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Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology of short stories, poetry, and essays edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates. Over two dozen authors, ranging from NYT-bestsellers and award winners to debut writers, chose a tired trope or cliche to challenge and surprise readers through their work.

Read stories inspired by tropes such as the Chainmaille Bi
...more
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Published December 13th 2016 by Apex Publications
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Monica Valentinelli Hello, I am the editor for this anthology.

The official release date to the general public is Tuesday, December 13th, 2016. You can pre-order a copy…more
Hello, I am the editor for this anthology.

The official release date to the general public is Tuesday, December 13th, 2016. You can pre-order a copy from Amazon.com or the publisher's website at Apexbookcompany.com.

Because this anthology was funded on Kickstarter, backers receive their copies before the general public does. We also sent out Advance Reader Copies to several review sites, which is partly why you're seeing reviews now.

Thanks for reaching out!(less)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Teresa
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have a funny relationship with short stories. If they're bad stories, I'm happy with them because at least they were short. If they're good stories I get mad at them because they should have been longer. I mostly was angry with this book because I wanted all the stories to be longer. Which means it was good I guess.
GracieKat
I've said before that anthologies are notoriously hard to review. This one is no exception. In a way the difficulty is doubled because I'm not just rating the stories on their own merit but also by how well they subverted the tropes they're trying to flip. I'm going to try not to reveal the trope they're trying to flip but sometimes it's not easy.

As I usually do, I'll rate each story and then wrap it up at the end. So, let's get started!

On Loving Bad Boys: A Villainelle - Valya Dudycz-Lupescu 3
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Morgan
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I'm a bit of a sucker for turning tropes on their ears. I have soft spots for movies that throw them out the window OR turn them up to eleven to the point to where they're ridiculous. Some do both at the same time.

The issue with collections of short stories is that you are probably going to love a few, dislike a few, and the rest are going to be somewhere
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GracieKat
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've said before that anthologies are notoriously hard to review. This one is no exception. In a way the difficulty is doubled because I'm not just rating the stories on their own merit but also by how well they subverted the tropes they're trying to flip. I'm going to try not to reveal the trope they're trying to flip but sometimes it's not easy.

As I usually do, I'll rate each story and then wrap it up at the end. So, let's  get started!

On Loving Bad Boys: A Villainelle - Valya Dudycz-Lupescu 
...more
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Upside Down is a collection of short stories intended to subvert common tropes in storytelling and essays discussing trope usage. The vast majority of the collection is short stories, and wow are there a lot of stories. Like in any collection, there were stories that impressed me and stories that didn’t. However, on the whole I found the collection to be on the weaker side.

Going into the collection, I wasn’t aware of most of the contributing authors. I picked it up mainly for Delilah S. Dawson,
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Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

3.5/4 stars; I liked quite a few of these short stories, none of them made me roll my eyes, and to be fair, the essays at the end of the book were also quite interesting.

My favourites:

* “Single, Singularity”: While it doesn’t really invert the trope it’s based on, I’m a sucker for AI stories, and this one was both thrilling, and chilling in its ending.

* “Seeking Truth”: The ‘blind psychic’ trope, subverted in that here, the blind person is extre
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Phillip M
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book offers a collection of short stories where each presents a typical trope used in science fiction or fantasy such as Gendercide in “Real Women Are Dangerous”; The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood in “The Origin of Terror”; The Super Soldier in “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place?” and The Pro’s Last Job in “No Saint”. To add to the fun, the authors inverted the accepted theme for the trope. In other words, instead of The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood this particular story was ab ...more
Groucho42
Aug 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
A short story written by pretentious kids acting as if they're the first to look at tropes and supposedly change them. In SF & Fantasy, that's been happening at least since the late 1950s and the 1960s. Worse, the stories are mediocre at best. Worst, avoid the darling lil' essays that follow them.

Go read many of the New Wave authors for some real classics, or read many of the current authors who take the old tropes from fairy tales and the Golden Age of SF and either ignore them or have fun
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Gregg
Aug 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a collection of unmemorable short stories. It would be more accurate to say that some are mere sketches, not actual stories. They have no entertainment value, no 'moral', no purpose except as an attempt to illustrate a trope. I had textbooks in high school literature class that contained more interesting stories than this anthology. The last hundred pages or so, aren't even stories, but lectures and diatribes - mostly from people who feel that their particular subset of humanity has been ...more
MrsEnginerd
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The trick with this book is that you don't have to be an expert to understand the trope exploration and reversals, where applicable. The short story book comes with companion information that explains each story from both the author's and tropes perspectives. Some of the stories have sexual content, so it would be wise to screen these if you are giving it to pre teen or early teen aged readers. The prose itself has its good moments and I really didn't find enough faults or flaws to complain abou ...more
Joy
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked this up because it sounded really cool, based on one of the blogs I read. The stories were a mixed bag, and unfortunately quite a few of them took "invert a trope" to mean "make it a horror story," which I'm not particularly fond of. The stories got better as the book went on, and I really enjoyed the last few and wish they'd been longer. There's also a large discussion section in the back about the tropes themselves and how they were twisted or flipped, if that sort of analysis is your ...more
Susan
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about challenging what we think of cliches. It is a book of short stories, essays and poetry. It entertained and educated me. Though I must admit, that at first I had trouble getting into reading it. I kept at it as I knew many of the authors. I recommend this book for those who want something different to read.

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book free from the author/publisher from Net-galley. I was not obliged to write a favorable review, or even any review at all. The opini
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Cat
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mixed bag of short stories. I love short stories, and can even tolerate blah ones, as they are short. They are perfect for the commuter, or just a quick read in the bath or at bedtime. Anytime time is short is time for a quick tale! There are a lot of them in this book, so I am sure everyone is going to find something to their liking!
I received a Kindle ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
James
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Writers of all kinds
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, horror, sf
A better than average collection of shorts aimed at trope busting, also includes essays on tropes and cliches as well as author's notes on the tropes they roasted. The articles also have a decent bibliography. A combination of very funny and sad, it also has the obligatory Lovecraft pastiche and an Asimov err... homage. This apparently was a Kickstarter book, awesome.
Emily
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A short story collection of science-fiction and fantasy topics, twisting some kind of tropes. Like most short story collections, it's hit or miss. My favorite stories were: Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place; The Refrigerator in the Girlfriend; Nouns of Nouns a Mini Epic; and The Tangled Web. The essays analyzing the tropes were also great.
Sher
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great Anthology. I enjoyed all off it.
Charlotte Tracey
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this completely cover to cover. Each of the short stories was a treat that kept me guessing and I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about some of them. I loved the essays to, they gave me a lot to think about and touched on a wide range of issues and ideas.
Kimberly
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a bit of fresh air to read. A lot of books have become a bit predictable lately, and while not the authors fault as it seems the only the cliche-ish of books seem to get popular (at least to me). I really did enjoy this, but I am really happy that it was short stories as opposed to one long story. I like that I was not able to predict what was going to happen. I was also eager to check out every new story to see where the author would take it.

Of course you know that when you have a
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Care
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Upside Down provided an anthology of surprising, norm-defying short stories and a collection of thought-provoking essays that challenged and explored common and not-so-common literary tropes. From a tale about a computer system gone rogue to an essay exploring the Heroine Journey by looking at Labyrinth, this work is interesting, concise, and serves its stated purpose of encouraging the reader to address familiar tropes well.

The stories are all creative and unique, quick reads that delve into t
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Tasya Dita
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-release, e-arc
I receive this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review. This does not affect my opinions or whatsoever.

Upside Down is an anthology of stories that contain inverted trope. Blind people who portrayed as physic turns our to be a normal person like us. Damsel in Distress who turned out to be not as in need as we thought she is, and so on. While I enjoyed reading some stories, most of them feel bland to me and I skipped a lot of them. If you expect some kind of creepy stor
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ankita
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I received an advanced digital copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The topic of inverting tropes that this anthology focuses on is fascinating and refreshing. I was drawn to it because it is not done as often as I would like. I had high expectations for this collection of stories and while some of them, like Thwock and Her Curse, How Gently it Comes Undone, were completely gripping and fun to read, there were others that fell flat. Overall, I'm still glad I came across this book
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Danielle N
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Relationships with anthologies and short story compilations can be a seriously complicated matter. It seems that regardless of who is contributing, there will be highs and lows. From my experience, this is unavoidable, and I approach each collection with this knowledge in advance. Such was the case with Upside Down.

Read my thoughts here.
Ryan (miyu or Prada)
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
An impressive sci-fi collection. I find myself wanting to recommend each short story after I read it to others. How the various tropes were treated made for intriguing discussion with friends and just musings. Overall an excellent collection.
Bookwyrm Jim
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The stories are good and the essays are thought-provoking, but I wish they had made the choice of interweaving the three sections instead of separating them. Still, I'm glad I supported this on Kickstarter.
Becky -  Pug and Books
I received a galley copy for review from NetGalley.

I DNF this one. I couldn't get pulled into the stories, I tried to read several of them and I just couldn't get into this. I couldn't feel any draw to the stories.
Ellie
rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2017
Rae Spencer
rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2018
Alethea Kontis
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Jane
rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2016
Morgan
rated it really liked it
Jan 20, 2017
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