Blade Runner

Blade Runner

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Book - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
Here is the classic sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, set nearly thirty years before the events of the new Warner Bros. film Blade Runner 2049, starring Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, and Robin Wright.
 
By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies build incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.
 
Praise for Philip K. Dick
 
“[Dick] sees all the sparkling—and terrifying—possibilities . . . that other authors shy away from.”Rolling Stone
 
“A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet.”The New York Times

Publisher: New York :, Del Rey, an imprint of Random House,, 2017
Edition: Del Rey mass market edition
ISBN: 9781524796976
1524796972
Characteristics: 230 pages ; 19 cm

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Never make the mistake of comparing this book to the movie it inspired (Blade Runner) and expect the exact same experience. For one, different mediums of artistic expression require different choices in telling the same or similar stories. Second, the film was inspired by the book and only somewhat based on it. Some character names are the same but their individual lives/stories are often quite different. Some characters are changed or deleted. The basic blot is still there but, as movies often do for reasons of expediency, many subplots are removed or ignored. That's fine. What the movie does well is capture the heart of the story and the mood of Dick's writing. Enjoy them both for what each is meant to be. Appreciate them for their similarities as well as their differences. It's a good study on how books are typically reworked as films.

Note: This was the fourth time I've read it and the first time in 30 years.

d
DavidB
May 10, 2009

Classic science fiction. It's even classic in the sense that the story is full of wacky ideas about the future that haven't come through and probably never will. But in all of the important ways, this book still has the sparks of insight, imagination and moral ambiguity that make science fiction great.

The book could be viewed as a straight-up detective story set in the future in the same vein of Sam Spade with questionable "dames" and all but few stories combine science, morality, religion and existentialism together well.

We question the morality of killing androids; we wonder if they're really alive; we wonder if we're alive and what truly sets us apart from machines; we even begin to wonder if we're truly human or android all through this book. The nature of empathy is questioned with undertones of Catholicism and Buddhist philosophy.

This is a wacky science fiction book but what's important is if it will illicit thoughts and feelings within you.

j
jabey
Jun 10, 2008

Excellent book that questions what should be considered real/alive and whether that actually matters.

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jabey
Jun 10, 2008

jabey thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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DavidB
May 10, 2009

Sexual Content: "Copulation with an android; absolutely against the law, here and on the colony worlds as well."

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DavidB
May 10, 2009

I'm seeing one of them for the the first time. And they damn near did it; they came awfully damn close to undermining the Voigt-Kampff scale, the only method we have for detecting them. The Rosen Association does a good job -- makes a good try, anyhow -- at protecting its products. And I have to face six more of them, he reflected. Before I'm finished. He would earn the bounty money. Every cent. Assuming he made it through alive.

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