Recent entries

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8701 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your favorite original Shardholder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My favorite original Shardholder?

    I don't knoooowwww...

    Questioner

    Are they all that bad of people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No no, they're not bad-- they're not all bad people. Many of them are-- you know the trick is I'm gonna have to really write them, as their personalities. Because right now they're really just concepts, and I haven't written very many of them. And so... I'm very fond of Bavadin, but I can't say.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #8702 Copy

    faragorn

    I dont recall hearing about this anthology until recently. Did Brandon need a break from writing S3 and so [Arcanum Unbounded] was put in the schedule?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    This was put on the schedule when it was determined that Stormlight 3 wouldn't come out until next year. Brandon has been wanting to do something like this for a while, so we went for it.

    The book is not just reprinting stuff you've already read. Aside from the new Lift novella (at 40,000 words it's actually a mini-novel), each story has a new full-page illustration and a postscript by Brandon. Each world section of the book has a planetary system map and an essay about the system written by Khriss, who writes the Ars Arcanum section at the end of the books.

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8703 Copy

    Questioner

    The Ars Arcanum, is there an in-cosmere author of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are in-cosmere, yes.

    Questioner

    It sort of seems like they would be written by someone like Hoid or someone.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not. I don't know if I've released who it is. It's probably not who peole are thinking, but it is in-world.

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8704 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The next thing I'll probably write is: I've been developing the world for awhile now, where... are you familiar with Tesla, Nikola Tesla? He wanted this whole wireless electricity thing to work, he was trying to make it work. It was kind of like electrifying the air and having the current run into the ground.

    I want to build a world where that happens naturally, where your ground is positive and your air is negative and electrons will move through it and you can like-- animals adapted to use this and you can use fantasy-T technology, like you set a lamp on the ground and it'll just glow because a current is running through it; and stuff like that.

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8706 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you decide that you were going to tackle racism, classism, gender, all those things in The Way of Kings? What sort of things went into how you decided the various ways...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the things I like about Fantasy is the ability to tackle things like this in a way that removes the baggage from our current society which is why you see me doing things like the gender relations based around whether the hand is sleeved or not; what are feminine and masculine arts... I want to do something that's one step removed—not too far removed, because I want it to be pertinent—but removed enough that we can remove some of the baggage and talk about things like this. That's where the lighteyes and darkeyes came from.

    I just decided to do it because I felt it's an important part of who we are, and something important to discuss. Beyond the fact that the Parshendi-Human thing is going to be a big deal for this series so I wanted to introduce it early on in the book to let you know this is something that we're going to deal with. 

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8707 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you ever going to expand on the cosmere in its own book or is it going to be a long *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the thing that started it all, Dragonsteel, is going to be about the cosmere a lot more, and the third Mistborn trilogy will be also.

    Questioner

    I like how you have that background going through all your different cosmere novels, tying them together

    Brandon Sanderson

    I want to make sure that it never becomes the forefront until I am warning people, "Now, you need to know this stuff."

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8708 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you hear the-- when you write the Parshendi have such a musical language. Do you hear it when you're writing, like what the songs sound like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    To an extent, yes, but I am not as musically inclined as some, and so if we ever do it, I would probably have somebody else come up with something more... It's more of a cadence though, like the difference between iambic and things like that.

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8709 Copy

    Questioner

    The question I was a little more interested in was not so much the interludes, but like Gaz *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Gaz was always planned to come back. Which is why there's kind of a mystery to him in the first book, like "where did he go?" It's something Robert Jordan did that I like. I don't know if you read-- oh you did, you read-- So like when Bayle Domon shows up again; and some of the characters getting woven in, I like that. And so you will see that sort of thing happening, it's just something I'm fond of that he did.

    Questioner

    I'm so surprised that Gaz showed up.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And the other thing about Gaz is: one of the things I like to do in my fiction is show that the light through which someone is seen and perceived changes a lot of who they are. We all do that, we go to different situations and we're different people. And Gaz you saw all through Kaladin's eyes as one person and I want to show you through someone else's eyes without the initial problem they had together would see him very differently.

    Words of Radiance San Francisco signing ()
    #8711 Copy

    Questioner

    I love the Hoid scavenger hunts that have been going on. What does he-- what powers does he have, what magic has used *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you watch in these books, he has used on screen so far three of the different magics.

    Questioner

    And have we seen those three-- do we know what those three are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know at least two of them. Very deep clues-- very more obvious clues are in this book [WoR].

    Questioner

    And I haven't gotten to yet-- you can see where I am.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah; watch where he and Kaladin have some interactions. If you watch carefully you will see something in what he mentions. You've already seen him and Shallan, that scene in one of her flashbacks.

    Questioner

    I was almost-- I was reading that scene like "that has to be..."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, in that scene he uses one if you watch.

    Footnote: Hoid references having at least the Second Heightening (Awakening) to Kaladin in jail; he likely uses emotional Allomancy on Shallan. This transcriber can't think of a third, beyond Yolish Lightweaving in WoK
    Calamity release party ()
    #8712 Copy

    Questioner

    How many people... What percentage of the population roughly turned into Epics, and is that number in any way significant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not significant, and it is very rare. Like your average-- Like a big city, after collecting them for such a long time will have, like, maybe 300 Epics. Against a population of probably 2 or 3 hundred thousand. But that's after-- Remember the Epics have survived and the average people have taken heavy casualties. But the number is not significant.

    Calamity release party ()
    #8713 Copy

    Questioner

    So assuming you have mentioned that it is technically possible to be able to use one magic system on another planet from a different one...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is it possible to fuel that... Like, say could you fuel Awakening using Stormlight, or do you have to bring Breaths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could!

    Questioner

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. Now it's-- there are tricks to making it happen on each world. Some are easier than others, but yes you can.

    Questioner

    So could that allow a loophole to maybe... convert from one form of power to another? Or like from Stormlight to Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. In fact, that's part of why Vasher--

    Questioner

    Vasher. I wondered that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    --is on Roshar, is because it's a lot easier to get Stormlight than Breath.

    Calamity release party ()
    #8718 Copy

    Questioner

    So what is the, like, actual density of metalborns born in Elendel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh boy, I have this in my notes somewhere. Um...

    Questioner

    *inaudible* I guess?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Roughly. All metalborn? One out of every couple thousands. Little more common than you would probably think, based on... I don't know. People usually assume they're a little more rare than they are. But, yeah...

    Questioner

    Yeah. It just-- As I was reading I kept finding people saying, "Oh yeah, it's so rare. It's so insanely rare." I was like, "I feel like it's not that rare," like...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but still. One every couple thousand. Like, you're going to know somebody, but the chances of you actually being one are pretty rare.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8719 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The thing people have been dancing around—they haven't been asking the right questions—is they need to be asking more questions about the Dor, specifically trying to figure out why the Dor works differently. It's only a little thing, it's not like it's going to be mind blowing, but it is important for them understanding how the cosmere magics work.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8720 Copy

    Blaze1616

    Does being an Elantrian, when it first happens to you do you get rushed with the feelings that Szeth describes holding Stormlight is like? Or Vin describes holding the Mists?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you get different.

    Blaze1616

    No, it feels different.

    Blaze1616

    So it feels completely different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You definitely get an emotion, but it is not those same emotions.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8722 Copy

    Blaze1616

    The Dor: Is it gaseous Investiture or is it something else completely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh that's a great question. People have not been asking enough about the Dor.

    Blaze1616

    And if it is gaseous—or not gaseous—is it plasma?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Long pause*

    You got it. *said definitively*

    It's super sup-- not plasm-- yeah, it's super-dense to the point that's it's liquefied and dense-- does that make sense? So it's plasma, basically. It's its own weird thing, so yeah. What you can write is that it's its own weird thing that's kind of plasma-like.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8724 Copy

    Questioner

    Say you have a Feruchemist who pours Identity into a metalmind. Then subsequently loses that mind, and then is later Awakened? Would that mind retain the personality of--

    *Everyone laughs, Scottish man says "it's 11 o'clock at night, give the man a break!"*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so they store Identity—which I haven't told you what it does--

    Questioner

    Yep. We don't know.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And then you Awaken it, and then you want to know if it has the personality of the person?

    Questioner

    Yeah, or if it's able to communicate in any way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, if-- how much Awakened is it? Is it Nightblood-level Awakened? Or is it just regular Awakened?

    Questioner

    Sure let's say Nightblood-level.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood-level. So it's-- so the Investiture has been granted sapience. And it's got Investiture from somebody else stuffed in it. I can foresee a scenario where that has an influence, but it's not going to be the personality of the person who stuffed it in. I can see some circumstances where they can-- where the Investiture of the object can make use of that in some way, but...

    Oh boy, that was a weird one.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8728 Copy

    Questioner

    The Soonie dog, this mentions. You definitely need to make one of those: whatever you want to make us pay for it, we'll buy it. No problem.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So what I've got is that we make a Soonie pup as one of those stuffed animals that you can turn inside out, and when you turn it inside out it's a mistwraith, *people all around who heard flip out * and then you twist it back.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8729 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we ever see Spook again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are unlikely... Okay how about-- Spook's touch is all over the books everywhere. So if you watch in the new ones, things he has done have had lasting ramifications. So you-- you will probably hear from him again, but it might be in the form of journals and things like that.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8730 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you read any fanfiction based on any of your novels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know I've stayed away from it, though I approve of fanfiction. There are some legal ramifications of reading something and then it being too similar to what you're writing, and then the worry that the fan's gonna... anyway. So I just stay away from reading it.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8735 Copy

    Questioner

    [In Shadows of Self] there’s the new metal, I guess. I was wondering-- So if someone were to bring a metal from a different planet, say steel from Roshar, would it still be recognizable as steel on that world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would still be, yup. It would be.

    Questioner

    Because there was mention of it being "of Harmony" right, and that was the difference?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The thing you gotta remember is that the metals on Mistborn are keys and not the actual source of the power. If they were the source of the power, it wouldn’t work.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8736 Copy

    Questioner

    The thing about women eating sweeter foods, and how sharp the gender divide was and-- I just found that worldbuilding really interesting, so how do you get inspired by that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I noticed that a lot of cultures have these really stark gender disparities. And I think in America we don't—like even around the world we still have a lot of them—in America we kind of-- I'm glad we don't because I think it is actual progress to not [have these disparities]. But at the same time that's a really big part of so many different cultures that I wanted to play with that idea.

    And I loved in The Wheel of Time how Robert Jordan had the magic word differently [...] and so I was looking for a long time for something I can do that plays with the idea of gender roles, and that's kind of what rose out of it. It actually came from when I was working on the history and the moment when the men kind of seized control of the Shardblades. You know about this?

    Questioner

    Yeah, I read about it online.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So that moment I'm like "alright, there's a divergence there. How do they strictly define the gender roles to maintain the power of these weapons?" And I think that's-- and I just kind of built from there.

    Questioner

    It's really interesting though that women in a way are actually the creative minds-- they're actually not suppressed, but they're repressed in a different area.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, right. It's this weird repression where you can't do what you want, but they're actually in many ways the most powerful ones in society, but they're constrained by it.

    Questioner

    Yeah, they're the ones that are creative because men don't even read because they're not supposed to. I guess that's what's really interesting to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was sooo much fun to figure some of these things out because it plays with expectations a little bit but also plays into them in really interesting ways.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #8737 Copy

    Blaze1616

    Fabrials and AonDor. In Elantris you mention there’s Tia plates that let people teleport around the city. Could an Elantrian essentially make portable fabrials using a similar method as the Aon Tia plates?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hesitantly* Yes, that is within the possibility of what it can do. The problem is the further you get from Elantris, the weaker the magic, so they’re going to be really limited in distance. But yes, totally could. And you could probably get them working through most of that region.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #8741 Copy

    Questioner

    In Stormlight, how the hell does society work with one object standing for both the currency, the magic system, and light and power--

    Brandon Sanderson

    How does it work in Roshar with one thing spanning-- for the economy, the magic system, and... lighting up everything. They would ask, "How  you could possibly have three different things?" because it makes no sense to them. It totally functions, I think. The big distinction is you can't use Stormlight for lighting if-- Like that's something for rich people. You'll see poor people using candles and whatnot, because hanging out your spheres is not a smart idea in some other places. There are spheres that are a low light level that are worth about a candle or so, so if you put a candle out someone could just swipe that, it's worth the same amount. There's really no difference between putting out a candle and that. If you're going to put out a lantern you can put spheres in it and lock it up.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #8743 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanna know about Alloy of Law, if there was an actor who was going to play Wayne, who would you--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh who would I cast to play Wayne in Alloy of Law? I have no idea. I don't cast characters. I pay a lot of attention to directors but I feel like the best actors are the ones that always surprise you. Like if you were to tell me Matthew McConaughey was doing what he did these last couple of years, if you would have said that ten years ago, I would have laughed at you right, because the best actors can do so many different things. So I don't know, I have no idea who I'd cast. The only actors I've ever really cast in my books, if you guys have read... Legion, about a guy who's schizophrenic but not really, he sees hallucinations but they help him solve crimes; I cast all the hallucinations as actors, so if you pay close attention you can tell who each of these hallucinations are because a lot of them are famous actors. Except for Kalyani who's a friend of mine.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #8744 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering if you had an inspiration for Cody.

    Brandon Sanderson

    For Cody, yes I did actually. I was at a convention in the South and I had someone, a guy, use y’all for "me", and I'm like, "Y'all for one person?" and he's like "Yeah, that's how you use it" for one person. *laughter* Really? And he just tried to convince me that this is true. So I went to wikipedia and they said there are some delusional people who use it that way. So I'm like, I'm totally building a character around this person who, you know, I couldn't tell the whole time if he was pulling my leg because I was not from the South, or if indeed that was his little regional dialect, that y'all is one person and all y'all was two, which is what he tried to convince me-- it is true? You say it's true?

    Bystander

    It's from Kentucky.

    Brandon Sanderson

    See I have gotten-- I have gotten more emails about from Southerners who say "You've committed the great sin for a non-Southerner by using it that way, and it's an abomination, and it's not true". And I'm like, wow I must have done something right. 'Cause they hate that. I'm getting it from the people from Atlanta, they're like "this is not-- this is not correct". You know, Charleston, where they're all like the hoity-toity Southerners. So anyway, yeah that's where Cody came from. That idea.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #8746 Copy

    Questioner

    What are you reading right now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What am I reading right now? So I most recently finished The Martian by Andy Weir, which is big thumbs up, it is fantastic. By the way, he has a potty mouth so kids, be aware, but fantastic book. After that I read Naomi Novik’s new book, which comes out in June--I get them early! It's called Uprooted and I liked that a lot too. Those are both very solid. Otherwise I am reading-- let's see, I've got a couple. Oh, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, read that, really liked that. So those are my three, I read them all in December.

    Right now I'm reading Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett, one of my favorite writers, and I'm also reading Peter Orullian's second book. He's a fantasy novelist who would really like me to give him a cover quote, so I'm reading his book to see if I can give it a cover quote or not. He's a Tor author that writes epic fantasy.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #8747 Copy

    Questioner

    Last month you posted a picture of your Dropbox right and there is that one folder that we read about. Is there anything you can tell us about that yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I posted a picture of my Dropbox and I just happened to have crossed out one of the folders. What can I say about that-- you'll know eventually. There's not a whole lot i can say about it because its mere existence is a spoiler to people who haven't read certain other books. And so that's the reason why I crossed it out.

    Questioner

    We can assume it's cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't say either way. It's mere existence is a spoiler. You will find out eventually, but it is definitely a little side project that I may or may not actually ever finish.

    Calamity release party ()
    #8750 Copy

    Questioner

    So I heard that, like, in *inaudible* you have people with mental health issues. Like Kaladin had depression. And I was just curious if you're going to do something like with Renarin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Renarin has anxiety. Amongst other things. He kind of got the grab bag of mental disorders. Poor hand. But yeah. I might dig into anxiety a little bit more. Do you know someone with anxiety?

    Questioner

    *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, if you watch Renarin he's got his little fidget box and things like that.