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“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick

Tue 9th October 2018

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel is one of Philip K. Dick’s most famous, and served as the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. It is an accessible read, at just over 200 pages in length, with a high-paced but easy to follow adventure-thriller story.

I’ve watched the movie Blade Runner a couple of times, but have always found it a bit slow-moving and inscrutable. I even played a bit of the Blade Runner point-and-click adventure game in the late 90s, and all I remember is being so bored at its slow pace that I went to get a cup of tea while waiting for the avatar to amble painfully slowly across the rooftop parking lot, only to come back to find I’d been killed by an NPC that ambushed me. For me, reading the book was a far better experience than either of the film or the video game.

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard in his mission to “retire” (read: kill) a number of rogue androids that have made it onto earth illegally. The post-apocalyptic future beautifully and concisely painted by Philip K. Dick manages to be at the same time familiar (set in San Francisco) and alien (most of humanity have moved to other planets after a disaster that killed most of the Earth’s animals). There are a couple of interesting sub-plots that run alongside and intertwined with Deckard’s adventure and his on-going self-reflection of his job and ability to do that job. Overall, the story resolves satisfactorily, though not as dramatically as I was expecting.

I enjoyed reading this a lot and would recommend it to any fan of science fiction, especially to anyone that has seen the Blade Runner movie. I will be following this up by re-watching the movie, from a new perspective. I don’t think I’ll be playing the video game again though!

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From → Books

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