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Calamity Chicago signing ()
#3 Copy

Argent

At the end of The Bands of Mourning, Wax starts seeing what seems like souls, as he’s holding the Bands. He sees lines. He ponders that man/metals they’re same thing. Is he seeing Investiture there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, to an extent he’s seeing—yes. He’s seeing the Cosmere equivalent of atoms, Investiture, and energy waves all being the same thing.

Argent

Okay, so kind of a building block of things.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it’s almost like he’s seeing the axi, right, the atoms.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Shardblades, they sever <limbs? people’s?> connection to the Spiritual Realm. So, that being said,  they cut inanimate matter like a regular sword but inanimate matter is projected into the Cognitive Realm.  So does inanimate matter have a Connection to the Spiritual Realm? In the same way living things do?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but it doesn’t have the same thing going on.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#5 Copy

Chaos

How accurate would you say the northern continent on the Sycla map is? Is it horribly inaccurate?

Isaac Stewart

This map has severe deficiencies, especially in the northwest.

Chaos

Is there any reason why the cities seem to be on the borders?

Isaac Stewart

Seem to be where?

Chaos

On the borders, or coastline, like literally all of them.

Isaac Stewart

So Brandon can tell me if I'm wrong on this, but normally at the level of technology we're at in this world you've got to have cities near water. That's really what it is. Early cities are almost always near a source of water.

Chaos

And so the rivers are just the borders?

Isaac Stewart

Yeah. I mean we have the rivers that come in through the border in some places but rivers also are just a great border between places. Especially when there is-- when you're not building bridges over all of them. I will tell you... I won't answer what's going on up here.

Chaos

Is it really this enclosed though? Like it's pretty enclosed?

Isaac Stewart

It's pretty enclosed. This right here is pretty distorted, I will tell you that. And I made it look bigger than it is...

Eric, we will eventually release a more correct map.

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

If an Elantrian bonded to a Seon were to travel to Roshar, [would it] act like a Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

It would act very very similarly, yes. But it would be like... it wouldn't necessarily do the exact same thing. Like if you got two radios tuned to a frequency, <they> wouldn't necessarily pick up another radio frequency, or things like this. I don't know, that's a bad metaphor, I need to think of a better one. But it would be treated exactly the same way but it might not grant the same powers.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#8 Copy

Questioner

I’m interested in Adonalsium. Out of the people that were leftover from just before its Breaking [Shattering], did they think it was a good idea or a bad idea?

Brandon Sanderson

Uhhh… Opinions are mixed.

Questioner

Is it mixed between the Vessels and the non-Vessels?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the Vessels support the decision that they made. I would say of those remaining, who are not Vessels, the majority think it was a bad idea. I would say it’s split between them (?), it’s not 100%

Questioner

What’s the number of [people on Yolen?] remaining that are not the Vessels

Brandon Sanderson

Not many.  It is a number that you could count to reasonably.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

So any chance of a horror story?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I actually have written one I consider horror. A short story. It was in a horror anthology. We're going to publish it with *inaudible* [anthology]. You'll be able to read it. But--

Questioner

Non-cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

It's non-cosmere, yeah. It's [the most horrifying thing I can] *inaudible* It's not going to read like one until you figure out what's going on. It's not like horror... monster movie horror, you know? 

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I mean it's still [wacky] magic and things like that, but when you realize what's going on. Yeah.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

Kind of an interesting question I guess, and it's mostly, like, Emperor's Soul.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-huh?

Questioner

It's funny because I was reading that book and I almost, almost thought that you put a twist where, like, her soul was stamped, and actually she was, like, not exactly who she thought she was. Did that ever cross your mind?

Brandon Sanderson

I did, but at some point, um--

Questioner

Maybe it's a bit cheesy, I dunno.

Brandon Sanderson

--sometimes you twist so much. I felt that the more impact thing was the fact that she was planning this whole exit strategy to wipe herself away. I thought that was more telling about her than having her soul stamped. I did consider it, but it just felt like it was one of those over-twists, does that make-- make sense?

Questioner

It might have--yeah, cause that's supposed to be a classic, like, "oh, *inaudible*" But anyway...

Brandon Sanderson

But you know, I mean there's some books where I've done--where I've like--this is the classic twist, and I like it, so I do it anyway.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

So, when you were starting to write your books, did you have the idea for-- Like [???] magics tied together or did you have that from the beginning?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, excellent question. So, he's asking about the Cosmere, where all my epic fantasies are tied together. Where did that come from. I can trace a few paths back in my brain where that came from. What I can say is that it was built in from the beginning of the books you have been reading. But you remember, those weren't my first written books. I wrote thirteen novels before I sold one. Elantris was number six. Way of Kings was number thirteen. And so-- I love this idea of a big, connected universe. The first person I can remember doing it, that blew my mind, was when Asimov connected the Robots and the Foundation books, which I thought was so cool when I was a teenager.

Another path that I trace this [concept?] also, though-- I don't know how many of you guys did this, but when I'd read a book--I still do this, actually--I would insert behind the scenes a kind of character that was my own, who was doing stuff behind the scenes. Like I would insert my own story into the story, just kind of take ownership of it in a strange sort of way. I remember doing this with the Pern books. I'm like "Oh, no, they think that person is who they think they are, but nooo! This is this other person!" And so I had this kind of proto-Hoid in my head jumping between other people's books.

So when I sat down to write Elantris, I said "Well, I want to do something like this". All the people I've seen doing this before-- and they've done it very well. Michael Moorcock did it, and Stephen King did it, and things like this, I'm not the first one to connect their books together, not by a long shot. I felt like a lot of them, they kinda fell into it, and as a writer, having seen what they did, I could then do it intentionally, if that makes sense. And so I started out with this idea that I was just gonna have this character in-between who is furthering his own goals, and built out a story for him, and then I went-- After I did Elantris, I wrote a book called Dragonsteel, which isn't published, and it was his origin story, for this character. And then I wrote some more books, and so, of course-- and things like this. Eventually Elantris got published and the other ones didn't, and they weren't as good as Elantris was. And so I took them all as kind of "backstory canon", and moved forward as if they had all-- they were all there and they had happened, but nobody else knew but me. Which allowed this cool foundation for you like "wow, that stuff has happened", because I had books and books of material that I could treat as canon in this way, to let me know where thing were going. So it wasn't planned-- It was planned from the beginning, but not the beginning of my writing care. From about book six was where it started.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

Going back to The Wheel of Time for a second... One of my favorite things about A Memory of Light is you had so much-- I guess free rein with parts of it... Can you give me an example, or a couple of examples, of something that you got [???] I could be totally wrong about this situation but say like, when [???] was first creating a weave to see a whole battlefield. Was that something you did, or was that actually Robert Jordan's.

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question, I'll go through a few of these things for you, that one was me. One of the things that was awesome, but also a little bit difficult is the wrong term-- Anyway, it was awesome to be able to come into The Wheel of Time as a fan, and have read the books for twenty years and be thinking about "Wow, I wish this would happen", and then say "Wow, I'm gonna make that happen" ...But as I was doing it, I was also realizing it was dangerous, because there was a real danger for putting in fanservice type stuff, not in the traditional meaning of fanservice, but like the fanservice of "Narg showed up in the Last Battle again" or things like this. Like little fan jokes. I found that I had a lot of temptation to put those in, and so I had to ride this really careful line where I was saying "What do I as a fan want, to make the book more fulfilling not just as a joke".

One of the things that as a writer I've always wanted to see was gateways used for more than they were used in the books leading up to that point, you know, teleportation, instant travel has a lot of ramifications. One of the things I kind of put on myself was that I didn't want to create a lot of new weaves, because I knew if I did, I'd really risk taking it to far away from Robert Jordan's vision. So I said "Let's stick mostly to the weaves he's used, and see if I can use them in more innovative ways". This whole idea of taking the magic and digging deeper into it rather than going wider with it. And so a lot of the stuff with gateways is me. A lot of--

So for instance, I also went in and said to Harriet coming in, "Every book that Robert Jordan's done, almost all of them, has added a new character who's become a main character who used to be a side character. If we don't do that for these last books it's gonna feel weird to people. So I would like to take one of the Asha'man and bring them to prominence, and make them a viewpoint character and do what Robert Jordan's done" and so that's where Androl came from. And they're like "Well there's nothing in Robert Jordan's notes other than this little bit about his profession, take him and play with him, and do whatever you want." And that was almost a little pressure valve for me, to put the more "Brandon-y" sort of things, goofy magic system stuff with that, and that pressure valve allowed me to not really-- knowing my writing style, I was able to make the rest of it be a little more Robert Jordan-esque, if that makes sense.

You see that pressure valve there, you see it with Perrin in the Wolf Dream, in the world of dreams, because-- I've said before, Robert Jordan didn't leave very much on Perrin. Perrin is a big, empty-- big blank slate for these books. We knew where he ended up at the end and that was it. So Perrin was the other sort of "Do whatever you want, Brandon" sort of thing. He left a lot more on the other characters. So if you're reading a Perrin scene or if you're seeing them play with gateways, you're seeing me kinda let Brandon leak out a bit more. And this was done intentionally, I'd say part was a pressure valve, but also when I was given this, Harriet sat me down and said "You are the author now. I didn't hire a ghostwriter on purpose. I didn't want somebody who was just going to be Robert Jordan, because that would make a bad book", in her opinion. "What Jim-- Robert Jordan can't finish this, so you need to do it and yes, we want to stay true to his vision, but you are the writer now." And she was very clear on that, and I've always remembered that and how much that meant to me, being-- You know, she was the ultimate authority, but I had creative control to do whatever I felt the books needed, and the she-- her job was to rein be back if she though I went too far, and make sure the voice was consistent and things like that. So I got to do a lot with these books that I don't think a ghostwriter would have been able to do.

Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

<audio obscured> in the Firefight-- The Reckoners series, was there a particular character you gave the <audio obscured>

Brandon Sanderson

So the question is: In The Reckoners, was there a particular power that I gave to someone because I just thought that power was cool. And yeah, the tensors. They can turn things to dust. For years I'd been walking around looking at our society where we have all this metal and this wood around, and things like that. I just loved the idea of just being able to turn it to dust. Maybe it's like a "reducing things to their more primal state" or whatever-- but anyway it was one of those magics that was in my head for a while. And really superheros are magic. I don't pretend that they're science fiction, they're magic. So I just designed these magics that feel cool to me.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#18 Copy

yulerule

*Written:* How much compounding would a nicrosil Twinborn would need to do to get a metalmind that is as Invested as Nightblood?

Brandon Sanderson

*Reading question:* How much compounding would... *mumbling*

Wow, so much.

*Writes:* Wow so much. 

yulerule

*Written:* A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much--the God King has tens of thousands. Would a piece of stone, wood, cloth, or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more? 

Brandon Sanderson

No, it needs more. Needs more.

*Writes:* Needs more.

yulerule

More?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

yulerule

Does that-- is it taking stuff from people it kills?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, good question.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

Are Cognitive elements like spren and Seons only present on physical planes or worlds where Shards have been Shattered?

Brandon Sanderson

No. But it does require <Cognitive *inaudible*>. Alternately the Shard would have to give up pieces of their power for that. But it doesn't have to be that they were Shattered by someone. Seons existed on, sorry, spren existed on Roshar before the Shattering. Not as many.

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

Questioner

Do you know the part in Wheel of Time when Mat is-- seems to be trapped in his *inaudible* ways before he meets Verin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

In the town? I always think, when I read-- Every time I feel like-- Is it a <tone> war?

Brandon Sanderson

It is, yeah.

Questioner

Writing the characters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

And is there any correlation between that and Legion and you?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah, most definitely. Legion is... You know, I'm-- I don't actually hear voices or see things. But there is this sort of part of you that becomes a different person all the time. I can see if I were more unhinged I'd be like that or like Shallan.

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Where does the concept for the broadsheets come from?

Brandon Sanderson

So I get together with my team: which is Ben McSweeney who does a lot of the artwork, Isaac who does all the symbols and maps, my editorial assistant, and myself. And then we brainstorm as many cool things as we can, and then Isaac lays it out, Ben does all the art, and then together we all just write different *inaudible* for the articles so it feels like a newspaper that a lot of different people are writing.

Questioner

That's awesome. Thank you very much this is very cool.

Brandon Sanderson

That's how we do it.

Isaac wrote the Allomancer Jak pieces in the next one so you should read that one. It's really fun, it's his debut of fiction.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#22 Copy

Argent

Can somebody travel to the Spiritual Realm, the same as the Cognitive?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but it's a very different experience. It is possible… You may have seen people do it...

Argent

As in you're not sure, or you're being obnoxiously vague?

Brandon Sanderson

No...

Questioner #1

As in, you probably have but he's having trouble remembering it.

Brandon Sanderson

No no no... For instance, Elend burning atium and duralumin pulled most of him into the Spiritual Realm.

Argent

Oh, that's what happens there.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. He kind of got yanked into- You also have seen people Ascend with the powers and dip into the Spiritual Realm for a little bit.

Argent

So, Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But they could be on both, or either, or both at the same time. But you have seen Vin stick into the Spiritual Realm. And it happened to Sazed/Harmony...

Questioner #2

Oh! So is that where the gods live? Kinda?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the bulk of the Shard's energy of being is contained in the Spiritual Realm, yes. Except for one notable exception!

Questioner #2

The <mists? mistwraith?>?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Footnote: We now know that the "one notable exception" Brandon refers to at the end is the Dor, which is mostly contained in the Cognitive Realm.
Calamity Chicago signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

Can you tell us about a cultural inspiration you’ve used in a world that we have not seen?

Brandon Sanderson

I wrote one that was based off of Mesoamerican- there’s a tribe out of Costa Rica. And I didn’t get the story done, but I used that one… it was really an obscure tribe, which made it really hard to name things and stuff like that. What else have I done that you haven’t seen… <thinking noises> There’s Polynesian stuff you haven’t seen, but you’ve also seen a lot of it [already], so…

Footnote: The transcript uncertainly attributes the question to Alterodent. Check?
Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#25 Copy

Questioner

The Alethkar culture, being competitive and all that. Is that [like a forethought of] capitalism and stuff like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I wouldn't say that it is specifically. That could be in there in the back of my mind. There were very competitive cultures long before capitalism was around. They would certainly like capitalism, but there are other influences causing this in Alethi culture.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#26 Copy

Questioner 1

Are we gonna hear what happened after the Heralds gave up their oath and *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You will-- you will see more of that.

Questioner 2

Is there uh-- is there gonna be more side characters like Taln? Where they kind of like *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Um, Taln and Ash--two of the Heralds--are main characters in the second five books, so that's where you're going to see *inaudible*. 

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

[...] The [...] written on a Shard, is there a correspondence [correlation] between that and when the Blades, and the armor in Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings [...] on a Shardplate?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, yup.  There is a direct correlation there.

Questioner

The Shard...

Brandon Sanderson

I mean the naming convention is the same naming convention.

Questioner

[from…Radiant...]

Brandon Sanderson

I haven’t answered that yet, and I’ll remain close-lipped on it for now.

Questioner

Where did the worldhoppers get their powers, because if all powers come from the Shards, and the Shards came from the breaking of Adonalsium, so how can Hoid have his powers before...

Brandon Sanderson

That is correct.  So before the breaking there was magic in existence.  For instance, the spren on Roshar, some of them predate the breaking-- the Shattering.

Questioner

So, if spren are caused by thoughts, and the Shards caused some of the humans, and humans cause thoughts, then there were people alive before

Brandon Sanderson

Then there were people on Roshar before the breaking of Adonalsium.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#30 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So the reasons the fans...*inaudible* ...because I've found-- there's some authors I've read who allowed that to happen, and it seemed like it could compromise the integrity of the book. However, once in a while someone will ask a question, I'm like, "...yeah," right? Like someone asked about-- if Shallan might have some latent bi tendencies, right? And she'd been admiring women throughout the books. I'm like, "Yes, she probably does." Like that's something that was there that I hadn't vocalized, so that happens. And once in a while they ask me questions I'm just stumped on because I hadn't even considered it. In those cases I'll either say that or I'll just say, "RAFO, I need to think about it."

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. Well, you come up with the fundamentals of a magic... *brief interruption* ...then some questions can be easily answered. If you know, okay-- how-- Like with Elantris the fact that they could do it in any medium. They could chisel it. They could do all of these things to get the-- if they want to get it drawn in the air, says that, you know,... *inaudible*. And so if you have the fundamentals and they are consistent, you can extrapolate. And the fans should be able to extrapolate too.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#31 Copy

wicktacular

At the end of the first Mistborn trilogy it's really significant that 1/16th of the soldiers who got really sick are now atium Mistings.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

wicktacular

But we know that there's more than sixteen metals. Wh--

wicktacular

So were there-- were 1/16th of the rest of them just *inaudible* just not significant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Sixteen that he-- when Preservation set that all up. He, number one, was not all there. But he was trying to create sixteen as a symbol to say, "Hey, catch this. I've given you a clue-- uh-- help." And so it was devised specifically for that. "*inaudible* Something's going on here."

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, they would have been Mistings of other types as well.

wicktacular

Did he bump one of the other types then to make it sixteen?

wicktacular

Okay. Do you have in your head *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

Chromium.

wicktacular

Chromium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's right. It would probably have been one of the metals that was difficult to get at that level of technology. It would have been chromium - chromium would be hard gather at that time. Actually, no, it would have been aluminum. *about a minute later, while signing someone else's book* Hold on, there's a caveat to that last answer. Let me finish signing this and expand on that. *pause* So, it would still have been aluminum, but not for the reason your thinking. It would have been aluminum, but there's an asterisk next to that answer.

wicktacular

Okay. Interesting.

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to get chromium.

wicktacular

I've been thinking about--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh no! He bumped aluminum. Yeah, he bumped aluminum. Sorry I had to-- I changed my mind.

wicktacular

Oh!

Brandon Sanderson

*a moment later*

Okay, Chad? I have a <qualification> for you. I'll do this and then we'll...

*a moment later*

So...

wicktacular

On the sixteen or the *inaudible*...

Brandon Sanderson

The sixteen. So the answer is "yes," but it's not something-- it's not what you're thinking it is. 

wicktacular

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, there's an asterisk on it, okay? There's an asterisk on it, it's not what you're thinking. Uh, you're making-- you're making assumptions. 

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#32 Copy

Alex

Taln’s Scar.  Was it present throughout the entire timeline and just not mentioned in books, say Elantris? Or did it appear at a certain point in time?

Brandon Sanderson

It did not appear at a certain point.  And it is not equally visible through the Cosmere, simply because of where it is in the sky and where they are in relation to it and things like that.

Alex

And how much ash in the sky.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes…  Peter knows exactly where it is.

Alex

I am hoping that the map in the anthology...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it should.

Tiffany

We are really excited about the map. Also the writing, but really about the map.

Brandon Sanderson

I’ve seen the little star charts that Isaac’s done for each of the worlds, and they are awesome.  Because they’re going to be--  This is more, like it’s the Cosmere Collection, we haven’t hit scientific revolution in most of the worlds yet, so it’s going to be more like if da Vinci had drawn them or something.  So don’t expect--

Brandon Sanderson

So don’t expect it to be like science fiction star charts yet, but they will be very helpful in these sorts of things.

Argent

Could you nudge Isaac to release a wallpaper version or a poster or a printable of any of those?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay yeah, I can totally make him do that.  Like if the full Cosmere one turns out well I’m sure he’ll want to do something like that.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

Is there anything about Eshonai *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

So Eshonai is one of these people who's *inaudible*. She's *inaudible*, right? It's that question of what is that-- the driving force in her life. *inaudible* ..."trying to take care of my people." *inaudible* for Eshonai, but yeah. There's something in her, and that is also part of what's drawing a certain spren, as you'll see, in the books.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#34 Copy

Ravi

I'm curious how you were <feeling about whole process of> the graphic novel. <Specifically how you felt about the whole thing translating,> because I have the draft. 

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-huh.

Ravi

<You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.

Brandon Sanderson

<And it didn't translate well?>

Ravi

Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>

Ravi

I think that's fair. Of course.

Brandon Sanderson

And I-- what we came up with was the < a list of a few things>... *inaudible* Like the only one that really bothered <me> was... where is the big battle?

*searches through the graphic novel*

<The big splash page> right there. I'm like... <when did this turn into> white people verse brown people? You've read the book. This isn't about white versus brown. This is, again, how did we end up with white versus brown? Why aren't these people wearing armor? These guys are the ones that are outcasts and these are the high society.

And so when I got this stuff, I was like, "Uhh..." These panels where they'd done earlier where they have the skin tones and the <the clothes for the Darksiders>, I'm like, "Really good!". But then when that one came together I was like, "Oh great, oh great, here we go." And when you put the whole thing together, some things came out really cool. Like I think the Darksiders turned out cool. The Darksiders were awesome. The magic turned out really great. But again, I'm like, "Where's the armor? Where's the cultural markings? Where's that stuff?".

But yeah, yeah. The thing is, the guy who's drawing them is Asian, right? So <he should, you know?>... alright, so that's my thing. But again, you've read the book. Like, where's <that detail?>... But that's-- when you give the story to someone else you have to let them <do what they will>.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

What are your favorite books?

Brandon Sanderson

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*

Questioner

Really? Book four?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?

Questioner

No.

Brandon Sanderson

No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.

Questioner

Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it. 

Brandon Sanderson

Oh man, it was awesome. I didn't know them. They just called-- his wife called me on the phone and asked if I could do it. Just out of the blue. No application or anything. "I like your books. Will you to finish this."

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#36 Copy

Questioner

What was Szeth's reasoning for following Dalinar? From what saw he's only met Dalinar once or twice and wasn't aware he is a Bondsmith.

Brandon Sanderson

It wasn't about being a Bondsmith. It was partially about how everyone reacted to Dalinar and partially... Let's see if I can explain this. 

Questioner

Was it, like, 'cause in--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, part of it was that. Definitely part of it was what he had seen and things like this. Part of it was how everyone, like-- he knew about Dalinar, right? He had fought Kaladin a couple of times. My own justification for it when I was writing this, 'cause I actually did think about this one, like, Dalinar has a magnetism to him. And Dalinar has a reputation. And Dalinar lived up to the reputation, and Szeth was just looking for something-- The reputation was in some ways more important than the man. For instance, there's a chance in that same situation that Szeth would have followed Amaram. Right? Fortunately he made a better choice than that but-- Anyway.

Questioner

You're thinking about a similar feeling of the honor because obviously Dalinar is really honorable toward the end and then he's got the same, Szeth's got the same--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Yes, but at the same time that gives a little bit too much credit to Szeth, to be perfectly honest.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#37 Copy

Questioner

Are you ever going to expand on the cosmere in its own book or is it going to be a long *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, the thing that started it all, Dragonsteel, is going to be about the cosmere a lot more, and the third Mistborn trilogy will be also.

Questioner

I like how you have that background going through all your different cosmere novels, tying them together

Brandon Sanderson

I want to make sure that it never becomes the forefront until I am warning people, "Now, you need to know this stuff."

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#38 Copy

Questioner

The metals that were formed from Shards, like atium and lerasium. Are they somewhat naturally occurring, like in pools of power, or are they specifically [?]?

Brandon Sanderson

They are somewhat naturally occurring.

Questioner

Really? Even on other Shardworlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh. They could exist somewhere else. There are some special circumstances on Scadrial, but yes. The idea is that the pools are one state of this mythological matter.

Questioner

So if you have the physical state and the liquid state, is there a less liquid state? Because some of that's being used.

Brandon Sanderson

Um... Oh. Yeah. Yeah. But, I mean, it's such a drop in the bucket compared to the actual Shards. So that it is a statistically insignificant amount, but it is an amount.

Questioner

So Harmony's pool, wherever it is is statistically larger than...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#40 Copy

Zantis

Let's say Lift received two Hemalurgic spikes: one for Allomantic bendalloy and one for Feruchemical bendalloy. Then she eats a bunch of pancakes, stores the nutrition in a piece of bendalloy, burns it to compound nutrition. Can that nutrition be turned into Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.  Yeah, but remember she didn't have to be-- so basically what that-- Is just a really complicated way for her to turn Allomantic Investiture-- so that it can allocate Allomantic Investiture into Stormlight. That would be a complex method of doing that. Just transferring one type of Investiture into another. It's just basically drawing from Ruin and she is then turning it into Stormlight-ish? It's a complicated thing, but that's basically what happens, just really crazy.

Zantis

Okay, so-- but it is the same sort of thing, right? *hesitant nod from Brandon* And--

Brandon Sanderson

I hope that eventually in the cosmere they will find easier ways than that.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#42 Copy

AndrewHB

I wondered if I could follow up to that Machiavelli question. Would Elsecallers be a-- one of those other, uh-- one of those...

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah. Elsecallers are fairly compatible. Like, Elsecallers feel like the journey is... the journey is the entire species, right? And that the journey is the destination. *inaudible*

Calamity release party ()
#44 Copy

Questioner

So if someone is storing weight-- Feruchemy-- Can you store enough that you can actually float like a balloon?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, your clothing and stuff will still have weight.

Questioner

If you were, like, completely naked and just *unintelligible* your hand up a wall, you will?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. You will-- You could float, yeah. That's-- I mean, you could get your weight so low that it's basically like being in microgravity, which is...q

Questioner

Like 99%? Like a vacuum balloon?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#45 Copy

Questioner

I love the Hoid scavenger hunts that have been going on. What does he-- what powers does he have, what magic has used *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

If you watch in these books, he has used on screen so far three of the different magics.

Questioner

And have we seen those three-- do we know what those three are?

Brandon Sanderson

You know at least two of them. Very deep clues-- very more obvious clues are in this book [WoR].

Questioner

And I haven't gotten to yet-- you can see where I am.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah; watch where he and Kaladin have some interactions. If you watch carefully you will see something in what he mentions. You've already seen him and Shallan, that scene in one of her flashbacks.

Questioner

I was almost-- I was reading that scene like "that has to be..."

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, in that scene he uses one if you watch.

Footnote: Hoid references having at least the Second Heightening (Awakening) to Kaladin in jail; he likely uses emotional Allomancy on Shallan. This transcriber can't think of a third, beyond Yolish Lightweaving in WoK
Oathbringer release party ()
#46 Copy

Questioner

So, in Edgedancer, there's a spot where they're going through all the weird things going on in the city, and they're talking about some spren that only shows up if she dumps water out. Is that significant, or is that a crazy person? ...The spren that shows up every morning if she leaves water out?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is true.

Questioner

Okay, she's is not crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

She's not-- Okay.

Questioner

Are the spren intelligent?

Brandon Sanderson

Sapient spren, no. But she may have the cause and effect mixed up. She may not have the cause and effect correct. She might have correlation and causation mixed up.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

The question I was a little more interested in was not so much the interludes, but like Gaz *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

So Gaz was always planned to come back. Which is why there's kind of a mystery to him in the first book, like "where did he go?" It's something Robert Jordan did that I like. I don't know if you read-- oh you did, you read-- So like when Bayle Domon shows up again; and some of the characters getting woven in, I like that. And so you will see that sort of thing happening, it's just something I'm fond of that he did.

Questioner

I'm so surprised that Gaz showed up.

Brandon Sanderson

And the other thing about Gaz is: one of the things I like to do in my fiction is show that the light through which someone is seen and perceived changes a lot of who they are. We all do that, we go to different situations and we're different people. And Gaz you saw all through Kaladin's eyes as one person and I want to show you through someone else's eyes without the initial problem they had together would see him very differently.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

I know the Cosmere has been around for a while. *inaudible* I guess it's a hard thing. Like, how soft...

Brandon Sanderson

No, it's all still evolving. It will continue. Like, you can't get so locked into an outline--even though I have them--that you don't change it when something better comes up. A big example of this is Adolin, right? Adolin was not *inaudible* character. And yet in the first book I needed *inaudible* I needed a viewpoint of somebody who was not imagining things, right? Somebody who was kind of more normal guy-ish. And he has a huge thing in the book. So now the outline of all ten books has changed because *inaudible*. And so, you've got to be willing to do that, I feel, as a writer.

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

Questioner

So in the past five years or so the contents of the magic system has come to kind of dominate current popular fantasy.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah!

Questioner

Because it's become so culturally prolific, do you feel that authors are going to soon reach a point they don't have time to actually systematize--where they have to explain their system? Can't they, like, go back to the way *inaudible*--

Brandon Sanderson

Right.

Questione

So you can just have magic that *inaudible*, but it's still cohesive and logical and effective?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, so the question is, "Magic systems in fantasy have very much moved toward 'the explained'." The rule based magic systems. Particularly--I'd say it's been about ten years. Me and Rothfuss and Brent Weeks and some of these kind of-- That was because we were kind of a reaction--reacting against soft magic systems we'd read growing up. It shouldn't be too much longer. He's asking, "Will they go back the other way?" It shouldn't be too much longer before you see people reacting against us. So yeah, it's totally gonna happen. And there, you know, there are great books like Uprooted. It's already started to happen. Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a very soft magic system. It's a fantastic book. And so there's an example. I'm sure you'll see more, I mean-- I don't think China Miéville's ever explained his magic much. But yeah, I think that you will see something that gets really big, that is a reaction to what we're doing. That's just how--that's how storytelling goes, and things like this. I think you're right to wonder if it's going to happen, and I assume it will.