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James Van Pelt

An interviewer asked the author if he wanted to be the next Stephen King: he said, "No, I want to be the first James Van Pelt."

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James Van Pelt fell in love with Zenna Henderson, Ray Bradbury, Ursula le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey and a host of others when he started reading. In elementary school, he told his mom he wanted to grow up to be a Ray Bradbury, like Bradbury was a job instead of a person. His work has appeared in Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld and many other venues. Stories have been reprinted in Year's Best anthologies and gathered in five of his collections. He has been a finalist for the Nebula, the Sturgeon Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He recently retired from teaching high school English (37 years), to write full time.

Fiction · Posts · Books

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Fiction

Pirate Readers

Published Feb 24, 2021 · 4,326 words (16 minutes) · 1 like · 73 views

Satire Science Fiction high school reading writing Teenagers education teaching Books

People outside of education have no idea what schools are like in the present era of standardized testing, teacher "accountability," and externally applied curriculums and measurements. It's a messy, intrusive, complicated, bureaucratic world where teachers and students try to survive its most dehumanizing aspects. If trends continues, schools like the one in "Pirate Readers" are just around the corner.

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A good book to start the day

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Fiction

A Real Myth in an Imaginary Time

Published Feb 10, 2021 · 2,196 words (8 minutes) · 132 views

Fantasy Horror Historical mythology desert running

Nothing compares to a solo hike or run into the wilderness by yourself. You feel alone with nature, alone with your thoughts. But you may not be as alone as you think.

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Hiking in the Canyon

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Fiction

Harvest: Part 2

Published Jan 28, 2021 · 9,987 words (37 minutes) · 60 views

Fantasy Horror Mystery Neil Yong ghosts Murder seance Teenagers

If you haven't read part 1 yet, you should go back and read it.

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The house

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Fiction

Harvest: Part 1

Published Jan 28, 2021 · 9,420 words (35 minutes) · 77 views

Fantasy Horror Mystery neil young ghosts Murder seance Teenagers

Teenagers balance that fine edge between childhood innocence, if they were lucky enough to have it, and adult worldliness as they inevitably, blindly stumble toward it, and among the many things they have yet to discover is that what they're told and what they believe may not always be true, and the ghosts of our past never really go away.

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Fiction

Titan Descansos

Published Jan 9, 2021 · 2,085 words (8 minutes) · 133 views

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Have you ever seen little crosses or bunches of flowers by the side of the road and recognized the tragedy commemorated there? This is a way to recognize the dead, to mark the spot of their unexpected passing. It seems a very human thing to do. And so, when we go deeper and deeper into space, what parts of our humanity will we take with us. Will we recognize it when we find it?

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Fiction

Neoteric Urban Archaeology

Published Dec 28, 2020 · 1,232 words (5 minutes) · 128 views

Science Fiction first contact Urban science fiction

Part of the joy of archaeology is that every artifact tells a story, but not all archaeology requires an ancient site where the scientist carefully brushes dirt away from a fragile find from the deep past. People leave artifacts and other physical remains wherever they go. Even an abandoned house in a crummy part of the city can contain story treasures.

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I love lisbon. This is the city I’m going back in my best memories.
I love that this city is so varied. You can find beautiful and old buildings but also you can see places like this. Abandoned and showing that city is alive.

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Fiction

Echoing

Published Dec 10, 2020 · 4,602 words (17 minutes) · 157 views

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A long-haul truck driver in a snowstorm, a desperate teenager at a holiday house party, and a starship captain lost in the universe meet on Christmas Eve. It's amazing how quickly technology dates a story. You have to remember the once ubiquitous Windows 3.1 starfield screensaver to picture a key image in this tale.

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Fiction

Christmas Stalking

Published Dec 5, 2020 · 1,834 words (7 minutes) · 215 views

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No one thinks about Santa's economic impact, but you can be sure that some people, some very bad people, aren't happy that he gives all those toys away for free.

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Fiction

The Road's End

Published Nov 10, 2020 · 3,116 words (12 minutes) · 215 views

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Carrie Vaughn wrote a beautiful story called "Strife Lingers in Memory." It appeared in Realms of Fantasy, as this story did. Carrie looked at epic fantasy, like Lord of the Rings, and asked what happens to the heroes after the battles are done? I loved the question, so I wrote my answer to the question. "The Road's End" is also in a conversation with Tennyson's poem, "Ulysses." How can an old man put aside his adventures when his entire life is based on the idea of "not to yield"?

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We went to Germany for one day to explore some famous instagram photo spots. The first stop was Burg Eltz during sunrise. With no tourists there yet and this amazing fog covering the castle it was like a fairytale.

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Fiction

The Children's Collection

Published Oct 29, 2020 · 3,878 words (15 minutes) · 121 views

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A young librarian makes his way to a backwoods, New England town to take his first job. His clientele, though, is . . . odd. What kind of books do they want? How is he to serve?

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Vintage lamp and books