Snapshot

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Snapshot
Snapshot Dragonsteel edition.jpg
by Howard Lyon
Released February 17, 2017

Snapshot is a non-cosmere science fiction novella by Brandon Sanderson.[1]

If you could re-create a day, what dark secrets would you uncover?

From New York Times number-one best-selling author Brandon Sanderson comes a detective thriller in a police beat like no other.

Anthony Davis and his partner, Chaz, are the only real people in a city of 20 million, sent there by court order to find out what happened in the real world 10 days ago so that hidden evidence can be brought to light and located in the real city today.

Within the re-created Snapshot of May 1, Davis and Chaz are the ultimate authorities. Flashing their badges will get them past any obstruction and overrule any civil right of the dupes around them. But the crimes the detectives are sent to investigate seem like drudgery - until they stumble upon the grisly results of a mass killing that the precinct headquarters orders them not to investigate. That's one order they have to refuse.

The hunt is on. And though the dupes in the replica city have no future once the Snapshot is turned off, that doesn't mean that both Davis and Chaz will walk out of it alive tonight.
—Amazon.com summary[2]

Summary[edit]

Davis and his partner Chaz enter a Snapshot to investigate two crimes. The first is a murder that had occurred in the morning. They first eat breakfast in a diner, where Davis sees an attractive lady, from whom he eventually gets her phone number on a slip of paper. They then go to the location of the murder and follow Enrique Estevez as he flees the scene. They see him dump his gun in a sewer, so Davis contacts the Snapshot liaison, Maria, where in the real world (IRL) the police retrieve the gun, providing vital evidence for the murder case.

The second crime is not until that evening. They are to simply witness who hit first in a domestic disturbance case. Chaz doesn't even want to bother, but Davis convinces him to check out a mysterious police call that was never reported. They investigate an apartment building and find eight dead bodies in a swimming pool. They decide to investigate further, so they go to the police station to talk to Maria. After flashing their reality badge, she shows them the case file of a serial killer nicknamed the Photographer. He kills several people at a time then hides the evidence in a way that makes it difficult to investigate in Snapshots.

They go back to the building and Davis talks to a drug dealer. He reveals the location of another hideout of the Photographer -- an abandoned school. There, Chaz and Davis discover more dead bodies, but one person has survived and tells them that the Photographer comes back every evening to check on them. They decide to stake out the school later, but in the meantime, they go over to Ingred Street where Davis plays with his son in the park. His son IRL has not seen him for months because of a custody dispute with his recently divorced wife. Chaz comes back an hour later, and they head back to the school.

The Photographer returns, and they follow him back to his residence, which happens to be very near the location of the second investigation that they were supposed to do. Davis confronts the Photographer and pretends to understand why he needs to kill all those people. He considers them Deviations that must be cleansed from the Snapshot so that it can keep going. He reveals a plan to kill a bunch of children with peanut allergies in a few days. Chaz comes up from behind and shoots the Photographer, and Davis then puts his own plan into action to kill Chaz using a gun from a nearby gang shootout. Chaz has been sleeping with his ex-wife in the Snapshot while he plays with his son. At the last minute, Davis decides that he needs to start a new life without his ex-wife, and does not shoot Chaz.

Later, Chaz and Davis leave a bar and are confronted by the woman from the diner and another man. They are there in a Snapshot of a Snapshot to investigate Davis's murder of his partner, which really did happen in the original Snapshot. In this Snapshot, Davis was a Deviation, caused by the woman detective giving him her phone number. Davis demands to see the reality badge, and his life winks out as the detectives turn off the Snapshot.

Development[edit]

The initial draft of Snapshot was written during March 2016 during a trip to Dubai.[3][4]

Publication History[edit]

Limited Hardcover Edition
2017 - Vault Books[4]
Ebook Edition
2017 - Dragonsteel Entertainment[4]
Con-Exclusive Hardcover Edition (possibly with Dreamer)
2017 - Dragonsteel Entertainment[4]

Cover Art Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

Snapshot was originally set in a Core Possibility in the universe of The Reckoners,[5] but Brandon changed his mind and removed it from the universe because the film rights of the series and the novella are owned by different companies.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. Snapshot is not cosmere.
    — Twitter - Jul 22nd, 2016
  2. Amazon.com summary
    — amazon.com
  3. Snapshot written during Dubai trip.
    — Twitter - Jul 22nd, 2016
  4. a b c d Brandon's Limited Edition Snapshot Pre-order announcement
    Brandon's website - Jul 22nd, 2016
  5. It's one of the Other Core Possibilities.
    — Reddit - 2016-12-19
  6. Snapshot is no longer in the Reckoners universe
    — General Reddit 2017 - Arcanum - 2017-07-18
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