2014 Nebula Prediction: Final Update

Here we go, with the final prediction for the 2014 Nebula. Award to be given 5/18/14:

Thumb Ancillary Thumb Ocean Thumb Hild Thumb Golem Thumb Beside Thumb Red Thumb Stranger Thumb Fire

1. Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice (25.8%)
2. Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (20.7%)
3. Nicola Griffith, Hild (11.2%)
4. Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni (10.6%)
5. Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (9.8%)
6. Linda Nagata, The Red: First Light (8.2%)
7. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria (7.7%)
8. Charles E. Gannon, Fire with Fire (6.0%)

Leckie makes a late (spectacular!) run to overcome Gaiman. Leckie’s final numbers have been greatly boosted by her award season performance. She was the only Nebula nominee this year to also score a Hugo nomination, and she also won both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association award (in a tie). Factor in nominations for the Philip K. Dick and the Tiptree, and Leckie put up one of the most impressive award season performances in recent SF history.

Will Leckie actually win? It’s looking more and more likely. Despite the impressive history of Gaiman, and the fact that Ocean at the End of the Lane is well liked, my impression is that people think Ocean is a “small” book, a lesser Gaiman novel. In contrast, Ancillary Justice is a “big” book, and Nebula voters tend to reward ambition. If Leckie wins, she’ll be following a similar pattern to Bacigalupi’s winning The Windup Girl, where a SF writer, although new, swept their way to the award based on the impressive scope of their first novel. In some ways, voters might be awarding promise over execution, although most critical voices have been enthusiastic about Ancillary Justice, even if not all readers have been swayed.

I’ll be back soon with a little bit of analysis as to what possible results on 5/18 mean for the Prediction Model.

To understand the formula, check out the Indicators, Weighting, and the Methodology.

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