Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner)


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A masterpiece ahead of its time, a prescient rendering of a dark future, and the inspiration for the blockbuster film Blade Runner

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.

Praise for Philip K. Dick

“The most consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world.”—John Brunner

“A kind of pulp-fiction Kafka, a prophet.”The New York Times

“[Philip K. Dick] sees all the sparkling—and terrifying—possibilities . . . that other authors shy away from.”Rolling Stone

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345404473
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1996
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,391
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 7.93(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Born in Chicago in 1928, Philip K. Dick would go on to become one of the most celebrated science fiction authors of all time. The author of 44 published novels and 120 short stories, Dick won a Hugo Award in 1963, and a John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1975, and was nominated five separate times for the Nebula Award. Eleven of his works have been turned into films, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and A Scanner Darkly. He died in 1982.

Read an Excerpt

chapter 1

Excerpted from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
by .
Copyright © 1996 Philip K. Dick.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 293 reviews.
Hornbillette More than 1 year ago
It's easy to see how this book inspired the movie, Blade Runner, but it's plot runs differently. I found it quite enjoyable to read. It was thought-provoking on it's issues and I was very impressed with the way that the writer created a dark, empty and claustrophobic atmosphere. The human characters in the book were more complex and interesting than in the movie. On the other hand, this is not the book to read in order to figure out the movie. The movie's plot was simpler and more cohesive. The book's story line is as murky and inconsistent as the future world that the book describes. Basically, the book raised lots of new issues to think about and didn't add much to my understanding of the movie. It's a great book and I recommend it highly, if that's what you're hoping for.
RichGillock More than 1 year ago
Philip K. Dick is not so much of a science fiction writer as he is a mystery writer who sets his plots and characters in imagined future enviroments. His characters are interesting while humanly flawed and the plot twists keep you guessing and surprised. Unlike some science fiction he doesn't focus on a narrative of a future world. The details just kind of sneak out naturally as part of the plot. What the future allows Dick to do is to change the rules and see how his characters fit into that environment. But the humans still act like humans with all their flaws, and the androids, maybe more so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story. As they always say, "the book was better than the movie." I wasn't a huge Blade Runner fan, but I really enjoyed the book. It poses the classic Scifi questions about defining life. It's a quick read; for anyone with a few hours to spare, I'd highly recommend it!
JosephCopeli More than 1 year ago
Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter on the now sparsely populated planet Earth. His job is to hunt "andys," slang for androids, that have escaped from the human colonies on Mars and Earth's Moon. The latest model of cylon, er android, the Nexus-6, is particularly wily; they resemble humans more closely than ever before. Most importantly, the Nexus-6 can almost pass a Voigt-Kampff examination, which tests an intelligent being for empathy, a quality androids don't possess. As Deckard pursues the six andys that eluded his predecessor, he finds that the line between human and android isn't as defined as he previously believed and starts to question the morality of his undertaking. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is the second Philip K. Dick work I've read (the other being A Scanner Darkly) and there is a theme that the author explores in both novels: an understanding of the quality that makes us human. In A Scanner Darkly, Dick was able to create a sympathetic character out of a double-crossing, drug-addicted undercover informant. Similarly, Dick makes sympathetic characters of his androids, showing their humanity even though they are not human. The bounty hunter Deckard starts to notice this too. Deckard begins to question his preconceptions when he is pursuing the opera singer Luba Luft. She cunningly accuses Deckard of being an android because of the ease with which he "retires" androids without feeling any empathy toward them. Deckard, of course, denies this, but a change in his attitude is revealed shortly, after Luft has been retired by Phil Resch, another bounty hunter. Deckard was touched by Luft's musical skill and starts to think that robbing the world of her talent, android or human, is insane. This is the first time Deckard feels empathy toward the "things" he hunts. Luft's death makes Deckard aware of the difference between himself and Resch. He is convinced that Resch is an android because of Resch's quick trigger finger (and his indifference to art, perhaps, as well). Deckard tells Resch, "You like to kill. All you need is a pretext. If you had a pretext you'd kill me." Despite his conviction, however, Deckard's test reveals that Resch is human. The result of the test is significant enough for both bounty hunters to try to make sense of it, with Deckard reasoning that Resch has a defect that makes him unsympathetic toward androids. Resch points out, though, that this isn't a defect; if he felt any empathy toward androids, he wouldn't be able to kill them. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Is filled with conundrums of this sort, in which the qualities that make humans human and androids android are flipped, mixed, rearranged and contemplated. Deckard, a bounty hunter, mourns a dead android and finds he has too much of the quality that androids don't possess. Those humans that can afford it use a machine to program moods for themselves; Iran, Deckard's wife, even programs depression for herself twice a month so that she feels bad about being left on Earth. John Isidore, a human whose intelligence was affected by the nuclear fallout on Earth, is considered sub-human, below the level of animals even, which are now highly sought-after because most of them died from radiation poisoning. The only friends he has are the escaped... [Due to's character limit, the rest of this review can be found at]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books like this don't come around all the time for me. I basically like every book I read, but I don't love all of them. But this book I can honestly say is amazing. I first tried to read it in 8th grade, and got about 80 pages in before I quit. And I just now picked it up again 3 years later. Now a sophmore in highschool I can appreciate it more. It has a good message and a very comfortable style of writing. I will definitely read more Phillip K. Dick.
Baomei More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for escapism. If you've seen the movie Blade Runner and expect the same sense of intellectual challenge and ambiguity, you'd be disappointed. Not because the book is less interesting, it is just a lot more different that you'd expect. Nevertheless, it is a great sci-fi story and its short content makes it an easy read.
monkey3 More than 1 year ago
If you have never read any of Philip Dick's other books, I recommend you start here. Chances are, you have seen the film that was based on this novel (Bladerunner) and this is one of the easiest of his books to get into if you are not familiar with his style. Do not expect a lot of action, as this is a small but heady novel full of intriguing philosophical ideas and biting social commentary. if you like this, move on to Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said or A Scanner Darkly. PK Dick is a real treat for the mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book by Philip K. Dick was a very quick read. The beginning of the book doesn't move so quickly, but once you get into the book, things start moving fairly fast. The book is primarily about one man's encounter with androids that have escaped and turned to killing humans. He is a bounty hunter for the San Francisco Police Dept. and gets paid to 'retire' these rogue androids. When he receives a larger assignment than usual, some unexpected things happen when he is forced to fight the most advanced androids in existence, the Nexus-6 series of android. The way in which the author portrays the world adds a lot to the story and helps make a lot of the other things in the story that most people would normally take for granted make sense. However, at the same time, it can be seen as a sort of a dystopian view of the world (most everything is destroyed, people are grouped into 'regulars' and 'specials' based on how much brain damage they have received from nuclear fallout, etc), so if you don't enjoy that sort of book, this is probably not the book for you. If you're looking for a sci-fi thriller, this is also not the book. There are not very many action scenes in this book, instead philosophical ideas fill in this gap. I personally enjoyed the book. I believe most people would as well, if they can find the story engaging (easier after reading the first few chapters). It is definitely worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have ever read.
RichardSutton More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read PK Dick since the late 1960s, and since I enjoyed Blade Runner so much, I thought I should see what the writer had to say. Of course, it came as no surprise that the movie follows a different path. If they had stayed true to the books, no one would have seen the film. This is a dark and very sad novel. Reading it, as a fully-conceived idea of the world of the Nuclear Winter I was struck,over and over again by the persistence of both human denial and human ascendancy, despite all odds to the contrary. These people still find things to care about, even though there is little reason to. Unlike the feeble triumph of Cormac McCarthy's characters in The Road, Dick's characters gain nothing and once the bounty hunter has discovered how his work is actually affecting him, he understands the futility in life itself continuing under these conditions. The extremely touching counterpoint to the violence of his occupation is his own search for an animal to love -- one that actually needs him. The image of the rooftop pasture occupied by a robotic sheep is one of the most pathetic visions I have ever absorbed. This book left me sad, and without a great deal of hope for the future in the face of the hubris of our species. It is a master work, make no mistake. The writing held me throughout and only lapsed into murkiness when it fit the story, enhancing my emotional response to Dick's well-chosen words. I highly recommend this, but it is not a rollicking chase adventure like the movie was. The androids he hunts down are also not dreamy philosophers, like Rutger Hauer's character in the movie. They are barely passable, utility replicas with no redemption.
blutarski More than 1 year ago
It's a shorter book but still dives deep enough to completely develop the main characters and the plot. It truly makes you wonder what things are actually alive
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While hard to follow at times (as is normal with PKD), it's a great book! Hard to put down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In reading some reviews by people who had seen the Ridley Scott movie and then read this book, I noticed that many were disappointed. Not only were they disappointed to not have something so visually stunning to look at, but the personal drama in the book is much slower and awkward than in the movie. To my mind, the ideas that Dick 's writing explore requires more subtle and quiet drama than the screen can easily reproduce. Dick's fiction was not space adventure. It was truly science fiction, the creation of another world, that was enough like our own to be believable, but different enough to fascinate and challenge us. The best part about the book, in contrast to the movie, is that Decker can tell the difference between humans and replicants quite easily. The machine he uses to analyze them is not exactly a formality, but it's sort of like modern DNA testing in criminal matters: we it use to make 100% sure we're right. In the movie, the replicants, whose lives are so short, seem to be more full of life than the humans. They live with fear, and as a result they appreciate each moment, each second, every (false) memory much more than those of use with long life spans tend to. The book is really an inversion of this situation. Decker knows what being a replicant is: it's not human, it's devoid of something critical, something essential to human consiousness. However, when he looks back at what it means to be human, he has a hard time finding answers. The outcome isn't that the replicants seem more human than humans (as is the case in the movie), but that being human is dissappointing and dry, it also is lacking, but in some other strange way. Another innovation that helps us think about this point is the characters' use of a device that allows you to select your mood. You want to feel sad because of a friend's death, but you also want to feel slightly relieved that it's not, you dial up 1376 on the machine, place your hands on either side of the box, and zap! the feelings are yours. The notion that feelings, that aspect of consciousness that is "given" to us, can be selected after the fact is a very innovative idea. One need only look at he number of drugs we use today to help stabilize and improve our mood. That's another neat example of how PKD was really a far-seeing man. If you are going to read this book and appreciate some of it's finer points, of which there are many, I would keep these things in mind.
Anonymous 11 months ago
If you have seen the movie, you have to read this book. It is different as expected with movies adapted from book. You will do discover other things not even touch by the movie.
ryvre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An quick, interesting book. I loved the plot and all the twists and turns. The characters felt very flat and boring.
draigwen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed with this book - mainly because I love Blade Runner and it is nothing like the film. The plot is very different and other than the existence of androids the world is different too. When they say Blade Runner is based on Androids they mean very loosely based.I didn't really like the setup of the world. I felt it too unlikely a world. Obviously I read the book a long time after it was written and this will no doubt influence my feeling about the setting.The plot was slow and lacked the excitement of the film (which was admittedly slow too - but still kept me on the edge of my seat).And most importantly I couldn't find any reason to like any of the characters. And nothing to make me dislike them either. I was apathetic about the whole book.It's not a bad book, not really. It's written well enough and it introduces interesting concepts. As a possible view of the future and the consequences of human actions. But for me it wasn't captivating enough to keep me reading - it took me weeks to read what is little more than a novella.
readingrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A morality play disguised as a sci-fi novel.
CliffBurns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still packs a wallop--and utterly different than the movie ("Blade Runner"), though both have a definite melancholic tone. Not a shiny, happy vision of the near future--technology has done nothing to bridge the gap between men and women and the distinctions between machine and human are no longer easy to delineate. One of PKD's finest...
Bohh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never seen the movie, but I wasn't to thrilled by this book. It was a quick read, and it did keep me interested until the end - but there was a lot of things that just really didn't play well for me.The ideas were neat though, and I'd still recommend reading it.
burningtodd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am in love with PKD¿s work. This is the novel that the movie ¿Bladerunner¿ is based on, and, while it has similar themes and ideas, it is vastly different. The book touches on the mind and private lives of the main characters, and really questions the nature of existence and what it means to be alive. Dick¿s writing is full of dark imagery and the day-to-day struggle of his characters. He writes of bleak worlds and the men and women that populate them. He gives them lives of struggle, but he also gives them hope.
leore_joanne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very good book. It is overwhelming.But also terribly depressing.
the_hag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve been meaning to read this for¿well, a really LONG time. I thoroughly enjoyed Bladerunner, it¿s one of my all time favorite movies. I knew going into this that the movie was loosely based on the characters of the book and at least some of the story line, but that it deviated significantly from the book in tone and overall storyline.I read, a while back, that a lot of the movie fans really dissed the book¿I think that they both have merit in their own right. The book was published in 1968¿and I¿d say it¿s pretty poignant for the time it was written and still relevant today. It didn¿t feel as dark as the movie (at least to me), but raises some interesting questions about what it means to be ¿alive,¿ and a myriad of other ¿issues¿ are touched on in the book. I feel like I¿ve said it a lot lately, but this is another that is a classic for a reason and that it has stayed popular for 20+ years. I¿d recommend it to anyone¿but your really not reading the book equivalent of the movie Bladerunner¿Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is worthy of reading in its own right!! Excellent!
lmichet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The state of mind brought on by reading this book was pretty intense.Let me put it this way. I have diabetes. For some reason, I forget exactly why, I had a severe attack of low blood sugar about 30 pages from the end of this book-- around the time when Deckard enters the apartment building for a final showdown with the replicants. It is at this point that reality within the story begins to fall apart. Reading it as I was in an extremely confused state of mind-- my blood sugar was so low that I could not tell it was low-- I had a ridiculous collapse of reality myself. Afterwards I had to go back and reread the ending just to make certain I had understood it.Well, on the reread my frame of mind was no different. It's absolutely ridiculous. The writing is somehow perplexingly hypnotic; it's like reading a drug trip. The ideas raised in the plot are compelling without being bluntly treated; you find that you've begun asking yourself all sorts of crazy questions without being explicitly told to by the story. It's social commentary at its best. And it's extremely well-written.If you read any Philip K. Dick, read this one.