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    #2852 (not searchable) Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...vastness of space. Compared to that infinite dark blackness, both planets and starships alike seemed equally insignificant. Meaningless. Except, of course, for the fact that those insignificant starships were doing their best to kill me.

    I dodged, spinning my ship and cutting my boosters mid-turn. Once I'd flipped around, I immediately slammed on the booster again, swerving in the other direction in an attempt to lose the three ships tailing me. Fighting in space is way different from fighting in atmosphere. For one thing, your wings are useless. No air means no airflow. No lift, no drag. In space, you don't really fly. You just don't fall.

    I executed another spinning boost, heading back toward the main firefight. Unfortunately, maneuvers that had been impressive down in atmosphere were commonplace up here. Fighting in a vacuum these past six months provided a whole new set of skills to master.

    "Spensa," a lively masculine voice said from my console. "You remember how you told me to warn you if you were being extra irrational?"

    "No," I said with a grunt, dodging to the right. <A destructor> blast from behind swept right over the dome of my cockpit. "I don't believe I said anything of the sort."

    "You said-"

    "Can we talk about this later?" I dodged again. Scud, those drones were getting better at dogfighting. Or was I losing my touch?

    "Technically, it was later right after you spoke," continued the talkative voice. My ship's AI, M-Bot. "But human beings don't actually use that word to mean 'any time chronologically after this moment.' They use it to mean 'some time after now that is more convenient to me.'"

    The Krell drones swarmed around us, trying to cut off my escape back toward the main body of the battlefield. "And you think this is a more convenient time?" I demanded.

    "Well, why wouldn't it be?"

    "Because we're in combat."

    "Well, I would think that a life-and-death situation is exactly when you'd like to know if you're being extra irrational."

    I could remember with some measure of fondness the days when my starship hadn't talked back to me. That'd been before I'd BLANK, BLANK, BLANK, BLANK, BLANK.

    "Spensa," M-Bot said, "You're supposed to be leading these drones back toward the others, remember?" It had been "BLANK, BLANK, BLANK, BLANK, BLANK.

    The Krell knew what I was and hated me. The drones tended to target me specifically, and we could use that. We should use that. In today's pre-battle briefing, I'd swayed the rest of the pilots to reluctantly go with my bold plan. I was to get a little out of formation, tempt the enemy drones to swarm me, then lead them back to the rest of the team. My friends could eliminate the drones while they were distracted, focused on me. It was a good plan, and I'd make use of it... eventually. Now, though, I wanted to test something.

    I hit my overburn, accelerating away from the enemy ships. M-Bot was faster and more maneuverable than they were, though part of his big advantage had always been his ability to maneuver at high speed in air without ripping himself apart. Out here in vacuum, that wasn't a factor, and the enemy drones did a better job of keeping up. They swarmed after me as I dove toward the planet Detritus. My homeworld was protected by layers of ancient metal platforms, like shells, with gun placements all along them. We were beyond the farthest shell, out in space. After BLANK BLANK BLANK IN THE LAST BOOK, we had started gaining control of those platforms and their guns. Eventually, that shelled gun emplacement should protect our planet from incursions. For now, though, most of those defensive platforms were still autonomous, and could be as dangerous for us as they were for the enemy. The Krell ships swarmed behind me, eager to cut me off from the rest of the battlefield, where my friends were engaging the rest of the drones in a massive brawl. As usual, the Krell ships would seek to isolate me, overwhelm me. That tactic made one fatal assumption. That if I were alone, I'd be less dangerous.

    "We're not gonna turn back around and follow the plan, are we?" M-Bot asked. "You're gonna try and fight them on your own?" I didn't respond. "Jorgen is gonna be angry," M-Bot said. "By the way, those drones are trying to chase you along a specific heading, which I'm outlining on your monitor. My analysis projects that they plan an ambush.

    "Thanks," I said.

    "Just trying to keep you from getting me blown up," M-Bot said. "By the way, if you do get us killed, be forewarned that I intend to haunt you."

    "Haunt me? You're a robot. And besides, I'd be dead, too, right?"

    "Uh, my robotic ghost would haunt your fleshy one."

    "How would that even work?"

    "Spensa, ghosts aren't real," he said in an exasperated tone. "Why are you worrying about things like that instead of flying? Honestly, humans get distracted so easily."

    I spotted the ambush. A small group of Krell drones had placed themselves by a large chunk of metal floating just out of range of the gun emplacements. As I drew close, the ambushing drones emerged and rocketed toward me. I was ready, though. I let my arms relax, let my subconscious mind take over. I sank into myself, entering a kind of trance where I listened, just not with my ears. <Remote drones weren't flying for the Krell> in most situations. They were an expendable way to suppress the humans of Detritus. However, the enormous distances involved in the space battle forced the Krell to rely on instantaneous faster-than-light communication to control their drones. I suspected the pilots were far away. But even if they were on the Krell station, hung out in space near Detritus, the lag rate in communications from here to there would make drones too slow to react in battle, so FTL was necessary. That exposed one major flaw. I could hear their orders.

    For some reason I didn't understand, I could listen to the place where FTL communication happened. I called it "Nowhere," another dimension where our rules of physics didn't apply. I could hear into the place, occasionally see into it. Then, <THAT HAPPENED LAST BOOK>. I let my instincts take over, and set my ship in a complex sequence of dodges. My battle-trained reflexes melded with my innate ability to hear the drones' orders. They maneuvered my ship without specific conscious instructions on my part. This ability had been passed down my family line. My ancestor used it to move ancient starfleets around the galaxy. Now, I used to to stay alive.

    I reacted before the Krell did, responding to their orders. Somehow, I processed them even faster than the drones could. By the time they attacked, I was already weaving through the destructor blast. I darted among them, then activated my IMP, bringing down the shields of everyone nearby. In my state of focused concentration, I didn't care that the IMP took down my shield, too. It didn't matter.

    I launched my light lance, and the rope of energy speared one of the enemy ships, connecting it to my own. I used the difference in our momentums to spin us both around, which put me in position behind the pack of defenseless ships. Blossoms of light and sparks broke the void as I destroyed two of the drones. The remaining Krell scattered like... like villagers before a wolf in one of Gran Gran's stories. The ambush turned chaotic as I picked a pair of ships and gunned for them with destructors, blasting one away as part of my mind tracked the orders being given to the others.

    "I never fail to be amazed when you do that," M-Bot said quietly. "You're interpreting data faster than my projections. You seem almost... inhuman."

    I gritted my teeth, bracing, and spun my ship, boosting after a straggling Krell drone.

    "I mean that as a compliment, by the way," M-Bot said. "Not that there's anything wrong with humans. I find their frail, emotionally unstable, irrational natures quite endearing."

    I destroyed that drone and bathed my hull in the light of his fiery demise. I dodged right between the shots of two others. Those Krell drones didn't have pilots on board. A part of me felt sorry for them as they tried to fight back against me. An unstoppable, unknowable force that did not play by the rules that *inaudible* everything else they knew.

    "Likely," M-Bot continued, "I regard humans as I do only because I'm programmed to do so. But hey, that's no different from the instinct programming a mother bird to love the twisted, featherless abomination she spawned, right?"

    Inhuman. I wove and dodged, firing and destroying. I wasn't perfect. I had overcompensated, and many of my shots missed. But I had a distinct edge. The Krell obviously needed to watch for people like me. Their ships were always on the hunt for humans who flew too well, or responded too quickly. They had tried THAT'S IT FOR A MINUTE, PREVIOUS BOOK.

    All this raised a singular, daunting question. What was I?

    "I would feel a lot more comfortable," M-Bot said, "if you find a chance to reignite our shield."

    "No time," I said. "We need a good thirty seconds without flight control for that."

    I had another chance to break toward the main battle, to follow through with the plan we'd outlined. Instead, I spun and hit the overburn, blasting back toward the enemy ships. My grav caps absorbed a large percentage of the g-forces and kept me from suffering too much whiplash. But I still felt pressure flatten me against my sheet, make my skin pull back and my body feel heavy. Under extreme g-forces, I felt like I'd aged a hundred years in a second.

    I pushed through and fired at the remaining Krell drones. I strained my strange skills to their limits. The Krell destructor shot grazed the dome of my canopy, so bright it left an afterimage in my eyes.

    "Spensa," M-Bot said. "*inaudible* I know you said to keep them distracted, but-"

    "Keep them distracted."

    "Resigned sigh."

    I looped us after an enemy ship. "Did you just say the words 'resigned sigh'?"

    "I find human non-linguistic communication to be too easily misinterpreted," he said, "so I'm experimenting with ways to make them more explicit."

    "Doesn't that defeat the purpose?"

    "Definitely not. Dismissive eye roll."

    Destructors flared around me, but I blasted two more drones. As I did, I saw something appear, reflected in the canopy of my cockpit. A handfull of piercing white lights, like eyes, watching me. When I used my abilities too much, something looked at me from Nowhere and saw me. I didn't know what they were. I just called them the Eyes. But I could feel a burning hatred from them, and anger. Somehow, this was all connected. My ability to see into the Nowhere. The Eyes that watched me from that place.


    The Eyes continued to appear, reflected in the canopy, as if it were revealing something that watched me from behind my seat. White lights, but stars, but somehow more aware. Dozens of malevolent glowing dots. And entering their realm, even slightly, they became visible to me. Those Eyes unnerved me. How could I both be fascinated by these powers I had, yet be terrified of them at the same time? It felt like the call of the void you got when standing at the edge of a large cliff in the caverns, knowing you could just throw yourself off into the darkness. One step further...

    "Spensa!" M-Bot said. "New ship arriving."

    I pulled out of my trance, and the Eyes vanished. M-Bot used the console to highlight what he'd spotted. A new starfighter, almost invisible against the black sky, emerged from where the others had been hiding. Sleek, it was shaped like a disk, and painted the same black as space. It was smaller than normal Krell ships, but it had a larger canopy. These new black ships had only started appearing in the last eight months, in the days leading up to EVENTS AT THE END OF THE LAST BOOK. I couldn't hear the commands the new ship received, because none were being sent to it. Black ships like this one were not remote control. Instead, they carried real alien pilots, usually an enemy ace, the best of their force.

    The battle had just gotten more interesting.

    General Signed Books 2018 ()
    #2853 Copy


    Is it possible to forge together Hemalurgic spikes of every Invested metal (both Feruchemical and Allomantic) to create a spike for a single bind point, thereby simultaneously providing the powers of each original metal?

    Brandon Sanderson


    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2854 Copy


    Hey, I've been trying to figure out how Elhokar was 'broken', and I'd like to check if I'm on the right track. Obviously he isn't paranoid (since his fears of assassination and the people he sees in the shadows are very real), so i looked a little closer at his behavior and I noticed he never feels bad about how his decisions impact other people, and doesn't react to his sister's death/resurrection but does constantly worry about how people talk about him.

    Combined, that really seems like he's somewhere on the spectrum of narcissistic personality disorder, what with "an excessive need for admiration, and disregard for others' feelings,"

    Am I in the right ballpark?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, you are right on target.

    Do note that the idea that a person needs to be somehow 'broken' is an in-world theory that isn't 100% validated by the people chosen as Radiants. People have, however, noticed a trend in-world, which is valid.

    General Twitter 2019 ()
    #2855 Copy

    Pastor Chris

    Don't suppose you're flying by Leeds while you're jetting around Europe? I'm guessing Stephen Leeds is named after Leeds after all!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid not. (Though yes, he was. I was traveling in Europe when I wrote the first Legion story.)

    General Twitter 2019 ()
    #2856 Copy


    Assuming I could travel anywhere in the universe, could I eventually find the Cosmere. In other words is the Cosmere in our universe/dimension, or in a different universe/dimension.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. The answer is no - there is no path through our universe to the cosmere. It is another universe, another dimension, where the laws of physics are different from our own. I don't intend to ever connect the cosmere to Earth or our universe - in fact, one of the big decision points so far in determining if a project is going to be the cosmere or not is whether or not I want to link it to Earth in any way.

    General Twitter 2019 ()
    #2857 Copy


    What was your favorite idea for a story that you realized you'd never be able to write? (say, due to not enough time, not a larger enough market, too difficult, etc)

    Brandon Sanderson

    The story that keeps eluding me is the one I've often referred to as "the Silence Divine." It's a story about a world where bacteria and viruses have a symbiosis with the magic, and grant powers to people who catch associated diseases. For example, if you get the common cold, you might be able to fly - but only for the period of time when you're sick.

    I think the magic system is cool, and I have a great idea for a plot. (Weaponized antibiotics as a method of bringing down society's ruling class, who are people who have a persistent disease that gives them powers.) But I haven't been able to make it work - part is the knowledge that I need to know more about immunology, and theories of diseases spreading, before I can really do this story justice. (For example, figuring out the balance between the ruling class's disease, their powers, and making it something that could be cured through use of antibiotics administered like a poison.)

    The other issue has been time. Stories like the Stormlight Archive dominate a lot of my time, making smaller-scale novellas (like this one would likely be) difficult to squeeze in. I only have so much time for them, after all.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2858 Copy


    When I first started reading Stormlight, I couldn't help but notice how similar Kaladin's name is to the Latinised forms of some Middle Eastern names, such 'Saladin', 'Saphadin', 'Nurudin', 'Meledin', etc. Initially, I just scratched it off as an interesting observation until I reached the point in WoR where we learn that Rock calls Kal, 'KalaDEEN', rather than 'KalaDIN'.

    ​Today, many people outside the Middle East pronounce to 'Saladin' as 'SalaDIN'.

    ​But in the Middle East, people would pronounce it with a 'DEEN' just like Rock would. Did Brandon intend for us to think of this? Maybe not, but...

    ​The Latinised forms of these names are more condensed compared to the Arabic forms of the names:

    Saladin --> Salaah ud-Deen (Righteousness of Faith)

    Saphadin --> Safaa' ud-Deen (Purity of Faith)

    Nurudin --> Nuur ud-Deen (Light of Faith)

    ​Kaladin's name can also be extended almost similarly and can be translated into Arabic.

    Kaladin --> Khalaa' ud-Deen (Void of Faith)

    ​'Void of Faith' befits Kaladin, especially in the first book as a slave and a bridgeman early on where he seems to have given up on life. I can remember some excerpt where he almost mentions something along the lines of losing faith in the Almighty or the Ardentia, but I cannot remember the exact words.

    ​Now, to be fair, 'Khalaa'' could be also be translated as 'Lack', 'Absence', and 'Empty', but I think all those words could be considered synonyms of 'Void', which better fits the Stormlight Archive, seeing as we have Voidbringers and Voidspren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This isn't a coincidence. Many Alethi names come from Arabic, Hebrew, or sometimes Sanskrit origins. I devised Kaladin specifically by mashing up names like Khalid and Saladin--among others. The ones you can pick out are, generally, intended to be names with Dawnchant origins. Not to imply actual Earth connections; the point here is the same one I make when using ancient Latin or Greek roots to create magic term words.

    The idea is that in world, these names might actually be slightly different--but in translation, we use words that evoke the same feelings as they'd have in world. (Indicating, in this case, some names have roots that trace all the way back to original Dawnchant names and terms.)

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2859 Copy


    I know the multiverse isn’t a thing in the Cosmere, but I was wondering: if a Shard was in the world of MtG, would it have the power to planeswalk? Would their powers work if they crossed into another plane?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's always hard to figure out how to cross magic systems like this. I'd say that yes, a Shard would be able to, as they're vastly powerful--but it really depends on how you decide to define certain aspects of the magic systems.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2860 Copy


    Will [the White Sand sequel] still be called Lord Marstrell?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Lord Mastrell was, essentially, the second half of the first book.

    White Sand was my first novel, but I only got about halfway through the story. A few books later, I wrote the "sequel" called Lord Mastrell. But really, they were one story.

    Years later, I rewrote it all from scratch into a brand new novel, also called White Sand. This is the one that we adapted to the graphic novel--and it included everything that had been Lord Mastrell already.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2861 Copy


    So ever since I read your various tantalizing tit-bits about the Iriali being not native to Roshar, I've been incredibly curious about this especially considering that the other humans of Roshar all originate from a different singular source, Ashyn (unless there were more migrations that I'm forgetting). Are we going to get more info on this in the near future? Is there anything, even a tiny crumb, that you could possibly drop for us now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Iriali story is one you should expect to be continued during the space age of the cosmere, not in current storylines.


    What about characters who are interested with cosmology in current storylines? Like Dalinar who certainly wants to seek answers about the universe. Do you plan to write more of it in future novels of current series or this is a stuff for future series with defferent set of characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The further we move in the Cosmere, the more these stories will become relevant. We're moving from the world of them just being cameos into the world of them being small (but important) sub-plots. They will evolve from there.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2862 Copy


    Those are all good possibilities [for a novella Brandon is working on], but it could also be the one he mentioned during the first Book 4 update where an apprentice of Hoid is stranded on a minor shard world with an umbrella-based (Edit: oops!) magic system.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Please. It was a KITE based magic system. An umbrella-based magic would just be silly, now, wouldn't it.

    I'm tempted to plot that one as a YA book, to be done after the Skyward novels. I'd like to do something YA in the cosmere, but have been waiting for the right moment.


    Would Mistborn Era 1 not count as YA? I got those vibes from many parts of it, though most/all traces of that vanished in Era 2.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mistborn Era One walks the line. (Having a teen protagonist for one of the viewpoints does indeed give it the vibe--and we did a YA printing of it, with YA covers.) Really only the first book would fit, though, and it's kind of a stretch.

    Generally, YA is defined by the age of the protagonist, and the conflicts they're seeking. Vin's quest to find a home where she can trust the people around her is a YA style plot, but by the second book, it's drifted more toward adult style plots.

    A lot of sf/f walks this line, though. There are arguments for some Game of Thrones to be YA for similar reasons. (Be aware that in the industry, content--meaning sex/violence/language--is not a descriptor of whether something is YA or not. It's age of the protagonists and the nature of the conflicts.)

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2863 Copy


    Considering inside the hardcover Words of Radiance is a giant, extremely high quality, official art of [Shallan], and she totally looks like the northern european stereotype. We might need /u/mistborn for this, because sometimes even official artwork is a mess [with regards to ethnicity].

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I've had a tough time pushing to get the images to work like I want. (Oathbringer's cover was more successful here.) The problem is that a lot of artists work from models, and it's hard to find appropriate models.

    I've let Shallan slide because I know that if the films get made, she's likely to be cast with a Caucasian actress--and am more ready to make a fight over Kaladin, Jasnah, and Dalinar. So I don't particularly mind if people see Shallan as white, for various reasons--the main one being the one that's been brought up in this thread, I believe. The fact that Vedens, Alethi, and Horneaters aren't real Earth races--and can't really be cast with them. Shallan, having all three bloods intermixed, makes for a difficult description--particularly since I know the average reader is going to peg her as Irish in complexion because of the hair.

    I would say that it's all right to imagine the characters however you would like, as it's your version of the story in your head. The Whelan art in book two is how I think most people will imagine her, and I'm fine with that--I wish I'd been able to get Kaladin looking a little more right on the book two cover, though I was successful with Jasnah on book three.


    How would you cast Adolin? He's always been one I struggled to pinpoint too due to his blond hair and his mixed heritage. Blond hair and blue eyes do bring in given imagery which seems to clash with the Alethi racial identity. Or at least, it does to me as a reader. So how would you approach it while remaining faithful to your work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually think Adolin could be somewhat easier than others.

    When we make the movies, I'll probably suggest that we make anyone from Shin, Iri, or Rira (all along the coast there) look Caucasian. The books can handle a lot more of a learning curve, I feel, than the films--and we won't have things like the Interludes to jump over to Iri to explore their culture. So a race of strange, golden-skinned and haired people who ALSO aren't native to Roshar (different from the Caucasians in Shinovar) might just be too odd.

    The Rirans, which Adolin comes from, are already a mixed ethnicity themselves--not even Iriali, so it's fine to make them Caucasian. So Adolin could be cast white, if they really want to. Basically, I'm expecting it to be a bit of a fight to get them to cast four of the leads (Kaladin/Dalinar/Jasnah/Navani) as Asian actors. Maybe I'll be wrong, but from what I've heard from actors in Hollywood, directors and studios are hesitant about not being able to cast known names in big roes. (Ignoring the fact that's hard for Asian American actors to become big names if they aren't ever given big roles...)

    So, I can imagine allowing them to go with someone Caucasian for Adolin and Shallan, in exchange for pushing the rest of the cast to be how I'd like.

    In a perfect world, though, I'd want someone like Dave Bautista for Dalinar--and someone like Alex Landi for Adolin. (Note that I'm not a casting director myself, so I have no idea who could act the role the right way--I'm just judging based on what I've seen of them in the past.)


    How would you differentiate the "weird" Caucasian Shin eyes from the others in that case?

    Would you go for Alita Battle Angel eyes or something to make the Shin distinctive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I wouldn't do that. In this theoretical land, the Iriali and those around them would also have Shin eyes. That's basically how it is in the text right now. (Drehy, from Bridge Four, for example isn't Shin--but he's mentioned as looking like a person from "Western Roshar" which means Caucasian to them.)


    Why do people think Szeth's eyes are creepy and "child-like" if Caucasian eyes are more prevalent on Roshar than being a uniquely Shin characteristic? I read it as the eyes being an exotic and strange Shin thing, just like their animals and plants.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are exotic and strange. A pure-blooded Shin is a rare sight, and the way I have it now, even westerners like Drehy are mixed breeds. Even then, someone like them would not be something you see often. But at the same time, it might not be as rare as you think. Like encountering an American when in Japan. Something that happens regularly, but they still stand out. And many people from the rural parts of Alethkar would never have seen one.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2864 Copy


    Think Dalinar could lift [Mjolnir]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm... It's a question I hadn't considered. I guess it depends on the criteria. I've never been able to figure out exactly what makes one worthy. Maybe it's more of a feel than specific criteria.

    Of my characters, I'd suspect Dalinar is the closest. I'd say yes, depending on circumstances, but I am not 100% sure in the judgement.


    Do you think Dalinar may have some problems with the hammer since he's afraid of himself, his powers?

    Also I think Dalinar made a mistake when he refused to be a king...He's probably the best choice, but he still follows that promise he made to his brother when he was a young man.

    Wouldn't it be better for Dalinar if he stopped being so uncertain of himself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would indeed be better for Dalinar if he'd grow a little more confident about himself--but I think he's no more uncertain than Thor in Endgame. So I think he'd have a good shot of at least budging the hammer.


    What about Wax? Not that I see him using a hammer...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't say Wax could lift it. Doesn't feel right. He resents being Harmony's agent, even still. He's a weapon himself, in many ways.


    Thor makes mistakes. Picks the wrong sides, gets tricked into wrong actions. It’s intent I think. It’s the courage to go on when faced with impossible odds. It’s also Odin who puts the requirement on it. It’s not some nebulous spiritual ideal. He needs a warrior and a fighter who can still get up in the morning after what they’ve done for a greater good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I agree. It's more than just being a good guy--otherwise, Spider-man would be able to hold the hammer. You've got to both have good motives, but also the soul of a fighter.

    This prevents someone like, say, Sazed from my books from being able to hold it. But I don't think someone like Kelsier, though shooting for good goals in the end, would be able to lift it. He's too much of an assassin, and a little too concerned with himself. Vin, as someone else pointed out, probably could have done it at the end of the third book. Dalinar. Kaladin wouldn't believe in himself enough, I suspect--but it would depend on the situation.

    It's tricky because you don't simply want the magic of the hammer to be about someone with pure motives--you want it, I think, to be someone who fits the spirit and intent of the hammer.


    What about Elend? He's the character that immediately came to mind when I heard this question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elend, I'd say no. He probably wouldn't want to--more of a Black Widow situation there. "Not interested. Isn't relevant to me."


    What about Taln? Could he lift it, assuming he hadn't lost his sanity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Taln would be one of the most worthy I could think of in the Cosmere. Less of a question than Dalinar, actually.


    What about Vasher??

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher has enough trouble with magical weapons. He wouldn't go near another one.


    What about Adolin? He has a good heart, he is compassionate, honorable and he definitely is a fighter.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My gut says no. It's about more than being honorable and a fighter--the fact that Iron Man and Spider-man are both shown being unable to lift the hammer (granted, Spider-Man it was only implied by the hammer towing him away) says it's about more than just being a fighter and being honorable.


    What would, in your estimation, be what Adolin is missing to lift the hammer? Is it because he doesn't have as much of a warrior's heart as Taln or Dalinar? Or is it a matter of him not being as strong as he believes he is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard to say specifically, as I don't know the canon reasoning for who can and can't lift the hammer. Tony can't, Peter can't, but Steve can--and so can Thor, even in the new film.

    I'd say that Adolin needs to decide what his ideals are. He's in a confusing stage for himself, because deep down, he can't decide what man he wants to be. Is he an inferior version of his father, or is he someone else, who needs to find his own way?

    Settling this question is going to be vital to Adolin in coming years.


    Are the reasons why you believe Adolin wouldn't be able to lift Mjolnir the same reasons why the sprens skipped him when came the time to turn the Kholin family into Radiants?

    In other words, is this why Adolin isn't a Radiant? Because he doesn't know who he is nor who he wants to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, I'm afraid. (Sorry.)



    Brandon Sanderson

    Old Dalinar. I don't think young Dalinar's motives were right for holding the hammer.


    How about Rock? He could probably lift it without even realizing what it means.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Mjolnir might have problems with his pacifism.


    Hmm. that leads to the hard question: could Hoid lift it? :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Not a chance.


    What?!? No seriously… I don't mean Hoid honestly being worthy… but he doesn't do much things honestly anyway.

    I think that (assuming that Mjolnir's power level is +- a Honorblade), Hoid could deceive Mjolnir for long enough to be able to use it… wouldn't he?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think if we're bringing a Marvel item into the equation, we have to play by their rules, not mine. Odin is one of the most powerful beings in the MCU, powerful enough that even Thanos feared him, by my understanding. I think by their rules, it would be difficult to fool the magic.

    Hoid would be much more likely to find a being who IS worthy, but who is also dumb enough to be duped, and get them to do what he wanted with the hammer.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2865 Copy


    Is Taln's brief moment of lucid tied to Dalinar/Dalinar's powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it was tied to that.


    I am very interested with Dalinar's powers. We already have had Bondsmith book but we know very little about their abilities. Stormfather has said they are the most capable of Radiants if not using the power for mere battle. Why is Dalinar so weak? He can barely do anything in "Oathbringer". I am sure he can do more, a lot more and he is my favorite, but the next books will focus on different Radiant Order. Will the powers of Dalinar be explored further even after the Bondsmith book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll find out much more about the Bondsmiths in future books.


    It is very hard to recognize which powers are a Dalinar only thing and which are a Bondsmith thing. Is it reasonable to assume that Dalinar is special? I believe some of the things he did cannot be repeated under normal circumstances.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are correct.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2866 Copy


    What is the ratio of Skaa to Nobles in the Final Empire?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Skaa to nobles is roughly ten or more to one, I believe. It's been a long time since I worked on the demographics, but it becomes far more imbalanced the further out from Luthadel you go.


    How "far more imbalanced" is it between the Inner and Outer Dominances? What are the differences in demographics between, say, Luthadel, Fellise, Urteau, and Tathingdwen?

    (Just between Skaa, Nobles, and maybe Terrismen. I don't need demographics of Allomancers or Koloss or anything like that, I don't want to take up too much time.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    The further you get out, the more unbalanced it is. In the center heart of the empire, a there are a lot more nobles. More like a 3-1 on the side of skaa. Far out, there are places with only a small number of nobles, more like 10-to-one or more. I don't have the exact demographics on hand--it would take longer than I want to take to dig them out. But maybe that gives you an idea.

    Generally, cities are going to have a higher density of nobles.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2867 Copy


    Would a stick like this [that looks like a burning torch] be more prone to soulcasting into fire because of the cognitive association?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would be, actually. For the same reason that it's easier to Awaken a piece of cloth cut into the shape of a person.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2868 Copy


    Roughly 2 years for a book means it'll be 4 years for the end of the first half and 14 years total from now, minimum, before the conclusion of Stormlight.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is correct, I'm afraid.

    Know that books 1-5 are what I consider a complete arc, with 6-10 being a slightly different (but intertwined) arc. So there is that--but these books just take a ton of time to write.


    Are we still going to see the same characters in arc 2? Or will it be a mostly deprecate story with certain aspects intertwined?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The second arc will still have some of the current main characters as main characters still. And it will be very connected to this story--but they are separate arcs, with a different focus. (The Heralds, for example, will be a larger part of the second arc.)


    Is it possible for current Stormlight character to make an appearance in other cosmere books? I was thinking about it, Dalinar as a Shard if he becomes one may appear somewhere else or some characters could become worldhoppers and explore another worlds. Would be really cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is possible for current Stormlight characters to appear in other books. That's all I will say for now, though. :)


    Besides Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, besides Wit.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2869 Copy


    I finished Bands of Mourning last weekend and see that there will be a fourth Wax and Wayne book, The Lost Metal. A quick Google search makes it unclear if it has been released yet, it has a GoodReads rating but I can't seem to find a link to it on the websites of any of the bookstores I usually go to to get your books. I'm careful to Google too hard lest I get spoiled. So, has it been released yet, and if not, when can we expect it to be released?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not out yet. I was supposed to write it last year, and got distracted by a different project. (Very sorry about that.) It will be one of the first things I do after Stormlight 4.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2870 Copy


    Thank you for your update, this sounds like an amazing plan! Would you be willing to give us some clues as to which characters are featured within the primary, the secondary and the tertiary arcs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I might do so in the future, once I'm sure that I'll stick to the outline--but I also think a lot of fans would rather not know this level of detail, and consider it a spoiler, so I'll probably hold off and only start talking about it closer to the book's launch.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2871 Copy


    Are we going to hear anymore about the worldhopping characters? I've been wondering what exactly their motivations are and if they have any connections with each other.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll need to wait a little longer on this. It will start to come out a lot more in Mistborn Era Three and beyond.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2872 Copy


    It makes sense that [Davriel]’s in the combat suit, because it’s war time, and it’s a game about combat, but I love my lazy, smart, tea-drinking good for nothing anti-hero.

    Brandon Sanderson

    We should get a version like that eventually.

    Creative and I both wanted his first appearance to be a non-black version, even though Dav has a very strong secondary blue mode. (And some white he pretends isn't there.) I pitched them on the idea of him using the mask and cloak to hide his true nature, and it was pretty clear he would be using that mode on Ravnica. You'll have to wait for him to be a little more in his element for a more Dav-like card.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I posted about this on the other thread, but I do think we will get another card some day. This is actually a very good representation of Davriel in stealth mode, where he uses only his thoughsieze powers and wears his mask. As much as we would like a planeswalker card with art of a dude sitting at a cafe and complaining, it doesn't really fit the tone of the set...


    Does that mean Davriel is confirmed to live through the war?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't give any confirmations (and know less about the current storyline than you probably think I do) but I'd be VERY surprised if Davriel were a casualty of the current conflict.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2873 Copy


    I have zero doubts after reading Stormlight that u/mistborn has a number of veterans in his alpha/beta readers group to help curate that mindset, because Kaladin and the other soldier characters are written perfectly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do, actually. (There are several, but Skar, who is in bridge four, is based on a friend of mine who has done several tours in the sand box. He's a big help for these books.)

    Celcius232 ()
    #2874 Copy

    Javi (paraphrased)

    I'm really curious about Aimia and I hope to see more about in the fourth book. Have the Heralds or Hoid been there and will they reveal some stuff about it?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, the Heralds have been there and yes, Hoid has been there. However, I don't think there will be info about Aimia in book four, but in a novella I'm planning to write, like Edgedancer. The story will be about some characters travelling to Aimia.

    Madrid signing ()
    #2876 Copy

    Javi (paraphrased)

    Could you compare the Ones Above's technology with your idea of Scadrial Era 4?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)


    Javi (paraphrased)

    So could the people be related? Could Scadrial be the origin for the Ones Above?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, they are definitely related

    Footnote: In previous exchanges structured similarly to this, Brandon has taken a significant degree of latitude in his answers, stating that simply existing in the cosmere is enough for two things to be considered "related".
    Direct submission by Javi
    General Signed Books 2019 ()
    #2878 Copy


    When an Allomancer tries to burn a bad alloy, it can make them sick, or even kill them. Are there similar consequences for Feruchemy and Hemalurgy, such as being less efficient when storing and leaking power more quickly, or would such metals just be unusable?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes! Bad metals in Feruchemy/Hemalurgy would work poorly.

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
    #2880 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Back in update #3, I promised to check back with you mid summer. I'm here a little early, as this felt like a good point to let you know how your book is going. Yesterday, I finished Part One of the novel, which (at 111k words) puts us at just under the 28% mark, assuming the book is 400k words total. (The first book was around that; the next two were longer, so fair warning, the % may not be entirely accurate.)

    The short, TLDR version, is this: Part One is done, the book is looking good, and I'm modestly confident in a 2020 release.

    Read below for a more fiddly, numbers oriented analysis of how things are going.

    I gave myself 10 months to do the rough draft as a hypothetical deadline. That is a little on the quick side, but doable. That translates to about 1300 words a day, if I were writing seven days a week. (Which I don't do--I usually manage to write new fiction four days a week, with one day dedicated to email, meetings, newsletters, grading student finals, that sort of thing.) Once in a while, I sneak in a little work on Saturday, but I don't count on it.

    What this really means is during those four days writing time, I need to do about 9k total words to keep pace. This wordcount number, I should warn you, is more a way for me to judge my progress rather than it is an absolute requirement. The writing process needs to remain flexible, even for someone who likes a strong outline like myself, and while guidelines for wordcounts are helpful, I'm careful not to treat them like a factory quota, to be achieved regardless of quality.

    They are helpful for pace, though. In an average week, I commonly do between 8k and 15k of writing, so this is a manageable goal. With that in mind, how is it going?

    Well, as talked about in the last post, I started Stormlight about a month late because of some work I decided needed to be done on Starsight. That meant I started the book at about 44k words behind in April. Steady writing through April up until May saw me making up ground. When I flew to Germany for the tour there, I was 31k behind instead, and was feeling good about the progress.

    Germany was, of course, a disaster for new writing. (Tours almost always are.) I got some work done on a sequel novella to Sixth of the Dusk, but no Stormlight writing. (Really complex narrative is difficult for me to do when traveling a lot, as it requires more focus than I can often give.)

    When I got back, I had slipped to 52k words behind. I dove back in, and restored the writing grove for Roshar, and have made back most of that time. As of yesterday, I'm 33k words behind, assuming I want to have the rough draft done by January 1st. (Which is pretty much a must if I want to release the book in 2020.)

    As before, I do need to give the warning that if the book needs more time, I WILL take it. I recognize that is what most of you would like anyway, so we'll see what happens. Part One, however, turned out very close to my plan--and I'm pleased with it. As I said, this book follows more of a Book One style plot than a Book Two or Three style plot. The characters will be mostly isolated doing their own thing in three separate plot lines, interwoven in the narrative, but with little interaction between them. In fact, the three different arcs should (if I work it out right) hit their climaxes at three different points, giving a more sequential hit of more intimate plot moments rather than one big enormous finale, like happened in Books Two/Three. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; I just prefer some variety. Book Five, as you should be able to guess, will be more like Books Two/Three than Books One/Four.)

    So my next step is to dive into a revision of Part One. This will put us a little more behind, as it will take about a week--but it will let me get the first chunk (which is book length on its own) to Moshe for editing over the next few months. That way, we can use his time in parallel to mine, as well as let Karen do continuity edits and Peter (eventually) do an editorial pass.

    If that works as it should, and if I do this with each part as I finish them, I'll have 3/4 of the book waiting with editorial work done on it come January 1st. That will let me dive into a third draft immediately.

    My goal after the revision of Part One is to pick one of the character clusters mentioned in the previous updates, and work on it straight through to the end. (I'll probably pick the second arc, which should be around 80k words long and follow three viewpoint characters in their distinct plot sequence.)

    As always, thanks for reading and for putting up with my eccentricities as a writer. As a note, like in the other posts, I will not be sending replies to my inbox--so apologies if I miss something you say in this thread.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2881 Copy


    It just stores wakefulness right? I don't think it gives you the actual benefits of a good night's sleep. So after an extended period of bronze Compounding, your body will start deteriorating and eventually die.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bronze Compounding will indeed let you never have to sleep. /u/mikkomikk as a good theory, as I haven't really talked about this, and that might be the way to theorize without more info--but it was designed to let people go without sleep, and does give benefits of a good night's sleep.


    Alternatively, could you compound copper for a supernatural sleeping aid? or would that just lead to accidentally sleeping for 16 hours

    Brandon Sanderson

    Copper? I don't see that working, I'm afraid. Did you mean bronze?

    You could fill bronze to sleep. (This is actually the very first power for Mistborn I imagined, back in highschool. Wishing, as an insomniac, I could sleep when I wanted to and be rested when I wanted to.)

    General Signed Books 2018 ()
    #2882 Copy

    17thCharge (written)

    If a spren’s Spiritual and Cognitive aspects were pushed into the Physical Realm, similar to how the Spiritual aspects of Dominion and Devotion were pushed into the Cognitive Realm, would the spren manifest as an Honorblade?

    Brandon Sanderson (written)

    Answer 1 (book had to be exchanged): Not usually.

    Answer 2: It could. (But probably not.)

    Bonn Signing ()
    #2883 Copy

    ElantrianHypochondriac (paraphrased)

    In Mistborn Era 2 Marsh has a pouch with some atium leftovers. If he burns a bead occasionally (and hereby burns a part of Ruin's body) does this weaken the Ruin part of Harmony/Sazed somehow?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Technically yes, but it's too little atium to make any difference.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2884 Copy


    My top (realistic) potential options here:

    1) Silverlight novella2) The Silence Divine3) SotD 2

    (But seriously, give me that Silverlight novella. PLEASE, Brandon.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Silverlight novella probably needs to wait until I've done the Threnody novel, for some connective tissue reasons, but we'll see.


    Quick question. Will we ever see the Traveller short story be published in something like Arcanum Unbounded 2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, at least not without a rework.


    This just further leads me to bet that the new group that'll be introduced in the Threnody novel will have Silverlight ties.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will.


    Will it by chance be tied to how Nazh has gotten involved with Khriss?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, though we're working on a White Sand graphic novel sequel that will start into that story, hopefully.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2885 Copy


    Huh, I had assumed Rock's or Rysn's novella would be your airplane project. I guess taking a break from Stormlight by doing more Stormlight doesn't really work. Can you share your current plan for these two too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still hoping to do both of them sometime this year, but we'll see. I would hate for Edgedancer to be the only X.5 novella for Stormlight. Feels more right if I can get those, and the Lopen one happening between books one and two, done some day soon.

    The Rock one kind of needs to happen, so we'll see. I need to get back on schedule with the main book first, though. That takes precedence over all of these smaller projects.


    This may be too much to ask.

    For Rock's, is this a prequel in his homeland? Post-Oathbringer, coming to terms with his actions? Something different all together maybe..

    I find either very exciting.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is post-Oathbringer, involving him returning to his homeland.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #2886 Copy


    Asking about the new novella

    Brandon Sanderson

    I suppose I shouldn't be coy, as there aren't many stories this could be. Yes, it's a sequel to Sixth of the Dusk. I've spoken about wanting to do one.

    Unfortunately, I only had time to get a little ways into it. I suspect I'll pick it back up on the flight to Spain in July. And if I don't finish it then, I have another long haul flight in October to visit France then Israel.

    It's generally hard to do Stormlight on flights like that; the books are too intricate, and the distractions too multitudinous. But novellas tend to work, so we'll see if I can get this one done on these trips.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #2888 Copy


    Could the Investiture of two different Shards with separate Vessels create their own perpendicularity together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two different - so like, the Vessels of two different shards, okay-


    Yeah, not Harmony.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is plausible. There could be a mixed perpendicularity.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #2889 Copy


    Has ever a Shard been forced - besides Odium in Roshar - to leave their planet after it was destroyed.

    Brandon Sanderson



    Yes - besides Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Besides Odium? Yes. Has a Shard been forced to leave their planet after the planet was destroyed? Yes.

    Berlin signing ()
    #2890 Copy

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Would a single spike be sufficient to staple a Cognitive Shadow to a mistwraith?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, that could happen.

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Did that happen in the past?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's a RAFO, I'm afraid. Who are you thinking about?

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Kelsier of course!

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, he is somehow in the Physical Realm. And he does look like himself, doesn't he?

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #2891 Copy

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    How much freedom do you get from Brandon for the maps and symbols and so on?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    I get a lot of freedom with the maps. There were actually times we've changed parts of the books to fit the maps.

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    May I have an example?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    We changed around directions in the Kholinar chapters a lot.

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    And the glyphs and other symbols?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    For the glyphs I have a symmetry tool which I play around a lot with. We developed the glyphs later in full from those images we liked.

    For the Allomantic symbols I had a couple different ideas which didn't seem to work well. Then I had an idea about a bunch of nails lying around haphazardly and from that image the Allomantic symbols evolved.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #2896 Copy

    Krios (paraphrased)

    At the end of Oathbringer, Kaladin says that the Oaths are about perception. So, what would happen when a crazy person bonds a crazy spren? Is there a hard limit to what the Oaths allow or could they just go on a John Wick style rampage?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Perception will get you a very long way, like Nightblood proves. So you can go beyond the Oaths, but there will be a hard limit. Although it will be hard to find a such fitting pair of human and spren.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #2898 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Why do Vorin women have to hide their left hand?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Originally, a woman wrote a book about female and male arts, which claimed women could do things like art with one hand while men needed two for their arts, like fighting. Eventually, it evolved and just stuck as a taboo, but it's a cultural thing.

    It's similar to how some things are perfectly fine in our Western culture but would be frowned upon in, say, Korea. I wanted to add some weirdness to their culture, something that is pretty normal to them, but strange to us. Taboos usually are strange.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #2899 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    We see Nightblood consuming both Breaths and Stormlight. Earlier you've mentioned conversion between types of Investiture. Is Nightblood doing that?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Nightblood can feed off of any source of Investiture. If you're a Mistborn, burning a metal while wielding Nightblood would directly feed him. So you stay alive for as long as you have metal left.