The book sat on a table at SpikeCon. It lay among other books available for whomever wished to have one. There were several, many of which I'd never heard of.
But I had heard of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.
I picked up the book and put it in my bag.
Hours later, after returning home, I unpacked it and gave it to my son.
He's fourteen, almost fifteen.
It was time.
Every genre has books that everyone interested in that genre must read. There are books people should read even if they're not necessarily interested in that genre. Ender's Game is one of those books. In fact, if you want to understand both today's authors of science fiction, and the books they're writing now in the genre, a good place to start is by reading Ender's Game. The reason why is simple--most authors in that genre have read the book.
When I asked my son what book he wanted me to write almost three year ago, he said he wanted to read a science fiction story. That's what I wrote. Chaser came about because of his answer. When I saw Card's book on the table, I wondered if he would like it. Turns out, the next day he was already several chapters in--and we didn't have to "remind him" to read it.
I have no idea if my son will turn out to be a writer--it's possible he may be. More likely, he'll be a reader and I'll be completely overjoyed if that's the case. But if he does turn into an author and he writes science fiction, I'm sure Ender's Game will have had an impact on him. I know it did on me and thousands of other writers out there.
It's that good.