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 …
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 “mythagos”, warped, dangerous hero figures, threatening all those who come in search of the boy.
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.
Wondrous beings inhabit these woods – creatures born of mythic fable and the mortal subconscious: a snow woman beckons; a scientist succumbs to an age-old madness, tale-tellers weave extraordinary yarns of terrifying primal power. Explore a dark and secret place where daemons roam, where conjurers work their awesome pagan magic in eight stunning short stories of exhilarating imagination by the acclaimed author of Lavondyss and the World Fantasy Award-winning classic Mythago Wood.
From The SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal sample introduction to the fantastic work of Robert Holdstock, one of modern fantasy’s most original and influential voices. Holdstock’s Mythago Wood, winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel, is regarded as the definitive treatment of the wildwood, and his Merlin Codex trilogy is one of the few truly original takes on the Arthurian legend. This omnibus contains two of his early SF novels: Earthwind and Where Time Winds Blow and a collection of his highly-acclaimed short fiction, In the Valley of the Statues.
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.
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.
At the heart of the wildwood lies a place of mystery and legend, from which few return and none emerged unchanged: Lavondyss . . . the ultimate realm, the source of all myth. 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 help. 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, 1989.
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.