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Your search for the tag 'awards' yielded 61 results

  • 1

    Interview: Jul 6th, 2006

    Robert Jordan

    Somebody a while back wanted to know whether I had ever received any awards. I was given a Straniak for the Wheel of Time by the Congress of Russian Science Fiction Writers, and some years back my French publisher informed me that I had been nominated for a prize, but at this late date I forget which one. Aside from that, I've never received or been nominated for any other awards.

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  • 2

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Also, the season for awards and awards nominations is upon us. I'll mention the Hugos in another post, but first I'd like to point out that I have been nominated for a new award known as the "David Gemmell Legend Award" which will be given in honor of Mr. Gemmell, who passed away in 2006. I'm honored, as I am a fan of Mr. Gemmell's work. (You may even have noticed that Kelsier's teacher, who is mentioned but never appears, was named after Mr. Gemmell.) This is a reader-voted award, so if you feel like voting for Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, you may do so at this website. You don't have to register in order to vote. Here is a direct link to an explanation of the voting process.

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  • 3

    Interview: Feb 24th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I don't know when the Mistborn 2 audiobook will be out. A lot of people have been emailing me about this. I'd guess April (judging by the space between the book three release and the book one release.)

    I did want to give another mention to the Hugo Awards. I believe this is the last week for nominations, so if you have the inclination and are eligible (I.E. you went to Worldcon last year or have a membership to go this year) keep me in mind for Hero of Ages.

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  • 4

    Interview: May 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    A few quick items. Hero of Ages has won the Romantic Times editor's choice award. Huzzah! I wasn't certain if I could announce this, but it looks like the magazine has shipped, so I think I can say it now. I'm deeply honored. The Romantic Times has done a very good job reaching across genre lines and honoring books they think deserve praise, regardless of their genre.

    In similar news, I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but Hero has also been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award. This is an honor for two reasons—first, because Mr. Gemmell himself was such a fantastic author. But also because this is a reader-voted award, which means that you all took the time to stop by and give me a nominating vote. That means a lot to me. Thank you so much! I believe that the final winner is also chosen by a vote from readers, so if you feel so inclined, you can vote for Hero to win. You don't even have to register to do so.

    Finally, I have a small stock of copies of the Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians hardcover on hand, and that is getting hard to find in stores, so I thought I'd offer them for sale and personalization. I'll probably do another post on this later, going more in-depth, but if you haven't tried Alcatraz, this would be the perfect chance.

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  • 5

    Interview: Sep 8th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Also at Dragon*Con, my Writing Excuses podcast with Howard Tayler and Dan Wells was presented with a Parsec Award for excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting—Best Writing-related Podcast. We're quite honored and now I really wish I could have been there. (I am already confirmed for Dragon*Con 2010.) I guess people have really responded to our 15-minute format and our acknowledgement that we're not that smart! (But if you want to hear someone who really is that smart, this week's episode again features Mary Robinette Kowal as we answer writing process questions from the audience at the recent World Science Fiction Convention. Go give it a listen! And it's also available on iTunes as usual.)

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  • 6

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    This year's World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) will be held in Melbourne, Australia from September 2nd through September 6th. Unfortunately, I won't be in attendance since I'll be going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta that same weekend. However, every year the members of Worldcon vote on and present the Hugo Awards, and I have three books that came out in 2009 that are eligible to be nominated in the Best Novel category: Warbreaker (which you can download for free here—feel free to pass the link on to any Worldcon members you know!), Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallica, and The Gathering Storm. My editors Moshe Feder and Harriet McDougal are eligible for nomination in the Best Editor, Long Form category, and artists Dan Dos Santos (for the Warbreaker cover—which a fairly random blogger has just named the best cover for a 2009 SF book by an LDS writer) and Darrell K. Sweet (for the The Gathering Storm cover) are eligible in the Best Professional Artist category. (Technically I believe my Mistborn 2 annotations are also eligible for a nomination in the Best Related Work category, since I finished with them back in April, but I haven't even considered that those might be worthy of recognition.) Any member of this year's or last year's Worldcon may nominate until March 13th, after which only members of the 2010 Worldcon will be able to vote on the final ballot.

    Robert Jordan never won a Hugo Award. Not one of his books even garnered enough nominations to earn a spot on a final ballot. On one hand I think it's a shame that someone who was such a monolith in the field and who did so much for the mainstream success of fantasy publishing should never have been so recognized (as I said back in 2006 when I advocated his nomination for the World Fantasy Life Achievement award). On the other hand, his absence from the lists may simply illustrate that his fan base doesn't overlap much with the voting base for the awards. If few of Robert Jordan's fans attend Worldcon, it can hardly be a surprise that he was never nominated for a Hugo. Still, I think nominating one of Robert Jordan's final three books would be something Worldcon members could feel proud to do, though I don't know that this year will be the best opportunity for that. We'll have to see what happens.

    If The Gathering Storm did get nominated, I'm torn about how that would make me feel. We don't often realize how much we miss something—or someone—until they're gone. So, in that regard, I think a nomination might be very respectful. However, to have a Wheel of Time book finally get nominated only after Robert Jordan has passed away would also feel somewhat odd, as I do feel this book would have been better if he'd been around to complete it. Still, the reader response to the book has been excellent. I guess I'll just leave it in your court, readers. If you decide to nominate the book, I suspect Robert Jordan would be honored. But I'm not going to push or lobby for nominations. (That's frowned upon anyway.)

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  • 7

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    This month I'll be answering questions over at GoodReads' fantasy book club, following up on their discussion of Warbreaker. Have something you've been dying to ask me, particularly about Warbreaker? Head on over there.

    Rob Bedford sent me a note to let me know he'd named Warbreaker a standout book in SFFWorld's fantasy review of 2009. Over on his own blog he also named me his MVP Author of 2009. Thanks, Rob! Unfortunately, this does not come with a trophy.

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  • 8

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Gathering Storm was named as one of five nominees for the 2010 Audie awards in the category of science fiction/fantasy audiobook. Kudos to voice performers Michael Kramer and Kate Reading! If you haven't had a chance to give the Wheel of Time audiobooks a try, I highly recommend them.

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  • 9

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now for this week's big news (though this is fighting with the Audies as far as how big it is). The Gathering Storm is on the long list of titles up for the David Gemmell Legend award (Warbreaker is also on the list, but I feel that The Gathering Storm is more in the spirit of Gemmell's work, which is part of the award's criteria). Hero of Ages made the short list last year and lost to Blood of Elves, and I was just honored to be nominated—until I found out that the winner gets a freaking battleaxe.

    The award itself is in the shape of a Druss-style battleaxe, and it is awesome. If you want to help me and Team Jordan win one of these for The Gathering Storm . . . or rather, if you believe it's the most deserving of the books that have been nominated, go vote for the David Gemmell Legend Award here. (I won't feel bad if you vote for something else.)

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  • 10

    Interview: Apr 5th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first round of David Gemmell Legend Award voting is over, and I was surprised to learn that both The Gathering Storm and Warbreaker have made the short list (going up against The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pevel, Empire: The Legend of Sigmar by Graham McNeill, and Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie). I still feel that The Gathering Storm is a better fit for the award since it is much more in the spirit of David Gemmell's work than Warbreaker is, and I'd rather not split my fanbase's vote, but this is a fan-voted award and you (the fans) can give it to whatever book you think best deserves it. I definitely want to win that battleaxe one of these days, but I'm sure Harriet would like a battleaxe for Robert Jordan too. (As Joe, Graham, and Pierre would each like one for himself.) Voting on the final round should start fairly soon; I believe it will happen at this link and run until sometime before the awards ceremony in June. I'll mention it again sometime after voting has begun.

    The Gathering Storm has also made the final round of Audible's 3rd Annual Tournament of Audiobooks where it will be up against The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The Help got 75 more votes in the semifinals than The Gathering Storm did, so TGS is going to need some . . . help . . . if you would like it to win the tournament. Voting starts here sometime Tuesday afternoon. (And here's a non-flash link.)

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  • 11

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mentioned on Twitter and Facebook that The Gathering Storm needed votes in Audible's 2010 tournament. Last I heard, it was beating The Girl Who Played With Fire by four tenths of a percent. Voting ends today sometime—actually it may be over by the time you see this message, but go vote anyway (if you think it should win). If it gets to the next round, it will be up against the winner of Beat the Reaper vs. Always Looking Up.

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  • 12

    Interview: Apr 14th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Voting has begun for the David Gemmell Legend Award, which I mentioned last week. It will continue through May 31st. Both Warbreaker and The Gathering Storm are among the five nominees, but if you're struggling to pick one I'd recommend The Gathering Storm since I feel it's more in the spirit of Mr. Gemmell's work.

    There's a great article on Robert Jordan, Harriet, and finishing the Wheel of Time in the Charleston City Paper. I'm not sure about the print edition, but online it's listed as the cover story.

    The Gathering Storm has won Audible's 3rd Annual Tournament of Audiobooks, defeating The Help in the final round. Wow! Since this is a fan-voted award, I'm honored that you decided to give it the nod. I'm sure Mr. Jordan is also pleased. Performers Michael Kramer and Kate Reading have many fans as well; if you haven't had a chance to check out the Wheel of Time series on audiobook, give it a try.

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  • 13

    Interview: May 28th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've mentioned a few times that both Warbreaker and The Gathering Storm are among five nominees for the David Gemmell Legend Award. Well, voting on the award ends on Monday May 31st. Since the award is based in the UK, I assume the voting closes at midnight UK time, which is 5:00 or maybe 6:00 p.m. Mountain time (depending on whether daylight saving time is taken into account). If you're struggling to pick between the two books, I recommend The Gathering Storm since I feel it's more in the spirit of Mr. Gemmell's work. Plus, you know, Robert Jordan collected weapons, and I think an award that's a battleaxe would be right up his alley. So go vote! (Assuming you want either book to win.)

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  • 14

    Interview: Sep 8th, 2010

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Two more Writing Excuses podcast episodes went up. Brandon, Dan, and Howard first answer audience questions on a number of writing-related topics, and then talk about the won a Parsec award, presented this past weekend at Dragon*Con. Last year when it won, none of the three hosts were at Dragon*Con, but this year two of them were there (Howard was at Worldcon losing the Hugo award again) and they still couldn't attend the ceremony—Brandon and Dan were both signing books at the Decatur Book Festival during that timeslot. Oops. I assume that the three will make some kind of official acceptance speech eventually, as they did last year. Thanks everyone for listening, and they hope you find the podcast helpful and not boring!

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  • 15

    Interview: Oct 4th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Back in June I mentioned the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship given out by TarValon.net and awarded based on applicants' essays on the topic "How I plan to use my studies to become a Servant of All." Well, the winner of this year's scholarship has been announced, and it's Christopher Lipnickas at Wichita State University, whose goal is to be a substance abuse counselor. Head over to TarValon.net to read his winning essay and more of his story. You can also read about the other philanthropic endeavors that TarValon.net is engaged in here.

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  • 16

    Interview: Sep 28th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    The World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon for short, is held in a different city throughout the world each year. Next year it will be in Reno, Nevada, from August 17th through 21st. Hundreds of professionals in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror field congregate along with a few thousand fans. I'll be going, and will likely be on a few panels talking about the craft of writing and related topics.

    This is also the convention where the Hugo Awards are voted on by the members. When I was a teenager first getting into fantasy and science fiction, I soon learned that "Hugo Award Winner!" emblazoned on the cover of a paperback meant it was going to be a good book. If you've ever wanted to vote for a Hugo, all you have to do is preregister early enough to get a voting ballot (sometime next spring, though to nominate you need to be a member by January). The convention in 2011 votes for books that came out in 2010, as well as for awards such as best editor, best dramatic presentation, and best fan artist.

    Anyway, the cost for registration goes up this Friday and will go up again in March. So if you're interested in going, now is the time to register. I hope to see a lot of fans there.

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  • 17

    Interview: Sep 28th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    In other news, I've posted a couple more annotations for Warbreaker. First I talk about the God King's arrival at the Court of Gods. Then I discuss the life-sense aspect of the magic system.

    We've got two new things up for you on the Writing Excuses podcast site. First is the newest episode on creating suspense. Next Dan, Howard, and I recorded an acceptance speech for our Parsec Award. Once again we missed the awards ceremony, though Dan and I were both there at Dragon*Con . . . (And don't worry about the way I sound; my voice has since recovered.)

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  • 18

    Interview: Nov 10th, 2010

    Question

    Mistborn got the Elbakin.net award for the best 2010 foreign novel. What does this trilogy represent for you in your career?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It represents several things. It is my attempt to expand the fantasy genre a little bit. I grew up reading fantasy and loving it; I love the great fantasy novels of my youth. Some of my favorite authors were Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan and Melanie Rawn, who I think is very underappreciated. I absolutely love their work—Tad Williams, David Eddings—and yet as a reader and a fan of fantasy, it seemed like during the late nineties and early 2000s, we hit kind of a slump in adult fantasy, particularly epic fantasy, which I write. And there were really exciting things happening in young adult fantasy—if you go look at some of the authors like Garth Nix or J.K. Rowling, who were doing really amazing work—but epic fantasy kind of slumped a little bit. I'm sure there were great things being published, it's just that they didn't get a lot of mainstream attention. It seemed like a lot of the authors who got mainstream attention were all trying to do the same story that had already been done, a lot. The young boy from an unknown village finds out he has an amazing noble heritage and has to defeat the dark lord...

    I mean, there's nothing wrong with that story; that's a good story, but it's not the only story. And for a lot of time, fantasy seemed to be having trouble growing out of its youth and growing up. As a reader I was very frustrated with this. I really wanted fantasy to step up and go beyond that. So when I started writing my own works and working on them, I was really looking for places to explore, that could expand upon this lore and take different directions. Mistborn represents several concepts of me, just as a reader and as a writer, trying to explore these new directions to go. I'm certainly not the only one doing it.

    The first book is about: what happens if evil has won? And in a lot of ways the second book is part of what started me in the trilogy. One of the big foundations or concepts was: what next? We always hear about the easy part. I always say that overthrowing something, tearing something down, actually seems easier to me than building it up. Then what next, after you've caused this great revolution, after you've blown up the Death Star and taken down the Empire? I think then you're going to realize that, whoa, administering something that large is enormously difficult, far more difficult than tearing it down.

    So it just represents my attempts and struggles as a writer and as a fan to wonder beyond fantasy's older lessons and try to figure out what we're going to be as an adult genre, as we grow up.

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  • 19

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hugo Award nomination season began this month, so I thought I'd let you know what categories my works are eligible in. If you don't know what the Hugo Awards are or how nominating and voting works, I also talk about that below. If you want to nominate, the registration deadline is January 31st. (You can also use this list when considering nominations for any other award that's out there, but for the purposes of this post I'm focusing on the Hugos.)

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  • 20

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    ELIGIBLE IN CATEGORY: BEST RELATED WORK

    Writing Excuses Season Four

    The Hugo definition for this category is:

    Awarded to a work related to the field of science fiction, fantasy, or fandom, appearing for the first time during the previous calendar year or which has been substantially modified during the previous calendar year. The type of works eligible include, but are not limited to, collections of art, works of literary criticism, books about the making of a film or TV series, biographies and so on, provided that they do not qualify for another category.

    Season four of the Writing Excuses podcast that I host with Howard Tayler and Dan Wells ran from January 2010 through August 2010, starting with this episode. If you have not listened to it, you may download the episodes to consider why it might be worthy of a nomination. Transcripts of every episode in the season are also available here. (Thanks to Mike Barker.)

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  • 21

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    ELIGIBLE IN CATEGORY: BEST NOVEL

    Towers of Midnight
    The Way of Kings
    Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens

    All three of these novels were released in 2010 by major publishers and are longer than 40,000 words, so they are eligible for nomination.

    You may be interested to hear that no Wheel of Time novel has ever gained enough nominations to make a final Hugo ballot. Nor has a Wheel of Time novel ever made the short list for one of the traditional genre awards such as the Nebula or World Fantasy awards. (Though The Gathering Storm did make the short list for the second David Gemmell Legend Award, last year.) Guy Gavriel Kay spoke about this at the World Fantasy Awards ceremony in 2007, shortly after Robert Jordan passed away. I recommend that every fantasy fan read his speech. He doesn't posit that Robert Jordan should have necessarily been nominated, but he believes the contribution that bestsellers like the Wheel of Time make to the genre as a whole should be recognized.

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  • 22

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    OTHER CATEGORIES
    I don't have works eligible in other categories this year, but I do have a vested interest in a few other possible nominations. My editors Moshe Feder and Harriet McDougal are both eligible in the Best Editor (Long Form) category. Cover artists Michael Whelan, Darrell K. Sweet, and Todd Lockwood are eligible in the Best Professional Artist category. Howard Tayler's Schlock Mercenary book Massively Parallel is eligible in the Best Graphic Story category. Dan Wells' books I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster are eligible in the Best Novel category, and Dan himself is eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo, but nominated on the same ballot).

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  • 23

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    WHO NOMINATES FOR THE HUGO?
    Recipients of the Hugo Award are nominated by and voted on by members of each year's World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). There are two types of members: Attending and Supporting. Attending means what you'd expect: you get to go to the convention. Supporting is a type of membership that may be unfamiliar to you, but it's generally for people who will be unable to attend the convention for one reason or another but still want to financially support it. Supporting members can nominate and vote for the Hugos and can also vote on where a future Worldcon will be held, and they can pay to upgrade to Attending at any time. Attending or Supporting members of the previous year's convention may also nominate for the Hugos, but cannot vote on the final ballot unless they become members of the current year's convention.

    This year, Worldcon will be held in Reno, Nevada, from August 17th through 21st. The name of this year's convention is Renovation. Anyone who registers before January 31, 2011 will be able to nominate for the Hugos. Attending memberships are currently $180 ($100 if you're age 21 or under, and $75 if you're age 16 or under) and Supporting memberships are $50 (rates will go up on February 28th). Nomination ballots will be accepted through March 26, 2011.

    HOW ARE NOMINATIONS AND VOTES COUNTED?
    Each person may nominate up to five works in each category (or individuals, if the award is for a person rather than for a work). All nominations are weighted equally; it doesn't matter which order you put them in. All nominations are totaled, and the top five go to the final ballot (or more if there is a tie for the 5th slot, or fewer if a nominee gets less than 5% of nominating votes).

    Voting on the final ballot is a bit different. It uses a weighted voting system called instant-runoff voting (sometimes known as an Australian ballot, since IRV is used in Australian parliamentary elections, but not to be confused with the older definition of Australian ballot, which simply means secret ballot). In this system, you rank the choices by order of your preference. This means that you can vote for the nominee you actually want to win, whether you think it has a chance of winning or not—there are no "wasted" votes. Vote splitting is also not an issue; if there are three separate Doctor Who episodes nominated for a Best Dramatic Presentation (short form) award, for example, the IRV system does not make it more likely that something else will win because Doctor Who fans can't decide which episode to vote for. See an example below.

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  • 24

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    HOW MANY PEOPLE NOMINATE AND VOTE?
    This depends on the category, since eligible nominators are encouraged to nominate only in categories they feel they have enough experience with. Last year when Worldcon was in Melbourne, Australia, there were 700 nominations for Best Novel. So if each person nominated five novels, that could have been as few as 140 nominating ballots. (Except that The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi received 142 nominations, so clearly many people nominated fewer than five titles.) Julian Comstock tied with Palimpsest for fifth place with 62 nominations, so both made it to the final ballot.

    In the Best Related Work category last year, there were 259 nominations. The top nominee received 56 nominations, and there was again a tie for fifth place, with 29 nominations. (Writing Excuses received eight nominations last year.)

    The final vote totals exhibit similar differences. 875 ballots were counted for Best Novel, and there was a tie for first with 380 votes for both China Miéville's The City & The City and The Windup Girl. 548 ballots were counted for Best Related Work, and This is Me, Jack Vance! won with 251 votes.

    Here's a sample voting breakdown for the final ballot, from last year:

    Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form

    Doctor Who: "The Waters of Mars" (winner) 172 172 204 212 350
    Dollhouse: "Epitaph 1" 199 201 205 243 278
    Doctor Who: "The Next Doctor" 144 144 173 203
    FlashForward: "No More Good Days" 123 125 127
    Doctor Who: "Planet of the Dead" 70 70
    No Award 59

    The first column of numbers indicates what people ranked as their #1 choice. 199 people picked "Epitaph 1" as their favorite, and only 172 people picked "The Waters of Mars" as their favorite. Yet 199 was not above the 50% threshold necessary to win. So the instant runoff began: the lowest vote-getters were eliminated and those voters' preferences reassigned. Of people who voted "Planet of the Dead" #1, when that was eliminated, their #2 moved up to #1 and the votes were counted again; four had voted "Epitaph 1" as #2 and 32 had voted "The Waters of Mars" #2. "Epitaph 1" was ahead by a vote, but still didn't have enough to win. This process continued until eventually all but the top two were eliminated, and "The Waters of Mars" was declared the winner, even though it was behind in every round but the last.

    You'll also notice the "No Award" listing. If you're voting and think none of the entries on the final ballot deserve your vote, you can pick No Award. I know that No Award won in the Dramatic Presentation category in 1977, but this is rare. There are more details on the Hugo voting system here.

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  • 25

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    TO SUM UP
    The Hugo Awards have been presented every year since 1953 (except for a gap in 1954). When I was growing up, I knew that a "Hugo award winner!" tag on the cover of a novel like Ender's Game meant it was going to be a good read. Anything that makes the final ballot is going to be significant and worth your attention.

    If you're interested in nominating and voting for whatever work or person you feel deserves a Hugo Award, consider registering for Worldcon by Monday next week and filling out a ballot sometime in the next two months. I will be attending Worldcon this year along with many other professionals and fans, and I hope to see you there.

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  • 26

    Interview: Dec 27th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Both The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight are on the long nominees list for the 2010/2011 David Gemmell Legend Award. Last year, The Gathering Storm and Warbreaker were both voted into the short list and ended up losing the final ballot to Empire by Graham McNeill. Anyway, there are a lot of worthy books on the list, so go vote for the one book you think deserves the award. You can only vote ONCE, and multiple votes will cause ALL of your votes to be discarded. Round two will be sometime after March.

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  • 27

    Interview: Mar 7th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Voting on the long list of nominees for the David Gemmell Legend Award is finishing up at the end of the month, and The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight are both on the list. If you haven't voted yet, give the full list of nominees a look. (Multiple votes don't count.)

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  • 28

    Interview: Mar 25th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Back in January I posted about nominating and voting for the Hugo Awards. Well, if you're eligible to nominate (you needed to be a registered Worldcon member by the end of January, or have been a member of last year's Worldcon), the nomination deadline is tomorrow night. If you didn't register quickly enough to nominate, now is a good time to register so that you'll be eligible to vote on the final ballot, which should open fairly soon. The convention itself will be in Reno, Nevada from August 17th through 21st.

    If you want more details, read my earlier post. For now, here's a reminder of what I've been involved in that's eligible for a nomination.

    ELIGIBLE IN CATEGORY: BEST RELATED WORK

    Writing Excuses Season Four

    ELIGIBLE IN CATEGORY: BEST NOVEL

    Towers of Midnight
    The Way of Kings
    Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens

    OTHER CATEGORIES
    I have a vested interest in a few other possible nominations. My editors Moshe Feder and Harriet McDougal are both eligible in the Best Editor (Long Form) category. Cover artists Michael Whelan, Darrell K. Sweet, and Todd Lockwood are eligible in the Best Professional Artist category. Howard Tayler's Schlock Mercenary book Massively Parallel is eligible in the Best Graphic Story category. Dan Wells' books I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster are eligible in the Best Novel category, and Dan himself is eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo, but nominated on the same ballot).

    If you're eligible to nominate and haven't done it yet, consider doing it now. And if you've already nominated and happen to want to revise your nominations, you can submit a new ballot that will cancel out the old one, which is rather convenient.

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  • 29

    Interview: Dec 6th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Both The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight are nominated for best fantasy book of 2010 at Goodreads. You have to be signed up with Goodreads to vote. Also, it looks like Audible listeners already voted on their favorite audiobooks of the year, and both books made the top 10 (that's out of all audiobooks, not just fantasy). The Way of Kings was also selected as a top 5 Audible.com editor's pick for sci-fi & fantasy.

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  • 30

    Interview: May 9th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    The short list of six nominees for the David Gemmell Legend Award is out, and for the second year in a row I have two books on the list. Towers of Midnight and The Way of Kings join Brent Weeks's The Black Prism, Pierre Pevel's The Alchemist in the Shadows, Peter V. Brett's The Desert Spear, and Markus Heitz's The War of the Dwarves.

    Once again I'm honored to have two books nominated for the award named for David Gemmell, as he was such a fantastic author. (My favorite of Mr. Gemmell's titles is Knights of Dark Renown.) Because this is a reader-voted award, that means you all took the time to stop by and give my books a nominating vote. That means a lot to me. Thank you so much!

    I do find it amusing that I've now managed to lose the award more times than it's been offered. But did you know that the winner gets a battleaxe?

    I definitely want to hang that battleaxe on my wall one of these days, but as always there's stiff competition from a set of very worthy nominees. All of these books deserve a read.

    You can vote for the 2011 David Gemmell Legend Award here. If you already voted earlier in the year and are wondering what happened to your vote then, that's how the field was narrowed down to these six finalists. All vote totals were reset when the short list was announced, so you should vote again if you have a preference on what book wins. (Voting for the 2011 David Gemmell Morningstar Award and Ravenheart Award for best fantasy debut and best fantasy book jacket is also now open.)

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  • 31

    Interview: May 9th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    In other award news, this past weekend I went to the Whitney Awards ceremony at the LDStorymakers conference. The Way of Kings won the Best Speculative Fiction award, and it also tied with Dan Wells's Mr. Monster for Novel of the Year. I'm happy the book has been so well received, and sharing an award with Dan is awesome. (See the following links for a complete listing of the nominees and winners.)

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  • 32

    Interview: Jun 4th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    After the sad and untimely death in 2006 of David Gemmell, a bestselling British fantasy author, a series of awards were set up in his name as a legacy in 2008—the David Gemell Legend Awards. The top award for this is the Legend Award for the Best Fantasy novel. Brandon Sanderson is nominated in this award category twice—once for The Way of Kings, and secondly for Towers of Midnight with Robert Jordan. The announcement of the winner is on 17th June 2011, and Brandon was disappointed not be in Europe at the time of the award. But I am sure we all wish him the best of luck in the category!

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  • 33

    Interview: Jun 22nd, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    One regret of the trip was that after we'd set my dates in stone, we realized I was not only doubly nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Best Novel, but would be leaving Europe only a few days before the ceremony. We looked into changing things around, but the cost—and the fact that I was plain exhausted from the trip—was too much. We went ahead and regretfully returned on schedule.

    To my great surprise, The Way of Kings actually won.

    I hadn't been expecting this. I'd been nominated three times before without winning. This year, with two books up for the award (like last year), I was convinced I'd split my votes again and have no shot at it. Beyond that, the competition was pretty steep this year.

    I now wish I'd made the extra effort to stick around. Still, my publisher was there, and we'd talked about them accepting the award for me in case I did win. At least we were represented.

    Either way, I'm deeply grateful to you all for your votes for The Way of Kings. Once I get the award, I'll be sure to take photographs and post them up for everyone to admire.

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  • 34

    Interview: Nov 15th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    By the way, The Alloy of Law was one of five write-in candidates to be added in its category as a 2011 Goodreads Choice Award semifinalist. If you think it deserves the award, you can vote for it here. Competition is pretty stiff, though!

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  • 35

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    Angry Caveman Lawyer ()

    Who do you enjoy reading?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like reading very widely, however my first love of sf/f basically holds the majority of my reading time. It kind of rubs me wrong when I hear of an author who doesn't read in their own genre. It feels like a doctor, not caring to stay up to date on what other doctors are doing.

    My favorite living writer is Terry Pratchett. Most recently, I read a big chunk of the Hugo-nominated works this year so that I could vote intelligently on the awards.

    Footnote

    Brandon was probably thinking of Terry Goodkind, who claims not to read fantasy (while also claiming that most fantasy isn't as good as his, which by the way isn't actually fantasy).

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  • 36

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2011

    Helen Lowe

    As well as the Wheel of Time novels, the first installment of what you have called your own "grand epic", The Way of Kings (Book One of The Stormlight Archive) was published in 2010 and this year won the Gemmell "Legend" Award for Best Fantasy Novel of the Year. Was there any particular significance for you in winning the award for The Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure. First off, The Way of Kings is the book of my heart—the book I've been working on for years and years. For example, it has a character in it who originated in the very first novel I tried my hand at as a young teen. Finally having this book come out is extremely fulfilling, and having people enjoy it as much as they have is even more fulfilling.

    Specifically with the Gemmell Award, I'd lost the award two years in a row—in fact I'd lost three times in those two years, since I had two books nominated one of the years. Finally winning was extremely gratifying and a really big honor. Plus the actual award itself is a battleaxe. That is the best award ever.

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  • 37

    Interview: Jun 11th, 2007

    Kaimi Wenger

    You're up for the Campbell, again. (Congratulations, by the way.) What can you tell our readers about the Campbell award? What does the field look like? (Um, are you allowed to discuss this?) What are the mechanics of the award—how it's given, who decides it? Does it pay a million dollars, like the Nobel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Campbell pays only in prestige. You don't even get a cool little statue, like you do with the Hugo (the big award that is presented in the same ceremony as the Campbell.) You just get a plaque and, in recent years, a tiara. (Don't ask.)

    The Campbell is the "rookie of the year" award for science fiction and fantasy. A person is eligible their first two years after they publish, and I was lucky enough to get nominated both years of my eligibility. It's voted on by fans who attend the World Science Fiction convention that year. (This year it's in Japan.)

    The field looks. . .well, rough. To be honest, I don't have a shot at this one. Naomi Novik, a nice lady who got a HUGE publishing deal and released three books in the same year, hit the scene last year. She's nominated for the Hugo for best novel, Peter Jackson bought the movie rights to her books, and she's had amazing exposure. There's really no question who's going to win. (Even if she weren't there, there are three of us that I would say are neck-and-neck for the award.)

    It sounds like a cliché, but it's an honor to be nominated. Honestly. Plus, Naomi's books are good. (She got Steven King, Ann McCaffery, and Terry Brooks all to give her cover blurbs. Talk about a marketing behemoth!) I have no problem losing gracefully to her.

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  • 38

    Interview: Sep 26th, 2007

    Aidan Moher

    First off I'd like to congratulate you on the success of your novels, Elantris and Mistborn: The Final Empire and your nomination for a Campbell Award!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thanks! Being nominated for the Campbell was a great honor, particularly when I look at the other authors that have been nominated during these two years. I've been really pleased at the reactions to my writing so far, and I'm excited to see what people think of the books I have coming out this year. (Mistborn: The Well of Ascension comes out from Tor this month, and Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians comes out with Scholastic in October.)

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  • 39

    Interview: Sep, 2000

    Tahir Velimeev

    And as far as I know, the two tours [in the Army] were fighting in Vietnam. In what capacity?

    Robert Jordan

    I flew in a helicopter as a gunner. Then I was a Sergeant and trained recruits.

    Tahir Velimeev

    On sorties, it most likely became necessary to shoot?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes ... But understand, on assignment you usually do not see people—you open fire as soon as you notice any movement, and do not think about it being a person. Otherwise, it is impossible—this is war, and the morals of a military person are other than those of a civilian: for a Commander the main thing is to perform his mission and save his soldiers. Reflection in the middle of a fight is dangerous—you will be killed before long.

    Tahir Velimeev

    Were you ever wounded?

    Robert Jordan

    Fortunately, no. A couple of times hurt ... Once, during a hard landing I knocked out teeth on the back of the pilot's seat in front of me. And another time a tiny splinter hit me in the eye. At first I didn’t notice anything and felt no pain, but then the blood flowed. Then the piece was drawn out with a magnet ...

    Tahir Velimeev

    Thus, the "Purple Heart" among your military decorations, right?

    Robert Jordan

    No—don’t even suggest such a thing! But there is a Distinguished Flying Cross for service, Bronze Star, and two Vietnamese Crosses for bravery.

    Tahir Velimeev

    Yeah, the bouquet* on a blazer really makes an impression ...

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you.

    Footnote

    *Literally "fruit salad".

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  • 40

    Interview: Mar 5th, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    The most recent Writing Excuses episode features David Brin talking with Dan and Mary at the World Fantasy convention about the importance of criticism.

    The Hugo Awards nomination deadline is the end of this week. If you're already a member of the 2011, 2012, or 2013 Worldcons, be sure to get your nomination form submitted. I talked about this two months ago, but I and my Writing Excuses partners have various works that are eligible, particularly Writing Excuses Season Six in the Best Related Work category.

    There's a new Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians annotation up. This one covers chapter three.

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  • 41

    Interview: Mar 27th, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    This week's episode of Writing Excuses features Mary, Howard, and I talking about Man vs. Nature. If you're as confused about that as Howard was, it's one of the basic narrative conflict archetypes (along with Man vs. Man and Man vs. Self). Check it out.

    There's also a new Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians annotation up. This one covers chapter six.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn of Bull Spec interviewed me for Audible SF/F about audiobooks.

    Gen Con Indy has announced that I'm their Author Guest of Honor this August. For my full convention schedule this year, see here.

    This is the last week to vote on the long list for the David Gemmell Legend Award (the poll closes March 31st). The Alloy of Law has been nominated, but you should vote for the book you want to win, of course.

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  • 42

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2012

    Google+ Hangout (Verbatim)

    Google Moderator

    Today we are very excited to welcome Brandon Sanderson to our shores and to a Google hangout on air. Just a brief introduction, Brandon has recently been short listed for not one but two awards for Alloy of law for Uk and David Gemmel and in the- for a Hugo as well for his weekly podcast Writing Excuses. And he's been in Australia on a mad, world wind tour visiting four cities which doesn't sound a lot to you Americans but believe me it's a big vast country here and that's a big distance so we're very excited to welcome him, thankyou Brandon for coming.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's my pleasure to be here.

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  • 43

    Interview: May, 2012

    Nalini Haynes

    Do you feel any added pressure after winning all of those awards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. I feel more indebted to the readers. The awards are nice but it is more that I don’t want to disappoint the readers. Awards are a reflection of that, so it really is more of the same thing. With the Wheel of Time books, I have a readership to whom I owe a lot. Those books don’t belong to me; they belong to the fans. I want those books to be as good as they can be, so the fans get what they’ve been waiting for all these years. With my own books I feel very excited about being able to do this for a living. There are a lot of writers who want to do this for a living; it’s like I owe the community to make good on this chance that I’ve been given, and do the best work I can, and to keep at it, because there are so many who would like to be doing what I’m doing.

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  • 44

    Interview: Jul 21st, 2012

    Jennifer Liang

    One of the things that I always like to close Wheel of Time panels with when I'm at conventions that I don't run is talking about the long-term legacy of the Wheel of Time. One of the things that pops up a lot is, Robert Jordan never won a Hugo award. He never won a Nebula, he never won a Locus...any of these major, major awards, he never won; he was only nominated once for Lord of Chaos, had a nomination for a Locus award. We have one last chance to correct this, which is with the publication of A Memory of Light. When that book comes out, not only is that book eligible for the Hugo for that year, but there's a quirk in the Hugo voting rules that if a serialized work, no individual portion has ever been nominated for a Hugo as a standalone, then when it becomes complete, the whole thing becomes eligible as one work, and so by virtue of the fact that Robert Jordan was never nominated for a Hugo during his lifetime, the entire Wheel of Time series becomes eligible for Best Novel at its publication. It would be the biggest "novel" ever nominated for a Hugo, but it's certainly possible to do so. Because of the way the publication works—it's going to be published at the very beginning of 2013, which means it's eligible in the 2014 cycle for Hugos—and I just like to put that out there for people. You know, I don't like to tell people how to vote on the Hugos, 'cause that's something that it's important for you to judge for yourself, what you think is the best novel...um....but really. (laughter)

    Brandon Sanderson

    She just wants you to be aware that the entire series is eligible.

    Jennifer Liang

    Yeah, it becomes eligible as Best Novel, and when you think of the impact of the Wheel of Time on fantasy writers over the last twenty years, on fantasy publication...I mean, seriously, do you think they would have let George R. R. Martin publish his books the way that he wants to publish them if they didn't already have some long-running series out there that they could point to and be like, "Look, people will follow it through multiple books, through long periods of waits...you know, people will follow this." Jordan really paved the way for a lot of what we take for granted in fantasy fiction now. I think that's one of the reasons why he gets a lot of flak these days, because it's been going on for so long that the things that were very innovative twenty years ago that the Wheel of Time does are not so innovative anymore, because now everybody does them, because Jim showed us how to do them. And I just feel like it's important to acknowledge that in some way, and so you'll be seeing a lot on Dragonmount about the Hugo Awards over the next couple of years to remind people that this is coming up, and if any of you guys are Hugo voters, keep that in mind. If you would like to be a Hugo voter, you just have to be a member of that year's WorldCon, which will likely be in London that year, so I don't expect you guys to go to London, but you can buy a supporting membership for about $50 usually, and that gives you voting rights to the convention, without attending.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The nice thing about a supporting membership to the Hugos, they put together a voter packet nowadays which includes electronic copies of all the nominated works, so for usually about fifty bucks, you get five or six novels, five or six novellas, five or six novelettes, and five or six short stories, all Hugo-worthy, for you to read. I do it every year even if I don't go now because of that, and you get to read the whole thing. And if you're gonna vote, really you should be reading widely and voting in multiple categories, and things like that, would be my suggestion.

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  • 45

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the most recent Writing Excuses podcast episode, Mary, Howard, and I help Dan brainstorm ideas for a military thriller short story. The working title is "I.E.Demon" and you can hear us hash it out.

    This past weekend, at the Parsec Awards ceremony at Dragon*Con, Writing Excuses was awarded the Parsec for Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation. We're honored! And at Worldcon we came up short in the Hugo voting for Best Related Work for the second year in a row, losing to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, a very worthy winner.

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  • 46

    Interview: Mar 5th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    This Sunday night is the deadline for nominating for the Hugo Awards, if you're a Worldcon member. The nomination form is here. As a reminder, I will send a free electronic copy of The Emperor's Soul to Hugo voters considering what to nominate in the novella category. See this post for details.

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  • 47

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    This week's Writing Excuses podcast episode is called "Fake It Till You Make It" and in it Mary, Dan, Howard, and I talk about the things we do or have done to feel professional.

    Also, as I mentioned earlier this week, Writing Excuses has been nominated once again for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work! Our announcement on that is here. And if you missed my announcement of The Emperor's Soul being nominated for Best Novella, it is here. Howard's Schlock Mercenary: Random Access Memorabilia is also nominated for Best Graphic Story. If you want to be able vote for the Hugo Awards, I talk about that in my previous post.

    Mary's new book Without A Summer is also out this week. The first two books in the series were excellent, so you're sure to enjoy this one too!

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  • 48

    Interview: 2011

    Reddit 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    HSMOM (January 2011)

    A Dance With Dragons, I'm hoping for an announcement soon.

    I have a feeling we waiting for all the Harry Potter Hype to die down.
    The show coming out has to be putting preasure on him.
    A few months ago he said he only has 5 chapters left to finish. He's almost DONE with it!

    TL;DR I'm expecting the release date to come out some time around April.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    A timeline for reference:

    I turned in Towers of Midnight somewhere around July First. It was done being edited by mid-August. Book was on shelves first week of November. I'd guess this speed would be similar for ADWD. On our part, we'd done some editing along the way (as I was turning in chunks to the editor all through the first half of the year.)

    GRRM might have been doing the same, though I'd suspect—in all honesty—GRRM is edited less than me, and needs editing less than I do. He's been at this much longer, and he labors over his prose long enough to get things perfect before sending it in.

    So...minimum turn-in-to-shelves will be three months. I'd honestly guess it at five or six here, as Tor would have rather taken that long, but felt they really wanted TofM out for the holiday season. Without the holiday worry, they'd have taken a few more months.

    CatfishRadiator

    Are you... Brandon Sanderson?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I am. Also, I should have mentioned why this timeline is relevant. I sometimes forget that people don't know the insides of publishing.

    Normally, turn-in to on-shelf time for a book is at least a year, usually longer. One of my books (Warbreaker) was turned in (first draft) in mid 2006, and came out in mid 2009. That's not uncommon.

    With a book expected to sell more copies, you can push things faster. You pay overtime at the printers, you shove other projects aside for the designers and typesetters, that sort of thing. In addition, book scheduling has to do with 'slots.' You don't want to self-compete too much, or compete with other books of the same nature from other publishers, so you make a schedule where you're trying to give each book the best fighting chance of survival.

    That means for a newer author, there may not be a 'slot' for your type of book until months and months after you turn in the book. However, a GRRM book will set the schedule for everyone else—they can drop it where they want, and shuffle everything else. However, a GRRM book will ALSO involve a lot more publicity and marketing—which means that once you pick a month, it's much harder to change, as you are losing marketing momentum.

    It makes them a little more hesitant to name a month on a book that has been floating for a while—but once they're confident, it's got a very good shot of not changing months. (Unless Grisham decides to release a book the same week after you've slotted, which happened with us on The Gathering Storm. So we bumped back a week.)

    I should probably start doing a TL;DR with these posts of mine, eh?

    BunjiX

    GRRM might have been doing the same, though I'd suspect—in all honesty—GRRM is edited less than me, and needs editing less than I do. He's been at this much longer, and he labors over his prose long enough to get things perfect before sending it in.

    Did you ever meet GRRM in person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have met him, actually. Several times. One of the two years I lost the Campbell award (the year I lost to Scalzi, I think) GRRM lost the Hugo. At the party, we were chatting, and he told me about how he lost the Campbell to Jerry Pournelle the first year the award was offered. Then he gave me the 'Hugo Loser' badge he'd been given by someone and told me to wear it with pride. Extremely awesome person.

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  • 49

    Interview: 2011

    Reddit 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    HSMOM (January 2011)

    A Dance With Dragons, I'm hoping for an announcement soon.

    I have a feeling we waiting for all the Harry Potter Hype to die down.
    The show coming out has to be putting preasure on him.
    A few months ago he said he only has 5 chapters left to finish. He's almost DONE with it!

    TL;DR I'm expecting the release date to come out some time around April.

    Brandon Sanderson ()

    A timeline for reference:

    I turned in Towers of Midnight somewhere around July First. It was done being edited by mid-August. Book was on shelves first week of November. I'd guess this speed would be similar for ADWD. On our part, we'd done some editing along the way (as I was turning in chunks to the editor all through the first half of the year.)

    GRRM might have been doing the same, though I'd suspect—in all honesty—GRRM is edited less than me, and needs editing less than I do. He's been at this much longer, and he labors over his prose long enough to get things perfect before sending it in.

    So...minimum turn-in-to-shelves will be three months. I'd honestly guess it at five or six here, as Tor would have rather taken that long, but felt they really wanted TofM out for the holiday season. Without the holiday worry, they'd have taken a few more months.

    CatfishRadiator

    Are you... Brandon Sanderson?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I am. Also, I should have mentioned why this timeline is relevant. I sometimes forget that people don't know the insides of publishing.

    Normally, turn-in to on-shelf time for a book is at least a year, usually longer. One of my books (Warbreaker) was turned in (first draft) in mid 2006, and came out in mid 2009. That's not uncommon.

    With a book expected to sell more copies, you can push things faster. You pay overtime at the printers, you shove other projects aside for the designers and typesetters, that sort of thing. In addition, book scheduling has to do with 'slots.' You don't want to self-compete too much, or compete with other books of the same nature from other publishers, so you make a schedule where you're trying to give each book the best fighting chance of survival.

    That means for a newer author, there may not be a 'slot' for your type of book until months and months after you turn in the book. However, a GRRM book will set the schedule for everyone else—they can drop it where they want, and shuffle everything else. However, a GRRM book will ALSO involve a lot more publicity and marketing—which means that once you pick a month, it's much harder to change, as you are losing marketing momentum.

    It makes them a little more hesitant to name a month on a book that has been floating for a while—but once they're confident, it's got a very good shot of not changing months. (Unless Grisham decides to release a book the same week after you've slotted, which happened with us on The Gathering Storm. So we bumped back a week.)

    I should probably start doing a TL;DR with these posts of mine, eh?

    BunjiX

    GRRM might have been doing the same, though I'd suspect—in all honesty—GRRM is edited less than me, and needs editing less than I do. He's been at this much longer, and he labors over his prose long enough to get things perfect before sending it in.

    Did you ever meet GRRM in person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have met him, actually. Several times. One of the two years I lost the Campbell award (the year I lost to Scalzi, I think) GRRM lost the Hugo. At the party, we were chatting, and he told me about how he lost the Campbell to Jerry Pournelle the first year the award was offered. Then he gave me the 'Hugo Loser' badge he'd been given by someone and told me to wear it with pride. Extremely awesome person.

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  • 50

    Interview: Sep 23rd, 2013

    Paul Goat Allen

    Brandon, first off, congratulations on the Hugo wins! Has it all sunken in yet? And how do you think these Hugo Awards will affect your writing going forward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thank you very much! I don't know if winning the Hugo has sunk in yet. Writing something worthy of winning the Hugo has been a lifelong goal of mine. I don't know if it will change me other than the fact that there will be a whole lot less pressure to future Hugo Awards ceremonies for me. Being able to do it once is kind of a proof of concept to me, if that makes any sense. I feel really satisfied.

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  • 51

    Interview: 2013

    drake129103 (September 2013)

    Congratulations to Brandon Sanderson.

    submitted 4 months ago by drake129103

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fun fact: winning two Hugos in one night can leave a guy sitting in bed unable to sleep until 5:40 in the morning. Whew. That was quite an experience. Winning for Writing Excuses was unexpected enough, but getting to take home a Hugo in a fiction category...wow. It's something I've dreamed of for a good twenty years.

    Thank you all for the kind words. This was an incredible night.

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  • 52

    Interview: 2013

    High_Stream (September 2013)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thanks!

    Howard slept with his that night, by the way. (Not even kidding.)

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  • 53

    Interview: Jan 28th, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm a little late to the party this year, but I wanted to post a few words about awards season. If you want to nominate for the Hugo Awards you either need to have had a membership to last year's Worldcon in San Antonio, or you need to be registered for this year's Worldcon in London by this Friday, the 31st of January. (Note that you don't have to nominate by then, you simply have to have your membership by then to be able to nominate.) A membership to next year's Worldcon in Spokane will also let you nominate this year.

    I've spoken before about the benefits of a supporting membership to Worldcon. This is the membership you buy if you're not actually planning to attend, but still want to vote. It costs £25/$40 (until the end of February, when the rates go up), and along with that you get the voter packet, which historically has contained electronic copies of every nominated fiction work (but whether all works are included each year is up to the authors and publishers). So it's a fantastic deal, and you also get to be part of a grand tradition in science fiction and fantasy. (Note: Only supporting or attending members of this year's Worldcon in London will be able to receive the voter packet and vote on the final ballot.)

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  • 54

    Interview: Jan 28th, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    Other Eligible Works

    Writing Excuses Season Eight is also eligible in the Best Related Work category. We won last year, which was thrilling. Thank you all for your nominations and votes! (I believe we won by three votes.)

    "Lift," which you can read for free here, is eligible in the novelette category. Though it is part of Words of Radiance, it also stands on its own, and is worth consideration.

    Both Steelheart and The Rithmatist are eligible in the Hugo novel category and are, I believe, eligible for the Andre Norton Award.

    I also have other shorts eligible in various categories, but I think the ones listed above are the stronger works.

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  • 55

    Interview: Jan 28th, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time

    The final item I want to talk about is a little more tricky. Others have been posting about this online, and I thought I should mention it. One feature of the Hugo Awards is a rule that exists to make certain a longer work which is serialized has a chance at an award if the serialized version was overlooked. In short, if no smaller piece of a large work has ever been nominated, the larger work is eligible once completed.

    That means the Wheel of Time, as a whole, is eligible for a Hugo Award in the novel category.

    This is both awesome and a little frightening. I'm certain I don't have to make the case to you why I think that Robert Jordan's masterpiece deserves award recognition. It was the driving force in fantasy for over two decades, deeply influencing an entire generation of authors. Beyond that, I believe it has great literary merit. Robert Jordan did incredible things with worldbuilding and character viewpoint. He was one of the most skilled writers of this genre who has ever lived.

    I'm quite close to this topic, however—probably too close to speak without deep bias. I try to avoid campaigning too much for my work to gain award attention, instead limiting myself to posts that explain what of mine is eligible, then letting the pieces speak for themselves. The Wheel of Time puts me in a strange position, then, because I'd want to talk all day about how awesome Robert Jordan is—yet at the same time, I've now been involved in the series on a fundamental level. So...yeah. Conflict of interest.

    So, I'll stop here, by posting Guy Gavriel Kay's toastmaster address at the World Fantasy Awards the year Robert Jordan died. He made some wonderful points.

    Some Words of Caution

    Now, above, I said this eligibility is something both awesome and frightening. Let's get into the frightening part. I've posted about my love and respect for the Hugo Awards. This award has a great deal of history and integrity attached to it. It is a Fan-voted award—but I use that capital letter intentionally. It's not voted on by fans of a specific work, but Fans of the genre. People who want to see science fiction and fantasy progress, succeed, and improve.

    I have little doubt that the Wheel of Time community could "buy" this award for their series. In so doing, they would make the award meaningless. The Hugo Award works because such a large portion of the voting audience takes it so seriously. This award really is what we make of it. It belongs to us.

    And so, I give a charge to the Wheel of Time fans who might be reading this and considering the Hugo Awards for the first time. We want you to be involved. We love new blood, and new enthusiasm. However, agreeing to nominate and vote for the Hugos is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. If you decide to join in—and I sincerely hope you will—please nominate liberally. But when it comes time to vote, please vote only in categories where you have read the majority (preferably all) of the nominees. And please vote only for the piece you work is the best work. Don't vote by author; vote by work.

    This doesn't mean you have use anyone else's criteria for determining the "best" work. Follow your heart. For some of you, that will mean voting for the work that is the most fun. For some, it will mean choosing the one with the most literary merit. Personally, I try to find the work that walks a line between the two, having a solid and engaging narrative but also advancing the genre or doing something impressive with it. (Redshirts, last year's novel winner, is a good example of a work that does this for me.)

    Pick your own criteria, but read before you vote. The last thing I want to hear about is a ballot box filled with people who listed "The Wheel of Time" or some of my solo works, but nothing else.

    Conclusion

    That said, if you are eligible to nominate and you weren't considering The Wheel of Time, do be aware that that it is eligible. It is certainly deserving. I can't think of a series in our genre since Tolkien that has inspired so much devotion, passion, imitators, and discussion—all without ever receiving a single Hugo nomination. This is our last chance to fix that.

    I'm personally very curious to see what happens if it does get a nomination.

    Brandon

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  • 56

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time, as a whole, has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best novel. I am thrilled, honored, and excited—and when Harriet heard the news, she lit up as I've never seen her do before. Thank you.

    Congratulations to all of the other nominees! I have a few things I'd like to say about this nomination. First, I'd like to speak to Wheel of Time fans themselves. Secondly, I'd like to speak to those who are criticizing the nomination.

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  • 57

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    To The Wheel of Time Fans

    Thank you for your enthusiasm. I'm certain that Robert Jordan is smiling at you right now. However, I do want to reiterate what I said earlier when I got wind that the WoT fandom was considering a campaign to get the Wheel of Time nominated: be careful. Please don't let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms.

    "But Brandon," you might say, "everyone says the Hugo Awards are a popularity contest. Shouldn't we prove how popular Robert Jordan is?"

    Well, yes and no. The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. The Hugo Awards were founded in the 1950s by dedicated sf/f fans who saw mainstream literary awards ignoring science fiction and fantasy. This award was founded to combat that, to show off the brightest and best fiction the genres had to offer. It was done in an era long before the internet, and Worldcon attendees were chosen to be the voters because of their dedication to the genre as a whole.

    When I first started voting for the Hugos many years ago, a long-time fan impressed upon me the importance of my responsibility. Each work must be judged independently of its author, and must be judged against the competition in its category. We, as fans, use this award to proclaim to the world the fiction we are proudest of.

    I love the Hugo Awards. They tend to run a great balance, consistently recognizing fiction that is both popular and thought-provoking. They have a grand tradition, and are one of the things that make me proud to be a member of science fiction fandom.

    We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don't intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

    In this, I wish to hold up George R. R. Martin as an exemplar. He wants dearly to someday win a Hugo for best novel, a distinction that has eluded him. I've heard him speak about it. The thing is, he could win the award in a heartbeat; he has by far the biggest fanbase in our community. If he asked them each to pay for a Worldcon supporting membership and vote only for him, he'd win by a landslide.

    He's never done that because he knows that this award has only as much integrity as we give it. So long as you are willing to vote superior works by other authors above works by your favorite authors, you are doing the award justice.

    Now, I firmly believe that the Wheel of Time is worthy of a Hugo Award. Don't let my strong words suggest otherwise to you. But I can't say for certain what I will vote for until I read the other nominated works, consider the category with an open mind, and make my decision. I also intend to continue being part of these awards for many, many years, rather than joining only once to vote on a single contest.

    I sincerely request you do the same. Join with us, participate, and investigate all of the nominees in all of the categories. Then vote for the works you think are the best of the nominations. It is only by holding ourselves accountable as honest and responsible voters that we will maintain the prestige of this award.

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  • 58

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    To Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom as a Whole

    I have spent some time reading responses to the Hugo nominations, and wanted to reach out to you. I find it unfortunate that some of you, including prominent voices in fandom, are responding with anger or frustration about the Wheel of Time nomination. Some don't like a series being nominated for the novel Hugo. Some don't like WoT fandom reaching in and participating in the award. And others downright dislike the Wheel of Time as a work of art.

    I would like to address some of these concerns that I see recurring in the discussions.

    On the Wheel of Time Being Nominated as a Single Novel

    On the first point, I wish to emphasize that the Hugo rules were intentionally designed to allow works like this to be nominated. Serials are such a part of our collective culture in sf fandom, and I promise you that the Wheel of Time is indeed a serial. It focuses on a single group of characters, a single plot and narrative, and the books each pick up exactly where the previous one left off. Yes, it took a long time to complete. Yes, it is large. However, Robert Jordan always considered—and spoke of—the Wheel of Time as a single story. The length of time it took to write that story is irrelevant as far as the Hugos are concerned.

    A Game of Thrones season could be nominated collectively as a single entry into the dramatic presentation category. Connie Willis's Blackout/All Clear could be nominated as a single work, though broken into two volumes. Indeed, this is similar to how Dragonflight and Ender's Game could both garner short fiction nominations for their original forms, then be nominated for best novel in a later year once the story was expanded.

    The Wheel of Time is eligible. These are your awards, however, and if this aspect of them is bothersome to you it’s quite possible to get this changed by participating in Worldcon and the Hugo Awards as a whole, making your voice known and advocating a revision. Your passion, therefore, should be directed at making that happen, rather than against the work that was nominated.

    Attend Worldcon. Go to the WSFS Business Meeting. Blog about it. Bring your friends. We need people involved at this level of fandom.

    On Wheel of Time Fandom

    This brings us to the second two points, which I feel are the more important ones in most of these discussions. In regard to Wheel of Time fans participating, I want to tell wider fandom that I vouch for these fans. I offered words of caution to them above because I think they need reminders as they are new to core sf/f fandom, but I feel that you need to know that Wheel of Time fans are our people.

    They have organized much as the fans back in the 1930s did, holding conventions and starting fanzines/websites. They attend Worldcons and their local literary conventions, though many of them have only started doing so in the last four or five years as they've realized the richness and scope of established fandom.

    I charge you: do not reject their enthusiasm. I spoke honestly with them, and I wish to speak honestly with you. I have yet to attend a Worldcon where someone—either on panels or at the parties—didn't ask what could be done to bring new blood into our fannish community. For years, we have worried about what to do. Now, as fandoms like that dedicated to the Wheel of Time have begun to discover both Worldcon and the Hugos, I feel we stand at an important confluence.

    Welcome the Wheel of Time fans into our community. Welcome the next group of fans in too. Give whatever it is they're passionate about a try. You might like it, and if not, you'll still probably like them.

    On the Wheel of Time as Literature

    I understand that you may not personally enjoy the Wheel of Time. There is nothing wrong with that—it is the nature of art that some will disdain what others love. However, as I've read bloggers and fannish personalities speaking of a Wheel of Time nomination, some have unfortunately called it "shameful" or "embarrassing." Worse, some of them have attacked the fanbase, calling into question its intelligence for daring to nominate the Wheel of Time—in essence, for daring to have different taste from the blogger posting.

    You can't beg people to come and participate in fandom, then tell them not to vote on your awards because you don't like their preference in books. Indeed, attacking the fans of a work rather than criticizing the work itself is crossing a very big, and important, line.

    For many years, we in fandom have had to suffer these kinds of dismissive, hurtful, and destructive attitudes from those who attack us because we like science fiction. Do not side with the bullies. Do not hold your own opinion in such high regard that you dismiss all others.

    It is not shameful to like the Wheel of Time. No more than it should be shameful to be the kid who read Dune in middle school while others snickered. We should never have to feel embarrassed for honestly expressing our taste in fiction. No more than we should have to feel embarrassed to be the one at work who attends an sf con, much to the amusement of your co-workers.

    If you have said these kinds of things about the Wheel of Time or its fandom in the past few days, I challenge you to take a long, hard look at your tone and what you’re implying. Ask yourself if you really want to belong to a world where only one kind of opinion is valid, where only your taste is acceptable.

    Because in my experience, these are the sorts of attitudes that science fiction and fantasy fiction have spent their history combatting. So if you don’t think the Wheel of Time should win, vote for something else. But while you're doing it, be kind. Treat these fans the way you want to be treated as a fan—and as a human being.

    Brandon Sanderson 4/21/2014

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  • 59

    Interview: Aug 13th, 2014

    Question

    Out of all the books you've written which do you think is the best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, Emperor's Soul is the one that won a Hugo, which gives it some objective credibility for being the best. AMOL was the hardest by a long shot, and in some ways the most satisfying, but I'm perhaps most proud of The Way of Kings. So one of those three, likely.

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