I've been a fan of Poul Anderson's work for a long and have set out to collect all his printed works (I have most of them actually). His writing has always been inspiring to me. I first read "Call Me Joe" by him many years ago and it was the spark that got me into science fiction in the first place. It was a strange story, and I think that's what made me so intrigued: it had that sense of wonder and amazement.
Shortly after that I started buying up old SF titles and even spend quite a few bucks one christmas building up a collection of Analog SF backissues (from way back when, actually; I currently have two big boxes full of these things and they're wonderful). I'm not as well read as most SF nuts (I've yet to reaed all the classics), but if it hadn't been for Poul Anderson I don't think I would have ever started writing SF. Maybe I would have if I discovered some of the writers I admire today, but that's shaky at best. Poul Anderson was the catalyst for my newfound obsession with SF. Granted, other writers preceded him and it was them that got me to eventually read Poul Anderson (Richard A. Knaak, actually, was my introduction to fantasy literature, with the exception of a little Tolkien and some classics I had read, and without Knaak I probably wouldn't have jumped into fantasy as much as I did; Knaak is one of my favorite fantasy writers and I'm somewhat disheartened by the fact that he doesn't write enough of his own stuff and spends most of his writing time on shared world things, which sucks, cause the Dragonrealm books were good).
So, here's to Poul Anderson, a gem among gems, if that makes any sense.
And now I'll bring it back to you:
What one author got you to read science fiction or fantasy? Or, what author got you interested in reading at all, since some of us have only recently realized the wonders of reading?