D is for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel is better known as Blade Runner, the Ridley Scott film that is widely regarded as a SF masterpiece. I saw the film in the late 80s and loved it, and I watched it a few times once it came out on TV and I was able to video it. That’s right, video, no DVDs in those days!

The film plays like a Raymond Chandler detective story, with Harrison Ford’s voice-over adding to the Noir atmosphere. It’s a great film. The portrayal of a post nuclear dystopian future has been extremely influential.

I’m glad there was some distance between watching the film and reading the book a few years later. They are very different even though the basics of the story are the same, i.e. jaded cop hunts down a band of renegade androids. The book presents a question: What is it to be human?, and those¬†familiar with the author’s work will rcognise this as a recurrent theme. It makes for a more interesting and thoughtful read and there is a much greater sense of completeness than in the film. In fact there are many bits of the film that only really make sense when you’ve read the book. Remember the owl?

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7 thoughts on “D is for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

  1. WHY is it so difficult now for people to put the question mark (?) at the end of Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That is the way it was originally published, was it not? And it thereby makes the novel one possible answer to the interrogatory title.

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  2. Now corrected. Not sure I agree that the novel is “one possible answer”. I would say the arc of the story leads the main character to a moral dilemma that can be summarised by the question that is the title of the novel.

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