Recent entries

    Kraków signing ()
    #9351 Copy

    Questioner/Translator

    There are games, comic books and films had been made or are being made based on your novels. How do you coordinate work so there are no, lets say, errors in it and tell something about <that experience>

    Brandon Sanderson

    Coordinating to make sure there are no errors: I wish that Hollywood would let us do that! Mostly they kinda do what they want to do and then send us what they've come up with. I am working with one company right now that seems like that they are willing to listen a little bit better.

    <Throughout> other things that hasn't been particularly difficult. <For> the RPG, I am a gamer, I love RPG and so it's very easy to work with them. In fact where it came from is they came to one of my signings and said "Do you want to make an RPG?" and I'm like "Yeah, I want to make an RPG!". So we had some brainstorming sessions where I told them my favorite styles of game and they built rules that they've thought to match Mistborn and kinds of things I wanted.

    We'll see what happens with the movies. They are in development and they're very early in the process.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9352 Copy

    Questioner/Translator

    So this is the question about White Sand. Why did this text become the basis of a comic - this one particular text - and how was the work going on converting White Sand into a graphic novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So White Sand was the very first book that I ever wrote, or at least a bad version of White Sand was the first book I ever wrote. I started it in 1994 and it was terrible. But I liked some of the ideas so years later I gave it another try. And it became my 7th or 8th book; I can never remember which came first: White Sand or Dragonsteel. And it was much better but still not quite where I wanted it to be. So I never ended up publishing it.

    When a comic book company in America came to me and asked if I was interested in doing a comic book, it <immediately> sprung to mind. Because they wanted to do an adaptation of one of my books except I didn’t want to do a book that was already published, I wanted something for readers that was new. And I’ve always felt that White Sand was close to being good enough, it was just too long, it needed an edit. So the primary process for adapting it with Rick, who is a UK graphic novel writer involved him taking my text and cutting it way down to just the dialogue and the actions. And he did a fantastic job, we’re very pleased with that, but he did most of the work on that.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9353 Copy

    Questioner/Translator

    Would you like to be a ruler of the world even if you knew that it wasn't a real world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nooo... no, no, no. I could not be trusted.

    In fact the Steelheart book came because of something related to this. For those who haven't read it, it's about what would happen if people started gaining superpowers but only evil people got them.

    And happened because I was driving on the road and someone cut me off and I imagined using superpowers to blow up their car and I immediately realized: "I could not be trusted. At all.".

    Kraków signing ()
    #9354 Copy

    Questioner/Translator

    How are you feeling now that you're near science fiction since you're known for fantasy novels. <inaudible> Young Adult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of my books are what we'd call hard fantasy anyway; which is fantasy that uses science fiction's styling to build it's worlds. So I don't know that for me there's a hard line between science fiction and fantasy. There certainly isn't a hard line between my interest on one side or the other; I like all kinds of speculative fiction. Though I will say that I have trouble making anything normal. Legion is a good example which is a psychological thriller that ended up being science fiction and a little bit fantasy.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9355 Copy

    Questioner

    I was thinking, was there <inaudible> Allomantic metals <inaudible> random or was there something behind it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted the metals that had an alloy, that was commonly used and is easily accessible to people in a pre-industrial society.

    Questioner

    When they go and discover more of the periodic table, is there a chance they’ll discover <inaudible>

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a chance, yes.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9356 Copy

    Questioner

    I recently read Patrick Rothfuss’ the Name of the Wind; there’s Sympathy <inaudible> Awakening. Is there a link <inaudible> to the Awakening <inaudible>

    Brandon Sanderson

    We actually were writing at the same time. We both were interested in the same things… No, no, he wrote his first, but I haven’t read it until I’ve written Warbreaker, but his was first. We were both interested in the same concepts… I think it’s a really great magic system. <inaudible> I wrote Warbreaker in 2006.

    Questioner

    Oh, because I checked the release date, and yours was 2009 and his was 2007.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, but I wrote in 2006 on my honeymoon, actually. But yeah, it was after I read that, his magic is really cool, I like it, it is a good job, I like how it’s hard magic and a soft magic.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9357 Copy

    Questioner

    So first, about Trell… He was first mentioned in the books in the first Mistborn book. Did you know what role he'll be playing in the future books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I wrote it? When I actually wrote Mistborn, no, by the time I’d done revisions and finished the series, then I knew. Mistborn was very exploratory, the first book, once I finished it then I build the outline to fit it, that’s very common for me that I write a first book without an outline and then I build the outline around it.

    Questioner

    Will Nalt, brother of Trell <inaudible>

    Brandon Sanderson

    The brother? So there’s something very weird happening with Trell, very very weird, that I’m not going to explain quite yet, so that’s a RAFO.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9358 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the "skycolor" about which Khriss said in the White Sand?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's the what? Skycolor?

    Questioner

    It was mentioned in White Sand prose.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What about it?

    Questioner

    What it really is? Because she mentioned it and that was only one sentence. Skycolor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (seems still confused) Skycolor?

    Oh. Oh! RAFO.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9359 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Hoid a Sliver?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Sliver, no he’s not, good question.

    Questioner

    Well, I get the RAFO card.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He... see, the problem is, “Sliver” is really difficult to define, because it has variety of meanings, but I would not call him one. So that’s… it’s arguable, but I would say no.

    Questioner

    He's not Sliver.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9360 Copy

    Questioner

    (translated) What’s the Allomantic symbol for the metal that comes from Trell?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Laughs* Ooooh, Isaac knows, but it hasn’t been revealed yet, so you get a RAFO, I don’t have any more cards, but R A F O *probably he has written it*, good question!

    Kraków signing ()
    #9361 Copy

    Questioner

    What’s your favourite kind of music?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say… at the end of the day… epic orchestra. But I will listen to basically anything. If you look on Spotify I have this playlist that I used when I wrote the third Stormlight book and you can listen to that, it'll show you a lot of my favorites.

    Questioner

    *Inaudible* 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I'm "mistborn1", I think? If you google, if you search for Stormlight 3 soundtrack, you'll find it.

    Kraków signing ()
    #9362 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask, is the Shardbearer [Vessel] of Odium a human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not any longer.

    Questioner

    Ok, that's... I didn't expect that one.

    Brandon Sanderson

     But what the answer to your question you really want to know is, was he originally human?

    Questioner

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That's a good question! But I don't think he counts anymore.

    Footnote: Rayse is the Vessel of Odium
    Alloy of Law Manchester signing ()
    #9366 Copy

    Tortellini (paraphrased)

    Since I started the thread about outposts and stone bridges, I felt like getting some input there.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brandon told me that single highprinces could not erect outposts because due to the superior mobility of the Parshendi—they would overwhelm any small outpost quickly. Soulcasting stone bridges is also not plausible. Apparently, they would need to first get the wooden bridge out there, then soulcast it and then, since the stone is heavier than the wood, they would have to reinforce it, e.g. with ropes. These could then be cut by the Parshendi, so it would not help at all. Dalinar with his mobile bridges is on a better track in his opinion. He did say however that several highprinces working together could easily establish outposts in the Plains. He said the competitive nature of the Alethi was doing them a huge disservice in the war and that if they would work together, they could have taken the Plains long ago.

    Alloy of Law Manchester signing ()
    #9367 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    A girl asked what was up with Taravangian, since it seemed a rough break between the tottering old man and the scheming mastermind that Szeth meets at the end.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brandon said that Taravangian used the Old Magic, and that he wakes up each day with a different IQ. Sometimes he's a genius, sometimes he's an idiot. So what he does is he writes up math puzzles for himself in the evening, and if he cannot get a certain score in the morning the guards have orders to just take care of him and keep him away from important decisions for that day. That way he keeps his effect under control.

    Alloy of Law Manchester signing ()
    #9368 Copy

    Tortellini (paraphrased)

    Someone asked if it were hard to write Jasnah, an atheist character, for a devout Christian.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brandon said he read a lot of atheist message boards for inspiration. Also, it sounded like he'd had the character in his head for a while, but hadn't found the right book to put it in—e.g. he said it would make no sense to put an atheist in a world where gods walk around (i.e. Warbreaker).

    Open The Fridge Interview ()
    #9369 Copy

    Lyndsey Luther

    Ok, last question. It was really difficult coming up with three questions that haven’t been asked already...

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK... you’re not going to ask me the “what would you ask me” question?

    Lyndsey Luther

    Not quite...

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK good, because I hate that one! (laughs)

    Lyndsey Luther

    My question is if there’s anything that you’ve never been asked that you would like to talk about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooooh, ok. Hm. That one is so hard! Every time people ask me something like this... What have I never been asked that people should be asking, is basically what the question is? Something that the fans have just missed... They pick up on so much, that it’s hard... I do wonder if, you know… all the magic systems [in my books] are connected and work on some basic fundamental principles, and a lot of people haven’t been asking questions about this. One thing I did get a question on today, and I’ll just talk about this one... they didn’t ask the right question, but I nudged them the right way, is understanding that tie between AonDor [the magic system from Elantris] and Allomancy [Mistborn’s magic system].

    People ask about getting the power from metals and things, but that’s not actually how it works. The power’s not coming from metal. I talked a little about this before, but you are drawing power from some source, and the metal is actually just a gateway. It’s actually the molecular structure of the metal… what’s going on there, the pattern, the resonance of that metal works in the same way as an Aon does in Elantris. It filters the power. So it is just a sign of “this is what power this energy is going to be shaped into and give you.” When you understand that, Compounding [in Alloy of Law] makes much more sense.

    Compounding is where you are able to kind of draw in more power than you should with Feruchemy. What’s going on there is you’re actually charging a piece of metal, and then you are burning that metal as a Feruchemical charge. What is happening is that the Feruchemical charge overwrites the Allomantic charge, and so you actually fuel Feruchemy with Allomancy, is what you are doing. Then if you just get out another piece of metal and store it in, since you’re not drawing the power from yourself, you’re cheating the system, you’re short-circuiting the system a little bit. So you can actually use the power that usually fuels Allomancy, to fuel Feruchemy, which you can then store in a metalmind, and basically build up these huge reservoirs of it. So what’s going on there is… imagine there’s like, an imprint, a wavelength, so to speak. A beat for an Allomantic thing, that when you burn a metal, it says “ok, this is what power we give.” When it’s got that charge, it changes that beat and says, “now we get this power.” And you access a set of Feruchemical power. That’s why Compounding is so powerful.

    Open The Fridge Interview ()
    #9370 Copy

    Lyndsey Luther

    You’re very talented at taking seemingly mundane or unusual things and creating magic systems around them, like color in Warbreaker, metals in Mistborn, and light in The Way of Kings. Can you explain how you decide what to use for a magical system in a book, and your process for building a coherent system once the initial concept has been decided?

    Brandon Sanderson

    First of all, I’m looking for something that fits the book that I’m writing. So for instance, in Mistborn, I was looking for powers that would enhance what thieves could do. I was also looking for something that had one foot in alchemy, in that kind of “coming-of-age magic into science” way. Alchemy is a great example because it’s a blend of science and magic… well, really, a blend of science and superstition, because the magic part doesn’t work. So something resonates there.

    I’m also looking for interesting ways to ground [the magic] in our world, and using something mundane is a great way to do that. Magic is naturally fantastical, and so if I can instead use something normal, and then make it fantastical, it immediately creates a sort of… ease of understanding. Burning metals sounds so weird, but it was chosen for that same reason, because we gain a lot of our energy through metabolism. We eat something, we turn the sugars into energy, boom. So that’s actually a very natural feeling. When I started writing out some sample things, it felt surprisingly natural, that people eat metal and gain powers, even though it sounds so weird. It’s because of this kind of natural biology. So I’m looking for that.

    Once I have a magic system, I look for really great limitations. Limitations really make a magic system work better. Wheel of Time is a great example. Having a magic system where you can weave all these threads is awesome. Having a magic system where you do that, and then it drives you mad, is even better. It creates plot hooks, it creates drama, it creates challenge. [That limitation] is brilliant, I think it is one of the most brilliant ever made, especially because it also changes your characters. It has a deep influence on your character arcs, so you can tie it into character.

    Beyond that (and this is kind of pulling back the curtain a little bit), there is no specific defined place where someone goes mad, so you can actually stretch it out and use it when you need it. It doesn’t constrain you too much. Like if your magic system’s limitation is, “When you use this magic, you have to use the head of one of your grandparents.” (laughs) You can use that magic four times! It’s limited, but also very constrained. Going mad is not as constrained. There’s a spectrum there - you can use it when you need it. So I’m looking for cool limitations that will work that way, in ways that I can use to force the characters to be creative. A good limitation will force you to be creative, and your characters to be creative. Pushing and pulling metals is basically telekinesis, right? But by making it center of mass, you can only pull directly towards yourself or push directly away from yourself... Number one: it’s vector science. It has one foot in sciences. Number two: it feels very natural to us because this is how we manipulate force ourselves. Number three: it limits things so much that it forces creativity upon the characters. There’s that sweet spot, where they can be creative and do cool things, where it doesn’t become too limited, but it also keeps you from having too much power in the hands of the characters, so they are still being challenged. I’m looking for all that, and on top of that I want to have good sensory ways to use magic.

    I don’t want to have two wizards staring at each other, and then be like “and they stared at each other very deeply! And then they stared harder!” I don’t want it all to be internal, which is where the lines for the metals came from. You see something, you push it forward. The pulses that some of the allomancers use, they’ll hear. I wanted sensory applications.

    Open The Fridge Interview ()
    #9371 Copy

    Lyndsey Luther

    Let’s start with an Alloy of Law question, since that’s why we’re both here. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into the evolution of the world of Scadrial, specifically in how you’ve integrated the world’s technological advances. Was there anything in particular that drew you to the old west setting, and did you do anything to research it, like going to a shooting range or a ranch?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. I actually wrote the prologue LAST. I wrote it to be the prologue to another book about Wax and Wayne if I did one. I always knew what happened, but I didn’t want to start the book with the old west, because most of it didn’t happen in the old west, it happened in the city. What is now chapter one used to be the prologue. And after writing the whole book I realized that we didn’t see into Wax’s heart, we didn’t know what he was always referencing with Lessie… we actually needed to see it. And so I actually took that chapter and moved it to the front. I worry a bit that it will old-west-ify it a bit too much, because I did see this as a city book. All of the Mistborn books have taken place in cities.

    Lyndsey Luther

    And will that hold true for the second trilogy, as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It might not hold for the final one in the same way. But as for the research I did... I actually got my gun nut friend. Gun nuts are very particular. He’s a big Wheel of Time fan, and a very big gun nut. I got him to read the book and give me all the “this is how a gun nut says you’re doing it wrong” notes. That’s how I usually do something that specific. I like to write the book, and then go find an expert. For instance, in The Way of Kings, Kaladin’s surgery and first aid things. I wrote the book, I did do some reading on it, but then I sent it to an author that my editor knows. He’s a medical doctor, and I had him read those things and tell me what I was doing wrong. I prefer to do it that way and then fix it, because I can do enough, but there’s a certain understanding curve. I can pick up 75% of what I need to sound authentic with a little bit of research, and that last 25% requires a Ph.D. (laughs) And so rather than getting a Ph.D., I just give it to someone who has a PhD, and they can crosscheck it for me.

    Alloy of Law Seattle Signing ()
    #9372 Copy

    WetlanderNW

    In whose voice is the "Ars Arcanum" written? Hoid's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've avoided answering that question. It's either Hoid or a member of the Seventeenth Shard. That's as much answer as I'm giving anyone right now.

    Footnote: It has since been revealed that the author of all the Ars Arcana is Khriss. He has also said she is not a part of the Seventeenth Shard. https://wob.coppermind.net/events/2-jordancon-2016/#e180
    Sources: Tor
    Alloy of Law Seattle Signing ()
    #9374 Copy

    WetlanderNW

    Is this a prequel to the "modern" trilogy? How far into the future is that? (in-world)

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will be several "Wax and Wayne" books dealing with the next development; they're not so much "prequel" as they are a side venture into life between the first and second trilogies, but they will be used to provide some foreshadowing for the second trilogy. Incidentally, he also described the beginning of the second trilogy as "a Misting SWAT team trying to figure out how to take out a criminal Mistborn." He also said that the third trilogy will be much nearer "hard scifi" as their understanding of Allomancy and Feruchemistry enables them to develop FTL propulsion.

    Alloy of Law Seattle Signing ()
    #9375 Copy

    Travyl (paraphrased)

    Why do the Twinborn in Alloy of Law have only one feruchemical power, when all previous feruchemists, in spite of breeding programs, could use all the metals? 

    WetlanderNW (paraphrased)

    Or were Ferrings always part of the system and we just didn't meet them in Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Ferrings are a new development since Mistborn, as the Feruchemists have been interbreeding with the Allomancers. Basically, the Allomancy genes interfere with the Feruchemistry genes, breaking it down and creating the limitations we see in Alloy of Law.

    Footnote: Brandon's response was very enthusiastic. He noted how perceptive the question was, and obviously enjoyed the discussion. The reporter was expressed their regret at lack of a audio recording to share his enthusiasm.
    Sources: Tor
    A Memory of Light Seattle Signing ()
    #9378 Copy

    Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

    So, according to King Taravangian, the... erm... I don't actually know the name for it, the uh, death-babbling phenomenon...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Death rattles.

    Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

    OK, death rattles have been going on since about the time the Parshendi were first discovered. Soon after this, King Gavilar was killed, and he said something that sounds kind of nonsensical. Was that him talking, or someone else?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, that was Gavilar.

    A Memory of Light Seattle Signing ()
    #9379 Copy

    Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

    You've said that Splintering a Shard is essentially the same thing as the Shattering of Adonalsium, repeated on a smaller scale.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah.

    Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

    And a while ago, someone asked you if Splintering was permanent or reversible, and you said that it can be reversed.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah.

    Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

    And Shardholders [Vessels] tend to take the name of the Shard they hold. So you've got Sazed, who goes by "Harmony" now, after taking up Ruin and Preservation. That makes me wonder, does he hold two Shards... or one?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You could really answer that either way. The distinction is a really subjective one, and you could say that he's holding both Shards, or that he holds one single Harmony.

    A Memory of Light San Diego Signing ()
    #9383 Copy

    Freelancer (paraphrased)

    In the opening of The Emperor's Soul, I see a scene familiar to Warbreaker; the first character we meet is in jail. Was this "connection" intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes and no. Originally there was a prologue which featured Hoid speaking with the main character and setting some of the plot in motion, but it was cut before final revision. Also, it's convenient to begin with a character who is already in trouble.

    A Memory of Light San Diego Signing ()
    #9384 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    In the Mistborn series, I read on one of your posts online that you had a rough outline of how the series would have gone if a major death in the first book hadn't happened? I was just curious how that would have progressed if he was still alive?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He would have taken over, because that character doesn't not take over. And it would have been a very different series, it would have been more heist focused, and not so much epic fantasy focused.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Would he have finished everything up a heck of a lot faster than Vin and Elend did?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Worse, but yes. Things would have gone very differently, how about that? The reason I decided it couldn't go that way was because I think the series just wouldn't have worked.

    A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
    #9391 Copy

    Viper (paraphrased)

    Aons look like Arelon; soulstamps look like MaiPon. Aons get weaker when you get further from Arelon, right? That's not just cause Elantris acts like a focus?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's right, it's based on distance. That's why there are no stamped objects in Elantris.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    So do soulstamps get weaker further from MaiPon? If you left Sel via Shadesmar and went to another planet, would the soulstamp stop working?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's correct.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    Could soulstamps be carved that used Arelon as a base form instead of MaiPon?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's very interesting, isn't it?

    A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
    #9392 Copy

    Viper (paraphrased)

    At one point someone [on 17th Shard] asked you if seons were Shards of--

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Aona.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    Devotion ... yeah Aona, and you said that was close. My question is: are the Aons at the HEART of the seons Shards of Devotion?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, but close.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    But... I was sure... the floating Aon at the heart, that's not a Shard...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *taking pity* You're close but a word is wrong. You're using the wrong terminology.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    SPLINTER. Are the Aons at the heart of seons SPLINTERS of Aona?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes.

    A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
    #9393 Copy

    Viper (paraphrased)

    The gemhearts/stormgems/whatever that are grown inside the beasts in Way of Kings ... is that the same as the way atium is grown inside geodes in the Pits of Hathsin?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's similar. The Pits are an area where there's like a leak from the Spiritual Realm into the Physical. That's what happens there.

    A Memory of Light Milford Signing ()
    #9394 Copy

    Viper (paraphrased)

    So in cosmere, does physics work the same way in the Physical Realm as it does in our world? Specifically, particle physics; and are atoms made up of protons and neutrons and electrons, and is light photons, etc?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes.

    Viper (paraphrased)

    So what's at the core of an atom of atium? Ate-teum? Also how do you pronounce it? At-teum?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes. And the matter is just normal matter, but it's wrapped in the Spiritual. The Spiritual DNA [or something] is what makes it magical.

    My 14-Year-Old Self Might Take Issue with The Alloy of Law ()
    #9395 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    As we get ready for the release of The Alloy of Law, I find myself wondering what the teenage me would think of what I’m doing in this book.  You see, I became a fantasy addict when I was about fourteen, and one of my mantras quickly became, “If it has guns, it’s not good fantasy.”

    Now here I am, adding guns to my most successful fantasy series.

    Despite the ways I’ve changed over the years, despite my belief that fantasy should be (and is becoming) something more than the standard “guy living in idealized chivalrous England leaves his farm and saves the world,” a voice inside of me is screaming that nobody will buy this book.  Because it has guns.

    I don’t believe that voice, but I think it says something interesting about me and others like me.  Perhaps we fantasy readers sometimes mix up correlation and causation in our fantasy novels.  In fact, I’m more and more convinced that taste for a specific genre or medium is often built on shaky ground.

    An example may help.  I have a friend who once claimed he loved anime.

    Over the years, he consistently found anime shows superior to what he found on television.  But as he started to find more and more anime, he told me that he discovered something.  He liked the anime he’d seen at first because these were the shows that were successful and well made, the ones with the quality or broad appeal to make the jump across cultures.  He found that he didn’t like all anime—he only liked good anime.  Sure, the medium had something important to do with it—but his enjoyment came more from the quality of his sample than the entire medium.

    Likewise, I’ve come to find that what I enjoy is a good story.  Genre can enhance this—I’m probably going to like a good fantasy more than a good thriller or romance because worldbuilding and magic appeals to me.  In the end, however, it isn’t the lack of guns (as my young self assumed) that draws me to fantasy stories.  It’s the care for setting, pacing, and character development.

    This is actually a correlation/causation fallacy, and I wonder if I’m the only one to have made it.  Many of the books in the fantasy section we love (perhaps because of the setting attention or the types of writers attracted to fantasy and SF) have dragons.  Do we therefore make the assumption that we only like books with dragons?  These two things (the dragons and our enjoyment) are parallel to, but not completely responsible for one another.

    On the other hand, maybe I just think about this kind of thing too much.

    Either way, I present to you The Alloy of Law.  A look at the Mistborn world several hundred years after the events of the original trilogy, where the industrial revolution has finally hit and knowledge of gunpowder is no longer suppressed.  That means guns.  Lots of guns.  And magic too.

    The young me might have been horrified, but the thirtysomething me finds the mix to be exciting, particularly in a world where the magic is directly related to metal

    Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
    #9396 Copy

    Questioner

    This is about certain people from Nalthis... living on Roshar and how they are living on Roshar. Could they also do that on Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scadrial would be a lot harder because getting the Investiture out of things on Scadrial is tough, there are ways you could do it but it would be much more difficult.

    Questioner

    Does that have to do with the Investiture being more directed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's more the genetic component is a big part of it. The directed component-- In Roshar its just flowing around all over the place. For instance, if he could get to a Shardpool he could feed off that, but then he's at the Shardpool and that's kind of dangerous and things. Roshar is really the easiest place in the cosmere for him to consistently get this sort of stuff. Taldain would not be bad either, that's the White Sand world but it is inaccessible currently in the cosmere

    Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    On about Wayne from The Alloy of Law, so reading the first book everyone's smiling because he's a rascal. But he's not really a rascal in the first book. You slowly turned him into a rascal in book 2, filling in what he's done in his past. Book three just a downright rascal... I wanted to know your progression of that character mirrors your progression of that world because the Alloy of Law isn't particularly gritty, but in book three you've got a bit more grittiness.

    Brandon Sanderson

    See, I would argue that two is the grittiest of the three, personally. It's hard for me to talk about this one just because I wrote Alloy of Law as an experiment to see if I liked it, and then I sat down and built a trilogy about those characters, so you could almost imagine that Alloy of Law is a standalone, and the next three are a trilogy about those characters. I don't know that I made any specific decisions in any way, I just said "what is the story I want to tell about these characters with these three books", and then I took them and I dug into them and I felt like I hadn't dug into them deeply enough in Alloy of Law, to really who they were. It was done, again, kind of more as a free writing experiment than an intentional novel, even though I did have an outline and things for it.

    The books two, three, and four--which form a trilogy--have a distinct outline. Any changes are changes kind of focused on that idea. That I took something that was kind of like a seed for a trilogy and then built a trilogy around it. I didn't make any specific determination that I would be more gritty; I think the second book is grittier because of the difference between hunting a group of bank robbers vs. a serial killer. That's gonna have some natural move towards that, but it's not any specific event. That said, reader response is kind of how you decide on these things. I just kind of write the books as I feel they need to be and what you get out of them is certainly valid.

    Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    I am hugely arachnophobia and I was wondering if you have any phobias or really big fears that might get in the way of writings sometimes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do I have any phobias that get in the way of my writing? I don't really have any of that strength. I do think spiders are creepy. They are more creepy in a 'find something and smash them' sort of way. I think the only time I've felt a deep, phobic fear is the first time I went snorkeling and was going along and everything was great, then I turned and looked to where the shelf ended, and I got close to them and I looked down and out into the nothing and there was that moment of just "that thing is so much vaster and bigger than me." that I think I felt that same "I am going nowhere near that, I am coming back", right? It creeped me out for the rest of that snorkeling trip.

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    Questioner

    At FantasyCon they had a panel on why there was so many Mormon sci-fi/fantasy authors and lots of opinions were put out there. Since you tend to think about trends and things like that I wondered what your take was.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What is my take on why there are so many Mormon science fiction/fantasy writers-- successful ones-- Why are there so many. We all have our own theories. It's funny, this is-- Like my first visit to my publisher in New York. One of the editors there asked me that very question, they're like "what's going on out there?" and I've had a lot of time to think about it. I've got a couple of answers, and these are just my arm chair answers.

    Looking at myself, I grew up in Nebraska... so it wasn't like I was really immersed in Utah culture and things but I did notice when Tracy Hickman, and when the fantasy books I was reading, one was written by Tracy Hickman and he had on the back that he was LDS, and Orson Scott Card's books. I thought, "Wow, these are people like me and they are doing this." I think the early success of Scott Card and Tracy Hickman and some of these people was a big deal for those of us who were like "Oh, this is something that I can legitimately do."

    I also think that science fiction/fantasy was a safe counter-culture, meaning, y'know for me in the eighties, yeah, y'know. Counter Cultures were big, sixties, seventies, eighties. They still are of course but you've got this punk and all of this stuff and, y'know, all my friends were smoking pot and all of this stuff and you want to rebel against your parents, right? At the same time you're a good kid, like "I don't want to rebel-rebel", and so when i got into sci fi/fantasy and they didn't get it at all I'm like "I found it!" I can rebel against my parents by playing Dungeons and Dragons, right. This is my grand rebellion! My mother heard all this stuff about Dungeons and Dragons and to her credit she came and just watched us and since there was actually a girl in our group, afterwards I asked her and she was like "You were hanging out with members of the opposite gender, talking to people instead of just playing video games like you always do? I thought it was awesome!" but she didn't tell us that. If I'd known she thought it was awesome it might have been bad, cause she was always like "uhhhh, roleplaying." So I think that that is part of it.

    Early successes, safe counter culture, and then there's kind of the focus on literacy and reading in the community without, kind of-- like, for some reason, I think you can blame Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the community is not as scared of fantasy as some other religious communities are. You find a lot of Jews in publishing and science fiction and fantasy too, and I think for some of the same reasons that the community, the religion is not quite as frightened of these sorts of things for some reason, so with the focus on literacy you end up, I think, with writers of a lot of different stock. So that's my little sort of three part take on it. Maybe its true, maybe its not.

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    Questioner

    From context and usage, it's fairly clear, sort of, what the word "slontz" means, but what exactly does it mean? Where does it come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where does the word "slontz" come from? Alright, alright. Um-- *long pause* Boy, can I even dredge up where that came from? I like to use, particularly in certain worlds where it seems like it fits, I like the made-up swear words. And the made up names, just because I think slang evolves, and slang being individual to the world feels much-- And I know some people find them goofy, but it feels more realistic to me than them using our curse words. It just doesn't seem right. Now there are worlds where it was right, like in Mistborn I used our curse words because I was like, "These are a bunch of thieves living on the street," I wanted it to feel a little harder. Though, you know, it's me, so it's never gonna be that hard. But "slontz," I think I was like, "I wanna come up with some fake Yiddish word that sounds cool," honestly. I like the Yiddish. I hang out with my editor and my agent in New York, and they're both Jewish, and they use all these words that are so much fun. I'm like, "I want a word that sounds like that." I didn't spend too much time on the linguistics of that one, I'll be honest, it was just a fun word that I came up with.