I think I was twelve, though I may have been eleven, when my father handed me his well-worn copy of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight and told me he thought I'd really like it. And, boy, was he right. The novel was not only my first foray into science fiction literature, but the first grown-up book I ever read. It set my mind to spinning with a momentum that still endures, and is a cornerstone in the modest successes I've enjoyed thus far in my own endeavors as a writer. I still have the book, in fact, and plan to reread it soon.
So thanks, Dad, one more time — and happy birthday. I miss you.