Shardcast: Brandon Sanderson's Use of Horror


It's October, the spoopy season, so let's do an episode on Brandon's use of horror in his works! This one has spoilers for uh basically every Brandon's works. We go into tons of different horror types and more, and explore how Brandon uses these elements in his books. 

This episode, we have Ian (Weiry) hosting, along with Evgeni (Argent), Matt (Comatose), and Kadie (Ene)!

01:11 Spoiler Warning
01:40 Content Warning 
02:34 What is genre?
08:05 Cast Experiences with Horror
18:33 Cast Experiences with Brandon Horror 
29:10 Types of Horror Used by Brandon
30:20 Cosmic Horror
41:27 Body Horror
58:40 Dark Fantasy
1:05:41 Folk Horror
1:17:11 Ghost Stories
1:24:29 Gothic Horror 
1:35:57 Disaster Horror
1:45:02 Psychological Horror
1:56:54 Slasher Horror
2:02:59 Who's That Cosmere Character

Terrifying but amazing thumbnail image from Petar Penev, who did incredible art of the Re-Shephir fight at the beginning of Oathbringer. Check him out, he is awesome: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/y8BNJ https://www.artstation.com/artwork/ZyqDX

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Nope, Brandon horror generally doesn't do it for me. When he writes horror situations or environments or beings, he usually follows it up with demystifying those things and the demystification is usually a central theme of those works too. Unknown entities are characters, dangerous environments & situations can be studied, understood and navigated. Body horror... there's stuff in Brandon's work that could be body horror but they aren't really written that way.

The best imo are some of the chasm sequences in the Way of Kings. Sixth of the Dusk's shadow in the sea / Deepwalker. Shadows for Silence... not really, the setting was horror but the story really wasn't, imo. His Non-Cosmere stuff is pretty good and closer to that horror feel. Dreamer is a pretty good one, Cytoverse's Delvers have their moments, Children of the Nameless's Bog.

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Snapshot is thoroughly horrifying. Imagine seeing the medal and knowing that you are a doomed simulation. Switching that machine off is basically genocide.

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Thanks for this great episode! I really like it when you guys go a bit more into literary criticism from time to time. One thing I would have liked for you to explore (and maybe that could be a topic for similar future discussions) is the consequences of Brandon's use of horror. How does it change the texts? Why does Brandon use it the way he does? Why are some elements or sub-genres of horror more prevalent and why are others basically non-existent in Brandon's works?

Other than that: I'm used to Eric ignoring "Sixth of the Dusk" but in a rare non-Eric episode that deals with horror I was quite surprised that none of you guys mentioned it. The shadows in the sea were already mentioned. More generally, the whole structure of "Sixth of the Dusk" is a quite bit of a horror-journey and liberally uses various elements of that genre.

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Comatose

Posted

23 hours ago, thorongil said:

Other than that: I'm used to Eric ignoring "Sixth of the Dusk" but in a rare non-Eric episode that deals with horror I was quite surprised that none of you guys mentioned it. The shadows in the sea were already mentioned. More generally, the whole structure of "Sixth of the Dusk" is a quite bit of a horror-journey and liberally uses various elements of that genre.

That's a great example!  I know there were a lot on our list we didn't even get to due to time, but I'm not sure if that was one there.

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16 hours ago, Comatose said:

That's a great example!  I know there were a lot on our list we didn't even get to due to time, but I'm not sure if that was one there.

Not podcasting myself I assume I overlook that every 2+ hour episode probably leaves material for double that time on the table. Maybe you can revisit it next Halloween. :)

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