It’s no secret that Tansy is one of my favourite authors of all time. That said, some of her pieces of work spring beyond expectations, and this world is one of them. First seen in the anthology Kaleidoscope ‘Cookie Cutter Superhero’ was one of the most popular with many people demanding that we see a novel in this world at some stage. Tansy has a thing for novellas at the moment however, so that’s what we’ve got in Kid Dark against the Machine.
In this world, Australia has Australia’s Mightiest Heroes – an often-changing team of superheroes that are spat out by a machine, changing lives instantly (as you’re chosen, it’s not automatic to just anyone). Powers come from the machine so you instantly have the most ninja-y of skills within seconds, and the ability to read a room for danger and tactical information like it’s as natural as breathing.
While ‘Cookie Cutter Superhero’ (highly recommended, go read it now if you haven’t already) shows someone new coming through the machine, ‘Kid Dark Against the Machine‘ shows what happens to those who have returned to normalcy (if such a thing is even possible) once they are no longer active heroes. We have Griff, who was once side-kick to a type of hero who’s quite familiar (sly nods here and there which are rather snicker-worthy), and is now helping out in a boys home he grew up in. Here, he has a chat with one of the current boys about something that turns out rather interesting. I won’t give spoilers, but with superheroes there always must be… right?
What Tansy rocks at is presenting you with characters you love in so few words. I so want to see more of The Dark and Catsuit and all the rest. Please, Tansy, please? Like the scene at the end of that movie where they’re all sitting around a table eating burgers, can we have that with your characters please?
Ahem. I especially loved the ending for this one. I really hope we get many more novellas in this series and then perhaps a collection of them all (when current publishing rights have ended of course), because there’s so much more to explore in this world.