The Serious Author who comments on deep human trends would like to think that he' s grounded by Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Popper and Locke. Brunner, Sheffield and Wells. Gilman and Delaney.On the other hand, I can' t write more than a page of heady philosophy or social speculation without starting feeling an itch... the itch to blow something up. To make something exciting happen. Or something fun. That's when I know I' ve been influenced by the storytellers who made SF exciting. Like Poul Anderson or Robert Sheckley. Heinlein or Zelazny. But I guess the ones I revere most are those who briefly left me speechless. Unable to write or even move, because something in a perfect story left me stunned, changed. I guess in that category I' d put Tiptree and Varley. Vonnegut at his best. Shakespeare. And Philip K. Dick.