Robert Holdstock

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Robert Holdstock

Postby Danny B » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:10 am

I'm just about to start Avilion, the long awaited direct sequel to Mythago Wood, by the late Robert Holdstock and I was curious about how many other people have read his work and what those who have think of him. The reason for my curiosity is that of all the major fantasy writers of the 20th century, it's been my own experience that he's easily the least widely read, to the point where I've met more people who've read the relatively obscure The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison* than people who've read one of the most important, critically acclaimed and influential fantasy authors of the latter half of the last century and one of only a tiny handful whose writing owed little or nothing to Tolkien, Dunsany and Lewis, or else Burroughs, Howard and Lieber.

As you can probably guess from my use of words like 'important', 'major', 'influential' and slipping in the phrase 'critically acclaimed', I'm something of a fan. I'm interested to know if it's because not many people have heard of him, or if other people simply don't like his work as much as I do?

* Not intended as a judgement on the (very good, if somewhat densely written) book mentioned. Merely highlighting a fairly obscure text that seems more widely read amongst fantasy fans.
Carpe carpio*

* Correction - Carpio diem
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:23 pm

Danny he aslo wrote under the name of Richard Kirk pre Mythago author of the Raven series which in my opinon were a fun read, femail protagonist S&S six in the series. Also was a regular attendee at our BFS Fantasycon.
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: Robert Holdstock

Postby high eight » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:29 pm

Danny B wrote:I'm just about to start Avilion, the long awaited direct sequel to Mythago Wood, by the late Robert Holdstock and I was curious about how many other people have read his work and what those who have think of him. The reason for my curiosity is that of all the major fantasy writers of the 20th century, it's been my own experience that he's easily the least widely read, to the point where I've met more people who've read the relatively obscure The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison* than people who've read one of the most important, critically acclaimed and influential fantasy authors of the latter half of the last century and one of only a tiny handful whose writing owed little or nothing to Tolkien, Dunsany and Lewis, or else Burroughs, Howard and Lieber.

As you can probably guess from my use of words like 'important', 'major', 'influential' and slipping in the phrase 'critically acclaimed', I'm something of a fan. I'm interested to know if it's because not many people have heard of him, or if other people simply don't like his work as much as I do?

* Not intended as a judgement on the (very good, if somewhat densely written) book mentioned. Merely highlighting a fairly obscure text that seems more widely read amongst fantasy fans.


The Ryhope Wood books are, in my opinon, the best fantasy series by anyone ever. They do what Tolkien attempted and nearly succeeded at - create a whole new (but ancient-seeming) mythology for England.

To me, they do what the music of Vaughan Williams (who has a guest appearance in Lavondys, the second book or the series) and the very best folk music does. Goes straight for the atavistic part of my brain that says who I am, what I am (I'm not being nationalistic here - patriotic, maybe, but not nationalistic). I'd love to know if this works with people from other countries, btw. The books are so English (OK - British maybe) that I somehow doubt it.

The only other SF/Fantasy that comes close is Keith Roberts' The Chalk Giants, which is much more downbeat.[/i]
"If there is any kind of supreme being it is up to all of us to become its moral superior."
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