Jim Van Pelt is one of science fiction’s most accomplished and prolific story writers, with over 150 published stories to his credit. This new collection, his fifth, consists of twenty-four of the thirty-five short stories Van Pelt sold from his write-a-story-a-week-for-a-year challenge he started in 2015. Every story has a brief teaser for readers, and every story has a postscript for writers and teachers that talks about the thinking that went into the writing of the stories.
"James Van Pelt's stories are the kind that make you lose track of time when you sit down to read. His characters never fail to charm, and his stories—sometimes deceptively simple—invariably seem to matter. From a story of elderly lovers to one about genius kids, from a tale of middle-aged suburban combatants to that of an AI who can cry, this volume will delight readers. It will also leave them wondering, which is what science fiction and fantasy stories should do. If you're not a Van Pelt fan yet, you will be after you read this delectable collection."
—Louise Marley, author of The Child Goddess
“James van Pelt's stories capture the essential joy and boundless optimism of Golden Age science fiction better than any writer alive. The Experience Arcade and Other Stories contains tales of weaponized ghosts, warring lawn fairies, a poet who investigates a murder on a starship, a young Tom Corbett's secret initiation into the Solar Guard, a couple who exchange gifts after death, ghost ships, and even more wonderous things. If you love SF in all its strange wonder and constant surprises, this book is your ticket.”
—John O'Neill, Black Gate Magazine
"Prolific, masterful, and stunningly original, James Van Pelt is a modern virtuoso of science fiction. This collection of short stories both defines the genre, and pushes it forward into newly charted territory."
—Ted Kosmatka, author of The Flicker Men
“When I was trying to learn enough craft to break into print, I remember looking to James Van Pelt and his crisp, powerful short fiction. Nearly two decades later and the master craftsman is still producing brilliant, beautiful work that captivates and compels. In The Experience Acrade and Other Stories, we get a broad view of Van Pelt's range as a speculative fantasist. If you love short fiction, it belongs on your shelf.”
—Ken Scholes, author of The Psalms of Isaak
"Jim Van Pelt is both a storyteller and a teacher, so it’s fitting that each story in this entire collection has a short preface, and a short afterword teaching about the craft of writing ... The entire collection is of excellent quality, showing a wide range of styles. I’d recommend you buy this to have the ghost stories to give young people the shivers at scout campfires, or the stories about love to those who want lasting smiles. But most of all, give this to someone in your life who wants to craft stories. If you’re that person, give it to yourself."