Philip José Farmer was the very first "hard science fiction" writer that I ever read. It was a 1990 interview he did with Starlog that piqued my curiosity about him. Wasn't long afterward that I went out looking for a copy of To Your Scattered Bodies Go, the first Riverworld novel. It remains one of the most original books that I've ever read. Let's face it: you gotta respect a man who writes a novel starring every single person who ever lived. Then my already-demented young brain came across his Venus on the Half-Shell, which Farmer wrote under the pseudonym "Kilgore Trout" (to this day some people still think it's a book that Kurt Vonnegut wrote).
All told, Farmer wrote more than seventy books, including the World of Tiers series and the Dayworld trilogy (which would make for a kick-butt film adaptation if done properly). Farmer also wrote many short stories, of which his first, "The Lovers", is probably his best known.
Philip José Farmer, one of the most prolific writers of the science fiction genre, died on February 25th at the age of 91.
Think I might read To Your Scattered Bodies Go again, in his honor.