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 an animal is now a sign of status and empathy, an attitude encouraged towards animals. The book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner, and many elements and themes from it were used in its 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049.
The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked with "retiring" (i.e. killing) six escaped Nexus-6 model androids, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-par IQ who aids the fugitive androids. In connection with Deckard's mission, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human and whether empathy is a purely human ability.
|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?|
Cover of first hardback edition
|Author||Philip K. Dick|
|Genre||Science fiction, philosophical fiction|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Followed by||Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human|
In post-apocalyptic 1992 (2021 in later editions), after "World War Terminus", the Earth's radioactively polluted atmosphere leads the United Nations to encourage mass emigrations to off-world colonies to preserve humanity's genetic integrity. This comes with the incentive of free personal androids: robot servants identical to humans. The characters and text refer to these androids (or "andies") variously as "robots," "machines," and "programmed," but it is later made clear that they are constructed of organic materials so similar to a human's that only a tedious "bone marrow analysis" can independently prove the difference. To save time in identifying incognito androids, various polygraph-style tests have been devised.
The Rosen Association manufactures the androids on Mars, but certain androids violently rebel and escape to the underpopulated Earth where they hope to remain undetected. Therefore, American and Soviet police departments remain vigilant, keeping bounty-hunting officers on duty.
On Earth, owning real live animals has become a fashionable status symbol, because of mass extinctions and the accompanying cultural push for greater empathy. High-status animals, such as horses, cost far more than low-status animals. However poor people can only afford realistic-looking robot imitations of live animals. Rick Deckard, for example, owns an electric black-faced sheep. These artificial animals appear and feel identical to real animals, but are described as "electric," having "circuits" and hidden access "control panels," and requiring "repairs." Compared to the android robots, Deckard regards these electric animals as "a kind of vastly inferior robot."
The trend of increased empathy has coincidentally motivated a new technology-based religion called Mercerism. Mercerism uses "empathy boxes" to link users simultaneously to a virtual reality of collective suffering, centered on a martyr-like character, Wilbur Mercer, who eternally climbs up a hill while being hit with crashing stones. Acquiring high-status animal pets and linking in to empathy boxes appear to be the only two ways that humans can attain existential fulfillment.
Police department bounty hunter Rick Deckard is assigned to retire six androids of the highly intelligent Nexus-6 model. These androids are difficult to detect, but Deckard hopes to earn enough bounty money to buy a live animal to replace his lone electric sheep. Deckard visits the Rosen Association's headquarters in Seattle to confirm the latest empathy test's accuracy. The test appears to give a false positive on Eldon Rosen's niece, Rachael, meaning the police have potentially been executing human beings. Rosen attempts to blackmail Deckard to get him to drop the case, but Deckard retests Rachael and determines that Rachael is, indeed, an android.
Deckard soon meets a Soviet police contact who turns out to be one of the Nexus-6 renegades in disguise. Deckard retires the android, then flies off to retire his next target: an opera singer android. When administering the empathy test on her, she calls the police. Failing to recognize Deckard as a bounty hunter, they arrest and detain him at a station he has never heard of housed by officers whom he is surprised never to have met. An official named Garland accuses Deckard himself of being an android with implanted memories. After a series of mysterious revelations at the station, Deckard ponders the ethical and philosophical questions his line of work raises regarding android intelligence, empathy, and what it means to be human. Garland reveals that the entire station is a sham, claiming that even Phil Resch, the station's resident bounty hunter is an android. Resch shoots Garland in the head, escaping with Deckard back to the opera singer, whom Resch brutally retires in cold blood. Deckard uses the empathy test on Resch to confirm that he is actually human and then on himself, finding that he has a sense of empathy for the androids.
Deckard buys his wife Iran an authentic Nubian goat with his reward money. His supervisor insists that he visit an abandoned apartment building where the three remaining Nexus-6 android fugitives likely are. Experiencing a vision of the prophet-like Mercer confusingly telling him to proceed, despite the immorality of the mission, Deckard calls on Rachael Rosen again, since her knowledge of androids will aid his investigation. Rachael declines to help, but reluctantly agrees to meet Deckard at a hotel in exchange for him abandoning the case. At the hotel, she reveals that one of the fugitive androids is the same exact model as herself, meaning that he will have to shoot down an android that looks just like her. Rachael coaxes Deckard into sex, after which they confess their love for one another. However, she reveals she has slept with many bounty hunters, having been programmed to do so in order to dissuade them from their missions. He threatens to kill her, but holds back at the last moment. He leaves to the abandoned apartment building.
Meanwhile, the three remaining Nexus-6 android fugitives plan how they can outwit Deckard. The building's only other inhabitant, John R. Isidore, a radioactively damaged and intellectually below-average human, attempts to befriend them but is shocked when they torture a rare spider he's found. They all watch a television program giving definitive evidence that Mercerism is a hoax. Deckard enters the building, with strange, supernatural premonitions of Mercer notifying him of an ambush. Since they attack him first, Deckard is legally justified as he shoots down all three androids without previously testing them. Isidore is devastated, and Deckard is soon rewarded for a record number of Nexus-6 kills in a single day. When Deckard returns home, he finds Iran grieving because Rachael Rosen arrived while he was gone and killed their goat.
Deckard goes to an uninhabited, obliterated region of Oregon to reflect. He climbs a hill when he is hit by falling rocks and realizes this is an experience eerily similar to Mercer's martyrdom. He stumbles abruptly upon what he thinks is a real toad (an animal thought to be extinct) but, when he returns home with it, his wife discovers it is just a robot.
In 1982, Hampton Fancher and David Peoples wrote a loose cinematic adaptation that became the film Blade Runner, featuring several of the novel's characters. It was directed by Ridley Scott. Following the international success of the film, the title Blade Runner was adopted for some later editions of the novel, although the term itself was not used in the original.
As part of their Dangerous Visions dystopia series in 2014, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a two-part adaptation of the novel. It was produced and directed by Sasha Yevtushenko from an adaption by Jonathan Holloway. It stars James Purefoy as Rick Deckard and Jessica Raine as Rachael Rosen. The episodes were originally broadcast on Sunday 15 June and 22 June 2014.
A new audiobook version was released in 2007 by Random House Audio to coincide with the release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. This version, read by Scott Brick, is unabridged and runs approximately 9.5 hours over eight CDs. This version is a tie-in, using the Blade Runner: The Final Cut film poster and Blade Runner title.
A stage adaptation of the book, written by Edward Einhorn, ran from November 18 to December 10, 2010 at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York and made its West Coast Premiere on September 13, playing until October 10, 2013 at the Sacred Fools Theater Company in Los Angeles.
BOOM! Studios published a 24-issue comic book limited series based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? containing the full text of the novel illustrated by artist Tony Parker. The comic garnered a nomination for "Best New Series" from the 2010 Eisner Awards. In May 2010 BOOM! Studios began serializing an eight issue prequel subtitled Dust To Dust and written by Chris Roberson and drawn by Robert Adler. The story took place in the days immediately after World War Terminus.
Three novels intended to serve as sequels to both Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Blade Runner have been published:
These official and authorized sequels were written by Dick's friend K. W. Jeter. They continue the story of Rick Deckard and attempt to reconcile many of the differences between the novel and the 1982 film.
Critical reception of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has been overshadowed by the popularity of its 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner. Of those critics who focus on the novel, several nest it predominantly in the history of Philip K. Dick's body of work. In particular, Dick's 1972 speech "The Human and the Android" is cited in this connection. Jill Galvan calls attention to the correspondence between Dick's portrayal of the narrative's dystopian, polluted, man-made setting and the description Dick gives in his speech of the increasingly artificial and potentially sentient or "quasi-alive" environment of his present. Summarizing the essential point of Dick's speech, Galvan argues,"[o]nly by recognizing how [technology] has encroached upon our understanding of 'life' can we come to full terms with the technologies we have produced" (414). As a "bildungsroman of the cybernetic age," Galvan maintains, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? follows one person's gradual acceptance of the new reality. Christopher Palmer emphasizes Dick's speech to bring to attention the increasingly dangerous risk of humans becoming "mechanical". "Androids threaten reduction of what makes life valuable, yet promise expansion or redefinition of it, and so do aliens and gods". Gregg Rickman cites another, earlier and lesser known Dick novel that also deals with androids, We Can Build You, asserting that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can be read as a sequel.
In a departure from the tendency among most critics to examine the novel in relation to Dick's other texts, Klaus Benesch examined Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? primarily in connection with Lacan's essay on the mirror stage. There, Lacan claims that the formation and reassurance of the self depends on the construction of an Other through imagery, beginning with a double as seen in the mirror. The androids, Benesch argues, perform a doubling function similar to the mirror image of the self, but they do this on a social, not individual, scale. Therefore, human anxiety about androids expresses uncertainty about human identity and society. Benesch draws on Kathleen Woodward's emphasis on the body to illustrate the shape of human anxiety about an android Other. Woodward asserts that the debate over distinctions between human and machine usually fails to acknowledge the presence of the body. "If machines are invariably contrived as technological prostheses that are designed to amplify the physical faculties of the body, they are also built, according to this logic, to outdo, to surpass the human in the sphere of physicality altogether".
Blade Runner (a movie) is a science fiction novella by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs, first published in 1979.The novella began as a story treatment for a proposed film adaptation of Alan E. Nourse's novel The Bladerunner. A later edition published in the 1980s changed the formatting of the title to Blade Runner, a movie. Burroughs' treatment is set in the early 21st century and involves mutated viruses and "a medical-care apocalypse". The term "blade runner" referred to a smuggler of medical supplies, e.g. scalpels.
The title was later bought for use in Ridley Scott's 1982 science fiction film, Blade Runner. The plot of that film was based on Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and not the Nourse and Burroughs source material, although the film does incorporate the term "blade runner," though with a different meaning than in the novel.Chickenhead
Chickenhead may refer to:
Chickenhead (play), by Hungarian playwright György Spiró
Chickenhead (sexuality), a slang term for someone who performs fellatio
Chickenhead, the first song on the 2001 rap album Mista Don't Play: Everythangs Workin by Project Pat
Chickenhead, a term used in science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, derogatory term used to refer to 'specials', people who have mentally degraded as a result of exposure to fallout on earth.Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats? is an UNKLE soundscape DJ mix, originally recorded for Radio Ape in Japan, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats was the first in a line of a series of UNKLESounds mixes. Due to its huge success (reaching over £100 on eBay) it was bootlegged and can now be found in most record stores. The simple way to tell the difference between the two is that the bootleg has a barcode.The name references the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by sci fi author Philip K. Dick. The mix was later released as a cut down and re-edited 2CD mix entitled Big Brother is Watching (a reference to another sci fi novel, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four), which was broadcast on the Essential Mix at UK radio station Radio 1.Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (comic book)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a 24 issue comic book limited series published by BOOM! Studios in 2009. It is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel by the same name and was drawn by Tony Parker. The series was nominated for an Eisner Award in the category Best New Series.Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (disambiguation)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? may also refer to:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (comic book)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust To DustDoes the Cosmic Shepherd Dream of Electric Tapirs?
Does the Cosmic Shepherd Dream of Electric Tapirs? is an album by the Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., released in 2004. The title is a reference to the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
The album was recorded at Acid Mothers Temple from May 2002 up to January 2003.Dust to Dust (comic)
Dust to Dust or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust is an 8 issue comic book limited series published by BOOM! Studios in 2010. The series is a prequel to the story of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The series was written by Chris Roberson and drawn by Robert Adler.Hampton Fancher
Hampton Lansden Fancher (born July 18, 1938) is an American actor, screenwriter, and filmmaker, best known for co-writing the 1982 neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner and its 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049, based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. His 1999 directorial debut, The Minus Man, won the Special Grand Prize of the Jury at the Montreal World Film Festival.
He currently resides in the Brooklyn Heights district of New York City.Jay Cocks
John C. "Jay" Cocks, Jr. (born January 12, 1944) is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is a graduate of Kenyon College. He was a critic for Time, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone, among other magazines, before shifting to screenplay writing. He was married to actress Verna Bloom (1938-2019).
As a screenwriter, he is notable for his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese, particularly The Age of Innocence and Gangs of New York — a screenplay he started working on in 1976 — as well as Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days. He did an uncredited rewrite of James Cameron's screenplay for Titanic and was, with Scorsese, the co-screenwriter of Silence. Cocks and Scorsese approached author Philip K. Dick in 1969 for an adaptation of his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Though the duo never optioned the book, it was later developed into the movie Blade Runner by screenwriter Hampton Fancher and director Ridley Scott.List of adaptations of works by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick was an American author known for his science fiction works, often with dystopian and drug related themes. Some of his works have gone on to be adapted to films and series garnering much acclaim, such as the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, which was an adaptation of Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, released three months posthumously to Dick's passing. The only adaptation released in his lifetime was a 1962 episode of the UK TV series Out of This World, based on Dick's 1953 short story Impostor. Other works such as the films Total Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly have also gone on to critical or commercial success, while television adaptations such as The Man in the High Castle has gone on to long-form television adaptation successfully. In 2017, following the success of Netflix's science fiction short story series Black Mirror, and its own success with The Man in the High Castle, streaming service Amazon Prime Video paired up with Channel 4 to produce a series of short stories originally released between 1953 to 1955 under the series title Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, the only adaptation bearing the author's own name. The following is a list of film and television adaptations of his writings.Megacorporation
Megacorporation, mega-corporation, or megacorp, a term popularized by William Gibson, derives from the combination of the prefix mega- with the word corporation. It has become widespread in cyberpunk literature. It refers to a corporation (normally fictional) that is a massive conglomerate (usually private), holding monopolistic or near-monopolistic control over multiple markets (thus exhibiting both a horizontal and a vertical monopoly). Megacorps are so powerful that they can ignore the law, possess their own heavily armed (often military-sized) private armies, be the operator of a privatized police force, hold "sovereign" territory, and even act as outright governments. They often exercise a large degree of control over their employees, taking the idea of "corporate culture" to an extreme. Such organizations as a staple of science fiction long predate cyberpunk, appearing in the works of writers such as Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, 1968), Thea von Harbou (Metropolis, 1927), Robert A. Heinlein (Citizen of the Galaxy, 1957), Robert Asprin (The Cold Cash War, 1977), Andre Norton (the Solar Queen novels) and David Weber (the "Honorverse" novels). The explicit use of the term in the Traveller science fiction roleplaying game from 1977 predates Gibson's use of it.Null-O
"Null-O" is a 1958 science fiction short story by American writer Philip K. Dick. It examines the concept of totally unempathic and 'logical' humans ("Null-O"'s) in a parody of the plot and concepts of The Pawns of Null-A by A. E. van Vogt. These beings view individual collections of matter, i.e. any object, as subjective structures and see the true state of reality as an 'undifferentiated world of pure energy'. They can also move their ears independently, giving them excellent hearing. After attaining positions of power they proceed with a plan to ultimately return everything in the universe to this state. This is to be done by the construction of successively more powerful bombs, ultimately resulting in the rather improbable 'U-bomb' that will homogenise the whole universe. The Null-O plan is halted, however, when the 'ordinary' people of the world, who have survived the nuclear destruction of Earth's surface in the shelters built by their employers, rise up in drilling machines to stop the construction of an 'E-Bomb' designed to destroy Earth, and succeed in destroying both the E-Bomb prototype and the Null-O's themselves.
The idea of humans without empathy is central in Dick's later works, such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.Philip K. Dick bibliography
The bibliography of Philip K. Dick includes 44 novels, 121 short stories, and 14 short story collections published by American science fiction author Philip K. Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) during his lifetime.
At the time of his death, Dick's work was generally known to only science fiction readers, and many of his novels and short stories were out of print. To date, a total of 44 novels have been published and translations have appeared in 25 languages. Six volumes of selected correspondence, written by Dick from 1938 through 1982, were published between 1991 and 2009.
The Library of America has issued three collections of Dick's novels. The first, published in June 2007, contained The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ubik, and was the first time science fiction was included in the LOA canon. The second collection was issued in July 2008 and included Martian Time Slip, Dr. Bloodmoney, Now Wait for Last Year, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, and A Scanner Darkly. The third collection was published in July 2009 and included A Maze of Death and the VALIS trilogy (VALIS, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer).
At least nine films have been adapted from Dick's work, with Blade Runner (1982) widely considered a "masterpiece".Five recurring philosophical themes in Dick's work have been classified by Philip K. Dick scholar Erik Davis: false realities, human vs. machine, entropy, the nature of God, and social control. In Understanding Philip K. Dick, Eric Carl Link discussed eight themes or 'ideas and motifs': Epistemology and the Nature of Reality, Know Thyself, The Android and the Human, Entropy and Pot Healing, The Theodicy Problem, Warfare and Power Politics, The Evolved Human, and 'Technology, Media, Drugs and Madness'.Pris
Pris or PRIS may refer to:
Pris (band), a side project of American musician Burke Thomas
Peace Region Internet Society, in Canada
Power Rangers in Space, an American television series
Propofol infusion syndrome
PRISA, a Spanish media conglomerate
Pris Stratton, a character in Philip K Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Pris Stratton, a character in the film Blade Runner,Rick Deckard
Rick Deckard is a fictional character, the protagonist of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Harrison Ford portrayed the character in the 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner, and reprised his role in the 2017 sequel, Blade Runner 2049. James Purefoy voiced the character in the 2014 BBC Radio 4 adaptation.The Android's Dream
The Android's Dream is a science fiction novel by American writer John Scalzi.The title is a reference to Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.The Bladerunner
The novel The Bladerunner (also published as The Blade Runner) is a 1974 science fiction novel by Alan E. Nourse, about underground medical services and smuggling. It was the source for the name, but no major plot elements, of the 1982 film Blade Runner, adapted from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, though elements of the Nourse novel recur in a pair of 2002 films also largely adapted from Dick's work, Impostor and Minority Report.