Stories for strange times

For three years, I've been writing weekly newsletters to my site members, often in the form of flash fiction: ultra-brief tales of 1,000 words or more, usually in genres including science fiction, horror, and the supernatural. Those stories collectively are called Once Upon A Time.

I've published three ebooks and one paperback anthology of those stories — which you can find out about below — and for 2021 I'm making a big change: now anyone can subscribe to a weekly story, for free!

On Monday mornings, you'll get an email in your inbox with a brief tale you can read in ten minutes or so. This is my way of reaching out to a wider audience, and hopefully helping to distract you during these bizarre and frightening times we're living through.

I'd love to have you as a subscriber. You can subscribe to the free weekly short story via email here, or use the form below. Unsubscribe any time, from the link in every issue.

I look forward to sending your first story to you. In the meantime, if you'd like to find out about the many stories I've already published, take a look below. You can also find out about my longer works of fiction on my books page.

Once Upon A Time — Volume 1

The first instalment of flash fiction: eighteen standalone tales of 1,000–3,000 words, in genres including science fiction, horror, and the supernatural! Bite-sized stories to spark the imagination, and provide respite from the world during a very strange time. Also includes author’s notes on each tale, describing inspiration and background.

Volume 1 includes the stories Retirement, Non-Local, The Gift of Time, Awake, The Translator, Ghost Streets, Transport, Faces, The Calendar, Stairs, Squeezed, Decision, One Silver Shilling, Bring Her Back, Inhabited, Heavier, Tribute, and Waiting.

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Once Upon A Time — Volume 2

The second instalment, with seventeen more tales to delight and distract, including author's notes.

Volume 2 includes the stories Fluent, Stolen Words, Impediment, Passing Through, Return, Shortages, Lights, Paranoia, Influencers, Left Behind, Foreign, Symbol, The Fairness, Obstacles, The Old Gods, The Repository, and Denning’s Walk.

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Once Upon A Time — Volume 3

The third instalment, with eighteen more tales plus author's notes.

Volume 3 includes the stories Mr. Scratch, The Mirror, The Preponderance of Evidence, The Old, Time To Go, Overalls, Knock Knock, The History Section, When We Became, Chibber, Failsafe, Burnout, Ubiquitous, Existential, Debrief, Symptoms, We Have Work, and Doing Time.

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Once Upon A Time — Collected Short Stories

A paperback collection of 60 bite-sized stories to spark the imagination, spanning more than four hundred pages, including author's notes on inspiration.

Previously released as a multi-volume ebook set, this print anthology contains every story from the first three instalments, plus seven new bonus tales!

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About Matt Gemmell

Matt Gemmell is the author of TOLL, CHANGER and RAW MATERIALS. He is a former software engineer, and he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife Lauren and their labradoodle named Whisky.

He can be found on Twitter as @mattgemmell.

Photo of Matt Gemmell


An occasional email with bonus chapters, thoughts on writing, and previews!