Recent entries

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2951 Copy

    Questioner

    On my reread of Reckoners, I remembered it being really kitschy and light-hearted, but the prologue of the first book is really dark. Is the rest of the book so light-hearted because it is David trying to make the best of a really crappy situation, or is it because it's Young Adult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It's also partially, I wrote the prologue, stepped away, came back, and wrote the rest... One of the things I regret about the books is that-- I was telling a story about assassinating superheroes. So I thought it was going to go darker than it did, once I found David's voice. And if I could go back, I might take out the baby skeleton... I couldn't cut it because it's such a great image, but I should have. My biggest regret with that series is the tonal mismatch... It's this thing where I'm like, "That would be the best book for, like, a fourteen-year-old to read of mine, except the prologue which involves dissolving babies."

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2953 Copy

    ILuvHats

    I have a question about the Sleepless. So you have confirmed that distance does matter. Is there a limit or a factor affecting how many hordelings they control?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    ILuvHats

    Can you elaborate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but there is an upper limit on both mass and number.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2957 Copy

    Blightsong

    You've said that, AI in the cosmere, creating one is kind of like having a child realmatically. Would that extend to most sapient creations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Blightsong

    So could a created spren from a Returned inherit Royal Locks? Within a reasonable possibility?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *ahhing in a very curious manner* You could make this happen, but I don't think it would happen naturally.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2958 Copy

    Volratho

    Was Roshar equally Invested by Cultivation and Honor originally?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Volratho

    How 'bout now, since he's been--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the Investiture is all still there... It is not all accessible. So, at this point, you might say-- I'd say it's a point of disputation. It would be worth arguing either way. I will say at this point, no, it's not equal anymore. But definitions of where the power is and what it counts as is ambiguous.

    Volratho

    So Cultivation has more active Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would say yes... Well, but she's been very coy. I'm gonna leave it at that.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2961 Copy

    Questioner

    With Shards, are there any... limits? What can't they do? Besides being opposed by another Shard and their own intent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It varies a lot. It varies based on experience and situation. They are not omnipotent, though the power is infinite. So that is the weird part that you get into. So, they are limited partially by their own limitations, and also the limitations imposed upon them by the situations they're in.

    Questioner

    Is there anything universal about all of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They all have bits of them in all of the cosmere, so that's universal. They all are bounded more by themselves than by the power itself.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2964 Copy

    Questioner

    You know how the whole group goes into Shadesmar. What would happen if they accidentally eat a bead, and then leave Shadesmar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would not be good for them.

    Questioner

    Would they just explode with whatever the object was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's not exactly how it works. Fortunately. But I wouldn't recommend ingesting any beads.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2966 Copy

    Questioner

    In which part of your process do you start designing [maps]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the old days, it was during the prewriting phrase, before I got into it. Now that I have Isaac, I can generally just write the book, give it to Isaac, and say, "All right, here's what I was imagining. Give me some iterations on this." And he's very good at that... It depends on the book. For Stormlight, I gave him a map and said, "Here's what it looks like." But for Skyward, I'm like, "Feels like this. It's, like, this distance. Come up with something."

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2967 Copy

    Questioner

    How do the Heralds come back? As Cognitive Shadows, how do they a physical body?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That system will be explained in the coming books, so that is a RAFO. I'm gonna dig into it pretty deeply. It's relevant for multiple reasons...

    In the original version, Taln ended up in someone else, like they would get a body from someone else, which was part of fueling the "Is he crazy, is he not," because people were like, "I recognize this guy!" I don't use that system anymore.

    Questioner

    That's what I was wondering, because the Fused--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They use something kind of more like the Fused in the original draft, it's not that process anymore.

    Questioner

    Is that gonna give us lead-ins to how it worked with Kelsier?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe. Maybe. You shall see.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2968 Copy

    Questioner

    When did you first really realize who the Lord Ruler was, if he was good or bad? Because I feel like you turned him into a good guy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is complicated. I started with that concept in mind. In fact, I had written a different book that had used the same concept that had not turned out, and I kind of recombined it into Mistborn. So I went into it knowing he was this complex character.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2970 Copy

    Questioner

    In The Way of Kings, how did Lopen get in and out of the chasms with only one arm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, he had a little help. And he can do it. Getting down and up-- I've actually seen people, looking online. You can climb a ladder. It's not easy. It's better if you have some help. But you can get up and down.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2972 Copy

    Questioner

    As far as Hemalurgy, when you give that-- when it's done to somebody, would that create a new resonance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's possible that it could. Though I'm gonna say, most of the time, no... Lots of things are possible, but I'll give you a "mostly no" on that one.

    Questioner

    What about savantism? Is that possible with Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it is.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2973 Copy

    Questioner

    Were you gonna do anything with The Stormlight Archive with an RPG?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to. We'll have to see. We want to support the Mistborn RPG while it's out, we don't want to abandon it. But once we feel like we've done that one the way we want to, you might see a Stormlight.

    Questioner

    I need to get ahold of that, because I would almost be worried about, if you have a Mistborn character, especially in Era One, it would be too overpowered.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They made it work. The game is less combat-focused. There's social influence and gathering resources influence and combat influence are all separate, so you can have a duel of words where you attack someone's social influence that can be as valuable as attacking them on the streets at night. So because those two elements are so useful, what you end up having is, you can balance characters who don't even have Allomancy with characters who are Mistborn or with Mistings, things like that.

    Questioner

    I was more thinking something like Twinborn, that you can almost balance that without getting any Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The problem with Twinborn is, you get the right combinations, it's kind of OP. But it's a storytelling based system.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2975 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Heralds know about AonDor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say, conceptually, a few of them do, but not in specific detail.

    Questioner

    'Cause Ash's name is a combination of Transformation, Beauty, and Light. I didn't know if that was a coincidence, or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some non-coincidences in the linguistics that people have started to pick up on, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the people who have those names know about the origins of their names.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2976 Copy

    Questioner

    This is purely hypothetical, but if Dalinar was to become the Vessel for multiple Shards, would he have had more difficulty with Preservation separately if Harmony was involved? Because that's the only of the Shards I can't see him holding onto particularly well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm. I can say yes on that. I think that's a good theory... you phrased [that] very well.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2978 Copy

    Questioner

    In Arcanum Unbounded, it said that a Hemalurgic spike could work in any world. So if I were to take a Hemalurgic spike and spike someone like Kaladin, would he die and then I have a Windrunner's power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but there's a big asterisk on that. Because, with the spren being a third party in this sort of arrangement, weird things would happen.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2980 Copy

    Questioner

    About the Passions. Are they related to Odium, or is there something bigger cosmere-wide?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are related to traditions from the past that were Odium-influenced. I wouldn't saa-- So, they are technically related to Odium in that sort of method. More in a roundabout way, though.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2981 Copy

    Questioner

    I had a question about the Terris. Is the reason why they don't any Allomancy in their population, is that because they have less of Preservation than the rest of the Scadrial population?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I wouldn't say it that way. Good question, but no.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2982 Copy

    Questioner

    Why is it called a Nahel bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a word in Rosharan. I'm not sure what it meant in 2002, but it basically just means "the bond to divinity." I'm not sure what the 2002 version of the linguistics played out as. I actually just called it Nahel in the original draft. I added "bond" in as I prepared this [Way of Kings Prime excerpt] for reading so it would make more sense to people.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2984 Copy

    Marethyu316

    I noticed that the Third Ideals have a similar theme to them. Is that intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do, that is is intentional. They won't all exactly go along those lines, but I'm trying to theme them, as best I can, in groups. So all the First ones, all the Second ones, particularly a lot of the Third ones have a similar--

    Marethyu316

    "Those I hate," or "Even those I'd rather not listen to"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Watch for more of that, how about that.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2986 Copy

    Questioner

    Skyward, is M-Bot actually sentient or just really well programmed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would call him sentient.

    Questioner

    You think so? You do imply a little bit but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do... But I have built into the world an explanation for why that might be.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2988 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you feel about Moash as a character? In terms of how the fandom receives him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not surprised by how the fandom receives him. I wish it weren't a Wheel of Time meme that became our meme, but that's how memes go, right? ...I will say, brace yourself.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2991 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2992 Copy

    Argent

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Argent

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, I would say yes.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2994 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    Subutai more than Genghis Khan, but yeah.

    Questioner

    Is Kaladin based off of George Washington?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2995 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2997 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2998 Copy

    Argent

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #2999 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #3000 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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