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    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Tom Goldthwait

    At any point in the Rosharan history, was it possible to form a Nahel bond without swearing oaths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Nahel bond" is the phrase used for a bond between a spren and a being from the Physical Realm. That is the definition of it. So the answer to that is yes; it's currently possible right now. It's how greatshells exist and grow to the size they do. It's how Ryshadium exist. Those are Nahel bonds also.

    What you're asking is if a sapient spren, a spren and a sapient individual, forming what we currently call the Radiant bond, which has access to much greater power; was that possible without swearing oaths? Yes and no. The formalization of the oaths and the Orders aligned with certain spren did take a little bit of time to come together. It was possible to form a Nahel bond before that, but it was not a Radiant bond accessing the levels of powers that are currently possible. So it's another one of these "yes and no" answers, if that makes any sense.

    You could find a Nahel bond... In fact, many would call the bond between the singers and the spren that give them forms Nahel bonds. It may not fit fully into the categorization that most people would use it for, but you could kinda call that the same thing.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Phillip

    Did true spren prior to the Recreance have many mannerisms and societies based on the singers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This gets into tricky sorts of things, because there's a long history to Roshar. So when you ask a question like this, the question becomes: when? There is a time when the spren were mostly focused on the singers. And there's a time before the humans arrived when they were fully focused on the singers. And so, the answer to that question is "yes", but I don't think that's what you're asking. I think you're asking: "During the years of the various Returns and things like that," and the answer then would be: "No, not in large quantities." What is happening here, with Rlain and Venli and the crowd, is all kind of new ground for both them and the singers. Both the spren and the singers.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Ramba Ral

    How would a person with a Cognitive Shadow, like Szeth or the Heralds, look to someone in the Cognitive Realm? Would they appear to be just another soul? Or different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is, are there differences about a Cognitive Shadow in the Cognitive Realm. The answer is yes, but the way they became a Cognitive Shadow is going to influence how they look. And there are other little things playing into that. You could generally tell this if you knew what you were looking for. So the answer to that is a yes, but a qualified yes.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Ben McSweeney

    Just to illustrate the full scale of the Atrium, I extended this up a bit. :)

    It makes the repetition more severe, but that's to be expected since all I did was copy-paste the tiers up to the seventh level. This still gives us a decent idea of the full height of the open space, though. And of course that space continues out along the avenue from the fifth tier down, with skylights in the ceilings and hanging towers at the end of each level, creating a sort of inverted staircase effect that I really ought to try and paint sometime (I find the scale a bit dizzying myself, though).

    Isaac and I briefly wondered whether there ought to be microclimate problems with an open area this big, rain falling from condensation collecting at the top, but we figure the Tower's automated environmental systems deal with that for the most part.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    wyntershine

    Was...was that a Patrick rothfuss reference in Wit’s story? The man in an inn whose name was stolen from him who tells stories?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It’s not. It is a reference to something in WoT fandom.

    Jiolino

    Hmm, which inn is this is WoT? I can't seem to relate to one.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It’s not from the Wheel of Time itself. It’s a meta fandom reference.

    Dusk_of_Oolacile

    As in a Dusty Wheel reference or what?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It's something more like that.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Live-Sherbert

    Will this [Skyward 3/4 planned release dates] likely affect the next Mistborn books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This shouldn't change the Mistborn book schedule, good question. What this will stop me from doing is another side project second half of next year--that slot will be Skyward 4 instead.

    miggins1610

    Is this just a generic ' side project' or did you have anything specific in mind, which is now for a later date?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generic side project. I generally allow myself to just pick whatever feels right at the moment, and so try not to plan those. Everything else is so planned, it's nice to be free to pick whatever I want.

    That said, one probably won't happen this year.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Kinolee

    Is Raboniel lying about the composition of the housing for the ruby in this dagger, or is she telling the truth? Is it really a silver-nickel alloy, or is is it something else (possibly nicrosil)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO this. Interesting conclusions and theories in that post above. Very interesting indeed.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    KiaraTurtle

    I recall Brandon saying he was going to make a children’s book for the girl who looked up anyone know what happened to that? I’d love to get one for dragon and the dog

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am considering it. I have this image in my mind of a final page, after "the end" is written, that depicts a large dragon trying to sleep in a dog's bed with a large chalkboard behind that says, "Steps to becoming a dog" on it.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Loose_Combination

    Is Lift trans? Some of the specific scenes and wording when Lift stole the food from Rock's son seemed to indicate that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was not intentional. I have intended Lift to be assigned female at birth. I wouldn't play so coy with something that would be so relevant to trans readers.

    alercah

    I think /u/Loose_Combination meant the other way around. She's experiencing body dysphoria very much in the way a transmaculine character would.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I apologize. I didn't read closely enough.

    So yes, there is something here. More her body disphoria is related to aging, and secondary sex characteristics are involved.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    ImKrypton

    If there was Any shard to be offered to Hoid, it would have been this one [Whimsy].

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is far too calculating and deliberate for Whimsy. It might seem his style on the surface, but a deep dive into who he is would show that it's very much not who he is.

    DeJeR

    Will we ever see the world or magic system for Whimsy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some day, hopefully.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    shim12

    Can you explain why he also calls himself Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted something that felt unique, but also would be simple. I wanted him to be able to use the name in multiple different books, and have it fit the linquistics. Usually, simple names are best for this. (Kim, for example, is a name you find in a variety of different countries with very different linguistics.)

    So it was both distinctive enough to stand out on the page, and not be boring like Jon or the like, but also wasn't long or too odd to fit in on different fantasy worlds.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Audrin

    Here's my theory, and I want to get it down here so when it turns out to be right I can say "See I called it!"

    ​Dalinar becomes the new Honor, Lift becomes the new Cultivation. Why? Cultivation touched three people, Dalinar, Taravangian and Lift. She planned for Taravangian to become the new Odium, so I figure the other two are the new Honor and her eventual successor Cultivation. At least this is Cultivation's plan, even if that's not exactly how it ends up happening.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO indeed.

    Skyward Three Updates ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward Three Update Two

    Hello! Brandon here again with another update on the third Skyward book, tentatively titled NOWHERE. This update might have slight spoilers for the first two books in the series. Find the previous update here.

    I've been working away on this book, slowly but surely, with progress every week. As I said in the first update, my outline for this book was quite solid, which let me jump right into the story with very little lost time. Which is good, as Dawnshard took a little more time from me than I'd wanted, so timing is a little tight on Nowhere.

    The good news is that the publisher (Delacorte, a Random House imprint) has agreed to publish the book Christmas 2021. This took some work on our part, and me agreeing to some pretty tight deadlines, as covid has caused delays all through the industry and the publisher wasn't excited by the prospect of me forcing a relatively early publication date. (Publishers would generally like an 12-18 moth lead time after book turn in to publication, and this one will have around ten months or so.)

    However, I think it's best to push a little to get the book done in time for next year--as Skyward fans have been required to wait while I did a Stormlight book in between. However, I've acknowledged to the publisher that if the book needs more than normal revisions (IE, something pops up in alpha/beta that takes work to fix) and I miss any deadlines, I'll agree to a spring 2022 release instead.

    So, how's that looking? Well, book is on target writing-wise. I'm at around 62k words as of last night, with a goal of having 90-100k done by January First. That should finish up the novel, save for the interludes, which I'm planning to do a little later. (For spoiler-ish reasons, I can't say why.)

    This series has a bit of a strange organization. I'd originally planned a trilogy, but as I worked on the outline for the second and third books, I felt that three books would be rushing things. I wanted to take this third book as a kind of focused character book, looking at Spensa in a rather new environment.

    Slight Spoilers: The reasons for this are twofold. First off, I really thought that by the end of Starsight she would need some time to work on a few things relating to her arc. Second off, I knew that coming off of a Stormlight book, I might need a book that was more of an isolated fun adventure--something very different from Stormlight, to help me have variety in my writing. It's working very well, though my big worry is that people will feel this book isn't as connected to the rest of the series (or the stakes aren't as high) because of it. I am doing what I can to mitigate this, as it really is the story I want to tell right now. Hopefully, you'll all agree that the little diversion in book three was worth the journey. Time will tell.

    Regardless, thank you for your patience, Skyward fans. The book IS coming. I hate taking a year off of the series like I did, but I don't think you'll have to suffer another of those. I anticipate the final book coming out Spring/summer 2022. (Theoretically, I'll be writing it second half of next year.)

    As always, I'll be turning replies to inbox off for this thread, in order to keep the inbox a little more organized. So I apologize in advance if I don't see to your comment/question!

    Happy Holidays. Next update should come in the early part of next year, as I am working on revisions. I'll let you know how it goes for hitting those deadlines! (Also, watch for the State of the Sanderson in little over a week to talk more about the projects I'm working on.)

    Brandon

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    delvin

    Is it a coincidence that Dalinar was touched by all three Rosharian Shards? Does it have any significance for the plot or is this something I should not ponder about? I think there is something big in store for Dalinar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is significant that Dalinar was touched by all three shards.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    delvin

    Is it possible that Honor's Shard is named Honor, because this is how the man who hold The Shard inerpreted it but not it's real name? In that case could The Shard change the name to something else that would better fit with personality of the new holder? As an example, could Honor become Unity if Dalinar were the holder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The name Honor is bigger than Tanavast, though it's not impossible for shards to be interpreted differently by those who hold them, and perhaps other names be applied.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    MoriWillow

    Is that tone and rhythm stuff universal to the Shards and Investiture elsewhere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The tones can be expanded to other Shards and Invested Arts around the cosmere.

    dIvorrap

    Are the Allomantic pulses a Seeker hears (like drum beats) related to the tones of Preservation, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they are.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    italia06823834

    Yeah a shared vision with Navani would be pretty helpful. I assume the mechanism messing with the Radiants in the Tower would also mess with bringing someone into the vision. But then again, the pure Honor Surge Adhesion still works for Kaladin and aren't the vision tied directly with Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would have messed with such a vision, yes.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    VioletSoda

    When Taravangian picks up Odium's Shard, how smart is he? Is he more intelligent or compassionate? And now that he has the Shard, is he still subject to his intelligence/compassion fluxuating every day, or is he locked into whatever he was at when he picked up the Shard? Does the intelligence/compassion trade off still affect the plot, is that the loophole or system cheat that will allow Cultivation, Dalinar, etc. to overcome Odium in the end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is indeed a huge RAFO--but you should expect me to be trying to answer these questions in the next book.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Jurble

    One I think might border even further on RAFO - in RoW, Dalinar accepts Kaladin's Fourth Ideal. I'm wondering, is it possible for Dalinar to... power-level a Radiant up to the Fifth Ideal by just accepting all their Oaths without regards to, you know, underlying fitness? Danger and safety issues aside. The Stormfather's comments on Ishar's powers being beyond the scope of what Honor allowed makes me assume he can.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, as you expected. But without Honor around, some of the things he could do are kind of up for grabs.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Jurble

    Are Bondsmith spren created as a matter of intent by Shards or are they 'natural' insofar as any spren made of enough Investiture would create a Bondsmith bond? That is, for example, the Everstorm is clearly a giant mass of Odium's Investiture, if someone were to bond its spren (which is presumably very young and insensate currently), would it form a Bondsmith bond as a matter of (super)natural laws or would Odium have to tweak something on a metaphysical level to allow a Bondsmith bond to form?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It wouldn't naturally become a Bondsmith spren, as it's not JUST the amount of Investiture that makes one. (For example, there's that odd spren in Iri that has a ton of Investiture, but didn't become a Radiant spren.) To become a Radiant spren requires some different things.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Is Wax a Cognitive Shadow, or did he really heal and come back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wax is not a Cognitive Shadow, good question. Wax did not every fully leave... the soul didn't leave the body. He didn't die, in other words. I should say that he didn't die and leave behind an imprint as a Cognitive Shadow. He could have been Invested in that moment enough to make one, so it's a good question; but he did not.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Any teases on upcoming LGBT characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I put some hints in Rhythm of War. I should be making those canon by Book Five for you. But it wasn't quite time. I actually tried writing them harder into Rhythm of War, and they felt like it stood out too much; it was unnatural. So go ahead and begin your theorizing. It's not gonna be a big surprise; I think that people will figure it out pretty easily. But I'm not intending it to be a big surprise; I'm just trying to let things like what happened with Jasnah in this book come out naturally as they fit the characters.

    No big surprises, but for those who would rather read about it in the book when it happens, then I will leave it to Book Five.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Argent

    Are Intention and Intent the same thing? And how does it work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I consider them the same thing; those are synonyms in cosmere terms.

    I added this aspect to a lot of the cosmere magics relating to Intent. Meaning you have to be wanting to do things to make a lot of the different magics in the cosmere work. Why is this? Well, there are narrative reasons, and there are writerly reasons (for a lot of the things I do).

    The narrative reasons are: because I did not want the cosmere magics... it's just safer, it's a lot safer for people. And it allows those who are experts in the magic and who actually work with it to become better. Knowing what you're doing, and knowing and learning; I want there to always be an aspect of learning and practice to a lot of the magic systems.

    A more narrative reason (that's kind of a narrative reason) is that there are a lot of things I want to do with the cosmere magic that, when they interact with the physics of the real world, I need some wiggle room. You see this with destructive interference in sounds in Rhythm of War. Where the way that it would work in the cosmere, thinking of something as destructive interference actually creates for it a feeling, an Identity, as destructive interference. Where, in reality, destructive interference, there's nothing inherent to it being destructive interference. It's the same sound, just played in a different way. But in the cosmere, we can add this element of Identity to it, through Intent, that it is specifically made to do something. Which just allows me more gears and levers to play with as a designer of a magic system to make the physics work. And, basically, a lot of these things are... Imagine Intent, narratively, as the converter between real-world physics and cosmere physics, the little adapter that you stick between them. By adding Intent, I have an adapter.

    That works really nicely; it's very writerly to try to explain this, but it works really nicely for smoothing the line between real-world physics and cosmere physics in a way that makes it much more fun for me to write, and much more consistent with both things, real physics and made-up physics.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Does Gallant's eyes being rainbow have any cosmere significance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is an indication of his spren bond; it's a way that I was getting across that. A lot of times, when you see kind of mother-of-pearl or a rainbow shimmer of luminescence, that is an indication of something happening with Investiture in the cosmere. You'll see it in White Sand being used; you see it periodically in manifestations of the Nahel bond, and that sort of thing.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Any other cameos we didn't know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are minor cameos to future important people in the cosmere that will eventually be made known. Those are all RAFOs.

    If you're talking about friend cameos, I do write a lot of people who are friends, or people in the company, in. I think we've talked about most of those on the streams, so I don't think there are any that you can't find out about very easily. My favorite one is still Dan Wells, who I periodically write into the Stormlight books as a guy who miraculously survives really dangerous encounters. Since his books are all about killing off his friends, I figured I'd let my friends survive, that that would be somehow thematically appropriate for Dan.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Is Hoid your cameo character in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. No, he is not. I'm actually not very much like Hoid. The thing I share with him is a love of stories. So the closest he will be to me is when he's talking about storytelling; that's the part of me that is in him. But personality-wise, we are very different. He is a main character in the cosmere; I don't consider him... he's done cameos in other books, but I don't consider him to be an author insert character.

    The closest I've come to an author insert is probably when I put my sword into the Wheel of Time, the one that was given to me by Wilson, Robert Jordan's very, very close cousin of his who was taking care of the armory that Robert Jordan had. I wrote my sword into it, like Robert Jordan wrote himself in as a ter'angreal in one of the books. And I could see myself doing a cameo for myself in that sort of manner. I probably wouldn't do a human cameo. Though I do that for a lot of my friends, is I write them into the books as cameos. So who knows.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Can some spren fully form and become human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No spren becomes human; they are a different race. And so, no, that is not a thing that happens.

    But there is some stuff in Rhythm of War along the lines I think you're asking, that I will not talk about because of spoilers.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Are Parshendi/human hybrids possible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are. In fact, both the Horneaters and the Herdazians are descendants of human/Parshendi, human/listener hybrids. And there's very, very small remnants of it; they are mostly human. But they have a bit of listener heritage, just like a lot of us have some Neanderthal heritage. They, perhaps, have a little bit more in their past.

    So, yes, this is possible.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Could there be a cure for diabetes in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there very much could be a cure for diabetes in the cosmere. Right now, if you become a Knight Radiant, that would be a solution. That's not a solution for everyone; that's a very narrow solution. But there would be other solutions.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Have you plotted Lost Metal yet? Is that still its name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lost Metal is still the name. I have my original one-page outline from my first plotting session, when I built Era Two to actually be an Era, rather than a little dalliance. I do not have the full multi-page outline, which I will probably be doing while my editor is editing Skyward Three early next year. And I'll get the Wax and Wayne Four book really into good shape with the outline, and then I'll go back and do the last revisions on Skyward Three, and then I'll start working on Wax and Wayne.

    I'm guessing that the Wax and Wayne book, I won't start it officially until, like, March or April, will be my guess. Just because we need to immediately go into revisions on Skyward Three if we're gonna have it out for next Christmastime. (Which my publisher was very hesitant about agreeing to. But I really like to have at least a release every year. I don't like to skip years, whenever I can make it happen. So they agreed to, instead of doing it the following spring, to do it next year around Christmastime.) Which means that I need to do the revisions really fast. So I am going to work on that.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    How's Skyward Three going?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going really well. I am loving writing Skyward Three. It is really fun to have a change of pace, to do a single viewpoint narrative in first person after working on the Stormlight Archive for so long. Epic fantasy is my first love. I really enjoy working on them. But by the time I'm done working with a Stormlight book, I need a change of pace, which is how my whole writing life is built around, giving me those changes of pace. And Skyward is the perfect break from Stormlight. It was designed that way. Just writing from Spensa's viewpoint is a blast, and it's fun. 

    And I designed Skyward Three to be a little bit more of a popcorn adventure than Skyward Two was (and then Skyward Four will be), just 'cause I knew I would need that after Stormlight Three. So if you're looking forward to a fun adventure fiction that does deal with Spensa's character arc in ways that are still meaningful, but most of the story is just me having fun, then look forward to Skyward Three.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    Any news about Alcatraz Six?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will have a publication date for Alcatraz Six announced in the State of the Sanderson. It looks like they are settling in at Tor to figure out how to do that. It's a little later than I wanted it to be, because they want to do reissues of the first books in paperback. (Which they've never actually, in the Tor editions, never been in paperbacks.) And so they're doing that, and Book Six will be released in conjunction with that.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Questioner

    What effects does a spren bond have on a Ryshadium? Sapience, or more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It increases their intelligence a great deal and gives them a little extra hardiness to survive in Roshar. And in exchange, the spren gets pulled into the Physical Realm, which they really like.

    Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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    Rogaen

    Any news on an Elantris sequel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No news. I want to do this between Mistborn Era 3 books, is do some Elantris. But I'm gonna have to see how things play out in writing those books. It depends on a lot of factors.

    I do plan to do them, still, just like I plan to do one Warbreaker sequel. But I have to balance these things, because I also want to do some new stuff in the cosmere, with new planets. Like, we need to do the Aethers. They're relevant to space-age cosmere, so I need to have at least a book or some novellas to get you used to that magic system, as well.