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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

Two in the Multiverse

Published Sep 11, 2019 · 5,096 words (19 minutes) · 40 views

Literary Fiction Philosophy relationships sex

Long philosophical chats about the meaning of relationships, distance running, a bonfire, kegs of beer, and a moment of flaming transcendence.

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Fire

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Fiction

No Small Change

Published Sep 5, 2019 · 1,877 words (7 minutes) · 65 views

Fantasy coming of age super powers

Everyone has a superpower. It might not be something amazing like flying or x-ray vision, but the powers are there just the same. Some people spend their entire lives trying to find their power, while the two friends in this story find theirs in a Dairy Queen.

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Shot with my Oneplus phone attach with Lensbong (from Indonesia).

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Fiction

Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?

Published Aug 28, 2019 · 2,536 words (10 minutes) · 2 likes · 83 views

Science Fiction time travel Adolf Hitler

If you could go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler before his atrocities, would you do it? Would you still do it if you had to kill William Shakespeare to get to Hitler? Those are big, philosophical questions, perhaps too big for a short tale to tackle, but everyone can relate to the weirdness of substitute teachers, although maybe not like the one in this story.

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Fiction

The Lies

Published Aug 21, 2019 · 1,217 words (5 minutes) · 84 views

Horror Science Fiction apocalyptic

The magnificent short story writer, Bruce Holland Rogers, said that he wrote his award-winning tale, "The Dead Boy at Your Window," from a writing prompt. The prompt was, "Begin a story with a lie." I used that prompt for this short, apocalyptic piece.

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Ward

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Fiction

Its Hour Come Round

Published Aug 14, 2019 · 6,696 words (25 minutes) · 73 views

Science Fiction prison

What is the purpose of prison? Reformation or punishment? For many, we send our frightening offenders to incarceration so they can learn the errors of their way. In isolation from humanity, they will contemplate their offenses and decide not to offend again. But for the worst criminals, the rapists and murderers and evil, there's a darker, more powerful motivation to punish and torment. The urge to hurt is strong.

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Fiction

Perceptual Set

Published Aug 7, 2019 · 8,359 words (31 minutes) · 77 views

Science Fiction Romance space travel First Encounter romantic science fiction asteroid mining

People claim to see the Virgin Mary in water stains on a church wall, and every oddly shaped rock on Mars looks like an animal or an artifact to people who want proof that aliens exist. They have a perceptual set to interpret what they see the way they want it to be. But what if the face sculpted into the side of an asteroid deep in space actually is a face? What will it mean for humanity, and what does that face have to do with cheesecake?

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Dog Skeleton
Featured August 2, 2019

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Fiction

The Last of the O-Forms

Published Jul 31, 2019 · 6,295 words (23 minutes) · 5 likes · 254 views

Horror Science Fiction dystopian mutation

Dr. Trevin’s Traveling Zoological Extravaganza raked in the cash in the early days of the DNA-mutating plague—it was even featured in Newsweek! But now that mutated animals roam every city and town, Trevin and Caprice (a preternaturally smart 12-year-old) will need to resort to more desperate measures to stay relevant.

This Nebula-finalist story originally appeared in Asimov’s in 2004. Author James Van Pelt, an English teacher turned full-time writer, has also been nominated for the Sturgeon and Campbell awards, and published dozens of short stories and novels.

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So… My mother and I were walking around the zoo and we decided to stop and chat with this ape. It was amazing!, the ape appears to understand what my mother says. They touched hands and all that human/animal love… and when I touch just the shoulder of my mom to tell her that we must be going home, the animal start throwing dust at me and yelling. It was hilarious.

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Fiction

The Last Age Should Show Your Heart

Published Jul 19, 2019 · 3,225 words (12 minutes) · 114 views

Literary Fiction Science Fiction Romance literary poetry End of the world

What will the ending moment of the universe be like, when the suns have cooled and the only observers are the machines whose duties long outlived their masters?

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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.

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Fiction

Night Sweats

Published Jul 12, 2019 · 10,002 words (37 minutes) · 1 like · 121 views

Fantasy Science Fiction Historical Romance Casablanca Tokyo Rose quantum physics Adult Content ghosts Hiroshima World War II

Tokyo Rose, a love-sick ghost, a neurotic homeowner, the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, and dreams so real you can hardly tell when you are awake combine in this science fiction love story.

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Once she stopped rushing through life she was amazed how much more life she had time for.

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Fiction

Resurrection

Published Jul 5, 2019 · 3,739 words (14 minutes) · 2 likes · 101 views

Science Fiction Romance interstellar travel

"There's no beauty on a starship" claims a Custodian on the Starship Resurrection. Too little room on board, too much metal and sterile surfaces, but she has a job to do and a crew to care for, and maybe, just maybe a glimpse of the divine is still possible when least expected.

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Lovely hands