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SFF Author: Robert Holdstock

Robert Holdstock(1948-2009)
Robert Holdstock wrote under his own name and under several pseudonyms, including Chris Carlsen (Berserker), Robert Faulcon (Night Hunter), Robert Black, and Richard Kirk (Raven). Mythago Wood won the World Fantasy Award For Best Novel in 1985 and the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award in 1984. Lavondyss, won the BSFA Award for Best Novel in 1988. Mr. Holdstock also wrote short stories and non-fiction. Learn more at Robert Holdstock’s website.



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Mythago Wood: Dreamy and strange

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

After his post-WWII convalescence in France, Steven Huxley is returning to his family’s home on the edge of Ryhope Wood, a patch of ancient forest, in Britain. For as long as Steven remembers, his father, who recently died, had been so obsessed with the forest that it destroyed their family.

Upon returning home, Steven finds that his brother Christian is quickly following in their father’s footsteps — both figuratively and literally — for he has also discovered that this is no ordinary forest! It resists intrusion from Outsiders,


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Lavondyss: Will stay in my mind forever

Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock

The wood sucks at the mind, it sucks out the dreams.

Many times I don’t like sequels because there’s nothing new to learn. Authors tend to give us all of their world-building in the first novel, so I’m often bored by a sequel. But Lavondyss blew my mind. It is, I have no doubt, one of the best fantasy novels ever written.

In Mythago Wood, Harry Keeton entered the forest with Steven and he’s been there for years.


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Avilion: Dreamy, as usual, but not mind-blowing

Avilion by Robert Holdstock

At the end of Mythago Wood, we left Steven Huxley waiting for Guiwenneth to return from Lavondyss. Avilion is a direct sequel — the story of what happened when Guiwenneth came back. She and Steven have lived happily together for years and have two children, Yssobel and Jack.

Unfortunately, though, she’s not exactly the same woman she was before. Her ordeal with Christian has changed her and she and Christian (now leader of the time-travelling army called Legion) still haunt each other.


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The Secret History of Fantasy: Stories that redefine the genre

The Secret History of Fantasy edited by Peter S. Beagle

The basic premise of the SECRET HISTORY anthologies (there’s also a science fiction one, The Secret History of Science Fiction, which I haven’t read) is that there’s a type of writing that got missed or buried because other things were more popular, more commercial, or dodged the spec-fic labeling. Certainly that’s the thrust of Peter S. Beagle‘s introduction, and the two other non-fiction pieces by Ursula K. Le Guin and editor David G.


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Next SFF Author: Cecelia Holland
Previous SFF Author: Nancy Holder

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