Perfect future fun
The Culture novels
After having my mind blown by The Wasp Factory, I couldn't believe this was the same Banks... totally bought into the ethos of the Culture at the same time as rejecting my own religious and politically conservative heritage.
The Culture gave me a social and technological place I could aim for. I've since decided Strong AI won't happen, but the iron fist of the culture in the velvet glove of the culture remains a socio-political omega point in my dreams.