There was a short break from roughly the ages of 20 to 32 or.. no, yes. While I watched sitcoms, rather a lot of them in fact. I like sitcoms. Perhaps too much.
It’s hard, or even impossible, for me to think of just one author who had a particularly pronounced effect, I have never been one for idolising, following-the-teachings-of, or otherwise raising-up. Hell. I’ve never even managed to pick a favourite colour, authors are right out. This is I think just because so many of them have so much to offer. I have always preferred the term speculative-fiction to science-fiction (not that I don’t love a bit of no-brain space-opera now and then) because so much of it is speculative, exploring both the nature of existence, and what it means to be human, the interrelations of humankind with each other, with ever-advancing and life changing technology and with the universe. The strange and extreme situations it is possible to evoke in science-fiction often allow a deeper and more eloquent teasing out and elucidation of meaning than is possible in more conventional works. Science fiction draws deeply from the wells of such schools as those of philosophy, linguistics, sociology, and many more, taking the dusty dry words of academics’ over-wrought monographs and giving them meat and life. Offhand though, to name a few who have had some impact, as I can’t name one: Ursula le Guin, AE Van Vogt, Jack Vance, PK Dick, Vonnegut, Simak, Ken MacLeod who I hold to be one of the best political thinkers extant, and Terry Pratchett who I have been reading almost as long as he has been publishing, and whose wonderful humanism only becomes more humany and wonderful and profound with each passing year. There are tens or even hundreds of others who have probably had as much, or even more impact on me, just I can’t remember them at present and this is already getting a bit long.