Tor is offering Brandon Sanderson's "Firstborn":
Brandon Sanderson is well-known as the author of Elantris (2005), the YA novel Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (2007), and the three-part Mistborn series consisting of Mistborn (2006), The Well of Ascension (2007), and The Hero of Ages (2008). And he's an object of enormous public curiosity as the writer who was recruited by Robert Jordan's wife-and-editor Harriet McDougal to finish the epic Wheel of Time series after Jordan's untimely death in 2007. (A Memory of Light, by Jordan and Sanderson, will appear in 2009.)
Now Tor.com is pleased to present the original novelette "Firstborn," a tale of war and sibling rivalry that happens to also be Brandon Sanderson's first published work of out-and-out science fiction. Illustrated by Hugo-winning artist Donato Giancola, "Firstborn" is SF like it used to be. Enjoy
Brandon Sanderson's quote from his blog:
Tor.com posted a couple of Sanderson-relevant items during the last little while. First off, they posted the cover art for Warbreaker in Desktop Background Sizes. Warbreaker, it might be noted, is up for preorder on Amazon already. It's coming out in hardcover this June, and is a self-contained stand alone fantasy epic. (And note that to get the desktops, you need to sign up for Tor's newsletter. I can confirm that they don't spam, though. They send an email every week or so, and it often contains a link to a freebie like this.)
The big news is that Tor.com has published one of my short stories. As they have noted, this story--called "Firstborn"--was the first sf story I ever published. Though, 'published' is kind of a loose term here, as the story originally appeared in The Leading Edge, a BYU publication with a very limited print run. (This was after I'd graduated. The magazine asked me if I'd donate a story to one of their anneversary issues, and so I sent them this one, which I'd actually just finished writing.)
I've long been looking for a place where the story could reach a larger audience (when I was at BYU, The Leading Edge--despite having some very high quality fiction in it--had a distribution of under a hundred copies.) So I sent the story over to Tor.com, asking if they'd consider it even though it had appeared before in a small publication. Patrick enjoyed the story, and said he might be interested in it if we put it through some editorial work. Moshe, my editor, gave it a very strong edit (something it really, really needed.) A few months later, here it is! With an illustration by Donato, no less. I'm flattered.
I'm very pleased with how the story turned out. You who visit the blog frequently may have heard me say that I don't think much of my short story writing skills. I think I'm best suited to long-form fantasy epics, but when I do turn my attention to short stories, they almost always come out as classic-style space operas. This story, and the one that appeared in Asimov's earlier, are both good examples of this. (They also happen to be the only two good short stories I've written to date.)
I did an audio reading of "Firstborn" for Tor.com as well, though I don't know when they'll be posting that. If any of you see links to it, let me know.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story. It's completely free to read, courtesy of Tor. I don't even think you have to register for the newsletter. (Though you may want to do so, as you'll get emails with other short story links in them.) Just as an aside, I think that the staff over at Tor.com have really pulled out the stops to create an excellent website filled with serious goodies. They're still releasing free ebooks regularly, as well as high-quality short stories. Give them a little pat on the back by signing up for the newsletter and maybe posting a comment or two on stories/posts you like. I think they'd appreciate knowing that they are on the right track.
Go read it here