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Calamity Seattle signing ()
#1 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.

Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

And are there established trade routes between Epic-controlled areas?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Are they patrolled by Epics?

Brandon Sanderson

Umm, yes to an extent. For the most part you know that if you hit an Epic's trade caravan you're all dead, y'know? So they don't have to worry about it that much. But some are patrolled. Not by the Epics, but by their people.

Firefight release party ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Why did you choose the cities you chose for /Steelheart/ and /Firefight/?

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to choose cities that I was familiar with. Like cities I had driven in, cities I knew my way around in, and things like that. Which-- It was really just based on that concept, though I've always liked Chicago because as a kid going to Chicago-- that was the big city close to Nebraska. It was the one I knew and it was like the mid-western big city, if that makes any sense. So I always felt a kinship to that. That's why I picked Chicago. I also wanted one with a lake so I could fre-- turn the lake to steel.

Questioner

...Have you chosen one for Calamity?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I originally chose Montreal, and my publisher-- I actually said "We could do Montreal or Atlanta" and they like Atlanta better. So I decided to go ahead and go with Atlanta.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

What's the etymology of "slontze"?

Brandon Sanderson

...This is from the Reckoners series, Steelheart. I wanted a fake Yiddish word. So I, you know, mention things like this, and it's not actually-- I-- It doesn't quite fit, but I wanted something that had the right feel, like that. I don't know why I wanted a fake Yiddish word. That just felt-- So I went through a bunch of Yiddish slang, and that's the word I came up with. So, that's what I do a lot, like "I want the feel of this."

Firefight Houston signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

I loved Firefight... what happens to Houston?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, what happened to Houston, yeah! *laughter* One of my favorite things is, like, destroying my favorite cities. I do this in my epic fantasy. If you've read The Rithmatist, I turned my hometown in Nebraska into the dark tower that all the evil comes out of. And Chicago, one of my favorite cities, has turned to steel. I just melted Houston. Because it's hot here, it kinda made sense to melt, but yeah. Sorry. *laughter* I apologize for melting you. But, y'know, you-- You probably got out. *laughter* You were smart enough to go "They're all evil. I'm going to go somewhere else." It was all those people from the political party you don't like that melted.