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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.

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Mambo No. M51

Published Sep 23, 2020 · 3,535 words (13 minutes) · 1 like · 37 views

Science Fiction Romance music stars astrophyics pop star

Someone once described "obsession" as a form of mental disease, like OCD. Everyone needs to have interests, but when those interests overwhelm balance in a person's life, they become a problem. But doesn't that mean that if you have any interests at all that you are on the road to being overwhelmed by them? Doesn't that mean we all are, just a little, mentally diseased? What we desire and how we behave towards those desires are a part of "Mambo No. M51."

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Stars Galaxy Rocky Mountain

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Rollercoaster

Published Sep 18, 2020 · 2,510 words (10 minutes) · 83 views

Fantasy Science Fiction Strange carnival other worlds

You never know when those tiny traveling carnivals are going to drift into town and who works them, but sometimes a chance at cotton candy and a sketchy rollercoaster ride are exactly what you're looking for.

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Golden hour on the sand, followed by the most amazing burgers on the pier.

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Three Paintings

Published Sep 8, 2020 · 4,508 words (17 minutes) · 83 views

Science Fiction Art creativity painting uploaded personality

A painter obsessed with the genesis of creativity embarks on the ultimate performance art.

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Hands
Featured September 11, 2020

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Fiction

The Family Rocket

Published Aug 30, 2020 · 2,319 words (9 minutes) · 221 views

Science Fiction Romance father marriage childhood Mars junkyard space flight

As a child, Lorenzo’s father took him and his siblings on a fantastic trip to Mars—or so the story goes. But what if none of it happened at all? In this creative sequel to Ray Bradbury’s “The Rocket,” James Van Pelt imagines what happens when credulous children grow into skeptical adults.

Van Pelt has been nominated for the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, Pushcart Prize, and more. His limited-edition hardcover short story collection, THE BEST OF JAMES VAN PELT, is now available for preorder from Fairwood Press.

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Floaters

Published Aug 20, 2020 · 7,979 words (30 minutes) · 95 views

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What if you traveled into the future, and the world was completely destroyed? Wouldn't you do anything to change our fate? Would there be anything you'd be unwilling to sacrifice?

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Tiny Voices

Published Aug 2, 2020 · 6,557 words (24 minutes) · 139 views

Science Fiction artificial intelligence aging pregnancy death and dying

In the not so far future, where every item you own is intelligent and self-aware, how valuable is sentience? How important is an individual where self consciousness is cheap? Cory the caregiver, Stella the dying woman, Harlow the suave lover, an unplanned pregnancy, and a pencil afraid of being sharpened collide in this story of hard choices.

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Working the Moon Circuit

Published Jul 22, 2020 · 5,311 words (20 minutes) · 172 views

Science Fiction space program far-future SF Alien Culture moon humanity post-human moon landing

What is being human truly like? Maybe only an alien who has never experienced humanity is the best point of view to explore the question.

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Apollo Lunar Module from a recent trip to Kennedy Space Center.

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Where and When

Published Jul 10, 2020 · 6,847 words (25 minutes) · 1 like · 219 views

Science Fiction Historical time travel paradox hindenburg Pelee Sultana

The classic time travel paradox suggests that trips to the past are impossible because any change to the past will change the future where the time travel machine is invented, causing the future that sent the machine to the past to not exist, thereby not changing the future (and so on forever). But there are places in the past where one can travel that by their nature are insulated from the future. Time travel is possible!

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One Day, in the Middle of the Night

Published Jul 1, 2020 · 4,867 words (18 minutes) · 211 views

Horror Mystery Science Fiction sibling rivalry space travel poetry longsleep brothers

Little did you know that tucked inside a well-known children's nonsense poem lurked a tale of brotherly rivalry and travel to the stars.

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Interior Circles and Lines

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We Have Always Lived in the Hamlet

Published Jun 19, 2020 · 2,309 words (9 minutes) · 172 views

Science Fiction Family space travel Sisters

Toni Morrison said, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves—a special kind of double.” In this story, a sister filled with wanderlust and another anchored at home find themselves in a life-long struggle to come to terms with each other.

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Best friends in summer on the beach girls