Nebula winners: generation shift

The Nebula winners were announced an hour or so ago:

Best Novel: Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

Best Novella: Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor

Best Novelette: "Our Lady of the Open Road", by Sarah Pinsker

Best Short Story: "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers", Alyssa Wong

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Mad Max: Fury Road

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Updraft, by Fran Wilde

Alyssa Wong, at 24, is the first Nebula winner born in the 1990s, and the second youngest winner ever (beaten only by Ted Chiang, who got his first Nebula award a few months before she was born). All of this year's other winners for written fiction were born in the 1970s. This is the first time that no Nebula has been awarded to anyone born before me (1967).

For comparison, the first Nebula winner born in the 1980s was Rachel Swirsky (2010 Best Novella for "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window", awarded 2011 when she was 29) and the first born in the 1970s were Paolo Bacigalupi and Eugie Foster (awarded 2008 Best Novel and 2008 Best Novelette respectively in 2009; he was 36 and she was 37). As noted above, Ted Chiang was the first Nebula winner born in the 1960s. Lisa Tuttle was the first child of the 1950s to be awarded a Nebula (for 1982 Best Short Story), but she declined. Samuel Delany was only a little older than Alyssa Wong is now when he won the 1966 Nebula for Best Novel in 1967.

What about the written fiction categories in the Hugos? The only winner so far born in the 1980s was Thomas Olde Heuvelt, who won last year aged 32. Elizabeth Bear was the first Hugo winner born in the 1970s, winning in 2008 when she was 36. Greg Egan was the first Hugo winner born in the 1960s, winning in 1999 two weeks after his 38th birthday. The children of the 1950s started a bit earlier, three of them winning in 1984 (David Brin, Greg Bear and Timothy Zahn). The first Hugo winner born in the 1940s was again Samuel Delany, but he had to wait until 1970 for it.

I wrote some years ago that I believe a disproportionate number of Hugo and Nebula awards have been won by authors born in the 1942-51 period (see here, here and here). I still think that is the case, but the youngest of those authors will turn 65 this year. The new generation is taking over.