There's a bit of a debate going on in literary sci-fi fandom at the moment. I'm not actually planning to get into that here - this is supposed to be a mostly historical fiction blog, afater all!
But on a recent thread at Mike Glyer's File770, people started listing their favourite sci-fi/fantasy, and I started thinking, yet again, about my formative reading in that genre - and how it includes few to none of the books being listed at File770.
Not much of this is on my Goodreads, as it's pre-Goodreads reading. But if I had to list my ten favourites - as others have been doing - here's an attempt at doing so, in rough order of when I first read them:
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Playing Beatie Bow - Ruth Park (timeslip. It counts.)
Tom's Midnight Garden - Philippa Pearce (so does this. I *love* timeslip.)
Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden (the first three were fantastic, and yes, it skates the line as SF/F.)
A Cage of Butterflies - Brian Caswell
On Fortune's Wheel - Cynthia Voigt
Deucalion - Brian Caswell
Imzadi - Peter David
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Vulture's Gate - Kirsty Murray
I realise that the sort of books on my list get me kicked out of "real fandom" by a lot of people (YA! Media tie-ins! Authors who don't admit they write SF OMG!), but I don't care.
Australian YA in the 90s was an awesome place for SF/F.
Gillian Rubenstein's Galaxarena is not on my list only because it disturbed me so much that I don't own a copy because I can never again read it. Ever. There's an image from that book that is still in my head today and OMG. Caswell gets two spots because he is just that formative.
I love spaceships and space travel and new worlds. I love the Honor Harrington books by David Weber even though they're not well written and the politics drives me nuts and there's way too much infodump. I still love the Darkover books even though I'm not sure I can read them again because just mentioning MZB's name makes me cringe - but it was a Free Amazon story that showed me that lesbians could exist in SF/F. I love Scalzi's "Old Man's War" and "Redshirts" and "Lock-In" almost made this list even though I only finished it a week ago.
But that list up there is where I got started. Those are the books of my SF/F-nal heart.