Recent entries

    Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
    #6553 Copy

    Questioner

    When Skybreakers are about to decide to follow Dawnsingers. Why now? Why not before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this is a little complicated... Until they came back, by Nale's interpretation, then the law of the land was human. When they returned, the law of the land <became> Dawnsinger. And at that point, it was his job to <switch to them>. It is his logic, but you don't have to agree with that logic. Because Nale's logic is maybe not the best.

    Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
    #6554 Copy

    Questioner

    Back to Stormlight. Is there significance to the color of moons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is a significance to the colors of the moons in Stormlight, but it is not a major player in theories. There is a significance, but it's not, like, one of these things that you're going to read book seven and be like "The colors of the moons! It was there all along!" Sometimes, I put stuff like that in, right? It's not like that.

    Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
    #6555 Copy

    Questioner

    Yes, or no. With all of the cosmere books that have been put out, do we have enough information to deduce the Ghostbloods' motives?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ummm... *laugher* I would say yes, but it's not like you are a fool if you haven't gotten it.

    Robert Jordan once answered a question like this saying, "Well, the answer should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer." Which I never thought was fair. Like, no, it was not. Szeth, some people guessed it. And some people will guess this. A lot of the foreshadowing in my books, it's this weird thing where, when you do proper foreshadowing, and then people have three years between books, they're gonna figure some things out. Which presents a really interesting challenge to me as a writer, because, like, there are big things that get revealed in Oathbringer, that people who have been steeped in the world for the last seven years... they kinda knew this would happen. We get the beta readers, and they're like, "So? Doesn't everyone know that?" But at the same time, the casual reader, beta readers were like "Holy cow! This is a huge revelation!" And books need to work both for the person who has been really steeped in it, and the person who's reading along that maybe doesn't want to go get all the spoilers from all the fan guessing. So it is this weird balancing act that, as a writer, you have to perform, particularly with the longer books in the longer series, where you want to make sure they're engaging to the hardcore fan, but not overwhelming to the person who maybe hasn't reread the books since the last one came out. And I don't know that I have that balance figured out, but it is something I think about a lot...

    Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
    #6556 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I was gonna ask about which character the next book would focus on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, no, that's not spoilery... I said from the get-go I am perfectly all right writing a flashback sequence for a character who has already died in the books. So it's not telling you any spoilers to tell you who the various characters are. So, the front five are Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Eshonai, and Szeth. Those are our front five. And our back five are Lift, Jasnah, Ash, Taln, and Renarin. And, not in that order. I've flipped the order quite a bit as I've been going. 'Cause Dalinar was gonna be book five, and now he's book three. So now Szeth is book five, and Eshonai is book four. Right now, Lift is book six. But the back five, I'm not concerned about, other than making sure I'm setting up the right things, and it's gonna come together.

    Oathbringer Glasgow signing ()
    #6558 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask whether cake has a soul? In Realmatic theory, stuff has souls. So, somebody turns wheat into flour, and flour has a soul. Do they come together when I bake the cake?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...So, this gets into some weird cosmere theory stuff. The level that if you are a student of philosophy, you'll recognize just wearing on the sleeve where this one came from. This is a mashup of Shinto beliefs and the theory of the forms by Plato, and kind of its own weird thing, that became Realmatic theory in the cosmere...

    So, in the cosmere, things take on an Identity and a soul based on how people perceive them. It's human perception that is creating a lot of this, because the various powers that made the universe have this sort of desire to be sentient. And power left long too long in the cosmere starts thinking, that's just how it goes, and starts thinking of itself the way it is perceived. So, that cake, as soon as its created, the disparate parts of the souls start being thought of as a cake, and start gaining some traction as a cake. If you left that cake alone long enough, which wouldn't take too long for a cake because people don't look at cake and think "Oh, a bunch of wheat and flour." They think "Cake." That thing will start having a combined soul of the various bits of power, and the longer you leave it, the more permanency it's gonna have as a Spiritual artifact in the cosmere.

    So, yes, cake has a soul.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6559 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you think about book piracy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...So, I have a love-hate relationship. I like that things like torrents for books exist for people who have lost their books or who want to try one out, I think there are very legitimate reasons for it to be out there. But there's a sense of entitlement that just rubs me wrong sometimes. Like, the other day, we found a whole bunch of Ebay listings for selling the ebook, for people who had just downloaded the torrent and were just selling it on Ebay. That kind of stuff just gets under my skin.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6560 Copy

    Questioner

    The casting for these films. Is that just gonna be, like, professional people, or will it be open to the public?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have asked them to hold open casting calls. So, I don't know if they'll do it, but I have asked them. We're not even that close yet, though, right? It takes forever. We're not close enough for you to start being eager about that. It's still a few years if-- even if it happens.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6562 Copy

    Questioner

    You know the sparring guards, for the Shardblade training, the guards they put on the Shardblades. Are they made of aluminum?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, they are not. Peter will not let me make them made out of aluminum. He's my continuity editor, he keeps me honest. I tried to get them to be aluminum, but there are reasons why they can't be. So we had to make them their own weird little thing, unfortunately. But you could make a sheath out of aluminum for a Shardblade that would work.

    He keeps me honest, so it's good, but I did try to fit them in that way.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6564 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is the greatest warrior in the cosmere? I think it's Kaladin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, define "warrior" versus "soldier" versus--

    Questioner

    Who could win at an all-out fight? Even with powers taken away, I think he could still take on a lot of the other warriors.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A question. Are they on a battlefield? 'Cause Kelsier just murders him in his sleep.

    Questioner

    Battlefield.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The actual soldier, battlefield, is probably Kaladin. Problem is, you could put Dalinar in his prime. And they're both pretty good. But, Kaladin is a true soldier.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6565 Copy

    Questioner

    VenDell, the kandra from the Wax & Wayne era. So, at the start of the book, coat is brown. End of the book, a light tan. Is he doing something specifically himself to change the color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, yeah.

    Questioner

    Is it what I think it is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you think it is?

    Questioner

    It appears to be some sort of, kind of, almost Awakening?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. More mundane than that.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6566 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually am having a meeting on Monday with my publisher saying "We need to get more books to India," because that is the number one complaint I get... The number one country that emails me of people saying "We can't get your books" is India. So hopefully we'll do something about that.

    Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
    #6567 Copy

    Hoidonalsium

    The resonance between various powers, specifically about Shallan... The way that she seems to be sort of Soulstamping herself, is that due to a resonance power? Or is that something external—or is it mental?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...It's a combination of the two, but it's not resonance. It's more mental health and her magic kind of interacting.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6572 Copy

    BlackYeti (paraphrased)

    In Oathbringer, Kaladin sees a painting from the Court of Gods which, it is claimed, shows something different to every person who sees it. However, as I understand it, the Returned only see things in the paintings because of their Divine Breath, there isn't anything intrinsically magical about the paintings themselves; what then is going on with this painting?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He was very evasive here, ultimately he only said that not everything that you see is in the painting.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6573 Copy

    Questioner 1

    What kind of time frame will we look for, or will we see another book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Time frame for another Sixth of the Dusk book? So, I outlined a pretty good novella, which was actually about Sixth, going into Shadesmar. It was pretty cool, but then I didn't have time to write it, so I can't make any promises.

    Questioner 2

    So, there is one coming, maybe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe. There is an outline for another story, specifically about Sixth, because exploring Shadesmar would be a fun thing for him. But can't promise.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6577 Copy

    Megasif

    In London I wanted to ask about Nightblood. The way he is Invested, is that a one-off-case kind of thing, or is it possible to do another of that level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was really bizarre, and I will explain it eventually and that will let you know why. It's theoretically possible to do almost anything so it's theoretically possible to do what he did but it'd be very hard.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6578 Copy

    Questioner

    [My son] would like to know when you're planning to write Bastille?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ..We're close. The fact that I ditched Apocalypse Guard has slow me down a bit. I was planning to write Bastille very soon. But it's gonna depend on how soon I finish [Skyward], when I need to go into Wax & Wayne. I need to go into Wax & Wayne, like, July at the latest. So, it's gonna depend on how long Skyward takes. But I'm gonna try to slip it in there.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6580 Copy

    Joe ST

    Is Urithiru a spaceship?

    Brandon Sanderson

     It is not, no, good question. I've never been asked that before. It's very Sim City, though.

    Joe ST

    It's a new theory, they're thinking, is it one of the floating cities from--

    Brandon Sanderson

    From Ashyn, yeah. Boy, that would be hard, it is so big. But, I suppose, magic, you know. But no, it is not...

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6581 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you thought about doing a continuation of Dreamer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Occasionally. I haven't found the right thing to do with it yet, though. Dreamer is weird, because it starts off feeling like a Brandon Sanderson story, and a lot of people are like "Woah, I can see a whole world based on this!" And then it goes the horror route, you know, with the kids.

    Questioner

    I really liked that. I thought it was a nice twist.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The most horrific thing I could think of was giving the kids who play X-Box too much power over peoples' lives.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6583 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Kaladin met Hoid a long long time ago, and Hoid gave him a very important flute that he has not learned how to play. Is he ever going to put the time in to get good at that? Or is that just something we're going to have to wait for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll have to wait for. Kaladin has a lot of things on his mind. He sure could use something to keep him from stressing out, but you're just gonna have to wait and see if Kaladin understands the reason he was given a flute, or not.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6584 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we ever see protagonists ever come back? ...Once they're, like, dead and stuff?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there's a couple rules for people coming back in the cosmere. If you could be revived by CPR, you could be saved. If you can't be revived by CPR, only a direct infusion of Investiture immediately to the soul will turn you into a Cognitive Shadow. Those are your two kind of outs. I'll leave it at that for you, and you can see where it goes from there.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6585 Copy

    Questioner

    Do Splinters require proximity to their Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do they require it for what?

    Questioner

    Function--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Function. It's very hard for most Splinters to leave the realm where they were Splintered, but this gets into tricky stuff because the Shard mostly occupies the Spiritual Realm, but what do you mean by the Shard? Because the essence of the Shard is in the Physical Realm, it's all across the cosmere, and things like this. Usually once something is Splintered it is difficult for them to leave that area, so yes.

    Questioner

    And in the system--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You see it with the-- I would call most Cognitive Shadows a Splinter in some ways. And you see it when Kelsier tries to leave, right. And spren would have the same trouble, and seons would have the same trouble. But at the same time is that a proximity to the Shard? Kind of. Things get very wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey when you start dealing with the nature of the Spiritual Realm in the cosmere. 

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6587 Copy

    Questioner

    Will there be more Cosmere stories set on Threnody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Threnody is the setting of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, which is my longest title ever. Yeah, one of the outlines I've noodled with is a Threnody novel. We'll see. I'm in a stage where I feel like I can start very few novel-length projects, until I've wrapped up Rithmatist, specifically Rithmatist. Once I've wrapped up Rithmatist, I'll feel pretty good-- Rithmatist and Alcatraz. We'll see, but I do have a pretty decent outline that I'm quite pleased with for a Threnody novel.

    Questioner

    Do you think that Silence might reappear?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Silence will not reappear. I'm sorry. Maybe a cameo, I don't know. The Threnody novel I'm planning, though, is going back to reclaim the continent from the Evil. And the opening scene is ships arriving. There's not a lot of room for a Silence cameo in that.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6588 Copy

    Questioner

    I was just wondering, in terms of the White Sand graphic novels, are you gonna keep those as graphic novels throughout? Or are you gonna jump into some more novellas and short stories that coincide with those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now, we're just trying to finish the... graphic novels. Next one's out in February, I think is the date they finally picked...

    ...So, right now, I'm gonna finish the graphic novels. I'm not gonna do other graphic novels until that one's done. I have a few cool things that I would like to do with graphic novels. I wanna make sure that we get the one done that we're doing, which will be three parts, White Sand. And then, when that's done, then we'll look at doing other stuff. I don't know, I probably will do some novellas set on Taldain eventually. But for right now, it is just the graphic novel.

    But if you want to read the original novel of mine that I'm adapting with Rik Hoskin to become the graphic novel, we send that out to people. We used to just send it when you asked us, but that got to the point that my assistant was getting a hundred emails a day. So now, you just sign up for the mailing list, and it will all get sent to you. And if you don't want to be in the mailing list, you can just unsubscribe then, right? But that way, you can just get the novel. It's okay. If you're curious about early Sanderson, it was book number... eight... But if you want to read early Sanderson, it's good, but it needed editing. It needs to be, like, 50-75,000 words shorter than it is. Which is what we're doing to make it a graphic novel, we're just kind of slimming it down.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6589 Copy

    Questioner

    What was Szeth's reasoning for following Dalinar? From what saw he's only met Dalinar once or twice and wasn't aware he is a Bondsmith.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It wasn't about being a Bondsmith. It was partially about how everyone reacted to Dalinar and partially... Let's see if I can explain this. 

    Questioner

    Was it, like, 'cause in--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, part of it was that. Definitely part of it was what he had seen and things like this. Part of it was how everyone, like-- he knew about Dalinar, right? He had fought Kaladin a couple of times. My own justification for it when I was writing this, 'cause I actually did think about this one, like, Dalinar has a magnetism to him. And Dalinar has a reputation. And Dalinar lived up to the reputation, and Szeth was just looking for something-- The reputation was in some ways more important than the man. For instance, there's a chance in that same situation that Szeth would have followed Amaram. Right? Fortunately he made a better choice than that but-- Anyway.

    Questioner

    You're thinking about a similar feeling of the honor because obviously Dalinar is really honorable toward the end and then he's got the same, Szeth's got the same--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Yes, but at the same time that gives a little bit too much credit to Szeth, to be perfectly honest.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6590 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any magic systems outside of your own books that you particularly like, or were inspired by?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, good question! One of the ones when I was young that really inspired me was Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner. I love her magic system even still, and I would recommend that to you. But I like all kinds of magic systems, I don't like just the scientific ones. I like all different types. I think Guy Gavriel Kay does a great job with magic, even though they're often low-magic systems. David Farland's Runelords--he's a friend of mine, so I'm biased--but his is one of the best magic systems around. Pat Rothfuss does a very good mix of a hard magic system and a soft magic system in the same system. Which really lets him play off of the concepts of, you know, you've got this magic where it's like, "We discover the names of things, we don't even know what that means!" Versus, "Hey, we build mechanical, magepunk artifacts using the rules." And the play off of each other is very fun. N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms had a brilliant magic system that really walked the line between hard and softball. So, that's just a few of them.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6591 Copy

    Questioner

    This might be nothing, but the costumes they are wearing in Kholinar, they are a lot like mistcloaks. Is that a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More a coincidence. Those aren't mistcloaks. If I can ever get them drawn out you'll see the difference between them.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6592 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Obrodai going to be the setting of Dark One?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. That is also a RAFO. Sorry, sorry! This is partially because Dark One pops in and out of the cosmere a lot, depending on which version I'm doing. It's been the hardest book. For those who don't know anything about, this is a book I talk about in my blog once in a while... It's like the Harry Potter story, except you get told "By the way, you're the Dark One who's gonna destroy the world, so we're gonna assassinate you while you're a teenager, so that never happens." It's a really cool story that I have never been able to get to work.

    Questioner

    *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and Obrodai is one of the Shardworlds, but I keep popping Dark One in and out of the cosmere. Sometimes it feels too self-referential to the fantasy genre to actually be in the cosmere. Because I don't want the cosmere to be self-referential, right? Whenever something gets even a little too silly, I'm like, "Nah, this can't be in the cosmere anymore." So, we'll see what happens.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6593 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I was wondering, as a dyslexic, when you were designing Thaylen names, was that intentionally a massive practical joke on your part?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Though I will admit, when I was designing Thaylen names, I had a little bit of Welsh going on, and things like that. Now, one of my good friends, actually, the person this book is dedicated to, Alan Layton, is dyslexic. He was one of the people I brainstormed Stormlight with, but he listens to them all on audio. It's more a practical joke on the people who read the audiobooks, because I don't know how they read those names sometimes. But they also have to do Rock's name, right? Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor. I make them do stuff like that.

    Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
    #6595 Copy

    Questioner

    Time-wise, where do the events of Bands of Mourning happen with respect to Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...So, Bands of Mourning, all the Wax & Wayne books take place after Stormlight 5, but I'm not sure if it happens after or before Stormlight 6, It'll have to wait, because there's a time jump between Stormlight 5 and 6 that I haven't exactly defined in the timeline yet.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6596 Copy

    Questioner

    Could an Elantrian just write an Aon above Nightblood and then use it forever?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Use it forever? No. 

    Questioner

    Forever is pushing it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, no, I mean, Nightblood would destroy an Aon pretty quickly. It would pull power through it--

    Questioner

    It would be like trying to put too much power through a small--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it would just rip it up to shreds. You'd get a little use out of it. He would eat the very structure of it, if that makes any sense.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6597 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did they get a better copy of all the artwork?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're going to talk about this with my publisher on Monday... The endpages... Let's just point out that the American print run is 300,000 copies--

    Publicist?

    The UK print run is originally 16,000 copies.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. And so print run drives price down. The US we sold, across all formats, we sold about 250,000 copies opening week. And in the UK, across all formats, I think they sold nine... thousand. And so it's just a difference in population and economy of scale. I'm going to try to convince the publisher to do some special editions of Stormlight that have the endpages. But I can't blame them if it's just not cost-effective...

    The UK covers all matching is really a nice thing...

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6598 Copy

    Questioner

    In Words of Radiance I think it was Nazh who was collecting the artwork for Khriss, is that the same person who... did the writeup of the glyphs and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Who annotates. So, Nazh annotates almost all the stuff. That's almost always Nazh. Khriss almost always writes the Ars Arcanums.

    Questioner

    So there's not a new person also?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you think it's Nazh, it's Nazh.

    Questioner

    So, specifically the one that talks about the glyphs and [how] he infiltrated--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is Nazh. 

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #6600 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Do all Soulcasters risk turning into the element or is it only those using the device?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All Soulcasters have an affinity but the ones using the device are locked down much more than the Soulcasters who are Knights Radiant.

    Questioner 1

    So they are protected from being turned into--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh no they-- I wouldn't say protected... *clarificaiton* Protected is the wrong term but that event, the savanthood and how it affects them and things like that is much less pronounced if you are a [Knight].

    Questioner 1

    Or is that counteracted by the healing as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Healing doesn't have to do with it because-- in cosmere terms there's nothing wrong with your body, your spirit is actually drifting, and so it's not hurting you physically by what's happening with the magics. So it's not the healing but if you have an active bond with a spren it takes a little different path. Let's just say, in simple terms--

    Questioner 1

    You are not losing body parts to smoke.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you are not using body parts to smoke. 

    Questioner 1

    What timeframe does it happen for the normal Soulcasters then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For normal Soulcasters? It takes-- I mean, you've seen it happening in the books. We are talking [about] a process of years even decades, depending on the person. It happens to some--

    Questioner 2

    Depending on how often they Soulcast?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on how often they Soulcast, and it depends on the person.