Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Blade Runner cover Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep /
Blade Runner (1968)

movie tie-in edition paperback (left)

Del Rey trade paperback edition
244 pages
cover art by Bruce Jensen (right)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? cover

From the back cover of the trade paperback:
       By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending mankind off planet.  Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep...
       They even build humans.
       Emigrants to Mars received androids so sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women.  Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the government banned them from Earth.  But when androids didn't want to be identified, they blended in.
       Rick Deckard was an officially sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to "retire" them.  But when cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly results.

Amy's Short Summary:   Philip K. Dick - Blade Runner / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

After World War Terminus, radioactive dust has contaminated the earth.  So many animals have died that owning a live animal is a status symbol.

In Northern California Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter.  His job is to kill, euphemistically called retire, runaway androids. But the newest androids are more clever and harder to detect. Understanding the theology of Merceriscm, and the Voight-Kampff empathy scale test are used to separate humans from androids.

Deckard goes to The Rosen Association in Seattle to verify the police's standard profile tests work on the Nexus-6 androids, to assure they don't designate an authentic human as an android. Rachael Rosen almost fools Deckard and shakes his confidence.

There is a group of eight androids. The department's chief bounty hunter, Dave Holden, got two of them before he was shot. Deckard is assigned to eliminate the rest.

summary written by

Blade Runner, the movie:
The movie Blade Runner was filmed in 1982 by Ridley Scott.  It stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, and William Sanderson.  The screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples was based on this book.

J.W. Jeter was written more books set in the Blade Runner universe:
Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (1995)
Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night (1996)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep cover Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
another book cover

Aaron's older paperback cover

How we each rated this book
Dan 7 Amy 8 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 8 Barb -
Aaron 8 Cynthia 8
Lars - Jackie -
Richard 9 Kerry 8

Our book group has also read the following books by Philip K. Dick:
-- The Man in the High Castle   in September 1998
-- Ubik   in October 2002
-- Valis   in September 2006

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was an important US science fiction writer.  He was born in Chicago, but lived most of his life in Berkeley, California.  His middle initial, K., stands for Kindred.

Complexity, paranoia, and drugs feature in many of his works.  His first publication was a short story in 1952, his first novel appeared in 1955.  Between 1950-1970 he was a very productive writer.  After 1970 metaphysical questions dominated his life.  In 1974 he had a life-changing, religious experience.  There are many books written about the author Philip K. Dick.

1963 Hugo Award for novel The Man in the High Castle
1975 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said

Movies based on Philip K. Dick books and stories
Blade Runner (1982) was based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Total Recall (1990) was based on the story "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale"
Confessions d'un Barjo (1992, Canada) was based on the mainstream novel Confessions of a Crap Artist
Screamers (1995) was based on the short story "Second Variety"
Imposter (2002) was based on story "Imposter"
Minority Report (2002) was based on the short story of the same name
Paycheck (2003) was based on a short story
A Scanner Darkly (2005) animated film based on the novel of the same name

Philip K. Dick story collections
At the beginning of his career, Philip K. Dick wrote numerous short stories.  They are collected in a variety of books, including A Handful of Darkness (1955), The Variable Man and Other Stories (1957), The Preserving Machine (1969), The Book of Philip K. Dick (1973), The Best of Philip K. Dick (1977), The Golden Man (1980), The Dark Haired Girl (essays, poems, letters, a speech, and a short story, 1988), I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon, The Philip K. Dick Reader, and the five-volume Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick
all collections published in 1987
Volume 1: Beyond Lies the Wub -- 25 stories, written 1947 to 1952
Volume 2: Second Variety -- 27 stories, written 1952-1953
Volume 3: The Father Thing -- 23 stories, written 1953-1954
Volume 4: The Days of Perky Pat -- 18 stories, written 1954-1964
Volume 5: The Little Black Box -- 25 stories, written 1964-1981

Reprints, The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, with some stories interchanged:
Volume 1: The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford (1990)
Volume 2: We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (1990)
Volume 3: Second Variety (1991)
Volume 4: The Minority Report (1991)
Volume 5: The Eye of the Sibyl (1992)

Philip K. Dick books
Some notable PKD books are The Man in the High Castle (1962) in which Germany and Japan won WWII, Martian Time Slip (1964) set in a schizophrenic world; Dr Bloodmoney, or How We Got Along After the Bomb (1965) set in a post holocaust USA; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1965) which features strange new drugs; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968); A Maze of Death (1970); and Valis (1981) a search for meaning.

His first novels include Solar Lottery (1955), The World Jones Made (1956), The Man Who Japed (1956), The Cosmic Puppets (1957), Eye in the Sky (1957), Dr. Futurity (1959), Time Out of Joint (1959) and Vulcan's Hammer (1960).

In the 1960s he wrote We Can Build You (1972), The Game-Players of Titan (1963), The Simulacra (1964), Now Wait for Last Year (1966), Clans of the Aphane Moon (1964), The Crack in Space (1966), The Zap Gun (1967), The Penultimate Truth (1964), The Unteleported Man (1966, alternate title Lies, Inc.), the Counter-Clock World (1967), The Ganymede Takeover (1967, with Ray Nelson) and Ubik (1969).

Later books, many influenced by his theology, include Galactic Pot-Healer (1969), Our Friends from Frolix 8 (1970), Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (1974), Deus Irae (with Roger Zelazny, fixup 1976), A Scanner Darkly (written 1973, 1977), Radio Free Albemuth (written 1976, 1985), The Divine Invasion (1981), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982).

Nick and the Glimmung (written 1966, 1988) is young adult SF.

Dick also wrote a number of mainstream novels, most of which were published posthumously: Mary and the Giant, The Broken Bubble, Puttering About in a Small Land, In Milton Lumky Territory, Confessions of a Crap Artist, The Man Whose Teeth were All Exactly Alike, and Humpty Dumpty in Oakland.  These were written 1953-1960, and published 1975-1988.

Our book club's page for The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Our book club's page for Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Arrastra SF: Philip K. Dick - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
Arrastra SF: Philip K. Dick - Martian Time Slip - web site devoted to sci-fi author / philosopher Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick Bibliography - features book cover art
Study Guide for Philip K. Dick Blade Runner
Classic Science Fiction Reviews - Blade Runner movie
The SF Site Featured Review Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep + 2 more books
Do Androids Dream...what is distinctly human in a post-civilized world
Big Bill's Philip K Dick (PKD) Stuff

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This page was last updated October 16, 2008