Even the Queen

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"Even the Queen" is a short story by Connie Willis. A humorous story involving the future of gynecological science, it won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. It was originally published in 1992 in Asimov's Science Fiction, and appears in her short-story collection Impossible Things (1994) and The Best of Connie Willis (2013).

During nomination the editor of Asimov's allegedly gave it the punning description of being "a period piece." The story involves the future of menstruation.

The story details a conversation between three generations of women as they discuss the decision of one of their daughters to join the Cyclists—not bicycle enthusiasts, but women who menstruate despite the existence of medical procedures (there are mentions of both a pill called "ammenerol" and something called a shunt) that would allow them to not do so. The various trials and misconceptions of menstruation are brought forward for examination, including an explanation of the title: one of the characters apparently told her mother that she wasn't going to have her period if a certain celebrity didn't, and the mother replied that "even the Queen" of England had a period.

In Willis' usual comic style, the main character is a sensible person trying to maneuver around the oddities of the others.