Recent entries

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7653 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What spren types are Glys, Ivory, and Wyndle?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO, because I haven't decided yet. I know generally what they are, but I don't know how I am going to call them in the books. It happens with other things in my writing, Shards for example - Odium was originally Hatred; the idea was the same, but I decided to change the actual word.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7656 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The glyphs on the cover of the [US hardcover Stormlight] books do represent the Order of the Knights Radiant that is being investigated in that book, as is the color of the book. If you look, it represents the color [of the] them in their, sort of, periodic table of Surgebindings in the first book's front endpages.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7657 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, I will say there is one thing I've been wanting to do for a long time that will probably never happen so don't get too excited. But I had this awesome idea once, and these come to me, where I would write a book with Pat Rothfuss where *audience gets too excited*-- wait, wait, you've gotta hear this pitch - where we both have a set of characters who're competing for misaligned goals, like one wants to save somebody and one wants to assassinate somebody-- they've cross purposes. And we write them, and exchange chapters, and have try to assassinate each other and fiddle with each other's plots. And we get it to, like, 80% of the way done and then we send it to George Martin, and we say "read this and decide the ending and then we'll write it *audience laughter and applause*. And so the reason I want to this is so we can write on the cover, it's not "Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss", it's "Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss". And see who wins at the end if we can convince George not to kill all of our characters. It's never going to happen, but wouldn't that be fun?

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7659 Copy

    Argent

    In The Stormlight Archive there have been multiple writing systems, [which] as a part of a community effort we've translated, for the most part, the Alethi [Vorin women's script], the Thaylen. Can you talk about the technical details of the glyphs writing system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The glyphs were designed by Isaac Steward. He is my scribe, artist, and cartographer. He is also the art director at my company. We sat down and I wanted something symmetrical, so actually half of the glyph is repeated. When you read into it, it's symmetrical, and you can read them by the points where they slant, but you will have to go talk to him about exactly how to do it, because I say "I want a glyph for this" and he designs it. So they are readable, but-- The thing that I used as a model is, I got Arabic art; if you guys haven't read Arabic word art it's gorgeous, it's really cool. And sometimes when it gets really distorted you have to know already what it says, and that's how some of the glyphs are.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7660 Copy

    Questioner

    I've always wondered, was there actually a plan for [Sazed] to bring Vin and Kelsier back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. In fact I wrote that epilogue after initial test reads from the audience all thought "we need more closure, we need more closure" so I actually wrote a mention from him of them just because I wanted give you indication "they're okay" but that is it, Vin and Elend are not returning.

    Footnote: It seems that the questioner misspoke and meant Elend rather than Kelsier
    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7661 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you have to do with the 17th Shard? I was always curious.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They wanted to start a fansite and so I gave them my blessing, gave them a name that would mean something once they started it. But otherwise I don’t have anything to do with them.

    Footnote: Ouch. The distancing. :/ (I kid, I kid)
    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7662 Copy

    Questioner

    How do the timelines line up? So they're all in the same universe. But how does Stormlight and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are mostly been chronological, yet Alloy-era is after Stormlight book 5.

    Questioner

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Otherwise, mostly chronological. White Sand is before most of this happens. So if you ever read that one, it’s a pretty early book.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7663 Copy

    Questioner

    There is a Mistborn pen & paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons style RPG does it give more information on the world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does.

    Though I oversaw that I let them go-- They wanted to do more than I felt comfortable doing myself for my timing, so I let them go pretty crazy. So I say that it is canon until I contradict it. And some of it I will end up contradicting because they needed to be able to make the game the best way they could and I didn’t feel comfortable telling them all the stuff that was coming up because I didn’t want that to sneak into there.

    For those who don’t know the Mistborn books, I’m going to do across the period of many centuries of writing—no, of in-world time.

    *laughter*

    The initial pitch to my editor was past, present, future. So the Mistborn books, we still haven’t hit present yet. We will eventually hit-- Present for these is going to be 1980’s level spy thriller, Tom Clancy-esque Mistborn with Allomancy. Yeah, it’s going to be really cool. The main character, she’s a code monkey who gets involved in all of this. It is really cool. And then we are going to go forward from there to the point where we get to a space opera and epic-- science-fiction space opera where Allomancy and Feruchemy have become the means by which space travel is possible. So that’s coming [...] I’m six books into what's going to be many, many. So just anticipate that with excitement.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7664 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you hint at something, like you hinted at some characters in Shadows of Self without making it feel forced?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is all the sort of thing that you judge using early readers. You put in what you feel is right, you have them read it and give you responses to it, and then you back off if they're feeling like it's too heavy handed, and you add more if they're not noticing at all. And that is the best way to learn this, just by getting test readers. Because your own instincts are kind of hard to trust on things like foreshadowing and things like this. So yeah, just get some good early readers and see what they do.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7665 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there going to be any more stories set in The Emperor’s Soul time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will probably see Shai again but I can’t promise that I will do another story just about her. That’s in part because The Emperor’s Soul turned out so well, that it feels like one of those things that feels like it should be left alone. It just-- Not everything needs a sequel. And in some ways it was so successful that it’s better not to do one, if that makes sense.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7666 Copy

    Questioner

    When Quentin says "wasing not as wasing is", is that just a reference?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s just a reference. So I in Alcatraz make occasional weird references to the Mistborn books and to The Wheel of Time. I think he at one point claims his mother killed Asmodean *laughter* And this is because the Alcatraz books break the fourth wall, they’re self-referential. It’s not implying that they’re connected to the other books. They’re just done for pure silliness’ sake. And so I let myself just do things like that.

    If you are a fan of those, we are re-releasing those starting in January with new art and new covers and interior art. And one of the fun things we’re doing is-- we’re testing this out, I’d like to do it for some of my epics-- we’re actually making the dust jacket, inside, have the world map. In full color. And so you take off the dust jacket while you’re reading your book, you spread it out there’s the world map there and you put it back on to keep your place and put back on the shelf. And so this is something we’re testing out to see if we can get it to work for the Stormlight books or something like that. And then the fifth book of Alcatraz, previously unreleased is coming out in June is what they’re planning right now. Publication schedules always vary a little bit. But it’s going to be right around then.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7667 Copy

    Questioner

    Will you ever do a prequel to Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is unlikely that I will spend very much time with prequels because as a reader I’m not terribly fond of them: Since I already know what happens it ruins some of the story for me. Though the video game, which by the way is taking a long time and I have no updates *laughter* was going to be a prequel. And so that sort of thing you might see mediums like that. And it’s not impossible that I will do something like that. You might see a novella or something like that, but it’s unlikely-- I’m unlikely to do a whole series about, y’know Alendi and Kwaan and people like that.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7668 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you do when you have a really great idea and you read a book and someone has already done that idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Weep into your pillow a little bit...

    *Laughter*

    Then remind yourself that Ideas Are Cheap; in science fiction and fantasy ideas are cheap. Writing skill is what people are really looking for. And so if your idea has already been done, you can take a new spin on it. You know how many people had written young kid finds out they are secretly a wizard and goes off to wizard school books? *laughter* I mean, there are so many of those. Diane Duane did a great series of them. I think it’s So You Want to be a Wizard or something like that. And so don’t let that destroy you. Ask yourself “What is my unique take on it. What’s my perspective on it?” and go ahead and do it. A ton of people had done heist novels as fantasy books before, but I wanted to do one. So I did.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7670 Copy

    Questioner

    <Something about favorite authors>

    Brandon Sanderson

    A few favorite authors: Robert Jordan, pretty obvious, right? Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey, Guy Gavriel Kay-- boy, there’s a lot recently that I've been reading. Last few books I read, one by N.K. Jemisin, her new one [The Fifth Season] which is really good. It’s got a viewpoint in second-person, and it works. So you Lit. English majors out there, it will blow your mind. I-- What’s that?

    Questioner

    The audio books good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The audiobooks, I didn’t do the audiobook, I just read it. I read Jim Butcher’s new one [The Aeronaut’s Windlass], that one’s very good. I read Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, OOOOOOHHHHH, OOOOOHHHHH Uprooted. Go read Uprooted, it is so good. I’ve read David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, that one’s good, it’s not like-- It’s fun. There you go those are the last one’s I read, and some of my favorites.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7671 Copy

    Questioner

    So during the chase scene in Shadows of Self, it seems to imply that conservation of momentum is...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Allomancy follows the law of conservation of momentum, yes. 

    Questioner

    So that is intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, it does follow the laws of conservation of momentum. That was very intentional.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7673 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you by chance suffer from hippophobia, which is the fear of horses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don’t, but I’m not terribly fond of them either. They’ve been mean to me when I’ve ridden them.

    Questioner

    I was just curious, because Kaladin and Vin are both cautious when it comes to horses.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7674 Copy

    Questioner

    With Adolin you say there that he feels a connection to his sword. And all the other Shardbearers, when they touch a Shardblade they get the screaming in their ears. Does that mean he’s not going to be a Radiant.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It means he's- number one he's not on the path to being a Radiant, that's the main thing that means.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7677 Copy

    Kurkistan

    <Gives text of original conversation with Brandon>

    To restate the scenario in more understandable terms (phase 2 is to use diagrams, if it comes to it and I still don't manage to get it across):

    Say Cory the cork-thrower is standing besides a train track. Cory is facing North and the train is running from West to East. Cory tosses a cork North up over a passing train. Normally, this cork would go over the train and land on the ground directly opposite Cory to the North.

    From the frame of reference of Cory and his cork, the train is moving West->East. From the frame of reference of the train, the train isn't moving at all and the cork is moving both South->North and East->West (i.e., Northwest). So if we were to draw a line describing the cork's movement, Cory's line would have the cork moving South->North over a moving train. The train's line would have the cork travelling Southeast->Northwest as it described a diagonal across the train.

    If there's a bubble on the train, that's where things get complicated. When the bubble hits the cork, does the train's frame of reference "take over" so far as it's direction of travel goes? So far as the train is concerned, nothing really changes: the cork is still describing that same diagonal, just more quickly/slowly. But so far as Cory and his cork are concerned, all the sudden the cork is moving laterally (East->West) corresponding to the train's frame of reference. The question, then, is where the cork lands when all's said and done: does it still land directly North of Cory after it passes over the train, or does it land a bit to the West or East as well?

    -----

    My thoughts/model on this would be that it also lands West/East. If the bubble was a bendalloy bubble, then the corks diagonal passage would be accelerated, meaning that it pops out of the bubble off to the West of where it would have otherwise. A cadmium bubble would still move the cork to the West according to its frame of reference, but because of how slow the bubble itself is in motion the cork would still end up East of Cory.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The bubble's frame of reference would take over while it's inside. But you also need to include the fact that bubbles deflect things. The cork would be deflected both when it enters and when it leaves the bubble. So you can't completely predict the path it will take.

    Kurkistan

    <At this point the conversation kept on for a bit as things grew... complicated. We misunderstood one another [which I take the blame for] on several crucial fronts and ended up talking past one another. Long story short is that I'd been implicitly assuming absolute relativity of reference frames in the cork-bubble system—so while both types of bubble would drag the cork along for a bit, that dragging would also be offset (to varying degrees based on bubble type/compression) by lateral movement of the cork within the bubble. This is wrong.>

    Peter Ahlstrom

    If the train is moving east, and he throws the cork over the train, a bubble that slows the cork down will mean the cork ends up east of him.

    If the train is moving east, and he throws the cork over the train, a bubble that speeds the cork up will mean the cork ends up on the other side of the train faster than it would have with no bubble. It doesn't move west.

    If the speed bubble only very slightly increases the flow of time, then the cork could even end up slightly east of him, depending on the speed of the train.

    So depending on the speed or slowness of the bubble, and the speed of the train, the cork will either end up exactly where the thrower expects it to, but more quickly, slightly east of where he expects, but more quickly, or quite a bit east of where he expects, more slowly. The cork doesn't move west.

    In fact, I think it's safe to assume that the train is always moving to the east faster than the thrower is throwing the cork to the north. In that case, both types of bubbles will always end up pushing the cork at least somewhat to the east.

    Let's do the math here.

    Say the bubble is 10 feet in diameter and the cork toss hits the bubble right in the center. He tossed the cork at 5mph. The bubble is 2x speed. That means the cork goes 10 mph across the train (measuring from the frame of reference of the tosser). The train is moving at 50 mph. The cork crosses the train in 0.682 seconds. In that time the train moves 50 feet to the east. So the cork ends up 50 feet to the east of where the tosser expected it to.

    If the bubble is 100x speed, the cork goes 500mph across the train, and in that time the train moves 1 foot. The cork ends up 1 foot to the east of where the tosser expected it to, but much faster than he expected.

    If the bubble is 1/2 speed, then the cork goes 2.5 mph across the train. The cork crosses the train in 2.727 seconds. In that time the train goes 200 feet to the east. The cork ends up 200 feet to the east of where the tosser thought it would end up.

    If the bubble is 1/100 speed, then the cork goes 0.05 mph across the train. The train moves 1.9 miles in the time it takes the cork to cross the train. The tosser has no idea where it ends up, but he watches it hovering over the train as the train goes off into the distance.

    ...

    As far as the cork is concerned, it can't tell the difference whether it's moving through a stationary bubble or a (laterally) moving bubble. From the cork's point of view it moves in a straight line either way.

    Kurkistan

    <Some doodles got involved at one point or another, and it was also confirmed that the path of the cork (barring refraction) would stay the same once it left the bubble, still going directly north>

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7679 Copy

    Argent

    Is Vax a planet?  It’s clearly suggested that it is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What’s that?

    Argent

    It’s heavily suggested that it is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is heavily suggested that it is a place.

    Argent

    It's a place. Okay, I'll take that.

    *talking to other attendees* Vax is a place.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No no, heavily suggested that it's a place, is what I said!

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7681 Copy

    Questioner

    This is quick question about outlines… Going on Mistborn, Era 2 is like 300 years after the original series...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think it ended up being 200 and something but yeah.

    Questioner

    And you said that the next trilogy will be in the future, do you have a rough idea of how far...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m planning 70 right now.  But I mean I’m going to have to write it and see.  It is far enough away that you are not going to see most of the characters, but close enough that like you could see--

    Questioner

    But descendents might be...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Descendants are totally going to be around.  And you could see some of the characters that are there now. Could be that one of them has just passed away, that sort of thing.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7686 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Khriss ever figure out how to get sand [to work] on the Darkside?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohhh, that’s a bit of a spoiler.

    Questioner

    Essentially her reason to become Cosmere-knowledgeable.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is one of her primary motivations for where she has gone, is figuring out how all that worked. But her story I want to leave for her book.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7688 Copy

    Questioner

    I’ve noticed that in Stormlight and Mistborn, there’s kind of a money equals power theme...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is that intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.  I think that the--  In the Cosmere, sources of Investiture or relationships to the magics are going to be-- have an economic force and will naturally start to fall into that. So I’m making a point of--  It happens in Warbreaker too, Breaths have an economic value.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7690 Copy

    Argent

    We have a very important question. Would this area be steel in Newcago?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Would this area be steel in Newcago?  I don’t think it reached here.  I’ve got the map but…  Yeah.

    Questioner

    We’re just gonna keep asking.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah you guys are going to be okay.

    Tiffany

    So this is a prediction rather than--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you guys will be okay.

    Questioner #1

    I'm like seven miles outside of downtown, what about me?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhhhhh, you're in danger. You're in danger. [...] But actually it's better to be in, because electricity, and power, and things like that. Out here you'd be growing food for [Steelheart]!

    Footnote: "This area" referred to in the first question is the bookshop where the signing is taking place.
    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7691 Copy

    Rachael

    When she [Shallan] Soulcasts, does she physically go?  Or does she just think?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She transitions into the Cognitive Realm… Yeah she transitions but she’s not a hundred percent there…

    Rachael

    Then does Jasnah’s… does she work the same way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She goes completely over.  That’s one of the differences between their magics. Shallan could get there if she wanted to, she hasn’t so far completely transitioned.

    Argent

    Even during regular Soulcasting, for both of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh for regular Soulcasting Jasnah doesn’t either.

    Argent

    ‘Cause we were talking about the scene with the ship and Shallan. So would an outside observer see her shift over or—

    Brandon Sanderson

    The outside observer would see weirdness happening for sure.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7692 Copy

    Alex

    Taln’s Scar.  Was it present throughout the entire timeline and just not mentioned in books, say Elantris? Or did it appear at a certain point in time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It did not appear at a certain point.  And it is not equally visible through the Cosmere, simply because of where it is in the sky and where they are in relation to it and things like that.

    Alex

    And how much ash in the sky.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes…  Peter knows exactly where it is.

    Alex

    I am hoping that the map in the anthology...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it should.

    Tiffany

    We are really excited about the map. Also the writing, but really about the map.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’ve seen the little star charts that Isaac’s done for each of the worlds, and they are awesome.  Because they’re going to be--  This is more, like it’s the Cosmere Collection, we haven’t hit scientific revolution in most of the worlds yet, so it’s going to be more like if da Vinci had drawn them or something.  So don’t expect--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So don’t expect it to be like science fiction star charts yet, but they will be very helpful in these sorts of things.

    Argent

    Could you nudge Isaac to release a wallpaper version or a poster or a printable of any of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay yeah, I can totally make him do that.  Like if the full Cosmere one turns out well I’m sure he’ll want to do something like that.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7693 Copy

    Questioner

    Nightblood.  Is there a person-- like are we seeing the outpouring of a sword that can now think more than a sword or was there a person...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There was--  There were many people who went into that, because it was all the Breaths that were little pieces of people.

    Questioner

    Okay, but there’s not one person more than another?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.  Nope, it attained sapience kind of through sheer weight of Investiture.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7694 Copy

    Questioner

    In terms of timeline for Mistborn: Secret History and Elantris.  Is there a chance that the characters in Secret History would know the characters from Elantris or are they way far apart...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven’t really dug into those outlines yet but it’s not impossible.  In fact it’s very possible--  It’s possible for some of the characters in Secret History to have met people from Elantris. That is possible, but some of the people in Secret History are very abnormal, so that's not necessarily to say--

    Footnote: Considering that Kelsier, a character from Secret History, has met the Ire - characters from Elantris - this answer may not be telling us much.
    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7695 Copy

    Questioner

    And the characters from [the last Mistborn series], do they end up on a different planet?  Like the planet that Warbreaker takes place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    By the final Mistborn series there will be space travel between worlds.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7696 Copy

    Questioner

    About the the last Mistborn series, it's like a sci-fi thing, right? Is it going to be more in a cyberpunk vein or Star Wars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More space opera. That’s not to say--  I’ve thought of doing a cyberpunk before, but the third [series] one will have some cyberpunk elements already.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7697 Copy

    Questioner

    For the next Stormlight [book], will there be chapters from Jasnah's perspective?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will be, I believe, at least one chapter from her viewpoint. I could change that but the outline has at least one from her.  It’s dangerous to do too many from her viewpoint because she’s eventually going to be a main viewpoint character, and she has a large chance of taking over a narrative that she’s part of.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7698 Copy

    Questioner

    [...] The [...] written on a Shard, is there a correspondence [correlation] between that and when the Blades, and the armor in Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings [...] on a Shardplate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, yup.  There is a direct correlation there.

    Questioner

    The Shard...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean the naming convention is the same naming convention.

    Questioner

    [from…Radiant...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven’t answered that yet, and I’ll remain close-lipped on it for now.

    Questioner

    Where did the worldhoppers get their powers, because if all powers come from the Shards, and the Shards came from the breaking of Adonalsium, so how can Hoid have his powers before...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is correct.  So before the breaking there was magic in existence.  For instance, the spren on Roshar, some of them predate the breaking-- the Shattering.

    Questioner

    So, if spren are caused by thoughts, and the Shards caused some of the humans, and humans cause thoughts, then there were people alive before

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then there were people on Roshar before the breaking of Adonalsium.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7700 Copy

    Questioner

    For characters like Hoid, who travel between worlds-- Do you have a timeline set out for them, so that they aren’t in two places at once?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do [...] But it’s easier to keep this straight by making sure that the books aren’t, so far, happening simultaneously.  But the more short stories I write, the more simultaneous things will get, and so that’s where we need it. Like, I realized I had a contradiction--  Fortunately that I hadn’t canonized in any of the books, when I wrote Secret History.  I was like “Ah, I need to make sure he is where he needs to be.” And stuff like that.