Stormlight hiatus, Mistborn Era 3 and Elantris sequels: Brandon Sanderson outlines the next phase of the Cosmere

The ever-prolific Brandon Sanderson has published his yearly State of the Sanderson report, revealing huge new details for Mistborn, Elantris, The Stormlight Archive, and the future of the Cosmere.
Thank You — The End of the Year of Sanderson
Thank You — The End of the Year of Sanderson / Brandon Sanderson
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Brandon Sanderson is one of the fantasy genre's most prolific authors. He's also amazingly transparent about his slate of upcoming projects. Every year, Sanderson publishes an annual "State of the Sanderson" post on his blog around the time of his birthday in late December, where he talks about what he worked on in the preceding year and outlines what he has coming down the pipeline.

The most recent State of the Sanderson post just went up on Brandon Sanderson's website, and it contains some extremely exciting updates. Next year, Sanderson will cap off the first arc of The Stormlight Archive with Wind and Truth, the fifth novel in his massive epic fantasy series which began with The Way of Kings. After that, he'll be taking a break to work on other series before diving back into Stormlight following an in-world time jump which will occur between books 5 and 6.

This year, dubbed "The Year of Sanderson," saw a massive growth spurt for Sanderon's publishing company Dragonsteel, which independently released his four self-published Secret Projects to the more than 185,000 people who backed the Kickstarter. There was a lot to pore over in this State of the Sanderson post. It included news for the future of Stormlight, as well as Mistborn Era 3 and the long-awaited sequels to Sanderson's debut fantasy novel Elantris. Let's hit the highlights.

Brandon Sanderson is ending his Year of Sanderson in style

The first thing of note about Sanderson's update is that he confirmed that the Year of Sanderson is at an end...and he's happy to leave it that way. In addition to mailing out the four Secret Project books to backers of his record-shattering Kickstarter, Sanderson's company Dragonsteel also delivered monthly subscription boxes of merchandise themed around various fictional worlds the author has created. It was such a logistical challenge that the company expanded to a new, much larger warehouse last year to accommodate it.

In both the State of Sanderson post as well as a YouTube send-off video (which you can watch above), Sanderson stated that he has no plans to keep running with the subscription service. For the time being, he's happy to let that end. "We will do more awesome things in the future. They may not be quite like this. I'm not sure we can ever replicate this," Sanderson explained in the video. "I'm not sure if we would want to, because it was lightning in a bottle that struck at just the right time, and I hope you've enjoyed the books we've released, the Secret Projects....As I always said, I like the idea of a subscription box, if it has an end. I am about endings."

Sanderson explained a bit more in his blog post, drawing a comparison between the demand for more subscription boxes and some advice he'd received early in his career, when another author told him he should write more books in The Wheel of Time series after Sanderson completed it following the death of original author Robert Jordan in order tomake sure his "future is secure."

"That might have been the smart business decision, but I rejected it immediately—because that wasn’t what the Wheel of Time needed. And when others came to me and asked if I wanted to do a follow-up trilogy, I told them what I’ve always said: Robert Jordan didn’t want it done, so I don’t think I can do it in good conscience. More isn’t always better.

In this case, we’ve had five(!) new releases in one year. I don’t want or intend this to become the norm. I might try something like it again someday, but in the meantime we’re going to slow back down. Next year, we’ll likely only have the one book release: Stormlight 5. In addition, we are not going to try to continue the subscription box. We put all our best ideas into this year’s boxes, and we’re extremely pleased with the quality of what we created. It’s time to be done."

Brandon Sanderson

We're currently living in an era where media over-saturation is a very real danger; just look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars. Sanderson's decision to slow things down next year rather than focus on growth for growth's sake is admirable. I wish more creative companies would follow suit.

In classic Sanderson fashion, even as Dragonsteel slows down from what was surely an extremely busy year, they still have some big plans for next year. The company will be running a crowd-funding campaign for the leatherbound edition of the second Stormlight Archive novel, Words of Radiance; that launches on March 5, 2024 to mark the 10th anniversary of the book's release. They'll also be doing a crowdfunding campaign for The Stormlight Archive pen and paper RPG with Brotherwise Games. And then there's Dragonsteel convention 2024, which runs from December 5-7 and aligns with the highly-anticipated release of Wind and Truth. It sounds like Dragonsteel is still going to have a very busy year.

There's a lot more Sanderson news to go over. Click on: