My 14-Year-Old Self Might Take Issue with The Alloy of Law
As we get ready for the release of The Alloy of Law, I find myself wondering what the teenage me would think of what I’m doing in this book. You see, I became a fantasy addict when I was about fourteen, and one of my mantras quickly became, “If it has guns, it’s not good fantasy.”
Now here I am, adding guns to my most successful fantasy series.
Despite the ways I’ve changed over the years, despite my belief that fantasy should be (and is becoming) something more than the standard “guy living in idealized chivalrous England leaves his farm and saves the world,” a voice inside of me is screaming that nobody will buy this book. Because it has guns.
I don’t believe that voice, but I think it says something interesting about me and others like me. Perhaps we fantasy readers sometimes mix up correlation and causation in our fantasy novels. In fact, I’m more and more convinced that taste for a specific genre or medium is often built on shaky ground.
An example may help. I have a friend who once claimed he loved anime.
Over the years, he consistently found anime shows superior to what he found on television. But as he started to find more and more anime, he told me that he discovered something. He liked the anime he’d seen at first because these were the shows that were successful and well made, the ones with the quality or broad appeal to make the jump across cultures. He found that he didn’t like all anime—he only liked good anime. Sure, the medium had something important to do with it—but his enjoyment came more from the quality of his sample than the entire medium.
Likewise, I’ve come to find that what I enjoy is a good story. Genre can enhance this—I’m probably going to like a good fantasy more than a good thriller or romance because worldbuilding and magic appeals to me. In the end, however, it isn’t the lack of guns (as my young self assumed) that draws me to fantasy stories. It’s the care for setting, pacing, and character development.
This is actually a correlation/causation fallacy, and I wonder if I’m the only one to have made it. Many of the books in the fantasy section we love (perhaps because of the setting attention or the types of writers attracted to fantasy and SF) have dragons. Do we therefore make the assumption that we only like books with dragons? These two things (the dragons and our enjoyment) are parallel to, but not completely responsible for one another.
On the other hand, maybe I just think about this kind of thing too much.
Either way, I present to you The Alloy of Law. A look at the Mistborn world several hundred years after the events of the original trilogy, where the industrial revolution has finally hit and knowledge of gunpowder is no longer suppressed. That means guns. Lots of guns. And magic too.
The young me might have been horrified, but the thirtysomething me finds the mix to be exciting, particularly in a world where the magic is directly related to metal.
The Alloy of Law (978-0-7653-3042-0; $24.99) is the new stand-alone novel by Brandon Sanderson set in the Mistborn Universe. It releases from Tor Books on November 8, 2011, so strap on your guns, down a vial of allomantic metals, and dig in!
From the Tor/Forge November newsletter. Sign up to receive our newsletter via email.
More from our November newsletter:
- Q&A with Karen Traviss
- Oxen and Sociopaths: Writing Endurance by Jay Lake
- Life, the Universe, and the Large White Object by Caitlin Brennan
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
- The Week in Review
- Starred Review: Mirror Image by Ice-T and Jorge Hinojosa
- Book Trailer: The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos
- Goodreads First Reads: Drift by Jon McGoran
- New Releases: 5/21/2013
- The Week in Review
- Find Tor Books at BEA!
- Goodreads First Reads: Thieves’ Quarry by D. B. Jackson
- New Releases: 5/14/2013
- Book Trailer: The Navigator by Michael Pocalyko
- John @scalzi is at the Poisoned Pen tonight! Check out the livestream at 5 PM Mountain, hosted by @SamSykesSwears: bit.ly/185dksr 3 hours ago
- Happy Towel Day, Everyone! bit.ly/10rve4w #towelday 8 hours ago
- Were you there on opening night? RT @GeekDads: What You Take With You: Return of the Jedi Opening Night '83 ow.ly/2x6hAe #StarWars 9 hours ago
- Happy holiday weekend! Any plans for Memorial Day? BBQs? I'm hoping to get some backyard reading in. Fingers crossed for good weather! 1 day ago
- Our brains are nearly done, and luckily, so's the week. Here's The Week in Review to help pass the time til freedom! bit.ly/198f9nn 1 day ago
Urban Fantasy Sweepstakes
- Let’s Sort the Arrested Development Cast Into Hogwarts Houses
- A Private Little War (Excerpt)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Move Along Home”
- The Man From Primrose Lane Ebook is $3.99 For Two More Weeks!
- Publishing Jargon-Buster: Ten Words Unpacked
- Guns Don’t Kill People—Monkeys With Guns Kill People!
- Two Weeks Left to Get The Hum and the Shiver for $2.99
- Malazan Re-read of the Fallen: Toll the Hounds, Chapter Eleven
- Three Short Stories With Stranded Time Travellers
- The Healer Sweepstakes!
- Poll: Who Would You Want to Get Fast and Furious With?
- First Look: Jacquelyn Frank’s Forever (May 28, 2013)
- Friday Beefcake: Men in (and out of!) Uniform
- First Look: Jill Sorenson’s Freefall (May 28, 2013)
- Taking a Great Author Out from the Underlight: Why You Should be Reading Jax Garren
- Playing the Part: Exclusive Excerpt
- Catching Up with Continuum (And Its Ships!)
- Don Jon Movie Trailer
- First Look: Molly Harper’s A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses (May 28, 2013)
- Fire Inside: Exclusive Excerpt
- Tropical Summer Reads
- I Spy…Someone Reading a Great Book
- It’s All in the Duds: What the Well-Dressed Detective is Wearing
- Gangster Cinema, British Style: The Long Good Friday
- The Purrrr-fect Spy: Operation Acoustic Kitty
- Nobody Expects the Space Inquisition: Warhammer 40K Tie-in Novels
- Thinking of Manderley: The Strange History of Stonemere
- Art and Science Collide: Be Careful Where You Leave Your DNA
- Why I Believe in Blue Bloods
- Fresh Meat: Wounded Prey by Sean Lynch