Okay! In an attempt to do a better signing report, I live tweeted most of it. I missed a lot of questions in the Q&A section, but none of the questions I missed had any relation to the comsere. There’s a good chance a recording of it will come out, as the person next to me was recording, but I failed to ask whether they were recording for themself or for a group like 17s.
So, onto the actual report! *looks at livetweet* holy smokes, batman! That’s a lot of tweets!
Brandon’s lecture: Brandon discussed his trip to Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates. Basically, he went there because he got a free trip to go to a place he’d never been. He had no idea if there would be people actually lining up to to to a signing of his, but there were definitely plenty of fans of his books. He then moved this to the topic of the Koreans, and their relationship with the Chinese written language. Apparently, the reason the Koreans have an alphabet is because one of the kings decided he wanted a language that the commoners could easily learn, to increase the literacy of his countries. So, he had a group of secret scholars who helped him write a new written language, presented it to the council thing, and they were all “noooo we can’t have an easy written language, then the commoners won’t be as obvious because of literacy!” but the language came into use. Despite several attempts to illegalize it.
Brandon then went on to say that this theme, the theme of the elite trying to silence the common folk, was common throughout history, and that our nerd culture is doing this. The elitism of the nerd community was harmful to both women and to newcomers, and that made him really sad. So he made a plea to us that we stop and think before we shame other people within nerd communities for our love of nerdy things. He says this does not mean we should stop criticizing literature or games, just that the community needs to be more accepting.
Q&A: Like I said, I did not record most of the Q&A. There were some of the regular questions I see every signing. Who’s your favorite character, for example. The two questions I do remember are mine, and the question of the guy standing next to me, as both were somewhat cosmere related.
I asked if there were storms on Roshar other than the Highstorms and the Weepings. He said that there were, but that Highstorms dominated the weather patterns so much that they were few and far between. They are more common the further west you go, but they don’t get much stronger than San Diego storms. On top of that, they are most frequent in Roshar’s “summer”, as the Highstorms are less frequent.
The guy next to me asked if humans were all created on Scadrial. Now, I thought I knew this answer. Then Brandon through a curveball.
Humans did not all originate from Yolen.
Sure, all the cosmere important humans did. However, Brandon specifically said that there were humans on other plants as well as Yolen. This is fascinating to me, as I did not know this before. I thought all human evolution stuff had happened on Yolen.
Reading: You may have heard this already from previous reports, but Brandon has asked that no record be made public of his readings for this tour until the end of the tour. As such, I will not say anything about it, except to say this: If you are on the fence about going to a signing, then you should definitely go to the signing. It is worth it.
My signing: So I was 92 in line. Got to talk to some people about Hoid, and got to introduce a couple of others to the greater cosmere stuffs.
I wore my mistcloak. Brandon took my picture, and I may end up on his blog. I’m really happy about this.
Onto my questions.
I first asked Brandon if crem was made out of calcium carbonate. He said no, that it was a darker material, and wouldn’t directly correlate to any rocks on Earth. I followed up by asking where it comes from. His response: “That’s one of the greater mysteries. Far in the future, scientists on Roshar will start asking that same question.” He then did that face he always does when he’s being mysterious. As usual, it was glorious.
I asked if Highstorms have rotation, noting that the way they’re described, they do not sound like storms on Earth. He said that they do not, and that they are unlike Earth storms in their structure. They do not have an eye, unless you count going to see the Stormfather in them.
He was impressed that I asked this question, so I told him that I have an earth science background, and that he would possibly get more questions like this in England, relating more to the geology of Roshar. Despite me not asking a question about this specifically, he told me that the entire planet of Roshar is on a single plate. Roshar, he said, was specifically sculpted to look the way it does. It will also not last forever, due to erosion and deposition.
I asked if a person who had enough spikes to have all the allomantic powers would be considered a Mistborn. Brandon said that they probably would be called a Mistborn.
Finally, I asked about neurodivergence in the cosmere. First I asked if Steris is autistic. Brandon said she is definitely on the spectrum, but more toward where Asperger’s used to be. Not nearly as far along in the spectrum as Renarin. I asked if Wayne has PTSD, to which he said he absolutely does.
I thanked him for his time, and also thanked him for putting me in The Wheel of Time, and that was the end of my San Diego Signing for Shadows of Self.