This is my third year attending Fourth Street Fantasy and invariably there is conversation about books and authors I haven't read. The last three years have fairly well identified the areas of my ignorance and when I keep hearing certain names mentioned with deep affection and reverence, it is time that I step up and read these writers.
Diana Wynne Jones
I think that these are the two most glaring absences in my reading history and two which I need to fix. Sooner, rather than later.
The Carpet Makers, by Andreas Eschbach: This isn't one of the names I've been hearing for years, but is instead one of those Jo Walton recommendations and the set up she gave was so damn fascinating that I have to read it. Besides, nearly everything Jo has recommended (usually on Tor.com), I have loved.
Skyler White: And Falling, Fly: This is one of those situations where I previously had little interest in reading the book UNTIL the author was on a panel at a con and I thought what she had to say and how she carried herself was interesting enough that NOW I want to read her book. Luckily, I've had a copy of the book for a number of months now. And Falling, Fly has just pushed up the queue a bit.
I am also reminded of stuff, not specifically because of the con, that I have wanted to read for some time now: Elisabeth Vonarburg, Sheri S. Tepper, Hugh Cook, Peter Watts, Lois McMaster Bujold.
and, of course, more Elizabeth Bear and Steven Brust. Because you can't have too much of them.