Dick, Philip K. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" - 1968
Why would androids dream of electric sheep? I always wondered about this weird title. I didn't wonder enough though to want to read it but when my book club decided to take it on, I had to have a go, of course.
The story is primarily about the bounty hunter Rick Deckard. After a nuclear global war damaged the earth tremendously, there are hardly any animals left. Or humans. Those that survived, mainly emigrated to Mars or other colonies on other planets. The ones left behind, are divided into two groups, the ones that are damaged through the war are called "specials" being considered second-rate people. And the androids, well, they are supposed to be modern slaves and are mainly intended to accompany to settlers to the colonies and not return to earth. Those that do it anyway are hunted by guys like Rick Deckard. But the androids get smarter and smarter and the hunt gets harder and harder.
I don't want to tell the whole story. The reason I liked the book was mainly because of the way, the different inhabitants of earth are described, the empathy that is not there between the species, the understanding that other people also have their needs. Even if we don't consider the androids, wouldn't we try to help each other after such a disaster rather than splitting up in different groups? A very philosophic question.
The androids are the slaves of the future. If they don't do what they are supposed to do, they get killed, or "retired", as they like to call it.
Oh, and then there was one part that I really liked. When they describe "stuff". Both my husband and I are more gatherers than minimalists, so I could relate very well.
"Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."
Do I even need to mention that I never watched the movie? I tried to see who plays whom but it looks like the film is more than "loosely" based on the book. I could only find a few names that are in both.
From the back cover:
"War has left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalks, in search of the renegade replicants who are his prey. When he isn’t 'retiring' them, he dreams of owning the ultimate status symbol -- a live animal. Then Rick gets a big assignment: to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But things are never that simple, and Rick’s life quickly turns into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit."
We discussed this book in our international book club in September 2019.