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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

The Yard God

Published May 3, 2019 · 4,616 words (17 minutes) · 146 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 · 186 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) · 151 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) · 137 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 · 172 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 · 185 views

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

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. ⌛️

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Fiction

That He Might Yet Find the Unknown

Published Mar 22, 2019 · 8,867 words (33 minutes) · 202 views

Science Fiction marathon running athletics

Epic athletic achievements are the stuff of legend, starting with Pheidippides running from the Battle of Marathon to announce the Greek victory over the Persians. Since then, athletes have pushed harder and harder to break records and stand on top the awards podium. In the future, with technology's help, the records will become breathtaking, but the contest will still be within, and the athletes will still compete for themselves.

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Trail running

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Fiction

The Comeback

Published Mar 15, 2019 · 4,473 words (17 minutes) · 2 likes · 232 views

Humor Science Fiction Romance baseball

Baseball is a game of unlikely stories, of fortunes turned on a wild pitch or a bad hop or a miracle play. A lot has changed in the game from the early 1900s, but in 2051, its nature is still the same. As said in the movie, Bull Durham: "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains."

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Well worn

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Fiction

Happy Ending

Published Mar 8, 2019 · 4,927 words (18 minutes) · 161 views

Fantasy Horror Literary Fiction metafiction

A creative writing teacher, a gifted but rebellious student, and an examination of which way the arrow of time points.

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A Clock

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Fiction

Nothing is Normal

Published Feb 28, 2019 · 5,737 words (21 minutes) · 184 views

Mystery Science Fiction Noir Future Noir

The Eisenhower tunnel cuts beneath the Continental Divide in Colorado, giving I-70 an easier route through the mountains. In the future, when cars are gone, it will be a long, climate-controlled city for low income workers in a world where emotions can be bought or sold, and where even a drug dealer searches for meaning.

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Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea.