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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

Ark Ascension

Published Dec 8, 2018 · 2,504 words (10 minutes) · 210 views

Science Fiction

An orbiting habitat fights to keep alive all that made Earth a wonderful place to live before a devastating mutagen darkened its hopes. But life is more than just surviving as this Christmas story shows. JVP

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Featured December 5, 2018

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Fiction

The Stars Underfoot

Published Dec 2, 2018 · 2,994 words (11 minutes) · 5 likes · 463 views

Fantasy Strange

Twelve-year-old Dustin plans to be the first to cross the lake’s thin ice this winter... but he doesn’t expect to find someone walking on the underside of it. A finalist for the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Campbell awards, author James Van Pelt taught English for 37 years before becoming a full-time writer.

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Crack me up.

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Fiction

Nine Fingers on the Flute

Published Nov 24, 2018 · 4,413 words (17 minutes) · 1 like · 211 views

Fantasy Love

People have told numerous stories about love spells, but I don't think they have considered the implications of them. If you could make someone love you, would you want to? JVP

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Fiction

Shark Attack: a Love Story

Published Nov 16, 2018 · 2,434 words (9 minutes) · 203 views

Fantasy Love Strange

When I wrote this piece, many of my friends were academic/literary. They were interested in the metaphorical meanings in the story. They didn't believe me when I told them it was just a childhood fantasy of mine transplanted into the adult world. Sometimes a shark is just a shark. JVP

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Fiction

Weaponized Ghosts of the 96th Infantry

Published Oct 31, 2018 · 1,212 words (5 minutes) · 191 views

Horror

Happy Halloween, everyone! This story completes my spooky-themed pieces for the Halloween season. I've written a few ghost stories. Here the justice is most poetic. JVP

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Fiction

Origin of the Species

Published Oct 26, 2018 · 5,183 words (19 minutes) · 266 views

Fantasy Horror Humor Love

This is the 4th of the Halloween-themed stories for October.  David Hartwell reprinted it in The Year's Best Fantasy 3, and the story was honorably mentioned in Datlow/Windling Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.  Anyone who attended an American high school should understand why werewolves and bad moons are a part of "Origin of the Species." JVP

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It was a cloudy evening in Arizona on the night of the full moon. The clouds and the moon playing hide and seek really brought out the colors in the sky with the moon’s halo dispersing through the clouds. Perfect time for capture.

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Fiction

Late Homework

Published Oct 18, 2018 · 859 words (4 minutes) · 1 like · 244 views

Fantasy Horror

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Fiction

Miss Hathaway's Spider

Published Oct 11, 2018 · 4,568 words (17 minutes) · 314 views

Fantasy Horror Humor Literary Fiction Satire Strange

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Fiction

The Experience Arcade

Published Oct 5, 2018 · 1,094 words (4 minutes) · 1 like · 286 views

Horror Science Fiction Strange

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Fiction

What Weena Knew

Published Sep 27, 2018 · 6,933 words (26 minutes) · 1 like · 331 views

Classic Literary Fiction Science Fiction

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