Author: Philip K. Dick
Website: Amazon Page
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is the book on which the well-known movie Blade Runner was based. Blade Runner was produced with an alternate ending: one which left the reader feeling warm and fuzzy instead of depressed. Thankfully, Philip Dick’s novel does not break from the descent into madness of its protagonist which perfectly mirrors the downward progression of Dick’s meticulously constructed gray and radioactive society. Blade Runner was a wonderful movie, but the android-hunter given to the viewers was too much a beacon in a dull world. The main character of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Rick Deckard, is a city employee who rediscovers the hopeless world he lives in, and in doing so creates the novel’s tension and deceit as he struggles with the moral quandary inherent in killing robots that are indistinguishable from himself both physically and emotionally.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is depressing, sad, grim, and hopefully not foreshadowing; but Dick takes the reader through a created Earth which, while terrifying, deals with persecution, war, depression, and health in a fresh and unconventional way. Machines which regulate moods, a societal standard of owning an animal (whether it be real or electric), and a culture based on emigrating to space colonies combine to build an environment perfect for analyzing these complex issues. But in the end, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is just a remarkable and well-written book which everyone should read.