Recent entries

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1602 Copy

    Mason Wheeler

    Double Eye of the Almighty, is that just symbolism or does Tanavast have weird pupils?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is symbolism. But if you were to see Tanavast and you were on Roshar, he would manifest with weird pupils at that point.

    Mason Wheeler

    Reflection of how people believe? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But the actual Tanavast before, he did not have weird pupils.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1604 Copy

    Questioner

    I know you served a mission in Korea. So, how much of a Korean influence...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a bunch.

    Questioner

    I noticed in Mistborn, I think of some Korean influence. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. In Elantris, the idea of the language is based on the relationship between Korean and Chinese. So, it's not the sounds or anything, it's the idea of there being the Chinese characters that have Korean back... you know you can write them in Korean or in Chinese. All of that stuff. The Chinese characters, the Korean grammar around them, and stuff like that, it was a big influence on me designing that writing system.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1605 Copy

    Questioner

    For the light-lances, where do they get their power from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They come from the same sort of place that everything's getting their power. You know, little micro-engines that are basically fantasy-ish. They're... It's super advanced hyper-engines. I think I worked something out where they using acclivity stone in some way. They're like Brandon's versions of Asimov watches with atomic power. They're just fantastically far-future power sources. Otherwise, we couldn't make any of this work. Like, the whole shell around Detritus and stuff. We needed a cheap and powerful energy source.

    Questioner

    Exactly. They're just like little bitty things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're basically fantasy novels with spaceships.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1606 Copy

    Questioner

    Any advice for integrating realistic battle tactics with a magic system when writing a book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Boy, it's tough. It depends on how much the magic going to get used and if you can find a real-world analogue or not. If you can find a real-world analogue, it can be handy to be like, "this magic is basically like adding an air force, let's see how that happens." If you can't find a real-world analogue, and it's very common, enough that it'll shape-change battle, then you need to make the sure the battlefield, you're controlling it and make it about the magic, so that no one can say "oh, you got the tactics wrong" because you're controlling it and you're controlling the narrative. 

    Questioner

    Basically make the magic the more important part?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. There's lots of ways to do this but that's a good way to do that. That would be my recommendation.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1607 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you taken out any insurance policies to make sure we get to the 10th book of Stormlight, Brandon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't if any insurance policy could do that other than making good outlines and making sure that somebody is tasked to do it, in case. I always used to say it's not far enough along but at this point, we're getting far enough along that we would want to have someone finish them.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1608 Copy

    Questioner

    Can there be an Allomancer who's allergic to their metal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I have a lot of allergies myself, so I sympathize with you.

    It's like being an Alethi highlady who is left-handed, or being an Allomancer who's allergic to your metal, these are really painful things that the culture and society and magic system is not built well to deal with that highlight certain problems that people do have. And it totally can happen, and it sucks.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1609 Copy

    Questioner

    You've started to put more of an emphasis on Identity, which is a cosmere concept. Why did you do that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These are things that are gonna need to make sense to the reader by the time that we get to Era 3 and 4. And so I'm using Era 2 as a kind of, ease-you-in to this idea. And that Identity is a cosmere concept is very much tied to the way the magics work behind the scenes.

    So when you read Era 1, when you read Stormlight, the first five-book arc, when you read Elantris, you read those books, you're looking at kind of just the effects of the magic. But the underlying principles are more being shown in Wabreaker and in Era 2, where I'm starting to try to get you to understand the fundamental principles that make the magic systems work. So when we get to Era 3 and we start to need that understanding to really extrapolate how the magic's working, you'll be there on the same page with me, is my hope.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1610 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned earlier that the Mistborn magic system is basically a Periodic Table of Elements. How would that affect the study of science in creating the whole Periodic Table?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you can see what's happening on Scadrial, even in Era 2, they have a disproportionate amount of understanding and study of metallurgy, and they are not nearly as good at other things. So it's affected where they spend their focus and their research. Like, they don't have the radio, when they kind of should. They had to get it from some other places, the idea of that technology. So really, what's happening there is, I'm trying to keep it close ('cause Scadrial is an Earth analogue), but at the same time show what they're stronger at and what they're weaker at. It has influenced the way they approached science in some interesting ways.

    We won't find out a lot more until Era 3, where one of the characters is more interested in the science. Because the characters in Era 2 are mostly interested in shooting people and perhaps creating interesting mixed drinks. And finding lost coins. (Steris.)

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1611 Copy

    Questioner

    How are you going to deal with the fact that Allomancy is genetic, and as it spreads to the population, the general power of it decreases in a given individual. What are you going to do in Eras 3 and 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is what we call a RAFO. Read and Find Out. You can find in Era 2 one group's attempts at dealing with that. But they are approaching it in a very scary way.

    Moderator

    Is it x-linked? Is it dominant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This actually plays into the way the cosmere works. Every person in the cosmere has what I call a Spiritual DNA, which exists in... it goes back to Platonic forms, it's very weird. But it is not their actual genetic code, it is their Spiritual genetic code, which works a little differently.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1612 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the reason aluminum is so distinct in the cosmere have to do with what you talked about earlier? [falling from the sky, Napoleon's plates]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it's because I love how it had this sort of mythological attachment in our own world. And I liked that mythology.

    But the other cool things that aluminum does is, it is a really powerful, strong, wonderful metal that, in our society now, is so common you can make cans out of it and sell it super cheap... but only two hundred years ago, was more valuable than gold. And that changeover let me build into the Mistborn system something that would then add a counter to the powers I was developing, which were going to become more and more common as we reached the modern era. That there would be a counter to them which would also become more and more common. It's a really nice parallel that I could build into the system.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1613 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you gonna try to use superconductors or different alloys in your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you'll see a lot of interaction with metal. In fact, book four of Stormlight talks a little more about how metals in fabrials work. If you watch very closely, you'll see parallels between that and what's happening in the Mistborn series.

    The further we get along, the more important things like superconductors will be, and we'll start explaining why metals work the way they do in the cosmere, and stuff like that. So that's all stuff you can look forward to.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1614 Copy

    Panelist

    I'm thinking of the characters of metal. Other than the One Ring, you have Elric's sword, that can ingest your soul.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, oh, I love Stormbringer. Stormbringer is an amazing sword. If you guy shaven't read Elric, it was the inspiration for Nightblood, was the Elric cycle with Stormbringer. It's this sword that sucks people's souls and gives the main character the ability to be strong, 'cause he was born very weak. But it usually harvests the souls of the people he loves most as he's trying to save the world, and it's this give-and-take. Do I use this powerful sword, because I'm really saving the world; it's really important. But it's probably gonna suck the souls of everyone I love. Creates some really great tension. But those books are kicks to the face. They are not pleasant stories necessarily.

    ICon 2019 ()
    #1615 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I intentionally didn't use lead or mercury in my magic systems because I knew they would kick people out. When you say, "People are eating lead," even in a fantasy book, it's gonna make some snickers. People are gonna stop and be like, "Wait a minute... this is a bad idea." And as my popularity's grown, I've become more and more aware of how many times I'm going to have to answer the same question if I put it in my book. I'm so glad I didn't use lead because at every signing, I would be answering fifty or sixty times, "You do know that lead's a bad idea to eat, right?"

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1616 Copy

    Snipexe

    If Khriss were to describe the Cognitive Anomaly to another Silverlight scholar, how would she do so?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She would RAFO you.

    Snipexe

    And then, is the Cognitive Anomaly either one of Nalthis's lagrange points or that another RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a RAFO. Everything about the Cognitive Anomaly is a RAFO. I'm sorry.

    Snipexe

    It was worth a shot.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is an anomaly and that is all we're saying. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1617 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever thought of using Skimmers to have infinite electricity. Like on a Ferris wheel kind of thing. Like Skimmers on this side tap and then Skimmers on this side store.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, you're just using like Allomancers or Feruchemy. I mean yeah, that's totally something that in-world they will probably end up doing because the energy is simply coming from another place like Investiture is energy but there's more efficient ways than that to actually get Investiture into energy. I mean, a lot of Investiture gives off light. You could make it give off heat. Like, way easier ways to use Investiture than to put people on dynamos and create power that way but you could do it. You could absolutely do it. If you were hard up for making it work and the only thing you had was a Feruchemist or an Allomancer, you could create electricity that way. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1621 Copy

    Questioner

    In Part 2 of Oathbringer, the chapter headings are to Hoid, right, from other [Vessels] I'm assuming. One of them talks about Hoid. They reference to him as holder of the one gem [bearer of the First Gem]. Is that the gem that is then split into Shards perhaps?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Mhm. RAFO.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1623 Copy

    Questioner

    Do your kids read your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. They read my kids books. They've read Skyward, they've read Starsight, they read Rithmatist. They haven't tackled the adult books yet. 

    Questioner

    How old is your oldest?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My oldest is 12.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1624 Copy

    Questioner

    Has an unborn child ever been Ascended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ascended to be a Shard? No, that has not yet happened.

    Questioner

    Maybe not a Shard but...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. Ascend to like a... No. I would say no. It hasn't ever happened. It's not implausible that the mother could Ascend and the child would... But it hasn't happened.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1626 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering when are we going to get Doomslug plushies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We are really considering it. We've heard horror stories from our friends who have made plushies. That the prototypes just all turn out terrible. That it's really hard to get someone to make a good plushie. So, we've been scared to try, but we've had some people come and offer.

    Isaac Stewart

    On the JordanCon website, Deana just posted instructions on how to make your own. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, there you go.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1627 Copy

    Questioner

    You've talked a little bit about scripture readings contributing to your writing earlier today. How do you keep that separate from the worlds you're creating?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've really never had a problem with that. It's easier than keeping myself separate from other fantasy writers' things and that I've had to learn to put a line in place where I'm like "Ooh, this is a cool idea. Remember that this was someone else's cool idea." Because I consider the scriptures history, I don't mind if they influence me. Like, history does a lot. In Roshar you'll find the Mongolian invasion being a big basis for where the characters for the Alethi come from and in the same way, King Benjamin's speech is a bit of an inspiration for Nohadon's Way of Kings. I don't mind getting inspired by history.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1628 Copy

    Questioner

    There are Allomantic savants, are there Feruchemical savants?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Much harder to do. My feeling on Feruchemical savants was because it was your own power in the first place, you can't steep in it so much in the way. But, if you can get someone else's power or if you are fueling your Feruchemy another way, you would become one. So, the Lord Ruler is a good example.

    Questioner

    Was Miles a...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Miles would be the same sort of thing.

    Questioner

    Is that why he didn't die as quickly in the execution?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    So yeah. Normally no but if you can Compound you become... basically that is how I am explaining part of the Compounding abilities. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1629 Copy

    Shqueeves

    Similar to how holding Stormlight and Voidlight causes an emotional reaction, does holding a lot of Breath create an appreciation for beauty?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would say that it does.

    Shqueeves

    Does every form of Investiture create an emotional reaction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1630 Copy

    Questioner

    You talk about dragons, are you ever going to write a book with a dragon in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. There are dragons in the Cosmere. Hoid has talked to one. If you read the letters in the beginnings of the Stormlight books, there's one where he's talking to someone he calls, "You old reptile." That's actually Frost ,who's a dragon. The planet that Hoid comes from, there are dragons on. It's where I got the word Dragonsteel which is the name of my book. I just didn't end up publishing that book but they're still in canon. So eventually I'll do a new version of that book and release it. There are actually dragons off world even, but they can shapeshift in the Cosmere.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1631 Copy

    Questioner

    Is reincarnation a thing in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reincarnation is not a thing in most of the Cosmere.

    *Small exchange*

    You could call the Returned reincarnations and there are other things along those lines. You could call the Fused are straight up reincarnation. It happens in some places. If you've read Stormlight, there's a group that are reincarnated time and time again. In general, no but there are groups that reincarnate.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1632 Copy

    Questioner

    Why is Spensa's dad a coward? Why does everyone make fun of Spensa?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's not actually a coward. Read the book and you'll find out. Everyone makes fun of Spensa because their society focuses too much on a false version of what is a hero. They focus too much on the idea of if you're a hero, then you're good; if you're not a hero, then you're bad. They're basically kind of building themselves up by tearing her down which is a bad way to do it and don't follow their example.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1634 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had a group of Elantrians on Roshar and they wanted to set up an Elantrian complex similar to the city of Elantris, what would they have to do to get that set up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The only way they know how to do it is to get Investiture from Sel and pipe it, basically. That's not the only way you could do it but that's the only way they know how to do it. You've seen them doing that in Secret History. Basically if they want their powers to work, they have huge workarounds they have to put in place. That's not all of it but that's basically... Yeah.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1636 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you when all your characters seem to think and act like you do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What I do if I were in that problem is, I try to pick some attribute that's very different from me. A belief system, a way of acting, a psychology. And then go read a whole bunch of blogs by people who are talking about dealing with that issue and then try to do a steelman, is what they call it. The opposite of a strawman, make that person's argument or life philosophy as strong as you can make it in that character. And see what happens.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1638 Copy

    Questioner

    When do you think Alcatraz... The next one... Do you have a release date for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I hope it's next year.

    Do you have any idea?

    Isaac Stewart

    We're probably a year to a year and a half away. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. We have to wait on the art. Whatever the art takes. Tor hasn't seen it yet either. We have just finished it and Janci wrote half and I wrote half and it turned out pretty well.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1645 Copy

    Questioner

    Has Hoid ever died before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Define died. He has had his head chopped off. It just, like, didn't work.

    Questioner

    Didn't work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. He actually ends the book Dragonsteel - that's unpublished - being beheaded. That event happened, although that book didn't happen as the book was written.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1647 Copy

    Questioner

    Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers. If you really knew what you were doing, could you create a program?

    Questioner

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would be way easier with Forging and even that would be really hard. I could see you imitating the powers the right way, that you could end up with something that was functionally the same. It just wouldn't be an Allomancer.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1648 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a theory. Because the center of gravity for a female is naturally lower, but when Vin burns iron or steel, the blue lines come from her chest, does that come from her center of self, rather than the center of gravity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. That's probably a more accurate way to put it. 

    Questioner

    Would it be possible for that to change, then? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is possible. I should say it like that, because it's not going to actually be... Because center of gravity, where you would actually put it, is not where I'm having those lines come from. You came in costume. You can just make that canon now and we will put that on all of the lists that that is what it is.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #1650 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Sixth of Dusk, where does the magic come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The magic comes from the same place that the magic comes in all of the Cosmere.

    Questioner

    That doesn't help. What Shard or Splinter of Shards...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO.