Van Pelt, James
Van Pelt, James
PERSONAL: Married; wife's name, Tammy; children, Dylan, Samuel, Joshua. Education: Attended University of California—Davis.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Fairwood Press, 5203 Quincy Ave. SE, Auburn, WA 98092. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Teacher and writer. Fruita Monument High School, Fruita, CO, and Mesa State College, Grand Junction, CO, English teacher.
MEMBER: Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
AWARDS, HONORS: Strangers and Beggars was designated a American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, 2003.
Strangers and Beggars (stories), Fairwood Press (Auburn, WA), 2002.
Fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov's Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, and Weird Tales. Poetry has appeared in Star∗Line, Stick, The Star Anthology #1, and Writ in Stone (chap book), Soda/Dutch Publications. Author of column for Fix magazine.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel; a collection of short stories titled The Last of the O-Forms, and Other Stories.
SIDELIGHTS: James Van Pelt, a notable fantasy, horror, and science-fiction writer, he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1999, and his stories have received nominations for numerous awards in his chosen genres. Van Pelt's first collection of seventeen stories, Strangers and Beggars, includes a tale about a teacher who is trapped by a giant spider and begins to see her plight in a transcendent light, and another about a group of sharks feeding on office workers. The book also includes a homage to the H. G. Wells classic The Time Machine.
Writing in the Science Fiction Chronicle, Don D'Ammassa noted that Van Pelt "is one of those writers whose stories I enjoy almost without exception, but whose work is so scattered that it's easy to underestimate the breadth and quality of his output as a whole." Booklist contributor Ray Olsen called Strangers and Beggars "a refreshingly optimistic bunch of sf-infected horror tales, all seductive or at least charming." Olson also commented that the author usually allows "a little light [to] flicker" for his seemingly doomed characters. Commenting on his writing in an interview with K. Mark Hoover on StrangeHorizons.com, Van Pelt noted, "My writing is more character and theme driven than idea driven. In a sense, I have a more literary bent than some of my peers, but not all of them."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2002, Ray Olson, review of Strangers and Beggars, p. 1833.
Science Fiction Chronicle, August, 2002, Don D'Ammassa, review of Strangers and Beggars, p. 38.
Free Speculative Fiction Online, http://www.freesfonline.de/ (February 11, 2005), James Van Pelt, "The Last of the O-Forms," and "A Flock of Birds."
James Van Pelt Home Page, http://www.sff.net/people/james.van.pelt/ (February 11, 2005).
StrangeHorizons.com, http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (February 11, 2005), K. Mark Hoover, interview with Van Pelt.