Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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The Stormlight archive is a very big book. Do you have plans of including a glossary that's more expansive than the ars arcanum?
If I do make a glossary, it will probably be on my website. Perhaps I'll be able to slip in a longer glossary into future books. The problem is that the first book is already so long, as you said. I just don't have the pages for it now. As the series expands, maybe.
The thing is, I've always partially liked a glossary and partially not liked them, because as series get longer and longer, you have to make decisions about what to include and what not to include. Using the glossary in the backs of the Wheel of Time books is somewhat bittersweet because it only covers around one percent of the things you'd want to be in there. So in some ways it's become irrelevant, because most of the things you'll want to look up are not going to be there. It seems like it served its purpose best in the early to middle books, but now if you really want to know you've got to go to Encyclopedia WoT or a similar site. So maybe we'll just do an online glossary or send people to one of the fan-created wikis.
I messaged earlier regarding Alloy of Law appendix narrator, unaware of today's torchat. maybe you can respond in the chat?
I haven't been telling people the name of the appendix author. It is either Hoid or one of the 17th sharders.
The person who wrote the Ars Arcanum in Alloy of Law, is that the same person who wrote the Letter in Way of Kings.
Its not confirmed, but it's either Hoid, or someone in the 17th Shard. (However, thinking back, I'm not sure if he fully heard/understood the question, and perhaps he was expecting it to be something else. But it seems to me that if he namedropped Hoid, that he may have misunderstood the question, as it seems very likely that Hoid wrote the Letter, I dont think he'd let something slip like that. So i would count this information as rather tenuous.)
Who wrote the "Ars Arcanum"? Since the writer obviously had knowledge of the Cosmere I assumed that it was you making an editorial note, but then I thought that it could be Hoid (who was suspiciously absent) or Sazed or any Shardbearer... Does that make sense at all?
The Ars Arcanum is written in-cosmere by someone, but I don't want to saw who yet.
In the Ars Arcanum of the Way of Kings, next to the Essences are listed ten Body Focuses. Are these Body Focuses the focus (in Cosmere terms) of Surgebinding?
So I was reading the Alloy of Law, and at the end I read through the Ars Arcanum. And I got confused because itís written in first person, but it refers to Harmony in third person. I thought he was writing it, so who writes that part?
Thatís a good question for you to be asking, one which people have been curious about, and I have not yet answered who writes all of the Ars Arcanum, but they are in-world, somebody's writing them. If you ever read The Way of Kings, itís written in first-person too.
Are they all written by the same person?
Ah, have I answered that yet?
I should? They are all written by the same person.
Because it sounds like theyíre written by Hoid, I think.
They are all written by the same person.
Brandon, have we seen a point of view chapter from the character who writes the Ars Arcanum?
Iím not gonna tell you that. That would be way too much giving away.
Is the character who writes the Ars Arcanum from Sel originally?
Iím not gonna tell you anything about the character who writes the Ars Arcanum.
Yes, it is in cosmere
Because it seems like it'd be written by someone like Hoid.
It's not him. I don't know if I've released who it is; but it's probably not who people are thinking but it is in-world.
Does Khriss write the Ars Arcanum?
Can a Seeker inside a Coppercloud Seek someone out of one?
What about a Soother instead of a Seeker?
Do all Epics' weaknesses come from things in their past?
It is possible.
Yes, again possible.
It's kind of surprising to me, but to some people, appendices like this can be very divisive topics. There are people who will pick up a book and check to see if it has a map and appendix—and if it has both, they're more likely to read it. (I was actually one of these when I was younger.) I guess the philosophy here, if I analyze my teenage self, was that if an author put so much work into a book—and if the book was so complex—that there had to be an appendix, then that was a book I wanted to read.
Others have the opposite reaction, I've come to learn. I've met people who think that this sort of thing in the back of a book indicates that the author is sloppy, and can't tell a tight story. Or, that the story is going to be too complicated to enjoy.
In Elantris, my first book, I fought for a pronunciation guide and a cast of characters in the back. I like appendixes, though now it's mostly because my untrustworthy brain often forgets who characters are. With the Mistborn trilogy being as complex as (hopefully) I want it to be, I figured I'd need cast lists in order to help you remember book one when reading book two.
So, book two has a bigger appendix. However, I wanted to do something in this one as well. One thing I knew people were going to ask about was a way to keep the metals straight. That's why I developed the quick reference chart, and my friend Isaac did that beautiful metal table for a visual reference—I absolutely love how it looks.
The name "Ars Arcanum" deserves a note as well. I've always liked how Ann McCaffery named her appendix the 'Dragondex' in the back of her Pern books. One of the biggest draws of my books are the magic systems, and since I intend to do a new one for every series I write (and many, like the Mistborn trilogy, will have multiple magic systems per series) I wanted some sort of 'catch all' title I could name the appendixes in each of my books.
I fiddled around for a while. Ars Magica was my first choice, since it's kind of a cool Latinate take on 'Magical Arts' or 'Magical Skills.' However, there's an RPG out with that name, and I figured I wanted to stay away from their title. Ars Arcanum, then, was my next choice. I ended up liking it better, if only because it has a little more true Latinate feel to it.
My magic systems are generally like a new science for the world in which they are practiced, so I like the feel this gives. Hopefully, you found this appendix useful. If not, I suspect you'll really appreciate the one in book two, as the cast of characters there will provide a lot of helpful reminders.