Recent entries

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8702 Copy

    Questioner

    If a kandra and a human were to have a baby, what would that baby be like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that right now… It would depend... The kandra would have to remain in human form, keep the same body, and then would give birth to a human. If it was a woman [human] with a man [kandra], it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, with a kandra. Does that make sense? Because when the kandra is in human form, they can identically recreate the bodily functions and things if they want to.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8704 Copy

    Kurkistan

    How exactly does Hemalurgic decay work for Feruchemy? Is it like a leaky tube or something, or…?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah… yeah.

    Kurkistan

    So they try to store 10 units of health and only 9 gets through, or…?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgic decay meaning someone who has been spiked is less powerful? That Hemalurgic decay, or the Hemalurgic decay when a Hemalurgic spike is left outside of blood?

    Kurkistan

    Less powerful. So like the Inquisitors are less powerful Feruchemists so they had to spend longer storing: so why did they have to spend longer storing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah they lose a little bit, it’s a leaky… You’re there, exactly. It just doesn’t quite… it’s not as efficient: it’s an efficiency thing.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8705 Copy

    Kurkistan

    So when that cork [in The Bands of Mourning] was thrown above the train, if the cork had been thrown by someone who was standing besides the train, what would have happened when the bubble hit [the cork]? So the bubble's moving at 60mph and the cork [is not moving laterally relative to the bubble] and gets hit by a bubble...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. Right right right... So... this one's complicated. Let me see if I can... So anything that touches the bubble will immediately be lodged into the bubble, and be hit by that... So say you throw something up, the bubble hits it, is what you're asking?

    Kurkistan

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But it does not have momentum the same as the thing? So it would probably be in the bubble for a short time.

    Kurkistan

    So if I threw the cork straight, and then the bubble came from the right, the cork would shift to the right within the bubble as the bubble thought it was moving or something? So the bubble thinks the cork is travelling like 60mph North, the cork thinks it's not moving at all... So does the cork move the opposite direction of the bubble or something?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ask Peter the math on that one, and I'll have him run the math. That one's kind of... it's kind of like the time travel train experiment stuff, with the flags and things. So let's go ahead and PAFO that one.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8706 Copy

    Kurkistan

    How broadly can a time-bubbler control the attributes of the bubble? Like could he make it ten times smaller to make it ten times more powerful?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is more controllable than I have generally shown in the books.

    Kurkistan

    And does the size correspond inversely to the strength?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8707 Copy

    Alterodent

    If a hermit were to take a whole lot of cadmium and go off and live by himself, how far within a lifetime, reasonably, could he get into the future by essentially time-capsuling himself? Assuming they live to be 70 or 75.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They could get pretty far.

    Alterodent

    What would the savantism do to them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The savantism would probably allow them to get further… It’s completely reasonable… you can treat this like relativistic travel.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8710 Copy

    triforceorder

    Is the dying process - death, to Cognitive Realm staging area, to the Beyond - a universal process in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. it is a universal process. People don’t always hang out as long, depending on how much Investiture is around.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8711 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History, we see an Aon written in the steel Alphabet, have we seen any other kind of-- examples of something similar yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don’t think we’ve shown you any, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For instance the Aon written on the wall in Emperor’s Soul would probably not look exactly like an Aon, because it’s different culture.

    Questioner

    Similar to the Dakhor monks use different...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, more along the lines of, if you start writing-- if Chinese characters became a big part of everyday life in America, we would probably end up changing them so they don’t actually look like one 100%, does that make sense?  So yes and no, like that.  I don’t think I’ve ever drawn one out like that, but there are references to other characters and other cultures [across the cosmere].

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8713 Copy

    Eric

    In Secret History we learn the 16 Shards that Shattered Adonalsium. Was that done [on behalf of the anti-Adonalsium force]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You’re focusing too much on this idea of an anti-Adonalsium. It—the original question I believe that was asked me was “is there a force that is opposed to Adonalsium” and it left me a lot of wiggle room. In other words, the people who killed Adonalsium, you could say were a force, any person who opposed Adonalsium... What they were trying to get was a “devil” but to do that you must assume Adonalsium was a more Christian-style God, and I haven’t confirmed any of that.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8718 Copy

    Dragon13

    Of the short stories included in the Mistborn Adventure Game, I know you were involved in The Eleventh Metal. Are the others considered canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Allomancer Jak [and the Pits of Eltania] one, yes. Everything else, no.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8719 Copy

    Questioner

    I’m interested in Adonalsium. Out of the people that were leftover from just before its Breaking [Shattering], did they think it was a good idea or a bad idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhh… Opinions are mixed.

    Questioner

    Is it mixed between the Vessels and the non-Vessels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the Vessels support the decision that they made. I would say of those remaining, who are not Vessels, the majority think it was a bad idea. I would say it’s split between them (?), it’s not 100%

    Questioner

    What’s the number of [people on Yolen?] remaining that are not the Vessels

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not many.  It is a number that you could count to reasonably.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8723 Copy

    Questioner

    Shardblades, they sever <limbs? people’s?> connection to the Spiritual Realm. So, that being said,  they cut inanimate matter like a regular sword but inanimate matter is projected into the Cognitive Realm.  So does inanimate matter have a Connection to the Spiritual Realm? In the same way living things do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it doesn’t have the same thing going on.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8724 Copy

    Argent

    At the end of The Bands of Mourning, Wax starts seeing what seems like souls, as he’s holding the Bands. He sees lines. He ponders that man/metals they’re same thing. Is he seeing Investiture there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, to an extent he’s seeing—yes. He’s seeing the Cosmere equivalent of atoms, Investiture, and energy waves all being the same thing.

    Argent

    Okay, so kind of a building block of things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it’s almost like he’s seeing the axi, right, the atoms.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8725 Copy

    Argent

    About the Returned, they don’t quite fit the other Splinters, their Breath rather, because it’s the divine Breath that’s a Splinter, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhhhhhh…. Ehhhhhhh....

    Argent

    Okay, that was vague.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not a 100% correlation there.

    Argent

    So in that case it’s not entirely fair to say that the Returned are like vessels for--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No… Well, more vessels than the people that are in [T’Telir…]

    So, Endowment is in control of what’s happening, right?

    Argent

    The giving of Breaths.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So what you’ve got to remember-- and this is something that people keep mistaking is-- something like a spren is still part of the god, right?  And it’s not that different from the fact that the rock has a part of the body in it, and that everything is kind of made—Like in Mistborn world in particular, everything is made out of their essence. And so, the Breath are similar, but it’s less that-- they’re not autonomous in most cases and it’s more like-- it’s like a hybrid of what’s happening in Mistborn where everybody’s got a bit of Preservation in them. Everyone’s got a bit of Endowment in them.

    Argent

    Innate Investiture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Innate Investiture that they are born with.

    Argent

    I was looking to divine Breath, more specifically.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh divine Breath! … Divine Breath is its own special thing, and it’s more like what happened with the Honorblades, in that the god is pouring a bit of its Investiture, infusing the magic.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8727 Copy

    Questioner

    So did you come up with the weakness of the Epics being from fears out of Steelheart book or did you already think of that ahead when you wrote Steelheart?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had that.  In fact there’s a deleted scene where I dug into the nightmares in the first book, and it didn’t end up getting into it.  Plus it was a little too--

    Questioner

    Reveal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    --foreshadowy, yeah.  But it was from the beginning.  I always kind of thought the fears being your weakness would be a really cool way to approach superheroes.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #8728 Copy

    Questioner

    What race is Sazed? We have an argument on this but...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Terris have intermixed to the point that they-- Skin tone run the gamut, from being indistinguishable to being darker-skinned. When I write them and say darker-skinned they get as dark as perhaps a dark Indian, East Indian. But they can range in that skin tone.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8731 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How do you pick names?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It really varies based on the book. I'm often picking a linguistic paradigm. Alethi - there are two separate paradigms because I like linguistics to be messy. Usually based on symmetry being holy, so they'd pick names one letter off from symmetrical to avoid hubris.  Also suffix - like Kaladin is Kalak (Herald) + din which is a suffix, all of them mean things, like the old Hebrew names have "born of" or "comes through". Stick that on and drop the last letter. Dalinar, Elhokar, all of those have suffixes - nar, kar.  In Mistborn, I didn't want linguistics to be your focus, for in that I picked a simpler naming paradigm - I lifted linguistics from the real world. Central Dominance is French. The Germanic area, we have Elend and Straff, and then we have Spanish on the other area. I just kind of took Earth cultures and appropriated them. That's an easier way to do it, because Mistborn is kind of an earth analogue. But Roshar is very different. Mistborn I didn't want you to think of the difference, which is why I gave everyone nicknames that are easy to say.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8733 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    When do we get to officially get to know what's going on in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    All of my epic fantasy books are connected with continuing characters. That's a way off, and that's because I don't want people to feel like they have to have read all my previous books to enjoy the series. It should be about the characters. Eventually I will write one that's a mashup, but we're not there yet. I'll be very upfront about it when I do it. For now it's just easter eggs.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8735 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    When do you expect to finish Shadows of Self?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It was on the schedule for this fall to finish, but the third Stormlight book has pushed that aside, so it'll probably be the next book after that.  Tom Doherty didn't want to have a four-year gap twice in a row, and I don't want to let it go so far. It's better to establish that I'll be doing Stormlight regularly before deviating. When I pitched Mistborn to my editor, I pitched a series going to modern times to space opera in the same universe. There will be another trilogy of thick books at 1980s technology, I pitched to my editor as "Tom Clancy Allomancy" and we will eventually get to the space opera, which will be allomancers in space.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8740 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Speaking of Rothfuss, can you tell us how far along he is...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, I don't know how far along Pat is, when I hang out with Pat I don't ask him because he gets that enough.  I'll tell you this, in my outline from ten years ago, the third book is named Stones Unhallowed, and his third book is named Doors of Stone. So either I've got to beat it or change it - I thought, "I have to write this book faster".

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8741 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Travel time frame of reference - how long is a day's ride?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    There's two answers. One is the official answer, and that depends on the horse, what you're feeding the horse, how you're pushing the horse - I think a wagon can go 1-2 miles an hour, a good horse if you're trading horses can go further. My expectation that it's usually 20-30 miles but that's pushing the horse hard. You're usually not going that much faster than people can walk, 2-3 miles an hour. Humans are better at going long distance than horses. But horses are more comfortable and can sprint if they need to. This is not something that I do a ton on because most of my books take place in one location - that's what we're looking at for a day's ride. Eight hours between 16 and 24 miles, but someone can correct me if they know better.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8742 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Strategies for the Sagging Middle.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Middles are tough. My experience has been that the writer thinks the middle sags more than it does, because you're not at the exciting beginning wherever everything's fresh and not at the end with the climax. Stagger the climaxes. For instance, Words of Radiance, I built it and plotted it like three books with multiple climaxes from major characters at the end of part 1, at the end of part 3, and at the end of the whole thing. It'll make your novel read like a trilogy.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8743 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Best fantasy author debuted in the last year

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brian McClellan with the Powdermage books, but that's a year and a half ago so it doesn't count. I'm reading a book right now by one of my former students that's really good but it's not published yet. Most of the books I've read in the last year are either friends or things I needed to catch up on.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8748 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I've lost track of the number of magical systems that you have created and I was just wondering if you could say a little bit about your process of creating magical systems.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    What I'm looking for is something interesting. It is kind of hard to explian, because to create a magic system, I've read a lot of fantasy, and personally I feel that one of my duties is to push the genre in different directions. There was a period where our worldbuilding was not as extensive as it should be. Stuck as we were for a while, it felt like the genre hit a bit of a rut, and I wanted to push it in different directions. The screwy magic systems I create are part of that. I feel excited about them, it's something I feel ?? Google Sanderson's First Law.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #8750 Copy

    AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

    Are the Parshendi at the village the only Parshendi there are? Besides for the Parshmen...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Parshendi as a people were all at Narak. Barring any scouts and things like that. That doesn’t mean that there might not be any other Parshmen out there that have bonded spren, but they would not have been part of this nation – any more than if you found another human that they may not necessarily be American.