A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film Blade Runner
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 built 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
“The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.”—John Brunner
“A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet.”—The New York Times
“[Philip K. Dick] sees all the sparkling—and terrifying—possibilities . . . that other authors shy away from.”—Rolling Stone
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Science-fiction author Philip K. Dick’s compelling ideas about how technological advancements might alter humanity have made him a bit of a cult figure since his death in 1982. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner—is the perfect entry point into Dick’s heady and exciting work. The novel follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard as he pursues six fugitive androids across a postapocalyptic Earth. Rick’s quest raises troubling questions about the differences between human and artificial intelligence as the narrative shifts between the hunter and the hunted, who are all searching for meaning in their flash-in-the-pan lives.
Being a fan of Blade Runner I decided to give the book a shot. It is actually quite different from the movie in many ways. I would highly recommend it. It is quite thought provoking. If I were to give it one crititcism it would be that the actions sequences were fairly short lived and anti-climactic. Other than that the psychology and philosophy of this (as well as many other Philip K Dick stories) will make you take a step back and think about life in a slightly different way.
We’re close to extinction, I guess…
Classic Sci-Fi, a little different from the film
As someone who saw the film Blade Runner first, it was interesting to see certain things from the film a bit more fleshed out here. The story was also distinct from the film. An entertaining read to be sure, but I find myself a bit jaded at my age, or spoiled perhaps by my frequent encounters with stories that have copied the exploration of “humanity” that this novel was among the first to explore, so I found a lot of its most major themes very familiar. Still glad to have read it regardless.