Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
For those members of The Classics Club, a couple of months ago the latest Classics spin was #12, and in my list, it corresponded to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Many of you have read it or watched the movie Blade Runner, based on it, at least the older version.
I have not watched the movie yet.
I kind of like the book, though I would definitely not consider it as the best scifi novel of all times. Though maybe it was quite unique when it came out in 1968.
Apart from the post-apocalyptic setting of post-nuclear dust and radiation all over, having forced all who could afford it to emigrate to planet colonies, you have new social categories and values among the few people left. For instance, possessing a real animal, so rare they are now, is a sign you are way up on the social ladder. Many can only resort to electric animal, so well done actually that’s it’s sometimes difficult to make the difference.
Even more in people: who is a real human? Who is actually an android? And why are they here and what do they want?
Rick lands with a bounty hunter job, the only way he could get rich quickly, by hunting and killing these androids. But how to recognize them for sure?
A bit like the other scifi novel I just read and will review tomorrow, this one raises the question of identity: how do we really know who others are and who we are ourselves?
Could empathy be a real criteria? This was definitely an interesting element for this discernment, as a possible unique human characteristic.
I liked the ambiguity around this subject of identity, as well as around the topic of religion. The book never gives you formal clues about a definitive answer.
One thing is sure: omnipresent TV has become a source of slavery. But this is already the case, nothing specific to scifi.
The ending was flat and disappointing for me, but it could be an incentive to read the other books in the series. Have you? Would you recommend me to do so?
VERDICT: A classic scifi novel raising the important question of what makes us ultimately human.
Author: Philip K. Dick
Publication Year: 1968
Genre: Science Fiction
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
Would you recommend me to read the sequel?
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This book counted for this Reading Challenge: