Saturday, February 16, 2013

Brandon Sanderson Q&A video and highlights

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Brandon Sanderson's book signing and Q&A event organized by Bakka Phoenix Books (a fantastic store with wonderfully helpful staff) and Toronto Public Libraries. Sanderson is probably my favourite fantasy author at the moment (as well as Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss and yes - G.R.R. Martin), the author of very inventive Mistborn series, the new Stormlight series, and particularly famous right now for his continuation and conclusion of The Wheel of Time series. I also got a chance to ask him a few questions myself. So anyway, a few highlights from the Q&A:

- There will be two more trilogies in the Mistborn series. One will be set in the modern-day equivalent of the Mistborn world, the other will be set in the sci-fie equivalent of the same universe. There may also be another bridging novel between the two, just like "The Alloy of Law" is bridging the first and second Mistborn trilogies.

- Sanderson will have two YA books coming out this year. I actually look forward to picking them up, for myself as well as my students. I really think he can pull of YA well.

- The only things that Sanderson introduced into The Wheel of Time that weren't there before were more interesting tricks that Dreamwalkers could do, and more uses for gateways and Travelling. Personally I think he actually did a better job playing around with the magic system than Jordan did himself.

- Sanderson confessed that there are currently no plans for him to do either prequels or sequels to the Wheel of Time, but if he could, he'd do a prequel novella or a short story or two about Tam, Rand Al'Thor's father. I had a chance to ask him to elaborate on any further Wheel of Time projects, he mentioned that he'd love to see a video game adaptation, perhaps about Tam or based around an Aiel character. Given that I think SEGA has the rights to the Wheel of Time video game franchise right now, it might not be impossible. I just hope it'll turn out better than the Song of Ice an Fire video game adaptations.

- While there was already a list created by Jordan regarding which characters were to die in WoT's last book "A Memory of Light", both Sanderson and Harriet (Jordan's wife and editor of WoT) also bumped off a few more characters in order to successfully resolve the ending.

- Yes, the epilogue of the Wheel of Time in its entirety was written (dictated) by Jordan, and apparently the ambiguous ending was intended that way by Jordan himself. Personally I don't see the ending as being ambiguous at all, but apparently a lot of fans didn't get it or something.

- Sanderson put more Aviendha into the last three books than originally planned, because she is his favourite character. When asked about what were his favourite parts in "his" three Wheel of Time books he stated that Aviendha's and Perrin's chapters were his favourite.

- Very few questions were asked about Stormlight Archives series (which I thought was a shame), but Sanderson is planning on really spinning it out into a huge sprawling epic high fantasy series, and that the timeline will be quite long. So we can probably expect many of the characters from the first book to not make it.

Anyway, those were the big highlights for me. Enjoy the video, I hope it didn't turn out too bad.