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Puck

REPORT: Vericon

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VERICON @ Sever Hall, Harvard, Cambridge, MA

I left Providence this morning around 8:45 to give myself plenty of time to get to Harvard. Google Maps didn't fail me, and I parked about 50 minutes later. I found Sever Hall with only some difficulty, where the lovely nerds at the reception desk pointed me to an ATM and a RadioShack, where I picked up a digital audio recorder. I slid into my seat around 10 minutes before Brandon's "Reading and Q&A" session, and I was surprised to see only a half-dozen people there! However, the number of attendees tripled as everyone trickled in at the last minute along with Brandon.

ALLOY OF LAW READING

Brandon took a quick poll, and the majority wanted him to read from Alloy of Law (I voted for Steel Heart, his self-styled "superhero apocalypse book," but I wasn't too upset at the loss). Brandon took up the entire 45 minute slot reading. He read the entire prologue, summarized the events of chapter 1, and read half of chapter 2. I'm not a professional book reviewer, and I'm clearly biased, but Alloy of Law is freaking amazing. It is able to go from touching, to exciting, to hilarious, to disturbing smoothly and believably. Seriously, it's some of the best dialogue I've seen from Brandon (and that's including Lightsong in Warbreaker).

I recorded the entire session and, should we get approval to post it (I could understand if Peter would rather we didn't), I'll upload it here. Until then (or instead of that, should we get a "no") here are some details that I recalled on the ride home (no cheating, Peter. I promise!)

- We deal with a bendalloy (Allomantic)/gold (Feruchemical) Twinborn in addition to Wax's steel/iron combo

- The nickname for a iron Feruchemist is a "Slider"

- A nickname for Sazed is "Harmony" (I think)

- The events in the first trilogy have spawned 2 religions: Survivorism (der) and Pathism (followers of Sazed, unless I completely misread things)

- Bendalloy has some very interesting rules/restrictions:

----- once a time bubble is created, it cannot be moved; I had always thought it would follow the misting around as they moved)

----- entering/exiting a time bubble has some interesting effects. You can't shoot out of it, because objects entering/leaving the bendalloy bubble (especially those at high velocity) have some strange kind of conservation-of-energy-like effect, where they gain some kind of spin and ricochet in a different direction. I can't help but extrapolate what this means for individuals trying to enter/leave the stationary bubble. Maybe if it's done slowly (like with a shield in Dune), it's OK. We'll have to theorize on that until the novel comes out.

- [This one might already be known, but it sounded new to me] The third Mistborn trilogy will be sci-fi, involving space travel. Crossovers, anyone? This might be the beginning of the final stage of Unity

Q&A AT SIGNING

While I was thrilled to hear the excellent, excellent intro to Alloy of Law, I was a little sad that we didn't get to the Q&A part of the session. So I headed over to the Harvard Bookstore, where he would be signing and answering questions. Now, this bit was a little strange for me. I've met Brandon before (probably a dozen times or so between '06 and '09), all at varying levels of fame, I listen to writing excuses every week, and I follow his blag, so it wasn't "oh my gosh, I get to meet him" jitters. I feel like, in all the ways that I want to, I already know Brandon.

The jitters were probably a combination of a couple of things: (1) I had no desire to have him sign anything, I just wanted to ask Brandon a couple of questions. I've never a big "sign things" person, especially when the signer is a person to me, and not a Figure (if that makes any sense). And (2) this was the first time that I had one-on-one interaction with Brandon while considering myself an agent for a higher group (namely, the 17th Shard). It was a bit nerve-wracking in a way that was completely new to me. Anyway, ending my indulgent self-psychoanalysis...

I figured out the way to overcome (1). Instead of having him personalize it to me, I asked him to write a clue about the Cosmere in my worn copy of Elantris (it's my first Sanderson, and is literally falling apart; the cover is scotch taped on rolleyes.gif). He wrote "Do not go to Shadesmar on this world (really, I'm not kidding)" on the title page, then said to me "You guys can chew on that for a little while."

I like that. I think that I'll bring in all of my books to his next New York/Boston signing and ask him for Cosmere clues instead of signatures.

After he signed my book, I asked him a few questions and got the following nuggets (some of these were also overheard in his discussions with other people):

CAMEO: There is a cameo of Josh & Michele in Alloy of Law! There's a gunfight at their wedding reception [I feel like I've heard this somewhere before, but it also sounded new to me]

DOUBLE TWINBORN: There will be a _____ Twinborn somewhere in the novel, a Twinborn with matching metals a la how the Lord Ruler used atium

AONA'S SHARD

17S Does Aona = Love or Compassion?

BS: "You have it, it's just a synonym there. You basically have it"

NOT SKAI'S SHARD

17S Does Skai = Devotion or Order?

BS: "You're not on there. But you are on on the first one [Aona]."

DEFINITION OF A SLIVER

17S Is the definition of Sliver: Someone who has held a large part of the raw form of a Shard temporarily?

BS: "That is it"

SORT-OF DEFINITION OF A SPLINTER

17S How is a Splinter different from a Sliver?

BS: "Let me see... You have met splinters in Elantris, Warbreaker, and in Way of Kings. You have not met them in Mistborn."

17S: "I feel like we know that. So, qualitatively, what's the difference?'

BS: "Qualitatively, they're reverses of one another. A Sliver is a human intelligence who has held the power and released it. A Splinter has never been human."

17S: "But it derives from a Shard's power."

BS: "Yes. That's not it completely, but there's at least something to think about."

So we got some good stuff. I was a little too starstruck to dig for more specificity on the Slivers, but that won't happen again biggrin.gif

With my head full of thoughts, I headed back to my car, where the good policing force of Harvard had decided to bestow upon me a $25 parking ticket for the extra 15 minutes that I had overstayed my meter's welcome.

You know what? Totally worth it.

Edited by Puck
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This is amazing. Good, good stuff! All the info is really intriguing, and you definitely picked some awesome questions to ask. Well done, good sir! :D

EDIT: So good, in fact, that I promoted it to an article. Congratulations on making it to the front page! You wouldn't happen to have any pictures from the event so I can put one in the article, would you?

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Tantalizing. Tantalizing.

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I'm particularly loving what he wrote about not going to Shadesmar on Sel. Very, very intriguing.

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EDIT: So good, in fact, that I promoted it to an article. Congratulations on making it to the front page! You wouldn't happen to have any pictures from the event so I can put one in the article, would you?

w00t! Achievement tastes delicious

Alas, I wasn't prescient enough to take pictures. Next time, Gadget. Next time. I'll get better at this "17th Shard Correspondent" thing, I promise

Edited by Puck
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WOW. I can't help but giggle like the fanboy I am while I read this. This is GOOD STUFF! A Splinter has never been human! Crazy! I'd say Atium and Lerasium would be, but he said we haven't seen a Splinter in Mistborn.

Don't go the Shadesmar on Sel, huh? Then how did Hoid get there! Tricky, tricky, tricky.

Synonym for Love or Compassion? How about Charity?

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Hey, you did awesome as it is. I'll just hit up google images. Thanks again for the awesome report!

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If we're posting replies on the content, move it to General Theories. I posted a topic on Shadesmar and Sel and my thoughts on that.

And if I may gloat, I totally twigged to the Splinters being fragments of power, not people (though since I didn't post a codified theory on the subject, you can call crap on me). He always referred to Splinters as power, if you look closely.

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And if I may gloat, I totally twigged to the Splinters being fragments of power, not people (though since I didn't post a codified theory on the subject, you can call crap on me). He always referred to Splinters as power, if you look closely.

Agreed. I remember where you (I think) pointed out that Brandon always says "is a Sliver" vs. "has a Splinter."

Also (I forgot to add this comment to my writeup), unless I'm way off, the known Splinters that Brandon alluded to were Seons & Skaze (Elantris), Deific Breaths and possibly even Nightblood (Warbreaker), and [honor]spren (Way of Kings). I didn't confirm these with Brandon *again, slapping my own hand* but I'm reasonably sure we all agree to this, yes?

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Did Brandon explicitly allude to all those?

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No, he only listed the books in which we see Splinters. I was just listing what I believe the Splinters to have been. That last post was definitely not fact (and might even be good question fodder for the next correspondent)

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He always referred to Splinters as power, if you look closely.

From The Way of Kings, Ch. 22 epigraph (p. 323, hardcover):

Aona and Skai are both dead, and that which they held has been Splintered.

And that's all I'll say on it in this thread; I don't want to spoil anything, and besides, this isn't the place. But that's more than enough evidence for me, especially if you read the whole epigraph.

Anyways. I wish I could have gone to this signing! I hope Brandon comes back to Florida soon.

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No, he only listed the books in which we see Splinters. I was just listing what I believe the Splinters to have been. That last post was definitely not fact (and might even be good question fodder for the next correspondent)

Only divine breath is confirmed. Don't presume the others. We'll discuss it in theories.

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The comment about there being Splinters in WoK and Elantris for sure makes me even more sure about the Seons and spren (at least the ones that form nahel bonds) being Splinters.

So woo.

Also woo on confirmation that we're on the right track re: Aona's Shard.

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About the recording, I'm guessing Brandon would not want a recording of any chapter released before its text sample is released online.

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Roger that. Thanks for letting us know! The recording won't go up until we have express permission to post it.

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I had a fun time at Vericon. There was also sort of an impromptu Q&A session on Friday evening after the panel, but any vaguely important questions flew out of my head and I asked a rather silly one (no, shardplate doesn't look like Iron Man). Unfortunately I didn't take notes on other questions ... there was some interesting discussion on laws of physics vs laws of magic, I don't remember all the details on that though. A few questions on his upcoming publishing schedule, but I'm pretty sure it was all stuff I'd already seen online.

Plus he liked my costume -- that made me happy :-D

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Being a Brandon fan requires CONSTANT VIGILANCE! when it comes to Cosmere stuff like that.

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I ... suppose so?

(I'm sorry, I don't know you well enough to tell if you're being serious here or not)

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About the recording, I'm guessing Brandon would not want a recording of any chapter released before its text sample is released online.

Thanks Peter. That's what I figured. Sorry everyone unsure.gif

I had a fun time at Vericon. There was also sort of an impromptu Q&A session on Friday evening after the panel, but any vaguely important questions flew out of my head and I asked a rather silly one (no, shardplate doesn't look like Iron Man). Unfortunately I didn't take notes on other questions ... there was some interesting discussion on laws of physics vs laws of magic, I don't remember all the details on that though. A few questions on his upcoming publishing schedule, but I'm pretty sure it was all stuff I'd already seen online.

Plus he liked my costume -- that made me happy :-D

It's cool, E. I actually recorded a lot of the impromptu question session at the signing (I have the bit about physics vs magic). It doesn't seem like there were any Cosmere questions other than mine though, although hearing him repeatedly call us his wealthy patrons was pretty fun :) I'm totally gonna leverage that for future attempts to wheedle answers out of him

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I had a fun time at Vericon. There was also sort of an impromptu Q&A session on Friday evening after the panel, but any vaguely important questions flew out of my head and I asked a rather silly one (no, shardplate doesn't look like Iron Man). Unfortunately I didn't take notes on other questions ... there was some interesting discussion on laws of physics vs laws of magic, I don't remember all the details on that though. A few questions on his upcoming publishing schedule, but I'm pretty sure it was all stuff I'd already seen online.

Plus he liked my costume -- that made me happy :-D

That reminds me, we need a gallery category for cosplay. If you have any pics of your costume, you should upload them! :D

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You just say that because of all the cosplay you do. I saw your deviantart, you can't deny it! (also, it's really cool and you go put that up, you deserve it) XP

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I'm still trying to track down pictures, I didn't get any on my own camera. Brandon posted one on his twitter though, I'm the Inquisitor.

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