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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

Voices

Published Jun 14, 2019 · 5,760 words (21 minutes) · 1 like · 55 views

Horror Mystery Science Fiction Historical Romance time travel

Everyone knows about time travel paradoxes and how they make travel into history impossible, but there are ways around the problems, and if you could go back in time, to your best and worst days, what would you discover? Could you answer your deepest mysteries?

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The chimney

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Fiction

The Invisible Empire

Published Jun 8, 2019 · 7,760 words (29 minutes) · 1 like · 61 views

Fantasy Horror Historical cthulhu Colorado mining racism mythos

Here's a story of Colorado gold mining in the late 1800s, racism and Cthulhu in equal measure. There are men who are monsters, and then there are monsters.

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Fiction

The Saturn Ring Blues

Published May 24, 2019 · 4,209 words (16 minutes) · 73 views

Science Fiction Romance Saturn space ship blues

New sports await us in the far future, but the heart remains the same. We want what we want. Time and technology won't change that.

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Fiction

Savannah is Six

Published May 11, 2019 · 6,935 words (26 minutes) · 1 like · 90 views

Fantasy Horror ghost swimming lake

Poul, Leesa and their daughter Savannah vacation at the lake every year, but the waters there are deep, cold and hold memories as toothy, dark and silent as the pike who glide just out of sight. The story received an honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Contains adult content.

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Small lake pier

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Fiction

The Yard God

Published May 3, 2019 · 4,616 words (17 minutes) · 72 views

Fantasy Family insects

The creatures in Demi's backyard love her, and she loves her mom. Life should be good with the love that surrounds her, but Demi has challenges too: Mom is sick, the neighborhood is rough, and what's a good daughter to do?

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This barn owl was very jumpy…not quite used to humans yet.  It was injured by a car and is now being cared for by the rangers at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park.

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Fiction

The Death Dwarves

Published Apr 27, 2019 · 5,075 words (19 minutes) · 1 like · 105 views

Fantasy Horror death Mortality

John Minor suffered a brain injury that left him with physical disabilities and a really wicked scar. He didn't die, though, and now he sees the world uniquely. He can't function the way he did before the accident, but maybe he can still make a difference.

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Fiction

Flying in the Heart of the Lafayette Escadrille

Published Apr 21, 2019 · 4,675 words (17 minutes) · 79 views

Fantasy Literary Fiction Historical war WWI Flying

Some bars try to create an atmosphere to transport their patrons to other worlds. After a few drinks, they might even succeed. Poor, lonely Eddie, adrift in a Denver singles bar, experiences two worlds that look like they shouldn't have anything to do with each other, until they suddenly do.

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Fiction

Teaching

Published Apr 12, 2019 · 4,814 words (18 minutes) · 81 views

Science Fiction Social Commentary education teaching

People often say that teaching is a noble profession, and it is. It also has a huge dropout rate as teachers walk away from their jobs. Whatever positive pressures that keep teachers working and the negative ones that push them out, the future is unlikely to change. Chaucer once said of a character in his stories, "Gladly would he learn and gladly teach." Maybe that's the quality that keeps teachers going, that sense of gladness in the giving and taking.

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Fiction

The Infodict

Published Apr 5, 2019 · 3,375 words (13 minutes) · 1 like · 96 views

Science Fiction Romance data mining

They say that you can't know the mysteries of the heart, but that's only because you don't have enough data. If you had enough information, surely you could tell what someone else felt about you. If only you had access to all the information.

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Oversight 2

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Fiction

The Time Travel Device

Published Mar 30, 2019 · 820 words (3 minutes) · 1 like · 108 views

Classic Fantasy Horror Literary Fiction Science Fiction poe plath hemingway time travel Historical

Imagine the joy of an inventor who has learned to travel in time. But what if he can only go where his subconscious directs the machine? What will he learn about himself as he careens from time to time?

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Eventually everything hits the bottom, and all you have to do is wait until someone comes along, and turns it back again. ⌛️