Some Time Never

Published in 1948


Many years ago gremlins were the rulers of the world but were forced underground by humans, emerging only during the Battle of Britain. With World War III and World War IV having decimated the earth, they are ready to return...



Very loosely based on his earlier gremlin stories, Some Time Never: A Fable for Supermen was Roald Dahl's first full-length novel. But where The Gremlins was marketed as a children's story, Some Time Never was, as Roald said to his agent in a letter, "horrifyingly adult" in its themes. In this story the gremlins are no longer merely mischevious and unpredictable. Here they are sinister and evil, waiting for the humans who live above them to kill each other so that they can take over the planet.

Released in 1948, Some Time Never was an apocalyptic book, a critique of the atom bomb and what Roald saw as the inevitability of nuclear war. It is notable for being perhaps the first fictional account of nuclear war to be published. The book met with mainly negative reviews, although The Glasgow Herald praised it as "highly original," going on to say "in spite of its terrifying course and gloomy conclusion, it also contrives to be hugely entertaining."

Despite this, the overall response to the book was muted and Roald distanced himself from it, later calling it a "ghastly book" in a letter to his agent, and telling a fan who wrote to him about it in 1971 that it was "not worth reading."

Some Time Never is still available to purchase in Holland, but is currently out-of-print in other countries.

Find out more about the period of his life in which Roald Dahl wrote Some Time Never.

Some Time Never was loosely inspired by Roald Dahl's Gremlins stories