The Cuckoo Cage

Edited by Ra Page

New Origin Stories


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


One of Stylist Magazine's best books of March 2022

One of The Guardian's best recent science fiction and fantasy (April 2022).

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. 

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Book Details

11 Jan 2022