Advanced Search

Search in date range:

Search results:

Found 109 entries in 0.285 seconds.

Stuttgart signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would magic from one world work on another and if so, how?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Generally, magics in the cosmere work on different planets. But it depends on the magic. Things like the Dor on Sel are locked to the geography, so it gets difficult. The Metallic Arts work pretty much universally though. Making Surgebinding work on another planet would require Stormlight and the spren are bound to Roshar, so getting them off planet is quite hard.

So the magics kind of work differently depending on whether a sentient being is involved, how the magic works and how it's powered. It would be very easy to take some Breaths off of Nalthis, which is a problem for them. It gets very complicated.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Can there be a mixing of magic?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, there can be.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

Do the Heralds know about AonDor?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, conceptually, a few of them do, but not in specific detail.

Questioner

'Cause Ash's name is a combination of Transformation, Beauty, and Light. I didn't know if that was a coincidence, or--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some non-coincidences in the linguistics that people have started to pick up on, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the people who have those names know about the origins of their names.

Calamity release party ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

What are the chances that one of Megan's alternate realities could secretly be the cosmere, but we'll never see it?

Brandon Sanderson

Heh... Um, I would like to keep these two separate. But if you believe in infinite variety then I suppose...

Questioner

If I believe it hard enough! Okay, alright. But they're-- But they're meant to be separate.

Brandon Sanderson

They are meant to be separate. I will do other things with that-- within-- kind of that idea of multiple dimensions and things like that.

Questioner

In the Reckoners? In that world?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Was the other god in Scadrial, Trell or whatnot, they're kind of mentioning him, does that imply there other really powerful beings out there outside of the Shards?

Brandon Sanderson

There are possibly really powerful beings, but… how should we say… *long pause* I mean, there are those who would call Hoid a very powerful being, who exist outside Shards, but if you're talking deific level things in the cosmere, they're all related to the Shards… Or demigod level.

When Worlds Collide 2014 ()
#5 Copy

Jeremy (paraphrased)

We know that Mistborn needed to Snap, and Surgebinders needed have the cracks in their souls filled. But what about the people in Warbreaker or Elantris? Is cracking and snapping only required on certain worlds?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

This is universal to the cosmere; however, in certain magic systems / on certain worlds, this is easier than others.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#6 Copy

Portugal_Stronk

If Adonalsium was based and shattered on the cosmere galaxy, what of the rest of the universe? Does it also have Investiture or is Investiture something strictly bound to the cosmere galaxy? Are there even other galaxies on that universe? 

Brandon Sanderson

I've been RAFOing that particular question--though it only just started popping up, at least with people asking it to me. :)

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#7 Copy

Kurkistan

So is that the same thing with Commands, are there like ideals that are Commands?

Brandon Sanderson

This is more of a-- For you to interface with the magic, you need to be able to comprehend it. And so forming a Command-- The same thing happens in Elantris, you know they don't accidentally draw runes, right? The intention is part of interfacing with the magic. So it's like your mind reaching into the Spiritual Realm and you have to like conceive something.

Alloy of Law York signing ()
#8 Copy

callumke (paraphrased)

Can you tell me something about the cosmere that you haven't told anyone before?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There are inhabited planets in the cosmere that don't have any Shards there. There may be inhabited planets that only have a Splinter of a Shard. There are 10 core cosmere planets, which tell the overarching story of the cosmere.

callumke (paraphrased)

Are all the cosmere books so far set on these 10 core worlds?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. 

callumke (paraphrased)

Are there any of the 10 core worlds without a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

All 10 core worlds have significant Shardic influence.

YouTube Livestream 29 ()
#10 Copy

Jeremy

Your work on the lore of the cosmere is immense. How much have you had to figure out ahead of time? How much do you develop on the fly while writing?

Brandon Sanderson

It really depends on the situation. I do some of both. Mostly, the on-the-fly stuff is where I realize that there is a hole in my understanding where I'm like, "I didn't account for this." And you'll see this when fans ask me questions; I'd say a good half the time or more, they ask a question, I'm like, "I didn't account for that. Let me think..." This is why I like having foundational principles of how the cosmere works, rather than focusing on little details. (Which, a lot of those, I'm deciding on as I'm writing.) I try to get these really solid foundations so that the little details answer themselves, if that makes sense.

I've heard people talk about this with characters. Like, instead of deciding when you're building a character what their favorite color is, decide who they are, decide the personality, decide the foundational moments in their life. So when someone asks you a question that you haven't anticipated, it makes sense; there's only one way you could answer. "Well, of course their favorite color is blue, because that's the color of the uniforms of the soldiers that saved them when they were a young child, so they're gonna pick that color." That sort of thing for worldbuilding works really well, too. When someone asks an off-the-wall question, you can say, "Well, the mechanics are like this, this, and this. So that leads me to have an answer that is this." That you get into more trouble when you assume that's the case, but then when you think about it later, you're like, "No, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be that way," and you can go a different way. But that's how I try to do it.

YouTube Livestream 16 ()
#12 Copy

Hannah

If video games existed in the cosmere, which current cosmere character that we know would be the best gamer?

Brandon Sanderson

Best gamer? Um...

Adam Horne

I want to see if your statement is the same as mine.

Brandon Sanderson

Whew, best gamer? Who wants to sit down and game?

Adam Horne

That's going outside of mine, my character probably would not want to, but I think they'd be very good at it.

Brandon Sanderson

Very good at gaming, very good at gaming... Lift.

Adam Horne

Oh, Lift would probably enjoy it. Mine is Sazed because he can store his speed and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Sazed would be technically, you're right, would be way, way better. I don't know if Wayne could slow time and put in inputs and then they would come out, I don't know how that would work.

Adam Horne

Is the tv outside of his bubble?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the tv would have to be outside of his bubble. How would that work?

Adam Horne

What happens to a wireless signal when it hits the bubble?

Brandon Sanderson

Wireless signal is going to have a red shift. Physicist, what happens if a red shift happens? As I understand it, that actually wouldn't change it appreciably, but we'd let a physicist say on that. Regardless, yeah, Sazed would definitely have a big leg up. That's a very good answer.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#13 Copy

Chaos2651

In Mistborn, you say its planet is called Scadrial. In-universe, where (or when) did the name Scadrial come to be used to be describe the Mistborn planet? Did the Lord Ruler and his obligators use that as the name of the planet, or did it come later, post-Mistborn 3? Or is "Scadrial" just what you as an author use to refer to it?

Brandon Sanderson

It is "In Universe" so to speak, though the name itself isn't known to the people on-planet. The Lord Ruler was the only one who understood the exact nature of a planet, really, though some of the obligators and noble scholars had a general idea. Astronomy was one of the scientific areas where the Lord Ruler didn't mind people doing research, so long as it kept their interest away from chemistry or a science that could lead to advances in weaponry.

Scadrial would then have been the name that Ruin and Preservation understood for the planet, as well as certain other groups and individuals of a less directly divine nature.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

Will we ever see an entire map of how the different planets are spaced out in the Physical--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, the Cosmere collection will have a star chart of the cosmere.

Moderator

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Cosmere, if you will…

Brandon Sanderson

Now, you've got to remember that at the point that this comes out-- The collection's been interesting for a couple of reasons. For one reason, the collection's coming out before Sixth of the Dusk happens in the cosmere, right? And so Khriss gives an introduction to each world, so you'll find her introduction to First of the Sun to be a very interesting introduction that doesn't know things that you know because of that. In addition, the star chart is a star chart created by people who are not spacefaring, right? And so it is a star chart more along the lines of-- It may not be one hundred percent to scale and things like that, like they've been able to figure out a lot of things by using the Cognitive Realm, so they'd be like "alright, here's the relationship", but it will be a while before you get what feels like a Star Trek star chart. Your star chart you're gonna get in this is a fantasy star chart, which will give you the relative positions and things like that, but it's not gonna be like you can measure exactly, which we do have! But I'm not gonna give you yet. *audience laughs*

Moderator

Are you referring to Arcanum Unbound?

Brandon Sanderson

Arcanum Unbounded, yeah.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

So for the Old Magic, in this classification system of end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative, where would that fall under?

Brandon Sanderson

So, almost every magic in the cosmere is end-positive, almost every magic is relying upon an external source of Investiture to power it. So that phrasing is mostly more relevant to Scadrial than anywhere else, because that concept is how I'm dealing with things like the laws of thermodynamics, and even what they call end-neutral is relying a little bit on the power of Investiture to facilitate. So even an end-neutral magic system as they define it on Scadrial is actually not end-neutral. What you get put in you get out, but the power is facilitating that transfer… So that phrasing is kind of a... Take that as a science on.. Scadrial that does not extrapolate well, and may not even be 100% accurate.

Moderator

That would have been a great thing to know before we did the cosmere magic panel. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

I look at it as, is an Investiture externally powering the magic, and if you look at Allomancy, yes it is. You are drawing that power out. Feruchemy, you are putting Investiture in from your own body, it's your energy transferring to Investiture, which is being stored, which you are then drawing out, and things like that. But that changing forms is facilitated by the magic. Whereas you're stealing stuff with-- So you could look, for instance at the magic on Nalthis, you could look at that one as being-- as kind of working as end-negative, meaning "I am taking it away from someone else", or end-positive depending on if you're the one receiving it or not. So again, it's a phrasing that can be useful as a tool but doesn't scale well to the other magics.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#22 Copy

Karkat Vantas

Does the Physical Realm of the cosmere have more or less the same structure as our own? It's obvious from Mistborn that solar systems function as they do in our universe, but it's less obvious if there are galaxies, clusters, superclusters, and so forth. Are there?

If the cosmere does have the same structure as our own, are the Shardworlds all in the same general area (a galaxy, for example), or are they completely spread out?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question. I designed the cosmere to have much the same structure, but imagined the action happening in a compact dwarf galaxy. Still a lot going on, but far, far fewer stars and systems than our own.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Did the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realms exist before Adonalsium split?

Brandon Sanderson

They did. In fact, if you can ever get a hold of Dragonsteel, (Which I don't let a lot of people read because it's got big spoilers and it doesn't really work anymore. It was one of the early books I wrote. It is the prelude to the Cosmere.) the opening chapters are in a classroom where someone is learning about the three aspects. So, yeah.

YouTube Livestream 16 ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

Do you ever feel limited by the commitment you've made with the massive writing of the Cosmere, or is there enough variety within the Cosmere to keep you happy and feel like you have some flexibility to do what you want to do with your writing ideas and preferences, especially as they change.

Brandon Sanderson

The answer is no. Fortunately, I designed the Cosmere as the thing I wanted to do, and I had essentially been writing the Cosmere for like, eight books before I sold. So I knew pretty well that I would have enough flexibility and things like this.

I am very excited by large-scale continuity connections between stories - watching eras come and pass in epic story-lines and things like that. I've never felt constrained by it. If anything, once in a while I feel constrained by contracts coming at the wrong time when I'm super excited by something else - like when a deadline is coming due and I'm like "I need to get off of this and write this other thing".And that's just a matter of - it's a function of the popularity that we enjoy that I've talked about before. I think that if I were - I'm not going to go back to this, but when I were a little less popular, the publishers would sit on books for like, two and a half years after I turned them in, to find the right place to publish them, or the right time. The bottom-line of the entire company was not appreciably affected by my book releasing.

Nowadays, the bottom-lines of companies are appreciably affected by my books releasing, so they don't sit on them. You don't turn in a Stormlight book and have it come out two and a half years later. Fans would probably have a heart attack if they knew we were doing that. But what it meant was that this buffer that I had vanished unexpectedly out from underneath us and so suddenly everything I'm writing is at the last moment that it could get - the last possible moment for it to be turned in, to be published, is generally when it's getting turned in. And this is just because people are really excited to get the books out. What that means is that things will happen where it's like, in an ideal world I don't think I would have gone straight from Rhythm of War into Dawnshard. It turned out to be okay because I was writing different characters, but I really like space between books in the same series as a way to refresh myself, and ideally I would have written the next Skyward book and maybe the next Wax and Wayne book and then done Dawnshard and then written the next Skyward book, and then come back to Stormlight.

But that just wasn't possible because of the timelines that I've set out. Dawnshard really needs to be out before Rhythm of War comes out, and because of that tight deadline then I'm on another tight deadline, which now means that writing the next Skyward book has to happen next because my YA publisher has been waiting very patiently without a book for quite a while, and while I probably would want to go to Wax and Wayne 4 next because I've been away from that even longer, Wax and Wayne 4 is for the same publisher that's now publishing Rhythm of War and they've got plenty to do and are plenty busy, and I need to get something to the other publisher.

These sorts of things are the annoyances of the reality of being a professional writer, but I never feel constrained by the Cosmere. I've never felt constrained by "Oh I promised ten Mistborn books or whatever" (30 seconds of figuring out how many Mistborn books. 13?)

So do I feel constrained by that? No I feel excited by that. That's never been an issue. Do I feel constrained by the fact that I really need to get Skyward 3 and 4 and Wax and Wayne done in time to get back to Stormlight 5 to have Stormlight 5 come out on a reasonable timescale - that, I do feel constrained by.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#25 Copy

Moogle

Compounding requires practice, according to The Hero of Age's annotations. And yet, it's apparently as easy as burning a metalmind. What was going on that meant the Inquisitors couldn't figure out how to do it (despite Ruin likely knowing how and undoubtedly wanting them to learn) for over a year? What skill did they need to practice doing, exactly?

And what happened while they were practicing burning metalminds without successfully Compounding? Did they get an Allomantic effect?

Brandon Sanderson

What I think I was getting at in the annotations was a cosmere magic rule that, perhaps, I hadn't completely refined yet. This is the idea that INTENTION is vitally important to the workings of most cosmere magics.

You can learn to burn metals instinctively over time, but it does take time--time for your body to figure out what it's doing. If you have instruction and guidance, you can pick it up in an evening, like Vin did. Same goes for most of the magics. This ties into Awakening, with the idea that you have to form a command.

During Warbreaker was where I really refined this aspect of the magic. Logically, since the beginning of the cosmere, I've wanted all three Realms to be important to the way the magics worked. The "Practice" therefore for compounding is mental practice--a barrier to overcome in understanding what is happening, and what it will do to you.

If you already know all of these things by having it explained to you, that barrier is far less high. I think that was what I was talking about in the Annotations, without really having the idea specified yet--though I'd have to look back at the annotation and re-read it to say for certain.

Orem signing ()
#26 Copy

Questioner

With Soulcasting, we know what can be Soulcast based on the color of the gem. Does-- When Awakening, say you have emerald, green, Pulp. If you were Awakening straw or some other form of plant matter, if you used a source of green for the color, would it be, say, more efficient than using red?

Brandon Sanderson

So I haven't built that into the magic system yet. Part of me feels like I should have. But I did not. I want color to be relevant to each of the cosmere magics. It's kind of an essential part of it, and it's part of where we stray more into the magical sense. Like, in my books we treat magic scientifically but they're still magic. And it was a thing when I was building Stormlight, I'm like, "So the difference between these two gemstones is a matter of a slight impurity and chemically they are 99% the same thing. Am I actually going to have them do different things or not?" And my judgement call was yes, because I want color to be relevant in the cosmere.  But by that point, when I was really getting that magic system to work, I had already written Warbreaker. And I had known that I wanted color to start being a big part. I'd already written Mistborn where I worked in color in different ways

But I didn't work that into the Warbreaker magic. I felt like it already had enough restrictions. I would say my worry about the Warbreaker magic is the color feels tacked on. Like, the magic could work without it, narratively, so why is it there? And that's the question I asked myself while I was building; that's the question I continue to ask myself when I continue to work on-- for that magic system, to make sure it works for me. But my instincts say adding restrictions like that, particularly when they weren't covered in the first book, feels like the wrong way to go. It'd be like retconning the magic. It's something I considered.

YouTube Livestream 35 ()
#28 Copy

next191

One of the few criticisms of Rhythm of War is that more and more Stormlight Cosmere lore is getting pretty complicated, and it's harder and harder to follow along without understanding the whole Cosmere. Will this trend continue? Will we need a degree in cosmere-ism to read Stormlight Ten?

Brandon Sanderson

I try to write these scenes such that, if you want to let your eyes glaze over and read kind of to the end of them, generally people summarize "this is what we need to do." This sort of stuff, honestly, goes back to Elantris. This sort of stuff is going to show up in a lot of the Cosmere books. It is a fundamental tenet of how I'm creating the Cosmere. Rhythm of War was definitely the pendulum further along toward that aspect, with Navani being a main character, than a lot of them will be. But if we do write Khriss stories, you're gonna get a lot in the Khriss stories. All I will say is: don't interpret it as increasing in complexity the more the books are written. Interpret it as: as we get to characters that that is relevant to, their sections are going to involve more of that than others.

I see it increasing in all, a little bit, as we move along, but it really depends on who the characters are, what they're talking about, and things like this. My hope is that no, you do not need to. My hope is that you can (if it really is not your thing) skim those scenes, get an explanation at the end, and still know "okay, we need to do this thing." What I don't want it to be is just technobabble, also, that does not fit into the structure and worldbuilding. It is a fine line to walk, and I would accept... I think that criticism is valid of Rhythm of War, but it's one of those sort of things, like the first book having a steep learning curve, that is an aspect of the story that I'm trying to tell.

I hope not. I hope you will not need one. This is something I am aware of, and we will see. If it gets to be way too much, I think fans will let me know, and beta readers will then pick up on that and start warning me "maybe this is too much, Brandon." We'll see.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

Are we ever going to get an official Cosmere timeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, we will eventually. We're really close to being able to release it, I'm not sure when we will. Um, the real trick is-- Like now that we're locking down White Sand, that's kind of like the last wild card because the novel version wasn't canon. So it's like where do we make sure this is, and stuff like that. So yeah we should be, once White Sand is out I think, everything we can lock down. The trick is, like if I release it there are certain-- like where is Sixth of the Dusk exactly? It's not something I want because that's got spoilers.

Questioner

..It is actually canon that Era Two [of Mistborn]takes place between the first half and the second half of [The Stormlight Archive]?

Brandon Sanderson

Well I haven't written the second half of Stormlight so that--

Questioner

But does it take place after the first half?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it takes place sometime after the first half, but it depends on how long I break and things like that, whether they overlap, maybe it takes place after 7, maybe it takes place after 5, maybe it takes place after-- Like we'll see when I get there how many years, because the timing on those is a little more tight.

Questioner

So they're more interweaved with those, those are closer to the same time period.

Brandon Sanderson

They are much closer to the same time period than other things, which is why I have to be dodgy on those ones, mostly just because they are on a similar timeline.

A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
#32 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

In at least two of the books that I know of, a god is either dead or attacked in some form or fashion. Is there any reason for that?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, there is an ongoing theme there, and it's primarily because there is an overarching story behind the story. The books are all in the same universe. And there is a character that's the same in all of the books. In Way of Kings it's Wit. He's actually in all of them.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

I'm a physical chemist and I'm reading your book [The Way of Kings] right now and at some point you have someone studying flamespren and what they saw, that's one of the fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So you got that from quantum mechanics?

Brandon Sanderson

I did get that from quantum mechanics.

Questioner

How did you come across that and decide to incorporate that into your epic fantasy?

Brandon Sanderson

Well The Way of Kings' magic systems are based on the fundamental forces. That was the original idea and the extrapolation from them. I'm fascinated by quantum mechanics and I have worked them into the way that-- Remember in my worlds, my books, the magics are a new branch of physics, in these worlds. And so they interact with our normal physics, it's not like they are ignoring them, so they obey the laws of thermodynamics, even when they appear to be breaking them, and they interact with quantum and all the stuff. It's just very natural that they are going to, to me if that makes sense? It would be weird if they didn't interact with them.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#34 Copy

Valhalla (paraphrased)

Other than Vessels, how many beings have lived from before the Shattering until the time of The Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

More than you would think. Longevity is not hard to come by in the cosmere. That much longevity would be a little uncommon. But certain species are particularly long lived, and certain magic systems enable longevity.

Orem signing 2014 ()
#35 Copy

mail-mi (paraphrased)

Does a more Investiture-poor world make it so its magics are easier to use off-world? Because, you said that Scadrial is really Investiture-poor, and it can be used easily off-world, but Roshar is very Investiture-rich, and how can you get Stormlight off of Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah. Um, I would say that there is a correlation.

mail-mi (paraphrased)

There is a correlation?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Mmhmm.

The Book Smugglers Rithmatist Interview ()
#37 Copy

The Book Smugglers

You create some of the most elaborate magic systems in fantasy today; these systems function as intrinsic parts of your worlds and characters. Typically, how do you address the different types of magic systems in your different books? Do you define these systems before you start writing the books, or do they evolve and develop as you go along?

Brandon Sanderson

The answer to that is yes! It's different for every book. With my Cosmere books—which are the shared universe of my epic fantasies—I need to be a little more rigorous. There are fundamental underlying principles that guide the magic systems, and so there's a larger developmental phase before I start writing the book. Then I stick more strictly to the rules I've given myself.

All the way back in 2007, I was writing one of my epic fantasies, and it just wasn't working. I needed a break to something creative, different, and distinctive. So I jumped ship, abandoning that epic fantasy, and wrote The Rithmatist instead, which had a lot less planning than one of my epic fantasies.

With something like The Rithmatist—which is outside the cosmere—I'm allowed a little more freedom, which is one of the reasons I like writing books like this, where I allow myself to develop it as I write. The magic was the first thing that got me excited about The Rithmatist, so I based the book around it.

The first thing I wrote was the scene—now late in chapter one—where Joel watches Fitch get defeated by Nalizar in the classroom. It started out on a chalkboard, but I eventually moved it to the floor because that made more sense. As I was writing these chapters, I developed the Rithmatic lines and let the story feed the magic and the magic feed the story in a way that some writers call "discovery written."

YouTube Livestream 35 ()
#38 Copy

Brent Worthington

At one point, I remember it being said that Roshar, Scadrial, and Sel are the three most important worlds in the cosmere, but I can't remember if that was ever canonized, much less if it's still the case.

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that they are the most important, yes. Depends on how you'd count Yolen, where it all started. But I would say those narratives, those book series, are the pillars of how I envisioned the Cosmere. But there's lots of worlds that are important, and there are plenty of them that we haven't gone to, yet. I often talk about the aethers, which are really relevant to the future of the cosmere, but I have not managed to get them in, a book about them, yet. It will happen.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#40 Copy

Chaos2651

One other question, what is the name of the planet that Elantris is on?

Brandon Sanderson

Elantris: Sel

Warbreaker: Nalthis

Mistborn: Scadrial

Way of Kings: Roshar

White Sand: Taldain

Dragonsteel: Yolen

There are others, but I haven't talked much about those yet, so I'll leave them off for now.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#41 Copy

Questioner

Is Calamity actually a worldhopper?

Brandon Sanderson

Calamity, I didn't write this as a part of the cosmere. The main distinction is I didn't want Earth to be in the cosmere, I want it to be distinct. Once I stick Earth in, the cosmology and things doesn't work. The cosmere is a dwarf cluster, and it's a dwarf galaxy, it's a cluster of stars. It's a specific place, and Earth's not part of it.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#42 Copy

Questioner

How did you come up with Shardpools and travel between the worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

...So, what happened is (close as I can remember; it's been a long time now), close as I can remember, I wrote Elantris in, like, 1998 or 1999, and I, at that point, didn't really have the cosmere in place. I knew I wanted to do some sort of grand epic, I knew I wanted to do some sort of thing, but I just wrote that book-- Elantris is mostly a discovery-written book, rather than an outlined book. And I wrote this book, and that's when I started a lot of these ideas. I stepped away from it, and I started writing a book called Dragonsteel, which was Hoid's origin story. And then I kinda got into the dark age where I was trying to be George R.R. Martin for a while. And then when I came out of that, I wrote The Way of Kings [Prime]. And during those days, I was really looking for these tying agents. When I put the first Shardpool in, I had-- I'm just like "Here's a well of power. I don't know what this does." I was discovery-writing the book. By the time I sold Mistborn and Elantris, I sold those two in a deal in 2003, that's when I'm like, "All right, now I'm gonna do this for real." I've had all this trial run-- I'd written thirteen novels at this point, and I'd sold #6 and #14, Mistborn not being written yet... So, I sat down with Elantris, and I built out the cosmere, and I built out these things, like "Why do I have this pool of power? What am I gonna do with the pool of power in the next book? I want this to be a theme." And I started building out the cosmere from there. So, part of it was organic, part of it was by design.

Oathbringer London signing ()
#43 Copy

Aurimus

What was the thematic decision behind the number 16? Why did you choose that?

Brandon Sanderson

I really like how divisible it was. It looked really cool when I was playing with things like an Allomantic table and whatnot. It was mostly an aesthetic choice. Like, it just felt right.

Aurimus

So was it originally the Shards or the metals you decided on?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I started with the metals. And then expanded out to that, yeah. So what you've gotta remember is, like, I write Elantris without knowledge of the cosmere. I knew I was gonna do something, but I didn't know what I was gonna do. And then I wrote Dragonsteel, and in Dragonsteel I had all sorts of theories and plans, but I never canonized any of that. And when I sat down to write Mistborn, I said, "All right. We're building the cosmere for real now." And before then I had just kind of been winging it. So when I did Aether of Night, which I put Shards in, I was like "Okay, there'll be some of these things, and what-not." Mistborn was, like, the first real cosmere book, if that makes any sense.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#44 Copy

kdt05b

Can Megan manifest a Cosmere reality? The Reckoners is not part of the Cosmere, but one of they main character's power is reaching into alternate dimensions. I want to see some epics on Roshar!

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to avoid multi-verse theory type things in the Cosmere, in part because the Wheel of Time delved into these concepts, and even before working on the WoT was looking for ways to keep the Cosmere distinctive from it.

Beyond that, multiverses (along with time travel) really play havoc with continuity. I felt the cosmere was stronger if I kept to the three Realms--that's complex enough. Assume that in the cosmere, while different possible futures/pasts do branch (and can be seen) things like Allomantic gold are NOT looking at other realities--and there is only one reality, once events actually occur.

This does mean that time travel into the past is not going to be a factor in the cosmere.

This separation does let me divide these concepts off and play with them in other realms (like the Reckoners) where they're 'quarantined' so to speak.

General Reddit 2020 ()
#45 Copy

CephandriusTW

We know for previous WoBs that Truthwatchers are worried about knowledge and helping people with it (wob#8500). In the test you recently released, the new info about them says that they are worried about the use of the knowledge and the leaders trying to deceive the people they lead. So, I think they have some things in common with Windrunners and Edgedancers, because the three Orders are more worried about the common people than about the elite. Protecting those who can not protect themselves, remembering those who had been forgotten; both of this Second Ideals refers to the common people, that people that the leaders don't really care about.

Considering all of this, and following the example of the Second Ideal of Windrunners and Edgedancers, which are the most worried about the common people with no epic powers, I wrote a theoric PURE (without corrupted sprens like Glysn) Second Ideal for Truthwatchers:

"I will seek truth, to prevent others from being deceived."

I know you are RAFO'ing this, but I would only like to know if my approach of the Truthwatchers Order is correct.

Brandon Sanderson

[That] is, I'm afraid, a RAFO as I don't want to talk too much about the oaths of given orders until I write books about those orders, as it would constrain the story a little too much. Your theorizing is sound, however.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

Just in the cosmere alone, are there any--Do you believe there are any specific magic systems that are stronger than the others, or have an advantage? Or do they kind of even out?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, do-- Yeah. Do any of the magics have advantages or stronger-- Definitely some are stronger than others. Definitely. There is no attempt made on my part to power balance between magic systems and things. Power balancing is for RPGs where it's very important, it's not for storytelling.

A lot of people like to ask the "Who would win, X or Y?" sort of thing, and I don't get into a lot of that, I usually say, "Well, what's the situation?" I'm not big on the-- I will, if people clash, or if different powers clash, I will write the situation, but it's so conditional. So I have a hard time with these cage match things that people really like to do and things like that, because they're fun, but as an author I'm like, "I can come up with a dozen situations where either one of them wins or someone else does". Right? That's what you do, in writing. You say, what is the context of this?

But that's a tangent from your question, which is the powers are not equal. The Shards were generally equal. Some have given up more power than others.

Starsight Release Party ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

Do you plan on writing Stormlight Archive where you have to be Cosmere aware?

Brandon Sanderson

I intend Stormlight to always be its own story. The Cosmere will start influencing a little more here and there, but I never intend you to have to know anything about the Cosmere. Who knows how I'll be at the later books if I 'llchange my mind, but I intend it to be no more than it's really been now.

A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
#48 Copy

Viper (paraphrased)

So in cosmere, does physics work the same way in the Physical Realm as it does in our world? Specifically, particle physics; and are atoms made up of protons and neutrons and electrons, and is light photons, etc?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Viper (paraphrased)

So what's at the core of an atom of atium? Ate-teum? Also how do you pronounce it? At-teum?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes. And the matter is just normal matter, but it's wrapped in the Spiritual. The Spiritual DNA [or something] is what makes it magical.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

Is there any effect on a Shardblade if the deadeye is really far away from where the Blade is?

Brandon Sanderson

Define really.

Questioner

The one that's trapped on the ship. Let's say they're taking him to the far side of Shadesmar, but the dude that owns that Blade lives in...

Brandon Sanderson

We will deal with that in the books. There is an effect, but that's not enough of an effect.

Overlord Jebus

Considering no one says that their Shardblade is acting weird in two and a half thousand years.

Brandon Sanderson

That happens all the time in Shadesmar. If you were able to get it off the planet, it would have an effect.

Questioner

If you as the owner of the Shardblade were offworld and you tried to summon it, that would be the effect?

Brandon Sanderson

Either way. But you can't take spren off-world. I mean, you can, but you can't really. Really all that I have in the notes for it to do right now, is to add slightly more time. So you're like, "That's weird that felt like not ten heartbeats, it felt like twelve." But it's like, you're on another planet, then it's suddenly speed of light type stuff. So suddenly it's like, "This is taking three years instead. That's a pretty big deal!"

...So I've got a few weird speed of light things mixed into the cosmere, and that's one of them.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#50 Copy

Nightfire

Also, is there a common reality/universe throughout all of you works (WoT excluded)? The gods and magic system of your books you have mentioned as pieces of a larger source. I know I am mistaking the language a bit; it was a while ago that I read this. But Preservation and Ruin were linked and you referenced possible deities in Elantris, not to mention Austre. I know your magic systems are all well thought out and the rules have practical founding. With this in mind, I assume your deities and beings of power would have universally applied links and rules as well. I figure they all exist in the same multi-verse.

Brandon Sanderson

I am remaining mostly closed-lipped on this topic, as I don't want to spoil the story and discovery. There is a lot of discussion about it on my website. I can confirm what I've said earlier, that there is a common character appearing in the books, and that there is a single cosmology to all of the Shardworlds and their books (Elantris, Mistborn, WarbreakerWhite SandDragonsteelThe Silence Divine, etc. Those last three are unpublished, by the way.) There is also a connection between how the magic works in each book, as well as the fundamental metaphysics of the worlds.