I like some of the above particularly Iain (with 2 "I"'s you sassenach) Banks but Olaf Stapleton is a better start. The classic era of SF was the '50's and '60's with writers such as Brian Aldiss, Robert Heinlein, Algis Budrys, Isaac Asimov (before he became the World's greatest Expert on Everything) and of course Ray Bradbury .. Many others too ... Leading in to Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries.
The local library had a whole section of Gollancz SF novels which had a consistently high standard. Don't know if anyone else remembers their garish yellow covers.
These were all real SCIENCE fiction writers, not what I would call Science Fantasy of the '70's onwards. I think the pitch was queered by Star Trek and Lord of the Bloody Rings.
By way of example I read a story long, long ago (no, not in a galaxy far, far away) based on time moving sideways rather than forwards. That's the real thing. Mind boggling stuff.
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Analysis Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works
- VIDEO Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging