Recent entries

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Some Anonymous

    Back when Tress was first announced, you said that you were imagining the moons and seas as being arranged like the faces of a d12 die. Did the "scientists" who you asked about this ever figure out a way to make this work? Or are the moons something we just have to accept under the rule of cool?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The moons on Lumar cannot exist without magical intervention. They simply can't. And I'm okay with that; I'm okay, like I said, with some of these planets... We're gonna do other things in the Cosmere that just cannot exist without magical intervention, because otherwise I'd might as well be writing a straight hard science fiction series. And there are lots of great straight hard science fiction series out there that try to extrapolate what things would actually be like. With me, I am trying to create a really interesting environment you haven't seen before, and then ask what that does to the people, realistically, who live there, if that makes sense.

    I do treat it seriously. This is canon; those moons are there. But how are the moons there? Cosmereological phenomenon that is impossible in our universe.

    Some Anonymous

    How high up are the moons away from the planet? Closer to hundreds of miles, like the ISS? Tens of thousands of miles, geosynchronous orbits? If you have that thought out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We have discussed it, and I think I'm gonna RAFO it for now. I will say: my current impression is, definitely not as close as the ISS. But not so far, like... One of my inspirations, if you didn't pick up on it already, is obviously Anne McAffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books. Which, if you haven't read those, there are two planets that pass very close to each other, and when they do, dangerous environmental hazards pass from one planet to the other, risking extinction on the habited planet. And I've always loved that setup. And this is a little bit inspired by that. And I don't know how far apart those are, but I'm gonna say: I think it's further than the ISS. But who knows?

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Adam Horne

    When he [Isaac] and I were talking, and he told me that it [the planet name] was Lumar, I was like, "Oh, that's like 'lunar,' just with an 'm.'" Is that something that crossed your mind? Was that intentional? Were you okay with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's part of why I liked it. But he has some very good rationale for the name, and I'll maybe let him tell that story at some point. But he kind of gave me the explanation.

    He looks out for you guys, because I don't always name the worlds when I write stories like this, because I'm like, "They just call it the world. They don't name their world." Our world is named Earth because earth is dirt, right? Isaac always pushes me and says "all right, let's name this world. Let's name this one." I come up with them sometimes; sometimes, he comes up with them.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    jofwu

    What does the Cognitive Realm of Lumar look like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna RAFO that for now. I've been playing a little bit with the Cognitive Realm on some of these planets, so I will RAFO it for now. Basically, asking, "Do we still have the same inversion going on?" And I'm gonna say it's a little weirder than normal. (And Shadesmar's often a little weird.)

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Striker EZ

    Is there any chance we could get a map for this world [Lumar] at some point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good idea. We maybe should have done that. The issue is, running that through continuity... We should do it someday. But it's gonna take a little extra work just to make sure on the continuity on that one. So yeah, there is a chance you could get a map on this.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Zabeesh

    If the moons are constantly pouring out spores, how do the oceans not fill up? Do they degrade eventually, or is there another method?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they degrade eventually. I'll be perfectly frank with you: my science on this, I have not gone to all of my normal science routes. The only one of the Secret Projects that we did a lot of the scientific work on is Four, because of how tied into the rest of the Cosmere it is. I have some sort of plausible wiggle room on Book One, because Hoid is telling the story, and he can get some things wrong.

    Where I am right now is: the seethe is partially involved in the way that the spores degrade. And that's part of what causes it; you've got this decomposition of a fantastical sort happening deep down, and that that is causing the seethe. But I have not run the science on this.

    All of my books straddle on this continuum between fully scientific and fully fantastical. And I tend to sit over on this side [scientific], where Stormlight, I'm gonna work out all of these things. But I write fantasy, and once in a while I want to stray into the whimsical. And I purposefully did it on Tress; I'm gonna push the boundaries of what I can do and still have it be reasonable that it could exist with fantastical resources, and go kind of as far whimsical as I feel comfortable doing.

    That isn't to say that you should consider this non-canon; it is absolutely canon. But what it means is, I didn't start with "what's the science of this?" I started with "what is the really interesting story I want to tell, and let's tell the story there." And if it comes down that the science just can't work; well, the answer is: "A wizard did it." I have enough access to fantastical explanations for the things that happen that I can make this work." But it is me pushing the boundaries of that.

    So, know that I've got general impressions. Such as: spores are degrading. The way that they're degrading is actually causing the seethe. Much in a kind of an accelerated version of how methane comes up through decomposition, and that's what we're doing. But the water cycle is really tricky; I have some instincts on how that works, but I'm not even gonna talk about them, because I don't wanna canonize that, 'cause the water cycle's a really tricky thing on this planet, in particular.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    The Sixth Scholar

    Where does Tress take place in the overall Cosmere timeline? The telling of the story, not the story itself; or both, if you want to answer.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a RAFO. My goal right now is to get you a coordinated Cosmere timeline of books by the time I start Stormlight Six. But we will see. I've promised that for years, and I keep pushing it back.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Ladder Contact 6814

    What are the other six types of spores we didn't get to see in the book? Were there any that you really wanted to include, but couldn't?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. When I've written books, I tend to gravitate toward a couple of the aethers that are really the most dynamic for action scenes and things like that. Some of the other aethers are there for the necessity of the future of the Cosmere. For instance: zephyr, while very useful in this for firing cannons and stuff, is really there so that we can have propellant in space by just-add-water and make yourself some extra propellant. And atmosphere; kind of a low-tech (there's better-tech ways), but a low-tech way to: "hey, we've got zephyr aether, it makes breathable air. And so, if we've got water and a barrel of this stuff, then we'll be able to breathe." So there are some of the aethers that are there for that sort of reason, so that we can have pneumatic weaponry and some easy access to emergency propellant in space, and stuff like that.

    But verdant is the one that I just keep coming back to, that one and roseite, as making for the most dynamic storytelling. We'll see what I do with some of the others. I'm not gonna answer what the ones I haven't mentioned are, because I am saving them for future books to be used and to be interesting and engaging with them.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Scotch the Piper

    Who is Hoid, as the narrator, telling the story [Tress] to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a RAFO in that I believe it is evident in the books. Well... I believe some of it is evident. Not the specific individuals, but this far enough in the future of the Cosmere that I don't want to talk about individuals he might be speaking to. You can figure out the general tone; and people have. It was very clear, I think, to fans when they started posting. So you can ask on a fan forum, if you want them to give their thoughts; but I'm not gonna speak more than that.

    There's stuff that is relating to all of this that I can't even talk about yet, because it gives too many spoilers. I'll be able to talk about them soon. Give me a couple years, and I can start talking more about timeline and when certain things are happening that I just can't do at the moment because of certain spoilerific reasons.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    With Lost Metal in particular, I brought in a whole thing that we haven't written a book on yet. One of the big worries is: I don't want people to ever pick up one of my books (even still) and feel like they have to have read the whole Cosmere to understand it. And with the gloves off, I still maintain that. I still maintain that if you're gonna read the Wax and Wayne series, you should be able to read and enjoy it without feeling like you're lost because of the Cosmere connections. And I feel like, as a writer, I am skilled enough to say: here is this cool thing that a person is doing, they're from another planet. And introduce it as if it's brand new in a way that's both not boring but also not confusing, and just let it happen in the book. And that's what's happening in Tress with some of the things.

    The aethers are not from her planet; they are somewhere else. And dragon's not from her planet. Some of the stuff that's happening relating to Elantris, not from her planet. But I feel like it works in the context of the story, and it doesn't feel confusing. You don't feel like you're left out. Hopefully. My goal is that, when you read those other books, you're like "oh, that's where this came from," rather than reading this book and feeling lost.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    My goal with the Secret Projects was to be like: this is a self-contained thing. I've gotten myself into trouble in the past by writing a book like Warbreaker and then promising a sequel. And so my goal with these was to write them each so they didn't demand sequels. I had various levels of success, I'll say, on that with them. While you'll probably catch references to this [Tress], I have no plans to do a sequel. I like this one self-contained as it is. And the same for Secret Project Three.

    [Secret Project] Two is not Cosmere, but Dan and I have already brainstormed sequels; I don't know that we'll ever do them. It grew out of the podcast a little bit, that book did, and the whole setting.

    And then Secret Project Four is more deeply tied into the Cosmere in very specific ways. It's most likely... whether there'll be a sequel or not is a question, but the characters involved are deeply involved in the rest of the Cosmere, so you will absolutely see them again.

    Tress Spoiler Stream ()
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    Love That Dog

    Most of your books have an Ars Arcanum at the end, but Tress didn't. Was this a deliberate choice to leave the magic/aethers more open-ended for the future? Or to fit with the fairy tale style?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I kind of want Tress to be a little bit of an in-world artifact. This is Hoid telling this story, and it's supposed to feel like the story that he told to some people that got recorded and written down and published for you. And Khriss (who writes the Ars Arcanums) is not involved in that. And it didn't feel appropriate for any of the Secret Projects to do that. So we replaced that with, kind of, my author's discussion of where the book came from, and things like that.

    So you can kind of imagine: in most of the books, the Ars Arcanum is an in-world artifact stapled to the end of the novel, which is not. This is reversed: the novel's an in-world artifact, and you have stapled to the end something that's not in-world.

    General Reddit 2023 ()
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    Ben McSweeney

    There's more than one option out there for fletching, just as there has been historically. It's just that I expect feathers would be unusual (though not unheard of).

    Footnote: This is a comment on a previous quote about arrow fletching on Roshar
    Sources: Reddit
    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    Questioner

    We have these moons [on Lumar], they're so very large, you have the seas that look and function so differently. Is it like an atmospheric bubble they're in? How does it work when you cross from one sea to the other. The spores are touching, there's different coloring, how does that section off so distinctly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So it's kind of interesting, I kind of got some of this, the way I look at these seas, from real world oceans where two wave forms meet, saltwater and non saltwater meeting. And there's actually kind of a weirdly regular line between them that gets maintained. (And obviously, then, they mix, because they're both just water.) But that line was really fascinating to me.

    What's going on in my mind (and I haven't run this past the Arcanists), but the idea is that enough is falling from these spores, that as they're kind of mixing, they're also kind of going down underenath, and you've got the decomposition of the spores (which is part of what's causing the seethe) and all of these sorts of things.

    They do kind of mix. The line, it would look pretty regular from someone standing up on a ship and looking at it. But if you got close, you'd see more spore mixing and even blending pretty far in. But, then those spores are getting pushed underneath by the new spores that are coming, and the new layers, and then those spores are dying off at the bottom of the ocean and things like that.

    That's how I'm doing it in my head, at least how I'm justifying getting that kind of creepy line that you get, even in the real world between different bodies of water meeting. But, again, I haven't run that past the Arcanists. That's how it's working in my head.

    Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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    ADHD Projects

    Do we see Allomancy in this book [Tress of the Emerald Sea]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't believe you do

    Chaotic Forager

    Do we see Allomancy but not Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potentially. This is what I was working on 3 years ago. I am on the Stormlight world right now, writing Szeth flashback scenes. But I don't believe you see any Allomancy in this book. You're talking about emotional Allomancy?

    ADHD Projects

    Yes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No? Hmm... *hems and haws for a long time*

    The only question mark... So, Hoid is not using emotional Allomancy on anybody, how about that?

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Book One was White Sand.

    Book Two was Star's End.

    Book Three was called Lord Mastrell. It was the sequel to White Sand.

    Book Four was Knight Life.

    Book Five was The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, the weird cyberpunk think that I did a reading from a while ago.

    Book Six was Elantris.

    Book Seven was Dragonsteel.

    Book Eight was White Sand, rewritten.

    Book Nine was Mythwalker, that I never finished. Fabrials came from Mythwalker. Siri and Vivenna came from Mythwalker. I threw that one to the wood chipper and took a lot of the ideas. It had a really bad magic system that some day I want to fix.

    Then there was Aether of Night, which was the introduction of the aethers. Aethers are still canonical to the cosmere. They will show up.

    And then there was Mistborn Prime and Final Empire Prime, which are the two "I'm gonna be George R. R. Martin for a day" books.

    And then I gave up on that and I wrote Way of Kings Prime.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Dan Wells

    I wrote the worst piece of Warhammer fantasy fan fiction and turned it in as a thesis and passed, and it is bound and in the BYU library.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it did something really cool: it inspired Jasnah. Because the main character was a historian, and I thought that was so cool, to write a fantasy novel about a historian, that it planted a seed, and I'm like, "I'm gonna do that someday."

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    My second book was called Star's End. I've looked back at Star's End; it is not good. But it is the first place where it's like, "Hey, maybe this guy could be good, someday." I was really interested in supernovas at the time; I'd been researching them, I'd taken an astronomy class, I'm like, "I'm gonna write a story about a research station at the edge of a star that's about to go nova." And the idea is that they're gonna try to capture the energy. They're gonna do some weird Dyson sphere thing where they're just gonna try to get all the energy out of a supernova. That was the premise. And then there's a murder mystery that happens on the station that's monitoring this. And the main character is somebody who's sent to take over the station. He gets there, there's a murder, and he's like, "I've gotta figure out what's going on with this." So murder mystery on a space station.

    It does do some weird things. Kaz, from the Alcatraz books, is a transplant from this. He showed up first in Star's End. And there is an entity that lives outside of time that is contacting the main character, a very strange spren-like being way before the sprens were happening, that doesn't really belong in the story. But I wanted a cool alien. It doesn't really fit. So the idea: this creature lives outside of time and space and can influence probability very slightly inside the realm where time and space matters. And so, has influence, so random collections of things have happened that leave messages. So you communicate with this thing by taking a panel off, and you're fixing something, and you look, and the panel, accidentally some words have been scratched in there, that the person scratching them didn't know why they were scratching. Or it's just random happenstance; it's a message from this being outside of time and space.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    In this unpublished book, we call it Mistborn Prime now. It's basically the Mistborn magic system, fully fledged. A lot of the Mistborn worldbuilding. But, what happens is, there's this assassin guy who's, like, dark and grimdark and super darky darky-grimdarky. And he gets assigned to go to this town and find out what's up; they've got atium there, and they're not supposed to. And he's like, "Mm, where are they getting this? I've gotta go..." And his father's like, "Go find everyone and kill them and get the atium." And he goes there and he falls in with a crowd of nice people who treat him well and he doesn't know what to do with that. And has a character arc to where he goes back and defeats his father.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    [Knight Life] had a cool ending. It had a Brandon ending. Through a wacky series of events, a character gets signed up for a gladiatorial arena, where he has to fight the champion. And this is the thing looming over him for the whole thing. (You have to suffer through a lot of really bad jokes that don't land before you get there. For some reason, I was enamored with this idea of a barbarian who used, like, a metal carrot to hit people.)

    Dan Wells

    Was there a pun behind that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I mean, it's one of these things that you write and you think is an anti-joke. You're like, "What if instead of a sword, he used a carrot. Isn't that funny?"

    But this is looming over the character the whole time. He ends up getting challenged by this right at the beginning. And it's the metal carrot guy; he's a barbarian. And they're like, "You can't fight this giant monster." It's like going against the Hulk or something like that. And it looms over, and they're trying to get out of it the entire thing. But then, at the end, through little clues, you find out that the champion has a heart problem. So the hero runs around in a circle around the outside of the arena for an hour until the guy dies of a heart attack. And that's the climax (I kid you not) of the story.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    The cameo for a friend, I usually don't use very much of then. When Dan shows up in Mistborn, it's just a guy named after Dan.

    Dan Wells

    Sergeant Wellen, who keeps living through brutal catastrophes and spree murders. That's my whole thing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In fact, Sergeant Wellen's descendant shows up in Lost Metal.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    You did, in your last Q&A, mention you weren't super big on music theory. So did you know, beforehand, when you were designing pure tones, one aligning with all the different Shards, that in your standard octave you have twelve tones, meaning that four Shards and another four are gonna be paired up? Or are you kind of departing from...

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is part of where I kind of got into trouble with my music theory. I'm like "what if I had a sixteen note scale?" And then I talked to all my music theory people, and they're like, "Well, this and this and this and this." And I'm like, "Oh..." You can't just make a sixteen note scale. It doesn't actually work like that. And so, in this case, there are going to be some tweaks, some things that are there. But this is part of when I kind of talked about how it wasn't quite working the way that I'd imagined way back when, once I talked to people who knew music theory. But I do have how it's going to be going forward.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    We know that Rosharans are, more or less, taller than just about anybody else. And this makes it very easy to spot worldhoppers. Are there any people with dwarfism or some similar condition on Roshar that would make them abnormally short, compared to others?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that does exist, indeed.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    With the gloves off, if you could go back to any of your previously published works and add in a more foreground Cosmere reference, where would you do it and what would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that the appearance of Hoid in Mistborn Two is super arcane, and I was super afraid of it, and I maybe didn't need to be. And I think that's the one where he was doing something relatively interesting in the scope of the entire Cosmere, and so it would be cool to be able to see... I don't know if you've read the deleted scenes, but his footprints were in the deleted scenes, but I cut that and revised it. And basically cut almost all reference out of that book. I would go back in and get him somewhere in there doing the same things he was doing in the deleted scenes, so that you could see him.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    I'm trying to understand the relationship between Hemalurgy and the Shard Ruin. Most of the Invested Arts involve inputs of energy of the Shardic Investiture that corresponds to it. That doesn't seem to be the case for Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. So I'm wondering what the relationship is between the corresponding Shards and those two Metallic Arts.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a whole lot going on here, and I'm not sure how much I can get into right here. But one of the basic concepts I built for the cosmere, way back when, was that a lot of the different magics would be showing up in different systems. And there are certain underpinning fundamental rules. And this is why you'll see Lightweaving working the same way across three different magic systems; I think you've seen it in three different ones so far. Elsecalling's gonna work the same way. Hemalurgy is a thing that is, like, part of the nature of the cosmere, that the Shard simply knew and was able to tell people how to do

    So is it of that Shard? Well, yes, because you would have to be following that Shard's Intent in order to use it. But it could be discovered on other planets, as well.

    Questioner

    And independent of Ruin's presence, really, except for as Ruin affects the cosmere as a whole?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Exactly. You are correct.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    If you had a flow of objects on a conveyor belt or a river that went through a speed bubble, would the objects or river consistently get deflected in the same direction? Or would it seem random?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would seem random to you. There is a way you might be able to figure out, because it's going to obey chaos theory sort of things. But it'll be random to the extent that you're able to tell.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    Zellion, is that name taken from the unpublished novel, The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that name is taken from that book. Zellion's appearance in the Cosmere is related to, not that book, but it's kind of the same character, reincarnated now into the Cosmere, if that makes sense.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    Overall, how many books do you think your entire Cosmere series will be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My original outline for the Cosmere was somewhere between thirty-two and thirty-eight books. Emily has that; I gave that to her in 2006, 2007, somewhere around there. We're gonna dig that out and put it up for people to see; we'll probably display it.

    This outline had some weird things. I had in my head that the series Dragonsteel was going to be seven books. I've reduced that to three books, because I took a big chunk of Dragonsteel and put it into Stormlight when I did the Stormlight revision in 2010. But I added an extra four books in the Wax and Wayne series that were not on that outline; Mistborn was nine books in that outline. Stormlight was ten books. And it had some other things in there. One of the things that people keep pointing out to me is, they're like, "Brandon. You know. Mistborn being sixteen books would make a lot of sense." And right now, there are planned to be thirteen books. And so, if I do the kind of cyberpunk series in between the 1980s and the science fiction series, and I do it as a trilogy... but there's only so many books I can write, guys!

    That's kind of still my goal. We've got the ten Stormlight, three Elantris, two Nalthis. Then we've got the White Sand; do I do White Sand? Do I not? It was on there; we have the graphic novel. And then there's weird things, like the Threnody novel I want to write. Three of the Secret Projects are in the Cosmere; that adds three that weren't planned. So who knows. But the core of the Cosmere, I have viewed for a long time as being: nine books of Mistborn (that are now expanded), ten books of Stormlight, and three books of Elantris. That is the core Cosmere narrative.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    I am allergic to nickel, and I realize that's not one of the Allomantic things. Are there Allomancers who are allergic to their metals? How does that work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are. It is not very fun for them. It is legitimately a thing. To an extent, heavy metals are bad for all of us. And fortunately for Allomancers, they burn them away, and they kind of a have a change in their physiology that this doesn't hurt them, but it doesn't cover being allergic. And this is just a miserable experience.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    I believe you originally said that Era Two is Alloy of Law, then a trilogy. Do you still view it that way? Or has it changed over time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wrote Alloy of Law; I kind of wanted to write a standalone. I'm not very good that that. 'Cause I finished it, and I'm like, "Ooh, I know where I would go. I know what I want to do." And then I outlined a trilogy and wrote a trilogy. As I was working on this fourth book, I found a lot of places that I wanted to relate to Alloy of Law, for whatever reason. Maybe it's that sort of cyclical nature of storytelling, where where you began is often a version of where you end, and things like that. I don't view them as much as one book and a trilogy anymore, because I deeply interwove a bunch of Alloy of Law references. You'll see when you read the book that the soul of Alloy of Law is very important to this book. So it's almost an bookend, where the two in the middle are kind of in a dialogue with each other, and the first and the fourth one are kind of in a dialogue with each other.

    Dragonsteel 2022 ()
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    Questioner

    Do you have an end goal that's going to be... everything's gonna converge to something? Or is there going to be a direction that everything in the Cosmere is moving towards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The answer is "yes." My goal is, after I finish Stormlight Five, to kind of sit down (now that I have a whole team) and be like, "All right, here is the outline for the rest of the Cosmere, so that you have it," and work on that for a while. I always say I'm gonna do this, and I haven't done it yet, but I'm really planning, after Stormlight Five, now to do this. Now that I've got a full editorial team and a full creative development team and one narrative guy, that we'll sit down and we will talk over this, and things like that. I do have an end goal in mind. I like to start with an ending; this is how I do things.

    YouTube Livestream 51 ()
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    Rover678

    Did the decision of adding a whole new era of books to the Mistborn saga change the plans for the plotting of the two remaining eras?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It did a little bit. So, basically, things that I thought I was gonna have to squeeze in to the 1980s era, I was able to get some foreshadowing in in Wax and Wayne instead. So it kind of made my job easier. It hasn't changed the actual outline that much for the story, but it has let me put in a bunch of foreshadowing ahead of time.

    YouTube Livestream 51 ()
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    Kyracall

    In a recent Intentionally Blank, you mentioned a Lift food heist book. Any chance of the novella between Stormlight Five and Six being that book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a chance for that, yes. That is definitely something that I would consider doing.

    YouTube Livestream 51 ()
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    Questioner

    What would Lirin do with the trolley problem?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Lirin's pacifist nature would not let him pull the lever. So he would have the greater number of people die because he was not behind it. Which, I think, is kind of the only way that he could answer it and stay true to the things that he rationalizes and believes in.

    YouTube Livestream 51 ()
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    Mason Wheeler

    If you had to have another author finish your work, who would you pick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Historically, I've said Brian McLellan. He never gave his consent to this. But Brian and I write very similarly, he's a great writer, he's a good friend. That said, if we get Dan really steeped in the Cosmere and he starts writing books that have the right feel... Like, we're not sure how much his books will be Dan books and how much will be Brandon books. We do want them to feel like Dan books, but it's possible that Dan or Isaac might be the right answer as we get further along in the Cosmere.

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    Isaac Betsold

    When we will see the Edgedancers in midwifery? They would be great at it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would be great at it, and I think you're going to start seeing a lot of that sort of stuff happening in the near future in the books.

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    Joel

    Are the Heralds from Stormlight inspired in any way by the watchers/angels from the Book of Enoch?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, yes, there's a roundabout answer to this. The Heralds started as me wanting to do fantasy angels, some sort of fantastical angel thing, because I knew I was gonna be doing the Shards of Adonalsium and things like that, and I wanted something that was basically lower tier. And the first idea was for someone who thought they were one of these mythical angels come back to save the world, and then we weren't sure if they actually were one or weren't. And this ended up in Way of Kings Prime, and I (for a long time) was not sure if I was gonna make this person actually an angel or not. So I'm gonna say "yes" to this one, because it was a direct attempt to build something like "servants of god" sort of thing that go and work among people was the inspiration.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Will the Cosmere persist after I retire? I like to be deliberate about my career, and I have noticed something. Authors who hit a certain success level, once they retire, books continue coming out from them for many years. This seems an inevitable part of the way that media works today. This makes some authors uncomfortable; Robert Jordan, for instance, said to Harriet he did not want to become what he called a "legacy series." This is something like Conan the Barbarian, where not just years after the author's retirement, but decades and even potentially centuries, you see more things coming out. This is part of what influenced me in saying "I want to only do the three Wheel of Time books that I signed up to do." In fact, Harriet and I had a meeting very early in the process, somewhere in 2008, where she said "what do you think?" Granted, this wasn't my decision, but she wanted to know what I thought. And what I said is, "I think we should finish his series and be done." Because I knew how uncomfortable he was.

    I am less uncomfortable, but at the same time, I don't know that I like the idea of a giant legacy series. I think it is good that these things have a shelf life, because it opens up opportunities for new authors and new concepts and new stories to happen. What I'm doing is I'm very deliberately building my company in a way that, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I want to have the people in place to finish the stories for you all so that you have endings. This is something that was a great honor for me to do for Robert Jordan, and I stand by that being something that should have been done. I do know there are some people who disagree with that, and I respect their choices. But Robert Jordan wanted it finished, Harriet wanted it finished, and the fans wanted it finished. I want to be in the same position. I also want to have a position where we are doing this deliberately and having control over it. Some of you know, I have hired Dan Wells as VP of narrative, my longterm friend and collaborator Dan Wells. This is so that I can have another brain in the Cosmere, so to speak. My goal is to create something that a lot of people love for a long, long time. But at the same time, I am not trying to create something that continues forever, if that makes sense. Hopefully the books will; hopefully the books that I've written will be read forever.

    It's kind of a wiggly, wishy-washy answer. I think it's inevitable, at this point, that my books will continue past my retirement. I want to be deliberate about it and have an endpoint to them scheduled. And maybe we'll hit that before I retire, in which case none will need to be released. But maybe we won't. And who knows what the future will tell and how I'll be feeling about this in twenty years. I think it is likely the Cosmere will continue, but hopefully we do it in a deliberate way and in a way that is creating very high-quality stories and that is finishing up things so there is an actual ending.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    What I’ve been working on is the Szeth and Kaladin sequence for this book [Stormlight Five], which means I have finished that now. It means I’ve finished all the flashbacks and I’ve finished all Szeth’s viewpoints and all of Kaladin’s viewpoints, which are somewhat intertwined at part of this book. And so I am now going to be moving on to another viewpoint sequence and try to get that all the way through. I’m going to be working on a big chunk of the characters now who have some integrated sort of thing. So it’s going to be mostly I’ll be working on Dalinar, Shallan, and some Renarin. There’s a lot of stuff going on, kind of interconnected, some Navani as well with them. The goal is to write that all the way through. And then, everyone that’s left over, will get their own set of viewpoints in kind of the last third of the chunk. Then I’ll do the interludes at the end, if I haven’t written them already.

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    Shagomir

    I re-projected the map of Scadrial in TLM to an orthographic map with Earth continent outlines for comparison.

    Isaac Stewart

    Your overlay of the map over Earth is close. There's discussion on this thread of what's possible and why is it the way it is. Rest assured we considered many things before creating this map. For example, on Earth, both Cayambe and Kilimanjaro near the equator (very tall mountains, to be certain) have glaciers.

    jofwu

    What I'm curious about is why the Basin seems to have a temperate climate. I'm guessing the answer is just "because Harmony wants it to".

    Isaac Stewart

    I don't necessarily think it's because Harmony wants it, though he did somewhat engineer the Basin to be the way it is. :) I'm curious why it's thought that the climate is temperate by Earth standards when there are at least giraffes, lions, and turtles mentioned in the text.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    We tried to get a celebrity voice (David Tennant) for Tress [audiobook]. His people were great, but I soon realized that asking someone unfamiliar with my work to record something on such a tight deadline was unfair and potentially too stressful for everyone involved.

    I tried a different celebrity for project two, but their schedule wasn't open. So I settled on Michael and Kate (whom I was always going to ask to do project three) for the first three. Only they were herculean enough to do it on such short notice. (And for the publishing industry, less than a year up front is short notice.)

    Project four will have a narrator we haven't used before in order to try something new. We haven't picked yet, but are starting the process.

    BalonSwann07

    Are you able to share who the second celebrity would have been?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Henry Cavill.

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    little wilson (paraphrased)

    I saw Brandon at a book signing back in mid-December, and I asked him about the 16 percent deal. He said that Preservation replaced the real External Temporal Metals with atium and malatium (at least I'm assuming malatium, but he didn't mention that specifically. He only said atium). So not-cerrobend and cadmium weren't counted in the 16%. nicrosil and chromium, on the other hand, were. So there are chromium andnicrosil Mistings running around, not knowing that they're Mistings.