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

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  274,091 Ratings  ·  10,214 Reviews
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.
Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!
Paperback, 244 pages
Published June 1996 by Del Rey / Ballantine Books (first published 1968)
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Chris Chang From wiki: "The main Earth religion is Mercerism, in which Empathy Boxes link simultaneous users into a collective consciousness based on the…moreFrom wiki: "The main Earth religion is Mercerism, in which Empathy Boxes link simultaneous users into a collective consciousness based on the suffering of Wilbur Mercer, a man who takes an endless walk up a mountain while stones are thrown at him, the pain of which the users share."

I would say the empathy box is some kind of neural network predicted to be existent in the future by Philip K. Dick that can connect users to each other and both transmit and receive emotions in a video simulation of this old chap Mercer walking up the mountain. If I'm not wrong, in the book there's a part where Rick refuses to use the empathy box because his happiness in owning a real goat would then be shared with others whereas he would feel others' pain in the process. I guess the empathy box lets users feel what others feel, and these users are usually avid followers of "Mercerism" which is nothing more than a religion that allows people to connect spiritually.

The fact that the media in the book debunked Mercerism doesn't matter, because the fact is that even though Mercerism may be created in a video studio, the emotions transmitted through the machine are real, and gives users something to believe in and hold onto in this depressing future.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
S.W. Gordon Come on, people! It was a metaphor. Rachel "got his goat." Get it? She acted like a "jealous" mistress who was spurned by her lover and sought revenge…moreCome on, people! It was a metaphor. Rachel "got his goat." Get it? She acted like a "jealous" mistress who was spurned by her lover and sought revenge by killing the thing she perceived that he loved most. This was the equivalent of a jilted ex-girlfriend slashing the tires and keying her old boyfriend's prized vehicle. Androids don't have empathy for other androids and are inherently selfish, therefore I don't think she was particularly upset by the retiring of her friends. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned---even an android woman.(less)

Community Reviews

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Lyn
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I could say that I love Dick, but that would be weird. I do very much enjoy Philip K. Dick's writing and though this is not one of his best, the "Pizza and Sex Rule" applies to him; ie. just as even bad pizza and / or sex is still pretty good, bad PKD is as well. And this is not bad at all.

The first mistake that a new reader would make is to watch Blade Runner and expect a novelization of that film; it was LOOSELY based upon the book. I'm a big fan of the Ridley Scott film starring Harrison For
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Colleen Venable
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-adult
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
Scott Sheaffer
Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
...more
Glenn Russell
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing


“It's the basic condition of life to be required to violate our own identity.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Having hooked up all the iridescent wires from my XC-23 Weird and Crazy in Fiction Test Machine to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, I’m here to report results showed the needle registering a maximum ten out of ten on each and every page. Quite a feat. Quite a novel. But then again, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised - after all, this is Philip K. Dick. One of t
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Matthias
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
An android walks into a bar.

"Hey!", the bartender says, "Only people with feelings are allowed in here! You need empathy in order to be in a joke like this, or at least have something people can relate to."

"Oh, don't worry", the android replies, "I definitely feel empathy."

Relieved, the bartender invites him over to the bar. "What are you having?"

"A beer would be great!", the android replies. The bartender, evidently approving of this fine choice, gladly obliges and goes on to cater for the othe
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well that was crazy cool!

Bookdragon Sean
Is Deckard an android?

"An android," he said, "doesn't care what happens to another android. That's one of the indications we look for."

"Then," Miss Luft said, "you must be an android."

That stopped him; he stared at her.


description

This is all I could think about when reading. I really looked for evidence to back the idea up, though the novel only provided me with speculation and partial facts. For every little suggestion in the text that he is a robot, there is an effective counter argument. Somehow, though
...more
Justin
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Raise your hand if you saw my name next to a five star rating and thought you were dreaming. Dreaming of electric sheep. Boom.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh baby. How have I not read this until now? Why haven’t I seen Blade Runner before? Why?! Why?! Whyyyyyyyyyyy.........

Everything about this book is just, just, so... just so... everything about this book, man, this book, it’s just so... it is. This book.

Awesome. This book is awesome.

Words I’m trying to eliminate from my vocabulary: man, awesome, cool, legit,
...more
°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
Ειλικρινά με το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο δεν μπόρεσα να συνδεθώ σε κάποιο ουσιαστικό επίπεδο.

Ίσως να είμαι κι εγώ ένα ανθρωποειδές εξελιγμένο μεν αλλά μέχρι ενός σημείου, καθώς δεν κατάφερα να νιώσω ενσυναίσθηση για τους ανθρώπους και τα ζώα που αναφέρονται στην ιστορία.

Δεν μπόρεσα ούτε στο ελάχιστο να ταυτιστώ με τον πρωταγωνιστή - εξολοθρευτή-
δεν μου έδωσε το έναυσμα να βιώσω τον κίνδυνο που διέτρεξε πολλές φορές και να αγωνιώ, τον άφησα με τη ρηχή λεκτική και φυσική αντίδραση του προ τους γύρω
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kemper
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
390. Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1), Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (retitled Blade Runner: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in some later printings) is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick, first published in 1968. The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth's life has been greatly damaged by nuclear global war. Most animal species are endangered or extinct from extreme radiation poisoning, so that owning
...more
Apatt
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 filmmakers 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’s ...more
Carol
HA! What a surprise!

If you've seen the 1982 Blade Runner movie, you already know Deckard is a bounty hunter....works for law enforcement....and has a license to kill rogue androids aka replicants.

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP was the inspiration for the old movie as well as Blade Runner 2049 in theatre's now and is the same in some respects, but without the intensity and violence. It kind of has a strange calmness to it....almost like you've taken a mood enhancer, and there's a whole other

...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Very interesting story on which the epic film Blade Runner was based. The ideas are certainly original and I'd imagine that Ghost in the Shell was at least partially inspired by the ideas. I just felt the character development was rather shallow and the action somewhat predictable even if I was impatient to push on to see what would happen next. Well, I'll try a few more PKD stories, but perhaps it just isn't my style - sort of inventive like Isaac Asimov but trying to be trashy like Elmore Leon ...more
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Maybe a 2.5? I don't know... Honestly, I don't really know how I feel about this book at all. All I know is that I was underwhelmed.
I think it just wasn't the right time for me to read this. Maybe in a few years I'll give it another go, because I liked the concept.
Henry Avila
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 called "dust", continues coming down and slowly killing the survivors, who have moved to cities. Making many of the people still living, chickenheads, excuse me, special. Animals are virtually extinct, electronic duplicates are in great demand, real o ...more
Andy
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Brittany
Jul 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the k. in philip K. dick definitely stands for kicked ass. but not philip kick ass dick. i dont know what that means.
Justin
Dec 05, 2007 rated it liked it
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
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
J.L.   Sutton
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd watched Blade Runner several times, but hadn't read Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The book and movie don't entirely match up, but they are both thought-provoking and entertaining in their own right. Fans of the film will notice serious discrepancies in the book as I did (and vice versa). Still, they somehow compliment each other. That's not a common response when I read a book after watching a film, or more commonly watching a film after reading the book. Before readi ...more
Darwin8u
“Life which we can no longer distinguish; life carefully buried up to its forehead in the carcass of a dead world.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

description

Top shelf Philip K Dick exploring a tangled web of heavy themes like: what it means to be human, the nature and limits of empathy, love, religion, God, entropy, animals, decay. I had mistakenly put off this novel because HELL I already saw the movie. How can you improve upon THAT movie? Well, the book is better. A cliché, certai
...more
Don Rea
May 19, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Paul Bryant
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
- You’re surely not suggesting that I could be an android?

- Well, let’s look at the evidence. You have no empathy whatsoever….

- What? Where is your evidence for this outrageous statement?

- Protest all you like, but you can ask anybody. You’re notorious. You’re an empathy free zone.

- Wait, I think it’s clear what’s happening here. You are in fact the android, and you have had a false memory implanted into you to make you think you are human.

- Not so, you have had a false memory planted in you to
...more
David Schaafsma
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The electric things have their lives, too.”

Philip K. Dick has a rep for crazy. The word is as many as 14 of his books were accomplished with the use of psychedelics, consistent with the Harvard LSD experiments in which Aldous Huxley was engaged and reported about in The Doors of Perception. Androids is darkly imaginative, a strange and sometimes disrorienting dystopian novel, but it does not seem particularly acid-soaked (as others seem to be).

Rick Deckard is an android bounty hunter for the go
...more
Raeleen Lemay
Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #42: A Cyberpunk Book

I don’t quite have the words to sum up this book at the moment. I will attempt to later... maybe.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This is the book Blade Runner was based on. Which is why I decided to read it. You might think this was a bad idea on my part. You might be right.

This novel is a cult classic. You're supposed to love cult classics right? Right. Well guess what? Not only did I not love this book, it pretty much bored me to death, too. Yay.

Don't get me wrong, this book is somewhat brilliant. Well, okay, if it had actually been brilliant I'd obviously have given it a 4-star rating. So let's just say this book is po
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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
Jan-Maat
"I thought as much, sir, when you mentioned rabbits. The thing about rabbits, sir, is that everybody has one. I'd like to see you step up to the goat-class where I feel you belong. Frankly you look more like a goat man to me." (p133)

This is a book set in the far distant future of 2020. Colonies have been established on distant plants, regular space traffic is a matter of fact, as are robots that look identical to humans - even when violently blown apart, at the same time the idea that women migh
...more
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12,947 followers
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
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Other books in the series

Blade Runner (3 books)
  • The Edge of Human (Blade Runner, #2)
  • Replicant Night (Blade Runner, #3)
  • Eye and Talon (Blade Runner, #4)
“My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression.” 705 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.” 606 likes
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