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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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My First Literary Submission for Publication

Published Sep 25, 2020 · 350 words (2 minutes) · 82 views

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The sordid tale of how I got my start as a writer.

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Writing, Telepathy and "Savannah is Six"

Published Aug 14, 2020 · 347 words (2 minutes) · 53 views

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A short introspection on the psychology of writing, reading and editing.

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Writing "Working the Moon Circuit"

Published Jul 22, 2020 · 324 words (2 minutes) · 87 views

writing writing process inspiration themes literary analysis

Where do your ideas come from?

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Writing "One Day, in the Middle of the Night

Published Jul 1, 2020 · 383 words (2 minutes) · 81 views

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How do writers put stories together? Here's how "One Day, in the Middle of the Night" was composed.

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Antique Typewriter on Dark Wood

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"Wha' Cha Call It?": Practice and Theory of Titles

Published Jun 28, 2020 · 749 words (3 minutes) · 189 views

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Have you wondered how authors come up with titles?

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Captured on Portobello Road, London

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When Characters say F#!@

Published Jun 11, 2020 · 652 words (3 minutes) · 1 like · 155 views

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How one writer thinks about self-censorship and its impact on writing stories.

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Talking to Public Radio about a Story on Curious Fictions

Published May 28, 2020 · 174 words (1 minute) · 155 views

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Author James Van Pelt talks to Colorado Public Radio about writing science fiction about a pandemic, twenty years before today's events.

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LATE NIGHT

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Good News for Subscribers and Regular Readers

Published May 22, 2020 · 265 words (1 minute) · 187 views

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Subscribers will continue to receive all James Van Pelt content for free. Stories included in THE BEST OF JAMES VAN PELT, coming in the fall, will cost $1.00 for non-subscribers.

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Post-Apocalyptic Fiction After 9/11 and Covid

Published Apr 30, 2020 · 445 words (2 minutes) · 1 like · 233 views

writing apocalypse covid-19

James Van Pelt ruminates on what it means to write apocalyptic fiction in a world that seems to be rehearsing for it.

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I Am Become

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Video Readings

Published Mar 27, 2020 · 88 words (1 minute) · 124 views

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Do you like author readings? Do you wonder what I look and sound like? Here are a pair of YouTube videos of me reading two short-short stories.

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