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Cover Reveal: Kid Dark Against The Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts

We are so excited to reveal the cover for the next story in our forthcoming lineup of Superhero fiction: Kid Dark Against The Machine by Tansy Rayner Roberts.

Without further ado, BEHOLD! The smugglerific cover!

Kid Dark Against The Machine

About the Short Story

From the award-winning author of Cookie Cutter Superhero comes a brand new story about sidekicks, supervillains and saving the world

Back when he was called something else, Griff knew everything about superheroes, sidekicks and the mysterious machine responsible for creating them. Now, Griff is just an average guy, minding his own business. A volunteer handyman at the Boys Home—his former home—Griff spends his days clearing out gutters and building clubhouses for the orphans at the Home. Nothing heroic or remarkable about that, right?

But all of that changes when one of the Home kids starts having weird dreams about another Machine–an evil version that churns out supervillains. Griff remembers the call of the Machine, and reluctantly decides to help the kid on his mission.

And then they waltz back into Griff’s life. Those bloody heroes. Including him—The Dark—one of Australia’s mightiest and longest-running superheroes.

What’s a retired secret superhero sidekick to do?


A Word From Your Friendly Neighborhood Editors (and Book Smugglers)

When we received a submission from Tansy, we both nearly exploded from shock and happiness. Hugo Award-winner, author of several awesome works of long and short fiction and nonfiction, and podcast master, Tansy Rayner Roberts is kind of a big deal. To make things even better, this short story, Kid Dark Against The Machine is set in the same world as Cookie Cutter Superhero–and, as we discovered after reading the submission, Kid Dark Against The Machine is every bit as awesome, empowering, and fun as its predecessor.

This is a short story about a kid who grew up in the shadow and legacy of great heroes–but what happens when that kid gets older and is afraid of losing those abilities and that legacy? Griff’s struggle to remain anonymous, his desire for approval and belonging, his yearning to hold on to whatever power he can for fear of what he might be revealed to be underneath his machine-given abilities is a surprisingly human, very sympathetic sentiment. We love the humor of this story just as much as we love its darkness; we love the examination of a machine that can create both heroes and villains, and the ramifications of such a machine on the world. Plus, did we mention this story is funny? Because it really is funny–in addition to being poignant and heartfelt.

We cannot wait for you to enjoy the adventures of Kid Dark with us.


About the Author: Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner Roberts lives in Tasmania, Australia with her partner and two daughters. She has written and edited various science fiction and fantasy books including the Mocklore Chronicles, the Creature Court trilogy, Love & Romanpunk (a short story suite) and Cranky Ladies of History. She is the host or co-host of three podcasts: Galactic Suburbia, Verity! and Sheep Might Fly, and has won two Hugo Awards, for Best Fan Writer and Best Fancast. You can find Tansy on Twitter (@tansyrr) and at her blog which features fiction, feminist essays, comics reviews and pop culture criticism.

About the Artist: Jade Liebes

Kid Dark (no text)

Jade Liebes is an artist living in Maryland. When she’s not drawing, she’s usually busy waiting on hand and foot of several increasingly demanding cats, or spending too much time yelling at and about video games. More of her art can be found at

How to Get the Book

Kid Dark Against The Machine will be published officially on June 14, 2016, when it will be available for free in full on this here blog. You can preorder the ebook (EPUB & MOBI) from all major retailers online, or you can buy it directly from us right now. The ebook contains the short story, as well as a Q&A and essay with the author.

Preorder the Ebook:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Smashwords

Need a copy *right* now? Want to read it *today*? You can buy it directly from us!

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