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Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#1 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.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#2 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.

Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
#3 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#5 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*

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#6 Copy

wicktacular

questioner's paraphrase, delete after transcription review: Based on the bit during the open Q&A about Odium splintering Dominion and Devotion and shoving their power into the Cognitive, and that blocking off the Spiritual, which makes Sel's magic so location (or Identity of location) based - if a Shardbearer traveled to Sel, could they still summon their Shardblade?

Transcription:

So from what you said about Odium sticking Devotion and Dominion in the Cognitive, if they *inaudible* Shardblade, well Shardbearer, and travelled to Sel would they *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh... what-- I'm going to RAFO that. I've never asked me that before. I guess I haven't really explained that whole thing before to people.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

I love *inaudible* this series. How did you come up with Elend?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I wanted an idealist *inaudible* revolutionary stuck in a world that wasn't ready for one yet, and that was my pitch to myself, right? Like if you took, you know, someone like... one of the great *inaudible* like Hamilton or somebody and just stuck them in a world that just was not ready for their ideas. How would that go?

Questioner

That sounds like the *inaudible*. Don't you have that in mind, like...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, but he-- he that was-- yeah, yeah. His plan was-- be an idealist. The second book is where he realizes he can't make the same path he wants to, and third book is kind of reconciliation of how he can create this step that will eventually lead to Democracy and things like this, which you eventually then get to see in later books.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible question relating to Hemalurgy*

Brandon Sanderson

So Hemalurgy... Yes, to an extent. The koloss are an example of this. Koloss are made, but then they can be passed on a little bit. You get koloss *inaudible* koloss. So it doesn't quite work exactly, but some things can be passed on.

Questioner

Do the *inaudible* get passed on?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh... Not necessarily. They're not still pierced by metal.

Questioner

Apparently they use Hemalurgic *inaudible* bloodline to the point where there's Mistborn again?

Brandon Sanderson

This is something that people in-world are wondering.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

Do you make a conscious effort to incorporate *inaudible* morals? Like not...

Brandon Sanderson

Um, yeah...

Questioner

I mean, more sexually.

Brandon Sanderson

Right, so, I personally don't like reading things that kind of are explicit themselves. I feel like I shouldn't force all of my characters to keep the same moral code, because that's not accurately representing the world. It's-- But at the same time, what I think is moral influences things. So it's like very conscious that--

Questioner

More like how you describe it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. And also, you know, you go to some-- a place like Roshar, where it's based on oaths and things like this. That's playing into part of what I think is moral, right? So, yeah. But the same time we have people like Wayne, whose just like-- you know Wayne is not going to-- yeah, he's got very loose morals-- that's who he is. And if I didn't put people like that in my books there would be something wrong. But I don't feel like I have to be explicit, is the thing.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#15 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 San Francisco signing ()
#16 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
Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#17 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.
Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#18 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 ()
#20 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."

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

I personally love Wayne, the character. <Explain to me> what that inspiration was.

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted-- I started with a character who changed personalities when *inaudible*. And I kind of built out from that.

*interruption*

 

Questioner

Was there a personal... Was there a person who like-- that might have reminded you.

Brandon Sanderson

No. *inaudible* It was just that I wanted to write somebody who was a little more goofy. A little more interesting. A colorful character who would be a *inaudible*. Who could just be a representation that this is a little of a lighter world than we were in before.

Firefight Atlanta signing ()
#22 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.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

As a writer, I tend to be more character-driven. I love what you've done with the character development of the two of these guys throughout the series. How much of them growing throughout the series, as you work on everything else, it comes together?

You know, characters I don't plot out as much. It's very easy to write them being cardboard. So, I try to let it be an outgrowth of what they're passionate about. Just kind of letting the passions of the characters drive their reactions in the narrative, and I think you'll never go wrong with that.

DragonCon 2016 ()
#25 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#26 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.

Ad Astra 2017 ()
#28 Copy

Questioner

He would like to know what is your most favorite book that you have written?

Brandon Sanderson

Most favorite book that I have written? I can't choose. Cause they're all like my children, right? I can't tell you who my favorite child is. In the same way, I can't tell you what my favorite book is, that I've written. I can say that I'm probably most proud of, either The Way of Kings or the last of The Wheel of Time. But some books are more fun, right? Some books are more fun. Some books are more satisfying. Some books are more frustrating. The most frustrating book I've ever written was probably the third Mistborn novel. And so, it's different for-- each book has their own *inaudible*. Good question.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#29 Copy

yulerule (Paraphrased)

I also asked about the connection between the spren and Surgebinder, such that the spren turns into what the Surgebinder wants. Like in Edgedancer, [Wyndle] turns into a bar of metal and into a Shardfork. Wyndle himself isn't "in tune" with Lift, so his turning into something that she needs with no prior warning...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, they actually mix. When the bonding is happening, what's happening is that the gaps in the souls are being filled with the spren's <essence>. And they are actually melding into one 

yulerule

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

And they are actually melding into one individual *inaudible*.

yulerule

<And the minds are separate?>

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, mhm.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#30 Copy

ailavyn-siniyash

The fact that Vorinism was partially inspired by Judaism and [???] means a lot to me, as a Jew, especially because there's not that much [???] other than dwarves. So thanks for that. I wanted to know if you could elaborate a little on some of the specific Judaism had on Vorinism.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, sure. Specific influences of Judaism on Vorinism. There are a couple of things. And I can go on this one for a while. I will pick Numerology which-- Jewish Numerology is really cool, particularly if you go back-- Like we always focus on alchemy and astrology as kind of the pseudosciences that were really interesting to scientists back in the day. If you don't know, Newton thought that alchemy was real and he could figure out how to make it work. I love these things that people approach scientifically but have supernat-- superstitious roots. And Jewish Numerology is really cool because the letters and numbers are basically the same thing, so a name can actually mean numbers, and vice-versa, and stuff like that. Which leads to some really cool and interesting attempts to understand the world by taking things from the Torah and transferring them back and forth between numbers and things. That sort of thing is very prevalent in the Vorin religion. To the point that it was really important to them, and then got forbidden. Because they were spending too much time on it. And you will find out roots about that. But that was an inspiration for Vorinism. Of course the Sephir, from the Tree of Life, were an inspiration for the Double Eye of the Almighty, and the idea behind all the different connections and philosophy going in that. The language. Kholin is actually pronounced /χolɪn/, and things like this--

ailavyn-siniyash

Was that-- Sorry... Was Kholin supposed to be kind of close to kohen? Because--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, mmhmm.

ailavyn-siniyash

Okay, cool.

Brandon Sanderson

So yeah, you're going to find all kinds of things like that in linguistic roots. And there is of course more but I will move on from that because I can talk too long on that. But yeah, there's some very fun stuff.

DragonCon 2019 ()
#32 Copy

Questioner

Would a Seeker burning bronze be able to tell what order of Knight Radiant someone is? Or what Surges they have access to?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but they'd have to be actively using it, right? So you could hear somebody -- for instance -- Lashing, but if you just saw somebody who'd drawn in Stormlight, you probably wouldn't be able to tell until they use that Stormlight, which it was. You'd be able to probably hear that they have the Stormlight.

Questioner

So the pulses are not unique to Scadrial's Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

No they're not. You'd be able to do that. In fact there are other things in the cosmere that are kind of the same sort of "radar detection" here and there, that you can read in the same way. Bronze is just the one of the best... way to do it -- being a Seeker is really handy for these reasons.

Being able to go off-planet with your Allomancy also is a pretty big advantage. It's really hard, for instance, to get a Surgebinder off of Roshar, because of the Connection stuff that's happening. In fact you may have heard in a prologue just recently someone complaining about that.

Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
#34 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

[brandon spoke about how he planned all of The Stormlight Archive books to be named after in-world books - that's where the "archive" part comes from. Book #3 will be pretty... unique. He said we'll know what he is talking about when we see it (so I guess it won't be a normal book format or something. Maybe the Shin write their books on stone tablets or something...).]

 

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#35 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.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#37 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?
White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#38 Copy

Questioner 1

So the orb thing in a Secret History, that he breaks?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, mhm.

Questioner 1

How does that work? Like is it-- is Connection a Shard and it has the essence of Connection in it? Or...?

Brandon Sanderson

*sighs* It is more complicated than that.

Questioner 1

Okay.

Questioner 2

<In> email then. *questioners laugh*

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO, without being a RAFO.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#39 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.

Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
#40 Copy

Questioner

If there is only one Shard on [Taldain], are there other Shards in the solar system?

Brandon Sanderson

Ahhh. Now that's a clever question. The answer is "no". One for that solar system. And there's also, um-- we'll stop there.

Questioner 2

There's also what?

Brandon Sanderson

There are other places with only one. It's not uncommon for there to be only one. I've gone to the planets with multiples intentionally because the conflict there is very long. And the ones on the planets without multiples: like for instance in Warbreaker the conflict is not about cosmere-centric things. And you'll see that very commonly on the planets you go to. There's the same sort of things on Elantris. And so when you see me going-- even though there are two there, they're dead. And so, when you see me--

Questioner

The reason I ask is that there have been intimations that in Stormlight Archive a Shard may be on the moon just from things that people have--

[...]

There have been *inaudible* that that may be the case, so I had to ask.

Brandon Sanderson

You guys are awesome, thank you so much.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#43 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#44 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 ()
#46 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.

Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
#47 Copy

Questioner

Are Cognitive elements like spren and seons only present on physical planes on worlds where Shards have been [Splintered]?

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 [Splintered] by someone. Seons existed on, sorry, spren existed on Roshar before the Shattering of Adonalsium. Not as many.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#48 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#49 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#50 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>.