Several bloggers at Black Gate have piqued my interest in Robert Holdstock recently. In his November review of his pseudonymous sword & sorcery novel Berserker: Shadow of the Wolf, Fletcher Vredenburgh wrote:
Holdstock’s vision of the Viking age is merciless and dread-filled. The Norse are vicious, murderous bandits, continuously killing and raping their way across Ireland. The Norse themselves live in fear of the gods, no wonder in the face of murderous Berserkers. Haunts and monsters lurk in every shadow, sneaking from behind one tree to another. Men live under curses and the constant fear of sudden violent death. Most often death is unfair and ignoble.
And in his March review of Mythago Wood and Lavondyss, Derek Kunsken wrote:
There are a few novels I will return two over and over… one truly haunting work is Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood and Lavondyss. The novels won the World Fantasy Award in 1985 and the BSFA Award in 1988 respectively… reading Holdstock is to viscerally experience layers of deep, Jungian time. The wood is haunted not by ghosts of the past per se; it is haunted by the ancient memories of ghosts that each person carries within them, all the legends, remembered in story and forgotten.
The running theme through both reviews is that Holdstock is a master of setting, and that seems borne out by my most recent discovery, the Timescape paperback Where Time Winds Blow. It’s a standalone SF novel set on a strange SF planet where reality is fluid, and subject to mysterious winds that scream across the surface. That definitely sounds like my kind of book. Where Time Winds Blow was published by Timescape / Pocket Books in May 1982. It is 262 pages, priced at $2.95. The cover is by Carl Lundgren. I bought the copy above online this week for $2.79.