Can Shards travel backwards in time?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
Anything is possible.
Can Shards travel backwards in time?
Anything is possible.
What is the definition of a focus (in [The Way of Kings]'s Ars Arcanum)?
Foci, though linked to the magic system, are more like artifacts of the philosophy surrounding the magic system. A focus is a philosophical concept, rather than a hardfast rule related to the magic system. A man-made, artificial way of explaining the magic system. Like the periodic table.
How is it that Nightblood, who is merely a near-sentient awakened object, was able to read minds, something a Shard like Ruin was unable to do?
It requires bonding (with the person whose mind is to be read) to read minds.
Ruin and Preservation were often represented in the Mistborn trilogy in terms of black and white. Is this imagery limited to that series, or do other Shards also have an associated hue?
This (Ruin & Preservation's colors) was because of the specific world and their perception of the world and themselves. Essentially, because of the dynamics of the interplay between Ruin and Preservation, they "chose" to view themselves as black and white respectively, so that's how they were represented. Also, because the only two Shards on Scadrial, and their natures were opposites, after the long period of time they spent on the same planet, they kind of "polarized." If similar thing happened on another world, similar coloring effect could happen.
Any news on Mistborn: Birthright?
Pushed back to 2015, so it can be developed for the next generation consoles.
None of the Heralds mention or address the Almighty in the opening scene of [The Way of Kings]; it's a little strange, considering they are his champions. Have they seen or spoken to the Almighty?
Yes, the Heralds have spoken with the Almighty. They also feel that what has been done to them is partially his fault. They are all broken in some way and aren't really honorable anymore.
Was that how and why the deal with Odium showed up?
Why can Shallan draw the Cryptics without seeing them, and can she do the same for other invisible spren?
Shallan and the Cryptics have a "special connection" that allows her to draw them.
Are the Cryptics spren?
Before his departure in [The Way of Kings] and his return in a future book, does he stay on Roshar only?
Good question. RAFO.
Will Hoid return as the King's Wit in the next / future [Stormlight Archive] book?
Ashe says to Sarene "your god". Do seons (and skaze) have a religion/god?
They have an inkling of the nature of their original Shards, which they would consider their gods.
Kind of like a first, a prime, a parent?
Yes. They kind of know what happened that created them, and they also know this is not the god being worshiped (by Sarene), so...
What command would you have to give to an Awakened object like Nightblood in order for it to not go insane?
I am going to RAFO that about Nightblood, but - is Nightblood insane? It just has no concept of... It was commanded to do something it was not equipped to judge. I would not call Nightblood insane. I would say that you have commanded something with no concept of morality to make moral decisions, and that's very confusing to him.
Will Llarimar become Susebron's high priest?
I would not be surprised if the events took him there.
Do you think he would be unhappy with the position?
No. Susebron is going to make at least, if not a good God King, then at least an earnest one, and Llarimar would approve of that.
Does Nightblood need to sleep?
*laughs* Nightblood does not need to sleep, but he sure thinks he needs to.
Are there still no Splinters on Scadrial, after the events of The Alloy of Law?
Yes, there are no Splinters on Scadrial. Unless they've been brought. There are no Splinters of Ruin or Preservation.
Did David get Steelheart's absolutely correct, or was it just close enough to allow him to destroy Steelheart?
It was absolutely correct. This is something David and Reckoners will actually discuss in Firefight. The second book will reveal much more about the Epics' weaknesses, and you will find out that there is actually a pattern to them, even though everyone thinks it's random.
Are weaknesses somehow related to things, events, or phenomena the Epics feared, or hated, or disliked before they turned Epic?
RAFO, second book. This is the exact question people - and David - are asking in the second book. Good question though.
What is Stormlight?
I don't want to answer this, but I'll just say "Investiture."
Are honorspren Splinters, or do they hold Splinters?
Honorspren would be termed Splinters.
Is Cultivation's Shardholder still alive.
Good question, what do you think?
I want to say, but that's based on my knowledge before I read Lift's interlude from Words of Radiance. Now I am leaning towards no. Based on that interlude, it looks like spren have essence from both Honor and Cultivation. It's almost like they exist in a spectrum, on one end of which is Honor, and on the other - Cultivation; so there are spren that are, for the lack of better example, 90% Honor and 10% Cultivation, and there are spren that are 15% Honor and 85% Cultivation.
That's a very astute observation!
And since we know that Honor is Splintered, then it might be the case that Cultivation is also Splintered, and their Splinters form the spren.
Is there any other canonical way to refer to a set of Shardplate and a Shardblade other than Shards, so as to not confuse them with the Shards of Adonalsium?
They call them just Shard(s). It is a little confusing, because there are other Shards, but they don't know about them. I call them a set, but there is no canonical way to refer to them.
If a Dakhor (Dilaf) could erase a symbol written by an Elantrian (Raoden), could an Elantrian erase/heal a Dhakor bone-symbol?
This is a theoretical possibility, but not a specialization of AonDor.
Fabrials replicate Soulcasting abilities. Is it possible for fabrials to replicate all such Surgebinding abilities?
Yes, good question! Fabrials can replicate all of the Surgebinding abilities.
Are Renarin and Adolin Dalinar's legitimate children?
Good question! Yes, they are both legitimate. Though Renarin didn't get as much of the hair, which is probably what people are asking about.
Are all of the Heralds who gave up their Honorblades still alive?
Good question! RAFO.
Do the Spiritual and Physical Realms have names, like Shadesmar is the Cognitive Realm?
Kind of, but not really. Shadesmar is just a rough translation of "Cognitive Realm" in the language of whoever first found out about it. Other people, planets, and worlds wouldn't call it Shadesmar - they would call it whatever their words for "Cognitive Realm" are. This applies to the Physical and Spiritual as well.
If Ati had somehow managed to give up Ruin and returned to being a regular person, would his mind have gradually reverted from its corruption by Ruin's intent, or would he always be determined to destroy?
Over time Ruin's influence would fade, but Ati would remain a Sliver, so there would be some permanent effects.
Could a Seeker who was properly trained and experienced detect AonDor or Awakening? Similarly, does a Coppercloud block an Awakener's life sense?
A Seeker could sense somebody else using magic not native Scadrial. RAFO on the Coppercloud blocking similar magic.
How do you spell "Lyss" the woman Jasnah meets with in the WoR prologue?
Not sure, but I think it's Lyss.
Aside from the Greater Roshar system, are there any other multiple shardworld systems?
Yes. You have not necessarily seen them though.
Feruchemy is the "balance" between Ruin and Preservation. Would any combination of Shards create a "balance" magic, so to speak, or are only certain Shards compatible?
Feruchemy ended up being a balance system, because of how polar Ruin and Preservation were. Any world with at least two Shards will result in a similar phenomenon.
Like Roshar. There is something like that going on there.
Was Calamity and its appearance in Steelheart just kind of an ad hoc? We know that it showed up about a year before the Epics started showing up, so people naturally assume one was the cause and one was the effect, but was that really the case and are both of them just the effects of something else?
Good question! I will say that this is something I've done before, so my fans will kind of expect it. I am aware of this expectation too, and I am careful about repeating myself.
Was Hemalurgy inspired by your time in Asia, and more specifically - acupuncture?
Yes. A lot of the stuff in my books that looks like it came from Asia really did come from my time there.
Anything you can tell us about Steelheart's sequel, Firefight?
It starts off in Chicago, but then moves to New York. It will show off an... interesting version of Manhattan, similarly to how Steelheart's showed off an interesting version of Chicago. It will also introduce three new Epics.
Pat Rothfuss recently worked with the folks from Albino Dragon to create a Kickstarted Name of the Wind deck of cards in which each face card features a character from the book. All those designs were discussed with Pat, and the final result is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Are there plans, or if not - are you open to planning, - to do something like this for one or more of your own worlds?
I know about Pat's deck, it's really awesome stuff! I can only say that I do have plans to do something similar, but you will have to wait for Words of Radiance to find out more about it.
I asked to confirm whether after Sazed's Ascension if there were any more atium or malatium Mistings.
There are no more, in that way...
In that way, huh?
Someone asked a really good question about inspiration of Sazed's crisis of faith and religion.
Brandon really opened up nicely here saying that he does a lot of research so that he can tap into how people really feel about their religions, and therefore not just argue his characters' religions from a token perspective, but hold something that feels a little more real. He said he often hits up forums for different religious beliefs and surfs there, because people tend to be very honest and passionate on forums, which gives him a nice basis to write from.
He was asked how many contracts he's had and has.
He started to talk about the story where he had a contract for Dragonsteel and another book, which became Rithmatist. He said the first book of Dragonsteel didn't turn out well, and that he wasn't ready to write that series, which ties in all of his universes as a prequel. And said he'd be avoiding more series where you have to really have read everything to get it until further down the line. Confirmed that the next several books are going to be Stormlight related, along with the in between Wax and Wayne books, Steelheart books and Rithmatist.
Is there going to be any more Alcatraz.
He did say something interesting about that in that he was going to write it on spec and would likely post it up for free until he found a publisher for it once that was done.
I know the second book in the series isn't due out until next year, but can you tell us how many books there will be total in the series?
A trilogy. As for it being open-ended, I can't reveal the ending of the third book, or anything about it, while the first book is just barely out! So, you'll have to wait and see.
If Calamity did come (and most of us did not turn evil), what power would you want? Would you be a hero? Villain? Switzerland?
What power I would choose depends on how rational my brain is that day. It makes the most sense to have Wolverine's regenerative powers. At the same time, it's not like I'm jumping off cliffs or getting into fights. So I probably wouldn't do much with this power.
But in the back of my mind, there's a part of me that says, "Boy, would I really love to be able to fly!" Which is why a lot of the magic systems in my books wind up dealing with people having powers that let them soar in the air.
Honestly, I want to think I'd be a hero, but as I've mentioned, the reason I wrote Steelheart was because of a moment where I had intense anger toward someone else. And that moment of me imagining myself destroying someone else because of a minor annoyance is part of why I wrote this book. I was frightened of myself. I'd like to think that I'd be a hero. I'm worried that I wouldn't be.
Steelheart makes you feel a few pretty intense emotions. Were there any scenes in particular that you found difficult to write, because of these intense moments?
One of the very first scenes I imagined for Steelheart is where the main character David is trapped and pinned down. Certain things have led him to that moment and the events that happen right after that. (I'm not giving any spoilers, but those of you who have read the book will know what I'm talking about. It happens right after the motorcycle chase.) When I'm developing a book, I often go for a walk or walk on the treadmill and listen to cool music, my eyes closed, and ask myself, "What is the emotional resonance of this book? What's it going to feel like to read it? What scenes will make that happen?" This was one of those scenes. For me, it was the most important scene of the entire novel, so getting to it was a pleasure, but it was also an emotional and powerful scene to write because I'd been planning it for so long and wanted badly for it to turn out well. That can be really difficult for a writer when you've got something in your head and you worry. Can I make it turn out on the page?
Newcago was a HUGE surprise for me. I expected to see Chicago, but roughed up in a dystopian way. Instead you took a major city we all know, and made it completely new and interactive. The catacombs, in particular were really interesting to me. Did you base Newcago's catacombs off of a "real" place?
Newcago's catacombs were actually based more off of mid-eighties cyberpunk stories where you've often got this sort of techie underground, and I love that visual. I intentionally didn't want to take Steelheart in a dystopian direction, even though it technically is a dystopia. I just feel that the whole "wasted world" dystopia has been done so well by so many writers that I wanted to have something that felt new and different.
When I gave Steelheart this sort of Midas power to turn Chicago into metal, I thought it would be cool to have these catacombs dug underneath it because the visual was so different and cool. The catacombs I've visited in various cities are, of course, awesome, but really I'm looking back at those cyberpunk books.
With Steelheart, every superhero I've worshiped as a kid was pretty much blown to bits and replaced with the scariest bunch of "supers" I've ever seen. How did you come up with the idea to take superheroes (and even today's, not even close to epic level, villains) and make them so amazingly evil?
I was on book tour, driving a rental car up through West Virginia when someone aggressively cut me off in traffic. I got very annoyed at this person, which is not something I normally do. I'm usually pretty easygoing, but this time I thought to myself, "Well, random person, it's a good thing I don't have super powers—because if I did, I'd totally blow your car off the road." Then I thought: "That's horrifying that I would even think of doing that to a random stranger!"
Any time that I get horrified like that makes me realize that there's a story there somewhere. So I spent the rest of the drive thinking about what would really happen if I had super powers. Would I go out and be a hero, or would I just start doing whatever I wanted to? Would it be a good thing or a bad thing?
Do Wayne and Ranette have last names?
Wayne, no. Wayne doesn’t care about a last name. Ranette does, and I’m trying to remember what her last name is. It’s in my notes. If you ask, we can get it for you.
So if you burn duralumin at the same time as the metal that speeds up time, meaning stuff flows faster outside, would you basically warp into the future a long ways?
That's an excellent question.
I'm so sure! I'm so sure…
And I am not going to answer that question yet, because I don't... Because you are asking questions that they are going to be trying to answer in like five more books. So telling you right now would give spoilers for books way too far ahead in the future.
Does it take longer for spheres to charge on the western side of the continent?
Oh, because of the… No it doesn't, but that's an excellent question. The highstorms are a little weaker, but that's more of a… Of it's been blunted from the-- It's not an-- Like if the continent, the mountains weren't there, they wouldn’t be weaker.
So alternatively, is Shinovar the way it is as a result of Cultivation's influence in any way?
You will find out answers to why Shinovar is the way it is.
Is the Old Magic in Shinovar, and is this a result of something to do with Cultivation?
The Old Magic is at The Valley, which is not in Shinovar, which is… If you've got a book, I'll show you where it is.... Let's see where Issac's wonderful map is, the first big one… Right here. So the Valley's right there. So that's where you go in order to visit the Old Magic.
Are chasmfiends naturally aggressive?
Chasmfiends are… Depending on where you find them in their life cycle, can be naturally aggressive.
Kind of along the same lines, I just want to confirm something. If someone from Earth saw an Alethi, what ethnicity would they assume they were?
It would-- The model I use are actually for the half-Hawaiian, half-Asians that are kind of common in Hawaii. That's the model I've used; I actually have one of their faces for Kaladin. So it would depend on what your perspective is, you might say-- some people might say Arab, but the model I'm using is kind of more Hawaiian/Asian mix is what you'd get. The only ones that would look Caucasian to you straight-up would probably be the Shin, though if you get someone who has Horneater blood-- The Horneaters might look-- they just-- they're gonna look like bizarre… redhead… things, but they might look Caucasian to you.
So would Shallan also be more towards that?
Yeah, Shallan has lighter skin. But she still has the epicanthic fold, and so she maybe would look to you like a Caucasian/Asian mix? With red hair? So… Anyway, she would look fairly Caucasian.
I will attempt to send you excited fanart.
I've been picturing the Alethi as Indian, myself.
Okay, yeah. Yeah, yeah, like East India? That’s a pretty good picture on them. That would work very well.