Fantasy Author Brandon Sanderson Asks Fans To Calm Down After Getting Slammed

Brandon Sanderson stands with a background of his book covers.

Brandon Sanderson is a fantasy creator who nets tens of millions of {dollars} in guide gross sales yearly, which places him in the identical book-selling league as George R.R. Martin. Nonetheless, his monetary success has not likely translated into the same mainstream visibility exterior of his particular fanbase—till this week. The tech journal Wired published a cynical profile about Sanderson yesterday, and the creator’s followers are pissed. Issues bought so heated that Sanderson needed to take to Reddit to inform his group to again off.

Sanderson is finest often known as the author of The Stormlight Archive, The Reckoners, and Mistborn collection—all of which happen in his unique fictional universe, known as the Cosmere. His books have intensive magic methods in them, and he’s known as the inventor of the concepts of “hard” and “soft” magic. He has additionally written the ultimate books of the fantasy epic collection The Wheel of Time, choosing up after Robert Jordan handed away in 2007.

The Wired profile

Regardless of intensive successes and credentials, Wired editor Jason Kehe didn’t appear impressed by Sanderson as an creator or as a person. His profile makes some makes an attempt to elucidate Sanderson’s worldbuilding prowess utilizing his Mormon background, however struggles to attach with Sanderson’s private life experiences, though Kehe went to Utah to study extra concerning the creator and the folks he surrounded himself with.


In consequence, the article just isn’t very flattering. “On the sentence degree, [Sanderson] is not any nice reward to English prose,” Kehe writes. “He writes, by one metric, at a sixth-grade studying degree.” It’s undoubtedly not an outline that followers are used to seeing from a multi-million greenback promoting creator who penned a long time price of books.

Neither is Kehe impressed by the private life that the bestselling creator lives, or the style through which he holds himself. “To my thoughts, I nonetheless haven’t gotten something actual from Sanderson, something true. I’m not the primary individual he has toured round his lair to politely gawk at his treasures and trophies and his hallway of customized stained-glass renditions of his favourite books,” he writes. “Sanderson has lived a lot of his life and fame brazenly, self-promotionally. It’s a serious motive for his success.”


“I find Sanderson depressingly, story-killingly lame,” Kehe wrote, days before he met the author’s family or his fans. “He sits across from me in an empty restaurant, kind of lordly and sure of his insights, in a graphic T-shirt and ill-fitting blazer, which he says he wears because it makes him look professorial. It doesn’t. He isn’t. Unless the word means only: believing everything you say is worth saying. Sanderson talks a lot, but almost none of it is usable, quotable.”

At the end of the piece, Kehe describes Sanderson as a god. Not because of his literary prowess, but because the author had created worlds that had enthralled so many readers over the course of decades. “If Sanderson is a writer, that is all he is doing. He is living his fantasy of godhead on Earth,” he writes. Kehe seemed to struggle to see any humility in a man who had a literary empire within his grasp. Kehe was a visitor from a distant land (San Francisco), and he took the velvet gloves off when he had to leave a review of his travels.


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Fantasy followers reacted on Twitter

The web responded loudly. “[The article writer] is nasty, jealous, catty, and uncharitable to somebody who delivers worth to thousands and thousands of followers, and by no means has a nasty phrase to say about anybody,” tweeted one creator named Travis Corcoran. “I think about he’s pissed that Sanderson isn’t almost pretty much as good at ’setting up sentences’ as he’s … and but makes $20M/yr whereas the Wired editor makes, I dunno, $60k?” A number of different folks cited Sanderson’s form persona and monetary success as the explanation why the profile ought to by no means have been revealed.


Even Activision Blizzard’s poster-in-chief weighed in. “The sneering tone. The gratuitous meanness of insulting a person in entrance of his household after he has invited you into his dwelling. The bullying low cost photographs at folks you think about nerds,” tweeted Lulu Cheng Meservey. “Fantasy writing is effective, being prolific isn’t a nasty factor, folks can like various things from you, and nerds are the most effective.”

“My primary feeling has all the time been: We write tales, after which they belong to readers,” wrote Kehe in an e mail to Kotaku. “Readers get the final phrase.”


Brandon Sanderson’s response

Look, no person is coming for the human rights of fantasy nerds. And a author who makes a number of million {dollars} a 12 months off his personal IP isn’t going to be toppled by some imply article. Even Sanderson himself thinks so. He wrote a Reddit thread right this moment pleading for his followers to maintain calm. He agreed that his life wasn’t very thrilling for a profile, and that his bizarre and trauma-free life “is sort of boring, from an outsider’s perspective.” Whereas he appreciated that his followers have been prepared to defend him, he needed them to let Kehe be. He felt that the profile was not an assault on the group, and that the Wired editor had been sincere about his opinions. Kotaku reached out for a remark, however didn’t obtain one by the point of publication.

“[Kehe] shouldn’t be attacked for sharing his emotions,” Sanderson wrote. “If we assault folks for doing so, we make the world a worse place, as a result of fewer folks shall be prepared to be their genuine selves.”


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