This is an old old story. Boy meets girl in Science Fiction lit class. Boy mentions his love of Iain M. Banks; girl catches a ride with a friend to a different city to buy one and talk about it. Boy shoves stack of additional Banks novels at girl with shy hope. They start dating.
In the first few months they’re dating, they trade a great many books, like boys and girls and non-binary-gendered young persons do when they are nerds in love. What he lends her, in great bulk, is: Charles Sheffield, Iain M. Banks, Frederik Pohl, C.J. Cherryh. (Her list is a bit younger.) And since you know this story in one form or another, you won’t be surprised that it was Mark, or in other words, reader, I married him. I just…keep thinking about that list. Gee, for some reason.
I’m going to go reread Gateway now, but if any of you know C.J. Cherryh personally, can you, like, send her a fruit basket and invite her on a nice walk or something? Remind her to stretch while she’s writing and look both ways when she crosses streets. It would be creepy coming from me, but I’d just like to take a precaution. I’m a champion worrier, and I’m starting to feel a bit worried.