Andrew Wheeler’s Hugo Handicap

It’s no surprise that Andrew Wheeler’s 2008 Hugo predictions are interesting in direct proportion to his actual familiarity with the nominees. Or that they sputter and completely run out of gas the moment he ventures into the fan categories:

[Best Fanzine] I’m terribly ignorant about the fan categories, and so tend to make predictions based on the entrails of small mammals or the flight patterns of sacred birds. I vaguely recall that Mike Glyer is a West Coast guy, so I’m going to predict that File 770 will win.

[Best Fanartist] Frank Wu, the current 800-pound gorilla of the category, is nowhere to be seen. (Did he take himself out of contention?) Brad Foster and Teddy Harvia are both former 800-pound gorillas here, Harvia slightly more recently than Foster, and Mason wins whenever the Worldcon is in the UK. My Magic 8-Ball says that Brad Foster will take it this year.

It’s lost on me why Wheeler makes such a public display of contempt for the elementary work needed to make informed comments about these categories, there being links to all five fanzine nominees from the Denvention 3 website. Are we supposed to think it reflects badly on the nominees that they aren’t worth Wheeler’s effort to read? Guess again.

And what about poor Frank Wu, his courtesy to the field ignored. I’m reminded why Charlie Brown never withdrew Locus again after his comparable gesture in 1978 was also ignored.