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Literature: Legion
My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.

A novella by Brandon Sanderson.

Stephen Leeds is a schizophrenic, but not an ordinary schizophrenic. The people he sees are not only developed enough to be their own person, they are experts in a wide variety of fields — Ivy the psychiatrist, Audrey the handwriting expert, J.C. the Navy Seal, etc. Professors want to study him. Governments want to hire him. Stephen just wants to be left alone.

Until a woman named Monica shows up, representing a company that claims to have invented a camera that can take pictures of the past — a camera that's been stolen. Too intrigued to pass it up, Stephen accepts the case.

Optioned for a TV series by Lionsgate.


Legion provides examples of:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: "We're on a plane hunting a camera that can take pictures of the past," I said. "How is it harder to believe that I just learned Hebrew [in a matter of hours]?"
  • Artistic License - Gun Safety: J.C. gets called on his unsafe gun handling techniques; he claims he has "total control" over every muscle in his body. Justified because — he's a hallucination.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Basically, Stephen.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: J.C. and Ivy, apparently, to Stephen's consternation when he catches them making out in a corner.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As the page quote states, some of Stephen's hallucinations are crazy in their own way: Tobias has his own hallucination named Stan, Armando styles himself the emperor of Mexico, even after being told Mexico doesn't ''have'' an emperor, and J.C. refuses to believe he's a hallucination.
  • Crazy Awesome: Stephen.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Salic.
  • Gag Boobs: Apparently, J.C. would like Stephen to imagine Ivy with bigger breasts.
  • Guile Hero: Stephen.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Discussed. Stephen says likes things the way they are, though he wishes people would leave him alone. Monica suggests he finds being quite possibly the smartest man alive a burden, and invented the hallucinations as a way of coping.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Stephen points out this isn't the case, but when he briefly loses his cool with Monica, he can tell she — like most people he meets — assumes it to be the case.
  • In-Series Nickname: One of Stephen's many psychologists came up with the name "Legion". He doesn't care for it much.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: People tend to assume Stephen is a reclusive, amoral jerk. He admits to being a recluse and a jerk.
  • Living Lie Detector: Ivy is very good at reading people, though she can't always tell if someone is telling the truth or not.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The story deliberately leaves it ambiguous whether the projections are "real" or Steven is just using them as a trick to avoid admitting that he's doing all the thinking.
    • The ending leaves the question of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth ambiguous in a very intriguing fashion.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    Stephen: I'm not a genius. My hallucinations are.
    J.C.: Thanks.
    Stephen: Some of my hallucinations are.

    Stephen: They're useful.
    J.C.: Thanks.
    Stephen: Some of them can be useful.
  • Noodle Incident: A disturbing one: apparently, before he was in control of his aspects, some of Stephen's projections became, in his words, nightmares. We don't get any clarification, but we honestly don't need it.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Stephen claims he isn't this, since it's his hallucinations that are geniuses. But since all his hallucinations are in his head ...
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: What does J.C. stand for? Word of God is J.C. was based on Jayne Cobb/John Casey.
  • Sequel Hook: The book was deliberately written in the style of a TV pilot, and leaves several questions unanswered. A sequel is in the works, and Lionsgate has optioned it for a TV series.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, though some aren't particularly helpful. Stephen has both Ivy and a non-hallucinatory psychiatrist, though we never see the latter.
  • Third-Person Person: Armando, the photography expert, styles himself the "Emperor of Mexico" and occasionally talks like this.
Alcatraz SeriesCreator/Brandon SandersonThe Rithmatist

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