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YouTube Livestream 30 ()
#1 Copy

Adam Horne

What are you anticipating the length of the books for [Mistborn] Era Three and Era Four?

Brandon Sanderson

Era Three will go back to Era One lengths. The goal is, once I finish Stormlight Five, to write all three books in Era Three together, like I did for Era One. And this means that the releases in between might be kind of other sorts of things. Basically, I'm gonna have to take three years and write those books before we release any of them. And that'll be great for continuity, and for a lot of cool reasons, but it means that... 2023 is hopefully Stormlight Five. (I say "hopefully" because, again, Stormlight Five is the end of a series, so it is possible of all of them that one takes longer. We'll see.) And then, after Stormlight Five, then the releases will probably be some things for a couple of years until I get Mistborn ready.

One of these things is likely to be a non-Cosmere collection; a collection of all my short fiction that is not Cosmere and not Legion. So all of your Defending Elysiums and things like that, collected in one collection, like we did with Arcanum Unbounded. There is a decent chance that I will be getting The Apocalypse Guard into shape, at long last, and releasing that with Dan Wells working with me on those. There is a decent chance that we'll have a prose version of Dark One, because Dan and I are working on that, but we'll see. Who knows. And then there's the perpetual project that I've really started to think that is probably going to happen, where White Sand of all my unpublished novels is the strongest, and I think that if I put it through my current revision process, I'd get a really strong revision, send it to beta readers, and put it through another really strong revision, it would be of publishable quality. I would generally update it to match the events of the graphic novels, and then we would release a prose version, probably, that is the same as the graphic novels. But we'll see. We'll see if that actually happens. For now, we do have the collection of the three graphic novels coming out soon-ish, I hope. And it's looking really nice; Isaac's been putting a ton of work into that.

So, those are all things that you could see in the interim, between. What you're not gonna get is a Mistborn novel or a Stormlight novel for a number of years, as I work on the Mistborn books. In a perfect world, I'm writing Elantris Two and Three then, as well. So I get done with those five books, each of which I plan at 200,000 words (which is the length of Elantris and the original Mistborn trilogy). Which, when I work on a Stormlight book, I do 400,000 to 500,000 words in eighteen months. And so, we would see how these other ones would turn out. One a year, plus change, basically. And then I would jump to Stormlight six.

So, that's a long-term plan. I still have to finish Wax and Wayne Four, and Stormlight Five, and Skyward Four. Which, I am finishing three series in a row. The one I am most worried about, obviously, is Stormlight. I don't know if that'd be obvious, but that's the highest stakes. And beyond that, it's the one that has some of the biggest implications for the cosmere at large, and things like that. Like, I am not terribly worried about Wax and Wayne Four, partially because I outlined the three that came after Alloy of Law really solidly, and the outline stuff I've been sending out for this last one, everyone is liking in the company, and it seems like it's a very... Like, the original trilogy idea I had for those three seems to be working. And Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning both worked really well, and this one is in that same vein, kind of bringing things together. And so, I'm not really worried about it. I think it's gonna be really strong, and people are really gonna like it. Skyward Four, again, the stakes are just lower. Skyward Three was a tough revision; there was a lot of work to do on that one. But, if I do write Skyward Four this year, then I have plenty of time to work on Skyward Four's revision, because it's probably not scheduled until, like, spring of 2023. Spring or summer, even, summer 2023, before Stormlight Five. And so basically, the revision time on both Wax and Wayne and that are gonna be much bigger than my revision time on Skyward Three.

The time crunch is over for a little bit. It's just: can I squeeze these in before the looming battleship that is Stormlight Five comes sailing into port, and it's all hands on deck.

Brandon's Blog 2013 ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

On my tour, I frequently read from the first chapter of a new novel in the Mistborn world, a sequel to The Alloy of Law. (In fact, you can watch my entire presentation right here. This reading comes at the 45:45 mark.) Tor, understandably, wanted to know when they could publish this book.

Well, it's far from finished, but I do need to be thinking about what comes next. I know that many of you hope that it would be the third Stormlight book, as there has been such a long delay between the first and second. I do promise I'll be more speedy with Stormlight novels in the future—this long delay should, hopefully, be the exception and not the rule. However, my process being what it is, I probably can't move straight into Stormlight Three.

I've spoken about this concept a lot, so I might be repeating myself for some of you. One of the things that excites me about being a writer is the constant energy that comes from switching projects. I'm not one of those writers who can pick a series and write on it exclusively for years and years. Though I will frequently have one main project, I do other things between those larger books. Usually, these other books are small, quick, and the means by which I refresh myself and keep myself from getting burned out on the large project.

While writing the original Mistborn series, I wrote books in the Alcatraz series. While working on The Wheel of Time, I wrote a number of novellas—and The Alloy of Law itself. Now that I'm turning my attention to the Stormlight books as my main project, I'm going to need some things to squeeze between books in order to refresh myself.

For now, that's going to be Alloy-era Mistborn novels. The second and third books in that series will include the same protagonists from the first, and will—if I'm doing it correctly—be exciting, fun, and deep, but not require you to keep track of a lot of characters or plots between novels. This way, I can balance the large, in-depth sequence of the Stormlight Archive with something lighter and more standalone in nature.

As many of you know, the Mistborn series was pitched to my editor way back when as a trilogy of trilogies, with an epic fantasy trilogy, followed by an urban fantasy trilogy with the same magic in the same world, followed finally by a science fiction trilogy in which the magic had become the means by which space travel was possible. The Alloy books aren't part of this original plan, but in them you will find foreshadowing toward the second trilogy.

In the teen book realm, I'll be bouncing between doing the The Rithmatist sequel and the sequels to Steelheart. I realize I have a lot on my plate, and I appreciate you putting up with me as I explore the stories I want to tell. My goal for the next five-year span is to finish up a number of these series, rather than starting anything new.

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
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What's up at the south end of the world (during the 'closer to the sun' phase)? Life there? Cultures? Allomancers? Assuming that there is some life down there, can we assume that we'll have some interesting 'culture clashes' in future books?

Brandon Sanderson

They will be known by the modern trilogy, so it's safe to assume that a discovery will happen soon. Either during the Alloy of Law era or soon after.

Fantasy Faction Q&A ()
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Will we see another book with Waxillium Ladrian? His story doesn't appear to end with The Alloy of Law. And will his story be directly related to the next Mistborn trilogy? This has been eating away at me since finishing that book.

Brandon Sanderson

Wax's story was indeed directly related to the second trilogy, but I was intrigued enough with his time period that I find myself wanting to do more with him. I probably will.

Stormlight Three Update #1 ()
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Is the plan still to take a break after book five to do the modern day Mistborn trilogy or does the schedule of a new Stormlight book every two to three years mean that the second set of proper Mistborn books will fit in between those smaller gaps?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's still the plan. Stormlight 5 is an end of a distinct arc, and Mistborn era three's outlines are getting very close to being done. This schedule makes a great deal of sense to me.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#9 Copy


So three Vin & Elend books, and then four Wax and Wayne, and five of the next ones?

Brandon Sanderson

No, we'll probably go back to three, but they'll be big, thick ones again. So... I haven't actually named the main characters of the next one yet. I'll have to think about that, so I can tell people what it is.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#10 Copy


Are we gonna possibly get another Mistborn: Secret [History]...

Brandon Sanderson

So, depends on my time. Like, Mistborn: Secret History, I started writing in 2006, and I released it in... 2016. So, it took, like, 10 years to get that, because it was a side-project of a side-project. It's, like, so self-indulging, Mistborn: Secret History is...

So, Secret History 2, will I ever have time to do that? Well, it depends on if I can do it in a way I don't feel is interfering with the main Cosmere timeline. Because we would all like to see Secret History 2. But not if it means we don't get Stormlight 9, if that makes sense. It's gonna depend on my writing time, on how I'm feeling about various things. You are more likely to get it the more I work on Era 3, because Kelsier is a part of Era 3.

General Reddit 2021 ()
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In Era 1 there was an imbalance between Ruin and Preservation because humans had a bit more Preservation than Ruin in them. After Harmony became a thing did this imbalance become [ir]relevant because both powers turned into one, or is it something Sazed had (or has) to deal with?

Brandon Sanderson

This is a RAFO for now--should come up in Era 3.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#12 Copy


I was surprised when I learned just how much more Mistborn you're planning on writing, and was even more surprised when I heard that the Wax and Wayne quadrilogy was only a spin-off and not part of your major plans for the series. But now I've found out you've decided to include those books as a major part of the larger series and instead do 4 different stories within it. Will this mean the next part (which I understood was going to take place in the more or less present) will be further into the future so as to space out each story? And what was the reasoning behind including Wax and Wayne in the main series?

Brandon Sanderson

I changed my opinions on Wax and Wayne after writing the first book, then outlining books 2-4 (which are a kind of "Trilogy" with these characters, when the first book was an experiment.)

I realized that the next era (which is still 1980's level technology) would work way better with some foundations in the W&W era. I'm very pleased what this did to Era Three, as it now is (1980s), because of the foundations in Era Two.

And yes, the next series will each go further into the future.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#13 Copy


In between the first five [Stormlight books] and the second five, are you personally taking a ten-year break?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it shouldn't be ten years. I do plan to write the third Mistborn trilogy. (Second trilogy being four books. But, you know.) I do plan to write the second Mistborn trilogy before I do that. But those should be 200K words, which means I should be able to write one, do a novella, write one, do a novella, write one. So we're talking about probably that taking me five years to do all those. And then I come back. So it's probably a five-year break, would be my guess, during which you get a trilogy of Mistborn books. We have to work in Elantris there somewhere, but I have to stay focused at the same time, so it's kind of hard.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#15 Copy


So, you've mentioned-- you have an idea of how the Cosmere's going to go. The ending of the Cosmere, considering you have seven more Stormlight books to write and years to go, does the ending of the Cosmere hang over your head?

Brandon Sanderson

Does the ending of the Cosmere hang over my head 'cause I've got a ways to go-- Yeah, it's starting to loom a bit! You know, when I was in my twenties and thirties doing this, "Ah! I can write every story, I've got plenty of time!", but now that I'm in my forties I'm-- let's make sure we focus and keep going on this. So one of my goals has been to try to learn to write novellas so that the random ideas that pop in my head became novellas and not novels, because the way I work, I can't stay on one thing between books I find that it burns me out really fast if I don't have something new to work on, but if that new thing to work on can be a novella like one of the Legion books, or like Perfect State, or Snapshot or something like that and then I can jump back on the kind of mainline book I can reset myself quickly. And that why you see me practice that and things like that.

My goal is kind of closing things off faster than I open them. This is why Legion got finished this year, why Alcatraz will probably get finished next year. Those of you waiting for a Rithmatist sequel *sighs* eventually. I need to get those other two closed off first. For those of you waiting for Reckoners, I consider Reckoners to be done. If I eventually fix and release Apocalypse Guard, that might answer some of the questions you have about the end of that series. Elantris and Warbreaker are both part of the Cosmere arc, what I'll probably do is I'll write Stormlight 4 and 5 and the last Wax & Wayne book over the next few years-- five years, next five years probably. *laughter* And then I'll probably stop and do Mistborn Era 3, which is the 1980s Mistborn, and maybe some Elantris sequels. And then I'll come back and do Stormlight 6-10 which take place about 10 years in-world after Stormlight 5. Same characters, at least the ones that survive. *eruption of laughter* That might be all of them! No spoilers there. But Stormlight is ten books. The way Stormlight will go is Book 4 is Eshonai, Book 5 is Szeth, 6 is Lift, 7 is Renarin, 8 is Ash, 9 is Taln and 10 is Jasnah. That doesn't mean that the person survives, it means that it's a flashback sequence. *nervous laughter* Just keep that in mind. So if your sequel wasn't on that list then don't hold your breath.

General Reddit 2011 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

I am hesitant to commit completely [to an Alloy of Law sequel], as I don't want too many open series. That said, I did end this one with more of a cliff-hanger than I had intended. Much that is happening here has relevance to the second trilogy. However, I do think I would be leaving Fans in a bad position if I didn't do more with these characters. It is likely, therefore, that there will be another book--though the second Stormlight book has priority.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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How many of the Mistborn do you plan on writing still?

Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn, when I pitched it to my editor, I pitched it as a spectrum running from an epic fantasy series eventually arriving at a space opera, with Allomancers on spaceships. So we have several hundred more years of history. So right now I'm doing a few more Wax and Wayne books, the Alloy of Law era. Then we will jump forward, I've got a modern trilogy that's going to be like 1980's level technology. And then maybe near-future and then full-blown science fiction space opera.

MisCon 2018 ()
#18 Copy


So, when you were plotting out Mistborn, did you do the whole trilogy, kind of thing?

Brandon Sanderson

I did nine books when I did the plot for Mistborn. Normally how I approach plotting is: first book, I do with minimal outlining for the rest of the series. So there's-- I'll do a pretty good outline for the first book. And then I will write that first book (and of course everything changes from the outline as you're writing it) and then I sit down and I outline the series, whatever the series is going to be, with about a page on each book. And then when it's time to write that one, I sit down and I kind of attack that outline. Usually, I'm looking for about-- roughly, outline is 10,000 words for every 100,000 words of book. So, a lot of my YA outlines are 10,000 to 20,000. 15,000 words, something like that. For something big like Stormlight, we're looking at a lot more.

With Mistborn, I finished the first book, and I went to my outline and I created the spine of the three eras. (Which became four! Because I'm an epic fantasy writer.) And then I called my editor, I'm like, "Hey, this is what I want to do." And he's like, "Wow, you're ambitious."


Are you going to complete 'em eventually?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I will. We're getting really close to doing the next era. So, Mistborn, if you haven't read them, there's an era of epic fantasy, there's an era of urban fantasy. (It's more like steampunk, there's a steampunk era). Then we're gonna go to a true urban fantasy, kind of 1980s level of technology. Which is gonna be really fun.

The fun thing (have I told people this before)? In the second era books, we did these newspapers, these broadsheets that we put in as art. And I always like to have some art in my books. It's gotten more and more over the years, as I've had the resources to do more and more. What I want to do for Era 3, as our art things, are comics of Wax and Wayne from the-- *crowd laughs* Like, they've become characters-- So, you might wanna do a Golden Age (you comic book fans will love this), a Silver Age, and then a new dark gritty reboot. You'll have, like, a Golden Age classic-Superman sort of thing. And you'll have Silver Age, where it's just bizarre. The giant monkeys attack the city. Silver Age comics, they liked monkeys for some reason, they always put them on the covers. Then we'll do this, like, Frank Miller sort of, "Here's the reboot of the Wax and Wayne comics that happened." It's gonna be a blast, 'cause it'll be three books.


Sure it won't be four books?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know...

General Reddit 2021 ()
#20 Copy


I just wanted to ask you if the Elantris sequels are still in the pipeline between SA 5 and 6 or is Mistborn era 3 the only thing in that timeframe?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to have to see. My goal is to write Mistborn era three straight through, without publishing the first one until the last one is done. If so, I'll need a break between books, but I don't know if I can squeeze Elantris sequels in there or not. I plan to try, but we'll see.


Any reason why you are going with that strategy for Era 3?

Brandon Sanderson

I feel that the method I used for the original trilogy lent it some interesting advantages. I want to try the process again, and see if it works for me the same way. Mostly, I like experimenting with different kinds of story-making processes, and this is a good opportunity to play with this one again.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
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Secret history gave a lot of answers but a lot more questions. Will we get more answers in the next Mistborn book?

Brandon Sanderson

The next Mistborn book will have some answers but not Secret History level answers. It is still mostly focused on Wax and Wayne, Steris and Marasi, and finishing up their stories. By the time we get to third era Mistborn we are gonna start seeing a lot more creep in of some of this stuff. Its really fourth era were gonna see the most. The further we go in the Cosmere the more things will creep in. Mistborn; there be a lot more creeping in than in Way of Kings.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#24 Copy


Trell, who is he? Or if you're not going to reveal that, when will you...

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to take a little while to dig into that. It's going to need Mistborn Era 3, is all the Trell stuff.


But I want more Wayne! Wayne is amazing!

Brandon Sanderson

I know! We've got one more book of Wayne. Wax and Wayne 4, we still got a book of Wayne. And then in Era 3, you'll be able to read the comic books in-world based on Wayne. So that'll be a part of it as well. You'll get a little touch of Wayne in there as well.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#25 Copy


As far as I aware, Skyward is your first attempt to write techno fantasy. Will this new experience be useful for Mistborn 3 and 4, which is supposed to be a sci fi?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it will help a little--but not a ton, as the real challenge to Mistborn Eras three and four is going to be making good on the promises of the earlier trilogies, and using them well. They will need to be more "hard" SF than Skyward, except with made-up science.

Skyward, I could create what I needed from the technology specifically to fit this story. (For the most part.)

JordanCon 2016 ()
#27 Copy


As your characters have evolved and grown, as we've seen in different books-- We've also seen, like with your character Wayne, kind of the sense of humor inside of the characters changed, and with him we've kind of seen this-- I guess, uh, kind of more seedy and base sense of humor with him, which in some ways made him more lovable and more of a favorite sense of humor. But like with kids, I've kind of been like-- worried a little bit.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah Wayne is…


--with the age level and I'm wondering if we're going to see more characters like that grow in as we're looking at Mistborn Era 2 and 3 coming out, and if so, do I need to be more concerned, or is it really gonna be, or is it… what methods, do we need some rating system.

Brandon Sanderson

*amused* Rating system… *laughter*


*audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I would say that this is more, "I write the character that fits the situation" rather than any sort of an evolution on my part of this, so… I don't know. I will… really, I would leave that to other people. This is kind of one of those weird things where, like, I will both get on the same day, sometimes, e-mails from someone who's like "how can you be so crude in your books, I thought your books were supposed to be family-friendly" followed by "why won't you address adult topics in your books *laughter* why do they all feel so children-esque, child-esque", and I would assume that those are the types of e-mails that everyone gets, even George RR Martin. *laughter* "When are you gonna get to some real adult themes, George?" I'm sure there's someone who's sent that e-mail to him. Um, yeah, I write the books, you know, I have… I'm certainly not as interested as some authors in digging into the more... quote-unquote "explicit content", but at some points there are characters like Wayne where I'm like, "you know, I need to write this character who they would be", and I can have them dance around the worlds-- words to obstinate *laughs* that was not an intentional slip! Dance around the words to obfuscate things and stuff like that, but if I don't let Wayne say some of the things he wants to say, then I'm not being true to that character in the same way I wouldn't be being true to Dalinar if I didn't let him, you know, be the strictly "I follow the rules" type person that he's become, because both of those types of people exist in the world.

Um, your specific question on Era 3 of Mistborn, um, is… I don't anticipate a Wayne-like character, but who knows? Right, Era 3 right now is kind-of focused on two Terris people, the main character and her brother, and she's a computer programmer in the early days of computer programming, and--



Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, like a Fortran programmer or something like that… And, you know, it's going to be-- Her story will be a little bit more geek-culture-ish and things like that. You'll have very fun with the artwork in those, let's just say that.

I can't promise you one way or the other what I'm going to do, so I think what you're-- what you should be doing is reading them yourself and then deciding for yourself with whom you will share the books.

General Reddit 2021 ()
#30 Copy


For the next [Mistborn] trilogy, will you do a 1.0 draft for the whole trilogy straight away, or will you do something more like:

  • Book 1 1.0

  • Book 1 2.0

  • Book 2 1.0

  • Book 1 3.0

  • Book 2 2.0

  • Book 3 1.0

  • Book 3 2.0

  • Book 1 4.0

  • Book 1 5.0

  • Book 1 release

Brandon Sanderson

What you wrote above is very close to what I'm likely to do--though I might not do the 3.0 of book one until the 2.0 of book two is done.

Goodreads Fantasy Book Discussion Warbreaker Q&A ()
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My question: What exactly does the Mistborn sequel series entail?

Brandon Sanderson

Several hundred years after the original trilogy—Spoiler alert!—Wait, aren't these questions supposed to be about WARBREAKER?

Anyway, the Mistborn sequel trilogy, as I've said before, takes place in a more technologically advanced version of the world, several hundred years later. They've progressed beyond steam technology to combustion engine technology, are building skyscrapers—that level of technology. It will follow the exploits of a team of Allomancers who are kind of like an Allomantic SWAT team, a group of hybrid mercenary/deputized individuals who are brought in by the police to take out Allomancer criminals. The first book will deal with when they are called in to deal with a Mistborn serial killer. That's how it starts. It will go bizarre from there, of course, but think guns, cars, skyscrapers, and Allomancers.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#32 Copy


In Sixth of the Dusk, it feels like it's a crossover...

Brandon Sanderson

That is true.


So is it a planet that we've seen before, or...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Well, you have seen the people they are calling the "Ones Above".


And you're not going to tell any more?

Brandon Sanderson



When will we know?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, fifteen years maybe? Hopefully it won't take me that long, but I only just finished the outlines for Era 3 Mistborn, which is now what we're calling the 1980s, so I haven't even at the moment got the sketches of the sci-fi one, I don't have the outlines and things. So in other words, we aren't to the science fiction era; we're a ways off from that.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#34 Copy


Are the Wax and Wayne stories going to always be in stand-alone, or are they ever going to tie in to the main Mistborn and stuff?

Brandon Sanderson

They will tie in, in fact I intended the first one to foreshadow stuff for the next trilogy, so you will find things tying in with what's going on, but I kind of wanted them to also just be more independent, so we'll see. It'll be a little of both.

General Reddit 2015 ()
#38 Copy


Are there any black people in Scadrial? Or any other races? I couldn't find an answer online, but the descriptions in the book all seem like white/European people.

Brandon Sanderson

The Terris had a lot more skin color diversity than the people of the central dominance. A large number of those preserved had darker skin, so in the W&W era, you are starting to see skin color become associated with them. During the Final Empire, skin color was basically ignored.

Note that for even people in the Elendel Basin, darker skin won't get nearly as dark as what you will find on Roshar or Taldain.

EDIT: Now that I'm on my computer instead of my tablet, I can dig into this a little more. What other posters have been saying is true--the region of the Final Empire we see in the first trilogy is very small, and the Final Empire itself isn't terribly big. There's not a lot of racial diversity at all.

That said, the Terris are a distinct ethnic group. I carefully didn't describe people in the original books with regard to a lot of racially identifying features. One of the Lord Ruler's goals over the years was to stamp these things out, to create a single unified people. While he couldn't change genetics, his work here did make people start to look at things like class and clothing more than accents or racial identifiers. In addition, it was important that the Terris be diverse enough that, while some looked Terris from just a glance, with others, you could meet them and (for obvious reasons that are spoilers) not know they were actually Terris.

That isn't to say they aren't there--they actually are. Elend and Straff would have a bit of an accent, and Cett a fairly strong one. Sazed would look racially distinct from Vin.

As we get further from the Final Empire, we see these things becoming more of a marker. The Terris work to preserve their cultural heritage, and this distinctiveness highlights other aspects about them, including the dark skin that many of them brought through the end of the world. The next trilogy (1980's era) is planned to star a Terriswoman right now, and she would likely resemble someone ethnically black to many of us on Earth.


How far off your impression of Sazed was I in imagining him looking like Teferi from MTG?

Brandon Sanderson

I often give him a Teferi-like-look in my own head, but in actuality his skin tone is probably more akin to someone like Keegan-Michael Key.


>While he couldn't change genetics, his work here did make people start to look at things like class and clothing more than accents or racial identifiers.

How did the 'skaa/noble' class genetic tinkering work out, anyway? Did the leadership of every nation just wake up the next morning and find themselves taller, more intelligent, and less fertile?

Brandon Sanderson

Most genetic differences between skaa and noble were exaggerated, even fabricated, by noble culture as justification for their perceived superiority. Height differences due to nutrition, 'intelligence' due to education and societal expectations, fertility due to common factors in urbanization. The LR did try some minor tinkering, to be played out over time through genetics, but in the end these changes weren't very successful.


This is actually good to know. I've seen your other responses to similar questions, where the inference was that there was indeed a significant difference.

The main changes were for dealing with the atmosphere, correct? And they were reverted by Sazed/Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

There were also some general hardiness changes for the skaa and some fertility changes, but as I said, by the time of the books those were basically gone. And yes, Sazed reverted the ones designed to help survival in the ash.

YouTube Livestream 32 ()
#39 Copy


If you have caffeine, can you store that as wakefulness in a bronzemind?

Brandon Sanderson

I think that you can, but I think when you tap it out, you will have kind of the same effects, right. Like, you will feel like you are not quite as awake. Like that feeling you get, I think you guys know what I'm talking about. I think that you can, I think that you can hack the system with some things like that. That's my guess... That's my answer right now, but that's one pretty mutable, as we go forward.

Adam Horne

I'd be curious to see what you could do with that in Era 3, because pharmaceuticals will exist.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes well, you're already getting into the fact that you could replicate a lot of things, with... once they figure how to change types of Investiture and whatnot, then suddenly you've got some wacky things going on. Which is why a Mistborn cyberpunk would be so much fun, because metallurgic wetware would be fun. But no promises on that—I already have too many things to write. It's just that if I do write it, and I make it a trilogy, then we have sixteen books in the Mistborn series.

Skyward release party ()
#40 Copy


When will you clear up the things at the end of Bands of Mourning?

Brandon Sanderson

That is mostly setup for Era 3 of Mistborn. You can find some answers in Arcanum Unbounded; if you haven't read that, I would recommend that. If you get the the end of Bands of Mourning and you're like "huuuuh?" there are some answers in Arcanum Unbounded, but mostly I'm doing stuff that is Era 3 of Mistborn, which will be written after Stormlight 5. There will be a Wax & Wayne 4. Wax & Wayne 4 will touch on these, but it's not the central theme of the Wax & Wayne books; it's the central theme of Era 3.

Mistborn: Secret History Explanation ()
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So Mr. Sanderson, I've been wondering. Since I am a very pop-culture interested person, when you say "1980s," I think leg-warmers, shoulder-pads, bright colors, hair metal, new wave and all that stuff. Lots of mousse. I guess that makes my question to you, will we see any of that "traditionally 80s" stuff make an appearance in the next series? I'm picturing Sazed/Harmony "looking down" (for lack of a better term) on Scadrial, seeing the cosmere equivalent of a Twisted Sister or Wyld Stallyns or the Beastie Boys concert and being very intrigued by it.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm planning it based more on tech level than pop culture, though I do think some of these things go hand in hand. (Like the rise of certain kinds of counter cultures, and musical departures.) So you may not see hair bands, but you will likely see counter cultures that fit the society.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
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You've dropped a few tidbits about the plot of the next Mistborn series over the years. Putting all those things together, we have a nicrosil Ferring Terriswoman hacker recruited for fieldwork in an "Allomancer SWAT team" to chase a Mistborn serial killer. Could you give us a more recent and concise pitch/blurb if the above is no longer accurate?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. That's not far off, as all of those things still exist in the series, though the weight I'll give them is relative. With the Alloy series covering some of the police procedural aspect of storytelling, I'm inching the outlines slowly away from the SWAT idea and toward more spy thriller--but the SWAT team isn't not gone completely. (Of course, who knows what will happen in the intervening years between now and when I write it.)

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
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So, you have this [Mistborn] trilogy, and then you have the trilogy coming after, and then--

Brandon Sanderson

Another trilogy.


Another trilogy. Is there any sort of date or time?

Brandon Sanderson

No. The Wax & Wayne books will finish very soon. I'm working on the last one of those. So those two will be complete. Then it might be a little before I jump to a 1980s level.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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As a women, I loved reading about Vin who was a strong female leading character in Mistborn. It's not something easily found in the fantasy world unfortunately. While I loved Vin, I felt pretty sad after reading about the swooning-over-an-older-man tripe that was Marasi in The Alloy of Law. It felt like kind of a 360 for me after reading about Vin.

I really loved Mistborn and The Way of Kings was great, but I am just wondering if you are planning any more work with strong female leads?

Brandon Sanderson

Marasi was designed specifically to be a contrast to Vin, and to put her in a place where she really had some growth to do. I spent periods of time as a Marasi (though, in my case, swooning over women) when I was younger. I think most of us are like that at some point in our lives, and I like trying characters with different types of arcs and personalities, so I suggest giving her a little time.

I have several stories in the works I think will fit this conversation, though when they come out will really depend on timing. The 1980's era Mistborn series also has a female lead, as does one of my YA projects.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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So, because we have Worldhoppers like Hoid, Khriss, and Nazh, and I think that I've heard that era 4 will be more science fiction.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, era 4 is science fiction.


So, will we ever have a chance to see characters from one world in the cosmere go to another world in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there's a couple of things that I need to explain to you guys in this one. First is that Mistborn, I pitched to my editor, way at the beginning, as a series where a fantasy world slowly became a science fiction world. So we would pass through a modern era, where things are like our world, and then we pass on to a science fiction era, because I'd never seen that done before. I'd never seen someone take epic fantasy and then build from the events in the epic fantasy, like religions and philosophies, and then tell another story set in a more modern and contemporary world. And then in the science fiction one, the magic will become the means by which space travel is possible. So we're in the middle of that. Wax and Wayne is an interim, I'm calling it era 2. There's an era 3 which is 1980s, cold war, spy thriller Mistborn. Then there is an era four, which is science fiction, unless I slip in a cyberpunk, near-future science fiction, which I might do. So there might be five, we'll see. I've warned people of that. The last Mistborn series, whichever era it ends up being, is the last thing of the cosmere chronologically. So, it's a long ways off. All the other series have to finish before I can do that.

The other thing that people have to understand is that all of these worlds are connected in something we call the cosmere. It is mostly, right now, just easter eggs. It's important to me that people don't go, "I can't read Mistborn until I've read Elantris," or whatever. No, each series is about that series. There's easter eggs connecting them but you don't need to know it. It's just fun to find out; you can find it all out after the fact.

Are we going to see people traveling between the planets? Yes, you will see space travel between the planets. You have seen it already. One of the stories in the anthology comes from that era, but it's on a planet that doesn't yet have space travel. Sixth of the Dusk takes place chronologically near-end of the cosmere sequence. So yes, you have seen it, and you will see more of it. In Sixth of the Dusk, there are ones they call the Ones Above who have visited and these are people from a planet that you have seen, I won't tell you who, who are visiting.

Dragonmount Zoom Call ()
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In reference to the events in Rhythm of War, what is the timeframe for Mistborn Era Three? Is it before? Or after?

Brandon Sanderson

After. Era Three is after. Era Three is gonna take place around fifty to seventy years after Era Two. And Era Two is happening in the ten years between Books Five and Six of Stormlight. Era Three will be happening in a post-all-ten-books-of-Stormlight world.

So I have to jump forward in time seventy years on Scadrial, and then jump backward in time and finish Roshar, and then jump back forward in time. I think it’s all gonna work in the jigsaw puzzle of my brain of how all of this is going. But Karen will tell me if it doesn’t work, and we will adjust appropriately. She keeps the timeline and keeps me honest.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
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Love you work, spent way to many late nights reading your series. any chance the latest Mistborn books you wrote will be much longer? The series has so much potential that I feel like you weren't able to fully draw out in the shorter length of Alloy of Law.

Brandon Sanderson

The new Mistborn novels will be Alloy-length, but since I plotted the three of them as a trilogy, they should have a little more weight to them across books--adding some of that depth you're wanting.

When I get to Era Three (the 1980s spy mistborn books) they will return to the length of the original trilogy.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
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I've read that you were thinking of 32-36 books total for the Cosmere, but it seems like the series are going to go beyond that if numbers you've given before are published (e.g. Mistborn being a trilogy of trilogies so 9, Stormlight Archive 10, Warbreaker 2, Dragonsteel 6 or 7, and still White Sand and others to come) so has the estimate of 32 been thrown out the window?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh...I don't know. My original breakdown:

Mistborn 9 Wabreaker 2 Elantris 3 White Sand 3 Stormlight 10 Silence Divine 1 Dragonsteel 7 (A two book and a five book.)

That's the 32, with allowances for a few side stories to get us to 36. There are planets not included in that, however, that I may write stories about. So maybe. But the core cycle is this (in order)

Dragonsteel Mistborn first trilogy Stormlight - Mistborn second trilogy (around the same time.) Mistborn third trilogy.

Everything else is important in their own stories, but as we're talking about the connections between the worlds are considered, this is the prime cosmere cycle.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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At the end of the last Wax and Wayne book, which I love, that statue that they though was the Lord Ruler. It was Kelsier.

Brandon Sanderson

That was Kelsier.


Ok. I thought so, because the way the other thing ended with the eye, the eye thing was throwing me off and then I went and grabbed the secret thing and I was like "No that can't..."

Brandon Sanderson

That is Kelsier.


And will we find out more in the next Wax and Wayne book or do we need to wait and find out more later?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out more in the Wax and Wayne book, really that that's going on there is foreshadowing for era 3, and for future Secret History stories if I do them. So the Wax and Wayne books are not about the return of Kelsier, but the return of Kelsier is very important for later things in the series.