Recent entries

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #6051 Copy

    Questioner

    I was a little bit interested in Words of Radiance...how Taln's Shardblade screams for Dalinar when the other Honorblade doesn't scream for Kaladin...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is true. So, if you look at the description Shardblade at the end of book one and they present it book 2, check the [clipped].

    Questioner 2

    You also give a hint at the end of the book of what happened.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I give a hint in the book of what happened as well, the hint is, those aren't the same swords.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #6053 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask about Paalm’s spike. Is it that one specifically that allowed her to hide from Harmony or would it happen with any sort of...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was because she was not using one out of any metal that he knew, was a big part of it. She couldn't have done that with any spike. Taking one out helped a bit, but a non-Harmony spike it had to be… What you’re seeing there is a weird hack of the magic system intentionally that was built to do that.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6054 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Playing with Clichés

    Well, that turned into a strangely unexpected rant. I'll leave it because it might be interesting to you all, but I did want to continue with my original idea. I didn't bring Reen back (or Kelsier back) because I feel opposed to this kind of plotting unless it is well foreshadowed in advance and built into the magic system. I did, however, want to make the reader think that I'd brought them back, as for some reason it gives me pleasure to bait readers into thinking I'm following the clichés, then ducking away from those clichés. (In a way, that's what this entire series is about.)

    As a nod to the intelligence of my readers, however, I didn't let this one last for long. I figured that many would have figured out that the image of Reen was false, particularly after the epigraph strongly hints that Vin has been spiked. In addition, I wanted to use this scene to point out the difference between Vin and Spook. He's an idealist and is rather fresh and inexperienced, despite what the crew has been through. Vin's a realist and a skeptic, and is far more experienced. It makes simple sense to me that she would almost immediately see through Ruin's tricks.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6055 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Forty-Five

    "Reen" is Ruin

    Did you really think I'd bring Reen back?

    Well, maybe you did. It's all right if you did; we in the fiction world have kind of acclimatized people to strange resurrections of long-dead characters. I'd guess it's due to one of two things. Either 1) The author is so attached to the fallen character that he/she wants to have them return or 2) The author wants to do something completely unexpected, so he/she returns to life a character the reader isn't expecting.

    Unfortunately, both answers are based on emotions outside of what is commonly good for the actual plotting of the story. Do this enough, and readers are required to stretch their ability to suspend disbelief. This sort of practice is part of what earns genre fiction something of a bad reputation among the literary elite. (How can there be tension for a character if the reader knows that death doesn't mean anything?)

    The trick with saying this is, of course, that I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I've got two books in the works where I'm planning deaths and resurrections—though, of course, I'm building in these elements as plot points of the setting and worldbuilding.

    Beyond that, there are lots of instances where this sort of thing is appropriate in fiction, and where it works. After all, one of the reasons to write fantasy is so that you can deal with themes like this that wouldn't work in mainstream fiction. I just worry that we, as a genre, are too lazy with ideas like this. If we push this too far, we'll end up where the comic book world is—in a place where death is completely meaningless.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6056 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ruin in the Cache

    So, you'll notice that Ruin appears to Vin here in the form of Reen. One might wonder why he even needed her to investigate if he could visit the cache himself.

    This reveals the main problem Ruin was dealing with in this instance. The Lord Ruler was very clever in how he placed and organized these caches. He planned them in locations where there was so much metal in the ground that it would prevent Ruin from discovering them. And, more importantly, he trained his obligators—Yomen included—not to speak of what was down below or reveal the locations of the caches.

    Ruin didn't know there was a cache here, not until Vin found the previous plate. Even once he knew where the cache was, he couldn't see much when he visited it. He couldn't know if there was atium there, for the entire area—particularly because of the metal cans Vin mentions—glowed so brightly that Ruin had no idea what he was seeing.

    He needed a pawn to visit, one through whose eyes he could see. One who could discover where the atium was. Ruin drew the same conclusion Vin did here—that if there had been atium, Yomen would have moved it. But where? Ruin still needed her to find it for him. Either that or bring in an Inquisitor, something he eventually decided to do.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6057 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Forty-Four

    Slowswift's Young Men

    One may be left wondering about the two unfortunate men whom Vin used in her ploy. Aledin and Troalin were brothers, actually—cousins to Slowswift; men whose mother was executed by the Steel Ministry for her dalliance with a skaa serving man. (Her husband and their father had passed away some years before.)

    Yomen—who was in charge in the city by then—allowed her legitimate sons to keep their titles and not suffer disgrace in exchange for their silence about their mother's dalliance, which would have been an embarrassment to all. They remained in Fadrex, but never got over what had been done to their mother and were known by Slowswift as dissidents against the obligator's reign.

    Both were implicated in Vin's infiltration of the cache, as Yomen had other spies watching her that she never noticed—spies whose job was to stay out of the way and make sure the door shut behind her when she sneaked in. The brothers were tossed in a dungeon, only to be released after the beginning of the alliance between Elend and Yomen. They made it into the cache before the end, and later became distinguished leaders under Spook's reign.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6058 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reen

    I hope I wasn't too obvious with my increased references to Reen in this chapter. A few of my alpha readers noticed it, but I think it's subtle enough that I decided to leave it. Obviously, I was trying to prepare the reader for the appearance of Reen later in the chapter by giving a few reminders of who he was and what he meant to Vin.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6059 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Forty-Four - Part One

    Subtlety with the Power

    The Lord Ruler created koloss, kandra, and Inquisitors during his time holding the power. This took some practice and experimentation, however. As has been explained, holding the power granted some intuitive understanding of how to use it. For instance, he knew how to make Hemalurgic creatures—but he wasn't practiced enough with the specifics at first to know exactly what he wanted to make or what the results of his experimentations would be.

    In a similar way, he knew that he could move a planet—and did. With practice, he could have figured out how to shove the planet the right way to place it correctly in orbit. Unfortunately, you can't really experiment with moving a planet around without causing a whole lot of damage.

    And so, he could do something as subtle as create three new races—and, with that practice in biology, redesign the world's plants and animals slightly—but could be so far off in the way he shoved the planet about the first time.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6060 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yomen's History

    Yomen was a fun character to write. Named for Aaron Yeoman, who won a charity auction that I did for character naming rights, I wanted him to present a type of villain different from Zane in book two. Somewhat sympathetic, but a thinker rather than a fighter.

    He felt from a very young age that he was destined to be an obligator. The son of a minor nobleman back in Luthadel, he entered the priesthood early and distinguished himself through scholarship and theology. This isn't an aspect of the Steel Ministry that we often get to see in the books, as our focus lies elsewhere. However, there are a lot of philosophers and thinkers in the Ministry—and most of them ended up in the Canton of Resource, the best place for men with an analytical mind.

    When a position opened in Fadrex, Yomen jumped at it, as he knew it was a place where most obligators didn't like to serve. It was too out of the way, too removed from important events. Of all the obligators in Luthadel, he was the only one of any distinguished record who wanted to go. (He did beat out more qualified obligators from other cities, as he had connections with the Ministry elite in Luthadel.)

    Within five years at Fadrex, he'd risen to being the prelan (i.e. the high priest) of the local Ministry building, despite his youth. Many were saying they saw him heading back to Luthadel to enter the ministry's upper ranks, though it's debatable if this would have happened or not. By going to Fadrex, he put himself in a position to rise quickly as there was little local competition among the obligators. (Many of whom had been stationed there because they lacked the influence to get put elsewhere.) However, it also removed him from the political scene back in Luthadel—and from the minds of many of the more important people there.

    It's possible he would have been able to maintain connections and pull enough strings to get himself back into an influential position in the capital. However, it's also possible that by seizing the opportunity in Fadrex, he gave himself a quick path to prelan—but locked himself out of any higher ranks.

    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #6061 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Forty-Three

    The Ball at the Canton of Resource

    I didn't want this chapter to be a repeat of the previous ball scene, so I kept the nostalgia to a minimum and focused on the plan. I hope I've established why Vin and Elend are willing to take this risk—a mixture of Elend's desire to avoid attacking the city and the general recklessness being a Mistborn can foster in a person.

    Either way, we avoid dancing and small talk in this chapter. I didn't want to write that, and I'm assuming that the reader doesn't care to read it. The tension of the infiltration is what matters now.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    Is Resealing a subset of Forging, or a separate system like Bloodsealing is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um...

    *Looooong silence*

    I'm trying to remember what I decided-- I was building all of this on a fourteen hour plane flight, keep in mind-- I believe it is-- Let's go ahead and PAFO that one. I need to go to my notes. I can give you a tentative "I believe it is the same system and not a cousin system" but at the end of the day I kind of had to go to my notes and work things out. There was lots of wiggle room built into the Elantris magic system but I have to know what I decided.

    Chris King interview ()
    #6068 Copy

    Chris King

    This, I'm unsure of exactly what's being talked about because I have not been reading the forum: What happens when a Pulser is burning cadmium and in a speed bubble? She'd be burning her cadmium 20x faster than usual—so far as her bubble and those in it were concerned—and her slow bubble would extend far outside the area made "normal" by the effects of the speed bubble, so what happens with the extra energy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um… Send me that one in writing and let me run it through Peter who's my physicist.

    Chris King

    Okay, we'll do that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And maybe run the math through Eric. He's probably asking that one.

    Chris King

    That was actually-- I think it was Windrunner on the forum. I might be wrong I think that’s who it was though.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's supposed to ask me the hard Way of Kings questions, not the hard Mistborn questions.

    Miscellaneous 2011 ()
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    Aiken Frost

    Guys, have you noticed this bit in the Bendalloy section [of the Mistborn Adventure Game]?

    "A physical attack made through the bubble, whether held or thrown, is robbed of its kinetic energy, often with an audible 'pop.'"

    Could this be what we are looking for when trying to figure the FTL space travel thing?

    Arcanist Lupus

    This statement seems to violate several things from Alloy of Law: first, Wax's "shooting the bullet" scene, and the danger of being shot while inside a cadmium bubble.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Not really. A bullet shot out of a speed bubble IS robbed of kinetic energy—not all of it, but just enough to slow it down to the speed it would have been moving at had it been fired outside the bubble in the first place.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #6071 Copy

    Questioner

    *inaudible, but referring to the RAFO cards*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, yeah. You want a RAFO card? You gotta ask me a hard question. Come up with a question.

    Questioner

    So what's next for Szeth-son-son-Vallano?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, okay, yeah, take [inaudible due to laughter, presumably Brandon was indicating that he could take a card].

    Miscellaneous 2011 ()
    #6072 Copy

    discipleofhoid (paraphrased)

    At the signing I asked Brandon to personalize the book with a suggestion for a unique or rare effect that could be achieved with a metal. He signed

    "Watch for what happens when something leaves a bendalloy bubble."

    He then laughed and said "That won't make any sense for 10 books"

    This leads me to believe that this might be related to the FTL travel.

    Miscellaneous 2011 ()
    #6073 Copy

    darniil

    So, I was thinking how the third trilogy was mentioned as being in the future (as opposed to the second trilogy being contemporary to our time), and I wondered if the people from Scadrial would be able to visit the other shardworlds without using Shadesmar - and, if so, how would they do it?

    The simplest (and most boring, and not germane to the topic) method would be FTL travel.

    But then I got to thinking about Pulsers and Sliders.

    My first thought was, "Hey, what if a bunch of Pulsers - or some Pulser-inspired technology - could put a bubble around the crew quarters of a starship? That would allow the crew to travel from one system to another within their own lifetimes." Just put the ship on autopilot, power up the Pulser Engine, and go have a sandwich.

    Then I tried to figure out if something similar might work for Sliders, but the first bump I hit was that bendalloy bubbles - and cadmium bubbles - were stationary. Which, in turn, would probably rule out the Pulser starship.

    But then I thought some more. These books take place in a universe which is, astronomically, pretty much like our own. It follows the same rules of physics. Which means that Scadrial is rotating on its axis, while it revolves around its star, while that star moves within its galaxy, and that galaxy moves within its universe.

    Which means, technically, bendalloy and cadmium bubbles aren't stationary. They're stationary relative to one object - Scadrial - but they're perfectly mobile when one looks at the bigger picture.

    This makes me think that a Pulser starship might be possible, provided the Pulsing can be anchored to the ship rather than Scadrial.

    It also makes me wonder why the default anchor is the planet and why nobody has figured out how to anchor it elsewhere. Is it simply a mental block that could be overcome? Is a person too small to be used as an anchor (even though the bubbles pop up with the person at the center)? Can a bubble's size be altered, dependent upon the size of its anchor? (That is, could a small bubble be made around, say, a person's heart if the whole person were the anchor?)

    I still dig the idea of Allomancers Iiiin Spaaaaace!, though I'm not entirely sure how it would work.

    Catalyst21

    [Links out to WoBs about Metallic Arts FTL being a thing]

    So FTL is confirmed

    Peter Ahlstrom

    There's an issue with conservation of momentum with speed bubbles.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #6074 Copy

    Questioner

    *inaudible* sign this one right here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, happy to do it.

    Questioner

    I will leave that there. Okay, Mistborn, and then this next *inaudible*. Is there moments you've set up throughout your books, are they like, how much effort *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is that, yeah.

    Questioner

    *inaudible*.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Third draft. Still two drafts to go.

    Questioner

    Oh, great. So *inaudible*. November still looking good?

    Brandon Sanderson

    November's still looking good, but *inaudible* there's a lot of revision, making books work.

    General Twitter 2010 ()
    #6076 Copy

    EricLake

    @BrandSanderson In M:AoL, will bendalloy’s time dilation result in redshifting of light going in/out of the bubble? #weescience

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’ve been working on the science of it. Basically, I’ve been treating it as a gravitational time dilation.

    But only focused inward, and equally, on those inside the bubble. It’s making my brain hurt a bit, but I think I’ve got it working

    I think this means yes to a gravitational redshift. But . . . it gets wacky. Trying to decide just what it would do is tough.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6079 Copy

    Questioner

    How are you going to finish the cosmere stuff? Like when you get to book 35, how are you gonna resist like book 36, we're gonna say "Courage is held by dude named Steve and according to Hoid he's pretty cool." Just extend it another ... how are you going to finish?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll see. We will see. The thing is there's a beginning, middle, and end to the Shattering of Adonalsium and the involvement there. More stories can be told in the cosmere, but there's a beginning, middle, and end to that. When I finish that, that is the sequence that I wanted to tell.

    Questioner

    And you have that outlined out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6082 Copy

    Questioner

    I do have to know, how many cousins [does Lopen have]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on what your definition of cousin is. By Lopen's definition, there are a lot of cousins. He's counting like fifth cousins.

    Questioner

    Third cousin twice-removed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's his cousin. Like [someone] dating his sister, or his mom's sister - that's a cousin.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #6085 Copy

    Mestiv

    Can you tell something about Vax? Shardworld?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I can't tell you anything about that. But I can give you a card [RAFO] for not telling you anything about Vax; they're very interested in Vax, everybody's interested in Vax.

    But I stayed very close-lipped on Vax.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6087 Copy

    Questioner

    We were wondering about the stances and I was wondering if you could match them?

    *unfolds image*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would have you email it to us, because Ben McSweeney made the final call as he drew these, on which one was which. While I had notes on each of them, he matched the stances to them, and so it would be really easy for me to get them wrong.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6092 Copy

    Questioner

    So I was reading the Wheel of Time and in the first one when they get to the saidin and saidar, the pools—they're very similar to Shardpools.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and that is something that he kind of dropped. The Eye of the World is just like pure saidin, and I would be surprised if that weren't an unconscious influence on me. I didn't think of it when I was coming up with these but that's definitely way back in my brain when I was creating these.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6095 Copy

    Rit

    So, my question is glowing Shardplate and retractable helmets. Is that a similar origin of the Shardblades—

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a similarity, but they are also very different.

    Rit

    Yeah, I noticed they do seem like advanced fabrials, because Adolin just keeps going on and on about how they're all interchangeable and they all feel comfortable after a while, and it doesn't have the same kind of thing with the Shardblades.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it doesn't. Though a Shardblade, used for a long time, will change shape slightly.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
    #6097 Copy

    Sweetness

    Since the evil on Threnody isn't a Shard, can you tell us anything about its nature? Is it an actual being, and is it related to Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everything is related, in the Cosmere, to Adonalsium. Most of the magic you're seeing is a just a natural outgrowth of Cosmere-related magic, you're seeing Cognitive Shadows. The Evil is similarly related.