Lets just throw all of Gibson’s cyberpunk in here, shall we? He could easily take half the list otherwise. Neuromancer was seminal in the establishment of the sadly defunct cyberpunk genre, the cold war era view of the future as a dirty high tech shithole where everyone’s a bastard. Not quite sure why people don’t still think that way. Anyway, Gibson famously wrote Neuromancer on a typewriter, which is more than a touch ironic. With this novel he explored artificial intelligence, virtual reality, urban sprawl, genetic engineering, and generally gave people the heebie jeebies about the future. It also has possibly the most famous opening sentence in modern literature: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”Read about another book on the list.
Neuromancer made Annalee Newitz's list of "Thirteen Books That Will Change The Way You Look At Robots."
Also see Robert Collins' top ten list of dystopian novels and Gemma Malley's top 10 list of dystopian novels for teenagers.
(h/t to Bill Crider)