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Wooding, Chris

Entry updated 6 March 2023. Tagged: Author.

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(1977-    ) UK author, usually for the Young Adult market, and usually fantasy or horror, including his first novel, Catchman (1998). His most successful singleton is probably The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray (2001), whose Amnesia-ridden protagonist possesses unknowingly the key to understanding a post-Pandemic crime-ridden London threatened by magically infected "wych-kin" and by the invocation of cosmic unpleasantness reminiscent of the Cthulhu Mythos. Wooding's first three series are generically akin to his standalone tales. The Broken Sky sequence – beginning with Broken Sky, Act 1, Part 1 (1999 chap) [see Checklist for details] – comprises a long Anime-based tale; the Braided Path sequence beginning with The Weavers of Saramyr (2003) Equipoisally sets high-Technology Weapons and Communication systems into an "oriental" world whose realities are woven, by tyrannous Weavers; the Malice sequence beginning with Malice (2009) is set in a fantasticated Pocket Universe inside a Comic book.

Of more sf interest is the Tales of the Ketty Jay sequence beginning with Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (2009), set in a Steampunk Alternate World called Vardia and featuring the venturesome exploits of the crew of the eponymous pirate Airship. By the end of the sequence the world is seen as darker than at first, though not terminally; and various relationships come to fruit. An inventive freedom, and close control of overall structures, marks Wooding's work to date. [JC]

Chris Wooding

born Leicester, Leicestershire: 28 February 1977



Broken Sky

Braided Path


  • Malice (London: Scholastic, 2009) [Malice: illus/pb/Dan Chernett]
  • Havoc (London: Scholastic, 2010) [Malice: illus/pb/Dan Chernett]

Tales of the Ketty Jay

Darkwater Legacy

individual titles


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