Yesterday, on his 42nd birthday (an auspicious age in science fiction), Brandon Sanderson released his annual State of the Sanderson update. Looking back on 2017 (Edgedancer! Oathbringer! Skyward!) and ahead all the way to 2020, Sanderson provides a comprehensive update on his various projects. Fans will have a lot to look forward to, from various books being outlined, written, and/or published in 2018 to the opportunity to explore the Shattered Plains in virtual reality. Read on for key tidbits!
The Stormlight Archive
As Sanderson mentioned in State of the Sanderson 2016, each Stormlight book is a massive undertaking; Oathbringer took about 18 months of dedicated writing time (including edits and other interruptions). While taking a breather from the series, he is still in planning mode: He will spend 2018 outlining books four and five, which will wrap the first arc of the ten-book series. “Then on January 1st, 2019,” he writes, “I go back to Stormlight refreshed and excited to be back in Roshar, and I write on book four until it’s done.” At this point, the projected publication is sometime in 2020.
There might be room for a novella, tentatively titled Wandersail, to come out between books, as Edgedancer did.
Potential Movie/TV Adaptations
As we reported in late 2016, DMG Entertainment holds the licensing and film rights to the Cosmere novels. Per Sanderson’s update, DMG has scripts for both Mistborn and The Way of Kings, but the very interesting way that they’re looking to get Hollywood into the Cosmere is virtual reality: They’re currently developing “a Stormlight VR experience,” which will place participants in a demo of the Shattered Plains. “As I determined early on,” Sanderson writes, “this is an interesting but weird world, and having visuals (like the art in the books themselves) helps a lot with bringing people around to understanding.” Visuals, plus interactions with some of the characters and creatures who inhabit that magical land.
DMG will release the VR experience on Steam; expect updates on Sanderson’s website, including guest posts from the developers, in the months leading up to release.
Meanwhile, Fox has renewed its option on The Reckoners, though there have been no recent updates and it’s unclear how, if at all, the Disney acquisition would affect an adaptation.
The current main project, about a girl and her starfighter, replacing Apocalypse Guard for a November 2018 publication. Find out more here!
After he has completed Skyward (either the first book or the whole trilogy), Sanderson will turn to the fourth Wax and Wayne adventure, to be written in 2018 and published in 2019. After wrapping up the second era of Mistborn, Sanderson will turn his attention to another project before returning for the third era: “1980s spy thriller Mistborn.”
The Stephen Leeds/Legion series is complete! With the third Stephen Leeds story, Lies of the Beholder, complete, the intention is to combine all three installments in one hardcover collection, to be released in September 2018. However, if you’re interested in a standalone release, and already own the leatherbound editions of the first two stories, Subterranean Press should have a matching edition of Lies of the Beholder to adorn your bookshelf. A non-leatherbound standalone edition probably won’t exist for another year or so after release.
While this is the last Legion story, Sanderson mentions that they’re in talks for another television deal…
Despite this being Sanderson’s “most-requested sequel,” completing a sequel to his 2013 YA novel would “require an alignment of several factors.” There’s the fact that he wrote The Rithmatist such a long time ago (before he came onboard for The Wheel of Time), with his life and his writing having moved in different directions since then; as well as the necessary attention that must be paid to certain topics:
The other issue is that writing about that era in America—even in an alternate universe—involves touching on some very sensitive topics. Ones that, despite my best efforts, I feel that I didn’t handle as sensitively as I could have. I do want to come back to the world and do a good job of it, but doing an Aztec viewpoint character—as I’d like to do as one of the viewpoints in book two—in an alternate Earth…well, it’s a challenge that takes a lot of investment in research time.
2018 and Beyond
Sanderson includes the caveat that this projected schedule is “very speculative,” but here’s the general plan for the next three years:
September 2018: Stephen Leeds/Legion Collection
November 2018: Skyward
Fall 2019: Wax and Wayne 4
Sometime 2019: Skyward 2
Sometime 2020: Stormlight 4
Sometime 2020: Skyward 3
Read the complete State of the Sanderson 2017 for more in-depth updates on every WIP you’re dying to hear about, plus cosplay on the Oathbringer book tour, and the results of last year’s birthday experiment, a collection of reader-submitted Magic: The Gathering cards!