Recent entries

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4901 Copy

    Questioner

    So my dog's name is Vin. I was wondering if there was any sort of story behind that name and how you thought of it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wine in French. Because building the whole region off of French-sounding names—Kelsier and Demoux and things like that. And I just really like... the sound of it. I know it's kind of like a guy's name, but I just really like the sound of it.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4903 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we have to wait until the end of Stormlight Archive to learn about Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh yeeees.

    Questioner

    So like a dozen years.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You'll get little bits and pieces, but you won't get the whole thing until I do his trilogy, which is the next thing after Stormlight.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4906 Copy

    Questioner

    Can I ask you real quick: Where Warbreaker falls in Stormlight Achive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Warbreaker is before Stormlight Archive. Vasher, before Warbreaker, had been to Roshar.

    Questioner

    Okay, that's what I needed to know. Nightblood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood was patterned off of things that Vasher and the others saw on Roshar.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4913 Copy

    Questioner

    What's this sword's *points at replica of Jezrien's Honorblade* name? Do you have-- have you named Szeth's blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Various people have named the swords various things. I just-- I'm not going to canonize it right now, but it's had many names over the years...

    Questioner

    Can you give me one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I mean-- just "the Assassin's Blade."

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4915 Copy

    Questioner

    So, in Allomancy, most of the metals are in pairs, they're equal and opposite, pushing and pulling, Rioting, Soothing, that kind of thing. The god metals have always-- lerasium and atium, have always struck me as kind of unbalanced in a way. Like, lerasium gives you the power to use all these metals, plus atium being one of them. Is there a reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is, and it kinda has to do with Snapping and some of the fundamental rules of the Mistborn world and the fact that people have Preservation and Ruin inside of them and all these sorts of things. So, the answer is yes.

    Partially, narratively, I built that in partially just 'cause I wanted atium to seem odd in the placement, right, when people got to it it's like "What? Why is this one-- This one doesn't match the others. This doesn't really work." When I was building Mistborn, one of the big things I wanted was this idea of a periodic table that was, kind of a flawed construct, that, as you read the books, you came to understand better and better. And that was something I executed-- I don't think I executed that 100% right, but I'm pleased with the general concept and how it plays out. And so I wanted atium to stick out like a sore thumb.

    The other thing is, I knew I needed some good foreshadowing for Fortune, for people being able to kinda see the future or versions of the future, for the whole cosmere to work. And, so, I built in atium specifically to do those things. And I built in lerasium to have, kind of, the ultimate sort of benevolent endowment sort of thing. (Not Endowment the Shard, you know what I mean.) But I also wanted to show these two magics were intrinsically tied together on Scadrial because the way that humankind was created. We're getting into some deep stuff, I'll just leave it there. But that was what was going through my mind as I was building those things all out. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4917 Copy

    Questioner

    In Sixth of the Dusk, are the Ones Above Scadrians who invented faster-than-light travel? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I haven't-- I danced around answering that one, just because I don't quite want to get into it yet. I like the Ones Above being somewhat mysterious. But I have said it is someone you know, right? It is part of the cosmere in the very future. So you're not going to be surprised, because there's a limited number of options. But I haven't said-- 'cause I might do more in that world, and I just want to leave them mysterious for now. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4918 Copy

    Questioner

    [In Secret History] there was a key scene with a character named Drifter. And, uh, that was the first time that I felt like there was a sense of malevolence with this character. And I was curious if that's something that I should state with that punch? Or was this just a particular thing? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes. Drifter is an ancient entity who has very, very many sides and that is accurately one of them. That said, in that particular scene, there are certain personalities that play off of each other poorly, in real life and in books, and you happened to catch one that-- Drifter and this character do not-- Let's just say they rub each other the wrong way. But I would definitely say that is an aspect of his personality. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4919 Copy

    Questioner

    With Alloy of Law, with Wayne, how do you come up with that character? *laughter* And those things that he says? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yeah, Wayne's one of those characters. So, there are certain standards to which I hold almost all of my characters in my books. Wayne isn't one of them. He gets away with more.

    So, where'd Wayne come from? The original concept for Wayne was, when I was working on the Mistborn books-- For those who don't know, I originally pitched Mistborn to my editor, Moshe, as a trilogy of trilogies: Past, Present, Future. Epic fantasy trilogy, urban fantasy trilogy, science fiction trilogy, set in the same world, with advancing technology in which the magic becomes the foundation for space travel. And the original idea that the epic fantasy trilogy becomes the foundation of myth and religion in the modern day trilogy. So, I told him all this, and he said, "Wow. You're ambitious." This was after he had read Elantris and was trying to figure out what else to buy from me.

    And so, as I was working on The Stormlight Archive, I realized I wanted something from the Mistborn world to balance Stormlight, because Stormlight books are big and involved and take, like, years of writing to get done, and I didn't want to be alternating thick, long, books in two series, I kinda wanted to have a shorter, more fast-paced series to balance out the bigger, longer series. And so, the first thing I started doing, the first idea for Wayne, was a person whose personality changed based on hats he put on. And he was actually originally a hat maker. And I wrote, like, three pages of this, and he was just too kooky. He was great, but I was pouring too much into him. I needed: number one, to kinda pull back on the concept in that original; and number two, I needed multiple characters around him. By the way, he was riding around on a talking horse at that point, because he was a kandra.

    Yeah, it was a really weird scene. It was wacky. And that's when I said, "All right, I'm gonna sit down and write an actual novel, not just exploratory scenes." And that's where I built Wax and Wayne, and kind of, the play off of each other, and things like that. So, they kind of grew out of each other, and out of that first scene that I wrote. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4920 Copy

    Questioner

    From what we've seen so far, most of the Ideals of the Orders of the Knights Radiant have been in line with the Divine Attributes ascribed to them. Did the Divine Attributes come from the Ideals of the Knights Radiant? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    These two are heavily interconnected. And the Divine Attributes, like the Double Eye at the front, are more philosophy than they are strict, you know part of-- Rather than capital-T Truth revealed. And so a lot of social structures were built out of the things going on. So the answer is yes. Not 100% yes, but certainly those sorts of things are extrapolations that people were making, as opposed to core concepts of the magic. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4923 Copy

    Questioner

    ...At some point in the novel, there is a character who gets a certain, shall we say, powerup that falls in-line with many things that he, or she, already has. Is there, from an Investiture standpoint, is there a Compounding effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there will be. *laughter* If we're talking about the same individual.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4926 Copy

    Blightsong

    What did Ivory mean by the Skybreakers living in death? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ivory likes contradictions, they fascinate him. And he is saying that they live in death in that they kill a lot. It's a philosophical sort of thing. He's making an Ivory observation, it's not something you're supposed to take as a pronouncement of nature or reality. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4928 Copy

    Questioner

    So, what we see at the end, with the Unmade, and it seems like Jezrien, getting trapped in gems. Is that basically possible, because, they have been, particularly in the case of the Heralds, infused with so much Investiture that they're basically being trapped in the gems instead of Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're not human anymore, yeah. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4929 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Jasnah has the same shape appear around her as when she first appears out of Shadesmar at the end of that-- At the end of the second book, when she appears out of Shadesmar, she has the same shape appear around her as she does in the last battle, but we never see her do anything (this is about Transportation) And we saw people flying away beforehand. Can you-- Does Transportation allow you to push other people. Similar to Lashings, but kinda differently. I'm just wondering if you can use it on other people, basically? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can, but it's not what you’re thinking. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4935 Copy

    Argent

    Let's talk about Renarin, and Voidbinding. So, with that page we talked about, Renarin Voidbinds. I asked about visions, you pointed to Voidbinding chart, he Voidbinds. Is that using Stormlight to power abilities different from the Surgebindings we've seen?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. 

    Argent

    Is that what voidbinding is? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but close. You're on the right track. We are gonna get into that, I'm not gonna tell you what the chart means, and things like that. But yeah, something really weird is happening there. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4937 Copy

    Questioner

    If you were to choose a magic system between personalized magic, where each person has their own custom ability, versus one which is an overall thing with branches, which one would you think better? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, depends on the story you're trying to tell. They can both be really advantageous. They have their advantages and disadvantages. 

    Questioner

    But you personally, which one do you like better.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The branching. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4939 Copy

    Questioner

    So, if you could take, whether capture or talk into a Radiant spren from Roshar that was no longer bonded to a Radiant, from Roshar to Nalthis, could you bond that spren to an awakened object? Could you take a spren from Roshar and either force it to or talk it into bonding an awakened object on Nalthis? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh boy. That'd be really hard. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4942 Copy

    Questioner

    How does it feel being one of the primary fantasy authors with jealousy of your peers, even those who have written longer than you, because of your efficiency and your worldbuilding? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    It feels really weird. It feels really weird. It feels really great. We just got the sales numbers in for the third book, and they're pretty crazy. 

    Argent

    You doing OK? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm doing okay. We tripled the second book. *crowd woos* That was already #1 on the New York Times. Now that was #1 in, like, a January or a Febuary or something like that. We don't know if we'll even beat Lee Child or not tomorrow, but it's looking pretty good. It's pretty crazy. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4943 Copy

    Blightsong

    Are foci a cosmere-wide phenomenon, or are they kinda just a construction of people? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elaborate. 

    Blightsong

    A lot of people think that every magic system has foci? Is that true? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But, I think people are finding structure in-worlds that-- how should I say this. So, in some ways, some of these questions (this isn't just this one, but in general), you can ask something like "Do alien species fit into phylum and families and things like this." Well, yes, because we come up with the definitions. Right? So, a lot of these questions, like "Do they all have?" Well, yes, because human beings have come up with definitions to define these things and lump them together under definitions... There's a lot of things with the cosmere magic... is yes, because human beings have put that weight on it. It doesn't make it less true, but, at the same time it's not like, 1+1=2 is gonna exist whether or not humankind is there to define it, whether or not something fits into a genus or a species, whether these magic systems are related. Those are human constructions that are noticing real things. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4944 Copy

    Zmann966

    So, in Oathbringer, we see the Surge of Adhesion used in an interesting way, Spiritual Adhesion. Do all the Surges have non-Physical manifestations like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All the Surges do, slightly, in fact, but none of them, I would say, are as Spiritual as that. 

    Zmann966

    What about like, Shallan in Words of Radiance with her mercenaries? So, like, a Spiritual Transformation? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't say Transformation, she is seeing a little bit, glimpsing a little bit, does that make sense? 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4945 Copy

    Questioner

    From a certain series of books about a prison, by this one author, we learn that authors love to torture their audience. How many nights did you stay up giggling and cackling to yourself with glee over all of the things that happen in Oathbringer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is why I'm an insomniac, right? You're all gonna be miserable. A little fun thing here, when the book was going along, I thought "Maybe I should cut it after Part 3." I gave it to Karen, who's my continuity editor, and she said "If you cut it here, I will strangle you. The fans will not get a chance to do it, because I will do it."

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4947 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Can you tell us about Transportation? Is it like gates from Wheel of Time

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Elsecalling? No. But-- but yes. 

    Questioner 1

    *laughter* I meant, like, the whole-- Just the Surge?

    Questioner 2

    Does it go to the Cognitive Realm, is that all it does? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is the power by which they created the Oathgates... So, there is a little more to it than that. But yes, it's basically-- yeah.

    TWG Posts ()
    #4949 Copy

    DavidB

    Also, it seems to me like it would be more internally consistent if Awakened objects consumed Breath, to make all of these Breath-consuming powers in the last few chapters fit in better. So for example, if Vasher Awakened a shirt and left it Awakened and doing stuff for a day, then he might be down one-seventh of a breath when he took it back at the end of the day. (Of course, that mechanic requires it to be possible to transfer or Awaken with portions of a Breath, and if you could do that, then using the "putting the Breaths you don't want to transfer into a cloth until after the transfer" thing, you could feed the Returned by taking a tiny fraction of all the Halladren's breaths, instead of taking some people's entire Breaths and turning them into Drabs.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hum. I like that suggestion, actually. I think I'll use it. Though, what I'll do is say that if you leave the breath in for too long, one of them vanishes. If you can get them back quickly enough, however, there is no loss. That gives a bit of a better explanation of why there aren't a lot of awakened objects doing things all over the place. True, using the breath to make them would be initially expensive--but if you got a magic object that never winds down, then that might be worth the expense.