The two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award, four-time winner of the British Science Fiction Award and one of the best fantasy writers of his generation is dead at age 61 of complications from an E. coli infection.

Robert Holdstock died at 4 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 29th.  He had been treated in intensive care  after collapsing from an E. coli infection on Nov 18th.

No additional information has been released concerning how he came to suffer from the infection, but his death has shocked the Science Fiction world.  According to his official biography:

Robert Holdstock was born in Kent in 1948 (from East of the Medway). His childhood was spent between the dense woods of the Kentish heartlands and the bleak expanse of the Romney Marsh, near which he was born.

After nine years of being a student, specializing in medical Zoology, Robert became a full-time writer in 1975. His early novels include “Eye Among the Blind,” “Where Times Winds Blow” and “Necromancer.”  His short stories are collected in “In the Valley of the Statues” and “The Bone Forest.”

He has written a variety of Celtic, Nordic, Gothic and Pictish fantasy, a series of occult thrillers — e.g. the “Night Hunter”– and the novel of John Boorman’s film “The Emerald Forest.”

His most famous work is “Mythago Wood,” for which he won the World Fantasy Award in 1985.

Michael Moorcock said “Mythago Wood” was  “the outstanding fantasy book of the 80s”, and the following novel in the cycle, “Lavondyss” won the British Science Fiction Association’s award.

He was a resident North London where he lived with his partner Sarah.  He collected masks, and escaped to the forests and the wilds whenever possible.

His awards included:

British Science Fiction Award

  • [1982] Short Fiction – “Mythago Wood”
  • [1985] SF Novel – Mythago Wood
  • [1989] SF Novel – Lavondyss
  • [1994] Short Fiction – “The Ragthorn” (with Garry Kilworth)

Czech Academy Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Award

  • [2002] Best Novel – The Iron Grail

Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire

  • [2003] Prix spécial: pour La Forêt des Mythagos (pour l’édition de l’ensemble du cycle dans la collection Lunes d’Encre)

Prix d’Imaginales

  • [2004  The short story “Scarrowfell”, from the Dans La Vallee Des Statues collection, and for the Denoel edition of Dans La Vallee Des Statues itself, which has been translated by Philippe Gindre.

World Fantasy Award

  • [1985] Best Novel – Mythago Wood
  • [1992] Best Novella – “The Ragthorn” (with Garry Kilworth)