- The Gap series by Stephen Donaldson
- The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons
- A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
- Alastair Reynolds books, Revelation Space, Chasm City and Redemption Ark
- Marrow by Robert Reed
- Timescape by Gregory Benford
- Diaspora by Greg Egan
I'm sure I'm leaving some classic stuff out and that some of the other Sci-Fi fans in the clan will step up to the plate with worthy additions like Hamilton, Bear and Iain Banks etc. I still reckon much of what's on my list here is a good cross-section of essential Sci-Fi reading.