Recent entries

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4402 Copy

    Questioner

    On Roshar, we're very aware of... there's humans and non-human species. Is that a unique phenomenon to Roshar? Or do we see that on other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You do see that on other worlds. Dragonsteel has one, so Yolen has one. Of course, Scadrial has them, but they started as human, so it doesn't quite count. Everyone on Scadrial started as human, but now there's been some divergent things. Meddling. Other planets do have things like that, but most of the cosmere is human. Based... coming from the origins on Yolen. But there is at least one planet where there's no humans. And I'm not talking about Braize.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4404 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you think that a Skyrim game of Stormlight Archive...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Boy, I would love to make one. So, here's what I've been told. I don't know this industry well enough to say whether or not. I've been like, "Let's make Skyrim." They're like, "Skyrim was only profitable after it was out for four years, and its the most profitable game in that genre ever made." So, they're very worried about spending that much on a game. So, if we had a movie come out, yes. Until then, what you're more likely to see is something that feels open-world but isn't truly open-world. Like, something with an open-world hub that you go on missions through, is kinda like the closest we'll probably get if we do get a game made. That said, someone came and offered on an MMO for it recently, so I'm going to hear their pitch.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4405 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Mistborn books, there's no one who can do chromium Feruchemy. If there was someone who had both the Feruchemy and the Allomancy related to chromium, they could create infinite luck. So doesn't that mean they could just do whatever they wanted?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, we will deal with how exactly Fortune works in the cosmere at a later date. There's a reason I haven't shown somebody with it yet, because I'm saving that for later on. Let's just say that even the Terris people don't quite understand it, even during Era 2.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4406 Copy

    Questioner

    In Bands of Mourning, we learned that the Sovereign, who they confused as being the Lord Ruler, came after the Catacendre. [He] was their god, was their king and god. And then Kelsier looking for a string. Is the spike somehow connecting Kelsier's soul to Spook's body.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question. It is connecting his soul with his body, his current body, but it is not Spook's body. That's a great theory.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4407 Copy

    Questioner

    In all the Cosmere books, on all their worlds, the only thing <brazenly> different about the ecosystems than Earth are the things affected by magic. So, in one of the books, you mentioned, like, a dolphin. Why is everything the same?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there's an in-world answer and an out-of-world answer. The out-of-world answer is that every book has something we call a learning curve, so that is what makes it harder to get into the book. And learning curves, usually, if they're written well, have great payoffs, but also act like a brick wall when getting into your book. And so certain books, I have designed to have shallower learning curves, so you can focus on learning all these new characters, and the situations, and the political situation, but not have to learn entirely new terminology for the setting.

    In-world, most of these worlds were created by people or... who came from an original world. For instance, there was a planet that the gods from Scadrial (the planet of Mistborn), they came from this world, and they created what they had seen there. So the animal life there, they just created in their own world, because that was what they had a pattern for.

    So in-world, there's a reason, they're all connected. But you'll notice that some of the ones with the steeper learning curve are the ones that have the weirder world, and Way of Kings has the steepest.

    Questioner

    On Roshar, the only area that isn't affected by the Highstorms, Shinovar, is basically like Earth, where everything else has changed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That gives us a little bit of a frame of reference to contrast things with. There's some in-world things about that you'll learn eventually, but it gets us some ways for you to be like, "Oh. The grass looks like this because it is so different from the grass that this girl is pointing out. It's grass like ours." It's very helpful for establishing a conversation topic.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4408 Copy

    Questioner

    Hoid worldhops between places. How did he do it on Scadrial? With Ati's body?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there were two perpendicularities on Scadrial.

    Questioner

    I know he uses the pools, but how did he do it with Pits of Hathsin? There was no pool? The body was there...

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, it doesn't have to be going through the pool. What happens with a perpendicularity is, where there is a massive collection of Investiture, it pulls a conduit through. So, if you know what you're doing and where you are, you can get through that.

    Questioner

    So you don't have to use the pools, just where there's a huge concentration...

    Brandon Sanderson

    A huge concentration of Investiture will warp the realms.

    Questioner

    So can anyone worldhop that way, then? If they know what to do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they know what to do, in a perpendicularity, anyone should be able to get through there. But as proven with Raoden, if you don't know what it's supposed to do, nothing happens. He gets dumped int he pool, he thinks he's gonna die... nothing. So, it's more than just being there.

    Questioner

    That's how he went from the Physical to the Cognitive, so I was wondering how did he do that at the Pits of Hathsin, when there shouldn't be a pool there

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, that is the equivalent.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4413 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Shards know each others' weaknesses? Like the metal blindness or anything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not aware of every specific, but they know generalities.

    Questioner

    So they know that they do have weaknesses.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner

    So would Odium have taken advantage of Honor's weakness to Splinter him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could say that, yeah.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4414 Copy

    Questioner

    On the Roshar system diagram, each planet had the sigil of a certain Radiant. I was wondering why you did that

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're using Roshar itself as a frame of reference, and that is how people on Roshar have named the planets. And they can't see them all, I don't believe, but the naming convention sticks.

    Questioner

    And thats why you added the sigils?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. I don't think they've discovered them all on-planet, but since other people off-planet know about them... and in the old days, they knew about them all.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4415 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there some sort of dead Shardic power on Roshar that is manipulating everyone to be evil and, sort of testy, and stuff like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do you mean the Thrill?

    Questioner

    Yes, but not just the thrill. The way that they treat everything like a game.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is specific to Alethkar, in that region. That is mostly the fault of the Thrill. Like, if you go to Azir, they don't act the same way.

    Questioner

    So that's just a cultural thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a cultural thing enhanced magically by a certain ancient spren.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4417 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Rayse have a personal... or did he have a personal relationship with the other [Vessels] before the Shattering?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some of them, yes.

    Questioner

    So he doesn't personally know them all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He knows them all, but "having a relationship with" is different. They were all in the same place.

    Questioner

    He knows who they are but he doesn't necessarily interact with them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Not necessarily. They weren't part of a homogenous group before this happened.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4419 Copy

    Argent (paraphrased)

    Nazh writes that "spren fishing" is illegal in Ravizadth. What exactly is spren fishing?

    Isaac Stewart (paraphrased)

    It is the act of forcefully attracting spren in Shadesmar for your own purposes. For example, you know how when Adolin is genuinely afraid there, his fear attracts fearspren naturally? That's okay. But if someone were to engineer situations that would attract certain kinds of spren because they wanted to make use of those spren - for study, or other reasons - that would be "fishing". If spren have formal ethics, this would be unethical.

    Argent (paraphrased)

    So this has a lot to do with consent? Drawing spren naturally is part of how spren work, but forcing them to come, that's a no-no?

    Isaac Stewart (paraphrased)

    Pretty much.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4421 Copy

    Isaac Stewart (paraphrased)

    The Nalthis essay and star chart (similar to the ones Khriss put together for the other Shardworlds in Arcanum Unbounded) are in the works, but we don't know when we'll release them. Warbreaker's 10th anniversary next year is a good candidate, but it may happen even earlier.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4422 Copy

    Questioner

    It seems like we need a ton of Radiants since, like, yesterday. Are these ones gonna get really buff? Or is Lift gonna recruit? Are there lots of shoemakers and Lifts that haven't been found that are gonna come out of the woodwork?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some that haven't been found. That's part of the point of the interludes, is to show "This is happening other places."

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4426 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you having any cameos in the movies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they let me, I will do a cameo in each movie.

    Questioner

    Speaking part, or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, but who knows. What I've suggested to them is that they kill me in an imaginative way in each book as recompense for killing off characters.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4429 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm trying to figure out the chronology of the cosmere. The first thing that happened is with Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So far they are chronological order except for White Sand. And then the Alloy books are getting out of chronological order, we're jumping back and forth. But the first introduction of each book is chronological order, with the exception of flashbacks and things like that. But the actual main line of each book, chronological except for White Sand and the Alloy books.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4431 Copy

    Questioner

    With Vasher on Roshar, is he collecting more Breaths, or just burning through slowly what he has collected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He can use Stormlight instead. That's why he came to Roshar.

    Questioner

    Did he come voluntarily?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He came voluntarily because he was tired of sucking souls. Roshar is where he decided to "retire."

    Questioner

    How many Breaths <does he have now>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has the same number that he left with. Which, there are clues to what level of Heightening he at least has, in the books.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4433 Copy

    Questioner

    Axies the Collector, is he a kandra-like species? Are they common throughout the whole cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the Aimians reside on Roshar right now. They are... I would not say kandra-like, in that the other species of Aimian has more kandra-like qualities. There's two that used to live there, before it was Scoured. But they are a different species; they are not human.

    Questioner

    *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shapeshifters, there are multiple types of shapeshifters, but... even, you would call the Royal Locks a type of shapeshifting. So, shapeshifting is a common thing in the csomere. Having the ability... Once you know how the magic works, you will see why. So, there are other, kind of, species of shapeshifter.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4437 Copy

    Questioner

    Hoid. Does he show up in Sixth of the Dusk?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is not in Sixth of the Dusk. I kind of made the little rule to myself that I should not just try to shoehorn him in to everything. On a thing like Sixth of the Dusk, there's no reason for him to be there. In fact, it would be really hard for him to get there. Even harder. So, he's not in Shadows for Silence either.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4439 Copy

    Questioner

    Elend and Kelsier's relationship, what would it be like? I was thinking it would be, like, playful annoyed exasperation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier would have really come around on Elend, is my instinct. Partially because Elend came around on Kelsier. If you read the later books, he really understands a little more. He's much more of a realist than he used to be. Which Kelsier would appreciate. I would imagine that Elend would be a little frustrated with Kelsier. But Kelsier would just start treating him like a minion, rather than someone to... And that's a sign of affection. If he orders you around, that's a sign of affection.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4441 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Teft going to become a squire?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, the next book will involve all of Bridge Four trying very hard. But, I can't promise that anyone specifically... but, Teft has had a viewpoint in the first book. Teft did get his viewpoint in the second book. He will have one in the third book, also.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4442 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned that you're not doing another Emperor's Soul book. I wanted to know, what would or did happen if [Shai] ever tracks down the Imperial Fool?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you might see her again in books. She did eventually track him down. So, I might include her in books. I won't write a sequel story to Emperor's Soul, but you have not seen the last of Shai. You will see cameos. And it's entirely possibly I will sneak one into a book somewhere, or something like a scene. She did eventually track him down.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4443 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a particular period of history you feel influences your writing a lot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, early 1900s.

    Questioner

    Specifically America, or global?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Global. But, you now, America obviously is gonna have a big influence. It really starts for me, Renaissance through industrial revolution, to the beginnings of the modern era. Because, the idea of science being something wonderful that you can study, that is a big part... like, Newton believed alchemy was real, and tried to apply science to it, and couldn't make it work. That sort of thing is really cool to me. That era, moving into the modern era, where science is, like, a wonderful thing that people are discovering, is really cool to me. I'd say that's my biggest influence. I remember reading an essay by somebody who studied ditch-digging in 1910. And had been, the science of ditch-digging, and applied it to ditch-diggers and taught them to ditch-dig better, and how science can help a person dig ditches. Like, everyone's life was improved by science. That's a really cool era to me.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4444 Copy

    Isaac Stewart

    The symbolism [of the Threnody symbol] here has a lot to do with the star system. The three rules, right? I'm not gonna spill it out here. There's the three rules. So, each of these symbols has something to do with the three rules, and also different things that are found in the sky. I'll give you one of them. The eye is the sign of Purity. And then, I'd might as well. This is silver. This stands for "Do not run." And this one is the blood. Which, there are stars in the sky that are red there, so that's the star.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4445 Copy

    Questioner

    I asked about The Lopen, and it was a public Q&A, so I was trying not to be spoilery. But some of the things he said at the end of Words of Radiance, where he knew a lot about background processes. I asked if I should be suspicious of it, and you said, "Yes." Was that in reference to him becoming the king, that you revealed? Or is it because of something else that he knows about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Background processes of...?

    Questioner

    It seemed he knew more about the squires, the process of being squires

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Lopen. Lopen knowing more. No, that's not about being the king. You are supposed to be suspicious of it because Lopen has been paying a lot of attention. He didn't have foreknowledge. It was completely accidental he ended up in Bridge Four. But once he did, he decided, "I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna learn about it." And he has been the one actively pursuing becoming a full Knight Radiant. He's the only one of the team who's actively been doing that. That's why you are supposed to be suspicious. There's not an ulterior motive. He is proactive.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4446 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we see the Moon Scepter again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I intend for you to see it again. But I've already said what it does, I believe. It's a Rosetta Stone for the different symbols on [the world of] Elantris that mean different things.

    Questioner

    So, it's more specific to Sel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's specific to Sel, it's specific to understanding the magics on Sel. It helps figure out how the different magic systems do the different things they do on Sel. So, it does have Aons along one side of it. You probably will see it again, but it will probably be in cameo. Hoid got the information he needed off of it, from that.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4447 Copy

    Questioner

    So, there's a line in Elantris that has always fascinated me. Raoden is reading really old books, and he says that some of these books mention words such as "frequency" and "pulse length." I'm a physics major, this reminds me a lot of quantum physics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it does!

    Questioner

    So, my question is, how much is quantum physics a part of the magic in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's the thing. I don't know quantum physics well enough. That's a rabbit hole; I am an armchair scientist, I do not have a degree in physics. And so, while I really like it, I build it in... When I'm doing this, what I usually do is I build in cosmere versions, so I can't be held accountable to getting some little thing wrong. So, yes, quantum physics is important. But, in some ways, some of the things in the cosmere are more like the pop science version of quantum physics, what everyone thinks quantum physics is but really isn't, are actually some of the things in the cosmere. The fun, awesome version of quantum physics. I try to make some of it as accurate as I can, not having a physics degree. But I have to be aware that... I am not writing science fiction, I'm writing fantasy, so there will be things that you're like, "That's not quite right," but it works in the cosmere.

    Questioner

    Anywhere I should keep my eye out for more stuff like that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Words of Radiance... when was the interlude, is it in the first book? The spren, they took their measurements. That's part of it. We're gonna have, just, little things like that around that are relevant, but I'm not gonna dig into it deeply until [Mistborn] Era 4, probably.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4448 Copy

    Questioner

    Kelsier talks about a myth that seems similar to ours, about the grand maze of Ishathon, which seems to parallel to the labyrnth myth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are certain things from being a student of folklore, I know about certain myths that show up multiple times in different cultures, and I know how frequently myths show up in different cultures. So, I will frequently add in cosmere versions of these myths, knowing that different cultures on our world have spawned them independently, feeling it's likely they would spawn on-world in the cosmere. So, when you see a Cinderella myth, if I ever use it, which is the single most common myth throughout all cultures. I'm not saying "Oh, someone's been to Earth and found Cinderella." I'm saying, "People have developed this myth independently." But, yes, that is coming from my folklore background.

    Questioner

    Is it a Scadrial-specific myth, or is it a kind of a cosmere cosmere...

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one, in specific, I believe is Scadrial-specific.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #4449 Copy

    Questioner

    Given Sanderson's Laws about limitations...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    What would you say are any spiritual, cognitive, and or physical limitations to a Returned's healing ability?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That they can do it once.

    Questioner

    That they can do it once, and that's it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, right? The Returned get one heal and then they die. That's a pretty big limitation. Like you have to choose really well. However, what they can heal is bounded by cosmere limitations on healing, but it is a supercharged version.

    Questioner

    Okay. Could you define more cosmere limitations on healing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cosmere limitations on healing can be affected by your own perception.

    Questioner

    Okay. Cognitive stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cognitive stuff. And so there's a part of that, and... But that's really-- cognitive interferes. And if your spirit is gone? Right? Cosmere healing, you know, if your spirit is passed on you just get a dead body even though you've healed it.

    Questioner

    So potentially Vasher, having a much greater cosmere knowledge than others could potentially have a much greater usage of that healing than regular--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well the healing-- What I mean by that is yourself. You impose limits. So the person being healed can impose some limits on the healing working. It doesn't happen as often as I'm making it sound. But, you know-- why Kaladin's scars have not healed, right? So Kaladin being hit by a Returned would still not heal his scars. He's got a major hangup about those scars.

    Footnote: The questioner seems to have been asking about cosmere healing in general for Returned, but Brandon focused on their ability to give up their Divine Breath to heal somebody else.
    Orem signing ()
    #4450 Copy

    Questioner

    So, with Apocalypse Guard being pseudo-shelved, and now Dan Wells being brought on as a co-author. A) How cool is that, and B) Is it, like, from the ground-up restructuring co-writing? Or is he coming in as, like, a super-editor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, what happened, for those who don't know, I wrote Apocalypse Guard, somewhat connected to The Reckoners books. That was my project for last summer. And to catch you up to speed, it didn't turn out. Like, I finished the whole book, and there are some really good parts to this book. But the book didn't work; some of the characters were off, some of the art was off. And I beat my head against the wall for a good month and a half trying to do revisions. And every revision I tried made it worse. And that's when I shelved the book. And I shelved the book and I started working on Skyward. This still happens to me. If you're a newer writer, and you're like "Wow, my book just didn't turn out," well,it happens to all of us. And then I did get the bright idea, it was about a month later, I'm like, "Who's the best author I know? It's Dan! Dan is the best author that I know." So I just called him, and I said, "Dan, is this something you would even consider? I would hand the book completely off to you, let you have it for, like, six months or a year. Do whatever you feel like you need to make it work, come back to me, and then we will write some sequels. Either I'll write one and you'll write one, or something like that. We'll collaborate on an entire trilogy." Because I've always wanted to do something with Dan. And this felt like a good place, because I couldn't get the book to work.

    He was super enthusiastic. He's like, "Yeah, it sounds like fun." Dan likes weird things, this is a weird thing. Like, I'd never heard of someone doing this before. So, Dan took it, and he came back. We did a meeting over dinner, where I'm like, "Well?" He listed off-- All the stuff I also thought was broken, he thought was broken. He picked them out himself, he's like, "This character doesn't work, and this is--" So I'm like, "What do we do?" And so we just brainstormed for a while on what to do. And I'm kind of just letting Dan do his thing. It's not super-editor, like, he's ripping out entire chapters and rewriting them, things like that. Like, then there's one character who's just been ripped out of the story and a new one put in their place. Stuff like that. Total, takes the sledgehammer and goes to work on it. But, of course, preserving some of the stuff I think works the best. So, I haven't seen-- I've seen him with the sledgehammer, and he says "What about this?" I'm like, "I don't think that's a load-bearing wall." He's like, "Great," BAM. I'm like, "I hope this looks good when we come back." But it can't look worse than it did.

    So, I'm not sure, still. Kind of, our thing on that is that, we're gonna sign a contract-- We haven't even signed contracts yet, he's just doing it. When we sign a contract, it will be like, we'll put a date in there that we think he'll turn it back to me, and a date I'll turn it back to him, and we'll see. I'm really excited, though. Finally being able to work with Dan, and finding this way to fix a story-- I'm excited.