Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, 1968. It is kind of interesting but I have observed that when a novel starts off as kind of dullish, it is a sign that it will turn out to be a wonderful book, in the end. Of course this is an entirely bias personal opinion. Perhaps this goes hand in hand with the idea that “things are not always what they seem.”
Although the novel is extremely well written I was having some difficulties with its imagery; that is, trying to imagine what the setting was like. Little by little I was telling myself, this reminds of something, until I finally got it. You see I’m not the smartest kid on the block, LOL!
Then it hit me… This is just like Blade Runner, the movie. Sure enough the movie is an adaptation of the novel. There are some significant differences and perhaps this is the reason why it took me so long to get it. The novel takes place in a post apocalyptic nuclear war era, where nuclear fallout has killed almost all life on the planet; particularly most animal species have gone extinct. Most survivors are being encouraged to leave earth to start a new life in the off-world colonies, especially Mars.
In the novel, taking care of robotic animals as some kind of psychological placebo, is important, therefore the title of the book; but there is no mention of this in the movie. However, all the critical mystery and intrigue of the different characters are pretty much the same.
The novel centers on the life of Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter. His job is to seek out rogue androids and retire (assassinate) them. These droids have been designed to work in the colonies and to serve as human companions, as well. At first you might think… “So what’s the big deal with that?” The problem is that these androids are becoming very human like.
In fact, the latest version called the Nexus 6 are so much more improved that it is quite difficult to set them apart. The Nexus 6 are not only very much human like but in many ways they excel their human counterparts; intelligence, strength, etc. And this makes them quite deadly. A large part of the novel is devoted to the psychological crisis and doubts that Deckard goes through in order to “retire” these androids. Not the least of it is having been physically and emotionally involved with one of them; a gorgeous droid.
Phillip K. Dick’s writing is clean, cut, and to the point in the best Raymond Chandler’s detective stories and Film-Noir styles. I enjoyed it a lot and having seen the movie several times before, didn’t detract from its reading pleasure, at all.
Movie Trailer (1982)