Matt Gemmell

Raw Materials book cover image

My book Raw Materials is out now!

A collection of personal essays, with exclusive content and author's notes.

★★★★★ — Amazon

A final laptop

Tech 4 min read

The last time I felt that my laptop had a shortcoming - a real, noticeable-daily, vexing insufficiency - it was the battery life.

Three, four, or five hours just aren’t enough to fulfil the promise of a computer that isn’t plugged in. Likewise, a portable machine becomes a lot less portable when you’re carrying a power brick too. A laptop with only half-day battery life is essentially a lie.

That was a few years ago. My battery problem has been solved.

Heroes and Miracles

Writing 2 min read

Nobody ever asked me if computer software mattered. I never asked myself that question, either. Of course it matters: it’s a proper job, and there’s money in it. Case closed.

Whether you believe that or not, being a fiction writer is a very different proposition.


Writing 2 min read

Writers are haunted creatures.

Everyone is a writer, of course. You invent stories every day. Your flights of fancy, your daydreams, your alternate scenarios, your fears.

But if you make things up explicitly, all the time, it changes you. You exist in the eye of a hurricane. Everything around is in flux.


Personal 10 min read

There were nine of us in the expedition vehicle, including two guides.

The van was solid, well-built and reliable; quintessentially German. Individual climate controls were set into the ceiling above each seat. It had ice spikes in the tyres, blinding extra high-beams mounted on the front grille, spare fuel, and all of our equipment.

In Winter

Personal 6 min read

The clocks have gone back.

The evenings are darker now, which is grim, but it’s a small price to pay for light in the mornings. I wake with the dawn spreading below the hem of the curtains, and it’s always a relief.

Temperatures are dropping, but it’s a very mild November so far. That first truly cutting breath of frozen air that heralds the real beginning of the final season - Winter’s edge - hasn’t yet arrived. There are even rare years where it never comes at all.