Do android's dream of electric sheep?

blogs | main site

series: Books

description: The Philip K. Dick book that gave way to Blade Runner
tags: Philip K. Dick; post-apocalyptic; sci-fi;

This is the book that Ridley Scott made into Blade Runner, the film. Although the term 'Blade Runner' does not occur in the book, the concepts are much the same. I had a strange feeling as I read the book, that the film and the book were complimentary to each other. There is so much in the film that is not evident in the book, and there is so much in the book that hasn't made its way into the film.

The book is set in Los Angeles, after a disastrous nuclear war has disrupted all lives. Animals are dead, and replicas are made to ease the human society. The protagonist, Rick Deckard, longs for a real animal, and this forms the basis for much of the novel. Even in places where the themes go in tangents around the questions of survival, about what is real, and consumerism even, it all comes back to the experience of simply 'knowing' that an android isn't real. Set into these workspaces are humanoid clones, termed Replicants (in the film) that sometimes run away, and do not have the same rights as humans do. For some reason, they lack empathy, and the police use tests designed to weed them out based on this phenomenon. The book is a good read, as all Philip K. Dick books are, but it really shines after you've watched the movie.