The story is about a man who slowly but gradually finds out that he is living in a virtual reality. Eventually they let him return to the real reality, but then, after a while he starts to notice things again that make him suspect that once more he's in a virtual reality.

It's a bit similar to what the Enterprise (TNG) crew did with holodeck character Moriarty, but that's not the story I mean. Also, if I remember correctly, the equipment is a bit similar to that in The Matrix.

I remember reading this story when on holiday in 1996 and the book was probably quite recent then. The copy I read was in English and I'm pretty sure the author is American.

  • It was written in English (American) and I'm quite sure the author is American. Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 21:38
  • Kudos to LSemi! I think you hit the nail on the head! Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 21:59
  • Did you ever verify LSemi's answer? If so, don't forget to accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons as per the tour.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


This might be Realtime Interrupt by J. P. Hogan, published in 1995.


As a brilliant scientist at a leading computer corporation, Joe Corrigan heads an ambitious project, dubbed Oz, to create a virtual reality system capable of mimicking reality in every detail. When he later awakens in a psychiatric ward with much of his memory gone and Oz apparently terminated, his predominant concern is to find a new place for himself in a world that now seems strangely mundane and humorless. Then into his life walks Lilly, who has a recent personal history uncannily like his, and Joe begins to catch on: Oz was never terminated, and he and Lilly are trapped in a computer simulation being run for a purpose Joe never approved (source)

Not so good a match, Death Dream by Ben Bova, published 1994 ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/302511.Death_Dream ).

  • @LSemi. +1. This was my first thought as well.
    – beichst
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 22:05
  • I think LSemi is correct! Many thanks! Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 21:59
  • 1
    If it turns out to be it (you can get the ebook from Baen.com) you can mark the answer as correct.
    – LSerni
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 23:32

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