If I’m not playing science fiction games, I’m reading science fiction. One of my top 10 favorite science fiction books is “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick. If you haven’t heard of this I won’t hold it against you. However, you may already know what the book is about if you have ever seen Blade Runner which came out in 1982 and has a pretty large cult following (I also love that movie!). Almost everyone that I know has seen Blade Runner and surprisingly “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ was the primary base for the movie.
Here is a quick overview of the book:
It is set in a post-apocalyptic future (this future never gets old) where you eventually learn nuclear war occurred. This had caused drastic ecological changes on the Earth with thousands if not millions of animals becoming endangered or extinct. Thus, owning a live animal is a big sign of status and is associated strongly with humans showing empathy towards their animal. The story follows a bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, hired to “retire” six androids that have escaped. However, these androids are the newest models and can replicate humans perfectly, except for one small flaw. Androids cannot be empathetic, thus Rich tests possible androids for empathy. I won’t go further into the story because I want you to read it yourself, but you can see how this story resembles Bladerunner but still stands on it’s own two feet.
I love how Philip K. Dick explores what it is to be human. Plan and simple the book focuses on what makes humans human. I further enjoyed his writing style, smooth and clear, which allowed me to fully enjoy the book. Few present day authors I feel actually write well, their sentences are aimed at a elementary level making the book full of short, simple sentences making the book boring. His use of imagery in setting the atmosphere really pulls the trials of Rich Deckard into reality, also being able to see what Rich is thinking helps you feel emphatic towards him. I also enjoyed the author showcasing all the errors or issues with the human condition. You see other human characters that display the qualities of being human (envy, hatred, ignorance, etc.) which is a striking contrast to the logical androids. I could easily go on for a few paragraphs on why I love this book, but honestly you should read it for yourself.
I never once thought “that could have been done better” while reading this book. I know it is probably cliche but I can’t think of anything that someone would have to complain about after finishing.
Stop reading my review and get “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” now! This is a science fiction classic that needs to be appreciated and enjoyed. I bet you won’t regret it and you’ll be thinking “I should watch Bladerunner again” after you finish.