Seattle signing report

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karaokeang is recording as we speak and will hopefully join in on this thread to share, but in the meantime, here's a transcription of the Q&A for your enjoyment!


Would the powers of a magical object change if it went to a different world?
It is plausible that they will, but most likely is that they don't work right. Most of them will not.

I've lost track of the number of magical systems that you have created and I was just wondering if you could say a little bit about your process of creating magical systems.
What I'm looking for is something interesting. It is kind of hard to explian, because to create a magic system, I've read a lot of fantasy, and personally I feel that one of my duties is to push the genre in different directions. There was a period where our worldbuilding was not as extensive as it should be. Stuck as we were for a while, it felt like the genre hit a bit of a rut, and I wanted to push it in different directions. The screwy magic systems I create are part of that. I feel excited about them, it's sometihng I feel ?? Google Sanderson's First Law.

If you could burn one metal from Mistborn, what would it be?
Coinshot. I want to fly.

Why are Ryshadium cooler than regular horses? I suspect a spren bond.
There is Investiture involved.

Can you tell me who the herald is for the Truthwatches.
RAFO, sorry, good question.

How about one of the surges?
I am RAFO'ing the truthwatchers entirely.

Can you go into healing a bit more?
Regrowth in the books - Healing is an aspect, Regrowth is ??,

Best fantasy author debuted in the last year:
Brian McClellan with the Powdermage books, but that's a year and a half ago so it doesn't count. I'm reading a book right now by one of my former students that's really good but it's not published yet. Most of the books I've read in the last year are either friends or things I needed to catch up on.

Strategies for the Sagging Middle.
Middles are tough. My experience has been that the writer thinks the middle sags more than it does, because you're not at the exciting beginning wherever everything's fresh and not at the end with the climax. Stagger the climaxes. For instance, Words of Radiance, I built it and plotted it like three books with multiple climaxes from major characters at the end of part 1, at the end of part 3, and at the end of the whole thing. It'll make your novel read like a trilogy.

Travel time frame of reference -  how long is a day's ride?
There's two answers. One is the official answer, and that depends on the horse, what you're feeding the horse, how you're pushing the horse - I think a wagon can go 1-2 miles an hour, a good horse if you're trading horses can go further. My expectation that it's usually 20-30 miles but that's pushing the horse hard. You're usually not going that much faster than people can walk, 2-3 miles an hour. Humans are better at going long distance than horses. But horses are more comfortable and can sprint if they need to. This is not something that I do a ton on because most of my books take place in one location - that's what we're looking at for a day's ride. Eight hours between 16 and 24 miles, but someone can correct me if they know better.

Speaking of Rothfuss, can you tell us how far along he is...
No, I don't know how far along Pat is, when I hang out with Pat I don't ask him because he gets that enough.  I'll tell you this, in my outline from ten years ago, the third book is named Stones Unhallowed, and his third book is named Doors of Stone. So either I've got to beat it or change it - I thought, "I have to write this book faster".

Out of all the characters, who do you identify with the most?
Hard to say because each of my characters I identify with in some way. Can't pick favorite characters or books becaues they're all my children.

Will you write any more books in the Alcatraz series?
Yes. I bought them back and sold them to Tor. I'm looking at doing it soon, this year or the next. I finished Firefight; the next book on my list is the Rithmatist and after that Tor has requested is Stormlight

What Radiant order would you be?
I want to fly, so Windrunner.

Interludes having characters on the other side of the world - when can we see Lift again?
She is seated (ceded)? for future use, indeed. Some of these interludes are for characters that I'll need in the future. Lift is there because she's going to do much Awesomeness in the future.

When do you expect to finish Shadows of Self?
It was on the schedule for this fall to finish, but the third Stormlight book has pushed that aside, so it'll probably be the next book after that.  Tom Doherty didn't want to have a four-year gap twice in a row, and I don't want to let it go so far. It's better to establish that I'll be doing Stormlight regularly before deviating. When I pitched Mistborn to my editor, I pitched a series going to modern times to space opera in the same universe. There will be another trilogy of thick books at 1980s technology, I pitched to my editor as "Tom Clancy Allomancy" and we will eventually get to the space opera, which will be allomancers in space.

Is Vasher the swordmaster-ardent?
(coy) I have no idea why you would ask that.

Zahel the Swordmaster ardent was in the 2002 WoK by a different name and it blew my assistant's mind when he looked back in the original draft. It was ALL PLANNED.

When do we get to officially get to know what's going on in the Cosmere?
All of my epic fantasy books are connected with continuing characters. That's a way off, and that's because I don't want people to feel like they have to have read all my previous books to enjoy the series. It should be about the characters. Eventually I will write one that's a mashup, but we're not there yet. I'll be very upfront about it when I do it. For now it's just easter eggs.

How do you pick names?
It really varies based on the book. I'm often picking a linguistic paradigm. Alethi - there are two separate paradigms because I like linguistics to be messy. Usually based on symmetry being holy, so they'd pick names one letter off from symmetrical to avoid hubris.  Also suffix - like Kaladin is Kalak (herald) + din which is a suffix, all of them mean things, like the old Hebrew names have "born of" or "comes through". Stick that on and drop the last letter. Dalinar, Elhokar, all of those have suffixes - nar, kar.  In Mistborn, I didn't want linguistics to be your focus, for in that I picked a simpler naming paradigm - I lifted linguistics from the real world. Central Dominance is French. The Germanic area, we have Elend and Straff, and then we hav eSpanish on the other area. I just kind of took Earth cultures and appropriated them. That's an easier way to do it, because Mistborn is kind of an earth analogue. But Roshar is very different. Mistborn I didn't want you to think of the difference, which is why I gave everyone nicknames that are easy to say.

What would happen if Alcatraz tried to wield Nightblood?
They would get in a long conversation about random things and the book would just be those two having a discussion, and then the entire world would break probably.

Navani's fabrial bracelet:
The stones don't have to be all heliodors. "They will change." (???)
The number of prongs is not significant; the artist made the decision.


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Good stuff! I wish we could get more information about the history of the Ryshadium - they don't strike me as just some random horses being Invested a long time ago by accident. They are man-made, I believe.


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I have two theories about that - the more plausible one is a spren bond like the greatshells, skyeels, chasmfiends, Purelake fish, etc etc. The theory I like better is biological engineering by the Knights Radiant. Since regular horses aren't strong enough to comfortably carry someone wearing Shardplate...


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Interludes having characters on the other side of the world - when can we see Lift again?

She is seated (ceded)? for future use, indeed. Some of these interludes are for characters that I'll need in the future. Lift is there because she's going to do much Awesomeness in the future.

Try "seeded"

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About Lift Wor have some foreshadowing about that.

Dalinar said that the new Azir emperor want to chat with him.

Lift are in Azir with Gawx(new emperor), so probaly she will appear in the next book when Dalinar go to talk with Gawx =)

Edited by Natans

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My question from the signing line (there's about 5 hours of audio, so I imagine it will take her awhile to get it all transcribed):


How long has Zahel been slumming it on Roshar?

For quite a long time, on this planet he can get something quite easily that is much harder to get where he came from.


Fun signing, but the line was super long.

Edited by arbron

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Warbreaker Spoilers

That confirms that Vasher can eat Stormlight.

Edited by Kurkistan

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Navani's fabrial bracelet:

The stones don't have to be all heliodors. "They will change." (???)


We'll need clarification for that. What will the stones change into? (I hope Peter will find this and give an answer.)


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Seeing I'm relatively new here, I originally posted this in the wrong forum. WeiryWriter ask me to place it in this forum and thread....

I finally got around to transcribing the few minutes I had alone with Brandon for a Q&A at the end of the Seattle signing. Some of the questions were from tor.com rereaders, some were mine, and I found a couple on the 17thshard forums. I told karaokeang I’d post what I found, so here they are:

Q: Are larkin and lanceryn one and the same?

A: There’s a little bit more than just [being] one and the same, but in some ways they are.

Q: Do all greatshells have spren?

A: In order to survive with the science that I built, the greatshells almost all require some sort of spren to keep them from collapsing. (I suspect greatshells in the water may not require them.)

Q: Did Adonalsium deliberately shatter itself?

A: Hmmm, good question! RAFO!

Q: Why didn’t Kaladin’s brand heal if Lopen can regrow an arm?

A: It comes down to how one views oneself. It is the answer that you think it is. So really what that’s saying is Kaladin sees himself as branded.

Q: Does Shardplate use a spren?

A: That’s a RAFO.

Q: Can Glys, Renarin’s spren, be a box?

A: The box is not his spren.

Q: Is a Desolation caused when a Herald breaks under torture?

A: This person is asking the right kinds of questions. (It’s since been confirmed from another Q&A that when the Heralds leave the place of torture a Desolation occurs. Taln is STRONG.)

Q: Who’s Nahz? The person who retrieved Shallan’s notebook…

A: You have seen him before.

Q: Why does Urithiru not have hallowed stones?

A: That’ll be answered eventually. It’s cultural, not magical.

Q: Why does Lift feel that Darkness isn’t a real person?

A: Because Lift is an interesting person who has her own perspective on the world.

Q: Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t?

A: Probably not… Do you know if anyone has figured out the hidden things in the map of Roshar? (We discussed the pattern 15 code for a bit. I’m glad it’s been solved! He said that it wouldn’t be earth shattering, but it would be cool to know. And boy, it was!)

Q: I picked up the Easter Eggs for Mraize being a Worldhopper. It was actually the sand that did it, having been fortunate enough to read White Sand.

A: Now there’s something odd about that sand. What color is the sand in WoR? (And I couldn’t remember it was pale! So lost an opportunity, darn it!)

(Speculated that I thought that at one time the Parshendi had used Odium spren or Unmade, and they must have finally divested themselves of the spren and that’s why they forgot how to get a lot of the spren forms. And they were trying to figure that out and things have taken a turn for the worse. He said no comment.)

Q: Are the Parshendi at the village the only Parshendi there are? Besides for the Parshmen...

A: The Parshendi as a people were all at Narak. Barring any scouts and things like that. That doesn’t mean that there might not be any other Parshmen out there that have bonded spren, but they would not have been part of this nation – any more than if you found another human that they may not necessarily be American.


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karaokeang, any chance we can get the audio uploaded? Don't worry about transcribing; I'm sure we can get volunteers.


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