review of Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Review of series Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts. A machine is decided who will be the superheroes in each country on Earth via lottery rotating the heroes out on a set schedule. Each story deals with different aspects of this idea.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The first story in the Cook Cutter Superhero universe. The short story centers around a teenage girl with a limb difference, who gets selected to become a superhero, if she wants to?

Listen to the free audio version on Sheep Might Fly

Kaleidoscope, the  short story anthology where Cookie Cutter Superhero first appeared.

Title: Cookie Cutter Superhero
Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts
Genre: Superhero, young adult

Reading the story

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

The story is about a teenage girl, Joey, who is selected to become a superhero by lottery. And her doubts and journey to join the superhero team. Joey has a limb difference and many of her doubts centers around the perception of that.

Tansy Rayner Roberts 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 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” and luckily for me I got more!

The stats

Published:  August 2014 by Twelfth Planet Press
Anthology: Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
Read: 6. August, 2014
Length: 22 pages Short story

The author: female, white, Australia
The protagonist: Joey, teenager, strait, superhero, Australian, has disability.
Setting: Modern day Australia with superheros

Kid Dark Against The Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The second story in the Cookie Cutter Superhero series is the novella Kid Dark Against The Machine .The ex-superhero sidekick Griff struggles with identity and his ties to the superhero community especially his former mentor The Dark. Read Kid Dark Against The Machine online for free.

Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The third story in the Cookie Cutter Superhero series the full length novel Girl Reporter. A wonderful mix of a meta-fictional about the reporters in superhero fiction, new media (social media) and a good story with great characters. I loved it.

They Keep Killing Astra by Tansy Rayner Roberts

The third story in the Cookie Cutter Superhero series the full length novel They Keep Killing Astra. This was a bonus story on Roberts’ patron. The story is all about superhero legacy and the gendered roles superheros play in the narratives they take part in.

This review was originally posted: August 7, 2014. Updated and edited June 26, 2023



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2 responses to “Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts”

  1. […] with the first book and Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts this book is very much metafictional and it has so much love for the […]

  2. […] I loved this story and I want a novel in this setting. The protagonist is a young teenage girl who has gotten chosen to become a member a superhero team. Tansy put all her thoughts and issues with superhero fiction into this story while delivering a very enjoying story. Read my full review […]

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