Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Who will win the Hugo or Nebula?

This year there are six books up for the Nebula award for best novel and likewise six books for the Hugo best novel, making not twelve, but nine books in total.


  • Boneshaker, Cherie Priest - Nebula + Hugo
  • Finch, Jeff VanderMeer - Nebula
  • Flesh and Fire, Laura Anne Gilman - Nebula
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America, Robert Charles Wilson - Hugo
  • Palimpsest, Catherynne M. Valente - Hugo
  • The City and The City, China Miéville - Nebula + Hugo
  • The Love We Share Without Knowing, Christopher Barzak - Nebula
  • The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi - Nebula + Hugo
  • Wake, Robert J. Sawyer - Hugo

As you can see, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, The City and The City by China Miéville and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi have all been nominated by both the Science Fiction Writers of America (Nebula) and The World Science Fiction Convention (Hugo)

Now just because a book has been nominated for both awards, does not mean that it will win both awards, but a dual nomination is a good indicator of respect in the SF community. Of these books, only one was included in the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) awards: The City and The City; it won.

Perhaps the Amazon rankings and ratings might give some indication on the winners. As a control, let’s look first at Amazon.co.uk and the BSFA nominees

Amazon.co.uk ratings and rankings

  • The City and The City, rating 3.63, ranking 318
  • Ark, rating 4.00, ranking 19,803
  • Yellow Blue Tibia, rating 4.50, ranking 23,505
  • Lavinia, rating 4.50, ranking 46,496 
Well the winner is clearly ahead in sales rankings, but the ratings have no correlation with the rankings, making the subjective view suspect as a guide.

Now let’s look at Amazon.com and the Nebula / Hugo nominees:

Hugo / Nebula on Amazon.com

  • The City and The City rating 4.00 ranking 1,00
  • Boneshaker rating 4.00 ranking 1,140
  • The Windup Girl rating 4.50 ranking 1,630
  • Wake rating 4.00 ranking 9,374
  • Finch rating 4.50 ranking 12,987
  • Palimpsest rating 4.00 ranking 16,225
  • Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America rating 3.50 ranking 84,192
  • Flesh and Fire rating 3.50 ranking 302,250
  • The Love We Share Without Knowing rating 4.50 ranking 321,387

There are three clear leaders in the sales rankings and these are the three dual nominees. While my gut instinct suggests China Miéville’s novel, it is a three-horse-race between The City and The City, Boneshaker and The Windup Girl.

The City & the CityBoneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)The Windup GirlWWW: Wake (WWW Trilogy)FinchPalimpsestJulian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century AmericaFlesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart WarThe Love We Share Without Knowing

No comments: