On My
Bookshelf

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

by Philip K. Dick

SYNOPSIS

By 2021, the World War has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remain covet any living creature, and for people who can’t afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacra: horses, birds, cats, sheep. They’ve even built humans. Immigrants to Mars receive androids so sophisticated they are indistinguishable from true men or women. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. Rick Deckard, an officially sanctioned bounty hunter, is commissioned to find rogue androids and “retire” them. But when cornered, androids fight back—with lethal force.

 

WHY I LOVE IT

I like smart books. And I like smart books that are simply written so as not to feel like a slog. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? hits both those notes with ease.

It’s the stories that can take complex philosophical issues and render them in a way that’s easy for us mere mortals to digest are the stories that possess a rare brand of genius. On the surface, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is deceptively simple; but within its dark corners lurks a menagerie of moral and philosophic questions. The reader is supplied with just enough discourse to chew on — it’s up to the reader to continue chewing or simply swallow it down.

Weighty, atmospheric, and cerebral (without being overbearing), this is a classic for the ages. The classic, in fact, that inspired the 1982 cult classic film Blade Runner (and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049).