Recent entries

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7202 Copy

    Questioner

    How much more do you want to write about Stephen Leeds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How much more do I want to write about Stephen Leeds, from Legion? I want to write a decent amount more. I have finished Legion 2, which you may have noticed, which is called Legion: Skin Deep. I had a really great name for a title, but I don't know if I can use it because Skin Deep is a reference to beauty, right? But I thought a great title would be Legion: Lies of the Beholder. I like the pun on that but that is also "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" so I can't make them all puns off of beauty. The original concept with Legion was to do a short that would--I imagine being a television show, it's how I imagined it and I wanted to do future episodes, so to speak. I particularly love the episode format they are doing for Sherlock on the BBC, if you guys have seen that, where your season is three hour-and-a-half long mini movies basically. And I love that format for a television show, I wish we could get more television shows doing that. I would rather sink my teeth into an hour-and-a-half long episode that has character growth, real growth and development, progress and the next one doesn't just hit the reset button and say, another adventure. It is progressing the characters further. I'd rather get three of those in a season than a twenty-two episode where of those episodes eighteen are just yet another adventure with no progress. And so--anyway that's how I imagine that.

    Questioner

    When Legion came out there was talk Hollywood was already interested.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, we sold the rights and then they let them lapse. They kept the rights for two years and they let them lapse.

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7203 Copy

    Questioner

    What was the reason for choosing the base form of Shardblades as blades, why not another form? Was it because of the spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why was the base form of Shardblades chosen to as blades, as swords? It is because the Shardblades were devised... They were devised as imitations of the Honorblades, which were created and given to the Heralds. And so since the original pattern was the Honorblades, they were built to feel like the Honorblades.

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7205 Copy

    Questioner

    Will you tell us a little about the sword from Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is a weapon that I devised. He is partially inspired by my love of Michael Moorcock's writing. He was built into the cosmere using many of the foundational cosmere magic system things that exist on multiple worlds.

    Writing for Charity Conference ()
    #7206 Copy

    Zas678 (paraphrased)

    In Well of Ascension, there are two strange "voice in the head" experiences. One of them is with Sazed and Marsh are fighting, and Sazed realizes that he can burn the metal rings that are now in his stomach. But the other one is with Elend, when a voice comes, and he's not sure where it comes from. It says something like "If you have a dagger, the only way to win is to go in for the kill"

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That one, where it came from, is – I know what you are searching for, but it's actually just an old *inaudible* from weapons training. He's just dredging- he's not sure where it came from because he never thought he would need any of it, he thought he was just going to be a scholar. But his father did have him trained in weapons, so it's just instinct that he got from one of his old mentors in fighting.

    So there's nothing to see there, so no, he's not *inaudible*

    Zas678 (paraphrased)

    Okay. We were just wondering if it was Preservation, or Kelsier.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Nope. Unfortunately, no. I do that on occasion, but this time...

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7209 Copy

    Questioner

    Any hints at the thing hiding in the maps of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The map of Roshar, what hints can I give you? The same thing is hiding in all of the maps of Roshar. All of the ones we have done so far have the same thing.

    Footnote: This is referencing the fact that the shape of the Rosharan continent is based on the shape of a Julia set.
    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7210 Copy

    Questioner

    When are you going to work on the next Mistborn book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now I am going to write Rithmatist 2, followed by Stormlight 3, and the next Mistborn book [Shadows of Self] is going to come after that. Tor has asked that I write the next Stormlight book before I write the next Mistborn books, so I will be doing that. I do have a chunk of the sequel written, but I had to put off writing it until later.

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7212 Copy

    Questioner

    Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alcatraz 5. When am I going to write Alcatraz 5? I have a few things on my plate but I do want to finish it. I have re-releases of the series coming out next year probably. We sold the series to Tor, I bought it back from Scholastic. We are repackaging them with new covers and we are hiring an illustrator to illustrate them, to have cool illustrations all through the book. It looks like we'll do 25-30, little half-pagers and things like that through the book. We're doing a map, Isaac is commissioning a very nice map. And then we are going to re-release them and so I will try to have Book 5 come out when we have that going.

    JordanCon 2014 ()
    #7213 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    What are Cultivation's feelings with regards to the Stormfather?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cultivation's feelings... Cultivation is, *long pause* I just have to decide how I can say things that are not spoilers. Cultivation-- The Stormfather reminds her of certain things about someone else she knew, and she feels the same way about the Stormfather in some ways as this person that she knew.

    Calamity release party ()
    #7214 Copy

    Questioner

    Hoid has said that what he does, when he heals or comes back to life or whatever, heals the soul

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    But Hemalurgy is like ripping off a piece of the soul. Could he heal that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is possible. Well, his particular brand of healing is very Spiritual Realm based. And so, it would-- he could. Not all brands of healing are capable. It depends on what's happening, and things like that. But yes, he would. Most Shardbearers [Surgebinders?] when they're in the throes of their powers would heal spiritually. *brief pause* Not all of them. Not all healing will do that, though.

    Questioner

    Yeah. Because I was thinking that maybe you could spike him multiple times and compound his power.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Spiking him could do some weird things though. But spiking can do weird things to anyone.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7216 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you tell us about a cultural inspiration you’ve used in a world that we have not seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wrote one that was based off of Mesoamerican- there’s a tribe out of Costa Rica. And I didn’t get the story done, but I used that one… it was really an obscure tribe, which made it really hard to name things and stuff like that. What else have I done that you haven’t seen… <thinking noises> There’s Polynesian stuff you haven’t seen, but you’ve also seen a lot of it [already], so…

    Footnote: The transcript uncertainly attributes the question to Alterodent. Check?
    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7217 Copy

    Questioner

    In Scadrial the amount of investiture in humans from Preservation, aka, the amount of Mistborn and mist powers, is that decreasing or just being diffused among the population?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That power is being diffused among the population, though everybody has some of it already. That power is not.

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7218 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    Are Renarin's visions compulsive or involuntary?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Renarin's visions are-- have an element of that to them... So I'll ask you a question in return.

    FeatherWriter

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do Rosharans view seeing the future?

    FeatherWriter

    Oh yeah, very bad. Of Odium.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. They sure do.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7219 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a orbitary range limiter placed on the powers of an Epic, or does it vary from person to person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It differs from person to person.

    Questioner

    So, for Chicago, what was the range of the city turning into...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've got it in my notes. It was basically enough to get me to Soldier Field, because that's where *inaudible*, does that make sense? I thought we'd go to Soldier Field, and then a little ways.

    Questioner #1

    Like a mile?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a bit more than a mile, it's a couple miles. But the guy who said "7 miles" and I'm like "Yeah, you could be in danger".

    Argent

    The question is, where was [Steelheart] standing when did [the Grand Transfersion].

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was in a bank that I actually looked up, that was in downtown, and I changed the name of it. [...] The problem was, it went that far into the lake as well, and I wanted to get a good chunk of the lake, but not like, you know... and so, it's probably like four mile radius or something like that, so the seven mile radius guy is probably okay. I wanted to get downtown, Soldier Field, a little bit beyond...

    Questioner

    Chicago proper.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7220 Copy

    Questioner

    [...] For the picture of all the Radiants and their surges, in the background there’s two dragons. Are those just--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are not dragons. Those are little beasties from the world. You’ve seen them before.

    Argent

    Larkin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But you can call them "dragon bugs" if you want, that’s what Isaac called them when I described them.

    Questioner

    So are they just from the world, or do they have any over-reaching signif--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well they have a certain ability that you may have seen in-world, which is pretty distinctive and different, and so they have a lot of mythological import. They are not widely known by most cultures right now.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7222 Copy

    Argent

    If a Shard wanted to affect another Shard’s magic system, would they need to Invest themselves in the world, or can they just kind of show up and do things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    “Affect their magic system”? What do you mean by that?

    Argent

    So for Roshar, let’s say additional Surges or modified Surges. For Scadrial different metals. For Nalthis--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would require more than just showing up.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7223 Copy

    Kurkistan

    Is there such a thing as a Feruchemical savant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did not write Feruchemical savants into the original outline. Whether or not I will do them- it’s highly unlikely because it’s not there and Mistborn is getting trickier and trickier in that regard. But I didn’t write them in, so… that’s a “probably not”.

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7225 Copy

    Questioner

    The YA book you were talking about earlier, is that Dark One? That your doing for--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not doing Dark One. I pitched it to them and they decided one of my other pitches they liked better. The Apocalypse Guard... So the Apocalypse Guard is-- So people have started to explore the multiverse and found that there are dimensions in which the planet is doomed to some catastrophe. It's going to extinction event. And the Apocalypse Guard is a group of scientists, soldiers, and experts who save the planet that they have discovered that is doomed. So it's about saving planets.

    zas678

    That sounds very non-cosmere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's non-cosmere. But you have, if you've been reading non-cosmere books-- there's another non-cosmere book which explores the concept of a multiverse and alternate dimensions. It might be in the same continuity.

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7228 Copy

    KalynaAnne

    Chalklings, we know, can catch rides off of Nebrask. If Melody had chalklings on a slate and carried them around, could she give them verbal commands later, after she had made them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will have to find out how her magic works as we progress. Everyone would say "No, that's not possible" but she had done things that are supposedly-- that seem impossible. So what you are proposing is probably likely, probably possible, but it depends on her magic.

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7229 Copy

    KalynaAnne

    So you have circles, or Lines of Warding. If you draw a semi-circle, like if a Rithmatist was backed up against a wall, can just a semi-circle act as a Line of Warding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It can, but the sides are going to be so weak. I mean they can just go around it, but yes, the semi-circle would work.

    KalynaAnne

    So if you drew a semi-circle, and drew the other half up the wall--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would be fine.

    KalynaAnne

    Would it be equally strong as if it was all flat on the ground?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would probably-- It would be really hard to get that corner so it would be. In theoretical, magical Christmasland, yes. 'Cause chalklings are two-dimensional, so they don't even see that it's changed really. I mean it does but--

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7230 Copy

    KalynaAnne

    If you drew a Line of Forbiddance on, like, a slate and then you can hold the slate--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Moving stuff around starts playing with things. So I'm going to say, I will deal with that in the next book but it doesn't work how you want it to work.

    KalynaAnne

    Okay, I'll accept that answer.

    Brandon Sanderson

    For logistical reasons, when I was building the magic, I was "Ehhh, we've got to not have this be possible."

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7234 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    At the Words of Radiance signing, I asked you what Renarin's eye color was. You said if there wasn't one in the wiki, you would canonize one for me. Peter has said there is not a color in the wiki.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not a color in the wiki, okay.

    FeatherWriter

    Fan art has used blue--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're going to get this in.

    FeatherWriter

    --and blue is my favorite color.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh is it?

    FeatherWriter

    So if you need a color--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright Renarin's eyes are blue. *cheers*

    Shadows of Self release party ()
    #7235 Copy

    Chaos

    How accurate would you say the northern continent on the Sycla map is? Is it horribly inaccurate?

    Isaac Stewart

    This map has severe deficiencies, especially in the northwest.

    Chaos

    Is there any reason why the cities seem to be on the borders?

    Isaac Stewart

    Seem to be where?

    Chaos

    On the borders, or coastline, like literally all of them.

    Isaac Stewart

    So Brandon can tell me if I'm wrong on this, but normally at the level of technology we're at in this world you've got to have cities near water. That's really what it is. Early cities are almost always near a source of water.

    Chaos

    And so the rivers are just the borders?

    Isaac Stewart

    Yeah. I mean we have the rivers that come in through the border in some places but rivers also are just a great border between places. Especially when there is-- when you're not building bridges over all of them. I will tell you... I won't answer what's going on up here.

    Chaos

    Is it really this enclosed though? Like it's pretty enclosed?

    Isaac Stewart

    It's pretty enclosed. This right here is pretty distorted, I will tell you that. And I made it look bigger than it is...

    Eric, we will eventually release a more correct map.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
    #7237 Copy

    Volratho (paraphrased)

    Humans on Scadrial have Investiture of both Preservation and Ruin inside of them.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes.

    Volratho (paraphrased)

    Feruchemically, does storing Investiture in Nicrosil store this connection to Ruin/Preservation/Harmony?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You are on the right track, and asking the right questions but RAFO.

    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7239 Copy

    botanicaxu

    Do you know the general skin tone and hair color of the Thaylen people? Because there seems to be few descriptions in the books. And how exactly long are their eyebrows? (Fan art problems, sorry.)

    Ben McSweeney

    No idea about Thaylen skin tones, if the text doesn't state it clearly then I guess it's open to discussion. With the eyebrows, I'd think the length varies depending on age and care. The Thaylen riding the chull in the first book has brow-fans that look to be near a foot long. I'm not sure if that's above average, but I'd think there's probably some upper range determined by sheer practicality. Though I don't think they have to fan out, they could be braided or beaded... really, this is a /u/mistborn question.

    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7240 Copy

    botanicaxu

    Could you give us some clues about how the two lines of buttons on Vorin havah actually look like? I find it hard to imagine correctly. (When designing this costume, has Brandon got some in-world reference?)

    Ben McSweeney

    The cut of a havah is similar to a cheongsam through the torso, with full sleeves and skirts falling from the hips. Beneath the slitted outer skirt are many thin layers like fine silk which interweave to create a sort of accordion effect. This would (I think?) allow the dress to fall at a sharp angle from the hip when still, while expanding to allow a full range of leg movement. The buttons run from the throat down to the waist, following a line from the jaw down to the collarbone, curving out to follow the bust and then down the line of the torso. I don't think there's a rule for the number of buttons, but when in doubt remember that "10" is significant to the culture. Frog buttons are legit, I think.

    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7242 Copy

    botanicaxu

    How is the illustrating process for Stormlight 3 going? Is there any new guest artist? Will we see more new species/fashion pages/character depictions? I remember a WoB saying that there's a plan for Unkalaki outfit design. Is it still possible?

    Ben McSweeney

    We're still in the early draft process. Almost certainly, but it's not for me to say. Almost definitely/possibly/no idea. If there's an Unkalaki design, it might be slated for Dan.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
    #7246 Copy

    Questioner

    I was curious about the concept of flow, and how the Thrill compares to that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean? Expand upon that. 

    [clarification]

    So you mean like in the zone, in the moment. The Thrill does overlap with that a little bit, but the Thrill is something distinct. It does give you some of that focus.

    Footnote: The question may have been inspired by the earlier reading of Dalinar's first flashback chapter in Oathbringer where he thinks about momentum in battle.
    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7247 Copy

    JavaPython_

    What is it like to be famous really only because someone else famous hired you? That sounds impersonal, but it kind of feels like that's what happened to me.

    Ben McSweeney

    Nope, I know what you mean. It's a weird place, being on the coattails.

    I try not to give it a lot of thought, really... I trust that I'm the right person for this job, because I bring a unique combination of skills and interests to the table beyond just my ability to render.

    It also helps that Brandon and I started working together before he became the Fantasy Superstar... when I first started drawing for him back in 2008, he had only a handful of novels out, and his part in The Wheel of Time had not yet been the rousing success it eventually was.

    Lastly, I do a lot of work for other clients aside from Brandon, and some of those clients also represent high-profile property like LEGO and Gears of War. If I'm good enough for them, and good enough that they keep coming back and asking me to do more work, I must be doing something right.

    So I try to not fall victim to a sense of Imposter Syndrome. I think I might maybe be good at this stuff, or at least good enough. :)

    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7248 Copy

    JavaPython_

    Are you getting to work on White Sand?

    Ben McSweeney

    Sadly, no. I'm not involved with White Sand, but Isaac speaks very highly of the artwork. He keeps promising to show me some of it through internal channels, but I haven't seen it yet.

    I know they're certainly taking their time to do it well, and I'm as excited as anyone to see how it comes out!

    Ben McSweeney AMA ()
    #7249 Copy

    RobinWishesHeWasMe_

    Do you have any favourites out of the work you've done?

    Ben McSweeney

    I like the Plate and Blades we've designed. The Axehound was a milestone challenge, and the Chasmfiend was one of those where it seemed to be going badly until it started going well... passing through those is always satisfying after the fact.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
    #7250 Copy

    Alteroden

    With [Feruchemical] zinc, you get mental speed. How is that any different from [Feruchemical] steel, except without [physical] speed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think of the mental speed actually turning you into... Let's say you sped up your body, and you wanted to figure out some really complex equations.

    Alteroden

    So it lets you have intuitive leaps.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. It basically turns you into Ken Jennings. That's how I imagine it.

    Kurkistan

    So it's not like bullet time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No... It'll bullet time a little bit, it certainly will, because you're thinking faster than everyone else, but it has applications beyond bullet timing. Bullet time is really--

    Kurkistan

    That’s steel’s thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s kind of steel's thing. They kind of overlap on that one, because the steel thing... But yeah. It's more like "I think fast, but my reaction speed is not sped up".