Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9951 Copy

    shoeties

    Since Stormlight and Breath are both investiture, would it be possible to use Nightblood with the former rather than the latter? Would it be possible to store Stormlight in metal using Feruchemy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mixing the magics is possible, but some are easier and more natural than other. Feeding Stormlight to Nightblood is easy. Storing stormlight in metal is tough.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9952 Copy

    drabgod

    Without necessarily naming the particular Shardworld, could you describe what the Cognitive Realm looks like in a Shardworld other than Roshar? Again, you don't have to say which one in particular, and it could even be a Shardworld we haven't seen before.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm... There is a place where it's an empty wasteland of near-nothingness.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9953 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    If you were to use Forgery for brainwashing, say turning a criminal into a law abiding citizen (not practical but hey it is a what if) would they not remember who they had been? Or would they just not care?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the extent of the Forgery. If you reforge someone so their body and soul think they got amnesia, then had a certain set of experiences (very hard to do) then no, they wouldn't remember. Most often, it doesn't work this way, and you simply add memories you don't really have.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9954 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    I know Invested objects and people are harder to effect with magic, but does that also apply to indirect magic, like using Aon Daa to strike someone in Shardplate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It all depends on how the magics are trying to interact. In the case you mention, there would be little interference.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9955 Copy

    VindicationKnight

    Do you mind telling us what the average number of Knights for a Knight Radiant Order were (barring Bondmiths) and possibly how close the different orders worked together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It varied very widely, and depended on many factors. At their highest, some orders had members in the low thousands.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9956 Copy

    drabgod

    When a Returned who has lots of extra Breath gives them away without suppressing his Divine Breath, does the Divine Breath stick to the regular Breath as they are transferred to the receiver? Will the receiver find himself suddenly possessing a Divine Breath? Or does it still vanish after healing the receiver?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Divine Breaths don't work quite like others. However, losing one is kind of a "Last resort." You'll give away all the others first, and then, if you push you can give it away as well. It never sticks around and makes the person you choose returned.

    drabgod

    Could you use it to heal Preservation's mind? (potentially with the Well)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on what you mean by "Preservation's Mind." Do you mean Leras? During the events of Well/HoA he's WELL beyond the help of such a small bit of investiture, as available in a single Divine Breath. With the help of the Well itself? That's more realistic, but the real reason that he was suffering from such degradation was due to persistent attacks by Ruin.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9958 Copy

    TurtletheFlsh

    What would happen if you created a lifeless with more breath then is necessary? Would they be more or completely human or just a lifeless that's holding more breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lifeless with more breath are an interesting situation. It's quite possible for the BREATH to start taking on a personality, much like a cognitive shadow, related to the individual. Whether or not it is actually them, though, is a big question. Note, this doesn't always happen. Often, dumping a lot of breath in them is like sticking it in an inanimate object with no command.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9960 Copy

    TurtletheFlsh

    So we know both Cultivation and Honor have Shardpools on Roshar and we also know that Odium is around somewhere on Roshar, does this mean he also has a Shardpool somewhere on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shardpools, as they are called, are a natural effect of a Shard spending a lot of time on a world.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9961 Copy

    keleks_breath

    1) In their place of torture, are the Heralds able to communicate with each other or with other people/spren outside of that place? E.g. how is Ishar able to maintain his threat of severing the Nahel bond if he is being tortured for hundreds of years? 2)When the Heralds return to Roshar, do they appear like Schwarzenegger in Terminator (nude) or do they appear with the clothing they wore when they signed up for the Oathpact? 3)Are the Honorblades involved in the torture of the Heralds? Again, thank you for taking the time to interact with us fans and readers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have to RAFO questions along the lines of what you're asking. These are things that are relevant to books 6-10, which probably won't even be written for a decade. Talking about them too much now would be counter-productive, I feel. Sorry. :(

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9966 Copy

    stormlightfan70

    We know it has been stated that adonalsium could have been shattered into 16 different intents. We also know there is a force out there opposing adanalsium. Did it shatter into those 16 intents because it believed that was the best way to defend against this said force?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9971 Copy

    drabgod

    In Words of Radiance we find that Pattern is very literal-minded (at least until Shallan corrupted him), and mathematically-inclined. Even his real name is just a mathematical construct. And his head is a fractal. When I think of Pattern, I think "logic" and "truth", not "art" and "lies".

    If all Cryptics are like this, then I wonder why they (and not artistic spren like Wyndle) are the ones attracted to the artistic Lightweavers. Is this just a matter of "opposites attract"? Are spren naturally drawn to people with personal qualities they themselves do not have? I am reminded of the Divine Attributes, and it seems like Shallan has the "Creative" side while Pattern has the "Honest" side. Is that a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These things are not coincidences.

    I have some very interesting rationals why certain spren are involved with certain orders. I never wanted it to be so straightforward as, "Oh, you control pressure? Here's a spren dedicated to that power." I feel there is more intricacy, and honesty, to a system that isn't so "on the nose" as we say in writing.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9972 Copy

    Phantine

    So you said how stuff is stuffed into the soul changes what a bond can give. Is that like the difference between a Spren bonding a Person and and maybe Hemalurgy forcing a bond or is it more like the difference with how Parshendi form bonds with Spren?

    I guess a better way to say that is would the bond be different if a human created the bond with a Spren not a Spren Bonding with a human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These things are all important parts of the system, and I'm curious to see where fans go in exploring the possibilities and theories related to it.

    ...

    RAFO

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9974 Copy

    Argent

    Some of the most engaging and fun discussions we've had over at the 17th Shard were the decoding, or decrypting, or deciphering of those puzzles you sometimes hide in The Stormlight Archive epigraphs - the Alethi women script, the Thaylen writing, the excerpts from the Diagram, etc.

    1. Do you always try to make sure those puzzles are solvable, presumably so we don't grow insane?
    2. Will you keep adding things like that, assuming time allows?

    Brandon Sanderson

    1. Not all the puzzels are solvable with the information you have, but they will all eventually be solvable as the books progress.
    2. Yes, one of my main goals with the Stormlight books is to make them multi-genre. Visuals, different types of storytelling, flashbacks, ephemera. Puzzles (so long as they're in world, and relevant to the plot) are part of this for me.

     

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9976 Copy

    Thadamin

    How important are bonds like the Nahel Bond and a seon bond in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say very important.

    Thadamin

    Is this kind of bond relatively common or is what seons, spren, and Nightblood do little more rare among Splinters. I'm specifically talking about the act of making bonds not a giving of magic powers really, that appearing to be function of Roshar. Also regarding your post about Stormlight 3 I am personally okay with 2000 pages if need be so make the chapters as long as you want.:)

    Brandon Sanderson

    The bonding is basically the same mechanic, regardless of the world, just with different flavoring. Roshar isn't the only place where the bond gives powers; it's a matter of what's stuffed into the soul, and how.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9977 Copy

    vorpal_username

    I've been rereading alloy of law and I was wondering about a few things related to speed bubbles.

    1. Speed bubbles can't move once they're put up, but what happens if you put one up while you're in a moving train or something? Does it move with the train? What if the train stops/turns while the bubble is up? (This might have happened and I'm forgetting in which case just ignore me...)

    2. Can an allomancer leave their bubble while it is still up (meaning it stays up with them outside of it)?

    3. What happens to things and or people partially inside of the bubble? Like, if I swing a pole through the time bubble, do I feel extra resistance or acceleration on it? If I stick my hand through it does it get all messed up like in that episode of TNG(S6E25)?

    4. Is the magnitude effect that causes bullets to go off course when entering a speed bubble proportional to the slowing/speeding of time in the bubble? For example, could I put up a very slight speed bubble (gaining me an extra second every few minutes) and get the same deflection as the ones used by Wane in the books?

    5. If you change your weight with feruchemy, is momentum conserved? For example, if I am moving while I decrease my weight, do I start going faster?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'd be surprised by how many of these questions I answer in the next two Mistborn books. I think I might have addressed every one except number four. (In that case, the deflection is indeed proportional.) This is a RAFO, but more a "I took all this time to explain it in the text, so let's let you read it there." :)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9979 Copy

    link6112

    Where would you place Hoid on this scale: http://i.imgur.com/z9fwRP2.jpg

    If you have time, where would you place the other characters of your books on this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Though I do like the D&D system conceptually--I think it leads to interesting discussions--one of the problems is that by putting a character into it, I would be making a value judgement upon their actions. Here's what I can say: If you asked Hoid himself, he'd probably say he was Neutral Good. The Sixteenth shard would argue that he's Chaotic Neutral. Frost would rationally argue him to be Chaotic Good, but there are those who even claim his motives far too selfish to be anywhere near "good," and probably deem him something akin to Neutral Evil.

    WeiryWriter

    Sixteenth Shard? Is this just a typo or a really stealthy dispensation of information?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sorry. Just a typo.

    Footnote: The scale linked is the Dungeons and Dragons alignment chart.
    Sources: Reddit
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9980 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    I was re-reading the prologues of WoK and WoR... and it seems like there's something wonky going on with the timelines.

    Szeth claims Gavilar left the feast hours before he started doing his work.

    Jasnah leaves the feast and finds Gavilar and Tearim. Gavilar mentions he's going to head back into the feast. Jasnah then has an adventure. She sees Ivory(?), speaks with Liss and two strange men, and then, what seems like a very short time later in her PoV hears the results of Szeth starting his job.

    There's no way it took her hours to walk down two flights of stairs, briefly "drown", and have two short conversations!

    Am I completely off base, or is there something going on here with Jasnah's perception of time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's less that, and more me (as the author) glossing over time passing with quick phrases like "after walking a short time" and the like.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9982 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    Mr.T has his emotional intelligence inversely attached to his logical intelligence. in the physical realm, this means that on his emotional days, he is functionally a blithering idiot. The physical realm is more logic oriented, so that makes sense.

    However, would this inverted intelligence express itself DIFFERENTLY perhaps in the cognitive or spiritual realm? In the world of forms, emotion, and identity, could weepy/drooly Mr.T express some unique insight inside of Shadesmaar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a theory with merit.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9984 Copy

    Argent

    When Sazed picked up the Shards of Preservation and Ruin, did he actively choose to be known as Harmony (instead of, for example, Balance, or Equilibrium, or Stability), or is there some Cosmeric law that says Preservation + Ruin = Harmony?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He chose the name, but in part because it FELT right to him.

    Argent

    Is this similar to how a Shard's "personality" overwrites the Shardholder's over time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Similar, yes.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9987 Copy

    mooglefrooglian

    You've previously mentioned that someone bonded to a Seon would get some benefits if they went to Roshar , basically that it would be treated sort of like a Nahel bond. This implies to me that something about Roshar likes to give powers from bonds. (Hi there, Honor...)

    Should this be taken to mean that spren-bond based Surgebinding won't work off-world, as it's a benefit Roshar gives from having a bond? Or would it be more specific, and mean that some of the passive benefits Radiants get (visions, Windrunner squire strengths) would be lost, but Surgebinding retained?

    Mainly I'm interested in whether or not we can reach maximum Jasnah levels and have the possibility of her appearing in non-SA books. I don't think she'd be much into worldhopping if she couldn't get back with the Travel Surge...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Surgebinding will work off-world.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9988 Copy

    GenericMastermindAnt

    Do both 'The Path' and Kelsier's religion have actual gods? I remember Sazed talking about Kelsier and Vin in whatever afterlife exists, but are Kel and Vin also proper gods or just dead hero mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is discussed in the next books.

    Basically, you can look at it like Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism has gods, and many Buddhists don't deny those gods exist, but they follow a different path. Obviously, the doctrines and practices are not the same as those two religions, but the relationship is somewhat similar.

    It does get complicated in that Harmony doesn't particularly want to be worshiped, but people want to worship him anyway, and find ways to sidestep into religion. Survivorists worship the Survivor, but don't QUITE treat him like God.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9989 Copy

    Nazrax

    Are seasons on Roshar truly unpredictable, or have the storm wardens just not figured out how to predict them yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, if you consider the planet to be a closed system, then nothing about the natural processes are TRULY unpredictable.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9990 Copy

    Nazrax

    Can Forgery rewrite someone's gender (after all, it's just swapping out an X for a Y ...)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Forgery could do this, but it is a tad bigger a change than you imply. Think of it this way: It's much easier for the magic to pretend that a table was cleaned up and polished than it is for the magic to pretend the wood used to make the table instead was used to make a chair.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9992 Copy

    gossypiboma

    When communicating over spanreed, do you have to compensate for the curvature of the planet? For example, would communicating with someone on the other side of the planet result in upside down writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spanreeds auto-compensate when you activate them. Meaning, once you tap them on, they will follow the same pattern in relation to the writing board as the other one.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9995 Copy

    Jericho5589

    In regards to the time period each series takes place in. What time period is it during Mistborn whilst the other series are going on?(More specifically. Is it Wex during Stormlight? Or still Vin?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight is closer to Wax than Vin, but takes place between the two.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9997 Copy

    focoma

    Are the Essences strictly just a Roshar thing, or are they also connected to the manifestations of Investiture on other Shardworlds? For example, is the Essence of Foil in any way connected to the Metallic Arts of Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The idea that things exist on three realms is not unique to Roshar.

    That those things are self-aware is a Rosharan thing, though other places in the cosmere have similar beliefs.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9998 Copy

    wackyHair

    What's the population of the shardworld's we've seen so far (even in very general terms, like one's much bigger than the others or something)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scadrial is certainly the least populated of the major shard worlds. Then Nalthis, I'd guess, followed by Roshar, and finally Sel--which likely has the largest population. I would have to look closely to see which is bigger between those last two.

    Phantine

    Does a population of about 100 million during The Final Empire (with 1-2 million in Luthadel), and around 15 million during Alloy of Law (with about 5 million in Elendel) seem right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have to RAFO this for now, for reasons I can't explain without giving spoilers.

    Phantine

    How about as far as Elend/Wax knows, at the beginning of their respective series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then those numbers, if they're off, are at least close.

    faragorn

    Interesting that Sel has such a large population, given that the actual numbers of soldiers shown seem to be quite small.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that Opelon has an inflated opinion of its own size in relation to the rest of the world.

    Footnote: The RAFO about the Scadrian population may be due to the existence of the Southerners, which had not been revealed as of this time.
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #9999 Copy

    Sharadee

    I am going to shamelessly take advantage of the fact that you are still answering questions here (and wow ! thanks for that). It's about the sprens. Isn't it inconvenient in some social situations if sprens can give away people's emotions? For example, if someone is working hard to hide their anger and angersprens appear... Can people have any kind of control over them appearing ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it can be inconvenient. And you'll see more about this in future books.