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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Dick, Philip K. (Book - 1996)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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"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
Authors: Dick, Philip K.
Title: Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1996, c1968
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
Characteristics: x, 244 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Philip K. Dick ; [introduction by Roger Zelazny]
Notes: "A Del Rey book."
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
ISBN: 9780345404473
0345404475
Branch Call Number: SF DICK
Physical Form Available: Also issued online
Subject Headings: Androids Fiction
Genre/Form: Science fiction
Topical Term: Androids
Additional Physical Form Entry: Online version: Dick, Philip K. Do androids dream of electric sheep? 1st Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed. New York : Ballantine Books, 1996, c1968 (OCoLC)604948768
LCCN: 96096117
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Join the discussion on April 18, 2015. By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Emigrees to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificia... Read More »

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.


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Sep 03, 2014
  • joliebergman rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I struggle with most Science Fiction. And by struggle I mean my eyes begin to glaze over at first sight of the super sci-fi technology minutiae. I actually had the same problem with Dune… which makes me sad because I really want to enjoy reading (rather than watching – which I enjoy!) more classic science fiction. Read the first quarter, skipped every handful of pages or so, then read the last three pages. Satisfied.

Jul 24, 2014
  • mbssmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was okay. I personally thought the movie was better. Rachael was much better in the movie. The one part in the book that made more sense in the book than in the movie was the part where Deckard meets Rachael for the first time.

Like peering into another world and getting to eavesdrop on a more important conversation. This book definitely makes life a little more livable by showing how everyday habits can easily become fantasy through one's own perspective.

Oct 29, 2013
  • Mark Melnychuk rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Some regard this as a scientific classic. They must mean the movie Blade Runner. The novel had to be adapted and the title changed because it simply wasn't exciting enough. The action scenes in the novel are are about as exciting as reading a cookbook recipe. There is no suspense and Dick has had no success at all in predicting the future, which is here now and bears no resemblance to the novel. Waste of time.

Well worth the read. I won't go so far as to praise the book with shock and awe, but it kept me. It's about life really, and how a single day can go from confused, to wonderful, and finally to utterly exhausting. How, when our notions of reality are put to the test, new notions may be brought to life. And how these new notions, these moments of clarity or enlightenment can fundamentally alter how we interact with the world. The science fiction is necessary, to a degree, but to me it is more of an aesthetic in this story. A neat way to illustrate decay, and hardship. Some say Dick's world is far off, but I don't entirely agree. The urban has taken much life from the city dweller, but not yet too much, though some feel it more than others. When will we must dream of electric sheep, because everyone is too poor to own a real one?

Aug 30, 2013
  • flufficorn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A truly amazing book, well worth the time. A human rights story, and a story of self-realization and self-defeat. It could be a grim glimpse into the future of the environment and society as we know it, assuming space travel ever becomes a reality. When I read the end of the book, I was disappointed. But upon reflection and realizing just how normally it ends, I am greatly satisfied with it. Deckard is a human, with human flaws, but then again what is human?

Jun 19, 2013
  • Quetzlzacatenango rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Once your familiar with Philip K. Dick you know you're going to be in for a story filled with strange details like Buster Friendly, lead codpieces, empathy boxes, and obsessions with having a live animal. But like most of his stories the core idea is so solid and engaging when you're done you realize the strange details are the author's humor, satire, and unique metaphors.

Jan 31, 2013
  • DanMenard rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Definitely a sci-fi classic, but not all it's hyped up to be. The exploration of emotion/empathy as a largely defining characteristic of humans is an interesting one within the context of a world wherein androids are otherwise indistinguishable from humans.

However, even as a short book, it seemed like it could have been more effectively conveyed through a novella or short story. I don't think that it dragged on, but there was too much filler.

I wouldn't recommend against reading it, but if you're looking for a great story instead of filling in gaps in your sci-fi repertoire, move on.

Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

More different from the Bladerunner movie than I expected. It thoughtfully explores the uniquely human quality of empathy, which turns out to be more like a curse in Deckard's bleak world.

Jul 21, 2012
  • everydayathena rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this novel, and was particularly intrigued by the essay featured at the end of the book (it discusses all of the conflicts which arose when the screenplay for the movie "Blade Runner" was being written). I then watched the movie, actually, just to have a better understanding of why these conflicts had erupted. Like 99% of viewers, I found the movie to be a colossal waste of time (sorry Ridley Scott - I loved the Alien movies and always will!).

But I digress. This is not a movie review. It's a book review.

The plot was satisfying and I appreciated the significant theme of the novel - were clones to exist, (the beings in this book are not true clones, but rather "androids") what rights would they have, if any? Would it be ethically offensive to use them as slaves? What would our response be if these clones chose to assert their rights? Would they HAVE rights?

I did not find the romance in this novel believable, but rather mechanical. The love between the protagonist and the android that he must "retire" (kill) was not well developed. I say this only because the essay at the end of the book indicates that it was an important idea to the author, one which he vehemently defended when screenplay writers threatened to "write it out" of the movie.

I struggled with two concepts in the novel - the veneration of animals, and "Mercerism", which is the religious ideology followed by the characters. Upon those concepts the most important messages of the novel were built - it's too bad they were both stripped from the movie.

I would still recommend this novel, despite some of the drawbacks - its underlying philosophies are provocative. Moreover, I think it's important to be familiar with the classic canon of any genre, and I intend to read more PKD.

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sannuus thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Jul 21, 2012
  • everydayathena rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

everydayathena thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 10, 2008
  • jabey rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

jabey thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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Do Androids dream of electric sheep? Do androids dream at all? Do they hope for something better? Humans have dreams and hopes, and humans have empathy. How and why have these traits come about? Research on this can be found, yet here, Dick has explored what happens when these traits are missing. How cold logic and curiosity can take over, and how when the pain in others does not register, or the pleasure for that matter, lead ultimately to worse and deadly choices. Can a person live without these qualities? Would they be condemned by their peers? What happens when we remove the spider's legs? Does it make a difference if the spider is artificial? I personally was intrigued when a discussion about judgment came up, or at least it did in my mind. A being exists which is pure acceptance, and lacking in judgment. Lacking judgment allows for a more clear perception of the worald, and a release from stress. What happens when this point is reached, and can it be reversed? Can a mind go from complete numbing acceptance to the strong opinion and emotional reactiveness which seems more common to human nature. If you, or anyone, lacked empathy, how would you go about testing for its existence in others? At some point, though we may recognize the pain of another, most people have committed some act at the painful expense of someone else. So, then, does empathy only give recognition of feeling? Are some more susceptible to their empathic sense than others? I would imagine so; in fact, I'm sure I've observed this. If your arrival to this work was due to watching the film Blade Runner do not expect too much similarity. Certainly, many of the characters and ideas, and even at times the plot, seem to go with the film, but ultimately it is quite a different experience. The landscape of Dick's future is hard and polluted. So much so that it can take lives, and souls. Try not to let the imagery of the film be the backdrop when you read, for it is not quite the same. And, in order to prolong the inevitable build-up of kipple, I suggest checking this book out from the library so that you can return it before it breaks down... Then again, I would consider one worth keeping in the personal collection.

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May 10, 2009
  • DavidB rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: "Copulation with an android; absolutely against the law, here and on the colony worlds as well."

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Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

He thought, too, about his need for a real animal; within him an actual hatred once more manifested itself toward his electric sheep, which he had to tend, had to care about, as if it lived. The tyranny of an object, he thought. It doesn't know I exist. Like the androids, it had no ability to appreciate the existence of another.

Aug 12, 2009
  • Wolvie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.

May 10, 2009
  • DavidB rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I'm seeing one of them for the the first time. And they damn near did it; they came awfully damn close to undermining the Voigt-Kampff scale, the only method we have for detecting them. The Rosen Association does a good job -- makes a good try, anyhow -- at protecting its products. And I have to face six more of them, he reflected. Before I'm finished. He would earn the bounty money. Every cent. Assuming he made it through alive.

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app07 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30