Recent entries

    OdysseyCon 2016 ()
    #12651 Copy

    Questioner

    Riddle me this: Why did the Horneater couple stop after four kids?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Playing along*

    Alright, go for it.

    Questioner

    They didn't want to get heir-sick.

    Everyone

    *Laughs/groans*

    Questioner

    A Rioter, a Soother, and a Coinshot all go to buy a car.

    The Soother goes up to the salesman and is like "hey can I buy a car" and the salesman goes "No, every time I sell to you people I always end up wanting to please you too much: I don't want to sell you the car, get out of here."

    The Rioter walks up. He's like "hey, can I buy a car?" and the salesman goes "No, every time I try to sell to you folks I always end up wanting to try and *garbled* too much, get out of here."

    The Coinshot walks up and the salesman goes "No you gotta *garbled* too, get out here." The Coinshot's like "what!? I can't mess with your emotions." The salesman goes "well yeah, but you guys are way too pushy."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow.

    Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
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    shdwfeather

    One of my favourite parts about Roshar is the diverse set of cultures that exist in the world. Could you talk about some of the inspirations for the complicated cultures such as the Alethi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Building Roshar, I wanted to make sure that I was doing a little extra worldbuilding work. I don't want to say that for something like Mistborn I'm not doing worldbuilding work, but my focus was in other areas. I wanted Mistborn to be accessible, so I made it an Earth analogue.

    I consider Roshar my showpiece for worldbuilding, and as such I wanted everything about it to display some of the best of what science fiction and fantasy is capable of: new ecologies, new cultures, cultures that feel real but that at the same time are not just earth analogues. Because of that, I've done a lot of work to individualize and distinctify a lot of the various cultures on Roshar.

    Now, that said, creativity is really the recombination of things you've seen before. We as human beings, by our very nature, can't imagine something we've never seen. What we can do is take different things we've seen and combine them in new ways. That's the soul of creativity. It's the unicorn idea—we've seen things with horns, and we've seen horses. We put the two together and create something new, a unicorn.

    Because of that, I don't know if it's possible to create a culture in a fantasy book that isn't inspired in some way by various earth cultures. I'm trying not to be as overt about it as The Wheel of Time was, because one of the cool things about The Wheel of Time was its twisting and turning of Earth cultures into Randland cultures.

    That's a big preface. What are my inspirations for the Alethi, for all of the different cultures? There's definitely some Korean in there. There's some Semitic cultures in there. The magic system table, the double eye, is based on the idea of the Sefer and the Tree of Life from the Jewish Kabbalah. That's where I can trace the original inspiration of that. I can trace the original inspiration of the safehand to Koreans not showing people the bottom of their feet because they felt that that is an insult—that's not something you do. I can trace the Alethi apparel to various different clothing influences. I'm hoping that a lot of where I get the cultures is based off the interplay between the setting, the histories, the idea of the highstorms, and the metaphor of the desolations. My influences come from all over the place.

    Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
    #12653 Copy

    thanners

    Dalinar can't hear his wife's name (or at least it seems to be magically censored to him, anyway), nor can he recall anything about her. But what happens if another woman with the same name is mentioned. Can he not hear her name? Or will he instead be unable to retain the fact that that name is the same as his wife's name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would be more the second.

    Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
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    cyddenid

    How well do Elhokar and Jasnah get on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fine, I would say. This is a bit of a spoiler for the end of Words of Radiance, but you will eventually see that they're the sort of siblings who are both used to doing their own thing and getting their own way. They've both learned to stay out of one another's business. That said, Elhokar is also used to being surrounded by domineering people of various sorts. So having a domineering sister is really nothing different to him.

    Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
    #12655 Copy

    Underbelly

    As a man of many projects, you seem very good about compartmentalizing your workload to be able to complete or advance a project independently while midway through even larger commitments. That being said, even authors such as Stephen King have viewed a certain project as their 'life work'. Would you consider The Stormlight Archive to be this to you (or at least your early life's work-being as young as you are) or rather does your ability to compartmentalize extend to your accomplishments as well as your workload in that you can view your achievements independently?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I consider the Cosmere sequence to be my life work—of which the Stormlight Archive is a major part, but it's not the only part. Compartmentalizing projects is the nature of how I work, to keep myself fresh, but the interconnection of the cosmere means it's not entirely compartmentalized.

    Tor.com The Way of Kings Re-Read Interview ()
    #12657 Copy

    Michael Pye

    One thing I've noticed around the release of Words of Radiance was you pointing out that The Stormlight Archive is really two series of 5 books each. Was that something you wanted to make clear so as not to be daunting to perspective readers or just more about how the story has developed since you began?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a mixture of both, honestly. I do want to be wary of not being too daunting to readers who are jumping into this thing and have been reading The Wheel of Time. They might think, "The Wheel of Time was 'promised' to be six books and it ended up at fourteen. If you promise six, how long is this one going to be?"

    But it's also because I want to start preparing readers for the break that's going to happen at book five. I'm going to stop writing the series for a few years, and then the "back five" (as I'm calling it) will focus on some different characters than the front five. So I have a lot of good reasons to be preparing people for what's going to happen there. Our expectations are a very big part of our enjoyment of all different kinds of entertainment mediums.

    Manchester signing ()
    #12658 Copy

    BlackYeti

    Can I ask you about the body of a Shard in the Physical Realm? About the different states of matter. What determines the state of matter that they are in? Because I've been reading the bits very carefully, and I haven't noticed much in terms of temperature difference.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The idea for me working on this was that they transcend-- They permeate everything, right? They permeate all life on all the Realms. And that there are manifestations of them that leak out, and it's kind of like they make-- they appear there in the various states but-- When you say that you've got the gas, you've got the liquid, you've got the solid: but you've also got inside of you, and inside of that plant, and like-- they're everywhere. And so what determines it? In my head it's just like when some of that power permeates, some of it distills, just like water. There's some water in the air, there's some that freezes: that's temperature. But it's not always temperature whether it's in the air, or whether it's falling. Imagine a Spiritual version of humidity, that is influenced by what's happening on the Spiritual Realm and the Cognitive, and that's what you'll get.

    Manchester signing ()
    #12659 Copy

    BlackYeti

    In Words of Radiance, we have Vasher showing up... One of his aliases on Nalthis is Kalad, which is very similar to the name of one of the Heralds on Roshar. So I was wondering how far back this connection between him and Roshar goes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It goes pretty far back, in fact when I wrote Way of Kings, the 2002 version; he was a main character and was Kaladin's swordmaster. I wrote Warbreaker to jump back and write out his backstory, Vasher's. So to me Warbreaker actually came after Way of Kings. But the connection goes back pretty far, further than you would first guess.

    BlackYeti

    Did he actually come from Nalthis and not Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not going to actually answer that one-- Well I can answer that: yes he does come from Nalthis. It's pretty obvious that the way that the Breath's working, the reason he moved is because it's easier to get Stormlight than Breaths, and Stormlight can fuel being a Returned like him. And so yes, he was born on Nalthis. Becoming Returned without being born on Nalthis would be really hard.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Necarion

    The compounding trick that the Lord Ruler performed. When you're storing Investiture, are you storing your "Mistborn-ness" or all the powers individually?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All of the powers individually.

    Necarion

    Oh okay!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the compounding trick. Really what's happening is you're fueling Feruchemy with the power of Allomancy, but you're filtering it through you, and then you're storing it.

    Necarion

    So it's not that you're a more powerful mistborn when you've tapped [investiture]

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
    #12662 Copy

    Necarion

    Is Taldain orbiting at a Lagrangian point? *Brandon laughs* It would make the orbits work.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *long pause* I'm not sure the implications, I have to think through implications before answering questions.

    Necarion

    The situation I'm thinking of, it would orbit the big star but at the same period as the smaller star.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well, I'll just say "yes", but I want to make sure I'm not saying "yes", without...well, yes that's how it has to work.

    Necarion

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because [Taldain] I want to be not like Roshar where we have unstable orbits and things. Uh, but I… I'm saying yes, but I hope that doesn't get me into trouble scientifically.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
    #12664 Copy

    Necarion

    One other speed bubble question. Is the speed of light the same inside and outside a speed bubble?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, yes. The speed of light is the same. Good question, you're trying to figure out the FTL.

    Necarion

    Also, it would eliminate the redshift if the speed of light…

    Brandon Sanderson

    If the speed of light were similar. That's one thing we considered, but it felt too unintuitive, plus it's just not how I imagined things working. So, no it is not, but that's a good question. It is something we considered.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
    #12665 Copy

    Questioner

    Now, do things actually move unpredictable at the edge [of a speed bubble] or do they refract out? Is it just that geometry is hard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I have a level of unpredictability, I mean we're Chaos Theory. The idea being, you could predict if you had a perfect closed system and things like this, but it's unfeasible for most technology and minds to be able to predict.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
    #12666 Copy

    Questioner

    So my quick question: Can you use Identity (I love the speed bubbles!) to anchor speed bubbles to yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, this is possible. That's less a matter of Identity. What’s gonna happen there, like, the more someone uses the powers, the more familiar and intermingled with their soul the powers become, and they are able to accomplish things that others can't. This would be like a Mistborn learning to hover a coin, right, which they can do, but most think you can't. That's the sort of level we're going with.

    Necarion

    So a savant could?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A savant could totally do that. The problem is, things moving in and out of a speed bubble, there's a transference of energy. This is how we keep speed bubbles from irradiating people when light moves through them, right, red shift. And so there's a transfer of energy directly from the Spiritual Realm, which means that moving with a speed bubble, you're gonna run into that, and it's gonna be, it's gonna cause all kinds of problems, but it would be possible.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Necarion

    Do Vessels have any flexibility in expressing the intent of a Shard, particularly if the intent is open to many interpretations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes they do. So, the Vessel's mind and how they perceive is going to have a large influence on how things are expressed and I think all of them have some wiggle room. But there are some deterministic things that are also going to push them.  You know, holding Ruin, Harmony may not go down the same path that happened to Ati.

    Necarion

    So Sadeas would express Honor differently than Tanavast?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes he would.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Weltall (paraphrased)

    That gave me the opportunity to ask one last question, about Feruchemical chromium and whether storing fortune would cause you to risk experiencing really improbable things, like the entropy curse in The Dresden Files.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said he wasn't going to answer questions about fortune, that the MAG shouldn't be taken as gospel on this point (I don't remember how it works there and didn't mention it, he brought it up on his own) and that he's planning something different than we might be thinking, for how that mechanic will function.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Weltall (paraphrased)

    I asked what Hoid's favorite flavor of instant noodles is.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    At first I think he misheard me asking what his own favorite is ('spicy Korean ramen' apparently, though I don't remember the exact specifics) so I clarified. He said that Hoid is looking forward to instant noodles but they aren't Yolish and he knows about them via the same method that he knows where he needs to be in the cosmere. 

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Weltall (paraphrased)

    I asked if someone who had a lot of Breath would have it weaken collectively, in the same way that the single Breaths of children are more vibrant than others and move one slightly closer to a Heightening, then weaken as they grow older (and contribute slightly less towards a Heightening).

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that it wouldn't be noticeable once you accumulate enough Breath and, for example, Hoid wouldn't find himself suddenly losing perfect pitch as a function of time.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Herald (paraphrased)

    What would have happened if Kelsier hasn't taken Preservation or later Sazed hasn't taken Ruin and Preservation powers? Would the earth have been destroyed due to so much raw power much before the actual destruction due to Ruin's actions?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes. Bad things would have happened.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    Like Sel?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Not going to answer that. Just bad things would have happened.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Herald (paraphrased)

    Is Vax present (lurking) in any of the star systems explained in Arcanum Unbounded? Personally I think there will be more star systems that would be discovered in the future and Vax might be part of them. Comment?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO for Vax. Yes, there might be more stars. The picture on the cover is the sight observed from one particular place.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    Silverlight?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO. Let's just say that there are more planetary systems present in the existing star chart itself that you don't know yet.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    Is Yolen present in the dragon constellation?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Herald (paraphrased)

    Is there more significance to the 10 other planets around the Rosharan star system and them being gaseous? We know that Roshar's moons have unnatural orbits; so there seems to be some astronomical manipulation in the system.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes there is significance of 16 in cosmere and 10 in Rosharan system.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    The outer 10 gas giants in the Rosharan system suggest a tie to the number 10 that predates the arrival of the current Shards. Is the prominent numerology we see around the cosmere an inherent property of the planets, rather than the Shards who invest them?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Big RAFO.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    Would Ashyn/Braize share the 10-centric numerology of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes 10-centric is for the entire Rosharan planetary system...wait Braize is 9-centric.

    Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
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    Herald (paraphrased)

    Is it possible to reliably deduce what a Shardworld's Cognitive realm will look like if we knew a lot about its Physical realm? For example, mists in Scadrial, spheres in Roshar etc.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, but it works in odd ways. So it may not work in the logical way that you think.

    Herald (paraphrased)

    Why spheres on Roshar? Something related to the highstorms makes more sense, right?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes there is a reason for them being spheres. RAFO

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #12691 Copy

    danimalod

    I also just finished Shadows of Self and was thinking about what would happen if a kandra tried to eat a shade. If they don't have bones, it probably can't happen I guess. But maybe a shade that was a kandra could be pretty frightening.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, a kandra couldn't eat a Shade. And how scary the shade kandra would be depends entirely on the kandra, I'd figure...

    Idaho Falls Signing ()
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    PrncRny (paraphrased)

    Is an Snapped Allomancer more likely to pass on the Allomantic ability than an UnSnapped one?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Not necessarily.

    PrncRny (paraphrased)

    I asked if it was pure genetics, then.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He initially said yes, then appended that with "not just genetics. there's a Spiritual aspect to it as well."

    Idaho Falls Signing ()
    #12697 Copy

    Dearius (paraphrased)

    We know that investiture physically affects and changes people's bodies, so aside from the chance of being born as a Misting, Feruchemist, ect. Can investiture physically or biologically affect the magic user's descendants, and if so then in what way?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You are on to something there, but I can't give details without spoilers. He then elaborated that it plays a major part on Sel.

    Dearius (paraphrased)

    In response I asked if the Alethi were descendants of the original Knights Radiant and if their descendants had light eyes due to their ancestor's use of Stormlight/Nahel Bond.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said I was on to something but to RAFO

    Idaho Falls Signing ()
    #12699 Copy

    Shawn M. Halversen (paraphrased)

    I asked him about the time between each of the original 99 desolations.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It turns out that the number 99 in the stories was made up, and that there were much fewer of them. He also then stated that the cosmere runs along a 10,000 year gap and that Roshar falls right into the middle of the timeline. He ended with "That should give you a perspective of the timeline and events of the desolations".

    When Worlds Collide 2014 ()
    #12700 Copy

    Khyrindor (paraphrased)

    Hoid went through Cultivation's Shardpool to get to Roshar as opposed to Honor's. Yet, he notes he never got along well with Cultivation. Why did he choose her Shardpool rather than Honor's?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You're making assumptions!

    Khyrindor (paraphrased)

    Is it possible that it is Honor's?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's possible.