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Realtime Interrupt

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Who was he? He didn't know where he was, and had a strange feeling that the walls around him were stage props with nothing behind. A man in a doctor's smock entered and said, "Good morning, Joe. How are you feeling today?" So his name was Joe?Where was he? He was planting a vegetable patch. But when he turned over the first fork of soil there was nothing underneath -- just ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Baen (first published 1995)
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Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Written in the first half of the 1990s, takes place in the early 2000s, read in 2017, and there's hardly an anachronism to be found, a commendable effort when writing a book dealing with computer AI and VR and the associated technology surrounding these ideas. At one point in the novel, they talk about the computers writing their own code to solve problems, something I've read recently in today's news. On top of that, I found this to be a compelling read, eager to pick up again every ...more
Bryan Alkire
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took a while to get into the flow of this book, but it was worth it in the end. This is a mid-90’s SF novel that somehow has stayed pretty fresh and believable. The only dated things are no real online or smartphone references…

But, that said, the topic is still relevant. It’s the story of a company building an AI and figuring out how to train it a problem still. It’s a cool idea and the characters are likeable enough and their interactions with the AI are amusing as well as all the Irish jok
Gary Denton
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the very best Hogan Hard SF novels. Although written in 1995 all of the AI and virtual reality and brain scan speculation holds up as well as the business and marketing practices. Many will find that the details of the business practices and the technology get in the way of the story but this is technological speculation of the highest order of how to achieve full AI, virtual reality and simulated real world projections. Hogan's strengths of plot and old-fashioned story telling with infor ...more
John Loyd
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joe Corrigan was a scientist working with virtual reality systems and later with AI. He finds himself under psychiatric care after the failure of the project and his wife leaving him. After three years in an institution he is finally allowed to go out. None of the people he used to know are around any more. The people that he does meet seem a bit off. They say it's him, but they don't get a joke which he knows is funny. One day while working at his bartending job he finally meets another person ...more
Hrh George
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
A good, pre-Matrix, simulated reality sci-fi. The beginning really drags, the end is quite snappy. The foreshadowing is obvious, the character building is brutal. It hasn't aged well and the authors sense of "near future" (which is now past) didn't advance much. Fun read despite those issues but this one is not destined to be a classic. ...more
Sheldon Wiebe
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent story about a man trapped inside his own AI world without realising it.

As it Hogan's wont, there's a fair bit of science (dry but not dull) combined with interesting and unusual characters.

Realtime Interrupt could really work as a limited series TV show.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard Science Fiction Fans
I've been rereading some old books recently deciding what to keep in my library, and recently read again two other novels by Hogan, and both made me wonder what I had liked in him, but this one reminded me why I do have several of his books on the shelves, even if in the end it's not a keeper. Starchild was disappointing and with Mirror Maze I found the political themes heavy handed, but Realtime Interrupt is a good yarn, more in the classic hard science fiction vein. In fact there's some dry, s ...more
J.F. Elferdink
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Although the premise of this story is extraordinary, even for science fiction, the scientific detail makes it a challenging process to harvest the message.

Corrigan, a brilliant young scientist thinks his project--teaching robots how to make decisions like humans by interacting with humans in a virtual environment--will make him rich and famous. Instead, it takes him much deeper into the project than he ever intended and teaches him what is more valuable than success.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: entertainment
Gee, the story line is fascinating, but the author spent so much time on the real world office politics behind the new virtual world that it dragged on and dragged on... and then like a bad mystery novel I'd figured out the solution 200 pages before the protagonist, at which point waiting for the punch line dragged on and dragged on....

If you like office political fiction more than science fiction this could be the book for you!
Hogan has written an enjoyable, if not gripping, story about virtual reality which addresses Philip K. Dick's perennial question, "How do I know the world around me is real, rather than a dream or simulation?" It addresses that question and the associated philosophical concerns with relative clarity. ...more
Sean Randall
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is truly one of my favourite Hogan novels. partly for the reality of the virtual reality, but partly for the emotional development. Corrigan loses much of his ambition as the novel proceeds, and for anyone so dedicated to their work that they'd backstab even their friends, it's certainly a worthwhile read. the AI stuff is quite good, too... ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting concepts. Plot is somewhat predictable, though. That said, the simulation sounds like a wonderful place to visit and looking at the internet, the possibilities would be endless
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some slow parts, but the way they play into the plot later makes it worth it.
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James Patrick Hogan was a British science fiction author.

Hogan was was raised in the Portobello Road area on the west side of London. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he worked various odd jobs until, after receiving a scholarship, he began a five-year program at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough covering the practical and theoretical sides of electrical, electronic, and m

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