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Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#2 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering, in Stormlight, what kind of gem the Parshendi gemhearts were, or do they just, do they hold Stormlight well?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, this is a good question. This is one that people have been asking me since the first book, if they had one, and I've finally kind of confirmed it in book three. So the reason people don't think Parshendi have a gemheart is it is milky white, and looks like bone.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

But aren't their bones red?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Their bones, well... their bones are red... not completely. If you're going to pull out the bone, what you're going to see.... I'll explain it in the next book. So what you're going to do is, if you break open the bone, you're going to find this white... it's not marrow but it is, yeah I guess it's marrow. Anyway at the center kind of in their sternum there is a gemheart there, but it is fused to the bone and it is grown into the bone, and you have to kind of snap it open and find it inside, and it kind of just looks like marrow, but there's a gemheart in there. And it kind of relates to some stuff in Dragonsteel that I'm not gonna get into. But you'll see in the next books. But there's a good reason people just don't think that Parshendi have a gemheart. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So they must not glow much then, I'm assuming.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, well, it's surrounded by bone. So it's a different special thing. We'll bring it out in the following books. It might not be the next one.

Oathbringer Portland signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If a kandra were a Parshendi, would he be able to take the forms?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The Forms? The actual-- To an extent, yes. To an extent, yes, but part of that is the spren bond. You're not gonna get everything. You could look like one, but there'll be certain things you won't be able to do, even with the Form. You couldn't take a form of power... You could pass.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you have a single name that you use to refer to all the singers, and the listeners, and the Parshmen: that entire species?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, I usually use listener, but that's a cultural thing. So, I don't right now.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I keep struggling with what to call them as a species, and eeehhh are they all singers? I mean they aren't really all singers.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

We'll settle on something eventually.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay, but we don't have anything right now.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah.

BookCon 2018 ()
#8 Copy

WeiryWriter [PENDING REVIEW]

At Emerald City Comic Con earlier this year, you stated that Singer gemhearts are a "milky white" color, and looked like bone/bone marrow. You also said they were related to something in Dragonsteel. Having read the sample chapters of The Liar of Partinel a while back, I couldn't help but be reminded of the skullmoss, which is a bone-white color. Are the singer gemhearts related to the fainlife in any meaningful or important way?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah they are very similar to Tamu Keks.

Oathbringer release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Music on Roshar... How, why is it important, I mean more a why--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Why music? Music, the Rhythms you are speaking about specifically, or what?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

...There seems to be a lot that connects to music, with like the Dawnsingers, there's lots of people hearing the Rhythms--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It all comes from the Rhythms. That's all kind of interconnected.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So they kind of hear where the Rhythms are originally coming from?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm not saying that.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#10 Copy

Pagerunner [PENDING REVIEW]

Were there always slaveform parshmen between Desolations, or did that only happen after the False Desolation?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That, I believe only happened after the False Desolation. I have gone back and forth on that, but I think I can canonize it there. You do have to check with Peter. We had a big conversation about this a few years ago. But I'm pretty sure slaveform is a creation of the Last Desolation.

Pagerunner [PENDING REVIEW]

Of the Last? Or the False one? ...Because, in the epigraphs, they're talking about how that one Unmade was getting in on them--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah. Oh, the False? No no no...

Pagerunner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, it was done in the Last Desolation, but it was undone somewhat in the False Desolation, and that's what we saw in the...?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Uh, no no no-- yeah, it is False. It is False Desolation.

Peter Ahlstrom [PENDING REVIEW]

Slaveform happened at the False Desolation.

Skype Q&A ()
#11 Copy

RenegadeShroom [PENDING REVIEW]

Have any groups of singers ever had any nonbinary genders? That is to say, a fifth gender recognized by their culture, rather than malen and femalen, which seem to function as more of an extension of the gender binary than anything our culture would recognize as nonbinary.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Skyward Seattle signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What is the inspiration for the Parshendi?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There are a lot of different inspirations. One is wanting to build out of the setting a species that interacted with the setting and had a symbiotic relationship with the setting. The other was the idea of a people whose caste system, you could change castes and physically change into other castes of the system. So something like the hives you see, where you can switch from worker to various different tasks. I liked the cultural aspects of what that did.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#14 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I know you have gay and lesbian, and you are planning on trans characters and have trans-ish characters. Do you have any asexual characters?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, though I'm cheating. All the parshendi are asexual in certain... I do have a non-parshendi asexual character, but I cheated and made an entire race of asexual characters.

English Reading Series at BYU 2018 ()
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Finallity [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

We've seen a number of human/singer hybrids (Unkalaki and Herdazians) and even human/Aimian hybrids (Natans). How is such a thing possible biologically or is there some outside influence there?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

He said that they (humans and parshendi/aimians) can interbreed because they were made by the same person, or rather that they were made with the same intent, that they were made that way on purpose. They don't have a common heritage or anything though.