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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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Fiction

Perceptual Set

Published Aug 7, 2019 · 8,359 words (31 minutes) · 104 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 · 298 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) · 141 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 · 145 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 · 125 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

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Fiction

Howl Above the Din

Published Jun 27, 2019 · 6,596 words (24 minutes) · 104 views

Science Fiction genetic engineering wolves Extinction

The quote, "And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee," has much truth in it, which is exactly what Dr. Roman struggles with in this story about wolves, desire and the need to survive.

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Follow me @tompottiger

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Fiction

Voices

Published Jun 14, 2019 · 5,760 words (21 minutes) · 1 like · 138 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) · 2 likes · 158 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) · 172 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 · 188 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