This one is easy for me, however it seems few people have heard of "Sentenced to Prism" by Alan Dean Foster. It has a good mix of classic Sci-Fi and a nice bit if humor. It isn't a great novel, like Dune, but it is pure enjoyment.
My favorite science fiction novel of all time...I thought this would be a hard decision, but when I actually thought about it the decision was clear. Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game was a fantastic book. Actually, probably one of my favorite books of all time, not just science fiction. Which is interesting, because I tend to read fantasy, not science fiction. So the fact that my favorite book is one outside of my regular genre speaks volumes about the book. A companion to the novel called Ender's Shadow was released that showed the events of the first novel from the viewpoint of another character and it was good, as well. I just recently found out that Ender's Game is going to be made into a movie and will be produced and looked over by Card himself. Asa Butterfield will play Ender Wiggin, the main character. He's the kid who played in the movie The Boy with the Striped Pajamas and the title character from the movie Hugo. I'm personally super excited for the film adaptation of one of the best science fiction books to date.
The Centauri Device by M John Harrison.
the books that I remember are the ones that had social themes that shaped my view of the world. The Time Machine brought to mind 2 distinct classes of people - workers and the intelligencia, and how they interact in economic situations. 1984 Orwell's said to me that drugs may seem like the right way to handle problems and keep emotions under control - but the price may be too high to pay in the long run. Also, when the citizentry is dumbed down by vocabulary (perhaps aka texting) - it allows others to control our thoughts.
Ender's Game (and Speaker... et al) are in my top 10, as is Ringworld (Niven & Pournelle) and Gate to Women's Country (Sherri Tepper), but Cherryh has multiple top 10 entries (all trilogoies or series): Foreigner, Chanur, and Cyteen which deals with the politics of power, social aspects of widespread cloning, and has wonderful contrast in the patterns of speech for the main character between teenage years and twilight of life - I've read it upwards of thirty times.
Vying for the top spot is an online e-book, Deja Vu Ascendancy (http://storiesonline.net/a/AscendingAuthor).
Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" was the most influentual impact on me. I read it when I was 8 or 9, and it scared the piss out of me. Little did I know this hd already happened a fw years earlier in Germany. When I got older and found out about the asbestos version of the book, I snatched that up right away.
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