One of the greatest SF novels of the 20th century. Dick takes us on a journey through the deepest, darkest aspects of the human soul with a funny, fast-paced plot set on post-apocolyptic Earth. This is one to
March marks the 36th anniversary of the death of science fiction writer Philip K Dick whose most iconic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was finished fifty years ago this spring. This is a pretty amazing turn around for a writer who died broke and in near obscurity his hasty obituary in the New York Times was a scant three paragraphs long and riddled with errors. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was written during the periodprobably the two most turbulent years America has experienced since the second World War. Assassinations, riots, Vietnam, hippies, drugs, counter-culture, scandals and the Cold War were the context for Dick to write a book which is basically a pretty straightforward detective story set in a nightmare future.
In his Digital Cultures course, Dr. Gerald R. Lucas expresses that this book sets up an opposition between human and android.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It tells of the moral crisis of Rick Deckarda bounty hunter who stalks almost-human androids in a nuclear fallout-clouded, partially deserted future San Francisco. It is one of the defining science fiction works exploring the ethical dimensions of androids.
The thing about Philip K. Dick's view on reality is that it only stays reality so long as you don't blink. Take your eyes off Dick's switching, twisting, and shuffling hands for a second, and you never know what you'll find under the cup: an android posing as a flesh-and-blood human, a movie-star turned galactic deity, or a once bustling city turned gray nuclear wasteland?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dickfirst published in The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth's life has been greatly damaged by nuclear global war. Most animal species are endangered or extinct from extreme radiation poisoningso that owning an animal is now a sign of status and empathyan attitude encouraged towards animals.
T his novel is the source text for Ridley Scott's dystopian masterpiece Blade Runnerand it's to Philip K Dick's considerable credit that neither book nor film seem dated. Indeed, barely a year goes by without the arrival of some technological advance that makes the future dreamed up by Dick in seem closer. Hovercars may be a while off, but video calls and genetic modifications are firmly in the here and now.