Title: Cookie Cutter Superhero
Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts
I helped kickstart the anthology Kaleidoscope last fall and it just got published the other day. I had tons of other short story collections and anthologies to read from, but I had really looked forward to this one, so I started reading almost right away. I now have a work commute again that is perfect for reading short stories, so that is going to be awesome for my project of reading tons of short stories this year.
For once I started with the very first story and I was really happy that I did, because it kicked ass. I have come to really enjoy superhero fiction. From Marvel’s awesome comics (go Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel!!!) and movies to Batman, to great books like “Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots” by Seanan McGuire and “After the Golden Age” by Carrie Vaughn. So when I sew that this story was in the same vain I was so happy.
The story is about a teenage girl who is selected to become a superhero by lottery. And her doubts and journey to join the superhero team.
Tansy Rayner Roberts (who I want to call Tansy because I talked a bit with her on twitter, but since I don’t actually know her I will keep the last name – because I would insist that my students did) is clearly quite fond of the superhero genre, but can like most sensible people see quite a few quite problematic things with the genre. Both from a storytelling perspective and from a gender politics prospective. In Cookie Cutter Superhero, she examines and integrate those issues, while having a ton of fun with it.
I have to say that it is one of the few short stories I have read in a while, where I wanted to read a whole book set in that universe with those characters. I adored Joey and her attitude. I enjoyed that she had doubts about the whole superhero thing, about what to do, about her future – without it ever turning into the teenage angst that I as an adult want to gag at.
To quote myself on twitter “♥ I want more”
Published: August 2014 by Twelfth Planet Press
Anthology: Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
Read: 6. August, 2014
Length: Short story
The author: female, white, Australia
The protagonist: Joey, teenager, strait, superhero, Australian, has disability.