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  • "Why is this piece so gleefully mean?": Brandon Sanderson Wired article sparks online backlash as author issues response
Fans of Brandon Sanderson slam Wired profile on the author (Image via Wikimedia commons)

"Why is this piece so gleefully mean?": Brandon Sanderson Wired article sparks online backlash as author issues response

American publication Wired is facing ire from fans and critics alike for its profile on author Brandon Sanderson, known for his sci-fi and fantasy works. The article in question, written by Jason Kehe, was published on Thursday, March 24, 2023, and titled "Brandon Sanderson Is Your God."

Sanderson is known for his The Stormlight Archive, and the Mistborn series set in an original fictional universe called Cosmere. He also wrote the final books in the series The Wheel of Time after its author Robert Jordan passed away in 2007.


However, Kehe found the fantasy writer uninspiring both as an author and an individual. He wrote:

"Sanderson talks a lot, but almost none of it is usable, quotable."

At another point in the article, he adds:

"IT’S NOT THAT Brandon Sanderson can’t write. It’s more that he can’t not write.

Despite the success of his books, Sanderson was largely an unknown personality to mainstream readers until the aforementioned profile was published. The cynical article has since gone viral and many have taken to social media to call out Kehe for his amateurish and pretentious tone.

@WIRED why is this piece so gleefully mean? who greenlit this?

"All pretentious and hardly satire": Wired article slammed online for amateurish profile on Brandon Sanderson

As Sanderson's profile written by Jason Kehe went viral, internet users condemned the author for his ignorant, disrespectful, and bland writing. While Sanderson's fans came to his defense, Twitterati, even those who were unaware of the author, called out the "disrespectful" article.

Hot take: You don't need to qualify whether you're a fan of Brandon Sanderson or not to be upset about the Wired article. It's okay to be upset about another person being treated unfairly... just because they're a person and all people deserve respect.

Those who were familiar with Sanderson's life and work pointed out that there were many other faults of the high-fantasy writer, including his donations to the extreme Mormon Church, infamous for its "conversion therapy" and teaching at an "anti-lgbt and s*xual assualt-ridden university."

However, user @lucidaluminia mentioned how Kehe "chose to come off as an a**hole."

A comment criticizing the Wired article (Image via Twitter/ @lucidalumina)

User @scottew sarcastically stated:

on the bright side it's nice to have a handy reference for when people ask what is meant by the term "coastal elite."

Twitterati refused to share any comments with a re-tweet of the article as it would "give a platform" to the piece. User @authorjla remarked:

"OK, so I read the Brandon Sanderson article in Wired. I'm not going to share it, because it doesn't deserve it..."
OK, so I read the Brandon Sanderson article in Wired. I’m not going to share it, because it doesn’t deserve it. What I will say is that it’s repetitive, over-long structurally messy and tonally all over the place. I’m not sure this is the guy to be judging another writer. :/

Here are some more comments seen on Twitter criticizing the Wired article:

I’m not going to retweet the Wired Article on Brandon Sanderson. I’m not giving them that platform.

Every point and paragraph in the article showed the reporter to be entirely and utterly ignorant and devoid of understanding and character.

All pretentious and hardly satire.
The Wired article about Brandon Sanderson is what happens when you have a paper due in two hours and decide to just write a bunch of garbage and hope it sticks (it did not).
One of the most disappointing things about "that" article, is the amount of people who don't like Brandon Sanderson giggling and clapping at the "outraged superfans" You don't have to like B.S. to know that the entire article was cruel garbage & made literally no productive point
I came into the Brandon Sanderson article expecting a nuanced takedown and exploration of the author's relationship with Mormonism, especially as it relates to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Instead it was "Hey, this dude and his home is weird and he can't write good."

WTF Wired?
You don't have to like Brandon Sanderson or his books or the LDS church to think that Wired article is bad journalism. Criticising Sanderson's financial support for the LDS church is valid, but that's not what the author of that article did.
That article about Brandon Sanderson is one of the most petty, juvenile, vapid, insulting things I've read in mainstream "journalism".

It's pointless. It reeks of elitism and, I believe, jealousy.

Slow day at the office, Wired?
A comment criticizing the Wired article (Image via Twitter/ @OBoyleWrites)
A comment criticizing the Wired article (Image via Twitter/ @mermaid_momma)
A comment criticizing the Wired article (Image via Twitter/ @BrianTMClellan)
A comment criticizing the Wired article (Image via Twitter/ @1mpavidus)

Brandon Sanderson asks fans to calm down as they slam Jason Kehe

In response to the public outcry, the Elantris author shared a letter with his fans on Reddit where he thanked the community for standing up for him. Brandon Sanderson, added:

"As a community, let’s take a deep breath. It’s all right. I appreciate you standing up for me, but please leave Jason alone."

The author stated that Kehe was honest and even agreed that he was not the most exciting and interesting person but added that he loved his work. He also remarked that the profile was not an attack on the community.

He concluded his response by reinforcing that he bears no ill-will towards Jason, calling him a "sincere man," requesting that his fans "leave him alone."

Edited by
Prem Deshpande
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