James Patrick Kelly (born April 11, 1951 in Mineola, New York) is an American science fiction author.
Kelly made his first fiction sale in 1975. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, with a B.A. in English Literature. After graduating from college, he worked as a full-time proposal writer until 1977. He attended the Clarion Workshop twice - once in 1974 and again in 1976.
Throughout the 1980s, he and friend John Kessel became involved in the humanist/cyberpunk debate. While Kessel and Kelly were both humanists, Kelly also wrote several cyberpunk-like stories, such as "The Prisoner of Chillon" (1985) and "Rat" (1986). His story "Solstice" (1985) was published in Bruce Sterling's anthology Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology.
Kelly has been awarded several of science fiction's highest honors. He won the Hugo Award for his novelette "Think Like a Dinosaur" (1995) and again for his novelette "1016 to 1" (1999). Most recently, his 2005 novella, Burn, won the 2006 Nebula Award. Other stories have won the Asimov's Reader Poll and the SF Chronicle Award. He is frequently on the final ballot for the Nebula Award, the Locus Poll Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He frequently teaches and participates in science fiction workshops, such as Clarion and the Sycamore Hill Writer's Workshop. He has served on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts since 1998 and chaired the council in 2004.
He is currently on the Popular Fiction faculty for the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.
He is a frequent contributor to Asimov's Science Fiction and for the past several years has contributed a non-fiction column to Asimov's, "On the Net." He has had a story in the June issue of Asimov's for the past twenty years. In addition to his writing, Kelly has recently turned his hand to editing (with John Kessel), with several reprint anthologies: Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology and The Secret History of Science Fiction. Through these anthologies, Kelly and Kessel have brought together a wide spectrum of both traditional genre authors and authors who are considered to be more mainstream, including Don DeLillo, George Saunders, Jonathan Lethem, Aimee Bender, Michael Chabon and Steven Millhauser.