Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9802 Copy

    uchoo786

    Has Vasher met Hoid, and are they BFFs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not BFFs by a long shot.

    KingSloth

    Has Hoid seriously offended someone on EVERY planet he's been to? Kelsier, Shai, the Alethi nobility, who knows how many shards from Yolen, AND Vasher are all out for his blood..? :o

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's only a small fraction of the total list.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9803 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    To what extent are Cognitive shadows the same as the individuals they are shadows of? Do you count them as the same person or are they just a "copy" so to speak? Or is this a discussion for philosophers (which you've said is the case with the cosmere's "far afterlife")?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've considered answering this a few times, and have decided I just have to RAFO it. This is a discussion for philosophers, as you've said. It may become a plot point in future books.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9804 Copy

    Thadamin

    Do Shards need to be based on the same planet to create the interactions that made Feruchemy possible?

    If the Parshendi are not originally from Odium and are referred to as the Ancient Ones by spren, then would that make the original Parshendi, bonded to the Splinters that existed before Honor and Cultivation arrived, the Dawnsingers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9805 Copy

    Enfeathered

    Assuming that the events of the first Mistborn book took place on Nalthis instead, and especially considering the circumstances of Kelsier's passing and the events afterwards, would he have Returned?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a very interesting question. Endowment can be somewhat...erratic. I don't know, honestly. I'd have to think about it.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9806 Copy

    bridge4shash

    Were the Plains originally shattered by a Dawnsinger? Are Dawnshard magical musical instruments? Are the Parshendi of Odium? Are the gods that the Parshendi abandoned Odium? Are the people above in Sixth of the Dusk Scadrians?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a whole pile of RAFOs. But I can answer one; the gods that the Parshendi abandoned are of Odium.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9811 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    Why is Hoid’s color aura from his Breaths not noticed by anyone on Roshar? Are the characters just not used to noticing that sort of thing, or does he not have one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a mixture of reasons. Not the least is Hoid's control over investiture.

    uchoo786

    Would someone with breath be able to notice his aura on Roshar? E.g. Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Various methods of detecting investiture would still work, depending on how good a job Hoid is doing of suppressing his.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9812 Copy

    Chaos

    You have once said, with regard to a question about Shards being the most powerful thing in the cosmere, that some would say that other "subtle forces" are being manifest. Are these subtle forces related to Adonalsium's opposition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is belief in a God who is not one of the Shards.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9815 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    Is the silver on Threnody imbued with investiture? The presence of a silver knife in Stormlight leads me to believe Threnodoic Silver is actively different than average silver and Threnody's silver could be used off-world in a way - say - Sel's silver couldn't.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm RAFOing most questions about Threnody for multiple reasons. It's a RAFO you shouldn't read too much into, however.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9816 Copy

    Argent

    Is the Earth-like biome in Shinovar a product solely of environmental factors (e.g. shelter from the highstorms), or is there a magical component as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    On Roshar, the environment and magic are so intertwined, environmental factors ARE magical components.

    Argent

    Interesting, hadn't really thought of it this way, but much of the environment and its events depend on magic - highstorms, plant and animal life, crem and water deposits, and those are just off the top of my head. Was it this way before the Shards showed up, or is this a change they caused (intentionally or not)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This will eventually be revealed.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9817 Copy

    Argent

    I've been listening to the Graphic Audio The Hero of Ages and just got to the point where Vin meets with Slowswift. While the meeting itself revealed nothing knew, the events after it made me wonder about something. When Vin leaves Slowswift, she burns her bronze to check whether the informant is an Allomancer, and then heads off to meet with Hoid - where, of course, something makes her turn away. Was she still burning bronze at that time? Was Hoid maybe manipulating Investiture in a way unfamiliar to Vin, so her bronze alerted her of something, but because it was such a foreign experience to her, she didn't recognize it for what it was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have to RAFO this one. It's been hard not to spill the beans here, as it's such a small thing, but it has important ramifications. You will have an answer eventually, I promise.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9818 Copy

    Kurkistan

    If Investiture can neither be created nor destroyed, and Feruchemy is all fueled by the Feruchemist himself, then how do metalminds end up being invested without Feruchemists seeming to suffer any long-term loss of Investiture? If they're not "creating" the energy that's going into the metalminds, then where's it coming from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The cosmere takes physics from our universe, and adds additional layers to it. Where we have energy and matter (simplified), the cosmere has additional building blocks that make reality. Investiture is one of these. It IS possible to change matter, to energy, to investiture, and back.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9819 Copy

    TheTetress

    Some of the characters (I think it was Sarene) in Elantris mention that the constellations in their part of the world look like Aons. This seemed kind of odd to me. How significant is this, and does it play a role in how accessing the AonDor works (or do they just love astronomy)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The characters in Elantris claiming that constellations look like Aons is mostly akin to us thinking that constellations look like animals--if you're looking for patterns, you'll find them.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9821 Copy

    Argent

    In The Hero of Ages, there is a scene where Spook wonders why Clubs spent all that money and traveled all that distance just to save him (Spook) from likely death at the hands - or foot, as it is - of his father. Why did Clubs do it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Clubs had his reasons, not all of which were altruistic.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9822 Copy

    Argent

    Are there non-Invested (or at least not heavily Invested) objects that cannot be cut by Shardblades, or that offer more resistance than what we see in The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're unlikely to find anything without high Investiture that can resist a Shardblade. By definition, to stop one, you're going to need something with a powerful spiritual component to it.

    zotsandcrambles

    Would [Ralkalest] (the unforgeable metal) be at all resistant to a Shardblade given its proven resistance to other forms of investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, but is a question you should be asking.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9823 Copy

    ceraius

    This is involving gemstones and their properties on Roshar. Given that Sapphire and Ruby are actually the same crystal - corundum - differing only in their impurities - how would you explain the differences in their properties, with respect both to their essences and their function in fabrials? For example, I am assuming that two identical fabrials, one made with a sapphire and one made with a ruby, would not function the same. To take it a step further, any corundum that is not ruby red is simply called a sapphire of whichever color it happens to be (blue sapphire, green sapphire, colorless sapphire, etc.). How does this play into things; would a blue sapphire have different properties than a green one or a colorless one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was a big part of the magic for me in working on Roshar, as I wanted the gems to work differently from Scadrials metals in order to avoid repetition. The fact that many gems are basically the same thing was one of the launching points actually. Let me say that you are on the right track.

    On Roshar, color of the gem is more important than actual crystalline structure.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9824 Copy

    Shadowglass0

    If someone used Hemalurgy to give Lift from Words of Radiance the ability to use Bendalloy Feruchemy, could she convert the nutrition she gets out of Feruchemy into stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Theoretically possible, I suppose.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9825 Copy

    Shadowglass0

    We've seen the drawing of a gigantic greatshell towering over a city in Way of Kings. Jasnah's book called it a voidbringer. How big was that compared to the Reshi islands greatshells? Do they look similar (proportions, etc.)? Are the Reshi islands greatshells really-really old? So old that someone pretentious enough to speak in all-caps could call them 'ancient ones'?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That picture is very, very inaccurate--by design. However, the Reshi Island greatshells were one of the models this illustrator in world used to create his fanciful drawing. They are, indeed, very long lived.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9826 Copy

    vorpal_username

    In mistborn you can't access someone else's feruchemical stores. However, what if feruchemist A stores something, and then hemalurgy is used to take A's ability and put into person B. Can person B use A's stores?

    Also, what happens when someone burns metal with a hemalurgic charge? Or stores/retrieves something in a spike using feruchemy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All RAFOs here, I'm afraid.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9828 Copy

    Argent

    On Roshar, certain people seem to be able to always see spren (Rock comes to mind). Are there people who can never see them? Similarly, can people from other worlds see them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those with Listener blood are more likely to be able to interact with spren who aren't currently trying to manifest.

    If they appear on the physical realm, then they're visible to all who can see.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9829 Copy

    Tellingdwar

    How did Hoid get to Scadrial? He didn't seem to know the location of Preservation's Shardpool until book 2, and I feel like him crawling out of the Pits of Hathsin would have created a bit of a stir... Unless he slipped out during the confusion caused by Kelsier...

    Brandon Sanderson

    In answer to your question, that IS a RAFO, but it's one I am planning to answer before too long.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9833 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

    So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

    A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

    Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

    uchoo786

    How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9835 Copy

    focoma

    Is there a quantum of Investiture? Just as how the photon (the quantum of light) is the force carrier particle of electromagnetism, is there a force carrier particle for Investiture, and do you have a name for it? (My follow up question would involve string theory, but I'll leave that one for later.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is a quantum of Investiture, though it acts very oddly in the cosmere.

    True Investiture is a purely Spiritual Realm thing. In the cosmere, there are two alternate planes of existence, with their own specific laws. Some of them, as you've undoubtedly notice, behave similar to ideas in String Theory.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9836 Copy

    uchoo786

    I was wondering, if one were to take an Honorblade to Nalthis (I think that's the Warbreaker planet?), would it function like a minor version of Nightblood?

    And could one fuel one of these Shards with other forms of Investiture, not gas-based like Breath and Stormlight, e.g. burning metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shardblades will not lose or change functionality when taken off of Roshar.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9837 Copy

    unknown

    Hey Brandon! If you're still answering these...what would happen if a Surgebinder absorbed Voidlight? (Or whatever's powering the Everstorm)

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (Sorry.)

    Argent

    Is Voidlight a good name for it? We've been playing with the words "void" and "odium", stitching them together into Voidlight, Voids (as opposed to Surges), Voidspren, Odiumspren, etc. Are any of those accurate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It may not be accurate, but it is a valid conjecture. Afraid I won't say more right now.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9838 Copy

    Argent

    When you were coming up with names for the Orders of the Knights Radiants, did you have any names that you liked but couldn't include?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the names I liked but discard were tossed because they sound too much like other compound words I've used, or other terminology in the cosmere. Shardbearer is already troublesome enough; I want to avoid others like this. The toughest one to name was Renarin's order, because most of the ideas I came up with over the years ended up being repeats. Others, like Stoneward and Windrunner, were powerful enough in my mind that when I wrote later cosmere books, I intentionally stayed away from terms that would sound too similar.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9839 Copy

    Argent

    There seems to be a certain parallel between the naming of Elendel and Luthadel. If the former is named after Elend, is the latter named after somebody called Lutha? Luthad? Who is (was?) that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good Question! Yes, there is a person this city is named after. But I'm not ready to give specifics.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9840 Copy

    marnsvi

    The visions that have Dalinar and Renarin are very different. This is related to the type of their spren ? One related to Cultivation who allows to see the future and other related to Honor who allows to see the past ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid this is a RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9841 Copy

    Yourigath

    Can you access the Dor while on other planets? Can you, I don't know, "tell the Dor" that you are on Roshar using an Aon that doesn't have the base on the map of Sel but in the world of Roshar and use Elantrian magic there? An Aon with an spiral pattern with the right lines, dots, etc... that tells the Dor "I'm here. This is Roshar. And I need your power to do X"

    Brandon Sanderson

    Great question, and one integral to the workings of cosmere Magic! No, you cannot currently access the Dor anywhere else. The Dor is a big part of why magic on Sel is distinctive.

    Yourigath

    If an Elantrian worldhops does it returns to a normal human pre-Shaod state? If this Elantrian goes back to Sel it recovers his Elantrian powers or he keeps his pre-Shaod form?

    Brandon Sanderson

    An Elantrian away from Sel would still be an Elantrian--but many of the visible signs would fade away, much like something florescent that stops glowing when moved away from a Black Light.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9842 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    What are your current plans with regards to the Jasnah novella you wrote last summer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah Novella is for my eyes only, unfortunately. It was needed so I could work out mechanics of what was happening, but I don't like releasing it for various reasons.

    Footnote: The following scene is from the novella in question: https://www.tor.com/2014/08/06/stormlight-archive-scene-after-words-of-radiance/
    Sources: Reddit
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9843 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    My question is, what 'causes' an effect in the end for Allomancy? You've got Investiture being filtered through a metal, but does putting it through the metal turn the Investiture cause a Steelpush, or is it putting the Investiture through your soul that causes it? At what point do you turn Preservation's Investiture into a Steelpush, or is there no one 'point' where it happens?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, imagine you've got one of those play-dough machines you can stuff with dough, then press a handle on the top to make a little snake-like tube of play-dough squirt out.

    Those have appendages you can affix to the front to change the shape of the tube that comes out. The metals are the appendage that determines the shape of the power released, but only certain souls can unlock those metals and use them.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9845 Copy

    ceraius

    Unless I have overlooked something, I have noticed that lifespren tend to show up only due to plant, or perhaps non-animal life. Is this a simple mislabeling by Roshar's inhabitants (vegetationspren?), or is there something significant to this discrepancy - and if so, is there any comment you can make on the subject?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Technically, you'd be right. Lifespren, as they are called, are more "things are growing here" spren. I mean, if you think about it, most emotion spren are "life spren" in that they're only around when sapient beings are drawing them.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9846 Copy

    Kurkistan

    Does Forging work by some kind of "procedural generation"? So Shai says "make me a stained glass window with a swirly pattern" and (assuming it's plausible) a window is "generated" without Shai having to go into exacting detail about its form? If so, what are the templates/guidelines that this generation is based off of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's somewhere between the two things you mention, and the guidelines are somewhat quantum in nature--meaning, what's the most likely pattern she'd have created if she'd actually gone about creating it.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9847 Copy

    Argent

    Why is it that Allomancers and Feruchemists get either one or all of the powers? Radiants / Surgebinders being limited to two Surges makes sense, because it depends on the type of spren they bond with, but Allomancers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not ready to answer this one yet, I'm afraid. So it's a RAFO.

    Argent

    Fair enough. Is this something we'll see explored in future (far future?) books, or will we need to bug you about it during signings / AMAs every few years?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will explored in far future books, most likely.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9848 Copy

    RenegadeShroom

    You said earlier that Parshendi are primarily asexual, does that extend to all Listeners -- parshmen, and those descended from Listeners, like Horneaters and Herdazians -- or is it just the Parshendi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most Listener forms are asexual, but several forms are different, including slaveform. Horneaters and Herdazians are not, as a rule, though there are higher instances of asexuality among them.

    uchoo786

    I was actually wondering about how Parshmen would reproduce if they are only in slaveform? I thought one had to be in mateform in order to reproduce?

    Also, could Horneaters and Herdazians change forms as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For the first, mateform is not the only form capable of producing--any more than warform is the only one capable of swinging a sword. The forms are specializations.

    For the second, RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9850 Copy

    sonofstannis

    At the end of Words of Radiance, does Nale resurrect Szeth using the stormlight obtained from Lift earlier in the novel or does he have another method?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nale uses the same power, but has a specific hack that lets him accomplish it, when he otherwise would not be able to.