Data?1536446947

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."

Follow James to get notified when they create a new story or post.

Subscribe

Subscribe to James to support their work and read subscriber-only content.

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

Free

Fiction

Housekeeping

Published Jul 14, 2021 · 3,400 words (13 minutes) · 182 views

Science Fiction apocalypse fatherhood survivalist climate change

"The Far Side" cartoonist, Gary Larson, drew an image of a family fleeing a city while a mushroom cloud rises in the distance. Their panic is evident, except their dog has his head out the window, looking at a dog on the sidewalk. Larson says he drew it to illustrate different points of view will not see a situation the same way. I like stories like that. In "Housekeeping," the apocalyptic background isn't the prime concern in the main character's life. Sometimes you just have to be a good dad.

Free

Free

Fiction

The Continuing Saga of Tom Corbett: Space Cadet

Published Jun 21, 2021 · 5,297 words (20 minutes) · 1 like · 153 views

Fantasy Science Fiction space travel young adult bullying Tom Corbett school culture

Did you know you can go to space right now, at least if you close your eyes? YouTube has hours of ambient spaceship noise. You might be sitting in your living room, but aurally you could be between the stars. Imagine if leaving Earth was your overriding desire, and what if, unfortunately, you were a girl named Tom Corbett.

Free

It is amazing what we have come to find beyond the earth in this vast Universe. So many beautiful planets and other galaxies with such complex ideas we cannot fathom. How was this all created? And why? I would start by looking in the Bible

Free

Fiction

No One is so Fierce

Published May 5, 2021 · 3,268 words (12 minutes) · 182 views

Fantasy Horror lighthouse leviathan middle age

I heard an idiot on a panel at a convention say, "No one writes about middle-aged women. They just aren't heroic." Even at the moment, people in the room murmured to themselves because the statement was both offensive and outrageous. But I, being who I am, also thought, "Challenge accepted." Besides, I already had a thought about a lighthouse and the woman who tended it.

Free

Free

Fiction

proLong

Published Apr 27, 2021 · 3,663 words (14 minutes) · 184 views

Science Fiction aging youth senior care

Here's a question the young don't ask until they reach a point where being "young" is a memory. If science actually could reverse the progress of aging, how much would you be willing to pay for the treatment?

Free

Free

Fiction

Death of a Starship Poet

Published Apr 5, 2021 · 5,020 words (19 minutes) · 1 like · 194 views

Mystery Science Fiction transhuman Detective Murder poetry

On a starship in the far future, where humanity is transitioning to the transhuman, life should be trouble-free and idyllic, but even when the need for police and detectives has long been left behind, a poet has been murdered. Jayla, the resident memoirist, is on the case.

Free

A beautiful poem about letting go and allowing yourself to fall into your lover’s arms by Janne Robinson. Excerpted from her poetry collection “This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give A F#CK” published by Thought Catalog Books | ShopCatalog.com.

Free

Fiction

The Ice Cream Man

Published Mar 13, 2021 · 5,342 words (20 minutes) · 1 like · 222 views

Science Fiction mutation what is human post-apocalypse

Sequel to the Nebula finalist short story, "The Last of the O-Forms." Forty years after no creature born with a vertebra looks like its parents, the last of the aging (and vanishing) human race strives to make its way in a mutated world.

Free

Toddler holding ice cream cone with sprinkles

Free

Fiction

Pirate Readers

Published Feb 24, 2021 · 4,326 words (16 minutes) · 1 like · 355 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.

Free

A good book to start the day

Free

Fiction

A Real Myth in an Imaginary Time

Published Feb 10, 2021 · 2,196 words (8 minutes) · 305 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.

Free

Hiking in the Canyon

Free

Fiction

Harvest: Part 2

Published Jan 28, 2021 · 9,987 words (37 minutes) · 205 views

Fantasy Horror Mystery ghosts Murder seance Teenagers Neil Yong

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

Free

The house

Free

Fiction

Harvest: Part 1

Published Jan 28, 2021 · 9,420 words (35 minutes) · 228 views

Mystery Fantasy Horror ghosts Murder seance Teenagers neil young

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.

Free