Recent entries

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #9551 Copy

    sherlockeb

    Why did Rashek feel the need to create skaa and nobility, why not alter all humanity to be nobles if you have the power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Rashek, particularly back then, was a petty man. This caused him to do many things that, strictly speaking, were not best for his empire.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #9553 Copy

    Arthrine

    I remember reading some time ago that a fan told you about a dream of hers to be a minor character in one of your books, and that you fulfilled this dream for her.

    Any chance of you doing a raffle on /r/fantasy, and letting the winner get the same opportunity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I should totally do this. In the past, I've done it for charity, so maybe during a drive for Worldbuilders?

    The character, by the way, is Lyn the scout from Words of Radiance.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #9554 Copy

    gauzemajig

    Do you think you'll ever go outside of the established raunchiness of your books? I don't mean a murder sex party, but you know, straying a bit into the dark and gritty. It's just my opinion but I feel like you play it a little safe. Not necessarily a bad thing though!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think I've crossed the line where I'm personally comfortable doing, but I think I'm close. Usually, I give a few characters (like Wayne) the ability to go further than others, as an acknowledgement that there are good people out there who don't happen to have my same prudish nature.

    I think the thing you'll see that is the closest is when (and if) I write the Threnody novel.

    For everything else, you'll have to settle for knowing that one of my quirks as a writer is that I do indeed play it a little safe--and probably will always do so. I'm very aware that my children, nieces, and nephews read my books. Beyond that, I feel that I'm an intentional and specific contrast to other writers in the genre--I consider it my duty to prove that (like many of the classic movies) you can write something that is for adults, and has depth, without delving into grittiness.

    This is not a disparagement of people like Joe Abercrombie, who I think is an excellent writer, or others like him--and I'm glad we have them in the field. However, my own path goes a different direction, and I think it's important that I also publish, proving to those who perhaps wish to be more circumspect in these areas that there is a place for them in the genre too.

    Xluxaeternax

    Does that mean that you recognize that the stories that take place on Threnody, a world of your creation, are stories that you are uncomfortable exploring because they are too harsh or intense? If that's the case I find that absolutely fascinating and very impressive- it's almost as if the cosmere is a real place with real people and you're just communicating their stories to us. I personally would rather you never told those stories instead of forcing them to be something that is untrue to what you created them to be.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A writer must be willing to do uncomfortable things; I fully believe that. Stories like Snapshot (my most recent novella) have done this before, and if I write the Threnody novel, I intend to do it well. (But also be very clear to audiences that it's darker than other cosmere books.)

    It's not about intensity--I feel other books are intense. Or even about violence or darkness. It's about how far the narrative needs to delve into these things, or the relationship of light and hope to the darkness.

    Dalinar's backstory in Stormlight is uncomfortably dark, and I won't pull punches from it. But it's balanced by the man he has become. In Threnody, some of the stories don't have that balance.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9558 Copy

    mysteriouspenguin

    You said that there are ten major Shardworlds. Are Threnody and First of the Sun (planets without shards) part of those ten? What other Shardworlds we know about are not part of the ten?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if I've said specifically, but I think I've implied that neither one are major worlds for the storytelling narrative. (Though Threnody is more important by far.) I believe that I've mentioned the others all being major factors in the story.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9559 Copy

    mysteriouspenguin

    What is the structure of the Cosmere like? i.e. What planets are in which systems orbiting what stars in what galaxy. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll produce a map of this eventually. Right not, it's not terribly relevant. (Though in books, you can occasionally pick out some cosmological feature seen from different planets.) The stars are very close on a galactic scale--part of a dwarf galaxy.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9561 Copy

    sjhock

    The stars Vin sees from Scadrial are the same as the stars as can be seen on Threnody, yes? Would Taln's Scar or the Tear from Roshar also be visible from other Cosmere worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But remember that on Scadrial, stars weren't an oft-seen feature in the original trilogy.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9563 Copy

    Tacticus Prime

    Also, what is going on in this chart? Is it all RAFO, or can you hint at anything?

    https://www.brandonsanderson.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/twok_endsheet-rear-2-webres.jpg

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's...I'm sorry, that's a RAFO. But thank you for reading! Answers are coming.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9565 Copy

    Yata

    If a Ferring creates a metalmind and then loses his power (for example through Hemalurgy), could he still use his previous-made metalmind ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, he could not. And, unfortunately, the person who stole a bit of his soul would probably be keyed with enough Identity to use his metalmind. :( (This is uncertain, though, based on how much of the soul got ripped off, and how much the spike has decayed.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9567 Copy

    unknown

    I was wondering how Talenel'Elin is able to speak perfect Alethi without much of an accent at all. I believe Dalinar thought that it was a Northern Alethi accent. He is able to speak perfect Alethi after coming back from Damnation being seemingly isolated for 4500 years. Knowing what we know about language development in the real world over time, wouldn't the Alethi language change as well as to be almost incomprehensible?

    If he is not isolated, I supposed that would venture into RAFO territory.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The language has indeed changed drastically.

    So...RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9568 Copy

    SydneySedai

    Say an awakener wanted to cheat in a card game and strolled in with an awakened hat, which is promply placed on a hat rack behind their opponent.

    Assuming the awakener knows the rules of the game, would a command like "be as my eyes and signal when I should fold" let the hat tip someone off, or would they need a more general command like "be as my eyes and signal a flush"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is hard because the skill of the Awakener is a factor, as are other elements that aren't entirely understood. For sake of discussion, I'd say the second one is a whole lot more reasonable.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9569 Copy

    ParadoxicalWims

    Could the Heralds be considered the splinters or would it be the Honourblades they once held? Or perhaps are they something else entirely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, more because I don't want to dig into the nature of the Heralds until the second five books, and would rather not have people's eyes on them too much right now.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9570 Copy

    i_do_stuff

    And since I love him, I have to sneak an Axies the Collector question in - what kindled his interest in spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Axies belongs to a race who, being extremely long lived, tend to dedicate themselves to some kind of task to keep themselves from going strange. (Well, more strange.) Spren tickled his fancy.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9571 Copy

    Titan_Arum

    If a coinshot were to drop a gold coin of size X or an iron coin of the same size X, would the coin with more mass (the gold coin), under normal circumstances, allow the coinshot to vertically push themselves higher than they could with the coin with less mass (the iron coin)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mass is indeed a factor in anchors.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9572 Copy

    Titan_Arum

    In TWoK, Dalinar mentions that back home Reshi border encroachments grow increasingly bold...according to the map of Roshar, no Reshi islands are directly adjacent to Alethkar. Is this encroachment simply due to Tai-na migrating into Alethi waters and skirmishing with Alethi boats? Or are the Reshi actually sending raiding parties to the mainland?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Alethi have a long history of skirmishing with the Reshi islands just to the north and northeast of Alethkar. (And at various points, they've just considered Herdaz to be an Alethi province.) The fertile fishing up there makes for some coveted seas.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9573 Copy

    L0lbert

    My question is however, is Kelsier influenced by Ruin in some way? Does he have any metal in him? The parts that got me thinking is how he is the one who suggested to Vin that she should keep her earrings in. Futhermore he has a strong urge to kill and destroy, though that is mainly limited to nobility and it is meant to help overthrow the empire. Lasltly there was someone in the last book (I'm afraid I can't remember who right now) who said that Lord Penrod (who at the time was contolled by Ruin) used housewars to destroy the city, which is the exact thing Kelsier did also. I'm sorry if my answer has an obvious answer, or if I've overlooked something, but these points got me to strongly belive that Kelsier was influenced by Ruin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No metal in Kelsier, though good question. However, he was trained by a man touched by Ruin, and has a certain natural inclination toward destruction and killing. That's all him.

    I've said before that Kelsier, in another story or time, might have become something far more terrible. That's what makes him interesting to me as a character.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9574 Copy

    Ansalem1

    Hypothetically, if all of the Listeners were to go extinct would the Rhythms still exist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    WeiryWriter

    Are there any other species in the cosmere that also interact with the Rhythms like the listeners do? (Though not necessarily in the same way?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9576 Copy

    EarthRester

    In Warbreaker, the closer an inanimate object is to a humanoid shape, the easier it is to awaken it.

    Hypothetically, say a race of sentient quadrupedal canines had access to BioChromatic Breath. Would they have an easier time awakening objects if they were closer to a canine shape, or is the rule still that it needs to be more humanoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Closer to canine.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9577 Copy

    Betaflame

    I primarily listen to the books, so my spelling and visual imaging might be a bit off. But, the food that Lopen likes, choutta, is that kind of like a Runza?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kinda, kinda not.

    They eat flatbread in Roshar--the bread doesn't rise. So in that respect, it's more like a burrito. Only, they roll it more like a cone, and they fill it with chunks of meat covered in gravy. The flavor is going to be more runza like than burrito like, but it's kind of like a pita filled with meatballs.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9578 Copy

    SageOfTheWise

    In Allomancy, normal metals are simply a tool that channels Allomancer's already existing Connection to the power of Preservation, which is why non-Allomancers don't get powers from digesting metal. But if I understand it correctly, god metals are an exception, since they are a form of a Shard's power, burning them directly uses the power stored within.

    If I have this right, how come a normal person can burn lerasium, but not atium? Or could they, and no ones thought to try? But if that was true why are there atium Mistings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Suffice it to say that what people both in the books and out think about the god metals has some holes in it.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9581 Copy

    JediofChrist

    In Alloy, there are those who use both Allomancy and Feruchemy. However, I recall Sazed in The Hero of Ages stating that he believed he was the last surviving Feruchemist (I think he may have said "Keeper"?). Was he incorrect in his assumption of being the last Feruchemist (based on the fact that people use Feruchemy in Alloy) or could Feruchemy have been recessive in some Terris people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was most certainly recessive. But the specific way Sazed speaks there is important.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9582 Copy

    ArsenoPyrite

    Is the act of taking up a shard parallel to the act of Awakening? In broad strokes awakening gives a piece of a soul for power along with a purpose or compulsion. So, say, when someone takes up Ruin, are they operating on the same principle, taking a fragment of Adolnasium's 'soul' along with the command "ruin things"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could make this parallel, and argue it to many of the cosmere-aware scholars in the books, and they'd find themselves nodding.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9583 Copy

    The_Honor_Spren

    Should I even care about the flute? If Sadeas had it, would that mean it has become part of Amaram's collection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not a big deal, but that doesn't stop fans from caring. So I can't say whether you should or not. :)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9586 Copy

    SageOfTheWise

    Is there a reason why Rashek left a nugget of Lerasium at the Well of Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He left several. It was, in his opinion, one of the best kept secrets and best protected locations in his empire.

    Phantine

    Were there originally 16 of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    An excellent guess.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9588 Copy

    ArsenoPyrite

    Of the few 'evil' magic systems we've seen, two of the most prominent, Fjordell glyphs and stormform both involve growing nigh-inpenetrable bones under the surface of the skin. Are these pointing to some similar fell influence, or is it just a cool thing for bad people to do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is mostly coincidence.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9591 Copy

    ParadoxicalWims

    I remember reading a WoB about which of your characters you'd invite to dinner (of which Hoid and Kelsier were two) and you said the both of them have a bit of a problem with each other. Is it anything major and when did this problem happen? (Have they also seen each other again now Kelsier's a cognitive shadow?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Big RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9592 Copy

    Phantine

    Would a lifeless Koloss still be super strong?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You see, what is happening to create a koloss is a human soul is taken, sliced up, and sutured back together--with the spikes being the "stitches" that holds it all together. That's a problem, since the various forms of investiture don't play very well together. In Awakening, you're basically giving something a counterfeit soul. (But without the skill or knowledge of something like an Essence Mark.)

    This means that in investing the corpse of the koloss, you have troubles. It's going to want to snap back to the original human shape and strength. If you COULD overcome this, then yes, it would be stronger.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9598 Copy

    FirstSelector

    When Kalak sees the ring of Honorblades in the Prelude, he describes them as "flowing in design, inscribed with glyphs and patterns." However, in the main text we encounter two (presumed) blades - Jezrien's and Talenel's, neither of which were included in Kalak's original accounting. The first is explicitly depicted as being devoid of ornamentation, and the second is ambiguous. Were all ten original Honorblades ornamented and inscribed, and if so, what causes the change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9599 Copy

    FirstSelector

    You have claimed that the Shardworlds had their names prior to the settlement of people and Shards. However, Ruin and Preservation created Scadrial (presumably post-Shattering). Where, then, did that planet get its name, and how did the rest of the cosmere learn of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    While many of them were named, not all of them were. And the presence of a Shard warps Shadesmar much as large objects warp the physical realm (gravitation.) So if you know how to look, it's not hard to find them.