Fate, I observe somewhat unoriginally, is a funny thing—in both the strange and the ha-ha flavors. This is just as true in real life as it is in stories, though the dialogue in the stories generally tends to be a bit more polished.
I am continually both amused and bemused, therefore, whenever I think about how there’s a person out there who, by saying two short sentences to me, is ultimately responsible for shaping a huge portion of my life, my friends, my interests, my travels, my experiences, and even my career.
And I have absolutely no idea who this person is. And I never will.
He will forever only be that random guy in the University bookstore on Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas who, sometime in 1997, paused in the science fiction/fantasy aisle next to an equally random girl staring at the shelves in total indecision, just long enough to point at a thick mass-market paperback with a blue-toned cover and say:
“You should try that one. It’s really good.”