What’s Up With That WIRED Brandon Sanderson Profile?

Anne Marble
5 min readMar 25

On March 23, WIRED posted a profile of best-selling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson. It generated many negative responses. And some praise. (More on that later.)

A screen cap showing the author name and title. The top shows the author name(Jason Kehe), the category Backchannel, and the date and time (Mar 23, 2023, 6:00 a.m.) The title says “Brandon Sanderson Is Your God,” and the subtitle states, “He’s the biggest fantasy writer in the world. He’s also very Mormon. These things are profoundly related.”
The Title and Subtitle of the WIRED Article. (Source: Screen cap by the Author.)

Note: I wrote about Brandon Sanderson and his record-breaking Kickstarter for Medium in the article Fantasy Author Brandon Sanderson Breaks Kickstarter Records.

So What Had People Up in Arms?

The article, by self-professed SFF fan Jason Kehe, was called Brandon Sanderson Is Your God. The tone of the article annoyed people — both Sanderson fans and non-fans. Not only did the article critique Brandon Sanderson — it mocked his fans. And nerds in general.

The article includes sentences like “I find Sanderson depressingly, story-killingly lame.” And “Sanderson talks a lot, but almost none of it is usable, quotable.”

The WIRED article sneers at Sanderson’s writing. Makes fun of the way he dresses. Scoffs at the food at the Utah restaurant they ate at together. Scorns the fans who attended Dragonsteel 2022 (a convention for Brandon Sanderson fans held in Salt Lake City, Utah). Harps on Evermore Park, a year-round Medieval theme park in Utah.

Many were angry because Kehe spent days with Brandon Sanderson, stayed in his home, and met his family. But then carped at his writing, cringed because Sanderson’s son put salt on his yakisoba, and mocked his host for having a “supervillain lair” in his home. (A supervillain lair sounds awesome.)

The Responses Came From All Over the Field

Sanderson has many devoted fans, so it should be no surprise that many of his fans struck back against the article. They defended him because he is their favorite author. Even if many of them admit his writing style isn’t the greatest, they still love diving into his books.

Yet many of the people who responded admitted they aren’t fans of Sanderson. They simply saw through the bullshit.

Cora Buhlert is the 2022 Hugo winner for Best Fan Writer. (Seriously, you should read her blog!) And not a Brandon Sanderson fan. Yet she found the article to be “as terrible as everybody says.”

Best-selling YA author Melissa Marr has never read Sanderson, but she thought the…

Anne Marble

I’m a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles. Click Lists to find my most popular articles. And hidden gems.