Once I started writing science fiction, I decided I should read some. Some of the novels that really struck me were:
The Stars, My Destination: I was horrified first, to see the tattooed hero on the front cover and thought people would assume I stole the idea (I came up with the idea before I heard of the book). The thing that most struck me about this book was how brutal the world was, the sheer force of will of the main character and the beautiful, surreal descriptions as the hero, Gully Foyle, learns to travel through space.
A Wrinkle in Time: I found this after googling children's science fiction, and had a small nervous breakdown as its plot sounded alarmingly similar to mine. It isn't too similar, and is science fantasy rather than science fiction, but I did love the attention it pays to describing the 'vortex', and the main character is so well realised.
Supertoys Last All Summer Long: I do have a robot that doesn't know it's a robot in Out of Time. The idea is so powerfully done here and in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I saw the films, A.I. and Bladerunner first.