Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I see why this is considered to be a classic of science fiction. I won’t bore you with details of the plot, other than, to fill in those who may not know; the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner was based on this book.
Except, of course, in the typical manner of movies, a lot of deep and cerebral stuff was left out. For instance, there’s a whole subplot around the creation of a post-apocalyptic sort of religion and an “empathy box” which is basically, for our modern sci-fi minds, a VR system with endocrinal feedback sub-systems that affect emotion.
It’s a bleak tale that says a lot about human nature, as well as asking the obvious question that was the center of the movie plot: is there really anything about being human and alive that separates us from thinking machines? I see why people say that there’s a distinct Kafka influence in this.
Good read. Fast read; did it in a couple of days, and that’s with a full work schedule. The action and dialogue-driven plot just carries you right along.
Why did I not give it five stars then? Why didn’t I absolutely love it? Because of the characters. The characters were not real people; they were ciphers who were symbolically making the writer’s point. In other words, it can be too artsy, and it’s hard to care as much about the protagonist as I probably should have.
Still, everyone who claims to be a science fiction fan should read it. It’s definitely worth reading.