2014 Hugo Prediction: Indicators #1 and #2

Like the Nebula Award prediction model, the Hugo Award prediction uses date from previous Hugo winners and nominees from 2000 to find mathematical trends. Most of this data is mined from the excellent Science Fiction Awards Database, as well as other sources like Amazon and Goodreads.

Much like the Nebula, the Hugo Award shows a bias towards previous awards winners, although this bias is much less pronounced than the Nebula. While the Nebula constantly goes to past winners and the most honored nominees, the Hugo is a very different award. Past winners don’t show any statistical advantage, nor does a handful of prior nominations seem to help much. Charles Stross, for instance, has been nominated for 7 best novel Hugos (and 15 total Hugos, with 2 wins for short fiction), and has never won for best novel. The Hugos, unlike the Nebulas, are also not prone to giving lifetime achievement awards (well, unless Jordan gets one this year). Past winners of the Hugo award are just as often passed over as not.

What does seem statistically valid, though, is being known in the field. The Hugo rarely goes to a brand new nominee, with this only happening in 3 of the previous 13 years for both the Hugo and the Nebula. Note: this does not factor in a same year Nebula nomination or win; that’ll be factored in later. So this leads to our first two indicators:
Indicator #1: Nominee has previously been nominated for a Hugo award. (78.6%)
Indicator #2: Nominee has previously been nominated for a Nebula award (prior to this year). (78.6%)

So how do this year’s nominees fare?

Hugo Indicators 1-2

As you can see, this isn’t a group that has received a lot of prior awards consideration. Leckie’s profile has certainly improved in the last 6 months, winning a Nebula this year. That’s going to give her a huge boost in a later indicator. Jordan’s lack of award nominations may be surprising, and this says something negative about the support for Jordan’s work in the Hugo/Nebula realm. Given this indicator alone, Stross would leap to the front, although these two Indicators are going to be given relatively little weight in the final formula.

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