David Langford has reported that Robert Holdstock, author of Mythago Wood, died at 4.00 am on Sunday, 29 November 2009, at the age of 61. He was hospitalised last week after suffering an E. Coli infection.
He had many friends within the British Fantasy Society – he was a three-time guest of honour at our convention – and even more fans. He produced over fifty books under six names, winning many awards.
Speaking last year to Jan Edwards for Dark Horizons, he mentioned having battled recent problems with diabetes, but talked also about his earliest inspirations: his grandfather’s stories of the First World War, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine and First Men in the Moon, Dan Dare in the Eagle, and Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass and the Pit.
He spoke with huge pleasure of his collaborations with such talents as Malcolm Edwards, Alison Eldred, Les Edwards, Jim Burns and Garry Kilworth.
He talked too about his expectations for the future:
“Everything we know now is destined to die except for the forest and the earth. Earth is the eternal survivor, and homo sapiens is not part of its mindless and inexorable plan. There are many forests to come. There will be flashes of intelligence. The last thing to burn will not be a man, but a leaf.
So eat pizza and drink beer. And cheer up. It’ll soon be over.”