FanX 2021

Event details
Name
Name FanX 2021
Date
Date Sept. 16, 2021
Entries
Entries 73
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#1 Copy

MangoMongo

Those spren bodies that were brought into the Physical Realm by Ishar. Could an Awakener make it Lifeless?

Brandon Sanderson

This is within the realm of possibility. 

MangoMongo

What about Forgery?

Brandon Sanderson

Forgery would be a little harder. Because you'd need to know what went wrong to make it go well. I'd say Forgery could accomplish this.

#2 Copy

Questioner

My friends and I have been endlessly debating whether Wit knew what happened to him at the end of Rhythm, when he said "that went exactly as I planned," if he knew he was gonna get duped? Or if he got hornswoggled?

Brandon Sanderson

He legitimately got hornswoggled. One of the opening chapters of the next book is going to be him realizing that. There's a little teaser for you.

#4 Copy

Questioner

The perpendicularity on Threnody, is it a location or a circumstance?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooooh, good question! More like the second... I was ready to RAFO that, but you asked it the right way.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Can you tell us anything about the Darkside of White Sand?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. We are hoping to do a story set there once the omnibus is out. It might graphic novel, it might be print. There is some very cool stuff about the way that the other sun works, and the magic involves tattoos. It's very nifty. We will get to it eventually. So, there you go. 

Questioner

If you do a graphic novel, will you release the prose like you did for the first one?

Brandon Sanderson

There might not be a prose if we do a graphic novel. I haven't written-- One of my goals is actually, now the graphic novel's done, is to do a straight up revision of the prose and actually make it match the graphic novel and match current Cosmere continuity, and then actually release a print edition of it. I think it's more likely that we do a prose edition of the second book than a graphic novel, but I'm not sure which one it would be.

#7 Copy

Questioner

I was just wondering if there's anything you can tell me about the Dustbringers?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say that the Dustbringers have the most variety among Knights Radiant. Them and the Willshapers would be the ones that, personality-wise and things like that, you're gonna find the most diversity. Dustbringers are famous for not agreeing with one another about almost anything.

#8 Copy

Questioner

What are dragons like?

Brandon Sanderson

In the Cosmere? They are sneaky and long-lived.

Questioner 2

Will they have wings?

Brandon Sanderson

They do have wings, depending on what form they're in. They are natural shapeshifters.

Questioner

Are they Cognitive Shadows or are they people?

Brandon Sanderson

They are people.

#12 Copy

Questioner

Have you based any of your characters off kids, like your kids or anybody else's?

Brandon Sanderson

I have not based any off of kids yet. I've based ones off of friends, but the kids... Most of the series I started when they were too young. I think eventually they will get some books.

#13 Copy

Questioner

In Warbreaker, the royals, their hair color changes. When I was reading Mistborn, I noticed there was different times that Shan Elariel's hair was described as black vs auburn or different things like that, was that...?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a typo. There are times where if you watch that'll be a clue, that one is not.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Are you gonna do more [White Sand Graphic Novels]

Brandon Sanderson

We're gonna do a full omnibus, and then we're talking about what to do with Darkside, 'cause there's a story there that I want to tell. I might involve Isaac in it; he's my art director who art directed this entire thing. There should be another story in the world. We're not sure if it'll be graphic or if it'll be print.

Questioner

I have a copy of Darkside, I just didn't bring it.

Brandon Sanderson

No, not Dark One. Darkside of White Sand, the other half of the planet. Dark One is a different thing. Khriss is from Darkside in this world, and she's really relevant to the Cosmere as a whole. She shows in up several of the other books. She shows up in Bands of Mourning, Khriss from this, and she's also in Secret History, and she shows up here and there. She's really relevant to the Cosmere, particularly some future stuff. And so we want to tell more of her story also.

Questioner

In Rhythm of War, when they're talking about like the sand from another planet, is that from here?

Brandon Sanderson

That is this, yes. So, white sand will charge, basically, off of any active Investiture, kinetic Investiture, and so you can use it to tell if something is using one of the magics nearby. And so it's become... you can just take it offworld and then use it kind of like a Geiger counter. So it's made its way all over the place. It shows up actually in Oathbringer as well.

#15 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering, are there dinosaurs on Ashyn? Or were there? Because there's chickens...

Brandon Sanderson

Right, right. There are reptiles. The Rosharan system is younger than some, but not as young as Scadrial. So I'll RAFO whether there were dinosaurs. On Roshar itself, there are no oil deposits caused by mass extinction events in the past.

#16 Copy

Questioner

Mistcloaks. Do they have sleeves?

Brandon Sanderson

They usually do not, but there are ones that do. Every mistcloak is built by the Mistborn, or commissioned, there's no standardized what a mistcloak even looked like, they're all kind of like individually built.

#18 Copy

Questioner

Is Taln still part of the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

The Oathpact has been broken. There's a ghost of it in existence, fragments, but the death of Jezrien has broken the Oathpact. More than death, super death.

Questioner

Is that in the books? Should I know that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he's at the end of Oathbringer, his soul gets sucked by the knife they give to Moash.

Questioner

I didn't know it ended the Oathpact though.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that did break the Oathpact. If one of the Fused were to die, they would be reborn immediately. The Oathpact is a goner. They would have to form a new Oathpact, or something like that.

Questioner

Before it was broken, was Taln still involved with it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Which series have you enjoyed writing the most?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Wax and Wayne. It is just pure joy. I save up Wayne quotes for years, and then find places for them in the books.

#21 Copy

Tim

Nightblood's intent is to destroy evil. Since it consumes Investiture, does it view Investiture as evil?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it does not. Nightblood has trouble deciding what is evil. It is getting better, more and more, but it wouldn't view Investiture itself as evil.

#23 Copy

Questioner

Because Zahel was especially Invested when he died, he became that other soul. Does that mean that Elend wasn't actually...?

Brandon Sanderson

Zahel is a special case. What happened with him is, on his planet, he was specifically chosen by the Shard to be Returned. That happens, you don't have to be specifically Invested for that. The god gives them that. Now, to become a Cognitive Shadow, which is what certain people in the cosmere are, you need a powerful amount, an enormous amount.

Questioner

So not the bead?

Brandon Sanderson

Not just being a Mistborn, not just... he wasn't even close to being where he needed to be, if you want to end up as a Cognitive Shadow. You need to do some special hoops. We're talking, drawing forth the power of a Shard, or being endowed with the power of a Shard, or a certain number of Breaths would do it. There is a threshold that you could get, you're gonna end up as a Cognitive Shadow.

#26 Copy

Questioner

Are the Ghostbloods good, in your mind, or bad?

Brandon Sanderson

They are neither, in my mind.

Questioner

Does their leader, Thaidakar, affect what they do a lot?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but the Roshar branch is a little bit removed from him.

#28 Copy

Erik02847

If a listener were to Awaken something, would they imitate the listener or a human?

Brandon Sanderson

They would imitate the listener.

Erik02847

And would that change based off of their form?

Brandon Sanderson

It could slightly change based off their form. More likely it's just gonna about their culture and the way the person sees the world, but the way that the listener sees the world is changed based on their form, so yeah, it'll have an effect.

#30 Copy

Questioner

I read a lot of the Star Wars books, and they have a timeline in the front of each book. I know that you mentioned that you don't want to force people to have to read them in a certain order. Is that something that you've ever thought of?

Brandon Sanderson

It is. I've actually thought of starting to stick in the back of the book, a guide to the cosmere and stuff. It's just, finding the space for it in the books and all of that is tricky. I think we will eventually do it. But it's just one of the many things that I have to find time to do.

#31 Copy

Questioner

I've heard that you're kind of close with the Magic: The Gathering people?

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, I did write a story for them, I do know some people over there.

Questioner

Have they ever asked you about doing a set, like how they're doing D&D and stuff?

Brandon Sanderson

Different thing, but they asked me to write the story for the new Urza set that's coming out. (The Brothers' War, I think they just announced it last month.) And I couldn't do it, I just didn't have the time. But a Secret Lair is totally possible. That's something that we could probably do.

It's just tricky because mechanically unique cards are divisive among the community, and so the question is: "Do we want a Secret Lair that just takes other cards and reskins them? Do we want to wait until there are cards that are being made that would match the characters, and then reskin those? Do we want to see how people receive the Lord of the Rings set, and if they really like it, then maybe they would do something Stormlight?" Something like that. I really kind of want to see how all of this plays out with the Secret Lairs and stuff, which I really like, but I know they're divisive in the community.

Anyway, this is on everybody's radar, right? They're making fantasy properties into card sets. There's only a couple names that come up. It's Tolkien, then probably George, and Harry Potter, and then me, so they have talked to me. But a full set, there haven't even been talks about that. It's all just been like, "Hey maybe would you be interested?" That sort of thing. So don't hold your breath, but we'll see how the Lord of the Rings set goes.

#32 Copy

Questioner

How old was Shallan when she killed her first spren?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have to look at the exact outline of that. Karen keeps all of the continuity timeline stuff, and I just kind of offload that part of my brain to her, so she's the one that would know. You can ask Karen some time when she's around.

#33 Copy

Questioner

Jasnah was in Shadesmar for kind of a long time, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Did she go somewhere and get other Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

She did not manage to get off world. Good question. She's becoming cosmere aware, but really it's through Hoid. Before, she didn't really have very much awareness of that.

Questioner

How did she survive, like getting stuff to eat and stuff?

Brandon Sanderson

You can get it if you know what you're doing in Shadesmar.

Questioner

She's pretty resourceful, right?

Brandon Sanderson

She's pretty resourceful. Most of the time, you're gonna have to trade for it. There's actually caravans that go through Shadesmar. They almost always stop at Roshar to resupply through the Horneater Peaks. So if you know what you're doing, you could trade for food. They have food in a lot of the waystops and the cities and things like that because humans are coming through, and it's a thing they can trade them.

Questioner

A lot of those canned goods, those coming from Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

If it's canned, it's coming from Scadrial at this point. Taldain probably has the same technology at that point, but Taldain is closed. So the cans are coming from Scadrial.

#34 Copy

Questioner

In Skyward, Jorgen's original callsign, he asks to be "Jorgen." Is that also his real name?

Brandon Sanderson

Jorgen? Yes.

Questioner

So he asked for his real name to be his callsign?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, cause he is not quite as imaginative as he should be. It's supposed to kind of be a joke. Jorgen has trouble with stuff like that.

Questioner

I've been curious cause I couldn't find anything about a real name.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep, it is actually his real name.

Footnote: Correction: Jorgen wanted his Callsign to be "Jager".
#35 Copy

Questioner

In the fourth book of The Way of Kings, when Kaladin ascends to the fourth, *inaudible* because he projects the Shard armor to protect the kid and stuff. I don't know, that bugs me.

Brandon Sanderson

You are allowed to be bugged. And I give readers line-item vetoes. If you want to pretend that doesn't exist, you'll just have to imagine some of the scenes in future books differently.

Questioner

Well I mean, hopefully there will be an explanation for that or something, I don't know. As of right now, it bugs me, but everything else was awesome.

Brandon Sanderson

I'll try to explain it, we'll see if it works for you.

#37 Copy

LittleMoss

What question about the cosmere does Khriss most want answered?

Brandon Sanderson

She would want to know what happens in the Beyond. Followed secondly by, how can you get Stormlight off of Roshar?

Footnote: Porting Stormlight off of Roshar is also the express purpose of the Ghostbloods.  Evidentially, it's a tough and important problem.
#38 Copy

Steeldancer

A while back, you mentioned that if certain circumstances hadn't happened on Taldain, that Taldainians... the people on Taldain probably would've been the first to space. Which interests me greatly, because they don't really have a magic system that is very conducive to faster than light travel.

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't say--did I say FTL?

Steeldancer

You didn't, that's true, but that doesn't change my question. So my question is, is there a method, other than Allomantic ways and Surgebinding ways, for faster than light, that could be achieved on any minor Shardworld, as long as they have access to Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is, but it depends on if you could get in Shadesmar. You could travel FTL in the Physical Realm through Shadesmar. Basically, just take a spaceship in Shadesmar and travel between Shardpools and you've achieved FTL. Because travel through Shadesmar, you could walk between planets in Shadesmar. So anyone who can get in and out of Shadesmar reliably can FTL. Ways in and out of Shadesmar are very rare, which is extremely limiting, but it is possible.

#39 Copy

Questioner

Can Leechers leech on other types of Investiture across the cosmere? And how do people power their powers on worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

So, Scadrians can use metal from other worlds. The metal is considered a facilitator, a key for reaching the Spiritual Realm, and distance doesn't matter for the Spiritual Realm. All of the Allomantic powers, Leechers in particular, they do have an influence with the other magic systems. Even as simple as a Shardblade would be very difficult, near impossible to push or pull, because of the level of Investiture it has. Copperclouds have some interesting ramifications, as well as Seekers have interesting ramifications, and Leechers would work on other magic systems as well. It is a little tricky how it interfaces sometimes, but it'll generally do what you're expecting it to do.

#40 Copy

Questioner

Would a Shardblade be able to hurt Steelheart?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I think it would.

Questioner

If the person feared him, would they still be able to hurt him?

Brandon Sanderson

Even if they didn't fear him, if you mashed Steelheart into the cosmere--which it's not, but if you did, the Steelheart magics would all have to work on the cosmere magics, which means that a Shardblade could hurt him. If you had a Shardblade, you could hurt someone even if you didn't know their weakness. That would be a way it would have to work. Now, if you were to mash them all into Steelheart's universe, then maybe not.

#41 Copy

Questioner

In the Arcanum Unbounded, it says that a Rosharan foot is longer than cosmere standard. How does that compare to an Earth foot?

Brandon Sanderson

Longer. Kaladin is almost seven feet tall, by our measurements. We've got a height comparison, Shallan is about six feet tall. She thinks she's short. Compared to us, she'd be on the taller end. That's why if you notice people from around the cosmere that show up, they're often mentioned as short. Not Hoid, who's able to use magical means to change how he's perceived, but someone like Felt, and stuff like that.

#42 Copy

Questioner

Are we going to learn the similarities between the two people, the surgeon's first words when they were born... <Demid> and Taravangian? The cord around their neck?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll just say, I didn't intend that to be something you look at and say, "Oh, it's the same!" What I mean that to mean is bad medical care. All three of my children would have died in childbirth if we didn't have modern medical care. My first one had the cord around his neck. The doctors have told us they would all be dead. I just think that's very common in a society like this. The things going on with Roshar is, Rosharans are innately tougher because of their Investiture, so they're more likely to survive traumatic experiences. It's not meant to say you should be looking for any other connection in something like that.

#44 Copy

Questioner

Could a mindblade break a Shardblade? Could a mindblade stop a Shardblade, or would a Shardblade stop a mindblade?

Brandon Sanderson

I think that a Shardblade would stop a mindblade. And whether the mindblade could stop the Shardblade or not would depend on the power of the cytonic and how strong their mind is.

#47 Copy

Questioner

Is Khriss going to make her appearance on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

So far, she's had Nazh do that, but she is in Shadesmar, or has been in Shadesmar at various points. So it's entirely possible. She lets Nazh do the hard jobs.

#48 Copy

Questioner

How did Nale bring Szeth back to life?

Brandon Sanderson

Szeth's spirit had not moved onto the Beyond. It was basically Rosharan CPR. He repaired the body, and Szeth was not dead dead. His heart had stopped, but when his body came back together, it started beating again.

#52 Copy

Questioner

Is it possible to turn Breaths into... how does Awakening work on Roshar and Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

You can still use it normally, as you would expect it, as the magic works. People are trying to figure out how to turn one type of Investiture into another, and it it is harder than it seems. They haven't cracked it yet.

Questioner

So they always have to bring their own form of Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

A Returned can feed off of other Investiture, just like Nightblood can. One of the reasons to move to Roshar is: it's easier to get Stormlight than it is Breaths.

Questioner

That makes sense why Zahel, then.

Brandon Sanderson

That explains Zahel, right.

#54 Copy

Questioner

If you were in a Rithmatic battle, what would your defense be?

Brandon Sanderson

It would probably be a Knight or Shardbearer, even though it's a little harder... I don't know if you were talking about chalklings, or which defense I would use?

Questioner

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know. See, I name them all after my friends, so... I'd probably pick the Eskridge defense. That makes me pick one of my friends over another, but you know.

#55 Copy

Questioner

When you were writing Elantris and you introduced Hoid, did you already have planned for him to be what he is now?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid started appearing in books I was reading when I was fifteen; I would imagine him in other people's books. By then, I already had this character in my head that had been worldhopping between Anne McCaffrey's books, and David Eddings' books, and all those things. So I did know what I was gonna be doing. I didn't know where it would all go. I didn't have the whole cosmere built, but I did have him. He was my first D&D character. I'm being recorded; I don't even know if they know that, that I used Topaz (is what he was called back then) as my first D&D character. He's in my first book that I tried writing when I was fourteen.

#57 Copy

Questioner

Shallan has two spren. I assume the Shardblade she is using in Words of Radiance is Pattern. But had she sworn the Third Ideal at that point?

Brandon Sanderson

I will get this whole timeline explained for you. It's really intricate, though.

#58 Copy

Questioner

Is Thaidakar a Cognitive Shadow?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes he is. Have you finished Rhythm of War?

Questioner

I have, yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

So you know who Thaidakar is, right?

Questioner

No. Does it say in the book?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but it calls him... It's Kelsier. They call him the Lord of Scars, someone else confirmed it, it's Kelsier.

Questioner

The "Lord of Scars" thing is what had us thinking, but we weren't sure if it was true.

Brandon Sanderson

It is Kelsier. He's been doing some stuff.

#63 Copy

Questioner

Are there any plans to revisit Threnody or some of the other worlds that were mentioned in Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I have a novel on Threnody I want to write, and I have a short story and a novel I want to write on First of the Sun. We'll see if I can get to any of those.

#65 Copy

Questioner

Could a coppermind be able to memorize physical memory?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh, never been asked that before. I am going to RAFO that, but in an "I need to think about it more" sort of way, cause I have actually never been asked that. My gut instinct says no, but maybe. I'm gonna have to really ponder on physical memory and the cosmere, and how that all works. Good question. Not often I get stumped by one like that.

Footnote: Brandon has answered "no" to this question before: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/367-skyward-release-party/#e11670
#66 Copy

Questioner

We want to know if Adolin is the hottest character.

Brandon Sanderson

If Adolin's the hottest character in the entire...?

Questioner

In the cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know, Blushweaver's pretty hot. Adolin's pretty hot.

Questioner

I thought you might go with a Returned.

Brandon Sanderson

But the Returned are supernaturally hot, and Adolin is only naturally hot.

Questioner

With a Returned it's almost unfair.

Brandon Sanderson

It is unfair. If you're gonna go without any magical enhancements, Adolin's gonna be up there. He's got personality hotness and physical hotness, so yeah.

#67 Copy

Questioner 1

Why the number four, for Bridge Four? Is there a reason for...?

Brandon Sanderson

Nope, it just is what appealed to me. There is no greater significance, other than I wanted to do it, and it just felt right.

Questioner 2

We always wondered if it was because it's like bad luck in Asia.

Brandon Sanderson

It is bad luck, but I didn't pick it for that reason specifically.

#68 Copy

Steeldancer

This is hypothetical, it probably wouldn't actually happen. If a Knight Radiant goes to Nalthis, dies, gets Returned...

Brandon Sanderson

It could happen.

Steeldancer

Would they retain their spren bond?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably not, would be my guess. I've never had that question before, but I'm gonna say no.

#69 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever thought about making the Steelheart series a graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, we thought about it for a while. And then what we eventually decided is that we wanted to focus our graphic novel efforts on things that hadn't been published yet. There is actually a mini graphic novel of Mitosis, the short story, but that's the only one. That was when we were experimenting with it. It's not impossible that someday we will.

#71 Copy

Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive, will there ever be a point where we'll get to know what all of the different Orders are and all their abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is that gonna be the fifth book? Or is that gonna be at the very end?

Brandon Sanderson

It'll be at the very end. Basically, to preserve some of the excitement and discovery, you'll notice me just kind of cutting away before some of those powers get used, and things. Just so when the books about those people happen, I am more able to explore it on the page and have more fun with it.

Questioner

Is it gonna be like, after the fifth book, is gonna end those main characters and you're gonna show the next generation?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not next generation. It's the same characters throughout them all, but the back five will have different flashback sequences. So, the back five will have flashbacks from Lift, Renarin, Jasnah, Taln, and Ash. Characters from the first five are still gonna be the main characters. But, like you didn't get, in this one, any Jasnah flashbacks; Jasnah's flashbacks are in the back five, and they'll be kind of *inaudible*.

#73 Copy

Questioner

I imagine living Shardblades represent the people they're bonded with. If the person changed over time, would the design of the Shardblade change? For example, with holiness being symmetrical, and somebody was holy, that's gonna be symmetrical. If they became unholy, would their Blade become unsymmetrical?

Brandon Sanderson

It's gonna depend on their perceptions of themselves and their spren's perceptions of them. But yes, it can change over time.

Event details
Name
Name FanX 2021
Date
Date Sept. 16, 2021
Entries
Entries 73
Upload sources