The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s WindowSubterranean MagazineThe Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 5
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.
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The heroes are eager to sail to Troy for war, but the wind is still. To fill their sails and set out, they must sacrifice Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia-and how does a human girl become the wind? The starkness and psychological insight of Rachel Swirsky's Tor.com story earned it a place among the finalists for the 2010 Nebula Award. Rachel Swirsky's short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, and Subterranean Magazine, among others, and has been collected in Year's Best anthologies edited by Rich Horton, Jonathan Strahan, and the VanderMeers. She is also the submissions editor of Podcastle, an audio fantasy magazine.