Recent entries

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    Question

    If two Elantrians had a baby, would he be an Elantrian too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a good question. The answer is no, actually. There's actually a character in the books who's an Elantrian who did become an Elantrian whose parents were connected to Elantris, but that was seen as something that didn't always happen.

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    Question

    How many different non-human immortals are there on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, very specific. Most of the Aimians count. They're both small races, but there are enough of them that there are dozens of each that count as immortal, and they're non-human. The two living Shards, I would say count as non-human immortals, and most spren count as non-human immortals. So there's a ton.

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    Question

    Has anyone approached you about making a movie?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A few people are laughing because we did sell rights to the entire cosmere this summer.

    *cheers*

    Some people are like terrified by that news. So what happened is there is a company that optioned the Emperor's Soul, just itself. They really liked it. They're like, "We're gonna do Emperor's Soul." They're a Chinese company, DMG. Iron Man 3 was one of their things that they helped produce and stuff like that. So they've done some cool stuff. And I'm like, "Sure, I'll sell Emperor's Soul." And then they read Emperor's Soul and they're like, "Huh, this is connected to Elantris," so they read Elantris. And then they started reading and then they dove into the cosmere. And I still remember when I called one of the people from DMG to see how things are going and he was  just like, "I just started reading the cosmere and I just spent 20 hours on the fan websites and things." And so they came back to me a few months later and said, "Has anyone optioned the cosmere?" And I'm like well, "Mistborn is under rights to someone but the rest of the rights are available." So they started negotiations to buy the entire cosmere. Then when Mistborn lapsed from the people who had that, they bought that too, to fold them all in, and then they made the announcement, "we have the cosmere".

    People were very confused when they saw, the "we have the cosmere," because they were working on The Way of Kings and Emperors Soul but they didn't have Mistborn, which is the one that makes the most sense to do. They immediately put that into production but they're further along on Way of Kings and Emperor's Soul.

    I sold to them because they seemed to get it. Anything in Hollywood is a gamble, I can't promise this will even happen, but they get it. They understand the cosmere, they're behind this, they want to do these films the right way. So I am very excited and eager and I will keep you guys up to date as we know more.

    Though as a side note, every time something really cool happens to me, Pat Rothfuss, who is a good friend, kicks down the door, saunters in, and says, "Hey Sanderson, guess what? Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote Hamilton, is writing The Name of the Wind. How's that sound?" So, I'm like, "Oh Pat, oh every time..." If you haven't heard that, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton guy, is attached to Name of the Wind. So that looks like it's going very well also. I'm actually very eager. I think it's a really good match. It's just funny to me, I make my announcement then and Pat's like, "Oh by the way, better announcement!"

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    Question

    So, because we have Worldhoppers like Hoid, Khriss, and Nazh, and I think that I've heard that era 4 will be more science fiction.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, era 4 is science fiction.

    Question

    So, will we ever have a chance to see characters from one world in the cosmere go to another world in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there's a couple of things that I need to explain to you guys in this one. First is that Mistborn, I pitched to my editor, way at the beginning, as a series where a fantasy world slowly became a science fiction world. So we would pass through a modern era, where things are like our world, and then we pass on to a science fiction era, because I'd never seen that done before. I'd never seen someone take epic fantasy and then build from the events in the epic fantasy, like religions and philosophies, and then tell another story set in a more modern and contemporary world. And then in the science fiction one, the magic will become the means by which space travel is possible. So we're in the middle of that. Wax and Wayne is an interim, I'm calling it era 2. There's an era 3 which is 1980s, cold war, spy thriller Mistborn. Then there is an era four, which is science fiction, unless I slip in a cyberpunk, near-future science fiction, which I might do. So there might be five, we'll see. I've warned people of that. The last Mistborn series, whichever era it ends up being, is the last thing of the cosmere chronologically. So, it's a long ways off. All the other series have to finish before I can do that.

    The other thing that people have to understand is that all of these worlds are connected in something we call the cosmere. It is mostly, right now, just easter eggs. It's important to me that people don't go, "I can't read Mistborn until I've read Elantris," or whatever. No, each series is about that series. There's easter eggs connecting them but you don't need to know it. It's just fun to find out; you can find it all out after the fact.

    Are we going to see people traveling between the planets? Yes, you will see space travel between the planets. You have seen it already. One of the stories in the anthology comes from that era, but it's on a planet that doesn't yet have space travel. Sixth of the Dusk takes place chronologically near-end of the cosmere sequence. So yes, you have seen it, and you will see more of it. In Sixth of the Dusk, there are ones they call the Ones Above who have visited and these are people from a planet that you have seen, I won't tell you who, who are visiting.

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    Question (paraphrased)

    What is Brandon going to take his break from this to do?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Fortunately, I have planned it out and what I'm going to do is the Apocalypse Guard. I have to do something new. So I'll probably do Apocalypse Guard and then a sequel to something, either the Rithmatist or to Wax and Wayne will be would I do after. Those are both going to happen pretty soon. Apocalypse Guard is my follow-up to Steelheart, so thank you for the opportunity to pitch this.

    So my one sentence pitch on this is, you're having a disaster, you call the justice leage and they're all gone taking care of something more important but you get the intern, who has no powers but she does her best anyway. In the Steelheart universe, people have discovered alternate versions of Earth and what they find is that most of these alternate versions of Earth are undergoing some sort of disaster. Something has happened in the timeline of the multiverse that is causing different varieties of disasters to occur that are planet-ending. So the Apocalypse Guard is formed of a bunch of engineers, scientists, and people with extraordinary powers whose job it is to save the planets. They take like eight months in planning, it's not like they just show up, it's like we put all of our effort into saving planets. Well, a disaster befalls the Apocalypse Guard, something or someone attacks them, and the coffee girl intern gets teleported to one of these worlds they were planning to save with no resources and three weeks until the world is destroyed. And everybody else is too busy dealing with the attack on them. It's her story on a planet that is doomed, trying to figure out either how to get off or maybe how to put the plan into motion that they had come up with. So there you are, coffee girl saves the world.

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    Question

    We've had great topics and discussions about this. If all of your characters were in a death match, who would win?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Honest truth is Kelsier. This is because of most of the characters, Kelsier is the one that is ruthless enough to get what he wants. Others would not be as ruthless. Kelsier as a character is very interesting to me. My kind of pitch on him to myself was he would be the villain in most stories. Kelsier in a lot of stories being told, in a lot of books that I would write, he's the villain but in this world, at this time, it is what the world needs and he is the hero. That's why I say Kelsier.

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    Question

    One of my favorite moments in The Way of Kings is when Dalinar is having the vision of the Knights Radiant and they're descending from the sky and going into battle. I'd like to know the origin of that scene in your head.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to provide a contrast. This scene is one I came up with in outlining, it's not one of those scenes that I hang everything on. Most of what you do as a writer, you discover as you do, even if you're an outliner like me. And this was a scene where I'm like, I need something to show the contrast between the world that Dalinar is seeing and the world he is living. And that scene was kind of the metaphorical starfall, that felt like it would express the drama of the contrast, the dark night with the monsters and the bright Radiants from the sky.

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    Questioner

    With the strength of The Stormlight Archives, the strength of the Mistborn series and Alcatraz, I find that Legion often gets overlooked, and it's a-- such a fantastic collection. And they just combined the two novellas into one actual novel, which is great cause the first novella ended and it's like, "Well that's like halfway through a book. Still going." Is there gonna be any continuation--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I will write a third Legion story. The plan is to write that next year and to release a collection of all my non-cosmere stories. This year I released a collection of all my cosmere stories. So the plan is to do a collection of non and to write the third and final of the Legion stories. Chances are good I will have to rebrand them, because of the Legion TV show. Not that I couldn't release it, because they're different enough. But, like, when I first wrote Legion-- For those who don't know, Legion is about a guy who has maybe schizophrenia, except all the hallucinations help him. And they're very very helpful, useful people. And it's like-- they're like detective science fiction stories. And when I first wrote it, everybody in Hollywood wanted it. And then the project dried up like that. And it was right the moment that Marvel announced they were doing their Legion. So I'll probably rebrand them as just "The Stephen Leeds Stories", and do the third one. So that's the plan right now.

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    Questioner

    He would like to know what is your most favorite book that you have written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most favorite book that I have written? I can't choose. Cause they're all like my children, right? I can't tell you who my favorite child is. In the same way, I can't tell you what my favorite book is, that I've written. I can say that I'm probably most proud of, either The Way of Kings or the last of The Wheel of Time. But some books are more fun, right? Some books are more fun. Some books are more satisfying. Some books are more frustrating. The most frustrating book I've ever written was probably the third Mistborn novel. And so, it's different for-- each book has their own *inaudible*. Good question.

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    Questioner

    About when will the sixth book of Alcatraz--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sixth book of Alactraz draft? My goal is to write it this year. For those who don't know of Alcatraz, I did something really mean. And I actually did this-- I pitched this to my editor when I first sold the series. I planned a six book series, but I told everyone it was five books. And we played along the whole time, and then ended the fifth book on a major downer cliffhanger. And the only way you know is at the end there-- you like fold over like an extra page in the back with a note from one of the other characters. *audio skips* "...and he refuses to continue writing the series, I will have to finish it myself." So told from her viewpoint in the last book, because he refuses to write the last book. So yeah, we're working on that. One of the-- I'm working on the outline and writing the little blurbs at the beginning of each chapter. One of the things I'm trying to decide is, do I-- so that it has a completely different feel-- do I want to go to one of my friends and, like you know, swap with them and have them write my book for me and I write their book for them, or something like that. So that this book has a completely different tone, or something like that. That's the big question I'm asking myself right now.

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    Questioner

    In Way of Kings, one of the interludes we see the Purelake--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    --and I've thought a lot about the fish. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    He mentions that one of them has healing effects and potentially that's--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The lore of the area states that fish have healing-- some of them--

    Questioner

    I was wondering of your thoughts. Is that Investiture in the fish or just local superstition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well that is the question of the scene, so that's also a RAFO. I will say that there is still superstition, Roshar in particular. And it doesn't necessarily mean that everything they say is magic is. But there is a good chance.

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    Questioner

    I was wondering what made you so interested in the super rules-based magic system. Because you're probably one of the best at that, and in every different universe you manage to create a complete unique set of rules-based magic and they're all completely unique.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's a panel on magic tomorrow, so I hope I don't repeat myself too much. But the whole rule-based magic thing came about mostly because I was looking for holes in the market, right? Like, things people weren't doing that I wish they were doing. I often say to new writers, "Find the books that nobody's writing, that you want to read, and try to write those." That sounds-- I mean, that's just very vague. I don't know how useful that is, but that's kind of what I was doing.

    But at the same time I like-- there are lots of soft magic systems I like. Uprooted which came out a couple years ago. It's a really great book with a very soft magic system. So it's not like I feel like magic has to be done this way. But I found something I was good at, that I didn't think people were doing enough of, that I felt like people would want to read, and so that kind of became my thing even before I published. Like when I was writing my books only for my fri-- I wrote thirteen before I sold one, if you guys know about that-- And so when I was writing those books it was, "What weird setting is Brandon going to do?" Because fantasy through the 80s and 90s-- I mean, there's lots of great writers. I love them. But I felt like they were really safe with their settings, and they didn't-- they explored other directions really well. But it-- we had a lot of these kind of faux-Medieval, elemental-base magic systems, and cultures that were very "England, but not England." And I'm like, "Well, fantasy should be the most imaginative genre. Where can we push it? Where-- what different things can we do?" And so I tried that during those years. The magic systems kind of grew out of that. Like, "What are people not doing?"

    I will say there are some people who have done it even in the past. Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner books. I've really liked those. Those kind of have-- it's not scientific, but it's rule-based, which is kind of-- are two different things. Being consistent is one thing, and then trying-- like I try to play off of physics and make it feel like it's playing off of physics when it's really not, because I'm a fantasy writer, right? Like.--

    Questioner

    In Mistborn it's pretty physics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Pretty physics-- But even in Mistborn, right like if you-- the time bubbles-- speed bubbles. Like I have to fudge some things. Like I spoke with my assistants, like, "Alright, what would happen if we build these?" And we're like, "Well first thing would happen is that it would change the wavelengths of light and irradiate people." You know, like this sort of thing. We're like-- we just have to make a rule that it doesn't irradiate people. You can't just take a flashlight and melt people. Yes, you just have to come up with some-- And so for me, a lot of the big difference, I say, between a fantasy writer and a science fiction writer is, the science fiction writer is forward-- each step trying to be plausible-- and the fantasy writer a lot of times drafts it backward. "Here's a cool effect. Can I explain this in a way that makes it feel like it's real and logical?" But I'm working backward from the fact, not forward from what's happening here.

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    Questioner

    I just noticed stylistically the cover for Oathbringer is a little bit different. Is that still Michael Whelan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's still Michael Whelan. Yeah, Michael is really-- Michael is my favorite illustrator. I don't know if you guys know-- have read what I've written-- but I got into fantasy and science fiction because of Dragonsbane-- the cover of that. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but it was Dragonsbane and then I went to the card catalog and found the next book closest to it that looked-- that was a dragon book. So I didn't know dragon books, and I found Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, which also had a Whelan cover at that point. And I just kind of-- Whelan became my go to. He's gone through various art stages, you can go look. For a while he was doing these really sweeping landscapes, as you see some of the Dark Tower covers have that, and Way of Kings-- the original-- has that. And he's occasionally done figure studies, through his career. And then with this one we're getting like a color study really, it feels like to me, which is another thing that he's done. So I kind of feel like I've gotten three different styles of covers from Michael, which I really like. I actually think his Shallan painting from the inside cover of Words of Radiance is my favorite. But that one came about because he's like, "I felt like painting Shallan," and he just did. *laughter* "Do you guys want this? I just painted it." It's really funny because Michael Whelan, like, it's really hard to get him for a cover. I mean, you know his prices are way higher. And then when he just accidentally does another cover for you. It was very cool but kind of weird. I own The Way of Kings, like the actual original. I'm so happy, like I-- after all these years of admiring Michael Whelan I had to buy that one. So it hangs in my office above the fireplace.

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    Questioner

    I was wondering with Emperor's Soul-- it's in the same world as Elantris.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    But it's a completely different magic system.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner

    Do you ever see The Emperor's Soul, like, that magic system in further Elantris books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you will see more of that. Elantris-- So what Elantris is very-- is interesting-- is Sel, the planet that is, that each region has basically a way of accessing the magic, and they're all, in my mind, programming languages. And you use different things to program, and call functions basically. And some people etch into bone, some people draw in runes, some people make the soulstamps. You can do it through a tai chi-like thing in one of world-- in one of the lands. So it's like a-- region-based for reasons that cosmere magic experts I think have figured out by now.

    Questioner

    Well it's like there were two deities, I think, Invested in that planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep... The reason is-- and we have announced it-- the reason it is is, so on Sel-- somebody killed the two deities there, right? And then stuffed their corpses, which are just huge magic reservoirs, just *inaudible*. So all their power stuffed up into what we call the Cognitive Realm, the realm of the mind, which is location dependent. So all the magic is getting filtered through that, it does weird things to it, it makes it region-locked. So yeah.

    Questioner

    Is it the only world that has many different ways that magic is--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well a lot of them have different ways. For instance, for-- on Scadrial we've got Feruchemy, and Allomancy, and things like that. So most worlds have different interpretations, and things like that. Sel's the only one you've seen where it's region dependent.

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    Questioner

    In the fifth book of the Alcatraz series, you wrote a whole section where there's mixed-in punctuation and capitalization.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Do you do that specifically to annoy the reader?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah! Oh yeah! In the Alcatraz books every book I try to do specific things to annoy the reader just because it's so much fun. So, yeah, there's in-- the fourth book has chapters all quotes from Shakespeare.

    TheHunter

    That wasn't annoying!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. And every line of dialogue is a Shakespeare quote. And so-- And there's one in the fifth book that's all onomatopoeia. Like they only-- it only speaks-- yeah. And they are weird books. I don't know why I wrote books for twelve year olds that use Shakespeare quotes, but I-- they just had to be written.

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    Demiandre (paraphrased)

    I wondered about Shallan's eidetic memory, and about the possibility of trapping a spren. Could a bonded spren be trapped inside a gemstone and trapped in a safe? If so, would something else - not Investiture related - fill the "crack in the soul"? Could that be linked to her memory or her need to draw before Lightweaving?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    In and about, he answered that what Shallan does isn't out of the ordinary, and it is possible to trap a bonded spren inside a gemstone.

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    Narkac

    At the end of TWoK, in the last Dalinar's vision, he stands "in a place of smoke. He turned about, wary. The sky was dark and he stood on a field of dull, bone-white rock, jagged and rough, extending in all directions. Off into eternity". Is this place Damnation/Braize ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will be explained in Oathbringer. So RAFO.

    Paris signing ()
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    Narkac

    KR seemed to have opposite gender spren. Why is Glys male then? Is there something hidden there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More naturally, the spren is opposite gender but it doesn't have to be. It's not a indication necessarily of homosexuality, but sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. More often, you'll attract spren of the opposite gender, but spren genders are very fluid anyway. You're not supposed to read anything specific into that.

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    Question

    When writing Stormlight, did you get any inspirations from the Chinese Confucian system? The Azish government really reminds me of that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... Yes. Um... Chinese. 新年快乐? This is my only Chinese. [It means] Happy new year. So yes. Living in Korea for several years, I became very interested in the Confucian system. When I returned back from Korea, I studied in college about Chinese history and I found it fascinating. So the Azish are partially inspired by the Chinese Confucian system.

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    Questioner

    I enjoy the audiobooks. Michael Kramer is awesome.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, he's great.

    Questioner

    Ramon De Ocampo is awesome. So I have two questions. One, when you give the books to the readers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Questioner

    Do you also, like, record for them the actual names so they know to speak... *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, so naming-- names in the audiobooks. So I get-- I send them a recorded-- recording of all the names. It doesn't always get to them in time. Because the production-- You can imagine, like, I'm not turning the final book in to Tor for probably another month. And then they have to get that thing recorded, and produced, and out by the-- simultaneous with the book that we are recording. So, sometimes they get them wrong. But I don't really mind too much, because I figure-- this is kind of my philosophy-- there are no really right ways to say the names. The right way is how you say it in your version of the book when you are reading it. You're the director; I provide the script. I could tell you how I pronounce the names, but I pronounce names wrong. Like, I say "KEL-see-er", right? And in world they'd say something more like "Kel-see-AY". And stuff like this. Like I say "KAL-uh-din"; they would probably say "kuh-LA-din" in Alethi. And so, I mean, I'm American. We-- I say things like Americans.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    So my method of plotting-- I've been asked about, "Do I use seven-point story structure? Do I use three act format?" I actually don't use any of these things. So they're tools that I think are good to study. For me I use just a very simple: Promise, Progress, Payoff. This is what I focus on for plot,and I subdivide my stories into subplots and things and say, "What's the promise? How do I early on promise what type of plot this is. What's the progress? What's the payoff?" And you're asking how do you make sure that the hype lives up to the promise, and that is dangerous. The longer you go between books, the more that hype almost like-- I feel part of the-- If you're looking at The Wheel of Time, there were books when we fans were waiting for them to come out, that we were super frustrated by when they came out, that when I reread them in the whole series I didn't-- were less bothered by. It felt like, when I waited three years for something, the hype of what that needed to deliver was way different than when it was book ten bridging between book nine and eleven. And so that is a consideration.

    My job-- I think that if your progress is right, if you can kind of-- like if you say, "We're moving towards something here," this is the sort of emotional reaction you're going to get from it by showing-- for instance, an easy way to talk about this is a mystery, right? If you want the mystery to be really cool, then it's your progress toward the mystery that's going to indicate what kind of reveal and surprise that's going to be. If, you know, the characters discovering clues and getting more and more horrified, then the payoff at the end has to be something horrific, right? But if they're like, "Ooo! This connection and this connection together are making something really interesting. If I can just figure this out then it'll click together." Then the payoff is, instead of discovering horror, the payoff is then, "Oh, this comes together and I understand now." So you need the reader to understand that's their kind of payoff, is it clicks for them like it does for the character. And it's really-- that progress is the most important of those three in a lot of ways. If you can indicate to the reader, "This is just going to be satisfying. This character is finally going to let down this burden. That's the progress we're working toward. It's not going to be a surprise, it's just going to be satisfying. That's how you do that.

    There are certain things that there's just no avoiding the hype on. In fact, the further the series gets the more I'm worried about that, because-- in part because I'm such a believer in this kind of progress and things like this-- there are very few things, like in the Stormlight for example, that you'll get to that you will be super surprised by if you've been reading the fan forums, because the clues are all there in previous books. And so you just, I think, as a writer have to be okay with, if you're going to lay the foreshadowing, people will figure it out. And I can talk more about like, the third book has some big reveals about the world that I think the casual reader's going to be like, "Woah, mind blown!" where the people who have been on forums are like, "That's it? We've know that for years Sanderson!" But, you know, if you don't-- the only way to really surprise people is to do something completely unexpected. Which is, sometimes can be really nice, but a lot of times it just makes for a twist just to twist for twist's sake, so. I don't know that I've figured this one out a hundred percent across a series, but within a given book, yeah.

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    Questioner

    So is this [interludes] your way of kind of introducing more world details, worldbuilding--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. This is a way of me introducing more worldbuilding. Because-- See, one of the differences between myself and the previous generation of epic fantasy writers is I tend to be very-- I tend to stick with one location, alright? The generation before me-- and I love these books, but the generation before me-- the Tad Williams, the Robert Jordan, and things like this-- tended to be quest epic fantasy. You'd go one place-- It's kind of following the grand Tolkien tradition. "We gotta get over there. We're either chasing somebody or being chased by somebody." Right? And you then travel across a varied landscape, meet lots of interesting people on your way to the place. Well I don't like to do that. I think it's partially because I grew up reading those. I'm like-- Those authors covered that really well. Or maybe it's just my natural inclinations. I write a little more Anne McCaffrey style, right? She would pick a really interesting location and spend a lot of time on it. And that's what I like to do as well. So you don't get to travel as much in my books. A lot of times in my books it's like, "We're traveling!" Chapter 1: "We're going to go on this trip!" Chapter 2: "Hey, we're there!" We cut out the, you know, the boring stuff in the middle, and we go to an interesting location. And I really like to dig into this interesting location. It let's me as an author really explore various parts of the setting. But what that does is it means you don't get as much of the breadth. Like when you have to traipse with Frodo and Sam all the way across Middle-earth, you feel how big Middle-earth is. And you don't get that in Mistborn, where it's like, "We're going to stay in the city!" and things like this. And so, in Roshar, being able to say, "Here's what's happening across the world in a different culture," is really valuable to me in the interludes. But I also know that some people just don't want to read that, and I wanted to give them a clue that this is the scene that you can skip and read later if you just want to get back to the main character.

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    Tsidqiyah

    On Sel. It costs about 50 sacrifices to become immune to Aons. Is that number essential? Or if someone with 50 Breath was sacrificed...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That number is not essential. But you would have to hack the magic system. You need that much Investiture. So, 50 peoples' souls worth. But if you knew how to hack the magic, Breath could substitute there pretty easily.

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    Questioner

    With Warbreaker and Stormlight Archive, Vasher and Zahel. How does that transition occur?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He went to Roshar because he knew ahead of time, that you could get Stormlight, and how easy it was. So he made his way there because he was tired of sucking people's souls to stay alive.

    Questioner

    How did he know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He, as part of a group of scholars, stumbled upon the nature of worldhopping long ago.

    Questioner

    Could he be the same group of scholars as Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's a group of scholars on Nalthis who were studying magic, Investiture, and stumbled upon the means by which you transition into the Cognitive Realm. So, he actually had experience with Shardblades before, and that was part of how he built... well, he was part of it, but really...

    Questioner

    So, is Nightblood kind of like a Shardblade? Is a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is an attempt to make a Shardblade using a different magic. And it turned out poorly.

    Questioner

    Speaking of Nightblood, how did that transition from Nalthis?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not answered that yet. Eventually, you will find out how they ended up on Roshar.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #11994 Copy

    Questioner

    Demoux. Him, also being in the Interlude. How is that one...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is part of a group called the Seventeenth Shard. [They] are cosmere-aware and travel around the planets and have a kind of pact of non-intervention. Which they aren't doing a very good job on, because they brought the common cold to Roshar.

    Questioner

    How did he actually find out about this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will give you [a RAFO card], because I will answer about the Seventeenth Shard eventually.

    Questioner

    So all these questions are actually going to be answered?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Seventeenth Shard will have a big role to play in future books.

    Questioner

    Is Hoid part of the...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is not part of the Seventeenth Shard. They're trying to chase him down.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #11995 Copy

    Questioner

    In Stormlight, Dalinar mentioned that <if he can die, he's no longer a god>, so to speak. And throughout the cosmere, gods died *inaudible*. Is there an omniscient, omnipotent, actual God in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is there an omniscient, omnipotent God in the cosmere? Some people believe that there is. You guys laugh about this, but I don't mean it to be a laughing thing. There are certain questions I will not answer in the cosmere, specifically because it would too much undermine some of the characters' beliefs. And I want to treat characters respectfully. So whether there is life after you pass into the Beyond, and whether there is a God of gods, an omnipotent, as we would define "monotheistic God," are questions that I don't answer, and I let the characters deal with. Because if I answer that, then the character discussions about this are meaningless. Not really, but they kind of are. So there are a couple things I won't answer about the cosmere, because the characters don't have these answers.

    Questioner

    <Do you know the answer>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know the answer, yes.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #11996 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any idea what the ratings on the movies are gonna be? Like, is it gonna be R, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will push for PG-13 with the bit of power I have. I mean, they know, like... I don't have power over that. But that's part of the discussion, when I say, "We can't do Game of Thrones with this. It is not appropriate for my books and audience to have content like that in the books." So, like I said, they know. I can't guarantee

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #11998 Copy

    Ward

    At the beginning of Way of Kings, when Kaladin thinks he's being irritated by a windspren, he's like, "Oh, windspren are all like this." Are there other types of spren that have similar personality quirks, that elemental spren...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there are, like flamespren. A lot of the elemental ones have quirks, you'll see more quirk to them than the emotional ones. And the difference between them will come up a little more obvious as the series progresses. You're more likely, for instance, to find quirk to a riverspren or a flamespren than you are to a fearspren.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #11999 Copy

    Ward

    When Harmony Ascends, he admits he doesn't have a good view of the Spiritual Realm. Does he develop a better one over time? And are there other Shards that already have a very good view of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But it is still something that is hard to grok, so to speak, in-canon, *inaudible*, hard to understand. But he has a much better understanding, and the other Shards, some of them have a very good understanding. The thing is, the difference between the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond is not something that is immediately obvious.

    Ward

    So, the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond. There are three Realms of existence. The Beyond, some would say... There are philosophers would would say, the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond are one, that the soul gets sucked into and joins the Investiture. That's the idea of the One. But, most people would say the Beyond is not...

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12000 Copy

    Questioner

    First of all, on the [Arcanum Unbounded] endpapers, what's the position of... Where is it from? What's the reference point?

    My friend asked (and I was there with him asking my own question) Brandon and Isaac at the Provo release where the perspective on the end papers is from – Brandon confirmed that it was from Silverlight, after checking with Isaac. There was some wonkiness in the response though – Isaac said something like as it was “imagined” from Silverlight, and I tried to get clarification for what that meant (is that because Silverlight is mobile?), but stayed pretty vague (got the impression he was maybe saying there was some sort of artistic license taken?). I consider it confirmed that it is from the perspective of Silverlight, but that that there is more going on there. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reference point in this, I believe, is Silverlight. But it's not how they would exactly see them all. But it is done by someone from Silverlight. Right, Isaac? This is done by someone from Silverlight? And that's gonna be kind of our reference point, but they are imagining a place... right?

    Isaac Stewart

    They're imagining a place where the constellations would look like this. There iss an actual place where it looks that way. *talking over one another*

    sillyslovene

    Is that because Silverlight is mobile? Or is that because...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    You say "imagine." I just wondered what "imagine" means.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm saying, I'm not sure-- *to Isaac* Did you set that from Silverlight?

    Isaac Stewart

    No, no. It is set from a point in the cosmere itself.

    Questioner

    So that they can say they can see all of them in one--

    Isaac Stewart

    So, that is an actual night sky somewhere in the cosmere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, okay. Yeah. I now know what he's talking about.

    *inaudible* [1:11]

    Questioner 2

    I've been meaning to ask, *inaudible* in the same solar system, no? And more than one planet can see it? *inaudible* [1:28]

    Isaac Stewart

    *inaudible* [2:12]

    Isaac Stewart

    There's actually, there's a planet in the habitable zone *inaudible* [1:33]

    Questioner

    *inaudible* [1:46]

    Isaac Stewart

    *inaudible* [2:12]