The Cuckoo Cage
New Origin Stories
Format: Trade Paperback
Book type: Anthology
Published: 11 Jan 2022
The superhero of comic books and blockbuster movies may be a quintessentially American invention, forever saving the world in skin-tight spandex. But the cultural DNA of the superhero can arguably be traced to a much older, more progressive, British tradition: the larger-than-life folk heroes of historical protests – General Ludd, Captain Swing, Lady Skimmington, and others; semi-fictional identities that ordinary protestors adopted, often dressing up in the process.
In this unique experiment, twelve authors have been tasked with resurrecting that tradition: to spawn a new generation of present-day British superheroes, willing to bring the fight back to British shores and to more progressive causes. From the dimension-jumping statue-toppler, to the shape-shifting single mum raiding supermarkets to stock local foodbanks... these figures offer unlikely new insights into shared, centuries-old political causes, and usher in a new league of proud, British (social justice) warriors...
Afterwords by: Chris Cocking, Frank E. Earp, Niklas Frykman, Carl Griffin, Ariel Hessayon, Richard Hingley, Rhian E. Jones, Briony McDonagh, Katrina Navickas, Richard Sheldon, Rose Wallis, & John Walter
One of The Guardian's books to look forward to in 2021.
As featured in The Bookseller.See The Cuckoo Cage at Bradford Literature Festival event HERESee The Cuckoo Cage at Edinburgh Book Festival event HERESee The Cuckoo Cage at WOMAD event HERESee The Cuckoo Cage at Chester Literature Festival event HERESee Resist(ance): a Collective Read event HERE
One of Stylist Magazine's best books of March 2022.
One of The Guardian's best recent science fiction and fantasy (April 2022).
‘Far from being the kind of ‘superman’ Scott-Heron warned against believing in, the superheroes of this collection are engaged in collective struggles for social justice which are at once current and historically rooted, material, and deeply human.’ - Red Pepper.
Read an excerpt from Courttia Newland's story 'After That, Is This' at Bristol 24/7.
Read 'What Can Superhero Stories Do For Us in 2022?' by Pete Kalu at Lithub.
Listen to an interview with editor Ra Page for the New Books Network.
'Clever and insightful, this book might inspire people to look deeper into alternative narratives and think about how, even without superpowers, action can be taken.' - Fiendfully Reading
Watch the online launch event with lisa luxx, Luan Goldie and Divya Ghelani here.
Listen to Pete Kalu's story.