Recent entries

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1801 Copy

    Questioner

    What does Doomslug eat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Doomslug eats mushrooms, among other things... I don't want to say anything more.

    Questioner

    I know, I was trying to find something that wouldn't be RAFO'd

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that's actually shockingly relevant of a question, so-- Hmm!

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1802 Copy

    Sciencetor2

    The gems on Roshar, are they the same as the gems you and me know, or are they a byproduct of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For the most part they are the same as the gems we know, which will ask the question, "Since most of them are chemically identical, other than color, what differentiates them?" and in the cosmere, color is very important, so I'll just leave you at that, but most of them are going to be gems like we have. If you took a ruby from our world to Roshar, it could be Invested by the highstorm.

    Sciencetor2

    And spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will RAFO that for now.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1803 Copy

    Kogiopsis

    I really loved both Ender's Game and Anne McCaffrey when I was in early high school, and I felt like this book was in conversation with both of them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that that is a really, really accurate way of looking at it. Little Last Starfighter mixed in as well, a little Top Gun.

    Kogiopsis

    I just want to know how much were you thinking about Ender's Game in particular?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ender's Game, I was not thinking about a ton. More How to Train Your Dragon. Because it really parallels How to Train Your Dragon. I was trying to make sure it didn't hit those beats too closely. I wasn't thinking about Ender's Game specifically, but the underdog sports story part of Ender's Game worms its way into a lot of my different writing. I was thinking more about Ender's Game when  I was writing Bridge Four sequences.

    Kogiopsis

    I felt like Skyward was a really interesting philosophical refutation to Ender's Game. Because Skyward is fundamentally a book where nobody is actually wrong, Ender's Game everybody is wrong.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a pretty interesting thing, yeah.

    Kogiopsis

    I really appreciate that. Also, the part at the end where Spensa did the navigation thing was so like Between, I almost threw my book at the wall in excitement.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted for years to do a "Monsters live in the Between" story, which is what this is going toward. 'Cause I always thought-- Like, there's this one episode of Star Trek where someone sees monsters as they are being beamed. And it's one of my favorite Next Generation episodes, there are monsters when you are teleporting. That one stuck with me forever, so you can blame that as part of the inspiration.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1804 Copy

    Kogiopsis

    Are the rats that Spensa eats actually rats, or is this a Rosharan chicken situation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I made them actual rats.

    Kogiopsis

    Are they native to the planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not native to the planet... They predate her people crashing on-- There were humans on Detritus before, when it was not called Detritus.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1805 Copy

    LadyKnightRadiant

    Kaladin not ever feeling the Thrill. Is there a reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a reason for that... What do you think?

    LadyKnightRadiant

    I think it's because he's too good and too pure for this world.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is, I would say-- Let's just say that there are points where Kaladin could have felt the Thrill. But once he had the attention of certain nebulous spren, somebody was watching out for him.

    LadyKnightRadiant

    That was gonna be my second. I thought "He's probably just too good for it," and then I was like, "It's probably Syl's fault."

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a bit of a war inside of Kaladin.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1806 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Skyward in the same universe as Defending Elysium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is.

    Questioner

    Are you planning on doing anything else in that universe other than sequels to Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll start with sequels to Skyward, and then we'll see. The idea of biological FTL is so interesting to me that there are a lot of things I can do with that.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1810 Copy

    Questioner

    Hemalurgic spikes degrade very quickly, but Feruchemical metals can hold on to their charge forever, apparently. Is that just because Hemalurgy is corruptive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though I may not say "forever."

    Questioner

    But it's much slower?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, way slower.

    Yes, it's the nature of Feruchemy and Hemalurgy.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1811 Copy

    Questioner

    I was at a book signing in Chicago a few years ago and you were giving out these little Szeth figurines with statistics on the back of them. What ever happened with them? What was that going to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was me trying to get [Crafty Games] to build a hybrid card game slash-- a deckbuilding/boardbuilding game that still I have hopes will someday happen. It was, you build the board as you build the characters, things like that. They were way more interested in the board game itself, which came out well. It's possible we'll still do the deckbuilding/boardbuilding game. Keep a hold of those Szeth figures.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1812 Copy

    Questioner

    You said some of those things [from Way of Kings Prime] are still canon. Is the fact that if you have one of the honorblades, you can find the other honorblade holders?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The 2002 version, he thought that's how it worked, but it actually just led him to the other honorblades, because he had never seen a Herald without their sword before. It doesn't even work in the 2002 version; he ends up finding the honorblades, but no Heralds. He finds the place that they abandoned them later on. So, no.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1815 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you turn a parshman into a Parshendi by giving them breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Parshendi is a nationality. So, no. No more than you could make someone an American by teaching them to speak with an American accent. But also, how do you define being a Parshendi when the culture is basically collapsed at this point? Basically, no.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1822 Copy

    Alpharho

    The metal of Shardblades. Cultivationspren versus honorspren, for example. Are they different metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but good question.

    Alpharho

    Are all orders the same alloy, essentially?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. There's a little asterisk on there, but not in the way you're asking... You could call those all the same alloy. Because the mixture to different spren is different, I think that you could argue that each one is its own alloy.

    Alpharho

    So, different proportions of tanavastium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it doesn't quite work that way with these magics, right? I'm going to say that's up to the individual cosmerologist who is in the world, the arcanist, defining it. You would be able to find enough differences to legitimately call them different alloys if you wanted to.

    Alpharho

    Would you say different ratios of the same two metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. They are not going to have a third one in them, if that's what you're asking. But it doesn't quite work that way. Like, if you were going to take brass, you could measure the exact percentage. In this case, it is a thing; it's not like you could divide it up and split them apart, because they are a thing. And that thing would be called one thing.

    Alpharho

    But you won't say what that thing is called?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I won't say what that thing is called. But I think you and the 17th Sharders and folks that are dividing them would prefer to call them ten different things, and I think their nomenclature would be relevant.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1823 Copy

    Questioner

    The Necromancer's Pizza. How's that going?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going really well. Though the pizza part is getting written out a little bit, because he's turning more into a necromancer heavy metal singer. And the pizza was so much fun, but it's not working as well as I wanted it to, but the book is working really well. So I would expect that one to come out sooner rather than later. It's turned into a really cool thing with a lot of interesting aspects to it.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1824 Copy

    Questioner

    Callsigns. Did you come up with those yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did. The callsigns in the back of all the beta readers, they came up with their own. But I came up with all the callsigns. One of the things I was trying to do, I tried to make the callsigns start with the same sound as their real names. And that was what be guidance was so that it would be easier to keep everyone straight.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1828 Copy

    Questioner

    We're doing a piece of art for a friend that's a crossover between The Stormlight Archive and Harry Potter. How would you sort Dalinar, Kaladin, Jasnah, and Shallan...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah's a Slytherin. Hands down, very easy.

    Dalinar's would depend on which Dalinar you're talking about. Dalinar is probably going to be Gryffindor either way, would be my guess.

    Shallan's a Ravenclaw, straight up.

    Kaladin's tough. You could Hufflepuff Kaladin. You could totally Hufflepuff Kaladin. I think that works.

    You got one of each in that case.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1829 Copy

    Questioner

    What would be your advice in turning a short story that works great into a longer--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually attack this from two different directions. One is, more viewpoints. If I add another perspective to this, will it make it work? And then the other thing is, more complications. And that doesn't always work. Sometimes the format is strong without it. But more subthemes. Like, if it's a heist, there's something else they need to do. If it's a romance, an old flame comes in. Adding a subplot that can further-- Make sure it's not just spinning its wheels, though; it adds something to the characters by that experience. But try that. More complications, or more viewpoints.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1830 Copy

    Questioner

    You were talking before about how, when a book's not working out, you moved on to something else, and then it started to come together in your mind. Was that something that you-- you were moving on to something else and all these other ideas started popping up? Or were you revisiting your other book every now and then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Every now and then I'm revisiting it, and I spend a few days on the outline saying, "How is this going? Are things working?" With [Skyward], it was starting to click, so I went specifically back to this one as things were clicking. I keep a folder of these half-finished outlines that aren't working for some reason or the time isn't right yet. And every time it's time to start a new book, those are all in the consideration.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1837 Copy

    Questioner

    [If someone were] born like Vin, could they bond a spren, before they're even cognizant? 'Cause it's about being broken, right? So, I don't know if it's the same brokenness that Vin had from just being born.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Different spren will view this differently, and different people view the way that the Nahel bond works differently. So, Vin would certainly have been of interest to a number of spren.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1839 Copy

    Questioner

    Reading Legion, my question was: do you think yourself a little mentally ill?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way I think about psychology (and granted, this is just Brandon, this is not me saying "This is how it has to be") is that every person has their own mixture of things. And what might be a disorder in someone else is not in others, because of the way that it works in their life and the way they perceive it. So I do not-- I think my psychology is very healthy for me. But in other people, my psychology could be unhealthy for them. How about that?

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1840 Copy

    Questioner

    [What is your favorite] disorder to write about?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if I have a favorite. I have revisited dissociative disorders in multiple different ways because they make for interesting narrative... but it's not the disorder that's interesting to me, it's the person interfacing with the world and the challenges they deal with. And writing about that sort of thing is really interesting to me. I try not to let the disorder define the person, though it is sometimes a little harder, particularly with something like Legion.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1841 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Is there conspiracyspren? We have kind of a family joke about that one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, conspiracyspren... Let's just say this. I have purposefully not made spren of certain things that I think would undermine the very purpose of the spren. If that makes sense?

    Questioner 2

    My question was going to be: What emotion would you never write a spren for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well there are ones that-- I would go with that. Things that undermine the very nature.-- But I wouldn't say never to anything. In the cosmere, particularly on Roshar, if people start to personify something, there's a chance it would become a spren, and that could be anything. The current vogue question to ask me is "will there be memespren..." And my response is always, "If people personify something, then there's a chance that a spren will develop out of it."

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1842 Copy

    Questioner

    Saying that, "Odium did not leave his power behind on Sel. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless." So, is another power- did he have some kind of *inaudible* under control or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I dodged that one very easily. I was talking about Dominion and Devotion, which he could have taken up and left behind. It technically answered the question. That was the answer. I even said on a tape later on "I wiggled out of that one real well," but they didn't know how I wiggled out of it. When they said "Did he leave behind any powers?" Those are the powers he left behind.

    Questioner

    But they weren't his powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but they were-- As soon as he killed them, he could have had them, right? So it definitely gave me wiggle room.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #1844 Copy

    Questioner

    My question is - I am writing a paper in my *inaudible* and thinking about Plato's allegory of the cave and how America has created an echo chamber with the media, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, clever. Boy, that is a really interesting premise. I agree 100% with that exploration. Do I have any thoughts on it? I think part of the purpose of fiction is force us to explore people who are not like ourselves and don't think like ourselves. And my biggest worry with the echo chamber is it's going to start crowding out the art that has anything you don't agree with, which I think are the most important things to be reading. And,at least, for me, that was always the most important thing to be reading, so, I would say, as an artist, this worries me, because it kind of undermines one of the most important purposes of art.