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Nascence: 17 Stories That Failed and What They Taught Me

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  11 reviews
New York Times Bestseller Tobias S. Buckell has published 45 short stories in various magazines and anthologies. But in the process of learning how to sell those 45, he wrote over 100 short stories that failed in a variety of ways while learning the craft.

In Nascence, he reprints 17 failed stories written from 1996-2004 and details some of the major failings of the stories
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Published March 26th 2011 by Tobias Buckell
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May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it

Tobias S. Buckell; 2011
Suppose you're a writer. Suppose you've spent a decade and a half learning to hone your skills, learning to turn weak and clichéd vignettes into narrative gold. Along the way, you're likely to have compiled quite a bit of hackneyed prose as you stab in the dark for something that works. At the end of the road, when you've accomplished your goal of breaking into the mainstream publishing world, what are the chances that you'd look back on those dusty cast-aways and
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I recently saw an informal poll of authors on how many books they wrote before finding representation and getting published. There were very few that found deals on their first finished novel. More often, it was the third book found them representation, fifth book got them a book deal. Ninth book found them representation AND a book deal. 10+ each for some. Stuff like that.

The numbers are even more impressive with short story writers. There's sort of a woodshedding process that goes on, practic
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
It will take me a while to process what I've learned from reading these failed short stories - and the last, successful one. After all, what really is failure, and what is success, and doesn't everyone have their own interpretations of it? Still, I enjoyed reading through them, seeing the change in style, voice etc. and think other writers would enjoy this book too, as a learning experience and general inspiration. Now to stop procrastinating and write some stories of my own.
Sarah Grey
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I often find established writers are unwilling to discuss their past failures at length--perhaps they are embarrassed, perhaps they feel there is nothing for others to learn, or perhaps they simply haven't scrutinized the trajectory of their own development.

I am grateful that Buckell has taken the time not only to collect his failures, but to examine why they failed, and to compile that information into a chronological study of his progress to pro-level writing. For anyone interested in writing
Shawn Scarber Deggans
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
17 failed stories and what they taught me is a unique gift to the budding writer. Tobias bravely exposes many of his early failures in an effort to demonstrate the lessons he's learned about the craft of writing short, speculative fiction. Honestly, I thought a many of the stories were good, but reading through the collection it does become clear when his grasp of the craft took hold. Tobias also makes it clear that you can't just keep doing the same thing over and over. If you're not publishing ...more
Kevin McLaughlin
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a remarkable book. Very rarely do you see an accomplished writer like Bucknell track his progress from early "not so good" stories through his modern, much stronger ones. Better still, the author goes into a lot of detail about what he learned in each story, and how he applied those lessons to later ones.

For anyone interested in writing stories or the writing process, this is an *excellent* book to read. Basically a career-tracking memoir and powerful instructional tool in one, the book
B.J. Keeton
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most unique short story collection I've ever read. I would say that it's a must-read for writers and anyone who cares about the process of becoming marketable. The stories vary--some are stinkers that are hard to get through, while others I'm amazed never saw the light of day before now. Overall, it's probably the best book I've read in a long while, and I just can't recommend it enough.
Dan Smyth
This one was interesting. I think there were a few things missing that would have made it really good, but as a whole a decent read, fun, and worth the money I paid. If nothing else, it's made me interested in picking up one of his novels, which can never be a bad thing for an author to accomplish.

Full review coming soon
Tom Hansen
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tobias introduced this book as either a brilliant idea or self-aggrandizing. I think it is both. It gives him the ability to show some the work that made him an author today, and we get the chance to see the mistakes he made while writing them. If you are an aspiring author, fan of sci-fi, or just a fan of Tobias's work, you should find something to love in here.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent accounting of abandoned stories and the reasons behind the abandonment. Sharing failures with one's fan base is very insightful idea.
Stephen Patterson
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good introduction to writng SF short stories.

Looking forward to reading the ones he sold. :)
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Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.

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