Recent entries

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #101 Copy

    Elsecaller_17-5

    I asked Brandon if it was possible for us to get a quick sketch of the mural so we try to dig into the symbology better and he responded (paraphrasing), "that's a good idea but I would have to talk to Isaac." 

    Isaac

     I'm also quite intrigued by the mural, and I've created a folder of ideas of how we might approach it. Unfortunately, it would take a lot of time and continuity to get right, and right now we need to be working on upcoming books. I could see this, however, being something we include in the art book. (But I'm not making any promises.) Still, this is something I'd like to put together someday.

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #103 Copy

    simon_thekillerewok

    Would you mind shedding some light on The Traveler? It appears to be an old short story written about a conversation between Hoid and Frost. My question is - will we ever see this published? Perhaps in the sequel to Arcanum Unbounded? Is this all there is to the story or is this just a snippet?

    And speaking of Arcanum Unbounded - what's the current status of the Nalthis essay? Previously Dragonsteel said it was going to be in the leatherbound version of Arcanum Unbounded. Is that still the plan or now that there are so many new systems, will it likely be held off to serve as content for the sequel?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I thought The Traveler already appeared in a JordanCon anthology. Am I remembering wrong?

    That is still the plan for the Nalthis essay as far as I know.

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #104 Copy

    [deleted]

    Given Brandon's answer to a block of Cheese stopping a shardblade, how does the last clap work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I'll admit, I've been considering the cheese question since it was asked.

    I'm not sure if it has to be cheese. But any object that is sufficiently thick but also sufficiently pliable that it's going to press down on the blade while it's cutting IS going to create drag on the blade.

    The Blade does, by necessity of my understanding of the relevant physics, need to be able to vaporize a tiny bit of matter into Investiture while cutting, in order to create space for the Blade to continue to slide through. This is related to why it doesn't cut things with souls.

    At the same time, I'm not convinced that this is relevant to the actual question being asked. I think that I have to relent that, with a sufficiently large block of cheese and a Shardbearer trying to cut lengthwise through it, the drag produced on the flat of the blade is going to tire the Shardbearer. Making cheese legitimately more difficult to cut through than stone or metal. And a big enough block of cheese might stop the slice straight up, because the weight placed on the blade will be pretty heavy.

    That said, the top replies to this thread are pretty relevant, and are correctly explaining the mechanics of the situation. There is this little "shield of vaporization" around a Blade while it cuts, so a thinner Blade (like Szeth's Honorblade) might not have this drawback at all. It depends on how far back the shield of vaporization extends, and how thick the blade is.

    My current instinct says that wider blades would be stopped by this, and so those of you planning to make ten-foot-thick walls of cheese to stop an invading Shardbearer can continue in your...endeavors.

    Remember, kids, keep your Shardblade thin for actual combat (for multiple reasons.) Only make the big showy forms when you're trying to look intimidating. (With a nod to the fact that a thick blade does tend to be better for getting through Shardplate, giving you more mass to hit with. Choose Adolin's Blade for Shardplate Duels. Szeth/Jezrien's Honorblade for cheese.)

    Skyward Flight Livestream ()
    #105 Copy

    Questioner

    In a 17th Shard interview, Janci said that it would be really cool if there were a new Young Adult pre-Mistborn story to serve as a bridge for YA readers to jump into the adult Mistborn stuff. Is this something that you have thought about, YA books to introduce readers into the Cosmere?

    Janci Patterson

    More than any other question, I get asked this all the time: if I was gonna write something in the Cosmere, what would I wanna write? So many times. And what I always say, every time: "I'm not writing in the Cosmere. This is not happening. I have never been asked. I don't expect to be asked. Don't spread rumors."

    But people get excited by things. So, what I told them (and what I'm referring to) is that I think it would be really awesome to have (because Mistborn gets shelved in YA, which is awesome) to have an actual YA Mistborn story that is actually YA that happens before The Final Empire so it serves as a bridge for your YA readers. And that's the answer I give people.

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #107 Copy

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Do you have a team? If so, how is it set up? Does everyone do a bit of everything? Is there an astrophysics division, artifabrian division, what-the-heck-did-Brandon-just-say-Shallan-did-with-a-single-broam division, etc? And how did you find the right people for the job?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    My team is Karen as continuity director, Betsey as do-whatever-Peter-asks-next minion, and starting in June, Kristy G as production editor. I also have a huge team of beta and gamma readers. And then there’s the Investiture Project, which is a group of 17th Sharders who keep track of magical minutiae.

    People fall into these jobs. It has developed organically over time.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #108 Copy

    Questioner

    What would you call a citizen of the Cosmere? Cosmerian? Cosmerite? Cosmerenaut?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oohs ahhs and hmms That hasn't been asked before. We've talked about cosmerenaut but I've used that more for fandom people. I'll have to think about that. Do we have a term for a citizen of the Milky Way galaxy? 

    Matt Hatch

    Maybe this is the question then: how much of the people that live in the Cosmere recognize or know they live in the Cosmere? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    A small percentage of them, depends on where your timeline is. If you're at the timeline where we are for the mainline books, very few recognize- are what we call Cosmere-aware. By the future timeline, a decent number of planets know, but more planets don't know than do.

    Matt Hatch

    Is "decent" a ten percent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, ten percent's a pretty good rule of thumb there, I would say.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #113 Copy

    natetcu

    The technology and cost of having an entire society that is constantly on the move because the day side of a planet is too hot to be exposed to, would be beyond immense. For someone to endure that cost there would have to be some huge upside for colonizing the planet. Does this planet have some awesome natural resources? Will we find out what they are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out why the people are there in the book. You are correct in assuming this. It does have a really awesome natural resource, it is the sun. You've already seen it, it is highly Invested, if you could channel that power it would be a very very useful power source. There aren't many people who could do what has happened here, and I will just say I chose the group of Cosmere people that I put on this planet very intentionally.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #114 Copy

    dalici0us

    Is there similarities between what happened to Aux and what made Nightblood what it is? The way Aux was talking about needing large sources of Investiture to work properly reminded me of Nightblood's hunger.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This connection is not as deep of one as you seem, though there is a small one. As it seems to seem to you, it's not as deep as that but there is some connection there.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #117 Copy

    SilverG347

    Could one assume by what Nomad said that Radiant oaths can circumvent the consequences of holding a Dawnshard? Also, if so, since Hoid has Design as his spren, what does it mean for him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, potentially, and RAFO. Reference earlier discussions in this stream, however.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #120 Copy

    simon_thekillerewok

    In your first livestream, you told us to watch for your take on the Monte Cristo revenge narrative. Is that Secret Project 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not.

    simon_thekillerewok

    If you can't say, could you at least tell us whether or not it is going to be in the Cosmere and whether or not it is in one of the projects we already know about.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #121 Copy

    donmicherone

    Hey Brandon, do you hate Threnodites? They seem to be getting the short end of the Cosmere stick now that we've seen them in two extremely volatile worlds. What did they ever do to you (or any shard)? I feel so bad for them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't hate them, but, you know, sometimes we hurt the ones we love.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #122 Copy

    Voidblessed27

    Can Hoid “Skip” like Sigzil?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. He hasn't been able to in the past. You have not seen him able to do so in the books that you have read. If we take the current Cosmere timeline as being where basically Stormlight is, with maybe the Wax and Wayne books. That's where we are in the real timeline of the Cosmere, without the glimpses of the future that some of these books are providing. Hoid has no idea how to do this. 

    Matt Hatch

    I like how you're timelining your RAFOs. Like this is a RAFO but with information.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Like I consider where the Cosmere is right now in its main timeline to be right around the 10 to 15 year period that Stormlight and Wax and Wayne are happening. And that's where we are in the Cosmere right now. But this is taking place way in the future. Actually, all three Secret Projects are fairly future era Cosmere. Basically I'm just kind of building out- what's going on with some of these things is, I want the Cosmere to be pushing towards a Star Wars/Star Trek-esque large universe of planets where lots of interesting stories are happening. And that's the future of the Cosmere. And so as I'm reaching to build more stories, I'm reaching to stories on those planets.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #123 Copy

    dalici0us

    Sigzil sound and feel like a totally different person from what we've seen of him in Stormlight now that he has lived a (presumably) very long life and seen a lot of the Cosmere. How do you balance consistency with what was shown of him in prior books with centuries of off-screen character development to avoid making it feel like he is just a brand new character with some name recognition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a balancing act. That's actually a really excellent question. And it depends on how long the person has been gone. Like, I did a time jump between books 3 and 4 of Stormlight. And so, wanted some thing to have happened and some character development to have occurred to characters, but that to be very slight and them to be mostly still who they were before. But you can't skip a year and have people be exactly the same. I felt like with this one the length of time between was really relevant in the things that had happened to him. And so what I have doing with him is this balancing act of him frequently thinking about the person he used to be and seeing that person pop through. And that's the difference between just new character and what I'm doing with Nomad is, you will see the old him more and more as the story progresses, popping out in certain cases and places. He is the same person deep down, but he's been through a lot. I don't know if there's a science to this. It's just an art of saying, "Can I write someone like this, that has been through the things he's been and the time that it's taken and what would be the realistic way to do that?"

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #127 Copy

    VeryNiceName16

    Sigzil mentions that perhaps billions of people die every day in the Cosmere. This would require about 6000 modern earths. Was this a mistake, or has the scale dramatically increased from the 50-100 stars you mentioned?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nah, it's Sigzil exaggerating. He's Hoid's apprentice, he has dramatic license and hyperbole as a tool that he can use at will. He has no idea how many people actually die, he's not gonna run the- well, he could run the math, he's that type of person, but he has not run that math.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #129 Copy

    Staufar

    Nomad and Auxiliary refer to each other as knight and squire, even though Auxiliary is also referred to as a spren. Auxiliary also calls himself dead, even though “dead” spren usually cannot talk. However, we know that cognitive shadows are also referred to as spren by various people on Roshar. Based on this language, can we infer that, at some point before Nomad left Roshar, surgebinders learned how to Nahel bond with the cognitive shadows of deceased Knights Radiant instead of true spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question, that is a stretch of an assumption.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #131 Copy

    Nollitoad

    Is there a specific quality that Hoid looks for in his apprentices and why are there so few of them? Given that Hoid has lived for thousands of years, the Cosmere could be swarming with them if he wanted.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. He has a different term for apprentice than just someone that who's learned at his feet. He looks for ineffable things that are difficult to put a finger on. Potential. He looks for potential.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #133 Copy

    College_advice12

    Who is more invested, Susebron or Nomad?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nomad- uhhhh. Oh oh, that's a hard one. Nomad was, but is no longer. So Susebron. I was gonna say Nomad, but he doesn't have the Dawnshard anymore. So not anymore, Susebron would be more invested than he would be at this point. But Nomad can feed upon Investiture, so he could overtake that threshold in the right circumstances. But not currently. Currently he can't even get himself Connected to the planet to speak the language, so.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #134 Copy

    Windrunner17

    Sigzil worries about leading the Night Brigade to people who love him. But quite a lot of technological progress has been made since last we saw Sigzil and presumably a long time has passed since Stormlight. Are these people also long lived like Sigzil or are you intending for the Cosmere to quickly develop FTL spaceships and other advanced tech in the decades following Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #135 Copy

    Matt Hatch

    You mentioned there were others that Hoid has trained. Are any of those that wouldn't be considered apprentices more adept that his apprentices?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on in what way. For instance, he's done a little bit of training of Kaladin. He's tried. Kaladin hasn't really listened. But he's tried with Kaladin. Kaladin is highly competent in a lot of areas. Not in Hoid-centric stuff. But he is highly competent. There are certainly a lot of people more competent than Sigzil is in the Hoid-type stuff. Sigzil, you know, butts heads with his former master. But he's got at least one apprentice who's pretty good at it. 

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #136 Copy

    College_advice12

    Is the cavern world Nomad mentions a work you have a plan for or just a random reference? If there is a plan for it have we heard about it before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I mention a world, there is at least a small, minor plan for it. You have not heard of this one before. This one is not high on my list of worlds to tell stories about, but it is there as a possibility someday. I would not expect this one, but who knows, right! I did not plan to tell the story of Secret Project 3. Secret Projects 1 and 4 have been brewing, the planets have been brewing for a long time. And Secret Project 3, it was just like, "I need a planet for this!" and just devised it for the story. And then, "I need another planet for this!" and just devised it for the story. So sometimes you just come up with things, but other ones were brewing for a long time.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #137 Copy

    Questioner

    What do Hoid's apprentices learn or do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are apprentices in Hoid's weird little thing that he does, in teaching people about other world, other planets, training them in storytelling. You can see in the Stormlight Archive Sigzil trying to be Hoid's apprentice, and doing a mediocre job of it, shall we say. I think that's in Oathbringer, that we get to see Sigzil give it his best shot. Basically he has this thing that he does, jumping around planets and doing stuff and these apprentices- they're like his Doctor Who companions, a little bit, you could imagine. But he does train them, so it's not really Doctor Who companions, because he does actually teach them to become like him, theoretically. 

    Matt Hatch

    Has he ever trained someone that he wouldn't consider his apprentice? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Yeah. There's lots of people that he has done a little bit of training to that I would not consider apprentices. 

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #138 Copy

    skamal26

    How long have you planned for Sigzil to have a bigger story than in the first few Stormlight books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Since the first few Stormlight books. Since I made the decision that I couldn't tell the stories I wanted to tell with Hoid because of who he was becoming and I wanted several apprentices of Hoid that I could use to tell those stories. Sigzil has been on this path for quite a while, I would say since the first Stormlight book. Since I decided to make him Hoid's apprentice, when I was working on Stormlight 1, I knew that I was going to have stories for him in the future. Whether I could write full length books about them, I was uncertain. Which is why when I had the opportunity to sit down and do a Secret Project that was just for me, I picked that one, because I've wanted to tell the stories of Hoid's apprentices for quite a while, and this was a chance to do so.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #140 Copy

    College_advice12

    The sun of this system seems to be highly invested, ordinarily this seems to only happen when a Shard is present yet this world appears to be a backwater. Is there something to this or is this system for some reason more invested than other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This system is more invested than other worlds. Part of why he's there. Part of why he would end up here.

    ElynnaAmell

    Is there a Shard on this planet or in this system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not an active Shard suffusing this planet in the same way that Odium, Cultivation, and Honor suffuse Roshar.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #142 Copy

    Raddatatta

    These all have Hoid very front and center, is this marking a turn in the Cosmere to generally focus more on Hoid's story? And will we ever get a more detailed look at what he was up to during the earlier parts of the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes, this does mark a bit of a turning point, where I'm like, alright, it's time for him to start being more of a character. I would say starting Stormlight Archive was the first of those turning points. Before that he was cameos. Stormlight Archive was, Hoid's now a character. He's not a main character, but he is a character, among the tertiary level character things. This is another turning point where I'm like alright, now we're gonna start actively involving the things around Hoid. None of these stories are about him, but he's telling two of them, and his apprentice is the main character of a third. And he shows up as characters in all three of the stories. It is a turning point. The next turning point will be when I write a story about him, which will happen.

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #144 Copy

    Adarain

    It has been stated repeatedly that the cognitive realm is geometrically flat. Like, flat earth flat. However, it is mathematically impossible to turn a sphere (such as the surface of a planet) into a flat plane without cuts or overlaps [by the Borsuk-Ulam theorem]. So my question is simply… how does the cosmere resolve these issues? Are there places on every planet where if you walk across a line in the physical realm, you’d now be in a completely different spot in the cognitive realm? Or perhaps places where two points of the physical realm collide in the cognitive realm?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Good question. And I don’t have an answer. I’ve always like Dymaxion maps, and those have big gaps. I would be fine with Shadesmar being non-Euclidean.

    Adarain

    Thanks for the answer! If I may ask for clarification, when you say non-Euclidean do you mean going back on the whole "Shadesmar is flat" thing (since Euclidean just means flat), or do you mean it having a structure like e.g. the mentioned Dymaxion map (or perhaps even wilder things like planets being entirely disconnected)?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I mean something like when you get to where the edge of a segment on a Dymaxion map would be, you step across seamlessly into the next section even though there should be a huge gap.

    Accomplished_Debt932

    I had always envisioned the cognitive realm as a Möbius strip. Flat, one sided, infinite, and ultimately a (sort of) loop. Is that accurate?

    Peter Ahlstrom 

    I don’t know if it’s a loop at all.

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #145 Copy

    Gilthu

    Do you ever get sneaky information from behind the scenes? If so do you ever look through Reddit or the web to see if anyone has posted that theory yet?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I love this question. Yes, all the time. And yes.

    For example, there is a scene where a Herald appears, and I haven’t found anyone who has posted that they think that person might be a Herald.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #146 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's talk about the Torment for a second. Hoid would not call what has happened to him a Torment. Hoid, by holding a Dawnshard, was made permanently unable to cause physical harm to other beings. Eating meat makes him nauseous (if he is somehow able to eat it, and a lot of the times he just can't). That is because of the nature of the Dawnshard that he held actively warping and changing his spirit. He would not name it this. Nomad has named what has happened to him, a Torment. This is not a term that you can universally apply as a magical aspect of something. This is Sigzil saying "this terrible thing happened to me". And indeed what is happening to Sigzil is on a level beyond what happened to Hoid. So therefore perhaps other arcanists would say, "Yes, these are an aspect of holding a Dawnshard and Torment is the right way", but that word is loaded. That word has meaning, and someone is naming it this. You are not gonna run into a large set of people- there are only four Dawnshards- and you're not gonna run into a large set of people that have held one, so there may be no consensus even in-world to what these are called, and if they are Torment or blessings or what they are. Holding a Dawnshard will warp your soul. It's so much Investiture, it is so powerful, that you cannot hold one even briefly without it having a permanent effect upon you. 

    General Reddit 2022 ()
    #147 Copy

    amurgiceblade44

    I believe that it was mentioned long ago that your one of the people Brandon goes to check if his science is right. If so what is your favorite and least favorite of Brandon's crazy science in his books(cosmere and not) and how does the craziness of the SPs feel for you.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Secret Project 1 does not work astronomically at all, but it’s a fun idea. I’m more fine with the crazy world on Secret Project 4. I love that Brandon has these wacky ideas for worldbuilding, even if there’s just no way to make it work. For things that are somewhat plausible I do the best to make it work. For those that are just impossible, I don’t spend too much time worrying about them.

    Yolen is totally impossible but it’s such a cool concept. I haven’t previously decided what my favorite and least favorite crazy science concepts are. But I do love the concepts of burning metals and breathing in Stormlight. Navani’s discoveries in Rhythm of War were very fascinating to me.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Do you mean the fain life, or does Yolen also have weird astronomy (like basically every Cosmere world at this point xD)? Or something else that's a RAFO?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It has weird astronomy.

    Secret Project #4 Reveal and Livestream ()
    #149 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there planets in the Cosmere in which there is no Investiture, and could Sig accidentally skip there and get permanently stuck?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are no planets with no Investiture. You would have to have no matter in order for there to be no Investiture, because matter, energy, and Investiture are the same thing. There are planets where, let's just say, natural sources of Investiture that are easy to reach are not present. So you would have to figure out another way to make this all work, which would be very difficult. It is possible for him to get there, but the way the magic is working is he is being drawn partially to sources of Investiture, so it's highly unlikely he would end up on one of those planets.