2014 Nebula Prediction: Indicators #3 and #4

Indicators #1 and #2 looked at nomination history. Let’s move on to winning. If you’ve won previously, does that increase your chances of winning again?

This wasn’t as straightforward as I would have liked. Winning a Nebula was not necessarily a ticket to winning another. 7 of 13 authors who won the Nebula for Best Novel since 2000 were winning it for the first time. Oddly, the other 6 were winning at least their second Nebula for Best Novel. So, I discarded the idea of previously winning as a meaningful indicator, and instead integrated the idea of “Previously had Won a Nebula Award for Best Novel.”

The more correlated category–and I parsed through Hugo Wins, Hugo + Nebula Wins, and so forth–seemed to be how honored you’d been over your career as a writer, defining this as the sum of Nebula Win + Nominations + Hugo Wins + Nominations. This gave a good measure of the profile of an author, and the most honored nominee won a strong 53.9% of the time, with little statistical significance to your winning chances based on placing 2, 3, 4, or below on this ranking.

Both of these pass the eye test, although they are probably a little too dependent on each other. However, in a Linear Opinion Pool, this dependence can be taken care of with proper weighting. So the Indicators worked out like this:

Indicator #3: Has previously won a Nebula award for best novel (46.1%)
Indicator #4: Was the most honored nominee (Nebula Wins + Nominations + Hugo Wins + Nominations) (53.9%)

Where does that leave this year’s nominees?
Indicators 3-4

Gaiman and Fowler far outstrip the other nominees in terms of career honors. Fowler even beats Gaiman on the Nebula nomination front, although Gaiman pulls ahead when the Hugo is factored in.

Gaiman and Griffith have previously won the Nebula for Best Novel. Griffith’s previous win should get Hild a good look by a lot of readers. Gaiman likely doesn’t need more eyes on Ocean, but he is undeniably well known to this voting audience.

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