Recent entries

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10151 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 ()
    #10153 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 ()
    #10154 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 ()
    #10155 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 ()
    #10156 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 ()
    #10158 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.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10159 Copy

    sonofstannis

    Regarding the sibling relationships of Yesteel/Arsteel and VaraTreledees/Shashara, were either pairing Returned simultaneously? If so, how did they know they were siblings? And do any of the four know their original birth names? Finally, is it coincidence that there are two pairs of siblings in the Five Scholars or is there something more at work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do intend to delve into questions like in your first point when I return to that world, so I'll RAFO for now.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10160 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    I've always wondered why Hoid stole the Moon Scepter from The Rose Empire. He is collecting investiture, so it must be pivotal.

    Is it possible that the Moon Scepter is connected directly to Dominion and Devotion's investiture (maybe via the moon-rocks?). If you have the Moon Scepter, you can get around the pesky proximity problem of the magic system(s)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll talk about this eventually, but it IS related to the proximity problem--just not in the way you're assuming.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10161 Copy

    uchoo786

    Last question, are thunderclasts just voidspren animating dead greatshells that have bee turned to stone by crem, kind of like Kalad's army? And could light eyes who have been turned to stone by soul casters be reanimated, either by Vasher or by voidspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thunderclasts are animating stone itself. Reanimating someone turned to stone would be more easy than simply animating the stone, but animating stone is tough, so that's not saying much.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10162 Copy

    uchoo786

    You have mentioned before that there are several groups on Roshar who have Parshendi blood, like the Horneaters, but are there any that have Aimian blood? And are Aimian's more beings of the cognitive realm than humans and listeners, since their shadows go towards the sun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What Rosharans call Aimians are two different races, neither of which is particularly human, despite how they may look. More will be revealed eventually.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10163 Copy

    uchoo786

    I know that Nightblood is technically a shardblade (invested sword), but can one use it without being bonded to a Spren since on Roshar the only way to breathe is stormlight and use it is by being bonded to a spren? Would Nightblood also work like a shardblade, in that it severs the soul instead of consuming it when it touches a person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Remember that the Honorblades do not require one to be bonded to a spren to use, or gain access to powers. Nightblood goes one step further, vaporizing and destroying on all three realms.

    uchoo786

    So, if I understand this correctly, Nightblood will act like an Honorblade and allow Szeth to breath in Stormlight? Will his surges be completely different than anything Roshar has seen before, or will his surges be those of the Skybreakers since Nightblood's purpose is pretty similar to theirs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll have to wait and see.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10164 Copy

    AndyC50

    Hey, Brandon as a big fan of the Stormlight books. I'm wondering what is the ratio between dark eyes and light eyes in the country where Kaladin is from. Sorry if this was mentioned in the books and I just forgot.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Weighted toward darkeyes, though the lighteye/darkeye disparity is not nearly as great as the noble/peasant disparity was in our world.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10165 Copy

    ThingsThatMakeMeMad

    Dalinar insists that honorable men would not fight their allies, when Adolin wishes to spar. Would the knights radiant spar one another, or would they generally agree with dalinars point of view?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some would agree but many would disagree. Do note there is a difference between sparring and prize fighting or dueling.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10167 Copy

    RobotAztec

    can spren go thru walls like ghosts too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the spren, and how strongly they've been pulled into the physical realm.

    RobotAztec

    so the ones that cant are the ones people can trap in gems for fabriels?

    do they catch them with big butterfly nets and thrwo a gem into the netting? or is it like poekmon where they just throw gems and hope they hit??

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. No, neither one. This is a RAFO, I'm afraid.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10168 Copy

    BartimaeusTrilogyFan

    Have you included (or do you potentially intend to include) any asexual characters in your published works? Asexual characters don't seem to be very common in fiction, and I'm sure it would be fantastic for people that identify as such to feel in any way represented by one of your characters!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I originally conceived the asexual nature of most Parshendi (from the Stormlight Archive) forms after reading a very thought-provoking article written by someone asexual. The idea of a primarily asexual race was a fascinating idea to me, and you will see this more in future books.

    RobotAztec

    can somene be born half-parshnedi or maybe even half-spren??

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Horneaters and the Herdazians are both descendants of Parshendi/human interbreeding.

    Spren do not reproduce biologically. As such, the term "half-spren" is basically meaningless. You could argue that the Parshendi, when bonded to spren, are part spren--as are many creatures on Roshar, if they have a spren symbiosis.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10173 Copy

    TallRedditor

    Is there a specific reason as to why Lift can synthesize food into stormlight? Or is she just special?

    Have we met/Will we meet anyone else that can take in stormlight in a different way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is unique, and was not born with the ability.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10174 Copy

    Pillotsky

    What's with the Stormlight Chapter symbols, and their similarity to other Cosmere symbols? I guess this is specifically talking about Kaladin and Shallan's symbols, and their resemblance to an Allomantic symbol and an Aon, respectively.

    Is this just showing Roshar's place as significant in the Cosmere? Is there a reason those specific symbols were chosen for those characters? Anything you'd want to share, I'll take.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The meaning of Kaladin's symbol will be made manifest eventually. The connection to an Allomantic symbol, however, is mostly coincidental. (Both were drawn by Isaac.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10175 Copy

    The__Good__Doctor

    Hi Brandon! I wanted to talk about the revised ending of Words of Radiance.

    So, it looks like Kaladin won't be actually delivering the killing blow to Szeth any more. I think that Kaladin was entirely justified in doing this, since it was a fight to the death, and Kaladin was protecting not only Dalinar but his entire squad below. Kaladin even seems surprised when he lands the blow, expecting Szeth to block it like he had been doing the entire fight. The killing was not done in vengeance or with malice, unlike what Adolin does later. Having the storm kill Szeth seems like an anti-climatic way to end the scene, since it takes away Szeth's decision to die by the sword, and means we no longer have an example of why the spren Shardblades don't immediately kill people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I woud be fine having him do it, though I think killing a foe who has given up was against this thematic plot. But what pushed me over the edge to change was the sense that I was pulling too many fast ones on the reader with people coming back to life. I wanted it clear to readers that Szeth was not dead, so this scene wasn't a fake out, which would weaken Jasnah's arrival later.

    Dancingedge

    Um, Mr. Sanderson, I don't mean to be disrespectful as you probably have the scene better in your head than I do but how is a man without Stormlight falling from a very large hight, while in the middle of two Highstorms coliding and throwing entire platoos in the air expected to survive? Maybe I don't have the right persective on this given that I saw both Jasnah (the body disapearing is just as much a give away as it never being shown in my book) and Syl (Pattern outright said Sprens can be revived) coming but unless you severly change the fight scene I don't see how being stabbed actually matters for Szeth survival chances.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The idea is that the reader didn't see him die, so there's a psychological trigger--one that says "Ah, I didn't see a body. He's probably not dead."

    Yes, Szeth totally died from that fall--just as the young man that Lift revived had died from what he suffered. We know that Stormlight can fix the body and bring back the dead, so long as very little time has passed.

    The import of the tweak to me is allowing some question in the reader's mind, so that the return is not a betrayal.

    The__Good__Doctor

    That is a lot more understandable. Having too many reveals at the end could be problematic. I agree that Jasnah coming back felt like pulling a fast one right at the end. However, I think the suprise of Szeth coming back was really well done, especially with the reveal of Nin (Nale, Nalan? This dude is so old he has three names!) at the very end with his special sword friend. I feel like that was the real zinger that should have closed the book.

    I was a little underwhelmed with Jasnah coming back, not because I dislike her, but because I thought she was well and truly dead. She died so early in the book that I was completely accepting of her death by the end, and her coming back in a 'gotcha' moment felt a little hollow. Perhaps this could have happened about a hundred pages into the next book? I don't know the entire story like you do, of course, but as a reader it felt like Szeth and his rebirth should have been the final closing image.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This all came about, if you're curious, during the detailed plotting of the second book. Originally, the outline did not call for Jasnah to leave, but I was having real trouble getting Shallan into a place--emotionally and experience-wise--where she could do the things she needed to do while Jasnah was around. I determined that Jasnah needed to pull a Gandalf, and let her ward alone for a while, and I'm glad I did it--the book is much, much stronger for it. However, the side effects of the last-minute change in the plot required Jasnah's reappearance, which sent a few waves through the book. (Szeth's death and survival being the main one.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10176 Copy

    2dark_22

    RAFOed I'm sure, but you said you are planing 2 arcs of 5 books each in Stormlight Archive. Having read all of your published works (and some unpublished:)) I know your storytelling pace is astronomicaly quick. I'm positive you will end current desolation story in the first 5 books, since as I understod, other 5 books will be set in near future in SA universe. So I guess my question is; can you drop any hint will Odium survive to see 6th SA book:)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Odium will survive. Now, whether the one HOLDING that power will survive...that's a different question. :) (Not quite a RAFO.)

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10177 Copy

    participating

    In Warbreaker, Vasher makes the claim that Nightblood's personality is essentially static, that he'll never change. How true is that? Assuming Nightblood managed to stick around for thousands, or millions of years, could he grow in even the smallest of ways; develop a legitimate sense of right and wrong and figure out what's really going on around him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher believes it's true. Vasher has been wrong on occasion, but he is a fairly authoritative source.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10178 Copy

    tisces

    Do you keep a timeline for your Cosmere books? I'm assuming the events from books such as Elantris and Warbreaker happen before the Stormlight Archives but I'm curious about how much time has passed whether it is months/years/centuries.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Centuries have passed. I think we're closer to a thousand years covering events you could place on the line, with closer to ten thousand years since inciting incidents.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10179 Copy

    A_Dunyain

    This is just a stab based on perceived hints, but is Yolen the most "Earth-like" planet in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scadrial is, actually. Sel isn't too far off either. Yolen has some strangeness to it. Two competing ecologies, and some strange geography. But I have wavered on how to convey all of this, so none of it is set in stone yet.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10180 Copy

    vernontwinkie

    Can two different people invest an item with Breath (either to use the sum of the investiture or just theirs, or as a way to tell that something contains Breath if it doesn't work)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is tricky to answer, because it's partially a yes, and partially a no. So I'll RAFO for now.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10181 Copy

    chocolatechoux

    Hello Mr. Sanderson. This is probably too late but I just wanted to ask what ends a desolation? Is it mainly about winning the battles or is the fighting just about holding out and buying time for something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It involves the departure of the Heralds.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10182 Copy

    _0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__

    You’ve been known to say that the fantasy genre is the best genre because you can do anything another genre can do and you can have dragons. And yet, we haven’t had a dragon from you yet. Well we see a Sanderson Dragon anytime before Dragonsteel? I’m assuming Dragonsteel has dragons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I smile inwardly as I say that, because I know that--indeed--I don't use a lot of dragons. I do like reading about them, but I haven't found myself eager to put them into my works. I think it's because I've read so many excellent dragon books, I figure, that area of fantasy is being covered by others--and I should try different things.

    That said, Dragonsteel has dragons, and so you will eventually see them there. I don't know that I'll do them before.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10183 Copy

    pat_skelly

    What are your thoughts on Kramer's depiction of a Herdazian accent? Is it what you were trying to go for or no? When I read WoK I thought they had more of a Mexican accent but Kramer has brought me over to his, what I believe is, Australian accent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It makes me laugh, and I like that there are other interpretations out there--since it's a fantasy world, and their accent doesn't have a 1-to-1 correlation with our world. That said, the were originally Hispanic inspired, so you were on the right track.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10184 Copy

    Heartlight

    What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10185 Copy

    neart_roimh_laige

    First of all, it seems that when Returned give their blessing that requires their life, to do so is to give up all of their BioChroma. Well, there was a time where Vivenna can't sense Vasher because he was a drab. Since that would mean he put all of his BioChroma somewhere and is SPOILER one of the Returned, why isn't he dead?

    Also, it seems as if only the royal family has the ability to change their hair color. However, when Vasher kills Denth, his hair flashes through a ton of colors before he dies. What are his ties to the family? Is there something I missed? Will there be another book explaining this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did mention these things in the annotations, as has been pointed out, but boy--it's been a while. I don't remember what I wrote in the annotations and what I didn't.

    All Returned are, in a way, "related" to the royal family in their Investiture. (The magic they hold.) Vasher has some specific and powerful control over his own powers, which I didn't go into much in the book. But if you delve into the annotations, you'll get more.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10188 Copy

    zuriel45

    1)Would it be possible to invest a metal such as bendalloy so that it's "active" and create a time bubble? 2)Would an invested object creating a bubble move about the bubble like Wayne does inside his? Or would the bubble move with the invested object? 3)Wayne implies that it takes a couple seconds between dropping a time bubble and creating a new one. Is this a biologically related limit, or magically related limit? 4)Would more powerful allomancy/investment increase the size of the bubble, or change the time differential?

    My theory is that if someone created a large bubble that sped up time inside of it (so time outside seems slower) You would cross the bubble faster than light would cross the same difference outside of it. Of course the journey would take the same time inside as it would without the bubble which would mean the need for a generation ship. To compensate someone could then create a smaller pocket of slowed down time (cadmium) which would cancel the sped up time and create a normal time flow. This would allow living humans to experience the same flow of time as someone on scardial itself while the ship still travels are FTL speeds. If the bubbles traveled with the ship then there wouldn't be any additional strain the structure. If the bubbles couldn't travel with the ship but if the time it takes to create a new bubble could be overcome you could theoretically turn on/off the bubble maker at a very high frequency to allow the bubble to be re centered with the traveling ship.

    So I'm curious if my theory is feasible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You've got some serious RAFOS in there, I'm afraid, but let's see what I can answer.

    First, I'd love to have your contact info through my website for running calculations. We've got some people, like Eric, who know their stuff--but having more physicists to help out is important when I start figuring things like red shift and what not.

    As for the other questions, I'm digging out answers for you, where i can. Might take me a little longer, though.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10191 Copy

    Windrunner

    As you've stated that the magic of First of the Sun is natural and independent of any particular Shard, what is the nature of the pool on Patji? Is it also a natural manifestation of magic, a perpendicularity, or simply a pool like any other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a natural manifestation, but on a much smaller scale than you might find on other worlds.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10193 Copy

    Windrunner

    Threnody and Scadrial are both noted as having unusally bright patches of stars in their skies. Are these two planets near to one another?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are both seeing the same thing, yes.

    Windrunner

    Does this mean that Threnody and Scadrial are part of the same system, or are these bright patches visible from other worlds as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Visible from other worlds as well. The cosmere is a relatively small place (on a galactic scale, that is.) We'll publish the star map when that becomes relevant in a decade or so.

    Footnote: It took approximately a year and a half to publish the star map.
    Sources: Reddit
    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10194 Copy

    i_am_a_watermelon1

    I've heard somewhere that you already have a backstory for Hoid written, but you're waiting to release it as it would reveal too much about the Cosmere universe... is this true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is true.

    i_am_a_watermelon1

    Do you ever plan on bringing different realms together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes I do.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10197 Copy

    lightylantern

    I'm pretty interested in the integration of magic and sport, like in Harry Potter and The Legend of Korra. Will we be seeing any allomantic sports in the second Mistborn trilogy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably the third. Scadrial is behind on a couple of things, technologically, and they've been very practically minded lately. I have some hints of professional sports in the Era Two books, but they're slight.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10198 Copy

    lightylantern

    In The Hero of Ages, Demoux gets together with a woman named Aslydin. He's then seen on Roshar in The Way of Kings. Knowing how loyal Demoux is, he wouldn't just leave Aslydin behind like that. Is she connected to his reasons for becoming a member of the Seventeenth Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aslydin is in the Seventeeth Shard, and had her own work to be about. I've given subtle clues about her before, but the ethnicity of the name should strike you.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10199 Copy

    lightylantern

    I'm fairly invested in the pairings of The Stormlight Archive, with my favourite being Jasnah/Szeth. Do either of these two have any romance planned in their future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am purposefully vague about upcoming romantic pairings in my books, because most of the characters would not want to be defined by their romantic inclinations--and at the top of that list is Jasnah. So I'll remain quiet on this one for now. Sorry.

    /r/books AMA 2015 ()
    #10200 Copy

    potterhead42

    On Scadrial, humans were created as a result of the deal between Preservation and Ruin. But what about the rest of the humans on the other worlds of the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's split. Some predate the shattering; others were created. The humans that existed before were always a model, which is why they're so similar to one another.