Centrifugal (1994) by Brandon Sanderson

“Centrifugal” is a short story Brandon Sanderson wrote in high school. Long before “Elantris” or the five unpublished novels preceding that. Obviously it lacks most of the things that make his later work great. Surprisingly competent writing for his age though; I’ve seen a lot worse. Still, it’s interesting as, like he says, “a historical…

I Hate Dragons (2011) by Brandon Sanderson

More an exercise in writing dialogue than a short story in its own right, “I Hate Dragons” is still a harmless bit of fun. It’s similar to Sanderson’s YA Alcatraz series in having a lot of playful meta references to both the fantasy genre and the language and grammar of the story itself. If I’m…

Perfect State (2016) by Brandon Sanderson

A really fascinating novella. Sanderson’s skill in creative worldbuilding and playing with genre tropes is clear here, in his subversion of the typically dystopic computer simulation brain-in-a-jar future setting. Some really interesting sociological and ethical implications in the advanced society he crafts here. Thematically there’s a focus on technology and artificiality distancing humans from each…

Calamity (2016) by Brandon Sanderson

Another strong novel in the “Reckoners” series, “Calamity” ultimately worked better than “Firefight” for me because it introduced a lot of new worldbuilding elements, and pushed the series to some new and interesting places. The inclusion of alternate realities and a more heavy science-fiction focuses didn’t feel out of the left field as it had…