Unfettered is a fantasy short story anthology built to eliminate the medical debt Shawn garnered from treating uninsured cancer in 2011.

All of the authors are donating short stories to the themeless anthology. They are writing exactly what they want, free to express themselves in all ways, making this is a unique sort of book for fantasy fans everywhere!

Artwork for Unfettered!

The writers who will be contributing are:

  • Terry Brooks
  • Patrick Rothfuss
  • Naomi Novik
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • RA Salvatore
  • Tad Williams
  • Jacqueline Carey
  • Daniel Abraham
  • Peter V. Brett
  • Robert VS Redick
  • Peter Orullian
  • Todd Lockwood
  • Carrie Vaughn
  • Blake Charlton
  • Kevin Hearne
  • Mark Lawrence
  • David Anthony Durham
  • Jennifer Bosworth
  • Lev Grossman
  • Michael J. Sullivan
  • Eldon Thompson
  • Shawn Speakman

Unfettered can be pre-ordered now on this website. It has a tentative release date of May 2013!

More soon! Stay tuned!

83 Responses to Unfettered

  1. David Chamberlain April 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Too cool! Really looking forward to both books!

  2. becca69 April 11, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I love this idea and hope it all works out! Just placed my order.

  3. Ben Holiday April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    They are being signed by all those Legend worthy authors?! It will be priceless! – LEVI

  4. Ben Holiday April 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I wonder is Terry’s Allanon short story will be in it.

    • Shawn Speakman April 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      That’s the story I’m hoping Terry will let me put in. We’ll see. Gonna be hard to convince him!

  5. Kimberly Schneider April 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Was glad to put in an order for your book and will also be happy to order the the short story collection. As someone dealing with a painful medical condition, I am happy that you are doing well. I wish you all the luck in the world with your future work and finances.

  6. Schwartz the Younger April 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I’m really looking forward to this!

    Do you have an idea what you will be pricing both editions at?

    • Shawn Speakman April 14, 2012 at 1:33 am #

      The trade should be similar to The Dark Thorn — either $30 or $35. The limited of Unfettered will be around $125 I think, given the talent involved and the rarity of the book.

      • sjkitty April 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

        With as many who would like to contribute, maybe a Volume II could become a consideration for the future? Hmmm??? Maybe???

        • Shawn Speakman May 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

          Terry actually proposed that idea already. We’ll see. I’m not really wanting to make money beyond what covers my bills. Perhaps it is time to consider starting my own charity organization similar to what Pat Rothfuss does with Worldbuilders? But directed at cancer?

          • sjkitty May 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

            I think that would be a wonderful idea. Cancer touches so many in our lives that ongoing research towards a cure is needed. I know the Hunstman Cancer Center in Utah does a lot of research and it is through donations. Then we have the American Cancer Socity and the year round efforts of Realy for Life across the United States. This would be a great direction to head with an organiztion to assist with research and cure.

  7. johnoz April 15, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    Just ordered my copy of The Dark Thorn. Can’t wait for Unfettered as that’s an awesome list of Authors. At the tentative price mentioned I’ll definitely be getting my copy :)

    • Shawn Speakman April 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      I’m excited for people to read the anthology. I’m curious to see how the theme-less idea goes over. Giving this bunch of authors free rein could be my downfall. Ha!

  8. bob98b3 April 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Just ordered a signed copy of The Dark Thorn! Can’t wait for that and for the signed copy of Unfettered! Thanks!

  9. sshepard April 18, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Ordered the book. Cannot wait to have it in my hands.
    I am also looking foward to having Unfettered. Will be worth every penny of what you think the tentative price will be. I too hope that Terry will let you include his Allanon short in there. Might have to ‘blackmail’ him a little, maybe make his website go down for a while? Just kidding what ever he gives you will be great and considering he does not really like to write short stories….
    The waiting will be the hard part. It will be interesting to see where RA places his short story. Also Brandon, will it be in his Alcatraz, Mistborn or Stormlight series?
    There are only a couple of authors that are contributing that I have not read yet, so will be nice to read something by them and perhaps find another author to read.

    • Shawn Speakman April 18, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Terry may contribute Imaginary Friends. He is really trying to get the Allanon short story in the book though. I happen to think that would be the best thing to do for marketing and publicity — not only for me but him as well.

      As for RA, he’s doing something special and I can’t announce it yet. It has nothing to do with his other work. And Brandon is trying to do something special too. More on that when it can be said.

      Thanks for the support, Sean!

      • sjkitty April 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

        Little tidbits to increase the excitement is always a good thing!!! LOL

  10. shiggity30 April 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Just ordered a signed copy of your book, I appreciate the service you provide with your Signed Page so this was a no brainier. I’m from Olympia, WA so glad I could help a fellow native!

  11. zemochas April 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Just ordered my leather bound copy and can not wait to order the anthology …

  12. sjkitty April 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    I just finished placing my order for The Dark Thorn the signed and numbered edition and I look forward to Unfettered when it becomes available! Let the waiting begin, but it will be so worth it!!!!

    I am glad to read you are doing well!!!!

  13. dotran1 April 30, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    I so cannot wait until The Dark Thorn is in my hands to read. What you have done for us over the years, especially with what you yourself have had to go through, is nothing short of amazing. Thank you so much for offering us readers the very best that todays authors have to offer. And thank you to the authors for contributing. Unfettered should be awesome!! Signed by all authors……priceless!

    • Shawn Speakman May 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks, Dorothy! I’m only as good as the people around me. One of them has been you. So thanks!

  14. Simone Thomas May 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    OMG I rescently discovered Kevin Hearne…. from there I discovered a rich tapestry of authors who I have fallen completely in love with. I have just ordered The Dark Thorn and wait with baited breath for Unfetted. I have a sense of awe for the fact you have given authors free range and hope that works out for you lol… but I know that what comes between the gorgeous leather covers of both books will be more than worth it.

    • Shawn Speakman May 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks, Simone! I hope so! I can tell you from what I’ve read so far, I’m excited for fantasy fans!

  15. Blizzard May 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Things to do today: Pre-order The Dark Thorn. Check!
    (You will be glad to know I had that ranked higher than mow the lawn)
    Good luck Shawn!

  16. acidburst May 11, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I’m willing to pay any price for a signed copy of ‘Unfettered’.
    Would go nicely next to my copy of Indomitable.
    You, Shawn, are amazing :)

    Stay happy and healthy

  17. Kate M. May 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I’m really interested in this anthology coming out….
    Quick question:

    Is there a kind of estimated price for Unfettered (even though I know it’s still in its pre-production phase)?

    • Shawn Speakman May 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      The Signed & Numbered edition will be $125. Other presses are encouraging me to increase that to $150, but I think I can pay off my medical debt and have it be $125. No reason to milk the fans for their generosity. Ya know?

      The regular hardcover edition of Unfettered will be $35.

  18. laethyn June 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    That’s some seriously awesome stuff.

    Cheers to you Shawn. And kudos to all involved.


    Laethyn/Sean (yeah, the one who spells his name right! :p )

  19. spookysculpter June 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    What a great idea, just pre-ordered The Dark Thorn and looking forward to ordering Unfettered when it becomes available.

  20. Slattery August 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Been reading some reviews of Dark Thorn, looks real good! I love adding new writers to my stable of authors I read every time a new book hits.

    So I went ahead and pulled the trigger and ordered the limited edition of it. First limited edition I’ve ever bought, but it’s to a good cause, so why not. Grandfather passed away because of cancer, so I’m thrilled you’ve beaten it into remission.

    Ordering Dark Thorn and the getting the limited edition of Unfettered will be my own birthday/xmas gift to myself. 😀

    So when do we get the chance to preorder our limited edition of Unfettered?

    Stay strong Shawn.

    • Shawn Speakman August 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      First, thanks for the order, Slattery! Means a great deal to me! I hope The Dark Thorn lives up to your expectations! I know Unfettered will!

      Unfettered will likely go on sale later this week if I can get all my ducks in a row. Pretty busy right now but that’s the plan. You’ll receive an email about pre-ordering. More soon!

      • Slattery August 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        Thanks for the email. :) I’ve now got my order in for the limited edition of Unfettered in now. Can’t wait till I get that book. So many awesome authors that I read, too bad George RR Martin or Modesitt wasn’t in on it, then I’d really would go crazy waiting. Plus I get the bonus of trying out some cool new authors.

        Just a question though, how do you plan to get all the authors to sign each limited edition book? Individually over time or do you plan on inviting them all over for one big thank you party/mass signing one night?

        If so, I’d like to put a request in to have mine signed before the booze gets flowing too freely. :) Though on the other hand, that could lead to some really interesting signatures/quotes. 😀

        Thanks again.

        • Shawn Speakman August 18, 2012 at 8:32 am #

          Hey Slattery,

          As is the case with specialty presses like Grim Oak, Sub Press, etc., the books aren’t brought to the authors. They sign 600 pages that then get bound into the book by the printer. Otherwise we’d have thousands of dollars in shipping costs to figure out! haha


          • Slattery August 18, 2012 at 9:07 am #

            Dang, was hoping you’d have a big signing party with all the authors that I could sneak into.

          • Shawn Speakman August 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

            I definitely want to do a signing party. That’s why there is a very far, outside chance that I’ll wait until 2013 Comic Con (July) to release the anthology. Most of the authors in the anthology go to that convention and it’d be fun to moderate a panel with most of them, talk about short stories and fantasy in general, and have a good time. We’ll see what happens!

            On the other hand, I’d kind of like to release it in First Quarter 2013 so you guys have something wonderful to read during the usual slow months of publishing!

  21. lordelf August 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I just ordered The Dark Thorn! :) I’m very excited and I’ll be ordering the anthology too. Good luck with clearing the debt and stay healthy,Shawn!
    By the way,how long will we have to pre-order Unfettered cause I’ll be away for 2 weeks and I don’t want to miss out on it?

  22. Michelle Heath August 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi Shawn,
    It looks like you are ready for orders on Unfettered. Is that correct or am I mis-reading the site?
    Michelle Heath

    • Shawn Speakman August 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Mis-reading. I’m getting closer but the website has to be right first. Right now, it’s broken.

  23. Mark M August 17, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I’m pretty convinced i’ll have to buy regular copies as well as the S&N copies, Those babies are too precious to read :p

    • CJH5 August 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      I have the e-book for perusing and now the special ed for admiring 😛

  24. CJH5 August 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Finally!! Only took me months of fighting the peroxide poisoning and finally having to call in the big guns in our most esteemed Web Druid. But yessssssss ! B-E-A-YOOTIFUL!! Consider me thoroughly stoked!

  25. johnoz August 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Unfettered has been ordered … can’t wait. I agree with Mark M to, methinks I’ll need a copy to read as well as own :)

  26. Jeremy Philp August 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm #


    I just orders a copy of the limited edition The Dark Thorn. How do I order unfettered?

    I can’t wait to read The Dark Thorn. It sound great.

  27. Mark M August 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Both have been ordered, through a friend :p My bank doesn’t like Pay Pal lol. Can’t wait for both books and I hope this adventure is a great success for you Shawn :)

  28. Thomas August 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm #


    I hate to be a bother my friend, but I’m not sure if I got e-mail on how to order Unfettered. Oh btw wife got a kick out of ur email and what u said “haha”.

    • Shawn Speakman August 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      You haven’t received the email yet because I haven’t sent it. :) You will receive it today or tomorrow, no worries. Cheers and thanks for the support! Glad your wife got a kick out of my email.

  29. Katie Flinn August 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Excited to receive The Dark Thorn (I’m living near Seattle and am really looking forward to it!), and to pre-order Unfettered! I’m happy to hear you’re doing well, and love that you’re getting such great support to help out with the medical bills.

  30. Jamison Dobbs August 29, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Ordered the signed and numbered version of dark thorn!!!! #431!!!! Not many left and I imagine everyone will want the version of unfettered. I am so excited it is crazy. Thank you so much for creating this idea and getting so many amazing authors together. I am excited for you and am happy that you have been given a second opportunity.

  31. artanyus September 4, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Ordered my signed and numbered copy of Unfettered to go with my copy of Dark Thorn. Can’t wait to have those two books in hand. I am totally looking forward to reading Unfettered having read The Dark Thorn e-book.

  32. Occamsbeard September 19, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    ARG — I am looking to order it and I fear I may have missed out. Oh welI, I did order the leather bound of yours Shawn and I am equally excited about that. though if there is something I am missing about the ordering process I would sure appreciate any guidance.

  33. Nikki Hyson September 21, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    Just ordered Unfettered. I love the idea of no theme. Can’t wait to read it and Dark Thorn. How goes the debt reduction? Have you stopped getting the nasty calls yet? Best wishes.

    • Shawn Speakman September 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Nope, still getting calls. But I have a feeling when Unfettered is truly open to the public that they won’t be calling me as often. :)

  34. Occamsbeard October 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    I am just checking back in after not really having to time to keep up and I had few thoughts after briefly browsing your now more fully built site. One is Congrats! Your project is coming together and really growing. Two is that I hope to hear you are well and still as Patrick Hearne Put it, “telling cancer to SUCK IT.” and lastly, I think your idea to later on go forward to create something similar of the Haven project that you mentioned Steven King had set up is an admirable idea. I Hope that you might continue to grow good things from the same seeds of Chutzpah and Generosity that brought this press into being in the first place. Good luck and have a great holiday season. I am very excited about the anthology here, you never know you just might make a bit of a bigger than you intended over time. Either way, I admire they way you are trying to handle your medical debt. at some point, if it is not against your ideals, you could put a place for others to possibly donate as well if they want. Speaking for myself, as long as I felt that there was a way to fact check and account, I would be glad to do what I could beyond buying the book. regardless. I am glad this project is working out for you and I think it is such a great idea to create previously unimagined Value from a state of need. Very cool idea.


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