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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#1 Copy

blaze1616

When did Besk first meet Kai? Two different passages within the story imply two different times in Kai's life, so I'd love some confirmation.

Brandon Sanderson

Man, I tweaked this in writing, and now I wonder if I created a consistency error. He met Besk during his adventuring days, but later in them.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I always like to read something that is unpublished. So that is something new that you get only by coming to my signings or going to the internet where people will have inevitably posted it online already. *laughter* It's really exclusive for like the first signing that I do and then after that everybody on the 17th Shard, which is the fan website, are like *hilarious "oooh" sound*

Argent

So you should read something else?

Brandon Sanderson

No... I have to be very careful about what I read because the publisher has certain deals about exclusivity on new releases. Like for instance I can't read any more from the new Mistborn books because Apple has an exclusive release of new material on that and things like that. It's just part of the deals that we do and so-- I also have to make sure that it's not making big spoilers for other books. I have to make sure that it's not containing errors that are glaring continuity errors and things like that. So we are going to read from a novella called Perfect State. This is a novella that I wrote oh about two years ago now and I didn't really L-- get it done. Like I wrote it and then there was something wrong with it and I wasn't sure what it was. I actually finished it a couple months ago. I finally figured out what it was that was wrong.

General Twitter 2015 ()
#4 Copy

Evgeni Kirilov

Does Kai's name (Perfect State) rhyme with the letter A or I?

Peter Ahlstrom

I can't remember. It might appear in a video of Brandon's reading from his recent tour.

Evgeni Kirilov

He says it like "hey" but I realized that might be like an informal "K". Like a Jason might be J.

Peter Ahlstrom

Nah, it's not a K. So that means that's how you pronounce it. Brandon is usually more likely to say ai as A than I (as I would).

Evgeni Kirilov

Same with Shai?

Peter Ahlstrom

Yes.

Holiday signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Are you going to do another book for Perfect State? ‘Cause that sucked me in.

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of people really want more.

Questioner

It made me so mad. "Stop writing novellas! I need more information on this."

Brandon Sanderson

The big secret on that is that Sophie, the one-- is actually his nemesis. So the robot was not actually a robot, it was a VR thing that she was controlling...

Questioner

So are you going to write another?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if I will, I don't know if I will. So you didn't actually get to see Melhi, his nemesis getting to play with him in-person and things like that. So there's layers there that are kind of complicated.

Questioner

Like even with the cosmere novella you released Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, that one I was like "Why are these so short?!"  I'm not used to this.

Brandon Sanderson

That world is important to the cosmere, so that world-- Silence herself you won't see any much more of, but that world itself is very cosmere relevant.

Firefight Houston signing ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

This [Perfect State] is a story, a novella that I wrote, oh, maybe three years ago now. It was between two books, at some point, and I didn't have anything to do, but I knew a revision was coming back soon, so I didn't want to start another big project. And so, I sat down and wrote this. And I just finally had time to do a revision on it, so we're going to be releasing it, this spring sometime.

I think what we're doing is we're putting this and the story that's in Dangerous Women [Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell], if you haven't read that, we're putting together in a little two-pack collection that I'm gonna be taking to conventions and things like that. So, that's how you would read this.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Will Emperor Kai get his own book?

Brandon Sanderson

Will Emperor Kai get his own book? So this is Perfect State, for those asking. One of the reasons I write these little novellas is so I can get an idea out of my system without writing an entire novel, but then people will start asking for sequels to... *crowd laughs* I already owe you sequels to ElantrisWarbreaker, and The Rithmatist. So the answer is I am not promising any more sequels, particularly not to the novellas whose whole point is to let me write random things. It's not impossible that someday I'll do a novelization of one, but I'm not--I'm probably not doing any time soon a sequel to Emperor's Soul or things like that, just because the whole point of the novellas is to let me get focused back on the novels. And the--particularly the series that I'm in the middle of. It let's me get my fix of doing something weird, let's you read something weird and different, and then still doesn't take too much time from Stormlight or Mistborn or things like this.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#10 Copy

trevorade

I read Perfect State when it came out. Reading your annotations and the deleted scene has jogged my memory. Honestly, I never made the connection that Sophie was Melhi for all intents and purposes. I believed Melhi's facade and thought he was simply a crazed do-no-gooder (I totally forgot that the Wode mentioned Melhi's gender).

Reading the deleted scene makes things alot clearer though. I was chatting with a friend about the deleted scene and we agreed that we're glad it was omitted. It smelled too much of the Matrix and, worse, it cheapened Kai's betrayal. That is, "Sophie" didn't really die. The person that Kai found attractive due to her outlook and personality was in fact not a creation on Melhi's part to simply hurt Kai but was Melhi being her honest self (I imagine it's much easier to just be yourself then construct a person as realistic as Sophie). Melhi being Sophie undoes the reversal of Sophie being a robot. Shadows of Self spoiler: It'd be like if at the end, after the Lessie/Paalm reveal, we find out it's really a different Kandra after all.

Regardless, the deleted scene interests me and leaves me wanting a sequel.

Edit: More thoughts. I appreciate understanding Melhi's motivation for how and why she does what she does. I don't think I picked up on that. Again, I took Melhi at face-value. I would say that Melhi is pretty selfish though. She feels she knows best for everyone else. That it's better for others to feel the same way about being a brain in a jar as she does. This is obviously an opinion though as any revolutionary can be viewed as a traitor.

Brandon Sanderson

I think your analysis is spot on, both about what the scene does to the story, and Melhi's character. I would call her selfish, but in an approaching self-aware way.

Either way, I'm glad to have this out there, but--though I go back and forth on it--I'm mostly glad that I left it out of the official release of the story.

Figment chat ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

What is Perfect State about?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, Perfect State, is about, the question I had was, what if the best way to make the most people happy in the univ- in the world was to create for every person their own individualized simulation, so they basically could live a fantasy novel. You, you’d take them when they were a baby, put them in this simulation, it’s kind of like, you know, The Truman Show, where something like this, except the whole world is designed to be awesome, so that they could have a wonderful, cool life, and, what would that be like? Less you know, like, manipulating them, or, ruining their life, or you know, putting them into a simulation to, to control them, and more, here’s you get to be the most important person in the world and grow up that way. So yeah, that, that’s kind of the premise.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

In Perfect State, will we get more from that universe?

Brandon Sanderson

I’d like to, but I’ve got so many things going. So we’ll see. I know what I would do, but it would have to be like... I’d have to find space for it.

Questioner

Would the two antagonists get together?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah probably.