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Seems like an awful lot. everynametaken Send a noteboard - 19/02/2012 08:11:22 PM
Going through some old interviews, I was surprised to read that Brandon Sanderson is planning a 36-volume fantasy series.

The good news is that, if you've read all of his adult solo fantasy novels to date, you're already six books into it. And 'series' is probably the wrong word, a more accurate term would be 'setting'.

It's been an open secret for a while that Sanderson's fantasy novels share a common background setting and mythology, the 'Cosmere'. In his first five novels - Elantris, Warbreaker and the Mistborn trilogy - this took the form of a couple of easter eggs. Most notably, a character called Hoid plays a minor, background role in all five books, apparently observing events with interest.

In The Way of Kings this background suddenly became more important to the plot: Hoid (aka 'Wit' ) now has a brief POV section and plays a larger role in events. We also meet three other people who can travel between the worlds, two of whom we've met before (one in Elantris and one in Mistborn), who are apparently trying to track Hoid down. Hoid sends a letter to the organisation that sent them (an organisation called the 'Seventeenth Shard' ) expressing irritation with this move, a letter that appears throughout the second part of the novel. Ultimately, it is clear that the ten-volume Stormlight Archive series will expand on the Cosmere and the linked setting of Sanderson's fiction.

At the moment these works exist in the Cosmere setting:

Elantris (2005)
Mistborn: The Final Empire (2006)
Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (2007)
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages (2008 )
Warbreaker (2009)
The Stormlight Archive: The Way of Kings (2010)
Mistborn: The Alloy of Law (2011)

Note that The Alloy of Law, which was written as an unplanned side-project, is part of the Cosmere universe (Hoid has a cameo in the book as a beggar at a wedding and also apparently writes the appendix, at one stage comparing the Mistborn world's magic with that of Sel, the Elantris planet) but is not part of the planned 36 volumes in the series (nor are its planned sequels).

Sanderson plans to write the following books in the setting (and in some cases has already written very early drafts):

The Stormlight Archive books 2-10
Several further Mistborn side-novels featuring Wax and Wayne
The Mistborn II trilogy
The Mistborn III trilogy
Warbreaker II: Nightblood
Elantris II
The Dragonsteel series (seven volumes, first one is The Liar of Partinel)
White Sand and at least one sequel
The Silence Divine
Aether of Night

Sanderson plans to write Stormlight #2 (current working title: The Book of Endless Pages) this year for release in mid-to-late 2013, and then the third through fifth books of the series. He will take breaks to release additional Mistborn side-novels featuring Wax and Wayne. He also hopes to release Elantris II in 2015, on the tenth anniversary of the publication of Elantris (his first novel). Then he will release the Mistborn II trilogy (the one set in a world with modern technology). Stormlight #6-10 will follow, possibly with Warbreaker II and other books interspersed between them (presumably there will be no more Wax and Wayne books once Mistborn II has been released), then Mistborn III (the one set in space with magic-fuelled FTL travel). Only after that will we see Dragonsteel. Which assuming Brandon keeps up a book a year, means we'll hit that series somewhere around 2027!

That accounts for 28 further books in the setting. Combined with the six already published, that's 34 books with two left unaccounted so far (recalling that Alloy of Law and its forthcoming sequels are not part of the count, being new inventions). There may be a further Elantris sequel, and Brandon has also suggested that there may be a book called Hoid which tells the story of the titular character in much clearer detail (though apparently the Dragonsteel sequence will reveal a lot more about the underlying mythology and unifying points of the various books and sub-settings).

So far the Cosmere has been something that close readers have picked up on, but casual readers are probably totally ignorant of it. There are shades here of Stephen King's unified supernatural mythology: readers can read The Stand and Eyes of the Dragon with no real clue who Randall Flagg is, but then in The Dark Tower series more information is revealed about him and a grander masterplan can be discerned. This doesn't prevent the books being enjoyed individually but does reward readers who've been looking at things carefully.

Hopefully, by 2035 or thereabouts (when no doubt ebooks will be inscribed directly into our brains with lasers or something), we can look back and see how successful Sanderson was in pulling off the project. But it's certainly an ambitious - even grandiose - idea and it will be fascinating to see it develop in the years to come.

Seems like it would get stale fter a while but I guess the only thing I have to compare it too that I've read is Erikson whose world definitely needed to end at 10. Probably helps too that it isn't just one series with one set of characters.
But wine was the great assassin of both tradition and propriety...
-Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
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Brandon Sanderson plans 36 books in his 'Cosmere' setting - 19/02/2012 11:45:24 AM 4612 Views
Was Sanderson created by the Writng Gods to counter balance GRRM? - 19/02/2012 05:13:07 PM 1404 Views
A modern Moorcock, eh ? *NM* - 19/02/2012 05:39:00 PM 616 Views
I just wish he'd be done with the RJ shit and go back to writing his own books. - 19/02/2012 05:40:59 PM 1339 Views
Agreed on both points..... - 19/02/2012 08:00:41 PM 1302 Views
Well, but he is a "fluff" writer from a literary standpoint - 20/02/2012 02:16:11 AM 1360 Views
Not a fluff writer in my mind..... - 20/02/2012 03:12:46 AM 1300 Views
You don't seem to want to hear what I'm saying - 20/02/2012 03:51:13 AM 1264 Views
And I am saying that storytelling is more important..... - 20/02/2012 04:52:39 AM 1397 Views
Storytelling is crucial... - 20/02/2012 05:59:57 AM 1387 Views
A few comments/replies about your post..... - 20/02/2012 02:57:16 PM 1323 Views
You are correct in one respect: all of this is opinion. - 20/02/2012 07:01:11 PM 1306 Views
You sound like one of those nasty "literary elites"! - 20/02/2012 08:07:13 PM 1257 Views
Literature is subjective - 21/02/2012 12:26:35 AM 1336 Views
Very well said..... *NM* - 21/02/2012 01:12:40 AM 585 Views
I agree with your point about reading Shakespeare from textbooks. - 21/02/2012 03:18:37 AM 1373 Views
Never heard of Thomas Mann and the real Mona Lisa..... - 21/02/2012 03:34:12 AM 1217 Views
Conversely, why should I trust the likes of you? - 21/02/2012 06:19:18 AM 1464 Views
Oh, come now... - 21/02/2012 10:35:18 AM 1385 Views
When it comes to evaluating schema, I'm not going to trust someone who only had English 101 - 21/02/2012 11:26:03 AM 1186 Views
Mostly agreed - 21/02/2012 09:00:51 PM 1262 Views
Mostly true - 21/02/2012 09:27:09 PM 1301 Views
Re: Mostly true - 22/02/2012 12:58:55 AM 1138 Views
Larry = snob - 21/02/2012 05:34:22 PM 1249 Views
Amusing - 21/02/2012 07:49:20 PM 1240 Views
Wow, you lack basic reading comprehension skills..... - 21/02/2012 08:29:24 PM 1223 Views
Uh...Faust is a play. Doctor Faustus is a novel. The former is Goethe, the latter is Mann. *NM* - 22/02/2012 12:00:22 AM 622 Views
D'uh.....notice the smiley face. Good grief! *NM* - 22/02/2012 12:50:23 AM 621 Views
Just checking... *NM* - 22/02/2012 01:07:40 AM 565 Views
Wait, let's look at the gross disconnect between two statements. - 21/02/2012 01:59:34 PM 1352 Views
I have not blindly rejected the literary elites..... - 21/02/2012 05:27:35 PM 1312 Views
So true about the Mona Lisa. - 21/02/2012 07:57:41 PM 1369 Views
Yes, I was at the Louvre and you are right..... - 21/02/2012 08:32:40 PM 1248 Views
This is where your own rethoric defeats you... - 23/02/2012 06:38:54 AM 1231 Views
Slow down - it may not be the current elites that are hyping it..... - 23/02/2012 05:12:47 PM 1083 Views
There's "subjective", and there's "lack of education" - 21/02/2012 08:58:11 PM 1261 Views
Re: There's "subjective", and there's "lack of education" - 21/02/2012 09:23:38 PM 1411 Views
Thank you. That was excellent. *NM* - 20/02/2012 07:01:31 PM 657 Views
Seems like an awful lot. - 19/02/2012 08:11:22 PM 1454 Views
Sanderson is a machine. Also, the books (so far) have been wildly different - 20/02/2012 12:50:41 AM 1376 Views
I thought he was just recycling the name at first. *NM* - 20/02/2012 02:09:57 AM 629 Views
It's likely to stay that way... - 20/02/2012 06:22:50 AM 1372 Views
I think he can actually do both - 20/02/2012 03:31:00 PM 1411 Views
Re: I think he can actually do both - 20/02/2012 06:34:30 PM 1454 Views
I love it. - 19/02/2012 10:00:28 PM 1206 Views
Confirmation on the Mistborn trilogies. I am so happy. *NM* - 20/02/2012 05:38:23 AM 566 Views
I am thrilled to see that there will be more stories about Wax and Wayne..... - 20/02/2012 03:46:37 PM 1133 Views
The one issue I had with that book... - 21/02/2012 06:21:29 PM 1247 Views
Waxillium! *NM* - 21/02/2012 10:47:03 PM 544 Views
WAXILLIUM! *NM* - 04/03/2012 07:39:37 AM 785 Views
Why is that an issue? I think those names are great. - 23/02/2012 05:31:51 AM 1168 Views
Do you not like puns? *NM* - 06/03/2012 01:38:31 PM 651 Views
BS- The Fantasy Stephen King? - 21/12/2012 08:12:21 PM 1016 Views

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