(Day 11/30 of the 30 day blog challenge. Read more about it here!)
Please, don’t judge this book by the cover. I was upset about having to purchase this book 9 years ago for my English 101 class because it looked so… dull. So not me. And I’m a science fiction fan (LOVE Star Trek: The Next Generation AND Battlestar Galactica)! I was bummed that I wasn’t able to get into any of the other College Comp classes that had really interesting topics and would have to read and write about this book.
Naturally, I ended up loving the course. We read and wrote about the concept of self and what it means to be alive, what with the continuing development of artificial intelligence. And, naturally, this novel turned out to be one of my favorites of all time, ugly cover and all. I try to remember that when I look for a good book to read, but what can I say? I’m a photographer and good images and graphics definitely help to draw me in.
Here’s the premise– In 2021, Earth is a wasteland because of World War Terminus. Most of the world has migrated to Mars, but a select few have stayed, despite the poor living conditions. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter and retires androids who have run away from Mars. These androids look exactly like humans and have been created to serve them at the new Mars colony, and can only be distinguished as machines via one or two tests. When his superior gets injured taking down a new, more sophisticated android, Deckard takes over his current bounty list and finds himself, over the course of a day, questioning his beliefs and his understanding of reality and life once he meets an android named Rachael Rosen.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is the best kind of science fiction because most of its energy is focused on philosophizing about how one determines what is real and what is not real via the idea of empathy. And it’s a question that has to be considered today, as artificial intelligence continues to be improved. I promise, it’s neither dry or stuffy– it’s exciting, relevant, and a fairly quick read.
PS– I haven’t actually seen Blade Runner, which I feel a little guilty about, seeing that I love Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I’ve been told that the book acts more as inspiration for the film, so the two are fairly different entities.