Introduction to the Cosmere
Welcome to the Cosmere!
Many years ago, before I was even published, I had an idea. A crazy, ambitious idea. An idea for a large interconnected universe of fantasy series where the fundamentals of magic and cosmology were the same, but the stories were all separate. A “hidden epic” so to speak, where the longer the books were published, the more readers became aware of these little connecting threads.
My original plan was for all of this to remain shadowed and hidden for many years. I severely underestimated the enthusiasm of readers for digging into these tidbits and making connections. Indeed, my second book wasn’t out before people began to ask after some of the secrets I’d embedded into them.
If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. I’ve always intended the Cosmere (at least through most of its life) to be something that hovered behind the scenes, there if you wanted to dig into it, but not essential to enjoy and read any of the series. This concept has become even more important to me as, in the intervening years, shared cinematic universes have suddenly become a huge deal in Hollywood. I watch film after film that tries too hard to shoehorn in relationships to other films, often at the expense of the current story.
It is important to me that the Cosmere remain something more subtle than that for now. The further I go, the more the stories will bleed into one another—as the eventual goal of the Cosmere is to show how these varied and different cultures interact on the large scale. But I intend to be very clear with fans which books deal with the Cosmere at large, and which are more focused on their own world and characters.
For now, most books have only hints. If you’re curious, watch for mentions of Hoid, a character who has appeared in all major books in the Cosmere. (Though he often goes by a pseudonym.) Look for mentions of Adonalsium—a god from long ago who was broken into sixteen pieces—and his Shards, beings who have taken bits of Adonalsium’s power and been elevated to deities themselves. Usually these are named after the intent of their power—Dominion, Devotion, Ruin, Preservation, Honor, Cultivation, and Odium are Shards of Adonalsium.
Some novellas, such as Mistborn: Secret History dig further into relationships between Cosmere worlds. Read these if you want to dive in deeper—they are available as standalones, or in the collection Arcanum Unbounded. (As of the beginning of 2017, Arcanum Unbounded contained every piece of Cosmere short fiction I’ve written.)
I intend to keep writing short fiction like this, expanding on the Cosmere, though my focus will always be on the novels. Thank you so much for joining me on this crazy journey!
Below, you can find a list of every Cosmere work, and where to find it, divided by the planet it takes place on.
Worlds of the Cosmere
* items with an asterisk are contained in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection.