The parshmen that got re-Connected. Was that based on where they were born, or where they were when the Everstorm came in?
The parshmen that got re-Connected. Was that based on where they were born, or where they were when the Everstorm came in?
How did the Nahel bond manifest in Way of Kings Prime? What was missing?
I had a little light-and-sound show. It never actually happened on-screen. I had it-- If you've read Snapshot, it was this sort of thing that I intended to be a thing that they would see and could not be replicated, and you just kind of knew when it happened. Like, you were glimpsing the Spiritual Realm, something like that. But it never actually happened.
Was he actually a Herald, then?
He was actually a Herald. The book ends with him dying, and no one believing; except Jasnah, the atheist, believed he actually was a Herald, even though she didn't believe in God. And so it was like, "Well, we have to find out how to get him back. Because he can obviously be reborn." So that was one of the ends.
Are we ever going to get to read that?
Yeah, once it's no longer spoilery.
I am currently submitting a story to major science fiction magazines under a pseudonym to see if I am good enough-- It's a flash fiction piece, which is the thing I'm worst at... I knew that, if I sent it as me, they would take it, because putting one pages in in order to be able to say "Brandon Sanderson" on the cover is just an enormously advantageous cost/benefit analysis for a magazine. I probably wouldn't submit a full-size story, because I I know I am good enough to get in magazines on those; but I don't know about flash fiction. So I've been submitting that under a pseudonym.
Will you let us know eventually?
Yeah, if it gets rejected from all the major places, then I'll tell you and be like, "Well. This wasn't good enough to actually sell." We still have it out at a few various magazines.
You've mentioned that the Lord Ruler had children? Have we been introduced to any of them in the books?
Interesting. But they're out there?
Well, they were. It's been a while... Descendants, potentially. You have not met any of the Lord Ruler's children.
You said that Hoid has had love interests. Does he have any children?
Can the gems on Roshar store other types of Investiture?
I am subscribed to the, "Doomslug is the hyperdrive," theory. Can you confirm or deny?
I cannot confirm or deny.
What does Doomslug eat?
Doomslug eats mushrooms, among other things... I don't want to say anything more.
I know, I was trying to find something that wouldn't be RAFO'd
Yeah that's actually shockingly relevant of a question, so-- Hmm!
The gems on Roshar, are they the same as the gems you and me know, or are they a byproduct of Investiture?
For the most part they are the same as the gems we know, which will ask the question, "Since most of them are chemically identical, other than color, what differentiates them?" and in the cosmere, color is very important, so I'll just leave you at that, but most of them are going to be gems like we have. If you took a ruby from our world to Roshar, it could be Invested by the highstorm.
We will RAFO that for now.
I really loved both Ender's Game and Anne McCaffrey when I was in early high school, and I felt like this book was in conversation with both of them.
I would say that that is a really, really accurate way of looking at it. Little Last Starfighter mixed in as well, a little Top Gun.
I just want to know how much were you thinking about Ender's Game in particular?
Ender's Game, I was not thinking about a ton. More How to Train Your Dragon. Because it really parallels How to Train Your Dragon. I was trying to make sure it didn't hit those beats too closely. I wasn't thinking about Ender's Game specifically, but the underdog sports story part of Ender's Game worms its way into a lot of my different writing. I was thinking more about Ender's Game when I was writing Bridge Four sequences.
I felt like Skyward was a really interesting philosophical refutation to Ender's Game. Because Skyward is fundamentally a book where nobody is actually wrong, Ender's Game everybody is wrong.
That's a pretty interesting thing, yeah.
I really appreciate that. Also, the part at the end where Spensa did the navigation thing was so like Between, I almost threw my book at the wall in excitement.
I wanted for years to do a "Monsters live in the Between" story, which is what this is going toward. 'Cause I always thought-- Like, there's this one episode of Star Trek where someone sees monsters as they are being beamed. And it's one of my favorite Next Generation episodes, there are monsters when you are teleporting. That one stuck with me forever, so you can blame that as part of the inspiration.
Are the rats that Spensa eats actually rats, or is this a Rosharan chicken situation?
I made them actual rats.
Are they native to the planet?
They are not native to the planet... They predate her people crashing on-- There were humans on Detritus before, when it was not called Detritus.
Kaladin not ever feeling the Thrill. Is there a reason for that?
There is a reason for that... What do you think?
I think it's because he's too good and too pure for this world.
That is, I would say-- Let's just say that there are points where Kaladin could have felt the Thrill. But once he had the attention of certain nebulous spren, somebody was watching out for him.
That was gonna be my second. I thought "He's probably just too good for it," and then I was like, "It's probably Syl's fault."
There's a bit of a war inside of Kaladin.
Is Skyward in the same universe as Defending Elysium?
Are you planning on doing anything else in that universe other than sequels to Skyward?
We'll start with sequels to Skyward, and then we'll see. The idea of biological FTL is so interesting to me that there are a lot of things I can do with that.
Dalinar walks away with a gemstone. Was Yelig-nar taken as well?
RAFO. I will get to Yelig-nar.
Yolen is one of the oldest worlds. So, did they develop a method of traveling to other worlds like spacefaring?
No. Good question.
They say Ati was good, but Ruin turned him evil. Are they any evil people who picked up a Shard that turned them good?
RAFO. Good question!
Hemalurgic spikes degrade very quickly, but Feruchemical metals can hold on to their charge forever, apparently. Is that just because Hemalurgy is corruptive?
Yes, though I may not say "forever."
But it's much slower?
Yeah, way slower.
Yes, it's the nature of Feruchemy and Hemalurgy.
I was at a book signing in Chicago a few years ago and you were giving out these little Szeth figurines with statistics on the back of them. What ever happened with them? What was that going to be?
That was me trying to get [Crafty Games] to build a hybrid card game slash-- a deckbuilding/boardbuilding game that still I have hopes will someday happen. It was, you build the board as you build the characters, things like that. They were way more interested in the board game itself, which came out well. It's possible we'll still do the deckbuilding/boardbuilding game. Keep a hold of those Szeth figures.
You said some of those things [from Way of Kings Prime] are still canon. Is the fact that if you have one of the honorblades, you can find the other honorblade holders?
The 2002 version, he thought that's how it worked, but it actually just led him to the other honorblades, because he had never seen a Herald without their sword before. It doesn't even work in the 2002 version; he ends up finding the honorblades, but no Heralds. He finds the place that they abandoned them later on. So, no.
Is Lift capable of touching other spren?
I'll RAFO that for now. I could wiggle out of that one easily, but I won't. I'll not answer the question you're asking, rather than the one you're not asking.
Can you steal someone else's infused Breath with a similar method to the Feruchemy loophole?
Can you turn a parshman into a Parshendi by giving them breath?
Parshendi is a nationality. So, no. No more than you could make someone an American by teaching them to speak with an American accent. But also, how do you define being a Parshendi when the culture is basically collapsed at this point? Basically, no.
What order was Alakavish?
RAFO. I may get to that. I may not, but I'll RAFO it for now.
You said Cultivation is doing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. So my theory is that she's completely responsible for the Diagram.
The Sleepless. If they got enough hordelings, how big could they get?
There is a limit. It is larger than you've seen on-screen before.
At the end of Way of Kings, when Taln shows up, he smashes on the door pretty loudly. Does he have super strength with his Surges?
Taln is extraordinary in many regards.
I know in Shadesmar, Syl has a physical form when they go there. Has there ever been, in the history of Shardbearers, any romance there?
...I will RAFO that for now. It is a question I have asked.
What drove Jezrien mad?
You will see firsthand in the series.
The metal of Shardblades. Cultivationspren versus honorspren, for example. Are they different metals?
No, but good question.
Are all orders the same alloy, essentially?
Yes. There's a little asterisk on there, but not in the way you're asking... You could call those all the same alloy. Because the mixture to different spren is different, I think that you could argue that each one is its own alloy.
So, different proportions of tanavastium?
Yes, but it doesn't quite work that way with these magics, right? I'm going to say that's up to the individual cosmerologist who is in the world, the arcanist, defining it. You would be able to find enough differences to legitimately call them different alloys if you wanted to.
Would you say different ratios of the same two metals?
Yes. They are not going to have a third one in them, if that's what you're asking. But it doesn't quite work that way. Like, if you were going to take brass, you could measure the exact percentage. In this case, it is a thing; it's not like you could divide it up and split them apart, because they are a thing. And that thing would be called one thing.
But you won't say what that thing is called?
No, I won't say what that thing is called. But I think you and the 17th Sharders and folks that are dividing them would prefer to call them ten different things, and I think their nomenclature would be relevant.
The Necromancer's Pizza. How's that going?
It's going really well. Though the pizza part is getting written out a little bit, because he's turning more into a necromancer heavy metal singer. And the pizza was so much fun, but it's not working as well as I wanted it to, but the book is working really well. So I would expect that one to come out sooner rather than later. It's turned into a really cool thing with a lot of interesting aspects to it.
Callsigns. Did you come up with those yourself?
I did. The callsigns in the back of all the beta readers, they came up with their own. But I came up with all the callsigns. One of the things I was trying to do, I tried to make the callsigns start with the same sound as their real names. And that was what be guidance was so that it would be easier to keep everyone straight.
Ash is a Lightweaver... The ten Knights Radiant books, and Ash is gonna be a character; she can't be a Lightweaver?
That's a RAFO. But you are noticing something real.
...Were the Heralds alive for the human exodus from Ashyn?
Yes. They were not Heralds then, but they all made that trip. I believe. My timeline-- You can't nail me down on that one, because it's possible that Ash was born after, but I don't think so.
If you could pick a director to direct the Cosmere novels, who would you pick?
Right now, the Russo brothers. I like how they consistently balance a large cast, and make sure they all felt part of and integrated into the story.
We're doing a piece of art for a friend that's a crossover between The Stormlight Archive and Harry Potter. How would you sort Dalinar, Kaladin, Jasnah, and Shallan...
Jasnah's a Slytherin. Hands down, very easy.
Dalinar's would depend on which Dalinar you're talking about. Dalinar is probably going to be Gryffindor either way, would be my guess.
Shallan's a Ravenclaw, straight up.
Kaladin's tough. You could Hufflepuff Kaladin. You could totally Hufflepuff Kaladin. I think that works.
You got one of each in that case.
What would be your advice in turning a short story that works great into a longer--
I usually attack this from two different directions. One is, more viewpoints. If I add another perspective to this, will it make it work? And then the other thing is, more complications. And that doesn't always work. Sometimes the format is strong without it. But more subthemes. Like, if it's a heist, there's something else they need to do. If it's a romance, an old flame comes in. Adding a subplot that can further-- Make sure it's not just spinning its wheels, though; it adds something to the characters by that experience. But try that. More complications, or more viewpoints.
You were talking before about how, when a book's not working out, you moved on to something else, and then it started to come together in your mind. Was that something that you-- you were moving on to something else and all these other ideas started popping up? Or were you revisiting your other book every now and then?
Every now and then I'm revisiting it, and I spend a few days on the outline saying, "How is this going? Are things working?" With [Skyward], it was starting to click, so I went specifically back to this one as things were clicking. I keep a folder of these half-finished outlines that aren't working for some reason or the time isn't right yet. And every time it's time to start a new book, those are all in the consideration.
Regarding the Trellium that Paalm was using. Before it was used for Hemalurgy, was that spike a uniform silvery color, or was it also rusty at the time?
You said that it's theoretically possible that Hoid could have alloyed the lerasium bead with another god metal to acquire another magic. Has he done so?
He has not. Because there are certain things that were preventing that from working.
So a Renarin question. Can we get <a little tidbit>?
You have seen spren that have not been touched the same way that Renarin's has. You have seen them. And I've been trying to very specifically show you, to give you contrast.
If you had aluminum in your body, say a hip replacement or something, would that interfere with the magic in some way?
It would indeed. It would interface with the magic, how about that?
Is it possible to replicate an Edgedancer's frictionless-ness with a fabrial?
This is theoretically possible.
Have we seen anyone use Connection to become immortal?
[If someone were] born like Vin, could they bond a spren, before they're even cognizant? 'Cause it's about being broken, right? So, I don't know if it's the same brokenness that Vin had from just being born.
Different spren will view this differently, and different people view the way that the Nahel bond works differently. So, Vin would certainly have been of interest to a number of spren.
What's a seon look like in the Cognitive Realm?
RAFO. Good question.
Reading Legion, my question was: do you think yourself a little mentally ill?
The way I think about psychology (and granted, this is just Brandon, this is not me saying "This is how it has to be") is that every person has their own mixture of things. And what might be a disorder in someone else is not in others, because of the way that it works in their life and the way they perceive it. So I do not-- I think my psychology is very healthy for me. But in other people, my psychology could be unhealthy for them. How about that?
[What is your favorite] disorder to write about?"
I don't know if I have a favorite. I have revisited dissociative disorders in multiple different ways because they make for interesting narrative... but it's not the disorder that's interesting to me, it's the person interfacing with the world and the challenges they deal with. And writing about that sort of thing is really interesting to me. I try not to let the disorder define the person, though it is sometimes a little harder, particularly with something like Legion.
Is there conspiracyspren? We have kind of a family joke about that one.
So, conspiracyspren... Let's just say this. I have purposefully not made spren of certain things that I think would undermine the very purpose of the spren. If that makes sense?
My question was going to be: What emotion would you never write a spren for?
Well there are ones that-- I would go with that. Things that undermine the very nature.-- But I wouldn't say never to anything. In the cosmere, particularly on Roshar, if people start to personify something, there's a chance it would become a spren, and that could be anything. The current vogue question to ask me is "will there be memespren..." And my response is always, "If people personify something, then there's a chance that a spren will develop out of it."
Saying that, "Odium did not leave his power behind on Sel. He left several other powers which are now, to a large extent, mindless." So, is another power- did he have some kind of *inaudible* under control or--
So I dodged that one very easily. I was talking about Dominion and Devotion, which he could have taken up and left behind. It technically answered the question. That was the answer. I even said on a tape later on "I wiggled out of that one real well," but they didn't know how I wiggled out of it. When they said "Did he leave behind any powers?" Those are the powers he left behind.
But they weren't his powers?
No, but they were-- As soon as he killed them, he could have had them, right? So it definitely gave me wiggle room.
Does Odium control/manipulate/possess Trell? As a pseudo-<counter?> philosophy on the modern era?