Recent entries

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13001 Copy

    Questioner

    With the introduction of ebooks does that really like, open up a way for new authors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It did. It’s actually-- what we find is in general, more authors can make it professionally, though across the board everyone earns a little bit less. Um, and so, but that’s like… that’s a very good thing for new authors. It means there’s more opportunity to break in. And I do talk in the lectures-- I have a self-published person come in and talk about breaking in through self publishing, which is totally viable these days.

    Questioner

    Is it easier to move to actual publishing from the ebooks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is... It is. Usually they say your threshold is when you’re selling ten thousand books. If you can get to ten thousand. Then New York publishers will be willing to give you enough of an advance that it’s worth it for you to take it. So that’s kind of your threshold. Between two thousand and ten thousand they’re willing to look at you. So that’s kind of where you want to try to hit. And the best thing you can do with self publishing is… The best thing you can do for your writing is just to keep writing. And the best thing you can do for self publishing is to maybe save up until you’ve got a couple books. You know, write one, then go write the second, then revise the first and make it good, then release that, then revise the second and release that. So you can kind of do two…

    Questioner

    So get like some books in your holster before you start…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah yeah, you probably at least want to know that you’ve been able to take a little time and get two or three done. Then release them in rapid fire and use them to promote one another. Plus you will learn so much writing your first few books that by the time you’re done with your third one you can revise the first and they’ll have an even quality rather than kind of-- you know--

    Questioner

    Better every time

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13002 Copy

    Questioner

    I just finished Rithmatist, so just a general question, where did the idea come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Rithmatist began as the magic system as you probably could guess. I wanted to do an interesting magic system that people played a game with. Because I have used most of my magic… You’ll read in these, that they’re kind of martial arts based, warfare based, things like that. I’m like, people play games with everything. Why do I have no games-- magic systems with games. So it kind of just spun out of that.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13003 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you update your own website? [...] I was wondering because you’re [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    If it’s in my voice, then I wrote it. Uh… Anyone who updates-- Like you go sometimes [wording?] say “Assistant Adam here, here is something Brandon told me…” So if you hear an “I”, it is me. If it’s not an “I”-- it’s in third person or something-- then it’s one of my assistants.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13004 Copy

    Questioner

    I’m a big fan of Jasnah. And I hope you’ll do her justice in the next book. Do you say it “Jasnah” or “Jasnah”? [different pronunciations]

    Brandon Sanderson

    I say “Jasnah” [soft-J], but you can say it however you want. Remember she’s got a--- she will get a book in the series that has her flashback sequence--

    Questioner

    Good!

    Brandon Sanderson

    --but it’s a little ways off.

    Questioner

    Does she get a [???]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She will-- She… You will see a lot more of her, but she is intended to be one of the main characters of the second five Stormlight books. In the first five Stormlight books she’s a supporting character. So we’ll reverse some of the supporting characters and some of the main characters in book 6. Um… So you just gotta to wait until we get some more. But she is on the cover of book 3, so...

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13005 Copy

    Questioner

    Is being a Knight Radiant at all genetic? Because you have Jasnah, Dalinar, and Renarin in the same family.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not genetic, however… Um… Families or people close to one another are more likely. It’s not genetic. So for instance, if everyone were adopted it would still have the same prevalence.

    Questioner

    Okay, fascinating!

    Questioner

    [interruption hard to hear]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is which, attracting the attention of a spren can mean that other spren are paying attention to that area. There are also things in the Cosmere (the shared universe of them) where people are connected spiritually. Um… and that’s part of the magic as well. So… You are more likely to become a Radiant if you know a Radiant.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13007 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Stormlight Archive we saw the sword from Warbreaker and we also know that the royal line can change more than just their hair, will that come into play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can! What’s that?

    Questioner

    ...will that come into play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will come into play, keep your eyes open.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13008 Copy

    ccstat

    We know that recording things can lock spren into position in the cognitive realm. Does the existence of the written Diagram have a significant Realmatic effect.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Diagram has Realmatic significance.

    ccstat

    Did Taravangian know that when he wrote it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Define “know.” On the same level perhaps that a table on Roshar knows it’s a table.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13009 Copy

    ccstat

    Nalthis has 5-centric numerology.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay.

    ccstat

    Do regular humans count as the 5th type of biochromatic entity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [laughs] Um, I will RAFO that, not for any real good reason, but for a mini-good reason.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13010 Copy

    ccstat

    (written in book: Is there a radiant order that would accept Allomancer Jak?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    (written in book: It would depend on the spren, but possibly. There are a few that would have liked him once...)

    There’s some portent in that answer.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13013 Copy

    Questioner

    Lopen. Is he a squire, or does he actually have a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He’s a squire. You’ll find out a lot more about what the squires are in the upcoming book. For most orders, squire were knights radiant potentially in training, so you can see what happens in the next book.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13014 Copy

    Questioner

    (Paraphrased) [Something about treating religion fairly]

    Brandon Sanderson

    I feel that a story is best when there are multiple people with strong viewpoints who disagree.

    Questioner

    In a lot of books, religion is the weakness.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always hate it when there’s a character in a book who expresses an opinion I have, and they’re the idiot.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13016 Copy

    Questioner

    First, I have a message from my older brother

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay

    Questioner

    He says, "just tell him that Szeth is the man, and he expects a bloody revenge story, where he whoops off all the heads of all the Shin guys who still have honorblades

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tell him that Szeth is anticipating that too.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13017 Copy

    Questioner

    Why does Stormlight make things cold?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s not the Stormlight, it’s condensation because something is going directly from a gas into a solid. The coldness is caused by that, it’s not necessarily that the Stormlight is making things cold, but that the Shardblade is condensing.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13018 Copy

    Steeldancer

    The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.

    Steeldancer

    Like Vin and Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.

    Steeldancer

    The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Boskone 54 ()
    #13020 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep your characters’ voices distinctive? Because Jordan is terrible, all the women sound exactly the same, but you don’t.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s weird. Character is the one I have the hardest time talking about. I’m naturally an outliner and planner for everything but my characters. What I do is, I cast my characters. I put a person in this role and I write a scene from their viewpoint and, if it is distinctive and it works, I go with it. If not, I set it aside and I try some other personality until I get something that  feels distinctive, and then I use that chapter as a model. Anytime I’m going to go back to that character, I go back to that chapter like, this is who they are. Later on, I’ll have touchstone chapters where they change and I’ll use that one instead.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13026 Copy

    Dragon13

    Are there requirements to join the Seventeenth Shard, and would they accept, for lack of a better term, a non-enhanced member?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and yes... Baon is not Invested...

    Questioner 1

    What would they not like? 'Cause, like, we know they don't like Hoid, and what he's doing-- *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do like what Khriss is doing, alright? This is an acceptable thing to them.

    Questioner 1

    ...What about when people start integrating themselves with a culture, is that gonna make problems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would prefer that people didn't do that.

    Questioner 2

    So not Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not Va-- Vasher is very far from being Seventeenth Shard. *laughter* So very far.

    Argent

    Would you say they are a community of scholars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are a community-- They are not all scholars, so I would not say that. I would say they are interested parties who do not want any planets to get destroyed.

    Questioner 3

    So they're the Apocalypse Guard? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they aren't really able to prevent these sorts of things. They're more like the-- Oh what do they call them in DC? The Watchers? ...But those guys are super powerful and stuff, so it's not like that. But you can imagine it's something like that. "We're watching, we're studying' we're investigating, and we're trying to prevent-- ...They're like Starfleet, right? They've got some Starfleet stuff right? "We're gonna go research and study these people, but we shouldn't be involved." It's less about Prime Directive, and more about "What if something we do causes-- exacerbates the conflict between the Shards." The Shards split up for a reason, is what they think, right? Shards split up for a reason, they should continue to be split up, we should not dabble in bringing them together.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13027 Copy

    Argent

    Have we seen the resonances of either Wax or Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.

    Argent

    The bubble.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- Let's just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it's just an enhancement to what he can do.

    Argent

    I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.

    Argent

    But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    --and resonances--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--

    Argent

    So he's more a savant with both of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing. Just in slight, little ways. You're not gonna see a whole bunch. But you can imagine these two separate powers are kind of becoming one to him.

    Argent

    Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13028 Copy

    Questioner

    So there's a line in Secret History that references, like, a mythical string that shows the way home in the maze of Ishathon. Is that an intentional reference to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, so here's one thing I do in the cosmere, because my senior course was in folklore, I had a really good folklore teacher-- So you should all thank Dr. Thursby for this. One of the things I learned in folklore-- I don't know if you guys have studied this, but it's really interesting-- Societies come up with the same myths. Right? They do! You'll find-- The biggest one is the Cinderella myth. There's a version of Cinderella in almost every culture, and it's shocking how they hit the same beats. And so my folkloristic inclinations lead me to say that certain stories that I know are common, whether it's the string that leads you out, or breadcrumbs-- different people use different things-- But these stories exist. Mythical mazes, you will find stories about. And so that's not meant to be anything more than for the folklorists to say "Ah! I recognize this, Roshar has some of the same myths, and the same versions, that we have."

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13029 Copy

    Questioner 1

    The ball of Preservation energy that Kelsier used, is that Stamping, Hemalurgy, or a third kind of the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a different thing. You haven't really seen that before.

    Questioner 1

    Because it seems to have similar effects--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you haven't seen that before. It was designed to do what it did.

    Questioner 2

    Is it just Connection?

    Bystander

    Connection juice. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll get into this, this is involving Silverlight stuff, so let's RAFO it for now.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13030 Copy

    Questioner

    If you Stamp yourself, to have another, overwritten spiritweb, and you get Spiked-- *laughter* What would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We actually worked this out. *laughter*

    Questioner

    Well, you'd die, or very close to it, but would it revert when the Stamp reverts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So what’s probably going to happen here is that you’re going to rip off the Investiture you’ve put on your soul, and your own soul will have less damage. Now, the spike is only gonna get the-- the spike, you're like "What will it do?" It will do what you've been overwritten with, but again remember, becoming an Allomancer takes so much energy, and things like-- But it is theoretically possible in the cosmere to rewrite yourself "You're an allomancer", someone spikes you to get this. The Investiture doesn't care that it was fake on you, you have managed to get that Investiture to work. Uhh, this is really tough. And really, like, you need Connection, and you need, like, the right kind of Investiture, but then it rips off and yes you have made a spike that makes you an Allomancer, even though the person was a Forger. So yes, okay? But this is the kind of stuff that is like the thought experiments for physicists in the cosmere as opposed to, y'know--

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13031 Copy

    Questioner

    What if you Soulstamped a city?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soulstaped a city... So if you're a really good Forger-- It is possible to do things like that, but it requires a lot of work and time. Just one thing to keep in mind with Soulstamps, and anything that does this, rewriting your spiritweb, right, like, requires Invesiture. A lot of Investiture. And so, for instance, what Shai can do is really cool, but what an Elantrian can do is gonna look a lot more dramatic, right? Shooting a column of fire, you would say "Which takes more power, making the wall have flowers on it or shooting a column of fire?" Making the wall have flowers takes way more Investiture. It's a lot easier to pull off some dramatic effects with others, but the actual changing of the soul and overwr-- ...So just keep in mind the extent-- This is why you don't see Shai Forge it so the whole building disappears. Right? And stuff like this. Which is not outside of reason for a couple of Elantrians with the right program to put into place. But I mean effectively-- They could blow it up, essentially, that's what they would do

    Bystander

    Make a new hole, rather than making one that has existed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Exactly. Do keep in mind, people like to ask, you've probably seen people ask, "Could I rewrite myself to be a Knight Radiant?" Right? WELL... There are certain things that you just-- you can't fake without enough energy that it becomes impractical. Usually what I use as an example to that is: Yes, we can turn hydrogen into gold, if we wanted to. Right? We can do that! It might take more energy than the earth creates in an entire year, but we can do that.

    I get a lot of questions with this that I'm like "is it possible?" and I'm like "Guys, is it possible?" ...You should probably be like, "Is it possible, with reasonable amounts of energy provided by one Invested person".

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13032 Copy

    Questioner

    If you Soulstamp somebody to give them a Connection to Arelon, and they became an Elantrian, could they become and Elantrian, and if the Soulstamp is removed, would they remain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so you're asking a better one than people have asked. So you say "You get Soulstamped, you move to Arelon, your soul thinks that it is this, you do have spiritweb of Connection" I will go ahead and RAFO this with the caveat of why it might not work, is because, you might think you’re something, right? That doesn't necessarily mean-- Like, this is not completely invisible and things like this. And so, whether the power is going to follow those lines of Connection or not I will leave up to discussion, but it is a possibility worth theorizing upon.

    Questioner

    So a Soulstamp doesn't necessarily change the core of your spiritweb.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does, but it's overwriting it. It's like Hemalurgy. What you are is still there underneath when it's ripped away, right?

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13033 Copy

    Questioner

    So Allomantic Savants. So I was curious-- That system-- When that happens, is it purely physiological, or is there something else happening in terms of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhh, it's physiological in a cosmere sense, but that can involve your Cognitive and Spiritual aspects.

    Questioner

    I guess the question there is, are there other similar processes to savantism with other--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah you've seen it. So, Soulcasters.

    Argent

    Where their skin turns--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where they're slowly being-- their spirit is slowly being merged and infused with Investiture that is having Physical ramifications. It's the same thing.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13034 Copy

    Questioner

    Sak, Dusk's non-native Aviar. That ability is very, very similar to Allomantic electrum.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is!

    Questioner

    And his other Aviar is very, very similar to Allomantic copper.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is.

    Questioner

    Is there a connection between those two, deeper? Or is it--

    Brandon Sanderson

    will RAFO that. Let's just say it is an intentional reference, but I'm not going to say whether it's a direct connection to Scadrial magic systems or more that fundamental rules of magics can reproduce one another. We have seen multiple instances of Lightweaving, so-- It's one of those two... That at least narrows it down for you.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13035 Copy

    FirstSelector

    Was Cultivation close enough to when Odium got  Honor, to know how to fight back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Heheheheh. I would say yes.

    FirstSelector

    And Cultivation, is she--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is still there.

    FirstSelector

    Alive and kicking. Okay, you've said that before--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is alive and kicking.

    FirstSelector

    And she can probably know how to not turn her back to the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I mean... She has learned from the experiences of others.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13037 Copy

    Questioner

    What role will the chasmfiends play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's a bunch of different roles for the chasmfiends that are all minor but-- For instance, I don't think anyone's made this connection, thunderclasts have chasmfiend-- it's part of the in-world inspiration for thunderclasts. And really chasmfiends exist in part to show off the symbiotic relationship between certain spren and certain creatures on Roshar. So when people who read the first book who know a little about physics can be like "Uhh, Mr. Sanderson" and I'm like "Well, look at these things that are flowing around this thing when it dies." It's an introduction of gemhearts and things like this. And the ability of certain creatures on Roshar to hold Investiture permanently, as Szeth says, rather than it seeping away like it does to humans.

    Mistborn: Secret History Continuity Notes ()
    #13038 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, all. Brandon here. With the release of this book, there have been some minor updates to continuity that I think some of you will find relevant.The big one has to do with Hoid's visit to Terris in The Well of Ascension. For those unfamiliar with the backstory, this little behind-the-scenes action has been a source of some consistent problems. The outline, and original draft, of Well had Vin and Elend traveling up to Terris, then into the mountains, to find the Well itself.

    This was a huge momentum killer in the story. Having your cityscape-focused book suddenly turn into a traveling quest fantasy for a few chapters felt very out of place, and required too much strange time-jumping to make it work. In revisions, I set about finding a way to repair this, and to overlap the Well of Ascension discovery with Vin's return to Luthadel.

    The end result worked much better, but I was forced to cut Hoid's cameo. (In the form of footsteps in the snow and frost leading to the Well, hinting that someone had been there just before her.) I knew where Hoid was, and added in the cameo of him with the Terris people—with the plan still being that he visited the Well sometime during the days after Vin's return to the city.

    Well, in working on Secret History, I found that this had a problem with it. Hoid had to already know where the Well is, because after the destruction of the Pits, he'd need to use the Well to return to Scadrial after leaving in the middle of book one to attend to certain other events.If you've read the story, you know this is how I proceeded. Official continuity is that Hoid went up to Terris after visiting the Well, as he had things to do there. He did not go looking for the Well. This doesn't change continuity for any of the books, though it does render one of the annotations for Well obsolete.

    Otherwise, I'm quite pleased about this novella. I wasn't certain how it would go, writing something using threads I'd left dangling ten years ago. (You should thank the beta readers, who are all Sharders I believe, for their continuity help. They made me aware pf several things I needed to make much more clear from the original draft, so that canon would be more crisp.)

    I know there has been a lot of discussion regarding which times when someone appears to hear Kelsier's voice were actually Kelsier. The story offers the official canon for this as well.

    It's nice to finally be able to give the answers to some longtime fan questions, such as what spooked Vin during her inspection of Hoid and what was up with Preservation and the Mist Spirit. It's entirely possible that, despite our efforts, we slipped up and made some continuity error here or there. If so, I'm terribly sorry! This one has been particularly challenging to do.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13039 Copy

    Argent

    Which is a nice segue to Shards Investing into Shardworlds, that I've been meaning to ask. So is it kind of a passive-- The more a Shard stays on a world--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    --the Investiture kind of seeps--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does. Once you've got a Perpendicularity, you are starting-- That's trouble for going other places. But you've gotta remember, going other places means multiple things to someone actually holding a Shard. They can exist in the Spiritual Realm, where all things are one. And they can even kind of comprehend it...

    Argent

    Can a Shard choose to just instantly invest in a place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they just need to start making some stuff.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13040 Copy

    Argent

    Some of the few Shards Rayse Splintered included Ambition, I believe, Dominion, and Devotion.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    And those were all way back, in the history. So, we know that the Shards' personalities overrides the Vessel's personality over time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Strongly influence, and depending on the individual, override.

    Argent

    Okay. So did Rayse choose those Shards because--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He went after Ambition first, but didn't find Ambition until after going after Devotion and Dominion. But Ambition was number one on his hit list.

    Argent

    Was it because of the Shard or because of the Vessel? Like did he hate the person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this case it was the Shard, primarily, that drove him--

    Argent

    Oh, he was maybe afraid the Shard would grow too powerful and take over--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was afraid that this Shard that would rival him. And so he's like "This one is number one on the hit list. We're taking down Ambition." But then he got trapped in the Rosharan system.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13042 Copy

    FirstSelector

    I read that you had said if you had written Khriss' essay on Nalthis, it would have been more or less that she was talking about the magic, and then mention that there were scholars on this planet that were spitting distance from, like…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    So, Vasher, and maybe some of the other ones have been off world--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shashara has been, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    ...Are they known to the people at Silverlight? Like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah.

    FirstSelector

    Like does Khriss know Vasher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Know Vasher is a different question than know of Vasher. But they are widely regarded as early cosmere scholars... They are pioneers of this sort of stuff. So yes.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13043 Copy

    Questioner

    Speed bubbles--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Ehhhh... these are the hardest ones.

    Questioner

    We've seen them work and move with trains, we've seen them not work with carriages: is there a size requirement, or is it how they view themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question. So I build in this thing, right? I'm like "Oooh, speed bubbles! Speed bubbles are cool!" but the Delorean problem, right? You're like "I'm going to go back in time: to the middle of SPACE", because the planet is in the same position, right? This is stuff that science fiction writers have been having fun with since the silver age of science fiction. So I'm like "Alright, I need to deal with the Delorean problem". And so I'm like "Alright, we're going to have to say that frame of reference is a big part of it: so perception and frame of reference is a big part of it; and also size of the thing that you're on". So it would be possible to use kind of cosmere cognitive training to get that speed bubble moving with you-- And someone asked me a question about this on tour, I believe, so it would be in one of the reports-- Not this exact same thing, but "Could they learn to move their speed bubble with them?" And yes you can.

    Questioner

    So it is how the allomancer views it, not how the thing views itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a part of it. Partially how it view itself, *garbled* It's really also mass. Big thing-- The speed bubbles required all kinds of physics-gymnastics. I'm sorry physicists, but once you start playing with time the stuff you gotta do. It's just crazy stuff you gotta do.

    Questioner

    We actually sat down and worked out what the metric would have to do to have a speed bubble-- Yeah, it was gnarly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...We did run the math on these things, and stuff like that. And Peter, y'know, he rais-- "Redshift" and stuff like this we talked about. And all kinds of fun stuff about speed bubbles that I then had to--

    Bystander

    Khriss asked about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So this is-- This one and manipulating weight... Those are the math ones. So these are the ones where-- They create the fun things to talk about, but they are where this is fantasy and not science fiction. Like a lot of these questions I could answer and you'd be like "Alright, if there were this alternate power source, we could buy this" but in this case we're like exception-list-of-asterisks to make it work. But they're too fun to not do, right? And I knew I was doing gravity on Stormlight, so I'm like "I gotta do weight separately".

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #13044 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History, Kelsier goes out onto the ocean and he finds plants in the Cognitive Realm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, mmhmm.

    Questioner

    Do they have a Physical aspect, or are they just Cognitive--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they're Cognitive only. They don't follow a standard ecology that we would understand, but-- Well, it'll make sense, hopefully, when eventually the science of that is understood in the cosmere. But there are--and I've said this before--on Roshar Shadesmar there are spren cities, and things like this. And there's a spren ecology, and stuff so…

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    Questioner 1

    When you were talking about spren being bound to the Cognitive Realm of their planet. Are seons similarly bound? Especially with-- Because the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner 2

    Could you also pull them off, with the knowing how?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but you’d have to get through the Cognitive Realm, on Sel. But yeah-- Yes, that is possible.

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    Questioner 1

    So the Sleepless kind of have me wondering about what sentience is in the cosmere. Like how would a Sleepless manifest on the Cognitive Realm--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question, you'll-- that I'll RAFO. But they are a single consciousness, but they would argue that all your cells are independent of you. So they are cells that can move around. They're really fun... they started in a non-cosmere book when I was 22. Obviously a bit inspired by Fire Upon the Deep, one of my favorite science fiction books. And I read that book and I'm like, "Group consciousnesses are cool!" what if you had a species that was made up of-- Not like one of these Ender's Game y'know, one, but each swarm was an individual and they could breed and evolve their own things to do different stuff. So each of these little bits, these hordelings is what I call them-- I might change because we've got cremling now. But each of these little bits is bred for a specific purpose, "Feed the swarm" and stuff like that. So they've got all kinds of cool stuff going on.

    Questioner 1

    Are they slivers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh slivers. Not quite like slivers. Slivers are a little more that whole Ender's Game thing, right? And this is actually an individual that's not a hivemind. This is an individual, single consciousness, and they've got a step between cell and body. We kind of do too, like mitochondria are kind of "What are these? Are these things we ingested somehow and got working for us?" It's all very cool.

    Questioner 2

    So is it like Malazan Book of the Fallen, like the D'ivers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh, there's little--

    Questioner 2

    Okay, a little?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

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    Questioner

    Why did Hoid in Secret History have to ride on another person to get to the Well, when that person could float on--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sooo, what he's floating on is a Cognitive Shadow. It's a spirit, it's not an actual person. He is floating on someone who is--

    Questioner

    Do we know them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You did not know them, don't worry about them. But see, he's using that as a boat because it's easy to sink through the mist. And if you notice, he has to coat his oar with Investiture in order to move him. So yeah, he's floating on a person's soul... It was so much easier with the Pits, but that's because there were boats and things.

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    Questioner

    Is there a Shadesmar for each planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Anything that people think about, right? And, you really have to be inhabited to get a good Shadesmar… But, y'know, you can find the gas giants in Shadesmar, but they don't manifest as an entire plane. Um, that's gonna change! But we're years away from that. Shadesmar is cool and weird but--

    Questioner

    Ohh, there's only one Shadesmar with different areas--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, really what we call it-- Shadesmar is a term that has started to stick in the cosmere for the Cognitive Realm. But there are manifestations of most planets. Or all planets.

    Questioner

    But they do all exist-- All of those Shadesmars are part of the same cloth, so to speak.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could walk from one to the other, barring some weird distortions that you might have to-- We're not going to dig-- I'm not gonna tell you about.

    Questioner

    But spren can't because they're bound.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're bound Physically to the Realm, the Invesiture.

    Bystander

    Unless you help them off.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unless-- There are certain ways you could do it, and things like that. But spren are bound, you aren't going to--