discussions genre stuff

Shame On You, Bloggers! (Or: Why Aren’t You All Reviewing Robert Holdstock’s New Book?)

I’m going to call you out. James, Graeme, Aidan, Pat, Wert, Liz & Mark, Larry, Gav and Mihai. There are more bloggers who I’ve missed out here (I am in a rush!) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching…

Robert Holdstock is one of the finest writers in the fantasy genre. And he’s written a new book called Avilion, which is a Mythago Wood Cycle book. Last year I wrote about the first book in the cycle, called Mythago Wood. I’ve recently purchased Avilion, and will be reading it very soon, but although major newspapers have sung the praises of this novel, I’ve noticed too little coverage across the blogosphere. This is an online crime.

These are fantastic books, and here are some reasons why you, bloggers, should be reading Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood Cycle, and telling everyone about it.

1) His novels are meditation on the very nature of fantasy, and what it is to imagine.
2) He writes with such a delicate and sensitive prose.
3) Whereas China MiΓ©ville is the master of urban spaces, Robert Holdstock lords over the rural setting.
4) If you have an appreciation or interest in mythology, particularly celtic mythology, or indeed British culture, then you will love these books.
5) He’s criminally underrated.
6) He’s a lovely man.

So, who wants to give them a go?

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

25 replies on “Shame On You, Bloggers! (Or: Why Aren’t You All Reviewing Robert Holdstock’s New Book?)”

Well, you sold me. But the trick is actually getting my hands on his novels. I was interested in Mythago Wood after your last post, but it’s not exactly easy to get a hold of.

I’ll make a trip down to some of my local used-bookstores today. Failing that, I suppose I could order a used copy off of Amazon.

Gollancz sent me a review copy, but I’ve been reluctant to dive in as it’s a sequel…and I’d rather read the others first! Is that such a great crime? πŸ˜‰

Still, as it is apparently a stand-alone book, I might give it a try.

hegelrat – good stuff!

Aidan – I think you especially would really like it. If you’re a fan of GG Kay, then this should be your thing.

James – it is! There’s a quick summary at the start of this new one, which brings you up to speed. But I’d urge you to get the first one if you can, since it’s wonderful.

Well, I wasn’t sent a copy. I love Mythago Wood – though I haven’t yet found the time to get to its sequel, which I’ve heard is at least as good, if not better.

The ‘problem’ is that I’ve got so many good books to read right now that I don’t have the need to go out and buy one’s not sent to me – this sounds like a book I’d be happy to buy, but it’ll probably be years before I find the time to read it (where as if it were sent, I’d probably get to it much sooner).

Hah! I just realized that Avilion isn’t even out in North America until 2010 – so Neth, Pat and I are off the hook! Especially considering Gollancz doesn’t really seem to send review copies over here.


Still, I’m gonna go on a hunt today for Mythago Wood, it looks like it has some similarities to my own manuscript.

I agree with James, I’ve had a review copy for a while but I’ve held off because I’ve been trying (albeit not very hard) to track down Mythago Wood. If you think it can be read as a standalone then I’ll move it further up the list…..

Aidan – no excuse when the Book Depository has free worldwide shipping! πŸ™‚

Hi Robert: you can read it as a standalone, however, I’d suggest now is a good time to bug Gollancz for a copy and read them both!

What? I got to fangirl at RH at the Gemmell Awards. Geez! Also, have this to read for and not MFB. Although – maybe I give them summat different and keep RH for me? I mean us … πŸ˜‰

Well, Gollancz never sent me copies of his books. And besides, hacks like you, Abercrombie, and co. keep me busy with their titles!:P

What’s a blogger to do!?!

But if Simon, Gillian, or Jon want to send me the Holdstock novels, I might be tempted to have a closer look. . .


Well Mark, there’s this certain book manuscript that I’d like to finish reading first, so maybe after that and the new Lev Grossman novel I’ll place an order for it? πŸ˜‰

Liz: okay, you’re forgiven then. πŸ™‚

Pat: hacks! I can’t speak for Abercrombie though I’m sure, like me, he spends a good half hour a day working hard… Go and nudge Simon Spanton and tell him I sent you!

Larry: pah, that manuscript is probably rubbish… Get yourself some Rob Holdstock!

How dare you pull my ears about this? πŸ˜‰
Robert Holdstock is virtually unknown in my country (so I think), but I have to admit that I saw Holdstock’s “Avilion” in Gollancz catalog, but I moved over it since I saw that is the 7th novel in the “Mythago Wood” cycle and I didn’t read any of them. But with such a recommendation I look for it. I’ll be going today on vacation, but I’ll place an order for “Mythago Wood” and after I come back home I’ll look for the others too.
And speaking of The Book Depository I have to say only this: I love them!

Hi Mihai,

Glad to have your attention! πŸ™‚ You should definitely ask for the first book on the series, and this one. You can honestly read them individually (I think I read the third in the series first).

It seems the Book Depository are very popular with the online community.


I’ve been thinking about this after getting back from the doctor (all clear, by the way): I think it’s time to issue a counter-challenge to you, one that I think you might enjoy. I think you need to read that PaviΔ‡ book. And to make it easy, it’s all online. Trust me on this one. Even if it weren’t available in English translation, I’d learn the entire language just to read this.

Hi Larry (sorry for the approval; anything with a link in it gets caught up!). Glad everything is clear at the doctor.

That sounds like a ringing endorsement! You know, I’ll take that challenge. I’ve never read anything online (or even really as an ebook), but I’ll give it a go…

No problem, as I figured it was the link deal (just deleted a spam comment on my blog, as a matter of fact). And I expect a report in the near future, just as you might like one about a certain document? πŸ˜› I hope to have time this weekend to finish it, but no guarantees as missing most of four days of work has left me a week behind, alas. Working weekend ahead, but I might have time to squeeze that and a few more readings in as well.

I just picked up Mythago Wood after keeping my eyes peeled for it for ages. It’s been recommended to me by Gary Gibson, and with your extremely subtle hints of how good it is I’ll move it up the stack πŸ™‚

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