This probably isn’t the best place to admit I haven’t read enough science fiction. But while I grew up with SF in other media—The X-Files and Gerry Anderson reruns were my childhood staples—I hardly ever delved into the back catalogue of SF literature.
Which meant by the time I hit my late teens, I had some catching up to do.
Michael Marshall Smith’s Only Forward was one of the first “modern” SF novels that made a big dent in me. Looking back, it was also the book that made me want to write SF.