Oathbringer San Francisco signing

Event details
Name
Pending review
Name Oathbringer San Francisco signing
Date
Date Nov. 15, 2017
Location
Location San Francisco, CA
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore Borderlands
Entries
Entries 48
This event is pending review from Dragonsteel Entertainment. There may be some errors in how questions were answered.
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#1

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How many books are gonna be in The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...I originally plotted it at three. I tried to write the second book a little while ago, and it didn't work. It's called-- The second book is called The Aztlanian, and it takes place in the city of Tenochtitlan. And I just did not have my Aztec culture down well enough, and that was part of why the book was failing. And so, I'm going to give it another try. But that's why you don't have it yet; it's one of those books that's been hard for me to get.

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#2

FirstSelector [PENDING REVIEW]

...The Tenth Name of the Almighty, Elithanithile, He Who Transforms. Is this related to the fact that Akinah is divided into ten parts, and the things  you find there?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Uh, yes... Are these things all related to the concept of change and why things are divided into ten parts in The Stormlight Archive, and the answer was "Yes, these are all very much interconnected."

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#3

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

One of your characters wishes for and is given capacity... That is one of my favorite concepts of all the books that I read of yours. Can you talk about the inspiration for that gift of limited and maximum capacity?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

To not give spoilers, there is a character in The Stormlight Archive who has asked the Old Magic, which is a force that kind of has references in things like The Monkey's Paw and what-not, a force that doesn't always give you things exactly the way you want them. And I built, by the way, the Old Magic into The Stormlight Archive because I felt that at a certain point, while I love to do these rule-based magic systems, I wanted there to be a contrast to it... It's kinda like this idea that, yes, modern science and things have explained a lot of stuff, but there's something primal, perhaps, in the past, I don't actually know. But that idea that there's a primal magic that doesn't really adhere to the rules, we can't anticipate it, was really, I felt, vital for me to include so that I didn't overexplain everything in the books.

So, there's a person who asked for capacity. It wanted to be, let's say, strong enough to lift (it's not actually strength, but it's more of an emotional thing) what was coming. That, I feel like, is a very real thing to wish for, right? I have frequently, like... people say "What would you wish for," and I say "The ability to fly," because I would love to be able to fly. But really, if I sit and think about it, capacity, ability, the capacity to hold all of this stuff in my head, would probably be the sort of thing that I would wish for. So this character, in some ways, is giving wish fulfillment for me, because that's what I would maybe ask for if given the opportunity, but even that kind of turns on its head because the Old Magic just doesn't get people in the way that people think they should be gotten.

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#4

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Way of Kings, all of the philosophers and logic masters are male, and reading and writing is described as a feminine art. It was long ago, so was there...

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...This was a shift that happened in Roshar at a certain distinct point, where reading and writing became feminine arts. It was related to a power struggle over Shardblades and Shardplate, where certain people in charge realized, "If we can push the women towards something else, we can have all their weapons!" I know, it's not a good thing. But it happens. That's where safehands came form, and things like this, philosophies written in the past being taken kind of as dogma, and power struggles being involved, and things like this, and there was a shift happening. You'll find there's plenty of female philosophers, but they tend-- that tends to be a dividing point, and you start to see female philosophers appearing in Roshar after that divide, and you tend to see a lot more male philosophers beforehand. Good question.

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#5

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Elantris, you have this array of people who are essentially gods, immortal, but they appear with absurdly high frequency. How come they basically don't take over the planet?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...There are a couple reasons for this. One is that magic on Sel is very strongly tied to location, and was even back when the Elantrians were at the height of their power. So, this is a big part of it, location-based magic. Meaning, the further you get from Elantris, the less powerful your magic was, and the Elantrians really didn't like going places where they were not super-powerful. And so this is certainly part of it, and I explored this idea in Warbreaker, where the people who happen to be gods are really aggressive and kind of slowly conquering outward and things like that. It felt right for me in Elantris to be doing it that way.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why can't they just increase their numbers. Because their numbers increase over time?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...The number of Elantrians had certain thresholds and upper limits, that I haven't described in the books yet.

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#6

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How many of the worlds in the cosmere do you eventually plan to talk about that we don't know about?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...From what's been released, you've gotten almost all the important ones. There's, like, two or three ones I would consider relevant to... for instance, the planet that the Aethers, from Aether of Night, which is an unpublished book-- that's still part of the cosmere, I'm gonna do some stuff there. There are a couple of other worlds, one is mentioned in Oathbringer, just very briefly, in one of the epigraphs. There are others that I'll get to. But, when I designed the cosmere: Scadrial (Mistborn), Sel (Elantris), and Roshar were my pillars of the Cosmere story. With Yolen, the planet where it all started, just kind of being behind-the-scenes relevant. Those are the pillars of our story. Other planets will come into it, but those three-- there's nothing more important than the ones you've seen already.

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#7

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

We have a lot of fan theories about your work, and most of them are wrong by necessity.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...That is true.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are there things that are sort of directly designed to encourage or dissuade certain theories?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...As a member of Wheel of Time fandom growing up, I have experience on both sides of this now. And I decided after-- and this was partially looking at Robert Jordan's notes, looking at how he approached it, how it worked, being a fan-- I decided that that direction lies madness. Trying to stay ahead of the fans, trying-- if you try to twist so much that the fans can't guess, then that just means your foreshadowing is not going to work. On the other hand, doing too many in-jokes and things like this, it risks just making your book uninteresting, or not long-lasting.

And so while I read a lot of fan theories, and I even take them on occasion-- like Shardfork? That was totally a fan thing. Someone suggested that, I'm like, "Yeah, that would totally happen." But I kinda have to approach it from the frame of mind of "What would the characters do?" And I try not to actively write things that dissuade or encourage certain theories, I try to write what is best for the story. And let the fans then-- if they're going to guess, they're going to guess. If my foreshadowing is good, they probably are going to guess. At the same time, I know how insane they all are, 'cause I'm one of them, and I know they're just gonna go off on weird tangents. And that's just fine too.

So, it's this weird balance where I try to be part of the fandom, but make sure not being overly influenced by the fandom, and Wheel of Time gave me a lot of good practice on this. One of the things I really worried about with Wheel of Time was that the book would become a sequence of in-jokes for people who had read the series before. And yet, at the same time, as a fan, there were certain things I really wanted to see happen. I wanted to see certain characters meet up again after a long time apart, and I had been waiting for that for, like, a decade, and I was gonna make that happen, right? And I had to balance those two things, and that's just what I do with my books, even still.

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#8

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What's going on with White Sand? The sequel?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

...Sequel looks really good. It fixed a few problems I had with the first one, and improves upon it, and it's good. I think they're looking at February. The date that was online earlier was just somebody guessing, and it kinda got perpetuated and Amazon picked it up. But there was no official date. And February is what we're looking at. The art's all done, and it's looking really good. So, February.

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#9

FirstSelector [PENDING REVIEW]

So, do you have a name, like an in-world name for a large magical construction, like the things that picks Elantrians?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That was why I invented the term "fabrial." It will become widespread eventually, as the term for meaning, kind of, magic-type devices in the cosmere. That's not what you call it right now, but you can start calling them all fabrials.

FirstSelector [PENDING REVIEW]

But what about something that isn't, like-- I always imagined that Aona left, like, a device, a magical device running--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I will have to RAFO that.

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#12

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there anything you'd be willing to tell us about the third empire Khriss mentioned in Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Umm, yeah, I have not decided on some canon answers for that yet, I've debated back and forth on what I'm going to do with it so I just won't tell you yet.

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#13

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

MaiPon and JinDo are based on Korea and China you've said, I thought that Dominion and Devotion have some resonance with Confucianism-

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They do, the yin and the yang and things like that, absolutely.

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

So that was intentional?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That was very intentional. Yeah, I've always been fascinated with, like, the blue and the red, right? The things that are opposite but to some cultures and not to others. Like, that was really, that was the Ruin and Preservation thing, right?

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#14

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

So, in Bands of Mourning there was an advertisement in the broadsheet from "K and N" asking about talking metal. Does that have anything to do with a certain knife that Nazh lent Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm gonna RAFO that, mostly cause I'm gonna make you ask Isaac and Ben, cause they came to me with pitches for things to put in those and they wrote a lot of the broadsheet stuff themselves.

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay. But, does Nazh want that knife back?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The knife? Yes, he would like that knife back.

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#15

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

You mentioned in the annotations that just started releasing on Way of Kings that Syl originally came from another Cosmere book that wasn't working out. Was that Climb the Sky?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah-- how do you know about that one?

Weltall [PENDING REVIEW]

Ah, someone on the 17th Shard found it on the old Time Wasters forum--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, did they? Yeah, I wrote like three pages of that, right? Yeah, that's where it started. I'd almost even forgotten about that... no, that's totally where it came from. I actually sent three pitches to my writing group, of Cosmere books I wanted to do, and I didn't end up writing any of them.

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#16

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

What are the geometric properties of Shadesmar? Is it curved, or is it a Euclidean Plane?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It's like a single, infinite plane.

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

So it extends forever.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well... Kind of. Kind of yes. The problem is, what people don’t think about doesn’t really appear there, in Shadesmar, so the edges are weird.

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#17

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there anything that we don't know about the Expanses right now that you'd be willing to tell us?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I think I've told you about all of them. Is there one I haven't told you about yet?

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

Um, I don't know, I've checked the words of Brandon before I wrote these questions. I think we know that um one of them is... Scadrial, and one of them is Warbreaker--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So Densities is Sel. We put that one on, right, Expanse of the Densities? So, if we didn't you now know, Densities is Sel.

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#20

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

Also, does each of the Unmade have a corresponding order of the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Eh... Kind of.

XS-Terrain [PENDING REVIEW]

Ok. So there are nine Unmade right, so which one is left out?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Bondsmith. But it's not as one to one, there's some fuzziness in there.

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#23

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Pre-Shattering magic in books?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Let's see. I would count the highstorms as that. Highstorm predates the Shattering. Now, the highstorm has been changed dramatically by certain events, but the highstorm does predate the Shattering.

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#24

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering, in Roshar, if any of the women were left-handed, if that interfered with the safehand? Or do they force them to--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They force them. It doesn't work for everybody, but at least--I read into this--there are countries where you're not allowed to be, in our world, left-handed. It's not a thing. They just force people to not be left-handed. It works better for some than others...

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#25

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you imagine anybody when you write, like an actor? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Usually not... They're just usually just who they are in my head.

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#26

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I want to know if there is a toxic level for Stormlight? If you're in the storm, can you get to the point where you have too much?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, it doesn't quite work that way. Good question, though.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You said there was one person, I guess it was the Soulcasters, who were starting to change because of that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's more the magic changing their soul over time. It's not necessarily a function of the storms.

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#27

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

On the eye colors on Roshar, there are some weird ones, like orange and yellow. Are those there for a specific reason, or are they just--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah. The whole eye color thing is kinda based a little bit on the Knights Radiant, the eyes changing is involved there. What's normal eye colors to them, it's just normal to them. It's not weird to see violet eyes and things like that. But it would be weird to us.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Did the eyes have to do with the Orders?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

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#28

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is it possible to bond with two swords and dual-wield?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Read And Find Out.

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#29

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, if a person claims a new set of Shardplate, and there's a difference in size between the new wielder and the previous wielder, does it adjust to the size of the new wielder?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It does... And there are things they can do to size it and things like that. But it slowly changes over time, like a Blade sometimes does under certain circumstances.

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#30

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In the past, you have said... that we've seen a metal that is from a Shard that we know, on Scadrial. You said Wax has seen the influence of a Shard other than Preservation, Ruin, or Harmony, and that the spike that Bleeder was using was a metal from a Shard we know. It seems like there's another Shard influencing Scadrial. Is Trell an extension of that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

And is that Odium?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That's a RAFO.

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#31

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are we ever gonna get to hear the music that is sung within Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I hope so.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Will it be chanting?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

A lot of chanting. A lot of rhythms. A lot of chants.

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#32

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, you always talk about how you're an outliner. So, what do your outlines look like, and how long are they ranging from your YA books to something like Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, the one for the new book, Skyward, is about five pages long, and it's mostly-- first it's "Here's the worldbuilding paragraph," there's a bunch of headings and paragraphs. Characters, about a paragraph or two about each one. And then five parts, I tend to do a lot of five act things. So, prologue, part one, part two, part three, climax. Just a bunch of bullet points.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

And how long would one be for, like, Oathbringer?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oathbringer one's, like, 30 pages.

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#33

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Everybody talks about steel-steel twinborns. A big topic of discussion. What I'm thinking about, I haven't seen anybody ask, what happens when somebody who's tapping speed, does a steelpush, does the steelpush react in realtime or accelerated time? And the object-- is it like a railgun?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm surprised that no one's asked me that before. This gets really dangerous really fast... It's RAFO territory, but you are thinking along the right lines.

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#35

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is Soulcasting more efficient if the item you're Soulcasting resembles the item you're trying to make?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Good, no one's asked me that yet. RAFO.

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#36

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

A sword. Can they, like, feel it when they stab something?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Some of them really don't like it. Watch Wyndle's reaction to this sort of thing.

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#37

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Had you planned to write... the whole Cosmere when you initially started?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, I wrote Elantris, had a bunch of the ideas. I started planning right then, and it has evolved a lot since. A lot of Elantris kind of got retrofitted into the things I came up with over the next four or five years... By the time I did Mistborn, I had most of this in mind, but it changes so much, even while I'm writing it. 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So, like, when you had Warbreaker, it was--

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Warbreaker, I wrote as a prequel to Stormlight. I had already written Stormlight One by that point, but I didn't like it, so I wrote about Kaladin's swordmaster, who was in the first book in that version.

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#38

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Words of Radiance, can you give me a worldhopper that you haven't told us about?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Afraid not. The problem, I just get asked that, like, twenty times per signing, and I wouldn't have anything left.... I'm sorry... The one I get asked a lot is, "Can you name a Shard you haven't named before?"

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

There's, like, three left!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, I mean... And people already pulled out from me all the worldhoppers that I am comfortable talking about.

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#39

Kapin [PENDING REVIEW]

I have a question about the Shin. Are they originally from Roshar? *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Answers are coming.

Kapin [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there significance in the metal thing relating back to... Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

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#40

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you write the Fourth Ideal of the Windrunners in that book?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Nope. Because I haven't released it yet... I haven't gotten those yet.

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#41

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering if you were ever gonna talk about how some of the names are, like, palindromes and what it means?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, in the Stormlight world, symmetry is holy. And so, palindromic names are how the names of a lot of religious figures, and things are. And even a lot of people, who-- particularly those who are based off of them. It's a religious concept. The keteks, the poems in the back, are symmetrical poems.

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#42

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do all the Shards have the same powers just limited by their intents? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. There are a uniqueness to them, but. There is some uniqueness to each of them. There's a lot of overlap.

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#43

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

My friend has a theory: The Lord Ruler is the one that Shattered the Shattered Plains. Is that a possibility?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I won't discount it out of hand. Mostly just so that he can keep arguing with you guys.

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#48

learhpa [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

If someone were to try to steal a Nahel bond via a hemalurgic spike, would it kill the spren?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW] (paraphrased)

RAFO.  It wouldn't end well.

Event details
Name
Pending review
Name Oathbringer San Francisco signing
Date
Date Nov. 15, 2017
Location
Location San Francisco, CA
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore Borderlands
Entries
Entries 48
This event is pending review from Dragonsteel Entertainment. There may be some errors in how questions were answered.
Upload sources