Is there some kind of connection between Szeth and Yelig-nar, the Unmade?
Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
Hmm... Szeth has no more of a connection with Yelig-nar than anyone else does.
Is there some kind of connection between Szeth and Yelig-nar, the Unmade?
Hmm... Szeth has no more of a connection with Yelig-nar than anyone else does.
When the kandra worldhopper is off-world, er off-Scadrial, does she take the form of a human female?
Not all of the time.
Has she spoken a word of dialogue in a non-Mistborn book?
I can't remember.
Is the kandra worldhopper MeLaan?
Good question. *hands Newan a RAFO card* In upcoming Mistborn books, you are going to get to know a lot more of the kandra, so you will have a lot more options.
How did TenSoon overpower OreSeur if TenSoon had the Blessing of Potency?
"TenSoon is wily!" There are also some drugs that affect kandra bodies.
Did Kelsier chose not to move on after he died or did he want to move on but couldn't for some reason?
RAFO. The thing is, Kelsier's wife Mare had certainly moved on, and that would be motivating him to go on to the next life.
Shouldn't the rest of Roshar be more Earth-like, more Shinovar-like, kind of, with Cultivation on Roshar?
Um, you are mistakenly assuming that Cultivation means Earth-like flora and fauna. Roshar is very bountiful, and, um, like it's not a barren land. Um, Roshar is very, um...
It's thriving. Yeah, it just has a different ecology. Um, you're mistakenly assuming that our ecology is the only sort that can be bountiful.
Does a more Investiture-poor world make it so its magics are easier to use off-world? Because, you said that Scadrial is really Investiture-poor, and it can be used easily off-world, but Roshar is very Investiture-rich, and how can you get Stormlight off of Roshar?
Yeah. Um, I would say that there is a correlation.
There is a correlation?
Is Nightblood's sheath made out of aluminum?
That is an excellent question that nobody has asked me yet! Um...I will RAFO that.
Oooh, I get a card. I got the card.
That is an excellent question.
How easy would it be to Pull metal through ["zombie" Elantrians]?
Pull metal out of them.... Easier.
Easier than a regular human?
So can you affect [a "zombie" Elantrian] with Emotional Allomancy?
What would a Shardblade do to [a "zombie" Elantrian]?
Um, a Shardblade would...oh boy. A Shardblade...a Shardblade would still be dangerous to them, um, the trick is, um, the Shardblade's gonna treat them half alive, half dead. So, it probably would be kind of a flicker, so it depends on when you hit them. It might cut the arm off.
It might cut the arm off...
And it might just leave it dead.
Most of my questions are actually about the Reod Elantrians.
So, could they be felt by life sense?
They would, um...they are in the middle of a transformation. I would say that yes they could be, but you're going to get like a stutter is what I'd guess you would get, it's like you would get a...a flashing.
Because they're kind of alive, and kind of not alive.
Yeah. And so, yeah, you'd just get a flashing sort of....something.
Could you spike Elantrian-ness? Like, could you Hemalurgically spike Elantrian-ness?
Could you out of a Reod Elantrian? The zombie ones?
Um, yes you could.
So what you would be spiking there is their Connection to...to the planet, first. That's gonna be the big important thing. So you're going to overwrite your Connection. Um, and then you're going to....it's going to be a complicated process because you're going to have to spike the actual ability to have been transformed, that's gonna be harder.
Does that make sense?
Yeah, so it's gonna take two spikes.
It's gonna take two spikes.
And you gonna have to get the right Connection to the right place. Let's say you spike somebody from MaiPon, and then you spike an Elantrian, you're not going to be able to use it, you're not connected to the right area.
Investigating the Southern Continent of Scadrial.
Any news on Alcatraz 5?
He said he wrote the book last summer, and is waiting for the greenlight from Tor to hand it off, basically. They want to publish books 1-4 first, followed by this one. But the only thing needed is a schedule and edits! Still sounds like an early/mid 2016 thing to me.
Are the Elantrian pool and Horneater lake connected?
They are the same thing.
Can you write in one of my books about something we don't know about the Shards, or at least one of the Shards?
*written* Odium has killed at least one more Shard than the ones we know about.
I've picked up in bits in pieces that it's possible, for some people at least, to use the Shardpools to worldhop...
Can non-Invested people do that, or do you have to have some form of Investiture?
*hesitantly* Every individual is Invested to some extent...
Do you have to have any special Investiture above and beyond the normal spark of life?
I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.
Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?
Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.
'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...
Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.
That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?
'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...
Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.
How do Shallan's Memory blinks work? When she takes a Memory, is it of what she sees in the instant before her eyes close, or is it while they're closed?
It is what she sees right as they're closing.
Were there cadmium/bendalloy and possibly chromium/nicrosil mistings in the Final Empire? If yes, were the mists Snapping those too?
Um, yes, there were, but since the mists were trying to create a pattern to be a sign, and people didn't know all the metals, they (the mists) had to use substitutions. They were acting the way we've seen other cognitive shadows, who are deceased, act.
How and when is the type of Misting you become determined? Can you tell what type of Misting you are before you Snap?
It's determined at birth. The cosmere by combining 3 aspects of self. Your physical self, mental self, and spiritual self. The spiritual self is tied to the Investiture of the world that you come from. When an Allomancer snaps, a piece of their soul is broken and some of that power leaks into them, giving them their abilities.
Why is Breath not consumed in Awakening, unlike most all other uses of Investiture?
Not all Investitures are "used up." Much like energy, it isn't typically created or destroyed, just changes for. With Breath, in what it's used for, it is just more easily and readily recovered than in other forms.
So Alethi hair "breeds true" based on the individual's ancestry, why then does Renarin have more black than Adolin?
As with us regular people, different shades of skin can be had within the same family with the same parents, its just a matter of how their DNA falls out. No different here. Nothing special with Adolin and Renarin's hair.
Can any Oathgate go to any of the 11 locations?
As far as [the people who discovered Urithiru] are aware, the gates can only go to Urithiru.
What connection is there between Lifeless and Shard-severed limbs?
They are similar, but different. With Lifeless it's due to the soul being drained away, shrinking to nearly nothing. With Shard-severed limbs, that portion of the soul is sheared clean away.
When is the second book of The Rithmatist coming out?
I haven't written it yet. I started doing the research, and it was so much work I realized I needed more time to do it, because I'm going to South America in it, and I just needed to know South American cultures better, so I decided I need to take another year to do research. So I'm doing research for it right now, I'm going to write it hopefully after I finish the next Stormlight book, and then we'll release it soon after. So it's a little ways away.
What are your plans with Legion?
We will eventually be doing a collection of those on my website, so if you want to wait on those, I'm going to do three novellas, and then we'll collect them into a three-novella thing, so it's a regular book size.
In the acknowledgements of Firefight you promised that if you ever became an Epic you would go after your alpha, beta, and gamma readers last. What would their best defense be, i.e what would your weakness be?
Mac'n'cheese? Well, No 'cause I like mac'n'cheese too much. Fish sticks. It would be fish sticks.
I thought you disliked fish sticks.
Exactly. That's why they'd be my weakness.
What do you think is the difference between SciFi and Fantasy?
SciFi works with the improbable becoming reality; Fantasy works with the impossible pretending to be reality. I think the line is between what could be and what can't be. By my definition, that kind of takes Star Wars into Fantasy. I don't necessarily like Asimov's definitions, just because he was very down on fantasy. A lot of the fantasy of his era was very Conan-ish. He was a great writer, I respect his fiction a lot, but I don't think he gave fantasy its fair due.
I would count Star Trek definitely science fiction, they're trying to talk about - even though they're using fantastical teleporters and stuff - they're trying to say this is what's possible. It's social science fiction, a lot of it.
But wouldn't you say Star Wars is really both?
I would say it’s a mash-up hybrid. It’s a fantasy magic system in a space opera science fiction setting.
In Sixth of the Dusk, it feels like it's a crossover...
That is true.
So is it a planet that we've seen before, or...
Yes. Well, you have seen the people they are calling the "Ones Above".
And you're not going to tell any more?
When will we know?
Yeah, fifteen years maybe? Hopefully it won't take me that long, but I only just finished the outlines for Era 3 Mistborn, which is now what we're calling the 1980s, so I haven't even at the moment got the sketches of the sci-fi one, I don't have the outlines and things. So in other words, we aren't to the science fiction era; we're a ways off from that.
What was the main inspiration for Elantris?
My main inspiration for Elantris was reading in the New Testament, actually, about lepers and leper colonies, and wanting to write a story about a magical leper colony. And that's where the idea for the people who got this disease, and the city, and everything like that.
Which is your favorite Epic to write?
To write? Obliteration, because he's creepy in the way I like people to be creepy.
When you started writing Cosmere novels, how much of it had you outlined? How far ahead had you thought?
When I started writing Cosmere novels? When I started started, I was a teenager. Totally hadn't thought very far ahead. When I was an adult and I was writing them, I wrote one when I was like 20, and I had an inkling, and I played around with things. The first one that I wrote with a real, conscious eye toward the cosmere was Elantris. So the ones that have been published, yes. But when I first started, I had a little bit of an inkling.
Have you ever backed yourself into a corner with it?
Not yet! I have backed myself into corners by saying things to fans that I've already changed in my notes and hadn't realized I had, and stuff like that - I do that all the time. But usually when I do that, I just tell them. "Ah, I'm sorry, I just changed this, guys." I'm still convinced that Stayer and Stepper - that [Robert Jordan] didn't know those were two different horses. I'm utterly convinced that he made the mistake, and then just covered it. Because that's the sort of things we writers do.
What was your involvement with the Infinity Blade franchise?
What happened there was, I came in when the first game was already made. They said we'd really like to do something, and I really like the guys, they're friends of mine, and I'm like, "You don't have a story here. You've got to have a protagonist and things like this." So then I said, "Okay, let's take what you have, tell me what you have for the world, and let's brainstorm together, and let's construct a narrative. And so we did it together. We spent a lot of time in their offices constructing the next two games, then I was able to write the novellas between the two.
So did you have any input on the game stories, then?
Yes, I did. I had a lot of influence, though I did not write the dialogue, so sometimes it's a little bit cringe-worthy. They sent me the script, but I just didn't have time to go over the scripts for them. Sometime I'd like to actually do a game with them, because they make great games.
Can you tell me anything about Kaladin's maternal grandparents?
Let's just say that his mother [Hesina]--you're asking a very astute question--gave up more than most people gave up in that city to go be what she became. She's definitely fallen in social standing since her childhood. She took a hit.
Do you have any word on the Mistborn video games that are coming out?
I have no official word, other than to say that we did option the rights to the film to the people who are making the video game, and told them, "You have to make the video game or you can't make the film." I actually really like them, and their script treatments on the film are great. And it's not their fault, really, that the game hasn't taken off. It's just that they've had - these things happen in video games. The studio they were working with went under, and another one split, and this sort of stuff happens.
Elantris, though, how you came out with The Emperor's Soul, it didn't involve any of the magic or anything, I have a feeling they're going to collide?
Yeah, there will be - you will see much more of that. Definitely.
So we'll be able to see the actual Elantris again? Shining and beautiful again?
Yes, you will.
It was very sad, to see them all in pain, the continual pain and...
One of the reasons I wrote Warbreaker was that I didn't think I could get back to Elantris yet, but I realized I'd written this entire book about the city of the gods, and you never got to see the city of the gods. So Warbreaker was another take on that idea.
So have you decided who is going to be the focus character for Stormlight 3?
I have not. What I've decided is that I need to actually write out, rather than just having the outlines, write out the three backstories that are left of the first five, and then compare them to the story as I'm writing it, and see which one works. Because any one of them could work, but as I'm writing the book... yeah. It's one of those things that I know I need the flexibility on, as I write, to make it work.
Warbreaker. Will we see more?
Yes you will. It is the project that is the most distant right now - the major project that is the most distant. Getting back to that, I feel like I have to do more Stormlight before I can get back to a different epic fantasy.
There was the poem at the end of Way of Kings. How long did that take?
It took an embarrassingly long amount of time. I am not a poet, so mixing poetry with a really rigid form... Yes, the keteks take a long time. Both of them.
Are you going to do that in every book?
A ketek? Yes, I probably will do that.
In Sixth of the Dusk, and where that fits in the timeline, are the visitors from anywhere we've seen before?
You have seen people from that place before.
And if I were to speculate more on which one, you'd say...
Then I would say RAFO.
When are you going to write the other Warbreaker book? Last time I came to hear you talk, you said you were going to, and now you have 3000 other projects!
I know, and the Warbreaker fans really get on my case about that. Well, I wrote Words of Radiance, and I got Vasher into it, so that would kindle interest, and make sure that you at least got to see your characters again.
But did you hear the story about that? So, I wrote The Way of Kings in 2002, the first version, and in that version Kaladin trained with a swordmaster, and that swordmaster, a guy named Vasher, had a mysterious past. After I finished that book, later on I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel to Way of Kings, to show Vasher's backstory. But then Warbreaker came out before Way of Kings, which was a really kind of interesting thing. So in my head, Warbreaker is the prequel, but to everyone else... Yes, it is a totally different world, different planets, people get around...
So how much of Vasher's backstory do we actually have?
Well, a huge chunk of it…! If you were reading Way of Kings, you would know nothing, and then you’d read Warbreaker and you’d be like, “Oh, here’s a whole past that he had!” That doesn’t mean it’s all of his past.
(He’s not giving any hints as to whether Vasher had any connection with Roshar prior to Warbreaker – or at least not without someone asking a much more direct question.)
In The Emperor's Soul - when did you decide to change the beginning?
It was Mary, from the podcast with me, is very good at short fiction. She read it, and she said, "This intro is just holding the story back." And I read it again, and I'm like, I really feel that she's right. I felt at the end of it that the intro was interesting for people who liked Hoid already, but for people who didn't, it was just distracting and confusing. So at the end of the day, I cut it out, and I think it was a good move, even though it was sad. If you google the phrase "killing your darlings". it's a phrase we talk about in writing and storytelling. That scene was what made me want to write the book, it's what started me off in writing the book, and then I cut it out. But sometimes you have to end up doing that.
At the end of A Memory of Light, it mentions that Rand is no longer ta'veren - does that apply to Mat and Perrin as well? And if it does, how does it apply to Mat's luck?
Everything I'm saying right now is not 100% canon, because I'm only working off of my guesstimates based on his notes. I believe that Mat's luck is a soul attribute that is independent of him being a ta'veren, but enhanced by his ta'veren nature. Part of the proof of this is the Heroes of the Horn knowing him as Gambler, which means in other Ages when he's been born and not been ta'veren, he's still had luck and attraction to things like that. Plus things in the notes, I'm basing on that. So it does not necessarily mean they aren't ta'veren right now, but even if they weren't, I think Mat would still have his luck.
So you don't know whether they're ta'veren or not?
I do not know. My suspicion is that if he would have written the outriggers, Mat still would have been, and maybe Perrin, because Perrin was going to be in the outriggers, we know this. But I don't know for sure.
But I think it would have been fun, if in some parallel dimension if I were to have written them, which I'm never going to, I would have not made Mat ta'veren, or Perrin, I would have made Tuon ta'veren, and forced Mat to deal with someone else who was ta'veren, which I think would have been interesting.
Can women be ta'veren? Because in the entire series there is not a single female ta'veren.
There is not, but I'm very sure that they can be, based on things that I read in the notes. So, that's what I would have done, but I don't know if that's what Robert Jordan would have done. Can you just imagine that, Mat having to think that he's in someone else's story now?
How do you keep it all organized when you're doing so much at once?
A wiki. An internal wiki is where I keep all the cosmere and all the notes on that. The other things, I don't have to worry about as much. For instance, Reckoners, I've got one viewpoint character and one major plot; that I can keep in my head. I've got note files and things like that, but the Cosmere? Big old wiki full of stuff.
In The Rithmatist, you mention that Joel actually sneaks into the classroom, is that a spin-off of what you did?
I actually had a teacher once ask, "Who are you?" One of them actually picked me out. Fortunately, that was one that my roommate was going to, so I was able to [pretend I was just there with him].