Robert Holdstock, 1948-2009

Robert Holdstock, 61, died in a London hospital at 4 a.m. on November 29, 2009 after almost two weeks in intensive care battling a severe E. coli infection. He was hospitalized after collapsing on November 18 and put on life-support, with multiple-organ breakdown, including his liver, kidneys, and heart. The E. coli infection was discovered the next day.

He is best known as the author of the Mythago Cycle and the Merlin Codex series. His latest novel Avilion, the direct sequel to Mythago Wood, was published in July 2009. Holdstock’s works have won him four BSFA Awards and two World Fantasy Awards, as well as many nominations.

Born in Hythe, Kent, Holdstock held jobs as a banana boatman, construction worker, and slate miner. He earned a Bachelor of Science from University College of North Wales, Bangor, with honors in applied Zoology, and a Master of Science in Medical Zoology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. From 1971 to 1974, he conducted research at the Medical Research Council in London, while writing part-time. He became a full-time writer in 1976.

Holdstock is survived by partner Sarah Biggs.

The complete obituary with appreciations will appear in the January 2010 issue of Locus.

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