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Haig, Matt

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1975-    ) UK author perhaps best known for his work for children and the Young Adult market, though his first novel, The Last Family in England (2004; vt The Labrador Pact 2009), is a Beast Fable retelling William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One (performed 1597; 1598) with an animal cast. The Dead Fathers Club (2006) is a ghost story which channels Hamlet (performed circa 1600; 1603; exp 1604; rev 1623). His first significant work for the young adult, the Samuel Blink sequence comprising Shadow Forest (2007) and The Runaway Troll (2008) [for vts see Checklist below], transports the newly orphaned protagonist to Norway, where he must trace a lost relative into the mysterious nearby woods [for Beast Fable above and Into the Woods see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Radleys (2010) is a Vampire novel.

In Haig's first novel of direct sf interest, The Humans (2013), an Alien comes secretly to Earth, and possesses a university professor and mathematician, at least partly in order to prevent his explorations in Mathematics from threatening the human race. Echo Boy (2014), set in the Near Future, faces its young protagonist with the task of maintaining personal autonomy – which involves constructing masks around her "inner" Identity – and the growing mutual attraction between her and an Android who serves as a bodily Avatar, an echo of the human who uses him to negotiate with the world. The protagonist of How to Stop Time (2017) is close to ageless (see Immortality), having been born in 1581; his desire in the early twenty-first century to settle into a normal married life puts him at odds with the Secret Masters who have been monitoring his life. Each of the books contained in the eponymous Library featured in The Midnight Library (2020) serves as a portal opening into a different life for the tale's protagonist (see Multiverse; Parallel Worlds). Haig's style is exceedingly personable, though the increasing seriousness of his work may necessarily reduce this comfort factor. [JC]

Matthew Haig

born Sheffield, South Yorkshire: 1 July 1975



Samuel Blink



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