He ought to get a medal. I saw him yesterday at a Worldcon panel (“Why Do We Read Fantasy?”) for which all the other scheduled writers had bailed. He was up behind the table by himself and had to carry the day, and he did. There was a crowd of about a hundred, and he gave us a very well-worded, well thought-out account of his experience with and views on fantasy, then provided very well-worded, well thought-out answers to our questions (some of which were also pretty decent, some not). Stirling is obviously a smart and thoughtful man, and he has the further gift of being able to organize his thoughts into sentences even as they clear his mouth; it’s something I wish I could learn. And he listens. Some of the writers at the various panels tend to give generalized answers, but he was targeting what he said to what he was asked. So, all in all, we have one of the better hours I spent at the con.

update, I just checked out Mr. Stirling’s Wiki entry. I got to say, this stuff sounds really interesting. I especially want to look at the Draka series. 
update 2, A friend tells me he saw Stirling at another panel, one on parallel histories of Canada, “and he was really sharp there.”
I should also mention that Stirling was very funny.