Help your potential matches find common interests.
* C.J. Cherryh's science fiction and fantasy, for helping me
understand humanity and write women in particular.
* P.C. Hodgell's fantasy, for the best wish-fulfilment
fantasy-superheroine ever put to the page (at least, for my
personal wishes). Also, for the imagination popping from every
page, the imagining of worlds where nature is fundamentally
magical, and carnivorous killer unicorns, because why not.
* Ian Banks, with or without the central initial M. That the Scots
can be twisted, morbid bastards is amply proved by Banks. Both his
mainstream fiction and his science fiction show the same macabre,
bloody love of nasty and gore, but at the same time such amazing
flights of imagination.