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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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In Memoriam

Published Oct 16, 2019 · 3,089 words (12 minutes) · 1 like · 37 views

Fantasy Romance halloween ghost cemetery

Tending a cemetery really tests the belief that love is eternal. Here's a gentle ghost/love story for the Halloween season.

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Fiction

Classroom of the Living Dead

Published Oct 9, 2019 · 575 words (3 minutes) · 2 likes · 38 views

Fantasy Horror zombies teaching high school

Apocalypses, like politics, are all local, and who you are will give you a different experience of the end of the world than anyone else.

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You never know when you will come across a zombie. It could even be while you are eating avocado on toast in a cafe in Sydney, Australia.

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Fiction

Aubrey Comes to Yellow High

Published Oct 2, 2019 · 4,100 words (15 minutes) · 93 views

Fantasy Literary Fiction Historical western six gun high school

Everyone sees high school as a metaphor: maybe it's a circus, or it's a ladder, or it's a dog eat dog world. For Aubrey, high school is a wild west shootout, only it's a bit more literal for her and the stakes couldn't be higher.

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Fiction

Far From the Emerald Isle

Published Sep 25, 2019 · 5,040 words (19 minutes) · 57 views

Science Fiction Irish Mythology gremlins leprechauns

A space ship traveling for 4,000 years requires a lot of maintenance, but who does the emergency work when the crew is asleep? Engineers Anise and Sierra discover there is more going on in their starship then they ever trained for or expected.

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https://instagram.com/moonlight.vision/

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Carrying the News for a Dead Paperboy

Published Sep 18, 2019 · 6,784 words (25 minutes) · 71 views

Fantasy Horror Mystery halloween ghosts samhain Irish Mythology

October and Halloween are just around the corner. You can feel it in the evening breeze that's a little cooler, and there's a tone shift in the rustling of leaves as they begin the change from summer green to autumn colors. And, of course, the ghosts are waking, as they do in this story. Their night to walk freely is coming.

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Climbing up from ocean

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Fiction

Two in the Multiverse

Published Sep 11, 2019 · 5,096 words (19 minutes) · 71 views

Literary Fiction Philosophy relationships sex

Long philosophical chats about the meaning of relationships, distance running, a bonfire, kegs of beer, and a moment of flaming transcendence.

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Fire

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Fiction

No Small Change

Published Sep 5, 2019 · 1,877 words (7 minutes) · 100 views

Fantasy coming of age super powers

Everyone has a superpower. It might not be something amazing like flying or x-ray vision, but the powers are there just the same. Some people spend their entire lives trying to find their power, while the two friends in this story find theirs in a Dairy Queen.

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Shot with my Oneplus phone attach with Lensbong (from Indonesia).

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Fiction

Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go?

Published Aug 28, 2019 · 2,536 words (10 minutes) · 2 likes · 107 views

Science Fiction time travel Adolf Hitler

If you could go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler before his atrocities, would you do it? Would you still do it if you had to kill William Shakespeare to get to Hitler? Those are big, philosophical questions, perhaps too big for a short tale to tackle, but everyone can relate to the weirdness of substitute teachers, although maybe not like the one in this story.

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Fiction

The Lies

Published Aug 21, 2019 · 1,217 words (5 minutes) · 114 views

Horror Science Fiction apocalyptic

The magnificent short story writer, Bruce Holland Rogers, said that he wrote his award-winning tale, "The Dead Boy at Your Window," from a writing prompt. The prompt was, "Begin a story with a lie." I used that prompt for this short, apocalyptic piece.

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Ward

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Fiction

Its Hour Come Round

Published Aug 14, 2019 · 6,696 words (25 minutes) · 92 views

Science Fiction prison

What is the purpose of prison? Reformation or punishment? For many, we send our frightening offenders to incarceration so they can learn the errors of their way. In isolation from humanity, they will contemplate their offenses and decide not to offend again. But for the worst criminals, the rapists and murderers and evil, there's a darker, more powerful motivation to punish and torment. The urge to hurt is strong.

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