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Blade Runner (Movie-Tie-In Edition) by…
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Blade Runner (Movie-Tie-In Edition) (original 1968; edition 1987)

by Philip K. Dick

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13,939363251 (3.96)2 / 640
Member:amyandroland
Title:Blade Runner (Movie-Tie-In Edition)
Authors:Philip K. Dick
Info:Del Rey (1987), Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

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

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Legacy LibrariesTerence Kemp McKenna
1960s (194)
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English (342)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Romanian (1)  All languages (362)
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“It's the basic condition of life to be required to violate our own identity.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Having hooked up all the iridescent wires from my XC-23 Weird and Crazy in Fiction Test Machine to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, I’m here to report results showed the needle registering a maximum ten out of ten on each and every page. Quite a feat. Quite a novel. But then again, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised - after all, this is Philip K. Dick. One of the most bizarre reading experiences anyone could possibly encounter. Rather than attempting to comment on plot or the sequence of events (too wild to synopsize), here are ten ingredients the one and only PKD mixes together in his outlandish science fictional stew:

Rick Deckard - the novel’s main character, a bounty hunter on the city police force assigned to track down and destroy human-like androids that have emigrated illegally from Mars. The year 2021, the place San Francisco in the aftermath of nuclear war, deadly dust everywhere, many species wiped out. The government says androids must remain on Mars and continue doing all the dirty work for humans who have migrated to the red planet. Darn! The problem is androids, especially the most recently improved version with their new Nexus-6 brain unit, have been given way too much intelligence.

Voigt-Kampff Empathy Test – Fortunately, bounty hunters can administer a test to determine who is human and who is android. The central dilemma with androids – without the very human capacity to feel compassion for others, an android is nothing more than a solitary predator, a cold killer capable of murdering humans left and right to eventually take over. A true stroke of PKD irony since there are a number of instances where androids appear to have deep feelings and empathy for each other and even humans. Meanwhile, the human bounty hunters are expected to eliminate or “retire” androids with no more feelings than if they were disassembling a vacuum cleaner. This philosophical conundrum emerges repeatedly throughout the novel.



John Isidore –Since he scored low on his IQ test, labeled a special and chickenhead, Isidore can’t emigrate to Mars. He lives alone in an empty, decaying apartment building on the outskirts of the city and drives a truck for an animal rescue company. When at home Isadore watches hawkers and comedians on his TV when he's not grabbing the handles of his black empathy box that enables him to fuse his feeling with all of life, a major tenet of the new religion of Mercerism, founded by that superior being, Wilbur Mercer. Such belief and behavior leads to yet another area of PKD-style philosophic inquiry. However, by the end of the novel it becomes clear anyone, human or android, should think twice before putting their life in the hands of a chickenhead.

Buster Friendly – Leading TV personality and all-around funny guy who makes announcements and pronouncements on what’s real and what’s fake on topics near and dear to the hearts of the remaining survivors. Topics can range from the latest reports on nuclear fallout to his biggest rival, Wibur Mercer.

Mood Organ – In this futuristic world, there’s no need for drugs and for good reason: men and women like Rick Deckard and his wife have a “mood organ” where they can simply set the dial for a stimulant or a tranquilizer, a hit of venom to better win an argument or even set the dial for a state of ecstatic sexual bliss. Obviously there’s some upside here. 2021 isn’t that far away. Lets hope inventors are hard at work as you read these words.



Rachael Rosen – Beautiful daughter of Eldon Rosen, founder of a major manufacturer of androids. But wait: Is Rachael a real human or could she turn out to be one of those very intelligent Nexus-6 androids? Time for Rick Deckard to take out his equipment and give Rachael the Voigt-Kampff Empathy Test. Either way, Rachael infuses serious energy into the story. One of my favorite lines is when Rick Deckard asks himself after a phone call with Rachael. “What kind of world is it when an android phones up a bounty hunter and offers him assistance?”

Happy Dog Pet Shop – One of the largest pet shops in the Bay Area, they currently have an ostrich in their display window, the bird recently arrived from the Cleveland zoo. What a prize! Rick Deckard is hooked – he stops and stares at the ostrich as he walks to work and later places a call to check on their asking price. Whoa! The price is outrageous. Rick knows he would have to eliminate an entire string of androids just for the down payment. But, my goodness – to own one’s very own ostrich.

Kipple - As John Isidore states as a matter-of-fact: “Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.” Sounds as ridiculous as the medieval idea of spontaneous generation. Perhaps we should take into account that John Isidore is, after all, a chickenhead.

Luba Luft – On the list of androids, Luba is currently a leading opera singer for the lead company in San Francisco. Come on, Rick Deckard, do you really want to eliminate someone (or something) that is making such a formidable contributing to the arts? PKD has Rick and a fellow bounty hunter discuss this very question as they follow orders from their higher-ups.

Real and Electric Animals – Creatures of all stripes and varieties add much color to the story. In addition to the above mentioned ostrich, there’s a horse, a sheep, cat, goat, spider, donkey, crow and toad. Some are real, others electric. A PKD book worth reading to discover the truth down to the last four-legged wiggly.


“Damn her he said to himself. What good does it do my risking my life? She doesn't care whether we own an ostrich or not. Nothing penetrates.”
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick, American Science Fiction author (1928 - 1982) ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
For the fact that this story was written fifty years ago, it comes in these days very close in certain areas. We already have such 'robots' that should make our lives easier. What is frightening about this thing is that this 'artificial intelligence' can easily become independent and then we would soon be in the thick of Dick's story. I find it all very frightening and far from calm. ( )
  Ameise1 | Sep 23, 2018 |
I absolutely loved this book! It kept me flipping through the pages as quickly as I could, and it also made me stop and think about things afterward. If you like the movie, you will more than likely like this book. I personally felt that overall, the movie kept fairly close with the book. ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 22, 2018 |
Lovely dismal atmosphere, charmingly imperfect characters, but just not enough. It didn’t raise enough doubt for me. It didn’t stir my spirit enough. I guess it’s just because I don’t find it important to ask “What makes us human?” Why should we care about who/what is human/not? What makes humans so elite? It’s because we think we rule the world, when really we only have the ILLUSION of control. (/rant) But I guess the book leading me to this observation is just as important. ( )
  rnmdfrd | Sep 19, 2018 |
This is a strange science fiction novel. Some themes are common with other stories such as a post nuclear war environment, space colonization, mood control by devices, and android technology. The interesting aspects of this story involve bounty hunting of criminal androids, status symbol of owning animals, and a religion that involves a mental connection with a charlatan leader. The story questions how life forms and particularly human differ from artificial intelligence. This is a similar question asked about Data in Star Trek the Next Generation. I am not quite sure what to make of the book. ( )
  GlennBell | Sep 1, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick, Philip K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allié, ManfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dougoud, JacquelineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duranti, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frasca, GabrieleFsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michniewicz, SueCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagetti, CarloPsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sleight, GrahamIntroductionsecondary 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.)
Disambiguation notice
In 1968, Philip K. Dick wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, a brilliant sf novel that became the source of the motion picture Blade Runner. Though the novel's characters and backgrounds differ in some respects from those of the film, readers who enjoy the latter will discover an added dimension on encountering the original work. Del Rey Books returned this classic novel to print with a movie tie-in edition titled Blade Runner: (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?).
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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