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Skyward Chicago signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do the Heralds know about AonDor?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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 ()
#2 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 ()
#3 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 ()
#4 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 ()
#5 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 ()
#6 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 ()
#7 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.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#9 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 ()
#13 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 ()
#17 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 ()
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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 ()
#19 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#20 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 ()
#21 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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 [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#23 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 ()
#25 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 ()
#26 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 ()
#27 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 ()
#28 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 ()
#30 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."

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#32 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 ()
#33 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 ()
#34 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...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 ()
#35 Copy

Aurimus [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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 [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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 ()
#36 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.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#37 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.

A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
#38 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 ()
#39 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Define really.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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 [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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 ()
#40 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.

Librarypalooza ()
#41 Copy

eagle (paraphrased)

How close are all of the shard worlds in space?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The cosmere takes place in a dwarf galaxy and all the worlds are close together.

eagle (paraphrased)

Close as in say 10 light-years?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

More like 50. (He went on to say that Peter has some harder numbers and that it might have to change a little.)

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

llwvyn

My question is in regards to the writing system. In Warbreaker, when Siri is teaching Susebron to read, she mentions the letter "shash," which we now know better as a glyph from [The Way of Kings].

so onto the questions:

Are the two writing systems related, or is this a chance coincidence of names?

If they are related, did they stem from the same source? (i.e., do the people of Nalthis and Roshar both descend from a more ancient group of people?)

If I haven't gotten a RAFO yet, did the separation from these other people create the legends of being cast out of the Tranquiline Halls?

Brandon Sanderson

There are interesting connections around the cosmere between linguistics and some cultures. Though different groups of humans were created on different planets, the Shards all share a single point of origin. However, the Tranquiline Halls legends are not related to a Nalthis/Roshar connection.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#43 Copy

Questioner

From the very beginning did you already know-- like cosmere? Like was that your goal setting out?

Brandon Sanderson

It was my goal very early on. In fact, before I wrote any books I wrote a short story about Hoid. So he goes back to before the very first book that I wrote. So yeah it goes back pretty far. I can trace inspirations back to Asimov tying Foundation and Robots together and feeling like that was really cool and wanting to do something like that, if it makes sense. And so I would say that’s probably like the first seed was when I read the later Foundation books and they tied them together.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#45 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there a center to the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There isn't a center in the cosmere... I keep calling it a dwarf galaxy but I think they decided it's a cluster, instead of a dwarf galaxy.

Overlord Jebus [PENDING REVIEW]

Even a dwarf galaxy is still really big.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, still too big. So we had to call it a cluster. Because we only wanted like what, we came up with 50 or 100 stars? So it's a cluster. Or a really dwarf galaxy.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

What differentiates a minor Shardworld like First of the Sun?

Brandon Sanderson

The amount of Investiture, and whether there is actually a Shard in presence.

Questioner

I'm assuming there is not one there?

Brandon Sanderson

There is not one there.

Questioner

So it's like a Splintered one from something else?

Brandon Sanderson

No what you'll find is that the worlds were all created with a level of-- a little bit of sort of ambient magic. What you'll find in worlds like that is things like, Shadows for Silence and things like this, the magic, it's not necessarily "people with magic" it's you can interact with nature...

Questioner

So there is inherent Investiture...

Brandon Sanderson

There is inherent investiture in every world created but you are going to see-- You aren't going to find Mistborn on a world like that but what you might find is a way there are magic aspects to the setting. Spren could exist on a world like that but they would be like the minor spren, you wouldn't find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren.

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Questioner

It seems like-- So the cosmere stuff keeps the physics in there, with the Coinshots, and things like that, it doesn't ignore mass an inertia.

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Questioner

I love that! And I love that about Jim Butcher's books too. 'Cause they keep the physics. It seems like, with the young adult stuff, it's more based on intent...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the young adult stuff, I do not keep physics. In Steelheart, or in Alcatraz... or in Rithmatist. I don't even worry about it.

Questioner

They didn't know what the line did until they knew what it was supposed to do.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, intent is important in-- Remember the magic system for Rithmatist started as cosmere. And then I made the decision with it that I was not going to have it be in the cosmere. But the magic system started as a cosmere magic system...

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...you can do a lot when you can break laws of conservation of matter and energy, when you can cheat them by using the Spiritual Realm. But things that we really cheated on is redshifting and things like this on the time dilation in Mistborn. I don't know if you noticed that, but there should be redshift, there should be weird radiation things, there should be-- And so we had to work around a lot of those things. And we've got our workarounds in the back of our heads. But the other weird one is when Wax is flying, and he reduces his mass, I have to remember that he speeds up, when his mass goes down because of centripetal force.

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Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In the cosmere, sixteen is obviously a very important number, or very significant, but on Roshar everything comes in groups of ten. Is that a cultural construction or is that really how things are being grouped on that planet?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is both. It is a cultural construction that came from slight cosmere events that are not super, super, super important. Like, there's a reason we think in base ten, right? Is it important to the universe? Meh? Right... And it's maybe a little more on Roshar, but at the same time it's like**

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

There are ten orders of Surgebinders. Did they order them that way? Or are there actually sixteen different--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well, it kind of goes back to there were ten [Heralds] with ten sets of power given by Honor, and Honor is an individual, right, so does that make sense? You cannot separate, in a lot of places in the cosmere, the perspectives of the sapient beings who are interfering with what's going on. Even going back to the number sixteen.