Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing

Event details
Name
Name Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
Date
Date March 20, 2014
Location
Location McLean, VA
Tour
Tour Words of Radiance
Bookstore
Bookstore Tyson's Corner Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 63
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Rybal (paraphrased)

How did you come up with the geography on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The geography on Roshar was developed as a natural outgrowth of the highstorm, which was the first concept for Roshar, which was inspired by the storm of Jupiter, which was me wanting to tell a story about a world with a continual magical storm. And then I built the ecology and all of these things up from that. Roshar had to grow up--I had to find a mechanism by which stone was deposited by rain, because I felt that the constant weathering over that long of a time would leave no continents. So the crem was my kind of scientific-with-one-foot-in-magic hack on keeping the continent. So the continent does drift. They don't have plate tectonics. The continent actually moves as it gets weathered on the east and gets pushed that direction over millennia of time.

#2 Copy

Rybal

Can the Heralds Surgebind without their [Honor]Blades, and if not are they under the same restrictions the Radiants are?

Brandon Sanderson

[...] I will say that the Heralds without their Blades are incapable of the powers you are familiar with. It doesn't mean there aren't other things they can do, but they are incapable of the powers you are familiar with throughout the book.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Kaladin is a lot younger than his knowledge and training levels are... *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

It just depends, he's led-- you have to keep two things in mind, he's led a very hard life, which aged him experience-wise differently, and also Roshar years are longer than ours, so when they say in this book [that] he's 19, he's not actually 19, he's more like-- I can't remember the exact equation, but he's actually 23, or something like that. So do keep that in mind.

#8 Copy

Shicaca

Is there anything to, I was looking at the map of Roshar, and it kind of looked like a spiral galaxy to me, like it was flipping in a certain direction--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is intentional. You are onto something that no one has figured out yet.

Audience

Tell us, tell us!

Shicaca

I was thinking if it's connected to manipulating gravity... *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You are onto something and it's not exactly what you think you are onto but you're getting close to something that they've all wanted to know for a while.

#9 Copy

Questioner

Is the fundamental force of gravity [gravitational constant] the same [throughout the Cosmere]?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, is the constant the same? Yes, the constant would be the same. The big difference is, what I am tweaking to the fundamental forces is, I imagine on Roshar that there are more fundamental forces. Which is totally breaking the laws of physics, right? But [in] magic there are more than four. I've broken them up into, at least, what their scientists have decided. So. But yes.

Footnote: Question slightly paraphrased for clarity.
#11 Copy

Questioner

The Knights each have two Surges, they spill over each. I am wondering, is the crossover [shared] Surge for each Knight [Order] the same? Like gravity for Windrunners and--

Brandon Sanderson

Windrunners are always the same thing.

Questioner

No no no, the way the [Gravitation] Surge is for Skybreakers and--

Brandon Sanderson

The way they act? Yes. To an extent, yes. Each of the combinations make a little bit of a tweak to how things but when you see Skybreakers affect gravity it'll be more or less the same as the Windrunners.

#13 Copy

Questioner

The line about "three of sixteen [ruled] and now the Broken One reigns" - did Odium follow three other Shards to Roshar or is he the third Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Odium is the third Shard on Roshar.

Footnote: The questioner is referring to the epigraph of Chapter 11 of The Way of Kings: "Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns."
#14 Copy

Questioner

[The Stormlight Archive] Books 6-10, do you know the Order of the flashbacks?

Brandon Sanderson

I've not decided the order. I know whose they are but I haven't decide the order. 

Questioner

Lift?

Brandon Sanderson

Lift is one.

Questioner

[...] Taln?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Taln is one of them. The person who calls himself Taln.

Footnote: Brandon occasionally changes his mind about the flashback characters in the "back five" Stormlight books. As of the release of Oathbringer, he plans for them to be Lift, Renarin, Jasnah, Shalash, and Taln.
#15 Copy

Questioner

What theologies and philosophies did you draw on to create Vorinism?

Brandon Sanderson

Vorinism is a hodge podge of a lot of different things. Part of is the Jewish Kabbalah--

Questioner

The mysticism of Jewish--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the Jewish mysticism. Part of it is Jewish mysticism, part of is [Islam], but there are a lot of things that are just drawing from philosophies rather than theologies. I'm trying to remember what specifically we were doing... But the main concept was the idea of a church that had been subsumed by a monarchy to the point that the [the church] would be very servile. And that concept led me to a lot of the Vorinism discussions.

#16 Copy

Questioner

With the different headings [epigraphs] of each chapter of the Stormlight Archive books, obviously they don't all make sense as you go along, but five years from now, if I read the five books and I am reading at the start of The Way of Kings, all the words, all the last words of people [the death rattles], is it going to be this huge foreshadowing moment--

Brandon Sanderson

It will make a lot more sense.

#18 Copy

Questioner

When you were saying you took all the best parts out of Dragonsteel - so you took characters, and you took Bridge Four, - but you said we'll probably see Dragonsteel at some point, what... If you said you've already taken what you think are the best parts of it...

Brandon Sanderson

I will probably be moving stuff that was in the second and third book to a [new] first book and writing that one instead.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Would Allomancy affect Shardplate or Shardblades?

Brandon Sanderson

It cannot affected Shardblades. Well, "cannot" is a strong word. Things with innate investiture are much more difficult to affect with any of the magics at all. Which is why it's very hard, for instance-- Szeth is not able to bind people, or Lash people wearing Shardplate to the ceiling. In the same Allomancy would not be able to Push on it without some help. Duralumin and a really strong [Steel]Push could probably do it. 

Questioner

I was just wondering if it's actually metal.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yes. It is metal-ish... it is metal enough for Allomancy to work on it.

#21 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.

#24 Copy

IronCaf

What other magic systems - because it seems unique from what we have seen - what other magic systems have that same, kind of, "If you use it a lot it gets better?"

Brandon Sanderson

So, imagine this way-- You're making a metaphor-- It is a little bit more like wedging open cracks in the soul by letting the flow come through, and the investiture comes in. 

IronCaf

So it seems that in Allomancy, it seems to maybe enhance those cracks--

Brandon Sanderson

It can open the cracks more.

IronCaf

Are there other magic systems like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

IronCaf

Will we see those anytime soon?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Anytime soon? Let me RAFO that for you.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Is Eshonai going to be a Radiant? You mentioned in the beginning that there's going to be ten books, ten Radiants - and Eshonai's book is one of them...

Brandon Sanderson

So. In the past, parshmen were - Parshendi were not allowed to become Knights Radiant. However, what I said, might imply that that could change.

#30 Copy

Questioner

And I also have a question about the nature of spren being dead. Specifically about whether or not they can resurrected. Because ideas can never really die...

Brandon Sanderson

Ideas can never really die--

Questioner

... Cognitive creatures--

Brandon Sanderson

They are Cognitive creatures. This is theoretically possible but very difficult without the people who originally betrayed their oaths.

#31 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Do you have an adviser for the science?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I usually run things by my editor who's very big into science, but mostly we go find an expert and have him read.  The thing about it is, I have to hand wave a lot of things.  Like the laws of thermodynamics, I can't, you know..  There are quantum physics in here.  I'm trying to handwave as little as possible but we are breaking fundamental laws of physics, but even in terms of things like the laws of conservation.  Energy is being conserved, but there's a supernatural source.

#34 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

In Shallan, in the beginning and middle of the book it's 10 heartbeats, and in the end of the book it's none...?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The 10 heartbeats is required to revive a dead Shardblade.

Questioner (paraphrased)

But he wasn't dead the whole time.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He wasn't.  But perception-- all magic systems in the Cosmere are based on perception-what you think you can do. For instance, Kaladin can't get healed because he sees himself as having a wounded forehead with the scars and that can't vanish because his perception is in the way.

#44 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Given that Investiture is Investiture, would there be potential Investiture of like, kandra to Parshendi using Hemalurgic spikes?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Hemalurgic spikes can be used on any planet.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Would it be potential for Parshendi to develop a form using the spikes?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Wow, that would be a really weird hack of the magic system that would be theoretically possible. But that's a really weird one. I had never even considered that one. Parshendi adopting other Investiture could happen, the spikes is not one I've considered.

#53 Copy

Chris_from_Warrenton (paraphrased)

Would it be possible to Soulforge Nightblood and change the command that was given to him when he was Invested?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That is possible. That would actually not be a very difficult Soulforge. The problem is, he's Invested. So reInvesting him, which is what Soulforgery is, is really hard. So you'd have to figure out how you could use Forgery on something that is already Invested. But Forgery can get through some of those hoops a lot easier than some other magic systems can.

#55 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

In order to use magic from one world on another world, do they need a bit of [the first world's] Shard with you?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It helps a lot. But there are other ways to do it. What's going on in the Cosmere is people have 3 sets of DNA. They have Physical DNA, Spiritual DNA, and Cognitive DNA. Their Spiritual DNA is what encodes the magic system into them, their Investiture. So if you can find a way to rewrite your Spiritual DNA, you can do all kinds of funky things. That's what Hemalurgy does. It rips off a piece of someone else's soul, staples it to yours. So if you went with a Hemalurgic spike to the right place, ripped off a piece of someone's soul and stapled it to yourself, you could create short circuits that will let you do all kinds of goofy stuff.

Event details
Name
Name Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing
Date
Date March 20, 2014
Location
Location McLean, VA
Tour
Tour Words of Radiance
Bookstore
Bookstore Tyson's Corner Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 63
Upload sources