Recent entries

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    Lerasium grants all Allomantic powers when burned. Atium, when used as a spike, can steal any power. Is there a way to create a metalmind that can store anything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a way to create a metalmind that can store anything.

    Argent

    Harmonium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m not saying; I gave you an answer…

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Could you Forge an entire human? What if a kandra eats that human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could Forge an entire human, and the kandra can eat that human as long as the Forgery takes. The problem is, once you break the seal, they're going to change back. So that kandra would have to find a way to eat that person without breaking the Forgery. In that case it would just remain.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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    Rhandric

    How many worldhoppers have we seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I haven't kept track, you've seen quite a few. There's one from Mistborn, did you catch him? I don't think people have really picked out the Terriswoman yet, who makes her way into them, but they're mostly not supposed to be noticeable yet, until you get to know them as characters and you look back and be like "oh that was that person."

    Rhandric

    Is it the Terriswoman I think it is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know which Terriswoman you think it is.

    Rhandric

    Tindwyl?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If an Allomancer ate a Forged metal, what happens?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If an Allomancer eats a Forged metal, there is going to be some Investiture in that Forged metal, but it's not going to be keyed the right way, so it'd be like eating a metalmind... If you're asking if the metal was Forged into a different type of metal, the Forgery will take and it will believe and... that's going to get really weird. I have not considered that. That's a "let me think about it." My instincts say that it's going to work like the metal it's become long enough to burn for a few minutes, and then that's going to break the Forgery, and it's going to snap out of it and become the other [original] metal. That’s my instinct, but I’ll have to think about it further. [...] It's going to be really hard to burn a metal that's Invested like that. The magics don't mix real well.

    Kurkistan

    Eh, you can burn metalminds.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you can, but it’s from the same "magic set", right? So...

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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    EHyde

    I was also wondering, with the Steel Alphabet in the Mistborn books, each of the letters aesthetically looks like it's built from a cuff, a spike, and a bead, and was that intentional to reflect the magic systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Do remember that that writing system was developed by the Final Empire. They actually took the ancient Terris symbols and they made them more to their own aesthetic over time.

    Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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    EHyde

    I was wondering, on Roshar, what sort of plants and animals do they use for fabrics, because they don't have a lot of woolly animals and the plants are different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of them are plant-based. I think I've mentioned one of the plants. Theirs are plant-based.

    EHyde

    They have silk though, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It is seasilk, you actually grow it in the water. It's pretty awesome. It comes from the coasts.

    EHyde

    So they don't have anything like our silk, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you looked at it, you would call that silk, but it is being produced in a very different way.

    EHyde

    But our silk comes from insect cocoons, and they have a lot of that sort of thing, but they don't use it for fiber at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Insect cocoons on Roshar are either, they melt in water and are tied to the highstorm cycle, or they have stone in them. So they don't work really well for textiles. There are certain rockbuds you can shred the inside of the shell and get a textile from them, there's seasilk which you grow out in the ocean, and there are other plants of a similar nature.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    What planet is Vasher from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did originate on Nalthis, which is the Warbreaker world, but he worldhopped very early in his life.

    Questioner

    And what planet did he get the ability to change his shape, or is that because he's a Returned?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's because he's a Returned, yes.

    Questioner

    So it's not because he's a Lightweaver?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope. That is a great question, though. He is mostly what he appears to be, with some hidden parts of his past.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If the spren that bond people scream when they touch a Shardblade, but then at the end of Words of Radiance Kaladin holds Szeth's honorblade and they do not have a problem with that, why does the Stormfather force Dalinar to get rid of his Honorblade at the end Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... He does not have an Honorblade at the end of Words of Radiance.

    Questioner

    He does not. Oh, I thought he got it from... [Taln]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's what the assumption is. If you look very closely, the blade that you think he ends up with is described differently from the one that he actually does.

    Footnote: We now know that Taln's Honorblade was swapped for a regular Shardblade somewhere between Kholinar and the Shattered Plains.
    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Kurkistan

    How long does it take a newly-made chair to start thinking of itself as a chair?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on how- is the perception of the people who are using it.

    Kurkistan

    So if it just drifted together in space magically into a chair...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It would not actually start thinking of itself as a chair.

    Argent

    So it's a bit like if a tree falls in a forest, and there's nobody there to hear it...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Kurkistan

    If you spiked out Miles' Feruchemical gold, would he be able to burn his Allomantic reserves [read: Feruchemical reserves using Allomancy] and heal it back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you spiked out his ability to heal gold and somehow left him alive?

    Kurkistan

    Yeah, but still having Allomancy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still has Allomancy...

    Kurkistan

    And he’s like in the middle of burning a goldmind.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that would still work. It'd still have a Spiritual Connection to him.

    Kurkistan

    So if you're a Coinshot and you get [spiked] to have Feruchemical steel, and then you lose the spike after making a store, you can still Compound that for speed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes... Yeah, that should still work.

    Kurkistan

    Was Paalm doing that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Alteroden

    Can Hoid safely have an MRI?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why do you ask that?

    Alteroden

    Because if you have metal inside your body, and you have an MRI, which is magnetic, it's very bad for you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're just assuming that... That's a very clever way to try to get around a question that I have not answered and intentionally said I am not going to answer, so...

    Alteroden

    Also, tattoos. You can't have a tattoo with an MRI. The ink has little bits of metal in it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can't? Well, I assume there are tattoo inks that are not little bits of metal.

    Alteroden

    That's true.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If another Shard came to Scadrial, would that be enough to create a metal like atium, or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If another Shard just came to visit, probably not.

    Questioner

    If they brought a spren or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they came and completely Invested the world, then things might start happening. But there's some special circumstances, remember. Ruin and Preservation created that planet. Specifically. And so there's some goofy things that happened because of that. For instance Roshar was not made by Honor, Cultivation, or Odium. That's one of the big differences about what's going on there.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    The metals that were formed from Shards, like atium and lerasium. Are they somewhat naturally occurring, like in pools of power, or are they specifically [?]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are somewhat naturally occurring.

    Questioner

    Really? Even on other Shardworlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. They could exist somewhere else. There are some special circumstances on Scadrial, but yes. The idea is that the pools are one state of this mythological matter.

    Questioner

    So if you have the physical state and the liquid state, is there a less liquid state? Because some of that's being used.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um... Oh. Yeah. Yeah. But, I mean, it's such a drop in the bucket compared to the actual Shards. So that it is a statistically insignificant amount, but it is an amount.

    Questioner

    So Harmony's pool, wherever it is is statistically larger than...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    If someone isn’t an Allomancer, could they burn atium? Since it’s…

    Brandon Sanderson

    They could not burn atium. They would have figured that one out.

    Questioner

    So nothing would have happened, or?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. But there’s a little more to that story, but I’m not going to get into it right now.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Allomancy is of Preservation, correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes...

    Questioner

    What are Feruchemy and Hemalurgy of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy is definitely of Ruin.

    Questioner

    Is it of pure Ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That's a very Ruin thing. And Feruchemy is more of a blend. Though… there is more philosophy to that and human construct—like the Allomantic table—than I think I’ve made clear before.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Is there going to be a Hoid book? Just Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will be several Hoid books eventually. [...] It will be about his backstory, the main one, and then we'll have some in the present as well.

    Questioner

    Will it show up in scenes where he interacts with these characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not planning those right now. I know they would be interesting, but I'm not sure if they'd make good enough books.

    Footnote: The last question likely refers to whether we'll see Hoid's viewpoint in scenes we have already seen him in.
    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Do the Knights Radiant have a nahn? Are they within the nahn system or the dahn system at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The nahn and dahn system is a more recent construct. They would be at the very height of it, I would say.

    Questioner

    Okay. So the system hasn't been reorganized yet with Kaladin and such?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll have to watch and see what happens in the next few books. Because the culture is not used to Knights Radiant being around.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    [questions being asked on behalf of Alyx, a.k.a. FeatherWriter] About Renarin's Surgebinding. Are [his visions] influenced by Voidbinding instead of Surgebinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO.

    Questioner

    And then if they are influenced by Odium the way that Dalinar's are influenced by Honor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO. I'm not going to talk about stuff like that! I have dropped some very blatant hints, and that is enough for me right now.

    Argent

    I asked pretty much the same thing last time, and you pointed me to a certain page. Can I tell her what the page was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. There are certain things going on with him that I feel are very blatant. I think he [Argent] is going to point them out to you.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Would it be safe to assume that Kaladin is also carrying the Honorblade? Because that makes the most sense to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which Honorblade?

    Questioner

    The one from Szeth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is... He's not.

    Questioner

    That surprises me, because to me that would be the best-- That would make the most sense.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would be sneaky of me. But that's not the case.

    Questioner

    So he actually has an Honorblade, since you asked which one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He took Szeth's. So he has that one. Oh! I thought you meant Taln's, I thought. He does not have Taln's. He has Szeth's.. Yes he has that.

    Questioner

    I'm assuming he found that one, because that made the most sense to keep it safe

    Brandon Sanderson

    He’s got Szeth’s, that is true. ... Sorry, I assumed you meant Taln's. Taln's is gone.

    Questioner

    Yeah. Taln's vanished off the face of the planet! I'm assuming Hoid grabbed that one, actually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is one of the prevailing theories and not one that is unreasonable.

    Questioner

    Well, considering. That was the one, because you had mentioned last time you were here that you could have both, and I was like, "okay, so that means he’s got Szeth's sword."

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    Why did you call it Shadows for Self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are two answers to this. One is the kandra are kind of doing different versions of themselves. The other is that Wax is trying to decide which person he is, through this. The term "shadows of self" is actually a phrase that one of the kandra use in the first trilogy talking about this idea of changing who they are and things like that, so the phrase had import to me in-world.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    We were talking about Kelsier, and how he was much more powerful than most Mistborn, and how Vin was slightly more than most Mistborn...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why were Vin and Kelsier more powerful?

    Questioner

    I know why Kelsier, but why Vin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin was not more powerful. Vin just took to it very naturally. She was highly skilled. It was very instinctive to her, but Elend was actually more powerful than she was, if you count just raw power. Vin just knew her stuff. Beyond that Vin is a rare individual that for reasons I have not explained yet, was able to draw in the mists for a little extra boost at times. And there are other characters you have seen do this.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    I was curious about what your favorite board game was, outside of Magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh... I'm not a board game guy. I'm a Magic guy. A lot of people who play Magic and that's all they play. My brother's the board game guy. And I don't really have a favorite. I'll play with him, I'll play Catan, I'll play House at Haunted Hill, I'll play his stupid Battlestar Galactica one that takes like a billion years, but I'll do it for fun to hang out with my family, I don't have a favorite of them. If I do have one, it's Sorry, because that's what my family played when I was a kid, and that's not even a real one. Now they these board games, you have those intricate miniatures from Germany, and you set up all these things, and you draw a card, and that's your objective, and you're a zombie... All this weird stuff, and they look a lot more fun. Dominion, does Dominion count? It's not a board game, it's basically Magic again. Yeah, Dominion would be my favorite. I really like Dominion. Stratego's not bad.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    For this story, with Dalinar hiring the guy who shot at him with an arrow, was that at all based on Genghis Khan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was, that's where I got it. [...] I used to, when I first published <The Way of Kings?>, "You guys recognize this" and no one did, so I stopped talking about it. He was famous for not only that *incomprehensible*, but for recruiting people from every battlefield he went to. The better soldier you were, the more he wanted you in his army.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    The character Spook, is there a pattern to Spook's street slang?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it's a really loose one. It was based off of some rhyming slangs, some street slangs, and some things that I researched, where it would evolve day by day, and they would throw in some extraneous words just to confuse people that weren't speak it. It was also based on Internet slang. And so, yes, there are rules, but the rules are kind of loose and free, and you can add weird words when you want to. You basically put everything in the past progressive and then you add lots of extra "to be" phrases. Then you reverse a few of your syntaxes, and then you go for it.

    Questioner

    So it's practicing a whole lot to sound improvised.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. [...] Wasing the being of complicated to be. No, complicated to see. Yeah.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Questioner

    I didn't know you listened to metal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do, I do listen to metal. I am not as much into it as I should. Like, all the cool little metal bands, I don't know as much as I should. But I've been thinking, one of my books, I am gonna write a metalhead as one of my main characters. So I've actually been hanging out on metalhead forums, and kind of reading about what they are talking about, "that's metal", "this is not metal" and stuff like that. Reading-- submerging myself in that culture. Because I think a metalhead advocate for metal would be a really great character one day.

    Argent

    It has to be in Mistborn!

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it wouldn't, it would actually be on our planet, because I want to use our metalhead culture as the main character.

    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    Can somebody travel to the Spiritual Realm, the same as the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it's a very different experience. It is possible… You may have seen people do it...

    Argent

    As in you're not sure, or you're being obnoxiously vague?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No...

    Questioner #1

    As in, you probably have but he's having trouble remembering it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No no no... For instance, Elend burning atium and duralumin pulled most of him into the Spiritual Realm.

    Argent

    Oh, that's what happens there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. He kind of got yanked into- You also have seen people Ascend with the powers and dip into the Spiritual Realm for a little bit.

    Argent

    So, Vin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But they could be on both, or either, or both at the same time. But you have seen Vin stick into the Spiritual Realm. And it happened to Sazed/Harmony...

    Questioner #2

    Oh! So is that where the gods live? Kinda?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the bulk of the Shard's energy of being is contained in the Spiritual Realm, yes. Except for one notable exception!

    Questioner #2

    The <mists? mistwraith?>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Footnote: We now know that the "one notable exception" Brandon refers to at the end is the Dor, which is mostly contained in the Cognitive Realm.
    Shadows of Self Chicago signing ()
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    Argent

    The Hemalurgic constructs Bleeder uses. Do you have a name for them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not named them yet. Should I? Is it important for fandom?

    Argent

    We don't know what to call them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have in my head that they're kind of Hemalurgic chimaeras.

    Argent

    Okay. We'll go with that.