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Miscellaneous 2011 ()
#3 Copy

discipleofhoid (paraphrased)

At the signing I asked Brandon to personalize the book with a suggestion for a unique or rare effect that could be achieved with a metal. He signed

"Watch for what happens when something leaves a bendalloy bubble."

He then laughed and said "That won't make any sense for 10 books"

This leads me to believe that this might be related to the FTL travel.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#5 Copy


If you were to use Allomancy to fly faster than light, would it be like the Navigators in Dune, where you pick out the best possible route through the stars?

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question though! That's not quite the way, I haven't really given you the tools to figure it out, because I feel that the tools to figure it out, I couldn't give to the characters early enough. I wanted it to progress with the technological development, so hints are only just really brief in the story. 

Miscellaneous 2011 ()
#6 Copy


So, I was thinking how the third trilogy was mentioned as being in the future (as opposed to the second trilogy being contemporary to our time), and I wondered if the people from Scadrial would be able to visit the other shardworlds without using Shadesmar - and, if so, how would they do it?

The simplest (and most boring, and not germane to the topic) method would be FTL travel.

But then I got to thinking about Pulsers and Sliders.

My first thought was, "Hey, what if a bunch of Pulsers - or some Pulser-inspired technology - could put a bubble around the crew quarters of a starship? That would allow the crew to travel from one system to another within their own lifetimes." Just put the ship on autopilot, power up the Pulser Engine, and go have a sandwich.

Then I tried to figure out if something similar might work for Sliders, but the first bump I hit was that bendalloy bubbles - and cadmium bubbles - were stationary. Which, in turn, would probably rule out the Pulser starship.

But then I thought some more. These books take place in a universe which is, astronomically, pretty much like our own. It follows the same rules of physics. Which means that Scadrial is rotating on its axis, while it revolves around its star, while that star moves within its galaxy, and that galaxy moves within its universe.

Which means, technically, bendalloy and cadmium bubbles aren't stationary. They're stationary relative to one object - Scadrial - but they're perfectly mobile when one looks at the bigger picture.

This makes me think that a Pulser starship might be possible, provided the Pulsing can be anchored to the ship rather than Scadrial.

It also makes me wonder why the default anchor is the planet and why nobody has figured out how to anchor it elsewhere. Is it simply a mental block that could be overcome? Is a person too small to be used as an anchor (even though the bubbles pop up with the person at the center)? Can a bubble's size be altered, dependent upon the size of its anchor? (That is, could a small bubble be made around, say, a person's heart if the whole person were the anchor?)

I still dig the idea of Allomancers Iiiin Spaaaaace!, though I'm not entirely sure how it would work.


[Links out to WoBs about Metallic Arts FTL being a thing]

So FTL is confirmed

Peter Ahlstrom

There's an issue with conservation of momentum with speed bubbles.

Miscellaneous 2014 ()
#7 Copy

aeromancer (paraphrased)

So would it be possible to use Steelrunning + compounding to travel FTL?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, it would not. You could get close, though.

aeromancer (paraphrased)

Kind of like Zemo's Paradox, than? You keep halving the distance, never quite making it?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*gleam in his eye* Trying to crack Allomatic FTL?

aeromancer (paraphrased)

*guilty* Maybe.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

You can't.

aeromancer (paraphrased)

I don't know, there are alot of good theories out there.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It involves Allomantic abilities which we don't know about yet.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#8 Copy


With The Bands of Mourning, now that we understand flight with potassium, or whatever alkali metal that actually was... So is that part of where we’re starting with the Faster Than Light travel? Something along those lines with potassium and maybe like--


I’m not going to tell you, but this is the bridge into the next Era, which the Era beyond will be FTL, but this sort of stuff needed to happen first.


Right, right exactly and the good stuff and the technology trying to get them up to speed and plus with Kelsier going to that other realm and the glimpse of Sel and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep, yep, there will be so much fun stuff in the next series.

Firefight San Diego signing ()
#9 Copy

Leinton (paraphrased)

Can you use Hemalurgy to power machinery?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He was initially confused as to what I meant, so I said I got the idea from thinking about FTL travel, and he said that it was a RAFO, but that I was thinking along the right lines, there needs to be a merger between magic and technology.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#10 Copy


You talked about Mistborn being the space traveler ones. I was wondering if you were going to utilize some of the speed bending into that, into the travel with it?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

You will see what I do when I do that. The biggest problem is, for you physics majors, how we make sure that we're not breaking causality. So breaking causality is kinda my big no-no. For instance, I have right now that moving between Oathgates goes at the speed of light. But technically we still break causality, right, with Shadesmar stuff. But the issue--the way we can do it in Shadesmar is because it breaks causality, but there is so much... like if you were able to go into Shadesmar, move at the speed of light, come out could break causality but it's, in practice, impossible, because the difference is so slight.

We also break causality with the Spiritual Realm, but I can control that.


Also you can just kind of like, Mulligan that off.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

If we were having instant speed, communication and things like that, yeah if we have an ansible, that's how we're not breaking causality. How we're not doing the train thought experiment which breaks my brain.

<MTG Chatter>

So that's the big thing I have to worry about once we get to the Mistborn era, the space travel and stuff. Like, right now I don't break causality, or at least if I do, it is indiscernable to...human realize it. Once we get to actual space travel, and actual FTL, then I want to have rules in place, even if it is just like the rule for red shifts. On speed bubbles, where I say, "Yeah it just doesn't happen." Letting you know. But it would be no fun. Even if it's just that. But I at least want to have that in hand.

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#13 Copy


There is a Mistborn pen & paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons style RPG does it give more information on the world?

Brandon Sanderson

It does.

Though I oversaw that I let them go-- They wanted to do more than I felt comfortable doing myself for my timing, so I let them go pretty crazy. So I say that it is canon until I contradict it. And some of it I will end up contradicting because they needed to be able to make the game the best way they could and I didn’t feel comfortable telling them all the stuff that was coming up because I didn’t want that to sneak into there.

For those who don’t know the Mistborn books, I’m going to do across the period of many centuries of writing—no, of in-world time.


The initial pitch to my editor was past, present, future. So the Mistborn books, we still haven’t hit present yet. We will eventually hit-- Present for these is going to be 1980’s level spy thriller, Tom Clancy-esque Mistborn with Allomancy. Yeah, it’s going to be really cool. The main character, she’s a code monkey who gets involved in all of this. It is really cool. And then we are going to go forward from there to the point where we get to a space opera and epic-- science-fiction space opera where Allomancy and Feruchemy have become the means by which space travel is possible. So that’s coming [...] I’m six books into what's going to be many, many. So just anticipate that with excitement.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#14 Copy


Would [cadmium] function if it were affixed to a body smaller than a planet with its own source of gravity?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean by work [function]?


Like a spacecraft. My thinking is that it could be used on long space voyages, because you’ve said that you're going to eventually progress into the space age...

Brandon Sanderson

So are you asking if we can use that as cryogenics?



Brandon Sanderson

I actually give you some tools for figuring these sorts of things out in The Bands of Mourning, so I'll refer you to that, because I'm dolling the physics of these things out, and since I know it's coming in January, just read that one. You'll get some more actual concrete laws and rules so you can start extrapolating.

Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
#16 Copy


In Sixth of the Dusk, are the Ones Above Scadrians who invented faster-than-light travel? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

You know, I haven't-- I danced around answering that one, just because I don't quite want to get into it yet. I like the Ones Above being somewhat mysterious. But I have said it is someone you know, right? It is part of the cosmere in the very future. So you're not going to be surprised, because there's a limited number of options. But I haven't said-- 'cause I might do more in that world, and I just want to leave them mysterious for now. 

Sofia signing ()
#17 Copy


Do any of the worldhoppers that we've met so far-- Do they all just use this sort of perpendicularity to travel?

Brandon Sanderson

Perpendicularity is the primary way to get between planets.


But are we going to get a conventional inter-planetary travel, like based on Allomancy maybe?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen conventional inter-planetary travel in Arcanum Unbounded, in the story Sixth of the Dusk, which takes place many hundreds of years after most of the stories in the cosmere. So yes. 


Ok so that's where it's--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah there's actually space travel involved in that story but not from the main characters, they just reference them, but yes.