Never Was — formerly The Gatehouse (2008-18) — is an online, non-commercial alternate-history magazine, edited by Nick Ottens.

We are interested in what we call the steam, diesel and atomic eras, which match three genres of speculative fiction:

  • Steampunk: Usually set in a nineteenth century where the future has happened sooner. Click here for an introduction. Subgenres of steampunk include clockpunk and Weird West.
  • Dieselpunk: Similar to steampunk but usually darker and set in the interwar periods or World War II. Click here for a brief history. Subgenres include biopunk and decodence (also called decopunk).
  • Atomicpunk: Set in an anachronistic Cold War and inspired by the (now retro-)futurism of the 1950s through 1970s. A related genre is spy-fi.

Click here to learn more about our motivation.

Contact Us

You can reach us at info@neverwasmag.com. Consult the contact information page for details.


Our History

Click here for a history of The Gatehouse.


Contact us if you would like us to review a book or story. We accept e-books (Kindle format preferred) and hard copies.

We no longer review music.


Click here to submit a story.


© 2018-24 Never Was. All rights reserved. No material from this website may be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Which we usually give, but please ask first.

Also read our Privacy Policy and User Agreement.