More on Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

Upside Down Inverted Tropes in Storytelling Cover

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling features several authors and essayists, including Maurice Broaddus, Nisi Shawl, and Victor Raymond who are all in town for WisCon 41 this weekend. I thought this would be a perfect time to bring up this collection of short stories and essays again, and post the full Table of Contents for the X-page book. You may recall that I wrote about the anthology for Scalzi’s The Big Idea, and that the concept for the collection came from some serious discussions about tropes and cliches.

Challenging what we think about tropes and cliches can be both fun and uncomfortable, and that has shown in the reviews, like the starred review of Upside Down we received from Publisher’s Weekly. I quote: “When the stories are shocking, they demonstrate how thoroughly these narrative conventions have become embedded in our psyches.” This, by itself, was one of the reasons why I wanted to put together this collection.

I know I’m a smart-ass, but I try to operate from the mindset that I don’t know everything, that I am always learning, to prevent cynicism and bitterness from taking over. Editing Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling taught me that my lessons in life will never be over, and that isn’t something to fear–but to celebrate. Everyone has a story to tell, and sometimes the best thing we can do as writers and readers is to truly listen to that tale to understand our differences and what we have in common with one another. I’m very proud of the collection, and am so pleased to have worked with such fine and excellent individuals.

If you’re interested in this collection, the anthology is available in digital and print wherever books are sold. You can find Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling on Amazon.com, DriveThruFiction.com, and many other bookstores, too!

Table of Contents

Introduction. JERRY GORDON

SECTION I: INVERTING THE TROPE

On Loving Bad Boys: A Villanelle. VALYA DUDYCZ LUPESCU
Single, Singularity. JOHN HORNOR JACOBS
Lazzrus. NISI SHAWL
Seeking Truth. ELSA SJUNNESON-HENRY
Thwock. MICHELLE MUENZLER
Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place? MICHAEL R. UNDERWOOD
Chosen. ANTON STROUT
The White Dragon. ALYSSA WONG
Her Curse, How Gently It Comes Undone. HARALAMBI MARKOV
Burning Bright. SHANNA GERMAIN
Santa CIS (Episode 1: No Saint). ALETHEA KONTIS
Requiem for a Manic Pixie Dream. KATY HARRAD & GREG STOLZE
The Refrigerator in the Girlfriend. ADAM-TROY CASTRO
The First Blood of Poppy Dupree. DELILAH S. DAWSON
Red Light. SARA M. HARVEY
Until There Is Only Hunger. MICHAEL MATHESON
Super Duper Fly. MAURICE BROADDUS
Drafty as a Chain Mail Bikini. KAT RICHARDSON
Swan Song. MICHELLE LYONS-MCFARLAND
Those Who Leave. MICHAEL CHOI
Nouns of Nouns: A Mini Epic. ALEX SHVARTSMAN
Excess Light. RAHUL KANAKIA
The Origin of Terror. SUNIL PATEL
The Tangled Web. FERRETT STEINMETZ
Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa, Tfu, Tfu, Tfu. ALISA SCHREIBMAN
Real Women Are Dangerous. RATI MEHROTRA

SECTION II: DISCUSSING THE TROPES

I’m Pretty Sure I’ve Read This Before… PATRICK HESTER
Fractured Souls. LUCY A. SNYDER
Into the Labyrinth: The Heroine’s Journey. A.C. WISE
Escaping the Hall of Mirrors. VICTOR RAYMOND
Tropes as Erasers: A Transgender Perspective. KEFFY R.M. KEHRLI

SECTION III: DEFINING THE TROPES

Afterword. MONICA VALENTINELLI & JAYM GATES
Trope Definitions/Index of Tropes.

SECTION IV: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND
ADDITIONAL BIOS

Announcing Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

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Apex Publications is pleased to announce the addition of a new anthology to its 2015 release schedule. Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology of short stories and poems that will highlight the long-standing tradition of writers who identify tropes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror and twist them into something new and interesting.

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling will include original contributions from Maurice Broaddus, Shanna Germain, Laura Anne Gilman, Sara Harvey, John Hornor Jacobs, Rahul Kanakia, Haralambi Markov, Sunil Patel, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Lucien Soulban, Wrath James White, Alyssa Wong, and many others.

“I am excited to be working with two fantastic, smart, and gifted editors like Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli,” says Jason Sizemore, the publisher of Apex Book Company. “They should only enhance the Apex reputation as one of the genre’s leading anthology publishers with the release of Upside Down.”

Edited by Jaym Gates (War Stories) and Monica Valentinelli (Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horrors), the anthology will debut in Fall/Winter 2015 in both digital and print. The anthology will be Gates’s second collection with Apex Book Company and Valentinelli’s first. A Kickstarter and open submissions period are also planned for this fall.

To find out more about Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, be sure to watch for milestone-related updates from the editors posted on the Apex Book Company website.

Editor’s Afterword from Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly HororThis year, we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror. The anthology won a reader’s choice award and has earned a spot on many reader’s shelves of ghostly favorites. I was lucky to edit the anthology. I say “lucky,” because I worked with a group of very fine writers, indeed.

To celebrate, I am publishing the Editor’s Afterword here on my blog. I feel that, when I’m editing an anthology, I prefer the emphasis to be on the authors themselves. After all, they do a tremendous amount of heavy lifting and I’m more like a treasure hunter, helping them show their best faces. (And that, in my opinion, they did.)

If you’re interested in picking up this spooky collection, you can head on over to BarnesandNoble.com and DriveThruFiction.com.

Editor’s Afterword

Reading an anthology about ghost hunters is like meandering into a haunted mansion. As you wander through hallways covered in cobwebs, a chill goes up and down your spine when you visit each room. Something — whether it’s a ghostly flicker or a strange shadow — catches your eye. The temperature plummets. Then, the room spins and your heart is pounding. It’s strange, but after a few minutes, everything returns to normal. As your vision clears, you catch a few, grim details. Maybe you shudder as ghostly orb floats past you. Maybe you trip over a dead body.

Or maybe you’ve stepped in a pool of blood.

You open your mouth to scream when suddenly — out of nowhere — a team of ghost hunters rushes in around you. They tell you they’ve got it covered; they know what they’re doing.

And, if you’re willing, they’ll be glad to take you along for eleven, different rides.


For HAUNTED, eleven authors were asked to tap into their storytelling abilities and write a story about ghost hunting. My role began when I received their submissions and ended when I accepted their final version for the anthology. The end result of the writing and editing process is the spooky collection of stories you’ve just read.

The talented authors in this anthology are nothing short of amazing. They were all easy to work with and excited about penning and revising their ghostly tales. Each one sends a chill up-and-down my spine, not just because they haunt my laptop, but because I’ve had the unique pleasure of seeing these stories through from beginning to end.

I hope you enjoyed reading HAUNTED: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror and I encourage you to explore the depth and breadth of works by these exceptional wordsmiths.


Happy Hunting!

[Photo] Haunted Reading




Last night, I attended a reading of HAUNTED: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror with four of our authors. Pictured (from left to right) the esteemed George Beaverson, yours truly, the fabulous Jason L Blair, the supreme Alex Bledsoe and the witty Bill Bodden.

Thanks to A Room of One’s Own for hosting the reading. Fun was had, books were signed, and stories were read!




Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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