These stories have deeply influenced my writing. If I’m still thinking about a book years after I’ve read it, then it’s on this list.

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
This collection kindled my desire to write fiction.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Devastating story of what it means to live a full life.

The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
On what it’s like to live between two cultures.

Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
How can we be sure that we’re doing good?

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin
The dangers of letting one mind control the world’s destiny.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
The duel nature of our mind and the world.

Death: Yale Lectures by Shelly Kagan
After reading this, I realized that I do not want to live forever.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

Remembrance of Earth’s Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu

Veldt by Ray Bradbury

Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
Huge sweeping epic encapsulated in a relatively short novel.

The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks
The concept of a digital hell.