Robert Holdstock

There aren’t many writers who have caught my imagination as Robert Holdstock did. I first encountered him with the novel Mythago Wood, and followed the series. Although he’s not particularly pagan, the primal wood, the mythology, folklore and wildness of his writing is very likely to appeal to pagan readers. Music, magic, green men, and figures from Arthurian legend abound. There’s also something very Celtic about the kind of tragic air pervading his work. I gather he’s also written about Merlin, but I’ve yet to read those, while Earthwind, his science fiction novel, has some startling and uncomfortable concepts in it. I love his work.

He died not so many days ago, aged 61, from ecoli. Heartbreaking. I’m not in the habit of weeping over people I’ve not met in person, but he’s one of the exceptions. I feel the loss of him, not least because I cannot help but think of the stories he will not tell. The world has lost a little of its wonder for his leaving it, but he has gifted us with some remarkable work.