Chris Wooding and The Logbook of the Ketty Jay: Day 1


Next month marks the U.S. release of a novel I’m really excited about: Retribution Falls–a book I was talking about this a few months ago concerning the difference between the US and UK covers.

To lead up to the on-sale date of 4/26/11, Unbound Worlds is proud to present choice excerpts from the protagonist of Retribution Falls, Captain Darian Frey.

There will be a new entry each day, so make sure to come back and read more of Frey’s amazing adventures.


Being an account of the misdeeds and adventures concerning the aforesaid craft and its crew, by its captain, Darian Frey.

Flaxday Middleweek, Fieldfire, 147/32

Midsummer. It’s bloody hot. The days are far too long, the Ketty Jay is like an oven, and I think the cat has melted. Pinn has been pining all day for his sweetheart and I can only ignore him for so long before I have to shoot him. I don’t even have any Shine to take to edge off, since I just found out yesterday that my dealer has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The folks in the tavern gave me a bunch of different stories as to why, but they all agreed that he isn’t likely to emerge again, unless it’s in bite-size pieces. So for lack of any other damn thing to do, I hereby make my first entry into the Captain’s log. I, Darian Frey, proud owner and captain of the Ketty Jay, do put pen to paper. Only took me fourteen years to get round to it.

We’re low on aerium. Again. The stuff I bought last month was depleted; it’s not giving out the lift that it should. It’s already been through two or three engines before it got to mine. No way to prove it, of course, except that I know my craft and she’s flying like a leprous cow at the moment. Some days I get sick of this cut-price, breadline shit. We nearly blew up last winter ’cause some bastard sold Silo a faulty prothane injector. Just once it’d be nice to buy something with a guarantee, something proper, from a Guild-approved shop. Just once it’d be nice not to have to haggle and threaten and promise just to get what I need.

We’ve put down in Craven’s Nook for a few days so we can see what’s what. We don’t have the money for straight-up aerium but I know a guy who owes me a favour. Maybe he can put me on to something. Either that or we whore out Pinn and Harkins for some dodgy small-scale courier work. Their aircraft are still running fine, since fighters hardly use any aerium at all and they’re still on the old supply. Harkins is still fretting, of course, but when isn’t he?

Either way, we’d better hope that any job we get is local. We’re on our last half-canister of aerium, and I don’t want to leave us dry. No aerium, no take-off. And you never know when you’re gonna have to run.


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CHRIS WOODING is the author of, among others, the Broken Sky YA series; The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, which won the Silver Smarties award; Malice; Poison; and Kerosene. He has traveled extensively, plays bass and guitar, and has recorded several albums with various bands and toured in Europe. His books have been published all around the world and translated into twenty languages.

Retribution Falls is his first adult novel in the United States, and is on sale April 26, 2011.

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