Hi Rich -- I used to exchange emails with Jerry way-back-when (circa the late 1990s) although I'm sure he won't remember me now.
In fact I have a framed photo on my office wall that was given to me by Jerry's son, Alex
Max, actually I am quite surprised at easily distracted you are, but we don't need to get into it here. I do rather like the idea of hunting down our science fiction in his or her lair though. My vote - FWIW - is WIlliam Gibson. I met him and Bruce Sterling at a book signing at MIT several years ago and he's cool. Actually they both are.
Neal Stephenson would be a good one.
Kim Stanley Robinson - his Mars series is particularly relevant today.
John Scalzi would be screamingly hilarious. Maybe he can lead everyone in a sing-along of "Redshirts."