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Do androids dream of electric sheep? (original 1968; edition 1997)

by Philip K. Dick

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11,831289225 (3.96)2 / 483
Member:AlanPoulter
Title:Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:London : HarperCollins 1997, c1968.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:science fiction

Work details

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968)

1960s (240)
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English (272)  French (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Romanian (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
Overall, a great read. The writing was a bit dense at first but I quickly grew accustomed and it progressed nicely. I especially liked conflict between Rick and Phil, determining who was an android and who wasn't. I found that to be a unique problem with a unique solution and interesting result. I wish the ending had been more impactful, rather than Rick just going to sleep. I didn't understand some of the scenes with Mercer, the hill and how he materialized on the stairs. Otherwise, a fantastic read. ( )
  rachelmccoy | Jul 29, 2015 |
Philip K. Dick is the science fiction writer for people who don’t like science fiction. While I enjoy some of the genre, I do tend to shy away from the hard sci-fi that Asimov and Niven prefer (NB: They are brilliant authors, just not my taste). Philip K. Dick, on the other hand, finds that perfect balance between humanity and science that I love.

Almost anyone who likes 80s movies will recognize the plot of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, due to its famous adaptation into the science-fiction thriller, Blade Runner. The main character, Rick Deckard, is a bounty hunter who tracks down androids who are attempting to pass as human, and “retires” them. As he tracks down the latest batch, a group of androids who are so life-like he has a hard time distinguishing them from real humans, he begins to struggle with his career and a femme fatale named Rachael.

There was something very special about this era of science-fiction. Earlier science fiction was too enamored with the gadgets and gizmos of what the future would look like, and later science fiction prides itself too much on being Very Clever, but for a brief period, sci-fi struck a balance between machines and man, philosophy and gadgetry. There’s something very special about that. You could, of course, read this as an action-packed, thrilling ride with shades of film noir. Or you could read about it and ask yourself what it means to be human – does it really boil down to an empathy test? Does the will to survive make you human? Where is the line between human and android when the two are nearly indistinguishable? Even Deckard admits that he has to think of his job as “retiring” androids, because otherwise it feels too much like murder (4). And yet, there’s something absolutely chilling in one of the scenes, where a group of androids begin to torture a spider. It is so much worse than if they took pleasure in its pain; instead, they are cold and calculating and absolutely terrifying.

Philip K. Dick has a unique style of writing that is hard to place. The foreword to my copy struggles with it as well: “…one of the marks of Philip Dick’s mastery lies in the tone of his work. He is possessed of a sense of humour for which I am unable to locate an appropriate adjective. Wry, grotesque, slapstick, satirical, ironic … None of them quite fits to the point of generality, though all may be found without looking too far” (viii).

As a master of the genre, Philip K. Dick shines, and nowhere is the unique mixture of action, futurism, pathos, and philosophy on display than in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
( )
1 vote kittyjay | Jul 18, 2015 |
Hmmmm.
Unfortunately I'm not very enthousiastic about this book. To me it was okay, but not much more than that. I expected more from this book, that also found itself a spot on the 1001-list.

Maybe I missed some (crucial) things because I read it in English, but I can't believe I missed a lo of things that might have made the book better. I did not watch Blade Runner, so I can't compare the two.
I just thought that for a sci-fi book it doesn't really, spectacularly differs from life as it is. But maybe that is because it has been written many years ago.

Anyhow, my favorite in this genre is still We (My), by Evgeny Zamyatin. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jun 4, 2015 |
Electric animals are the future, that's for certain. ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
The premise for the movie Bladerunner, follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter with the San Francisco Police Department, whose job is to retire (kill) androids who have escaped from their duties and come to Earth illegally. As he begins a hunt for a group of Nexus 6 androids, part of a new, extremely intelligent biological model, he begins to question the possible feelings/rights of machines, the world he operates on, and who he is. In a world where animals are considered sacred and people who cannot afford them buy almost perfect mechanical replicas, where ‘Mercerian’ beliefs hold life in the highest regard, a world where murder, hunting for sport, and eating meat are anathema, the line between life and technology, human and machine, is increasingly vague, and the Nexus sixes even have Rick questioning whether he is human or another Nexus 6. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dougoud, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duranti, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michniewicz, SueCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Struzen, DrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wölfl, NorbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zelazny, RogerIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And still I dream he treads the lawn,
walking ghostly in the dew,
pierced by my glad singing through.
~ Yeats
Dedication
To Tim and Serena Powers, my dearest friends
To Maren Augusta Bergrud
August 10, 1923 - June 14, 1967
First words
A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.

Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then... "retire" them.

Trouble was, the androids all looked and acted exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345404475, Paperback)

"The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world."
--John Brunner

THE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . .

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time.

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.

"[Dick] sees all the sparkling and terrifying possibilities. . . that other authors shy away from."
--Paul Williams, Rolling Stone

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

THE INSPIRATION FOR BLADERUNNER. . . Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was published in 1968. Grim and foreboding, even today it is a masterpiece ahead of its time. 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. Emigrees 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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