Wednesday 6 January 2010

Robert Holdstock 1948-2009

I've just found out that Robert Holdstock, the author of the Mythago Wood series of fantasy novels died at the end of November last year, ironically enough just as I was reading his new work, Avilion. He was 61, which is no age at all for a writer.

I remember when I first read Mythago Wood, must have been 1986; already marinated in fantasy via Tolkien, Le Guin and the various recommendations of Dave Langford in White Dwarf, I dipped into something so quintessentially English and yet a potent container of universal mythological themes. It was the beginning of my love of woodlands, of the strange feeling that I got when I saw trees black against a sunset skyline. I loved the notion that a tiny piece of English woodland could contain, Tardis-like, thousands of years of history.

Although Holdstock followed up his original work with numerous other books, for me it is Mythago Wood and Lavondyss that remain closest to the idea that took hold of my mind and shaped it for years to come. Having lost my original copies long ago, I reacquired them last year and enjoyed their stories once again.

Read other obituaries about him here and here.

One by one, the great lights of our youth are going out.

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