The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window
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"The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" is a fantasy novella by American writer Rachel Swirsky. It explores the conjunction of invocation, deep time, and culture shock. It was originally published in Subterranean Magazine, in the summer of 2010, and subsequently republished in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011 (from Prime Books) and "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 5" (from Night Shade Books).
Naeva—the Lady of the story's title—is a sorceress in a matriarchy. After being fatally injured, she is persuaded to allow her spirit to be bound, so that she can be summoned and thus continue to advise her queen. However, after the queen has herself died, Naeva continues to be summoned... first by the queen's successor, and then by people from civilizations later than hers.
"The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" won the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and was nominated for the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novella and the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella It was included on Locus's 2010 "Recommended Reading" list, and on the "honorable mentions" list in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection
- 2011 Nebula Awards at Locus; retrieved September 21, 2013
- 2011 Hugo Awards at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved September 21, 2013
- 2011 World Fantasy Award Winners at WFC2011.org; retrieved September 21, 2013
- 2010 Locus Recommended Reading List at Locus, originally published February 2011; retrieved September 21, 2013
- The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois; published by St. Martin's Press, 2011; page 660