Recent entries

    /r/fantasy AMA WorldCon 2013 ()
    #9153 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 ()
    #9155 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 ()
    #9156 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 ()
    #9158 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 ()
    #9164 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 ()
    #9165 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 ()
    #9166 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 ()
    #9167 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.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9170 Copy

    i_are_pant

    1. Which of your protagonist characters do you dislike the most as a person? Taking into account that you know all of their inner secrets and motivations.2. On the flip side. Which of your antagonists do you connect with the most? The Lord Ruler seems an obvious choice as he was misunderstood by everybody for so long. But still, I'm curious.

    Brandon Sanderson

    • This is a tough one, as while I'm writing, I HAVE to like everyone. However, the most disturbing of them is probably Kelsier. He's a psychopath--meaning the actual, technical term. Lack of empathy, egotism, lack of fear. If his life had gone differently, he could have been a very, very evil dude.

    • Elend. I see myself as an idealist like him.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9171 Copy

    Orang3dragon612

    Looking at the Future Mistborn Trilogy, what role will the "gods" play in that? The "gods" played a massive role in the original series, being a main character. However, seeing how the Mistborns worlds god is no longer a destructive force, what will be the new threat to their world? Themselves, the seventeenth shard, or more likely, Odium himself? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    The current Wax/Wayne books will be smaller-scale Man vs Man type stories. The second trilogy will deal with something larger, but giving away too much now would be to reveal my hand.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9172 Copy

    Orang3dragon612

    Do you plan for the Stormlight Archive to stay grounded to it's world, or will there be some interplay with the rest of the Cosmere, as, literally, worlds collide?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mostly grounded, though as I've answered in other questions, the further into the future of the cosmere we go, the more interactions between the worlds will happen. There is a certain inevitability as more and more people discover the true nature of the universe.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9173 Copy

    Phantine

    How cosmere-aware was the Lord Ruler? If a Returned waltzed into Kredik Shaw, would he have any idea what was going on? Or at least be able to recognize, "Hey that guy seems Endowmenty."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aware enough to know he wasn't alone, but not so aware that he'd know specifics. He didn't hold the power long enough to explore outward very far.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9176 Copy

    Phantine

    Are there any magic systems in the cosmere that aren't shard based?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This depends on definitions. The effects of Adonalsium permeate everything, and Adonalsium is also the source of the Shards. It is possible to find a magic that isn't DIRECTLY powered by a specific shard, however, though most of these would have been set up before the shattering and would be much smaller in scope than things like Allomancy and Surgebinding.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9177 Copy

    Phantine

    We know Hoid stopped by the Well of Ascension. Would it have been possible for him to take up the power while he was there? Or is it limited to guys created out of preservation and ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid had no interest in holding that power in the state it was in.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9178 Copy

    ethnicallyambiguous

    If Nightblood were a Magic card, what would its abilities/stats be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Equipment. When equipped creature does combat damage, destroy all other creatures. During your upkeep, pay WUBRG or you lose the game. (Note, I have no development chops, so I have no idea how to properly cost the artifact or the equip.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9179 Copy

    l33tmachine

    Pre-Hero of Ages, was the human population of Scadrial located only within the Final Empire? Were there people living beyond the lands of the Lord Ruler? If so, what happened to them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The southern continent of Scadrial is inhabited. It still is. No contact has yet been made.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9181 Copy

    mweaver9280

    How fast could a steel/steel Twinborn move?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'd hit physical limits eventually. While the Metallurgic arts generally enhanced the body to deal with the powers granted, things like air resistance would hold you back--perhaps even kill you--if you weren't careful.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9182 Copy

    JoshuaGuess

    Are you planning on putting together a Cosmere bible at any point? I've fallen down the 13th shard/Coppermind wiki rabbit hole so many times it's not even funny, so I for one would love to have a book with all the bits and pieces laid out eventually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perhaps. But not for a while.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9183 Copy

    Windrunner

    Why does Scadrial, which has two Shards, only have three manifestations of investiture, (Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy) but Sel, also with two Shards, has five manifestations of investiture (AonDor, Dakhor, ChayShan, Forgery, and Bloodsealing)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sel's magics are much more regionalized than Scadrial's. Each area has its own manifestation, but they're all actually the same magic. So really there is one magic on Sel--much as Windrunning and Lightweaving on Roshar are kind of different magics, but also kind of the same.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9186 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    If someone broke a coppermind, could the feruchemist still access a fragment of the information in it from a chunk of the coppermind, or would he require that the whole thing be reformed to access any of its storage?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The information would be fragmented.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9187 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    Is Kaladin naturally stronger than Szeth in using Stormlight? Szeth can only hold onto it for a few minutes, but Kaladin has been shown to hold onto it for much longer. Or does it have to do with Kaladin having a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, so you all noticed that, did you. :) Glad you did. I have like a dozen things I nearly posted here, but all of them spoil a scene in Words of Radiance. So I'll just zip it for now.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9188 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    Another hemalurgy question: Is it possible to steal more than just spiritual DNA with hemalurgy? If you, say, infused someone with a hundred hemalurgic spikes charged from people who liked chicken, would the spike person enjoy chicken as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can steal quite a lot with Hemalurgy. Anything encoded on a person's soul, really. Not sure if chicken liking counts, though...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9189 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, making a spike rips off a piece of someone's soul. So...yeah. I'd need to see my exact quote from before, but let's say it's not going to leave a person in good shape.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9193 Copy

    ArsenoPyrite

    I have a technical question here re: gemstones in The Stormlight Archive. How are the lines drawn between different types of gem? Emerald and Heliodor are both varieties of the mineral beryl. Emerald can get its color from trace amounts of chromium, vanadium and/or iron. Heliodor gets its color from iron combined with microscopic crystal defects. So, is the line between these two defined by color? If so, would a heliodor lose its usefulness if it were heated (which would turn it colorless or pale blue). Is it defined by trace elements--in which case, how do you deal with emeralds, or with aquamarine (the blue variety of beryl, which can also contain chromium or vanadium in small quantities and is mostly colored by iron). Sorry for getting so technical, but this gem nerd needs to know!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually spent a long time working on this while building the world. You'd probably be amused by how long I spent on it. Chemically, many of them are actually very similar, as you pointed out. I tried doing the book originally with them all being different, not using any that were basically the same crystal with different colors, but it didn't work out. There weren't enough, and so I had to stretch to make it all work.

    So, I went back to the original, and decided that color was enough to differentiate them. Just as steel and iron are very similar in the mistborn world, Emerald and Heliodor can be very similar--but produce different effects. The idea here is that the physical items (like the metals or the crystals) provide a key by which magical interaction occurs.

    So, in a long winded answer, a gemstone with an impure color would be considered like a bad alloy in the Mistborn magic--it either wouldn't work at all, or would work very poorly. The chemical and color signature needs to be of a specific variety to provide the proper key to accessing the power of transformation.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9194 Copy

    claytonphillips

    Several times in Way of Kings, you have characters think of the Shin as having big or round eyes. Do the Shin really have giant eyes, or do all the other peoples of Roshar have an epicanthic fold on their eyes?

    It seemed to me that this was very similar to how characters in second world fantasies, like Faile in Wheel of Time, are designated as "Asian" even though there is no Asia in the book. Is this a subversion of that? Are the Shin the only people on Roshar who look Western European?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are right, actually. Normal eyes on Roshar are those with an epicanthic fold. The Shin do not have this. Note, however, that they wouldn't look "Western European." Roshar races are fairly far off from what we imagine as Earth ones. The people most likely to look Western European to you would be those from Mistborn.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9199 Copy

    Herowannabe

    Can an infused Hemalurgy spike be affected by Allomancy- steel pushes and iron pulls? Or does the charge interfere with the Allomancy much like a person's body would?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anything infused (regardless of the world or magic that infused it) is resistant to magic. So you'd have a lot of trouble pushing or pulling on a spike, unless you had access to a boost of some sort to overcome the resistance.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9200 Copy

    Herowannabe

    What happens when a blind person burns Gold- especially of he "sees" a version of himself that isn't blind? Can he see the other version or just hear/feel/sense him? What about the other version, can it see things? Could a blind person use gold in this way to see the world around him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A blind person would indeed sense these things, but not have the vision with the eyes. In the same way that a blind person still dreams, but doesn't "See" in them. (As I understand it.) I'd suggest talking to someone who is blind and getting their take on how this would work.