Recent entries

    General YouTube 2024 ()
    #101 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, frankly, a bit of a miracle that this [Secret Project Five] manifests in the middle of Stormlight Five. And it only did because I had a little bit of momentum on it from a number of years ago. And you'll find out once that is once we do more of the reveals. But it's something I've been writing on for maybe seven, eight years.

    I wrote a bunch of this in Hawaii last year. I took some time and relaxed; I actually had two trips to Hawaii last year, one with the whole family, and then one with just myself and Emily. And that's where the bulk of this was written, was during those two trips.

    Dan Wells

    Secret Project Five is much shorter and more compact. It's got, I think, really only two POVs.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something else I wanted to talk about with this. You mentioned High Cosmere Connectivity; I worked forever trying to figure out how to write that phrase. Because it had to fit in, like, two or three words on the screen. And it had to explain... and I'm not sure if people will understand, even still, what we're getting across. Because what I really wanted to say is: this book isn't intended for first-time Cosmere readers (though if you are a first-time Cosmere reader and you understand that, you'll probably have a good time). The rest of you probably should read a few Cosmere books before you pick this one up, then you will really enjoy it better. That's what I wanted to write; that's not three words.

    If they know they're jumping into future era where there's a lot more cosmere connectivity... but, the story reads just fine on its own. There are plenty of people who could read this book, not know anything, and enjoy it quite a bit. It doesn't require you to have read other books to understand. But...

    And some people don't like a lot of cosmere connections. And this one does have them. It's got characters from multiple different planets; some you've seen, some you haven't. And it's taking place, kind of dealing with future era sort of stuff. I think most readers will enjoy it, but I do want you to be aware of that, right? There are some people who are just like, "I just want to read Stormlight Archive, and I don't want to worry about the larger mess." And this is probably not something they would like.

    Dan Wells

    One of the things, as I was reading it (because I was keeping this idea in mind of how accessible is it to new readers), in a lot of ways I think... Imagine Lord of the Rings, except it starts after they've already left the Shire. So you don't actually get to see the homeland of anyone in the Fellowship. But you hear about their homeland, and they brag about their homeland to each other. That still works, right? It's very Guardians of the Galaxy; other than Earth, you don't really see anyone's homeworld. But you can accept, "Okay, these are all the adventurers that have come together to do the thing."

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Product Preview ()
    #102 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspiration was there for Johnny's character in Frugal Wizard?

    Brandon

    What an excellent question. 

    So his character in Frugal Wizard - I kind of wanted to do a story about the anti-Kaladin, in that we do a lot of books - not aimed at Kaladin in attitude - but we do a lot of books about people who kind of have a natural aptitude. It's fun to write and read about people who are just good at some things.

    Everyone needs to have flaws, and things that are holding them back also, but y'know, I feel a little like Kaladin in that once I started writing, I took to writing really a lot. I may not have been good at it at the start, but I took to it, and I found it, and I loved it.

    What about that person - I remember going - it's actually Ben, from How's That Ben - I went and was chatting with him one time when he was my roommate, and talking about my writing projects, and this is before I was published, right? But I was so passionate about writing, and he's like, "Y'know, it's interesting, I've never had something like that in my life," Ben said. "Nothing I've ever been super passionate about, other than like, enjoying video games," which he really does enjoy.

    So, it's not like Ben's a bland person, he's a very interesting person, but he never had - he's surrounded by people like me and Dan, who let their entire lives get consumed by one all-powerful passion. And I thought - what about the people that can't find that? That was Johnny's inspiration, was the - "I can't find this thing that, everyone else around me seems to have an all-consuming passion in life." And he just kind of floated from job to job, and was okay at them, but never great at anything. And that's a more challenging character in some ways to write, and I wanted to do that character because it was more challenging to write.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Product Preview ()
    #103 Copy

    Questioner

    What's a character you thought would be more liked or popular, if you have one?

    Brandon

    Oh boy, I don't know about that. I mean, I do think that the original version of Chet, from Cytonic, people would like more, and they HATED him, which is why I ripped him out and rewrote the book entirely. That's one of the worst reactions I've had to a character - but, of course, that why I have beta reads, and alpha reads. When I flub up that big, then I want to know it before the book comes out, right? Generally I have a pretty good instinct.

    And it's odd, in book series, if you have multiple viewpoints, there will always be more variance in what people think of the characters. For instance, in Skyward, generally the characters are just not as divisive. But in Elantris or Stormlight, where the character you love - other characters are pulling you away from, to tell their stories - you will generally, whoever that character is that you love, resent the other ones a little bit more than you would in a single-viewpoint narrative. But that does make people kind of like the character they like even more, it's one of those things.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Product Preview ()
    #107 Copy

    Questioner

    Ever be a book like the one from the Radiant Orders video?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, but the RPG book should have a decent amount of that kind of information in it when we launch the Stormlight RPG later this year. We're intending that at least one of those books to be of general interest to people who like the series, because a lot of the countries I couldn't get to in the books, we'll have some information on. Good information on all the brands of Fused, all the Orders of Knights Radiant, stuff like that that'll be fun for even if you don't [play the RPG].

    Brandon's Bookclub - Yumi ()
    #111 Copy

    Questioner

    So was the parallel to AI art - which has of course created a storm over the last year or so - intentional in this book with the scholars and their father machine that was built to stack rocks?

    Brandon

    So it's really interesting having written this years before this became a really big deal. 

    This was here, though. People were talking about what is art, what's the nature of mass producing art - people have talked about that since, y'know, the days that art began. 

    And indeed - can AI create art, what is art - you know, there's the famous monkey photo where the monkey took a picture of itself, is this art?

    All of that has all been there in my brain and I think what's emerged as we've all started talking about it in the last year happened because it hit kind of a critical mass where suddenly we, number one had all these programs get released, but it's a thing that I think has been building for many, many years.

    And so it was there in my head, it just wasn't as focused as it is now. But it was definitely something I was thinking about- what makes art, art - and I think human connection is an essential part of what makes art, art, and that came out deliberately in the story. Not that I sat down to write the story about that, but as I was writing it that became a theme, and so I gave voice to some of those thoughts. 

    General YouTube 2024 ()
    #112 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Now, you're talking about possibly (no promises being made) a revision and an actual release of White Sand. Is that something you would ever consider doing with Dragonsteel Prime or Aether of Night?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Main reasons being that they're too far out of continuity. I haven't been considering them in continuity. Like, Aether of Night, they fight Midnight Essence; shows up in Stormlight, shows up in Tress of the Emerald Sea. And we delve into the first appearances of a Shard of Adonalsium, but that Shard's no longer canon. And the worldbuilding of Aether of Night is totally canon; aethers have been showing up since late 2000s in my books. But Aether of Night, there's nothing about that book, of the actual plot and characters, there's nothing about that that is appealing to me or interesting to me. Hopefully, I will eventually write a book set on the aether planet, where the Aethers come from, which is where Aether of Night was. But that planet's completely different, and the story'll be completely different. Those characters aren't relevant to me.

    Dragonsteel, I consider lightly canon to the Cosmere in that the events of Dragonsteel happen, mostly, but the worldbuilding's been refined so much that eventually I will write the book that will be called Dragonsteel (or maybe the series), but it'll now be Hoid's story, rather than Jerick's story. And it'll be a completely different type of story. Though little bits of it will be recognizable.

    White Sand's the one that's still canon; I've been considering it canon all along. There's no events in White Sand that disrupt that. The characters are still really interesting to me. Khriss has shown up all over the Cosmere, and she's a main character in it. Baon's shown up in Stormlight twice, now (as of the little reading I did recently), so I wanna get a real good canon prose version of White Sand out there for those who don't want the graphic novel, so that it can be in the line. The big question I have, though, is: will I sit down to write it and be like, "I need to start on page one and just do this over?" Or will I be able to revise it and release it?

    General YouTube 2024 ()
    #113 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The 2024 edition of the reading order of my books.

    I generally do not recommend publication order. Why is this? That's because I feel like my first book, Elantris, is actually one of my weaker novels. Still, I hope you will someday read it. I do think it holds up moderately well. But it's not up to the caliber of what I write right now.

    I would recommend, if you're just coming into this blind:

    I would say read the original Mistborn trilogy, Mistborn One, Two, and Three.

    Then, I would jump, and I would read Warbreaker.

    Then, I would jump, and I would read another of the standalones, probably Tress of the Emerald Sea.

    From there, I would jump, and I would start into the Stormlight Archive. And I don't know if I would read straight through the Stormlight Archive; each of those books are enormous. I might take breaks with the Wax and Wayne series, or the other standalones, such as Elantris or Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, and read those.

    I do intend for people to read Dawnshard and Edgedancer in the middle of the Stormlight Archive; so Edgedancer, I would read after Book Two; Dawnshard, I would read after Book Three. And The Sunlit Man, I would read after Book Four. That's a standalone novel; it is intended to be read before you read Stormlight Five.

    Where would I, then, add the short stories in? The rest, it doesn't matter that much. You can splice in Sixth of the Dusk, Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, basically wherever you feel like they're appropriate and you want something a little shorter. They're collected in the volume Arcanum Unbounded.

    Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 ()
    #114 Copy

    Questioner

    Warbreaker makes it very clear that Breaths cannot be taken, they have to be freely given with the quote. Would the power of the Shard be able to override this? And if so, since it was not freely given, would the victim still have some sort of manipulation or control over said Breaths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're theorizing in a good direction. The Shard probably would have the power to override this. It depends on various factors, and various Shards could get involved, but it would be the sort of thing that would expose them to attack by other ones. Endowment could manipulate this; others, if they tried to, it would be dangerous for them. And there would be still some Connection to the individual; there is some anyway, but it would not clear it or blank it the way that normally giving your Breath to someone else does.

    Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 ()
    #115 Copy

    Questioner

    I know that certain characters (like the Heralds, and others) cannot leave their planet 'cause they're so heavily Invested in that, and they can't leave through the Cognitive Realm. If there was a spaceship (I know there's gonna be spaceships, but I mean spaceships without any other things), could they leave their planet that way? And if not, what would happen to their Physical body?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would not be able to leave. It would be pretty destructive for them, because it would basically rip out their Spiritual component, and it would have to stay. The squishy matter stuff might keep going, but it would be a disaster. Even a physical spaceship to convey them away would not work. But the answer to how it can happen is in Rhythm of War. Read Rhythm of War... they're figuring things out.

    Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 ()
    #116 Copy

    Questioner

    Beyond the crossover of Hoid between most of the Cosmere books, with the addition of the Secret Project books, will we be seeing potential meetings of other worldhoppers and magic systems to more mainstream series, like Stormlight Archives and Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, most likely you will see more and more of that.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Launch Party ()
    #119 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Secret Projects went kind of bonkers in that a lot of people who had never read my books bought the Secret Projects, because I pointed out to them that they were good starting points. I don't think this Secret Project [Five] is a good starting point into the Cosmere, not like Tress or Yumi would be.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Launch Party ()
    #125 Copy

    Heather

    Stormlight Five cover?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Michael [Whelan] is working away on that. I have sketches, but only sketches right now. And Michael prefers that us not show his work before he has settled on a final; then he shows all of the things he did before, after he has a final. So, we let Michael (the greatest artist of science fiction and fantasy of our era), we let him do what he wants to do, and we let him take the lead. So we'll let him show them off once he has settled on a final.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Launch Party ()
    #126 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Horneater update. The main reason I didn't write Horneater during the time I had is the one that I've told you all before. I really think I'm gonna need to be back with the Stormlight Archive before I can get back to Stormlight Six, because I'm working on some other things in between. And I'm saving in reserve the Horneater novella, so I can write that when I need to get back in.

    Wax and Wayne came out of me needing to be on Scadrial when I knew I wasn't going to be able to get to the next Era for a long time. I'm gonna have that same sense, I'm sure, with Roshar. So I'm saving the Horneater novella for that. The Secret Project [Five] is not a direct Stormlight book.

    Words of Radiance Backerkit Launch Party ()
    #127 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight Five has been very, very demanding. And every time that people asked if I had a new secret project, and I said "no," it was true; because I wasn't finished with this [Secret Project Five] yet. And I'm always noodling on lots of things. But I did find time; when I needed to take a break, I could have played a video game, and instead I finished Secret Project Five. It's a story I've wanted to tell for quite a long time.

    How did I find the time? When my brain was dead on Stormlight and I just needed a break (otherwise I felt the quality would go down), I took a break, and I worked on something else.

    The fact that there's only one this time is an indication of how busy I've been.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
    #128 Copy

    Dan Wells

    The last few weeks I've been doing a ton of writing for Super Secret Project X. I can't tell you what this is literally until it is out in the world, but here are some hints: it's three things, and they're in the Cosmere, and you should really come to Dragonsteel '24.

    Miscellaneous 2024 ()
    #129 Copy

    Dan Wells

    I have finished the frustratingly secret projects that I rudely refuse to tell you about, and am now working full steam on the Dark One novel. Plus a lot of detours into the worldbuilding of my Cosmere series, which really should wait until I'm done with Dark One but it's too exciting and I can't help myself :)

    Miscellaneous 2024 ()
    #130 Copy

    catprat

    [From Dan Wells' section of State of the Sanderson]

    "A very cool [REDACTED] is planned for 2024."

    Was this our secret project hint?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No.

    popegonzo

    Have we learned what the redacted thing is at this point?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No. But Dan is very much involved.

    Miscellaneous 2024 ()
    #131 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wonder sometimes if I should do a full-on rewrite of Alloy. It would also be my vote for weakest Cosmere novel. (I think it's probably my weakest novel overall.) The big problem came from it being a short story, that became a novella, that became a fun little novel not meant to do any heavy lifting. But the series went from there to get some of my strongest books, as I fell in love with world and characters, and became a full-blown era rather than a pit stop between tow large eras.

    So you have something weaker, meant as a kind of "Secret History" novella, to a load-bearing pillar of the Mistborn series. And it's the place where already (coming off the main trilogy) where people were the most likely to abandon Mistborn as a larger mega-series. So I have my weakest cosmere book in a pivotal place in the sequence.

    The solution could be to just take it and give it a ground-up rewrite with more depth of characterization and narrative rigor. But then, we have the problem of their being two significantly different versions of a book, which causes other logistical problems.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #132 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Shashaches 6.3.1.

    Bondsmiths

    Bondsmiths are, well... different. For starters, there are only three of them at a time, because there are only three spren that can grant Bondsmith powers. Seems kind of strange for a Radiant Order whose whole job is to bring people together, right? But, see, that's where the strangeness continues. Every Order takes squires; that's nothing new. But Bondsmiths sometimes have whole groups of servants who swear oaths but gain no powers at all. Can you imagine? I think there's something beautifully pure about that. They might be the only people in any Order who've ever taken the oaths for purely selfless reasons. They can't do any Surgebinding, they don't get spren, they just... take the oaths. Because oaths are important, and the values they swear to uphold are worth upholding.

    And those values, I admit, are pretty great. Bondsmiths unite things - mostly people, but also governments and kingdoms and armies and everything else. They negotiate treaties, and resolve disputes, and help people to see each other as people, instead of as rivals or foreigners or enemies. Their main power (if you can call it a power) is to help people find common ground, and get them to agree on things, and to make those agreements matter. No matter which of the three spren they bond with (and those three spren can produce some very different textures in the bond), the thing all Bondsmiths share is that they bring people together. They make people feel included and important. Sometimes, they're in the middle of those groups, corralling the actions and holding the attention. Sometimes, they're out on the edges, watching the group they created have new ideas and activities and adventures of their own. Either way, the Bondsmith is happy.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #133 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Shashesev 6.1.4.

    Stonewards

    If I tell you that a Stoneward is solid and dependable, does that surprise you? It shouldn't, because very little about the Stonewards is surprising. They are solid and dependable; they're there when you need them, and usually out of mind when you don't. I'm making them sound boring, and that's not my goal. Stonewards can be just as varied, just as kind, and just as interesting as any other order. And then, suddenly there's a problem, and everyone wonders what to do, and you realize that the Stonewards are already there, quietly and efficiently just doing it. They work together, they work hard, and they don't bend or compromise when things get difficult. All of these qualities make Stonewards into excellent soldiers. And, indeed, Stonewards make up the main bulk of Radiant armies. When they aren't fighting, they're often running drills or playing sports, or working on some enormous project that became the new background of their lives.

    Stonewards love a challenge, I think because they love effort. Most people love the feel of accomplishing a task, but Stonewards are the kind of people who love simply working on a task. People who enjoy getting their hands dirty, and building or tinkering, or carving or creating. They like doing stuff and getting stuff done and making the world a better place because of it. If you have a friend who's a Stoneward, make them some food and never let them go. A Stoneward will be the most loyal and helpful friend you've ever had. They're always there when you need them, so make sure you're there for them too.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #134 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahishan 5.10.2.

    Willshapers

    When I talked about Lightweavers, I said that they believe in being whoever they want to be. Willshapers believe in giving that freedom to everybody. One Willshaper is likely to be very different from another, because the only thing they necessarily share is the idea everyone should be free to do, say, and be whatever they want to be.

    A Skybreaker will stop you from being oppressed, but a Willshaper believes that any laws at all are a form of oppression. An Edgedancer will take care of you, but a Willshaper will show you how to take care of yourself. A Truthwatcher will tell you the secrets of the cosmere, but a Willshaper will focus on the at-home, day-to-day secrets that help you live the life you want to live. Want to paint yourself blue and live in a tree? The Willshapers support you! Want to conform to society and do what you're told? The Willshapers support that too, as long as it's your choice to do it.

    Another thing that's common to Willshapers (not requisite, but common) is that they tend to be builders. They don't just talk about freedom, they work for it, and they build systems and structures that enable freedom for everyone. If a road or a bridge would give people more choices about how to spend their lives, the Willshapers will build it. If a dam would help create an irrigation system, thus making food more plentiful, so people can choose their profession instead of being subsistence farmers? The Willshapers will build it. If a king is treating his people cruelly, forcing them to act or live in a certain way... well, sometimes the Willshapers destroy things too.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #135 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahakah 5.8.5.

    Elsecallers

    Is it bad to say that I don't like one of the Radiant Orders? Because I don't like Elsecallers. It's not that I don't trust them, per se, it's that I don't know what they're doing or why they're doing it or what their final goals might be. So yes, fine, you're right, I don't trust them. 

    Elsecallers are all about potential and progress. What can you become, and how can you work to be a better version of that thing? Which sounds great and all I guess, especially if you want to be a scholar or something. Elsecaller oaths and values can help you become the best scholar you can be. But what if you want to be a king? (That's a bad example; kings can be good.) What if you specifically want to be a tyrant? A thief? A criminal mastermind? A murderer? The Elsecaller oaths and values can help you be that too.

     

    And, no, I am not talking about anyone in particular. All of the Elsecallers I know are kind. Well, maybe "polite" is a better word. All of the Elsecallers I know are polite, and... careful. Cautious? Wise, certainly and- what's the word I'm looking for? It's not "well-adjusted," goodness no. Well-considered! All of the Elsecallers I know are careful, cautious, and well-considered. That's an endorsement. Right? 

    Let's put it this way: if you have an Elsecaller on your side, you're going to better off than if you didn't. They're smart, strategic, and capable. They know logistics, they know tactics, and they can travel through other cultures and mindsets and literally other worlds better than almost anyone. They're ambitious, and they have the skills and the power to back that ambition up. And if you don't have an Elsecaller on your side? If you're so unlucky that you've got an Elsecaller on the opposite side? Well... watch out.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #136 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahabach 5.7.3.

    Lightweavers

    And now it's time is the strangest Order, and I can say that with authority because studying this Order is what got me selected for this project in the first place. The Lightweavers are strange not just because they are artists, renowned the world over for their stubborn refusal to act like everybody else, but because they don't worry so much about the things that most concern the other Orders. They don't tie themselves to rules or rituals, or even oaths. I mean, they call them oaths, but really they're just truths. And they're not bogged down trying to find the great truths like the Truthwatchers do; they're just acknowledging truths about themselves, as individuals. The other Orders stand on ceremony or tradition, or arcane systems of laws and rights and organizations. Lightweavers just get the job done in whatever way's best, beholden to no one but themselves. And they use art to do it.

    I think a lot about their oaths. Why speak truths about themselves? I have a theory. First of all, it's important to know who we are. That's true for everybody, but I think it's especially true for artists, because they live their lives in fiction. Lightweavers are the spies of the Radiant Orders, skilled in subterfuge and trickery. A Lightweaver spy might have to spend days, or even years, pretending to be someone they're not. What keeps them grounded to reality? Core truths about themselves. When you know who you are, you can see the world through others' eyes. This helps you to infiltrate an enemy organization, sure, but it also helps you to understand people, to empathize with their needs and fears and desires, and thus give vital context to actions and decisions that might seem ludicrous otherwise. When you can put yourself in someone else's shoes, and see the world as they see it, and still come back to yourself, you find a perspective that's impossible to get in any other way.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #138 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahashes 5.6.1.

    Truthwatchers

    They call them Truthwatchers, but I think that's only because Truthseekers-and-discoverers-and-enthusiastic-declarers is too long. But that's really what they do. Truthwatchers want to know the answers to things, and then they go out and find the answers to things, and then they go out and share the answers to things. And if they think that someone (especially someone in power, like a ruler or ardent) is hiding or misrepresenting the truth about things? Hoo boy. They will come down on that person with all the fury of a scholarly axehound. And they will have all of the citations to back themselves up.

    One thing that I love about Truthwatchers, though, is that even when they argue (which really isn't as often as I'm implying that it is), they're typically very calm and quiet. They do so with an eager politeness that I've never seen anywhere else. They genuinely want to hear what you think about the world, and why you think that way, and what you might think if presented with new evidence. Which is a helpful trait to have. Because despite their endless quest for truth (or maybe because of it), no two Truthwatchers on Roshar can agree on what that truth is. Name a basic fundamental fact about the world, and every Truthwatcher you talk to will have a different strongly held opinion about how it's actually neither basic, nor fundamental, nor even a fact.

    This can be frustrating if you let yourself be pulled into a long conversation or debate, but at least they're usually friendly when they do it. 

    #SayTheWords ()
    #139 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahevev 5.4.4

    Edgedancers

    There's no Order I think more self-contradictory than the Edgedancers. They have a grace and elegance and refinement that is the envy of emperors, yet they spend all their time with the poor, sick, and destitute. And there are probably some emperors out there (and I guarantee there are some highprinces out there) who see this as a total waste of proper form and beauty. "Why should they not be here with me, being beautiful?" I see it as a kind of beauty unto itself though. What better use for the best runners, performers, and dancers in history than to spend their time with the people who never get to see that kind of stuff. Don't the poor deserve beauty, too?

    The actual words of the Edgedancer oath are "to remember." Remember the poor, the sad, the lost, the forgotten. The kinds of people who slip between the cracks, because nobody else bothers to remember them at all. A general wants you for your strength and your cunning. A highprince wants you for your loyalty and labor. An Edgedancer wants you for you. With all your faults and even (maybe even especially) with all your lacks. You lack food? They can help with that. You lack health or strength or even limbs? They can help with that, too, and they will look as graceful as a windspren while they do it. I'm a bit of a dancer myself, so I love any Order that puts more beauty into the world. The Edgedancers do that with both movement and kindness.

    What's not to love?

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #140 Copy

    Questioner

    Ever had the Great American Cookie here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Questioner

    I was thinking, what's your favorite cookie and where do you like to get it from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You really want that instead of the end of book ten?

    Questioner

    You know what, yeah, we can talk about that later.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, okay. I'd say that my favorite cookie is an oatmeal scotchie followed very closely by a milk chocolate chip chunk with big milk chocolate chips and things in it.

    #SayTheWords ()
    #141 Copy

    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahachan 5.3.2.

    Dustbringers

    I have a soft spot for the Dustbringers. I've never met one, or at least I don't think I ever have. But their core principle is one I feel uncomfortably close to my own heart: that we all bear the capacity for unimaginable damage and destruction, and that the only way to protect those around us is to always maintain a firm, unshakeable control over ourselves. I'm no Dustbringer, but I've caused my fair share of destruction. Mental, emotional, and even physical. It's a hard thing to live with. The Dustbringers dedicate their entire lives to making sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen. That no angry outburst or selfish whim ends up harming the people they love. There's a part of me, I think, that would enjoy being a Dustbringer.

    A big part of Dustbringers' incredible self control comes from their quest to understand themselves and the world they live in. How does a given thing work? Why does that river flow in just that way? Why does that rock stay on that ledge? And if it falls, how will it fall? Where will it land? Why does this experience cause this emotion, and why does this word or this attitude cause this particular response? When we understand something, we can control it. We can make that rock fall exactly where we want it, or cause or avoid an emotional response in a person we're taking to. Wouldn't that be wonderful? To know yourself and your family, and the world in general, so well that you can always keep everyone happy?

    Or maybe I'm revealing a little bit more about myself than I should be. So back to the fun stuff: physical destruction. Dustbringers are the sappers and siege masters of an army. The ones who could bring down an otherwise impenetrable enemy fortification through the one-two punch of having a lot of power and knowing exactly where to apply it. Want to take down a bridge? Who better than someone who takes bridges apart for fun, just to see how they work? And who better than- okay, now I'm thinking about the potential of targeted emotional destruction, and it's pretty terrifying. So let's end on the control thing instead. Who better to defend your own bridges and forts and hearts than someone who knows exactly how they work and who has the self-awareness and the emotional control to keep them completely safe.

    #SayTheWords ()
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    Dan Wells

    Sixth Epoch, Year 31, Palahesah 5.1.5.

    Skybreakers

    The Skybreakers are all about order. It's not just about rules, or laws, or whatever the current or local king declares is right (though some Skybreakers do go a bit too far in that direction if you ask me). It's about higher ideals of rightness, and concepts like justice and fairness, and like I said in the beginning, order. They sought to make the world the way it should be, and not the way that passing whims of power and money declare that it ought to be. Which, in practical terms, inevitably translates as, "The way that we, the Skybreakers, think it should be. Which is orderly."

    In some situations, a Skybreaker is a ruler's best friend. They enforce that ruler's laws, which supports that ruler's vision and keeps peace in that ruler's realm. But a Skybreaker also believes that the law is universal, and should be applied equally to the highest members of society as well as the lowest. And this goes for everyone, up to and including the Radiant Orders and even the Heralds themselves. Nobody, in their view, should be untouchable. Even a king, maybe even a god, should be held accountable if they abuse their power and authority. Which sounds like a pretty good belief to have, I guess, until you ask who's going to stop the Skybreakers from abusing their authority. The answer is often nobody, or the other Orders, I guess, but that can get messy.

    These attitudes, as you might expect, give the Skybreakers a bit of a stodgy reputation. Some of the other, looser Orders tend to see them as sticks in the mud, and free thinkers see them as outright dangerous. Revolutionaries see them as friends of the powerful, but the powerful see them as fickle friends who might turn on you if they disapprove of your choices. The only people who really love them, I guess, are the people who know they can count on them, people who need justice. And if you're the kind of person that downtrodden people know they can always rely on to defend the innocent and punish the guilty... well, that seems like a pretty good place to be.

    YouTube Livestream 50 ()
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    Use the Falchion

    Janci, how is the work on the post-Defiant Skyward books going? I thoroughly enjoyed your novellas and can't wait to see what you do next with the Skyward crew.

    Janci Patterson

    We accepted an offer on them! Yay! I'm so excited! That happened yesterday! So... big news.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The big holdup so far has been that I'm working on Defiant and because, as Janci mentioned --

    Janci Patterson

    I have to know what I'm writing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's lots of continuity involved in these sorts of things, and we had a plan, and then I write Defiant, and that's going to change some of the things we're thinking about.

    Janci Patterson

    So I have an outline that will shift but I think the story will basically be what's in the outline, but things will shift. And once those things have shifted and we're pretty sure we have exactly what it's going to be ultimately, then I can start writing hopefully in the next couple of months.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which is really important because these are technically YA, they straddle that line. But this is going to be the only YA that I have for a while because Stormlight Five and the Secret Projects are kicking me in the head.

    General Reddit 2023 ()
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    Worldhopper1990

    Did you get to the epilogue [of Stormlight Five] yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wrote a version of the epilogue years ago that isn't quite going to work for timing reasons, so I tried a new one. We will see how I feel about it as we go.

    General Reddit 2023 ()
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    Gatechap

    If he was gonna break it [the title ketek], then Stones Unhallowed was a cooler working title [for Stormlight Five].

    Brandon Sanderson

    Problem is, it no longer works for this book. As Szeth is no longer walking on stones. It's the only book where he isn't.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    Cosmere.es

    What can you tell us about your future projects?

    Brotherwise Games

    It's definitely a multi-year partnership, and so that gives us some confidence to be able to plan out things long-term and known that, for example, if we start an RPG, we have a long runway to be able to keep adding supplements to that, keep adding games to that.

    We know that a lot of people have asked for, like, a big epic board game. Something along the lines of War of the Ring or Star Wars: Rebellion. That's something that is always on our minds.

    And we're always open to new things. Shards of Creation was not something we were planning, it's something that a member of our team designed and put in front of us, and we said, "Wow, this is really good. We should make this." So we have some flexibility like that, as well.

    But even if we just had our current lineup of planned releases, that's enough to account for years of very cool Cosmere stuff.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    Cosmere.es

    And then we had another announcement, which is Shards of Creation. It's another card game, and this one is focused on Shards that Splintered from Adonalsium when he was killed. I read that probably not all of them are going to be displayed in the game, but we will see a nice number of the Shards?

    Brotherwise Games

    Yeah, we'll probably start with at least eight. I can see doing eight, and then later doing the other eight. Or, I can see doing more. We'll see.

    This is a game that I would not say is gonna come out in 2024. Probably 2025. This would be a lower-cost kind of game, more like a traditional card game, beautifully illustrated in an art nouveau style. And it is a trick-taking game, so one that you can teach pretty much anyone in your life to play. It's not a game that is reliant on people being hobby gamers. If anybody's ever played spades or hearts or bridge or any kind of basic trick-taking game, you'd be able to understand some of the rules here. Out of all our games, it's the one that I can most easily play with my parents.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    Brotherwise Games

    The Mistborn Deckbuilding Game (and it's possible that will be the final name; the Star Wars deckbuilding game is just called "The Star Wars Deckbuilding Game," so we might end up doing the same), that's a really exciting project, as well.

    The game is essentially themed around being a mistborn in training and contending with rival mistborn, and really getting straight into Mistborn duels and battles, while still having some of the intrigue that's a big part of Mistborn books and a big part of the non-physical metals.

    Cosmere.es

    I think the image you shared was Vin. Is it like you are going to be playing the characters themselves? Or are you going to be playing other mistborns, or...?

    Brotherwise Games

    The setup is that you are playing one of the named characters. So you're playing as Vin or Kelsier. Or Shan Elarial, an Inquisitor, or Zane is another playable character.

    Cosmere.es

    Can you be a kandra?

    Brotherwise Games

    There is a kandra card, but that would be kind of an ally. Same with a lot of the mistings, and things like that. Within the boundaries of a deckbuilding game like this, everybody's gotta have a similar level of capability. I can see us doing a feruchemy expansion in the future, but right now a keeper is just one card.

    Everybody's a mistborn, everybody's got access to the eight core metals, and then over the course of the game you can gain access to atium, which has really big effects, often game-winning effects.

    Cosmere.es

    So we are in Era One, the first books, maybe the first? The Final Empire?

    Brotherwise Games

    Yeah. The first couple of books, I'd say, is the general time frame here.

    If this game does really well, we could always expand into future eras. There's other ways we could adapt the system to handle Era Two stuff or later Era One stuff, but we're starting with what we think are some of the most iconic and recognizable aspects of... being a mistborn, jumping around rooftops, throwing coins at each other, getting into fights, going to balls, convincing people to do things. All those classic aspects that you think of in Mistborn.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    Brotherwise Games

    One thing that's especially neat [about the Stormlight TTRPG] is our first big adventure (that takes you from first level to sixth level and beyond) was all conceived and outlined by Dan and Brandon working together. If I had come up with an adventure, I probably would have tried to keep it off to, like, a little corner where it wasn't affecting a lot of things and didn't interact with the main canon. And they just went straight through the middle of what's going on during... Words of Radiance is kind of the timeframe for the adventure. For example, the Everstorm happens during the adventure. And you're not right there next to the main characters of the books, but in the warcamps. You're in the vicinity. You interact with a Herald or two or three. That is wild; I wouldn't have tried to put that in there.

    Brandon's Bookclub - Sunlit Man ()
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    Daniel Greene

    Well, we're getting to that common meme of Syndrome from Incredibles, where it's like, "When everyone is special, no one is," because once you commodify power, which is that whole villain's point... And that's gonna be such a fascinating angle for the development. Or it will not be touched on at all, and we're just theorizing. Brandon, would you mind answering that question? Was this a worth while conversation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Power is already a commodity. Power is a commodity in Stormlight during the Stormlight first era. Power is a commodity (to an extent) in Mistborn. So yeah, power is a commodity in the cosmere. It's been from the very beginning.