Robert Holdstock (1948 - 2009) Robert Paul Holdstock was born in a remote corner of Kent, sharing his childhood years between the bleak Romney Marsh and the dense woodlands of the Kentish heartlands. He received an MSc in medical zoology and spent several years in the early 1970s in medical research before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. His first published story appeared in the New Worlds magazine in 1968 and for the early part of his career he wrote science fiction. However, it is with fantasy that he is most closely associated. 1984 saw the publication of Mythago Wood, winner of the BSFA and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novel, and widely regarded as one of the key texts of modern fantasy. It and the subsequent 'mythago' novels (including Lavondyss, which won the BSFA Award for Best Novel in 1988) cemented his reputation as the definitive portrayer of the wild wood. His interest in Celtic and Nordic mythology was a consistent theme throughout his fantasy and is most prominently reflected in the acclaimed Merlin Codex trilogy, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings, published between 2001 and 2007. Among many other works, Holdstock co-wrote Tour of the Universe with Malcolm Edwards, for which rights were sold for a space shuttle simulation ride at the CN Tower in Toronto, and The Emerald Forest, based on John Boorman's film of the same name. His story, 'The Ragthorn', written with friend and fellow author Garry Kilworth, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella and the BSFA Award for Short Fiction. Robert Holdstock died in November 2009, just four months after the publication of Avilion, the long-awaited, and sadly final, return to Ryhope Wood. www.robertholdstock.com
When Harry Keeton disappeared into Ryhope Wood, his sister Tallis was just an infant. Now, thirteen years old, she hears him whispering to her from the Otherworld. He is in danger. He needs her held. Using masks, magic and clues left by her grandfather, she finds a way to enter the primitive forest and begin her search. Eventually she comes to Lavondyss itself, a realm both beautiful and deadly, a place in which she is changed forever ...Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood won the World Fantasy Award and is among the most praised post-war novels of the fantastical. In this haunting sequel, Lavondyss, we are returned to the Wildwood and the mythos that Holdstock has made his own. Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1988
The Merlin Codex brings together Robert Holdstock's Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings in one superb omnibus.Recounting a young Merlin's epic story, The Merlin Codex moves through the classical world of Jason (of the Argonauts fame) and his wife Medea. Jealously guarding his gift as every act of magic shortens his life, Merlin weaves his plots across the centuries, showing us echoes of the man and the stories we know from Arthurian legend.Robert Holdstock was unanimously hailed by critics as the best contemporary author of SF and Fantasy. By mixing Greek and Celtic mythologies happily around an immortal character, Holdstock once again touches on the great universal myths as he did so brilliantly in his Mythago Wood saga, going beyond the limits of Fantasy.
Along the wild hills and forests of Britain, he was reborn as the Celt's mightiest warrior. Even as a boy, his mad bloodlust spread superstitious terror among friend and enemy alike. He was Swiftaxe, known as the Horned Warrior: half ghost, half man - and all killer . . .
In the Celtic tribal lands of Connacht, he came of age among the Druids and headhunters and the ghosts of the great Bronze Age people of Danann.He fought his savage, bloodthirsty way to the west, as a naked warrior who had rejected the tribal laws. And there Arthur, Warlord of the Britons, came to find him, to exploit his skill and invulnerability in the war against the Saxons.Yet Swiftaxe, the Berserker, wanted one thing only; to break the curse that condemned him to his life of frenzied violence and bloodlust.But until the might of the Saxons was destroyed, he would never be free . . .
When Odin's curse fell upon him, Harald Swiftaxe, the young Norse warrior, lusty in love and battle, was fully human no longer. He was incensed with the animal rage of the god's devotees, the Berserkers. The snarling ferocious savagery of the bear possessed him. Immune to fire and steel, frenzied by the smell of blood and the sight of torn human flesh, he was driven to the worst of human deeds . . . The stench of fear was meat and drink to him, and cowering women learned of his cruel, insatiable lust.The bear screeched its ecstasy - yet at times the man dimly understood the horror. Could the demon god be killed, the spell lifted...? If there was a way, the price of failure would be high, greater than death itself . . .
Simon Bradley, a highly imaginative child, brain-damaged after a bizarre attack, vanishes one day from his home. Months later a body is found on the edge of Ryhope Wood. The wood shields a heart of primeval forest wherein live phantoms and strange creatures - mythagos - those shades generated over time by our dreams and nightmares.Alex has in fact been absorbed by the wood, drawn into its green heart - through a 'hollowing'. There his dreams will continue to populate the wood with its mythagos. But like Alex, they too are damaged: the great heroes he conjures are warped, incomplete and dangerous. Savage and lost, they are compelled to seek their creator. The havoc they wreak threatens those who search for Alex, including his father, Richard.In the end, it will threaten the very existence of the wood itself and of its natural mythagos. Richard must quest repeatedly through Ryhope's hollowings in an attempt to bring his son to safety and quiet the monsters Alex has created.There his dreams continue to populate the wood with "e;mythagos"e;, warped, dangerous hero figures, threatening all those who come in search of the boy.
The serenity of the countryside is shattered by the dark and brutal rituals of the past...The SatanistsThe undreamt-of horrors of the night herald, for them, the promise of eternal life, despite the memory of one man's shattered body nailed to a cross. But the Messiah has been dead two thousand years. Now is the time of the Anti-Christ...
The hill below the fortress of Taurovinda, stronghold of Urtha, High King of the Cornovidi, is coming alive: the Otherworldly realm of the Shadows of Heroes are claiming the land as their own. But this time their actions are driven by a force that is darker and older than even the oldest among the ghosts. Who or what is raising the Dead? Merlin, a temporary resident in the fortress, must answer that question if this time of kings and lovers is to be saved. Jason's wonderful ship, Argo, has returned, drawn back by her own guilty past, and a dreadful secret that she will reveal only to Merlin. Argo holds the key to the mystery. And Niiv, the bewitching, beautiful Northlands enchantress, is working her way even closer into Merlin's charms.This is a journey that will take Merlin back in history, and to a fabled island of legend. Love is in the air. But at a price.
Horror stalked the streets of Paris.As a child Etoile had run with the wolves and killed with the wolves. Then he was brought to civilization and his past was forgotten. But not when the moon shone full! Then he could not fight the bestial urges his body felt. The wolves called Etoile and the animal within responded, compelling him to stalk the streets of Paris, thirsting with vulpine ferocity for the taste of blood.
Several years ago, Christian Huxley's father, George, obsessively documented the strange phenomena emanating from Ryhope Wood at the edge of their property. He watched the ancient heroes emerge, shouting both incomprehensible warnings and unmistakable invitations. Recklessly, George followed them inot the mysterious sylvan shadows that changed him forever.Christian himself was not untouched by these living dreams. A childhood encounter with a phantom from another time draws him to the Wood as an adult. Deep in Ryhope, Christian uncovers the lie that permeates his worst nightmares. And like his father, he will be consumed with the mythagoes of Ryhope, especially a young Celtic warrior called Guiwenneth. She is the key to the mystery of the universe, an ancient heroine caught in a timeless tale of bravery and sacrifice.Now, together with a band of crusaders from a world long gone, Christian and Guiwenneth become part of the unfolding stories both remembered and forgotten. They meet sorcerers in battle and giants who can travel miles in one step. And they discover the meaning of the two gates, Ivory and Horn - one the lie, the other the truth.
Deep within the wildwood lies a place of myth and mystery, from which few return, and of those few, none remain unchanged. Ryhope Wood may look like a three-mile-square fenced-in wood in rural Herefordshire on the outside, but inside, it is a primeval, intricate labyrinth of trees, impossibly huge, unforgettable ... and stronger than time itself. Stephen Huxley has already lost his father to the mysteries of Ryhope Wood. On his return from the Second World War, he finds his brother, Christopher, is also in thrall to the mysterious wood, wherein lies a realm where mythic archetypes grow flesh and blood, where love and beauty haunt your dreams, and in promises of freedom lies the sanctuary of insanity ...
From the vaults of the SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes this republication of a trilogy of early, pseudonymous adventure tales by Robert Holdstock, WORLD FANTASY AWARD-winning author of MYTHAGO WOOD. The Berserker books are raw, primeval stories of a young Norse warrior, cursed by the gods to a life of savage warfare. Possessed by an animal, ferocious rage - implacable, invincible - Harald Swiftaxe fights his way across the Celtic world in search of release from his curse and, finally, peace. The Berserker omnibus contains SHADOW OF THE WOLF, THE BULL CHIEF and THE HORNED WARRIOR.
She looked like an ordinary Indian girl. But within her she carried a burden of evil, a force that yearned to rend and destroy. And she had travelled 3000 miles, crossing plains, seas and mountains, to bring that force to Arachne.Arachne - the obscene occult power that had seized Dan Brady's wife and children and still held them in its evil clutches. Its strength was growing, its tentacles reaching out to trap and enslave the innocent and the unwary.And now, in a bleak mountain village, Dan Brady, the Night Hunter, prepared to confront a horror that could finally destroy him and all he held dear.
From the landscapes of prehistory to 40th millennium AD, from post-war England to the full canvas of the inhabited galaxy, Robert Holdstock's haunting mythic imagination weaves eight stories of arresting power and ingenuity.Includes the original story from which the World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Mythago Wood, was expanded.
On the planet Aeran, the original colonists have undergone a drastic change: under the influence of some strange psychic force they have forgotten their identity and created a new culture - an exact reconstruction of the Stone Age society that flourished in Ireland 6,000 years ago.Has some strange racial memory been awakened? Or are both cultures the product of a social blueprint implanted throughout the cosmos by a long-vanished race?
Out on the bleak coast, the land itself held memories of blood and betrayal. Memories that had summoned both the evil and the innocent in a dark and hellborn quest.For Dan Brady the talisman could be a precious clue in his desperate quest to discover where the occult power that had abducted his family was keeping them. But a force had been unleashed, a foulness from the dark past that threatened a whole community.And only Dan Brady could confront it.
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