Always wanted to read science fiction? But never knew where to start? io9, a blog dedicated to futurism and sci-fi, has you covered. Today, they published a handy sci-fi syllabus/reading list "intended to introduce the novice student ... to the major themes in the genre, as well as books and authors who are representative of different eras in SF lit (including the present day)." The io9 reading list breaks down a vast body of sci-fi literature into six useful categories – 1) Foundational Works/Classics, 2) Utopias and Dystopias, 3) Robots, 4) Aliens, 5) Space Travel, and 6) Science Fiction as Political Philosophy. Wells, Lovecraft, Huxley, Orwell, Dick, Asimov, Gibson, Heinlein, LeGuin – they're all on the list.
Related FYIs: you can find many of HP Lovecraft's writings online here. Thanks Julie for the recent heads up.
Also, you can download an audio version of Huxley narrating A Brave New World here.