Recent entries

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #9101 Copy

    RoboChrist

    Did Kelsier really hear Preservation's voice telling him to Survive when he was in the pits of Hathsin? Or was it Ruin pretending to be Preservation?

    If it was Preservation, does that mean Kelsier died in the pits? Or were there special circumstances that allowed Kelsier to hear Preservation's voice without dying?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Special things often happen in the cosmere when someone is very close to death, or undergoing intense pain (either physical or emotional.) Barriers between the realms weaken.

    I can confirm that the Kelsier who left the pits was not a cognitive shadow.

    Phantine

    Could he have become a shadow using the pits if he died immediately after snapping?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Possibly.

    Manchester signing ()
    #9102 Copy

    BlackYeti

    How did you get the temperature differential between the two halves of the planet such that life could survive on both sides and travel between them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, yeah. We've got a couple things going on here that are helping with it. The thing about Darkside is-- And I've had to run this through my physicists, and they're all kind of "Ehhh", so we're still working on the physics-- But the idea is there is a light source over there, but it works like a black light. And so, there's warmth, and there's radiation, and that's why people over there are dark-skinned. They've actually adapted to this radiation, there's a lot of UV and things like that. But there is-- It works like a black light. So for a Daysider going over, it's all-- it feels dark and dim, but it's more twilight-ish than it is completely dark, if that makes sense. And with that and with... jet-streams and stuff we were able to kind of justify it mostly. I mean, it's still going to be colder on the other side and things. But I didn't want it to be like snowing and things like that, all the time over there. And so we kind of had to do some jumping through hoops astrologically to make it work.

    General Reddit 2011 ()
    #9103 Copy

    gunslingers

    The number 10 seems to be a recurring theme in this world. Are the "ten fools" the antithesis of the ten orders of the knights radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, ten is a number of mythological import in the world. The Ten Fools are, essentially, the opposites of the Ten Heralds--who each represented an ideal. (Those ideals were later adopted by the orders of Knights Radiant, so yes, there is a connection--but there's a step between them.)

    General Reddit 2012 ()
    #9104 Copy

    kilomtrs

    So in the trilogy, we see that when someone has a Hemalurgic spike implanted in them, they can hear Ruin talking to them, both as a vision and in their head. However, we learn in the Hero of Ages that Ruin cannot hear a person's thoughts no matter how much under Ruin's influence they are.

    In Alloy of Law, we see that Wax (and other Pathians) uses an earring to "pray" to Harmony, and we see that Harmony can hear his thoughts and respond.

    So I guess this leads to three questions: How does Harmony hear the thoughts of Wax, when it's explicitly pointed put that Ruin cannot?

    Are the earrings that the Pathians use Hemalurgically charged, as otherwise they would be of no use to Ruin, and therefore Harmony?

    Or did Harmony completely change how that aspect of Hemalugy works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How this all works dates back to the original design of the magic system.

    I wanted Ruin and Preservation to be complementary opposites, like many things in the Mistborn world. Allomancy, for example, has Pushes and Pulls were are less "negate one another" opposites, but instead two sides to the same proverbial coin.

    Ruin is invasive. The power is more "Yell" than "Listen." The philosopher would probably have some interesting things to say about the masculine symbolism of Hemalurgy and its spikes.

    Ruin can insert thoughts. That power, however, can't HEAR the reactions. It's about invasion.

    Preservation, however, is the opposite. Preservation listens, Preservation protects. (Perhaps to a fault--if there were no Ruin, there would be no change to the world, and life could not exist.) Because of this, Preservation can hear what is inside people's minds. It cannot, however, INSERT thoughts. (This is important to the plot of Hero of Ages.)

    Harmony is both, the two complementary opposites combined. And so, he inserts thoughts with Ruin and still uses Hemalurgy. He can also listen.

    Yes, Wax's earring is Invested. (Or, in other terms, it's a Hemalurgic spike.)

    bettse

    Doesn't that imply it was shoved through someone's heart at one point (ala Steel Inquisitor creation process)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the metal would have to have been part of a spike that at one point was used to kill someone and rip off a piece of their soul.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9106 Copy

    midwestredditor

    How are there kandra and koloss? Kandra especially, since they did their "mass suicide" thing at the end of the original trilogy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The nice thing about the kandra for me in the narrative was that, though removing their spikes turns them feral, you can always stick those spikes back in. TenSoon feared that this was the end of his people, and it could have been, if those spikes hadn't gone back in quickly. As it was, there were costs. Time spent without spikes causes a kandra's memories to deteriorate, and some that were left a relatively long time were essentially reborn as new people. But the race survived, even if it is unlikely that their numbers will be added to.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did TenSoon survive, then (as the TenSoon who experienced growth under Vin)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though he did lose some things.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9108 Copy

    Questioner

    So the number 16 is important on Scadrial, on pg 245, Wax is trying to find out where Miles is going to be next and he writes down the number "35.17" I couldn't help but notice that the 3+5+1+7=16, was that intentional or am I seeing things that aren't really there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I slip it in here and there for fun, but it isn't actually important. It is fun when people notice it, though.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9109 Copy

    Darkless

    I have my own theory but I thought I should ask, if the koloss reproduce through Hemalurgic spike's how can there be half koloss in Alloy of Law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am holding this answer back for future books, I'm afraid. I have said some things, but the full truth is still subject to debate. I will answer this eventually in the books.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9110 Copy

    Cheese_Ninja

    One question, two parts: If a double nicrosil Twinborn started Compounding and storing Investiture in a nicrosilmind, could they do something cool by tapping a whole huge bunch at once? And since Scadrialians have both Ruin and Preservation in them, could they store both those qualities in a one nicrosilmind, or would it require two different ones?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. All things regarding Investiture (particularly in regards to Feruchemy) are instant RAFOs at this point, I'm afraid. I've got to save SOME things for future books.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9113 Copy

    zas678

    TenSoon wonders, and I wonder too- How can kandra think and be sentient without brains? Doesn't the body need a physical coordinator to relay between the Physical and Cognitive realm? Or do the spikes do a good enough job with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I imagine kandra having a non-centralized nervous system, with brain power spread through their bodies. Well, non-centralized is probably the wrong way to say it. They have lobes of thought and memory attached to muscles here and there, and don't have a single 'brain.' They certainly have brain-like material, though.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9115 Copy

    zas678

    A little safer question- Why did you not have Waxillium fall for Marasi? Why stick with the contract with Steris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Marasi, as she was in Alloy of Law, was just plain wrong for Wax. As I write books, I allow my characters to grow more free-form (while my setting and plot are outlined in detail.) In writing the book, I felt that a Marasi hook-up at the end would not only be wrong for the character, but wrong for the story. If I do direct sequels (which I probably will) perhaps things will change.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9116 Copy

    zas678

    How long before [The Way of Kings] is Alloy of Law? I heard somewhere that it's a hundred years, but I don't think that's right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I intended them to be happening roughly close to one another, with [The Way of Kings] slightly before.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9117 Copy

    zas678

    Is it significant that Miles said that the "men of gold and red" would come and rule. Is there a connection between this and the "gold and red" cigar box that Miles keeps The Suit's comings and goings on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is all very significant.

    corwin01

    Are those men of red and gold of any relation to the priests in the red and gold robes in Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really have to RAFO this one. (Sorry.)

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9119 Copy

    Ace_of_Face

    Not really a question, but the one thing that disappointed me was that you didn't come up with new slang names for Allomancers! After three hundred years, do you really think they would still be calling steel Mistings "Coinshots"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I toyed with this one, but decided that I would keep them the same for a few reasons. First off, I felt that certain things in-world would hamper some linguistic diversity. (Having the books Sazed left behind as a guide to Allomanc and history, everyone living in a small geographic area, the semi-religious nature of Allomancy making people look at it in traditional ways.) So, while I advanced the slang of the world, some of the terms I decided to leave the same.

    Another reason for this came when I was writing the book. At first, I experimented with greater linguistic diversity--I even tried a vowel shift, as I figured three hundred years might be enough for that. In the end, I pulled back. I was already worried that this book not feel "Mistborn" enough, and so I wanted some direct ties back to the original series. Fiddling too much with the language while changing the setting and characters so drastically felt like a mistake to me.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9120 Copy

    Ace_of_Face

    Who wrote the "Ars Arcanum"? Since the writer obviously had knowledge of the cosmere I assumed that it was you making an editorial note, but then I thought that it could be Hoid (who was suspiciously absent) or Sazed or any Shardbearer... Does that make sense at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Ars Arcanum is written in-cosmere by someone, but I don't want to saw who yet.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9121 Copy

    Ace_of_Face

    How was Sazed/Harmony able to communicate with Waxillium near the end of the book? During the original trilogy, Ruin could occasionally implant thoughts into people's minds, but he couldn't just listen in whenever he felt like it. Is Harmony just way more powerful?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is interesting discussion about this one below, which I like to see. I thought this might spark some discussion. Remember that human beings were given more of Preservation than Ruin during their creation, which led to Preservation eventually being overwhelmed by Ruin. That was the bargain; people would be of Preservation at their core, but in turn Ruin got to claim the world once Preservation wound down.

    Another factor to consider here is that Wax was given a special earring designed for communication with a being that he actually worships.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9122 Copy

    Shocksrage

    The Alloy of Law left me wanting more books in the universe right away. Any hints as to when we might get to see the next trilogy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My current plan is to hold out on the second trilogy until I've reached a breaking point in The Stormlight Archive. (So after book five.) My reasoning is that the second trilogy is very involved, and I'm not certain if I want two thick-booked series going at once. There is a good chance I'll return and do another shorter book, like this one, in the world before then. Either about Wax, or perhaps a quick glimpse of the southern continent.

    /r/Fantasy_Bookclub Alloy of Law Q&A ()
    #9123 Copy

    Questioner

    I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #9124 Copy

    unknown

    I'm wondering: do you have any other ideas for interesting magic systems you might use in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've always got a few bouncing around in my head. Lately, I've found myself more interested in curious and unusual settings than I have magics. (Latest is a world that is surrounded by an envelope of water, much as the ancients imagined water surrounding the earth before the flood happened. So, like, five or six hundred feet up into the air you have an ocean. Beyond that, space and the sun.)

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9125 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    You got it wrong. I'm not busy because I'm writing other books, I'm working on the licensing deals! Cardboard shardplate! Official Bridge Four loincloths! "There's spren in my poop" toilet paper!

    Rutthed

    Serious question: are there poopspren, and how would they fare in indoor plumbing situations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, it depends on how you're defining spren. In the books, they don't make a distinction, but there are several varieties. At the basic level, everything has an identity--a soul, you might say, but more than that. This is based on how it is viewed, and how long it has been viewed that way. Feces would have this, but wouldn't have a very strong cognitive identity because of its transitional nature.

    Other types of spren, the type that characters see and interact with, are cognitive ideals or concepts which have taken on literal personification over time. These are usually related to forces or emotions, and don't relate to this particular topic.

    And that's far more than I ever expected to say on this...

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9126 Copy

    blocking-WTF

    I did not know about "Cosmere" or its cycle until this very moment. I have however, read just about every single one of your books and knew that HOID makes an appearance in them. I had always thought it would be a grand idea if someday, a long time from now, we found out that all these different worlds were connected and your last masterpiece would be the book that revealed that to us. But I guess you thought of this brilliant idea before I did , sigh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I planned to do something just like that, actually. I considered sticking the clues more deeply into the text. (For example, in some early drafts of later books, I didn't use the name Hoid for his alias.)

    In the end, though, I felt that readers would enjoy the journey far more if they could connect things and begin to dig at the deeper picture themselves. Besides, if I hid the clues so well nobody found them, then that would have required so much arranging of stories as to make for some awkward moments.

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9127 Copy

    Nepene

    And on an unrelated question, they have symbols on their heads. If Shallan managed to draw one of these would it be some glyph? Perhaps some glyph that we would recognize, like the glyphs in the artwork at the front?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for the symbols making up the heads of the cryptics, those are not glyphs. But it's possible you would recognize them...

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9128 Copy

    Nepene

    I suppose one thing to wonder is how do you enter Shadesmar? We know of a number of people who are jumping from world to world through Shadesmar. Grump Thinker and Blunt, Hoid too. How are they accessing the cognitive plane to transport themselves across the lands?

    Presumably Shallan's bond with the truthspren let her get in. How does this work? If she had only a dim sphere then does it not require any stormlight, any spiritual power? Is it a purely cognitive change? I could see some advantages to that. You could hop into this alternative dimension at will if you were being attacked, even with little power.

    The scholars earlier talk of whether there is food in Shadesmar, so presumably others have visited it. Can non soulcasters visit it? Is there some fabrial that grants you access? Are they only referring to the distant past, when KR had the power to access it? Is it purely a thing of the mind that anyone can learn? Is it only possible if you have access to a splinter of a shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are many ways to enter Shadesmar. You'll see more of this in the future. One thing to keep in mind about Shadesmar is that space where things are thinking is expanded, while space where there is nothing to think is contracted. In other words, in an empty void, you get almost no Shadesmar. This makes distances as we think of them very different there.

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9130 Copy

    Autarchk

    If I can ask a question, I just read the Mistborn trilogy and, were Preservation and Ruin two different shards or a single one with their power split somehow? If they were two shards, does that mean a single person can hold more than one, since Harmony apparently holds both now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They were two shards.

    Yes, one entity can hold more than one. Remember that holding a shard changes you, over time. Rayse knows this, and prefers to leave behind destroyed rivals as opposed to taking their power and potentially being overwhelmed by it.

    Nepene

    I have a question, if you are willing. Would Ruin be more compatible with Rayse, would he pick up that shard had he visited Scadrial and shattered him? All the shards we have seen that he has shattered seem rather different in intent than him- Honor, Cultivation, Love, Dominion. But Ruin seems more in line with Odium. Rayse has ruined the days of quite a few people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Technically, Ruin would be most compatible with Cultivation. Ruin's 'theme' so to speak is that all things must age and pass. An embodiment of entropy. That power, separated from the whole and being held by a person who did not have the willpower to resist its transformation of him, led to something very dangerous. But it was not evil. None of the sixteen technically are, though you may have read that Hoid has specific beef with Rayse. Whether you think of Odium as evil depends upon how much you agree with Hoid's particular view.

    That said, Ruin would have been one of the 'safer' of the sixteen for Rayse to take, if he'd been about that. Odium is by its nature selfish, however, and the combination of it and Rayse makes for an entity that fears an additional power would destroy it and make it into something else.

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9131 Copy

    sufficientlyadvanced

    It says that it's dangerous to travel to Shadesmar on Sel. Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has to do with the Dor and the lack of an entity controlling much of the power Odium left in his wake on Sel.

    Phantine

    Woah, that's interesting. I had no idea Odium left little bits of his power on Sel... I guess it kinda makes sense for evil monks to be powered by pure hate, though.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Odium did not leave his power behind, one should note. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless...

    Windrunner

    If you wouldn't mind answering, does Roshar have a similar problem, with Honor being Splintered?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Roshar does not have the same problem. There are some differences going on. (One reason being that the spren are far more extensive on Roshar, and provide something of a "release valve." The seons and the skaze on Sel are not numerous enough to fulfill a similar function. Though, of course, that's only one part of the puzzle. Raw power is dangerous.

    It's one reason everyone should be thankful Kelsier was around on Scadrial.

    General Reddit 2013 ()
    #9132 Copy

    Soronir

    About Miles from Alloy of Law and his regenerative powers. If he was bisected down the middle and the halves were separated immediately before the healing process could begin, would the two halves each regrow into a whole Miles?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. In all of the Cosmere's Shard-based magics, the greater portion of a bisected body regrows the lesser portion. If it were done EXACTLY halfway, the soul wold jump to one or the other randomly and that would regrow.

    Amusingly, this first came up in 1999, six years before I got published. (I see someone else already mentioned the situation where I had to consider it.)

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
    #9133 Copy

    DSC01

    I'm probably too late to this party to get a question in, but just in case... The resonances for Edgedancers and Bloodmaker/Slider pairings--are they basically the same thing? It's maybe mostly linguistic for Edgedancers and more like Invested method acting for the Wayne types, but if I'm reading things correctly, it seems that they're very closely related.

    After all, Progression and Bloodmaking are quite similar. Abrasion and speed bubbles have a more tenuous link, but they do call bendalloy boys "Sliders," after all (no disrespect to bendalloy girls, but I couldn't pass up the alliteration).

    Brandon Sanderson

    The connections are more because the magics are all inter-related, and based on fundamental rules, and less because I was trying for any specific connection.

    /r/fantasy AMA WorldCon 2013 ()
    #9136 Copy

    woodchuck_vomit

    Does "Alethi" come from or have anything to do with the Greek word for truth or is that just a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alethi is a coincidence. However, it is the sort of coincidence that happens a lot for me in languages, as I often look for a "feel" for a language. Alethi, for example, is a Semitic language mashup with some Mediterranean influence. So I'm not surprised if it means something in the right languages. (I did this with Straff and Elend from Mistborn, looking for Germanic-sounding words and accidentally using two words from German.)

    /r/fantasy AMA WorldCon 2013 ()
    #9138 Copy

    Gandemort

    You've mentioned that The Stormlight Archive is broken down into two sets of five books. Is the story arc of the second set of books going to be completely different than the story in the first 5 books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will focus mostly on different characters, with some appearances by characters from the first five. I wouldn't call it a different story, more a sequel.

    /r/fantasy AMA WorldCon 2013 ()
    #9139 Copy

    Ansalem

    A lot of your works that are stand alone novels or seemingly completed stories, you have announced or started working on sequels for. Are there any stories that you feel complete and don't need to work on the same world or characters again? Or do feel there is always some new tale to tell about every world you make?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard, because the way I plot I always have to know what happened before the book and what will happen after the book. Knowing that doesn't mean that I have to continue. It's also hard, though, to say no to fans who are so passionate about a specific project.

    The Vin/Elend story is most certainly done. As is the Raoden/Sarene story, as is Siri's story from Warbreaker. So there are completed threads. There might be other stories to tell in those worlds, though, so I'll avoid closing the door on them for now. (That said, it did feel very good to finish The Wheel of Time for good, and look forward to putting some of my own works to rest in a similar way.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9141 Copy

    Thanatos17901

    If Sazed were to die, would he drop the Shards Ruin and Preservation, or would he drop the Shard Harmony?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. The shards are now intermingled, and would take effort to split apart. He would drop Harmony. (This is what Odium feared would happen, by the way.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9147 Copy

    shardfan

    Did you intend for the reader to almost believe Kelsier would come back to life... or was I just sort of crazy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I did. And whether he is completely gone or not is actually something I want to be more nebulous than many people think it is.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9148 Copy

    p0staldave

    I believe I've heard you mention more than once that you weren't happy with WoK, could you explain a bit exactly what you would change or love to do-over with it or expand on your comments?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The original draft of The Way of Kings had some big issues. One of the largest ones was that I was trying to do too many characters with too many separate plots. (Jasnah and Taln both had full sequences with as much complexity as the three main characters in the current draft.) Beyond that, Kaladin's character (he had a different name there) was bland and never worked. I needed to rebuild him from the start.

    I'll post more explanations of this in the KINGS annotations, which I'm working on right now. As for teasers for the second book, one of the interludes is from Taln's viewpoint. (He's the guy who shows up in the epilogue of the previous book.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9149 Copy

    linkhyrule5

    Why is there only one Chasm line per Aon? Since each Aon is made up of repetitions of Aon Aon, shouldn't there be a Chasm line per repetition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Aons aren't JUST made up of repetitions of Aon Aon. There's a lot more to them than that. Some follow a repetition pattern, others do not. The only requirement is using the initial Aon once, then building from there. Because of this, I made the new requirement be only one use of the chasm line.

    Aons can actually have multiple forms and still work. For example, if you drew the chasm line on each one of those Aons, they'd work fine. (Maybe even better, in some cases.) What is happening in the books is that the Aons are ALMOST functional, and the Dor is straining to come through them. The chasm line brings them the one step further they need to be functional. However, further tweaking could make them more efficient.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9150 Copy

    victoriansouffle

    You've mentioned Spook being a bit of a 'stud' before, because I get oddly curious about this, how many children did he have?

    A pretty weird question I know, but he does have a LOT of descendants

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spook has a lot of descendants, it's true. He had over a dozen children.