In Isaac Asimov's short story “Gold”, Laborian is clearly a self-insertion of Asimov himself, and the story in the story is Asimov's own book The Gods Themselves.

I'm wondering though, what about the other major character in this short story? Is the film producer Jonas Willard invented completely from scratch? Or did Asimov get inspiration for that character from someone, such as a contemporary real world film producer or director? The character is described in a positive way in the end, so I'm wondering if Asimov is indirectly complimenting someone from the real world with this unusually self-reflecting story.

  • 1
    b_jonas willard? :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 19:07
  • See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/241456/4918 "Is Gregory Laborian a fictionalised version of Isaac Asimov?"
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 14:32
  • Huh, I'd completely forgotten about this question when posting mine on SFF (and back in 2018 I hadn't read "Gold" so didn't even understand this post). You have my +1 three years later :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 17:42
  • Asimov loved to talk about his stories, and so there is a lot of commentary available on his older stories. However, “Gold” was written and published when Asimov was already quite ill, so he hardly had the chance to talk about this story in introductions, essays, etc. Nevertheless, I know of two published comments by Asimov on “Gold” (and very likely these are the only ones), but in neither does he mention Jonas Willard. So we'll probably never know.
    – Ubik
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 22:48


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