Recent entries

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2002 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the first movie you're gonna watch in your new underground massive headquarters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...When we were auditioning audio/visual places, they all played the same movie for us, that we had never seen. They played a clip from Oblivion, the Tom Cruise movie. So even though I don't know if it's that great a movie, we're going to watch it, because we watched it three times-- the same clip at three different companies who were showing off their theater outfits. I guess it just has good audio. So we'll probably watch that.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2003 Copy

    Argent

    My understanding of the... spren is that they grant powers based on what they understand to be fundamental? Ish?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ish. I wouldn't 100% go with that. I would say these are the fundamental forces-- They aren't as scientific as our fundamental forces, but I would say it's more than just what the spren view and what the humans view in that case. But they are more philosophical than scientific, in cases.

    Argent

    Other cognitive beings, could they-- A spren on Earth. Would it grant electromagnetism surge, for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, I would say yes.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2005 Copy

    Questioner

    You've been pretty open about Dalinar being somewhat based off of Genghis Khan.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Subutai more than Genghis Khan, but yeah.

    Questioner

    Is Kaladin based off of George Washington?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not intentionally. But I can see the parallels as you bring them out. Kaladin was partially based on my reading about... People who have won the Medal of Honor share an interesting characteristic. A strangely statistically high number of them are older brothers. Eldest brothers. Eldest sons. Same with astronauts. And it is that protective instinct that, as an older sibling, you learn, but it can backfire on you as well for various reasons. Kaladin, I was reading a lot about that, so you've got this whole eldest brother superhero complex thing going on.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2006 Copy

    Questioner

    Aside from The Apocalyse Guard, are you planning on making a sequel to Calamity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is actually a really good question, because Apocalypse Guard was going to dig in to a few of the questions that Calamity asked at its ending. And so cancelling Apocalypse Guard leaves me saying, "Well, I maybe need to answer those questions." So there's a chance I will do a Mizzy book in the future. I'm not 100% sure, because I want to be closing off more things than I'm opening these days, so promising more sequels is a bad place for me to be.

    But to run down the big sequel list, Legion is done. Reckoners is done. It doesn't mean that I might not do more, but just consider it done for now.

    Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, halfway through the last book. Don't believe Alcatraz when he says Book Five is the end. He lies. You should know that from Chapter One of the first book. The last book is called Bastille versus the Evil Librarians. That one should be out pretty soon. That is the last book. You can trust me on that, because I'm saying it, not Alcatraz...

    Rithmatist, I can't promise. It's the number one requested sequel I get. I was working on it when the Wheel of Time came along, and The Wheel of Time changed my career dramatically. It's been very hard to figure out how to do that sequel the right way. So no promises when on that, though it is still on my radar.

    Warbreaker, Elantris, probably yes, but not until Stormlight Five is done. Stormlight Four, I start on in January. You can follow the progress bars. *applause* The last Wax and Wayne book will probably be also next year, as I need to take a break at some point from Stormlight.

    If it wasn't on that list, then don't hold your breath. Most of the novellas I write, I write specifically so that I won't be starting a new series. Turns out if I write a novel, I'm very bad at writing that novel standalone by itself. Instead, I've written novellas in order to get the idea out of my head and be expanding the cosmere in interesting ways but not be promising sequels, okay? That said, there's a Threnody novel somewhere in me that will probably come out.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2008 Copy

    Questioner

    At this point, so far out from Oathbringer, what are the best and hardest things about having spent a lot of time writing about mental illnesses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the reasons why I approached Stormlight the way I did is, during the intervening years, during those seven years, I got to know very deeply some people who we would call non-psychonormative, I think is a good way to say it. And I began to see that the various different ways we perceive ourselves and the various different ways we perceive our own mental processes influence a lot of how we act and who we are. And I also noticed, speaking to them, that a lot of my friends were a little--and there's no problem if you like these--but they're a little tired of every book that represented their mental illness in a story was all about the mental illness. That the book was only just how to cope with mental illness, which are great stories. But they're like, if you look at the statistics, psychonormative is not the norm. In fact, it seems to be this mythical person that doesn't exist, in that the way that all of us think is different, and in some of us it can be really impairing for our lives. And in some of us, the same thing that's impairing to our lives defines who we are. You guys want a really good book about this, Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon is a fantastic look at this.

    But this all became really interesting to me. When I was looking at my characters, one of the things I noticed, for instance, I kind of used the pop science version of autism in Elantris. The more I actually got to know people with autism, the more I saw that the Rain Man version was a very extreme representation of something that is something a lot of people deal with, the way they see the world, and I started thinking, "You know, if I'm gonna create real characters in my books, this is something I need to be looking at." And it wasn't that I set out to say, "I'm going to write a book about lots of people with mental illnesses. I said, "I'm going to write a book about a lot of people who are like the people I know. And some of them think in different ways than others." And again, in some of them, that's a thing that they don't want to think that way. And it can be really impairing. But it's not that the story-- The Stormlight Archive is not about mental illness. The Stormlight Archive is about a lot of people that I wanted to try to make as real as I could, and that I also wanted to approach some things that haven't been approached, I thought, in fantasy fiction.

    What are some of the advantages? Well, I think the story has been very eye-opening to me. It's hard to talk about advantages and disadvantages in light of this. What are the "disadvantages"? I am walking through a minefield, and I have blown my foot off multiple times. And I think this is part of that whole failure thing as a writer. If I hadn't perhaps done it poorly in some of my books, I wouldn't have had the chance to talk to people who are like, "I really appreciate the book and what you're trying. Here's how, if you ever did this again, you might approach making it feel more realistic." And that made me a better person, not just a better writer, and so in some ways that disadvantage is the advantage. But that is the thing. I have blown my foot off on several landmines. And I will probably continue to do so.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2009 Copy

    Argent

    Cosmere healing. Some magic systems have internal healing, such as Stormlight; external healing, such as AonDor. With internal ones, the perception of the magic user seems to matter a lot. Is that also a factor for the external ones?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there are various types of healing in the cosmere. We have things like Stormlight, where you get the Stormlight and it heals you, and that one is very, very influenced by your perception. How you view yourself, and what you view as being healed, has a huge influence on what actually happens to you. Externally, if someone heals someone else, like a Knight Radiant uses the power to heal someone, or an external force heals them, is it still filtered through perception? I'm gonna say both perceptions are important in that. They both are relevant.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2010 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where are Brandon Sanderson properties as far as other media are concerned? So let's run down them.

    Fox has The Reckoners. I don't know how being bought by Disney affects that at all. But they have been very enthusiastic about The Reckoners for many years, and I hope that they will continue to be.

    MGM has Snapshot, which is lesser-known, it's like a cross between The Matrix and Se7en. It's very different for me. They are very far along, they have a really excellent screenplay, and that one, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the first one that gets made. Which would be kind of odd if the first Brandon Sanderson property is a serial killer thriller.

    Speaking of thrillers, Legion is owned by a group, they just bought it this summer, and last I heard they were working on showrunners and had somebody interested, so that is in a good place also. We probably have to change the name, now that Marvel has a Legion show.

    The Cosmere is owned by DMG Entertainment, whom I love. They have been great to work with. The Cosmere is very difficult to adapt. They have been good partners in trying to find the right way to adapt that. Nothing is off the table. I still think it's most likely that we would see Stormlight as a television show, Mistborn as a movie, but these things are still in the foundational stages, just of getting screenplays that we like and things like that.

    I think that is everything right now. I'll do a bigger thing on my blog in December where I catch anyone up.

    Any more board games? There was a Stormlight board game, and we have backed off on that because some of the early things we got, we didn't like the direction it was going. We have really liked the two board games that have come out. They have both turned out really well. They have both fulfilled their Kickstarter requirements, which is one of our number one things, we don't want to have that hanging over people. So they've both been really great partners. I still would like to see Stormlight, we were going to do a Shattered Plains style game. We'll see how that goes.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2011 Copy

    Questioner

    Did the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realms exist before Adonalsium split?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They did. In fact, if you can ever get a hold of Dragonsteel, (Which I don't let a lot of people read because it's got big spoilers and it doesn't really work anymore. It was one of the early books I wrote. It is the prelude to the Cosmere.) the opening chapters are in a classroom where someone is learning about the three aspects. So, yeah.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2012 Copy

    Questioner

    Lift as an Edgedancer. Doesn't seem very coordinated, which seems to be the preeminent part of being an Edgedancer. Was Lift actually maybe better for another Order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that, in the eyes of some of the spren, taking somebody who maybe doesn't quite fit the mold for your Order but has the heart that fits it is a better choice. And I think Lift and Wyndle and some of the texts may be comparing what someone at the beginning of the journey to someone near the end of their journey. So let's just give her a little time.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2015 Copy

    Questioner

    For the worldhopping that happens with Vasher and Vivenna. Does that happen... Are they the humans that came over--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they're not.

    Questioner

    They're just completely independent people who hopped--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're moving more with the hidden cosmere economy that has grown up moving between planets. Between Nalthis and Roshar, you can actually catch a caravan. There's actual movement and travel between them. That's been in place on Roshar for quite a while at this point.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2019 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Dustbringers have a propensity toward evilness?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would not call them evil, but certain members of the Knights Radiant would say they're on the edge, and did not get along with them. Let's just say Skybreakers have not gotten along with Dustbringers, even though they are very near each other in a lot of ways.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2023 Copy

    Shallan's Ward

    Could Soulcasting be used for cosmetic surgery?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes... *sigh* Boy... *hesitantly* Yes, but give it a very shaky yes. Indicate that Brandon is wincing a little bit about that one.

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    Could you give a brass nose like Tycho Brahe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, definitely, you could do.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2025 Copy

    The Young Pyromancer

    If you built a computer and you programmed it to view the world in a certain way, would that affect the world, like, Cognitive aspect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not unless the computer starts to become self-aware.

    Questioner

    What if it was an Awakened computer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If the computer were becoming self-aware, then it would act like any other sapient entity.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2027 Copy

    The Young Pyromancer

    Is Hoid's inability to hurt others due to an enhanced version of the effect that makes Szeth and Wayne hear voices?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    The Young Pyromancer

    Is that likely or unlikely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm just going to RAFO that entirely because it plays into things from Dragonsteel.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2028 Copy

    The Young Pyromancer

    Theoretically, if the Dor-- ifSel became a Shard, would-- The biggest limiter on Shards is the Vessel's mind, would that be more limiting or less limiting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...If the Dor were itself to become a Shard combining Devotion and Dominion, and were to pick up a Vessel? Because they're still Shards, they just don't have a Vessel.

    The Young Pyromancer

    So the land couldn't be Vessel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The land itself? Of Arelon or of--

    The Young Pyromancer

    Of Sel.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The land of Sel would not count as a Vessel. You would say in terminology right now that Dominion and Devotion do not have Vessels in the same way that other Shards do.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2029 Copy

    Questioner

    If someone from, say, Roshar, traveled to the world of Warbreaker, do they have Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they do not. And if someone from the Warbreaker world leaves, they will still have their Breath... They would not register as being a Drab to people who are looking. They would register as Option C. Particularly someone from Roshar, who is from a primary Shardworld, is slightly Invested.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #2031 Copy

    Questioner

    How did the Nahel bond manifest in Way of Kings Prime? What was missing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had a little light-and-sound show. It never actually happened on-screen. I had it-- If you've read Snapshot, it was this sort of thing that I intended to be a thing that they would see and could not be replicated, and you just kind of knew when it happened. Like, you were glimpsing the Spiritual Realm, something like that. But it never actually happened.

    Questioner

    Was he actually a Herald, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was actually a Herald. The book ends with him dying, and no one believing; except Jasnah, the atheist, believed he actually was a Herald, even though she didn't believe in God. And so it was like, "Well, we have to find out how to get him back. Because he can obviously be reborn." So that was one of the ends.

    Questioner

    Are we ever going to get to read that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, once it's no longer spoilery.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #2032 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am currently submitting a story to major science fiction magazines under a pseudonym to see if I am good enough-- It's a flash fiction piece, which is the thing I'm worst at... I knew that, if I sent it as me, they would take it, because putting one pages in in order to be able to say "Brandon Sanderson" on the cover is just an enormously advantageous cost/benefit analysis for a magazine. I probably wouldn't submit a full-size story, because I I know I am good enough to get in magazines on those; but I don't know about flash fiction. So I've been submitting that under a pseudonym.

    Questioner

    Will you let us know eventually?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, if it gets rejected from all the major places, then I'll tell you and be like, "Well. This wasn't good enough to actually sell." We still have it out at a few various magazines.

    Skyward Denver signing ()
    #2033 Copy

    Questioner

    You've mentioned that the Lord Ruler had children? Have we been introduced to any of them in the books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    Interesting. But they're out there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, they were. It's been a while... Descendants, potentially. You have not met any of the Lord Ruler's children.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2037 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 ()
    #2038 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 ()
    #2039 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 ()
    #2040 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 ()
    #2041 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 ()
    #2042 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 ()
    #2046 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 ()
    #2047 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 ()
    #2048 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.