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

Finding Orson

Published Mar 25, 2020 · 6,301 words (23 minutes) · 94 views

Fantasy teaching high school Romeo and juliet english class

Patty is a gifted teacher, literally. She sees the emotional aura around her students. All would be well until Orson, a quiet, sullen boy's aura turns startlingly, distressingly black.

Free

Buddha in Bhutan

Free

Fiction

The Small Astral Object Genius

Published Mar 19, 2020 · 5,744 words (21 minutes) · 66 views

Science Fiction first contact astronomy family relations

Dustin spends most of his time in his room, sending his Peek-a-boo into space, hoping to catch a good picture of a distant star or planet. At school he'll trade with his friends for the best shots. Is the technology behind the Peek-a-boos real or a scam on credulous children? Will his parents ever be happy? And what if the Peek-a-boo captures something really strange?

Free

flame and horsehead nebular in Orians belt

Free

Fiction

High Stakes Test

Published Mar 11, 2020 · 4,667 words (17 minutes) · 1 like · 62 views

Horror Satire education teaching School standardized testing

Teachers are human and kids aren't abstractions. Academic battles are fought by personalities where things get messy. It's also possible that you have to be careful for what you wish for if all you want is higher test scores.

Free

Times gone by a Back to School scene from the 20th Century. Blackboard and chalk.  The days before technology, when life was more simple, although school life much stricter. No calculators, we had to learn our times tables. This photo makes me feel fascinated.

Free

Fiction

The Road's End

Published Mar 4, 2020 · 3,069 words (12 minutes) · 1 like · 120 views

Classic Fantasy Literary Fiction sword & sorcery

Alfred Lord Tennyson said about the completion of an epic quest in his poem, "Ulysses," "How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!" We often enjoy tales of a wanderer's adventures, but what is their life like afterwards? How does the hero find solace?

Free

Free

Fiction

Of Late I Have Dreamt of Venus

Published Feb 18, 2020 · 7,647 words (28 minutes) · 137 views

Science Fiction Romance terraforming venus

Although I didn't know the word at the time I wrote this story, it's about an oligarch who attempts to accomplish what no government has the will or drive to do: terraform Venus. This story was included in Gardner Dozois' YEARS BEST SCIENCE FICTION anthology, 25th edition.

Free

Free

Fiction

Lashawnda at the End

Published Feb 12, 2020 · 6,553 words (24 minutes) · 1 like · 126 views

Science Fiction Romance aging space exploration medicine Biology

Wherever we turn on Earth, life surprises and amazes us with complexity and cleverness. Surely when we find it on other planets, life will present itself in unexpected ways. Biologists Lashawnda and Spencer study the unusual plants on Papaver while their expedition fights to survive a catastrophe.

Free

Free

Fiction

Fine Dining in the Apocalypse

Published Feb 5, 2020 · 1,113 words (5 minutes) · 103 views

Science Fiction food apocalyptic apocalypse recipes

Throw a thousand people into the same situation, and you will have a thousand different experiences, even if that situation is the apocalypse. Be our guest, at the end of the world.

Free

Free

Fiction

This Story Will Win a Hugo

Published Jan 22, 2020 · 6,609 words (25 minutes) · 1 like · 137 views

Humor Science Fiction Romance adventure first contact seti hugo award

When Dustin was a boy, he collected pictures of astral objects like children who used to collect Pokemon cards. Now that he's an adult, he's drawn back to his childhood obsession, looking for civilizations among the other worlds. His work would go so much easier if he wasn't being pestered by an eager science fiction writer.

Free

Exploring the hills of Snowdonia with only a billion stars for company. I don’t remember ever having a clearer night in the UK. It’s moments like these that make me fall in love with photography. A private viewing of one of natures most beautiful displays that I can capture and save forever.

Free

Fiction

Different Worlds

Published Jan 17, 2020 · 4,776 words (18 minutes) · 210 views

Science Fiction dogs alien invasion child

The bond between a child and a dog is special. Dogs are intelligent, loving, empathetic, loyal. Do you really believe that? The aliens do.

Free

Free

Fiction

The Saint from Abdijan

Published Jan 8, 2020 · 8,709 words (32 minutes) · 120 views

Fantasy Horror religion africa diamond trade

The pursuit of freedom can take many forms. For some, it is finding truth in the metaphysical. Is there God? Does God care for us? For others, the search can be both more mundane and immediate. It could just be a search for a cursed diamond.

Free

blacksandbeach