Recent entries

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2252 Copy

    XavierRDE

    I've seen you said you sent the same scene description to both the US and the UK publisher for Oathbringer's cover. Why choose precisely Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's partially based on the scene I think that will look best being illustrated. Also, since book two had Kaladin, I thought it would be a nice change to make sure someone else was on book three.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2255 Copy

    Calderis

    The light lines/lances are a very fun concept. Is there anything in particular that inspired the idea of grappling combat in space?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably watching too many cartoons or B movies where someone turns a corner in a vehicle by throwing out an anchor or something. (Didn't the batmobile do this once in the old Adam West batman?)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2258 Copy

    Oversleep

    Does it matter how fast are the metals burned in relation to Seeking? For example, would a flared metal be easier to Seek? Could duraluminum burned metal be Seeked through coppercloud by regular Seeker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Flaring is noticeable to the right Seeker, and strength does correlate as you theorize.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2259 Copy

    Oversleep

    What does count for Hemalurgic control? The total Hemalurgic charge or number of the spikes? If we let four spikes decay for a few years and then pierce a human with it, would that person be controllable? Does that work the same for all Hemalurgic constructs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question to be asking, as there are spikes that come in sets that only count as a single one... I'd say you're getting close, but not quite there.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2260 Copy

    Oversleep

    This is a follow-up on something I asked you in person last year. What is the bronzepulse of atium? They thought that it shares pattern with gold so I guess there would be some resemblance between those patterns? Also, did it Push or Pull, or something else even (like those uniform pulses Ruin's avatar set off)? Cause I can't help but wonder why did they not notice something very odd about it. And, well, what pulse would even atium alloys have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2261 Copy

    Oversleep

    I'm liking Skyward so far. I can't wait to read about using light-lances, they're rusting cool!

    I gotta ask, though: what does "scud" mean? It seems it is an equivalent of "damn" but is there any etymology behind it? Cause, "scud" is also name of Soviet tactical ballistic missiles. Any relation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scud came from the Soviet missile, as a nod to some of my inspirations for the setting of the caverns.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2262 Copy

    RoboChrist

    Would humanity be better or worse off by the end of Oathbringer if Honor ended his visions with:

    "This has been a pre-recorded message from Honor. If you have any inquiries, please direct them to the Stormfather or to a local spren representative."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dial 9 to refill with Stormlight. 

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2265 Copy

    InsaneScotsman

    During the perpendicularity scene in Oathbringer is it safe to say that what Dalinar did is akin to super powered versions of his surges? Tension to make the realms ductile and formable, adhesion to bring them together. I know the specific ability is unique to Dalinar but I'm fairly attached to this rationalization

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't immediately shoot down this particular theory. 

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2266 Copy

    Rgkavodkar

    If you have two written books, Book-A and Book-B, and you are prouder of Book-B, does it feel weird if Book-A is more popular and better received?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know this does happen to writers, but I've not really experienced it. Generally, if I write something a little more niche, I'm aware ahead of time. (And am doing it on purpose.) I also don't tend to be "more proud" of certain books--I write a wide variety of things because I'm interested in a wide variety of story types.

    But I guess I'm also comfortable with the idea that a lot of work does not equal a successful piece. I, of course, would prefer to write things that everyone loves--but I learned early in my unpublished career not to chase the market, and that attitude has served me quite well.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2267 Copy

    Rgkavodkar

    Any chance you would venture into a non-fantasy genre in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there's a chance--but fantasy casts a wide shadow. I had a really interesting idea for a horror story the other week, but it's still a fantasy technically.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2269 Copy

    -lurcher-

    "Ghostbloods" is an interesting name to me. Is that a name that originated on Roshar or somewhere else? Does the group have to do either with ghosts or blood? Or is it more a metaphorical name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The name of the Ghostbloods has roots in specific cosmere events, and means something in world.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2270 Copy

    -lurcher-

    At the end of Oathbringer, it seems that many (including myself) felt that Szeth's return and sudden alignment with the protagonists went over a little too easily. Are they accepting of him now? Why the sudden change of heart? Are there going to be trust issues in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, yeah. Obviously crazy men who shift allegiances quickly, after murdering the king and starting a war, aren't exactly the sort you leave home to babysit your kids.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2274 Copy

    Askhundel

    Do you think once you're done with the Cosmere's main story (assumably Mistborn 4th era), if you're not tired of it by then, you might write more stories set in the cosmere (for added lore/backstory/immersion) ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this perfect world where I somehow manage to finish early, then yes, I'd certainly do more. But that's a LONG ways off still.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2275 Copy

    FieryXJoe

    Would empty perfect gemstones left in Shinovar and New Natanatan during a highstorm have different amounts of Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question.

    No, they would not. Strength of the storm is not tied directly to the amount of Stormlight invested. (Though there are in-world easterners who would insist otherwise.)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2278 Copy

    simon_thekillerewok

    What percent confident are you that Mistborn 2.4 will be named The Lost Metal? In that same vein, what percent confident are you that Stormlight 5 will be named Stones Unhallowed? (I think that's a fantastic title btw and you should definitely keep it.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm probably around 95% on Lost Metal and 70% on Stones Unhallowed.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2279 Copy

    wiresegal

    Are most kandra comfortable in any body configuration, or is MeLaan being comfortable in any gendered body an outlier? (i.e. do female kandra usually prefer female bodies, etc). And if this is common among kandra, is it because their long lives lead to introspection and self-examination, or is it just part of the species psychology?

    Also, it's mentioned that kandra can "smell" whether another kandra is male or female, biologically. Does a transgender kandra have a different "scent?" What about nonbinary? And if they don't smell different, can they change what they "smell" like? (without using any magic beyond their shapeshifting)

    Brandon Sanderson

    You find a lot more kandra like MeLaan in the later generations. Generations who were allowed to develop a stronger, independent kandra culture separate from always being integrated with human culture. However, I'd say that almost every kandra, by nature of their physiology, spends a good time exploring both genders. I wouldn't call MeLaan an outlier.

    Kandra learn very extreme control over their bodies, and can choose which scent to express and which gender (even to other kandra) to present. This includes a neutral scent, or some mix or something new, if they so decide. Remember that a kandra who wants to hide who they are, even from other kandra, is fully capable of doing so. Under current in-world technology, even blood tests would not be able to distinguish a kandra from the form they have decided to take.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2280 Copy

    wiresegal

    In post-medallion-tech Scadrial, (i.e. Era 3) is there any cultural awareness of transgender people? Since for some, their biological state would be affected by Feruchemical gold healing, and that would probably be a documented effect.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The different cultures and subcultures are going to look at this differently, but I'd say yes, there is awareness. And the more they experiment with the metallic arts being available outside of genetic lines, the more this will be understood for reasons you point out.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2284 Copy

    argau

    I was delighted to read in the forward to Arcanum Unbounded that the Cosmere was inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Robots/Foundation universe. Elijah, Daneel, Hari, and Dors are some of my favorite characters ever, but I was horribly disappointed by Foundation and Earth, our de facto endpoint for the series. Since you were so kind as to step in and finish Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan’s death, have you ever considered writing anything in the Robots/Foundation universe to bring us to a more satisfying ending?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Though I too had mixed feelings about Foundation and Earth, I have come around on it over the years--and like a lot of things about it. The ultimate evolution and implementation of the three laws being one of them.

    I think every fan of the series has to come to terms with the differences between the two eras of Asimov's writing life, and the different themes of the two different "halves" of the Foundation series. Though I do prefer the tight early narratives, I can appreciate the more philosophical approach of the late narratives.

    I could see myself contributing to a themed anthology of Asimov-inspired or in universe stories, should one happen. But I don't ever see myself doing anything like you mention, in part because Asimov had collaborators he worked with that have already been doing things like continue his legacy--and who are much better suited to it.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2285 Copy

    NotOJebus

    If I held Szeth's Oathstone, smashed it up into a fine powder then snorted it, would Szeth still follow my direction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, probably, but be warned that you're not dealing with someone terrible stable. You could push Szeth over the edge with things like this, and then you could end up in a very bad situation.

    The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
    #2286 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you know from the beginning how you were planning to end [Alcatraz]? Because the whole time, I was going, "He'd better fulfill all of these promises."

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was. I'll tell you this, when I pitched that to the editor, they did not like it at all. They didn't like the idea of me ending on such a downer note. But I knew that the right way to do it was to have him give up on the series after that dark moment. A lot of the Alcatraz stuff I discovery wrote, but that ending I had from the beginning.

    The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
    #2287 Copy

    Questioner

    How much time do you spend writing new material versus rewrites?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Rewrites are about half of my time I'd say. Between a third and a half. So I can usually budget the same amount of time that it took to write a book to do the revisions, and each given one is a bit faster. I write at about 2,000 words a day and I revise at about 10,000 words a day, but it goes slower when I have to do new chapters. Like, I'll do 10,000 words one day, and then 2,000 the next when I have to do new stuff.

    The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
    #2290 Copy

    Questioner

    So, are all birds in the cosmere referred to as chickens?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. All birds on Roshar are referred to as chickens... What's going on here is a linguistic phenomenon, where they had lots of bird types on the planet they emigrated from. But over time the word for "bird" became genericized, chicken became genericized to mean bird. That's happened to a couple things on Roshar. Wine got genericized. They don't even really have wine; they don't have grapes, but they use it genericized to mean something different.

    Miscellaneous 2017 ()
    #2291 Copy

    Blightsong

    Second sentance of the above paragraph. The plural of 'axis' is 'axes', not 'axi'.

    Stormlightning

    For the record, I don't think the "axi" thing is a grammatical error. It's more just a unique cosmere term.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    This is a Cosmere term. Stormlightning is correct.

    Miscellaneous 2017 ()
    #2292 Copy

    Argent

    None of the Alethi names seem to have a "ch" sound in them - except for Chana / Chanarach, the Herald. Do they have a sound and written symbol for it? And if not, would they use a different sound when saying or writing Chana's name ("sh" maybe?)?

    Isaac Stewart

    I could be wrong, but I think there is a symbol for "ch" in Alethi women's script.

    Miscellaneous 2017 ()
    #2293 Copy

    Argent

    In English, "N" is articulated the same way "T" and "D" are - on the alveolar ridge (as all three are nasal alveolar). It seems like in the women's script "N" belongs to a different family from "T" and "D". The former is a "left facing arrow" while the latter two are "right facing arrows", to use some very basic description of the symbol shapes. Why is that?

    Isaac Stewart

    Peter might have a better explanation for this, but because of the three sizes, we had to group things in ways that didn't always make sense. The N was a fourth letter in a set (TDL), so looking back, maybe we should've grouped N with TD instead of the L, but then that has a cascading effect, so this was the best we could do in the time we had. But we don't know exactly how the Alethi speak. There's always a chance that the Alethi Z sounds more like "dz," and the Alethi "S" sounds more like "ts" (like the German Z), in which case the SZN grouping makes a lot more sense. But that's just conjecture.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The symbol sets are all based on historical place of articulation (and articulating tongue part), and there have been some sound changes over the centuries so they don't currently all line up exactly. The t/d/r/th/l group (historically alveolar) is articulated with the tip of the tongue, and the s/z/n/sh/h group (historically postalveolar) is/was articulated with the blade of the tongue.

    The modern h sound (like h in English) used to appear only in the palindromic locations, and was written only with the diacritic. This diacritic is mirrored on the top and bottom of the character. Some writers may use only the top or bottom because lazy. Also, sometimes the diacritic can be left out entirely and people just know to pronounce it as h because it's a very common word or name.

    The h character used to stand for a weakly-voiced postalveolar non-sibilant fricative. This later shifted backward to a velar fricative (first weakly-voiced, later voiceless) as in Kholin. In modern times the h character is usually for the same h sound that we have in English. Sometimes kh is written using a combination of the k and h characters, and sometimes it's written just as h for historical reasons. Different regional dialects also shift the pronunciation one way or another.

    The L sound has also shifted. It used to be a voiced alveolar lateral fricative, and this is still seen in names like Lhan. It's now a regular L sound.

    The final group, k/g/y/ch/j, used to have dual articulation, similar to velarized postalveolar. Now the articulation has separated, with some velar and some postalveolar.

    Currently y and j are pronounced the same or differently based on class and regional dialect. So, a darkeyes name like Jost or Jest will be pronounced with a regular j sound, while with the upper class it has merged with y so that Jasnah and Jezerezeh are pronounced with a y sound. Historically they were always separate sounds.

    Miscellaneous 2017 ()
    #2294 Copy

    Argent

    That Reddit thread established that the "H" sound is produced by writing another letter, and then marking it to denote that it should be pronounced as /h/ (while still looking like the other letter, for symmetric purposes). And on that note, the name of that traditional Vorin dress is "havah" - how would that get written? Is there a dedicated symbol for /h/ when it's not a "symmetric placeholder", or would the women just pick any letter and mark both instances here? Or something else altogether? 

    Isaac Stewart

    I believe they would just use the dedicated symbol for /h/.

    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #2295 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The [Scadrian] calendars don't appear in Arcanum Unbounded, but they're mentioned on the map as old calendar/new calendar. Since the Lord Ruler actually kept the calendar the same, what this is referring to is only the placement of seasons, since those have to change from year to year because of the orbit.

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
    #2297 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    By the way, Brandon originally wrote the prologue to The Alloy of Law soon after finishing The Alloy of Law and he meant it to be the prologue to Shadows of Self. Then he decided that The Alloy of Law needed a better prologue than its current chapter 1, which was originally the prologue.

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
    #2299 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    So, Brandon confirmed in the preface to this version [of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell] that Hoid is definitely not there.

    However, I wouldn't rule out the person I thought was Hoid actually being someone else important.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #2300 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The red-headed attendant who is Jasnah Prime's ward is named Shinri Davar. Brandon considers her to be not the same person as Shallan at all, unlike Merin who he does consider to be the same person as Kaladin, if his life had gone differently. She has a completely different plot from Shallan's.

    In Prime, Jasnah is much more of a main character than Shinri is.