So, get hyped. The article above also has been changed to indicate that, according to many sellers, Arcanum Unbounded does contain the Emperor's Soul.
  9. 30 points
    Back in September Brandon went to Salt Lake City Comic-Con, and 17th Shard went as well. Josh and Mi'ch were able to get recordings of over 12 hours worth of signings. Unfortunately for copyright reasons we couldn't share the audio publicly but finally the transcription is done. It's a Koloss Head-Munching Day miracle! I would like to apologize for this taking so long and I hope the rest of you are as excited as I am! Special thanks again to Josh and Mi'ch for making this possible. Also thank you to Windrunner for proofing everything. There's some very cool stuff in here, so let's get started! Q: I heard once that Robert Jordan had like 10GB of just pure text… B: Yeah, now most of that was the sort of stuff that ends up in the glossaries... Most of it you wouldn’t want to read, ‘cause most of it is very boring stuff. They’re putting a lot of that into an encyclopedia that will be coming out next fall, they just released the date on that. Not this November but next November. Q: My one question is how do you make it so writing isn’t work, because if I’m writing for work I don’t write as well. How do you get in the mind set? B: You know for me, taking a walk before hand, listening to some awesome music, and just imagining why this scene is going to be awesome and the emotional impact of it really helps. But at the same time writing is always going to be a little bit work and there is no getting around that. I mean, it’s hard sometimes and so-- I don’t know. For me I’ve enjoyed it more as it has become work and I can devote more time to it and things like that. But… Try that. Q: Just get in the mood… B: Listen to music and put myself in that scene, what it feels like, what it sounds like, smells like. Just put myself here and think about what is going to make it incredible and I’ll get really excited about writing it. Excitement translates I think at least for me onto the page. Q: What were these Szeth things for... B:Those were little plastic things you snap out and he stand up. So he’s a little figure to have at your cubicle or something like that. Q: I just saw you post about leaving them in places on twitter… B: We will be doing things like that for other books as well so keep an eye out for that. Q: I actually have a weird question. From the Mistborn series it says there are 16 allomantic metals but then you go into Alloy of Law and the 16 are listed there, minus the atium and another one, so are there really 18 metals? B: Well, you see those two were not really metals. Those were pieces, fragments, of a god. Q: I thought that might be it but the symbols are the same above them from-- the atium symbol is the same as-- B: No, it’s a different symbol, it might be reversed though. Q: So was The Emperor’s Soul before Elantris? B: It’s after. Q: So are you going to write a book that explains what happened to the empire then? B: You will find out more about it eventually, yes. But it’s not my main project right now. We’ll see how it happens eventually. Q-f: Is Dalinar clean shaven or does he wear a beard? B: It depends on the day, and the time. Dalinar is clean-shaven through most of the books you have seen. Q-f: That’s what I thought but he [man with the woman asking the question] thought not. Q-m: The audiobook reader just gives me an impression of a wizened person with a well-kept beard. B: Let’s see if I’ve got… if I’ve got enough internet… Q-m: I get the impression that Sadeas has a creepy mustache from the audiobook as well. B:Beards are not in fashion in Alethkar right now. Q: Which is why Kaladin shaves it off. B: Let’s see, Way of Kings, I’ve got the artwork I used as-- [shows secret canon drawing] So there is the concept art we used for Dalinar. Q: The magic in The Emperor’s Soul, is that the only magic you’ve written that there is a spiritual part to it in your magic trio? B: Umm… All of them have some little dabbling in it, it is the most related to the Spiritual Realm-- Of the ones I have shown, certainly it is the most related. Q: How many of the Mistborn do you plan on writing still? B: Mistborn, when I pitched it to my editor, I pitched it as a spectrum running from an epic fantasy series eventually arriving at a space opera, with Allomancers on spaceships. So we have several hundred more years of history. So right now I’m doing a few more Wax and Wayne books, the Alloy of Law era. Then we will jump forward, I’ve got a modern trilogy that’s going to be like 1980’s level technology. And then maybe near-future and then full-blown science fiction space opera. Q: I had a question about White Sand, we both read the draft of it, it’s going to graphic novel. What’s your involvement with that? Are you kind of passing over the draft? B: We passed the book to the writer, the writer is sending us scripts, and we are commenting on them and things like that. There are a few big changes I’ve made to the story, that it needed, and things like that. But we are letting the script writer write the scripts and then we are reading them over. Q: What were the allomantic metals based on? B: The allomantic metals were based on two main concepts, magic that feels one step science one step superstition so I was reading things like alchemy and I wanted something that was one half chemistry, one half alchemy. The idea of eating the metals and metabolizing them was really interesting to me because it’s kind of almost scientific but not really. That mixed with me wanting to have a thieving crew have different powers that would help different members of a crew and I built the powers to match people like Ham and Breeze. Q: In Warbreaker how did you come up with the idea of using colors for magic? B: You know it’s the goofiest story. A lot of them have really awesome stories and this one is just goofy. In this one I had written Elantris and written Mistborn and they are both kind of dark and my editor said to me, I kid you not, “Your next book needs some color to it” and I said “Oh I’ll do a color-based magic system then”. And that’s where it came from. Q: I just started Part 3 and I actually went over to your booth to ask them because I was confused. There are different symbols for the allomantic metals but I only recognize one of them here. Why are there different symbols you don’t know about at the begining of different parts? B: Part of it is they don’t know all the metals yet, in the books, and so that’s a hint. Part of it is because that their writing system is more than 16 letters and so there are symbols that do not represent a metal, necessarily, or an allomantic metal so they can-- They write with them as well. It is both a writing system and each symbol is a metal. Q: I love that book [The Rithmatist], the world, I’m looking forward to those… B: The sequel is going to be very fun, it’s called “The Aztlanian”, it’s taking place in South America. Q: Where in South America? B: Well, I’ve rebuilt South America so it’s kind of weird. The Aztek empire, which is the main name the Northerners have for it, they call it something else. The problem is I shrunk the planet, so I had to smash South America and Central America a little bit into each other so the islands that they are is it South America? Central America? What is it? Q: So is it Spanish-speaking? Or… B: No, the Spaniards got fought off, they actually speak Nahautl. Q: No Portuguese or Spanish? It’s all… B: There are a couple Portuguese/Spanish islands but-- They grabbed a few of them but the main empire speaks Nahuatl. Q: My background is twenty years of military, and as I’ve been reading your Way of Kings, I’ve found that your insight into what it like to be a member of the service, all the mental trials including post-traumatic stress disorder is all very well thought-out and I’m curious how you came across that knowledge. B: Lots of interviews and lots of reading on forums. People who post their hearts and souls on-- if you find the right forums, where people are among like-minded individuals, you can watch like a fly-on-the-wall and see what people are saying and how they are feeling. Because I strive for authenticity, that’s what I-- whenever someone is feeling I want it to be authentic, and the more far removed from my own experience the better it is, if that makes sense to me, to get it into my books. So I try very hard for that. Q: In fact I’m going to be suggesting to the Veterans’ Administration to use the series for treatment for PTSD. There are literally some things in there I’ve never seen anyone actually understand or get before. Some of my military friends have just been in absolute tears after reading your book. B: That is an honor to hear. Q (different from above): Did you do the same thing with Kaladin’s depression? B: Yes I did but that one is a little closer to home, [several people in Brandon's life have depression]. Q: I have depression as well, it’s pretty inspiring to me B: I had never seen a hero who had depression and I was like “I need to do a real, legitimate that it’s not about their depression, they just have it” Does that make sense? Like whenever I read a book it is all about them having depression. And I’m like “No, your life is not about you having depression, your life-- that is part of your life but--” So it was very important to me that I get that one right. Q: I just, yeah I just find your book so inspiring so I just really appreciate you doing all this for us. Q: Hemalurgy, does the person having the metal shoved through them have to die? B: It has to rip off a piece of their soul. That normally results in death. Q: Because I’m thinking you’re going a bit into the future, surgery, precise things like that… B: It’s plausible but-- I mean it would leave the person like-- it’s ripping off a piece of their soul. But the same thing happens when you give up your Breath. So you’re giving up a piece of your soul. There are-- It’s plausible you could take off pieces of a soul without killing the person. Q: And all the different powers kind of run off the same type of power? Like Breath is the same as Stormlight. B: Yeees, they have their own different sort of layers to them. It depends on the Shard that is there and things like that but yes there are little differences but it is more like the differences between alternating current and direct current, they’re both electricity. So if you know how to use them. Q: ‘Cause Szeth’s not going to be getting any new Breaths on Roshar so I was thinking about that. Q: I do have one question, A Memory of Light couldn’t be better, except for the Padan Fain thing. B: Yeah, the Padan Fain thing is that I have a little bit of regret on that one. That’s the one thing-- You see he didn’t leave anything about Fain at all. Just completely blank. That was worrisome to me. The only thing he said was “Padan Fain cannot be Gollum” actually, he wrote that in the notes. So I was left with trying to figure out what to do and in the end I feel it just ended up feeling tacked on because there were so many other things *I* was interested in doing and Padan Fain I had never really enjoyed as a character that much. You are seeing my biases come through on that. Looking back at it I’m like “I really should have done something more with him”. That’s the big one that I feel I would change, if I could change something. Q: Cause it’s kind of a threat that goes away… B: The other one is I would’ve liked for the viewpoint chapters from Demandred to be in the book instead of separated out and put in that charity anthology, but I didn’t have any say in that one. Q: How did you come up with Shardblades? B: Here’s the thing, I’ve seen a lot of fantasy art-- I love fantasy books, right-- and people often depict these enormous swords, which are completely impractical. So one of my pitches for Stormlight was “I want a world where they had to have weapons like they depict in this fantasy art” and I retrofitted it, what would they need these to actually fight? So that was the pitch for myself on Shardblades. And I was also annoyed that the coolest magic swords were in a science fiction story, Star Wars, I want cool magic swords that are not in a science fiction story. Q: How did you come up with the idea for the cosmere? Because I just think it is the greatest idea ever and the more I learn about it the less I realize I know. B: It was partially me wanting to do a big fantasy epic that also had room for standalones, I wanted to do both and so the idea of the hidden epic behind the scenes was really appealing for me ‘cause it let me do everything I wanted to do. Q: What differentiates a minor Shardworld like First of the Sun? B: The amount of Investiture, and whether there is actually a Shard in presence. Q: I’m assuming there is not one there? B: There is not one there. Q: So it’s like a Splintered one from something else? B: No what you’ll find is that the worlds were all created with a level of-- a little bit of sort of ambient magic. What you’ll find in worlds like that is things like, Shadows for Silence and things like this, the magic, it’s not necessarily “people with magic” it’s you can interact with nature... Q: So there is inherent investiture... B: There is inherent investiture in every world created but you are going to see-- You aren’t going to find Mistborn on a world like that but what you might find is a way there are magic aspects to the setting. Spren could exist on a world like that but they would be like the minor spren, you wouldn’t find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren. Q: Do you have other minor Shardworlds? B: Yeah I have a bunch of them, and which ones are worth telling a story in will depend on when I get around to it whether they’re worth it. Q: Who is Wit? B: He is a character who has been in all of the books so far and is somehow getting between all of the different planets these are taking place on and is somehow surviving the fact that these books are hundreds of years apart. Q: I have a good idea that he’s a Mistborn. B: Well he did steal a bead of lerasium. Q: And he has extra breath because he said it was easier with perfect pitch B: He did indeed say that didn’t he… I will eventually write a book series that is about him, but it is a ways off. Q: Stormlight, I know it heals wounds and stuff like that but can it heal illnesses like colds? B: Yes it can. Q: So if Kaladin suddenly contracted brain cancer... B: It’s plausible-- it depends, see what it does is it takes your body and makes it align with your spirit, and partially through the filter of how you view yourself. So if you view yourself as sickly, then you won’t. Q: Who is your favorite character you've written, if you had to pick one? B: That’s a hard question, I can’t pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I’ve been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It’s whoever I’m working on at the time. Q: Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too. B: Kaladin has really worked out well. It’s interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002, did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it’s cool to see it finally working. Q: So there is one part in Alcatraz where he notices that Bastille has red hair and goes “No that’s important I can’t tell you until later” Is there any significance to that? B: Yeah, her dad has red hair so it’s a clue that she’s the princess because she’s the daughter of the king and she dyes her hair because she doesn’t want anyone to know. Q: Where do you come up with your leaders, because they’re phenomenal B: It takes a lot of reading and thinking and coming up with who the character is. I don’t know how do any of the characters-- they just kind of come, but there is a lot of hanging out on forums where people are talking about leadership positions in the military so I can kind of get a view on how they’re thinking. Sun Tzu was very helpful as well. Q: What’s your inspiration? B: It really depends on the book. If you want to know the inspiration for the Mistborn books, you can google Sanderson’s First Law. It’s an essay I wrote about how I came up with the magic system. That’ll help you see where some of the ideas came from and how I take them and use them. Q: What about The Stormlight Archive? B: Stormlight, the original inspiration was the storm of Jupiter. The big storm that rotates around Jupiter, and I wanted to do something that had a perpetual storm like that. Q: So I’ve been told there is one character who is in each of the series. B: Yes there is. Q: Is that Wit by chance? B: It is. Q: Does he show up in some of the others? B: Yes, in this [TFE] he shows up briefly, Kelsier meets with a blind beggar at one point who is introduced by the name Hoid and that is the name Wit uses through most of the books. If you read Warbreaker he’s in that one, there is a storyteller who uses dust and sand. He’s in most of them WoK is where you see him the most he's not in the other ones nearly as much but he’s mentioned by name in most of them. Q: What is your favorite color? B: Maroon Q: My brother and I disagreed, at the very end of WoR, the sword that-- Is it the same as in Warbreaker? B: Yes it is, in fact Vasher is in the book. Q: Is that Vasher?!? [Presumably referring to Nale] B: No, look for somebody making color metaphors and when they are waking up they feel like they can sense other people’s presence and things like that. There is one character who is Vasher. He doesn’t go by that name anymore. Q: Do you have a definite number of how many worldjumpers there are? B: There are not a set number, I know all the main ones though. Q: But you are not going to [audio obscured] B: You’ll know them all better by the time you have read more books. Q: So at the end of Words of Radiance, was that Nightblood? B: It is Nightblood! Vasher is in there too if you look for him. Q: Are they going to be in the next…? B: You will see a lot more of Nightblood, you’ll see a little bit more of Vasher. Q: Miles Hundredlives, is he possessed by a svrakiss from Elantris? B: *long pause* That’s a RAFO, you are onto something… I wouldn’t say possessed, but influenced by something is definitely a possibility. You are not 100% on. Q: How does Nightblood work on Roshar? B: Well Nightblood feeds on Investiture, which is the general life-force/magic-force in the cosmere and so he can feed on basically any source of magical energy. Q: And do other magics work on other worlds? B: I’ve been describing it lately more like you see DC current and AC current, where they’re similar things but slightly different. It is possible to make magics work on other planets, some it’s easier than others. Q: I’m not sure if it was duralumin or something but the Feruchemical ability to store connection, is that how Hoid worldhops? It stores Connection to another world? B: It’s a good question, it doesn’t have anything to do with worldhopping *but* what it does do is once you have worldhopped you can change your Connection to which planet you are on, which helps you with magic systems. Q: So do Inquisitors, when they use Allomancy, have to actually ingest the metals? B: They actually do. So what is happening is Hemalurgy rips off a piece of one person’s soul and spikes it somebody else and so it is basically taking off the piece of someone’s soul that makes them an Allomancer and adding it to someone else instead and so then they act as an Allomancer just as it would happen. Q: So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture. B: That’s correct. Q: So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture? B: Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a miss-made, evil Shardblade… more miss-made than evil but yes. Q: But a Shardblade wouldn’t shear through Nightblood. B: Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact a wrote Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher’s backstory. Q: Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after Way of Kings? B: No, it takes place before, it’s a prequel meaning I wrote WoK and then I went back in time and told Vasher’s backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because Way of Kings wasn’t ready yet. Q: Dragonsteel, where in the universe is that going to take place? B: It’s actually first. Q: Oh really? So it’s like a prequel to everything B: Yes, to the cosmere. Q: So is it going to do the breaking of the Shards? B: Yep. Q: Is Odium mad about Sazed having two Shards? B: Yes, and scared. Q: Can Shallan be my best friend? B: You’ll have to ask her, just somehow get to the planet and you can hang out. Q: Okay, tell me how to do that? B: Well… you’ve got to get one of the magics or find one of the Perpendiculars-- the Perpendicularities… Q: So I’m reading AoL right now, do you have a date for the sequel? B: Yeah November next year. Q: Is that one going to be a trilogy as well? Or just two books? B: It’s probably four. Q: Oh four, okay, wow. B: But it depends, that’s what I’ve plotted right now. But it depends on how long it takes me to write The Stormlight Archive, because I want to do them in between Stormlight Archive books. Q: For the space Mistborn are we going to have more elements? B: The base 16 are basically it. But the interactions between them and things. And there is one more metal, there is harmonium, so you will hear about that later on. Q: In The Wheel of Time at the end when they start to use Gateways to spy on the other battlefields, was that your idea or Robert Jordan’s idea? B: I had for years wanted them to use Gateways for things like that, because I’m kind of a magic system guy, right and it’s like I’m writing these books now, they are going to use Gateways smart. Q: Aether of Night, aethers also show up in Liar of Partinel… B: yeah, that was... Q: Was that cannibalized… B: That was a cannibalization, it’s an attempt at repurposing and I didn’t like it so it probably won’t go forward that way but it was an attempt because it worked so well to mash Allomancy and Feruchemy into the same system and I didn’t like how it went but… Q: Is the level of burning a continuous distribution, can I burn 0.1 level of steel all the way up to flaring? Or is it just I burn or I flare? B: The more skilled you are, the more you have the ability to moderate that. For most people it is burn or flare. But you can kind of burn up to a flare, does that make sense? Going below is really hard. Q: Can you push a flare? B: yes Q: I asked a question at the panel, I asked if the person you refuse to say who he is, I was trying to talk about Taln B: Oh! Q: Not Hoid B: So what about Taln? Q: Is there anything you’ll tell us about him? B: What do you want to know? Ask me a specific question. Q: Is he Rosharan? B: Is he Rosharan? Taln is Rosharan. Q: [audio obscured] B: Define Rosharan, how about that? Q: Native to Roshar. B: That I have to RAFO Q: Are the Heralds… B: The Heralds are from the same place that Taln is from. Q: What’s lerasium? B: That is the bead of metal that Elend finds at the end of Book 2, that Vin finds and gives to Elend. Q: Oh so there were only two and the Lord Ruler kind of left it there? B: There actually were a bunch of them, and the first Mistborn came from people who ate that. The Lord Ruler took one for himself and he left others there to use if he needed them. Q: Is there anything in the works right now roleplaying-wise for any of your other works? B: Not yet, the response to the Mistborn rpg has been good so I do think we’ll do something eventually but right now we just want to support that. It takes a lot of effort to keep one of these supported, because they make it but we have to read everything and talk about continuity and stuff. Maybe eventually. Q: Is there any reference material for doing cosplay? B: It depends on the costume that you want to make. We have lots for Stormlight Archive, less for other books. So if you want reference material for Stormlight costumes you can write us and we’ll send you the concept art we are using. Q: What are the other books in The Stormlight Archive going to be about? B: Well each one is going to cover a flashback sequence for one of the characters and each one will focus on a different order of the Knights Radiant. And that’s not always the same, like the flashbacks for the first one were Kaladin and it was also Windrunners, but we won’t always have them be the exact same Q: How much involvement does the other planet in the same system as Roshar have with Roshar? B: *long pause* Your question has a fundamental flaw to it. Q: And that is? B: That there are multiple planets that have an influence on Roshar. Q: I thought there were multiple planets in the system that B: There are, but you said “the other”, there are more than one so the phrase, "the other" doesn’t make sense. Q: How much influence do the other planets have? B: A great deal. Q: How many different kinds of magic does Hoid know how to use? I know you can’t tell me exactly but is it hundreds or like dozens? B: It depends on your definition of types of magic, in some ways you could say they are all one. He knows multiple varieties, but not hundreds. Q: I assume I’m going to learn a lot more about this in Stormlight 3 but Nightblood, is he more dangerous or less dangerous now that he-- obviously he needs Investiture that is why [???] any investiture? B: I’d say more dangerous, a little bit easier to get the Stormlight. Q: I assumed I’d learn a lot more about him… B: You will, and he’s pretty dangerous, but he is also less dangerous because other people have Shardblades, if that makes sense. Q: Have we seen a physical personification of Odium like how Vin was… B: You have not. Q: And does he control the Voidbringers through the spren in the same way that the Inquisitors were controlled by Ruin? B: There are definitely-- In fact what you have just seen with Eshonai shares an awful lot with what happened in Mistborn. Q: Will we ever find out the when, how, and why Vasher and Nightblood moved to Roshar? B: Yes, but I don’t know when it will happen. I will get around to it. theravenchilde: I have one question from Feather, she’s one of the mods on 17s, and she’s dying to know what Renarin’s eye color is, probably so she can write poetry about him. B: Right, right, right, right, right. Send me an email, I can’t say because it might be different in the wiki. theravenchilde: And I was trying to figure out how jazz could possibly develop on Scadrial in Alloy of Law. B: How what? Q: How Jazz could develop on Scadrial. B: Jazz? Okay. theravenchilde: [audio obscured] Would it be appropriate to compare the Steel Ministry to the Catholic Church? Not so much in doctrine but... B: Sure, that would be appropriate. I mean when I’m writing Alloy of Law era they are only hitting big band stuff. theravenchilde: That’s what I figured. B: Their music would lag behind ours. theravenchilde: ‘Cause big band stufff started around the 1920’s B: There not even quite there yet. In the second or the third… anyway one of the Alloy books Wax hears someone and they’ve added to a band brass and he’s like “that’s not right” he’s expecting violin concertos or a pianoforte and he’s hearing brass.
  10. 29 points
    Hey all, I'm Windrunner, and welcome to your regular theory update for this month! Once, a long time ago, I had a featured theory column, but I kind of lost steam, and it died a slow death. Now, it’s being revitalized and updated with more info. I have three primary goals with this column. I want to keep you all updated on all the new quotes and info from Brandon we’ve gained, talk about expansions and areas that need work on the Coppermind, and tshine the spotlight on cool, accurate, or interesting new theories. Major Calamity Tour Information: We’ve had a lot of really interesting questions tasked during the Calamity tour that provide all sorts of insight into the cosmere, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight some of the exciting new information. I’ve gotten all of this from one Calamity tour report or another in our Events subforum. In the future, I’d like tp spend more time talking about cool new theories or ideas that have recently cropped up, but there’s a huge amount of stuff from the Calamity tour, so I thought focusing on this would be a simple way tget this column started. If you guys think I’ve made an error or misrepresented a quote, let me know. I want to be clear though, these questions contain some spoilers for Calamity, Secret History, and Bands of Mourning, so if you are worried about that, steer clear for the moment! Forthcoming Book Information Mistborn: Secret History sequels Brandon is toying with a couple different ideas, but is not planning on putting out any of them immediately. Demoux’s story may be a part of one of these. Not all future ones will occur in the Cognitive Realm. Future stories will always focus on behind the scenes things events, filling in the cracks between the books, and on characters that are more cosmere-aware. Legion 3 Brandon has one more Legion novella planned Brandon would be more interested in writing a full-length novel if Legion was actually being turned into a TV series Apocalypse Guard Will dig into the place that Calamity is from. World Information First of the Sun Aviar like Kokerlii that hide minds from predators would also hide someone from an Awakener’s Life-sense. Brandon has notes for other Aviar abilities, one of them is navigation Sel Gretgor, the sword of the first Wyrn is enshrined in Fjordell somewhere, perhaps at the palace. Brandon calls the sword a “he,” but this may be a simple misstatement. If someone were to make an Essence Mark for themselves where the history of their other self “split-off” before they gained a Shardblade, they would not be able to summon their Shardblade while they were using that Essence Mark. It is also possible to create a stamp where a different version of you bonded a Shardblade. According to other previous signings, this would be tricky and probably need an external power source. Threnody: There are shades of animals Cognitive shadows that travel to Threnody do not automatically become shades, but the two are very closely related “breeds”. Threnody was named in memorial of someone or something. Roshar: Roshar’s three major magic systems are Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials, with the Old Magic being its own weird thing. Roshar is special in some way to Shadesmar. (The audio here is confused) It is theoretically possible for there to be a Nahel bond with a spren that grants two Surges that are not paired together among the Radiants. Brandon would term any heavily Invested weapon a Shardblade, and there are many methods that can be used to create one, with varying effectiveness. The Bands are close, but are not Invested enough to be considered one. Scadrial: More god metal alloys will make appearances There are hard limits to how fast a Steelrunner can move In Brandon’s mind, burning pewter approximately doubles your strength, while flaring triples it. He has not canonized how much either of these things enhances reflexes or healing. Scadrial mostly uses biodiesel for gasoline, but Brandon won’t rule out fossil fuel deposits being placed by Harmony. There was a concept of hell in the theology of the Lord Ruler. It was the punishment for the souls of people that had failed or disobeyed the Lord Ruler. Even the skaa were aware of this aspect of theology. Allomancers can burn metals from places other than Scadrial. Hemalurgic decay in spikes containing Feruchemical attributes leads tless efficiency when they tap metalminds. Kandra can have children with humans if they recreate the appropriate organs, although if the kandra is in a woman’s form, it would have to remain in that shape until the child is born. The Lord Ruler had several children, but they mixed in with the population. Many people are related to them, and some may claim heirship, but in truth they may not be much more closely related thim than anyone else. The fandom is giving this fact undue attention. The Bands of Mourning are not even close tbeing Invested as much as Nightblood. When someone uses aluminum or chromium, the metal in an Allomancers stomach is “transferred” somehow. It has to do with energy, matter, and Investiture all being one, but a person who has had their metals removed by aluminum or chromium would not get metal poisoning. A Connection medallion could be used to translate the Listener’s Rhythms, but it would not be perfect and something would be lost in translation. Nalthis Nightblood is one of the most heavily Invested things in the cosmere that is not a Shard. Yolen It is not unreacheable from Shadesmar due to a total lack of cognitive activity there. Cosmere Information Despite initial reports, Threnody and Sel are NOT in the same planetary system. All cosmere planets are relatively close together in their dwarf galaxy, current estimate is within ~50 light years or so, although that may later change. Seons and spren are more bound to their own worlds, but they can travel elsewhere. Subastral is Hoid’s term for a specific region in the Cognitive Realm The process by which people die, moving from the Physical Realm to the Cognitive and then to the Beyond is the same throughout the cosmere, although people stick around for different lengths of time depending on their Investiture. It is widely assumed that Adonalsium is the creator of the cosmere. When Wax remarks that souls and metal are the same thing, he is seeing that energy, matter, and Investiture are all the same thing. Things that drain Investiture, such as larkins, Nightblood, and Leechers, all have something similar going on among them. Shard Information The Vessels of Shards can have children, although in a way their created humans are already their children. Brandon specifies that we have not “seen” any Shards that have been Splintered reform as of Bands of Mourning. Odium is more aware than Harmony of the various happenings in the cosmere because he is both older and because there are forces purposely attempting to limit Harmony’s knowledge. There is some connection between Odium and Trell. Someone who’s never been to Scadrial could be Connected to Ruin and Preservation because Connection is not binary, it can be stronger or weaker. If Odium were to go to Scadrial, he would have difficulty seeing metal. If Honor and Odium hadn’t been held by different personalities, the two Shards have the potential to be a natural pair and might have attracted one another. Character Information Brandon refuses to explain why ReLuur’s spikes are made of pewter, although he does agree that it doesn’t seem to “make sense”. Ironeyes will probably make an appearance in The Lost Metal, but Brandon is not sure if he’ll be back in time from where is currently. At some point, Wax drew upon the mists. Vasher actually discovered Roshar while attempting to research an easier method to get Investiture than via Breath. Demoux has gotten less idealistic since his initial appearance in Mistborn. Nightblood leaks Investiture, but his sheath helps prevent that. Coppermind I’d also like to use these theory posts to shine a spotlight on the Coppermind. Every month I’m going to point out a well-done article, and then challenge you guys to work on a specific area of the Coppermind for the next month. If we’ve also put up any really awesome new fan art on the wiki, I might point that out here too in the future. Featured Article: Cosmere Our admin Chaos recently retooled the Cosmere article from scratch, really bringing it up to date with a lot of the cosmere’s foundational happenings. If you have any questions on how the basics of how the cosmere works and the background events, definitely give it a look. It is also incredibly well-cited, so there is plenty of digging you can do into various sources if you want. Featured Fix-Me-Up: This month, I’d like to challenge you all to work on Reckoners articles. With Calamity just out, many articles can now be truly completed, as the main sequence has come to a close. There of course can be additional information from the Apocalypse Guard in a few years, but we have a chance to get the Reckoners stuff all in order before that happens. I’ll be the first to admit that Reckoners isn’t my forte, so I can’t help very much and oftentimes it’s just Weiry working on them by himself. Even if you only have an interesting fact or two, every little bit helps. Any member of the wiki staff (Me, JoeSt, WeiryWriter, Chaos, and KalynaAnne) can answer questions you have about wikicode, and if you have any other questions, there is also a tumblr page you can use to contact us. Random Little Known Fact: I also thought it would be fun to close these theory articles with a little known fact of the month, something interesting that I think a lot of people might not know. Here’s this month’s, from a signed copy of The Way of Kings! This was news to me, and definitely shines a new light on Hoid and Odium’s enmity. Next time, I’m going thave a new Cosmere 101 guide prepared, updated with all the new information we’ve gained in the past couple years. Have a good month, and happy theorizing!
  11. 29 points
    Shadows of Self is the latest Mistborn novel and the sequel to The Alloy of Law, which came out all the way back in 2011. It's been a crazy long time. There's been plenty of Brandon Sanderson to read since then, but my first love is Mistborn, so I've yearned for this for... well, four years. Fortunately, it's fantastic. If you liked The Alloy of Law--particularly the idea of an urban fantasy thriller set in the Mistborn world--you'll love Shadows of Self. This time, Wax and Wayne continue their hunt for the Set, the shadowy organization seen in The Alloy of Law. Then, the murder of a huge portion of Elendel's criminal elite--including the governor's brother--pushes Wax onto the case, where he discovers that the person responsible is insanely dangerous. They need to find out what this person's plans are, before Elendel collapses in on itself. It's hard for me to talk about Shadows without comparing it to The Alloy of Law. Alloy was a pretty good urban/western fantasy thriller. Not fantastic, but the nostalgia of the Mistborn world made it quite good. For a standalone, though, the ending was unfulfilling. Alloy demanded a sequel, and now that we finally get it, it is so very satisfying. Shadows is quite similar to Alloy in style. They are both set in Elendel, both have a particular "case" to focus them, and are urban fantasy novels. For this reason I often compare these books to the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher, the gold standard of urban fantasy. Shadows takes the good elements of Alloy and makes them better, while cutting out some of the flaws that Alloy has. The result is a novel that is as awesome as Dresden books. I don't think it's hard to see why Shadows turned out better than Alloy, and it comes down to what Brandon does best: planning. Alloy was a short story that turned into a novel and it showed. In the time between writing Alloy and Shadows, Brandon fully planned out what he’s going to do with this time period. No longer are the Wax and Wayne novels only a bridge between the fantasy Mistborn trilogy and the 1980s Mistborn trilogy. With this extra planning, the Alloy era has become important to the world of Scadrial. While Shadows is still about the length of Alloy of Law (making it about half of the length of the books in the original trilogy), there’s a feeling of a grand design that Alloy didn’t really have, while maintaining the fast pace that Alloy set. Brandon knows with razor-sharp focus what this era of novels are supposed to be doing in the grand scheme of everything now. And boy, Shadows does it so well. I've always been a reader who loves a tightly crafted plot. It's one of the reasons I love Brandon’s novels. Well, Shadows not only has a tighter plot, but also a more interesting one than Alloy. The worldbuilding of Scadrial is important to events, and for you cosmere buffs, there will be plenty for you to love here. And Shadows' villain is terrifying for so many reasons that make Miles Dagouter look tame by comparison. One thing with Alloy and Shadows is that, like many other of Brandon's novels, there are multiple viewpoints. A lot of urban fantasy is written in a single first person viewpoints--like Dresden--and I felt that in Alloy, though it was fun to be in multiple characters' heads, it didn't make that book incredible. Not so with Shadows. Multiple viewpoints really enhances the book, and raises the overall tension. This tension is key, because it raises Shadows from being just another case file to something... more. Something legitimately awesome. Surprisingly, one way Shadows raises the tension is through politics. Sometimes Brandon goes way too in-depth of political intrigue, like with Elantris. Considering how bad politics can be in a story (cough, Star Wars prequels, cough), you realize how well Shadows does it. The political intrigue truly heightens the threat level. It's never distracting, and is always important. Elendel is in serious danger, so it makes sense that it is so essential to the plot. As much as I love plot, the soul of stories are the characters, and all the characters you love from Alloy have progressed in reasonable ways, with new levels of depth. Wax and his relationships advance in unexpected, but interesting, fashions. Wayne, hilarious as always, has a ton of depth that I did not expect. Marasi also really comes into her own. And speaking of Marasi, I've often seen people who dislike either Marasi or Steris. After Shadows, I've loved both. You really do need to read Alloy before Shadows, as there is critical character depth you'd miss without it, but Shadows is such a good sequel. It's crazy to think that before Words of Radiance, Brandon had only written one other epic fantasy sequel in his own worlds: The Well of Ascension. In my opinion, that’s the weakest book of the original trilogy, and Brandon's learned so much about writing sequels since then. Brandon takes the best of the series' predecessors and makes the sequels even better than one could hope. Shadows is faster paced, better plotted, and its worldbuilding more important and grander than Alloy. The characters advance in great ways, and the multiple viewpoints enhance this book substantially. Really, Shadows of Self perfects the formula of Alloy in every way, and is a truly wonderful novel because of it. Score: 17 metals out of 16. Note: Brandon actually used to call the original trilogy and the 1980s trilogy as the "first Mistborn trilogy" and "second Mistborn trilogy," with a third science fiction trilogy. Alloy didn't really have a place. Now, the different time periods are called eras, so the first trilogy is Era 1, and Alloy and Shadows are Era 2, with Era 3 and 4 set to be published in the future. Early copy provided by Dragonsteel Entertainment. Posted with their permission. Shadows of Self comes out on October 6th, 2015.
  12. 29 points
    Did you know it was five years ago this month that 17th Shard and the Coppermind were made? It's been a crazy time. And so, without further ado, Joe and the Coppermind staff decided to do something special to celebrate! It's simple: contributing to the Coppermind in the month of June results in gifts! That is, any contribution, however small, on any day in June means you get a gift. The larger your overall contribution, the larger the gift will be. To receive a gift for your contribution, you must have a registered account on the Coppermind, so we can track your edits and hopefully get back to you. Once June is over, we will be going through and attempting to contact all contributors to arrange your gifts and the best way to deliver them. This will be easier if you add some way we can contact you to your user page. Things that you can win: Gift certificates for Brandon’s store (this includes choosing things from Brandon’s store and us sending you a gift certificate to cover the cost, including shipping) Amazon gift certificates, or any other site which allows us to buy and distribute gift certificates digitally Purchases from amazon wishlists, or any other site which allows us to buy things from wishlists such that both parties stay as anonymous as possible--steam games perhaps! Commissioning of fandom (or other) artists/creators with your wishes (as long as the creator in question is ok with this) Any other sensible suggestions for plunder that we are able to arrange Some combination of the above Once the giveaway is complete, we will be in contact to ask you to select which you would prefer. The prize quantity is inevitably going to be fairly subjective, but it’ll be mostly Joe_ST organising the delivery which means you will be pleasantly surprised If all you do is edit a page or couple for spacing/punctuation/spelling your contribution is still appreciated and you’ll probably be offered ~$5 gift certificate or equivalent. If you improve a short article by rewriting it or adding a few new facts or references you’ll be compensated more for it. If you substantially improve or rewrite one of the longer articles on the wiki, or if you complete a stub article, that will get you even more. If you add lots of facts to lots of articles, or add lots of references, or end up rewriting an article so it becomes exemplary, then hats off to you, you’ll be showered with our affections and receive a literal ton of gifts. If you end up enjoying contributing so much that you decide to stick around and help out regularly, you will inevitably never stop receiving gifts and praise from us and from every user of the coppermind. Really though, we plan on being as generous as we possibly can be to hopefully reward your efforts in helping make our wiki a better resource for Brandon’s fans and to encourage you to stick around and continue to help. If you come to try your hand at wikiying and have any problems or questions we would be happy to help. If your question is a general one, others likely have the same question, so please send us an ask here or post in the 17S forum so we can clarify things for everyone. If you would prefer to ask something privately, feel free to note this in your ask or send a pm. Oh and for those of you who want to help but really don’t want any compensation, that is totally ok, you can add a note to that effect on your user page or to out-right decline when we come to organise things with you after June. This is just part one of 17th Shard's birthday extravagapalooza. Stay tuned for even more awesomeness!
  13. 27 points
    Today we have an interesting, unusual giveaway. We are giving away a special alternate dust jacket of Oathbringer to celebrate its launch! This dust jacket was put together by beta reader Darci Cole and graciously donated to the 17th Shard by the group. It features a minifig Dalinar and Roshar created by the wonderful and talented Rick Martin. Also included are fun, candid pictures of Brandon and Peter, plenty of inside jokes, and the signatures of the members of Dragonsteel! Included are memes like maladroitly, [REDACTED], Peter's many "i" adjectives, and more. It's perfect to cover Oathbringer just before you are about to bludgeon someone with it with the book's enormous weight. To enter for this giveaway, all you need to do is register a 17th Shard account (if you don't have one) and comment below, saying that you'd like this, for a chance to win. Due to shipping costs this can only be sent to residents of the United States. Apologies! The contest will end 12:01 Eastern time, Monday, December 4th. We will then PM the winner for their shipping address. Here are the full pictures of this dust jacket: Exterior image, with signed by members of Dragonsteel Entertainment Sketch by Ben McSweeney on the interior of the jacket Special thanks to Ravi for his contributions to this article, and thank you to Dragonsteel and betas for this wonderful giveaway!
  14. 26 points
    Today, we got the cover for the third Stormlight novel, Oathbringer. It's also by Michael Whelan, featuring Jasnah being totally awesome. This scene is quite evocative, so maybe you can glean some plot details from this. We also get the scheduled release date for the book, and an Oathbringer update on Reddit. Here's the cover: Whelan describes the scene in the Tor.com article: "We’re centered on a scene where Jasnah confronts the invaders. A giant has smashed a breach in the city wall, and Jasnah is called upon to restore it. After dispatching several invaders with her Shardblade sword, she covers the gap with a brassy wall of magical metal. It’s a very visual scene, in which I saw a lot of possibilities for good images." I will say that the expanded cover looks quite a bit cooler than the zoomed in part on the front cover: So we see Jasnah with her Shardblade (uh... spoilers if you haven't read Words of Radiance?). There's a city under attack, and in the background we see a number of cool things. First, we see a lot of red lightning, probably the Everstorm. I would rate the situation as being "quite bad" by the looks of it. Then there's a giant thing in the breach. People on forums suggest its a thunderclast, and that seems like a reasonable assumption. If you look closely, Jasnah isn't actually floating , but is on some stairs of glass, probably Soulcast. On Tor.com you can see more of Whelan's sketches of this scene and how it proceeded. What do you think of the cover? What city do you think it is? Tell us all your thoughts. We also get a release date: November 14th, 2017. Astute readers already knew this from Amazon, but we wanted to wait to a more official source. Tor says that is when it is scheduled, so that isn't definitive, but it seems quite likely. One more bit of Oathbringer news: Brandon posted another Stormlight update on Reddit. Oathbringer 3.0 was finished, incorporating feedback from Team Sanderson and Tor, and he recently wrote the epigraphs and epilogue. The length of the book is insane, at 514,000 words, which is 100,000 longer than Words of Radiance. (Hey, remember at Way of Kings' release when Brandon said the future books would be shorter? Hahahahaha.) I expect revisions might cut this down a bit, but it's still huge. Brandon says the US hardcover release will be in one single volume, but for the paperback, there may be two volumes released at the same time. That's about it, though Brandon does finish with: Comment below on this exciting Oathbringer news, or discuss the cover on the forums, too!
  15. 25 points
    Good morning, Sharders! Things look quite a bit different today, don't they? It gives me and everyone on the staff great pleasure to reveal the new 17th Shard--our fourth major iteration since we launched in 2010. I've referenced this for so long, worked on this for what seems like an eternity, that it feels unreal to finally show it to you. We hope you love it. With this version of the site, we've updated our software to version 4.1, from our previous 3.4. That jump from 3 to 4 is a huge one and a massive overhaul of many site systems. Things will be different, but that's okay! It's different in (hopefully) a good way. Let's talk about what 17th Shard 4 has in store for you. You can immediately tell, whether you are looking on the site on your PC, your phone, or your tablet, that things are really different. That's the biggest feature of this update: we now have a fully responsive design. It's just one theme that expands to the device you are using, instead of having some shunned mobile skin. What this means for you is that when you visit 17S on your mobile device, you actually have all the power of the site, all the time. Quoting multiple people at once? Easy. You'll find the editor on mobile is the same thing as desktop. You can edit all your account settings on your phone. Everything just works the way it always should have. Though I absolutely love having a great mobile site, I also can't stop staring at this glorious art Will, aka Shivertongue, made for us. A new, cleaner logo; a glorious new background; and cleaner iconography. Legend has it that he just appeared in my apartment and left a flash drive there with this art, and then promptly vanished into the mists. In addition to his enigmatic help, Kerry (KChan) and Monica (Moru) helped with a lot of design and coloring as well. Design is important, but what other features are in store for you? Well, there's a ton! We now have a Cosmere Q&A board where people can pose questions, and other members answers. It's like our old "Question and Answer" thread, only it no longer needs to be in just one topic. People can rate questions as well as answers so you are sure to get the best answers. So, if you're new to the cosmere and have a lot of questions, or you are a veteran with complex questions, or maybe you just want to know if this thing you heard actually has a quote to support it, make sure you get right on it over here! What else? There are a lot of reputation improvements. You can, at long last, undo an accidental upvote or downvote, and the color scheme for positive and negative reputation is more neutral. But that's not all. You can now @mention particular people in posts and they get notified (of course, that can be turned off if you like). User profiles are pretty different and now allow you to have a cover photo. The "View New Content" is now "Activity" and is that newspaper on the navigation bar, and it's very cool now. There's a bunch of small stuff, and I'm sure you'll really like it. Some things are in different locations, though. Your account options are on the upper right, under your username. That's where you can edit your sig, for instance. You can also edit some other settings directly on your profile. On mobile, your account options are in the dropdown menu under "Account". The editor is now rather radically different from before. It's a far superior Rich Text Editor, and in my experience, actually does the things you want it to. One important difference is that when you press Enter or Return in the new editor, it automatically creates a new paragraph, with spacing between the two paragraphs automatically supplied. You don't need to press Enter twice for the same effect anymore! Of course, there are times where you'd really like to not have that extra space between lines--perhaps in your signature, for example--so to do that easily in the editor, just press Shift+Enter. Easy! The editor is also quite smart on knowing what spacing you want if you paste text from elsewhere, so that's a plus. Long time users of the site probably input things in BBCode. You can still use BBCode, though the actual post data is no longer stored as BBCode. You might wonder as you go about your merry way on the site today, why on some tabs, there is sometimes a Pause icon on the tab. It's not that 17S is trying to play music, it's that when that pause icon is there, you aren't getting browser notifications for stuff on the site, because you hadn't been to that tab in a while. Known Issues There are some things I am noticing upon this update that I want you all to know about. Some content was just not quite converted exactly as I (or anyone) would have expected, so let's talk about that. We talked about how in the new editor, it defaults "Enters" to automatically put space between paragraphs. This caused no problems on some posts, where the old empty line between paragraphs that you needed before was removed nicely. On other posts, there is still an empty line between the two paragraphs, and because the editor thinks, "hey, you wanted extra space there too, right? Right!?" it puts extra space after that empty line. This causes those posts to look ultra-spaced out (which sounds way less cool than it actually is). I've identified why this is happening and am actively working on removing these extra spaces. Just bear with us a bit, and don't feel obligated to edit your previous posts to fix it. I'm on the case! The line spacing also affected signatures a great deal. The fix I have planned to do on posts might not work on certain signatures for various dumb reasons, so if you have time, you might want to update your sig. (Hey, that's a lot more practical than editing all previous posts!) Remember, in the editor, you can use shift+enter for a line break, if you don't want that extra spacing. Some avatars--for reasons completely unknown to me--totally vanished, leaving users with the default avatar. We're sorry. (Sorry Matt.) You'll need to reupload the old avatar. Should you not have a copy of the file, I could probably find it in the old site files. I've also heard reports on our test site that some people just can't log in on the new site somehow. I'm not totally sure why this happens. But, there is an important distinction to the name you log in with in this new version. Previously, you could have a Username (your log in name) and a separate Display Name. This was deemed as a somewhat unnecessary distinction, so now you only have a Display Name. So make sure you're logging in with your Display Name! If you do that, and are still having log in difficulties, perhaps try a password reset or email me at [email protected] I am hoping these aren't widespread, but I am happy to help. Myself and other staff will be on hand especially often, tweaking minor things, and helping you all out! So, if something is broken, if you're confused about something, post in our forum topic: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/54790-the-17s-4-discussion-thread/. Also, in addition to suggestions or criticism, feel free to send us some love. We've worked on this for a long, long time, and in particular, it's caused me more stress than you can possibly know. So send us some love if you like it, and of course criticism and suggestions. Discuss the site update here: http://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/54790-the-17s-4-discussion-thread/
  16. 24 points
    This month, we are beginning a brand-new initiative for the Coppermind. The Coppermind is a living, breathing thing, and there's so much to write that it's impossible to have the wiki succeed without your help. But often, people are interested in writing for the Coppermind but don't know where to start. To this end we are going to have monthly objectives to help guide people towards what should be done. Our plan is to have a mix of larger tasks as well as smaller tasks that are much less of a time commitment. If you're new to editing the Coppermind, don't worry; we'll help you out with guides and plenty of assistance. You don't need experience, just the will to do help out! We'll also provide awards, because everyone loves fake internet points. So, here are our objectives for July. There's still so much from Oathbringer and Stormlight to do, so we're focusing on that this month. (And, let's face it, probably for the next little while, too.) We're going to try and make things fairly focused. Larger Projects 1. Kaladin's History in Oathbringer Part Three Kaladin's article needs a lot of updating for Oathbringer, but let's start by just updating the events in Part Three and getting that up to speed. 2. Siege of Kholinar Behold, one of the worst articles on the wiki! Yeah, this needs vast expansion. For subsections that should be here, you can look at the article structure for battles. 3. Lopen We know there's Lopen fans, and if you're a fan of Lopen you should hate this criminally short article of his! 4. Hesina You know, a lot of people worry when they start on the Coppermind, "oh no, I'll screw something up!" And I can understand that, especially for big character articles. But if you just look at Hesina's article you'll quickly realize that you cannot possibly screw this up, because it is so short and so bad. It is criminal that no one has given this one more attention! 5. Update Rysn for Oathbringer Rysn just has one interlude, but it's pretty meaty. Let's update her article with all the Oathbringer stuff and call it good. 6. Roshone Oathbringer Stuff Similar to Rysn, Roshone doesn't have a big role to play in Oathbringer, but there's still stuff to add in all of his sections. 7. Mraize's History from Words of Radiance If you look around the Coppermind, you'll see that in most character articles, the longest section is the History, where the events of their lives (and in turn, events from the books) are chronicled. Well you know who doesn't have a history section? Mraize. Literally none! Let's start by writing down what he did in Words of Radiance first. 8. Celebrant How about a location article to mix things up? Celebrant is cool. Let's get everything down about this place from Part Four of Oathbringer. For guidance, see our article structure for cities. 9. History of the Refounded Windrunners So on the Order of Windrunners page, there's a lot of stuff on what's going on with them magically, but we should also have some information about the refounding of the Windrunners. What happened there? Obviously, if we learned more about the history of the Windrunners before the Recreance, that would go on this page too, but we don't have too much on it at the moment. 10. Wax's History in Alloy of Law And for a non-Stormlight bonus, there's Wax's article. The history of his literally ends when he arrives back in Elendel. Let's start with working on his history during what happens in Alloy of Law, to say nothing of Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning. Smaller tasks These are tasks that are much shorter and involve characters that are minor. But hey, minor things are important to have done too! Most of these articles are so short that they will not require separate sections. For short articles, include as much as you can possibly think of about them. 1. Skybreaker acolytes Szeth meets a lot of Skybreaker acolytes in Oathbringer. None have too much on them. They are: Warren, Joret, Cali, Zedzil, Ty 2. Lunamor's family Of course, we get Rock's family in this one, and his family is big! This includes: Tuaka, Gift, Cord, Rock (junior), Star, Kuma'tiki, Beautiful Song 3. Kaladin's singer squad Kaladin meets various singers in Part One of Oathbringer. Let's complete these up: Khen, Sah, Vai, Hesh, Jali 4. Wall Guard squadmembers Another Kaladin squad (Kaladin getting another squad, what's new) from Part Three of Oathbringer. This could be really good to do if you're also doing Siege of Kholinar or Kaladin's Part Three History. These are: Deedanor, Noromin, Alaward, Beard, Hid, Hadinar, Vaceslv, Vardinar, Ved 5. Fladm This is a minor guard who dies in Rsyn's interlude. 6. Insah This article refers to a character referred to once in Oathbringer Chapter 50. Include as much detail as possible, but there's not much here. 7. Mara Mara is Lirin's apprentice when Kaladin returns to Hearthstone. 8. Fullnight Fullnight is a bit harder than the last two. It's Dalinar's gelding in his first flashback, but there still isn't much about him. 9. Helt This is a master-servant to Elhokar in Urithiru. This should be a fast one. 10. Hariel This is one of the Fused, who took over Demid's body. There's some to expand on here but again, very little. When you are totally done with an article, change the text at the bottom from {{stub}} or {{partial}} to {{complete}}. What's in it for me? We want to motivate people to help, so we will be giving out Coppermind awards for the users in July with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd most edits, and we'll also give out awards if you contributed to one of these items. They'll be on your user page for all to see. Okay, I'm in, how do I to start? The most important thing is to be bold! Content is hard to write, but we can always format your stuff if it doesn't quite match conventions. MediaWiki notation is not the easiest to learn. If you're interested, we have lots of guides to help. It does very much help to have ebooks so you can find instances of a specific word or person. (This is extremely helpful for minor characters). If you have physical books, ask us and we can help you determine this so you don't need to reread the whole text. Come join us on the dedicated Coppermind Discord, or come chat in the #coppermind channel on the 17th Shard Discord. We are really happy to help. Lastly, but certainly not least, we have something pretty special that's happened on the wiki that we would like to spotlight. Through a lot of effort, people have been able to figure out where the continent of Roshar is on the planet, and look what the user Otto didact has made: sweet, sweet maps highlighting locations on Roshar. For example, Alethkar: Emul: And for bodies of water: How awesome are these? They are just spectacular. Give Otto a big round of applause!
  17. 24 points
    Hey all, and welcome back to our featured theories column. Today, I do not want to highlight any specific theory from the forums, but rather create a new and revised beginner's guide to the cosmere. For those of you that frequent 17th Shard, what I say here will not be news to you, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you that are still trying to get a grasp on the scope of the cosmere. This will contain spoilers for many of Brandon's cosmere novels, (Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker, and Stormlight are the main ones) so read on with caution. Cosmere 102 Introduction The cosmere is a shared universe that many of Brandon Sanderson's novels, novellas, and short stories take place in. These stories take place on a variety of planets in a small star cluster in a dwarf galaxy. The cosmere works along very similar rules to ours, most of the time, but magic is built into it as well. The main stories of Brandon's that take place in the cosmere are The Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, Warbreaker, The Emperor's Soul, Elantris, and the forthcoming graphic novel White Sand. In the beginning of cosmere, there was one supreme being known as Adonalsium. To the best of our current knowledge, this god-like being controlled the powers of creation, a type of spiritual energy known as Investiture. Many planets existed that were populated with people, but one one planet in particular, Yolen, a group of people conspired to destroy Adonalsium. In an event known as the Shattering, Adonalsium was killed, his power split into sixteen fragments known as the Shards of Adonalsium. These fragments of power were taken up by sixteen individuals, called Vessels, who Ascended into what is essentially godhood. Each Shard has a drive, or intent, that it desires to act in accordance with which gives it its name, such as Honor or Ruin. When a person takes up a Shard, initially they remain themselves, but over time the Shard will influence them into acting in accordance with the Shard's intent, until they have little desire or will to take any action in conflict with their intent. These Shards settled on a variety of planets, where their Investiture gave rise to various magic systems, which are referred to as manifestations of Investiture. Shards may also themselves be split into smaller fragments known as Splinters. These Splinters often have a consciousness of their own. In addition to that, people that have at one point held a large portion of a Shard of Adonalsium and given it up are known as Slivers, their souls expanded by the spiritual energy. One of the Shards of Adonalsium named Odium wished to become the most powerful being in the cosmere. He has since traveled from world to world, Splintering and killing other Shards in his quest. The Shard Honor has managed to trap Odium in a single system, Greater Roshar for now, but it is unknown how long this will last. The structure of the cosmere is made up of three Realms, the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual. Every object and person exists simultaneously in all three Realms, although typically it has a stronger presence in one of them. The Physical Realm works very much like our own universe, with similar laws of physics, planets and galaxies, and so on. The Cognitive Realm is the realm of thought. Ideas have power here, and every place where life, particularly sentient life, is present is represented in the Cognitive Realm. The Spiritual Realm is more mysterious, it is Realm of ideals, where connections between people and spiritual energy are crucial, and where time and location is far less relevant. Elantris and the Emperor's Soul These stories both take place on the same planet, a world known as Sel. There are two Shards of Adonalsium present on Sel, Devotion and Dominion, formerly held by Aona and Skai respectively. Both Shards were killed by another Shard Odium, long ago, and their power was Splintered, to prevent anyone else from taking up one of the Shards. Some of these Splinters are part of the seons and the skaze. The remaining power of both Shards is mostly present in the Dor, a reservoir of Investiture in the Cognitive Realm. There is technically only one magic system on Sel, but it is expressed differently depending on the region of Sel. AonDor, Dakhor, ChayShan, Bloodsealing, and Forgery are the known variations although others exist on the planet. Mistborn The Mistborn trilogy takes place on a planet known as Scadrial. There are two Shards of Adonalsium present on Scadrial, Preservation and Ruin. They were originally held by two men, Ati and Leras, who actually created the planet of Scadrial themselves. During the course of the Era 1Mistborn trilogy, Ati and Leras were both killed and Sazed took up both Ruin and Preservation. As Sazed holds both powers, they have commingled into a larger power that is called Harmony. There are three magic systems present on Scadrial, Allomancy which is derived from Preservation, Hemalurgy, which comes from Ruin, and Feruchemy, which is a balance system derived from both Shards. There are no Splinters of either Ruin or Preservation. As of recently, a third unknown Shard working under the guise of "Trell" has began exerting an influence on Scadrial, but this Shard is not on the planet itself as of yet. Warbreaker Warbreaker takes place on a planet called Nalthis, which is home to a single Shard named Endowment, held by a woman named Edgli. Awakening, the only magic system on the planet is derived from Endowment's powers. Endowment also chooses to call people back to Return, showing someone who has died a vision of a potential future and giving them the opportunity to Return to life and change that future. To do so, Endowment gives them a Splinter of her Shard, known on Nalthis as a divine Breath. The Stormlight Archive The Stormlight Archive takes place on a planet known as Roshar. There are several other planets in the system, including Braize, which will play a part later in The Stormlight Archive, and Ashyn, which will appear in a story called The Silence Divine one day. There are three Shards present in the solar system, referred to as Greater Roshar, Honor, Cultivation, and Odium. Honor was originally held by Tanavast and Odium is held by Rayse, but Cultivation's Vessel is unknown. Honor has been killed and Splintered by Odium, his power is present in the spren that form Nahel bonds with the Knights Radiant. Cultivation and what remains of Honor's power are on Roshar, but Odium currently resides on Braize. There are a variety of magic systems present on this planet, including Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrial magic. Which Shard is responsible for which magic system is still unclear. White Sand (forthcoming) White Sand takes place on a world known as Taldain. This planet has only a single Shard, called Autonomy, held by a man named Bavadin. Very little is known about this world at present, but more information will become available once the graphic novel is released in a little over a month. Dragonsteel/Liar of Partinel (forthcoming) A final, very important planet is Yolen. All of the original Vessels that took up Shards of Adonalsium are from Yolen. Brandon will one day tell the story of the Shattering of Adonalsium, but it will not be for many years. Shadows for Silence/Sixth of the Dusk It is important to note that not every populated planet in the cosmere has a Shard on it. Many may only have a Splinter on it, or may have no influence from a Shard at all. Two such planets are Threnody and First of the Sun. Threnody appears in the short story Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, and First of the Sun appears in the short story Sixth of the Dusk. These planets may still have magics though, they manifest out of background spiritual energy and are less powerful than planets that have Shards on them. Threnody has the shades, which enforce the Simple Rules, and First of the Sun has the Aviar, birds that grant their owners a variety of powers. Worldhopping While one day many of these planets will develop faster-than-light travel and meet one another, they are not yet at this technological level. However, a limited number of people have learned how to use magic to travel from planet to planet. They make appearances in multiple stories and are often participating in behind the scenes struggles that the main characters of the novels know little to nothing about. Many Worldhoppers make use of Perpendicularities, areas on a planet, often in the form of a pool of liquid, where a Shard's power concentrates. They use these Perpendicularities as gateways into the Cognitive Realm, where all the planets are arranged adjacent to one another, divided by mountains. As interstellar space has little Cognitive activity, it is much smaller in the Cognitive Realm, and Worldhoppers may simply walk to another planet. Several Worldhoppers are members of a group called the Seventeenth Shard, a coalition of Worldhoppers with unknown goals. There are several Worldhoppers of a variety of importance in the cosmere: Hoid - A man who often appears in the guise of a beggar, fool, or storyteller, Hoid holds immense power. He makes use of Allomancy, Feruchemy, Awakening, and Lightweaving (not the type of the Radiants, but very similar) and has other powers that allow him to dilate time and travel to other planets. Hoid is ancient, he is from Yolen and was heavily involved in the Shattering of Adonalsium. Hoid hates Odium, and is attempting to counter him. He also goes by Wit, Dust, and other aliases Khriss - A woman from Taldain (a main character in White Sand) that is the author of the Ars Arcanum that appears in the end of Brandon's cosmere books. She studies magic systems scientifically, seeking to explain how they work. Nazh - A man from Threnody, Nazh works as Khriss' assistant. He often collects first hand documents such as maps, and drawings that appear in the books, which are occasionally annotated by him. Iyatil - A masked woman that appears on Roshar, Iyatil is a seasoned traveler, who has been on a variety of planets in the cosmere. Mraize - A man from Roshar who is heavily involved in the Ghostbloods, Mraize is Iyatil's student, who has been taken to a few planets under supervision from Iyatil.[/background] Vasher/Zahel - A Returned from Nalthis, Vasher has traveled to Roshar because it is easier to get Investiture there. He is a master Awakener currently serving as a swordmaster for Renarin Kholin. His Awakened sword Nightblood was patterned after Shardblades and is also currently on Roshar. Demoux - One of the rebels against the Lord Ruler, Demoux has since joined the Seventeenth Shard and traveled to Roshar seeking Hoid. Galladon - An Elantrian and friend to King Raoden, Galladon is also a member of the Seventeenth Shard that has traveled to Roshar in search of Hoid. Felt - A spy in the employ of House Venture, Felt is now on Roshar working in the army of Dalinar Kholin for unknown reasons. There are several other Worldhoppers whose identities are still unknown. There is a third man, known as Blunt, traveling with Demoux and Galladon trying to find Hoid, but his name has not been officially confirmed. There is also a Terriswoman that has appeared in Warbreaker and a female kandra Worldhopper hidden somewhere in the books. In addition to the Worldhoppers, there is a dragon known as Frost that lives on Yolen. Frost is heavily involved in the Seventeenth Shard, although it is unknown if he has ever traveled to a different planet. There is an overarching story to the cosmere that all of these characters play a role in, but Brandon does not wish to bring this to the forefront just yet. Eventually he will write books detailing some of the behind the scenes events, but for now, since Brandon wants his books to stand on their own, they mostly serve as easter eggs and other random pieces of information. I realize that this is a lot to absorb all at once, and we've only really began to scratch the surface. A good next step, if you want to know more, is to check out the Coppermind, where many of these topics are discussed in much greater detail. New Information There has been a plethora of new information since the last article, mostly from a signing in San Antonio and JordanCon. Thanks so much to Paladin Brewer and Ruru272 among many others that reported information, recorded signings, or transcribed information. You guys rock! San Antonio Odium has a lot more knowledge that Sazed because he has had the power longer, and there are forces purposely trying to limit Harmony's knowledge. Kandra cannot duplicate Parshendi carapace Spren and seons can travel to other worlds, although they are more bound to their home planet The theory that Shardplate guards are made from aluminum may be, "on the right track" Sazed cannot communicate with Ati and Leras Hoid didn't take both beads of lerasium for himself because of his innate ability to tell him where he needs to be and what he needs to do Jordan Con Spren can be combined together Khriss knows too much for Brandon to say what she knows about the "red haze" on Scadrial Wax has seen the influence of a Shard that is not Ruin, Preservation, or Harmony Odium's plan always involved not getting stuck on one planet Dragonsteel will now be a trilogy Official cosmere timeline should be out sometime after White Sand is released Lift will have a POV in Stormlight Three, in addition to the novella Brandon is writing Hoid's ability to speak various languages is magical Expanding ones soul is sometimes involved in Worldhopping Kelsier has hazel eyes The Ire's use of the word "fortune" indicates a very similar concept to Feruchemical fortune Felt, the spy from Scadrial, is the same Felt that appears in Words of Radiance Rashek did not create lerasium, he had to "go and get it" Nahel spren and seons are very similar things If a kandra could get a Dakhor monks bones, it would not grant them additional powers, but is a step in the right direction to gaining his abilities All things of deific level power in the cosmere are related to the Shards Highstorms on Roshar predate the Shattering of Adonalsium Worldhoppers have three ways of obtaining immortality, time dilation, slowed aging, or true agelessness The entire continent of Roshar is not crem, there is a real continent with mineral deposits below the crem-covered surface Khriss is very in favor of freedom of information, and willing to share her knowledge with those working for the good of the cosmere Nalthians with a Breath have more Innate Investiture than someone born on a planet without a Shard, but those without a Breath would have less If Brandon writes a sequel to Secret History, it would occur in the time interval between Mistborn Era 1 and Mistborn Era 2. There is a place in the cosmere where a lot of Worldhoppers tend to congregate Arcanum Unbounded, the cosmere story anthology, will contain an introduction to each planet by Khriss and a map of the solar systems in the cosmere. The Coppermind There's a lot of new work going into the Coppermind lately, and I'd like to thank everyone that helps out. Even correcting a typo or adding one piece of information in is incredibly helpful, and we appreciate all you do. Featured Article: Dalinar Kholin Much of the work on this article was done by a Greywatch and Kynan. This article is beautiful, full of art and in-depth information, exactly what we want from an article. There's only a little bit of work left to do on it, and it's a great example of what passionate wikiiers can do with a little bit of hard work. Kudos to everyone who contributed to this awesome article! Featured Fix-Me-Up: Susebron The current article on Susebron, God King of Hallandren could use a little love. It's got a good start, but it needs more information and better division between sections. Portions that talk about important relationships in his life, quotes, trivia about him, and other information of that nature are always a good addition to the regular baseline history and personality descriptions. Random Little-Known Fact: This random fact comes to us courtesy of one of the most foundational Q&As we've had, the Hero of Ages forum Q&A from Timewaster's Guide. This is probably the first time that Brandon's ideas for the overall cosmere began to be truly apparent. Here's the fact! So Hemalurgy was at least a little bit known before even Allomancy was well-known on Scadrial. I wonder if Brandon will ever do much expansion on the Classical Era of Scadrial before the Ascension of Rashek in the eventual Mistborn Worldbook, or if it will forever remain a mystery? Hopefully one day we'll know!Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next month for a more traditional featured theories column!
  18. 23 points
    Today we're taking a look at a really special thing. It's a Stormlight Archive album called Kaladin, by a group called The Black Piper. This is quite a huge project that has been worked on since 2015, and consists of three producers and several Hollywood composers and orchestrators. About half of the album has been recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In other words, this is a very legit and awesome project. The Black Piper has given 17th Shard a look at fourteen tracks--half of the album--and we're here to tell you about all of them to try to give you a feel for what these are. We're going to talk about the people involved with the project, and also, we're going to talk about the Kaladin Kickstarter they have. So who's working on this? The Black Piper was formed by producer Sae Sae Norris, film composer Michael Bahnmiller (who has done music prep on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and La La Land), and videogame composer Richard Williams (two-time Student Emmy winner). These aren't newbies to the industry at all. The Black Piper also has a desire to support artists and composers, and there's a lot of other composers on the project, which you can see at the bottom of the The Black Piper's About page. All of these composers have worked in the film, TV, or video game industry. In Kaladin you can really feel the influence from films and video games; it'd feel right at home in either. In their Kickstarter, they want to produce Kaladin with the same level of quality as any movie soundtrack. Their goal is to record 95 minutes of music total, 31 tracks in total. and record the remainder with the London Symphony Orchestra. That orchestra has recorded incredibly iconic film scores, some things you may have heard of, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter's soundtrack. You know, just the minor things. They also wish to hire world-class soloists to put in the tracks as well. There's also artbooks that you can get, as well as a number of other Kickstarter upgrades, which we'll talk about soon. But first, you guys want to know what it sounds like. The Music The Black Piper has posted a playlist of excerpts from nine different tracks, which you can see here: We got to listen to complete versions of these tracks and more, for a total of fourteen tracks so far, which is less than half of the thirty-one they want to have in the finished product. Now, most of the full tracks we heard were, computer generated, which means they didn't have the live orchestra sounds in it (except for a few). I'm going to be honest: these tracks were amazing and they aren't even the final versions. It feels cinematic and epic. The unanimous opinion of our staff was essentially: "this is amazing, we can't wait to see the final version." But remember, the tracks might change into their final product, so our descriptions might be off in the long run. So let's go through each of these tracks. I'm terrible at analyzing music, but big thanks to MozyTheHealer, Kaymyth, and FeatherWriter for their musical expertise. They helped a lot in writing this. Also, Kerry, Jofwu, and Botanica helped me here, too! Thanks all! 1. Stormblessed This track is a lot like a "welcome to our story" track. There's a slow, solemn lead-up with bassoons, breaking into a proper battle theme that really evokes the battlefield well. There's big sweeping lyric melodies, with some awesome French horn. FeatherWriter says, "There’s a really incredible bit of time signature change with super interesting syncopation that really caught my attention. Just as you're getting used to the 4/4, it throws you out." This one strongly feels at home in a film. This would work perfectly as the music for a trailer in a Stormlight film. 2. Sas Nahn Shash As the title suggests, this is all about sadness, despair, and defeat. It really captures melancholy, and has a slight feeling of unwanted hope at the end. One of the composers on this album is really into impressionist sounds. It is heavier on the strings and higher woodwinds, and is overall very atmospheric with its long high notes in the violins and sopranos. 3. Sylphrena This one isn't a particular scene from the book, but it tells about Syl's journey as a character. It starts serene, as if she's a mere windspren, then slowly builds into a joyful film score sound. In the middle, it reminded Mozy of Zelda when the track picks up with chimes and violin runs. At the end, we have a big crescendo that hints at the triumphs to come, then fades away at the end. It's a great, hopeful track, which is a nice contrast from the first two. Feather thought the track portrayed Syl as a soothing comfort to Kaladin. It definitely feels like Syl's growth from windspren to Honorspren. 4. Honor Chasm Compared to the joy, happy sound in the last track, this one has a sense of mystery, darkness, and gravitas to it. It feels like the part near the beginning of The Way of Kings where Kaladin goes to Honor Chasm, contemplating ending things. The sound captures a lot of uncertainty with the sparse orchestration and minimal harmonic progression. The harmony sits on notes for a very long time before it moves. It then switches to some motifs from the Sylphrena track, and then ends hopeful and triumphant, as Kaladin has new hope. 5. Alethi Codes of War This song is quite different from the first few tracks. It'd be perfect for a training montage scene, like Kaladin training with Bridge Four. There's a Celtic or folky feel to it. It has a lot of percussion and rhythmic motives in the low strings that makes it feel properly militaristic. The reeling melody that weaves through the percussion is an excellent reflection of Alethi revelry even in the middle of the warcamps. This is one of my very favorite tracks--as well as some others' favorite too--and I think I've listened to it about forty times already. 6. Chasm Kata There's a lot of atmospheric anticipation in this one. Layers slowly build up, eventually ending more triumphant, with a sweet violin solo. It has the feel of a character's self-discovery moment. It's easy to imagine this right in a movie or TV show, and you can feel exactly the scene this track would go into. 7. Highstorm You know exactly the scene a track named "Highstorm" would represent: Kaladin facing the storm. This track starts dissonant and discordant, giving you a feel of unease. Then, the track rapidly builds, like the stormwall is rushing right toward you. The string instruments go crazy, the brass enters, and the bass is literally dropping. Just listening to the track, you can feel your heart beat faster and you're just thinking, "oh crap, oh crap!" This is intense. The song ends more calmly, almost ethereal, as the highstorm passes and you're in the riddens. This one is spectacular and perfectly matches the urgency and majesty of the highstorms. 8. Hearthstone (Tien) This one feels warm and homey. Kerry described it perfectly: "I feel like I’m walking the main character of a JRPG through their hometown, and that’s exactly what a Hearthstone track should feel like. Rich with emotion and nostalgia. I thought I caught a bit of a Shenandoah-inspired melody here and there, which lent an air of homesickness when listening from the perspective of Kaladin reminiscing." At the end there's a snare drum part which made basically everyone who heard this song die. The drum could either represent the drums of war, or the drums before an execution. R.I.P. Tien. 9. Wandersail So, obviously, Wandersail has a flute part in it. Well... we didn't hear this song with the flutes. (I imagine this is one of the "hey we want a world class soloist to do this" thing from the Kickstarter.) What we heard is a sweet underscore of non-flute stuff where Kaladin is seeing what Hoid is making, in between flute parts. In some respects it feels a bit like Pirates of the Carribbean in Stormlight, which is a big compliment. It's strong and cinematic, especially near the end, where it is gets faster and darker, to show the end of Derethil and the revelation about the Uvarans. Still, we really want to hear the flute part! 10. Three Glyphs - Wind, Protection, Beloved This is the scene where Bridge Four is on a bridge run, and Kaladin, in Parshendi armor, distracting the Parshendi from the bridges. You can very clearly hear the transitions between the three glyph themes. Wind is ominous and powerful, Protection is equally powerful but more rhythmic and certain, and Beloved lifts the piece up into a state of joy. The end, though, feels like it pulls at least the second two together into one. It takes a while for this to feel like a cohesive piece, but the payoff at the end is worth it. 11. 16 Seconds Pre-Death The title of this references the death rattles, and as you could imagine, it is quite spooky. It isn't a slow track, though, but more a scene during a battle where things are going very wrong. It's about the part where Kaladin says the Second Ideal, and it is dark and despairing. It has some synth parts creeping through the other sounds, which makes it feel foreign. It gave me a slight bit of a Mass Effect vibe because of it. I'm told there will be some Parshendi chanting added into this song, which will be layered on top of the abstract synths. Considering it already sounds alien and weird, I can't wait to hear the final version with the Parshendi chanting to it. It can only add to the effect. 12. The Tower It's the Battle of the Tower, of course. It opens with an epic, truly film soundtrack feel of a battle, but then transitions to a section that captures the feel of betrayal and sorrow of the moment. Then it moves into with some triumph in it, but also keeps you on edge. It grows frentic and chaotic, as the fighting intensifies. Some of the transitions are so gradual and then others just happen in a split second, that it makes there be a feeling of uncertainty amidst the badassery. At the end, it slows, and you can finally breathe, as the battle ends. The end fades, but it isn't a glorious triumph, instead feeling just like they got out barely, and so many died. It fits the battle excellently. 13. Thath This we heard with the final orchestrated version, and everything I said about the other tracks being awesome are true, but this really feels way more awesome with the orchestra and the vocals. Mozy describes the track as such: "The beginning does some pretty good anticipation IN THREES with the first motive. (Threes are my favorite thing where it takes three times to really hit the moment). The first start is like “ooh is something happening?” and the second one is like “Yuusss something is happening” and then it flakes out. There’s obviously a few different things going on. I feel like the beginning is more war-like, and then it hits a pretty nice lyric section, that moves into the vocal part at the end." A piano joins at the end, building into a true triumphant moment, which feels exactly like would play when Dalinar puts his Blade on the Thath glyph to save Kaladin. Heck yes. It's emotional, stirring, and breathtaking. 14. Shallan's Lullaby So in the description of the project on the Kickstarter, they say this album is about Kaladin's journey through The Way of Kings, but here we clearly get a Words of Radiance inspired track. It has both male vocals and female vocals singing the lullaby in Words of Radiance, clearly echoing the notion that Shallan's father sung this at the beginning of her flashback sequence, but Shallan also sung it at the end, too. It's a sad track that feels despairing, with a soft, mourning air to it. It starts with male vocals, alternates between female and male, and there's a short duet, ending with the female vocals. I enjoyed that it ended on female vocals, as anyone who read the last Shallan flashback would know. The background sounds of blowing winds, dripping raindrops, and lightning add much to the music. Then, silence for a few seconds. It slowly grows into a huge choir and organ part, which would be appropriate in any dark moment, evoking the feel of the horror of either moment where this lullaby is sung. It reminded me more of the end of Shallan's flashback sequence, with the storm outside of the manor, and a corpse inside, as Shallan realizes what happened. This last part was a bit controversial among us, as it was quite a different change in the track, but this is how I interpreted it. ---- And that's all the tracks we heard! Overall, there's a depth and complexity to the music that so wonderfully feels exactly what the scene would feel like. We all felt like this would be right at home in a Stormlight movie, TV show, or video game. If we had one critique, it was that we generally wanted the tracks to be longer--which I'd say is a pretty good thing, to have us wanting more! I have absolutely no doubt that the final product will be spectacular. And this is just fourteen tracks. There is definitely a track called "Bridge Four," but after that, I imagine there will be some other really sweet things here. They want a total of thirty-one tracks, for 95 minutes of music, if they hit their goals. So, let's talk about the Kickstarter. The Kickstarter The Kickstarter is very ambitious. There seems to be three goals, which are not all listed at the moment. There's a $110,000 tier as the first goal, there's a second goal at a money value I'm not certain what it is, and then there's their final goal, which seems to be $600,000, but it isn't fully spelled out. If they hit their second goal, then they will create the second half of the album (which is not created yet), and also record with the London Symphony Orchestra. That means at the first goal, as listed, we wouldn't get the full 31 tracks, but that is their hope to get that many. The biggest goal will involve musicians working on bonus tracks. So, admittedly, that's ambitious. But what we've heard so far is really great, and if it sounds cool to you, consider backing the project! What are the reward tiers for the Kickstarter? $25 or more: a digital download of the album, a Black Piper wallpaper, and a digital art/sketch card. $45 or more: in addition to the lower tier things, you'll get a physical album, which will come with a six page art insert, containing Kaladin art, and a physical art card $100 or more: in addition to the lower tier things, you can be a voice in the virtual choir and actually be in the album $950 or more: in addition to the physical album and those things, you'll receive a page of the score of a given song, handwritten in the composers hand, coated to protect it, and signed. $3500 or more: in addition to the physical album, you spend an evening with the creators over dinner. So... you can spend a lot of money if you'd like to! The physical art card in the physical editions are one of six collectible character art cards. They will be one of these six: Kaladin, Sylphrena, Bridge Four, Navani, Dalinar, or Szeth. There are also a variety of add-ons you can add to your pledge. You can add $2 for a Stormlight character bookmark, drawn by the amazing Botanica Xu, who has drawn tons of Stormlight art, or $12 for a full set of eight bookmarks. You can get a physical album signed for $5. There's an 100 to 150 page Kaladin artbook at $57, containing some existing Stormlight art but also new art too. With pages something like this (though this isn't final): That's Kaladin. It's a big, ambitious project, but these composers are insanely competent and I'm sure if they meet their funding goals, it will be an amazing final product. Hopefully this gave you a huge amount of information into Kaladin so you can decide if you want to back this! Huge thanks to the Black Piper for letting us listen to some tracks in advance! Also, thanks again to MozyTheHealer, Kaymyth, Kerry, Jofwu, FeatherWriter, and Botanica for helping me writing this article, especially with discussing each of the tracks.
  19. 23 points
    Hey there, and welcome to this edition of Around the Cosmere. In this post, we’ll go over highlights of this month’s new WoBs and shine on a spotlight on an interesting theory. If you haven’t read Mistborn: Secret History or Bands of Mourning, you should steer clear of the rest of this post! Spoilers for these books and the Cosmere in general abound. Odyssey Con We were lucky enough this month to get a large number of WoBs (Words of Brandon) from Odyssey Con. A huge thanks goes to Blightsong and Kurkistan for grabbing them for us. Here’s some of the highlights: Odium does not change writings on Roshar like Ruin did. (It’s “not really his thing”.) Dragons can take human form. I wonder if we’ve seen any... Shadows are cast the wrong way in Shadesmar (at least partly) because of how everyone is being drawn to the Great Beyond. It seems that it’s not only when you die that you start getting pulled. Aon Omi is "sort of" like a God Aon, as was theorized a while back. Careful of how you interpret this one, though, as it is “partially adopted”. The screams Szeth hears, as widely theorized, are sort of magical. Someone who did the things he did would not hear them in our world, but anyone who did the things he did in the Cosmere would. It has something to do with the Spiritual Realm. We’ll see a Windrunner other than Kaladin speak an Ideal in a future book. Mistborn aren’t really “Invested” when not burning metals, but they have Spiritual connections that others don’t have which make them passively resistant to things like Forgery and Soulcasting. We also see this in Secret History, where Allomancers aren’t immediately dragged to the Beyond. As a bonus, while burning metals an Allomancer is even more resistant. When people speak of Investiture being corrupted, it often (not necessarily always) just means another Shard’s Investiture has mixed with it. (For reference, this likely refers to the Unmade Sja-anat, who “corrupts” spren who then become thunderclasts.) The follow-up question, on whether this means Nightblood is composed of multiple types of Investiture, was side-stepped. Surgebinders don't have gemhearts. Perpendicularities (large concentrations of Investiture) puncture a hole between the Spiritual and the Physical which is what allows you to use Shardpools to go to the Cognitive. It was noted that Brandon used the word “puncture” almost as if they were spikes. Again, careful of interpreting this one too far: we know that Stormlight glows because it is like a lightbulb screwed into the Spiritual. It’s normal for Cognitive Shadows (and other beings) to get stuck to places due to how they exist through Investiture. This happened with Odium and the two shards on Roshar, Preservation to Ruin, and the Heralds. Elantris crumbled after the chasm because its soul changed to accommodate the Investiture flowing through it (like an Allomantic savant) and its soul was damaged when Investiture stopped flowing through it. Ryshadium evolved to have symbiotic bonds with spren, like much of the rest of Roshar’s wildlife. You can take a look at the full signing reports here. ComicCon FanX We were lucky to have another source of WoBs as well this month. Thanks to Doomquill and theravenchilde for their work here. We don’t have the full transcript yet, so keep an eye out for that! You can steal Surgebinding with Hemalurgy. (There’s been some discussion on whether a Hemalurgically stolen spren could break the bond, and this implies they couldn’t.) Quite a lot of crustaceans on Roshar can grow gemhearts. You can read the full report (and listen to the not-yet-transcribed recording) here. Featured Theory: Trell is Dominion The newest Mistborn books showcase the actions of foreign entities on Scadrial. Bleeder had a spike made of a god metal not related to Harmony, Miles speaks of a Trell, Suit ended up being blown up by something possessing a man, and Bloody Tan was influenced by something. Harmony all-but-tells Wax that he is keeping Scadrial safe from an outside force, which Wax sees as a red mist. Marasi resolves to look into who Trell is, and plenty of people have theorized on their identity here on 17th Shard. The original two big candidates were Odium and Autonomy (the Shard of White Sand). But an interesting alternative emerged: Dominion, or perhaps someone using Dominion’s power. The earliest one to propose the theory, as far as I know, was Tarion in this post. But there was a recent re-evaluation with evidence from Bands of Mourning by Dirigible here. Others have certainly discussed this in other threads; I apologize for not including them here. Some points of evidence for the theory: The agents of Dominion on Sel, the Skaze, are a part of the Fjordell Empire. To no one’s great surprise, pieces of Dominion sought to rule over Elantris and the surrounding area. Why not move on to Scadrial in the future? Brandon has stated “The full [Elantris] sequels will need to be finished before I can do the contemporary (1980s tech) Mistborn novels because of behind-the-scenes Cosmere bits.” The mysterious metal spikes that Paalm used have a very similar appearance to the soulstone that Shai uses (red spots). Not that they’re the same - one is a metal, the other a stone, but Dominion’s power may express itself differently on other worlds. Svrakiss, evil spirits which can control men, are part of the legends of Sel. Sound similar to anything that happened to Suit? The “Faceless Immortal” speaking to Suit at the end was very focused on hierarchy and serving, which is reminiscent of the structure of the Fjordell Empire. Dominion, or those using its power, are certainly an interesting candidate for “Trell”. If you’re interested in looking more in-depth on the arguments for/against, I urge you to check out the threads linked above. Random Fact Here’s this month’s interesting WoB: Could be interesting seeing a Dakhor monk with a Skazeblade fighting a Radiant, no?If you noticed anything wrong up above, please leave a comment letting us know. Have a good month, and happy theorizing!
  20. 22 points
    Hello all, welcome back to Around the Cosmere. Here, I'm going to take you back to the crazy world of the tumblr fandom, and do a different kind of feature this time. I'm going to highlight some of our wonderful fanartists over on the other side of the pond. These are not, by far, the only artists over on that side, but these are a few of my favorites and those who have consistently churned out a lot of art for us over the years. First up, the lovely ExMakina. Maki's art is always so stunning to me, and she's a great person too. I've used one of her Renarin portraits as an icon on tumblr for years, and I just love seeing every new piece she comes out with. Her Brandon Sanderson tag is here, and you can see some of the great things she's made recently! Below the tag are a few of my favorites as well. Maki also has a 17S account, and a thread where she sometimes posts new art. If you like her stuff, go give her some upvotes! Next up, BotanicaXu. Botanica actually lives in China, and helps out with the Chinese translation team for Cosmere books. She's a wonderfully dedicated fan and her art is beautiful too. The intricate details and gorgeous lineart of her works gives her a distinctive style, and it's a style that's captured most of the Cosmere characters, even the very minor ones! You can find her blog here, with her cosmere tag labeled under #CFSBF here. And of course, a few of my faves to share. She's also got a 17S account that can be found here. Third, we've got Silver, who has long been a friend of mine and whose art deserves a mention. Her art blog can be found at BeneathSilverStars, and the thing that always strikes me is the amazing watercolor painting style that she uses to color. She's a big fan of art collabs too, so you might see lineart from others that has been colored over and given the Silver treatment. She loves putting everyone in pretty dresses. Yes. Everyone. Also, her fave character is Tien and she vehemently denies that he is dead. Her art blog is here and her tag for cosmere is #CFSBF. My picks from Silver: Last but not least, I want to shine a spotlight on Rusty, who does some amazing comic art for the cosmere. I always find myself cracking up at the stuff they do, but don't be surprised if you see more serious fanart around as well. Rusty's a great addition to the fandom and I find myself constantly checking the blog PMendicant for more! There's not a specifically cosmere tag, but both #Mistborn and #Stormlight Archive are well populated! And that's a quick highlight of some of the cool fanartists we've got from the tumblr side of things. If you like these artists, please feel free to leave some comments for them, either here or with a message to their blogs. If you leave a message here for them, I'll make sure it gets back for them to see. Thanks for reading, and come back next week to read some more about what's going on with the RPs!
  21. 22 points
    This week, Brandon posted a large progress report on Oathbringer, the third Stormlight Archive book, on the Stormlight Archive subreddit. To talk about how far he has gotten, he went into a detailed explanation on how he structures Stormlight books, so people understand what his word count means. I'm going to talk about what Brandon said, and do some analysis as well! Long story short, Brandon is 180,000 words through Oathbringer. (For comparison, the first Mistborn book is about 200,000 words long.) 130,000 of those are for Part One of the book. Like the other Stormlight books, this will have five parts, and Brandon said that Part One will be longest. He's also written Dalinar's flashbacks in its entirety. Most interestingly, he's finished a novelette from a new character that we will see in Part Two of the book, and he's partially through the novelette that will be in the vein of Szeth and Eshonai interludes. Confused yet? To truly understand what that means, Brandon talked about the structure of the book, as Stormlight books have a particular structure to them. Each Stormlight book has a central "focus" character which has a big arc with flashbacks. The Way of Kings had Kaladin, and Words of Radiance had Shallan. In the initial work on the flashbacks for this book, Brandon decided on Dalinar--before, he didn't know whether Dalinar or Szeth would get the flashbacks. After he decided on Dalinar, he finished Dalinar's flashbacks in entirety. While Dalinar gets a larger plot in this book, Brandon did say that we will see Kaladin and Shallan on the level that we saw Kaladin in Book Two. The flashback character gets a role in all five Parts of the book, so we'll see a lot of Dalinar. In addition, we of course have the interludes in between each of the five Parts of the book. There are two different kinds of interludes: ones that are short stories, and then a recurring interlude character in what Brandon calls a novelette. The recurring characters in interludes were Szeth and Eshonai. Book three is going to introduce a new viewpoint for the interludes here, which he hasn't finished writing. Brandon restricts the amount of viewpoint characters carefully in this way so he doesn't have the problems of other huge fantasy series--like, say, The Wheel of Time--where we just lose sight of the main characters. In addition to Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan, we'll also see some Szeth, Eshonai (to no one's surprise, she's alive), Adolin, Jasnah, and Navani. What interests me most is that Part Two has a second novelette from a character we haven't seen viewpoints from yet. This person's viewpoints will be across six chapters in Part Two. Because of this, Part Two actually has the least amount of focus on the main characters, though Brandon said that Part Two is shorter than Part One. Like the first two Stormlights, Oathbringer's Part Five is very short as well. If you think this all sounds confusing, so did I at first. My reaction to that sentence was, "Man, it sounds like we really need a spreadsheet to visualize this." Well, the joke's on me, because that's exactly what Brandon did. (And people make fun of me for using a spreadsheet to outline my books! Well, take this!) I have to imagine that in Brandon's actual spreadsheet or outline, these names are actual characters. We have "Flashbacks" and "Primary Character" which of course refer to Dalinar. Secondary Main Character 1 and 2 are surely Kaladin and Shallan, respectively. Perhaps I am reading too much into the coloring (entirely possible!), but considering Kaladin is a Windrunner, associated with blue, and Shallan is a Lightweaver, associated with red, we could say that Shallan is Secondary Main Character 1, and Kaladin is Secondary Main Character 2. It is interesting that Secondary Main Character 2 vanishes in Part Four, and that in Part Two, we only get one chapter from Secondary Main Character 1. This isn't that unusual. In The Way of Kings, Shallan totally disappeared from Parts Two and Four, and Dalinar and Adolin weren't in Parts One and Three. In Words of Radiance, Dalinar had much fewer viewpoints than in Book One. So, don't be concerned that you won't see your favorite character for a while. Brandon's been doing this juggling the whole time. For tertiary characters, this is kind of interesting. Brandon does explicitly mention--as I did above--that we will see "moderate amounts" of Szeth, Eshonai, Jasnah, Adolin, and Navani. That's five characters, but on this spreadsheet we only have four tertiary characters. Perhaps this means one of these five will be people we see, but not get viewpoints from. As for Adolin, Brandon later confirmed that Adolin won't have as many viewpoints as other main characters. He will be in about as much as he had in the first two books. That's about it from the big characters. Brandon did also said there will be "a few surprises regarding other characters who have slightly larger places in the plot," but anyone not on that list won't have more than a viewpoint occasionally. At least, until the second five books, where we will have a different set of main characters--of which Renarin is one of them. So that's pretty cool. Next on the writing agenda for Oathbringer is to revise Part One, which he normally doesn't do, but he wants to make sure continuity is correct before he moves on. From there, he plans to write Dalinar's Part Two segments, mixing in the flashbacks and the Part Two novelette, and getting the rest of Part Two's main characters done. He hopes that this will put Part Two to 70,000 words, which will put the book at 200,000 words--right at the halfway mark! Brandon's certainly got his work cut out for him on books this huge. I am really appreciative of him updating us on his progress, and he's clearly working hard. But seriously, there's so many characters and plotlines that no wonder these books are a massive undertaking! I've also compiled a bunch of things Brandon has said on Reddit and Facebook regarding this. I've integrated a few quotes into what is above, but here are some others: Well. That's a thing. I mean, Brandon has said that main characters can die, and has said this frequently. But "spoilers about the nature of the back five books"? Please let me travel in time to discover this now. Brandon clarified that he means that Hoid hasn't missed a main sequence cosmere book. There were some other writing-related comments, which you can check out by looking at the full Reddit thread. One last thing that I thought I'd mention. An AutoModerator bot on the Stormlight subreddit actually flagged Brandon's post because: "Your submission has been automatically removed because the title does not include one of the required tags." Fortunately, Brandon was able to approve it himself, since he's a moderator of the subreddit. What a cheater.
  22. 22 points
    Welcome to "Peter Sayeth," a new feature on 17th Shard where we talk about what Peter Ahlstrom, awesome person and Brandon's assistant, teases on social media. We totally don't stalk him. That would be silly and creepy. Ahem. This month Peter has talked about a lot of goodies, one of which is delightfully trolly about The Bands of Mourning's ending. Gah, we want it right now. Send your angry letters of this knowledge to [REDACTED]. Did you forget that Alcatraz 5 was a thing? It is, and is clearly on the horizon: Maybe it's time for you to reread Alcatraz! (Or wait for their rereleases.) Next up, the White Sand comic: Remember that White Sand is a cosmere graphic novel. It was originally one of Brandon's earliest works. I need this right now. Peter is also very happy with how the Shadows of Self ebook turned out, and the images look good. Great to hear! Then, lastly, Peter yesterday began The Bands of Mourning copyedit. We've yet to get Shadows, and yet Bands is just on the horizon! As you can see, we are getting a ton of Brandon Sanderson goodies in the next year. This is going to be awesome.
  23. 21 points
    Deadline has announced some pretty exciting news today about a story Brandon has been wanting to write for years, Dark One. This story, which has slipped in and out of the Cosmere over the years, is about a young man who instead being the hero prophesied to save the world, is the one destined to destroy it. The last we had heard about it was in last year's State of the Sanderson: Well it seems that that interest bore fruit as in their announcement Deadline reveals that not only is there a television series and graphic novel in the works, but there is also a multi-volume book series and a podcast are as well. The tv series is being developed by FreemantleMedia North America with Random House Studio and the graphic novel will be published by Vault Comics. Where the tv series and graphic novel appear to be planned to tell the same story, the book series will expand on it while focusing on secondary characters and the podcast will explore the events leading up to the tv series. Here is the pitch given by Deadline: I for one am always excited to hear about new Brandon projects on the horizon. I know that Brandon's previous foray into graphic novels has been met with mixed opinions, but I'm happy to see that hasn't given up on the medium. Ultimately I'm very interested to see how this story will play out over four different media! Brandon has tried a much more limited version of this before, with Legion (the original plan was for him to write the novellas to tie into a tv series). This however is much more ambitious, but Brandon is also a much bigger deal. There are no dates for anything yet, but I think the future is promising.
  24. 21 points
    A few weeks ago we posted about the Mistborn board game prototype that Crafty Games planned to reveal at GenCon. I found it quite exciting and was desperate for information, and there were quite a few users who felt the same, so I started work on this secret project. I reached out initially to Tellingdwar, and later to Crafty Games, about collecting and posting information about the game for those of us who could not attend. I hope you all find it as interesting as I do! Final Empire: A Mistborn Board Game The Game Final Empire is a semi-cooperative, resource-manager game set during the events of the first Mistborn novel. Three to five players assume the roles of various factions and must work together to solve the "Problems" facing the Final Empire. In order to solve these problems players must expend a certain combination of resources, but in return they receive Favor from the Lord Ruler. The six factions available to play at GenCon were the Noble Houses of Elariel, Hasting, Lekal, Tekiel, and Venture as well as the Steel Ministry itself. The final release plans to include a total of ten factions. Each round players produce resources (food, money, prestige, skaa, warriors, and atium) in different proportions and combinations based on their faction. House Venture, for example, keeping in line with the books, produces atium, while the other factions cannot on their own. Atium works as a sort of wildcard, you can use it in place of any other resource, and you can convert between different resources to get something that is missing, but in the long run the players must work together, pooling their resources, to succeed. There are 4 tiers of "Problems", at the start of each turn a problem is added to the board in the corresponding column and each pre-existing problem moves up one tier. If a problem passes tier 4 than it is said to "Erupt" (a nice nod to the Ashmounts) and it causes various problems for the players, such as increasing the level of "Unrest" or giving players "Disfavor". The main part of gameplay is the negotiation between players to solve these problems. Getting the right number of resources is only part of the issue, as players also have to decide how the reward of Favor tokens is divided. Anything except Favor gained in previous turns can be negotiated: resources, Personality cards, out-of-game favors, etc. Short-term deals concern the current round (such as Players A, B, and C agree to solve a problem and contribute resources equally and will divide the Favor equally) and are binding, however long-term deals which concern future rounds (such as Player B telling Player A that if they let B help them with this problem they will let A help them a problem on their turn) are not. Which has the potential for a lot of scheming and backstabbing. Another gameplay mechanic is the "Personality" cards. These cards can have a variety of effects, such as altering the number of resources needed to complete a mission or change a problem’s tier. They can also be used to add advisers to one’s faction, or kill the advisers of another faction. These advisers can do things like generate additional resources, or even make long-term agreements binding. The game can end in two ways, either the Unrest reaches 8 or a special problem card (Vin) is resolved. If she is not defeated and is allowed to erupt she increases the Unrest by 4. If the players are able to defeat Vin then the player who has the highest amount of Favor is the winner. If the Unrest reaches 8 then the rebellion occurs and the player with the least Favor (the faction furthest from the Lord Ruler) wins. The Reception The board game seems to have been received extremely well, by fans of the series and people unfamiliar with it alike, I’ve yet to find a negative review or post about it, they’ve all been very positive. Tellingdwar was actually a volunteer for Crafty while he was there and demo’d the game for five hours each day. He enjoyed it so much that one day when his shift ended he commandeered one of the boards and continued playing it with some of his friends. I’d say that is definitely a testament not only to its "fun-ness" but also to its replayability. Plans for Release and Expansion (plus naming rationale) Crafty Games plans on doing a Kickstarter later this year (around Oct/Nov, which would correspond fairly well with the release of Shadows of Self) with an actual release of Quarter 4 2016. There are also plans to release expansions based on the later books as well. These would use the same board and tokens but the cards and factions will be swapped out to match the narrative of each book. These expansions also tie into why the game is not called "House War". I will admit that I was one of the people who greatly preferred "House War" to "Final Empire" but Crafty's reasoning does make total sense. While "House War" does fit well with the base game with its rival Noble factions, the expansions will not have those same factions and will deal with different themes, as such "House War" would not be an accurate descriptor. Mistborn Adventure Game Crafty also talked briefly about what’s coming up for the Mistborn Adventure Game in the relatively near future. Up first is a supplement focusing on the skaa, much like Terris: Wrought of Copper did for the Terris people. The title, Skaa: Tin & Ash, was revealed earlier this year and it’s currently looking at a release during the first quarter of 2016. In addition to that there is a follow-up to their Alloy of Law supplement in the works. With the release of Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning on the horizon they have plenty of new material to work with. Crafty is currently looking at it releasing sometime during 2016. So what do people think of the game? Does it sound like a game you’d like to play? Will you be backing the Kickstarter? Is anyone excited for the MAG supplements? Check out our forum topic here to discuss everything! Photo credits: Mistborn: Final Empire banner from Crafty Games GenCon announcement. Board Game Demo photo from Crafty Games' Twitter. Board Game Playthrough photo from Crafty Game's Facebook page.
  25. 20 points
    Brandon has begun writing on Stormlight 3 in earnest, and today Brandon revealed that the flashback character for this Stormlight book will likely be Dalinar. This may come as a surprise to some, as the previous working title for this book, Stones Unhallowed, as well as Brandon's initial plan suggested Szeth was to be the flashback character. However, more recently, Brandon said that it could be either of the two, or Eshonai, depending on which information needed to be revealed first. While Brandon hasn't officially decided, he won't know for sure until he finishes writing the sequence, he is definitely "leaning that way". The other flashback characters in the first five Stormlight books will be Eshonai and Szeth. Since the original plan was a Szeth, Eshonai, and Dalinar order, it seems likely that we will have Eshonai for book four, and Szeth for book five. That will be it for the first half of the ten book Stormlight sequence. There's a time jump between books five and six, and Brandon will take a break from Stormlight books to do some other projects, like the Elantris sequels and the modern-day Mistborn trilogy. Update 1 to include info that it is not 100% certain just yet. Update 2: Brandon has further clarified that he is currently writing the book assuming it is Dalinar's book, and that the current working title is Oathbringer.
  26. 19 points
    Today we are here with the team from The Black Piper, the creators of the Kaladin album on Kickstarter. It's a fantastic look into the behind-the-scenes process and the backstory of the album, and their plans to come. Joining me today are Sae Sae Norris, Producer and Creative Director; Michael Bahnmiller, Composer and Producer; and Richard Williams, Composer and Coordinator. The Kaladin Kickstarter ends Monday, September 25th. For more information on Kaladin, check out our preview on it. The following has been edited for length and clarity. 17S: How nervous are you now that Kaladin and its Kickstarter is in the wild? How's the reception been so far? Michael Bahnmiller: It's always a little nerve-bending to release something you've put your heart into! With Kaladin, we all had an overpowering sense of optimism about what would happen, but when the campaign was ready and we went to "press the button", the knowledge that thousands of people would now be listening to our music, looking at our profiles, seeing who we were and what we've done - it definitely gave us pause! But I also knew that we have an amazing team and we were prepared! The reception has been overwhelmingly positive! People have been reaching out to us from all across the world to express excitement, not only about the music and the art but also about the concept. We weren't sure if people would get the idea of an original epic fantasy book soundtrack, so it's been thrilling and affirming to have people wondering why this isn't a thing already! Sae Sae Norris: Basically I feel the same way Kaladin is described as feeling during his first bridge run. This has been the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done, but it’s been insanely rewarding both personally and professionally. The film industry is full of vipers and terrible people who exist solely to use you up and throw you out. It’s also full of people who love to create art, and evolve technologically, and think outside of the box, and aren’t jaded, who know that family is more important than work. Time has proven this team to be the latter, which I honestly wasn’t expecting when we first started. I’m amazed at the tenacity, heart, integrity, and sacrifice my team has put in to this project. As its leader, I feel an insane amount of responsibility to make sure this is all worth it. And I can’t do it alone. We can’t do it alone. This Kickstarter has been an incredible crucible and the amount of support we’ve had truly and literally has a physical effect on my well-being. When I’m feeling down or overwhelmed, I look to the Stormlight community because you are my tribe. You guys get it. You know what makes me tick and what inspires me. You feel, and wonder, and create, and jest, and hypothesize and your existence lifts me up. You peeps are my personal bridge crew and I couldn’t be more grateful to the support you’ve given to me and my team. On a more practical note, we’re on track to make our first goal--but we really want to exceed that so we can start writing new music. Most of the Bridge Four sequences had to be left out until Goal 2 because of the budget. Using a 70-piece orchestra is extremely expensive. We’ve taken a lot of care to configure our orchestras (choosing how many of which instrument to hire per session) to maximize the emotional effect of the music they’re playing. We need all the spheres and Stormlight we can muster to really flesh out the album and tell the musical story that we’ve been sitting on. You peeps have been paramount in our success so far, but we need all hands on deck for this last leg of the Kickstarter campaign. 17S: It sure seems like you've been Stormlight fans for a while. The tracks really do evokes the feel of Stormlight and the scenes they are capturing. Could you tell us how the team at Black Piper discovered Stormlight Archive or Brandon Sanderson? SSN: Yay! An origin story question! Have I mentioned how much I personally relate to Kaladin? Because I do. None of us knew each other at the beginning of this project. Well, I didn’t know anyone on the team. I had just wrapped on producing Flight From Shadow, the Wheel of Time fan-film. That shoot destroyed me. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. What was meant to be an homage to two of my brothers (one who died and whose death I blamed myself for, and to my oldest brother, who got me out of my grief by introducing me to the Wheel of Time), ended up being one of the most corrupt shoots of my life. The “bigness” of the project just went to too many people’s heads and it poisoned my team. My friends, my film family, my network. The man I loved, the man who had saved my life that one time and literally carried me into the ER, had stabbed me in the back. And he planned it while I was at the book signing for AMoL, cos he knew I was a Sanderfan and that’s where I’d be. I genuinely considered suicide the night it all fell apart. It was my composer and brother-from-another-mother, Nate Drew (composer for the Hearthstone theme) that kept me alive that terrible night and just let me cry. I was devastated and couldn’t even finish the WoT series. I stopped making films. I stopped writing screenplays and poetry. I stopped writing music. I stopped playing the piano and the cello and singing. I stopped reading. I stopped editing. I stopped teaching. My life turned into one big cremling and my fire was gone. My trust was gone. And I was thoroughly embarrassed that Brandon (who had helped with our marketing cos it coincided with the release of AMoL) and Jason Denzel could have witnessed any sort of drama, cos that’s just not how I do business, and I was (am) a hardcore fan of both of them. (I work with Hollywood A-listers all the time and don’t get nervous; but I get seriously tongue-tied and fan-girly around Brandon, his work means that much to me.) I was approached to produce an Infinity Blade film, which already had half a million dollars of funding in escrow. We made FFS on $12k, most of it out of pocket. I could have made IB look like freaking Avatar and done it in my sleep for half a million dollars. I said no. Twice. I would not do another Brandon Sanderson project. It hurt too much. So, a year later, Nate [Drew] recommends I give some producing advice to two composers who wanted to make an album. Cue a couple of Mormons meeting up in a Starbucks: a recent music grad with an ambitious dream, a final year grad savant that was severely under-appreciated, and a producer who had given up on everything. Funnily enough, I wrote about this meeting in my journal and ended up using that journal as my Black Piper notebook. I had misgivings about getting back in the game but was so inspired when I heard their music. Something inside of my stirred, but it wasn’t enough. I told them their idea was cool but it was too vague and their music needed to tell a story. I blew them off for awhile after that, expecting them to take the hint and give up before they got hurt. Then I get this email from Mike. “Hey Sae Sae, I found the PERFECT story to compose to! It’s called The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (have you heard of him?). It’s epic and spiritual, and everything we need to do! So I wrote to him and he said to contact his agent! What do I do?” I think I had a literal heart attack when I read that. I just read that email over and over again, cradling myself and saying “Oh no!” Not Brandon. Of all the stories in the UNIVERSE Mike could have chosen and it was THAT one. I bought the book, the first book I’d read since that night. I read it in three days and emailed Brandon’s agent the second I was done with it. This was MY story to tell. And the universe kept shoving me in to Brandon’s work. I still don’t know why, but maybe it was time I listened. I knew it would be expensive. I knew they’d say no. But I figured, if I got a solid no from Brandon’s agent, Mike would get off my back. They liked our pitch. They wanted to talk. Every time someone had the opportunity to say no to us in a way that would axe the project, they ended up saying yes. I broke down the book and wrote a treatment, the first writing I’d done in years. We wrote some songs. I got to direct, something I didn’t think I’d ever get to do again. Mike, Richard, and Phil went to Prague and recorded what we wrote. I grew sixteen more ulcers. We were committed now. These were personal funds and now it was on me to make sure these kids could feed their families and didn’t get destroyed by the dark side of the industry. I vowed I would not let that happen to my team. Never again. Then I got a seizure/stroke thingy and became paralysed on the right side of my body. We had to halt the project for a little over a year. DMG wanted the rights to the cosmere. They had more money than we did and we hadn’t yet inked the deal with Dragonsteel. Stuck in a wheelchair, with nothing, my hope started to fade. It was over. I knew my team would take what I had given them and boot me, just like before. I told them that I was no good and to leave and try to succeed without me. They didn’t. They supported me, and worked with my damage. They said they needed me, and I realized that I needed them, and I needed this. DMG got the film rights but they said we could do our album anyway. That’s unheard of. (Seriously, peeps. Studios are not that gracious.) We were running out of money. Investors started coming out of nowhere and managed to give us just the amount of money we needed, when we needed it. At every turn, we thought this project would fail, but we put our heads down and our hearts in and we wouldn’t let it. And here we are. It’s been one battle after another but more and more people come in and help us. They love the music, and the artwork, and the rewards. Our intense commitment to treating this like a true Hollywood project has been paying off. This is what we do, because we have to do it. We don’t know if we’ll reach our destination. But that’s not what it’s about, is it? This project gave my life meaning and purpose again. It reignited the spark of creativity that I thought I had lost. It proved that not everyone becomes corrupt when money and studios and names get attached. I found a fandom that I can enjoy. It feels like home. Brandon is like Dalinar. His words are important and they have united us all. If we don’t make our Kickstarter goal, I honestly don’t know what I’ll do. But I know I won’t do nothing, not again. It would be the biggest forward fail of my life. But if we do succeed, and we can only do it with everyone else’s help, we will take this project and make like Fleet and just keep running. 17S: What's been the biggest challenge on making Kaladin? SSN: I pretty much answered that from a personal point of view, at least. Logistically, I’d say our biggest hurdle has been the money. We have the team, we have the vision, we have the street cred, we have the inspiration. This whole experience would have been a whole lot smoother if we’d had the seed money to properly get this thing past development all at once, instead of in micro-chunks. As it was, all our funds came in increments, and took a LOT of effort and luck to get. We’ve calculated into our budget what we’d need to set aside from our profits to make a second album without all the bumps and hurdles. Hopefully, we’ll make it that far. We’re really planning on a long-term business. The first project is always the hardest. We have a lot to prove, despite our contacts and experience. We’re basically starting a new genre, and being the trend setters is really difficult to do, especially in an industry where the big money bets on what they know already works. So far, we’ve erred on the side of being over-prepared, but this is new territory for us. No one has done a book soundtrack like we’re doing it. And now we know why: it’s freaky expensive. We’re hoping that our formula for the book soundtrack is the one that will crack the code and open up the genre. 17S: What was it like recording with the City of Prague Orchestra? How much rehearsal do they do before it's recorded? I'd love to know more of that process. Richard Williams: They basically have no rehearsal time, they are recording it live sight-reading. Recording with an orchestra is a much more interesting experience when you hear live instruments instead of the computerized mockups. I think it’s common as a composer to have a bunch of questions about your orchestration or to not be sure about if things are going to sound okay, but when you let the orchestra play it, more often then not, that goes away, and you’re just able to sit back and enjoy the beautiful creation. I must admit we had so much on our minds since it was our first time there that there wasn’t a lot of sitting back and enjoying, but we were working and making sure the music sounded as good as possible. The string players there are really amazing! I was amazed at how fast they were able to play my very fast and difficult music. I can’t believe how good they can sightread! 17S: Being realistic, how many tracks will be in the album if you only meet the first goal of 110,000? SSN: If we only reach our minimum goal of $110k, then there will be 14 songs on the finished album. [Take a look at 17th Shard's preview for a look into most of these tracks] The Most Important Words a Man Can Say Stormblessed Sylphrena’s theme Honor Chasm Alethi Codes of War Chasm Kata Highstorm Hearthstone Wandersail Three Glyphs (Wind, Protection, Beloved) The Tower Thath (Justice) Shallan’s Lullaby: a bonus track to give Shallan some love and let you all know what kind of sound and feeling to expect from her album, should we be lucky enough to make it. Tarah: a bonus track devoted to the mysterious Tarah, who is only mentioned once in TWoK and once in WoR! Sae Sae’s only original track on the album, and a piano solo to boot. (If we can afford an orchestra later, we’ll add it) 17S: The Kickstarter, and the album, focuses on Kaladin and his struggles in The Way of Kings, but there was also the Shallan's Lullaby track. Are there any other Words of Radiance-inspired tracks? MB: No. This album is all about Kaladin! We had just found Shallan's Lullaby by Alex Crandall on YouTube and thought it would be awesome to record and include it! So, it became a bonus track, and I'm so glad we found it! SSN: Creatively, we are ready to go on a Shallan album! I’ve got the treatment, and the sample track lists, and am so excited to do it! But, due to the budget we were only able to tell Kaladin’s story on this album. Ideally, we’d like to end up giving each character their own album (if we can get permission, that is); Kaladin has his; Shallan will have hers and will include both her story in TWOK and WoR; Dalinar will have his, which shall include his story in WoR and OB, and so on. To clarify, we do not have any other Cosmere albums lined up with Dragonsteel. Basically, if this album is a success, then we’ll be in a position to possibly negotiate further Cosmere albums. Please help us get this campaign successful so we can blow your socks off with our next album! Shallan’s album will sound totally different from Kaladin’s, a little more like Danny Elfmann, Max Richter, and James Newton Howard. A lot more feminine, but powerful, and very dark and whimsical. I really hope we get the chance to do a Shallan album properly! 17S: Will you use (or have you already used) rare instruments to make the music sound more unique, as Roshar is a unique world? MB: We've used some more unique synth sounds in the tracks. Synths are computer generated (or computer processed) sounds that we layer together with the live orchestral sounds. We are also planning on using a custom made set of bamboo flutes for Wandersail. We are using "electric cello" recorded by the amazing Tina Guo for the Thath track, if you can count that as "rare"! SSN: We’ve got the use of a sitar, and we’re literally creating a flute for Hoid to play during Wandersail because there honestly isn’t one in existence that can do what he describes in the book. But we’re patterning that after a Chinese design (a dizi is what I think we decided to go with), with a few flairs. Our synths are massively processed. The horns that you hear playing in Alethi Codes of War are processed into synths to create the crashing lightning of the Highstorm song, and represents the use of Stormlight. I really can’t wait to record the Parshendi and bring them in to the orchestrated music! Their use of breath, rhythm, male and female overarching each other, yet still somehow in unison, and all in a language that Kristina A. Bischoff created…yeah, I really can’t wait to do the Parshendi vocals. 17S: I saw you had to get the permission from DMG Entertainment [the people who own the film rights] to do this. Has there been any talk to use any of this soundtrack for stuff they produce? Have you had any discussions with them about it? MB: DMG has been very gracious to allow us to do this! Regarding using our music for their production, there hasn't been any talk of it, but typically film needs to be scored very specifically. It actually has much different considerations from what standalone music has. For example, the battle scenes will likely have a different pacing from what the Kaladin album has, they may be faster or last longer. Certain moments will happen at different times, and there are also a lot of nuances that a picture has. The director also brings to the table a vision for the aesthetics and the music. He or she may envision something moving and touching played over a particular battle scene, where what we have is epic percussion! Of course, we'd certainly be beyond thrilled to be considered to compose for something they produce, but as of yet, there has been no discussion! 17S: Which is the track you're most excited to hear with the full orchestra? For me, it's probably "Highstorm." I can't wait to hear the final version of that. SSN: Man, that’s a tough one. I’d say I want to hear Highstorm, Alethi Codes of War, and Honor Chasm. The sheer bossness of Highstorm and its arrhythmic timing, the fun Celtic syncopated jig of Alethi Codes of War, and the heart-wrenching music of Honor Chasm that stops way too early... Do I have to pick one? MB: I'd have to say Sylphrena! Philip Klein, who wrote the track, is one of my favorite composers and a good friend, and I just love this track. Just the mockup version of it takes me back to feeling like a child again, and he does it with such deftness that I forget where I am or that I'm not 6 years old and carefree. I can't wait to hear it all put together and mixed by the wonderful Casey Stone! RW: For me, it’ll probably be The Tower. That song was written literally in 10 hours in one day. It was the day before we were to fly out to Europe. And I love the addition of the drums and choir that will be added, so I’m excited to hear the full version when its done! Highstorm is probably a close second. That was the song that I was amazed at how the string players could sightread such a piece. 17S: What are each of your favorite tracks and why? MB: Well, Sylphrena, for sure! And Alethi Codes of War by Caleb Blood is just so fun I wish I'd written it! Oh, and Shallan's Lullaby just has the coolest arrangement - written by Alex Crandall and arranged/orchestrated by Sandy Schnieders. And Hearthst--- OK, you probably only wanted one track, didn't you? RW: Hmm, besides The Tower, and Highstorm, I like Sylphrena’s Theme and 16 Seconds Pre-Death. Sylphrena’s theme has some really cool chords in it that really remind me of that Hollywood sound, and the song it self has an epicness that is in a different style than many of the other epic action songs on the album. So it’s nice to hear another angle in that way. I like 16 Seconds because it’s unnerving and intensely ominous at the same time. I like the chord progressions that happen in the song as well. It reminds me a bit of old classical influences how things morph with the chords. And I like the unnerving groans that happen towards the beginning. That adds to the ominous feeling that surmounts. SSN: I honestly go through phases with the album. For awhile, I’ll be feeling it with Highstorm. It was so much fun to pull out of Richard the idea I had in my head. He was the perfect one to write the song. Then I’ll be feeling it with Alethi Codes of War (okay, this might be a favorite simply because it’s got the Celtic feeling and I’m a sucker for that). Then I get the feels with Hearthstone, which is satisfying to listen to because it really took a LOT of takes to get this just right. I wish you peeps could hear it with the male humming in the background. Sandra thinks we should go with a tenor, to represent Tien; and I think we should go with a bass, to represent Lirin working by himself. Either way, whatever we end up with, I know it’s going to hit us all right in the feels! Thanks for joining us! Check out the Kaladin Kickstarter over here to back this project.
  27. 19 points
    Today came out with some crazy, crazy news: the entire cosmere has been optioned for films by DMG Entertainment, according to Variety. That's right, all of the cosmere. Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, Emperor's Soul, and all other rights are all in one place, with the intent to create the universe for the big screen. You might not recognize that the name of that company, but they aren't nobodies. DMG has produced real movies that you've absolutely heard of or seen: Iron Man 3, Transcendence, and Looper. DMG is serious about these, too. According to Variety, DMG has committed to spending $270 million so far, which supposedly will cover "half the money needed to back the first three movies made." And I, as a leading expert in numbers, can confirm that $270 million is, "a ton of money." (My math degree is coming in handy!) DMG originally held the rights to The Emperor's Soul, which led them to the whole cosmere in the first place. Brandon actually commented last year on Reddit that they also had the rights to Stormlight Archive, Elantris, and Warbreaker. It's interesting that DMG now owns the Mistborn rights, because the Mistborn film rights have had some storied history, which we'll talk about below. Perhaps this deal wasn't formally announced (despite Brandon's Reddit comments) because DMG had been in talks to acquire the Mistborn rights for so long. So, what's first for film for the cosmere? Variety reports that DMG is "fast-tracking" an adaptation of The Way of Kings. Not to be left out, they also intend to adapt the first Mistborn book "simultaneously" to The Way of Kings. No one has been attached to the Mistborn project yet, but Way of Kings has people. They've hired Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan as screenwriters, who have worked on films in the Saw franchise. (This might be a bit concerning, because that doesn't exactly scream like a match made in heaven for Stormlight Archive, but AliasHandler on the forums helpfully pointed out that Peter Jackson had been known for Dead Alive--a horror flick--before doing Lord of the Rings. So it could be bad, but isn't inherently disastrous.) The founder of DMG, Dan Mintz, is producing the film, and Brandon himself along with his agent, Joshua Bilmes, are serving as executive producers. Brandon says that those at DMG are fans, who immediately understood his vision for the cosmere, and Brandon is excited to work with them to make this happen on the big screen. On Reddit, he has talked about the deal in some more detail. Though he's excited, he wants to temper expectations. Film options are just the first step in a long process. Brandon said: So, this stuff is not coming out anytime soon. I know I personally share a lot of skepticism going around on the forums that The Way of Kings can be a coherent film. I assume DMG wants to make a truly awesome, cashing-printing movie universe (aspiring to be Marvel), so they will want to make these films great. It may just happen that Way of Kings progress might stall, and Mistborn comes into production first. Who knows! How much involvement will Brandon have on the films? He is an executive producer, but he's said on Reddit, regarding how much power he has on the films: "Too early to tell. But I wouldn't want to have too much. I'm not a film maker. I have told them from the start that I want creative input, but that I feel the best adaptations happen when passionate film makers are allowed freedom to practice their art." This statement is something he's always said, whether it’s a film or a video game, it isn't his area of expertise, and he wants to enable the experts to make something awesome. I am worried that The Way of Kings is a dangerous place to start in the cosmere. Yes, it's his biggest property, but it's also the weirdest and has the steepest learning curve. I think if there's one thing we've learned from the Marvel Cinematic Universe vs. the newer DC movies is that you have to earn the respect of the audience to care about a cinematic universe. You need to tell awesome stories, and sprinkle in the crossover stuff slowly. This is the philosophy Brandon's used in writing the cosmere, after all. Now, The Way of Kings is Roshar-centric, but it's still a lot heavier on cosmere stuff than Mistborn 1 is. Mistborn just seems like a more natural place to start, because a lot of it is directly cinematic, and it's well-contained. It can be the hook to sell the more ambitious Stormlight movies on. Stormlight Archive is also dangerous to start with because it isn't done. Yes, these movies are a long way off despite how excited DMG is, but Stormlight books are a huge undertaking. It'd be a shame if the Stormlight films took off and a Game of Thrones effect happens, where the films overtake the books. After Oathbringer in 2017, we have seven more books, folks. If Brandon gets one out every two years, that'll be 14 more years. And we've known that between book five and six we're taking a break for Brandon to work on some other projects, like Mistborn Era 3. We could easily be in a situation with Stormlight adaptations where the actors age too fast for the time scale this would involve. This could be solved by whatever sort of break we have in the Stormlight Archive between books five and six, I suppose. It's also very early to worry about such matters, but it is a can of worms they need to keep in mind. Mistborn doesn't have these can of worms: you can easily adapt the first trilogy and not worry about this. So, let's just say we're concerned. Excited, but concerned. I would, however, ask all cosmere fans to remember that the films, no matter how good they are, will not be the same as the books. Your favorite scenes might get cut or radically changed. It's going to be hard on all of us, because we love these books so much, to not heavily criticize these films. But when they do come out--and I have no doubt that even if DMG can't do it, someday they will be adapted to film--just remember, filmmakers need to make a good movie first. Absolutely everything else is secondary. It is going to be different. But, hopefully, they will capture the essence of what makes these books amazing, even though the details will be different. Trust me, if or when these films come out, we'll be giving you an in-depth review of it. If they suck, we're going to tell you. But I'd really like them to be great. Here's to hoping, right? There's a few other things that this announcement might mean regarding some related Mistborn adaptations. If you haven't been keeping track of the Mistborn rights, they've had quite a storied history. Originally, Brandon sold the rights to Paloppa Pictures, who had owned the rights for many years until 2014, where they lapsed. Then, sometime afterwards, the film rights were optioned by a company called Applied Allomancy, which seemed created specifically to hold onto these rights. Why am I bringing this up, and who is Applied Allomancy? Well, Applied Allomancy is owned by the same people who own Little Orbit, the people who theoretically have the rights to the Mistborn video game, Mistborn: Birthright. We've talked multiple times about this disaster of a project that is. It's been vaporware for a long time (remember a 2012 release? Adorable.). Well, if Applied Allomancy sold the rights to DMG, I think it is safe to say that, once and for all, the Mistborn video game is dead. She's dead, Jim. (Probably) I think we can all be happy that at least with DMG, films have a much higher chance of occurring in the first place. Discuss this news on the forums here or in the comments below! Big thanks to Ian (WeiryWriter) for some helpful research in writing this. Also, thanks to CNET for linking to the Coppermind's Cosmere article (which I mostly wrote)! Cool!
  28. 18 points
    A little over a year ago, Brandon made the surprising announcement that he had not only written the sequel to The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, but the sequel to that as well. The Bands of Mourning, as the sixth Mistborn book, has a lot to live up to. Not only with these characters, but with the world itself, there's a lot of history to contend with. Luckily, Bands soared above the hopes I had for it. It's quickly become my favorite Wax and Wayne era novel, and, for me at least, it's neck and neck with some of the Era 1 trilogy. Bands picks up about six months after Shadows of Self concludes, the aftereffects of which are still being felt. Wax has had his worldview shaken and is still reeling from the emotional blow of Shadows' climax. So when a kandra arrives, seeking his help to find the Bands of Mourning, the fabled metalminds of the Lord Ruler--rumored to give any who possess them his powers--Wax is disinclined to agree. That is, of course, until a more personal motivation comes to light. The Set, and Wax's uncle Edwarn, are back and there's no telling what they are up to now... Part of what sets Bands apart from Alloy and Shadows is the setting. We leave Elendel behind, and while Bands still has the distinctive thriller pacing of its predecessors, you can definitely see hints of a more epic scope as we explore more of the wider world. Turns out there is a lot more going on than the people of Elendel would like to admit. Bands is also a distinctly different kind of story. Alloy was very much a Western, it may not have been set in the Roughs proper, but it was steeped in the feel of it. Shadows, on the other hand, was more of a true thriller, a cat-and-mouse mystery. At its core it's a personal story. Bands though... Bands is like an Indiana Jones story set on Scadrial. There's a certain extravagance of plot and of situations beyond mere mortal men (and women). The characters have also come a long way. Wax, Wayne, and Marasi are not the same people that we met back in Alloy, they have grown and changed, and in some cases made some pretty tough choices. Bands continues that. The book is full of moments of character growth and realizations about themselves and their companions. These are some of the most powerful moments in the book. It goes to show that while Brandon is known as the "worldbuilding guy," he's a master of character as well. The stand out character is Steris, by far. This is definitely the book where she comes into her own; she's not just a side character any more. I feel she helps bring a certain amount of levity to the book in a way that is distinct from Wayne's humor. You cannot help but smile at her sincerity and earnestness in the face of the almost larger than life world of Wax, Wayne, and Marasi. She may not have powers, but she's far from useless. Over the past few months I've seen more and more people show an appreciation for her, but if you are still on the fence, I think she might win you over in Bands. I'll even wager that she'll become a fan favorite going forward. If I had to describe The Bands of Mourning in one (two?) word(s) it would be "mind-blowing". Looking back at it now I still cannot believe that Brandon was able to pull off everything that he did. Especially that he was able to do it without the book feeling rushed. Don't get me wrong, Bands still has the Brandon Avalanche that we all know and have grown to love, but the build-up to it is much more subtle. I was already well into the avalanche by the time I realized it had even begun. It is hard, even, to pinpoint the beginning of the avalanche, as the pacing is handled so smoothly. There are moments where you have to stop and go "Wait a minute, is that... It is! Oh my Harmony, I can't believe it!" Then at other times you think you know exactly what is going on only to have things take a hard right into sheer, unbridled insanity, but it's incredible nevertheless, in a way you would never have dreamed possible. And it's like this over and over again. It's a wild ride, and at times it will leave you breathless, but in the end you'll be hanging on every word, right until the very last. To be honest it's hard to think of my least favorite part of the book. I do have a few minor complaints but they are tiny, nit-picky things, such as a scene near the beginning that drags on rather longer than was really necessary, but in the long run they did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. Really the worst thing about Bands is that it spoiled us! We only had to wait three months for its release (after Shadows) and unfortunately it's going to be significantly longer than that before we can get our hands on the next book. During last month's State of the Sanderson, Brandon put the current estimate for the release of The Lost Metal-- the final Wax and Wayne novel--at late 2018. Luckily that's not as long as the wait between Alloy and Shadows, but it is not an insignificant amount of time. I have hard time holding that against the book, as even though the wait won't be as short, or as easy, as we might wish for, there is still plenty to keep us busy in the meantime. And I don't know if I'm quite ready to move on from these characters, especially after the experience that is this book, so perhaps the wait is a blessing in disguise. It will undoubtedly give us time to sort through everything (and believe me when I say there is plenty to work through). This is one adventure you do not want to miss. Early copy provided by Dragonsteel Entertainment. Posted with their permission. The Bands of Mourning comes out on January 26th, 2016.
  29. 18 points
    Hey Everyone. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just hours away from premiering, and I know people here on the site are going to want to talk about the movie after they've seen it. For that purpose, there's a thread up (linked here), for all discussion of the movie. Any discussion regarding spoilers of any kind need to stay in that thread until AT LEAST the new year (the admins are still discussing when exactly we'll end the moratorium on spoilers). Even if you have a new theory that is sparked by the movie, if you need to reference something in the movie, please hold off on posting the theory as its own thread until this spoiler-free period is up. As this movie is one of the most anticipated films of the last few years, we're going to be VERY quick to respond to spoilers posted outside of this thread. Our basic plan is that on a first offense, if we determine that you're posting details (real or not) to troll, flame, or ruin the movie for other members, you're going to be banned until at least the new year, and possibly until the end of the spoiler period. If we conclude that it was an innocent slip, your post will be edited or removed, and you'll receive a PM letting you know that we've done so, and letting you know that you need to not do so again. I know that this policy is harsh, but I've seen many other places on the internet where trolls are posting spoilers abound, and I'm not going to have that happening here. If you see any spoilers, please remember that the report button is your friend, and we'll get on it as soon as possible. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to leave them here in the thread, or drop me a PM. Rubix
  30. 18 points
    Hey Sharders, We've got an opportunity to help the site, a member of our community, as well as make the world just a little better. I'll try to keep it brief, and I hope by the end, I'll be able to persuade you. A dear friend of mine owns a small music shop. He's doing everything he can to try to help inspire change in an industry that is laden with issues. Many instruments and music supplies that are sold around the area we live are manufactured abroad, by companies that pay their employees so little that the employees are basically slaves. What he's done is made sure that as much as he can of what he offers is made by people who are being paid a fair wage. I believe in what he's doing so much, that I'm actually going to be joining him as a business partner, combining this site and his shop to make the world a little better. Right now, he has an opportunity to receive a grant for $100,000, which would help propel this business ahead by years overnight, helping him pay for things like a delivery van, purchasing a broader inventory, and even hiring a few employees. That's where you guys come in. In order to be considered for this grant, he needs at least 250 votes on this page. It does require a Facebook account to vote, but you don't have to post or share anything. All we ask is that you use your real Facebook account, just to avoid making it look to the selection committee that we may have rigged the vote. And if we do receive this grant, I promise, some awesome things will come to the site. Thank you guys so much for being awesome.
  31. 18 points
    Big news today: White Sand, an unpublished cosmere novel, is going to become a three part graphic novel series, the first coming out next year. White Sand was the first novel Brandon ever wrote, and he eventually did a complete rewrite of it around the time of Elantris. That version of White Sand was good enough for Brandon to get his agent, though they decided to submit other works instead. White Sand was to be the first in a planned trilogy, but Brandon was never satisfied with how the plot turned out originally, but we now we'll finally get to see it and its world. From the announcement: Aside from this, we have had references to Taldain (the planet in the cosmere where White Sand takes place) before. We know that Bavadin, a person who holds a Shard that was mentioned in the Letter in The Way of Kings, is in fact a Shard that exists on Taldain. It is possible we have seen characters from White Sand as worldhoppers as well. It isn't clear whether the three graphic novels will cover all the books in what would have been the White Sand trilogy, or if it will just cover the first book, but either way, we're excited to finally see Taldain.
  32. 17 points
    Hot off the heels of yesterday's monumental announcement about Brandon's multimedia plans for Dark One, Publisher's Weekly has revealed more information about the graphic novel slice of the pie. The graphic novel will consist of two volumes, the first of which is due out in Spring 2019, less than a year away! The also revealed the creative team that will be co-writing it with Brandon, Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. On a personal note, I found this news incredibly exciting as Lanzing and Kelly have worked on some of my favorite comic series in recent years. Yesterday I felt cautiously optimistic, today I am full steam ahead on the hype train, because I know these guys can write a good story. The two of them plus Brandon? Now that is going to be something awesome. They also revealed what seems to be the cover art which looks pretty storming cool: Jackson Lanzing, on his twitter, has also confirmed that the artist for the project is Nathan Gooden, and posted line art for part of the cover:
  33. 17 points
    Greetings, all! To up the hype surrounding the imminent release of Oathbringer (if that’s possible), Botanica and I were asked to write a column centering on the incredibly talented artists in the cosmere fandom. In this issue, we focused on recently created Stormlight fan art, with pieces focusing on scenes and characters from the first two books. We picked a varied group of artists from all across the globe, highlighting the diversity of the cosmere fandom and the creatives who produce fabulous artwork for it. So, without further blab, let’s talk art. First up, the amazing Toast Samurai from the land of snow, Canada. Over the last several months, Toast has given us a large number of awesome art pieces, including my favorite depiction of Kaladin. In which he swears his oath and glows with stormlight, saving Dalinar from impending doom. This is the piece featured below: (Toast Samurai, Kaladin) Deviantart: https://toastsamurai.deviantart.com/ Tumblr: http://toastsamurai.tumblr.com/tagged/toast-draws Artist Statement: “I was captivated by Kaladin's struggle throughout The Way of Kings—you knew this man was going to be special from his spirit alone. When he finally said his Oath and bursts alight as a Radiant after going back to save Dalinar... It can be no more eloquently put than the line: “Can you feel it? Something just changed. I believe that’s the sound the world makes when it pisses itself.” According to Toast, she got into the cosmere about five years ago after a friend recommended the books to her, and has been hooked ever since. She currently works as a legal assistant, but wants to apply to become a paramedic next year. She mainly views art as a hobby, but creates extraordinary pieces of art, nonetheless. Next up, Meat (Yen Shu Liao), an Asian-American who sometimes hangs out in 17th Shard’s discord server. Meat has provided us with a set of amazing Thunderclast sketches that depict these legendary monsters in a variety of poses and performing multiple different feats. Drawn in ink on white paper, Meat’s depiction of the thunderclast makes this terrifying monster come to life (without Odium’s spren): (Meat, a.k.a. Yen Shu Liao, Thunderclast) Artstation: http://yensliao.artstation.com/ Deviantart: https://ysliao.deviantart.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yenovich/ Artist Statement: “They are exploring what a thunderclast might look like according to the descriptions in the first 2 books of Stormlight Archive. I'm also thinking of doing a few more location-specific ones next month.” Meat is a self-employed concept artist living in NYC, who mostly focuses on creating concept art of monsters, creatures, and other beasts. He says that his girlfriend introduced him to the cosmere last year, starting with Mistborn, dragging him into the cosmere like the rest of us. Our third artist is Angel802 (pansel on tumblr), and is from China. For this article, we asked to feature Angel1802’s Kaladin. This is a digital painting depicting Kaladin near the end of Words of Radiance after he swore his third oath and informs Szeth: “The sky and wind are mine. I claim them, as I now claim your life.” (Angel1802, Kaladin the Knight Radiant) deviantart: https://angel1802.deviantart.com/ redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/angel1802 tumblr: http://pansen1802.tumblr.com/ Artist Statement: “This picture was painted the night I finished Words of Radiance. Since Kaladin really suffered a lot in the first book so I thought it would be easier for him in the second one, and I was wrong. Mr. Sanderson showed me the harder you push him the greater he can become. “I claim wind and sky”, wooo how beautiful it is! he was getting not only physically stronger but also more mentally matured. His image as a wind chaser just pumped into my eyes, and I couldn't get over it the whole night. So I jumped off my bed and drew it down.” Angel1802 is a professional digital artists from China who has depicted various scenes from the Stormlight books over the last two years. Such as Kaladin’s and Adolin’s duel in the arena, a picture of Kaladin and Syl, and Adolin and Kaladin on the Shattered Plains. She also paints art for The Silmarillion, Overwatch, and various other fandoms. Next up is Grant M. Hansen, who’s beautiful depictions of scenes, places, and characters from the Stormlight Archives have graced the fandom for years. Hailing from Utah, we picked Grant’s Dalinar from his Stormlight Archive fanzine depicting the Kholin family. In this picture, Dalinar is leading the Cobalt Guard in a charge, riding on top of Gallant and summoning his Shardblade. (Grant M Heart, Dalinar) Website: https://www.gmhansen.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/grantmhansen/ Tumblr: https://gmhansenart.tumblr.com/ Artist Statement: “This is Dalinar Kholin, The Blackthorn. I wish his shard plate looked a whole lot cooler, but I’m really new to designing armor. I’m very happy with the layout, however. And, as a bonus I was able to sneak in a little self-portrait. Indeed, I am now officially an honorary member of the Cobalt Guard.” Grant is a professional digital artists who designs book covers, logos, and concept art, and works at Bluehost. He has recently created a fan zine (which you can view on the Shard) depicting the each of the living members of the Kholin family and other pieces of Stormlight art. Grant’s art is lively, beautiful, and epic, bringing the characters and places to life through art. Fifth is Marianne Eie is a digital artist from Norway, who has joined the fandom in the last few years. We picked Marianne’s wonderful digital painting of the chasms, which she aptly describes as a “damp place of life and death.” (Marianne Eie, The Chasms) Website: http://marianne-eie.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marianne.eie/ Tumblr: http://marianneeie.tumblr.com/ Artist Statement: “The chasms were always my favorite areas in Roshar, and when I decided I wanted to draw an environment piece I knew I had to pick this place. I love the rich transformation from monotonous plateaus and vastness into a swampy world teeming with life -- a damp place of life and death, terrible and beautiful, claustrophobic and serene (unless you meet a chasmfiend, ha).” Marianne has recently finished her degree in Concept Art, and is currently pursuing a career as a concept artist and illustrator. She describes herself as having a soft-spot for Brandon’s work, and has draw beautiful concept art for the Stormlight Archive in her free time, depicting scenes from the books, characters, creatures, and various other things from Roshar. Finally, Eric’s favorite piece, Shallan Davar by dnavenom. Dnavenom hails from the beautiful European country of Bulgaria, and has created both this wonderful piece of digital art, and my favorite image of the Blackthorn. This piece shows Shallan running in fear from the Cryptics, displaying a rich variety of colors and a beautiful depiction of the Daughter of Lies: (Dnavenom, a.k.a.. Peter Penev, Shallan Davar) Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/dnavenom Deviantart: https://dnavenom.deviantart.com/ Artist Statement: “I`m captivated by fantasy art, since the moment when I became a sentient being, somewhere after the age of 24-25 maybe. My goal is to portray magic as realistic as possible, but still keep the feeling of mystery behind these alien worlds. I still try to stay away from photorealism. Art must still look like art after all, right?” Like many cosmere fan, he picked up the books after Brandon was picked to finished the Wheel of Time. Dnavenom is a self-taught artist who formerly studied and worked as an architect, before he realized that he wanted more creativity in his life, decided to scrap six years of his life, and become a game and illustrative artist, focusing on fantasy art. As Dnavenom says, “It`s never too late for fantasy!” Thanks for taking your time to look at this amazing art! We'll see you after Oathbringer, with articles about the art from inside the book and new fan art create by a our next group of amazing featured fan artists. We hope you're looking forward to that as much as we are, until then, let there be art. (Botanicaxu, Cosmere Artists)
  34. 17 points
    THE END IS NIGH! Or at least the end of the first draft of Stormlight 3 is almost here. The progress bar on Brandon's site is currently sitting at 98% and should reach 100% very soon. At Wednesday's San Fransisco confirmed that it will be released in November 2017. Unfortunately that is still about a year away. I think last week's release of Edgedancer has helped cut the worst of our cravings, but if it still wasn't enough I have good news. The Unfettered II anthology, originally scheduled to release on December 6th has had its ebook released early, and as we reported earlier, it includes the first FOUR Dalinar flashback chapters! I for one plan on picking it up as soon as I can and there will be a spoiler forum where they can be discuss them soon. In other news forum member @David_Fonti just released a computer animated Stormlight fan film that he and a team made. I really must say, they did a fantastic job. It gives a taste of what a Stormlight adaptation could be, and I hope we see more. In addition to the film itself he's posted a behind-the-scenes documentary on how the film was created which I found quite interesting. Discuss it here!
  35. 17 points
    Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection is finally here. This is a big, 670+ page book, with a ton of stuff. This has every single cosmere story that has been published outside of the main novels in one convenient collection. It has: The Hope of Elantris, The Emperor's Soul (which is incredible), The Eleventh Metal, "Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania, Episodes 28 and 30", an excerpt from White Sand (both graphic novel and from prose), Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, The Sixth of Dusk, and, for the first time in physical print, Mistborn: Secret History. That's a ton of value, just considering Secret History and Emperor's Soul. But that is not all. Its main headline feature is a large, 40,000 word long Stormlight Archive novella: Edgedancer. It's a novella about Lift, of course, and covers her story after we saw her interlude up until the end of Words of Radiance. Not only that, but Arcanum Unbounded has some crazy cosmere information--essays from the author of the Ars Arcanum, Khriss, on each of the star systems--and star charts. So how is it? I'd say its a resounding success. The original content is enough for me to be thrilled about this release, and if you haven't read any of the older content, the value keeps piling up. Khriss Essays and Artwork First, let's talk about the cosmere goodies. Each of the stories is separated per star system, and at the beginning, we have a gorgeous drawing of each solar system, followed by a short two page essay written by Khriss. Since she writes the Ars Arcana in each book, that gives you a certain level of expectation on awesomeness. And, well, get excited. Khriss talks about more than a planet's magic system. She talks about the sizes of planets, the Shards of the planets, and overall covers the basic history. I know that sounds boring, and maybe if you aren't into the cosmere, some of this will be boring. But each star system has crazy, unique things. Here's the thing: Khriss delivers lore bombs casually, if they were nothing. Things that I have wondered for years are answered in a sentence. There's a thing that I never even considered could be possible that is discussed, and it is insane. And, like always, there are new mysteries for us to ponder. (If Khriss can't figure them out... well, we will have on the forums theorizing about it for years to come.) There are essays on every planet, save for Nalthis. It's probably because there was no Nalthis content in this rather than any other deeper reason. While I'm sure much of this essay info you'll find on the internet (like on the forums, or on the Coppermind soon), but it really does add to this idea that these worldhoppers collected and catalogued this information. It's awesome. Each story has original artwork preceding it, and every star system gets a neat icon. Oh, and on the endpages of the book, there's also a completely awesome star chart of the cosmere. It's an artistic thing, with drawings that represent constellations on it. It's gorgeous, and terrifying, for a reason that you'll see as soon as you lay your eyes upon it. The entire product is far more than an anthology. Edgedancer But, of course, you want to know about new Stormlight content. It feels like an eternity since Words of Radiance, so it is amazing to finally advance the story. Edgedancer is about Lift, featured in one of the interludes of Words of Radiance. She'll actually be a main viewpoint character in the back five Stormlight books. So, if you love Lift, you'll love Edgedancer. It is that simple. It's funny. It's dramatic. It's emotional. It's everything you wanted out of a Lift story and more. It's hard for me to imagine going into Oathbringer without having read this. Significant stuff happens. There was actually some mindblowing events here. (And it also has something I did not expect, which answered a huge, huge question in the series. It totally blindsided me that this was the story that this happened in, and I did actually scream.) I suppose it isn't strictly necessary, because the characters here are separated from the main characters of the Stormlight Archive, but you'll be really glad you read this. I will say, though, that Edgedancer was so sweet that it made me desperate for Oathbringer. It made me realize how much I love Roshar. So, in a way, this piece which Brandon wrote to tide us over until Book 3 as an apology for it taking so long ends up being a novella which makes me need Oathbringer, immediately. I'm basically Gollum, and I wantses it now. I think any way you slice it Arcanum Unbounded is worth the full price release. The original stuff is great, and the value that the art and the essays bring to the old work is fantastic. Sure, some of the older works in this collection are not my favorite, but come on, with Emperor's Soul, Secret History, and Edgedancer, you get a lot here, and that isn't everything. It's a great anthology.
  36. 16 points
    Recently the company Brotherwise Games, launched a Kickstarter for a new "hero-crafting" card game titled Call to Adventure. As part of the Kickstarter they announced their first expansion, themed around the book The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss. Earlier today, in honor of the Kickstarter reaching $300,000 USD and GenCon 2018, Brandon announced that Brotherwise Games will also be releasing a Stormlight Archive themed expansion in Fall 2019. I won't go into too much depth about the game (they do a pretty good job of that over on their Kickstarter), the gist of it however is this: you start with a hero, defined by their origin, their motivation, and their destiny, and you choose different cards to help craft them into the greatest hero (or antihero) possible. The Stormlight expansion will add special destiny cards for the Orders of Knights Radiant. This is the first I've heard of the Kickstarter, but this game seems right up my alley so it is safe to say I will soon be a backer. It's unclear whether the Stormlight expansion will also be Kickstarted, of if it will go directly into production. All of the art they've shown for the base game is spectacular, and based on some previews the art for the Stormlight expansion will be no different. Check out "Secret Training" by Adam J. Marin and "Edgedancer" by Paul Canavan below.
  37. 16 points
    Hello everyone! Voidus here again for this month's Around the Cosmere segment on the RPs and social groups! This month, there's been two new RPs that have started up, the progress of Oregon and the Social Guilds, and we'll have our first hightlighted character and character from the Oregon RP: Nighthound, and his battle against Lightwards and Doctor Funtimes. It really is a ridiculously fun story. So let's get into it! New Roleplaying Games This month has seen the rise of two new RPs that are both going strong. ‘Owls and Wands: A Hogwarts Roleplay’, is set in the world of Harry Potter. Meanwhile, ‘The Beginning of an Era’, is a roleplay set in the distant past of Skyrim in the world of the Elder Scrolls series. ‘The Beginning of an Era’ is a roleplay set in the world of Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games, it takes place in the first Era during the time of the dragon wars. Dragons rule the land, assisted by powerful dragon cultists who worship them as gods these giant powerful beings roam free through the skies of Skyrim, taking as they please and slaughtering those who oppose them. Meanwhile daedric worship has become popular in small pockets, with worshippers of Nocturnal, Azura and Hircine taking ever larger roles in the events that are to come. ‘Owls and Wands: A Hogwarts Roleplay’ is set in the world of Harry Potter, taking place at Hogwarts after the events of the books. Muggle technology is starting to creep into the magical world, cultural shifts have taken place since the battle of Hogwarts and rumor has it that a stair has started yelling study advice at students. The term hasn’t started yet so jump in now if you’d like to participate! The RP has been progressing pretty well and hopefully will continue on.[/background] Reckoners stuff Now on to the RP to rule them all: The Reckoners RP, six threads, hundreds of posts, enough teleporters to fill a small city, thousands of pages of Questions threads filled with insanity and somehow we still haven’t broken the internet. Well we’ll keep trying. What happened in the last month: Most excitingly the Wastelands Roleplay has started up again! Edgedancer has joined in the massive Roleplay set across the entire country of Australia and has revitalized it, with events proceeding forwards once again. Alliances are being forged, deals being made, and time progressing at a fixed rate once more! Other threads have seen the revitalization of some old characters, in the Dalles the Florist has become active once more with a truly stunning post from Cognizantastic, carefully tending his garden as the rest of the Dalles is enveloped in a war between giant metallic tentacles and enough missiles to shame any warzone. In the doctors clinic Shiny Sparkle has launched an assault on her newest victim, showering her with praises and hugs, while in the bus chase across town… people have seemed to forgotten the bus, though that’s understandable when Arsenal may be about to start Armageddon. Salem has been the most recent victim of the art-loving Epic Vandal who has decided to annoy the resident spymaster by defacing all of their portraits, while in Corvallis the captive Euphoria has been struggling to understand the motives of her jailer. Astoria has been going through some heated discussions and power struggles, although Bioterror spent his time treating us to a mental image we could all do without when he decided to walk around without pants. In Portland the attack on Neverthere is proceeding forward, with Nighthound earning a few more entries in the ‘And then they died’ list for being creeptastic, Backtrack meanwhile was being terrified (as usual) after being confronted by mad Epic scientists and asked for a blood sample. Featured Character: Nighthound Nighthound (whose icon is shown above) is a somewhat infamous character in the realms of the Reckoners RP, he is known to be one of the darkest and creepiest of all characters and was so horrible that he caused the phrase ‘And then Nighthound died’ to become something of a catch-phrase. Nighthound is a High Epic and a gifter, capable of bestowing his incredibly rapid healing and greatly enhanced physical abilities to others, though in doing so they secrete a black mist which forms wolf-like appearances and become slaves to Nighthounds commands. Nighthound’s personality and plans are perhaps even more disturbing than his abilities, through planning, luck and being a creeper he is steadily gaining a harem of female followers, some unwilling to be so but kept there with a mixture of circumstance, blackmail and mostly because no one has yet figured out how to kill him. Featured Event: The infamous battle of the three crazies (Nighthound vs. Lightwards and Funtimes) This battle is somewhat famous for being one of the most Oregon-RP type things to ever happen in the Oregon RP. It includes maple-syrup, carpet bombs, zombie vultures, a net made of two-minute noodles and the memorable phrase "AAAAHHHH EPIC ON THE WINDSHIELD GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!". Taking over three pages to reach its conclusion and ranging from hand-to-hand combat, to gunfights, to a race through the streets in a catmobile, there are simply not adequate words in the English language to describe this fight. For anyone not already convinced of the insanity of Oregon RPers then I can only recommend that you read this scene and then watch your own sanity slip away to join the remnants of ours. The scene eventually resulted in a stalemate after Nighthound continues to shake off the barrage of bizarrity that Doctor Funtimes produces, this eventually leads to an alliance between those present and the formation of the Empire of Light and its infamous zombie dinosaurs. Social groups In social group news the Dark Alley has been suspiciously quiet this month, but maybe they all got distracted by the newly formed Debate Club! Yes if you’re in the mood for some formal or informal debates, drop on by the new thread for Debaters where you can argue over the morality of cookies, and which of the Head Admins is most likely to spike you. (Hint: It’s all of them False. I, Voidus and making a joke. Ha. Ha. Ha. There are no spikes. The Admins are to be praised.) Other social groups are still active and accepting members so everyone who likes pretty much anything should drop by and say hello to the various groups of insanity down there. Well that’s it for this time, big thanks to the GMs of the various RPs and of course the other writers who have made them all into such amazing worlds. And also the admins for putting up with us all! See you next month! Thanks again everyone!
  38. 16 points
    Hello, and welcome to the new edition of Around the Cosmere! This used to be an old newspost that we had weekly, where we would talk about important things that were happening around the site, but do to the changes that have occurred in 17th Shard, we're reformatting it to fit the needs of the site. Over the past few years, 17th Shard has grown increasingly large. We recently passed having our 12,000th member. We have over 330,000 posts, and that means that our site is really big. If each post had about a hundred words (about as many are in these two paragraphs), it would be enough for 100 copies of The Way of Kings. That’s pretty impressive. On the other hand, being so large means that there are nooks and crannies a plenty that there just isn’t time enough to read and explore. So we’ve decided that every week, we’re going to have someone from the site explain what the section of the site they belong to does and is about. They’re going to introduce it to you and probably try and convince you to join them! Then every month or so they’ll come back and tell you what’s been going on the past month. We decided that because of the recent Calamity release, we would start with the Reckoners RP. So, with no further ado, Voidus! Hello everyone! I’m Voidus, and I frequent the social guilds and the Reckoners RP. I’ll go ahead and start with the social guilds. Social Guilds The 17th Shard has a thriving collection of social guilds for those of any and all tastes. Suitable for new and experienced Sharders alike, these guilds can provide fun and interesting discussions, plenty of humor and drama and some exciting opportunities for less formal roleplaying. There’s the Dark Alley, bakers of cookies and spikers of people, there’s the Light who seek to warn others of the dangers of eating unknown cookies. Then there’s the Newcago court, ruled over by Queen Elsa Steelheart and her subjects. Or if you’re feeling a bit too awkward to join a social club you may find yourself right at home with the Knights Awkward, where you can bond an Awkwardspren and speak again the oaths of the Knights Awkward (As long as you’re not overcome with stage fright). The Knightbloods are around if you’d like to slay some evil today or if you’d rather trade evil for its hat you might like to join the Church of Wayne. There are even some rumors that all of the guilds are banding together for some unknown conflict in the kingdom of Guildonia! Many, many more guilds can be found in the social guilds section, and if you can’t find one to suit your taste, why not make your own and send out recruiters to the other guilds? We have inter-guild roleplays and parties, a few rivalries that occasionally spill into other sections of the forums (Sorry Admins!) Lots of inside jokes and narrative going on and if nothing else it can just be a fun place to talk to people who may share similar interests. Reckoners RP The Reckoners RP started in mid 2014 and has since become large enough that it needed its own subforum. It all started with a single Question, whether anyone wanted to do a per-post roleplay set in the world of Steelheart. This question led to the first Roleplay thread titled at the time: “What Happened in Oregon”. The goal of the RP was to explore the events that led to Oregon’s eventual destruction as described by Megan in Steelheart. The Roleplay is full of in-jokes, horror stories, insanity and a suspiciously large number of ponies. We’re all friendly if a little bit crazy and far too inclined to make references to pugs, ponies or parody songs about Shia Laboeuf being an actual cannibal. So even if you don’t necessarily want to join the roleplay with your own character, pop by and say hi in the latest Questions thread, let us know if you’ve liked any of the roleplay if you’ve read it or just ask us who the heck Nighthound is and why everyone wishes he was dead. And if you do want to join us then it’s as simple as showing up in the latest ‘Questions’ thread, saying hi and introducing everyone to your character so we can fit them into the location that best suits. “What Happened in Portland” explores the largest city of Oregon as it undergoes a large-scale turf war, three rival factions vie for dominance of the city. They include the Dominion, a militaristic faction, the Empire of Light with their army of zombie dinosaurs, and Thoughttown, where the intellectual elite dwell. Portland is currently not accepting new Epic characters but if you have an idea for a regular human character trying to survive in the ensuing turf wars you might find yourself at home here. “What Happened in The Dalles” was the second thread to open up, it started out as a side mission for some Portland characters and since has undergone an invasion by flying pandas, a thrilling aerial battle and most recently a large slew of missiles. The city is ruled by regular humans with some Epics of varying degrees of morality and integrity assisting the city guards in fighting off any Epics who try to invade. Like Portland it is currently closed to new Epics but it would benefit greatly from having more human characters, so if you want to join the city guard, file paperwork while trying to avoid getting blown up or simply explore what life in one of the only cities not ruled by Epics might be like then try out the Dalles! “What Happened in Astoria” is a thread opened to answer the question: what if we threw all pretense of canon to the wind and made a city filled almost exclusively with High Epics with insanely strong powers? The city’s ruler is currently absent and a flux of Epics have arrived, some to join the city, others to overthrow it, and others to join the church of the singularity, which worships the savior zero and despises seven for eating nine. So if you have an idea for an Epic but think they might be a little bit too strong for any more canonical setting then why not bring them here so we can see how long Astoria can stand up against a horde of Epics capable of levelling cities. “What Happened in Corvallis” is a more politically oriented location, in a city ruled by Epic Queens where all material goods can be found growing on plants, a giant force field protects from foreign attack and the weather itself obeys the city’s ruler. Without Euphoria around to keep the civilians in a state of perpetual happiness unrest is growing in the city and a recent series of attacks by monstrous beings gifted by an unknown Epic is only sowing further chaos. So if you like intrigue, politics and mystery then Corvallis might be the thread for you! The final thread “What Happened in Salem” is a thread built around an arena where Epics fight each other in one on one matches held on the Astral plane. The city is ruled over by a bored Astral projector who has little interest in actually running the city, leaving it to his subordinates. That may change, however, as some grow tired of serving someone who doesn’t even want to rule. Would you like to attempt a coup? Or perhaps you’d just like to roleplay some gladiatorial battles set in a variety of interesting locations, either way you should see whether or not your character can fit into Salem! Or perhaps you’d like to make Voidus very happy and help revitalize the Wastelands thread, a parallel RP set in Australia that covers the entire country. It is set slightly before the Oregon RP and is a bit faster paced, but it’s a great thread with lots of worldbuilding and a huge number of opportunities for new characters of all different types. So if you want to explore what might have happened in a land far away from the events of the Reckoners trilogy why not come explore the Wastelands? So in summary, here’s the list for Reckoners: Portland- 3 way faction fight, Closed for new Epics, open for humans The Dalles- Ruled by humans and Epics, Closed for new Epics, open for humans Astoria- Mad fight for power, Open for strong Epics and humans Corvallis- Political Intrigue and power, Open for Epics and humans Salem- Gladiatorial power, Open for gladiatorial Epic Battles Wasteland- Australia worldbuilding, Open for Epics and humans Now I know that that is a lot to take in, but really, if you want to come join us, but you want help making an Epic or a human to join one of our cities, write in one of our Question threads. We’d love to help you make your character and to find the right place for you. Hope to see you all there! See you next week here at Around the Cosmere!
  39. 15 points
    The news just keeps coming for Oathbringer (it's like a book is coming out soon or something), and we now have Oathbringer's UK Tour Dates, which we haven't quite known for a while. And today, Barnes and Noble tweeted out some images of Oathbringer's endpages, which then we got the glorious, full art from Tor.com. We also know exactly who they are now, but maybe you find that to be a bit spoilery, so scroll onward to find out more and to read our analysis on these. Let's start with the UK tour, though. Oathbringer's UK Tour Tuesday 28th November: 6pm, Signing at Forbidden Planet London Wednesday 29th November: 12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Birmingham, and 6:30pm Talk and Signing at Waterstones Liverpool Friday 1st December: 12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Leeds, and 6:30pm Talk and Signing at Blackwells Newcastle Saturday 2nd December: 12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Edinburgh, and 6:30pm Talk and Signing at Waterstones Glasgow If you are planning to go to a signing, go to our Events and Signings forum, find the event you're going to (each has its own topic) and say so We'd love to know! Oathbringer Endpages But the big news for everyone is these glorious Oathbringer endpages. Tor.com posted the full images, and they are amazing. The are made by Dan Dos Santos (who did the Warbreaker cover art). Brandon said on Reddit these are in-world representations of the Heralds Ishar and Ash (Shalash): Here's Ishar, with a Bondsmith glyph on his robes. (Which is sensible, since he's the patron of the Order of Bondsmiths.) In the background there are the three moons of Roshar. In front of him, there's... followers? Does this seem culty to any of you? Here you can see Ash with her Makabaki skin tone. What's cool about Ash here is that she's the Herald of Beauty, and you can see that this is pretty risque! That translucent dress, with that barely covered safehand! The attention to detail is astonishing. There are garnet earrings, evoking her being the patron of the Lightweavers. There's also the masks, which could represent illusions. Awesome. Best part? The back endpages of Oathbringer will have Jezrien and Vedel, and are made by another artist. Brandon will tweet pictures of it when he gets his final copy! Nice.
  40. 15 points
    In a shocking twist, a lowly moderator has hijacked the news feed from the treacherous admins to bring you all this: the return of Splintercast! And this time, I, your intrepid hero FeatherWriter (also occasionally known as Alyx), am here to take on Shadows of Self! Perhaps a bit delayed... but well, hacking my way into the 17th Shard news feed is no small task. I thank you for you patience, dear listeners, and now we can get to the fun! For those new to Splintercast, I record my reactions in real time as I read new cosmere books for the first time, then edit them down to one cohesive, crazy listening experience. All in all, you can expect a good deal of running theories, in-the-moment commentary, shipping, crying, celebrating, and yelling at characters when they're dumb. And Steris appreciation. Someone has to appreciate Steris Harms and I am just the fangirl for the job. It's its own brand of craziness, but also a lot of fun. This first episode not only includes an introduction to Splintercast, and also covers the prologue and chapters 1-3. The current schedule will have episodes posted weekly and will run all the way through both Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning in a two-book extravaganza! (Consider this my way of apologizing for the lateness!) Be warned, there are spoilers for the chapters being read, of course, but since it's my first time through each of these chapters, I obviously can't spoil you for anything that happens later in the book! Please enjoy and remember that I subsist upon comments and responses, so, if you feel so inclined, drop me a note about what you thought below!
  41. 15 points
    Hey, Sharders! I’m Wilson, and I’ve been involved with the Sanderson Elimination games since practically its inception in December 2013/January 2014. This section of Around the Cosmere focuses on not only SE, but also Mistborn: The Inquisition and strategy RPs. For this first month, we’ll start with introductions to all of those, and then keep you updated in future months. Sanderson Elimination What’s Sanderson Elimination? Sanderson Elimination is the Sanderson-based, forum version of Mafia/Werewolves, an elimination game that’s often played at parties or get-togethers. It’s a fun group game that divides people into two different factions: the village and the eliminators/mafia/werewolves (there are many names). The eliminators are mixed into the villagers and their goal is to kill all of the villagers. The villagers are trying to weed out and kill the eliminators. The game is played by turns: days and nights. Day turns are when everyone votes on a player to lynch, and the player who accrues the most votes dies. Night turns are when the eliminators choose a player to kill. Often times, there are other roles mixed in the game as well: a detective that can scan someone and discover their alignment/faction, a doctor who can protect someone from attack, and many more. So what’s the Sanderson-based version of this? Well, we take Sanderson settings and build elimination games around those. For example, the first game was based on Scadrial, in a little village, Tyrian Falls, after the Lord Ruler died. Koloss were marching toward the village and we only had so many days to find the Spiked (who were sabotaging the village by doing things like weakening the walls and blowing up the blacksmith) before the koloss got there and killed everyone. Yeah, the villagers lost that game (and both Anniversary Games based on it as well. Tyrian Falls is now cursed). Since then, we’ve had numerous games on Scadrial and Roshar and a few games each on Sel and Nalthis, as well as in a general Cosmere setting (space, worldhopping around, etc) and in the Reckoner’s world. We’ve even hit on Threnody, First of the Sun, Legion, Rithmatist, and Randland. And, occasionally, we branch out past Sanderson worlds: Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, the Kingkiller Chronicles, and more. All of these games are built and run by fellow members, usually with some pretty awesome writeups, and they all try to incorporate the setting as much as possible. The better that’s done, the more opportunity the players have of roleplaying in the setting. Everyone signs up with a character, and you can choose how much you want to roleplay with that character. You can go anywhere between roleplaying everything, including your accusations on other players, to not roleplaying at all. That said, it’s always a delight to have players who do like to roleplay. The Different Formats We have three different game formats available for people to play, depending on how invested you want to be in the game and how much time you have to play. The Long Game lasts three weeks or more, though they usually are around a month or a month in a half in length. So a lot of time investment. They also vary vastly in complexity. Some LG’s are really basic, but others are incredibly complex. There’s a lot of variance to this format and it’s really just dependent on the game and the GM. However, if you have an hour of free time every day, you could easily keep up with a Long Game, assuming you want to focus on it for the next month or two. The Quick Fix is the shortest format we have. These last anywhere from about 4 days to 10 days. They’re usually very basic, and they move quick. If you only have a week of free time, a QF is perfect to test the waters of the games. The Mid-Range is exactly what it seems. It’s a middle-ground game between the other two formats. These usually last between two to three weeks, though occasionally they can last a month. There’s a little more variance to the game complexity than there is in the Quick Fix, though not to the same degree as there is in the Long Games. While there are sometimes complex games, they’re never to the degree of the most complex LG’s. If you want to delve into the games a little deeper but aren’t sure if you want a month or two time commitment, the Mid-Ranges may be right up your alley. What’s Going On Right Now? Right now, we only have one game running: a Long Game based at the University from the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. A Mid-Range based in the Reckoner’s ‘Verse, in Portland finished not even a week ago. We have two games in signups as well: a Quick Fix and a Long Game. The current Long Game, LG18, has been running for about a month now, and it’s likely to end soon. It’s a massive game where all players start with no powers, but they have the chance to impress Masters of their choice and be elevated into the Arcanum, gaining abilities that they kind of get to choose. There’s currency, lodgings, the Crockery and insanity, the Eolian, a Black Market, and all sorts of other things. Mixed into all this are the Skindancers (the eliminators), who’ve infiltrated the University and are trying to destroy it by removing fields of study and/or sabotaging the students. As I said, it’s a massive game. Mid Range 12 ran for about two weeks. It was a faction game combined with an elimination game. There were 3 different factions--the Blood Tyrants, the Neighborhood Watch, and the Evanescents--who fought against one another, but they’d been infiltrated by Government Agents. Some players started as Epics and other players went through the rending and became Epics. Some players started as drunk and when they sobered up, they joined a faction. There was even a map, with about 6 different locations players can move around to, including a ferry so you can cross the river. Ultimately, the Blood Tyrants won when they killed the Government Agents in their own faction and the Epics in the Evanescents. Congratulations, Blood Tyrants! Quick Fix 14: Corruption in the Senate takes place in Elendel, focusing on the city’s Senate, with the eliminators being Corrupt Senators. This game has a bunch of different items that can be used and passed around in the game. Take a look at the rules here and see if you’d like to join. This game starts on Tuesday, March 29 (so tomorrow), at 9pm PDT. Long Game 19: Twinborn City also takes place on Scadrial, and every player in the game is a Twinborn. Some players could even be Compounders. The game involves a map with 9 locations players can move around to and search for different items. It’s a fascinating game, and it’s also a rerun of a game played almost a year ago: Long Game 11. The rules are here, if you’d like to take a closer look at them. This game also[/background] starts tomorrow, thought the exact time hasn’t been announced Conclusion If you want to learn more about the games, you can always take a look at our General Rules thread and Etiquette Policy. And if you’re interested in giving SE a try, sign up for either the Quick Fix or the Long Game. I promise that despite our bloodthirsty reputation, we’re all very nice to new players and always willing to give advice and help. So take your pick and join in the slaughter! You never would’ve imagined that killing your friends could be so fun and polite. Mistborn: The Inquisition I’m not as familiar with MBI as some members, so I’ll pass the reins over to Comatose for this section since he knows far more about that RPG than I do. Introduction Hello! I’m Comatose, and to some of you, Mistborn: The Inquisition might just be that dark mysterious corner of 17th Shard that requires you to make a separate account in order to participate. To others it might seem like an intimidatingly large and seemingly inactive project with little room for new authors to join. If you are in either of those categories, or just wondering what in the Lord Ruler's name is going on over there, this segment is the place for you! Since' there's not much space or time, I won't be giving a full run down of everything that Mistborn: The Inquisition (MBI) is about, but I will try to give a few snap shots to let everyone know what is happening. If you are interested in participating or learning more, feel free to post a comment in the chat box, or if you are feeling brave, make an account and post an introduction thread. I'd also be willing to answer questions via PM if that's your contact method of choice. Anyways, Mistborn: The Inquisition is a Forum-Style Role Playing Game with a heavy writing and storytelling focus, set on Brandon Sanderson's Scadrial approximately one hundred years before the events of the first Mistborn Novel. The skaa of the Final Empire are rebelling, led by the enigmatic Ignas, a former obligator who has grown disillusioned with his God and Empire. As the skaa rebellion starts to gain momentum, thieving crews continue to struggle to survive while the nobility plot and scheme within their marvelous keeps and during their spectacular balls. For the most part, the nobility have done their best to ignore the signs of rebellion, filling their time with intricate plots, busy social schedules, or budding romances, but a rebel attack during the Casuana Ball has raised tensions in the city to an all time high. Much of the action in this RP, unlike in the books, focuses on the lives of the nobility. There are Terris, skaa, and obligator characters as well, but the nobility take up the majority of the action, and we often encourage new players to start with a noble if they are worried about getting involved at the beginning. You can read the prologue for more information about how MBI's story begins, or start checking out the Universal Continuity Thread to start getting to know the characters. Featured Thread The most active thread at the moment is Stars and High Society, set during the Perrault Ball held in the middle of week 2 of the overall story. The Perraults are a lesser noble house who are holding a mid-week ball, scheduled between the larger weekend balls held by the Great Houses. In the aftermath of the disasterous Casuana Ball, this is the first time the high nobility have been gathered in a large group since that night, and the last major event before next weekend's ball at Keep Elariel. Caden Hasting and Eliza Fathvell have already made a stir, showing up in attire from Eliza's native Southern Islands and bringing their new romance to the attention of the public. Ferrah Brehaut has been charged by Colette Hasting to keep their exclusive clique in line while their leader is absent, and has tried to do so by playing a game which forces each member of the group to dance with a man of another woman's choosing. The romantically-inclined Adala Venture does her best to orient herself at her first ball since arriving in Luthadel, while her brother Aldric focuses on making connections and finding allies. Mistborn Lysette Hasting and Jasun Vallace try their best enjoy their first ball together while keeping their romance a secret. Jasun prepares for a distasteful mission that he must complete before being allowed to marry Lysette. Former friends Daerra Elariel, Aveline Sureau, and Camille Deveaux share a meal together; each one trying to find leverage to use against the others while hiding secrets of their own. These plots and more abound at the Perrault Ball, and there is still time to join in the fun. Featured Noble House: House Hasting You may haven noticed from my description of the ball that a lot seems to be going on with House Hasting, so I thought they would make a good feature for this week's Around the Cosmere. House Hasting specializes in the weapons trade, and is currently ranked fifth among the ten Great Houses. They are allies with the formerly powerful Sureau Coalition, currently consisting of House Sureau, House Hasting, and House Tekiel. As House Sureau's oldest ally, House Hasting remains the most committed to the alliance despite the signs that the ancient House Sureau is no longer as powerful as it once was. House Hasting's greatest rival is House Casuana, another weapons house that is currently ranked eighth and alligned with the powerful House Deveaux. The leader of House Hasting, Lord Sheldon Hasting, is currently experiencing some health issues, and has yet to choose an heir. The two candidates are his legitimate daughter, Colette Hasting, a talented rioter and master manipulator, and his bastard nephew Caden Hasting, a charismatic leader and proficient politician. The life-long conflict between these two rivals has come to a head in recent months as Sheldon's health continues to deteriorate. Intending to make a move against Colette, Caden tried to convert the newest member of her clique, Eliza Fathvell, to his side, not realizing that his relationship with Eliza would become much more than a mere political alliance. Colette is trying her best to keep Eliza and the rest of her clique under her complete control, while developing her own plans to ensure Caden does not threaten her birthright. Lysette Hasting, the house Mistborn, has recently become secretly engaged to the house-less Mistborn, Jasun Vallace. Colette, Lysette's closest friend and confidante within the House, has promised to allow the marriage despite Jasun' low rank in exchange for Jasun's services as Mistborn. Though Jasun has despised house politics since the fall of his own family, he loves Lysette enough to agree to Colette's demands. Featured Character: Marceline Dumont Marceline Dumont, played by the ever-talented MozytheHealer, is a member of Collette Hasting's small but exclusive clique. Marceline grew up in Austrex City, the capital of the Southern Dominance, and was sent to Luthadel by her family recently in order to find a husband. When the Casuana Ball was attacked, Marceline panicked and sided with Caden when he stepped in to lead the group out to safety. Her insubordination has not been forgetten by the ruthless Collette, or her loyal lieutenant, Ferrah Brehaut. Since the Casuana Ball, Ferrah has taken every opportunity to remind Marceline of her place within the group. As Ferrah and the other girls scheme to bring Eliza Fathvell back into the fold and to punish her for having the audacity to socialize with Caden Hasting, Marceline cannot help but to secretly sympathize with Eliza. She privately rebels against Ferrah's rules and insults, all while nursing a small crush on Eliza's attractive cousin, Felix Fathvell. While Dumont is relatively low ranked compared to the Great Houses, her association with Collette and Ferrah gives her considerable social capital in Luthadel, and she struggles between her escape their bullying and her wish to find love in the Final Empire's grandest city. Conclusion Stay tuned next month for Mistborn: The Inquisition's next Around the Cosmere update for more information about the skaa rebellion and thieving crews! Now back to Little Wilson to talk about the strategy RP games. Strategy RP Games Thanks Comatose! There aren’t many strategy RP games going on right now, but the two biggest ones are Heirs to the Final Empire and the Supremacy of Arelon. Heirs to the Final Empire This game is a generational game run by Wyrmhero and taking place on Scadrial. It started directly after the Lord Ruler’s Ascension, and each player controls one Noble House. The game is meant to run until just prior to the start of Mistborn: The Final Empire. There are 11 generations in the game, and each generation lasts about a month in length. It has 4 turns, which are one week long, and each player can take 3 actions in those turns. So you have 12 actions per generation to make trade agreements, try for heirs, get marriage contracts, and build goods or services to further support your house, and whatever else you want to do. Wyrm’s even mixed in global events to make things more interesting for the players. For example, there was a skaa rebellion that lasted almost a full two generations, where a House’s reputation with the skaa fluctuated, and if the skaa got too displeased with your House, they started revolting and burning properties to the ground. Nasty skaa. The gall of them. Fortunately, the rebels were destroyed with rather extreme prejudice (along with a few Noble Houses that supported the rebels) and now things are progressing much more smoothly. If you’ve ever wanted to try to run a Noble House on Scadrial, new players can join at the start of each generation. Turn 3 of Generation 7 just started, and if you’d like to join for Generation 8, all you have to do is post in this thread or PM Wyrm to say what your House name is. He’ll work out all the details with you. It’s a fun game, and I highly encourage checking it out. The Supremacy of Arelon This game started a little over a week ago, and while they’re not accepting new players beyond the people who initially signed up, you can always follow along with the game in the thread and root for different players. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a similar game started when this one ends, assuming everyone had fun and wanted to try another one. This game is a combination of Risk and Civilization, that takes place centuries before Elantris is built. Each player controls a small kingdom in Arelon, and they can forge a public alliance with one other player in the game, make trade and military access agreements, expand their military and fight other kingdoms, and more. Ultimately, the winner(s) will have control of at least 50% of Arelon. 13 players signed up for this game, but since there are 28 kingdoms, all kingdoms not occupied by a player started as NPC-controlled. The game is currently in Year 3 (which ends this Wednesday night, 8pm MDT), and 7 kingdoms have fallen to players. Six of those were NPC’s, so only one player has actually been removed from the game. All in all, it’s progressing rather well, and I’m curious to see who ultimately wins. And that’s all for this installment of Around the Cosmere! Sorry for the length, but this should only be the case for this first time around, with all the introductions and explanations of the different RPs. Next month’s update will be much simpler. See you then!
  42. 15 points
    We don't even have Shadows of Self, the next Wax and Wayne Mistborn book, but we now have the cover for The Bands of Mourning, as well as a very interesting plot synopsis. Bands comes out January 2016, two months after Shadows. Check out the cover. And if you don't want spoilers, don't read on. Stuff about the Lord Ruler? Mysteriously being in the snow, rather than in just Elendel, holy crap.Oh, and perhaps most importantly: Why the crap can anyone use the Lord Ruler's metalminds? We'll find out, I suppose, in The Bands of Mourning. Discuss this in our forum topic.
  43. 15 points
    Welcome back to Around the Cosmere, where we occasionally talk round of the news. It's been a while, but we're back on Hoid's Shadesmar Doomship Zeppelin (totally a real thing), and he's just messy, so we were delayed. That's totally what happened. First things first, Brandon has answered questions about The Way of Kings on Tor.com. Some are writing related, and not much cosmere, but we did discover there have been several Rosharan worldhoppers we have already met. Pretty neat! Interesting Theoretical Discussions We had two very interesting topics about Investiture and its role. One is about its possible caustic nature, by Terisen, and Moogle continued the discussion with his topic on Investiture consuming other Investiture. Kurkistan also summarized everything we know about his most favorite subject: time bubbles. Here's also a ludicrously long post classifying the cosmere magic systems, complete with a totally unnecessary 3D plot you can move around! And want a head-scratching puzzle? Discuss what is apparently the "biggest RAFO" yet! Fun Stuff It looks like this should have gone under the previous heading, yes? It's a totally rational Radiant and Voidbinding theory by Tempus, but then… Well, let's just say we learn a lot about the Voidbringers, Hoid, and the Brawny Man in the discussion there. Speaking of Stormlight Archive and the Knights Radiant, what Radiant oath would you swear? Or, perhaps more hilarious, what Radiant oath would you never swear? And what Order would you belong to? And prepare yourself for the worst Stormlight pun that has ever existed. Other Things and Site Stuff In other news, Moogle has been promoted to the moderator team. You've surely seen him in the book discussions and theories, so give him a warm welcome! If you haven't been on the site recently, then something might surprise you: social groups, clans, and guilds are actually things now. There are so many for you to choose from, but you know which one you truly want to be in, of course. There may also be a new thing coming related to social groups soon, too… And you might be wondering, why did I storming link a picture of Google Maps as the article image? Well Aether made an awesome thread wondering where Sharders live, and then Quitecontrary made a map out of it. It is pretty sweet. See the full map here! Let's get more pins up there! On the forum side of things, the forum layout now has a non-cosmere category, and the mobile front page of the site sucks a lot less. That's for Around the Cosmere for now. Just because Splintercast has ended doesn't mean that you will be starved on content. There will be brand-new and returning main page segments coming your way. Stay tuned!
  44. 14 points
    Deadline has recently reported that the Mistborn: The Final Empire film, being produced by DMG, now has a scriptwriter attached. The scriptwriter's name is F. Scott Frazier, and he's only written a few films so far, although in addition to Mistborn he has been tapped to write two more scripts for other companies. I would like to remind everyone that just because it has a script writer does not mean that a film will definitely go forward. Also, do give Frazier a chance, he may be early in his career, but everyone has to start somewhere. Hopefully he ends up wowing us a fantastic adaptation. In other news, we have new cover art for Snapshot, Brandon's new novella coming out February 17th (which, in case you missed has just been optioned for film by MGM) and for Dreamer, a short story originally published in the Games Creatures Play anthology edited by Charlaine Harris. The artist Howard Lyon has posted them on his twitter, and I really must say he did a great job: The Amazon page for Snapshot also includes a new blurb, which sheds new light on the plot of the novella:
  45. 14 points
    Hello everyone, it's Feather, and this time not with a Splintercast episode. Shocking, I know. Anyway, I'm here to bring you another update on Around the Cosmere, and this time I'd like to highlight a place that's very near and dear to my heart. As many of you have probably guessed, 17th Shard is not the only major gathering place of Cosmere fans, and I'd like to introduce you guys to a community of fans with whom I'm very involved: the Tumblr Cosmere fandom! For those who are unaware of what Tumblr is, it's a microblogging platform that lets users share pictures, text, video, and all kinds of different posts. In practice, I usually like to describe it as somewhat akin to Pinterest, but for fiction. Tumblr thrives on fandoms of all kinds: books, tv shows, movies, video games, webcomics, and more! And the Cosmere fandom is no exception! It's kind of a crazy jumble of creative energy, fanworks, jokes, memes, shipping, theories, roleplay, and just about everything you could consider. So, you want to find the fandom on Tumblr. The first thing you might notice is that there are a lot of Cosmere posts tagged #CFSBF. This lovely little acronym is short for "Cosmere Fandom is Still the Best Fandom." Because, heck yeah. Basically, it was something that I used to use on my personal blog that then spread out to the fandom as a whole, and has kind of become a catchphrase. But don't take my word for it. Hear it from an expert here! Now, let's talk about some fun blogs. We've got a few aggregators around the fandom, which are blogs dedicated to reblogging works by other people so that they're all in one place. I'm the moderator of a fairly large one called Adonalsium, that collects fanworks of all kinds, from all of Brandon's books, both Cosmere and Non-Cosmere. The wonderful Botanica Xu (who is also an incredible fanartist) also runs the "imaginary" blogs, Imaginary Scadrial, Imaginary Sel andImaginary Roshar, collect works for Mistborn, Elantris/Emperor's Soul, and Stormlight Archive, respectively. There are some other great projects going on too, such as Incorrect Mistborn Quotes, which is a terribly fun blog, taking quotations from other works and attributing them to Mistborn characters.Incorrect Stormlight Quotes does the same thing with the Stormlight characters! And then the lovely I Am A Stick blog has a single purpose: to make sure that everyone remembers that the stick is, in fact, a stick. Maybe you're looking for something a little bit more involved, though. You want to stretch your creative muscles, show off your stuff, make some friends and be a part of something cool. Or maybe you just want to see some awesome content made by other people. Well, you've got a few cool options, depending on what kind of content you're looking for: First and foremost is the Cosmere Challenge. The CC is a prompt blog that does rotating ideas and challenges, usually about one a month. Sometimes these are pairings, sometimes they're situations, sometimes they're AUs or crossovers. They're good for a quick burst of inspiration, or if you want to contribute something to an event. By far, the challenge that gets the most submissions is the now annual event: Cosmere Fandom is Still the Worst Fandom, in which everyone tries to write/draw/create the most tragic, heart-wrenching, horrifying stories and ideas to inflict them on everyone else. Because the only thing better than suffering is making other people suffer, right? Now is the time to start thinking of ideas, as the CFSWF challenge usually happens in the summer! If you want something more for the long-haul, you could consider checking out the Cosmere RP, a college-AU taking place in Kharbranth University. Characters from all over the cosmere are welcome and they're all at the same university and all have blogs on tumblr. It's a wild ride. Marsh moved in with Edgli? Kelsier got into a fight with Adolin? And who exactly is dating who between Kaladin, Adolin, Shallan, and Renarin? Stay tuned for more. If you want to get in on the action, there's a list of characters the RP is still looking for! So, that's your crash course to what's going on with the tumblr side of the fandom. If there's any questions about the blogs here or how tumblr works or anything, feel free to ask me things. I'm more than happy to help answer queries. Have fun, Sharders!
  46. 14 points
    Before we get into the main bits of news, Tor.com posted the first preview from The Bands of Mourning on Monday! It picks up several months after the events of Shadows of Self on a very important day. Obviously if you have not yet finished Shadows, do NOT read this as it does reference a very important climactic reveal. This is a really fun chapter, so if have finished Shadows I'd really recommend reading it. Check it out here! In other news the Elantris leatherbound edition, which includes the 10th anniversary revised text, is finally on sale! And the first printing is already sold out... Don't worry about missing out however as a second shipment is expected to arrive in January (not to mention Brandon has mentioned that he wants to keep the book in-stock for at least a year)! This book is seriously gorgeous. I love the use of the Aons on the cover, especially the use of Aon Ela as the center-point of the design (which is entirely fitting given its meaning...). The repeating Aon Ido also makes for a nice border. The inside is equally breathtaking. Include are full-color pages with some of the best cover-art from around the world. It even comes with a ribbon bookmark! If you order the book before the end of the year you do have the option of getting a numbered edition (aside from 1-50 going to various stores that have supported Brandon over the years the numbers will be randomized. So ordering sooner does not necessarily mean you will get a lower number. Also if this edition does well enough Brandon is looking at doing similar editions for Mistborn Era 1 and Warbreaker. Potentially it could go farther and we may one day be able to have the entire Cosmere sequence in matching leatherbound, but only if the demand is there (so seriously everybody, those who can afford it of course $100 isn't cheap, let's show them the demand, shall we?). The leatherbound Elantris is not the only new item in Brandon's store however. The 2015 Con Exclusive, a flip-back hardcover of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell and Perfect State, is up. There are Bridge 4 pendents in bronze and silver as well as a poster featuring the map of Roshar from the Words of Radiance end-pages. There are even Mistborn and Stormlight lanyards. Check out our forum topics here to discuss the chapter preview and here to discuss the leatherbound edition! Photo credits: Photos of the leatherbound spine and map from Brandon's Twitter. All other photos from Brandon's Blog Announcement.
  47. 13 points
    We have been insanely busy at Hoid's Secret Base (or the 17th Shard HQ) recently, so we have a huge deal of news to talk about. Today, we will be talking about a more precise Stormlight 3 release date (it's later than you would like), a sweet, sweet preview of the White Sand graphic novel, and the second printing of the Elantris leatherbound which you can order right now. Stormlight Three Now to be Released Fall 2017 Revealed in the Calamity signing in Houston, Texas, Stormlight 3 will now be out in 2017. This is a bit later than the State of the Sanderson 2015 implied initially. In that older post, Brandon thought we would see it in Fall 2016, with the caveat that his team warned him that that would not be realistic, and so we would see it in 2017 instead. I am sure many of you were hoping on an early 2017 release, but it appears that it will be Fall 2017. This, I am sure, is disappointing. You might wonder why it is taking so long, and why Brandon has so many other projects on his plate. I would like to say that Brandon was extremely rushed on both Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. I think we would all prefer that he gets these huge, colossal books correct, and not have him need to change the ending, like he did with Words of Radiance. All this means is that even if the first draft gets done this summer, there needs to be a lot of revision and editing to make sure he gets it right. As for why he works on other projects, he's said many times that working on other books keeps him fresh. If he didn't write other books, that wouldn't actually speed up him writing Stormlight 3. We would just have times where we don't get any Brandon stories at all. I think this all works out, in the end. White Sand Preview, Coming in June io9 has posted an extensive (and exclusive) preview of the White Sand graphic novel, which is set in the cosmere on a planet called Taldain. This was the story that Brandon wrote that got him his agent, Joshua Bilmes, but was never published. Now we see more of it, and it's pretty cool. We get to see a ton of pages from White Sand, and the first volume is coming out in June! Exciting. White Sand's graphic novel is being produced by Dynamite Entertainment, with writer Rik Hoskin, artist Julius Gopez, and colorist Ross Campbell transforming the source material into the graphic novel format. You can be sure we will keep you updated on our first look into this important planet. (It's where the Ars Arcanum author is from!) Elantris Leatherbound Back in Stock We knew the Elantris Anniversary Leatherbound Edition would come back in stock eventually. It is a little later than we expected, but it is at last back in stock on Brandon's store! The last ones sold out rapidly, so you'll want to get on this one quickly, I imagine. It is a second edition, but this leatherbound is so incredible, it is absolutely gorgeous. I could not recommend it more as the definitive version of Elantris. If my apartment ever burns down and I take one belonging out of my house, it'd probably be my copy of this. Seriously.
  48. 13 points
    It began with a single sentence: "So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians." With that Alcatraz Smedry walked into our lives but although it has been a long, and rather bumpy, road we still have yet to see the infamous altar. The end is drawing near however, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians Book 5: The Dark Talent will be releasing on June 7, 2016. Tor.com has just revealed the fantastic cover art that Scott Brundage created for the book. I really can't get ov-- Oh, oh my... Is that an altar I spy in the background? Perhaps made from outdated encyclopedias? It certainly looks like one in my opinion. Anyway, as I was saying, I really can't get over how well the cover fits with the series. After seeing some unused covers and concept art Scott posted back in March, I was hopeful but this has really just blasted past my expectations. I really can't wait to see the new covers for Books 1-4 when they get posted! They also posted the synopsis of the book. Which, while it doesn't reveal anything beyond what is established at the end of Book 4, is definitely hype-inducing: Surely he can... Right? If you can't wait until June 7th to get your hands on a new Brandon book don't forget Shadows of Self comes out October 6th, check out our spoiler free review of it here. Check out our forum topic here to discuss the cover and synopsis! Update: It turns out that the name of the book has been changed from "Alcatraz Versus the Dark Talent" to "Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Dark Talent", which I completely missed in writing this article originally. Peter has confirmed that the old naming scheme has been dropped for each book.
  49. 13 points
    We previously reported that there would be a new edition of Mistborn coming in May, and it came out last week. It's a trade paperback size, and this time it's marketed towards teens. The actual text is exactly the same (save for a few mistakes that were finally fixed), but has new maps. I snagged it today, so let's take a look. First, the trade paperback size is wonderful. It's just more comfortable to hold. The text is bigger than the smaller, mass market paperback--which makes sense, considering it is marketed to teens. The cover, which has previously been the cover for the entire trilogy of ebooks, is as beautiful as it has always been, and the title and author text is lightly embossed. It's really nice to hold, and any day of the week, I'd rather hold this one than the paperback. The text on the back features the prologue epigraph, and the plot summary on the back is almost identical to the mass market paperback, but doesn't mention Allomancy, instead focusing solely on Vin. It ends with the new line, "Where a hero rose to save the world and failed, can a young heroine succeed?" This, with the Vin-centric cover, is the marketing towards teens, and I hope it works. Inside, there's a section for "Tor Teen Books by Brandon Sanderson," which in addition to Mistborn and The Rithmatist, have The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages listed as upcoming. It took me a moment to realize they are referring to the trade paperback rereleases of them, because obviously those books are already out. I'm kind of dumb sometimes. The symbols on the chapter headers and part headers are exactly the same as the normal Mistborn version, so it doesn't use the base sixteen numbering system that was in Alloy of Law--if you never noticed, the symbols in this book just go up to 23, then repeat again, where Alloy uses the actual numbering system in-world. But what is new? Let's look at the maps. As you can see, the map of the Final Empire is almost identical, but now it is full page, with no borders. The background of it is no longer white, but a nice texture that makes it feel more ashy. Very cool, but it's not "new" per se. As it turns out, the Luthadel map is the new one: Why, it's in the exact same style as the map of Elendel in The Alloy of Law. Instead of there being a legend for the points of interest, they are marked as X's on the map itself. It also features that same ashy texture. The borderless map is really dang cool, too. So, if it looks like Alloy's map, does it have that mysterious text from Nazh? Yep. If you can't see, it says "Since you insisted on having an updated version, here is the new one. I am not going back a third time. - Nazh". I am in awe. That is freaking hilarious. (Also, someone should tell Nazh that Well of Ascension's Luthadel map has different points of interests in it.) For those of you who don't know, Nazh's writings have appeared in Alloy of Law and Words of Radiance. Presumably, he's collecting all these maps for the writer of the Ars Arcanums for all the cosmere books, which are all the same person. Solely for the hilarity and awesomeness of the Luthadel map, this is worth a purchase, but the size makes it awesome all by itself. Dang it, Brandon. I already have too many copies of this book and now I'm going to buy this one, as well as the re-released Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, which could also have Nazh quotes? Lord Ruler, man.
  50. 12 points
    With the release of Calamity a few weeks ago we Sanderson fans bid farewell to what has become a very successful series (which is currently sitting at number 1 on the New York Times Children's Series Bestseller List!). And while I, personally, do love that Brandon jumps from project (though it does lead to troubling arguments with myself about which book I want the most...) I'm not going to lie, it is really nice to have a resolution like this. Of course Brandon being Brandon has decided to expand this world multiverse before moving on to something else in his new series Apocalypse Guard. Here's the blurb from Delacorte's press release: (source) Now for those of you who read our coverage of last year's State of the Sanderson this should come as no surprise, but it's nice to have the official announcement. I, for one, could not be more excited about this. Calamity wrapped up the story of The Reckoners excellently but it also gave hints towards some deeper mysteries that I hope this new series will address. It's just a shame that we'll have to wait so long to read it! Check out our forum thread here to discuss Apocalypse Guard!
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