By: Tobias Buckell
When most authors have a story that failed, they bury it somewhere deep in a drawer or closet somewhere. What they most assuredly don’t do, is bring it out into the daylight and publish it for everybody to read. Thank goodness Buckell isn’t one of those authors. Nascence is an incredible journey through 17 of Buckell’s short stories that failed. For each story in the collection he gives a short foreward explaining what it is that he was trying to do, and how the story failed.
What I found most interesting, is that for several of the stories, he has a second and third attempt at the same story and we can easily see how Buckell’s writing improved from one to the next as well as how the story evolved along with it. It’s not often that we, as readers and authors, get that kind of view into the progress of an idea. I won’t comment on the writing itself here, as Buckell does plenty of that (sometimes a bit too critically, in my opinion) in the collection, itself.
If you’re a fan of Buckell, you won’t be disappointed by this venture into his older works and the evolution of some of the elements that appear in the Xenowealth series. If you’re an author, I think this belongs on the digital bookshelf right along-side the “how-to-write” books you’ve already got. It’s a rare peek behind the curtains of short story creation and author evolution.