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Found 8 results

  1. Brandon's holding a contest to design an Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians-themed T-shirt! Also, the wonderful folks over at interviewed Brandon's art director Isaac Stewart in the wake of the White Sand omnibus releasing in Spain. But first, a word from Brandon's progress bars: the final draft of The Lost Metal is at 86%. Once this is done, it'll be sent off to the publishers, and will release in the US and UK on November 15th. (Release dates for other regions vary.) Onto the main events... to celebrate Bastille vs the Evil Librarians coming out in the fall, Team Dragonsteel is running a T-shirt design contest! The full details are on Brandon's website, and you really should read the terms there if you plan to participate, but here's a summary: Besides that, (the Spanish Cosmere fansite) held an interview with Isaac Stewart, Brandon's art director (and mapmaker, alphabet designer, etc—he does a lot), in celebration of the Spanish release of the White Sand omnibus edition in Spain! (Which releases in English in November... it's complicated). The interview is in English, with Spanish subtitles, and you can check it out on their YouTube channel or embedded beow: If you're a Spanish-language speaker, you should definitely check their site out if you haven't already. Lastly, Brandon's apparently an asteroid now! Reddit user Rukongai recently had a chance to name a minor asteroid, and felt a certain SFF author was a prudent choice.
  2. Brandon was a guest on The Legendarium podcast last week discussing The Truth by Terry Pratchett, as well as other Discworld novels. Check it out! It’s always really interesting listening to him talk about other authors’ works. What are some other podcasts he’s appeared on?
  3. Today, Helen Maringer from Shire Post Mint has graciously spent her time to give us an interview. The Shire Post Mint has a Kickstarter on making Mistborn coins, and it's been funded eight times over now. It ends on October 28th. The latest stretch goal would mean you get free clips blackened with ash. Check it out! If you'd like to know more, you can also look at our original article showing off all the coins. Thank you to Helen and Shire Post Mint for doing this, and making awesome coins! What made you want to make fantasy coins in the first place as your business? Tom Maringer was a coin and stamp collector as a kid, so he always had an affinity for world coins. He traveled with his parents as a kid, mainly through Europe, and he often said that looking at and feeling the coins in his pocket was the best way he could “ground himself” and really feel that sense of place while in the midst of all these new experiences. Later, when he read The Lord of the Rings the first time, there was a line about silver Pennies when the Hobbits bought Bill the Pony. He wanted to know what those pennies looked like and that feeling never really went away. In the 70’s and 80’s, Tom worked as a blacksmith making custom knives and swords. He mentioned once to a friend that he’d like to make coins someday and within a few hours he was in possession of an old (1700s-1800s) screw press used for making coins. After lots of trial and error, he made a silver Penny to finally know what it looked and felt like. It could have stopped there, but when he posted a photo online to show some friends, there was an overwhelming response to the coin. Shortly after in 2003, he was put in contact with George R.R. Martin and began making coins for Westeros and Essos, including The Iron Coin of the Faceless Man, of course. At this point, Shire Post Mint was still a weekend hobby for Tom. It wasn’t until the massive success of HBO’s Game of Thrones that website traffic and orders picked up and Tom made the decision to develop the mint as his full time business. Since then, the business has developed coins from more licenses including The Lord of the Rings which is close to Tom’s heart. Shire Post Mint now has 7 employees, 4 of whom are in the Maringer family. So we’re still a small company, but huge compared to how it started. How was it working with Brandon and his team on these coins? They’re great to work with. They had specific ideas about how these coins would look and feel from the beginning. While that sounds like it would make the process more difficult, it actually simplified it. We have a lot of flexibility in our shop in terms of what type of coins we can make, so clear direction leads to a more satisfying coin at the end. What got you interested in doing Mistborn coins in particular? It’s a perfect partnership for us! Any time there are coins in fictional books, we start thinking of how we could make them a reality. Brandon created the coins in Mistborn to function as weapons and a method of transit on top of the standard function as currency. This is a really unique treatment of coins and we love that. From working with George R.R. Martin’s work, we know that any time a coin is specifically mentioned, there is a lot more interest and excitement compared to a really cool coin that just happens to exist. Plus the metal-based Allomancy of Mistborn is close to our hearts. Tom’s dad is a metallurgist and Tom himself has a degree in Geology and has worked in the mining industry, so everyone here at the mint grew up being a metal nerd. We see a lot of subtle differences in the Era 1 vs Era 2 coins such as weathering, wear and tear, and more irregularities in the Era 1 coins compared to the more modern, uniform quality of Era 2. What was it like to explore two points in history from the same world? In short: it was really cool. In our past coins, we incorporated a lot of nods to the history and styles of coinage through time, sometimes changing styles within worlds to highlight those differences. This is the first project where those differences have been so clear. I think this project has also been one of the best uses of our unique shop in terms of exploring those small differences and bringing them out in the metal. We brought out those differences in a few ways: engraving, minting, and patina. Woody Maringer, our engraver, used different engraving styles to translate Isaac and Ben’s artwork into the steel of the coin die. On the Era 1 coins, he left the Steel Alphabet symbols a little rougher. The copper symbol on the clip is the best example of these engraving differences: on the Era 1 Clip, the symbol isn’t smooth, it’s more like if you carved a symbol into wood with scissors. On the Era 2 Clip, however, the surface of the metal above the symbol is perfectly smooth since metalworking would be much more refined by Era 2. You can also see that the Era 1 copper symbol is engraved with the design raised up from the metal while the Era 2 copper symbol is sunk into the metal (incuse). Incuse designs are more complicated to engrave and they aren’t commonly seen in very old currency. After those designs were engraved in tool steel, they were hardened via a specific baking process and mounted into one of our antique presses. Normally, we run most of our coins on our main production press from the 1800’s but we just got a new (well, new to us) press restored that we were also able to use for this project. It’s a 110 ton knuckle press that was one of 6 presses used to make Quarters in the Denver Mint in the 1930’s! This means that were able to broadstrike the Era 1 coins on the old press and collar strike the Era 2 coins on the new press. Broadstriking is how all ancient coins were made. It’s essentially just two designs striking the metal with nothing on the sides to regulate the coin’s size or alignment. This could be done with a coin press, a drop press, a hammer, etc. Collar striking is how all modern coins are made. With this method, a metal ring is added around the coin blank and when the coin is struck, flat or ridged sides of the coin are created where the metal squishes into the collar. The collar also allows for automated feeding and faster production as all broadstruck coins have to be placed into the press by hand. Shire Post Mint has been broadstriking coins for over 15 years and no one has ever lost a finger! Hooray! As far as I know, we are the only working mint that is broadstriking our coins. It’s extra work per coin but it means we can have a lot more flexibility and authenticity in the coins we make. So the Era 1 coins have rounded edges from the metal squishing outwards via broadstriking and the Era 2 coins have those nice clean sides via collar striking. On the Era 2 Boxings we gave them an intermittent ridged edge, which is new for us! After the coins are minted they come out bright and shiny, like a fresh penny. Since that’s not the feeling that Brandon wanted, we age them with our special technique to bring out the design, darken the metal, and smooth down any sharp edges. We age the Era 1 coins to a more extreme degree since those coins have been around for (possibly) hundreds of years compared to the ones from Elendel. So, basically, we put in a lot of subtle differences that help separate these two eras in a tangible way, even if they are hard to notice. Did your approach to working on the Mistborn coins differ from how you have handled developing coins from other worlds? How was the process similar and how was it different from past projects? The biggest difference is how involved Team Sanderson was. Before designs were made, we sent them a big bag of coins that we had made in the past with varying levels of wear and patina. From those references, they were able to determine out exactly what size, thickness, and weight each coin should be. The two Boxings actually use the same blank meaning that they are exactly the same weight, but because they are minted using a different technique, they are different in thickness and diameter. The Clips are very different. The Era 1 Clip is thin and wide while the Era 2 Clip is ultra-thick, twice as heavy, and narrower. I think this choice especially relates to the idea of bounty that exists in Era 2, that the new Clip would use much more metal than the previous one. On the art, we usually create our designs in house for a variety of reasons: we know how to design for coins, we do our own research, we often design for coins and understand that specific process, it takes less time, or no one else wants to do it. With this project, the art was created by Isaac Stewart and Ben McSweeney who have both created lots of art in the Cosmere universe before. So overall there were more intentional choices since there had been so much thought about what the coins look and feel like before we got to the final products. If resources weren’t an issue, what object would you most like to create from the Mistborn universe? For me, the glass daggers. Tom made knives and swords before he started making coins. It would feel like a cool throwback to that part of his career, though obsidian would be a totally different beast to worked with compared to steel. Coins are fairly prominent in the Mistborn world (especially in the first trilogy); did their prominence change how you went about creating them? Did it make it easier or more difficult? Easier, absolutely. Most of the coins we make are not known objects in the books, we imagine they would look like. When designing those, we have to make lots of creative decisions based on lore, characters, world resources, and throwbacks to real world analog coins. With Mistborn, it was so much simpler, so we could focus on the really subtle details and making those shine. The Kickstarter filled up fast, so there is obviously a lot of interest in this project. What do you think is so appealing about objects like these coins to fans? I’ve thought a lot about this lately. We didn’t expect the campaign to take off quite this much, though I knew there was going to be a positive response after judging my own excitement about these coins. My new favorite Shire Post Mint coin is the Era 1 Boxing. We’ve made over 200 amazing coins, so I don’t say that lightly. The engraving of Kredik Shaw is truly a masterpiece and it feels so satisfying to hold. The Era 1 boxing. I agree, it's just amazing. Some reasons are: 1) The coins are in the books! I think fans have been imagining these coins for years whether they realized or not. We’ve learned over the years that a coin is specifically mentioned, fans are going to pay attention and be more interested (like Vin and Kelsier’s flattened Clip for example – lots of fans have asked for this). 2) It’s an immersive and expansive collectible. This is different than a referential collectible like a shirt or a mug. It comes from the world and expands it instead of simply referencing it and using art you’ve already seen. 3) Everybody knows and loves coins. Coins are one of the few objects that transcend language, culture, and geography. There is so much meaning and information wrapped up in every coin like who or what is depicted, the art styles, the weight and feel, what the metal is, etc. Most people that I talk to had a coin collection at some point in their life. 4) Cosmere fans in general. You’d think that since we make stuff for big fandoms like A Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings that we are used to ravenous fans. In a way we are, but fans have never engaged with us and given such positive feedback before. Brandon’s worlds and the fans around them are truly something special. Where did the idea with sending some coins to space come from? We’ve done one previous space flight with Earth to Sky Calculus, with ten Iron Coins of the Faceless Man. It’s a really cool organization that uses these sponsored balloon flights to do research with students to measure solar radiation levels in the upper atmosphere. They recently flew 11 different weather balloons across the US to document the moon’s shadow on Earth during the recent solar eclipse. So they were on my mind while building the Kickstarter and a lightbulb just kinda clicked. Then Dylan said level could be called the Cosmerenaut and we were like “we gotta do it.” After that, we were able to bring Wyrmwood Gaming into the project to create the fantastic Bolivian Rosewood display boxes and Brandon was able to sign the certificates of authenticity amidst all of his upcoming Oathbreaker release duties. It all just worked perfectly. Would you be interested in teaming up with a glass smelter to create Rosharan currency? YES. We have ideas about what those would look and feel like, but finding the right smelters for the job is going to be tough since we’re picky. Recommendations are welcome
  4. Hey everyone! KChan, Rubix, and I all interviewed Crafty Games, the creators of the Mistborn Adventure Game, about two weeks ago, and here it is! We blab with Alex Flagg, lead developer for Mistborn, and Patrick Kapera, the lead editor and marketing dude (also God King Emperor of Happy Happy Fun Time). And it was so much fun. We get a ton of information about the Mistborn Adventure Game. We hear Crafty Games' design philosophy, the mechanics, and essentially everything. We learn some very astonishing things about Feruchemy--Spiritual freaking metals--and we learn that there will actually be annotations in it, by Brandon, commenting about the book! How awesome is that? Also, we make fun of Somalia. (Sorry, Somalians in the audience.) All in all, we had a blast with Alex and Pat. They are genuinely nice dudes, so have a listen, enjoy, and buy a copy of the Mistborn Adventure Game, because we think it will be awesome. Just a note, in the interview, they say that the game will be out October 25th, but it will in fact be out November 8th, the same day as the Alloy of Law.
  5. One of the benefits I feel we have in being fans of SF/F is that it seems that relativity everyone that works in the industry is really cool and interesting. Having had the opportunity to meet several such people over the last few years I came to realize how much work really goes on in the background to help make a successful author. The author does account for the majority of the success but he wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for all the amazing people that surround him. Many of us know of the hard work that Peter, Brandon’s assistant, goes through in helping Brandon. But what about the rest of the background people? Well, that’s where I come in! I hope over the next several months to do interviews with various people in the industry that work directly with the books that we love. The first of these interview is with Justin Golenbock. Justin is the publicist that works with Brandon in promoting his books. He does things such as setups up his tour schedule, sending advanced reader copies of books to people, and ensuring a successful marketing strategy. With no further adieu our first interview of many more: How long have you worked for Tor? Three years as of this upcoming Comic-Con. What got you into working as a publicist for a publishing house? Sheer luck, actually – I knew very little about the publishing industry when I first starting applying, and no idea how hard it was to get a first took over 70 applications before I landed an interview. By coincidence, that interview was for an internship with Tor, which it turned out I wasn’t eligible for, and the awesome (Tor YA editor) Juliet Pederson felt so bad about it she helped set me with an interview for an entry-level publicity position with another Macmillan publisher. I ended back up at Tor two years later anyway. There are neither beginnings nor endings but it was a beginning... What's the best part of your job? On my dark days, it seems like so many deserving authors never find the success they deserve – but when it happens, it’s hugely rewarding! I think a lot of readers (and aspiring writers) underestimate the sheer amount of work (beyond the writing itself!) that it takes for an author to find an audience, especially these days. But when it happens its rewarding for everybody, from the editor, publicist, artist, sales and marketing teams, and everyone else whose hard work goes too often underappreciated. What's an average day look like for you? That’s hard to say – there aren’t really any “average” days for us publicists. Hopefully, it doesn’t involve an 11pm phone call from an author stranded in Dallas or somewhere. I would say on any given day I can be found doing a lot of writing, working on marketing copy and pitches, taking and making phone calls, working on travel schedules, and mailing lots and lots of books. How many authors do you do publicist work for? Publishing schedules at most houses are divided seasonally – the bulk of my work goes into the books coming out that season, of which I might be working on a dozen or more. But there are plenty of authors from past or upcoming seasons that I continue to work with... we’ll just say enough. Do you find that some authors have strange or weird habits when it comes to going on tour? You don’t know the half of it! In their defense, I will say that going on book tour can be a strange, stressful, unpredictable, and downright exhausting process... and as a reluctant traveler I sympathize. The hours can be all over the place, and you can never know when you have to be “on call” for an interview, stock signing, blog post, or any number of other obligations. Hopefully they come knowing that all the hard work was with it... then get to crash hard. How far into the writing process due you start planning your marketing strategy? It depends on the author, but generally we work a couple seasons in advance. Anywhere from 6 months to a year before publication, and in some cases even further out. Do you read all the books that you help publicize? Would I say no if I didn’t? But seriously, I can hardly hide the fact that I’m a huge SF/f geek... as my mom pointed out when she moved last year, pretty much all of the boxes in my old room were stuffed full of books with the little Tor mountaintop on the spine. Reading the first book in a new fantasy series or the new book from an author I grew up reading doesn’t exactly qualify as “work” in my book. What makes you think that a book is worth publicizing? Is it based on being a good book alone, or does it also have to do with current trends? Every book I’ve ever worked on has an audience... it wouldn’t get published if it didn’t. So they’re all worth publicizing, even if the eventual resultant isn’t what we hoped for. As far as trends, I think they’re very overrated as far as the acquisition process goes. Occasionally you’ll see a handful of books from competiting publishers all coming out around a huge event (like, say, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and everybody and anybody in politics writing a cure-all for the American jobs market). But you have to keep in mind that the acquisition and publishing process takes a long, long time, and whatever was trendy two years ago probably will have come and gone by the time the book reaches stores. Then again, some things (Zombies!) never really stop being popular. What is your opinion of how Brandon published Warbreaker free of charge on his website? Do you think that has hurt his sales or helped them? Do you think that this type of marketing strategy could be used more often? Well obviously I think it was brilliant! But more than just putting up his books for free, Brandon has always been very open, honest, and engaged with his fanbase, which is something you like to see with every author. To use WARBREAKER as an example, Brandon didn’t just give it away for free; he put up an annotated draft with all of his editorial notes, which was really cool and interesting, and not necessarily a replacement for the finished book so much as a supplement. As an overall marketing strategy (giving away books for free), a lot of authors have been tried it over the last few years, with mixed results. It works for some and it doesn’t work for others, for a variety of reasons, but you like to see authors and publishers willing to try new things. SF/F readers tend to be a semi-reclusive group that pushes hard against the “hype machine”, how is it that you balance over hyping a book and not pushing it to hard? “Hype” is a hard thing to gauge; sometimes it’s defined by the most vocal group, not necessarily the largest, especially on the internet. That said, I’m poorly paraphrasing Cory Doctorow here, but for an author the biggest fear isn’t hype, it’s anonymity. As a publicist, it’s my job to anticipate the reaction something I do will have on readers and media, and once I see interest in something start to spark, perhaps pull back a bit and let the fans do their thing. But I’d rather do too much than too little. How close to a release date do you start pushing copies out to advanced readers? Differerent books come in at different times, depending on editorial & production deadlines and such, but you generally want the earliest advanced readers going out at least 5 months early. A lot of media in the print world (magazines, newspapers) still work on those lead-long times. What dictates who gets these advanced reader copies? Me, and me alone! Bwahaha. No seriously, it depends on the book and whom we think will have the most interest in covering it. We publicists work fairly regularly and keep in close touch with a lot of regular editors, producers, and bloggers, who are the most likely candidates, but it’s also part of our job to always be on the look out for new readers and reviewers who might help spread the word. How or whom chooses what cities/states Brandon will visit while on tour? A lot of it depends on his schedule; he’s a busy man! Then it depends on the bookstores, which ones we know will work hard to put on a great event. But we always try to include as many new cities as we can, especially those we know have a big fan base that haven’t gotten an event in a while. To use an example from his tour for THE WAY OF KINGS, we set-up an event with a store in Raleigh NC largely because a bunch of fans started a Facebook group called (and this is near exact wording) “Bring Brandon Sanderson to North Carolina for a book tour event for THE WAY OF KINGS!” So the best thing you can do as a fan who wants an event is get a bunch of friends together to bug Brandon and us. Is there something fans can do to “push” Tor to send him to a town near me? Haha, anticipated that one didn’t I!? Brandon’s website (any of our authors’ websites) is a great place to start. Then check out Tor’s facebook page and our twitter account (@torbooks) and start your campaign. We pay a lot of attention to that stuff. It especially helps if you have a great local store or venue you can suggest; that can often be the most difficult part, especially in today’s tough climate for bookstores, finding a good one willing to do all the hard promotional work that goes into a big author event. It seems that there are a select group of bookstores that always get authors to come visit them. Is there a reason why those stores get them while others don’t? Yes! It is because they are AWESOME. They have staff who are really into the authors and the events, which take a lot of extra hard work that doesn’t always contribute to the bottom line, but does a lot to build loyalty among their community readership. It’s become tougher for us to find stores like that, because so many great stores have sadly closed over the last few years. But they’re still out there and they’re doing great work. Who are some of your favorite authors, meaning who do you run out and buy the day the book comes out? I’ll exclude Tor authors (who are all my favorites!) in the interest of objectivity. China Mieville (an ex-Torite) is one of my all-time favorites, I owe my buddies at Del Rey for hooking me up with a copy of EMBASSYTOWN which was fantastic. George RR Martin’s ASOIAF books, anything by Ian McDonald. Outside SF/f (sorta), anything new by Haruki Murakami (can’t wait for 1Q84) or Cormac McCarthy, the great American author of our time. I did a favor for one of his publicists at Vintage and she sent me his entire backlist in paperback... that was like 3 solid months of gold right there. Are there things that you know about the series that sometimes you tell authors not to talk about (RAFO), such as upcoming books that change things in the series? As a reader and a publicist, I HATE spoilers. A lot of people don’t for some reason…there was even a study recently showing that people preferred knowing spoilers in advance (*citation needed. [Ed.: This, I believe. ]]). Made the story seem more familiar or something. I don’t know, that’s crazy talk. Nothing I would normally warn an author against, except to use their common sense when answering questions. Being a day after the 10th anniversary of 9-11 I think it would be fitting to ask what were your experience with the day the towers came down. Was there anything that stuck out to you? What did you go through? I remember that day like no other day in my life, like I imagine a lot of Americans do. I was living in Boston at the time and remember vividly watching coverage in my high school library with my friends, classmates and teachers when the second tower went down. Horrifying, surreal experience. A lot of brave people died that day, I don’t think any of us who lived through it will ever forget or stop appreciating that fact. I spent the 10th anniversary weekend taking a tour of the U.S.S New York with my friend who served 5 years in the Navy, it was a very rewarding experience. Puts what we do in perspective. Thanks guys for the opportunity! Feel free to hit me up at @jgolenbo if you have any follow-up questions.
  6. I saw this posted on the forums by mycoltbug and thought I'd share it here: Hey all, just thought I would throw up this fun interview that Brandon did with Patrick Rothfuss. Link
  7. Our first audio interview with Brandon Sanderson has been transcribed! Many thanks to Morderkaine on the forums for providing a faithful raw transcription, and for Ryan's editing job. You can read about Morderkaine's effort here. Enjoy! 17th Shard: Hey everyone, welcome to 17th Shard's exclusive interview with Brandon Sanderson. In attendance from 17th Shard are Eric, Josh and Mi'ch. This interview is mostly spoiler free, but at the end there are some Mistborn questions that do contain spoilers. We'll warn you before we get to that point. That notwithstanding, we'll mostly ask general stuff about The Way of Kings. We're all very exited for this so lets get right to it. 17th Shard: Ok, the first question is, why did you change the main character's name to "Kaladin" in the final draft? Brandon: Excellent question. I see you're stealing all of my annotation questions that I would ask myself. For those of you who don't know, the character's original name was Merin. The change was a very hard decision because the history of Way of Kings goes back so far. You know, I started writing about and working on Merin as a character in the year 2000, so he'd been around for almost a decade in my head as who he was. A couple of things sparked the change. Number one, I'd never really been pleased with the name. I had been doggedly attached to it, despite the fact that all of my alpha readers on the original Way of Kings, Way of Kings Prime we'll call it now, said, "This sounds like a girl's name." I'm like, "Well…you know, sometimes in different cultures names sound like girls' names. I've recently discovered that Bilbo and Frodo's actual names are "Bilba" and "Froda". Those are their actual names; that's what they say in-world and in the appendices. Tolkien in one of his appendices said, "I english-ized them to make them sound more more masculine for the 'translation' of the Lord of the Rings books, but they would actually call themselves Bilba and Froda." So, anyway, Merin sounded a little bit feminine, but still I dug in my heels. One of the concepts for the new Way of Kings is Kaladin's arc as a character. In Way of Kings Prime he makes a decision very early in the book, and in The Way of Kings I wanted to have him make the opposite decision. There's a big decision that comes to him and it's almost like these two books are branching paths from that moment in a lot of ways. And so it's going to be a very interesting process when I eventually let people read Way of Kings Prime, which I won't right now because it has spoilers for the rest of the series, but you can see how all the characters go in different directions from that moment and they also change slightly. It's like an alternate world version of the book you're reading. So, point number two was that I started to feel he's changed so much as a person I can no longer think of him as the same character. Point number three was that, as I am now working on The Wheel of Time, having a character whose name sounded a lot like Perrin started to be problem to me. Particularly since in Way of Kings Prime Merin was not the main character but in this Way of Kings he is. Way of Kings Prime was much more evenly divided between the characters, but in the published book he gets essentially double the space, and so he becomes the main character. I felt I wanted the main character of this book to have a much stronger, perhaps a little more mythic name. I tried lots and lots of names before I eventually settled on "Kaladin". 17th Shard: Kaladin does sound like a much more powerful a name. Brandon: Yeah, it's a much better name. I'm very happy we did it, but we changed it on like the last draft, so it was very surprising to my editor and to my writing group when all of a sudden he changed to a different name. 17th Shard: We know it's not your job to pick cover artists, of course, but do you have any idea if Michael Whelan will make additional Stormlight Archive covers, or will it be different artists each time? Brandon: Another good question. This one I don't quite know the answer to. The thing is, Whelan is so busy and does so few covers that it'll come down to whether he has the time and is willing to. We would certainly like him to do more, and I've heard news around Tor that they're optimistic for him doing the rest of the series. But, like I've said, I felt like it was incredibly fortunate that we got him to do one. You'll notice that he doesn't even do whole series for some of his favorite authors anymore. For example, Tad Williams's latest in the Shadowmarch series. He did the first cover in the series, and they had someone else do the other covers. I don't know the details of that but I suspect it had something to do with the fact that Michael Whelan likes to do his fine art. As a favor to people he'll do the occasional brilliant, beautiful cover but then he wants to go back and I can't blame him for that. So we'll see what happens when the second book is ready for a cover. 17th Shard: What's it feel like to finally have your baby released to the public? It's probably a very different feeling from any of your other book launches. Brandon: Yeah. 17th Shard: Are you more nervous than usual or have the positive ARC compliments made you feel fairly confident? Brandon: I'm more nervous than normal. It has been my baby for a long time, and I got Tor to invest so much into it, what with the cover, the interior art, the end pages, the really nice printing, and the sheer length of it. Tor would really rather not publish books of this length. The rest of the series will be shorter; I promised that to them. I do want to warn readers that the 400,000 word length is not going to be the standard for the series. They're probably going to be more like 300,000 words, which is what this one should have been, but I just couldn't get it down. It was right for the book for it to be this length. I'm worried about it for a couple of reasons. Number one, it is a departure for me in a couple of ways. I've been planning a big massive epic for a long time but I only wanted to have one or two big massive epics. My Adonalsium mythos couldn't support multiples of something this long and so a lot of my other books are much more fast-paced and I do wonder what readers are going to think of a much larger more epic story, because it is going to have a different feel. It's happened every time I've released a book though; Warbreaker felt very different from Mistborn, which felt very different from Elantris. Way of Kings feels very different from all of those as well so I'm worried that there are a lot of readers who are not going to like it as much. I hope that there are a lot of readers who are going to like it more, but we'll have to just see what people think of it. 17th Shard: On later Stormlight Archive novels will there always be one character we get to see flashbacks for? Brandon: Yes, and it should rotate to different characters. I have not yet decided who gets book two yet. It's really between Dalinar and Shallan and I go back and forth on whose story I want to tell next. [Editor's Note: In this blog post, Brandon has stated that he's now leaning more towards Shallan for book two.] 17th Shard: So, does that mean there's going to be 10 different characters that would be seen? Brandon: It's very likely there will be 10 different characters. The only caveat on that is that part of me really wants to do a second Kaladin book. And so I haven't quite decided who gets flashback books. You can probably guess from reading this book some of them who do. But there are some that don't necessarily absolutely need them, so Kaladin may get a second flashback book. 17th Shard: So, fingers crossed, fingers crosses, will Szeth get one? Brandon: Szeth will get a book. 17th Shard: YES! (laughter) We're all cheering. Brandon: Yes, Szeth will get a book. Shallan and Dalinar will get books. 17th Shard: Adolin? Brandon: Um…I'm not sure on him yet. He's one that could, maybe not. I mean he's got some interesting things going on but we'll see how the series progresses first. There are characters who will get flashback books that you haven't yet met or at least not spent much time with. 17th Shard: You've told us that you took the idea of the Shattered Plains from Dragonsteel into Way of Kings and reading Way of Kings it's hard to imagine the book without them. What did Roshar look like without them? Can you walk us through the process of moving that concept from that series to this one? Brandon: Yeah, it looked pretty much like it looks in the books, but Way of Kings Prime takes place mostly in Kholinar and in a location that has not yet been talked about in the books. Ah…it took place in another location, how about that? One of the big things with this book is, as I was saying, that I think I started [Way of Kings Prime] in the wrong place. I moved some things back in time and some things forward in time. For instance, if you ever read Way of Kings Prime, the prologue to Way of Kings Prime is now the epilogue to The Ways of Kings. You know, the thing that happens in the epilogue with the thumping on the door and the arrival of a certain individual? That scene is now from Wit's viewpoint which it wasn't before. Pull Wit out of that scene and you'll get almost exactly [what happened] in the [original] prologue. So, the timing has been changed around a lot. As I was playing with this book I found that, like I said, one of the big things I had a problem with was that I felt that Kaladin had taken the easy route when he needed to take the hard route. I was really looking for a good plot cycle. I needed something to pull this book together. I had characters but I didn't have a plot and I've mentioned before that sometimes things come [to me] in different orders. In this book world and character came to me, in fact character came to me first, world came second and then I was building the plot around it. I knew the plot of the entire epic and the entire series but I needed a much stronger plot for book one. Because of the various things that are happening I wanted to deal with a war. So I was planning a war away from Alethkar, and I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with this war. Meanwhile I have Inkthinker, Ben McSweeney, doing concept art for me to use in my pitch to Tom Doherty at Tor and he says, "Hey, I just drew up this sketch of some creature that lives at the bottom of a chasm, what do you think?" And he showed me this. I told him that we were looking for kind of above water coral reef formations, and he sends me this brain coral, which is essentially the Shattered Plains with a big monster living at the bottom and I'm like, "Wow!" I actually did a book where this was essentially the setting. I looked at that, and that's actually what made me say, "Wait a minute, could I transpose this and would the Shattered Plains actually make more sense on Roshar than they ever did on Yolen?" I started playing with that concept and I absolutely fell in love with the idea. Unfortunately for Dragonsteel, that was the only really good plot cycle from that book. [You can read Ben's take on this story here. That's also where we got the images, which we've used with permission. —ed] So, I ripped it out of that book and I put it here, and that means it brought with it a few side characters who no longer live on Yolen because they now live on Roshar. Rock is one of them, though he's been changed. When he came along the Horneaters were born; they had not been in the books before. For those who have read Dragonsteel, he was Ke'Chan [a nationality, not a name. —ed] in that book. I couldn't bring that culture because that culture is extremely vital to [Dragonsteel]. I can bring a plot cycle or a little region, and there's certain things you can pull out of a book without ruining the soul of what the book is. I couldn't take the Ke'Chan out of Dragonsteel; they're just part of what that book is and so Rock had to change nationalities. I had to build him his own nationality, a new culture essentially just for him. And yeah, it worked wonderfully. Someday I'll let you have that art, and if you remind me to ask Peter you can probably post it with the interview. As you can just see it's not the way that it ended up being because it looks different from how the Shattered Plains turned out, but it was the spark that made me say, "Let's move this over." 17th Shard: That's cool, so basically Inkthinker's responsible for the Shattered Plains? Brandon: Inkthinker is responsible for them moving to the new book, yes. 17th Shard: That's pretty cool. Brandon: Yeah. 17th Shard: What can you tell us about the Knights Radiant? Brandon: Um…what can I tell you that's not in the books? 17th Shard: A little more about them. Brandon: There were 10 orders of Knights Radiant. Each order was based on a combination of two of the "smaller" magic systems in this world, so to speak. You combine two of them together and they each had something kind of "their own". So if you look at the map in the front of the magic system and you mark circles that include one large circle and two of the smaller circles in between, you can find the 10 orders right on there. The mini circles are the powers and the big circles represent the orders and the essences and things like that. So one big circle, two little circles equals an order of Knights Radiant. 17th Shard: Please explain the arches and symbols that are seen at the beginning of each chapter and why you decided to do them. Brandon: The arches and symbols are a series of arches and symbols at the beginnings of chapters. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: There's an explanation for you. They rotate and change for every chapter. What they mean should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer, as Robert Jordan used to say. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: I decided to use them because I wanted to have interesting things at the start of each chapter. These were done by Isaac [Editor's Note: This is the same Isaac that did the Allomantic symbols for Mistborn]. I originally sat down with Isaac and said, "I want to be able to build symbols at the beginning of my chapters. Something like in The Wheel of Time, which I really like, but I don't want to imitate them, I want to go somewhere different. I want to have different pieces that interlock together that form some stonework symbol that's at the beginning of every chapter." I also told him what I wanted the symbols to mean (among other things) and he actually transmogrified all that into an archway. I had originally been planning it to be some sort of inscribed rock stamp or something like a little relief at the beginning of each chapter, but he persuaded me that an archway with a different kind of symbol in the center [would be better]. So, they became arches through Isaac's working with the art and changing things and deciding what would look good visually. 17th Shard: The Way of Kings has a very interesting format. Why did you decide to go with that format and what prompted you to include the interludes? Brandon: That's another excellent question. You guys are really on the ball. Uh…so, what went through my head is one worry that we have in epic fantasy. The longer the series goes, and the more characters you add, the less time you can spend with each character. This gets really frustrating. You either have the George R. R. Martin problem where he writes a book and doesn't include half of them, or you get the middle Wheel of Time problem where he will jump to each character for a brief short time and no one's plot seems to get advanced. If you look back at Elantris, I did a lot of interesting things with form in that novel, and I wanted to try something interesting with form for this series that would in some way enhance what epic fantasy does well and de-emphasize the problems. And I thought that I could do some new things with the form of the novel that would allow me to approach that, and so I started to view the book as one main character's novel and then short novellas from other characters' viewpoints. Then I started adding these interludes because I really like when, for instance, George Martin or Tad Williams or some other authors do this. You'd jump some place and see a little character for a brief time in a cool little location, but the thing is, when most epic fantasy writers do that, that character becomes a main character and you're just adding to your list. I wanted to actually do something where I indicated to the reader that most of these are not main characters. We're showing the scope of the world without being forced to add a new plot line. And I did that is because I wanted to keep the focus on the main characters and yet I also wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I wanted to show off the interesting aspects of the world. When you read Way of Kings Prime someday you'll see that there are six major viewpoint characters, all in different places, with all different plots, because I wanted to show off what was happening in different parts of the world. That spiraled out of control even in that one book. Keeping track of who they were because there were such large gaps between their plot lines was really problematic. Instead I condensed and made, for instance, Kaladin's and Dalinar's plots take place in the same area as Adolin's. And so, even though you have three viewpoints there the plot lines are very similar. Or, at least they're interacting with one another. And so the interludes were a means to jump around the world. They're essentially short stories set in the world, during the book, so when you get this book, maybe you can think of it this way: Kaladin's novel with Shallan and Dalinar each having shorter novels or novelettes or novellas, with occasional, periodic jumps to short stories around the world. And then of course Kaladin's flashbacks. As we've mentioned, every book will have flashbacks from its main character to enhance the main plotline. I'm hoping that form will do a couple things. It'll show the scope of the world without us getting too overwhelmed by characters we have to keep track of. You know when you hit interludes that you aren't going to have to pay attention to most of them. You can read and enjoy them, but you aren't going to have to remember them. How about that? You can want to pay attention but you don't have to remember them. By the end of the book, the main characters' arcs and flashbacks should have been resolved and you should have a feel of a completer story from that main character. And then we have other characters that are doing things that are essentially just starting plotlines. In the next book, you'll get another character with a big arc and flashbacks. The major characters from previous books will still have parts and viewpoints; Kaladin will still be important in the next book but it won't be "his book". He'll get a novella-length part instead. (Of course, they're not really novella-length because it's a 400,000 word book. Those "novellas" are actually like 70,000- or 80,000-word novels) 17th Shard: Will the next Stormlight Archive books have interludes as well? Brandon: Yes, all of them will have interludes. 17th Shard: Ok. Brandon: And you will, very occasionally, revisit people in the interludes. I'll let myself have one interlude that's same between each part like we did with Szeth in this book. Ah…Szeth's a little bit more of a main, major character, so you'll get, like, one four-parter and then you'll get what, eight just random [characters/viewpoints] around the world. And you may occasionally see those characters again, but you don't have to remember them; they're not integral to understanding the plot. They should add depth and they should be showing you some interesting things that are happening in the world while we're focused [on a few important plot lines]. I don't to travelogs in my books; my characters are not going to be sweeping across the countryside and showing you all the interesting parts of the world. I tend to set my books in a certain place and if we travel someplace, we skip the travel. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: But that means the chances of us ever visiting Gavland, um…or Bavland I think I ended up naming it… 17th Shard: Was that the place with the grass? Brandon: Shinovar is where Szeth's from. Bavland is where Szeth is owned by the miner and things like that. I can't remember what I renamed that. Originally I called it Gavland, and then we had a Gavilar and so my editor insisted that it be changed. I think it's Bavland now. And so the chances of us ever visiting there with a major character and a long plot are very low. But, you know, being able to show just a glimpse of Szeth there allows me to give some scope and feel to the world. 17th Shard: Makes it epic. Brandon: Hopefully, yes. 17th Shard: Okay, next question. How is The Way of Kings related to the rest of the cosmere? What point in time is it? Brandon: Oh, so far I have written the books/series chronologically. Though, I have skipped books… 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: And so there will be jumping back eventually, but Elantris, Mistborn, Warbreaker and Way of Kings all happened chronologically. 17th Shard: Just in general, how is it related to the rest of the cosmere? Or can you say? Brandon: I, uh…officially don't know what you're talking about. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: I mean, what do you mean by "related to"? 17th Shard: For example, the letter… Brandon: Yes, just like the letter that I have no idea what you're talking about. I will tell you that one of the novels I skipped is actually set in the same solar system. 17th Shard: Oh…so this is the series that that book shares. [Editor's Note: Some on the 17th Shard staff have read many of Brandon's unpublished works. This editor has no idea what they're talking about.] Brandon: Yes, this is the series that the book shares that I skipped. I was planning to do it first, but now was the time to do the Stormlight Archive. So you will eventually see a book set on a planet in the same solar system. You could just pick out in the sky of Roshar if you were watching when [something happens? —ed], and it may even get mentioned because it's a fairly close planet. 17th Shard: Is that on Divine Silence? Brandon: Silence Divine happens there. 17th Shard: What is the name of that planet? Brandon: Hmm…should I tell you? 17th Shard: Yes! Brandon: Oh, Peter says no. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: You got PAFO'd. 17th Shard: (laughter continues) Go ask Peter and find out. Brandon: No, it's like, Peter and not find out. 17th Shard: (still laughing) PANFO. Brandon: Yeah, PANFO. 17th Shard: We've been PANFO'd. Brandon: Yeah, PANFO'd, Peter and not find out. Good. 17th Shard: (more laughter) We just won't leave. Brandon: Yeah, so, I will tell you the name of that planet once it is out like I've told you the rest of them. 17th Shard: Ok, fair enough. Do you have a scene you enjoyed more than the rest, and on the flip side, was their something that you did not enjoy? Brandon: I will say that I really loved doing all the interludes because they gave me a sense, when I was writing this book, of jumping to something new, which is part of what kept me going in all of this. Are they my favorite scenes in the book? No, but they were probably my favorite to write because it's like I get to take a break and write something whacky and looney, so to speak. Hmm…is there anything that was harder? You know, revisions are always hard. In the next to last draft I changed Dalinar's arc very substantially, and that was a hard write. And, you know, Adolin was not originally a viewpoint character, so there was a lot of hard writing there. So, poor Adolin probably gets the badge for hardest to write. Not because he as a character was hard to write but because I was having to repurpose scenes and toss out scenes and rewrite them with Adolin as the viewpoint character and so on to add just a little more dimension to Dalinar's plot arc. 17th Shard: You said it was because of your work on The Wheel of Time that you were able to do this story justice. What did you mean? Brandon: Wheel of Time forced me to stretch as an author and it forced me to learn to juggle multiple viewpoints. I hadn't had a lot of practice writing sequels or planning sequels, and then I had to write the twelfth book in a fourteen book series. This taught me a lot about working with sequels. Also, seeing what Robert Jordan did for foreshadowing really taught me a lot about how to foreshadow across a big long epic. But I would say mostly it's just juggling the viewpoints, learning how to make sure all the characters are making appearances and we're enjoying them all and everything is balanced all without losing track. 17th Shard: You hired four artists to contribute to this book… Brandon: Yes. 17th Shard: …and had their artwork included in the book. Why did you decide to do this? Brandon: When I say four artists I am including Michael Whelan whom I didn't hire, the company commissioned, so we really have three interior artists and then Michael Whelan who did the beautiful cover. Again, I wanted to use the form of this novel to try and enhance what epic fantasy can do, and downplay the things that are tough about it. One of the tough things about epic fantasy is the learning curve. How much you have to learn a pay attention to, how many things there are to just know. I felt that occasional illustrations could really help with that. For instance, how Shallan's sketch book, or uses of multiples maps, could give us a visual component to the book. You know, pictures really are worth a thousand words. You can have on that page something that shows a creature much better than I can describe it. And so I felt that that would help deemphasize the problem of the learning curve, while at the same time helping to make this world real. Epic fantasy is about immersion, and I wanted to make this world real since that's one of the great things we can do with epic fantasy. We've got the space and the room to just build a completely real world, and I felt that the art would allow me to do that, which is why I decided to do "in world" art. I didn't want to take this toward a graphic novel. I like graphic novels but it wasn't appropriate here to do illustrations of the scenes and characters from the books, because I don't want to tell you what they look like. I want that to be up to your own imagination. And so we wanted that "in world" ephemera feel to it, as though it were some piece of art that you found in the world and included. I think it goes back to Tolkien. There's a map in The Hobbit, and that map isn't just a random map, which has become almost a cliché of fantasy books, and of epic fantasy. "Oh, of course there's a random map in the front!" Well [Tolkien] wanted you to think this map was the actual map the characters carried around and that's why he included it. He wrote his books as if he were the archivist putting them together and translating them and bringing them to you, this wonderful story from another world, and he included the map because the map was there with the notes. That's what I wanted the feel for this ephemera to be. As though whoever's been writing the Ars Arcanum for all of the books has collected this book together, done the translation and included pieces of art and maps and things that they found in the world that had been collected during these events, and that's what you're getting. 17th Shard: Wonderful. Now we're moving on to the some most likely RAFO questions. This will probably go really quick. Brandon: Ok. 17th Shard: Now that we've seen Shadesmar can you elaborate more on it? Perhaps why you wanted a map of it included in the book? Brandon: RAFO. 17th Shard: (laughing) If you put all the Shardblades and all the Shardplate together in one place, will you create a Voltron? Brandon: (laughs) 17th Shard: (laughs) Brandon: NO. 17th Shard: Is Cultivation a Shard on Roshar? Brandon: Yes, Cultivation is. (very inquisitively) Where did you get that word? 17th Shard: It's in the book. Brandon: Is it in the book? Okay. 17th Shard: It's mentioned once. Brandon: Okay, one of the Shards form Roshar is Cultivation. 17th Shard: What is the name of the Shard which is the Almighty? Brandon: Ah…RAFO! 17th Shard: What percentage of the underlying Cosmere have we uncovered? Like five percent, fifteen percent? Brandon: The number of planets? Or… 17th Shard: No, not even that. Like how much do we know about the underlying metaphysics? Of the rules? Brandon: Um… 17th Shard: You said that there's a lot more that we don't know. Brandon: There is a lot you don't know. 17th Shard: I was wondering if you could put a number on it? Brandon: I don't know if I can put a number on it. If you've read Dragonsteel you have a lot more, because there's talk of philosophy in that book about it. But I can't give a percentage because I know it all. 17th Shard: (laughter) Brandon: And I can't remember at times. I often have to go back and research and say, okay, what did I put in, what haven't I included and so on. I would say that you know enough to be dangerous, but not the majority by far. There is an underlying theorem of magic for all of these worlds, which I don't think has been mentioned before… 17th Shard: No… Brandon: But yeah, it's kinda one of the things that may amaze. People keep trying to look for a unifying theory of physics. You know, the great, unifying [theory that ties all things together]. I have a little science background and I wanted there to be a unifying theory of magic, which there is, in these books at least. It's not simple, it's not like one sentence, but you can map out how the magic all fits together in this kind of super theorem. The following questions may contain spoilers for the Mistborn novels. You have been warned. 17th Shard: If a Mistborn burns lerasium, as in, not just ingests it, what effect would it grant Allomantically? Brandon: That is a RAFO. It would do something, but the thing you've gotta remember is that, when ingesting lerasium for the first time and gaining the powers, your body is actually burning it. Think of lerasium as a metal anyone can burn. Does that make sense? 17th Shard: It does. Brandon: By burning it you gain access to those powers. It rewrites your spiritual DNA, and there are ways to do really cool things with lerasium that I don't see how anyone would know. Were most Mistborn to just burn it, it would rewrite their genetic code to increase their power as an Allomancer. 17th Shard: Joe from the U.K. asks a terrifying question, "If an Allomancer is turned into a loloss, would they keep their powers?" Brandon: If an Allomancer is turned into a koloss? You know… 17th Shard: We're scared of this. Brandon: Yeah, no. That's actually something I've thought about. An Allomancer turned into a koloss would keep their powers because, as you'll recall, an Allomancer turned in to an Inquisitor retains their powers. Whether they would be able to always know how to use them remains to be seen, but you could definitely have a koloss Allomancer if you built them right. 17th Shard: Are all Inquisitors required to have an atium spike? Brandon: No, they are not. 17th Shard: Okay. Which metal steals the power of Feruchemic gold? The Hero of Ages epigraphs say it was pewter, but it can't be pewter, since pewter steals Feruchemical Physical powers. Brandon: Right…that's probably a typo. I will have to go back to the notes, that's more of a PAFO… 17th Shard: Is that a PAFO and actually find out? Or a PANFO… Brandon: Yeah, no, no. Peter and find out. 17th Shard: Are there a limited amount of atium and lerasium alloys for each metal? Brandon: Hmm, yes…I suppose there would be but there are… 17th Shard: More than sixteen? Brandon: Yeah, way more than sixteen. 17th Shard: Oh wow. Okay. That's fascinating. More than sixteen and less than infinite. Brandon: Yes. 17th Shard: Okay. Jordan asks, "If one were to become an atium savant could they see further into the future than normal?" Brandon: Yes. 17th Shard: Jordan also asks, "Are there forms of birth control on Scadrial?" Brandon: Yes, there are. Witness, Vin and Elend not getting pregnant across several years. 17th Shard: Right. It's just not really mentioned in the books. Brandon: Yeah. I stay away from that intentionally. There are a lot of things I just didn't discuss due to the the feel of that book. 17th Shard: Cool. Very careful roleplayers have counted the numbers of Inquisitors appearing in the novels and they claim there must have been 25 if Vin and Elend killed two Inquisitors between Mistborn 2 and Mistborn 3. Could you clarify the numbers of Inquisitors there were? Brandon: Um… 17th Shard: They've literally counted. Brandon: They literally, yeah…No, I mean, I've got it written down somewhere. I'm now so separated from this book. 17th Shard: Yeah. Brandon: I had always imagined there being around three dozen Inquisitors at any given time. 17th Shard: Oh, okay, so quite a bit more than 20. Brandon: Right. Well the thing you've gotta remember is that, with the powers they're given, they're pretty much immune to disease and things like that, particularly after they've gained their healing spike. 17th Shard: Right. Is that common to all Inquisitors? Brandon: It does not come to all. It comes to almost all. That's a pretty common one, but being an Inquisitor does not mean you get it. I think it mentions in the books that there's one spike that they all get, but I can't remember what it is. 17th Shard: I would imagine that would…well, okay, a steel spike so they could see. Brandon: Right. Yeah, obvious, but the thing is you've gotta have a Keeper to be able give a healing spike. 17th Shard: Exactly. Brandon: The ones alive now pretty much all have healing spikes, but there were times throughout history when he needed a new Inquisitor and he didn't have a Keeper (a Feruchemist) handy. He could make an Inquisitor without that. 17th Shard: So… Brandon: That is not what's keeping them alive from the spikes being driven through their bodies. 17th Shard: So the linchpin spike is not always the same type of spike. Brandon: It doesn't have to be. The linchpin spike is just, when you're putting that many spikes together into somebody it needs a spike to coordinate them all. That is part of what's holding their body together from all of this damage, and it doesn't have to be the healing spike. The nature of Feruchemy is separate from that, if that makes any sense. For instance, you could put a few spikes into an Inquisitor without a linchpin spike, and they wouldn't die. 17th Shard: Can you burn the spikes? Like, Allomantically? For example, could they burn the steel in their head spikes? Brandon: (sighs) I considered that and I eventually decided that they could, but it would be an excruciating process that would probably knock them unconscious simply by doing it. 17th Shard: Would they be able to tap? Brandon: Would they tap them? They can use them as metalminds, yes. 17th Shard: Sorry, that was a huge tangent. Brandon: No, that's good, you probably needed to know that for roleplaying. They can use them as metalminds. 17th Shard: I was trying to write Hemalurgy articles and…we're assuming that gold steals Feruchemic gold just so we can use that as a goldmind… Brandon: Right, right. 17th Shard: But we don't know. That's why I asked, so, um… Brandon: That's a PAFO for sure. 17th Shard: He said he'll get back to us because he doesn't know. Brandon: Yeah. 17th Shard: Tucker asks, "Will you ever write a book or series where different magic systems come into the same world?" Brandon: Where different magic systems come into the same world. Um…I have already. 17th Shard: (confused) Published novels? Brandon: Yes. 17th Shard: I mean like different magic systems from different worlds. Brandon: That's what I said. 17th Shard: He's being really clever about this, Eric. (Eric says) Okay, okay, sorry. Brandon: You're asking if I'll do it obviously. 17th Shard: (laughs) Brandon: Where that's the focus of the novel? Someday I might. Right now I've been planning in the back of my head, but I'm not sure if I'll do it. See, here's the thing: I like all of this stuff to be behind the scenes; I don't want any reader to walk up on the shelf and pull it out and feel like they are completely lost because they have to read 27 Sanderson novels before this one makes sense. And so that would be my hesitance in ever doing that. But I already have in very subtle ways. And if were going to do a conflux book, I might just post it on my website. I don't know, I'm not sure. It depends on how popular the things are and whatnot. But, I don't think I want to do that to my casual readers. 17th Shard: Right, they wouldn't have any of the background. Brandon: Right, they wouldn't have any of the background. Thing is, some of the magic systems do cross worlds, and have before. And that has not happened obviously; you haven't really seen it. Right now Liar of Partinel [an unpublished book —ed] and Stormlight Archives share a magic system, because with the unifying theory of magic there's a certain number of things that magic can do, and there's a lot of different ones, but when they get similar they tend to work in the same way. So Lightweaving shows up in both books. I may change that for Liar of Partinel, but it's kind of integral to that book and it's kind of integral to Stormlight Archive right now too. This is one of the reasons why I had to decide to do either Dragonsteel or Stormlight Archive as the big epic. Some of the magic systems have been discovered on different planets, and some of them do work. A lot of them don't, but some of them do. It depends on your spiritual DNA, what people are able to do, and things like that. But, if you find a way to do illusion magic in one of my worlds it's going to work pretty much like Lightweaving, regardless of which planet you're on. If that makes sense. 17th Shard: Can you elaborate more on cadmium and bendalloy's effects? Like, if you're speeding up time, are you speeding up time for you in the bubble or what? Brandon: Anything in the bubble. 17th Shard: Okay. Brandon: You create a space around you of sped-up space-time, and anything that gets in there moves more slowly. Like, let's say that I shot a bullet at you and you popped it with sped-up time. That bullet would move really slowly. Everything around you would be slowed. Ah, no, but you would be the same so when the bullet entered it would go the same speed that you are going, but once it's out, it's either faster or slower. Does that make sense? 17th Shard: Yeah, it does, it does. [Editor's Note: No, it doesn't, it doesn't. This editor is very confused.] And it's the same with bendalloy, just… Brandon: Reversed, yeah. It can have some really powerful effects, but the problem is, you can't change anything. As soon as you get close enough to change it, it's in there with you. So, if you were using it the right way you could dodge bullets, as long as you were able to get it off before the bullet got too close to you, but that's hard to do. 17th Shard: Yeah, that would be the trick. Brandon: And, if you're the one who can slow time, you could get someone in your bubble and slow time, then let everyone else move more quickly around you, which, of course, takes a lot more practice to use. You've got to have a buddy who's outside the bubble but who you could stop, he could stop you, and we would see time move the same but everything around us would go super fast. If people were ready for that they could make use of it. [Editor's Note: I'm sorry if these answers are poorly edited. I don't really understand what Brandon means, so I can't be sure I'm preserving that meaning when I translate from the raw transcription.] 17th Shard: That has a lot of uses… Brandon: Yeah. 17th Shard: Okay, well I think that wraps everything up. Brandon: Okay. 17th Shard: Thank you so much!
  8. You've waited, and now you shall receive. Finally. Here is 17th Shard's exclusive interview with Brandon Sanderson, where for forty minutes, we talk about the Way of Kings, as well as some Mistborn questions, and a very important question about Voltron. The Way of Kings stuff is spoiler free, but once you get to the "Most Likely RAFO Questions", I highly suggest you have read the book before you listen to that part. The Mistborn questions are here because, hey, I run the Mistborn RP, and there some interesting questions to be asked! You should maybe read the trilogy before listening to that part. I hear it's good. In fact, that's usually because I'm the one saying it. You'll notice that while Brandon's voice quality is pretty good in the interview, the three of us (Josh, Mi'ch, and I) are ridiculously soft. This tends to happen when we give Brandon the good mic and we're passing around the bad one. You'll also notice that this was recorded in August. We are absolutely on the ball for getting this online, as you all know. (Give Spencer, mycoltbug on the forums, a shout out for doing the editing) Here's the download: