Around the Cosmere 1/13/12


Hey everyone, and welcome to 2012! Welcome back to Around the Cosmere. We took a holiday break inside a cadmium bubble and now we’re back for some exciting weekly news. Your heart will melt. You may marry our weekly newscast. (17th Shard is not responsible and assumes no liability for the state of your marital relations with Around the Cosmere. But, we hear Hoid gives great relationship advice. Especially to Josh and Mi’chelle.)

Here’s a rather time-critical piece of news: if you’re in Utah County, you can play Magic with Brandon tomorrow, noon, at the Utah Valley Epic Games. Take the Lehi Main exit, and go west. There will probably be a draft. Have fun, any of you who can get down there! Judging from Twitter, looks like Josh, Mi’chelle, and Zach are all going, so be sure to say hi to them. Also, since Brandon’s doing it for fun, you may want to lay off the cosmere questions.

That reminds me of something else, actually. Brandon will no longer sign books with the signing instruction “Write me a cosmere clue.” Come with more specific questions. smile.gif

Now for some updates. Since we’ve been gone, there’s a bunch of Mythwalker chapters posted. There is just one left! There’s also a bunch of new episodes of Writing Excuses. They have switched to a system where a “Season” correspond to a year, rather than just an arbitrary number of episodes. Season six ended with (fittingly) Help! I Can’t End My Book, and season seven began with When Good Characters Go Bad and World building Flora and Fauna. The flora and fauna one is especially a revelation. Have a listen!

Did you know that recently, the Kelsier short story--called The Eleventh Metal--that’s in the Mistborn Adventure Game has an excerpt posted on Brandon’s site? You have to buy the Mistborn Adventure Game to read the whole thing, but trust us when we say that the short story is well worth your $15 alone for the game’s ebook. And there’s a massive, very awesome RPG in there, too. It’s a steal. I mention the Eleventh Metal because...

Awards and Voting

It’s award season! Sure, there are the Hugos, which we’ll discuss in a moment. But you can vote for a few things (for free!) right now. Forum member Kelek reminded us about the 2011 Tor.com Reader’s Choice Awards! You can vote in the comments of that post right now. There are four categories:

  • Best Novel
  • Best Short Fiction
  • Best Comic
  • Best Book Cover

It’s all write-in, so you can vote for whatever. But allow us to recommend what Brandon is eligible for.

Best Novel:

  • The Alloy of Law (duh)

Best Short Fiction:

  • “The Eleventh Metal” in the Mistborn Adventure Game
  • Infinity Blade: Awakening (Note: for this category, stories must be under 40,000 words. Peter verified that Infinity Blade: Awakening is just above 39,000, so it qualifies. The more you know!)

Best Book Cover:

  • The Alloy of Law, which had its cover done by Chris McGrath.

So, go ahead and vote! Also, the first round of the voting for the David Gemmel Legend Award is up, and Alloy of Law is on the list. The first round of voting ends on March 31st. Take a gander.

Lastly, it’s Hugo Award nominating time. If you went to WorldCon in 2011, or you’re a member for 2012 or 2013, you can vote. (If you want to just vote, you can get a supporting membership, which are much cheaper than the attending membership.) The stuff we listed above is all eligible (that is, if you move Infinity Blade: Awakening to the Best Novella category). You can see more here, because we’re not just shills for Brandon, but also all of the Writing Excuses team, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal. You can nominate more than one thing for each category.

Book Discussions

You thought we were done? Nope, there’s a metric buttload (definitely an SI unit) of forum topics that have been posted. You guys are crazy awesome. On the Mistborn side of things, we have a very careful method on how to get faster-than-light travel with the Metallic Arts. There’s a theory about the role of the peoples on the southern pole of Scadrial, and the second Mistborn Trilogy. On the Guess At the Remaining Hemalurgic Powers thread, of special note is in the more recent replies, where we discuss how the quadrants vary between magic system. There are some interesting Allomantic thought experiments. And for an idea totally out of left field, perhaps a method of how to dominate Hemalurgists with Feruchemy.

I’ll admit, I don’t surf the Stormlight section as much as I should, so I miss some things. But here are some recent topics I thought were cool. Should we be suspicious of Renarin? Quite possibly! There’s a very interesting theory on the black sphere Szeth had, and its influence. Perhaps the black sphere has some Cognitive influence on its holder. And lastly, the debate on Cusicesh the Protector’s spren type (that is, the giant spren Axies sees). Interestingly enough, also deals with Cognitive links.

Cosmere Theories

As always, cosmere theories are typically spoiler-filled! Like book discussions, things have just exploded (and boy, I’m behind), so I’ll stick with the new topics. There are some pretty non-standard ones, which are always pretty cool to see. We have a cogent theory about the letter in the Way of Kings, which posits that the letter was written to Hoid, rather Hoid being its author.(Note that this topic was completely edited, so the first few replies deal with the old version) It’s certainly out of the norm, that’s for sure! Next there’s some ramblings about Investiture, which connects Shards, Investiture, and defines what “End-Positive” “End-Neutral” and “End-Negative” means. You’ll have to read it and make up your mind!

Then we have a theory about Shardic Radiation and Genetic Magics such as the Metallic Arts, as well as AonDor. Pretty neat!

And one final note. We had covered the West Jordan signing on our last newscast, but I wanted to mention perhaps the most theoretically interesting aspect of them:

Request: Give me a hint about Odium.

What Brandon wrote: Odium is not native to Roshar.

Now realize, we had asked Brandon a very long time ago:

13. How many Shards have existed on Roshar?

ANSWER: Three

So, I feel we are at a quandry. I’ll sum up the arguments that have happened on the subject. One could say that the specific phrasing of the question “How many Shards have existed on Roshar” means that Odium is inherently included in the three Shards. But, there is the quote “Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns.” You could interpret that Odium (the Broken One) is not included in the three if he wasn’t native to Roshar. In which case, there’s another Shard on Roshar which hasn’t been identified. Food for thought...

Other Forum Stuffs

Our own member FeatherWriter must be pretty excited, because Brandon showcased this image of the Soulcaster her mom made for her for Christmas. Peter shed some light on the pewter figurines--unfortunately, they aren’t coming back. Also, I write about how you are all awesome. Thanks, guys.

See you next week!


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