One of the first books I really thought deeply about -- because my Aunt Linda asked me questions about it -- was her Star Trek book, The Entropy Effect. I still have the copy downstairs, that a bought at the squiffy genre book store my parents probably shouldn't have let me visit when I was, oh, 12. it had a big back room. Anyhoo, I owe both McIntyre, and my aunt, a big debt for that. Started me thinking hard about artifacts of popular culture. Which led to me thinking hard about all sorts of social constructs. For this, I am grateful.
Also, Dreamsnake rocked.