“What’s going to happen?”
— Heywood Floyd and Dave Bowman, 2010: Odyssey Two
When I heard the news, I was floored. One can usually point to what got you into SF, which in my case was Star Wars, but what got me into science fiction was Arthur C. Clarke. 2001: A Space Odyssey certainly drew me in, but it was reading his short stories along with Isaac Asimov and others who helped me appreciate the beauty of well-written science fiction — fiction based solidly in science.
Of course, I also think Clarke was a pretty good writer. If you’ve ever read 2010: Odyssey Two, then you have to remember the suspenseful ending that starts with Dave Bownman sending an instant message to Heywood Floyd. And the redemption of HAL is one of the best scenes in science fiction, IMHO of course.