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As a literary technique, an author surrogate is a fictional character based on the author. On occasion, authors insert themselves under their own name into their works, typically for humorous or surrealistic effect.
British writer David Hume used the author-surrogate 'Philo' in the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Michael Crichton used his character Ian Malcolm to express views on catastrophic system failure in his novel Jurassic Park.
Author surrogacy is a frequently observed phenomenon in hobbyist and amateur writing, so much so that fan fiction critics have evolved the term Mary Sue to refer to an idealized author surrogate. The term 'Mary Sue' is thought to evoke the cliché of the adolescent author who uses writing as a vehicle for the indulgence of self-idealization rather than entertaining others. For male author surrogates, similar names such as 'Marty Stu' or 'Gary Stu' are occasionally used.
The expression has also been used in a different sense, meaning the principal author of a multi-author document. 
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