Do Androids Dream of Eletric Sleep?

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Phillip K. Dick’s book kicked my ass. DADoES is a sophisticated, multitextured narrative that defies easy classification. Is it Sci-Fi? Is it detective fiction? Is it magical realism, like A Hundred Years of Solitude? Is it a existentialism? Dick’s book seems to effortless glide among all of these pigeonholes while never coming to rest on any of them. Needless to say, this book is a compelling and relentless read.

For those that assume that this is a novelized version of the beautifully stylistic Blade Runner, think again. The movie shares some, and only some, elements with this book. In the movie, frightening and murderous fugitive androids try to elude Rick Deckard. While this happens in the book, the charactizations of Deckard and the androids are markedly different. PKD’s book isn’t about good versus evil or man versus machine; it’s about man versus himself. Deckard is at odds with the society and customs in which he lives and yet he doesn’t seem to have the language to rebel.

Ecological disaster, a manufactured religion, forced colonization: DADoES has it all. Don’t be an idiot like me and put off reading this book: read it now.

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]