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2014 Nebula Prediction: Indicator #5

This is a simple one: is the Nebula Award for Best Novel biased towards science fiction or fantasy?

The SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers) began as a SF organization, and it still prefers SF titles in these awards. Since 2000, SF novels have won 9/13 times, for a robust 69.2%. If you include the previous 20 years (1980-1999), SF novels have won 26/33 times, for a staggering 78.8%. We can even see this bias last year, when 2312 won over 5 fantasy novels.

Interestingly, fantasy novels don’t suffer in terms of nominations. Since 2000, there are 36 F noms versus 43 SF noms. While you could quibble probably with the categorization of a couple novels, this is roughly equal. Even this year we have 4 fantasy novels squaring off against 4 SF novels.

So, that makes:

Indicator #5: Nominee is a science fiction novel (69.2%).

This year is an interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction nominees:
Indicator 5
This is the first time Gaiman doesn’t have a clear advantage. While there are 4 science fiction novels, Fowler’s book pushes the limits of genre. If the SF voting crowd is looking for an alternative, they might coalesce around Leckie.

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