please comment!

As a solitary housecat, I am new to reading and trying to understand human literature. These are my immediate thoughts as I read the books on my humans' shelves. I hope you will share your own thoughts on reading, literature, science fiction, art, etc.

Please do be respectful of others.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A cat's review of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I apologize for the delay in posting this. First, the humans I live with traveled for a bit, taking the laptops with them. Then, one came home terribly sick and required constant tending. I had to lay on top of my person for several days in a row to facilitate the return of good health. 

Then, the humans bought new furniture, so I’ve been helping them put it together for the last few weeks. You know they always need close supervision on projects like this.

Finally, I have a chance to report to you on my latest reading. What can I say about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick? Let's dive right in:

This is science fiction at its best. The science and technology of the future are an ever-present element of the setting. The main character, and all of the human characters, are battling the technology of the future. Deckard hunts androids that are called replicants because they so well replicate humans. His wife battles the artificial moods, foods, feelings, and religions of the Future-Earth presented by Dick. They all struggle against the radioactive fallout as they do the systems put in place to protect humanity from its damage.   

This is a story that shows the struggle for survival that all living things feel and mirrors it with the human struggle to express one’s self. Dick illustrates a peculiarly human need to feel life, not just to live it. This isn’t a search for meaning so much as it’s a search for connection. The people in Do Androids Dream…? palpably yearn for a brighter future. They seek hope when they know existence is hopeless.

That’s the ambiance that is so well captured in Bladerunner, which was inspired by this novel. That’s the cause of the stun, the awe, one feels upon first seeing the movie. That feeling, most of all, is what makes the film true to the book. It is not simply incomprehension. It is the feeling that part of you has absorbed a deep meaning, but that you haven’t consciously comprehended it yet. 

This is why I say it is sci-fi at its best – because it uses science to show us something about ourselves and our own existence without the numbing dissertations on the scientific theories at play, so often found in hard sci-fi.

The science is undeniably there. Androids, mood settings, laser guns and hover cars are all set in a post-apocalyptic Future-Earth, complete with human settlements on Mars. But the technology is not the point; it is the instrument through which a gripping, moving story is told.


Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author:  Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Imprint: Del Ray
Edition: June 1996
Copywright:1968 by Philip K. Dick