Saturday, September 3, 2011

Remember My_Space? Some old book reviews;

Once upon a time I wrote my blogs over at my_space, now that site seems to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. I only wrote a hand full of blog entries over there before I started writing at blogger/ blog spot. I don't want those old entries to be missed by any who might enjoy them so I am going to repost the entries that are related to our gaming hobby here at the, new fangled, Dicebag...

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick

At 111 pages this surely qualifies as a novella. This is the story upon which the move Blade Runner is based. Had I never viewed Blade Runner I would have found this tale far more bizarre. Blade Runner is one of my favorite films and I can only guess the number of times I have seen the movie and it’s bits and pieces. Likewise, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep has been on my personal “must read” list for a very long time.

There are elements in the movie version that Dick did not write and there are also elements of the original that were left out of the movie. A healthy dose of imagination is required to appreciate either version of this tale, perhaps more so for the manuscript than the film. The similarities begin with the major characters. Rick Deckard, Harry Bryant and Dave Holden are the three policemen central to both versions. The villains are the androids; Leo/n, Pris and Roy Batty. Dick never uses the term blade runner, he refers to Deckard's job simply as bounty hunter.

This story is based on a post-holocaust rather than a post-nuclear strike Earth. A chemical agent has poisoned Earth killing a large majority of all insects, birds, reptiles and lower mammals. This mystery poison is much less effective on humanity but most surviving humans have fled to the stars, specifically Mars. The androids were commissioned to help man colonize space. Everyone remaining on Earth keeps a pet to psychologically absolve himself of his crimes against the lower animals. The few surviving species are very expensive when they are available. Robot animals are available as pets, in Rick Deckard’s case an electric sheep.

Bizarre yes but a witty and ingenious expansion on Asimov’s plot for I, Robot. My outline of Dick’s tale has been only the cornmeal he uses to cook an even more bizarre and meaty tortilla pie. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is not one of the 501 must read books and is not part of my bookshelf cleaning plan, I read this tale in PDF format. P.K. Dick's book on the 501 list is The Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, I will read it in due time. In a freighting example of life imitating art I recently saw a television advertisement for Fur Real Friends. These are electronic pets offered by Hasbor toys. I've also just finished reading Lizard by Dennis Covington but I will spare you a review of it. Lizard's a good book. I’m all out of Sgt. Rock comic books so I’ll get back to taking my seasonal allergy medication and reading Iron Man.



2 comments:

  1. Quite a lot of the books, if not all, are amazing. And yes, we do remember myspace! ^^

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