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Skyward Houston signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What does M-Bot have against Doomslug and Rig?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

M-Bot treats Rig kind of like you might treat a doctor. Even though he's good for you, you may not enjoy having someone poke around at you.

With Doomslug, it isn't that he has a lot against Doomslug. Doomslug just isn't a good conversationalist. She does a lot of repeating back at you what you say. So getting trapped only with Doomslug would be...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can the second book have Doomslug with a bow?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

In a bow? I will try to get Doomslug a bow.

Publishers Weekly Q & A ()
#2 Copy

Michael M. Jones

Spensa comes across as overconfident and bombastic at times, while her AI sidekick, M-Bot, is both comic and tragic. What else can you tell us about developing characters?

Brandon Sanderson

They really play off one another. With M-Bot, I needed both a friend and a foil for Spensa, since there's a lot of conversation between them. I also needed an outside perspective. Spensa's culture has problems. Humankind crashed on this planet decades ago, and has been subject to these alien invasions and air raids for so long, that their entire society is built around the machine of war to protect themselves. The technology and temperament revolve around getting pilots into the air at all costs, and it’s skewed everything as a result. I needed an outside voice to ask questions and raise concerns, even if it's through humor.

Because Spensa is such an extreme character, one of the challenges was to depict that a person who's spent most of her life alone, hunting rats, while imagining herself to be a great warrior, is going to have a warped perspective on what it means to be a fighter pilot, weirder than the rest of the society might.

In a way, she's a stand-in for someone like me, who enjoys larger-than-life action movies but has never experienced real violence. She’s like the person in the seat with the popcorn, who’s confronted by the reality and discovers it’s not what she imagined.