Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing

Event details
Name
Name Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
Date
Date Dec. 1, 2016
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Arcanum Unbounded
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 61
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#1 Copy

Question

One of my favorite moments in The Way of Kings is when Dalinar is having the vision of the Knights Radiant and they're descending from the sky and going into battle. I'd like to know the origin of that scene in your head.

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to provide a contrast. This scene is one I came up with in outlining, it's not one of those scenes that I hang everything on. Most of what you do as a writer, you discover as you do, even if you're an outliner like me. And this was a scene where I'm like, I need something to show the contrast between the world that Dalinar is seeing and the world he is living. And that scene was kind of the metaphorical starfall, that felt like it would express the drama of the contrast, the dark night with the monsters and the bright Radiants from the sky.

#2 Copy

Question

We've had great topics and discussions about this. If all of your characters were in a death match, who would win?

Brandon Sanderson

Honest truth is Kelsier. This is because of most of the characters, Kelsier is the one that is ruthless enough to get what he wants. Others would not be as ruthless. Kelsier as a character is very interesting to me. My kind of pitch on him to myself was he would be the villain in most stories. Kelsier in a lot of stories being told, in a lot of books that I would write, he's the villain but in this world, at this time, it is what the world needs and he is the hero. That's why I say Kelsier.

#3 Copy

Question (paraphrased)

What is Brandon going to take his break from this to do?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Fortunately, I have planned it out and what I'm going to do is the Apocalypse Guard. I have to do something new. So I'll probably do Apocalypse Guard and then a sequel to something, either the Rithmatist or to Wax and Wayne will be would I do after. Those are both going to happen pretty soon. Apocalypse Guard is my follow-up to Steelheart, so thank you for the opportunity to pitch this.

So my one sentence pitch on this is, you're having a disaster, you call the justice leage and they're all gone taking care of something more important but you get the intern, who has no powers but she does her best anyway. In the Steelheart universe, people have discovered alternate versions of Earth and what they find is that most of these alternate versions of Earth are undergoing some sort of disaster. Something has happened in the timeline of the multiverse that is causing different varieties of disasters to occur that are planet-ending. So the Apocalypse Guard is formed of a bunch of engineers, scientists, and people with extraordinary powers whose job it is to save the planets. They take like eight months in planning, it's not like they just show up, it's like we put all of our effort into saving planets. Well, a disaster befalls the Apocalypse Guard, something or someone attacks them, and the coffee girl intern gets teleported to one of these worlds they were planning to save with no resources and three weeks until the world is destroyed. And everybody else is too busy dealing with the attack on them. It's her story on a planet that is doomed, trying to figure out either how to get off or maybe how to put the plan into motion that they had come up with. So there you are, coffee girl saves the world.

#4 Copy

Question

So, because we have Worldhoppers like Hoid, Khriss, and Nazh, and I think that I've heard that era 4 will be more science fiction.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, era 4 is science fiction.

Question

So, will we ever have a chance to see characters from one world in the cosmere go to another world in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there's a couple of things that I need to explain to you guys in this one. First is that Mistborn, I pitched to my editor, way at the beginning, as a series where a fantasy world slowly became a science fiction world. So we would pass through a modern era, where things are like our world, and then we pass on to a science fiction era, because I'd never seen that done before. I'd never seen someone take epic fantasy and then build from the events in the epic fantasy, like religions and philosophies, and then tell another story set in a more modern and contemporary world. And then in the science fiction one, the magic will become the means by which space travel is possible. So we're in the middle of that. Wax and Wayne is an interim, I'm calling it era 2. There's an era 3 which is 1980s, cold war, spy thriller Mistborn. Then there is an era four, which is science fiction, unless I slip in a cyberpunk, near-future science fiction, which I might do. So there might be five, we'll see. I've warned people of that. The last Mistborn series, whichever era it ends up being, is the last thing of the cosmere chronologically. So, it's a long ways off. All the other series have to finish before I can do that.

The other thing that people have to understand is that all of these worlds are connected in something we call the cosmere. It is mostly, right now, just easter eggs. It's important to me that people don't go, "I can't read Mistborn until I've read Elantris," or whatever. No, each series is about that series. There's easter eggs connecting them but you don't need to know it. It's just fun to find out; you can find it all out after the fact.

Are we going to see people traveling between the planets? Yes, you will see space travel between the planets. You have seen it already. One of the stories in the anthology comes from that era, but it's on a planet that doesn't yet have space travel. Sixth of the Dusk takes place chronologically near-end of the cosmere sequence. So yes, you have seen it, and you will see more of it. In Sixth of the Dusk, there are ones they call the Ones Above who have visited and these are people from a planet that you have seen, I won't tell you who, who are visiting.

#5 Copy

Question

Has anyone approached you about making a movie?

Brandon Sanderson

A few people are laughing because we did sell rights to the entire cosmere this summer.

*cheers*

Some people are like terrified by that news. So what happened is there is a company that optioned the Emperor's Soul, just itself. They really liked it. They're like, "We're gonna do Emperor's Soul." They're a Chinese company, DMG. Iron Man 3 was one of their things that they helped produce and stuff like that. So they've done some cool stuff. And I'm like, "Sure, I'll sell Emperor's Soul." And then they read Emperor's Soul and they're like, "Huh, this is connected to Elantris," so they read Elantris. And then they started reading and then they dove into the cosmere. And I still remember when I called one of the people from DMG to see how things are going and he was  just like, "I just started reading the cosmere and I just spent 20 hours on the fan websites and things." And so they came back to me a few months later and said, "Has anyone optioned the cosmere?" And I'm like well, "Mistborn is under rights to someone but the rest of the rights are available." So they started negotiations to buy the entire cosmere. Then when Mistborn lapsed from the people who had that, they bought that too, to fold them all in, and then they made the announcement, "we have the cosmere".

People were very confused when they saw, the "we have the cosmere," because they were working on The Way of Kings and Emperors Soul but they didn't have Mistborn, which is the one that makes the most sense to do. They immediately put that into production but they're further along on Way of Kings and Emperor's Soul.

I sold to them because they seemed to get it. Anything in Hollywood is a gamble, I can't promise this will even happen, but they get it. They understand the cosmere, they're behind this, they want to do these films the right way. So I am very excited and eager and I will keep you guys up to date as we know more.

Though as a side note, every time something really cool happens to me, Pat Rothfuss, who is a good friend, kicks down the door, saunters in, and says, "Hey Sanderson, guess what? Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote Hamilton, is writing The Name of the Wind. How's that sound?" So, I'm like, "Oh Pat, oh every time..." If you haven't heard that, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton guy, is attached to Name of the Wind. So that looks like it's going very well also. I'm actually very eager. I think it's a really good match. It's just funny to me, I make my announcement then and Pat's like, "Oh by the way, better announcement!"

#6 Copy

Question

How many different non-human immortals are there on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Wow, very specific. Most of the Aimians count. They're both small races, but there are enough of them that there are dozens of each that count as immortal, and they're non-human. The two living Shards, I would say count as non-human immortals, and most spren count as non-human immortals. So there's a ton.

#7 Copy

Question

If two Elantrians had a baby, would he be an Elantrian too?

Brandon Sanderson

What a good question. The answer is no, actually. There's actually a character in the books who's an Elantrian who did become an Elantrian whose parents were connected to Elantris, but that was seen as something that didn't always happen.

#8 Copy

Question

Is Sadeas actually dead?

Brandon Sanderson

Sadeas is dead dead. Yeah, Sadeas is gone. Now the new Sadeas is not dead.

#9 Copy

Question

Can a Shardblade come back to life?

Brandon Sanderson

This is something that has never happened on Roshar yet. Now they didn't have many opportunities for it to happen in the past, because it was rare for a Radiant to break their oaths. It is not something that's happened and the spren think it's impossible.

#10 Copy

Question

Other than his home planet, what's Hoid's favorite planet in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

He probably would pick Scadrial. Hoid likes his creature comforts. Scadrial is the nicest place to live right now. Now there are other places that are easier to get Investiture, which is very nice, but if you actually want to go to a restaurant, your options are limited. They've got some on Nalthis, but you want to get a nice restaurant, go to Scadrial. You want a car service, Scadrial. And if he sits around long enough, he'll have instant noodles.

#11 Copy

Question

When Siri goes to the God King, and she kneels and Bluefingers tells her everything that she's supposed to do, was he just making that up to cause a lot of tension?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of what he told her is true. If anyone else heard it, they'd be like, Bluefingers might be exaggerating a little, but that's his job. So I would say, yes this is true but there are people in the know who know that not all of those things are actually useful, but that's part of the cover up.

#12 Copy

Question

Why do you teach and not just write full-time?

Brandon Sanderson

What a good question. So I only teach one class now. I used to teach full-time before the writing took off. There is a class called "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy," and I just can't let go. What we did is we moved it to one night a week for three hours instead of one hour three days a week and we moved it to a night class. So it's Thursday nights and it's only one semester; we cancelled all the other things of it. But I can't let go. There's enough of me that is a professor that I need to get out of the house and do something. I can't just sit in my room all the time.

Beyond that, I took this class in 2000, so 16 years ago. I took it from David Farland, who has come and signed here at UBooks before. It was so important to me as a writer because my other professors were good writers and they could talk about writing but they had never made a living as a writer. There's only so much, if you want to be a professional, you can learn from people who aren't themselves professionals. They know a lot about being a professor and they know a lot about writing good writing. They don't know about how to take that good writing and make a career out of it. When I took the class from Dave, when he said practical things like, "Here are tools you can use try and get past writer's block." I'd never heard that before. In my other writing classes it was things like, "If you have writer's block, seek your muse. Go sit outside and stare at the clouds." Things like this that you get from an art degree. And Dave's like, "Yeah, if you have writer's block, try writing longhand, that works for me. Take a notebook and write in it. Try writing a first-person viewpoint monologue from one of the characters talking about their frustrations right now in life." And it works really well. If you've got writer's block you're like, "Oh, let's talk through why the character's frustrated, have them talk to me." Or you've got writer's block, he'll say, "You know what? Try just throwing something against the wall. Try having ninjas attack." Stuff like this that you're not going to put in the book, but it's just to get you thinking and writing. Practical advice like that. He's like, "If you want to publish in science fiction and fantasy you might want to go to World Fantasy Convention and meet some of the professional writers there and get their advice." I'd never heard anything like that.

I feel it's important for me to continue this class. Dave moved off to try to make movies and they were going to cancel it because they just didn't have a writer to teach it. So I said, "Yeah, I'll teach that class". This was back when I had sold a book and they didn't know what to do with me. Here I'm teaching freshman composition, I'm getting my master's degree in creative writing and we're all dancing through flowers and talking about our feelings as you do in art degrees. Then I walked in one day and said, "Hey, I got a book deal." And it terrified all my professors they had no idea what to do with that. They said, "Well, that's probably gonna to be your master's thesis then, Sanderson." It was Elantris as my master's thesis. So having somebody there who writers can go and say, "How do I sell a book? What does an agent do? How do I make a character sympathetic?" People don't talk about those sorts of things. They talk about the prose, but they don't talk about those things. That's why I still do it.

#13 Copy

Questioner

Speaking of Dave Wolverton, did he inspire you to explore unusual avenues of magic?

Brandon Sanderson

The question is, speaking of Dave, Dave Wolverton/Farland, he uses several pen names, did he inspire me to seek out new avenues of magic, because The Runelords is one of the best magic systems in fantasy. I usually credit it as the best magic system in fantasy. The thing is, I hadn't read Dave, until I took his class. In his class I was writing Dragonsteel, so White Sand and Elantris were done. So yes, like reading his, I'm like, "Wow, I need to up my game." Garth Nix did the same thing to me. I read him during that era, I'm like, "Sabriel's great, I need to up my game." I would step back and credit Robert Jordan in part. You might say, "Oh, his magic system is a little bit soft, not as hard." But it was a lot harder than the things that were around the time. Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner books were another big inspiration for that. And partially it was me saying, "I don't think fantasy's doing this sort of thing enough. It's something I'm interested in and good at. I want to try bringing it to fantasy." But yeah, Dave's books, the Runelords, that magic system is incredible.

#14 Copy

Question

What was your design process for designing all of the star systems for each of the worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

I am lucky enough to have on staff one of my good friends, Isaac. He actually introduced me to my wife. He sent me on a blind date with Emily. He was one of my students, my second year teaching the class. He's a really good friend. At the time, he was an illustrator for a video game company who was just interested in fantasy books. And he saw that there was a class at BYU and he was like, "I'm gonna take that."

He now works for me full-time. Though, fun story on this. You know how some people joke that in their marriage there's one person they could cheat with, like a celebrity? When I hired Isaac, he was like, "I will come and do things for you full time. But if Tad Williams ever asks me, I'm doing something for Tad Williams," his favorite book series. This summer, Tad Williams needed a map for the new Osten Ard books. Isaac is like, "So, I do maps for Sanderson." He's like, "Sure, do one for me. Great!" So Isaac's been working on that and it has been a dream come true for him.

Isaac and I, we sit down and we do brainstorming sessions for the art. He's done almost all of the symbols and maps in my books, except the ones that he commissions someone else to do because he wanted to get a different style for it or the first book, Elantris, I did the symbols. That's why the Elantris symbols are not quite as visually interesting as some of Isaac's. They fit the world but I drew those and my artistic chops are... So Isaac and I sit down, we brainstorm and we say, "What do we want this to look like? What's the feel of it?" So I'll outline what the planets and the world are and then he will bring up historical- like he went and got Renaissance star charts and said, "Do any of these work? What do you like?" We kind of narrowed it down to ones that have the right feel but I said, "I want it more like this, more like this." He took that and ran with it and gave me iterations. He's like, "Here's four different versions of a map for Scadrial. Which one do you like?" And then I'll give him that and he'll then do four iterations on that, saying, "Here are different designs of this. Which one of these do you like?" Anyone who's an artist knows that illustrators, that's what they do. So we come up with it and then I say, "This style, go," and then he does all the maps.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Was Sadeas involved with Gavilar's death?

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question. He legitimately thought that Gavilar was a good king and so he legitimately wanted him to live. Sadeas had...his disagreements with Dalinar, he was way more ruthless, and things like this. But at the end of the day he really did want the kingdom to succeed and he did not want to be king.

#16 Copy

Questioner

Does Marsh know about Kelsier's existence?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Ok. And are Marsh and him having like happy fun times together?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier and Marsh did not often have happy fun times. You can imagine if you want but, yeah.

#17 Copy

Questioner

If two of your characters from two different worlds were to duel, which would be the most interesting and exciting to watch, which two characters.

Brandon Sanderson

If they were to duel, like in a "we're not going to kill each other, we're just going to duel", because...I would say that a Vin / Kaladin duel would be the most interesting visually. You gotta pick two different magics, but that can go toe to toe with each other.

#18 Copy

Questioner

Is there one magic system that is, like, the one that would win all the battles?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the thing is, they have their strengths and weaknesses. All of the surgebinders are really hard to kill while they have access to Stormlight and that's a huge advantage. But a mistborn is way more versatile, they have access to more powers, and things like that. So it really depends how much of each do you have, how many times does the mistborn have to kill the Bondsmith; a Bondsmith's not going to do a great job in a fight because...I mean Dalinar would coz he's Dalinar, but the powers do not lend themselves to combat in the same way that windrunning does, and things like that, so...

#19 Copy

Questioner

The thing I wanted to ask you about was in White Sand, it's actually on the map, it is...(pointing at map) is this Autonomy, or Bavadin?

Brandon Sanderson

Hehehe, that is a very good guess.....that is very very sharply guessed...

Questioner

Yeah, coz, I really, I just like kind of the idea of the Shards and stuff, and I guess I want to learn more about what they look like and, kind of their personalities and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Bavadin's a hard one, because what does Bavadin look like? Bavadin looks like what she feels like looking like, or what he feels like looking like, depending upon the day.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Could you give any insights as to what the dawnshards are?

Brandon Sanderson

Um......(long pause)...

Questioner

Am I gonna get a RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

Nyeaaa it's it's..nyeaa I dunno, do you think? You know what the dawnshards are right? We haven't talked about that? Ok, I thought we had. Um. We'll RAFO it for now. But good question.

Other person

It's an excellent question. And we have not yet talked about that. I was like...answer that, answer that!

Questioner

I was trying to think of questions that could get me very close to being RAFO'd, but not quite RAFO'd.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that was a good one, you were close to not getting RAFO'd, on that. Coz I do want to talk about it at some point.

#21 Copy

Questioner

Is Bastille really going to write the sixth (Alcatraz) book?

Brandon Sanderson

Bastille is going to write the sixth book. In fact, she has already written half of it. It's got some good progress, and it is so cool, Bastille philosophizing at the front of the books about how to best punch people, instead of Greek philosophers, it's so much fun. She's got this essay about how it's cathartic about both the puncher and the punchee, right, it's good because you get to work out aggression, it's good because they may stop being stupid.

#22 Copy

Questioner

'inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

There's a lot of divisions in the lighteyes. The lighteyes are basically...there's as many of them as there are darkeyes and the lower ranks of lighteyes are basically peasants, like you would look at them and say, but they're not quite, they're like Roman citizens, not all the Roman citizens were wealthy, things like this. And so all of them, their lives would be fairly familiar to you. The higher you go on the rankings, the less likely they are to care for their own children.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You'll see a very young child in the next book and I think at least one baby. But it's not a baby of relevance to any of the main characters.

#23 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*...Count Dooku?

Brandon Sanderson

I did. Count Dooku was given to me by *inaudible*, a writer from my... The joke about him is he was not actually potted, he was the plant that you put in a jar and the roots go down, so we joked about a potted plant writing my books and I wanted to put a picture of a plant that wasn't actually potted, but then the publisher wouldn't do it. I wanted to put a picture of Count Dooku but they wouldn't do that.

#24 Copy

Questioner

When Lift the Nightwatcher to not change, or whatever it was...

Brandon Sanderson

Mm hmm.

Questioner

...her exact wording. Was that triggered by the loss of a loved one?

Brandon Sanderson

There is loss involved......that's a RAFO.

#25 Copy

Questioner

Why do female*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there are several answers to this. The Alethi would say it is because it is the only way to be modest. But that's not the real answer. The writerly answer, which is also not the real answer, is that I grew fascinated by interesting social taboos by traveling to other countries where, for instance in many countries showing the bottom of your feet to people is insulting, and stuff like that. But the actual answer is that, you saw the events after the Recreance when the Knights Radiant abandoned their shards and, at that point, some people in power realized that if they could eliminate women from picking up the shards then it was twice as likely that they would get one. And so they started popularizing a work, an essay by a woman who had talked about feminine arts were one-handed, painting and things like this, and masculine arts were two-handed, breaking rocks and fighting and stuff like this, and they popularized that and some of the women who were involved in this seized writing, in this division, as a feminine thing. So there were both men and women involved in this sort of split that was kind of a conscious attempt to struggle power, or struggle the power in different ways, and that became not just a thing that people talked about, but an actual feature in the society moving forward.

#26 Copy

Questioner

So there's only one Honorspren that got power, and does that mean that no more can get out and are there only *inaudible* Cryptic?

Brandon Sanderson

Syl disobeyed what she was supposed to do. However, at the same time, she blazed a trail so there might be others. The Cryptics, on the other hand, they are totally fine with what's happening but Pattern was the one who was nominated, he lobbied for it, to go and be the guinea pig. So the Cryptics are totally all over doing this, they are eager for more. But a lot of them think it is a death sentence, but they're weird, they don't mind it that much.

#27 Copy

Questioner

So if I understand correctly, every Shard has three different states in which it manifests physically in the world, liquid, gaseous and solid. So my question is, Harmony's holding two Shards, is there any bleedover that would make like...harmonium?

Brandon Sanderson

In the newspaper pages, one of the essays is on "Does Harmony have a metal?". So this is a question they are asking in-world, that they think should probably be, and if you look around you see strange metals appearing, including one that is highly unstable. Or highly reactive is what I would say, not unstable, because it's not radioactive but it is...yeah, so.

#28 Copy

Questioner

What happens if you burn duralumin while Compounding?

Brandon Sanderson

Duralumin while Compounding. So, what duralumin does is it burns out of all of your metal in one burst. So it doesn't necessarily gain you power, it makes it all happen at the same time. The same thing would happen.

Questioner

Could you turn into a baby?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, you could totally turn into a baby. That is within the power of using that, doing <health wrong>, yeah you could totally... You'd be really dangerous.

Questioner

But it wouldn't really do much?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh it would have explosive... it does things really fast. That's what it does. Yes you could achieve very powerful sudden effects through that. It'd be scary. Controlling it can be dangerous, regardless of which metal you use.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Who is the Willshaper?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, of the group of the ten...

Questioner

Have we met the Willshaper?

Brandon Sanderson

You have met the Willshaper. 

Questioner

Is it Moash?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

Questioner

Ok. But it was a good guess?

Brandon Sanderson

Do you want me to write RAFO in this? You got RAFO'd.

Questioner

Thanks.

Brandon Sanderson

People are really interested in the Willshapers. Has this been a topic of conversation?

Other person

*inaudible*...17th Shard. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, right. The Dustbringer is harder to figure out, I feel like the Willshaper will be a little more obvious once it happens. The Dustbringer is going to be hard.

#30 Copy

Questioner

Is Adolin and Shallan going to get together, or will Kaladin and Shallan?

Brandon Sanderson

That is quite the question. I will eventually answer that, but you are getting Read-and-Find-Outed. It is intentionally a bit of a mimicry of something else that happened in the past.

#31 Copy

Questioner

So you said that, specifically on Roshar, shardblades haven't been revived? And, have they been on other worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, no, there are very few things you could call shardblades on other worlds.

Questioner

Well, I meant the spren that were...

Brandon Sanderson

Ah ok, yeah yeah yeah. No let's just just...it hasn't ever happened before, and they, in-world, think it's impossible.

#32 Copy

Questioner

Why 10 on Roshar, and not 16?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, now that is an excellent question. So, we've got 10 on Roshar, we've got 9 on Braize, so the answer is...something I will do eventually, but it's something you should be noticing.

#34 Copy

Questioner

Seons are Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Splinters of Devotion.

Questioner

Um, Splintered...Honor is the *inaudible*...the stormwall...

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather?

Questioner

The Stormfather.

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormfather is technically a Splinter of Honor, but it was an intentional Splinter, that Honor did himself.

Questioner

Does he have another Splinter?

Brandon Sanderson

So, all of the honorspren are Splinters of Honor, but this is a different situation because he actually did this intentionally.

#36 Copy

Questioner

Can it be restored? The Splinters...

Brandon Sanderson

Um, Splinters, can they be restored to... So it is, that is a yes, but restoring them will not restore Honor, the Vessel of Honor, right. They would restore Honor the Shard if this were to happen, but a new Vessel would have to take it.

Questioner

Ok so, [Adonalsium] can be put back together?

Brandon Sanderson

Adonalsium? It is theoretically possible to put a Shard back into, you know, to meld Shards together. The fact that we have already seen someone meld powers, in Sazed. So yes, but the question is who or what was Adonalsium, and is putting it back together going to do anything? Or...

#37 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the Divine Breath is a gift of investiture directly to the...basically they are being given a large splinter of Endowment.

Questioner

But is it the size?

Brandon Sanderson

The size is important, to make that happen, yeah.

Questioner

To make it happen?

Brandon Sanderson

To make it happen, yeah. To make them come back and to do the things but...there is obviously some leakage there when they basically taking a cognitive sh...they have to create a cognitive shadow of the spirit, right. Which requires some work, and then to push that back into the body and get it to stick requires some work as well. You'll see that with Szeth it isn't sticking very well.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah Szeth is not a cognitive shadow, he actually got stuck back in but the soul is not sticking very well to the body

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That's what she's saying.

#38 Copy

Questioner

At the end of the last Wax and Wayne book, which I love, that statue that they though was the Lord Ruler. It was Kelsier.

Brandon Sanderson

That was Kelsier.

Questioner

Ok. I thought so, because the way the other thing ended with the eye, the eye thing was throwing me off and then I went and grabbed the secret thing and I was like "No that can't..."

Brandon Sanderson

That is Kelsier.

Questioner

And will we find out more in the next Wax and Wayne book or do we need to wait and find out more later?

Brandon Sanderson

You will find out more in the Wax and Wayne book, really that that's going on there is foreshadowing for era 3, and for future Secret History stories if I do them. So the Wax and Wayne books are not about the return of Kelsier, but the return of Kelsier is very important for later things in the series.

#39 Copy

Questioner

Will you be making an origin series for Bastille?

Brandon Sanderson

I will be writing a book from her viewpoint next to kind of wrap some things up. We will see how it is received, if it is I can do more Bastille books, that is not outside of reason.

#40 Copy

Questioner

So, the original Steelheart, David's father, vs David, once he gets his new steelheart powers, which one do you think would be better?

Brandon Sanderson

More powerful you mean?

Questioner

Yeah, and, like more, skill-wise and...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh definitely original Steelheart but, you know, give David some time.

#41 Copy

Questioner

In Mistborn, we know if someone puts their Identity into a metalmind, they can create metalminds other people can use. Would other people be able to use that aluminummind to overwrite their own Identity, or is it still tied to the creator because it was still keyed to their Identity when they were filling it?

Brandon Sanderson

So if you have no Identity and you fill a metalmind, that metalmind is full of Identity-less...

Questioner

Yeah, so anyone can use that. But can someone use your aluminummind?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh wait a minute, so...that you filled with your Identity. So they would have to have your Identity already. 

Questioner

Ok, so you can't have two people fill Identity and effectively swap aluminumminds.

Brandon Sanderson

If you can...there are ways to make this happen but the best way to make what you're talking about happen, is to be filling your own Identity while having a blank metalmind. That is the best way, obviously. But there are other workarounds for both situations, like a blank metalmind is pretty easy to use. It's blank. But if you were blank, and using a blank, it's a little better. 

Questioner

Ok. Because you're both blank.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, and so I'll give you the mechanics of all this eventually, they're just trying to still figure it all out themselves. Because right now they're just doing things they've been told "do this" but they don't know the why's. But if you are blank and have a metalmind that has an Identity, right, that is not an impossible situation that you're in either.

#43 Copy

Questioner

In Mistborn the original, what kind of music were you thinking, at the ball, was that just like European chamber music?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#44 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

For the recording and for the sake of you, Peter and I have a big document that talks about all these mechanics [of blank identity and metalminds]. It's entirely possible that when I'm actually sitting down and building future Mistborn, like 1980s technology, that I'm like "Ahh some of this needs tweaking". So what's not expressly in the books, that I'm telling you guys, has not...I mean it's like 90% canon but it's possible that I'm like "Ahh this is just not going to work" because when we get to the actual plotting of that and future Mistborn, science fiction Mistborn, I'm going to have to look at that and decide, how is the power ratio, right, am I breaking the economy by doing these things. So things that I just have instincts on right now, I haven't worked out the economics of. 

Questioner

So that'll come later.

Brandon Sanderson

That'll come later in the series, so I'm just giving myself some wiggle room on some of these things, but that's how I have it in my head right now.

#45 Copy

Question

In Stormlight, so many of the names of things are pairs of words, like the glyphpairs or something...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah it's the glyphpairs, those are very big parts. You'll find it common throughout my writing though because, in my studies of languages, I found that most languages that's very common, that's where things come from. English doesn't do it as much, or at least it's not as obvious because we don't have many weird words for things but it's super common throughout linguistics. For Alethi, with the glyphpairs and stuff, it's the way they do things. It's like German, they make a new word by taking two words and smashing them together

#47 Copy

Questioner

Her name, Lift, is it literally like 'lift', the sound, or is it translated from Rosharan, like the word lift?

Brandon Sanderson

It is translated from Rosharan.

Questioner

Is it a nickname?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'll RAFO that. But that is actually, it's whatever in Rosharan...not in Rosh...in Reshi, whatever in Reshi...and Reshi is the Iriali language family, so...

#48 Copy

Questioner

Are there any other spren from Odium aside from voidspren?

Brandon Sanderson

Voidspren is a name for spren from Odium, it covers entire categories of spren.

Question

So they're all just generically voidspren?

Brandon Sanderson

Voidspren is a name for them, yes, but there are sub-divisions of things like this.

Questioner

Can you break that down more?

Brandon Sanderson

You will get that broken down in future books as it becomes more obvious what does what, coz they have their own thing that, I'm just going to stop. That's a RAFO.

#49 Copy

Questioner

If it's possible for a Shard that's been shattered to be recombined, has it happened yet?

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen things be added back together. I'm not going to say whether you've seen a splintered shard fully be recombined, alright. Ah, you haven't seen it happen, I'm not going to say whether it's happened in the Cosmere or not.

#50 Copy

Questioner

Szeth-son-son-Vallano, is that name common, in Shin, or is that something that...

Brandon Sanderson

Usually it's, if you only have one son, usually it's... Yeah, the son-son was because he was not considered worthy enough to be worthy of his father. 

Question

So is he related to Vallano?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's the grandson.

#51 Copy

Lirins hand

*inaudible* changing suits, or is the suit changing *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

(Brandon chuckling) Unfortunately he just changes suits.

Lirins hand

Three times?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's one of those things where now when I look at it I'm like, oh that totally looks like I was doing something...no.

#52 Copy

Lirins hand

Are all the red-eyed characters influenced by the same Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Good question! I was waiting for someone to ask that. You will come to learn what red means in the Cosmere. There is a meaning for red in the Cosmere.

#54 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if a Parshendi were to attract a spren and bring it into the Highstorm? Like, an Honorspren of some sort?

Brandon Sanderson

Sapient spren have a choice of whether they get bonded or not, unless you entrap them some way. But simply attracting them...simply going into the Highstorm with one wouldn't work, what you said is 'attracted a spren', so, to answer that actually... The thing is, honorspren, all the spren of Honor and Cultivation, not honorspren capital, Honorspren or whatever... The spren that create the orders of the Knights Radiant have not, in the past, been attracted to Parshendi because of certain events in the past.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to Read and Find Out.

#55 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'll RAFO that but it's more of a RAFO in the sort of, uh I think you can theorize on this and come up with a ...

#56 Copy

Questioner

Could a bloodmaker heal a Shardblade wound?

Brandon Sanderson

Could a...whatmaker? Oh, could a bloodmaker heal a Shardblade wound? Um, yes, yes they could. So, what...so, yes, this is possible. (Long pause) Is it possible? I haven't actually thought about it. I have to work through the mechanics of the magics. Jury's out. Jury's out. I've gotta go and look at the actual mechanics, so I'm gonna "jury's out" on that one. That's a read and find out as, you would think I'd figured that one out, because I'm planning for the conflicts but I haven't, like... So what's happening with the healing on Roshar is that they are using Stormlight to bridge the severed soul and glue it back together, right. So, the magic of bloodmaking is different to an extent, in that it is prompting healing directly from the body, right... I'm gonna go with yes, until I look at it but, jury's out.

#57 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So one of the things people have been asking about a lot the nature of Identity and its uses for accessing other people's metalminds, and things like this right. And I hedged a little bit when somebody asked me... *inaudible*...send people into spirals of confusion, so I'm gonna clarify it for now. So, someone comes in and says, we need a blank metalmind, anybody can use that. I'm like, yes but, the reason that it's a hedge is that you need to actually be a feruchemist to access it, right, you can't just hold the blank metalmind not being a feruchemist, even though it's somebody else's investiture that's been blanked, right. So people keep kind of missing this thing. I'm hedging in the sort of, you don't quite have it, I've kind of dodged it, but I worry that it's just going to be confusing.

So the issue is, you need two things from one of these. You need something that makes you a feruchemist, and then you need a metalmind that somebody else has filled with blank investiture, ok. Now if you can get pure investiture, that can be used by anybody, regardless, ok, you need it in pure form though. But, so there are some other tricks with this as well that don't make it...so anyway, you've got a couple of things that can go on. So you've got a blank metalmind, right, with nothing. You need either investiture, to be able...like you need to be the right type. There are ways to access that if you are completely blank also, if you were a blank slate, but that is still...kind of hard. It's even harder if you are blank, and the metalmind is not blank, but that's not what they're doing in Mistborn right now. You are tapping investiture, gaining the ability of feruchemy and then you are drawing out a blank metalmind, ok. That's the one you need to be...and everything else I'm hedging on intentionally, and I'm worried I hedged in a way that made it sound confusing, ok. So you know now what they're doing. You know that there are other things possible. But I don't want you to think that you have the explanations for how all those things happen, ok.

#58 Copy

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

So, at the end of Mistborn Era 1, Sazed takes up both [Preservation] and Ruin, Shards which are obviously fairly diametrically opposed. Secret History implies that Sazed is able to hold both of them at once because of (for lack of a better term) who he is, and therefore implies that other people might not be able to do the same. Is that true? What would happen if someone tried to take up multiple shards and didn't have those qualifications?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Sazed was uniquely able, yes. Usually there would be an imbalance favoring one shard, which would override or push out the other.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Like, physically expulse?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Right. Not necessarily, but yes.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

So what would happen then? Would it just float around? Would it Splinter? Could it be dragged into the Cognitive, like on Sel?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Oh, you guys finally figured that one out?

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

No, no, it's- it's in the book.

*points to Arcanum Unbounded*

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Right, yeah, I gave you that one. But it depends- it depends on the circumstances. It might Splinter. In the right circumstances, it might obtain its own sentience. Or it might seek out a holder on its own.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Wait, you mean, sentience without a holder? Just...?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

In the right circumstances, yeah.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

And if it sought a holder, it would be inclined to find someone that would fit better with its Intent?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

And these circumstances would also depend on which Shards are taken up? Like, if they're less opposed that Ruin and Preservation?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah, exactly.

#59 Copy

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Okay, next question. The Hemalurgic bind points for the right and left eyes - are they the same?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

In terms of...?

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Like, the Inquisitor spikes, is it the exact same process for either eye? Is it interchangeable?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They're slightly different.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

And on bind points... are these something that we could figure out ourselves one day, through analysis and guessing? Or is it something we'll just have to wait and see?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

They're... it would be a lot of trial and error, but it's... possible? And you need Intent, so... it would be a lot of trial and error. It wouldn't be easy. Probably not.

#60 Copy

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Alright, thanks. Last question for me tonight - so, when a Hemalurgic spike steals something, then it's storing Investiture in it, yeah? So could you - could you do something with that Investiture? Like... say I'm on Nalthis, and just theoretically, I use a Hemalurgic spike to steal a lot of Breath - can I use that Investiture to Awaken something? Could I Awaken the spike?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That... you'd need a lot of Investiture to Awaken a spike.

Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

Because it's already charged up with something else?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah.

#61 Copy

Question (paraphrased)

A bonus piece of information - my poor friend that I dragged along with me (who had only read Warbreaker) asked about the specific naming of Bio-Chromatic Breath.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Sanderson confirmed as part of his response that at least some the Five Scholars had visited worlds who had gone through the Industrial Revolution (and therefore would have more of a sense of scientific theory, that the Scholars would have picked up on).

Event details
Name
Name Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing
Date
Date Dec. 1, 2016
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Arcanum Unbounded
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 61
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