LTUE 2020

Event details
Name LTUE 2020
Date Feb. 15, 2020
Location Provo, UT
Entries 19
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#1 Copy


Did whoever wrote the The Way of Kings, have access or exposure to BioChromatic Breath? There was a scene in Chapter 26, it could just be speaking of candles and breath. But the way you wrote it made me think that there was some connection.

Brandon Sanderson

There has been longstanding travel between those two planets.

#2 Copy


Can you become a Nightblood savant? 

Brandon Sanderson

Um... No, I don't think that would work. Just the way that things are working, probably not. Whether Nightblood is savant or not... But you probably could not become a savant of Nightblood.

#3 Copy

Questioner 1

Does aluminum actually make the metals disappear, like, be metabolized? Or does it just cut the Spiritual connection?

Brandon Sanderson

So... I haven't actually canonized that... I've gone back and forth. For a while, I said it got rid of them. And there may even be... But the more I thought about that, the more it doesn't make much sense.

Questioner 1

It doesn't. Especially the way that duralumin works, it doesn't really make sense.

Brandon Sanderson

And so, I've been kind of pushing the other way. Since I haven't said it in-world, it's not truly canon, but I believe I've answered other fans saying that it burns them all away in a flash, and we might need it to do that, for future things. So, I'm undecided.

Questioner 2

It needs to get rid of them, but a path to sever the connection at the same time.

Brandon Sanderson

One of the big problems is, if it only severs the connection and leaves the metals, than you have heavy metal poisoning from some of the metals.

Questioner 1

But if it makes them burn away, that doesn't work the same way as duralumin. Duralumin only burns the ones you're burning.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I kinda have to err back on the side of "it gets rid of them," just we don't have to deal with metal poisoning, but I've kind of been wavering a little bit, thinking, "Is there a better way to explain this."

#4 Copy


In the first book, when does Kaladin actually say the first ideal?

Brandon Sanderson

This is not supposed to be sneaky. But I'd have to look at the book and point at it. There shouldn't be anything sneaky there.

#5 Copy


On the reading–just yes or no–is the flute that Lift has related to Hoid's flute?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I wouldn't mention the flute without it being relevant.

#6 Copy


Is there a specific Shard that most of the spren come from?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the spren are going to be related to a combination of Honor and Cultivation, weighted certain directions for certain types of spren. But the spren are mostly both of them. 


Are they considered Splinters?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could call spren Splinters if you wanted to. They work in the same way as a Splinter, so yeah.

#7 Copy


Are we ever going to know what happened to Kaladin's flute that he lost in [Stormlight] book <two>?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I just did a reading that mentions the flute.


I know. I heard that and I was wondering, "Is that?..."

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah that is the flute.

#9 Copy


I loved Warbreaker so much. It was one of my favorites. The only problem I had was the end was a little abrupt, with Siri and Susebron. Do you know, will we have a novella, or understand more what happens after that?

Brandon Sanderson

So when I write the sequel, I will make sure that I include some stuff. The sequel isn't about them. It's about Vivenna, but I will at least indicate what's going on with them. The whole ending was just a little bit abrupt on that one. It was more of a discovery-written book than my others. But yeah, that is one of its kind of drawbacks is that ending.


Will we see them for like a little scene at all?

Brandon Sanderson

You might get a letter from them, is what I'm planning. It's possible I'll sneak into an interlude or something like that with them, but we'll have to see when I actually write it.

#10 Copy


Calamity from the Reckoners series–is there any connection between him and the delvers from Starsight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Very, very loose connection, but there is a connection. 


Okay, because I was like, "They both come from the dark nowhere, quiet, they hate people and everything. There is a connection."

Brandon Sanderson

There is a connection. And Apocalypse Guard was kind of supposed to bridge between these things, but it didn't end up coming out, and it may not even be a bridge when we finally revise it because we have to make the book good, rather than worrying about that. But it was supposed to kind of do that. It's gonna work well if I can fix the ending. I've just gotta fix the ending.

#11 (not searchable) Copy

Brandon Sanderson

As Lift hung from the ceiling, dangling precariously from a rope with one hand, reaching out with the other towards the basket, she was forced to acknowledge that stealing food just didn’t give her the same thrill as it once had. She continued to pretend, because she didn’t want her life to change. She hated change. Stealing people’s food was basically her thing. She’d been doing it for years, and she still did get a thrill when she saw their starvin' faces. They’d open a drawer and their chouta wrap was gone, or they’d pick up their plate and find it empty. They’d adopt the most sublime moment of cross-eyed panic and confusion. And then they’d smile and look to see where she was.

They didn’t see her of course, she was way too good at hiding, but they’d look, and they seemed fond. You weren’t supposed to be fond when someone stole from you. Ruined the entire experience. Then there was this. She stretched a little further, fingers brushing the basket. She swung on her rope, stretched out and… there, she snatched the basket. She stuffed the handle between her teeth and scuttled back up the rope, vanishing into the hidden labyrinth of small tunnels that laced the ceilings and walls of the tower. Up here Wyndle waited, coiled up upon himself and making a face out of vines and crystal.

“Oh!” he said, “A full basket! Let’s see what she left you this time.”

“Ain't nobody leavin' me nothing,” Lift snapped. “I stole it, unfair and square. Also, hush. Someone might hear.”

“They can’t hear me Mistress, I am…”

“I hear you, so hush, whinyspren.” She crept away from the hole, pushing the basket ahead of her as she crawled through the small tunnel. The next intersection was a tight squeeze, but she could make herself slippery with Stormlight, so she got through. Two turns and a straight crawl later, they entered a small intersection of tunnels, where she’d left a sphere for light. The roof of the tunnel was a little higher here, letting her settle down with her back against the stone so she could inspect her prize. Wyndle came in on the ceiling, taking the shape of a growing vine that crept across the stone. He formed a face again right above her, looking down as she pulled open the basket and began rifling through it. Flatbreads and curry, sugared mashed beans, little jar with a cute face drawn on top, along with the Horneaters’ symbol for love. It looked like jam inside. Lift looked up at the ceiling and the blinking vine face hanging from it.

“Alright,” she admitted, “maybe she left it out for me.”


Starving stupid Horneater woman,” Lift grumbled, slathering jam on the flatbread. “Her dad knew how to make it look like an accident, leaving stuff out so I could take it. Let me storming pretend.”

She stuffed the bread in her mouth. Damnation it was good. Only made the experience more humiliating.

“I don’t see the problem, Mistress,” Wyndle said.

“That’s 'cause you’re a dummyspren,” she said, then stuffed the rest of the flatbread into her mouth, talking around it. “Don’t <blahgruhbluhbluhluh>.”

“I do too like fun in my life,” he said. “Last week I displayed the most beautiful art installation of chairs from around the tower. The others thought it quite majestic; they complimented the stools in particular.”

Lift sighed, leaning back against the wall and just slumped there. Not really angry, not really sad, she was just… <blarglegorf>. Supremely <blarglegorf>.

Storms. The wrap she wore underneath her shirt was really starting to itch today. “Come on,” she said, grabbing the basket and sphere and then moving on through the tower's innards.

“Is it really so bad?” Wyndle said, following. “Cord likes you. That’s why she leaves things out for you”.

“I’m not supposed to be liked,” Lift snapped. “I’m a shadow. A dangerous and unseen shadow moving mysteriously from place to place, never seen, always feared.”

“A… shadow.”

“Yes, a starvin' shadow alright?” She had had to squeeze through the next tunnel, too. Stupid, stupid, stupid. “This tower here, it's like a big old corpse, and I’m like blood, sneakin' around through its veins.”

“Why would a corpse have blood in its veins?”

“Fine, it’s not dead, it’s…sleepin', and we’re its stormin' blood, alright?”

“I should think,” Wyndle said as she squeezed through another tight fit, “these air vents are more like intestines. So the allegory would make you more akin to, um, well… feces, I guess.”

“Wyndle…” she said, pulling through.

“Yes, Mistress?”

“Maybe stop trying to help with my deezy metaphors, alright?”

“Yes, alright.”

Storming lamespren,” she muttered, getting to a section of air vents that were larger. She did like this tower. There were lots of places to hide and places to explore, particularly if you were a person of the smaller variety. Up here in this network of stone ventilation shafts, she found the occasional mink or other scavenger, but it was really just her domain. The adults were too big and the other children too frightened. Plus, she could glow when properly fed, and her awesomeness could get her through tight squeezes. When she'd first started exploring up here, there hadn’t been nearly as many of those as there were now. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

They eventually reached her nest, an opening where four ventilation shafts met. Here, she'd piled up blankets, food stores, and some treasures. One of Dalinar’s knives she was absolutely sure he hadn't wanted her to steal. Some interesting shells. An old flute that Wyndle said looked strange to him. There were near a well where she could get all the water she wanted, but far enough away from population that she could talk without feeling like people could hear her.

The previous nest she'd made before moving had let her listen in on echoes of people nearby, but they’d been able to hear her, as well. She’d heard them talking about the echoing in the ventilation shafts. "The spirit of the tower," they’d said. And that had been nifty at first, but then they’d started leaving out stuff for her, like she was like the stormin' Nightwatcher. And then she’d started to feel guilty. You can’t be takin' stuff from people who don’t have much to give. That was the first rule of not being a total and utter useless piece of chull dung.

She munched on some stolen food from her basket, then sighed and got up. She stepped to the side wall, putting her back to it.

“Come on,” she said, “Do it.”

Wyndle moved up the wall. As always, he left a trail of vines behind him. Those would crumble and decay soon after, but for a short time could be used to mark something, like the height of a girl standing beside the wall. He moved across the wall atop her head, then she stepped back and marked the line with a more permanent one out of chalk.

“That’s almost a full inch since last time,” she said.

“I’m… sorry, Mistress.”

She flopped down in her nest of blankets, wanting to curl up and cry. But she didn’t do that, because she wasn't storming weak. Instead, she took off her shirt, then undid the wrap around her chest and redid it tightly.

“I’ll stop eating,” she said. “That’ll stunt my growth.”

“You? Stop eating?”

“I could do it!” She pulled the wrap tighter, then put her shirt back on. Then she just lay and stared up at the marks on the wall showing the progress of her height over the last eight months.

“Mistress,” Wyndle said, curling up like an eel and raising a vine head beside her. He was getting better at making faces, and this one was one of her favorites. It had little vines that looked like mustaches. “Don’t you think it is time that you told me what exactly you asked the Nightwatcher?”

“Doesn’t matter.” she said. “It was all lies. The boon, the promises. Lies, lies, lies.”

“I have met the Nightwatcher,” Wyndle said. “She does not think the same way the rest of us do. Cultivation created her to be apart, to be separate from mankind, unconnected. She wanted to create a daughter whose shape and personality would not be influenced by the perceptions of humans. This makes the Nightwatcher less... well, human than a spren like myself. Still, I don’t believe her capable of lying. It isn’t something she could conceive of, I believe.”

“She’s not the liar,” Lift said, closing her eyes. Storms, she’d made the wrap too tight; she could barely breathe. “It’s the other one, the one with the dress like leaves merging into the underbrush, hair like twigs, skin the color of deep brown stone.”

“So, you saw Cultivation herself. That is rare.”

Lift shrugged.

“I had suspected it was true. Your situation is unique. Why, seeing into the Cognitive Realm even a little is an uncommon feature in a human, and turning food into Stormlight… well, you’re special, Lift”.

“I didn’t want to be special.”

“Says the girl who just earlier was comparing herself dramatically to a shadow.”

“I just wanted what I asked for.”

“Which was?”

“Not important now.”

“I rather think it is.”

“I asked not to change,” Lift whispered, opening her eyes. “I said when everything else is going wrong, I want to be the same. I want to stay me, not become someone else.”

“Those are the exact words you asked?”

“Best I can remember.”

“Hmm,” Wyndle said, snuggling down into his vines. “I believe the problem is how vague you were.”

“I wasn’t vague! I told her, make me so I don’t grow up.”

“That is not what you said, Mistress. And if I might be so bold, having spent a great deal of time around you, I should tell you that you are not an easy person to understand.”

“I asked not to change, so why am I changing?”

“You’re still you, just a bigger version.”

She squeezed her eyes shut again.

“Mistress. Lift. Will you tell me why this bothers you so much? Everyone grows, everyone changes.”

“But I’m…I’m her little girl.”

“Who’s little girl?” he asked gently. “Your mother?”

Lift nodded. Stupid, sounded stupid and she was stupid. Mother was dead, that was that. Why hadn’t she said the right words? Why hadn’t Cultivation just understood? She was supposed to be some sort of starving god. It was her fault if a little girl came and begged for a promise that got deliberately misinterpreted and… and Lift liked who she was, who she had been. She wouldn’t be the same when she got older.

#12 Copy


Elves and goblins and orcs have all gone out of style. But why is it that dragons haven't? Why do you think?

Brandon Sanderson

I think that orcs and elves and things were so directly associated with Tolkien (even though Tolkien had dragons, too), while dragons were a much broader association. So, I think because elves and halflings were associated with Tolkien, got really associated with roleplaying, then got associated with a certain sub-brand of sci-fi/fantasy... Dragons somehow escaped that because they were larger than Tolkien. Elves technically were, too, but the ones we use in fantasy are very directly related to Tolkien elves. And these things are cyclical with those. But dragons haven't; that's just because, like I said, they were part of the collective unconsciousness. There were dragon books before Tolkien. But there weren't hobbit books before Tolkien.

#13 Copy


When you write too much, how do you know what to keep?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the given scene. When I'm trimming down description, I'm using looking for: am I repetitious? Am I breaking the flow? If I'm not being repetitious and breaking the flow, I leave it. If I'm breaking the pacing and the flow of this chapter, or if I'm just saying the same thing too much, that's where I take an axe to it. It's when I'm trying to make it more specific and shorter by condensing it, usually.

#14 Copy


Quick question on aluminum. Why does it affect other forms of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

When I was building the cosmere, I just had to build certain themes into it, and metal was one of those. And the metals have kind of a Spiritual integrity, and Spiritual component, that if I can get into Dragonsteel explaining why, you'll get your kind of origins.


And that's why, in Warbreaker, metals are different with Awakening, and stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

And even in Roshar, the cages that you're building for fabrials, once you start to figure out how those metals affect it, you'll be like, "Oh wait, that makes sense!" And these are just across the cosmere.

And if you want an in-world answer, it has to do with stuff in Dragonsteel. But really, the answer is, I was building this and I'm like, "I just want this to be a theme. So I'm just going to give this Spiritual component to metals." So it works in Mistborn, and it works all across everything.

#15 Copy


As far as the Lord Ruler goes, how did he use the Twinborn thing? Feruchemy and Allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson

What he had to figure out how to do is: Allomancy is powered by Spiritual power directly from the Shard of Adonalsium. Whereas Feruchemy is powered by your own Investiture and effort being transferred into the thing. What he needed to do was figure out a way to power Feruchemy with Allomantic power, right? You could have done the same thing by fueling it with the Dor, or with Stormlight, or another external. But he only had access to three magics. So what he had to do was figure out that.

So what he's doing is, he's basically taking metals, (since he's a Feruchemist and an allomancers), and he is burning metals that he has Invested himself, but then using... basically, switching it so he gets a burst of Allomantic power that is charged with a Feruchemical attribute. So it's powering Feruchemy with Allomancy by burning the metal that he himself has Invested.


So he was essentially putting stuff into the metal?

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, priming the pump. He puts it in with Feruchemy. Then he burns it with Allomancy. But that fuels Feruchemy with Allomancy, which allows him to draw on the powers of the Shards, rather than himself. So it's not really a perpetual motion machine, because he's drawing the power from someone else. But it's external, which allows him to break the rules of Feruchemy.

The big question I have is: that works in the book, because you can dig into the technicalities of the book. But that's not gonna work in the movie, right? That explanation right there, that's so many levels over the heads of the audience. So I have to figure out a way to not break the cosmere magic, but make it simpler to understand in the movie. Which is the big headache in writing the screenplay. That's probably the biggest challenge in the screenplay is to figure out how to make that all work.

#16 Copy


When is the next Alcatraz book coming?

Brandon Sanderson

Very close. Very close. Last draft. I wrote half, Janci is writing half. And she just did her last revision. So now I just have to read through and do my last revision, and we'll be ready.

#17 Copy

Dan Wells

Who here is a big Brandon Sanderson fan? We've talked about doing weird collaborations forever. We actually did one. And if you are a big Brandon fan, you have probably heard about a book called The Apocalypse Guard. Which is one that he's been working on for a while, and he eventually came to me and is like, "This is broken! Help me fix it!" So I came in, and I fixed some of it. And we went back and forth and we did a few revisions, and we got to the point where everything's working except the magic system. And I'm not the a-hole that's gonna change a Brandon Sanderson magic system. So it's on the back shelf until we get a chance to go through and have him do another pass. But I'm gonna read a little bit of the first chapter to you right now.

#18 (not searchable) Copy

Dan Wells

The Apocalypse Guard

Part One: The Plural of Apocalypse

Chapter One

Emma's Instructions for Starting a Book:

1) Start with something exciting, to get the reader's attention.

2) Don't start with a blog post. Like this one.

3) Crap. Let me start over.

Smoke in the air, a red sky, huddling alone in the ruins of a dying world. (See, that's better already.) My name is Emma, by the way. Yes, that Emma, from Emma's Instructions. But unless you're one of the six people who follows me on Snapgram, that probably doesn't mean anything to you. So, let me introduce myself. I'm eighteen years old. I'm from <Idaho>, sort of. And I just realized that I got totally off track again. What happened to the red sky and the dying world? Well, let me tell you.

Remember how I'm only sort of from <Idaho>? I've lived there since I was two, but I was born in a place called <Ard>, which is basically like a different version of <Idaho>, but in an alternate reality? And if you're reading this, you need to know about alternate realities. There's Earth. And then there's an infinite number of different worlds that are kind of like Earth, but also different. Sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot. Like there's one called <Hona> that's mostly the same as the world you know, except instead of continents it's all islands. Even <Idaho> is an island in a giant North American archipelago. Crazy, huh? So there's <Hona>, and there's Terra, and there's <Erodan> and <Pangaea>, and a bunch of others. And there used to be an <Ard>, but it's gone now. Because I called it a dying world before, but that was sixteen years ago. Today, it is all the way dead. Burned to a crisp. And I almost burned with it, except that the Apocalypse Guard swooped in and saved me.

Holy crap, the Apocalypse Guard! Why didn't I start with them?

Emma's Instructions for Starting a Book Correctly:

1) Start with something exciting to get the reader's attention.

2) Like, for example, if your story includes a group of amazing heroes who travel the multiverse saving entire worlds from destruction, maybe lead with that.

3) I mean, come on.

The Apocalypse Guard are based on Earth, but they hop around from world to world stopping Apocalypses. Apocalypsi? Apocaleeps? That word doesn't even have a plural, because why would you ever need to talk about more than one Apocalypse? Most people just get one, and then boom, you're done. That's what an Apocalypse is. But the Apocalypse Guard can actually stop Apocalypses, and they've already stopped a bunch of them and now we're in <Erodan> to stop a giant asteroid and it's AMAZING.

Important Note: did you see how I casually dropped that "we" in there? Now "we're" in <Erodan>? That's because I'M TOTALLY A MEMBER OF THE APOCALYPSE GUARD AND I CAME HERE TO STOP AN ASTEROID! (I know it's kind of lame to type in caps lock like that, but seriously, if you were in the Apocalypse Guard traveling to a different dimension to stop a giant asteroid, you'd totally put it in your Snapgram, too, and I would not say anything about your excited over-use of caps lock because I am a good friend.

Which is also why I am going to stop talking about myself and start telling you the story about how we saved <Erodan>.

Starting right now.

I was standing in the Apocalypse Guard command center, looking up at the screens that showed the giant asteroid hurtling down toward the planet when Commander Visco signalled that it was time for me to do my part.

"Emma," she said, and waved her coffee mug toward me. "I'm empty again."

Okay, so my part is very small.

"Yes, sir!" I seized the Commander's mug and hurried over to the small kitchen beside the command center. I mean, I was only eighteen, and fresh out of high school; it's not like I was gonna be out there flying around in a power rig, draining kinetic energy from an extinction-level space rock. I was a cadet! And this was still very early in my training, so coffee was all they let me do.

One pot of coffee was already brewing on the counter, but we had about forty people in the command center, each with their own station and responsibility. So I got a second pot going, just in case. To tell you the truth, I was a coffee-making genius. Which is weird, because I don't drink coffee. I'm not just from <Idaho>; I'm from <Iona, Idaho>. Population 1,803, approximately 1,802 of whom are in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, including me. So I don't drink coffee, but you know what I can do? I can follow instructions. It's practically a superpower. Though, I guess if you followed me on Snapgram, you already knew that.

Emma's Instructions for Perfect Coffee:

1) Follow the freaking recipe.

2) Serve it way hotter than you think it should be.

3) Never talk about how bad it smells.

I know a lot of people love the smell of coffee, but they're wrong. You call it an acquired taste; I call it Stockholm Syndrome.

"You don't have to read the recipe every single time you brew a pot," said Sophie, jogging up with a few empty mugs of her own. She was a cadet, like me, and was mostly just a coffee girl, like me. "Trust me," she said, "I've been drinking coffee for years and I..."

She caught a whiff of the pot I had just filled, and her eyes closed in aromatic pleasure. "Wow, that smells amazing!"

"Thank you," I said and smiled. What did I tell you? Coffee. Making. Genius. When you read the manual and follow the rules and measure things exactly, it will always turn out better than if you just do something by instinct. Always.

I gave Sophie a fist-bump of cadet solidarity, filled Commander Visco's mug, and rushed back into the command center. I said before that we were on <Erodan>, but that's "we" in the communal sense. We, the Apocalypse Guard, had a presence in <Erodan>. When most think of the Apocalypse Guard, they think of the Power Riggers, and their fantastical abilities. And yes, a bunch of those people were on <Erodan> and up in orbit around it, fighting the asteroid. The rest of us, the operators, scientists, engineers, medics, Commanders, janitors, accountants, and cadets were back on Earth using something called a dimensional tunneler to communicate with the Riggers.

We were doing it from an orbital space station, though, which is still pretty friggin' rad, huh? I love this job.

I gave Commander Visco her steaming mug of coffee and took the opportunity to look over her shoulder at the room's main screen, currently showing a view of the asteroid. One of our technicians had named the asteroid "Droppy." Which was why we didn't usually let our technicians name things.

#19 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

We will find a time to eventually release this book [Apocalypse Guard]. It's interesting; when you add us together, oftentimes things just get weirder. They get better, but they get weirder. You can actually go listen to my version of that chapter read at some point in the past, and you will find it's actually much worse. Adding us together really does enhance. But the problem is: we go off the rails real fast in books, the same way we go off the rails in panels. So now, Dan's pitched it back to me to fix the structure, is what we need. The magic system is part of that, but it's really the structure, because the climax doesn't work anymore. It never worked; it still doesn't work. The character was broken in the original draft, and Dan fixed that. Because character is Dan's thing. Now, I've gotta figure out how to make the structure actually work. Which will be a project of mine coming up eventually.

Dan Wells

What I love about it, though (and if you go and find his original thing, then obviously you'll be able to compare and contrast them and do your whole English essay on it), reading that, I can't really tell what is me and what is Brandon, because I think we managed to combine our two styles pretty well.

Brandon Sanderson

My voice for this book was already... Emma was a little goofy. And Dan just picked right up on that, and it was instant. The voice was a little off, in the first one. It was trying a little too hard to both be dynamic and funny. And it turns out just nudging it a little more self-effacing funny made the whole thing worked. And the character just snapped together. So the kind of just slightly off sense of the characterization ended up really working. But I had known that the magic was broken when I gave it to Dan, and I'm like, "Will you fix this?" And then Dan came back and said, "This isn't the sort of thing I fix. This is the sort of thing you fix." So we will find a time for that, eventually.

Event details
Name LTUE 2020
Date Feb. 15, 2020
Location Provo, UT
Entries 19
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