I’m both shocked and genuinely saddened by the news that writer Robert Holdstock has died this weekend following a short illness. He was 61.
I first met Rob at a convention in Hinkley. It must’ve been around 2002 or 2003. That same weekend I also met Ian MacLeod for the first time. Rob and Ian were then being published by Earthlight with John Jarrold at the helm, and John was in the process of bringing my own novels to publication.
The three of us crammed into the back of a taxi, and were taken to a restaurant and treated to a Chinese meal by our publisher. I remember the evening vividly: I suddenly found myself among people I’d read and aspired to be like. I felt as if I’d “made it”.
I’ve met Rob several times since then, most recently at the Arthur C Clarke Award ceremony in London earlier in 2009. As usual, Rob was full of beans, enthusiastic about writing, and always happy to spare some time to talk to a newcomer such as myself.
Robert Holdstock was a true gentleman, and a top bloke. He will be sadly missed.