Saturday, 24 October 2020

ROBERT HOLDSTOCK: BLOWING IN THE TIME-WINDS

 



ROBERT HOLDSTOCK: 
BLOWING IN THE TIME-WINDS 

 Book Review of: 
‘WHERE TIME WINDS BLOW’ 
by ROBERT HOLDSTOCK 
 (1981, Faber & Faber 1988, 
Victor Gollancz Ltd ISBN 0-575-04279-6)

  
This is probably not the book you expect it to be. It starts out as an exercise in world-building. Within the SF universe there’s a consensus future, one collectively built up through generations of writers, a convenient template used as a jumping-off point for multiple fictions. It’s an off-the-peg map of tomorrows made up of equations in which humans extend out beyond the solar system to colonise the worlds of nearer stars. For ‘Star Trek’ it’s done under the auspices of the Federation, Robert Holdstock selects the Galactic Co-operative, which also happens to be known as the ‘Federation’. Naturally, each world within the expanding sphere of human influence has its unique oddness – what Holdstock terms the planet’s ‘quirks and mysteries’, and it’s around the deciphering of that strangeness that the episode, or short story or novel revolves. Just as the Detective story requires an unsolved murder, so this particular style of SF requires a mysterious planet. Yet, with only the slightest of puns, Holdstock states clearly that his planet ‘Kamelios is not the last great frontier.’


Robert Holdstock in 1968
 
Born in Hythe, Kent – 2 August 1948, and schooled at Gillingham Grammar, Robert Paul Holdstock was already active in SF-fandom – interacting with fellow fan-enthusiasts and attending Conventions, while studying as an applied Zoology & Parasitology student at the North Wales Bangor University. Voiced through the persona of his central ‘Where Time Winds Blow’ character he recalls ‘that sense of excitement, of wonder. The sort of feeling we had at school when people talked about other galaxies, and all the worlds in our galaxy that had only been recorded, never explored. It’s imagination, the feeling of mystery that you get when people tell you stories about distant islands, hidden asteroids, secret locations, secret lands where things are strange, and where we’re infiltrators, or strangers. There’s something so magic about the unknown.’ Fantasy is something – as he says in his introduction to the ‘Stars Of Albion’ anthology, to ‘excite the wonder buds.’ He plays more than his part in creating those beguiling fantasies. 

His first fiction sale was prestigiously to the large-format Michael Moorcock-era ‘New Worlds’ – the ‘Special All New Writers Issue’ no.184 (November 1968). In the introductory ‘Lead-In’ notes he says ‘I find nothing more relaxing than writing SF unless it is reading SF, and I’m as lazy as a (Clifford D) Simak character when it comes to anything but those two occupations. My main and most enjoyed style is ‘Analog’-Yankee. Don’t think badly of me – I just enjoy spinning a yarn that’s action-packed and dialogue-crammed.’ Yet his “Pauper’s Plot” in that same issue is just the opposite, a bleak expressionist exercise set among drone-like slave-workers in a vast factory, a Fritz Lang ‘Metropolis’ (1927) image in which they plot and scheme to murder the sadistic whip-wielding Overseer – ‘this is the story of how we killed Mister Joseph,’ they discuss and mentally rehearse the killing, but eventually draw back from delivering the fatal blow. 

The decade tip-over into the seventies was not a good time for the tyro SF-writer. The magazines that had provided both markets and audiences for new talent, were extinct, so instead the writer had to take advantage of whatever transient markets were available, such as the ‘New Writings In SF’ anthology series, ‘Vortex’ magazine and the large-format NEL ‘Science Fiction Monthly’, plus projects such as the three-issue ‘Andromeda’ and the one-off ‘Stopwatch’ collections. In 1970 Holdstock moved to London to take up research in Medical Zoology, he married in 1973, and turned freelance writer in 1975 while living in Hertford and supplementing his income by continuing as a part-time lecturer in human anatomy. ‘How much courage does it take, we’ve asked before, to give up a secure professional career for the slightly more precarious life of a full-time freelance writer?’ asks ‘Andromeda’-editor Peter Weston, ‘that’s why it gives me particular pleasure to report Rob’s successes so far…’



 
His debut novel – ‘Eye Among The Blind’ (1976) qualifies as conventional ‘Analog’-Yankee style-SF only to the extent that it concerns a ‘map-space’ situation between star-travelling humans and their first sentient alien encounter, the Ree’hd. But this is placed within the context of a near-extinction plague called the Fear that is decimating the human worlds, while the action is spiced with cross-species sex-displays and erotic ‘feelies’ that ‘Analog’ might have found unsettling. The devolutionary interrelationship between the three native races of Ree’hdworld form a planetary enigma as equally detailed and exhaustively scrutinised as Kamelios would be. A balance disturbed by the insertion of the human Installation. Central character, Zeitman, is a biologist. As Holdstock had told ‘New Worlds’, ‘being a zoologist, I like to situate them on other worlds and invent believable aliens. To pose a biological problem and invent a biological solution.’ 

Yet while his ‘serious’ novels appear under his own name, he was also publishing work under a variety of alternative guises, including ‘Robert Black’, ‘Ken Blake’, ‘Chris Carlsen’, ‘Richard Kirk’ and others. Significantly – as author of ‘The Stalking’ (1983), he writes under the name ‘Robert Faulcon’. For the central character in ‘Where Time Winds Blow’ is Leo Faulcon, on planet Kamelios – ‘chameleon, the inconstant one, a world of changes.’ Originally known as VanderZande’s World, this ‘confusion of identity’ is one that stretches ‘to the very world itself.’ It orbits the huge red solar disk of Altuxor, and has a retinue of six moons – each with human bases, the pink striated Merlin with its silvery companion Kytara, Tharoo the largest and ugliest moon, Threelight with its three dust deserts, Aardwind and tiny Magrath. 

Leo is engaged in an on-off relationship with Lena Tanoway, who arrived on the planet a year earlier than he did. They’re joined by mischievous Kris Dojaan, a younger more-recent arrival who is yet to be dulled by the Kamelios-effect into losing his sense of wonder, ‘worlds have auras, and those auras impose different psychological constraints or enlargements upon an alien population.’ Yet the planet’s unique strangeness lies not in its Fiersig – atmospheric electrical storms that alter moods and perceptions, its Night Eye orbital station, or the planet’s southern hemisphere made up of thousands of oceanic islands. In a knowing pun at Clifford D Simak, Holdstock says ‘time’ is not ‘the simplest think on Kamelios,’ because it is the ‘Time Winds’ of the title that justify the Michael Moorcock cover-quote describing Holdstock as ‘an inspired and original author’. 

Masked and black-suited against the planet’s ‘choking organic pollen poisons’ the three travel on rift-bykes to the shore of the dark Paluberion Sea, where they stumble upon a huge spherical alien wreck. It has been disgorged by the time-winds that spit out fragments of past or future-time into the present, or alternately snatch people into the labyrinth of time. A random phenomenon that makes the world a ‘fairground of Otherness’, with artefacts that provide no evidence of their creators, although readers of a speculative nature may already be forming their own theories. After all, there are various colonisation attempts in process, any of which could provide the root-origins of future cultures, from the sealed and seasonally-mobile Steel City – biggest of the human settlements, to the bio-engineered manchanged. 

Kris’ energetic impetuous curiosity contrasts Leo’s loss of wonder. ‘This whole world is wrong’ he cautions. ‘It’s a world of constant change and it changes man along with it. If you spend long enough here your body and mind will be twisted and torn until sometimes you’ll be walking when you’re sitting and awake when you’re asleep.’ Each of them carries a ritual charm, a flotsam of time-junk. Kris retrieved a fragment from the time-wreck – but did he enter the sphere? For he has his own agenda. He believes that the glimpsed Time-Phantom who can ‘ride the time winds’ is his time-lost brother Mark. Leo suspects it could be Kris himself, switched into Othertime. Kris absconds to discover the truth. 

If the reader anticipates a rapid fall through the time-stream into fast-action adventures across a vortex of glittering civilisations, flitting across eras as in Brian Aldiss’ ‘Cryptozoic’, or across Michael Moorcock’s multiverse time-phases… that is not Holdstock’s intention. It’s not that kind of novel. The centres are human as much as they are fantastical. Everyone has secrets and motivations that are painstakingly articulated. The text is dense with detail. As an exercise in world-building it exhaustively explores every aspect of the seven canyons or rift valleys, of which the two-hundred mile Kriakta Rift is the biggest, and the ‘cosmic linkage’ of the six-moon influence on the indigenous creature’s mating pattern, as well as the character’s internal landscapes of conflict, moods, arguments and rivalries. 



Then Lena and Kris are lost in the time-winds, but it’s only after Leo takes refuge with the stoic philosophical manchanged that he comes around to accepting that he must follow them. Meanwhile, there is a Catchwind project operated by ‘Mad’ Commander Gulio Ensavolio who claims to be the only human to have seen a gold pyramid of time-travelling Kamelios aliens, and ‘lived, brooded and planned’ to discover their truth. And it’s as part of Catchwind research that Leo deliberately places himself in the path of the Time Winds. Although even that long-awaited eventuality is not quite as the reader may anticipate. Neither are the Time Winds actually Time Winds… but, in a giveaway Plot Spoiler – ‘an immense intangible creature, trying to communicate.’ Yet the resolutions work, within the novel’s logical framework. 

I never got to meet Robert Holdstock, although we appeared together in a few magazines. I was never really a Fan-Convention sort of person, although I went to a few. But writer Bryn Fortey knew him, he recalls that ‘my short story “Wordsmith” (first published in Ken Bulmer’s ‘New Writings In SF’ (1976) had a protagonist whose name was a bastardisation of Rob Holdstock, and one line of dialogue was a direct lift from a letter he wrote to me. To get his own back he called a dwarf warlord Bryn in one of the three ‘Beserker’ novels he wrote. He was a lovely young fellow in those days. I’m sure he was still lovely as a big name author.’ 

‘Where Time Winds Blow’ is Holdstock’s third novel under his own name, although there were others published through guises. It’s an elegantly structured although largely static work, as the characters cross and re-cross the same terrain accumulating detail with each transit. Robert Holdstock would make his mainstream breakthrough a few years down the line with a sharp thematic turn into ‘Mythago Wood’. But if building Kamelios is an early exercise in discovering his own identity as a writer, it remains a remarkably powerful and mature novel.


  

ROBERT HOLDSTOCK: 
2 August 1948-29 November 2009 
HIS FICTION BEFORE THE TIME-WIND
 

October 1968 – ‘VECTOR no.51’ BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) Journal, includes a book review of ‘The Cassiopeia Affair’ by Harrison Brown and Chloe Zerwick 

November 1968 – ‘NEW WORLDS no.184’ includes “Pauper’s Plot”, edited by Michael Moorcock with James Sallis. Subtitled ‘Special All New Writers Issue’, also features Graham Charnock and M John Harrison. Described as ‘a remarkably consistent and intricate parable,’ in which ‘white, wide eyes flicker from machine to machine, from machine to Overseer, from Overseer to work; from work to the weapon in his belt; fingers close delicately around the cool metal and test its flexibility; it will sink deep into the body, they say to themselves’


 
Spring 1969 – ‘VECTOR no.52’ BSFA Journal, includes short fiction “Fire King” and poem “Nearing”, plus book review of ‘The Rose’ by Charles L Harness 

Summer 1969 – ‘VECTOR no.53’ BSFA Journal edited by Michael Kenward, includes reviews of ‘Rite Of Passage’ by Alexei Panshin, ‘Living In Space’ by Mitchell R Sharpe, and the Michael Moorcock novels ‘The Jewel In The Skull’, ‘The Mad God’s Amulet’ and ‘The Sword Of The Dawn’ 

Autumn 1969 – ‘VECTOR no.54’ BSFA Journal edited by Michael Kenward, includes reviews of ‘Termush’ by Sven Holm and ‘Tarnsman Of Gor’ by John Norman 

1970 – ‘VECTOR no.55’ BSFA Journal edited by Michael Kenward, includes reviews of ‘Reflections In A Mirage’ by Leonard Daventry and ‘The Ring’ by Piers Anthony and Robert Margroff 

December 1971 – ‘MACROCOSM no.1’ Robert Holdstock’s own fanzine, produced with Greg Pickersgill, Leroy Kettle and John Brosnan, includes short stories “Island In The Moon” self-illustrated, and “Inside Story” written with Leroy Kettle as by ‘Robert Leroi’. Also editorial ‘The Story Of Three Bores’ and ‘Apologies For Appearance Dept’ essay 

Easter 1972 – ‘MACROCOSM no.2’ edited and published by Robert Holdstock with short story “Death Of An Immortal” and essay “The Shape Of Things”. Also features EC Tubb, Lisa Conesa, Bryn Fortey and Charles Partington 

Summer 1972 – ‘MACROCOSM no.3’ edited and published by Robert Holdstock – as variously ‘Rob Holdstock’ or ‘Robert P Holdstock’, includes his poem “See, Bird” and short story “Consumation” written with Chris Morgan, plus three essays “In Search Of Inspiration”, “Burke, Bugs And Big Brother” and “Heston Versus The World – Again” 

1972 – ‘NEW WRITINGS IN SF – 20’ (Corgi Books) edited by John Carnell, with “Microcosm” by Robert P Holdstock, where the character’s forty-seventh chromosome is an entity within, an Aurigae Sam II virus, heavy with symbolism, he’s trapped in a place between life and death 

1972 – ‘NEW WRITINGS IN HORROR AND THE SUPERNATURAL no.2’ (Sphere Books) edited by David A Sutton, with Robert Holdstock’s “The Darkness” – republished in David A Sutton’s ‘Horror! Under The Tombstone: Stories From The Deathly Realm’ (March 2013, Shadow Publishing), plus fiction by Ramsey Campbell and Bryn Fortey 

January 1973 – ‘SFINX no.7’ the fanzine of the Oxford University Speculative Fiction Group, edited by Allan Scott and Kevin Smith, features “To Lay The Piper” later reprinted in ‘Science Fiction Monthly Vol.3 no.4’ (April 1976) edited by Julie Davis. In a series of jumps, the main characters time-travel back to Germany March 1270 to discover the truth about the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, teasing out evidence from crippled survivor Hansel, then witnessing an orgiastic conjuring of the dead induced by the LSD-like ergot fungus in the bread the townspeople eat 



March 1973 – ‘VECTOR no.64’ BSFA Journal edited by Malcolm Edwards, with review of ‘Worlds Apart: An Anthology Of Interplanetary Fiction’ edited by George Locke 

Summer 1973 – ‘SFINX no.8’ the fanzine of the Oxford University Speculative Fiction Group, edited by Allan Scott and Kevin Smith, features “A Further Process Of Decay” by Robert P Holdstock. Also includes fiction by Ian Watson 

October 1974 – ‘STOPWATCH’ edited by George Hay (New English Library, ISBN 0-450-02142-4) includes “Ash, Ash” (later rewritten for ‘In The Valley Of The Statues’ collection (1982)), described by Hay as ‘existential unease, the kind not to be remedied by any slick ending.’ Taking its title from a Sylvia Plath poem, it opens ‘I am Joseph Questel, killer of men’ as the most hated Spiral war-criminal in the galaxy he’s hunted from planet to planet, as he escapes from planet Timeslow, Joni tells him he is a fictional character, implanted with false-memories as a punishment. He kills her. The collection also includes John Brunner, Christopher Priest, Ian Watson and Andrew Darlington 

January 1975 – ‘ZIMRI no.7’ fanzine edited by Lisa L Conesa with Holdstock’s “The Touch Of A Vanished Hand” illustrated by John Mattershead, also Chris Priest, Steve Sneyd and John Brunner interview. Story republished in ‘VORTEX no.1’ (January 1977) edited by Keith Seddon, which also includes Michael Moorcock’s “The End Of All Songs”, then collected into ‘In The Valley Of The Statues’ 

May 1975 – ‘SCIENCE FICTION MONTHLY’ (Vol.2 no.5) with Holdstock “Ihl-Kizz” illustrated by Lucinda Cowell, three colonist children on a supposedly native-free planet play mind-games with their alien friends, Ihl-kizz and sister Catta. But a night of murder reveals the ‘imaginary playmates’ as agents of the supposedly-eradicated Dormann race. There’s a hostage stand-off with an alien ship, then a horrifying shape-shifter conclusion. A hard-SF story, with Bowman – a name familiar from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ 



Summer 1975 – ‘VECTOR no.69’ features a Holdstock book review of ‘Yesterday’s Children’ by David Gerrold 

1976 – ‘FRIGHTENERS 2’ (Fontana) edited by Mary Danby with “Magic Man”, also includes Sydney J Bounds (“An Eye For Beauty”) and Bryn Fortey (“The Substitute”) 

1976 – ‘NEW WRITINGS IN SF no.28’ (Sidgwick & Jackson/ Corgi paperback) edited by Kenneth Bulmer, Holdstock’s “On The Inside” is slowly unfolding, Ray Burton is inside Andrew Quinn (who keeps his wife’s body in the closet), back from a 300-year trip to Proxima C into a conformist Christian future, a tree in the park, and a diary in its hollow, leak clues… 

April 1976 – ‘EYE AMONG THE BLIND’ debut novel (Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-10883-0). Biologist Robert Zeitman (man of zeitgeist) returns to the 600-year-old human Installation on Ree’hdworld and to wife Kristina Schriock, from whom he’s been long separated, and who is now involved in a cross-species relationship with Urak. The planet is increasingly unsafe as humans upset the world’s natural ecological balance, and their exodus from ruined Earth is set to inundate it, with the friendly Ree’hd and their more primitive forest-dwelling kinsmen, the Rundil – both restless, complicated by sightings of the supposedly-vanished Pianhmar progenitor race. Anticipating ‘Where Time Winds Blow’ Holdstock writes about ‘a timeless feeling, a feeling of past and future, intermingled and indistinguishable.’ As the Installation burns, the answer to the metaphysics of the three racial stages of devolution, and the evolutionary parallels between the lost Pianhmar and doomed humans is held by blind psi-enabled Kevin Maguire, a man who should have died centuries ago but who, still living, has seen the secrets of the lapsed Pianhmar star-empire. Zeitman does not get the girl, but he is bio-reconstructed into a replacement for Maguire to negotiate a new settlement between the species and worlds


 
May 1976 – ‘ANDROMEDA 1’ edited by Peter Weston (Orbit-Futura, ISBN 0-86007-891-4) includes “Travellers” (later in ‘In The Valley Of The Statues’ collection (1982)), about which Weston says ‘Holdstock succeeds in achieving almost the impossible – in finding a fresh way of looking at one of the oldest and hoariest of SF themes. Yes, indeed, zoology’s loss is our gain.’ The theme Weston refers to is Time-travel, which he handles with a beautifully visionary intensity. Time-nodes appear intermittently – pulled in the wake of a black alien ‘Traveller’, which allow mind-shifts into other times. Jaim Barron searches for Margaretta who he met in a previous node, only to discover they have a daughter, Jayameeka. He takes her virginity without realising who she is, although it is the ‘social custom’ of her fourth-millennium future-era. He takes the Big Run back to the Age of Dinosaurs to locate her. One of Holdstock’s finest tales. Anthology also includes Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest and Bob Shaw 

September 1976 – ‘LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF’ novel as by ‘Robert Black’ (Sphere) ISBN 0-7221-5468-2 

November 1976 – ‘SUPERNOVA 1’ (Faber & Faber) anthology, includes two Holdstock tales, “The Time Beyond Age” (republished in ‘Stars Of Albion’) and “The Graveyard Cross” 

January 1977 – ‘VORTEX: THE SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY’ (Vol.1 no.1), 45p edited by Keith Seddon, with Holdstock’s “The Touch Of A Vanished Hand” illustrated by Stephanie Little. A beautifully haunting tale of transmutation and decay, a blind man on the seventh world of Sirius, then a man named Christopher Gable, ‘something more than friendship’, holding hands in order to beam from Rigel Nine to the third world of Bianco’s Star they become separated… but he can still feel the touch of his hand as he returns to ruined Earth and seeks out Gable’s son who rides an air-horse. Or is it he who is lost between worlds and Gable still living?


 
June 1977 – ‘ANDROMEDA 2’ ‘original Science Fiction stories’ edited by Peter Weston (Orbit-Futura, ISBN 0-8600-7947-3) with “A Small Event” by Holdstock (later in ‘In The Valley Of The Statues’ collection (1982) which Weston calls ‘a movingly human tale’ of the MFM triad of Harmony, Silver and narrator Walker who travel to the banks of the Taim where the MECH-dwarf predicts a ‘quantum black hole’ will fall. The characters resemble the playful post-humans of Moorcock’s ‘Dancers At The End Of Time’, altering body-form at the whim of ‘anatomical amusement’, until Silver falls into the singularity in an Icarus ‘creative death’, as the temporal-effect created by the space-time rift releases an outpouring of time-relics. It is one of Holdstock’s finest short stories. Other stories by Ian Watson, Bob Shaw, David Langford and Richard E Geis 

August 1977 – ‘SHADOW OF THE WOLF’ ‘Beserker’-series novel as by ‘Chris Carlsen’ (Sphere) ISBN 0-7221-4631-0 

September 1977 – ‘EARTHWIND’ novel (Faber and Faber, 1978 Pan paperback) ISBN 0-571-11119-X 

1977 – ‘THE SATANISTS’ novel as by ‘Robert Black’ (Futura) ISBN 0-7088-1361-5 

October 1977 – ‘THE BULL CHIEF’ ‘Beserker’ novel as by Chris Carlsen (Sphere) ISBN 0-7221-4632-9 

March 1978 – ‘SWORDSMISTRESS OF CHAOS’ (Corgi) ‘Raven 1’ novel by Robert Holdstock and Angus Wells as ‘Richard Kirk’ 

1978 – ‘THE NINETEENTH PAN BOOK OF HORROR STORIES’ edited by Herbert van Thal, with Holdstock’s “The Quiet Girl” 

September 1978 – ‘FOUNDATION no.14’ published by the North East London Polytechnic ‘on behalf of the Science Fiction Foundation’ edited by Malcolm Edwards, David Pringle and Ian Watson, includes Robert Holdstock’s review of Cherry Wilder’s ‘The Luck Of Brin’s Five’ 

November 1978 – ‘NECROMANCER’ novel by Robert Holdstock (Futura) ISBN 0-7088-1406-9 

1979 – ‘THE HORNED WARRIOR’ third in the ‘Berserker’ cycle as by ‘Chris Carlsen’ (Sphere) ISBN 0-7221-4633-7. The three novels published as a single volume as by Robert Holdstock in 2014 by Gollancz SF Gateway Omnibus 

1979 – ‘STARS OF ALBION’ fiction anthology edited by Robert Holdstock and Christopher Priest (Pan Books) ISBN 0-330-25872-9, includes ‘Afterword’ and “Whores (Dream Archipelago story)” by Priest. Holdstock contributes the ‘Introduction’ and novelette “The Time Beyond Age: A Journey” (originally published in the 1976 Faber anthology ‘Supernova 1’), experimental MMA-grown Martin and Yvonne are reared from artificial wombs, ‘the effect of the chemical ‘Chronos’ is seen only in the acceleration of their developmental rates, and the false experience implants seem fully capable of compensating for their accelerated lives’. Although the focus is also on the Life Plan observers who watch them in ‘Truman Show’ style, their accelerated lives age beyond the two-hundred mark, into death. The anthology includes Brian Aldiss, JG Ballard, Ian Watson, Barrington J Bayley (as PF Woods), John Brunner, Bob Shaw and others 

Autumn 1979 – ‘FOCUS no.1’ BSFA magazine edited by Robert Holdstock and Chris Evans, with essays by Christopher Priest (“Writing A Novel? Do!”) and Kenneth Bulmer (“The Problems Of Genesis”), plus Simon Ounsley, Garry Kilworth and Cyril Simsa. Also ‘Focus no.2’ (Spring 1980) with David Wingrove, Simon Ounsley. ‘Focus no.3’ (Autumn 1980) with Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove. ‘Focus no.4’ (Spring 1981) Lisa Tuttle, John Brunner, Steve Ince. The title continues with other editors 

November 1979 – ‘PULSAR 2’ (Penguin Books) edited by George Hay, with Holdstock novelette “High Pressure”, plus fiction by EC Tubb, Garry Kilworth and Alan Dean Foster 

February 1980 – ‘INTERFACES’ (Ace Books) edited by Virginia Kidd and Ursula K LeGuin, anthology includes Holdstock’s “Earth And Stone” (collected into ‘In The Valley Of The Statues’), plus fiction by Hilary Bailey and James Tiptree Jr 

May 1981 – ‘WHERE TIME WINDS BLOW’ by Robert Holdstock (Faber and Faber) cover-art by Caspar David Friedrich, ISBN 0-571-11679-5. Pan Books paperback September 1982 

July 1980 – ‘AD ASTRA no.11’ magazine edited by James Manning. Includes Holdstock’s “Surviving Forces” 

September 1981 – ‘THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SF’ (Vol.61, no.3/ no.364) edited by Edward L Ferman, the cover-art illustrates Holdstock’s “Mythago Wood”… from which the next phase of his writing career will develop… 

April 1982 – ‘IN THE VALLEY OF THE STATUES’ (Faber and Faber, 0-571-11858-5) Robert Holdstock debut collection, includes short stories “The Touch Of A Vanished Hand” (1975) and “The Graveyard Cross” (1976) plus novellas “Ashes” (1974, variant of “Ash, Ash”), “Travellers” (1976), “A Small Event” (1977), “In The Valley Of The Statues” (1979), “Earth And Stone” (1980) and “Mythago Wood” (1981)




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