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

by Philip K. Dick

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11,148270251 (3.97)2 / 430
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

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

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English (252)  French (5)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Romanian (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (268)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
I really wanted to enjoy this book, having heard such wonderful things about it. My recent foray into trying to read more science fiction came at a good time—or so I thought. It was with the desire to be entertained that I began Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Sadly, I think my next experience with science fiction will definitely have to be with a feminist author given my problems with Dick.

Along the way, I was maddened by how misogynistic the novel is: the many ways in which woman, human or android, are objectified by the male characters is appalling. I can almost imagine Philip K. Dick writing with his dick, as if creating luscious, nubile female androids—almost always discussed in adolescent terms, making the Lolita fantasy that much more disturbing—was his way of working out some kind of interspace sexual fantasy and this book is the by-product. Tricky dick.



While reading, there was one place where Rick Deckard, the bounty hunter, talks with his depressive wife, reminds himself that he can still divorce her, and then he immediately begins to fantasize about how female androids attract him. This is when I almost nearly stopped reading.

Or when Deckard tests himself using the fancy android-testing machine in order to see if his disdain for androids has begun to turn into empathy; it would appear that, at least in the case of female androids, it has:

Rich said, “A female android.”

“Now they’re both up to 4.0 and 6.0 respectively.”


And little does Phil Resch, another bounty hunter, realize what he’s putting into motion when he tells Deckard:

”Don’t kill her—or be present when she’s killed—and then feel physically attracted. Do it the other way.”

Rick stared at him. “Go to bed with her first—”

“—and then kill her,” Phil Resch said succinctly.




I found an interesting essay while trying to make it through the tail-end of Do Androids... which discusses misogyny in the film version, Blade Runner: Simon H. Scott’s “Is Blade Runner a Misogynist Text?” I have yet to see the film, and I doubt I will any time soon after finishing the novel, but it is indeed possible that the film uses more film noir conventions and figures like Rachael Rosen are more femme fatale figures in the film, as is the author’s argument against a full-fledged misogynistic reading of the text. However, the novel is not noir in any way, so I wonder if this argument has been made elsewhere with the book—and perhaps other work by Dick—as evidence. It would be something I would like to read, at any rate.

I will say that Dick knows how to pace a novel, and it was largely that which kept me reading despite many moments of nausea.

Note to picky readers: the word “ersatz” gets used so many times I lost count.
( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
I didn't dislike it but I certainly felt like I didn't understand half of it. The plot line was fairly clear, though seemed very strangely paced at times. but I thought there was some kind of subtle under current I wasn't getting. I kept wondering if Mercer was meant to be Christ. I just got confused, though it did make me think. Just not think as much as I was meant to.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
This book is a deceptively fast read. I didn't find myself admitting that I was really into the book until I had burned, relatively speaking, through at least a third of it. The book felt like a short 240 pager, but that could very well have been because I enjoyed it so much.

The book isn't an all-time favorite for me, but it is definitely something that I could see recommending to others if they 'want to get into sci-fi' like I did earlier in the year. After this book, I definitely have some drive to dig into some [a:Isaac Asimov|16667|Isaac Asimov|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1341965730p2/16667.jpg], and possibly also read A Scanner Darkly. I can now say I am a fan of PKD.

[The part below contains minor spoilers]
The most distinguishing feature of the book, for me at least, had to be the amount of empathy could derive from the reader when it came to lives of even the most simple animals. At no other point in my life had I experienced any sort of emotional tinge from thinking about a spider's life being taken. PKD did well in that instance. ( )
  michplunkett | Jul 14, 2014 |
I just could not care about the characters. The only one i remotely cared about was the "chicken-head" guy. There was no depth to the characters and the whole and Mercerism just felt too random and undeveloped. So many people loved this and I really tried, but I could not get into it at all. Rare case where the movie is better than the book. ( )
  sffstorm | Jul 2, 2014 |
There is so much more here that I want to know about than the story tells me: the open antebellum nostalgia for slavery coupled with androids and a new colonialism, the hints at how miserable life actually is off earth, the details of Mercerism. I really wanted this book to about 200 pages longer and to have those 200 pages tap into the world-building that seem so rich and well thought out that we only glimpse here. Dick's concept of androids is fascinating; I am at once sympathetic and so deeply repulsed in that horrific scene with the spider; their biology, their sociopathy. ( )
  endlesserror | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:48 -0400)

(see all 6 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 14 descriptions

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