/r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A

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Name /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A
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Date Jan. 16, 2012
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#1 Copy

Questioner

I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.

Brandon Sanderson

Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.

#2 Copy

Shocksrage

The Alloy of Law left me wanting more books in the universe right away. Any hints as to when we might get to see the next trilogy?

Brandon Sanderson

My current plan is to hold out on the second trilogy until I've reached a breaking point in The Stormlight Archive. (So after book five.) My reasoning is that the second trilogy is very involved, and I'm not certain if I want two thick-booked series going at once. There is a good chance I'll return and do another shorter book, like this one, in the world before then. Either about Wax, or perhaps a quick glimpse of the southern continent.

#3 Copy

Ace_of_Face

How was Sazed/Harmony able to communicate with Waxillium near the end of the book? During the original trilogy, Ruin could occasionally implant thoughts into people's minds, but he couldn't just listen in whenever he felt like it. Is Harmony just way more powerful?

Brandon Sanderson

There is interesting discussion about this one below, which I like to see. I thought this might spark some discussion. Remember that human beings were given more of Preservation than Ruin during their creation, which led to Preservation eventually being overwhelmed by Ruin. That was the bargain; people would be of Preservation at their core, but in turn Ruin got to claim the world once Preservation wound down.

Another factor to consider here is that Wax was given a special earring designed for communication with a being that he actually worships.

#4 Copy

Ace_of_Face

Who wrote the "Ars Arcanum"? Since the writer obviously had knowledge of the cosmere I assumed that it was you making an editorial note, but then I thought that it could be Hoid (who was suspiciously absent) or Sazed or any Shardbearer... Does that make sense at all?

Brandon Sanderson

The Ars Arcanum is written in-cosmere by someone, but I don't want to saw who yet.

#5 Copy

Ace_of_Face

Not really a question, but the one thing that disappointed me was that you didn't come up with new slang names for Allomancers! After three hundred years, do you really think they would still be calling steel Mistings "Coinshots"?

Brandon Sanderson

I toyed with this one, but decided that I would keep them the same for a few reasons. First off, I felt that certain things in-world would hamper some linguistic diversity. (Having the books Sazed left behind as a guide to Allomanc and history, everyone living in a small geographic area, the semi-religious nature of Allomancy making people look at it in traditional ways.) So, while I advanced the slang of the world, some of the terms I decided to leave the same.

Another reason for this came when I was writing the book. At first, I experimented with greater linguistic diversity--I even tried a vowel shift, as I figured three hundred years might be enough for that. In the end, I pulled back. I was already worried that this book not feel "Mistborn" enough, and so I wanted some direct ties back to the original series. Fiddling too much with the language while changing the setting and characters so drastically felt like a mistake to me.

#7 Copy

zas678

Is it significant that Miles said that the "men of gold and red" would come and rule. Is there a connection between this and the "gold and red" cigar box that Miles keeps The Suit's comings and goings on?

Brandon Sanderson

This is all very significant.

corwin01

Are those men of red and gold of any relation to the priests in the red and gold robes in Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

I really have to RAFO this one. (Sorry.)

#8 Copy

zas678

How long before [The Way of Kings] is Alloy of Law? I heard somewhere that it's a hundred years, but I don't think that's right.

Brandon Sanderson

I intended them to be happening roughly close to one another, with [The Way of Kings] slightly before.

#9 Copy

zas678

A little safer question- Why did you not have Waxillium fall for Marasi? Why stick with the contract with Steris?

Brandon Sanderson

Marasi, as she was in Alloy of Law, was just plain wrong for Wax. As I write books, I allow my characters to grow more free-form (while my setting and plot are outlined in detail.) In writing the book, I felt that a Marasi hook-up at the end would not only be wrong for the character, but wrong for the story. If I do direct sequels (which I probably will) perhaps things will change.

#11 Copy

zas678

TenSoon wonders, and I wonder too- How can kandra think and be sentient without brains? Doesn't the body need a physical coordinator to relay between the Physical and Cognitive realm? Or do the spikes do a good enough job with that?

Brandon Sanderson

I imagine kandra having a non-centralized nervous system, with brain power spread through their bodies. Well, non-centralized is probably the wrong way to say it. They have lobes of thought and memory attached to muscles here and there, and don't have a single 'brain.' They certainly have brain-like material, though.

#14 Copy

Cheese_Ninja

One question, two parts: If a double nicrosil Twinborn started Compounding and storing Investiture in a nicrosilmind, could they do something cool by tapping a whole huge bunch at once? And since Scadrialians have both Ruin and Preservation in them, could they store both those qualities in a one nicrosilmind, or would it require two different ones?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. All things regarding Investiture (particularly in regards to Feruchemy) are instant RAFOs at this point, I'm afraid. I've got to save SOME things for future books.

#15 Copy

Darkless

I have my own theory but I thought I should ask, if the koloss reproduce through Hemalurgic spike's how can there be half koloss in Alloy of Law.

Brandon Sanderson

I am holding this answer back for future books, I'm afraid. I have said some things, but the full truth is still subject to debate. I will answer this eventually in the books.

#16 Copy

Questioner

So the number 16 is important on Scadrial, on pg 245, Wax is trying to find out where Miles is going to be next and he writes down the number "35.17" I couldn't help but notice that the 3+5+1+7=16, was that intentional or am I seeing things that aren't really there?

Brandon Sanderson

I slip it in here and there for fun, but it isn't actually important. It is fun when people notice it, though.

#18 Copy

midwestredditor

How are there kandra and koloss? Kandra especially, since they did their "mass suicide" thing at the end of the original trilogy.

Brandon Sanderson

The nice thing about the kandra for me in the narrative was that, though removing their spikes turns them feral, you can always stick those spikes back in. TenSoon feared that this was the end of his people, and it could have been, if those spikes hadn't gone back in quickly. As it was, there were costs. Time spent without spikes causes a kandra's memories to deteriorate, and some that were left a relatively long time were essentially reborn as new people. But the race survived, even if it is unlikely that their numbers will be added to.

Brandon Sanderson

Did TenSoon survive, then (as the TenSoon who experienced growth under Vin)?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, though he did lose some things.

#20 Copy

Questioner

I think you may have answered this one before, but where do you come up with your names for all your characters?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the series. For Mistborn, I build a 'feel for certain regions and develop names using the linguistic rules of that region. The Central Dominance (and Elendel in this book) had a slightly French feel to the linguistics, and many of the names came from that paradigm.

However, unique to the Mistborn world was the need to give people simple nicknames in a thieving crew sort of way. Wax, Clubs, Breeze, Mr. Suit, all of these are along those lines.

Event details
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Name /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A
Date
Date Jan. 16, 2012
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Entries 20
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