One of the things that I've tried to do with this blog (admittedly, somewhat sporadically) is to provide some resources for fellow writer/reader/fans of the genre. One of those resources is one that I created myself, and first premiered on AbsoluteWrite.com. It's called "The List" or "The Basics" - a list of many of the genre's "Big Ideas" and the stories that gave those ideas their first (or best, or most famous) expositions. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Fred Pohl, CM Kornbluth, Jack Williamson, Poul Anderson, Roger Zelazny, JRR Tolkien, they're all there, and many others, one way or another.
Check it out. It's there, in the righthand column under "Pages."