Wow I am so glad I found this topic. Thanx for all the good recommendations here. I fell in love with sci fi in my teens reading Clark, Asimov etc. Then came Greg Bear, although lately I just can't get into his work as much as I used to. just way above my head. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchette ( who I think of as more fantasy) are also right up there.
I must be the only person in the world not to have read 1984, although I've always hear about it ( might be a cultural thing) it was probably banned in South Africa while I grew up
Looking forward to reading a lot of your recommendations though.