Miscellaneous 2016

Event details
Name
Name Miscellaneous 2016
Date
Date Jan. 1, 2016
Entries
Entries 9
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Questioner

How does electrum work?

Brandon Sanderson

Electrum can see future shadows only as far in the future as is done with atium in the books. They use it to counter atium in that they see their own future shadow fighting, and if they see their shadow get hit by an attack, they know to avoid that attack, and they change their own future. This compounds the future shadows they see, which makes it practically as effective at countering atium as atium itself.

While the scope of an electrum shadow is very limited, it could be useful in many situations. Like if you were playing tennis, you’d be able to look at your shadow and tell if you managed to hit the ball or not, and adjust accordingly. That would still take a lot of practice to master, but it could be very effective.

#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on Savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

Argent

Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

Brandon Sanderson

Evgeni,

So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

Feel free to share this.

Argent

Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
#3 Copy

BlackYeti

If you remember from the original version of Words of Radiance, Kaladin rammed a Shardblade through Szeth’s chest, after which Nale found Szeth and healed him with a fabrial. However in Edgedancer Lift tries to heal a girl who had also had a Shardblade rammed through her chest, and it didn’t work. Wyndle then explains that since she was killed by Shardblade, she cannot be healed at all, unless she is healed right after it happened. Since Nale was obviously not with Szeth and Kaladin to heal him immediately, this appears to be a contradiction.

Therefore, either Nale has some way to remotely heal someone (of which we have no evidence), "right after" is being used very loosely, or when Brandon changed the scene to have Szeth fall to his death instead, he also changed the rules governing what can or can’t be healed.

If so, what other rules could have been changed at the same time? Is there some additional significance to the change in wording from fabrial to Surgebinding for instance? Moreover this would be a somewhat significant precedent that Brandon is setting, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

Peter Ahlstrom

The way it worked in WoR's first draft is still canonical. There are subtle things that make the two situations different.

#4 Copy

Douglas7886

Knowing that you have already stated that the Listeners aren't originally of Odium or of Cultivation. Is it possible that they could actually originally be of what opposes Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to have to RAFO your question; good question though.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Can you put the Cosmere books into [chronological] order?

Brandon Sanderson

Here is the order that I have publicly confirmed. There are obviously other books and stories fitting in there. For those, you’ll just need to RAFO.

  • Elantris
  • The Emperor’s Soul
  • First Mistborn trilogy (The Final Empire)
  • Warbreaker
  • Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
  • The Stormlight Archive
  • Wax and Wayne Era Mistborn (Alloy of Law)
  • Sixth of the Dusk
  • Future Mistborn trilogy
#6 Copy

Questioner

How do you make up names and words for your fantasy settings?

Brandon Sanderson

Mostly, I choose an earth culture (or two) to base my linguistic influences on. For instance, in the Mistborn books, I used French. It's obvious in words like Fellise, Renoux, Blanches, Delouse and Demoux. Less obvious is Kelsier, whose name would be pronounced in-world without the last R sound.

Questioner

Do you think you'll ever develop a language like Tolkien did?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. I did a lot of that in White Sand, which didn’t get published. I’ll do more for other books.

Questioner

Do you use Hebrew words?

Brandon Sanderson

The name Adonalsium is derived from a Hebrew name for God, Adonai and Aharietiam was derived from the Hebrew/Jewish term for the end of days acharit hayamim or אחרית הימים

#7 Copy

Peter Ahlstrom

On the Coppermind the article Paliah says Pailiah is one of her aliases. But the spelling "Paliah" is never used in the books, only Pailiah.

#8 Copy

Peter Ahlstrom

The [Scadrian] calendars don't appear in Arcanum Unbounded, but they're mentioned on the map as old calendar/new calendar. Since the Lord Ruler actually kept the calendar the same, what this is referring to is only the placement of seasons, since those have to change from year to year because of the orbit.

#9 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

[Discussion of Lightweavers manipulating other forms of electromagnetic radiation]

But the ultimate form (That Brandon said would be too much to be practical both in needed stormlight and application) would be the control of Gamma Radiation. If this could be harnessed, Lightweavers could literally become mini nukes, or death guns. The biggest downside to making Gamma radiation would be the damage the lightweaver would most likely suffer. So gamma radiation is impractical but its a fun thought experiment. 

The best part of this whole speculation was how excited Brandon was about my train of thought. I don't know if anyone had brought up this train of thought before. But he was happy to remind me that things will get pretty interesting when Lightweavers discover lasers and start using them in combat.

Event details
Name
Name Miscellaneous 2016
Date
Date Jan. 1, 2016
Entries
Entries 9
Upload sources