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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1)

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  170,616 ratings  ·  5,453 reviews
A final, apocalyptic, world war has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending the majority of mankind off-planet. Those who remain, venerate all remaining examples of life, and owning an animal of your own is both a symbol of status and a necessity. For those who can't afford an authentic animal, companies build incredibly realistic simulacrae: ho ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 28th 1996 by Del Rey (first published 1968)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Scott Sheaffer
I Love Dick. There I've said it. No, not a “Mood Organ” or blood filled skin sack made to facilitate reproduction but Philip K. Dick.

Is it really possible for androids to acquire human traits like empathy and the desire to understand the meaning of life and avoid death at all costs? What would the role of socialism play in an android world? Would self aware androids seek out to destroy anything that threatened their existence or tried to control their thoughts (ie programming)?

A Google search r
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Colleen Venable
It takes five full pages for a character to buy a goat and ONE FRIGGIN' SENTENCE for a character to "fall in love". This book was so amazing in the beginning...and then suddenly everything plummeted downhill. It was almost as if Dick got 150 pages in and then said "awwww screw it...uh, sentence, sentence, sentence, THE END!" Why did there need to be any sort of "love" storyline anyway?

Along with being the only geek who made it through puberty without reading Phillip K. Dick books, I also am one
...more
Kemper
Treasure of the Rubbermaids 20: Failing the Voight-Kampff Test

The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.

In the spirit of Phillip K. Dick‘s questioning of reality and identity, it’s fitting that there are two versions of this story. On
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Rea
Since "Blade Runner" has been one of my favorite movies my entire adult life, it's odd I never read this until now. I expected it to be pretty different from the film, but still, it's not like I don't read SF by the metric ton anyway. I think I just never happened across a copy until recently.

If you've read a lot of SF from the 60s and 70s, you'd know this was written in the late 60s by the end of the first chapter. It has the smell of that period all over it - everyone "official" in any way has
...more
Brittany
the k. in philip K. dick definitely stands for kicked ass. but not philip kick ass dick. i dont know what that means.
Lynda
"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity."



Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction masterpiece by Philip K. Dick (PKD) that also served as the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. It was first published in 1968.

The story is about Rick Deckard, an android killer. He works for the police in San Francisco, where the deadly radioactive dust from World War Terminus still covers the city
...more
Andy
I'm worried that most people will misunderstand the intelligence behind this book. I have met a few people who have said, "that book? I read that in high school." My response is "did you understand this book in high school?"

Am I wrong in saying that first, one should read Kafka; second, one should understand how Kafka's fiction functions as a blend of anthropology, theology, and philosophy, among other things. Then, read Phillip K. Dick again, and notice the themes of paranoia, identity crisis,
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
“This is insane.”
“This is necessary.”


Another classic that has taken me much too long to get around to.
And what a shame, since this is a really good book.

Is it true, Mr. Deckard, that you’re a bounty hunter?”

I won’t go into a lot of detail regarding the differences between the Blade Runner film and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, although there are some fundamental deviations, especially as far as the conclusion of the story is concerned. I will say this: the novel explains the empathy test
...more
Szplug
I love Blade Runner—and so it is with pleasure, and a sense of completion, that I am now able to state (almost) the same for its source material. The parenthesized qualifier admits to the differing status of the two: whereas BR is an absolute classic, one that declared itself boldly, influencing the design and feel and look of all subsequent dystopian cinematic fare, a movie cast to perfection and narrowing its gaze to the more umbrageous and feral of Dick's thematic threads, the book casts a wi ...more
Henry Avila
Rick Deckard, is a bounty hunter for the San Francisco police, the year 2021 ( January 3rd). His mission is to "retire" six androids, who fled bleak Mars, and illegally came to Earth. World War Terminus, has depopulated our world, radioactive fallout, "dust", continues coming down and slowly killing the survivors, who have moved to the cities. Making many of the people still living, chickenheads, excuse me, special. Animal are virtually extinct, electronic duplicates are in great demand, real on ...more
Rabindranauth
An amusing exploration of humanity and morality. I can see why Philip K. Dick’s highly respected in the classic SF crowd for the most part; despite being written nigh 40 years ago, this is a book that’s aged remarkably well.

Rick Deckard, bounty hunter attached to the San Francisco Police, is about to bite off more than he can chew. 8 androids, models equipped with the cutting edge Nexus-6 software that shaves a few more inches off the boundary that separates man from machine, have fled the colon
...more
Lit Bug
Post Blade Runner, almost everybody knows of the existential angst of this PKD book – like much modern SF, it questions our notions of what makes us so special as humans, or if there is anything such as human. It asks us if we can ever consider artificially created, mass-produced, identical androids as individuals. And I’m not sure I know all the answers.

On near-future earth, Rick Deckard is a ‘bounty hunter’, a police official who hunts down androids illegally fleeing Mars to find a home on Ear
...more
Justin
Jun 24, 2014 Justin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci fi fans, those interested in bringing down the quality of Bladerunner
Shelves: taught
I've been saying for years that this book is boring. But it's more than that, it's not excusable in the way that a purely boring book can be. Instead, it's a tremendous idea told badly.

It seems that when Dick wrote this he didn't have a good grasp on translating his big ideas into an engrossing--or even active story. It's not that there's no movement in the story. Things happen, but even when they do, even in the throes of the final confrontation, when Deckard is retiring three andys in one aba
...more
Morgan
Jan 01, 2013 Morgan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people looking for science fiction with an edge
I've seen "BladeRunner" so many times I could puke and watch it again (hell, I even wrote a 15 page critical analysis of it as a neo noir film). And it's an amazing, beautiful film.

I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" when I was a junior in highschool, after having grown up with "BladeRunner." And it was fabulous.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and "BladeRunner" are not the same thing. At all. Which is conceptually really, really intriguing. And I love that about the two.

By the tim
...more
dead letter office
chris's fish died here at work and he seems down. everyone else was mean to the fish (not to its face mostly, just made fun and tapped on the glass) but i always came to see it and i think chris appreciated that for some reason. i've never seen him look so down before. this is one of those things that makes me sad out of all proportion to the scale of the incident, like when i made katy think she was wrong about kansas bordering colorado or when my brother saved his allowance for months and boug ...more
Lyn
This is the book upon which the film Blade Runner was created.

Now that I have read this, I can say that Blade Runner was loosely based upon the book, and I'm a big fan of the Ridley Scott film starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, but the movie diverged from Phillip K. Dick's literature early on. The book is far more bleak than the film, if you can believe that, and much more intricate and complicated. Blade Runner benefits from a simplified storyline.

The author was far ahead of his time bo
...more
Apatt
Probably my favourite Philip K. Dick book, Goodreads' favourite too by the look of it. As you are probably aware the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner is based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Great as the movie is when I first saw it I was very disappointed as it bears very little resemblance to this book. The film makers jettisoned most of what makes this book so special and focused only on the android hunting aspect though at least it does explore the moral issues involved. The movie’ ...more
Ian Cantankeroo-Gazan
In Which the Emphasis is on Androids Who Grasp the Twin Handles of Empathy

"Deus sive substantia sive natura": Spinoza


Just as in the animal kingdom there is a continuum between humans and animals, there is a continuum in this novel that incorporates humans, androids and electric animals, the main difference being that the latter two are artificial or human constructs.

Here, the androids are organic and sentient. They are not purely electrical or mechanical robots infused with artificial intel
...more
Aloha
“Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the emphatic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated.” so states a passage in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The setting of the book is San Francisco in 2021, after World War Terminus have spread radioactive dust over earth. Most of the living creatures have become extinct through exposure to radiation
...more
Ekairidium
"At its best, science fiction attempts to reconcile the inhuman scale of the universe with the smaller compass of human life." ~An introduction from Paul McAuley

It was only July of last year when I fixated on the Blade Runner movie which was loosely based on this Philip K. Dick novel. It was a Ridley Scott creation foremost, and he infused noir ambiance with science fiction elements in an earnest atttempt at preserving not only a beautiful landscape but a vulnerable examination about humanity. I
...more
Jason
Ooooooh, i think i get it now! The title "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Is intentionally ambiguous. It wants you to think of "dream" as the notion of sleep, when it's "dream" as palpable hope. The incisive plot threat in the book revolves around a set of androids with the ambition to outlast human beings. It seems like they only want to survive, but their leader--Roy Baty--alludes toward a propagandized theme he led the group with, that Mercer is a fake and without empathy human beings a ...more
Brandon
After the hellish events of World War Terminus, humanity decided to jump ship and establish colonies on Mars using the assistance of organic based android slaves. Not everyone booked a one way ticket though, several have stayed behind; forced to live among radioactive dust and the ruins of a once prosperous planet.

Despite the bleakness of life on Earth, the one true solace you can take comfort in is owning an honest-to-goodness real life animal. As you can imagine, the price to bring one home ca
...more
notgettingenough
Over the last few weeks I’ve read The Luzhin Defense, followed by Bluebeard and then Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Originally I was going to write some stuff here about the central characters and compare them with the original Outsider. I was going to say things like this:

Maybe it is a contradiction in terms, to put 3 books about outsiders in the same review, but I can’t stop myself.

We have here a chess player, a doctor who might or might not have murdered a wife and a chickenhead. They al
...more
Katy
Please note: Originally reviewed in September 2007 (have read it previously a couple times); just copying my review over from Amazon

My Synopsis: In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, we find ourselves alternating between two intertwining plot lines. One involves Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who "retires" escaped androids. The latest model - the Nexus-6 - can only be differentiated from humans through use of a sophisticated psychological testing mechanism that measures empathy levels; empathy
...more
Werner
May 18, 2008 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of serious science fiction
Shelves: science-fiction
While Dick was always a professed Episcopalian, his writing began to take a more distinctly Christian turn only after his spiritual experience in the early 1970s. Here, his outlook is still shaped more by postmodernism, strongly suggesting that simply believing something can make it true. (Paradoxically, it also exudes the strong skepticism, which informed his writing all through his career, as to whether our ordinary human perceptions actually come anywhere close to seeing reality as it actuall ...more
Chris
I have kind of a weird confession to make. It's not really a confession as such, since you only confess things that you're ashamed of or that you feel you have done wrong. But this is something that I believe people may find a little odd, so I suppose it's the best word under the circumstances.

I don't kill cockroaches.

Fortunately, I live up on the tenth floor in a nice modern apartment building, so they're not really a problem for me. But even in my old place, where they'd turn up from time to t
...more
Jonathan
Normally I would never go and say the following words. Look away if you are a dedicated bibliophile (like myself) because I am about to say something very taboo. In fact I shall hide it under a spoiler tag because I can.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


(view spoiler)
...more
Stuart
THE RED PILL OR THE BLUE PILL: Blade Runner Vs. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner was arguably the most brilliant, though-provoking, and intelligent SF film ever made, with a uniquely dark vision of a deteriorated future Earth society and a morally ambiguous tale of a blade runner (bounty hunter) Rick Deckard hunting down and ‘retiring’ a series of very intelligent Nexus-6 type replicants (androids) that want very much to live. The movie changed the way mov
...more
Shamus McCarty
I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would. BECAUSE THERE’S A GIANT FUCKING PLOT HOLE! Watch the movie, the plot hole kind of ruined the book for me. THANKS A LOT OBAMA!

Click the spoiler thing if you want to see what my beef is.

(view spoiler)
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The Sword and Laser: Blade Runner sequel gets its DIRECTOR and STAR 16 99 Mar 11, 2015 02:06PM  
The "fake" police station is really bugging me 12 404 Feb 10, 2015 11:19PM  
Is he an android? 28 333 Jan 22, 2015 09:51PM  
Symbolism of the goat (spoilers) 2 109 Jan 16, 2015 06:59AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick 7 39 Jan 15, 2015 02:39AM  
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Philip K. Dick was born in Chicago in 1928 and lived most of his life in California. In 1952, he began writing professionally and proceeded to write numerous novels and short-story collections. He won the Hugo Award for the best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High Castle and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Philip K. Di ...more
More about Philip K. Dick...

Other Books in the Series

Blade Runner (4 books)
  • The Edge of Human (Blade Runner, #2)
  • Replicant Night (Blade Runner, #3)
  • Eye and Talon (Blade Runner, #4)
A Scanner Darkly The Man in the High Castle Ubik Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

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“My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.” 441 likes
“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.” 338 likes
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