Title: Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author: Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Del Ray Books 1968
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 5 / 5 stars Movie: 5 / 5
Reading Challenges: Science Fiction; Book 2 Movie: Mount TBR; Fall into Reading; My Years — 1982 (for the movie)
How I Got It: Own it
By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep. . . They even built humans.
Emigrées to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn’t want to be identified, they just blended in.
Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.
Another science fiction book that tempted me but with trepidations. I haven’t had the best luck with previous science fiction, but this one exceeded my expectations. I immediately connected with the character of Rick and his struggles to be a success in this destroyed world. This book was very character driven. I loved the complexity involved. Plus we get an interesting discussion on humanity and ethics. The two Rachaels were a nice touch. Definitely a must read for me.
“Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimatley, the emphatic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated. As in the fusion with Mercer, everyone ascended together or, when the cycle had come to an end, fell together into the trough of the tomb world. Oddly, it resembled a sort of biological insurance, but double-edged. As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off. A herd animal such as man would acquire a higher survival factor through this; an owl or a cobra would be destroyed.” Page 27
I love the world building in this movie. Everything is fantastical, but very lived in and run down. The look just gets me. And the special effects are still amazing even 30 years after. While liberties are taken with the story, it makes sense in the world that Dick created. The actors are all amazing and just perfect for their roles. I especially love Sean Young’s Rachael. She was my favorite character from the book and she’s my favorite character in the movie. Overall, I just really enjoy this one. And they got rid of Deckard’s wife, which definitely livened up the pacing.