My own tastes run to Romantic fiction, as Ayn Rand defined it: a vision of life as it might be and ought to be. She and I don't entirely agree on what constitutes "ought to be," but the definition is sound.
Lovecraft did horror well -- but I'm not much interested in being horrified. Asimov did science and alternate reality well -- but he had no moral center, and his characters suffered for it. After awhile, he bored me. Ellison isn't exactly a contemporary of Heinlein, so I've left him out of my discussion here. He's a powerful and passionate writer and I've admired his work, but somewhere along the line I stopped enjoying it because his visions are all dystopian. Books I really love are on this list.
Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose
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