I have not read much of Robert Heinlein, although I certainly know his name. As a teenager I used to read Arthur C. Clark a lot, Imperial Earth (1976) being my favorite story of his. Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood’s End were memorable too.
However, I am a superfan of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Add J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings and William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, and you have the 3 stories that I would bring to that proverbial deserted island to keep me company.
I met Frank Herbert at a book signing in Santa Barbara late in the 1980s. As I walked away, I turned, and saw him looking quite intently at me, with his piercing eyes. I won’t forget that one. Coincidentally, he was born in the same hospital as I wa in Tacoma, WA, although a couple of decades earlier than me. Crazy that his created world, Arrakis, was so unlike the Pacific Northwest, with it’s endless grey skies and its clouds depressingly hovering just over the tree line.