I tend toward magical realism and muti-level subtle symbolism or fabilsm in my meta fiction these days. Nothing to challenging, ala, Savage detectives or Mark Z. Danielewski's upside-down spiral frustrations.
The words should compell me; I don't want to have to work at it. (We may have different definitions of work, e.g., I have read Foucalt's Pendulum several times, love it.)
Way past Stephen King and can't bear to read the Dan Brown travesties.
I want my mind to be blown, paradigms to be shattered, but tastefully.
I haven't gone near orthodox science fiction for a long time-- the last thing was probably Canticle for Leibowitz, which isn't really orthodox.
But lately I have stumbled over some amazing reads:
TITAN by John Varley
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedi ... ohn-Varley)
A modern triumph of the imagination by critics and fans--an epic that begins with humankind's exploration of a massive satellite orbiting Saturn, and the shocking discovery that the satellite is a giant alien being named Gaea.
HYPERION by Dan Simmons
http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/boo ... 368-5.html
The structure of Hyperion is an homage to the Caterbury Tales. A very mixed group of travellers from all over Simmons's far-future universe meet in a pilgrimage to the world of Hyperion, home to the mysterious Time Tombs and the killing machine called the Shrike.
The SKINNER by Neal Asher
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skinner-Neal-As ... 0333903641
The seas teem with hungry monstrosities, but Spatterjay holds immortality. When its giant leeches bite out gobs of flesh, they transmit a virus that forces regrowth, preserving the leech food supply. Some human colonists, the Old Captains, have lived many centuries. But beware of going native, like the legendary, repulsive Skinner whose undying head is now confined to a box...