Blogger (and author and columnist and economics professor) Tyler Cowen recently asked for requests for his blog, so I posted a question: "Top ten favorite science fiction novels. Also, have you ever read the Wilson-Shea Illuminatus trilogy?"
He didn't answer my second question but this morning I found a posting, "Ten favorite science fiction novels."
I've read most of the books he recommends. I still have not read any Olaf Stapledon, I haven't gotten to Ringworld yet (I've read other Niven), I haven't read Embassytown (but I've read other Mieville, Perdido Street Station is great) and I haven't gotten to the third book of the Liu Cixin trilogy yet. I've read everything else on his list, and much of the honorable mentions.
I have a few book suggestions in the comments.
Here is a quote from Robert Anton Wilson on Stapledon. (Source)
Basically, I like Lovecraft and Olaf Stapledon better than any other writers in the areas of fantasy, science-fiction and “speculative fiction.” This is because I think HPL and Stapledon succeeded more thoroughly than anyone else in creating truly “inhuman” perspectives, artistically sustained and emotionally convincing. That HPL makes the “inhuman” or the “cosmic” a frightening and depressing thing to encounter, while Stapledon makes it a source of mystic awe and artfully combined tragedy-and-triumph, registers merely that they had different temperaments. Each succeeded in his own way; each managed to jump beyond humanity and see further than mere humanism. The “animal” perspectives in my books – the gorillas and dolphins in Eye in the Pyramid, the “six legged majority of Terrans” who comment so cynically upon the behavior of us “domesticated primates” in The Universe Next Door – derive from ethnology and sociobiology, of course, but they also derive from the “inhuman” or “trans-human” perspectives I learned from HPL and Stapledon.