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Wait, okay, I reread Watchmen a couple months ago, but I'm not sure what you're referring to in the film. Richard Nixon on Mount Rushmore? Rorschach's mask? Tell meeeee!
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Middle-aged: Ender's Game is the one I use to ensnare people into SF. I have fond (and not-so-fond) memories of Heinlein, but I wouldn't offer one to someone who was new to SF. (Especially not late Heinlein. I remember reading Maureen's Electra desires in TSBtS at age sixteen, and just... dude.) For people who I think can take it, I recommend CJ Cherryh, especially Cyteen. I warn them it takes a while to take off, but if they slog through the first few chapters, it's absolutely worth it. New: Vernor Vinge. I was a little disappointed in Rainbow's End-- it didn't reach the heights of A Fire Upon the Deep or A Deepness in the Sky-- but my God, he is a brilliant man. I'd also offer up C.S. Friedman's This Alien Shore, which makes some interesting leaps on mental illness and future society.
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Before I realized it was you in that pic, I thought it was Luke Wilson. Take that as a compliment or insult as you will. :)
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