Recent entries

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4252 Copy

    Wetlander

    In the... wedding, Dalinar suddenly remembers Kadash... retching... My theory is that the reason he was upchucking everything since yesterday was that he just realized that it was Evi, and he did it. Everybody's like, "No, it's just because it was such a brutal attack and it was horrible, and he's beyond it." And I'm like, no, I think it was was because he realized who's down there, and he was the one who lit the match. That's my theory...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will not confirm or deny, but you did see me going like this *nodding*, so--

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    And is Hoid now, like he can already basically Lightweave...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He can already-- I will have to delve into that during Hoid timed, but he was limited, and he's still limited. But there's stuff that he's been trying to do for a while that he can't quite get working.

    Questioner

    'Cause it seemed like when he and Shallan were creating that story together of the wall--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, he was using her power, right? And guiding it, he wasn't doing it himself.

    Questioner

    Is that something he can do in general, just help people with their powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily. That was pretty special circumstances.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    I'm gonna take a stab at Kaladin's fourth oath. Is it, "I will not feel bad about slaughtering my enemies?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    *RAFO card*

    ...You know I'm not going to answer that. But I tell you what, it's been recorded by the fan sites, everything I say, so if you're right you're on record. But I'm not going to tell you.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4258 Copy

    Questioner

    The Sharders have asked if I can find out if the Ars Arcanum for Elantris written at any specific time. Like, was it during the events of Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Ars Arcanum is around the context of then, yes. It should be around the events of the first book. I would have to look at it and double check that. But you can take that as canon unless I look at it and find--

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4259 Copy

    Questioner

    Why are you a plant in the back of the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, here's the thing. When I wanted to do a picture in the back of the books, the original versions that the other publisher did, I said I wanted a silly picture. And they wouldn't let me put a silly picture. So I wrote that I was a potted plant, and then put my own picture. But when we did the reissues, the new publisher's like, "Eh, I guess we gotta use a potted plant," and then they went and got one and put it there instead. And I was totally fine with it. The joke was that it was just me but it said it was a potted plant, but now it is a potted plant.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    In Stormlight Archive before the full disadvantaged duel, there's foreshadowing of Shardblades being spren and Adolin talking to his Blade, tradition. But then also... Adolin says, "Oh I forgot my mom's lucky necklace," and I don't think there's ever a reference to that again. Do we see something come back up about that necklace?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The necklace is just pure superstition on his part, it's not seeding something in... I have to sometimes make certain things not relevant, otherwise everything is relevant. So the chicken and the necklace mean nothing, but obviously the talking to the sword is a tradition that has a meaning, and it comes into play in Oathbringer.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4261 Copy

    Questioner

    Dalinar can learn languages with the people he contacts. Venli knows all the languages. Could he learn all the languages? And how long would that last?

    Brandon Sanderson

    His Connection is going to work-- He has to kind of be active about it, so it needs to be-- let me see if I can get the specific words right...

    The mechanics I have in the notes is he has to touch someone and will learn to speak the language of their native country, that they spoke as a young person. He's making a direct Connection to that specific person and their way of speaking. So if you have learned another language and Dalinar shakes your hand and activates his Connection ability, he will Connect not to that language you've learned, but to your native language.

    Questioner

    How long does it last?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have it lasting-- it does need to be renewed, but I have it lasting basically as long as-- days not months. But I didn't actually put a define on it, so I'm going to say that's not canon. I'm not canonizing that. But I didn't want him to have to keep renewing it every couple of hours. But he would have to do it again if he left and came back.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    So, when there's wordplay in The Stormlight Archive, we know they aren't speaking English, so are you to assume that that is a translation of the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is what Tolkein said, and I always rely upon this. You're reading the book in translation, and the person translating it is going to try to use the closest in feel, but to also make it translate to English. So even when they use idioms and things like that, sometimes they translate and the translator can drop them in. Sometimes they just don't translate, so the translator comes up with something that works in English... It gets you a lot of loopholes, like if you accidentally call something an ottoman and people are like, "But there's not an Ottoman Empire in this fantasy world!" But you're like, "Yeah, all words work that way." It's in translation. This is why when you read something like Allomancy, and they're like, "Well, it's got Latin roots, right?" Yeah... it's just the roots in their language would be something old Terris, and the easiest way to convey that feeling is to use something that's got-- you know. Stuff like that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    What do you think of the VR experience.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I thought it was a lot of fun. I liked the feeling of the world quite a bit. The version I played was a little buggy, so I hope that they got the build working where it's not as buggy. But I thought the visuals were great, like the chull, the feel of the chasms. I think they did a great job with the feeling.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4264 Copy

    Questioner

    Anything about Jasnah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah, I would say, is the character who changed the least between the draft I wrote in 2002 and the final version. I always knew who she was and how she was going to turn out, and she stayed really consistent. So I'm really excited, particularly for the back five, which will have more of a focus on her. I've started to tease in some viewpoints, but you'll really get to know her starting in like books six, seven.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4265 Copy

    Questioner

    One of the characters in this book replied with "I've got this," or "I got this." It seemed really modern, like colloquially modern.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've got an answer for this. So here's the thing. I use Tolkien's philosophy on this, which is that you are reading the books in translation, and the person translating the English tries to use the closest English approximation to the same sentiment that would happen in the books.

    And we try to move away from being too modern colloquial, and things like that, but the actual answer is they said something that's a similar saying in this, and people did talk colloquially even if they didn't have modern slang. Like, the name Tiffany is a medieval name, people don't know that. There's all these sorts of things that people did even back then. But we try to find something that is not going to kick people out. We are less worried about historical accuracy, and more about what's going to convey the right idea. So just kind of pretend that. Pretend that it's being translated by someone like me, Brandon Sanderson, who can read the original Alethi and be like, "Oh, they said something that means this. What's the modern equivalent?"

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4266 Copy

    Questioner

    You know the artwork... the arches with the faces? What are those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are each of the Heralds. And those archways, Isaac picks based on what he thinks the themes of the chapter are. I don't pick which faces go on there. He reads the chapter... he tries to align what's happening with the emotions represented by the various characters. 

    Questioner

    And the thing underneath it is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generally the symbol of the viewpoint character. But those shift. Like for instance we sometimes start with a general one, and as the characters get more individual we add ones specifically for them. Usually you'll have one that's the viewpoint character, and then like for instance the ones for Jasnah and Shallan split apart when originally they just had one, and stuff like that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    I actually named my son named Kelsier.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did you? That's awesome. I was actually realizing the other day that kids named after my books are starting, probably, to get old enough, the youngest ones, that they can be reading my books, which I'm not sure what I think about that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    What is the best advice you got from a beta reader or editor on your female characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stop treating them like a role and start treating them like a person. Most of the times when guys write girls poorly, it is because they are saying  "Well, this is the X. This person's role in the story is X," and then they make the person not exist beyond that. Every character, regardless of gender, should have their own motives, passions, and you should be able to know what they were going to do with their life if the plot hadn't smashed into them, and that can go a long way toward helping with that.

    That was the big thing for me, was not writing anyone to a role... making everyone the hero of their own story. That was the big thing, but it was a process over time, figuring out treating people like characters instead of roles. That's kind of nebulous, right? Tell them to read a bunch of books by women, because a lot of them haven't, and that's part of the reason they're doing it poorly.

    Oh and here's another big thing. The first way of being sexist in your writing involves writing people into roles, right? Into stereotypes. The next thing that people generally do, you'll see this a lot in cinema right now, is take the underrepresented group, or the token female or something, and make them awesome, so that they don't actually have any sort of-- they're just good at everything. Right? That's the next level of doing something wrong, and the third is where you're like, "Wait a minute. Let's make everybody kind of quirky and interesting in their own way, rather than putting anyone on a pedestal," and things like that.

    And it's a process for all of us. You'll notice that like in the Mistborn books... I was so focused on making sure I had a strong female lead, that there is like no other women in whole the book. And that's a really common mistake... But you just get better at it the more you write.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4272 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    During part 4 of Oathbringer when they are in Shadesmar. At no point did you depict an Everstorm whilst they are in there, and they were in there several weeks. Is there a specific reason you didn't depict that, or does it just not have a presence in the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a specific reason I didn't depict that. It will be involved in a later book, and I was dodging it for "I'm not sure how I'm going to canonize this yet." 

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4273 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    Adolin is hit by Parshendi lightning, and then his Plate reacts and starts blocking out the light from the rest of the lightning strikes. Is he awakening his Shardplate as well as his Blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Shardplate didn't have as much of a problem as the Blades did, so if someone else were wearing that they could have had the same effect.

    Overlord Jebus

    So it's more just a function of the Shardplate, really.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but I mean the Shardplate needs to be a little more aware-- You know. It didn't have as much of an effect on Shardplate as the Blades.

    Overlord Jebus

    That being the Recreance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Recreance, yeah.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Overlord Jebus

    Does Investiture seek/spawn intelligence because it used to be Adonalsium, or did Adonalsium come to exist because Investiture seeks intelligence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a chicken and egg question, isn't it? You will find both theories espoused by people in the know. What are we calling them now? Cosmerenauts? That's what they said on Reddit. I would say cosmere arcanists, people like Khriss.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Silasary

    If someone is a full Mistborn and is able to use Feruchemical gold... can they safely burn harmonium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, okay. This is theoretically possible. 

    Silasary

    Would it have an effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It would do something.

    Silasary

    And I'm going to hopefully ask what that is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *gives a RAFO card* You've earned their card.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4277 Copy

    Questioner

    I know you have gay and lesbian, and you are planning on trans characters and have trans-ish characters. Do you have any asexual characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though I'm cheating. All the [singers] are asexual in certain-- I do have a non-[singer] asexual character, but I cheated and made an entire race of asexual characters.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4278 Copy

    Rainier

    Can you tell me anything about Zahel / Warbreaker / Vasher? I was very disappointed I didn't see him in Oathbringer. I was waiting for him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's in there. Briefly.

    Questioner

    I'm waiting for him-- Him and Vivenna and Szeth. I want the three of them and Nightblood together. I want that scene, I'm waiting for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see some good things from him.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Rainier

    First, just please tell me anything about Nightblood--the book or the Type IV Awakened object. Or Warbreaker--the book or the Type II...

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right. My current plot for the book Nightblood. It's really minor, but it involves Darro entering the cosmere officially. He is a character from Aether of Night... He's a side character in that that I've always wanted to work into this main continuity, the real continuity, so he's coming.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    If you're gonna crossover anyone into Stormlight, like if you were gonna grab Scooby Doo, or Dragonball Z, or any other series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any series that's not mine cross it over with Stormlight? Wow, I haven't been asked that before. What would I cross over with Stormlight? I don't know. Man, that's hard... Let me think about it. I could give you a goofy answer, but I've never even really thought about that before... Maybe I could slip over some futuristic sci-fi crossover with the Whedonverse.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4281 Copy

    Questioner

    The scene where Verin Mathwin dies. Did you write that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't. Robert Jordan wrote that. It is one of the very few scenes that he actually had written in the notes, and I was able to reach out, grab that one and drop it in. I was very satis-- In fact that was one of the big surprises when I was reading the notes.

    Questioner

    Everybody-- I mean, it's probably my favorite scene that's ever been written.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and he did that one. I feel very happy to be able to tell people that because there aren't a lot of scenes that I could just drop in that he wrote, and that is one of them.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Why don't you have to say the words if you're just bonding a Cryptic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Every Order's First Oath is the same. Then the Second Oaths for the Cryptics go into truths, but everybody says the First Oath the same regardless of Order. Which should raise the question of--

    Questioner

    Did Shallan say it when she was a teeny-weeny, like in the cradle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That should raise a question. She wasn't teeny-weeny, but it should raise a question there.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Did humans come to Roshar through Shadesmar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is technology or magic closer to how the Oathgates work. But it was like that. It's not canon but right now that's what I have. It's not canon because there are certain things I have to work out before that can work...

    By the way I'll just say to the tape recording that I haven't canonized, like for instance if they traveled to Shadesmar to get to Shinovar from Ashyn. Right now I have that not being via Shadesmar, but the mechanics of that might not work out, and I might have to default to Shadesmar. So there's certain things, you'll see, where I say, "This isn't the canon answer, it's where I have things right now."

    Overlord Jebus

    So Urithiru might end up being a spaceship after all.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not that. Right now I have them using something closer to Oathgating, but it opens up a huge can of worms, when I'm not requiring direct-- When I'm sending through Spiritual Realm it opens up cans of worms, and I have to just make sure the mechanics on that are tight before I do it.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    How many character chapters is too many? ...My first book has three character chapters, my second has six. I'm wondering if that's too--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nothing is too many. It's good practice. You might lose control of it. My advice would be if you can keep those characters in clusters, meaning if you split them off into their own plots if they are together in one or two batches, it's going to be a lot easier. Adding more viewpoints is not too much harder when you're doing that. It's when they're all off on their own. But there's nothing that's too much, right? Even if it doesn't end up working out you will have taught yourself something.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    ...We saw in the [Arcanum Unbounded] that you can also travel without a perpendicularity to get to the different systems, but is that like an alien spaceship thing that we're going to find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You could get between them all if you used conventional space travel. It would take a long time, but you could get between them all. All the other methods use the magics in some way.

    Questioner

    But does it always have to be the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ways that people know how to do it now are all related to the Cognitive Realm in some way. It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way that everybody knows.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Overlord Jebus

    Has Eshonai left for the Beyond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I'll canonize this. I'm sorry. 

    Overlord Jebus

    *sounds of horror and shock* Noooo, nooooo, RAFO it!

    Brandon Sanderson

    You wanted-- That was a RAFO-bait but, so I never intended that-- If you want to leave this one out there-- But I never intended Timbre to be Eshonai's soul. When people said that in the beta, I'm like, "Oh, I guess you could see that, but I mean that's not how spren work, right?"

    Overlord Jebus

    I was going to say, so you're saying Timbre is not Eshonai's soul.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I never even thought they would make that connection. Because we saw Timbre in the previous book... I mean, I don't want to kill people's fan theories. But that one kind of blindsided me in the beta. I'm like, "Well I guess we'll go ahead and let people think that but no." No.

    You can leave that one off if you want to tease people and things. Some people really want to believe that.

    Overlord Jebus

    I made a bet that Eshonai was not only still be alive after Words of Radiance, but would also become Radiant. And then the bet was if not I had to eat a shoe.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh no!

    Overlord Jebus

    So I've been trying to get out of it for like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well you could eat a gummy shoe or something like that...

    But no, I didn't intend this. No. There are-- Yeah.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4288 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you come up with the name of the parshman Kaladin journeys with, Sah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't remember. I was looking for Alethi names. Alethi has its roots in Arabic and Hebrew with a little bit of Chinese thrown in here and there, mostly with Arabic. So, not sure where I got that one specifically.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Overlord Jebus

    Can a spren willingly break their bond anytime between the First and Fifth Oath, with their Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is possible--

    Overlord Jebus

    Essentially committing suicide isn't it though--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I just ascribe to that question-- A spren could at any point break it. Can they break it safely? That's a different question.

    Overlord Jebus

    Can they break it safely? *laughs*

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are methods in place where it can be stopped. So yes it can be done. But once you've started into this, once you've chosen on both sides, it's a dangerous process. But yes it can be done, and it can be done safely.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Does Cusicesh the Protector have anything to do with the third Sibling at Urithiru?

    Brandon Sanderson

    See, you gave me too much wiggle room there. Because "anything" is a really broad term. So I could say yes, but not in the way you're thinking.

    Questioner

    Okay, hmm I have to rethink my theory then.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll say probably not the way you're thinking.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    So Hoid has a Cryptic.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is heavily implied that Hoid is trying to get this Cryptic to--

    Questioner

    And Soulcasting in some sense or another transports someone into Shadesmar. So does he no longer need a perpendicularity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Hoid has been breaking certain rules along those lines for a long while. I guess he's not breaking any actual rules... He has found, by Stormlight, to do things in ways that others are not using. How about that?

    Questioner

    That is excellent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is looking forward to having a spren bond that will make things like this easier...

    And, audio recorder, that one is not quite canon yet. The one about Hoid.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #4295 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    All the physical manifestations--solid physical manifestations we've seen of Investiture has been metallic. It's been atium, lerasium, Shardblades. Is that just a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's intentional.

    Overlord Jebus

    It's intentional so we're not going to see Investiture wood or Investiture plastic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, I mean technically, like, what do you call the Aethers? Those are not metal. But I do it as metal intentionally.

    Questioner

    They could be a metal with very low boiling point.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the vine ones are--

    Overlord Jebus

    Well we've had liquid, we've had gas, the solids all seem to be metallic, so.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is intentional, it's just one of those little laws of the cosmere, that's not meant to mean anything

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Are both of Kaladin's maternal... grandparents darkeyes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Good question. I think you're the first one to pull that out of me...

    There's one question, or two questions in [the signing line], that I know are driving your brains crazy, that are not as clear-cut in my answers as you might assume they are. One is about Kaladin's mother.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Mraize's Basement Emporium. Is that more like a trophy room or a "In case of emergencies" room?

    Multiple people

    Or a bank vault?

    Or a weapon's vault?

    Or both?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yes...

    I mean, he can't use the Aether, right? ...He can't use the Aether, he doesn't have an Aether. But the sand, the sand does stuff. So a handful of sand is a really useful amount of sand to have if you're not a sandmaster. Because sand reacts to Investiture. So if you let it fade and you take it somewhere, as soon as Investiture goes kinetic, it'll turn white again. So you'll be able to use it to tell who's using Inve-- it works just like a Seeker, like bronze pulses...

    So having white sand, having sand around is really good. If you can keep the little beasties that are growing on the sand around, they will react to basically the Investiture equivalent of radiation. So that's handy.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Lightweavers are radios, aren't they? Lightwaves are radio waves? Light and-- they're the same thing, aren't they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...They can do sound too, yeah. So you're saying lightweaving with illusion, can it?

    Questioner

    Can transmit radio waves? As in, communicate over long distances, it's one of the most important things in battles, right? In war...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had someone in one of my very early books irradiate someone with Lightweaving, I think.

    Questioner

    Oh that's right you've got multiple kinds of Lightweaving.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    You talked about Mistborn being the space traveler ones. I was wondering if you were going to utilize some of the speed bending into that, into the travel with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see what I do when I do that... The biggest problem is, for you physics majors, how we make sure that we're not breaking causality... So breaking causality is kinda my big no-no. For instance, I have right now that moving between Oathgates goes at the speed of light. But technically we still break causality, right, with Shadesmar stuff... But the issue--the way we can do it in Shadesmar is because it breaks causality, but there is so muc-- Like if you were able to go into Shadesmar, move at the speed of light, come out like, you could break causality but it's, in practice, impossible, because the difference is so slight.

    We also break causality with the Spiritual Realm, but I can control that.

    Questioner

    Also you can just kind of like, mulligan that off.

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...If we were having instant speed, communication and things like that... yeah if we have an ansible, that's how we're not breaking causality. How we're not doing the train thought experiment which breaks my brain...

    So that's the big thing I have to worry about once we get to the Mistborn era, the space travel and stuff. Like, right now I don't break causality, or at least if I do, it is indiscernible to human ability to realize it. Once we get to actual space travel, and actual FTL, then I want to have rules in place, even if it is just like the rule for red shifts. On speed bubbles, where I say, "Yeah it just doesn't happen." Letting you know. But it would be no fun. Even if it's just that. But I at least want to have that in hand.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Is there any effect on a Shardblade if the deadeye is really far away from where the Blade is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Define really.

    Questioner

    The one that's trapped on the ship. Let's say they're taking him to the far side of Shadesmar, but the dude that owns that Blade lives in...

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will deal with that in the books. There is an effect, but that's not enough of an effect.

    Overlord Jebus

    Considering no one says that their Shardblade is acting weird in two and a half thousand years.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That happens all the time in Shadesmar. If you were able to get it off the planet, it would have an effect.

    Questioner

    If you as the owner of the Shardblade were offworld and you tried to summon it, that would be the effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Either way. But you can't take spren off-world. I mean, you can, but you can't really. Really all that I have in the notes for it to do right now, is to add slightly more time. So you're like, "That's weird that felt like not ten heartbeats, it felt like twelve." But it's like, you're on another planet, then it's suddenly speed of light type stuff. So suddenly it's like, "This is taking three years instead. That's a pretty big deal!"

    ...So I've got a few weird speed of light things mixed into the cosmere, and that's one of them.