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Gollancz Editors’ Favourite Masterworks: Gillian

As noted yesterday, we’re doing our best to help you choose the best in classic SF or Fantasy to give your loved ones, this Christmas. Today, it’s the turn of Gollancz’s publishing director, Gillian Redfearn whose choice is a book we’ve written much about over the last few weeks – and here’s further proof that it really is a favourite of the entire Gollancz team . . .

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

Mythago Wood is one of those exceptional novels which change you as you read it. It began as a short story, published in 1979, was expanded into a novella in 1981, and became a full length novel in 1985. It was award winning in every iteration, deservedly so, and the time and work which was poured into this story shows in the near-poetic polish of the prose.

Telling the story of an RAF pilot who returns home after the war, we follow him as he and his family are first drawn to the mysterious Mythago Wood (a wood which is, as it turns out, larger on the inside than the outside), then to the elusive mythagos living within it, to finally become embroiled in a world where the contemporary, the real, the historical and the mythical have blended together – not necessarily with dangerous ramifications, but certainly with heart-breaking ones . . .

This is a powerful, quiet and haunting novel; a story about change which leaves a profound mark on the reader; a writer whose observations linger with you, long after turning the final page.