“Snow and Stone” by Stellan Thorne from The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy, Northwest Press, 2013. Edited by Tom Cardamone.

It’s a world ruled by those with superpowers. Reporter Edward Stone works for The Victoryville Herald, writing filler pieces about second-string metahuman heroes. When the paper gets an opportunity to send a reporter to Prometheus Isle, a dictatorship not dissimilar to North Korea, the editor decides to send him. Why? Mainly because their star reporter, Gerry Gates, has a criminal record, which means he can’t be granted a Promethean visa, but also because Stone has a lot of experience interviewing people, and he’s a good writer.

Journalists from several media outlets have received invitations. Stone feels a little out of his depth. The story really takes off during his interview of Snow. It turns out that the General isn’t really the one being grilled; Stone’s complicated past comes to the fore. He has buttons Snow can push because he’s seen his dreams crushed and the wrong people become victorious.

It feels like the back story of a longer work told from the point of view of someone in the upper echelon of a terrifying organization. I’d love to see what happens next and how he reacts to it.