Michael A. Stackpole
He's a really bright guy.
I've met and talk to lots of writiers in my relatively brief time in the field; while 99% of the writers out there are bright, engaging people, it's rare that the conversations ever inspire me to go check out their stuff. This is the case with Stackpole; I definitely plan to wedge one of his books, probably either "I, Jedi" or "Talion: Revenant", into my already-bloated reading queue...
And damn, looking at the pre-novelist game design credits on his resume (at his website), I wish I'd checked that before talking to him. "Nuclear Escalation", "Champions", a Neuromancer video game, just ot name a few of the more interesting ones. . .