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Short Stories 365/303 | N.S. Beranek

“The Third Estate” by Lee Thomas from The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy, Northwest Press, 2013. Edited by Tom Cardamone.

What a timely story this is, all about the growing imbalance of power in this nation and the willingness by a handful of people to destroy the entire ecosystem for their own selfish ends. These are topics I follow on a daily basis, so it was very satisfying to find a character so moved by the issues that he’s crossed a line into villainy. He’s going to save the planet, no matter who he has to kill to do it. He has the perfect means to do it, because he possesses the ability to leave his physical body and inhabit someone else’s for awhile. There’s only one problem: his partner Curtis has just figured out what’s going on and is determined to stop him from causing any more harm.

I especially liked the twist at the end.

Two other stories by this author have already been included in this project – Short Stories 200 and 242. The first I enjoyed right up to the very end, but it didn’t turn out the way I would have preferred. The second I flat-out loved.