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jjohn (22)

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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Sunday March 10, 2002
08:16 AM

Do Androids Dream of Eletric Sleep?

[ #3407 ]

Phillip K. Dick's book kicked my ass. DADoES is a sophisticated, multitextured narrative that defies easy classification. Is it Sci-Fi? Is it detective fiction? Is it magical realism, like _A Hundred Years of Solitude_? Is it a existentialism? Dick's book seems to effortless glide among all of these pigeonholes while never coming to rest on any of them. Needless to say, this book is a compelling and relentless read.

For those that assume that this is a novelized version of the beautifully stylistic _Blade Runner_, think again. The movie shares some, and only some, elements with this book. In the movie, frightening and murderous fugitive androids try to elude Rick Deckard. While this happens in the book, the charactizations of Deckard and the androids are markedly different. PKD's book isn't about good versus evil or man versus machine; it's about man versus himself. Deckard is at odds with the society and customs in which he lives and yet he doesn't seem to have the language to rebel.

Ecological disaster, a manufactured religion, forced colonization: DADoES has it all. Don't be an idiot like me and put off reading this book: read it now.

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  • You really need to read his final trilogy, which is freaking brilliant. These are:

    1. Valis
    2. The Divine Invasion
    3. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (the best PKD book of all time, IMHO).

    Also check out A Scanner Darkly, which is also quite the weird trip.
  • Read Bladerunner (from which the movie took its title, and nothing else) some time. I mean the original SF novel by Alan E. Nourse, not the Burroughs script-adaptation of it.