Science fiction and spaceflight have great influence on each other, and have done for centuries. (Yes, plural! Some very important fiction came out of the 19th century that had great impact on spaceflight and orbital mechanics.)
One great way to get acquainted with new (and old) authors in the sci-fi genre is to pick up an anthology or two. The book featured here is the 2008 Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology — featuring the best stories published each year, this anthology is consistently good, with a lot of variety in authors and story types. I find it helpful to pick up a Year’s Best every so often, to introduce myself to new authors, or old authors I’ve not come across. If you like a story, you can drop that author’s name into Google or Amazon and see what else they have to offer!
The only downside of this particular anthology is that all the work featured is (as the name implies) very new, so those wishing to familiarize themselves with earlier works or authors gone before will be out of luck. (I’ll be featuring some anthologies that fill in this gap nicely later on this week!)