The Cytoverse is a fantasy universe linked to our own, created by the renowned novelist Brandon Sanderson. However, you’re probably wondering how to start and what Brandon Sanderson book should I read first. I’ve simplified everything for you here, and you’ll understand all you need to know about the world-building and book series.
Cytoverse world-building and summary:
The Cytoverse, a wholly distinct magical universe from the Cosmere, is the setting for Sanderson’s two most successful novels, Defending Elysium and the Skyward series.
Cytoverse is basically our own world, but in the far future, with a lot of extremely advanced technology, such as laser weaponry and anti-gravity, as well as vivid holograms and atmospheric envelopes capable of holding large space stations breathing.
Unlike Sandersons’ other works, which were mostly short stories and standalone books, in this Cytoverse world-building, you will find a lot of novellas.
Along with Earth and humanity, it has a plethora of Spacefaring species dispersed throughout the stars and linked by faster-than-light spacecraft, all of which share a magical system known as Cytonics, after which the universe is called. From vast merchantmen to minuscule Starfighters, everything is rooted in two fundamental principles of the universe: nowhere and Cytonics.
The Cytoverse Universe is comprised of two interwoven realities: our own and nowhere, an interdimensional “world” with odd time and space interactions. There is little known about the look of nowhere, yet it is home to a sort of creature known as Delvers as well as a material known as the acclivity stone. Regular physics norms do not apply entirely there, and anything that appears to appear from nowhere has amazing qualities.
The most well-known is the acclivity stone, which is required to defy gravity and offer a lift to all spaceships and space stations.
Most individuals access nowhere via a nowhere portal, which is a stable wormhole that leads there and back. Such portals may be found on many worlds, and while the symbols on them imply that they were constructed rather than naturally occurring, it is unknown who built them. The portals let both humans and equipment pass through, allowing for the mining of Aclivity stone.
Aside from portals, individuals known as Cytonics can also access nowhere in the Cytoverse. Species, including non-sapient ones, are capable of obtaining Cytonic skills; how they initially manifest is unknown, but once they do, they are handed down to offspring of the original Cytonic. They allow for more than just staring into nothingness; “Cytonics” refers to a wide range of psychic abilities.
Telepathy, mind swapping, illusions, and teleportation are examples of Cytonic skills. Most, if not all, of them, necessitate that the Cytonic cells link to nothing. Teleportation, in particular, primarily relies on nowhere, since the Cytonic’s body, along with anything else they’re carrying, goes across nowhere to its destination. Though time appears to pass during the Cytonic, the leap appears to others to happen immediately.
Teleportation and telepathy, in reality, are both instantaneous and hence faster-than-light. As so, they serve as the foundation for the universe’s two most important technologies: Cytonic communication and FTL travel. In the Cytoverse, all FTL-capable starships use Cytonics, with non-sapient slugs known as Taynix acting as live hyperdrives.
Furthermore, because Cytonics can be modified with mechanical technology, they can be shared with the rest of the population; this is how a single species may carry a complete ship across the stars. Machines, on the other hand, can be constructed to use nothing, albeit to a lower level than biological organisms.
Cytoverse reading order:
Cytoverse Works in the Order of Their Publication:
The skyward Brandon Sanderson series is a science fiction trilogy that was released in 2018 in the world of Cytoverse. It tells the narrative of Spensa, a young lady who lives in a society that only appreciates the strong and despises the weak. Spensa aspires to be a pilot and join the war against the Krell, an extraterrestrial race that has been assaulting her world for decades.
Spensa is determined to show her value and preserve her home, despite the hardships she confronts and the dread and mistrust of people around her. Along the journey, she learns truths about her civilization, her background, and the actual nature of the Krell, and she is forced to make difficult decisions that will influence the fate of her planet.
It is the sequel to Skyward, and popularly known as the Skyward Brandon Sanderson Book 2. It chronicles the story of Spensa, who is struggling to find her place in the world after becoming the pilot. She realizes she has the capacity to foresee the future after a sequence of events and utilizes this talent to try to influence the course of history.
Along the journey, she must battle intergalactic threats as well as demons from her past. The work is noted for its intricate world-building and character development, and it blends aspects of space opera and military science fiction.
Sunreach (2021) (Novella):
Sunreach is a novella in Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson’s Skyward series. It was launched in audio and e-book form on September 28, 2021, with the print version following on April 5, 2022.
ReDawn (2021) (Novella):
It’s the second novella in the Skyward series in the Cytoverse Universe, co-written by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson. It has Alanik as the protagonist. The book was released in audiobook and ebook form on October 26th, 2021, and in print form on April 5th, 2022. The novella is titled after ReDawn, the home planet of Alanik’s species, the UrDail.
Brandon Sanderson’s third novel in the Skyward series is Cytonic. It is the follow-up to Starsight.
Spensa has seen the weapons they want to deploy to put an end to the galaxy’s conflict in this series. She must abandon all she knows and venture into Nowhere if she wants to learn who she truly is.
Defending Elysium (2021) (Novella):
It’s a short story by Brandon Sanderson that was made available on his website.
Evershore (2021) (Novella):
Janci Patterson and Brandon Sanderson collaborated on its writing. The protagonist and point-of-view character is Jorgen. The combined print edition of the novel, Sunreach, and ReDawn, was released on April 5th, 2022, and the audiobook and ebook versions of it were made available on December 28th, 2021.
Defiant (expected in 2023):
If you truly want to grasp its allure, I recommend reading the works in this world in the following chronological order: However, if you are a newbie, you might just follow the publishing sequence.
- Defending Elysium(Novella)
- Evershore (Novella) (takes place at the same time as Cytonic)
- Defiant (expected in 2023)
READ MORE ABOUT SANDERSON’S DIFFERENT WORLD BUILDINGS HERE.