Riding home in the subway after a few drinks in the Cellar Room I sat down next to a big guy and pulled out my book. I was on the last page. I finished the final paragraph, and then the guy leaned over.
“What you reading?” he asked.
“Science fiction,” I said, closing the book and showing him the cover. “It’s excellent.”
He took the book and flipped it over, and read the back. I sat there watching him read, swaying with the movement of the subway car. I took out a second book.
“What else you got?”
We swapped books. “This book is also amazing. It’s by the same guy who wrote the book that new movie is based on, No Country For Old Men. Have you seen it?”
“You should. It’s awesome. The guy is incredibly violent.”
He dug into his bag, and pulled out a book. “Check this out. Not sure it’s your style.”
The title was something like Booty Sisters in the Hood. I laughed, and turned it over, and read the back. As I was reading he dug out some DVDs from his pack. “Check these out,” he said.
Horror movies. That sparked a whole conversation. We remarked on our favorite parts of The Ring. Japanese horror movies in general. He tried to sell me on The Saw series, I told him to check out more zombie films.
The train stopped.
“This is me,” he said, and stood.
“Here,” I said, “You want to take this? Try it out.” I extended the first book.
“Yeah, great,” he said, and took the book with a smile.
As the train pulled away, I cracked open All The Pretty Horses. Don’t say I ain’t promoting you, Charlie Stross, I thought to myself.