Saturday, 5 April 2014

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Book ten of 2014 for me, is Phillip K. Dick's dystopian tale Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This of course is the book that the movie Bladerunner is based on.

Yes, I'm on a roll at the moment and that is probably due to the fact that this is another book I have read in the past. That was over a decade ago so I did have to read it carefully. There were a lot of new things I discovered that made this a magical and slightly depressing journey.

The androids that are being retired are of the class Nexus 6. This all brings together Google's naming of its tablet device as the Nexus 7. Of course, it runs the Android operating system. Yes, I'm slow on the uptake :)

There is far too much awesome in this book to list it all but the analysis of depression, life purpose and selective empathy are informing and disarming. As an existentialist, I now see more in this book than I would have when I read it previously. The questions of what is considered life and what happens when human beings detach from what makes us human is brilliantly thought inspiring.

Phillip K. Dick and everything he ever wrote was an obsession of mine in the mid-noughties. To revisit books I remember loving and finding them wonderful again is both a relief and a motivation to re-explore my favourite authors. Since life is short, I should pick books that I have not already read.

This though, I do not regret re-reading at all.

Should I read this? Yes. Another yes, you must be getting tired of me recommending books but this is an excellent read. PKD is an original author with challenging ideas set in unfamiliar places. Maybe that is why he could explore those topics. Aldous Huxley is another author in the same vein. Maybe it is just my dystopian view of the world that makes this so good but try it.
What did I learn? We all dream of electric sheep.

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