Recommend individualist sci-fi books?

Looking for sci-fi books with individualist, anti-state themes. Stories about the virtues of ambition and personality, where government in any form isn't painted in a positive light.

Picture Horatio Alger meets Star Wars meets Ayn Rand — but without Rand's minarchist state-worship.

For the sort of writing style that won't put me to sleep, think Alien Chronicles by Deborah Chester.