Lodestar Award 2024

Promises Stronger than Darkness by Charlie Jane Anders

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Two cute young Makvarians surround her and gaze adoringly while she keeps their cups overflowing with Yuul sauce. All three of them kiss each other with their mouths full of the spicy, tart liquor, in the gloomiest corner of the sleaziest nightclub at the bottom level of Vandal Station, the Bump Dump. Thaoh has attached new gems to her strong cheekbones and jaw, bigger than the ones Tina used to wear.

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix 

Second paragraph of third chapter:

“That was stupid of me,” muttered the left-handed bookseller to himself. Hefting the William IV truncheon, he slowly turned on the spot, taking stock of his surroundings.

Unraveller by Frances Hardinge

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Maybe Nettle was right. Maybe they were heading to a new captivity. But at least they were doing so in style.

Abeni’s Song by P. Djèlí Clark

Second paragraph of third chapter:

But just as she had begun the face-off, the old woman ended it. Her eyes gave one last sweep across the village before making a loud humph! Without another word, she hiked up her long dress and started walking forward. No one got in her way—everyone moving quickly to let her pass. It wasn’t hard to tell where she was going, because her eyes were fixed on the large round building ahead.

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath by Moniquill Blackgoose

Second paragraph of third chapter:

But then Crow, who came flying to Masquapaug from the lands west of the sunset, taught the first people how to dance. Nampeshiwe’s Mother came to watch their dances. Nampeshiwe’s Mother said to the people, “Your dancing is beautiful. You must teach me your dancing. I would know how it is done.”

Liberty’s Daughter by Naomi Kritzer

Second paragraph of third chapter:

I was really surprised to hear from you, because Dad told me you were dead. Should I have thought of a more tactful way to say that?