The boundary between fact and fiction can be surprisingly permeable, with life sometimes imitating art and art sometimes returning the favor. Here are some of the real people who made that boundary even more fluid, by showing up in fictional settings.
In response to author Paul Cornell's essay about how the very real Neil Gaiman ended up showing up as his fictional doppelganger in Cornell's new novel, a discussion began about some of the other real people who had also made the fictional leap:
Hmm, real people turning up in genre stuff? Grant Morrison shows up in an issue of Ostrander's Suicide Squad and gets himself killed (granted, after making himself fair game by writing himself into Animal Man). He was also basically King Mob, but again, probably doesn't count since he was writing it.
Stephen King, of course, wrote himself into the Dark Tower series, in a move that seemingly nobody but me enjoyed.
James Ellroy uses any number of real people in his LA Quartet novels- guys like Mickey Cohen and Johnny Stomp (although he *did* change the name of his Walt Disney character into a Disney expy named Ray Dieterling when he wanted to turn Disney into a corrupt murderer), but they weren't exactly contemporary to his time.
They're not exactly characters (no lines or anything) but both Wheaton and Scalzi have shout-outs in READY PLAYER ONE as members of the in-Oasis government.
And John Perry Barlow and ... Wheaton, again, I think? ... show up in Cory Doctorow's Homeland sequel to Little Brother.
Have some more instances of real life people making fictional cameos? Share them now in the comments.