by Stephen Volk
(novella, PS Publishing, 2017)
*shortlisted, British Fantasy Award Best Short Fiction 2018 


I was Group Manager at forty-six with a Range Rover Evoque, a beautiful wife and two gorgeous, healthy children, and that was all I wanted. 

Or so I thought...

This is the story of a man who takes a path to become the person he always wanted to be, but never believed he was. Fate takes a hand, a very special person enters his life and changes everything. Emboldened by an irrational passion he risks everything he thought he loved and valued - but the price is worth paying for happiness. ...Isn't it?

Read an extract here

Read my blog "What's in a Label?" about the writing of The Little Gift here 

"Erotic, devastating and written by someone at the height of his powers. Stephen Volk pulls the rug out from under you - you'll never find your feet while you fall"  Johnny Mains, editor of Best British Horror 

"Stephen Volk has long been a master of the art of chilling the reader's blood - as his latest piece, while modest in length, demonstrates. His continuing ability to hone his prose (so that not a word is wasted in delivering the impact on the reader) is undimmed... One caveat, perhaps, and it's probably one that Volk will like: it's not a piece to be read at night"  Barry Forshaw, Crimewave 

"An unsettling tale... Stephen Volk has an uncanny knack for creating tales that haunt you in the hours and days that follow you reading them"  Paul Simpson, Sci-Fi Bulletin

"What a treat... Cleverly structured and quietly devastating... Some books, you finish reading them and you're done; but the events of The Little Gift stick around in your head, nag at your thoughts, reveal new interpretations as you shower, go shopping or drive to work. It's another remarkable work from one of the best writers we have"  James Everington, Scattershot Writing 

"Volk has a strong record for writing brilliant novellas. Settle in for a disturbing journey from a writer with formidable talent"  Crime Fiction Lover

"In The Little Gift Stephen Volk makes the reader question every twist and turn, every genre shift and each precise choice of language. It's a roadmap to places the reader thinks they know well, only to discover Volk is leading them into uncharted territory. A place where true horror resides"  Anthony Cowin, This Is Horror 

"In the menagerie of quiet horror, The Little Gift is a church mouse. This kind of horror isn't a jump scare or even mounting dread. It's a cold, hard look in the mirror"  Gef Fox, Cementery Dance Online

"Carefully paced, with some wonderfully understated dialogue, there's a kind of stark beauty to the writing that makes certain lines and phrases sing off the page... Filled with tension, love for the family and the promise of what might have been, as well as the cold tug of grief and shock, this is an excellent novella and highly recommended"  Mark West, Strange Tales

"Complex and beautifully written... Stephen Volk's The Little Gift may be a relatively short work, but it conatins volumes within its carefully constructed narrative... In the insidious, dangerous manner in which expert storytellers operate, we are invited to think for ourselves, to think about ourselves. It is Stephen Volk's Little Gift to us. I for one am thankful for it"  Jez Winship, Sparks in Electric Jelly

"A twisty tale of obsession and the casual brutality of men that will linger long after its chilling conclusion"  Alexandra Sokoloff, bestselling author of Huntress Moon and The Harrowing 

"A beautifully crafted exploration of character... Outstanding... A week after reading it, I;m still mulling over The Little Gift. It's a very, very clever piece of writing and I highly recommend you check it out"  Anthony Watson, Dark Musings

"Beautiful, sharp, and emotionally charged, this novella is all the more striking for its subtlety and shows us Volk at his very best. Well-observed and utterly convincing, it gives us characters we recognise and events we wish we didn't. Stephen Volk has a dark gift - I fully recommend you let him share it with you."  Ray Cluley, author of Probably Monsters

"Full of uncomfortable truths"  Nicholas Royle 

"Exploring the line where the quotidian meets the horrific, this is a story about infidelity, idealism, fantasy and hard, harsh reality. The routines that make up our lives. The stories we tell ourselves to get through the night. It's beautifully written and constructed, perfectly paced, and utterly gripping. Volk is one of the best we have. Treasure his work. It's a little gift of artistic integrioty in a world that often seems filled with artifice"  Gary McMahon

"Beautifully written, lyrical, shattering... As ever, I'm in awe"  Tim Lebbon

"What I've noticed in Stephen Volk's fiction is how well the characters as observed and created. What I felt particularly affecting was how, on various levels from the opportunistic to the obsessive to the grotesquely distorted, variations of male desire fill every line"  Adam Nevill   

"Beautifully drawn characters, dialogue that crackles, and a deeply felt story about adultery and family and lost chances. Absolutely brilliant. I loved it."  Simon Avery

"The Little Gift by Stephen Volk packs a mighty punch. To roughly paraphrase Stephen King 'a short story is like a kiss from a stranger in a dark alley' - in this case The Little Gift novella left me breathless, exhilarated and afraid... it lingered with me all day and night" Rachel Read It  

Read the review on Crimewave 

Read the review by Paul Simpson on Sci-Fi Bulletin

Read the review by James Everington here

Read the review by Anthony Cowin at This Is Horror

Read the review by Gef Fox at Cemetery Dance Online 

Read the review by Mark West at Strange Tales (plus author Q&A)  

Read the review by Jex Winship on Sparks in Electric Jelly (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Read the review by Anthony Watson on Dark Musings 

Check out the ordering page on the PS Publishing website