Although I quite like the science fiction genre, it hasn't appealed to me very strongly as something I'd like to try to write myself.
I have, however, experimented from time to time with a few short stories of this type.
I think the most intriguing idea I ever came up with (apart from this one that I just wrote about) was 'The Tempter' - which arose from a consideration of the possible uses of telepathy in a story, and from some speculation on what the world economy might be like some hundreds of years from now.
If we assume that a fairly utopian outcome is possible for the human race (if a plentiful, cheap, clean energy technology such as 'cold fusion' and the production of materials through bio- and/or nanotechnology eliminates resource competition and international strife), it seems likely that advanced computing/robotics will render conventional human labour redundant, which will create its own difficulties. How might such a radically transformed socio-economic system work? Well, I figured that probably creative endeavours would be just about the only area where human input would still be needed; and that probably (oh god!) the design of interactive computer games would be the largest and most lucrative field for such creative activity.
However, it further occurred to me that there might not be enough work for everyone who aspired to this kind of job - perhaps not even enough work to provide jobs for all the most talented individuals in the field. I imagined that a key area of competition between the leading games development companies might be to identify their rivals' most talented employees and tempt them to leave - not to come and work for them (there might be legal impediments to this; or perhaps just a lack of openings), but simply to rejoin the majority of the population in a life of full-time leisure.
And so I envisaged a niche employment opportunity for 'tempters', people with a limited form of telepathy; more a kind of empathy, really, the ability to sense a subject's tastes and interests, to identify their deepest desires. If people find their work fulfilling, what can you offer them to give up their work? Especially if they are already wildly wealthy and can have almost anything they can conceive of? You have to find something they will want, but haven't yet conceived of... and then make sure that you are the only person who can give it to them. But that might take you into some very dark places in the human heart. It could be a very dispiriting job, being a 'tempter'.
I've always felt that the best science fiction enables us to examine philosophical issues about how we should live our lives, what our truly important motivations should be. This story concept had a lot of scope for that, I thought.