Oathbringer London signing

Event details
Name
Name Oathbringer London signing
Date
Date Nov. 28, 2017
Location
Location London, UK
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore Forbidden Planet
Entries
Entries 92
Upload sources
#2 Copy

yurisses

Can you tell us a little bit about what Hoid was up to in Terris in The Well of Ascension?

Brandon Sanderson

He was hunting for the Well of Ascension.

yurisses

In the new continuity, he already knew where the Well was, because he used it to come back to--

Brandon Sanderson

Right, we changed the continuity, didn't we. Yeah. Oh boy. We came up with an explanation of this, because when we wrote the book-- Yeah, why don't you send me an email on that one. Now that I have the conversation with Peter, he brought that one up when I finally got around to Secret History. That was one of our big casualties. What did I come up with? I think he was just really, really-- I will have to-- because I canonzied it to Peter. We're gonna have to go to Peter and say "What's in the wiki now?" Yeah, that was one of the big casualties, and the fact that I couldn't get Kelsier to one of the places where I had left foreshadowing for him to speak in someone's head, and I can't remember what that one was, either.

yurisses

Oh, that one was Sazed, you said it was his imagination.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I had to make that his imagination. Because I just couldn't get people where they needed to go. This is the problem with writing an outline, then writing a book, and then writing another book so many years later. Certain things, we just can't work into the continuity. Write us an email, we'll get you the official continuity for that one. Because Peter did nail me down when we were working on the book.

#3 Copy

yurisses

Do kandra count as metalborn?

Brandon Sanderson

I would count them, yes.

yurisses

And would Wax count them as metalborn?

Brandon Sanderson

He would not. Probably.

yurisses

'Cause he calls VenDell metalborn, and I was wondering if he was testing VenDell in some way or not...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... I'll have to go look at what I wrote on that one, as well.

#4 Copy

Aurimus

What was the thematic decision behind the number 16? Why did you choose that?

Brandon Sanderson

I really like how divisible it was. It looked really cool when I was playing with things like an Allomantic table and whatnot. It was mostly an aesthetic choice. Like, it just felt right.

Aurimus

So was it originally the Shards or the metals you decided on?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I started with the metals. And then expanded out to that, yeah. So what you've gotta remember is, like, I write Elantris without knowledge of the cosmere. I knew I was gonna do something, but I didn't know what I was gonna do. And then I wrote Dragonsteel, and in Dragonsteel I had all sorts of theories and plans, but I never canonized any of that. And when I sat down to write Mistborn, I said, "All right. We're building the cosmere for real now." And before then I had just kind of been winging it. So when I did Aether of Night, which I put Shards in, I was like "Okay, there'll be some of these things, and what-not." Mistborn was, like, the first real cosmere book, if that makes any sense.

#5 Copy

Aurimus

As the two Realms, the Cognitive and the Spiritual, are, well, fictional... Are they all comprised of Investiture, completely?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. No, completely? Well, here's the thing. Investiture, matter, and energy are all the same thing in the cosmere. So, just like energy and matter are the same thing here. So, yes, everything's made of Investiture, in the same way that everything's made of energy in our world. Does that make sense?

Aurimus

So, what about what spren are made of in the Cognitive Realm? Is that just Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah, I'll dig more into that. I'm gonna go with Investiture for now, but I could change that as I move along. What I'm kind of debating is, is there a separate Cognitive state, and I don't think so. So I'm gonna go with Investiture for now.

Aurimus

How about Connection?

Brandon Sanderson

Connection is, like, the equivalent of a quantum connection in our world, so it's more like a force than something comprised of something. The question is like, "What is gravity comprised of?" And then you start asking weird questions.

#6 Copy

Questioner

What power do you think you would get if you were in the Steelheart universe?

Brandon Sanderson

...I would hope to be able to fly. That would be my favorite. I don't think I'd get that. I'd get some weird temporal power, probably.

#7 Copy

Yata

When someone dies on Nalthis, their Breaths: go away with the soul, or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson

Breaths return to Endowment.

Yata

Together with the soul? Or remain in the corpse?

Brandon Sanderson

The soul--

Yata

Passes away?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, unless it turns into a Cognitive Shadow. Then, the soul goes into the Beyond. And so the actual essence of the soul, the Investiture of it, does return to Endowment.

#11 Copy

Questioner

What is the most Invested item so far revealed?

Brandon Sanderson

What counts as an item?

Questioner

Inanimate object. Sentient swords, stuff like that.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, inanimate objects, would be Nightblood. Well-- is he inanimate?

Questioner

Well, he's a sentient sword, but he's an inanimate object.

Brandon Sanderson

So, yeah, he would count.

#13 Copy

kalamitous_emoashions

With Hoid, we know that he's got some sort of Lightweaving, Yolen magic. If we're gonna hypothetically say that he bonds with the Cryptic, at the end of Oathbringer. Talking about resonance between magic systems, what are we going to see if he tried the two together? Would they be separate? Or would they form some sort of resonance magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.

#14 Copy

kalamitous_emoashions

Have we seen any evidence of Hemalurgy on Roshar? And, as sort of an addendum, given the end of Oathbringer, was what happened to Jezrien Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

There are certain cosmere philosophers that would count it. I would divide it as two separate things that are using similar fundamentals... I wouldn't call it myself, but there are people who would disagree with me in-world. Have we seen evidence? I would say no evidence that is easily-- easy to pick out.

kalamitous_emoashions

But it's there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there are people with Hemalurgy who have been to Roshar. I'm pretty sure they've been on-screen.

#17 Copy

Questioner

Any tips for a Stormlight Archive RPG?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmmm... I would say make sure that--this is just my RPG opinion--make sure you have things to do outside of combat that are as useful and fun as things inside of combat.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Will you ever make a book based in Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I will, actually. There's one that I've plotted in Silverlight. Whether I'll be able to write it as a whole book, or whether I'll be able to do it just as a novella I'm not sure yet. But I do actually have a plotted-out story with Khriss as the protagonist in Shadesmar.

#22 Copy

Questioner

How do you come up with your concepts on flying across all of your books? They're a little different from usual flying.

Brandon Sanderson

So, I look for something that just hasn't been done before. Almost all powers in fantasy books have been done. But can you put some interesting restriction on them that'll make it more actually interesting to write? A little different? I spend a lot of time just kinda brainstorming these sorts of things.

#23 Copy

Questioner

One that's probably for Peter. Shadesmar appears to be flat. And you talk about people walking between worlds. But worlds are spherical. What's up with that?

Brandon Sanderson

This has given him a bit of a headache. It works in my brain, and I'm pretty sure we can make it on the world. Remember, things people think about manifest in Shadesmar, so I've been able to work out a map where places that just aren't inhabited are shrunk in Shadesmar.

Questioner

And they turn into points, so you can just walk off them?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#24 Copy

Questioner

If you're an aquatic civilization on Roshar, would the oceans match the oceans? ...Because of all the spheres...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've never been asked that before. That's an excellent question... I think it would have some weird different manifestation in Shadesmar, depending on their culture, and the way they view the world.

#25 Copy

Questioner

From what little we know about the Willshapers, I'm really interested in them. Is there any really tiny tidbit about that Order you could tell us? Even really small?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the first Orders that I developed when I was building the magic systems was the Willshapers... Very excited to do a story about them.

#30 Copy

Questioner

When you start planning your books, is there anything you start with? Is there always some sort of starting point, or do you start whenever an idea occurs and you run with it?

Brandon Sanderson

Every book is a combination of multiple ideas that are bouncing around in my head. And when they start sticking together, like when I've got an idea for a cool idea where "There's a storm all the time," mixing with "Hey, I want to tell this story about these ancient orders of knights." with "Ooh, this magic system might develop here." When these all start sticking together, that's what makes a book for me. And then I sit down and write out all the ideas I had, and then start I organize it into an outline.

#31 Copy

Questioner

We know Ati chose how Ruin was interpreted, in that he was a card-cackling maniac. Could someone so differently interpret a Shard as to change its name to be something different? Could someone pick up the Shard of Ruin and think I'm the Shard of Change? Or could someone pick up the Shard of Honor and think--

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitantly* Yes. To an extent. The interpretation, what you call a thing-- I think it would be arguable either way in-world, regardless of what they call themselves. There are those who would say the core intent is still there and you can't shift it that far, and others would argue you can shift it far enough to change the definition to a synonym. You see evidence of someone claiming this in the books. I'm not gonna confirm or deny for you whether that is actually a thing or not.

#37 Copy

Questioner

It was actually really interesting, because I started reading Oathrbinger-- I'm a teacher, I teach philosophy, and I was actually using that with my students, which is interesting because it came out particularly randomly. Is there inspiration for some of the philosophy that goes in?

Brandon Sanderson

I have a philosophy minor. There's a bunch of random philosophical-- yeah. It's all over the place.

#39 Copy

MadhavDeval

So, if Dalinar used Spiritual Adhesion to forge a bond between Sja-anat and Honor or Cultivation or whoever, then could Sja-anat corrupt a spren, an Odiumspren back to Honor or Cultivation?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Nyeh...

MadhavDeval

What about the Fused?

Brandon Sanderson

The Fused-- I mean, it's the same kind of thing, they're a Cognitive Shadow. Eh? Eh. I'm gonna give you an "Eh." on that one... I don't know how you write that on the forums.

#41 Copy

Questioner

Is the Iri religion based on knowledge of the [Shattering], anything like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Kind of, yes.

Questioner

But they don't know it?

Brandon Sanderson

They don't know it, yeah. I would say yes, there are echoes of it. There are more recent events that they don't even quite remember that are more influential.

#42 Copy

Questioner

How do you write the <Shardblade> fighting, like the fencing aspect of it? I guess you do all the research for that, the way the Shards actually work?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the fight scenes, right? The first drafts are usually pretty bad. I kind of just get down what's happening, who it's happening to, what I want the outcome to be. And then I do a lot of refining, and I try to find people who are actual fencers...

And I usually try to add something to my worlds that doesn't exist in our worlds, like Shardblades and things, just so I can have a little more suspension of disbelief for people like yourself, where you're like "Well, they have different positions."

...But I do try to get some primary sources who can tell me where I'm doing stuff really bad... Matt Easton's YouTube channel is really great for that. Schola Gladitoria, Matt Easton. When I have two people who are fighting with actual weapons, I go-- He usually has done some HEMA things where you see, like, ten bouts with that. And I can watch it, and be like "Alright, this is how it would go down."

#45 Copy

Questioner

Does Wit have another name apart from Wit?

Brandon Sanderson

Wit has many other names. Cephandrius is him.

Questioner

What's his real name?

Brandon Sanderson

He does... have a real name, but he would argue that they're all real names.

Overlord Jebus

What's one that isn't Cephandrius or Midius?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid. *laughter* Topaz.

Aurimus

When he says he's named after a rock that's a reference to Topaz?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes that's referencing the topaz. And the other thing that he references with... When he says he's named after words on a page that is not breaking the fourth wall... It's not even winking at it. Nope... It's quite literal. Yes, that is quite literal.

#46 Copy

Overlord Jebus

Is all Investiture in the cosmere associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, well, okay. So this is a complicated one. *pauses* So, Investiture predates the Shattering of Adonalsium, all Investiture was from Adonalsium, all Investiture got assigned to one of the 16 Shards when Adonalsium was Shattered. Some of the Investiture was not on Yolen but location is irrelevant. So Investiture is related to Shards even on planets where none of the Shards are inhabiting. 

Overlord Jebus

Are they aware of that Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

That's part of the whole seeing into the infinite, being beyond even the power of a Shard. So, technically you could make the argument that Harmony could feel the sense of Preservation on every world in the cosmere, right? Because the building blocks of all life and creation are these things.

Overlord Jebus

So the Shard of Preservation embodies all preservation in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes but he just can't do that, right? Like, he's not infinite. The Vessels are not, even if their minds are enormously expanded by holding a Shard, they are not infinite. The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm

#47 Copy

Yurisses

Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it is. That one is even closer associated with a Shard, the actual Investiture of the magic. Remember when I say Investiture, I mean matter, energy and magic. Sometimes the word Investiture refers just to the magic such as the Aviar and in that it is associated directly with one of the Shards...

Yurisses

Which one?

Brandon Sanderson

Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium. *silence*

Overlord Jebus

Sorry, can you say that again?

Brandon Sanderson

Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium.

Aurimus

Is that one of the Aviar?

Brandon Sanderson

No, Patji is the island.

Overlord Jebus

Island or islands?

Brandon Sanderson

The island but Patji is one of the islands.

Yurisses

It's a Shard?!

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, big asterisk! But yes.

Aurimus

Shard as in equal or Shard as in a mass of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

As in one of the 16 Shards of Adonalsium is represented and involved in First of the Sun. In fact, one of the letters references First of the Sun in this *Indicates Oathbringer*

Sorry, I probably killed some theories on that one.

Overlord Jebus

Yup, but by doing that you've confirmed some as well so it's fine!

#48 Copy

Overlord Jebus

So you've previously described gemhearts as Investiture leaking into the Physical Realm in a similar kind of process to atium. Now atium had a way of-- the Investiture used in the creation of it-- of returning back to the kind of background pool of Investiture on Scadrial. Is there a way of the Investiture used in the creation of gemhearts to return to the Roshar Investiture pool?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Overlord Jebus

There is? Have we had any hints of it at all?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#49 Copy

Overlord Jebus

This map,

*Hands Brandon the Part Four Sea of Lost Lights Map*

How much of a hand did you have in this map or did you kind of let Isaac go crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

So this one is half and half, I went to Isaac and said put this and this and this and then he added some craziness. One of Isaac's voices in the cosmere is Nazh and almost everything that is written by Nazh is Isaac and he named a bunch of this stuff, he ran it all by me. I actually vetoed a few. He came up with some, I'm like "Ehh" and then I renamed them to things that actually fit.

Overlord Jebus

Okay, why is spren fishing banned here, is that you or Isaac?

Brandon Sanderson

That was Isaac...

#50 Copy

Overlord Jebus

So I've noticed a pattern in the way that the Radiants learn their surges. They seem to learn their anti-clockwise surge before their clockwise surge?

Brandon Sanderson

They do.

Overlord Jebus

Excellent, everyone thought I was a crazy person!

Brandon Sanderson

They do tend to-- Now, I'm gonna give you some behind the sausage stuff on that. That is partially for writing expediency reasons.

Overlord Jebus

How do you mean?

Brandon Sanderson

I designed that partially because I didn't want to overwhelm people with too many magic systems at once so I came up with a little bit of a pattern so that I could have a little bit of an in-world reason why we were slowing that down. It's not a hard fast rule, it's something that I've kept to in order to not overwhelm readers so it's more of form following function than the other way around.

#51 Copy

Aurimus

Advice for worldbuilders that are trying to create a scientific-based fantasy?

Brandon Sanderson

Learn to differentiate between the three kinds of what we talk about with science-based magic. One is internal logic. One is logic with the world. And, oh, what is the third one? For instance, "logic with the world" meaning, "This is an explanation of how the magic actually could come to be." And a logic with "This is trying to break one rule, and then keeping the others as consistent with our universe as possible." With the difference being, like, for instance, Investiture keeping the laws of thermodynamics except for the fact that it exists is kind of a reference to the third. We're letting rules affect the laws-- the laws of our universe, we're trying to tie into that. You don't have to do that. Internal logic is the most important. Then the other one would be, kind of, the "How does this magic arise out of the nature of the universe? How could I take a few steps extra? Can I make it realistic?" That's a completely different rule. So look at those three things.

Aurimus

Is that where you fit Investiture in the magic? Matter, energy, Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Right, that's where I'm trying to do a little bit of all three of those things. But you don't have to. Understand that you can do one of the three.

#52 Copy

Overlord Jebus

Cosmere postal service. Can you tell us anything about this? How many people are involved?

Brandon Sanderson

It is more UPS than USPS, if that makes sense. Meaning it is enterprising individuals who are traveling and trading between planets. Some places are easier to deliver to than others.

Footnote: UPS is United Parcel Service (a package delivery company) and USPS is the US Postal Service.
#53 Copy

Questioner

What do you base the codes on, from The Stormlight books? Do you have anything specific--

Brandon Sanderson

I don't have anything specific. It's kind like a general-- lot's of different things, looking at bushido and knightly code and things like this and just kind of building my own out of it. The words "Life before death" were like one of the first things I thought of for the book and I'm like "I gotta use that. It's going in there." And eventually it grew out of that.

#54 Copy

kari-no-sugata

Shallan... in Oathbringer... she meets Adolin, and he's staring into her eyes. And she thinks that he can see that when she's Shallan again. So, my question is, is she correct? And if so, how did Adolin see that?

Brandon Sanderson

So, it's not a magical thing. She shifts even when she's kind of being herself-- When she becomes different people, even if she's not completely Lightweaving herself, she shifts.

kari-no-sugata

Is it visible?

Brandon Sanderson

It is visible.

kari-no-sugata

So he's looking very closely.

Brandon Sanderson

And he wouldn't be able to point out that he had seen that. But it's intuitive, and he's learned to recognize that.

kari-no-sugata

...In her final scene, she seems like she kind of summons her personas-- as if she's fully in control, and they're not coming by themselves anymore, is that correct?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

kari-no-sugata

So, they still come and go as they want?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, she's much more in control, but still has a way to go.

kari-no-sugata

Would Wit basically approve of what she's done?

Brandon Sanderson

He would give her a "that's a step forward, but you're not there yet."

#55 Copy

Questioner

I think Kelsier is one of the best-crafted fantasy characters I've seen in the world. He resonates with me on new levels. What exactly were your influences in the character when you were constructing him?

Brandon Sanderson

Two big influences for Kelsier. The first is, I wanted to do kind of the classic rogue archetype guy, but someone who had had something so fundamentally life-shaking in his life that he had to look deep within and become somebody else. But it's mixed with the other big inspiration, which is, there's kind of some psychopathic tendencies to him, and he would be a villain in many other books. But in this one, he's what the world needed. And those two combinations created for me a really nice tension inside a character.

#58 Copy

Questioner

For Adonalsium to create the universe, therefore he must have infinite power to create an infinitely sized universe. Therefore, infinity divided by sixteen is equal to infinity. Therefore, why don't the Shards have infinite power, which they clearly don't, because they can be killed?

Brandon Sanderson

The power can't be killed. The entity controlling the power can. Infinite power existing and being able to access the infinite power are different things, and a finite mind, even added to a very powerful sense of power, isn't necessarily able to tap all of that.

Questioner

What about Ruin and Preservation in Well of Ascension? We hear about Ruin using some of its power. Therefore, it must not have infinite power, because if you minus something from infinity, it's still infinity...

Brandon Sanderson

So, infinite power is changing forms. It's not going anywhere, right? So, the Investiture, the power, is becoming energy, which is doing work, which is being released back into the system. Nothing's growing or shrinking. It is simply changing forms, and potential energy is becoming kinetic.

#64 Copy

ParadoxSpren

If someone did, like what Dalinar did at the end of [Oathbringer], go on Sel, and they Ascended to take up the Dor, would they be stronger or weaker than Sazed?

Brandon Sanderson

If someone were able to take up the entire Dor, would they be stronger or weaker than Sazed? I would say equivalent.

ParadoxSpren

Aren't they all Shattered? Aren't they all Splintered, both of them?

Brandon Sanderson

The thing about it is, taking up the power-- taking up the power would-- So, I'll leave it at this. I would say equivalent. Everything still considered.

#67 Copy

ParadoxSpren

With the ardents and the flamespren, is something going on similar with Cusicesh?

Brandon Sanderson

Only slightly.

ParadoxSpren

Because he seems to be stuck in a cycle.

Brandon Sanderson

There is something there, but it's not as direct a connection as you might be making it.

#76 Copy

Questioner

When Kaladin runs out of Stormlight, is that something you've worked out, how much Stormlight should have, and how much each move takes?

Brandon Sanderson

So, what I do is, I actually write the thing first, and then I tell my assistant, "Work out how much he needs," and then I give him that much. I work backward. Yeah, I do that a lot in books, but that's a little bit seeing how the sausage is made, there.

#83 Copy

Questioner

Now that jet lag is a thing in Roshar, what is the time difference between Shinovar and the Shattered Plains.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm gonna do what I call a PAFO, which is: my assistant Peter is the one who tracks all of that. I have offloaded that to him. I used to keep all that stuff in my brain, but I just don't have space. Ask Peter.

Event details
Name
Name Oathbringer London signing
Date
Date Nov. 28, 2017
Location
Location London, UK
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore Forbidden Planet
Entries
Entries 92
Upload sources