It seems kind of foolish to start raving about Ender's Game. After all, the book won a Hugo and a Nebula and catapulted Card into the ranks of SF stardom. It's possibly one of the most popular SF books ever, and heck, even my mom and sister liked it. Popularity does not always equal greatness, but in this case it does. This tale of a young genius and an interstellar war has something for everyone, and is one of the most compellingly readable SF books ever written.
The Fortunate Fall is almost, but not quite, cyberpunk. It's got the nifty technologies, sure; but in place of cyberpunk's shallow, tragically hip veneer, Fall gives us three dimensional characters and emotional depth. The setting is a near future that is both plausible and startlingly different than anything I've seen before; the characters are superbly well-drawn; and the plot is unpredictable and engaging. The Fortunate Fall hooks the reader quickly, and keeps him hooked.
One of the most desireable qualities in good SF is the ability to evoke a sense of wonder. 2010 has sensawunda dripping out the sides. At first, I was dubious about the idea of a sequel to 2001; I've seen too many sequels that ruined the original book. After reading 2010, though, my fears had been wiped away by awe. This is the sort of sequel that 2001 deserved. (And for those who are wondering why I don't have that earlier work listed here, it's because I think that the movie is uncharacteristically better than the book. See 2001 and then read 2010.)
I started reading How Like a God at 1:00 AM, and didn't put down the book until I finished it at 5:00 AM. It's been a long time since I did something like that, but this tale of a normal guy given superpowers is fast-paced and compellingly readable. The characterizations are believable, the plot is unpredictable, and the premise is fascinating (at least for someone like me, who spent most of his youth reading comic books). For all that, the book was a bit too slight to get my highest rating: though I couldn't put the book down, it never quite managed to blow me away. Nevertheless, if you're looking for some not-too-deep, but still good reading, I can wholeheartedly recommend this.