Will Kaladin find a love interest in Book Four before he dies in Book Five?
Will Kaladin find a love interest in Book Four before he dies in Book Five?
You've been pretty open about Dalinar being somewhat based off of Genghis Khan.
Subutai more than Genghis Khan, but yeah.
Is Kaladin based off of George Washington?
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.
Aside from The Apocalyse Guard, are you planning on making a sequel to Calamity?
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.
When a kandra is born, how long would it take them to reach maturity?
Longer than a human normally would take. It would depend on a couple of factors, such as how soon they are given spikes, and things like that.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
Did the Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive Realms exist before Adonalsium split?
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.
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?
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.
Szeth wasn't actually Truthless. Would his experience be difference if he were?
I'll RAFO that for now. I'll dig into that pretty deeply in book 5. After book 5's out, there will still be questions but I might be able to answer them.
I've studied aerospace medicine, so I wondered, Kaladin, is his Shardplate going to have any special properties that are going to help for very high-altitude travel?
Let's just say, the fact that his two surges have to do with pressure and with gravity, Let's just say that is on my mind.
For the worldhopping that happens with Vasher and Vivenna. Does that happen... Are they the humans that came over--
No, they're not.
They're just completely independent people who hopped--
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.
Is the Phone Company still a thing?
They are still around, and I plan to at least have cameos.
Question for you about Skyward. How many years in the universe has passed between the short story and the novel?
On Arcanum Unbounded, you have a map of the universe, and specifically they know of a certain star system called the Scar. Mind explaining a little bit?
You can see it from several of the planets in the sky.
Do the Dustbringers have a propensity toward evilness?
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.
Can a Shard have more than one Shardpool?
Does Cultivation have another Shardpool in the Purelake?
The magical fish in the Purelake, is their magic part of the Old Magic paradigm?
The magical fish are not of Honor. Not of Honor not in a bad way, but there's something else going on there.
Is Cultivation's Investiture distributed by the crem cycle?
Could Soulcasting be used for cosmetic surgery?
Yes... *sigh* Boy... *hesitantly* Yes, but give it a very shaky yes. Indicate that Brandon is wincing a little bit about that one.
Could you give a brass nose like Tycho Brahe?
That, definitely, you could do.
At the end of the book, Jasnah was chosen to be the next queen?
...She will choose to be called a queen and make them do that. So she is queen and it's going to be very fun to write Jasnah the queen.
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?
Not unless the computer starts to become self-aware.
What if it was an Awakened computer?
If the computer were becoming self-aware, then it would act like any other sapient entity.
Is Gaz's other eye the same color?
Gaz's eye that was put out? I'll RAFO that. That's a good question!
Is Hoid's inability to hurt others due to an enhanced version of the effect that makes Szeth and Wayne hear voices?
Is that likely or unlikely?
I'm just going to RAFO that entirely because it plays into things from Dragonsteel.
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?
...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.
So the land couldn't be Vessel?
The land itself? Of Arelon or of--
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.
If someone from, say, Roshar, traveled to the world of Warbreaker, do they have Breath?
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.
The parshmen that got re-Connected. Was that based on where they were born, or where they were when the Everstorm came in?
How did the Nahel bond manifest in Way of Kings Prime? What was missing?
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.
Was he actually a Herald, then?
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.
Are we ever going to get to read that?
Yeah, once it's no longer spoilery.
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.
Will you let us know eventually?
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.
You've mentioned that the Lord Ruler had children? Have we been introduced to any of them in the books?
Interesting. But they're out there?
Well, they were. It's been a while... Descendants, potentially. You have not met any of the Lord Ruler's children.
You said that Hoid has had love interests. Does he have any children?
Can the gems on Roshar store other types of Investiture?
I am subscribed to the, "Doomslug is the hyperdrive," theory. Can you confirm or deny?
I cannot confirm or deny.
What does Doomslug eat?
Doomslug eats mushrooms, among other things... I don't want to say anything more.
I know, I was trying to find something that wouldn't be RAFO'd
Yeah that's actually shockingly relevant of a question, so-- Hmm!
The gems on Roshar, are they the same as the gems you and me know, or are they a byproduct of Investiture?
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.
We will RAFO that for now.
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.
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.
I just want to know how much were you thinking about Ender's Game in particular?
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.
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.
That's a pretty interesting thing, yeah.
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.
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.
Are the rats that Spensa eats actually rats, or is this a Rosharan chicken situation?
I made them actual rats.
Are they native to the planet?
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.
Kaladin not ever feeling the Thrill. Is there a reason for that?
There is a reason for that... What do you think?
I think it's because he's too good and too pure for this world.
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.
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."
There's a bit of a war inside of Kaladin.
Is Skyward in the same universe as Defending Elysium?
Are you planning on doing anything else in that universe other than sequels to Skyward?
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.
Dalinar walks away with a gemstone. Was Yelig-nar taken as well?
RAFO. I will get to Yelig-nar.
Yolen is one of the oldest worlds. So, did they develop a method of traveling to other worlds like spacefaring?
No. Good question.
They say Ati was good, but Ruin turned him evil. Are they any evil people who picked up a Shard that turned them good?
RAFO. Good question!
Hemalurgic spikes degrade very quickly, but Feruchemical metals can hold on to their charge forever, apparently. Is that just because Hemalurgy is corruptive?
Yes, though I may not say "forever."
But it's much slower?
Yeah, way slower.
Yes, it's the nature of Feruchemy and Hemalurgy.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Is Lift capable of touching other spren?
I'll RAFO that for now. I could wiggle out of that one easily, but I won't. I'll not answer the question you're asking, rather than the one you're not asking.
Can you steal someone else's infused Breath with a similar method to the Feruchemy loophole?
Can you turn a parshman into a Parshendi by giving them breath?
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.
What order was Alakavish?
RAFO. I may get to that. I may not, but I'll RAFO it for now.
You said Cultivation is doing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. So my theory is that she's completely responsible for the Diagram.