An android walks into a bar Hey , the bartender says, Only people with feelings are allowed in here You need empathy in order to be in a joke like this, or at least have something people can relate to Oh, don t worry , the android replies, I definitely feel empathy Relieved, the bartender invites him over to the bar What are you having A beer would be great , the android replies The bartender, evidently approving of this fine choice, gladly obliges and goes on to cater for the other guests The android sits there for a while, drinking, looking, thinking He decides he wants of that beer Hey bartender , he shouts, Come give me a refill, my glass is empathy The title of this edition, Blade Runner , is very fitting as it shows to which great extent my reading experience tied in to the movie This might seem strange because plot wise there are very few similarities between this book and the film And despite them being so different, I can only say both are supremely good It s impossible for me to say which I prefer One element where the book wins it over the movie is the title, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , which was used as a subtitle in this edition of the book The contents remain the same as in the original book, but the cover work is evidently made with the movie in mind The way the novel influenced the movie probably goes without saying The central theme has been picked up man managed to create an inferior version of man in order to make use of that product for their own benefit as slaves, as company In essence, what would happen if Dr Frankenstein s patent would expire and his creation would be mass produced, made aesthetically pleasing and completely void of emotions Inferior is relative though, because the androids are generally intelligent and agile And most look very attractive, which helps.
That s where the philosophical aspect comes in What is it that makes us so different from these creations that makes us essentially human According to society in this book, it s empathy The ability to feel for others, to manage to go through what they re going through by some mystic group connection The androids can t do that and are thus considered subhuman and when on the loose, dangerous.
This story progresses by questioning that central statement For starters, not all humans have empathy, or at least they don t act upon it And when they have it, it s selective at best The difference between human and humane is signifcant than what their similar spelling would suggest How else to explain the treatment of so called chickenheads , by which society allows the elderly, the weak and the stupid to be stranded on a dying planet Additionally, hints are given that the androids could possess emotions than they were intended to have So where on the humanity spectrum does that leave the man who has to kill them for a living That s what this story is about This book offers some insights on how Dick himself intended his book, which was essentially an anti establishment novel during the war in Vietnam His line of thinking was that when we go fighting, we become what we re fighting against In his vision the androids truly were evil Any sympathizing I have been doing with them, and with me many others, was not intended by the author and maybe partially due to the movie s influence Admittedly, it becomes much harder to like them near the end of the book, especially if you like animals Dick s focus was not on how human the in our eyes inhuman are, but on how bounty hunters themselves became devoid of emotions the longer they were doing their jobs How those who claim to be human can turn into the monsters they fight quite easily I personally like to regard it from both its perspectives.
The atmosphere created in the book is supreme When I had read it last year, I rated it three stars Yesterday, 4 Now, after having given it careful thought, 5 Why the hesitation There are some segments that don t seem to make sense, like the operation Garland had set up or Mercer manifesting himself at certain occasions But then, that s part of it The nightmare feel of the book is part of what makes it so great and these fluid elements in the story where there are unexplained shifts between dreamworlds and reality are part of what constitutes the nightmare experience My reading experience of this book was amplified by the influences of the other media it appeared in, both the movie and the videogame which was based on the movie The artwork in those was simply sublime and provided the perfect framework in which the story could be set, also in my mind Dark and always foggy streets, trash everywhere, cheap neon the only source of light and a musical score to round it all off It s a dreary place, but somehow, I can t explain it, very appealing According to the additional notes in my edition, Dick, who sadly could not see the completed movie due to his untimely demise, was positively surprised when he saw the first 20 minutes of the movie, saying that it felt Ridley Scott had held a mirror to his mind I do wonder if that s entirely truthful, since I doubt Harrison Ford saw a balding, slightly overweight man when he looked in his own mirror I think it s safe to say that Ridley Scott and his entourage really added something to the experience of this story, as well as offering a completely new narrative.
In conclusion This is one of those instances where the franchise in its entirety can be strongly recommended Like PKD himself predicted in a letter to the movie makers Blade Runner has proven to be invincible I hope the Blade Runner 2049 movie will demonstrate that further.
Read it, watch it, play it and feel human It Was January , And Rick Deckard Had A License To KillSomewhere 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 Exactly Like Humans, And They Didn T Want To Be Found I Love Dick There I ve said it No, not a Mood Organ or blood filled skin sack made to facilitate reproduction but Philip K Dick Is it really possible for androids to acquire human traits like empathy and the desire to understand the meaning of life and avoid death at all costs What would the role of socialism play in an android world Would self aware androids seek out to destroy anything that threatened their existence or tried to control their thoughts ie programming A Google search revealed that the search for intelligent android life is alive and well I learned that there are no less than 15 groups attempting to create intelligent android life.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was a joyous adventure into mans struggles with ideas such as real vs unreal, life vs un life, mind control, intelligence vs mental deficiency, decay vs regeneration, the value of religion real or imagined and the value of individualism vs the collective Sounds like something that should have a King James Version doesn t it I would consider attending mass at a church where the virtues and values explored in this book were studied and preached.
Would an intelligent android society have a need for religion even if they understood that the religion they followed was created divinely inspired or not to give them hope and a forum where they would feel like a part of something bigger and consequential than oneself What value does religion have in the lives of mankind This is one of the fundamental issues Dick toys with in the world he creates in this novel.
And now I digress.
While in college I played around a little with writing an Artificial Intelligence AI program I called The Oracle It was a simple program where input from the user was stored in data files along with key words that would allow the program to associate the users input with the key words The result was that The Oracle could use input from the user to learn custom responses to questions the user might ask My rudimentary computer skills and the memory storage limits of my Commodore 64 resulted in my abandoning the project after numerous attempts to avoid the out of memory errors Oh, the limitations of computers Would a memory error like this in humans be considered something like a seizure If we succeed in creating self aware computers I wonder what they would think of their creators Would they treat their parents better than we treat our own human parents or would they tend to migrate to their own, creating a separate mechanical society Dicks Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep explores this question and presents one look at how this might work out.
If you are a fan of relevant science fiction I would recommend this book I ended up reading this one twice in a row to make sure I didn t miss anything Others familiar with Dick might suggest other Dick works that could should be read before taking on this philosophical social work By the way a Mood Organ is an invention by Dick It s a device used by humans to manipulate their moods The user dials in a code which correlates with a specific emotion, mood, or desire Sounds like something that should take two D sized batteries and be stored at the bottom of the underwear drawer huh Enjoy the book and try to ignore the incessant buzzing in the background, it s just the androids busy at work.
Is Deckard an androidAn android, he said, doesn t care what happens to another android That s one of the indications we look for Then, Miss Luft said, you must be an android That stopped him he stared at her.
This is all I could think about when reading I really looked for evidence to back the idea up, though the novel only provided me with speculation and partial facts For every little suggestion in the text that he is a robot, there is an effective counter argument Somehow, though, I am not entirely convincedMaybe there was once a human who looked like you, and somewhere along the line you killed him and took his place And your superiors don t know I think Phillip K Dick left it purposefully open to an extent, and that s the entire point of the novel.
What is life How do we define it and what separates us from entities that simulate almost every human experience and emotion Very little Phillip K Dick creates a city full of doubt and conspiracy Androids could be anywhere and they could be anyone As technology advances it becomes harder and harder for them to be detected by police They even think they are human with a will and freedom to choose their own lives Who has the right to tell them no Deckard pushes such thoughts to the back of his mind, though they constantly plague him and creep up in the shadows of his dreams He is on the cusp of a moral crisis, an identity crisis, a crisis that may change the way he sees the world Though like most people he is driven by money Killing murdering androids pays really well and Deckard wants a new animal His electric sheep died and he dreams of replacing it with an exceedingly rare real life version, something far important than preoccupations with empathy The value of animals and the natural world to the human psyche is firmly established throughout the book There is an almost depressive quality to the novel, a smoky haze that clouds the cities The scientific boom of the future world has severed the link between man and his true self He is detached and has to rely on artificiality to get by, an artificiality of emotions and animals themselves Animals have become rare and extremely costly They are highly sought after and as such there is a huge market for fake animals, androids electric sheep Thus Deckard kills and robots in order to attain his goal of getting an animal, of finding himself.
This is a great novel, one that questions existence itself It certainly made me think Admittedly though, I think the movie Blade Runner was so much better Aside from the exquisite cinematography and soundtrack, it was far effective at delivering the humanity of the androids and the final confrontation was masterful It capitalised on the themes here and made them stronger.
Well that was crazy cool Raise your hand if you saw my name next to a five star rating and thought you were dreaming Dreaming of electric sheep Boom Ohhhhhhhhhhh baby How have I not read this until now Why haven t I seen Blade Runner before Why Why WhyyyyyyyyyyyEverything about this book is just, just, so just so everything about this book, man, this book, it s just so it is This book Awesome This book is awesome Words I m trying to eliminate from my vocabulary man, awesome, cool, legit, nice, word It s been a real struggle so far Anyway.
I loved this book, obviously It made me think It made me turn the pages It made me move my eyes ferociously back and forth The chapters were irrelevant I blew right through them like running a red light I felt the same exhilarating feeling I would have felt if I was actually running a red light That s how this book makes you feel, like you re speeding in a car and running all the red lights And there are no bounty hunters or blade runners to worry about No early retirement.
The Nexus 6 is the name of a highly advanced robot, a cellular telephone, and probably an elite Quidditch broomstick I wouldn t be surprised Keep checking Potter Are you a fan of Westworld Fahrenheit 451 Brave New World Blade Runner Battlestar Galactica Star Wars Star Trek Die Hard Ex Machina If you said YES to all of these can we be friends We already are Can we continue our friendship If you answered YES to three of those, this is probably the book for you, most likely, surely Enjoy What a fantastic read this was What an absolute joy to experience this story What a privilege we all have to have access to great book such as these, and also other books as well What a great time to be alive What a wonderful world we all live in How lucky are we to sit here in our living rooms and bathtubs reading away and enjoying literature at its finest Good Lord, life is grand.
Meet humans Meet specials Meet animals Meet androids Gage their empathy and retire them Practice Mercerism Dial your moods Love your animals.
Have fun in this wonderful world Plot holes that I disliked Why employ a 2nd pair of andy killers instead of making some andys pose as such 2 police precincts 2 sets of andy tests Osencibly both effective Why not make a bogus one and be done with it The animals thing underdeveloped.
Q What do you do, roam around killing people and telling yourself they re androids c Q Phil Resch, Rick Deckard You re both bounty hunters and it s probably time you met Q The androids are lonely, too c Q If you set the surge up high enough, you ll be glad you re awake that s the whole point c Q My schedule for today lists a six hour self accusatory depression, I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented And I finally found a setting for despair So I put it on my schedule for twice a month I think that s a reasonable amount of time to feel hopeless about everything, c Q At his console he hesitated between dialing for a thalamic suppressant which would abolish his mood of rage or a thalamic stimulant which would make him irked enough to win the argument c Q Despair like that, about total reality, is self perpetuating c Q A 481 Awareness of the manifold possibilities open to me in the future new hope c Q I can t dial a setting that stimulates my cerebral cortex into wanting to dial If I don t want to dial, I don t want to dial that most of all, because then I will want to dial, and wanting to dial is right now the most alien drive I can imagine I just want to sit here on the bed and stare at the floor c Q My horse is pregnant What do you say to that I say pretty soon you ll have two horses, c Q Owning and maintaining a fraud had a way of gradually demoralizing one c Q But, Rick interrupted, for you to have two horses and me none, that violates the whole basic theological and moral structure of Mercerism c Q Can you believe we really pulled this off Not really I m waiting for the next helicopter to land Q If you re lost, you can look and you will find me,time after time c Q Your long jet black hair is one of your best features, but the high ponytails and dramatic updos you currently favor convey a look of aggression When you enter a room, the ladies immediately think, This woman is either going to steal my husband, my baby, or my yoga mat c Q I will provide you with an essential oil made from ylang ylang, sage, and other secret ingredients that will make you smell like you have been baking apple tarts all morning c Ok, this is unbelievable Ylang ylang is one of the most striking aromas that are totally unlike apples Hmmm Q An android, he said, doesn t care what happens to any other android That s one of the indications we look for Then, Miss Luft said, you must be an android c Q The thing about rabbits, sit, is that everybody has one I d like to see you step up to the goat class where I feel you belong Frankly you look like a goat man to me c
It takes five full pages for a character to buy a goat and ONE FRIGGIN SENTENCE for a character to fall in love This book was so amazing in the beginningand then suddenly everything plummeted downhill It was almost as if Dick got 150 pages in and then said awwww screw ituh, sentence, sentence, sentence, THE END Why did there need to be any sort of love storyline anyway Along with being the only geek who made it through puberty without reading Phillip K Dick books, I also am one of the few who has never seen Blade Runner I m a little scared to now.
I was so convinced I was going to give this one 5 stars while I read the first 100 pages It felt truly original, hauntingly believable, and seemed gearing up for some big revelation Man, did this one disappoint Dear Mr Dick, Thank you for the lovely short storybut what was with all of those extra pages glued in after 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 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 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 and 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 SheepPhilip K Dick, American Science Fiction author 1928 1982