Recent entries

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1951 Copy

    Questioner

    If a Mistborn is Pushing and Pulling on metal at the same time, would it stay suspended in midair?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So most likely not. You could make it happen. Because there's no friction holding it in place, even the slightest change would zip it off in one direction, if you're not perfectly 100% balanced.

    Questioner

    Wouldn't it be affected by gravity? If you're Pushing and Pulling at the same time, there's still that downward force.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is still that downward force but if you're able to do that, you're able to modulate your Push so that you Push slightly harder on the bottom. Does that make sense? You could do it, the real experts can do it, they can vary how much they're Pushing. But the big problem is the lack of friction. That lack of friction--normally if you're holding a coin with two fingers, it's not going to move. But with no friction, you tap it, it's just going to zip away.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1952 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we ever see Vin come back out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, we will not, I'm sorry.

    Questioner

    I've always wanted - it's like, we got to the good part it's like - we just don't know what happened in there so...

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you read Mistborn: Secret History, which is a sort of parallel novel to these *gestures to Mistborn books* you will see a brief glimpse of Vin in that, because it's at the same time as these, and it may give you a little bit more closure.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1953 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the Threnody novel--is the perpendicularity in a specific place or does it have to do with a set of circumstances?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Threnody does not have a perpendicularity.

    Questioner

    The way to travel...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way to travel on there has specifically to do with the fact that a Shard was killed nearby.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1954 Copy

    Questioner

    Would a Seeker know if something's endowed with Breath or if someone was holding it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Seekers have a lot of trouble with just detecting investiture that isn't being used in some way. They could catch Stormlight that you've breathed in, because it's starting to do stuff. If just something has Stormlight, like a gemstone or something like that...

    Questioner

    I meant from Warbreaker. If you'd endowed like, a large thing with that, could you see that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, something with Breath, could they find that with a Seeker. That's right. There are theoretical applications of this, but I would say your average Seeker, no. There is a way to get there but if you just took a Seeker from - and said do you - they would not be able to do that.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1955 Copy

    sciencetor2

    I was the one with the weird alcohol question. I'm a brewer so I was trying to complete the article I wrote--I wrote the article on the [Coppermind].

    Brandon Sanderson

    So really, you're going to have to give me advice. What would you think?

    sciencetor2

    Basically, if they have distillation apparatus? Because they've replaced a lot of technology with Stormlight technology

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do have distillation apparatus.

    sciencetor2

    Okay. Then anything above 20% alcohol has to be a distilled spirit. Anything below has to be a brewed spirit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, brewed. So a wine can be brewed? You call wine a brewed spirit?

    sciencetor2

    Technically, you call it fermented, but I'd say brewing process. Otherwise it's a distillation apparatus, and you have to actually distill it and boil off the alcohol.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I know about. But the actual terminology...What we don't see a lot of in the Stormlight Archive is a beer. The hops, the fermented, the bubbles. You just don't see that. What you see is things we would call a wine, and things we would call a hard alcohol. A spirit, I guess. That spectrum is, to most people there, one spectrum. They do use grains for making things like a Horneater White. So that's probably going to be as close to a..

    sciencetor2

    Everclear?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there you go. Yeah.

    sciencetor2

    Pink, by the way, doesn't have any alcohol according to the chart?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah it's just juice. Just a squeezed juice, I actually kind of imagine that one. And the next one is they squeeze the juice and ferment it. And then at some point during that line, I guess it would be at the 20% mark, they start distilling, and some of them are going to be grains that they made and stuff like that.

    So you can take that all as canon now, and you can write it.

    sciencetor2

    So it's juice, not tea? Because it said tea in the little chart? It said, "I've had tea stronger than this."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah. It's not a tea. "I've had tea stronger than this" is just a joke that it doesn't have any alcohol in it. It is a juice.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1956 Copy

    Questioner

    I  never understood why Vin couldn't hold the Ruin Shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I could see a world where Vin maybe could have done it. But the trajectory she was on was opposed to it. Vin could have understood and become it. But what are the things that are keeping her? Vin, I don't think accepts, number one, that decay has to happen. She's experienced it a lot. But there's that piece inside her that doesn't want that to happen, doesn't want things to change, does not want people to leave her. I think that would be--if you read through, that's the soul, sort of, center event is, "Don't leave me, don't go away, don't change." And this is diametrically opposed to Ruin. People focus on the fact that she's good at killing and she is. But that heart, that soul...Ruin is more about things changing and decaying, than even about destroying.

    Questioner

    And I guess that's the reason why she can hold Preservation very easily?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1957 Copy

    Questioner

    Could someone use a [seon] or skaze to build a fabrial and what would that do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on how you define fabrial. If you define fabrial as trapping a sapient Splinter in a gemstone--I guess they don't all have to be sapient--they can all--flamespren and stuff like that--so if you define it as capturing a spren in a gemstone, could you capture a seon in a gemstone, and I would say, yes. The fabrial--what it will do is going to depend on a whole lot of factors--how you build fabrials even sometimes have to do with... Some of the fabrials don't care as much what the Splinter piece is. Obviously a heating fabrial or something like that does. Other ones, it's not as related.

    So I would say what the power of the Aon in the seon is, would influence what kind of fabrial you could make from it. Good question, excellent question, I've never been asked it before.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1958 Copy

    Questioner

    I know Hemalurgy [has to go to mix and match powers], would it be possible to use Feruchemy for Connection to hack into multiple Knights Radiant, kind of act as a Squire to more than one at the same time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Great question! I think you could make this work. I think it would take a little bit of legwork, but I think what you're wanting to do could indeed work. More likely in that case though, you could probably be a Squire to multiple Orders. *Hesitantly* Yeah...I think that would work, but I don't think it's the easiest way to do what you want to do. I think there are easier ways.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1965 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you think Roshar will invent waffle technology?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Waffle technology, I think they will... definitely. There may be a little work left to go.

    Questioner

    Will it be in Lift's time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughs* Yes, probably Lift's time. Yes, she would enjoy some waffles.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1967 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I was curious about Hoid and how he is sending letters to a dragon, while he is on Roshar and the dragon is elsewhere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, there is a courier service you can hire in the cosmere.

    Questioner

    So, it's like a Pony Express and that on the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Not everything he's doing is going via that, but it is a thing that exists.

    Questioner

    Like, in the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they have to go through Shadesmar. So... you can hire a very specialized group to get things where they're supposed to go.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1968 Copy

    Questioner

    I heard a quote that talked about a Shard we haven’t seen yet that only wants to be left alone.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    I have a guess but you’ll probably give me a read and find out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I probably will but you can go on record.

    Questioner

    Isolation, I guess.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are officially on record. I will give you your RAFO card.

    Questioner

    *Laughing* Thank you, very much.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1969 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the First Ideal of the Elsecallers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The First Ideal of all the... all of the Orders is the same. She's actually asking what the Second Ideal is and the answer is actually a RAFO, which means "Read and find out". I will reveal that... when... eventually.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1971 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you draw your own maps?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I used to and then have someone who know what they're doing redraw them. Now that I have... *other person interjecting* Yeah, like this Elantris map, I did a sketch of and then handed it to the artist and then the artist did a version. Now we have an Isaac version.

    Questioner

    Did you draw it before or after you designed what the city was made for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, yeah, I designed all... I'm an outliner, so I kind of had all of that in mind.

    Questioner

    You knew beforehand?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Beforehand, yeah. Nowadays, I just write and then Isaac reads it and then says, "How's this look?" and gives me a map and I say, "That looks pretty good!"

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1972 Copy

    Questioner

    Is physical travel between the worlds possible outside of...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, if you can get to Shadesmar, you can do it, but you can also do it... you could do it just... if you had FTL or if you were willing to just take a long, long time. If you had the means, you could. The cosmere is a dwarf galaxy, it's like a hundred star galaxy. I imagine it being a real place, but our world is not part of it, so.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1973 Copy

    tallakahath

    So, on Nalthis, in the Warbreaker universe, when the color's pulled out of something, is that a physical or chemical change or is that a perceptual change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is actually a physical change, but the spirit of the thing is changing, and it's filtering through to the Physical Realm.

    tallakahath

    So, if I do that on a carrot, I can break beta carotin? If I do that on a piece of metal, I can reduce it and charge my battery that way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potentially, yeah! Yeah, that would work, you're changing it's Spiritual nature.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1975 Copy

    Questioner

    When Odium and Dalinar were having their meeting in Oathbringer, Odium seemed kinda freaked out by something. Could it possibly be related to how Lift can interact with spren in the physical world, and that might cause some problems for him, <seeing the impossible>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is weirded out by Lift, certainly. Lift is something that shouldn't exist, let's just say that. You'll find out why, probably in book 6? But she should not exist.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1977 Copy

    DoritoJH

    We know that there are spren that are partially of Honor, partially of Cultivation, and Odium. Can there be spren made of any combination of Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Well, you would have to call them... Under that definition if you call a seon a spren, then yes. If you don't call a seon a spren, if you define a spren as, "On Roshar, related to the natural world of Roshar," then no. Theoretically yes, but it wouldn't really work. But it depends on how you define spren. If a Shard were to come and reside on Roshar like the other ones have, then you could theoretically see other new spren appearing out of them.

    DoritoJH

    Could there be a spren of all 16 Shards combined all at once?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hands out RAFO card*

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1978 Copy

    DoritoJH

    So, AonDor is super versatile and powerful.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but region-locked!

    DoritoJH

    Yes, it is region locked, exactly. If a full Feruchemist using nicrosil were to create an unlocked medallion that allowed an Elantrian to store Connection to Elantris' location, would it let them use AonDor at full power as long as they were tapping that Connection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That should work just fine.

    ...

    Just understand that the medallion's going to have to be usable by everyone in order to work. You're going to have to jump through some hoops, but I think what you want there would work. And for those of you listening, that would be the harder way to unlock AonDor. There are easier methods.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1979 Copy

    Solfor (paraphrased)

    So the Iriali, their religion, the whole the One breaking themselves into the many to experience the universe. You also have Autonomy breaking themselves into many avatars. So I was wondering is Autonomy connected to the Iriali in any meaningful way.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    So are the Iriali connected to Autonomy in a meaningful way? 

    I'd say no. I mean they're slightly connected, but in a meaningful way, no, they're not connected.

    Autonomy did not start the Iriali religion.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1980 Copy

    Questioner

    The concept of bridge warfare and the life of a bridgeman was one of the most horrific things I've ever heard of. Was that inspired by something specific or...? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there's a couple of inspirations. One is some of the first-hand accounts of World War One I read, where tactics changed so dramatically that people were being thrown into battle not understanding that this was just terrible tactics, you know, charging machine guns, that's, turns out, bad idea in a lot of situations. And the other half of it is being inspired by actual siege warfare.

    One of the things I like to do in my books is, I like to have fantastical versions of things that happen in our world, right? And this gives me a way I can look at history. I can read the accounts of, you know, what it's like to run a ladder, change it to suit my own desires and kind of have a bit more expertise where I can say, "In this situation, this is what they're doing." It allows people who know their medieval history to say, "Oh, that's cool," but also, at the same time, suspend their disbelief, right. Like, if you're a medieval historian and you're reading about actual siege warfare, I have to get it really right, or I'm gonna kick you out of the story. But if, instead, they're running bridges, it allows a lot of the mystique for medieval historians to say, "Oh, this is a different tactic, so we can't say one hundred percent what people would've done in that situation. I can enjoy the story too." And as long as I get enough right, that does that.

    So you see me doing that sort of thing quite a bit. Otherwise, I do try to get the things that I do right--as right as I can--but I was just visiting some nice fellows who were showing me their sword fighting in Plate. And you'll see, Shardplate is another thing like this. Actual historical plate combat... I wanted to have Shardplate divorced from that a little bit for the same sort of reasons, right? Number one, it allows me to have the kind of epic fights the way I want to have them, it allows me to draw out the fights. And you'll notice if you watch a lot of historical people reenacting fights, the Shardplate fights will look a lot more like people sparring nowadays and not actually trying to kill each other. And that's intentional, because I can watch a lot of those online, right. I can go to conventions like this and see people doing that. You can't see first-hand two people in plate actually trying to kill each other. And if I can make the fight realistically have a good reason why it would feel like a bout, you know, with Shardplate and things like that, instead of what you'd try to do in a normal plate battle is shove a dagger under someone's armpit, right? Well, that doesn't work in Shardplate, so what do you want to do? You wanna hit them in the same place a couple times. Feels a lot more like a sparring duel in our world, and it just allows me to have this line between realism and theatricality that I really like, and allows people who know a little bit about it to be able to like, "Oh, that feels real, but I can also enjoy it." You see me doing that sort of thing a lot.

    That's more than you asked, but that's occupational hazard, going on and on and on and on.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1981 Copy

    Questioner

    Could the Assassin in White assassinate Prof from the Reckoners?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could he? Yeah, he could. Depends on what- which place in the books you would put him. But I would lay odds on Szeth in that one, in almost every situation. *laughter* Now, the thing is, it depends also on how familiar he is with Prof's powers, how much he's acting like an assassin, right? Which is what he's generally going to try to do, but... you know, Gavilar got a lot of warning. So, if Prof got a lot of warning... the more warning Prof has, the worse it looks for Szeth. But the further in the series Szeth goes - if you pick him from a different book--the more likely it is he's going to win.

    'Cause he gets a hold of something very important. *laughter*

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1982 Copy

    Questioner #1

    On Roshar, all the alcohol on Roshar is called wine.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

    Questioner #1

    Some of it is different from what we have on Earth...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. All of it, actually. Well, not all of it--there's some actual Shin wine that you would call wine.

    Questioner #1

    So, on Roshar, do they have distillation processes, or do they have some sort of super yeast that can go way higher than the 20% cap?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of what you're seeing we would just call spirits or liqueurs here. They do have some grain based things and stuff like that. They're not making beer, they're mostly making spirits.

    This whole linguistic thing is one of those little clues that I embedded for certain reasons that we won't go into. The reason they call everything wine, the reason that seasons... they call seasons and we're like, "Wait! Those aren't seasons!", and things like that... *with some audience nudging* Chickens is the other big one. This is all there for a specific reason, but the further we get and the better help I get from beta readers... thank the beta readers for the scenes in Oathbringer, where a certain character is getting drunk--they helped me a lot on that. The better information I get from the betas in these things, I write stuff and then they tell me "Ah Brandon, you know nothing about beer!" and I'm like "Well yes, I do not know much about beer!" *laughter* "So tell me..." and the better it gets. I'm trying to give you more and more in the books about that because it is important to specifically several of the characters, and so I wanted to get it right. But most of what they're drinking would be harder than what you might assume.

    Questioner #1

    So, distilled or brewed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Distilled, mostly distilled.

    Questioner #2

    Are there fermentation spren? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes. There are probably fermentation spren. Because some of the lower... like some of the colors are actual fruit... like *asking back* what do you do when making wine, you're brewing wine, and *with audience help* pressing wine, and you ferment wine. And so, some of them you would drink and be like, "Okay, this is wine-like. It's not made from grapes, but its wine-like." A lot of the... further on the wheel, you'd drink and you'd be like "Oh, this tastes like Vodka! Why're you calling it wine?" Well that's what their word for alcohol is.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1983 Copy

    Questioner

    The areas where you have highspren living, does it have a connection to <Stormwall? the rift to the former world?>

    Brandon Sanderson

    So where the highspren... specifically?

    Questioner

    Basically does it...for example, do honorspren have a--are strong in that area, because...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh right, because they're living in like, Lasting Integrity? So... there are reasons why in Shadesmar the spren build the cities they do where they do. It doesn't always correlate one to one with the type of spren. Once in a while it does, but I would say as a rule of thumb, no. It's more about them finding a place that works for the geography of Shadesmar, and where they kind of just have political power and clout and things like that.

    Good question.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1984 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Khriss planned to be a major character in the future of the Cosmere, or will she be more of a behind-the-scenes source of knowledge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do plan some more--some actual Khriss stories. I mentioned I had a Silverlight story in the back of my head--she would have been one of the viewpoint characters of that if I ever get to write it. She will be in the background of most everything, but I do plan a few stories, that will have her. She will come the forefront the more the cosmere comes to the forefront, and more interaction between them.

    For those who were curious, my plan for the Cosmere all along has been - now that I have something to point to, people say is it like the MCU? And, yes and no. I'm not developing specific characters to bring forward, some of them will of course will still be be around. My whole goal with the Cosmere is to push toward something a little bit more like Star Trek or Star Wars, in that lots of different cultures, lots of different things--more Star Trek I guess - interspace situation, the conflicts that come between cultures and ideals and things like that, is what I'm pushing for. Rather than taking like the champions of each book and having them. So the characters are important, certainly, but when you're reading a given book series, that's where your characters are important. If you're thinking about the future of the Cosmere, think more about the clash of cultures, is where I'm pushing that.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1985 Copy

    Questioner

    If a coppermind was to be split in half, would the contents of it be destroyed? Or would there be, in the two separate halves, <of different contents?>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You should err on the side of being destroyed, though not permanently, is what I would say on that. There are ways to approach it that wouldn't, but generally if you're ruining a metalmind, the Investiture will stay in it, and if you know what you're doing you can make use of that, but in most cases, it's not gonna fare well.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1986 Copy

    Questioner

    We see the concept of savantism in First Era of Mistborn books. What does that look like on other systems of Investiture, more specifically Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So on Roshar, I'm going to RAFO this one for now. It's a little harder to make happen on Roshar for various reasons, but I'll give you a card. I'll just RAFO it.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1987 Copy

    Questioner

    One of my favorite characters is Kaladin. This is *inaudible* question. I just want to know if he will ever be able to make peace with that, at some point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, you get one of these. Here's you card, you can come up and get it. This is your RAFO card.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1988 Copy

    Questioner

    Would a Seeker burning bronze be able to tell what order of Knight Radiant someone is? Or what Surges they have access to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but they'd have to be actively using it, right? So you could hear somebody -- for instance -- Lashing, but if you just saw somebody who'd drawn in Stormlight, you probably wouldn't be able to tell until they use that Stormlight, which it was. You'd be able to probably hear that they have the Stormlight.

    Questioner

    So the pulses are not unique to Scadrial's Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No they're not. You'd be able to do that. In fact there are other things in the cosmere that are kind of the same sort of "radar detection" here and there, that you can read in the same way. Bronze is just the one of the best... way to do it -- being a Seeker is really handy for these reasons.

    Being able to go off-planet with your Allomancy also is a pretty big advantage. It's really hard, for instance, to get a Surgebinder off of Roshar, because of the Connection stuff that's happening. In fact you may have heard in a prologue just recently someone complaining about that.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #1989 Copy

    Rebeca

    What would happen differently if a person found a Shardblade and Shardplate that belongs to the same Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is an excellent question. It happened way more in the past than it happens now, but certain Blades and Plates are historically kind of linked together. If you were knowing to look for a difference, you would notice a slight difference, mostly if you could speak to or sense the Sword, but it wouldn’t have a very big mechanical difference, if that makes sense.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1991 Copy

    Excelsius

    What's the biological reaction of a limb cut by a Shardblade, because they don't start to rot after being cut?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah they don't start to rot, so the bloodflow is still happening. The limb is still attached, it's not going to rot off, but the soul is dead. This is a thing that can happen in the cosmere that can't happen here. Because you have Spiritual, [Cognitive], and Physical DNA. Your soul's been severed in that part, and it just flops around. You can't feel it, you can't control it. It's something that, again, couldn't happen here.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1992 Copy

    Questioner

    I recently learned that Roshar is modeled off of the Julia set. This magical fractal concept. I would like to know who of you pulled that off, and are there more things that you are inspired by stuff like that?

    Isaac Stewart

    We both pulled that off. The Julia set, when we first did a map-- we almost didn't do a map for The Way of Kings. It was the last thing that we did. And Brandon said, "I think we need a map". And so we put that in and he gave me a picture of the Julia set and he said, "I want you to make this into a map". So we made it into a map, did all the coastlines and things. And then what was the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reason being, I had in the back of my head this whole idea with patterns and math and the idea that Roshar is a constructed world, built and grown. And I liked the idea of fractals and the idea of mathematical formulas and these things being the basis for where Roshar came from. Which, you know we've got a base ten world in a universe that's base sixteen. Well, base two, but whatever.

    It's this weird thing where Roshar I specifically wanted to have some of these mathematical underpinnings. So when I saw this computation of the Julia set running, it looked like a map to me. But of course, that happens a lot. Mathematical formulas, fractals, these things look like maps because maps are fractals. This is why we see-- Maybe you've seen it when paint peels on the wall, you might look at it and be like, "Wow that looks like a fantasy map". Or when rust forms, you'd be like, "That looks like a fantasy world!" I know that happens to Isaac all the time.

    Isaac Stewart

    The Mistborn world came about that way. It was from a rust-thing that looked a lot like what Brandon had drawn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So when I saw that, I thought, "This is a world". And I filed that in the back of my head. Roshar, in the very first incarnation, had a different shape. That was the 2002 version I wrote. When I wrote it in 2009, I wanted a different shape. The map that I had drawn didn't work.

    Isaac Stewart

    You did ask if there are other things like that. I would just say pay attention to the Shattered Plains and pay attention to the shape of Kholinar. Among other things.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1993 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could co-author with any author dead or alive, who would it be?.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow. Well I already got to do that on my favorite author, right? So if I were going to pick another one-- Oh, I'd write a book with Oscar Wilde. That would be real interesting. That would be a lot of fun.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1994 Copy

    Questioner

    I teach at university, and I had to grade a paper about Way of Kings. It dealt with Colonial and post-colonial structures, religion, fashion, and language. Did you do that consciously or subconsciously, especially the colonization part?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's very conscious, that part. The Alethi are in part, based on the Mongols, particularly when the Mongols invaded China, then became Chinese culture, which I find a very fascinating period in history, where the Mongols became a Chinese Dynasty, they actually also became an Arab dynasty over in the Near East. It was just this really interesting thing. So you've got colonialism before colonialism happening there. And I was very aware with the subtext of the Parshendi being a major theme of a people that didn't just enslaved a people, they enslaved them and took away their minds, that I couldn't shy away from dealing with these topics and these concepts. You see as the series progresses, it becomes-- You've got people like Kaladin who are essentially good people, but not understanding at all even their own biases, which is how we all are. These are things I want to deal with, because I find them interesting. They're important now, but it's, I think, important to how humans work and interact and see the world. Because I think this has been happening since the beginning of our history as human beings. And so it's something that is fascinating to me, and something that I think a lot of us wrestle with, and I wanted my characters to deal with that.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1995 Copy

    Questioner

    Would the works you have not yet published ever be published?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, because they're bad. I found ways to fix some of them and release them in some form. White Sand was the best of them and we did graphic novels of those. Because the bad parts of White Sand was I went too long on the same ideas over and over. So we were able to trim those out and make graphic novels out of them and it worked really well. It's not impossible that the other good one, which is Aether of Night, could work that way. The problem with Aether of Night is, and you can find this online. We let the forum, the 17th Shard send it out to people. So if you go there and ask, you can get it.

    It feels like two books that are woven together. There's a romantic comedy, and an End of the World Apocalypse. And they just don't mix real well. And that's the big problem with that book. You can read White Sand by signing up for my mailing list. Most of them just aren't that good is the problem. Maybe Ill release them for free on my website or something.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1996 Copy

    Questioner

    There is also a thing with Alcatraz. The first time you wrote the book in third person, he was fourteen years old. And the published version, he is thirteen. And you don't explain that on the website. Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The publisher asked me to age him down. Generally, when you're writing a kid's book, the book is usually-- You make the age of the protagonist, minus two years, is about the age that you're writing the book for, when it's for teens. And they felt that about eleven-year-old was about where that book should be. So they asked me to age him down.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1997 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you do the annotation process while you were writing? Or do you do it after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I did the annotations and things. That was back when I had to do my own copyedits. Copyedits are so boring. You've read the book six times at that point. You give it to a copyeditor. They give it back to you, and you're, like, making notes, telling them, "No, I did want this comma here." It's all of that stuff. Now, my assistant Peter handles that. And I was so bored during those, I needed a break to stop and write something, and I did the annotations. That's where those came from. That's why you don't see as much of them anymore, now that I have Peter to do the really boring stuff. And he loves it. He loves it! It's what he lives for. He's an editor, they're weird.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1998 Copy

    Questioner

    Since you have basically established that spren are at least to some extent alive, how is it possible for a Shardblade to not cut right through a living weapon, like Syl for example.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What you are seeing is: when they are pulling through into the Physical Realm they are creating something that is not 100% physical, not 100% metal, it's like an amalgamation of the two. And that is doing something very special that then prevents other things from cutting through it. It's specifically the way that it's happening. You could make this happen with other things too.

    Another big part of it is the amount of Investiture. If something is highly Invested it's going to stop a Shardblade too, because the Investiture is gonna kinda bounce off of each other. It's theoretical, for instance, you could make a Hemalurgic spike that would stop a Shardblade...

    So, Invest something highly and it will stop a Shardblade almost always. But, you can cut souls; they are highly Invested also. So you need something in the Physical Realm that is pulling power through from the other Realms.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1999 Copy

    Questioner

    To what extent would you say Oathbringer picks up on political discussions and debates that are leading today.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. I would say that it certainly picks up on them. It can't help but do so, right? Now Tolkien and CS Lewis had a big argument about how much stories should teach. And Tolkien abhorred metaphor. He said, "I'm just trying to write the story that I'm writing. You can interpret it how you want, but I'm not trying to put things into it." And I felt more like him. I do't generally look at books as a method of trying to advocate for anything. But what I'm thinking about, what I'm concerned about, will definitely reflect in the novels.

    Berlin signing ()
    #2000 Copy

    Questioner

    I reread Words of Radiance, and I was wondering about the timing of the bond breaking. It started to weaken after he had that incompatible oath. And it really broke after he tried to protect someone, so that made no sense for me, because that's what h's doing, and he would have been able to protect even more people if he could have used his powers. We had some theories about that. If it's just the time, because he didn't find the words, or if the Stormfather took it actively from him. Or if he just tried to use too much power, and that broke the bond.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So it's a little spoilery, so I don't want to dig into it too much, in case people haven't read the book. So... imagine there's a hose with a kink in it. You've caused the kink, and now you're trying to force water through the hose. And then you break something, because you're still holding the kink down. Basically, you want the power, but to not have to go through the proper channels to get it. That's was what was dangerous there.

    The way the Stormlight magic works is, there are certain restrictions placed on you. And you can't access the power without those restrictions. And there is also the will of another individual involved, which is important to it, as well. So imagine the kinked hose, if that helps.