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Golems. We like ’em.

“A golem is a sturdy creature on which to hang a young-adult story; the figure asks perennial teenage questions: Who am I in the world? What powers do I have? Whom can I trust? How do I create a separate existence from my parents’? How do I control my anger and manage my baser instincts?”

Interesting post here about golems in YA literature from, which gives a nice little shout out to Vago from Storm Thief. I want the golem in that picture.


  1. Katya says:

    When I saw the topic of golems, I instantly thought you would be talking about Bess 🙁 Can I steal her from Crake and have her as a pet?

  2. Zach Traver says:

    Or you could always let me steal Vago and Bess. 🙂

  3. Simon Densham says:

    Golems, great things, the primivial frankinstein`s monster. The question I have toyed with is, could it have a soul? A indepent moral compass, which answers to a higher power or are there more like Angles in the old testment sense, agents of anothers will, a glorifed tool. So is bess, a sentient being, a tool, a echo or a pet. What ever she is , she sure can rip arms of like a bugger!

  4. Between Vago, Bess, and the golems Kia used to put out in Broken Sky, you can tell I’m kind of a golem fan. Plus there’s the inhabitants of the Menagerie in the Clock Tower in Malice. Jeez, now I think about it, I use golems a lot…

    @ Simon – I think that’s part of the attraction of Bess… exactly how much of her is in there? And while you’re trying to figure it out, she’ll pull your arm off and club you to death with the soggy end. Bless!

  5. Charles says:

    Hi Chris,
    I can’t find a way to contact you in private, so I’m posting a comment. A fellow backpacker met in Kyrgyzstan (I’m currently cycling with my girlfriend from France to Australia) gave me Retribution Falls. Well, now I’m hooked.
    On my bicycle, I really could do without the bulk of a book. That is why I’m looking for an ebook version of the next two volumes of the Ketty Jay Chronicles. Unfortunately it looks like every store is selling a DRM version of these files. I am really against an artificial mechanism that prevents me to use a file as I would like to, so I don’t want to buy such a thing.
    It has been very easy to find pirated versions of your books, but I still want to pay you a fair price for your hard work. Are you aware of somewhere I could buy DRM-free versions for your books ? Is there an alternative way to buy you a book ?
    Many thanks,

  6. Hey,

    I’m afraid I don’t know, as I don’t have an ebook reader. As far as I knew all files in all formats for ebooks were DRM protected anyway? I’m not a massive fan of DRM myself but I thought it was pretty much part and parcel of ebook downloads. Anyway, sorry, but I can’t help: all that is in the hands of the powers that be.

    So I guess that means you can either a) buy the physical thing, safe in the knowledge that the extra weight will help keep you fit, b) download it and take the DRM hit, consoling yourself with the thought that you’ll keep me in ramen noodles so I can eke out another precious few days of life or c) pirate it. Although if you choose option c) you will contract the curse I put on all my ebook files and get run over by a rusty combine harvester in the next 3 days. Just saying 😉

  7. Charles says:

    I guess I’ll have to buy the DRM version (and funding a system I don’t like, *sigh*) and read the pirated DRM-free version. I still think that it is a very sad situation : money matters put aside, it is easier to download and read a pirated ebook than a legally bought one… I really hope the publishing industry will do what the music industry is starting to do : dropping DRM altogether.
    As for the rusty combine harvester… Well, we just entered Vietnam where the traffic seems quite epic, so your curse may actually really get us pancake-flat soon…

  8. Yeah, the publishing industry is still running to catch up with the ebook explosion. They were slow off the mark, although in their defence it is a legal and logistical nightmare. As you say, hopefully DRM will die off eventually, as its only real function is to be a colossal pain in the ass, since any pirate worth their grog will crack it in two seconds flat.

    As long as you buy the genuine version in some format, you’ll be safe from the harvester’s blades. Seriously though, I do appreciate when someone is moral enough to buy one of my books rather than nab it for free just because they can. So thank you in advance.

  9. Zach Traver says:

    I hate the thought of anyone pirating any form of media, music, movies, and especially books. I have a particular love for books and writing, and hope to one day write a book of my own, I would hope that people would support me and my hard work. I don’t think it’s right for people to do that. If they really want to read your book, they can pay for it.

  10. Charles says:

    It has nothing to do with morality, it is just pure evil. I secretly lure you with a few coins. Then you foolishly enslave yourself for months, writing another great book. Darth Vader himself wouldn’t have come with such a plan. Add a evil-laugh sound fx here.
    I really can’t convince myself to buy DRM-enabled files, it is against my religion. So I just bought the three Ketty Jay paperbacks online and sent them to a relative in London. When I’m back there I’ll give them away to friends to make them discover your work, as the backpacker did to me in Kyrgyzstan. Sounds like a fair way to share the love. Go away DRM, and screw you harvester.

  11. Haha, fair enough. Everybody wins, except Mr DRM. And I’m sure that harvester’s pretty busy these days anyway. Cheers! Have fun in Vietnam.

  12. Jordan says:

    Hey Chris,

    Let me start by saying I’m procrastinating my 14 page directed studies research paper, which is due tomorrow. Each key-stroke is another I’m not committing to that wretched task.

    On to more relevant topics.

    I come to your website for 3 reasons.

    1) To make sure your workload hasn’t completely smothered you (can’t spin tales on an oxygen deprived brain…. or….. is that the only way? hmmm).

    2) To read the awesome English dialogue between you and your fans (which I’m sorely bereft of here in the US).

    3) To make comments about how amazing you and your work is.

    Subterfuge. Awesome word. Difficult to use in context.

    I’ll be receiving “The Iron Jackal” for the holiday, and I can’t wait to read it. I won’t boast about how fast I’ll go through it, because even though I read more literature than will heat a house for a year; I’m a painfully slow reader. Don’t know why, just am. I don’t even have the excuse of being dyslexic. For shame.

    Also I donated my second copy of “Retribution Falls” to my local bookstore. Hopefully a wistful soul will stumble upon it’s graces and …. read it? Blah blah blah, procrastination aside, I love your work, keep it up!

  13. Jordan says:

    I LOVE golems.

  14. Jordan says:


    Some revisions; my first P.S. should have had a period after the S. I think.


    “To make comments about how amazing you and your work is.” Should have been “to make comments about how amazing you and your work are”, I also think. My undergrad wasn’t in writing.


    Stop flaunting your “Broken Sky” series in that side bar like a mid-life crisis twenty-something year old, well-endowed second wife, that you know I’ll never be able to get my hands on. At a certain point it’s just cruel.

    Okay, I’ll stop now.

    Captain procrastination, AWAY!

  15. Olivia says:

    Am I naughty if I bring up Shale?

    Of course I’m only ACTually posting so you have my details to continue discussion (or not) for next time. If either of us can even recall what it was… I might have burbled. If not babbled. Was fun meeting you tonight. Compensated for the drips of what I hope was rainwater.

    (Gollancz drinks)

  16. Haha, Shale was what Kenneth Williams would have been if he was a 9-foot stone monster.

    Good to meet you on Tues, and get dripped on. I’m slightly worried the entire creaking theatre will fall into bar area by January. It will be a thespian tragedy.

  17. Simon Densham says:

    Ok Chris, im flying back to England on Monday for Christmas and I need something to read during the flight. Its only about a hour, so a short story would be fine. I would not normally ask but you were lazy and did not put the first chapter of the next book at the end of IRON JACKEL. You have nobody to blame but yourself, or you could explain this to my golem, Mr Giblet eater. And Merry Christmas.

  18. Jord says:

    I’m off to Finland for a skiing holiday but whenever I go into a waterstones or whsmith I can never find your books when I want to buy one. what section would you be in if I went in to smithys tomorrow, teenage or adult???

  19. David says:

    Jordan, i’m not sure if i understood you correctly, since english is not my first language. For that matter i’m not even sure i understood what i will be referating too either, but here goes.

    If I did understand correctly, the broken sky sereies has been republished in a trilogy format. The books are then supposedly named “The Twilight War”, “Communion” and “The Citadel”. And I sure do hope i’ve correctly grasped this information since i orderd a copy of each book yesterday. I did so on the basis of reading the first two books, which is now part of the first volume, about 10 years ago.

    With that i wanted to say that they are indeed available for purchase (I hope to god i havn’t misunderstood that fact) since that was what your most recent reply was about i think.

    Either way i would like to say that i’m very much looking forward to finally being able to continue reading the broken sky series (which i have been hunting with varying efficiency for theese last ten years) and very possibly more of your works Mr Wooding.

    Best regards and A Happy New Year

  20. Hey David,

    Yes, those three books you ordered are the whole of the Broken Sky series. Jordan, they’re still available in the UK, though probably you’ll have to hunt around a bit…

  21. Baloo says:

    Dear Chris,

    I am incredibly giddy with the fact that I have a chance to talk with you if not, at least type something you will read. I’ve been a huge fan of Broken Sky since 1st grade and here I am a 23 year old well past my “young adult” faze or at least I like to think so. I recently reread the series, which never ceases to bring forth every single emotion flying from me with such intensity, that no other work can compare to. Now I don’t know the inner workings of the anime business but stop whatever your working on right now and please please please make it! I’m sure your way more crushed than I am, I understand. Seriously though, stop doing typing stuff unless it’s a script! Of course I’m just kidding but i feel as though the anime would become a super mega hit. It hits so close to home in every aspect. With all the civil unrest going on with our leaders seemingly destroying our very fabric of existence, it would connect with so many people. The graphic and awesome battles would make every guy be glued to it. The in-depth love stories so well nurtured and touching will make the guy’s girlfriend sit and cry and love it. You’re saving relationships Chris! Plus you’ll shut me up and forever put a smile on my face. I’m not saying this as just a fan but I’m saying this because I truly believe you have something so astonishingly, incredibly…I can’t think of words but it’s big and will be big and you need to share it. Thank you for your time and the books…and the anime.


  22. Baloo says:

    Ahh first grade…definatly ment 7th grade. Oops.

  23. Ha. I WISH someone would make it into an anime. As it is, however, I don’t have like 30 million dollars and a team of artists and animators lying around, so until I do I’m just gonna have to cross my fingers and hope it gets read by somebody who can make it happen 😉

    Glad you like ’em, though. Here’s hoping!

  24. ChaosZero says:

    instead of broken sky being an anime t.v. series what if each book was made into an anime movie? That would be pretty cool p.s. how come Pandemonium isn’t on your site?

  25. ChaosZero says:

    p.s.s. GOLEMS WOOP!!!!!!!

  26. Pandemonium’s not up because it’s not out till Feb, as far as I understand. Despite what Amazon think 😛 Which reminds me, I must, like, post one day or something….

  27. ChaosZero says:

    lol thanks

  28. SilverTail says:

    Mr. Wooding.

    Though I may never stumble upon this page again (I’m horrible at remembering URLS after approximately 12 hours, and this isn’t my computer) I would like to say how much I enjoyed both Storm Thief and Poison. (I’ve read the latter three times, and am currently on my second runthrough of the former, at 1.9, Vago’s escape.)

    Unfortunately, none of the libraries I have visited locally have any of the books outside the two mentioned above, and I lack any form of digital currency in the form of paypal or the like. (not that SOPA/ACTA will allow paypal to exist in due time =/ ) I’ve been meaning to look into The Haunted of Alaizabel Cray, but alas.

    On a related note, I’ve searched the internet time and time again (approximately six times in the past two months) but have found naught but two or three different works of fan art for Storm Thief, one that shows Moa, Rail, Bane, Finch, The Patrician, Ephemera, and of course Vago. (seen here: )

    Of the two books, I find that Storm Thief would make the more ‘popular’ Anime or Manga, more than likely along the lines of artwork and presntation as titles such as “Durarara”, “Samurai Champloo”, and “Afro Samurai” The dark setting and the twist later on about those who were ‘taken’ (no spoilers here!) would fit well with these styles of animation. (You’re a writer, go on, look at some of these and imagine Moa, Rail, and Vago in these styles of art.)

    Poison would be what it is, the fantasy adventure. Probably along the lines of animation as “Fullmetal Alchemist”, “Naruto”, or the “Cirque Du Freak” manga based off the books of the same name by Darren Shan. (look into it, see if you can convince him for help!)

    One day, I hope to speak with you again. Maybe we’ll cross paths one day and if I become a decent enough artist we could work together to produce a manga version of one or more of your books.

    An aspiring Writer and Artist,
    SilverTail, Harkel Tu, Haru Takami, and other Aliases.

  29. luke says:

    will everyone stop writing p.s.s. when the corect term is p.p.s. it is realy quite frustrating

  30. Serena says:

    I want a golem. 🙂 maybe I’ll go down to my supervillain lair now and make one… muahahahaha… 🙂

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