January 25th, 2015

Scared

My Boskone Schedule

Here's my schedule for Boskone 52, February 13-15 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.  Hmmm, they have me moderating three (!) panels, and doing three (!) readings.  I'd better get to work.

* * * * *

Reading: Kenneth Schneyer

Friday 21:30 - 21:55, Griffin

Kenneth Schneyer

Dune — 50 Years later

Saturday 13:00 - 13:50, Harbor I

Frank Herbert's Dune, published in 1955, was an epic science fiction saga that won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award in 1966. Now, 50 years after its publication, we look back at the legacy left by Frank Herbert and his unique vision of a feudal interstellar society that was rocked by political machinations, contentious religious orders, and a very lucrative spice trade — and giant worms! How has this seminal work held up over time? What place might it take in the science fiction hall of fame? Panelists also discuss the impact that Dune has had on their own work as well as on the development of science and science fiction.

Kenneth Schneyer (Moderator) , Scott Lynch , Beth Meacham , Joan Slonczewski, Walter Jon Williams , Karl Schroeder

Constructive Criticism for Revising Novel-Length Work

Saturday 15:00 - 15:50, Burroughs

Both getting and giving constructive criticism can be a challenge when going through the revision process, particularly for longer works. As a writer: how do you know what to ask of a potential critic, and how do you provide feedback on the success of the critique? As a critic: how do you identify and communicate issues or problems to the author? How do you keep track of plot threads, identify themes, and figure out what questions need to be asked? Also, how should writer and critic approach a series?

Kenneth Schneyer (Moderator) , Gregory Feeley, Ken Liu, John P. Murphy , Margaret Ronald

Cambridge SF Workshop Group Reading

Saturday 18:00 - 18:50, Griffin

A rapid-fire reading by the members of the Cambridge Science Fiction Writers Workshop, featuring Heather Albano, James Cambias, Brett Cox, James Patrick Kelly, Alex Jablokov, Steven Popkes (M), Kenneth Schneyer, and Sarah Smith.

Flash Fiction Slam

Sunday 09:30 - 11:00, Marina 4

Join Boskone's second Flash Fiction Slam. Be one of eleven (11) writers to compete for the title of The Flash, reading your own original fiction — which must tell a complete tale within a 3-minute period. Our expert panel of judges will score your work, and you automatically lose 10 percent for going over your 3-minute time. You may only read your own work. The reader with the top score wins! Sign up before the con for one of eight (8) reading slots on a first-come, first-served basis by e-mailing erin.m.underwood@gmail.com. Or sign up onsite at Program Ops in the Galleria for one of three (3) at-con openings. A waiting list will also be available.

Carrie Cuinn (M), James Patrick Kelly , Kenneth Schneyer, Fran Wilde, F. Brett Cox

Writing Workshops: What's Right for You as a New Writer?

Sunday 11:00 - 11:50, Marina 3

Thinking about attending a writing workshop or an MFA program? Wondering how to pick which one is right for you? Once you do, then what? There is no magic formula to elicit an acceptance letter, but a solid application is a good place to start. Join representatives from various writing programs and learn how to present the best of what you have to offer as a student.

Kenneth Schneyer (Moderator), Debra Doyle, Theodora Goss , Shahid Mahmud, Jill Shultz

Autographing: Mur Lafferty, Kenneth Schneyer, Alison Sinclair, Charles Stross

Sunday 13:00 - 13:50, Galleria-Autographing

Bridge Columns

"On Advice from Mothers" -- Bridge Column, 25 May 1967

Here's "On Advice from Mothers", my father's bridge column from May 25, 1967.  I'm able to follow most of this, although the nuances of doubles and duplicate bridge are a little beyond me.  (NB, the crack about North Dakota is heartfelt; we spent two years in Minot when Dad was in the Air Force, ending less than four years before this column came out.)

* * * * *

On Advice from Mothers

By Jerome J. Schneyer, M.D.

Southfield News

(May 25, 1967)

Once upon a time, there was a poor but honest boy named Jack, who, having demonstrated his bridge supremacy in his home town of Flouridation, North Dakota, set out to make his mark in the big wide world of bridge players. Jack had a kindly (aren't they all?) mother, who gave him this parting advice: "Jack, always trust people; the best in human nature will shine through." Very sweet. She can play bridge against me anytime.

North

K 6

A 10 9 8 5

K Q 6 2

4 2

West

  Q J 10 5

  6

  8 7 3

  A Q J 8 5

East (Jack)

  A 9 7 4 2

  K 3

  A 9 4

  K 9 3

South

  8 3

  Q J 7 4 2

  J 10 5

  10 7 6

Duplicate bridge                                 N         E         S          W

Both vulnerable                                 1        dbl       2        dbl

North deals                                        pass     pass     3        pass    

                                                         pass     dbl       pass     pass

                                                          pass

Opening lead: A

Jack hated to overcall on such a shaky space suit in the East seat and, besides, he had a textbook takeout double. South, the deceptive wretch, realized that, unless his partner's opening bid were very strong, and possible even then, East-West must have a cinch game in spades. Holding such wonderful heart support and no defensive values at all, he could afford to jazz up the bidding a bit; so he made a jump bid to 2♠ on a holding of 8-3 doubleton, just like he had it.

West naturally doubled this bid and, when the bidding came around to south again, he "rescued" himself to 3. Now West hated to bid clubs at the four level, so he passed the 3bid around to his partner, feeling that good old Jack would not forget his previous double.

The decision was in good hands: sure enough, Jack remembered that West had doubled 2♠ but, on looking at his own spade length, Jack figured that the double had been based on generally distributed strength. He remembered his mother's advice and trusted South's bidding implicitly, figuring South for something like K-Q-x-x-x of spades and Q-x-x of hearts. In any event, it was obvious that East-West had a misfit and that the opponents were never going to make 3. Decision made. . . "Double!" from Jack.

He was right, too. Three hearts went down one for 200 points to East-West and Jack was preening himself for heeding his mother when West drily pointed out that this penalty was hardly compensation for a vulnerable game, to say nothing of the ice-cold slam that East-West had missed. Poor Jack! To this day, he doesn't trust anyone, including his mother.

Shed a tear for Jack. Better bridge players than he have been talked out of contracts before this. Jack's trouble was that he placed too much faith in the opponents' bidding. Always remember that those guys are going to be giving you very little; they're out for themselves, drat 'em. In a situation like this, believe your partner; if he doubles the opponents' bid when logic tells you that he can't possibly have their suit, somebody is trying to pull a fast one and it's probably NOT your partner; he's on your side (it says here).

*****

Here's the column in its original published form:

On Advice from Mothers 25 May 1967 (cropped)