Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
In a desperate attempt to get a review out before end of school, I had to marathon read this book, so I may be missing out on some details. Many readers may know this book by its movie name, Blade Runner, but few may know of its 1968 precursor.
The book’s setting is in a post-war Earth. Many animals died from a mixture of masses of dust and radiation, resulting in mass extinctions. To compensate for this (and to prevent future war), a belief system called Mercerism was created, which revolved around the idea of empathy toward humans and animals. Humans could link in to an empathy box, which connected them to a man named Mercer, who was continuously walking up a hill while stone’s are thrown at him. While Mercerism was created, humanity was desperate to replace many of the animals that died.
Robotic animals were created, all of which were indistinguishable from their real counterparts. Robotic humans were created as well, to aid with menial labor on the fledgling colonies on Mars and other planets. Many androids desired to leave their awful living conditions, so they left for Earth. To combat this, all police departments hired bounty hunters to “retire” them.
The book begins with the creation of the Nexus 6 android, the most advanced type yet. This novel is definitely a classic. It is incredibly philosophical, with many interesting thoughts introduced to the reader. This first time through the book, it is likely you may miss many things that you could catch the second or third time around. The characters are interesting, although at times I found them to be incredibly cold and clinical, but that could just be to draw comparisons between them and the androids that lack empathy. The setting is bleak and very dystopian, presenting the best and worst of humanity.
If I could change anything about this book, it would be that I would have more information about Mercerism and the colonies on Mars.
I sincerely hope that most people who read this review read this book. This book is a solid 9/10.