I'm a very big SciFi fan and have been since my Dad brought home the Star Wars trilogy on VHS when I was six. Within a year I discovered Star Trek: TNG, which aired reruns everyday after school. At 11, by chance, I happened upon a Games Workshop store in a mall and have been hooked on the stories ever since. I do play 40K a bit, but mostly I just like the stories and the artwork and painting the models.
Audio books has really opened up the opportunities to consume SciFi material. It's become so easy to listen while I drive or do yard work. As a result, I've become enamored with Frank Herbert's Dune, enjoyed Harry Potter a good deal, and can at least say I finished Tolkien's works (sorry, it's just okay).
Some truly fascinating work was done by H. P. Lovecraft, of which his entire published works are on Audible under the name Necronomicon. He wrote his stories with an air of mysticism and horror and in such a way as to leave you wondering whether or not the work was intended as fiction. The numerous stories of that volume are not just imaginative, but open an entire mythology delivered with such conviction as to it's veracity that had a serious religion put it forth, there'd be proselytes in the street. Some of this attitude is seen in H. G. Wells' works (especially War of the Worlds), which are also found in a comprehensive package on Audible.
I want to give an honorable mention to After On by Rob Reid, which he claims is not scifi, but "speculative fiction". His follow-up podcast is also great, if you like real science. A second honorable mention is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you were raised in a hellfire-laden, Left Behind style Christian eschatology, then you will laugh and laugh and laugh when you read this one.
A second honorable mention is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you were raised in a hellfire-laden, Left Behind style Christian eschatology, then you will laugh and laugh and laugh when you read this one.
A final mention, though maybe not honorable, goes to the Culture series by Iain Banks. I've only read the first three, but found the world building to be some of the best. I did however find off-putting some of the not-so-subtle social/political commentary, especially around gender and wealth politics. The third one, Use of Weapons, as a story is actually quite good, with a turn at the end that I didn't see coming until it was on me.