Recent entries

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12101 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    OK, I’ve got a question about AonDor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok.

    DrogaKrolow

    So it's a lot like functional programing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    And my question is: could you write a higher-level language of programming with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    Oh...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. But. Only an Elantrian could make it, like, work, right? Not compile but could execute the function. They would have to type it out and execute it. Like if you were just-- Even if you just gave it to them, they would have to retype it and go. But yes, you could.

    DrogaKrolow

    Couldn't you like-- Is there an Aon for define, definition? So like you could go and define some really long sequence of Aons and then assign it to a simple shape.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    DrogaKrolow

    Then draw the symbol, and would it work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right right, object-oriented. This is realistically plausible, you would have to write all this stuff and call the function and have this constantly in a state of kinetic Investiture. But that is reasonable. I mean it's not so far off from things they actually did with much fewer-- much fewer lines of code, if you wish, in the past. It's what Elantris itself was.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12102 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    We have this one bizarre question, that actually was really, really weird but we have to know it.

    There was a question about Siamese twins. If they were born gold Feruchemists, and they they were split apart, would they like, form together again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhhnn... It depends on how they view themselves

    DrogaKrolow

    That's the answer to every question like that!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right! But that's the whole point of the cosmere is that-- Spiritual Realm is filtered through the Cognitive Realm to the Physical Realm, right? And this lens is going to filter how things work. Perception is really important in the cosmere. That's where most of these things come from, and so-- Yeah that is the answer to everything. But that's the point of the answer to everything, is that there aren't a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to a lot of these things, with Identity and whatnot is going be filtered through perception.

    DrogaKrolow

    So it is technically possible for them, if they are seeing each other as one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    DrogaKrolow

    So we can--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now the big hard question is, what if one of them views them as one and one of them doesn't?

    DrogaKrolow

    Oh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aaaaoooohhh! Then it depends on who's using the magic.

    DrogaKrolow

    What if both of them are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Both of them what? Are gold? If both of them are healing and one doesn't want to and one does, magic's gonna cancel each other out and nothing will happen.

    DrogaKrolow

    Ok.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. Yeah I made your question harder and weirder.

    DrogaKrolow

    Well it was a very logical answer to a very unlogical question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I've had to answer a lot of these. My feeling is that if I can make the fundamental magic principles work then you can answer those questions rationally but really what you would have to do is-- Even I'm not the expert on these things. Like I'm the ultimate word in some ways but in another ways the answer would be "I don't know, let's have a thought experiment and if it ever comes up, try it out and see what happens". But yeah, there you go. There is my best answer to you.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12103 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Few days ago I was in my family home to take some books for tomorrow's signing and my grandma which was reading The Way of Kings couldn't let me because she was somewhere in the middle and she was... taken by it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent, happy to hear that. How many, how many of the older generation in Poland read fantasy novels?

    DrogaKrolow

    I don't know, my mom does.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Your mom does?

    DrogaKrolow

    Your mom is probably not that old.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Your mom is probably my age so yeah.

    DrogaKrolow

    I think it's more the-- It seems so a lot of old generation reads fantasy in Poland, its involving all the time.

    My parents think these are just fairy tales not worth telling.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's that? Your mom does? That's ok, my parents were very, very scared. They wanted a doctor and I changed to write fantasy novels. They were very scared for me. They were like "What are you doing?" Now, they don't complain at all.

    DrogaKrolow

    My grandma was scared at first too when I gave her Mistborn and she likes it the best I think.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent, I'm happy to hear that. Good job spreading the word to your grandma.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12104 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Who do you think is that we’re way too young to understand? Star Wars but I was thinking-- What do you think about the target of your readers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My target audience? I write primarily for myself as a fan of fantasy genre. I trust my instincts as a reader, I read a lot. I read what other people are doing. And my primary audience is "What awesome book is nobody writing that I could write?" And so I don't know that I have-- I focus too much on that. I think madness lies in that direction, so-- I do appreciate my readers. I do rub my hands thinking "Ooooh they are gonna love this part" but at the end of the day I'm just writing the book I want to read.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12105 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Speaking about other movies, do you have your favorites?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite films? Picking favorites is always so hard. In recent years I really liked-- I don't know if it's my favorite-- but I really liked Live.Die.Repeat./Edge of Tomorrow.

    DrogaKrolow

    The book is better.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The book is better? I really liked that. I really liked Lincoln. I mean, it’s not science-fiction/fantasy but I really liked that-- Classics, Fifth Element, it's like my go-to guilty pleasure space opera, I really like that. I really like the movie Gattaca… You guys ever seen Gattaca? Gattaca is good movie. It's an oldie now but it's great. It's a science-fiction. What else have I really liked? I like Chris Nolan's movies, I like them all.

    DrogaKrolow

    Inception.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Inception would be my favorite, I think. Though I really like The Prestige also. But on that one the book is legitimately better, also. But Prestige turned out very well.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12106 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    If you were choosing-- If someone messaged you that they wanted you to end a series that was not ended before, because the author died. Some other author, OK? Would you agree once again to end a series that wasn’t ended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would depend on the situation. There are very few authors I have read as much as Robert Jordan and that I felt my style was a good match to. I would have to feel like I was a good match and that I was needed and it's a job that someone else couldn't do. I don't know that I could think of any authors that that’s the case for right now. But if I could go back in time and rewrite the prequel Star Wars movies for George Lucas I would do it.

    DrogaKrolow

    What would you improve in the prequels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, everything? I don't know if I would be able to fix it because that's hubris but I sure would've liked a stab at it. You know, as many people...

    DrogaKrolow

    Couldn't agree more.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean, George Lucas has lots of talents but the stories do not come together very well for me. I was there opening night. You guys are too young to know what it was to go wait in line overnight and go to The Phantom Menace and be like "hmm…" after waiting so long. If I were to continue anyone else's legacy I would go back in time to rewrite those scripts when George Lucas wasn't looking.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12107 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Will there be some other books concerned with the Wheel of Time maybe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chances are not good. I feel that Robert Jordan didn't want there to be more-- And I'm not the final decision maker on that, Harriet is, but I've mentioned to her that I don't feel it would be right to continue doing [Wheel of Time] books. So I don't think it's likely. If she decides that she wants more that's certainly not my place to say that she can't, or things. But I don't think I would write anymore just because I feel like he wanted it to be an ending. If he were still around, he would've written more. But I don't think he would want me to.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12108 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Sentient machines, artificial intelligence. Would they be able to use Investiture? Or not? How would that work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, define "use Investiture". Like, there's a lot of different ways to quote-unquote use Investiture.

    DrogaKrolow

    OK, I don't mean the medallions but like if I go and peek into the Spiritual Realm and I look at the machine, do I see Investiture inside it? The Connections to the Shards and so on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chances are good that you will. But I have to add a big asterisk to that, it's gonna depend on so many factors. But consciousness in the cosmere is directly tied to  Investiture. And creating a machine in many ways cosmerelogically is not that different from creating a child.

    DrogaKrolow

    Okay... Interesting.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I'll just leave it there.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12109 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    If you were to choose one of your own worlds to live in, which would that be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would definitely be… Does it have to be cosmere?

    DrogaKrolow

    No.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because then I could go with one of the cool science-fiction ones and I could have-- Like, you know-- Live far away from where everyone is having war and live like in a futuristic society. I think that's kind of cheating. If I had to pick one of the cosmere worlds I would probably pick Scadrial because it's the closest to having the Internet and instant noodles.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12110 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Where the hell in Warbreaker is the Terris lady?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hehehe. Do you have any guesses?

    DrogaKrolow

    Nurses. One of them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *pauses* Why do you guess that?

    DrogaKrolow

    I don't know.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a pretty good guess.

    DrogaKrolow

    I mean they are the only females apart from the main characters who are somehow important. So I guess somewhere there because I don't think she's like in the fifth plane somewhere in the back of the alley where someone walks by.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s a very good guess. I guess you have narrowed down your options. Um, yeah… um...so… I’m just gonna say that’s a ththth-- the-- he seems-- Yeah. So, there you go. I'm surprised...

    ...You’re not supposed to be able to guess who the Terriswoman is, by the way.

    DrogaKrolow

    So we will see her somewhere else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will see her somewhere else. Yeah, you're not supposed to be able to guess. So that's why I'm surprised.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12111 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Do you think that writing on a high level is a matter of talent or is achievable by just hard work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no idea. I would like to think that it's hard work but I do know that talent plays a part in that as well. I would say that it's 10% talent 90% hard work but if you don't have that 10% talent it can be really hard. So I don’t know. I feel like I started off really bad at this. And wrote a whole bunch of books and got pretty decent but I also know that I do have some natural talents.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12112 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    As we know you're a human typewriter. You can release books faster than we can read it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now you say that but I release like a Stormlight book and I start getting fanmail for it the next day. This took me 18 months to write and then you read it in one day so I don't know if I’d agree with that. But go on.

    DrogaKrolow

    You certainly have some free time for, let's say, reading books. And what books do you like to read? You have some favorite authors? Maybe fantasy genre?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Terry Pratchett is my favorite writer. But I like to read widely. I like to read a little bit of everything. Usually-- Like people talk about how fast I write; I'm not that fast a writer. I'm just very consistent. I write a little bit every day. And that adds up to a certain amount that I can do every year. But I write for 8 to 10 hours a day and spend four hours or so with my family and then spend two hours goofing off. So, goofing off can include listening to an audiobook while I do other things or reading a book or playing a video game. So I do find time.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12113 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Would you like to see your stories adapted into video games?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I've tried a couple of times. So far they haven’t worked out. We had someone working on Mistborn for a long time. Video game industry is hard. But-- I mean, there've been some really great games made from books so I hope to have one someday.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12114 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    What about cameos? Do you have some ideas in your mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cameos for me? I want to die in a different way in every movie. As payment for killing off characters. And so I want to be like the Redshirt or whatever, the person who gets killed in a new creative way. That's my thought.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12115 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Who would you like to be the composer, do the music for your movies? Do you have any idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have never been asked that before! Wow! I have no idea. Right? Like I listen to a lot of soundtracks and I like them all but I'm not an expert in this. Michael Kamen was always my favorite. He's passed away. So we resurrect Michael Kamen and have him do it.

    DrogaKrolow

    A Lifeless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's that? Yeah, yeah, Michael Kamen the Lifeless.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12116 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Few months ago we've received great news about some of your books which will be adapted into movies. So what do you think, which one is most likely to get adapted first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’ve always thought that Mistborn would be the most likely 'cause it's the easiest to translate to a film, but the people who bought the rights to the Cosmere bought everything but Mistborn 'cause Mistborn was owned by someone else. And then they bought Mistborn a year later, when it became available. So Mistborn is a year behind the others. Emperor's Soul and Stormlight have been going the longest. Stormlight is so hard. Right, we’ve just got the screenplay in and the screenplay is like *does a gesture* you know, it's like for a five hour movie or something like that. And they're like "We have to cut this down!" "Yes. Yes, we do." And that is super hard. And Mistborn is a lot easier to adapt. So I still expect we'll see Mistborn first, but who knows.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12118 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Technological progress. So Scadrial is going all the way to cyberpunk.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    But do you plan to do it anywhere else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, with an asterisk, right? Roshar has a very different technological path but they have access to so much more Investiture in an easy to use format. Roshar is really heading toward what we call magicpunk, or things like this, magepunk, where you are using a magical power source and things like this. So their technology is going to go weird but it's going to go fast once they start figuring things out because they have easy access to Investiture resources.

    Scadrial: slower for various reasons and things like that, but it's ahead.

    And then there was Taldain, which was really far ahead but then froze when it got-- Offworld travel was stopped and it became isolationist.

    So most everybody is kind of heading that direction but, yeah.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12119 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    In Arcanum Unbounded--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    Khriss said that Roshar has an unusually high level of oxygen.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    And where does this oxygen come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a natural part of their atmosphere. Part of this-- There's two answers to this. One answer is: It was created that way, because Roshar creation predates the Shattering of Adonalsium and a lot of things were set up that way. The scientific side is, in building the creatures that I was building on Roshar I needed a high oxygen environment, just to make the logistics work and even then I had to like-- It's high oxygen, low gravity, right? It's like 0.7 something Earth gravity. And even then I still had to add magic to get big beasties that I wanted to. Like the greatshells just can not exist. Square cube law. Even after I tweaked atmosphere and the gravity, the math didn't work, but fortunately I had the whole spren thing going on. These are both things I was trying do in order to create megafauna. I’m sorry, is that, did that make sense?

    DrogaKrolow

    Ok, but is there some higher level of production of oxygen, so like, there are no trees but it comes from the oceans?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. I mean they've got a lot-- What you've got, also, to remember is, most of Earth's oxygen doesn't come from our trees-- I mean it does but it comes from the ocean and things like this. I didn't have a problem building this into Roshar because-- What we've got on Roshar is we've got, number one, we've got the highstorms-- Which are actually really good for plant life when it comes to microflora, right? And beyond that you've got-- you've got weather patterns that are very-- Like it’s rarely freezing on Roshar. Most people on Roshar have never seen snow. And so-- I mean I didn't find it a problem making a high oxygen environment work, that was the least of my troubles in building Roshar. I mean most of the planet is ocean anyway.

    DrogaKrolow

    Some people were curious, just about it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, were they? Okay. I mean, yeah-- I mean all you have to do is hit-- Like really you only have to hit a stasis, right? You are creating as much as you're using. Like if you start with high oxygen and you create as much as you use, you stay high oxygen. It doesn't need to actually be creating a higher percentage than our world is creating, as far as I understand it.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12120 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    What happened with the Shard that just drifts in the space, the one that wants to hide and survive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What about that Shard? They want to hide and survive.

    DrogaKrolow

    Huh, something more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think I will RAFO that for right now.

    Footnote: The questioner seems to be conflating two separate Shards in his question. There is the Shard that wants to hide and survive and another that is not on a planet.
    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #12121 Copy

    Question (paraphrased)

    A bonus piece of information - my poor friend that I dragged along with me (who had only read Warbreaker) asked about the specific naming of Bio-Chromatic Breath.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Sanderson confirmed as part of his response that at least some the Five Scholars had visited worlds who had gone through the Industrial Revolution (and therefore would have more of a sense of scientific theory, that the Scholars would have picked up on).

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #12122 Copy

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Alright, thanks. Last question for me tonight - so, when a Hemalurgic spike steals something, then it's storing Investiture in it, yeah? So could you - could you do something with that Investiture? Like... say I'm on Nalthis, and just theoretically, I use a Hemalurgic spike to steal a lot of Breath - can I use that Investiture to Awaken something? Could I Awaken the spike?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That... you'd need a lot of Investiture to Awaken a spike.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Because it's already charged up with something else?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12123 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    When was the concept of cosmere, one big Universe that connects all your stories was born? Do you remember the very beginning, the first thought of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can start to talk about this because there's a couple of things. I remember being a teenager and reading books, and I would always insert my own characters into other writers' books. This is the beginnings of Brandon the Writer. So I would read, like, a-- an Anne McCaffrey book and I would insert my own characters and eventually Hoid started jumping between all the books I was reading. And so when I started writing my own books, I started inserting him myself. I blame that. I also blame how Asimov connected Foundation and the Robots series. When I read that it kinda blew my mind, and I wanted to do something like that.

    I knew when I started writing Elantris I was going to do something like this, I wanted to start connecting everything together. I put Hoid into it and stuff like that, but as I've gone back through my notes, it was really during the years following that I really designed the cosmere. Like when I first wrote Elantris, I had no idea how I was going connect it all, I just knew I was going to. But like-- You know Shardpools. I put the pool in and then I'm like "I don't know what it is". By the time I got to Mistborn I knew all this stuff and fortunately Mistborn was the first one-- Mistborn I was working on when Elantris sold, right? And so I was able to go back and revise Elantris to make sure it matched everything that was coming for the future.

    Though I do have to admit, when I first wrote Elantris, a lot of things I'm like "Ah this'll connect somehow. I'll put this in. Sure”.

    DrogaKrolow

    And by now, can you say that you already know how Cosmere will end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do know how The Cosmere will end, yes. I'm an outliner. It could always change. But I have-- So you know the core series, Stormlight and Mistborn, and the last book of The Cosmere is the last Mistborn book, which I have an outline for. So, we shall see. At least chronologically it's the last. I don’t know, I write a lot and so who knows. Yeah, you know, keeping track of it all, I’m sorry.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #12124 Copy

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Okay, next question. The Hemalurgic bind points for the right and left eyes - are they the same?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    In terms of...?

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Like, the Inquisitor spikes, is it the exact same process for either eye? Is it interchangeable?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    They're slightly different.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    And on bind points... are these something that we could figure out ourselves one day, through analysis and guessing? Or is it something we'll just have to wait and see?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    They're... it would be a lot of trial and error, but it's... possible? And you need Intent, so... it would be a lot of trial and error. It wouldn't be easy. Probably not.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12125 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    So you said that you liked our Polish covers. Is something that you liked the most maybe, we have… *people speaking over each other*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that the first Mistborn cover is probably my favorite of them all.

    DrogaKrolow

    Yeah, it's amazing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But the Wax & Wayne one also, those have really good covers too. So, the whole Mistborn series is great-- The Way of Kings is not bad either-- But the whole Mistborn series, spectacular covers. We put them in our leatherbound. So-- I don't know if you know but I do, in English, I do leatherbound 10 year anniversary.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #12126 Copy

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    So, at the end of Mistborn Era 1, Sazed takes up both [Preservation] and Ruin, Shards which are obviously fairly diametrically opposed. Secret History implies that Sazed is able to hold both of them at once because of (for lack of a better term) who he is, and therefore implies that other people might not be able to do the same. Is that true? What would happen if someone tried to take up multiple shards and didn't have those qualifications?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Sazed was uniquely able, yes. Usually there would be an imbalance favoring one shard, which would override or push out the other.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Like, physically expulse?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Right. Not necessarily, but yes.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    So what would happen then? Would it just float around? Would it Splinter? Could it be dragged into the Cognitive, like on Sel?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Oh, you guys finally figured that one out?

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    No, no, it's- it's in the book.

    *points to Arcanum Unbounded*

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Right, yeah, I gave you that one. But it depends- it depends on the circumstances. It might Splinter. In the right circumstances, it might obtain its own sentience. Or it might seek out a holder on its own.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    Wait, you mean, sentience without a holder? Just...?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    In the right circumstances, yeah.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    And if it sought a holder, it would be inclined to find someone that would fit better with its intent?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah.

    Lhyonnaes (paraphrased)

    And these circumstances would also depend on which Shards are taken up? Like, if they're less opposed that Ruin and Preservation?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah, exactly.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12127 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    So do you know anything about Polish literature, especially something about fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well I know-- I can't say his name. *attempts to say "Sapkowski"* --The Witcher guy. Everybody knows The Witcher, so I do know at least a little bit of Polish-- And I have read some of his work. So I'm a little bit familiar but I wouldn't say I know a ton more. Like I bet that’s all everyone knows. “Oh yeah, Poland. The Witcher guy”.

    DrogaKrolow

    You should try the game.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah? The Witcher games? I have all three of them, I bought them all in one bundle together.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #12128 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    So, the first question is that, you are finally in Poland now--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yaaay, finally in Poland.

    DrogaKrolow

    And you are already know Polish culture, maybe a little, you got to meet it-- And you know inside it's a little bit different than any other culture, actually you get the contact, do you know anything about your position as a writer here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Poland? All I know is, that the Polish have been the single most persistent at trying to get me to come visit. Of anyone. I hear more from the Polish fans about me coming out than I hear from anyone else. So I knew that I better get here eventually, but that's really all I know about my position in Poland, other than the publisher has some of my favorite covers-- Like the Mistborn books in particular. Internationally, I think they have some of the best covers. The Polish covers are better than the US or the UK covers, which is very-- You know usually I like the US best, but the Polish covers are among the, if not the single, best Mistborn covers.

    DrogaKrolow

    You are here since yesterday, yes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    And how do you find Poland, by now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So far so good. I got in yesterday and I crashed and I got up and I've been doing interviews all day long. Tomorrow, actually, I get to see some Poland. It depends on if we get rained on or not. If we get rained on we are going to the museum. The Polish Resistance Museum? Uprising-- Polish Uprising Museum-- and if not then we are going to go to Downtown-- the Old Town. So-- Then I will know more Poland. Really the only thing I know-- There's a few things I know about Poland. One is that you are very persistent about trying to get me to visit. The other thing is-- I was mentioning to my guide that when I was young our local grocer was Polish and we loved to get sausage from him. So how do you say it, kiełbasa?

    DrogaKrolow

    Yes, kiełbasa.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So when I was the kid, we ate polish kiebasa. Like once a month or so, my mom would make it and then that grocer went out of business and I never got it again, I was so mad. It was so good.

    DrogaKrolow

    You should try, definitively, something like pierogi.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Pierogi? Is that little dumplings? Yeah, he has told me, I'm gonna get dumplings and I'm gonna try your soup too, so apparently there is like the sourdough soup that I'm supposed to try.

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    Question

    What was your design process for designing all of the star systems for each of the worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am lucky enough to have on staff one of my good friends, Isaac. He actually introduced me to my wife. He sent me on a blind date with Emily. He was one of my students, my second year teaching the class. He's a really good friend. At the time, he was an illustrator for a video game company who was just interested in fantasy books. And he saw that there was a class at BYU and he was like, "I'm gonna take that."

    He now works for me full-time. Though, fun story on this. You know how some people joke that in their marriage there's one person they could cheat with, like a celebrity? When I hired Isaac, he was like, "I will come and do things for you full time. But if Tad Williams ever asks me, I'm doing something for Tad Williams," his favorite book series. This summer, Tad Williams needed a map for the new Osten Ard books. Isaac is like, "So, I do maps for Sanderson." He's like, "Sure, do one for me. Great!" So Isaac's been working on that and it has been a dream come true for him.

    Isaac and I, we sit down and we do brainstorming sessions for the art. He's done almost all of the symbols and maps in my books, except the ones that he commissions someone else to do because he wanted to get a different style for it or the first book, Elantris, I did the symbols. That's why the Elantris symbols are not quite as visually interesting as some of Isaac's. They fit the world but I drew those and my artistic chops are... So Isaac and I sit down, we brainstorm and we say, "What do we want this to look like? What's the feel of it?" So I'll outline what the planets and the world are and then he will bring up historical- like he went and got Renaissance star charts and said, "Do any of these work? What do you like?" We kind of narrowed it down to ones that have the right feel but I said, "I want it more like this, more like this." He took that and ran with it and gave me iterations. He's like, "Here's four different versions of a map for Scadrial. Which one do you like?" And then I'll give him that and he'll then do four iterations on that, saying, "Here are different designs of this. Which one of these do you like?" Anyone who's an artist knows that illustrators, that's what they do. So we come up with it and then I say, "This style, go," and then he does all the maps.

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    Questioner

    Speaking of Dave Wolverton, did he inspire you to explore unusual avenues of magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is, speaking of Dave, Dave Wolverton/Farland, he uses several pen names, did he inspire me to seek out new avenues of magic, because The Runelords is one of the best magic systems in fantasy. I usually credit it as the best magic system in fantasy. The thing is, I hadn't read Dave, until I took his class. In his class I was writing Dragonsteel, so White Sand and Elantris were done. So yes, like reading his, I'm like, "Wow, I need to up my game." Garth Nix did the same thing to me. I read him during that era, I'm like, "Sabriel's great, I need to up my game." I would step back and credit Robert Jordan in part. You might say, "Oh, his magic system is a little bit soft, not as hard." But it was a lot harder than the things that were around the time. Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner books were another big inspiration for that. And partially it was me saying, "I don't think fantasy's doing this sort of thing enough. It's something I'm interested in and good at. I want to try bringing it to fantasy." But yeah, Dave's books, the Runelords, that magic system is incredible.

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    Question

    Why do you teach and not just write full-time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a good question. So I only teach one class now. I used to teach full-time before the writing took off. There is a class called "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy," and I just can't let go. What we did is we moved it to one night a week for three hours instead of one hour three days a week and we moved it to a night class. So it's Thursday nights and it's only one semester; we cancelled all the other things of it. But I can't let go. There's enough of me that is a professor that I need to get out of the house and do something. I can't just sit in my room all the time.

    Beyond that, I took this class in 2000, so 16 years ago. I took it from David Farland, who has come and signed here at UBooks before. It was so important to me as a writer because my other professors were good writers and they could talk about writing but they had never made a living as a writer. There's only so much, if you want to be a professional, you can learn from people who aren't themselves professionals. They know a lot about being a professor and they know a lot about writing good writing. They don't know about how to take that good writing and make a career out of it. When I took the class from Dave, when he said practical things like, "Here are tools you can use try and get past writer's block." I'd never heard that before. In my other writing classes it was things like, "If you have writer's block, seek your muse. Go sit outside and stare at the clouds." Things like this that you get from an art degree. And Dave's like, "Yeah, if you have writer's block, try writing longhand, that works for me. Take a notebook and write in it. Try writing a first-person viewpoint monologue from one of the characters talking about their frustrations right now in life." And it works really well. If you've got writer's block you're like, "Oh, let's talk through why the character's frustrated, have them talk to me." Or you've got writer's block, he'll say, "You know what? Try just throwing something against the wall. Try having ninjas attack." Stuff like this that you're not going to put in the book, but it's just to get you thinking and writing. Practical advice like that. He's like, "If you want to publish in science fiction and fantasy you might want to go to World Fantasy Convention and meet some of the professional writers there and get their advice." I'd never heard anything like that.

    I feel it's important for me to continue this class. Dave moved off to try to make movies and they were going to cancel it because they just didn't have a writer to teach it. So I said, "Yeah, I'll teach that class". This was back when I had sold a book and they didn't know what to do with me. Here I'm teaching freshman composition, I'm getting my master's degree in creative writing and we're all dancing through flowers and talking about our feelings as you do in art degrees. Then I walked in one day and said, "Hey, I got a book deal." And it terrified all my professors they had no idea what to do with that. They said, "Well, that's probably gonna to be your master's thesis then, Sanderson." It was Elantris as my master's thesis. So having somebody there who writers can go and say, "How do I sell a book? What does an agent do? How do I make a character sympathetic?" People don't talk about those sorts of things. They talk about the prose, but they don't talk about those things. That's why I still do it.

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    Question

    When Siri goes to the God King, and she kneels and Bluefingers tells her everything that she's supposed to do, was he just making that up to cause a lot of tension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of what he told her is true. If anyone else heard it, they'd be like, Bluefingers might be exaggerating a little, but that's his job. So I would say, yes this is true but there are people in the know who know that not all of those things are actually useful, but that's part of the cover up.

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    Question

    Other than his home planet, what's Hoid's favorite planet in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He probably would pick Scadrial. Hoid likes his creature comforts. Scadrial is the nicest place to live right now. Now there are other places that are easier to get Investiture, which is very nice, but if you actually want to go to a restaurant, your options are limited. They've got some on Nalthis, but you want to get a nice restaurant, go to Scadrial. You want a car service, Scadrial. And if he sits around long enough, he'll have instant noodles.

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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.