What is the general view of using names of real, living people as characters? I've written a military sci-fi novel. I have several characters that are not central to the story, but are key players in their respective scenes. The names I've chosen are of public figures that I admire and respect. They are all respectable roles. More importantly, I am not borrowing upon their public personna. For example, I do not have Mayor Bloomburg of New York City as a character. I do, however, borrow the name of a well known university professor and author that I admire tremendously, and give it to a character that is entirely dissimilar in their position. For example (and I'm making this name up), I have chosen a Columbia University professor, Alecia Jones who has written many books about culture (not really). One of my characters is a very intelligent young woman, a military recruit in the future, which I have named Alecia Jones. I imbue this character with qualities I admire in the real person. That is, she's kind of a role model, and the naming is a tribute to someone real that I respect and is important in society. I never explain nor allude to this as I feel certain readers would never make a connection, since my reader is not likely to know the people I admire and why. If they do recognize a name, it is common enough that readers are not likely say, "Hey! Does he mean the baseball legend, Jim Smith?" Again, all the characters are respectable and admirable. If the real person were to discover such a connection, they are more likely to be flattered. Hell, I would be if someone chose my name for a super-hero (although, the last time I checked, there are over 26,000 people in the US with my same name). Is this taboo, or is it common?