I was meaning to post about something else tonight, but the news has overtaken me: David Langford’s Ansible reports that Robert Holdstock has died, at the age of 61, following his collapse with an E. coli infection on 18th November. I only knew him in the most tangential way, but this is a hell of a shock. His Mythago Wood sequence of books is absolutely central for anyone trying to get a hold on what fantasy literature in Britain has done since Tolkien. It evokes a version of the country’s past that’s rich but harsh and unsentimental, and makes all those old tropes like the Green Man or the Wild Hunt new and threatening again. And there are plenty of other works, like The Fetch, or the Merlin Codex sequence, which dig deep into other myths that get taken for granted. In person, I remember him being ebullient, thoughtful, and welcoming to newcomers; others who knew him better say the same; all sympathy to them.
3 thoughts on “Robert Holdstock”
I met him only once, in France, after a few months of intense correspondence upon the translation of his complete short stories. He bought me a beer, we had a nice discussion, and, yes, he was extremely friendly and tactful with everyone, even though he had already spent hours signing books and answering questions from French fans who were not always really fluent in English. This is just so sad to realize that he is no longer here and that I’ll never have a chance to meet him again, and I’m so sorry for his family.
This is very sad news. Sympathies for all who knew Robert Holdstock personally. His work will live on forever.
my deepest sorrow goes to his freinds and family. We will sadly miss him