Skyward Chicago signing

Event details
Name
Name Skyward Chicago signing
Date
Date Nov. 16, 2018
Location
Location Naperville, IL
Tour
Tour Skyward
Bookstore
Bookstore Anderson's Bookshop
Entries
Entries 78
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Questioner

Lift as an Edgedancer. Doesn't seem very coordinated, which seems to be the preeminent part of being an Edgedancer. Was Lift actually maybe better for another Order?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that, in the eyes of some of the spren, taking somebody who maybe doesn't quite fit the mold for your Order but has the heart that fits it is a better choice. And I think Lift and Wyndle and some of the texts may be comparing what someone at the beginning of the journey to someone near the end of their journey. So let's just give her a little time.

#2 Copy

Questioner

Did the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realms exist before Adonalsium split?

Brandon Sanderson

They did. In fact, if you can ever get a hold of Dragonsteel, (Which I don't let a lot of people read because it's got big spoilers and it doesn't really work anymore. It was one of the early books I wrote. It is the prelude to the Cosmere.) the opening chapters are in a classroom where someone is learning about the three aspects. So, yeah.

#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Where are Brandon Sanderson properties as far as other media are concerned? So let's run down them.

Fox has The Reckoners. I don't know how being bought by Disney affects that at all. But they have been very enthusiastic about The Reckoners for many years, and I hope that they will continue to be.

MGM has Snapshot, which is lesser-known, it's like a cross between The Matrix and Se7en. It's very different for me. They are very far along, they have a really excellent screenplay, and that one, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the first one that gets made. Which would be kind of odd if the first Brandon Sanderson property is a serial killer thriller.

Speaking of thrillers, Legion is owned by a group, they just bought it this summer, and last I heard they were working on showrunners and had somebody interested, so that is in a good place also. We probably have to change the name, now that Marvel has a Legion show.

The Cosmere is owned by DMG Entertainment, whom I love. They have been great to work with. The Cosmere is very difficult to adapt. They have been good partners in trying to find the right way to adapt that. Nothing is off the table. I still think it's most likely that we would see Stormlight as a television show, Mistborn as a movie, but these things are still in the foundational stages, just of getting screenplays that we like and things like that.

I think that is everything right now. I'll do a bigger thing on my blog in December where I catch anyone up.

Any more board games? There was a Stormlight board game, and we have backed off on that because some of the early things we got, we didn't like the direction it was going. We have really liked the two board games that have come out. They have both turned out really well. They have both fulfilled their Kickstarter requirements, which is one of our number one things, we don't want to have that hanging over people. So they've both been really great partners. I still would like to see Stormlight, we were going to do a Shattered Plains style game. We'll see how that goes.

#4 Copy

Argent

Cosmere healing. Some magic systems have internal healing, such as Stormlight; external healing, such as AonDor. With internal ones, the perception of the magic user seems to matter a lot. Is that also a factor for the external ones?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there are various types of healing in the cosmere. We have things like Stormlight, where you get the Stormlight and it heals you, and that one is very, very influenced by your perception. How you view yourself, and what you view as being healed, has a huge influence on what actually happens to you. Externally, if someone heals someone else, like a Knight Radiant uses the power to heal someone, or an external force heals them, is it still filtered through perception? I'm gonna say both perceptions are important in that. They both are relevant.

#5 Copy

Questioner

At this point, so far out from Oathbringer, what are the best and hardest things about having spent a lot of time writing about mental illnesses?

Brandon Sanderson

One of the reasons why I approached Stormlight the way I did is, during the intervening years, during those seven years, I got to know very deeply some people who we would call non-psychonormative, I think is a good way to say it. And I began to see that the various different ways we perceive ourselves and the various different ways we perceive our own mental processes influence a lot of how we act and who we are. And I also noticed, speaking to them, that a lot of my friends were a little--and there's no problem if you like these--but they're a little tired of every book that represented their mental illness in a story was all about the mental illness. That the book was only just how to cope with mental illness, which are great stories. But they're like, if you look at the statistics, psychonormative is not the norm. In fact, it seems to be this mythical person that doesn't exist, in that the way that all of us think is different, and in some of us it can be really impairing for our lives. And in some of us, the same thing that's impairing to our lives defines who we are. You guys want a really good book about this, Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon is a fantastic look at this.

But this all became really interesting to me. When I was looking at my characters, one of the things I noticed, for instance, I kind of used the pop science version of autism in Elantris. The more I actually got to know people with autism, the more I saw that the Rain Man version was a very extreme representation of something that is something a lot of people deal with, the way they see the world, and I started thinking, "You know, if I'm gonna create real characters in my books, this is something I need to be looking at." And it wasn't that I set out to say, "I'm going to write a book about lots of people with mental illnesses. I said, "I'm going to write a book about a lot of people who are like the people I know. And some of them think in different ways than others." And again, in some of them, that's a thing that they don't want to think that way. And it can be really impairing. But it's not that the story-- The Stormlight Archive is not about mental illness. The Stormlight Archive is about a lot of people that I wanted to try to make as real as I could, and that I also wanted to approach some things that haven't been approached, I thought, in fantasy fiction.

What are some of the advantages? Well, I think the story has been very eye-opening to me. It's hard to talk about advantages and disadvantages in light of this. What are the "disadvantages"? I am walking through a minefield, and I have blown my foot off multiple times. And I think this is part of that whole failure thing as a writer. If I hadn't perhaps done it poorly in some of my books, I wouldn't have had the chance to talk to people who are like, "I really appreciate the book and what you're trying. Here's how, if you ever did this again, you might approach making it feel more realistic." And that made me a better person, not just a better writer, and so in some ways that disadvantage is the advantage. But that is the thing. I have blown my foot off on several landmines. And I will probably continue to do so.

#7 Copy

Questioner

Aside from The Apocalyse Guard, are you planning on making a sequel to Calamity?

Brandon Sanderson

This is actually a really good question, because Apocalypse Guard was going to dig in to a few of the questions that Calamity asked at its ending. And so cancelling Apocalypse Guard leaves me saying, "Well, I maybe need to answer those questions." So there's a chance I will do a Mizzy book in the future. I'm not 100% sure, because I want to be closing off more things than I'm opening these days, so promising more sequels is a bad place for me to be.

But to run down the big sequel list, Legion is done. Reckoners is done. It doesn't mean that I might not do more, but just consider it done for now.

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, halfway through the last book. Don't believe Alcatraz when he says Book Five is the end. He lies. You should know that from Chapter One of the first book. The last book is called Bastille versus the Evil Librarians. That one should be out pretty soon. That is the last book. You can trust me on that, because I'm saying it, not Alcatraz...

Rithmatist, I can't promise. It's the number one requested sequel I get. I was working on it when the Wheel of Time came along, and The Wheel of Time changed my career dramatically. It's been very hard to figure out how to do that sequel the right way. So no promises when on that, though it is still on my radar.

Warbreaker, Elantris, probably yes, but not until Stormlight Five is done. Stormlight Four, I start on in January. You can follow the progress bars. *applause* The last Wax and Wayne book will probably be also next year, as I need to take a break at some point from Stormlight.

If it wasn't on that list, then don't hold your breath. Most of the novellas I write, I write specifically so that I won't be starting a new series. Turns out if I write a novel, I'm very bad at writing that novel standalone by itself. Instead, I've written novellas in order to get the idea out of my head and be expanding the cosmere in interesting ways but not be promising sequels, okay? That said, there's a Threnody novel somewhere in me that will probably come out.

#9 Copy

Questioner

You've been pretty open about Dalinar being somewhat based off of Genghis Khan.

Brandon Sanderson

Subutai more than Genghis Khan, but yeah.

Questioner

Is Kaladin based off of George Washington?

Brandon Sanderson

Not intentionally. But I can see the parallels as you bring them out. Kaladin was partially based on my reading about... People who have won the Medal of Honor share an interesting characteristic. A strangely statistically high number of them are older brothers. Eldest brothers. Eldest sons. Same with astronauts. And it is that protective instinct that, as an older sibling, you learn, but it can backfire on you as well for various reasons. Kaladin, I was reading a lot about that, so you've got this whole eldest brother superhero complex thing going on.

#11 Copy

Questioner

I noticed that the Third Ideals have a similar theme to them. Is that intentional?

Brandon Sanderson

They do, that is is intentional. They won't all exactly go along those lines, but I'm trying to theme them, as best I can, in groups. So all the First ones, all the Second ones, particularly a lot of the Third ones have a similar--

Questioner

"Those I hate," or "Even those I'd rather not listen to"?

Brandon Sanderson

Watch for more of that, how about that.

#14 Copy

Questioner

For the worldhopping that happens with Vasher and Vivenna. Does that happen... Are they the humans that came over--

Brandon Sanderson

No, they're not.

Questioner

They're just completely independent people who hopped--

Brandon Sanderson

They're moving more with the hidden cosmere economy that has grown up moving between planets. Between Nalthis and Roshar, you can actually catch a caravan. There's actual movement and travel between them. That's been in place on Roshar for quite a while at this point.

#17 Copy

Argent

My understanding of the... spren is that they grant powers based on what they understand to be fundamental? Ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Ish. I wouldn't 100% go with that. I would say these are the fundamental forces-- They aren't as scientific as our fundamental forces, but I would say it's more than just what the spren view and what the humans view in that case. But they are more philosophical than scientific, in cases.

Argent

Other cognitive beings, could they-- A spren on Earth. Would it grant electromagnetism surge, for example?

Brandon Sanderson

That, I would say yes.

#18 Copy

Questioner

What's the first movie you're gonna watch in your new underground massive headquarters?

Brandon Sanderson

...When we were auditioning audio/visual places, they all played the same movie for us, that we had never seen. They played a clip from Oblivion, the Tom Cruise movie. So even though I don't know if it's that great a movie, we're going to watch it, because we watched it three times-- the same clip at three different companies who were showing off their theater outfits. I guess it just has good audio. So we'll probably watch that.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Why is it called a Nahel bond?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a word in Rosharan. I'm not sure what it meant in 2002, but it basically just means "the bond to divinity." I'm not sure what the 2002 version of the linguistics played out as. I actually just called it Nahel in the original draft. I added "bond" in as I prepared this [Way of Kings Prime excerpt] for reading so it would make more sense to people.

#22 Copy

Questioner

I had a question about the Terris. Is the reason why they don't any Allomancy in their population, is that because they have less of Preservation than the rest of the Scadrial population?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I wouldn't say it that way. Good question, but no.

#23 Copy

Questioner

About the Passions. Are they related to Odium, or is there something bigger cosmere-wide?

Brandon Sanderson

They are related to traditions from the past that were Odium-influenced. I wouldn't sya-- So, they are technically related to Odium in that sort of method. More in a roundabout way, though.

#25 Copy

Questioner

In Arcanum Unbounded, it said that a Hemalurgic spike could work in any world. So if I were to take a Hemalurgic spike and spike someone like Kaladin, would he die and then I have a Windrunner's power?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but there's a big asterisk on that. Because, with the spren being a third party in this sort of arrangement, weird things would happen.

#27 Copy

Questioner

This is purely hypothetical, but if Dalinar was to become the Vessel for multiple Shards, would he have had more difficulty with Preservation separately if Harmony was involved? Because that's the only of the Shards I can't see him holding onto particularly well.

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. I can say yes on that. I think that's a good theory... you phrased [that] very well.

#28 Copy

Questioner

Do the Heralds know about AonDor?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, conceptually, a few of them do, but not in specific detail.

Questioner

'Cause Ash's name is a combination of Transformation, Beauty, and Light. I didn't know if that was a coincidence, or--

Brandon Sanderson

There are some non-coincidences in the linguistics that people have started to pick up on, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the people who have those names know about the origins of their names.

#30 Copy

Questioner

Were you gonna do anything with The Stormlight Archive with an RPG?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to. We'll have to see. We want to support the Mistborn RPG while it's out, we don't want to abandon it. But once we feel like we've done that one the way we want to, you might see a Stormlight.

Questioner

I need to get ahold of that, because I would almost be worried about, if you have a Mistborn character, especially in Era One, it would be too overpowered.

Brandon Sanderson

They made it work. The game is less combat-focused. There's social influence and gathering resources influence and combat influence are all separate, so you can have a duel of words where you attack someone's social influence that can be as valuable as attacking them on the streets at night. So because those two elements are so useful, what you end up having is, you can balance characters who don't even have Allomancy with characters who are Mistborn or with Mistings, things like that.

Questioner

I was more thinking something like Twinborn, that you can almost balance that without getting any Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

The problem with Twinborn is, you get the right combinations, it's kind of OP. But it's a storytelling based system.

#31 Copy

Questioner

As far as Hemalurgy, when you give that-- when it's done to somebody, would that create a new Resonance?

Brandon Sanderson

It's possible that it could. Though I'm gonna say, most of the time, no... Lots of things are possible, but I'll give you a "mostly no" on that one.

Questioner

What about savantism? Is that possible with Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it is.

#33 Copy

Questioner

In The Way of Kings, how did Lopen get in and out of the chasms with only one arm?

Brandon Sanderson

So, he had a little help. And he can do it. Getting down and up-- I've actually seen people, looking online. You can climb a ladder. It's not easy. It's better if you have some help. But you can get up and down.

#35 Copy

Questioner

When did you first really realize who the Lord Ruler was, if he was good or bad? Because I feel like you turned him into a good guy.

Brandon Sanderson

He is complicated. I started with that concept in mind. In fact, I had written a different book that had used the same concept that had not turned out, and I kind of recombined it into Mistborn. So I went into it knowing he was this complex character.

#36 Copy

Questioner

How do the Heralds come back? As Cognitive Shadows, how do they a physical body?

Brandon Sanderson

That system will be explained in the coming books, so that is a RAFO. I'm gonna dig into it pretty deeply. It's relevant for multiple reasons...

In the original version, Taln ended up in someone else, like they would get a body from someone else, which was part of fueling the "Is he crazy, is he not," because people were like, "I recognize this guy!" I don't use that system anymore.

Questioner

That's what I was wondering, because the Fused--

Brandon Sanderson

They use something kind of more like the Fused in the original draft, it's not that process anymore.

Questioner

Is that gonna give us lead-ins to how it worked with Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Maybe. You shall see.

#37 Copy

Questioner

In which part of your process do you start designing [maps]?

Brandon Sanderson

In the old days, it was during the prewriting phrase, before I got into it. Now that I have Isaac, I can generally just write the book, give it to Isaac, and say, "All right, here's what I was imagining. Give me some iterations on this." And he's very good at that... It depends on the book. For Stormlight, I gave him a map and said, "Here's what it looks like." But for Skyward, I'm like, "Feels like this. It's, like, this distance. Come up with something."

#39 Copy

Questioner

You know how the whole group goes into Shadesmar. What would happen if they accidentally eat a bead, and then leave Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

That would not be good for them.

Questioner

Would they just explode with whatever the object was?

Brandon Sanderson

That's not exactly how it works. Fortunately. But I wouldn't recommend ingesting any beads.

#42 Copy

Questioner

With Shards, are there any... limits? What can't they do? Besides being opposed by another Shard and their own intent?

Brandon Sanderson

It varies a lot. It varies based on experience and situation. They are not omnipotent, though the power is infinite. So that is the weird part that you get into. So, they are limited partially by their own limitations, and also the limitations imposed upon them by the situations they're in.

Questioner

Is there anything universal about all of them?

Brandon Sanderson

They all have bits of them in all of the cosmere, so that's universal. They all are bounded more by themselves than by the power itself.

#45 Copy

Volratho

Was Roshar equally Invested by Cultivation and Honor originally?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Volratho

How 'bout now, since he's been--

Brandon Sanderson

So the Investiture is all still there... It is not all accessible. So, at this point, you might say-- I'd say it's a point of disputation. It would be worth arguing either way. I will say at this point, no, it's not equal anymore. But definitions of where the power is and what it counts as is ambiguous.

Volratho

So Cultivation has more active Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would say yes... Well, but she's been very coy. I'm gonna leave it at that.

#46 Copy

Blightsong

You've said that, AI in the cosmere, creating one is kind of like having a child realmatically. Would that extend to most sapient creations?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Blightsong

So could a created spren from a Returned inherit Royal Locks? Within a reasonable possibility?

Brandon Sanderson

*ahhing in a very curious manner* You could make this happen, but I don't think it would happen naturally.

#47 Copy

Blightsong

People tend to hear a lot of voices on Roshar in their heads. And I've noticed that a lot of people either have been confirmed to be in contact with Unmade or show a lot of signs of that. Is there a correlation there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#50 Copy

ILuvHats

I have a question about the Sleepless. So you have confirmed that distance does matter. Is there a limit or a factor affecting how many hordelings they control?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

ILuvHats

Can you elaborate?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but there is an upper limit on both mass and number.

#52 Copy

Kurkistan

What's it like inside a time bubble on a windy day?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I've had to play around a little bit with the air. Air moves in and out, you would still feel it windy, but as I have it you will not feel it from the direction the wind is coming, it will be deflected a little bit. So you might be a little bit in a wind tunnel or something, probably a swirl.

#54 Copy

Questioner

On my reread of Reckoners, I remembered it being really kitschy and light-hearted, but the prologue of the first book is really dark. Is the rest of the book so light-hearted because it is David trying to make the best of a really crappy situation, or is it because it's Young Adult?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It's also partially, I wrote the prologue, stepped away, came back, and wrote the rest... One of the things I regret about the books is that-- I was telling a story about assassinating superheroes. So I thought it was going to go darker than it did, once I found David's voice. And if I could go back, I might take out the baby skeleton... I couldn't cut it because it's such a great image, but I should have. My biggest regret with that series is the tonal mismatch... It's this thing where I'm like, "That would be the best book for, like, a fourteen-year-old to read of mine, except the prologue which involves dissolving babies."

#55 Copy

Questioner

The Ghostblood that's from the southern part of Scadrial. Does that mean she can use the [Allomantic] metals?

Brandon Sanderson

She was not born there. Iyatil is from somewhere else... She has a.. Scadrian heritage. Whether she's an Allomancer or not, I will RAFO. It is possible that someone with her lineage could.

Questioner

So she doesn't have to be born on--

Brandon Sanderson

No.

#56 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if there's any correlation between the spren in the Axies interlude in the Way of Kings with his faces, and what Shallan does in Oathbringer when she's going through the faces telling them it doesn't hurt? 'Cause it said the refugees saw her nature as a spren, and I made a connection there. Is it a coincidence?

Brandon Sanderson

I will call that mostly coincidence.

#58 Copy

Questioner

Someone had asked you a question about Marsh being a worldhopper, and you mentioned that there was nothing about his Investiture that would prevent him from going off-world. Which implies that there are other people who their Investiture would prevent?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier. I don't count him as going off-world, despite him getting very close.

Questioner

Is there anyone living on Scadrial who that would also apply to?

Brandon Sanderson

As a default, no. I can't say 100% whether there's nobody. But as a default, that wouldn't prevent people. Not in the same way that you would have trouble getting off-world with a spren bond.

#64 Copy

Dragon13

When Hoid met Kaladin, he said he came chasing an old acquaintance, ended up spending most of his time hiding from him instead. Is he referring to Rayse or Odium? Or someone else.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Not the someone else. He was referring to Odium.

#65 Copy

Kurkistan

How much wealth, approximately, does it take to buy enough Breaths for the Fifth Heightening? Like buying a house, buying a ma-

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh, okay. This is going to wait for official--

Argent

Oh for that project.

Brandon Sanderson

Well I put some people on it, let's just say, so wait until we have the official project telling your conversion rates and then you'll be able to answer that theoretically once we get that all down.

Kurkistan

Just in terms of wealth on Nalthis? Like money?

Brandon Sanderson

It would take a large amount of wealth.

#66 Copy

Argent

When the Everstorm passes over Kholinar in Oathbringer. That is when Ashertmarn appears, that's when they start reporting, "Hey there's a darkness around the palace." Did the Everstorm bring Ashertmarn there? Or did it kind of awaken or unleash it?

Brandon Sanderson

A little of both.

#73 Copy

Argent

The namesake of the Nahel bond. Was that a person, or is just a name?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a word in original Alethi as I was working on it. And actually, the original didn't use "bond." Bond was implied by it. The word meant, "connection to the divine." It's gotten larger since then...

Blightsong

So when Vasher takes a similar name, he's trying to imply that meaning?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Event details
Name
Name Skyward Chicago signing
Date
Date Nov. 16, 2018
Location
Location Naperville, IL
Tour
Tour Skyward
Bookstore
Bookstore Anderson's Bookshop
Entries
Entries 78
Upload sources