Recent entries

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11652 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there any greatshells in Roshar's oceans larger than the ones we've seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    So the Reshi Isles--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Reshi Isles, that's the biggest, and even with that I'm doing major fudging on the square-cube law. They've just spren-bonded, we'll talk about this. But even with the spren, those are a stretch. That's as big as it gets. They could exist in the oceans because the square-cube law doesn't apply the in same way, with buoyancy and things. But I think we don't need anything larger than islands.

    Questioner

    No Godzilla?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're bigger than some version of Godzilla.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11653 Copy

    Dragon13

    Are the Hemalurgic constructs in Shadows of Self as twisted as they are because... something was spiked out of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay the Hemalurgic...

    Dragon13

    Or something spiked into them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're talking about who?

    Dragon13

    The Hemalurgic constructs in the catacombs.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's something spiked into them.

    Dragon13

    Is there anything spiked out of them? Making them more feral?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, but-- Let's just say this it's a RAFO with the star of "Nobody knows how spike someone without killing them right now." So it's a "Most likely, just spikes in."

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11654 Copy

    Dragon13

    Does Hoid have any relations other than his parents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid have any-- like direct blood relatives?

    Dragon13

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay. In the book, when I wrote it before, he did not. Dragonsteel isn’t 100% canon anymore so that will possibly change, but he did not, and there are none in my mind right now, so he's an only child as I have right now. It's unlikely to change, but I do have to asterisk that one because I haven't written Dragonsteel yet... Oh no, he had a little brother! He did have a little brother. Even in the original.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11658 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    *reading a personalization request* Name a Shard not--

    FirstSelector

    Preservation... from the alternate [Well of Ascension] ending.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh! What do you mean by that?

    FirstSelector

    I thought that those four were-- the four mist-people--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh the four mist-people that's-- Oh... *sighs* I gotta RAFO that, right?

    FirstSelector

    Well it's not canon technically.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No it's not canon... Okay I just have to dig back deep... But there's stuff--

    FirstSelector

    Star.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a star, just remember the star.

    *writes*

    "Endowment was there*"

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11659 Copy

    Argent

    The essays in Arcanum, how trustworthy are they? Considering--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're pretty trustworthy, as much as you would trust a scholar nowadays who’s an expert in their field. Do know that they take place before Sixth of the Dusk occurs.

    Argent

    Before Sixth of the Dusk.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. These are contemporary with most of the books right now, not contemporary with all the stories in there.

    Argent

    Were they all written at the same time? Or across a--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, same time for a little thing she was doing about the worlds for people.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11662 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright we're going to read now. This is a short passage, but it is a flashback from Kaladin. Probably not what you expected. This book will mostly have Dalinar flashbacks, but Kaladin I plan to do multiple books where I sneak flashbacks in. They're short. Like I said they're only a few pages, but they fill in wholes in Kaladin's backstory. He doesn't get all of them in this book, but through the series you'll get glimpses of Kaladin's past. And this is one of them.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11663 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Movie deal? Let's preempt that one. Yes, we are doing Cosmere as a movie series. *audience cheers* What happened is-- The short version so I don't get in too much trouble. The short version. We started-- They came to me for The Emperor's Soul, like three or four years ago. And I was like, "Emperor's Soul? You realize this takes place all in one room?" *laughter* And it turns out they're a Chinese company and they had been looking for good fantasy properties, and action properties, or fantasy-- whatever, they just wanted properties where they could feature a Chinese actor because they feel there aren't enough Asian people given roles in Hollywood. And so the company's specific goal was to do this. They're one of the production companies for Iron Man 3, so they've done some things. And so they came to me "Emperor's Soul stars a Chinese woman and it's this awesome fantasy story. We might have to leave the room and go to different locations, and stuff like that, or field trips. But we want to try and adapt it." And so I said, "That sounds really cool, go for it." So they bought Emperor's Soul and then a few months later I got a phone call from them. And it was a guy in LA, one of their American correspondents they said "Start working on how we would adapt this. Pick a-- Work with a screenwriter and things like this." And he said "Alright let's get some backstory, it's related to Elantris I'll read that. Oh Elantris is related to Mistborn, I'll read that." *laughter* So he called me having just read all the works of the Cosmere across about a month and having spent about eight hours on the 17th Shard's Coppermind. *crowd cheers* So that's actually how the movie deal happened. He called and said "I need all the unpublished books."

    There are two unpublished Cosmere books I'll send out to people. They're not very good but you can write us through my website and we'll send them. Theoretically... So if you want'em-- It takes about a month or two to get back to you on them, but will send them to you. Because I don't think they're worth charging for, but-- One of them is White Sand, which is now a graphic novel, it's the prose version of that. So hopefully you can get the graphic novel and compare it to the prose. and the other one is Aether of Night. Which is really fun but it's like two books that never matched. Like how I have those ideas, right? So you read this book and it's like this mistaken identity, Shakespearean comedy, fantasy thing plus one of the Shards of Adonalsium trying to destroy the world. And it just doesn't mesh. But it's got cool magic. So if you want those you can write to us.

    So he got those, he read those, he's like "I need everything." and got all that and I'm like "What do you want?" and he's like "I'm trying to convince my boss to buy the whole Cosmere." And he did, he convinced his boss to buy the whole Cosmere. Except for Mistborn which was optioned to someone else. So when people read the thing and said "Why are they developing Way of Kings first?" Well technically they were developing The Emperor's Soul first. That came back as "This a really hard one to develop because it takes place in one room." And so they're like "We're going to fast-track Way of Kings." Way of Kings is also very hard to develop, but that's what they started on. And when Mistborn became a available this summer they bought that and that's when they did the big announcement. "We now have the whole Cosmere and they put Mistborn immediately into development for screenplay. So I bet the screenplays come in at about the same time, even though they had Way of Kings for about a year longer. Adapting that book-- We want feature film because there are so few places to do a tv show right. There's like two markets, maybe three. Amazon, Netflix, HBO. That's basically-- There's so few options, and there's way more movie studios and things like that. If it doesn't fit into a film we all agree that television is next. But if the screenwriters can get it into a film that we like we'd rather do-- we'd rather do that. Our chances of getting something good go up. There are lots of markets for television but most of them don't have a budget, right? So that's what we're looking at. Everything's looking well. They're great people. Multiples of them have read the entire Cosmere now. And when I get phone calls from them I get asked questions like this. *laughter* They're good people, they're doing a great job. I can't guarantee we'll make any films, right? It's Hollywood. It took twenty years to do a Spiderman film. It took like twenty-five to get an Ender's Game film, and that's practially written-- When you read the story it has "Oh this is a screenplay" all over it. So I can't promise that we'll get it done but we're going to give it the old college try.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11664 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there any specific choices that you've made in the story of the books that years later you go "Ah man, I wish I had done--"

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, what a great question. Are there any things that i've done in my books that I've regretted. Like I'm like "Oh I should have done this" or things, many years later. There's basically one for every book. Or two, or multiples. *laughter* One of the big ones is, at the end of Mistborn Vin draws on the mist... I'm trying to avoid spoilers on this... which is something I'd been planning to do in Book 2, and then I wrote Book 1 and did all my outlines and things and my editor got back to me on Book 1, "Could we add more pow, more punch to the end of this book?" and I'm like "Yeah we can do this thing I was going to do in Book 2". But then it didn't feel foreshadowed to me. After I put it in and released the book, I was looking through it again like "This doesn't have enough foreshadowing." And this is where I developed Sanderson's First Law. I was "I did something wrong in this book." It's lack of proper foreshadowing on how the magic works. So there's that. There's all sorts of things, like at the end of Words of Radiance I had a character kill another character in a situation where I don't think he should have. He should have just let the character die to the environment or something like that. And so I actually tweaked that between hardcover and paperback. I'm not sure if I should have done that. I wanted to try it out and see. But yeah, every book.

    Most of the time you just have to let it go, right? Elsa. You have to Elsa it. Because otherwise-- Was it da Vinci? "Good art is never finished it is only abandoned" right? Or just art, "Art is never finished only it is only abandoned". You've got to learn to just to let things go and let them be canon. And it's actually very-- I've found that readers are more forgiving of these things than the author thinks they will be. They're like "We like seeing early books, and the fact that you hadn't learned to do some of these things quite right yet. It's an aspect, a fun part of the writing". But yeah, basically every book that I wish. I wish, for instance, in Mistborn, that I had made Ham a woman. I was so focused on Strong. Female. Protagonist. that I forgot half the population are women. *laughter* And like years later I look back, I'm like "Ennnnhhhh... The whole team--" I do have Vin, who turned out really well, and Tindwyl in the next book. But in the first book you're like "Are there any women in this world? It's basically all dudes". So this happens to a lot of new writers, and if you guys are new writers, don't stress it too much. You're going to make mistakes. When they become obvious to you, just realize you're in a process. That's how you learn. You come up with goofy things like Sanderson's Laws to explain stupid stuff you've done to help yourself not do it in the future.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11665 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will also be doing another YA series to follow up The Reckoners, for those who like those. This one-- So here's the pitch. I'm actually pitching one of my books! It's great. *laughter*

    It's the story of what happens if you call the Justice League for help and they're all gone solving a bigger problem and you get the intern. *laughter* It's actually about a girl named Emma and she is the coffee girl for the Apocalypse Guard who are-- Like in the Reckoners universe there's people with super powers. The Apocalypse Guard is kind of bigger than that. In the Reckoners books they've discovered the multiverse, the different dimensions-- A very comic book thing. I'd already done something like the Cosmere, so I decided to go with the multiple dimensions theory in this one. Some of them are stable, they're real worlds and things. A lot of them are just shadows. But the stable ones, they find, are all undergoing some big disaster. Or most of them are. It's all kind-- Something is happening that's put all these worlds in crisis. And so they formed the Apocalypse Guard. There's people with superpowers but there's also lots of engineers and scientists. It's not like they sweep in and save the day in a couple minutes, they spend like eight months building this big plan to save these planets. And so they've got a plan, they're going to save a planet, and then something attacks them. Completely unexpectedly. Disaster happens. Emma the coffee girl gets transported to one of these worlds that's about to be destroyed. And she has no powers, they're all off fighting whatever attacked this thing, and she either has to get off this world or put in action their plan, that they've been working on for many months, by herself and one guy that is tech support. *laughter* Yeah, those are our two main characters. One is tech support, over the headphones, trying to talk her through putting the plan together. And she is the coffee girl. And they have to deal with this.

    The world is actually a cool one I came up with a few years ago that's surrounded in an envelope of water, all around it. Based on the idea of the Firmament. So there's land, air, and then water. And the water can't come crashing down, but it's where some old philosophers thought the Flood was. In ancient days, before the Flood, you would have looked up and seen air, the clouds, and then an envelope of water. The Firmament. And I've always thought that idea was really cool, so that's going to happen on the world. They've got to stop the flood that's going to destroy the planet. Or get off of it, or something.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11666 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight 3 will be next November. I had a meeting with the Tor people, and that's what we're planning. Tentatively [Stormlight] 3 next year, Rithmatist sequel, the following year, Wax & Wayne the following year, and then the next Stormlight. That is our plan. Hopefully new Stormlight can come a little faster than that, but what I've found is the outlines for Stormlight books take like a year to build, even though like-- When I do this outline process I do like the first book and then I outline each one with a couple pages? And then it takes forever to build this outline because I write Stormlight books as a trilogy, each novel is a trilogy, that I then interweave and release as one volume. And then there's a short story collection in there too, with the interludes and things. So it's a complex process. So I'm hoping, but I'm not going to promise them faster than one every three years, I just can't. They're too big and the way my process works, once I finish something I need to leave that alone for a while and try something else. And originally I'm like "Every 18 months, I can do that!" I can't do that. It's the travel and everything and whatnot. So we're going to do that. So we're going to do Stormlight, Rithmatist, Wax & Wayne-- last Wax & Wayne book, and then Stormlight-- the next Stormlight. That is our plan right now. I will also be doing another YA series to follow-up The Reckoners, for those who like those.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11667 Copy

    Questioner

    Any new Alcatraz books coming up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any new Alcatraz books coming up? So, for those who haven't read my really goofy middle-grade series, if you like it in this speech when I've been goofy, that's what's in-- what those books are basically all. *laughter* It's basically Professor Sanderson riffing for a bunch of pages. I write them as escapes from things in the Cosmere which are-- I take very seriously, right? They-- To the point that I try not to make them self-important but they got to take themselves seriously. Even if the characters can laugh at situations, the situation itself must not be ridiculous. And so to blow off steam I write these books about people who have really dumb magic talents. Like "arriving late to appointments" is a superpower. Which I chose because I do it all the time.

    And I had this evil plan with the Alcatraz books. That I was going to tell everyone it was a five book series. And then end the fifth book on a huge, huge down note, and then be like "It's the end!" Except have in the back-- It was supposed to be a card, a little, printed card, but we realized that would get lost when you check it out from libraries and things. So we just made it a folded-up page [marked] "Don't read it first". There's a character who says "Okay since the main character, this Alcatraz, is not going to write the last book and show that he's actually a hero, I will write it." So we're going to change character voices, dramatically, to someone else and write one last book, that is not a big downer.

    This is because when I wrote the first book-- You know how I did that outline thing I talked about? I wrote the first book of Alcatraz and it was this whole-- this story about this hero who claims he's not a hero, he's actually a big failure and he's writing an expose on himself to get people to stop worshipping him for all the cool things he supposedly did. And it's very ridiculous and funny, but I wrote this book and I'm like "Okay great. Either we have to have the ending everyone's expecting, which is 'He's really not that bad a guy, he's just been playing with you the whole time.' which feels like too cheap and easy or it has to be a really downer of an ending like he promised." The first paragraph starts with him about to be sacrificed. And that scene is on the cover of the fifth book, 'cause it's a flashback when he talks about it. So I came up with this dual-nature. The editors were kind of baffled by it, "We tell them it's a five book series but then we have one more book. So we can have both, a real downer of an ending and not a real downer of an ending?" And so the sixth book I will write some time this year.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11668 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned RPGs, what's your favorite RPG?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Final Fantasy X *audience cheers* I love that one. Like a lot of the Final Fantasies didn't make any sense, and it's okay that they don't make any sense, but that one actually really made sense to me and it really worked. I like that they have-- Like it has a character who's not dark and broody? *laughter* For the first time ever? It's kind of a jock. He's just-- He's just a happy-go-lucky jock who gets caught up in saving the world and it was such a fresh-- Fresh of breath air? It was such a fresh of breath air. *laughter* But yeah. Pen and paper, I grew up playing the Palladium. A lot of Palladium, so TMNT was my introduction to pen and paper RPGs.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11669 Copy

    Questioner

    A lot of the magical methods you create in your novels carry with it the birth of nobility.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And that reminds me a lot of the magic martial arts *audio unclear* Aside from the big influence of Dragonsbane and other novels on your fantasy novels have you drawn any other inspirations--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah.

    Questioner

    --spiritually from Asian, Korean or Chinese *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The question is, have I drawn any inspirations from Eastern literature. Specifically he asked for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. *speaks Korean* I lived in Korea for two years and I speak Korean. Mormon missionary, right? So I speak Korean, I actually do have a Korean minor. And even before that, Hong Kong kung-fu movies. OH YEAH. *laughter* I love Hong Kong movies particularly-- You know the modern stuff is really beautiful, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero or House of Flying Daggers and stuff like that, but even the old stuff, it's a little bit silly. Yeah, I just ate that stuff up. Jackie Chan. You can't go wrong with Jackie Chan, right? But even the stuff that's just a little ridiculous I love. It's just-- It's cool. There's something about it. So there's that. You're also going to find echoes of RPGs I've played, obviously. I mean I've worked hard because I don't want my books to feel like a video game. But I grew up playing video games, right? That's one of my major influences. Steelheart's going to feel like a comic book, right? And some of my books are going to feel like that. It's a part of who I am, it's part of my geek upbringing, right? So yeah, definitely. There's a lot of-- now that I have become a writer through my twenties there's a lot of different influences. The Alethi are based slightly on the Mongolians specifically-- But there's no horses, which let's me divorce it a little bit. People always expect Mongolians to be a nomadic horse people but you just don't have enough horses. If you guys have studied Subutai, if you know him, a Mongolian general, I based Dalinar a little bit on Subutai. But then you are mixing in Hebrew influences and Arab influences. That's kind of my mash-up that's creating the Alethi. And so yeah,you are going to find all kinds of weird things. Art of War is of course a big influence on how I approach warfare and things. So yes, yes, it's there.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11670 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I can turn this into a general question because it's very-- people find it very interesting. How do I plot a series?

    What I usually do is I have independent ideas that are spinning around in my head and they start sticking together. An idea by itself, such as "Hey what if the hero prophesied to save the world failed?" that's a cool seed but it's not a story yet. But when you smash that into "Gang of thieves want to pull off a heist. They're gunna rob the dark lord" those two ideas make something cooler. The sum of the parts, for me, is greater than the individual pieces. And ideas come from this, you start with random characters, and plot ideas, and setting ideas, and magic-- Allomancy was developed for a separate book, that I wrote and was terrible, and then it laid in my notes file until I started needing a magic system a bunch of thieves could use that could complement them and each thief could have a different power. And I pulled Allomancy and redesigned it to go in this book. All of these thing happen, often independently.

    I then build an outline. I'm an outliner. I build an outline. I then do character sketches, which are short in-viewpoint or first-person dialogue/viewpoint things of the character just living their life. It doesn't go into the book. Usually. But it gives me a feel for who the character is, because it's very hard to outline a character. If you do then they start to feel rigid. And so I do this-- try to discover the character, and then I go back and rebuild my outline, then I write my book. And then I outline the next books in the series. Usually.

    So Reckoners is a good example of this. I built the first book, wrote the whole book, had no ideas for sequels when I wrote the first book. Then once it was done I sat down with my team, they read it, and I said "Alright, here's the feel I want for this. We-- For instance I want illusionist powers that are very different from what Shallan does. I want to have this and this and this. Let's design sequels, and then I'll go back and re-write the first one to match, with the new outline for the sequels. I release the first book and then I write the sequels." That is kind of the basic process for designing a story for me.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11671 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you come up with Prof's powers *audio obscured* did you come up with them prior to setting up the context to the story or after--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That one was prior. That's the only power for the entire series that I came up with before, and it's part of why I wanted to write it. In fact there is a certain scene, with the ceiling opening up and someone landing and being very superhero-ish for a little bit of time. That was the first scene I came up with for that book after-- even before the prologue I think. So yeah-- Every other thing I did in that I developed.

    ...Those powers were the thing I wanted most in that book. The second thing was the idea in the prologue-- If you haven't read this book there's a supervillian doing awful things and then a superman-analogue floats down from the ceiling and then says, basically, "Hey good job, wanna join my team?" That's the scene I wanted to kick off the book, and it's this idea that there are no heroes. There are only villians. And so what do you do if you have to bring down an evil superbeing and you have no powers yourself.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11673 Copy

    Argent

    There's a scene in... Way of Kings, where Syl appears full-sized, like a human. It’s the only time she does that, why is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a very special moment. And there’s was some matters of Connection going on. In the Cognitive Realm she's full-sized, when she's there, and so this is echoing that. So that when, later on, if you were to see her in Shadesmar, and if you're like "Oh she's human sized!" Well--

    Argent

    That's how she would appear.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you should know.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11674 Copy

    Argent

    You mention... No you didn't mention Arthur Clarke. The guy with the "Any sufficiently advanced technology is distinguishable from magic" ...In, at least, one of the Mistborn trilogies you are probably going to have to deal with the distinction between magic and technology. So can you talk a little about how you are going to address that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So yeah, addressing the-- This is a really good question, thank you. So Clarke's Law says that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Right? And this is kind of a science fiction truism that we use in writing. It's a really cool concept when you think about it. But he asks "Well we're pushing the Mistborn trilogy more and more towards science fiction--"

    For those who don't know, I pitched the Mistborn trilogy to my editor, long ago--this was 2003 when I pitched it to him-- I pitched it as a trilogy of trilogies. An epic fantasy trilogy that then after the epic fantasy trilogy we would jump hundreds of years and do an urban fantasy trilogy in a more modern setting, where all of the events of the epic fantasy trilogy became the foundation of religion and superstition and even culture to a modern society. What if our heritage were something like The Lord of the Rings? And then I was going to write a science fiction trilogy where... magic became the means by which space travel is possible. So there is, built-in to Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy, FTL-capability. *audience mutters* *nervously* It's not there yet don't worry. *laughter*

    Argent

    Somebody found the rabbit-hole.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's all RAFO's. I'm not answering any of that.

    So I did Alloy-era, by the way, as a stop-gap between the epic fantasy and the modern because I wanted something smaller-- The modern trilogy is going to be very thick books, and I wanted something to balance Stormlight while I was doing the first five Stormlight...

    So he's asking how I'm going to deal with this whole collision... between science and magic. So there's a-- I don't know if corollary is the right term. Probably not, but there's a version of Clarke's Law which you inverse. And you say "Any sufficiently understood magic is indistinguishable from science". In the cosmere the magic is science. What I would call-- say is science fantasy because we've added to the Laws of Thermodynamics. We have this other thing called Investiture, which is what powers all the magic. Which is the souls of the things they call gods, their substance. And you can change matter or energy into Investiture and back. And so we've got a third circle in the old Laws of Thermodynamics and so because of that it's science fantasy. I would still call this fantasy because science fiction is where they go "We're going to take the Laws of Thermodynamics and try to explain what we can do using them" I'm like "No, we're just going to add to them, right?" But yeah that's where we're going. There will be a collision of that but it's really going to be-- To them it's indistinguishable, once you get far enough along, that it really is science.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11675 Copy

    Questioner

    Does the Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith, no, good question. Oh! I see what you guys are getting at. Who's the third Bondsmith... So, uhh, this is a RAFO. I will eventually start talking about the third Bondsmith. I'm gonna RAFO all questions about it for a while though. So just warning you guys.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11676 Copy

    FirstSelector

    So if I'm a Surgebinder, I have my own Cognitive entity with me. Can I go off-world with that and will everything continue to work in exactly the same way? Because we've seen Cognitive entities that don't--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So taking a Cognitive entity off-world is hard. So, Surgebinding, if you can find out how to make it happen, remember, the Investiture is keyed to Connection. This is why Kelsier is-- Oh, sorry, spoilers! When a certain somebody *laughter* had trouble getting off Scadrial, because he basically was a spren by that point so--*laughter* ...So, yeah Surgebinding would work off planet, but you'd have to get the spren off-planet first. That's hard to do. Cosmere-wide it's not hard hard but it is-- You'd have to know some stuff. You could learn how.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #11677 Copy

    Questioner

    So we know that you can't just have someone-- If someone were to do something similar to Hoid, he can't just pop and go "Oh look, I can now do Allomancy or I can now do Surgebinding". What about Breath? If someone could somebody get Breath-- Maybe not *audio obscured* Could they still get the benefits of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, good question... Yes you can, actually. Breath is-- Once it is given to you, it is being keyed to you. Your Identity. So that transfer makes it yours to use however you want.

    Questioner

    So you could Awaken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could Awaken. If you-- If you were to somehow make it there, you would be able to Awaken. It's the easiest of magic systems to get the magic from, and then to manipulate. Because it has keyed into it Identity.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you can take Breath onto another world. In fact, you've seen characters do this.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would work, yes.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it would work the same way.

    The only magic that is location-dependent--  The ones who aren't interested in this, just hum to yourself, okay? *laughter* You don't need to know any of this stuff to enjoy the books, okay? I write them so that you could just-- each series can be read independently, and enjoyed. There is behind the scenes stuff, and if you want to dig, it goes pretty deep.

    So on Sel, we have AonDor. AonDor is based on the fact that the Dor, which is an amalgamation of Dominion and Devotion, has been pressed together and stuffed into the Cognitive Realm by Odium who didn't want it to gain sentience, as Investiture will do if it is left alone. It will either seek someone to be its Vessel or it will gain sentience. He pressed it in there; he pressed it together, which creates the violent reaction, because those two intents are opposed. And that is the foundation of the magic. Because it's stuck in the Cognitive Realm rather than the Spiritual Realm (the Spiritual Realm is location-independent; Cognitive Realm is location-dependent), it makes the magic on Sel only work in close proximity to what is keyed through there to the location they're keyed to. This has to do with Identity and Connection. Mostly Connection. So that means you can't do AonDor on another planet, but you can do other magics works anywhere, because they're drawing the magics specifically through either the place, or they're end-neutral, like Breath is, and you don't need any extra power.

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    Questioner

    I want to know how Hoid travels between worlds. Or, if you're not going to tell me right now, will we ever find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has travelled between the worlds by getting in one Shardpool in Shadesmar and coming out a different one. *pause* Okay? So that is one method he has used to travel between the worlds. The worlds are connected through Shadesmar. Um, things that people don't think about as much reflect very minorly in Shadesmar, so when you-- all the-- most of the space between planets is cut out, and there's some weird, twisted geography going on there. So that's basically how he does it, Cognitive Realm.

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    life_b4_death

    I would love to know how Mr. Sanderson comes up with such wonderful names.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use a bunch of different methods. Some involve creating a language, or parts of it, and building names out of that. Usually, though, I'm looking in those for something with the right sounds. I'll usually "audition" a name for a while by trying it in a book and seeing how I like it.

    I also look for certain linguistic markers that can signify a character's country of origin. Symmetrical names for some people from Alethkar, for example.

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    Phantine

    Is there any noble house in Elendel that plays up their relationship to Kelsier and Marsh?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They tend to leave Kelsier/Marsh alone and focus on the other crew members. Getting authority from Kelsier is kind of presumed, a little like the Catholic church using Peter as its line of authority, rather than Christ--because the Christ part is assumed.

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    havoc_mayhem

    Would an Alethi be turned on by the sight of a woman's right hand reflected in a mirror? I wonder if [Brandon] would care to elaborate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Attraction is a mental thing that provokes a physiological response. So I guess it's going to depend on the person.

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    faragorn

    Hey Brandon, you mentioned you like A Fire Upon the Deep. So if we could get an artifact, what would happen to a resident Shard if we could create a local Slow Zone? Or better yet, an Unthinking Deeps (although that might be bad for the mortals nearby).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. You know, I'd never considered this? I guess it depends. I'd say these zones change Cognitive Realm issues--so wouldn't stop the Shards themselves, as they exist in a place of perfect thought and speed. (Spiritual Realm.) It might change how things get between Spiritual and Physical, though.

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    gingermancer

    How are the main characters like with regards to homosexuality? I imagine the likes of Sazed wouldn't care, but it'd be interesting to see how much of a deviant the characters we've come to know are, when compared to their world's societies.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Again, you're going to see a wide variety of attitudes and impressions here. Some are very deviant from society, while others are good expressions of it.

    One thing I do downplay in the books is how often characters are terribly biased. Basically all the protagonists in the Stormlight books are, for example, HORRIBLE racists. I bring it up now and then to make sure the text, at least, knows this fact--but it's also something that, if I did with a dose more realism, would be very offputting. So I try to walk a line where it's an ugly thing that rears its head now and then, but it is still possible to like the characters, acknowledging they are products of a very different society from our own.

    Views on homosexuality are the same. You'll see, for instance, that Sigzil has a problem with Drehy in Bridge Four. Similarly, some characters have more progressive views than their society, as I think would be realistic for the types of people they are. So you don't see as much from the text as there might otherwise be. Ranette's relationship is not quite as accepted in Scadrian society as Wax and Marasi's viewpoints would lead you to believe, for example.

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    TimAnEnchanter

    How is homosexuality regarded across the cosmere?

    I know one member of Bridge 4, though I forget who, is gay, but I'm asking more in the sense of legality, societal view, etc.

    Barleyjuicer

    It would probably depend on the planet and culture involved. Roshar has many varied cultures and probably has multiple different acceptance levels. Scadrial is much more progressive and really only has two cultures so it's more likely that most if not all of the world accepts it. Maybe this is something you could ask [Brandon] at a signing or during an AMA.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this varies widely based on the planet, and even culture, TimAnEnchanter.

    Roshar, for instance, has a lot of different perspectives on homosexuality. In Iri, the more religious segment (who believe that life is about new experiences) would approve, while the more rigid modern, secular society has outlawed it.

    In Azir, you'd find something like existed in middle-ages India. (Some societies there had this curious system where a gay man would be given "social reassignment" so that he was treated like a woman, dressed like one, and had relations with men--even if he wasn't actually transsexual.)

    Vorin culture is concerned with oaths. Extra-marital sexuality is strictly forbidden, but homosexuality is regarded the same by most as heterosexual relationships. If the proper oaths are spoken, then the Almighty approves. (This usually means marriage, but there are certain official forms of other relationships that would allow it also.)

    There are actually a couple of scenes in Book Three talking about it, for those who are interested, as the family and romantic relationships of the bridgemen are becoming a larger part of the story. (Still a small part, I should note, for space limitations.)

    On Scadrial, it's going to fall between Pathian lines (each individual decides for themselves) and Survivorist lines (you follow church hierarchy, which forbids it.)

    Don't even get me started on Bavadin's religions.

    fbstj

    What reasons do Survivorists use to rationalize heterosexuality? Thank you so much for these tidbits it's really interesting to hear more about this stuff from you. It would be great to see some of this canonized, maybe in an interlude, or random background discussion somewhere. Thank you again for your books! Also very interested in hearing why secular Iriali have decided to 'regress' on that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Survivorism calls it unnatural, and not conducive to the survival of the species. More than that, though, Survivorism has become very conservative and slow to change. What early thinkers had to say is regarded very strictly in the religion. Back during the early days of the new era, repopulating the basin was of prime concern, and this became a big part of what led to moral codes in Survivorism.

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    Yata

    Hi, the community has a [question], we have two WoBs: Shardblades can cut aluminum and Shardblades can't cut it. Which one is true?

    Brandon Sanderson (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3)

    Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.

    I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.

    Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now.

    Peter Ahlstrom (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3)

    Oh, I think aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword...

    ...would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need...

    ...to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.

    Yata

    For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,etc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    RAFO

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    Zachery Farner

    I tweeted Brandon and Peter last week about you writing a cosmere novel. Can you give an idea about what it would be about?

    Isaac Stewart (Part 1/Part 2)

    Hi! The book is already plotted, though it will have major changes before writing begins. Let me ask Brandon what I can say.

    FYI, this might never happen. Even after the writing, the book will have to be very good before we'd ever release it.

    Zachery Farner

    Alright! Well we love your work and I for one can't wait to see more of it, whether it be drawn or otherwise!

    Isaac Stewart

    Thank you! I've thought some on this, and I think we're too early on to release details. When there is news to share, I will!

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    Valhalla (paraphrased)

    Did Odium Splinter all the Shards for the same reason?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No. Some Shards he Splintered because he feared the Shard itself, and some Shards he targeted because he feared the Vessel. He was working his way down his list in order of the Shards and Vessels he felt would be most dangerous to his plans until he got stuck on Roshar.

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    Valhalla (paraphrased)

    Other than Vessels, how many beings have lived from before the Shattering until the time of The Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    More than you would think. Longevity is not hard to come by in the cosmere. That much longevity would be a little uncommon. But certain species are particularly long lived, and certain magic systems enable longevity.

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    Kogiopsis

    Finally, what point, usually, is society at when a Desolation comes? Because Taln was prepared to introduce them to bronze...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kogiopsis

    ...and Alethi society is so far beyond that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Historically a lot of the-- What would happen with the Desolations would destroy all civilization and then the Heralds would leave, and leave people basically in the Stone Age again. And they came back numerous times and found humankind still in the Stone Age, after having left. And so they are prepared-- Sometimes they would come back and they would already be in the Bronze Age or-- and things like that and get them beyond that but frequently they had to be ready, the Heralds learned they had to be ready to try and bring humankind forward several thousand years worth of technology in a year.