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Fall Progress Update

Social Media Total: 100% (2211/2211)
Theoryland Review: 84% (997/1184)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)


It'll be clear by September,

So, turns out it was not clear by September. And it's not really clear by October, either. Such is life. But do have enough free time to get back on top of WoBs; Arcanum is completely up to date on the latest stuff, Theoryland review is well on its way to being done (I expect it will be completely done by the time Rhythm of War comes out), and I'm planning to use some of my eventual downtime to churn through the Events and Signings review by the end of the calendar year, if not sooner.

In terms of the Theoryland review, I've got about fifteen WoBs so far I'm on the fence about; kinda vague or very slightly useful stuff that were initially excluded, and which I may or may not put into Miscellaneous events. They're mostly sentence-length excerpts from interviews that are mostly canned answers, and I need to do a little bit of work to see if we've got their topics covered sufficiently well. So you may see a little bump of really old stuff heading into Arcanum, soon.

I'm intrigued to see how the release party events will go, in terms of work required. Previous signing tours would have quite a bit of audio, like 30-40 hours worth in total, but a very small fraction of that would be actual WoBs. But this format will encourage questions more so than a live signing; it's not like half the livestream "questions" will be "wow it's such an honor to meet you" like a real signing line would be. So the actual transcription work may take a lot longer.

I'm excited to get this review completely done and be able to personally vouch for Arcanum to be comprehensive as possible. If you told me in 2017 that I'd still be working on this in 2020, I'd be like "wow what a slacker I turned out to be," which is kind of true. I'm looking forward to coming up with some new projects for myself once it's done, for sure. But for the time being, gotta finish up the old stuff, and the Rhythm of War release is a pretty good soft target for that. Don't think I'll make it, but that's okay. I'll have it done for sure by Stormlight Five.


Social Media Total: 100% (2159/2160)
Theoryland Review: 40% (473/1184)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

I'm still here, trucking along. I spent some time away playing video games and reading Star Wars books and writing fanfiction to celebrate my 2000th post, but now I'm back with a vengeance. I'd left quite a bit of backlog on the Livestream transcriptions, but nobody else was really going for those even after 6 months, so now I'll try to stay a little more on top of them. The Theoryland review might looks like it's moving along quickly, but out of those 400-odd events I've reviewed, only three of them had anything to check in Arcanum. There are a lot of casual interviews with Brandon, and they gave each blog post its own page (and since I've reviewed all the blogs already, I'm just skipping over all of those in Theoryland).

I am about to get dragged away for about two months; very busy times at work, but I knew they were coming. It'll be clear by September, so I'll be back in full swing on the forums by the time RoW rolls around. We'll see how far I get in Theoryland over this time; I'm not making it a priority, but I'll crank away on events in the background if I'm watching a show, or something.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (109/109), Peter 100% (115/115), Isaac 100% (115/115), Ben 100% (104/104)
Reddit 100%: Brandon 100% (138/138), Peter 100% (111/111), Isaac 100% (29/29), Ben 100% (92/92), Adam 100% (20/20), Store 100% (10/10)
Twitter 100%: Brandon 100% (131/131), Peter 100% (131/131), Isaac 100% (138/138), Kara 100% (119/119), Karen 100% (109/109), Adam 100% (62/62)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (217/218)

Social Media Total: 100% (2085/2090)
Theoryland Review: 12% (137/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have officially finished Social Media for the second time. (We'll see if I have to finish it a third time; I posted on the Facebook help forums if anyone knows how to stalk through a user's full comment history, but I haven't heard anything back yet. If I manage to turn anything up, I will reopen the ticket, of course.

I'll keep on trucking through a Theoryland review. I don't expect there to be a lot; outside of maybe one event, this should have all been imported already. And unlike social media posts, I won't be skimming past if stuff isn't relevant; I'll be considering everything relevant, since I'm also quite interested in the Wheel of Time content. This will move slow; I don't think I'll be making monthly reports. I'll think about if there's anything different I'll want to do with this blog instead, and I'd be able to throw a progress percentage at the end of that.

But for now, here's the last social media update backlog WoB:


Peter Ahlstrom

There are many reasons that not much of Way of Kings Prime has been made public. I think the most important is that it spoils book 6

General Twitter 2014 (March 19, 2014)

This is interesting, since we may be getting WoKP before Stormlight Six (or even Stormlight Four); in one of the recent YouTube AMAs, Brandon said they were looking to distribute it as a Kickstarter reward. Although on the most recent one, it sounded like it would be a print edition; they talked about including Brandon's original MSPaint maps (which I presume are the ones found here: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/255/#e7116 if they were at a good enough resolution to print out. So maybe it won't be delivered until after Book Four is out, anyways. But that's still before book Six, anyways.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (108/108), Peter 100% (114/114), Isaac 100% (114/114), Ben 100% (103/103)
Reddit 100%: Brandon 100% (137/137), Peter 100% (110/110), Isaac 100% (28/28), Ben 100% (91/91), Adam 100% (19/19), Store 100% (9/9)
Twitter 67%: Brandon 100% (130/130), Peter 54% (70/130), Isaac 56% (77/137), Kara 69% (82/118), Karen 67% (72/108), Adam 41% (25/61)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (217/217)

Social Media Total: 89% (1842/2070)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

Still plugging away. I wasn't able to knock out a ton this month; the YouTube livestreams sucked up a lot of my time. I wound up listening to all of them twice, essentially; once live to experience them, and once to snip them in Arcanum. So that's over 20 hours of time sucked up by that this month. I've wound up working through all the Twitter backlog while I've had a movie playing on my other computer screen (which is a classic tactic of mine), and I've been doing about six months in a 2 hour movie. Looking at the stats above, I've got 60 months left to check, so I may very well have had it done if it weren't for these livestreams.

I wanted to have this all done by the end of the calendar year, and it feels like that goal is moving back like it's Wax and Wayne 4. (Heyo.) Eventually, I'll be done, and get to my Theoryland and Events&Signings review, but there are known gaps. It was recently brought to my attention that there are some paraphrased reports from a thread that didn't make it into Arcanum.

So feel free to help me out and do some reviews on your own, if you want. (I haven't had a chance to put this thread into Arcanum, for example.) I'll do it anyways, but it's not like I've called dibs and no one else can take a look and validate the content.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (107/107), Peter 100% (113/113), Isaac 100% (113/113), Ben 100% (102/102)
Reddit 100%: Brandon 100% (136/136), Peter 100% (109/109), Isaac 100% (27/27), Ben 100% (90/90), Adam 100% (18/18), Store 100% (8/8)
Twitter 59%: Brandon 100% (129/129), Peter 44% (57/129), Isaac 47% (64/136), Kara 59% (69/117), Karen 55% (59/107), Adam 40% (24/60)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (216/216)

Social Media Total: 87% (1778/2054)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

I was not able to put Twitter away this month, between holidays and work and getting sick. I made more progress than it looks like - you'll see Kara (the store manager) and Karen (the continuity editor) are on there now. Neither have been active in years, and their early activity looks to be all personal stuff, but I'll put them on the list, anyways.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (106/106), Peter 100% (112/112), Isaac 100% (112/112), Ben 100% (101/101)
Reddit 100%: Brandon 100% (135/135), Peter 100% (108/108), Isaac 100% (26/26), Ben 100% (89/89), Adam 100% (17/17), Store 100% (7/7)
Twitter 56%: Brandon 100% (128/128), Peter 36% (46/128), Isaac 39% (53/135), Adam 39% (23/59)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (215/215)

Social Media Total: 89% (1616/1816)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

Reddit's done. I missed, like, one or two little things from Ben, but now I'm up to date.

Twitter itself actually has a pretty robust advanced search, once you figure out how to ask it nicely. So I threw in Peter, Isaac, and Adam all into an advanced search, so those will all three begin to tick up together. (As soon as we catch up to Adam. He was a latecomer to Twitter.) I'm hoping to get Twitter finished by the end of the year. We'll see how much I get pulled away to work on the Starsight signing and other Arcanum projects.

Once Twitter's done, I'll probably take a bit of a break from the review, do some other projects. I plan on investigating Facebook, seeing if there's a good way to stalk someone. Might try to reach out to customer service or something, try to frame it as a "research project." Eventually, I'll get back to Theoryland; I hear they're going to go through an upgrade soon, so I should probably do my discount double-check soon in case the interview database goes down.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (105/105), Peter 100% (111/111), Isaac 100% (111/111), Ben 100% (100/100)
Reddit 92%: Brandon 100% (134/134), Peter 100% (107/107), Isaac 100% (25/25), Ben 65% (57/88), Adam 100% (16/16), Store 100% (6/6)
Twitter 43%: Brandon 100% (127/127), Peter 17% (22/127), Isaac 16% (22/134), Adam 38% (22/58)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (214/214)

Social Media Total: 84% (1518/1802)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

I made better promise than it looks like, I promise. I'm current on Ben's Reddit history, finally. But... I realized that the interface I was using changed at some point, and it was automatically truncated results past 100 for each month. I know it wasn't when I was looking at Brandon or Peter, and Isaac and Adam don't have enough activity for it to matter. But Ben's got quite a few months with over 100 comments (or 200, or 300), so I'm going to go back and double-check a bunch of them, see if I missed anything.

Once that's done, I'll probably crank along with Twitter. Should be less work than Reddit; everyone seems much less active on there. I think I've got a good site saved somewhere in my bookmarks for Twitter archiving, I'll try to dig that up. I don't think I'll get that done by the end of the calendar year; I've got a couple of non-Arcanum projects I'd like to get through (theories and reading guides and the like) before Stormlight Four comes out, so I don't expect to dive into the Theoryland review or the E&S forum review. They'll get done eventually; we're in no rush, after all. But I do believe I'll have Reddit completely up-to-date by my last progress update of 2019.

For the update WoB, I'll share something of Ben's I didn't actually add. He caused a bit of a stir recently, sharing a theory he had about Lift's boon/curse and now the Old Magic and Nahel bonds interfere. It's not actually new; he's talked about it multiple times before. One of the other instances, here's what he said:



Well, I forgot to save the link, so I can't actually quote it. Sorry to fake you out. But here's the summary: closer to when OB came out, he presented the same views, explicitly labeling them as a theory. This latest 'incident,' he said it quite authoritatively, but no more so than anyone on this forum will assert their own theories. That's always the balance to strike with putting Peter, Isaac, and Brandon into Arcanum; when are they speaking as an authority, and when are they speaking as a confident fan? It's often a judgment call on my part, to try to figure out exactly where they take off one hat and put another one on.

Do I get it right all the time? Of course I do. Give me some credit. If you think I don't... well, I can point you towards some helpful websites, and you can double-check my work!


The other good Reddit comment I saw from Ben was him saying he's not on Twitter. Which is good; I don't have to worry about him on that platform. I hadn't been including him in my Twitter stats because I thought I just couldn't find it; but now I know the account doesn't exist at all.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (104/104), Peter 100% (110/110), Isaac 100% (110/110), Ben 100% (99/99)
Reddit 91%: Brandon 100% (133/133), Peter 100% (106/106), Isaac 100% (24/24), Ben 62% (54/87), Adam 100% (15/15), Store 100% (5/5)
Twitter 43%: Brandon 100% (126/126), Peter 17% (21/126), Isaac 16% (21/133), Adam 37% (21/57)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (213/213)

Social Media Total: 84% (1502/1788)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

Cranking along on Ben's Reddit account. Also, I know I say that Isaac's at 100%, but that's because he was considerate enough to start his recent AMA on October 1st, leaving my metrics unaffected. But he did add well over a hundred new Reddit comments, most of which haven't been put into Arcanum yet. So if any of you reading this are looking for some work, you can go track that down.

Here's probably the most interesting thing of Ben's that I've added recently:



Possibility of a Stormlight Encyclopedia?

Just wondering when/if you think one of these will be made?I'm already just so...mentally torn apart trying to keep all the tiny details and nuances in my head, not just about cosmere stuff, but specific functions of spren, heralds and their secrets, voidbringers, parshendi culture, and all the other secrets, hints, tiny details, etc. So, maybe after the first 5 are finished or at least by the publication of the 10th we could get an encyclopedia of terms, maps, etc? Or maybe even just a Sanderson Encylopedia? Thoughts?

Ben McSweeney

Hopefully I'm not speaking out of school, but this is a topic close to my heart, and occasionally someone asks about it at conventions or online.

A companion book will almost certainly happen at some point, because there's a wealth of unpublished content that's collecting as the series is produced, and a companion book seems like the best way to make use of that additional material beyond it's actual purpose (serving as constructive steps on the way to the published work).

It will almost certainly not happen before the mid-point break. May not happen until the end, but based on the first two books I feel confident that we'll have plenty of material to make a good companion by the halfway mark... it will depend on the market demand when we reach that point, and various factors that can't be predicted until we're near that time will determine it's shape and content.

I would like to see it happen concurrently with Book V (last book of the current arc), to capitalize on market presence at the time of publication, but we'll see what happens in a few years. In the meantime, the archive continues to grow.

General Reddit 2014 (Sept. 29, 2014)

A good chunk of what I'm adding from Ben is stuff that would go along with a companion book; all kinds of ecological details that inform the artists. There's definitely enough information generated to fill such a book.

Hmm. I wonder whatever happened to the art book that was supposed to accompany the Kaladin music album. There was a "Part 1" update back in June, saying that update Part 2 was coming the next week.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (103/103), Peter 100% (109/109), Isaac 100% (109/109), Ben 100% (98/98)
Reddit 78%: Brandon 99% (131/132), Peter 99% (104/105), Isaac 96% (22/23), Ben 10% (9/86), Adam 93% (13/14), Store 75% (3/4)
Twitter 41%: Brandon 99% (124/125), Peter 15% (19/125), Isaac 14% (19/132), Adam 34% (19/56)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (211/212)

Social Media Total: 81% (1435/1774)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

It might look like I got nothing done, but that's not true. I have a whole bunch of stuff on-deck and ready to get added, but then entry addition got a teensy weensy bit broken. But it'll be better soon. I've got Ben's Reddit review beyond the 50% mark. Here's a preview of one I've got yet to add about the safehand:


Ben McSweeney

More like seeing a woman with her hair uncovered. Intimate, but not by nature sexual. I mean, sure, everyone's got a thing, but Vorin society as a whole does not view the safehand as a sexual thing so much as a propriety thing.

SOURCE: I asked Brandon about this way back at the beginning.


Y'all can calm down about it, now.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (102/102), Peter 100% (108/108), Isaac 100% (108/108), Ben 100% (97/97)
Reddit 79%: Brandon 100% (131/131), Peter 100% (104/104), Isaac 100% (22/22), Ben 11% (9/85), Adam 100% (13/13), Store 100% (3/3)
Twitter 42%: Brandon 100% (124/124), Peter 15% (19/124), Isaac 15% (19/131), Adam 35% (19/55)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (211/211)

Social Media Total: 81% (1431/1760)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

And just like that, we're back on target. Back to slogging through Ben's Reddit posts. This guy sure loves video games.

I've only added one post so far:



If there are very few birds in Roshar, what do all those Alethi and Parshendi archers use to fletch their arrows?

Ben McSweeney

Rockbud leaves of a certain type are used on a lot of common arrows. I believe we discussed paper as another option. Very expensive arrows might use chicken feathers.

General Reddit 2012 (Dec. 30, 2012)

And, ironically enough, I also recently added this from Brandon



What the hell do the majority of armies use as fletching for their arrows? Like we’ve seen that the Horneaters use Goose Feathers but the majority of places minus the Shin lands don’t have Chickens or any feathered beasts so what do they use instead to stabilize their arrows?

Like light shell bits? Or are arrows just incredibly expensive?

Brandon Sanderson

They use a plant material that works pretty well, comes from a fan-like plant that's pretty common around Roshar.

General Reddit 2019 (Aug. 2, 2019)

This is what it's all about, boys and girls. All this stuff, these little bits, that have been lost and have to get asked again. Gives me the motivation to keep cranking. Because even the minutia is still relevant six and a half years later.


TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (102/102), Peter 100% (108/108), Isaac 100% (108/108), Ben 100% (97/97)
Reddit 72%: Brandon 100% (131/131), Peter 95% (99/104), Isaac 77% (17/22), Ben 0% (0/85), Adam 62% (8/13)
Twitter 37%: Brandon 96% (119/124), Peter 11% (14/124), Isaac 11% (14/131), Adam 25% (14/55)
Blog 98%: Brandon 98% (206/211)

Social Media Total: 79% (1382/1760)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

A very busy summer caught me kind of unexpected. I'm currently catching up on the past six months or so of social media updates, before I can get back to working on the backlog.

Here was a pretty cool thing Brandon said about the Iri recently:



So ever since I read your various tantalizing tit-bits about the Iriali being not native to Roshar, I've been incredibly curious about this especially considering that the other humans of Roshar all originate from a different singular source, Ashyn (unless there were more migrations that I'm forgetting). Are we going to get more info on this in the near future? Is there anything, even a tiny crumb, that you could possibly drop for us now?

Brandon Sanderson

The Iriali story is one you should expect to be continued during the space age of the cosmere, not in current storylines.


What about characters who are interested with cosmology in current storylines? Like Dalinar who certainly wants to seek answers about the universe. Do you plan to write more of it in future novels of current series or this is a stuff for future series with defferent set of characters?

Brandon Sanderson

The further we move in the Cosmere, the more these stories will become relevant. We're moving from the world of them just being cameos into the world of them being small (but important) sub-plots. They will evolve from there.

General Reddit 2019 (May 28, 2019)



TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 99%: Brandon 99% (97/98), Peter 99% (103/104), Isaac 99% (103/104), Ben 99% (92/93)
Reddit 75%: Brandon 99% (126/127), Peter 99% (99/100), Isaac 94% (17/18), Ben 0% (0/81), Adam 89% (8/9)
Twitter 39%: Brandon 99% (119/120), Peter 12% (14/120), Isaac 11% (14/127), Adam 27% (14/51)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (206/207)

Social Media Total: 80% (1357/1704)
Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

Made it a ways through Theoryland this month. Didn't get to any of Brandon's stuff. And I'm not able to make it out to JordanCon, so I didn't push too hard to try to get through it. I also knocked out Isaac's and Adam's Reddit histories, which were both extremely small, and had nothing new added.

Turns out, Ben has, like, 10,000 comments on Reddit, more than everybody else combined. He uses it more as a personal platform, so the vast, vast majority is unrelated to the Cosmere, and a good chunk of what's actually about the Cosmere is just him being a fan (and thus won't get added to Arcanum). But, for the sake of being thorough, I'm still gonna put eyes on each and every one of those posts, make sure there's nothing useful in there that's missing. So that might hold me up for a little bit.

Since I didn't add any new WoBs this month from the review, I have nothing to share this update. Sorry! I don't like it any more than you do.


We're about to wrap up the Social Media part of the review. Getting pretty close.

TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (97/97), Peter 100% (103/103), Isaac 100% (103/103), Ben 100% (92/92)
Reddit 68%: Brandon 100% (126/126), Peter 100% (99/99), Isaac 0% (0/17), Ben 0% (0/80), Adam 0% (0/8)
Twitter 39%: Brandon 100% (119/119), Peter 12% (14/119), Isaac 11% (14/126), Adam 28% (14/50)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (206/206)

Social Media Total: 79% (1332/1690)
Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

I don't expect Reddit will take much longer. Isaac and Adam don't use it a ton, and while I haven't looked at Ben's comment total yet, I don't expect there'll be too much worth adding. Next step will be finding a good Twitter archive. I'm pretty sure I found one a while back and saved a link. For Brandon's, I had been using the one his assistants maintain. But they don't include anyone else's Twitter accounts in there, so I'll have to find a third-party archive, or leave my computer open for months while I scroll through. I'm sure there's something out there, though.

I'm thinking of pausing on social media for a month or two, though, and jumping over to the Theoryland review. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go to JordanCon this year, but if I do, I'd like to be up to speed on the Wheel of Time stuff. So I'd be multitasking; catching up on WoT tidbits, and making sure any of Brandon's non-WoT stuff has been carried over.

As far as Peter's Reddit comments, when it was all said and done I added 22 items to Arcanum between this month and last month. You'll find them scattered around in General Reddit events. A good chunk of them are super niche stuff, or only added for historical purposes. But the one I found most interesting was the following:



I'm currently on a reread of WoK and in chapter 57 Hoid says to Kaladin: "I've many [names]. I began life as a thought, a concept, words on a page. That was another thing I stole. Myself."

Do we know if this is Hoid breaking the fourth wall or is it just some kind kind of metaphorical reference to his presence at the birth of the Shards?

Peter Ahlstrom

The simple answer is that this does not break the fourth wall, but we won't find out why until years from now. So it's understandable that you would interpret it this way.


Can we have a hint as to which book will explain it?

Peter Ahlstrom

Probably Hoid's origin story, which Brandon is writing after he finishes Stormlight 10.

General Reddit 2015 (Nov. 29, 2015)

One of his names in the Dragonsteel series will be this mysterious reference. We know of two names from Dragonsteel Prime (Topaz, Cephandrius) and two names from Liar of Partinel (Midius, Hoid). Hoid being the name of his old master, and Topaz from a stone he used to wear. Midius, being the first chronological name we've seen him have, would seem to make sense as this reference, and it's a name that has appeared in canon (through Oathbringer). How exactly it works out... well, I've got no ideas, there. But I'll hazard a guess that we know which name he was alluding to.

And what the heck, I'll add a second, sillier one, that I'm sure a lot of people have been wondering about:



In Alloy of Law, Wayne says he read a book with talking rabbits, which is referenced again in Bands of Mourning. I'm all but certain this is a reference to Watership Down. In Bands of Mourning there's a bit where Wayne says he read a book where seven convicts stole a spaceship or something, and it's clearly a reference, but I'm not sure what it's a reference to. Does anyone know? Preliminary Google searches turned up only a TV show called Blake's 7, which seems unlikely to be the reference, since it's not actually a book.

Peter Ahlstrom

Both of these are references to books that exist on Scadrial, not our world. Watership Down is not the only book (even in our world) from the point of view of rabbits. (Don't forget Rabbit Hill!)


I believe you when you say that there are books about talking rabbits on Scadrial, but at one point in the Wax & Wayne books, they make a reference to talking rabbits, and then the word "fiver" is used. Fiver is one of the characters in Watership Down. Brandon is definitely using a play on words to reference a classic novel from our world.

Peter Ahlstrom

Oh yeah. I forgot the fiver thing. Nevertheless, it could be a complete coincidence, because talking like that is consistent with Wayne's character. :)

General Reddit 2016 (Jan. 28, 2016)



Sorry, guys. It's been another really busy month for me, and I've been hard-pressed to keep up with this project... SIKE! I have actually been busy, but I did manage make some progress this month.

TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 100%: Brandon 100% (96/96), Peter 100% (102/102), Isaac 100% (102/102), Ben 100% (91/91)
Reddit 58%: Brandon 100% (125/125), Peter 63% (62/98), Isaac 0% (0/16), Ben 0% (0/79), Adam 0% (0/7)
Twitter 38%: Brandon 100% (118/118), Peter 11% (13/118), Isaac 10% (13/125), Adam 27% (13/49)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (204/205)

Social Media Total: 77% (1284/1676)
Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

63% complete on Peter's Reddit comments is a little deceptive, since I count month-by-month for my progress, and Peter spent a lot of time doing very little on Reddit before ramping it up more recently. But a good chunk of that is personal use, as well, so there isn't too much coming from there. Don't expect too much new stuff; however, here's one that I just added:



Aether of Night was cannibalized; it's no longer going to be released. Apparently some of the concepts were taken and worked into other books, so it's no longer publishable.

Peter Ahlstrom

Actually it might be un-cannibalized. Some concepts went into Liar of Partinel, but now that book won't ever happen in that form. So there could still be one or more Aether books in the future. But it would be a ground-up rewrite like happened with Mistborn and Stormlight.


Wait, really? That's pretty big news, even just possibility of it happening. I presume the Shards of the world would change then? Since Decay got reworked to be Ruin and such?

Peter Ahlstrom

Yeah, Decay is essentially Ruin, so lots of things would change there. But the magic of the Aethers, especially, could get their own book later.

There is a reason that Aethers are already canon. I don't think anyone has figured that out yet. But the backstory Brandon gives them could change in the future, or could end up never materializing.

General Reddit 2014 (Dec. 18, 2014)

This has made rounds on the forum before, but it could use some more airtime. This was, like, nine months after WoR was released, so I can't imagine Peter's referring to Mraize's collection. There's gotta be another reason they're part of the canon. After Bands of Mourning, I found the Southerner masks very reminiscent of an Aether, and Iyatil's presence in WoR means that she could have been what Peter was referring to... not much to go on, but I'm stumped for other options. It must be something well and truly buried.

TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 50%: Brandon 99% (93/94), Peter 99% (99/100), Isaac 0% (0/100), Ben 0% (0/89)
Reddit 42%: Brandon 99% (122/123), Peter 10% (10/96), Isaac 0% (0/14), Ben 0% (0/77), Adam 0% (0/5)
Twitter 35%: Brandon 99% (115/116), Peter 8% (9/116), Isaac 7% (9/123), Adam 19% (9/47)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (202/203)
Social Media Total: 61% (1013/1648)
Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)
No progress on the backlog, unfortunately. (I haven't even kept up with November social media, as you can see by a bunch of things moving backwards to 99%. Except the blog, which is still rounding to 100%.) The start of the Skyward tour kept me pretty busy, and then I've been unexpectedly hammered at work since a little bit before Thanksgiving. There may not be much more progress on the backlog for the next couple months, either - the unexpected work should finish up just before Christmas, and then January and February will have a ton of expected work. Like ya do.
But there will be all the Skyward stuff to tide everyone over for a while (looks like Atlanta and Houston still have a good bit to transcribe still), and I will try to keep my Twitter account running. If you haven't seen that, I'm posting cool WoBs on Wednesdays under the oh-so-imaginative hashtag #wobwednesday.
TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38)
17S 51%: Brandon 100% (93/93), Peter 100% (99/99), Isaac 0% (0/99), Ben 0% (0/88)
Reddit 43%: Brandon 100% (122/122), Peter 11% (10/95), Isaac 0% (0/13), Ben 0% (0/76), Adam 0% (0/4)
Twitter 36%: Brandon 100% (115/115), Peter 8% (9/115), Isaac 7% (9/122), Adam 20% (9/46)
Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (202/202)
Social Media Total: 62% (1013/1634)
Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183)
Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

We're cruising right along with the social media backlog. I wasn't able to find my old tracking spreadsheet, so I had to make a new one, but I was able to make it better this time since I remembered some things I had done inefficiently before. I don't have to do any manual math anymore for percentages, I've got Excel updating it all automatically. I've got all my percentages based on how many months of activity I've reviewed, and they all add new activity at a rate of around 1 month per month, but Excel is updating those numbers for me as the goalposts keep moving. I just gotta mark in X's when I've finished a month, and then copy-past over here. It really is a very nice spreadsheet.

Green indicates it's progress made this past month. So I did a lot of checking on TWG and on 17S. Some of it was easier than others (Brandon's forum posts were all in already, as expected). But I've only got a little bit left before I close up the forums and move onto Reddit. I also got a count on the threads in the Events and Signings forum (I don't think I'll update that as new threads get posted, but rather stay on top of them the old-fashioned way. These are just old ones I want to review and double-check for late reports or claimed questions.)

I did add some things from Peter in the TWG event and the year-by-year Miscellaneous events, but the most interesting thing was something you won't be able to find in Arcanum. It would just cause too much confusion, but it is fascinating to see some really old misinformation, a misunderstanding of what Shards were. Apparently, people thought there were a couple of Shards in Dragonsteel; Hoid had a Shard, the main character had a Shard, there was a Shard opposing them. I guess the assumption was that anyone with magic had a Shard. Peter had this to say about them:


One of the shards in Dragonsteel Prime wasn't connected to anyone at first and later became connected to the main character. I imagine Brandon will have similar shards in the future.


I mean some of the shards are not necessarily attached to a person/godlike personality but are attached to objects. If a person touches the object, they can use its power. If they are associated with the object long enough, the shard can transfer its attachment to that person instead of the object and they can gain its power permanently.

So yeah I'm talking about an individual rather than a society.

That second part makes me think of "giving up on the gemstone, now that it is dead": Hoid was known as Topaz in that book. It almost seems to me like he absorbed the Investiture of the Topaz, rendering it useless. (And bestowing the term "selfish" upon himself.)

Basically all of this got officially walked back; Brandon stated that some of the people who had Dragonsteel were making too many inferences. But it's still an interesting insight into the unreleased book, and always fun to see what other crazy corners the fandom had managed to get itself into over the years. You can read the full threads here and here, if you're interested.

So, that's all I've got for this month. I'll try to polish off the rest of the 17S posts this month, but the Skyward tour begins next week, and that will keep us really busy staying on top of the new signings.


No Backlog Progress

Man, I picked a bad time to start this blog up again. WorldCon was less than a week old at the time of my last blog post. And then in September there was the HUGE FanX (with, like, 20 hours of audio when it was all said and done) and a very dense Legion release party. Add in the Read for Pixels live chat, this surprise Reddit Skyward AMA, and all the Brandon social media since June, I haven't had any time to look at the other backlog items. Those above-mentioned events still aren't done completely, and November will kick off with the Skyward tour. So... I'll at least try to do some stuff and update my percentages next month. But no promises.

But at least it was because there was so much new stuff. It's not that I'm lazy - it's that Brandon has been entirely too generous, and the fans have been entirely too good at getting his appearances on audio. First Shardworld Problems.


TWG 33%: Brandon 100% (113/113), Peter 0% (0/113), Isaac 0% (0/75), Ben 0% (0/38)
17s 0%: Brandon 0% (0/91), Peter 0% (0/97), Isaac 0% (0/97), Ben 0% (0/86)
Reddit 40%: Brandon 99% (119/120), Peter 0% (0/93), Isaac 0% (0/11), Ben 0% (0/74), Adam 0% (0/2)
Twitter 29%: Brandon 99% (112/113), Peter 0% (0/113), Isaac % (0/120), Adam 0%(0/45)
Blog 99%: Brandon 99% (170/171)
Social Media Total: 33% (514/1572)
Theoryland Total Review: 0% (5/1183)

Events and Signings review: TBD

What is this? A progress update? Hasn't Arcanum been out for almost a year now. What is going on here?

So, Arcanum is great, to the surprise of no one. It's got everything Brandon has ever said in it; all that's left to do should be to keep up with new stuff in a timely manner. But me, being the overachieving individual that I am (and freed from the shackles of modhood to pursue my own endeavors), I want to take personal accountability that Arcanum is absolutely comprehensive. I don't want to just say "the Internet has made sure everything of Brandon is in here." I want to say, "I swear to you on a stack of Stormlight books that nothing is missing."

I can already say that with almost complete confidence about Brandon's online presence. (I haven't gone through all his forum posts here on the Shard, but I don't expect any of those could possibly be missed. But I am gonna check anyways, of course.) I have a lot of confidence that items from Theoryland or the Events and Signings forum has made it over. There have been a couple of confirmed instances of these things being missed, so I'm gonna go over everything and put my personal stamp of approval on it. (And I also, you know, like WoT, and I'm taking the opportunity to read through the entire Interview Database. I'm learning stuff already; did you know the Horn of Valere was from the Age before the Age of Legends?)

But I also want to get back to my social media dredging, to look through other Dragonsteel team members. (The way I'm gauging progress, up above, is by months of activity reviewed. The percentages will move in fits and starts - some people aren't as busy as others, and activity habits ebb and rise. But assuming it will all smooth out, this should provide a pretty reasonable metric.) There are occasional goodies from these individuals that I'd like to get recorded in Arcanum, so I will go ahead and do the dirty work of digging back through the archives. I don't expect there to be much, but I do expect there to be something. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the 80/20 rule. It's an idea in projects, that the first 80% of the project will only require 20% of your total effort. The last 20%, though, that requires the other 80% of your effort. And that's where we are with Arcanum (maybe more like 90% or 95%) - there aren't any big things missing, and the only missing stuff is either very recent, barely notable (like some of the general Q&A or writing advice from recent cons), or extremely obscure. I'm gonna get us up to snuff on the obscure stuff.

I do need some help on a couple of things. Ben McSweeney, one of Brandon's artists, is someone on my list. But I couldn't find a Twitter account for him. He often goes by Inkthinker, but he doens't have that handle on Twitter. Does anybody know if he's on Twitter, and what his handle is? Also, I'd like to check Facebook comments, and since Facebook is in the business of collecting selling your personal information (heyo!), I figured there'd be some kind of way to see all someone's public FB comments. But I haven't had any luck so far. If you know of a way to do a good Facebook dredge, please hit me up, and I'll add that to my worklist, as well.

So I'm gonna go back to my progress updates, since I liked how they kept me on track before. I'll share anything interesting I find (although you'll also be able to keep up with those through the Recent Entries tab on Arcanum itself), I'll let you all know how things are going. My tentative goal would be to get this all done before Stormlight Four is out, but we'll see how quick it goes. (I've got more projects to think about once all these review are done; a full review of all Arcanum's audio, a couple Collections to help with beginners, getting my old tag database up and running. Those kind of things. But for now, I'm gonna work on the import.)


It's Been Fun

Here we are: the finish line. I've completed my review of all of Brandon's TWG posts. I decided not to review Peter's at this time; the one thing I knew I wanted to find was the Dragonsteel excerpt that Peter had posted there once, but it was part of the recently released chapters, so I don't feel the need to dig for it anymore. That closes out the last thing I wanted to review of Brandon's social media; I haven't gotten it all into Arcanum yet (the new WoB Archive, in case any of you haven't heard), but I plan on getting it in before release. You'll be able to see everything I found from looking at the Blog, TWG, and old Twitter events, come November 8th. But that's still a week and a half away, which means today, I'll start with one of my new WoBs, instead of putting it at the end. This is a bit of workshopping Brandon did for an Elantris sequel name:


Okay, so here's the thing.  I want to write a sequel to ELANTRIS someday--or, at least, I want to leave myself open to the possibility.  

The first book is named after the city of Elantris, where most of the action takes place.  The sequel, set ten years after the first book, will take place in the capitol city of the prime antagonists in the series.  For cohesion, this book should probably be named after that city.

So, here's the problem.  Usually I have months and months to settle on a book title, and I'm usually pretty happy with what I get.  However, I don't have an opportunity to write the book this time before I name it.  I mention the city that will be the title of the next book several times in ELANTRIS.  I have to make certain I really like this city name now, since I'll probably name a book after it sometime in the future.

So, I've been digging for ideas.  The country the book will take place in is called 'Fjorden.'  As you might guess from that name, the dialectical genre of the culture is a Scandinavian spin-off.  (It's kind of a guttural Norse--Scandinavian with some harsh Germanic sounds thrown in.)

Other words in the language:


I need a name for the new city that would work well as a book title (i.e., it needs to be fairly easy to pronounce, and needs to sound cool) but that still fits with the linguistic style of the region.

Here are some I've come up with so far.  What do you think of these?  Which is your favorite?  Which don't you like?


That's the opening post, but there's quite a bit more discussion of it in this old TWG thead. This gives you a hint of what the fandom was like back in the day before Brandon was published. Pretty jealous, aren't you?

Closing Thoughts

I think this was a very valuable project, both for me personally (I learned a bunch of old WoBs, and managed to get myself onto the Arcanum team) and for the community (especially since I was able to get all the old Reddit stuff out a couple of months back). Definitely glad I did it.

As far as the actual database I created... Arcanum is explicitly not a database. It works mainly on its search engine, with tags designed primarily to support that. I still feel pretty strongly that a relational database, with properly applied tag intersections, is something that would close a lot of gaps and help with both casual research and focused searches. I'm not able to work directly with Arcanum... but I can actually tweak my existing Microsoft Access structure to use Arcanum event numbers and entry numbers, and then tinker on my own with some of the areas I think Arcanum can be improved on. Stuff like superseded WoBs, excluding writing advice, sorting by series, curated lists... I've got a whole bunch of ideas I think would be neat. It wouldn't be terribly practical, since I wouldn't have any of the actual WoB text there, but I think it would be a fun project to keep on the back burner. And an excuse to go through all the Arcanum WoBs and transcriptions, which would be fun to do anyways.

If I ever get anything serious rolling with that, I might reopen this blog. But for now, my WoB Database is officially closed. Hope you enjoyed the ride.


Reddit: 100%
Twitter: 100%
Blog: 100%
TWG: Brandon 20% (49/249 pages), Peter 0% (0/326 pages)

The review of the blog is done. And now I slog through the TWG. It's a little weird, going through Brandon's musings about music and movies and lingerie (really). Most of it isn't relevant in the slightest, but there are some rare gems. I posted the Aether stuff I found a couple months ago; those are the sort of things I'm looking for. Even though it's a couple thousand posts between Brandon and Peter (who I know has posted stuff about Dragonsteel in there), I don't expect to find very many new pieces of information at all. But this is the last place to check, so check it I will.

I expect that I will only have one final update, next month. I'll have finished up my review and inputted everything I found into the new archive (which is on track to go live by the time Oathbringer is released). For now, an interesting WoB that was never transcribed for some reason, only summarized, during the Seattle signing on the Calamity tour. But in the process of moving stuff from Theoryland to the new system, I found it and transcribed it:



How many worlds does [the cosmere] have in it?

Brandon Sanderson

A couple hundred. A couple hundred stars.


How many planets are your books going to use?

Brandon Sanderson

Habitable worlds, in Goldilocks zones? There's probably 20 or 30, maybe a few more. Maybe up to 50, but you'll only really... there'll be like, ten or so core planets that you'll see stories from.



WoB Count: 4419
Reddit: 100%
Twitter: 100%
Blog: 79%, 114/145 pages
TWG: 0%

Making up for lost time on these updates, since I was able to complete a lot of work in the last week. I had four solid days where I was rained in during Hurricane Harvey, and I was able to import nearly my entire database into the new Shard archive, and finish up my Twitter review while I was at it. (Well, everything in Twitter from 2015 on had already been taken care of, so I didn't have to do as much as I thought I was going to.) For both of Brandon's main forms of social media, we are up to date and have reviewed the entire available records. Most of the good stuff was in Reddit, which I have already shared, but there is some good stuff in Twitter, too, that you all will have to wait to see.

It's a little sad, closing my Access database for what is probably the last time. But all of my stuff has migrated over, so there's no need to maintain my own database anymore. I'll give you one last WoB count here; if you recall from the last time I gave you numbers, I had been just shy of 1000. That's everything that is in the new system; it takes a little bit of work to get that number, so I might not continue doing it. There is still a lot to go, but it is cool to see how that 10% of our currently documented WoBs come from the 2015 AMA. Which was by and large lost to Theoryland.

Looking forward, I'll be splitting my attention. My personal priority is to dig up the stuff that nobody knows about; now that I've passed along all the social media stuff, my conscience is clear to go back to the blog and then to the TimeWaster's Guide. But I will need to spend some time working on getting old Theoryland events into the new system. It's not quite at the point where they would take it live, so I can't go back to my room just yet. Interviews had been my lowest priority, but now I'll need to give them some love.

I've taken them off the progress updates above, since that isn't my personal project, and I also don't have a good way of accounting the percentage.

So, to close out, back to some interesting discoveries I made, about the early development of the cosmere. Everything kind of started in one book, that had elements of both Dragonsteel and Stormlight Archive:


I decided to push Rock's people in the direction of a human/parsh hybrid strain. This also was part of moving Rock himself from Yolen to Roshar, following after Dalinar and some other characters, who came earlier during the original Dragonsteel/Stormlight split in the early 2000s.




Q: how long did it take you to develop the idea / world of The Stormlight Archive?

A: I wrote down the first ideas 1993. Kept working on the world through college. First draft done 2002.





Q: And of course that’s on top of the fact everyone knows the Cosmere itself is totally M:tG, specifically Alara. Right, @BrandSanderson?

A: Except for the fact that the cosmere books pre-date both…



Elantris was written in 1999. The first draft of White Sand was done in 1997 (though it wasn’t brought into the cosmere until it was rewritten, after Dragonsteel). Magic: The Gathering was first released in 1993. So, Brandon isn’t talking about any of the unpublished drafts he includes in his personal writing history. This was an ancient book, one that contained the seeds that would grow to become Dragonsteel, the Stormlight Archive, and the rest of the Cosmere. And, believe it or not, we have a page from that book! You can find it here. Dalinar was named Jared in that book. (Hoid’s name looks to be Kamp.) I guess things have spun out of control quite a bit since then.


Well, I warned you all. No progress.

But that is all going to change. After a few weeks without internet and really bad cell reception in my new apartment, I finally have everything set up and ready to. I plan on spending a good chunk of time this weekend working on getting my Reddit stuff into the Shard's new database; things should go pretty quick, since I have my new dual-monitor system that will make it a breeze. And I have no friends down here yet to distract me. And there's a hurricane coming through this part of the world that will mean I'll have to stay inside.

I've decided not to go any farther on the blog dredging for now; I've been promising Chaos for a while now that I would eventually get my Reddit thread into the new software, and now I'd like to get that taken care of as quickly as possible before poking around with other snippets. I also may need to pick up again with Brandon's Reddit posts since April; I don't know if anyone has been keeping that up-to-date in the new system yet.

But for those of you wondering what kind of goodies are lurking in Brandon's ancient, unguarded posts, I do have one treat for you. If you haven't seen it yet, Aether of Night is now available through the Shard admins. I dug up some Timewaster's Guide posts Brandon made back in 2004 about an Aether megaseries he was considering developing. It doesn't look like it went anywhere, but I collected what I found here. I'd like to do a similar thing for TWG comments about Dragonsteel, so I will get back to the post-by-post review at some point, and finish up going through Brandon's Blog while I'm at it. But that can wait until after Oathbringer, so I've gotta keep my priorities straight.


No progress to report, unfortunately. I had said that this would be a very unproductive couple of months for WoB archive stuff. But quite productive in other areas of my life: Sidewalk 2, Pagerunner 3 (OT).

These sorts of "no update" updates are still important, though. This project isn't off my radar, and neither is the new WoB database project. I just don't have any time to devote to them. I did buy some new hardware to make this work go easier, but I haven't found time to use it yet (it's a dock that can connect my Surface to a monitor, so I can dual screen this bad boy). And it's going to get packed up in a week for my move, so I won't see it for another 7-21 days (yay, timetable estimates!).

Unfortunately, expect another similar post for my August update. Such is life.