Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

 

“Maybe there was once a human who looked like you, and somewhere along the line you killed him and took his place. And your superiors don’t know.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by  Philip K. Dick, first published in 1968. The novel takes place in  a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. Post-apocalyptic because life has been damaged by nuclear World War Terminus. The plot follows a bounty hunter Rick Deckard whose job is to “retire” (read: kill) Nexus 6 model androids who have escaped from the outer colonies and try to pass as humans. There’s also subplot that focuses on John Isidore, a man of sub-par IQ who aids our fugitive androids.

“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I’ve long been a fan of Philip K. Dick. I think it all started when I was a kid and my dad brought me a paperback called The Man in  the High Caste. My dad is huge fan of history and probably thought it would be interesting read. It was and so was Do Androids… Author has very fascinating thoughts and he is very deep with them. We can see this already in the title. You can go with androids. Or you can go a step further and ask if they dream…if they dream of electric sheep? The novel beautifully explores topics like: What is real, what is fake what makes us human? In book, the androids are said to possess no sense of empathy. It’s not quite true, is it?  And if to forget about androids, there are other interesting topics to explore too: How UN always makes super clever decisions,  nuclear war: hasn’t yet happened but it could?

 

“You have to be with other people, he thought. In order to live at all. I mean before they came here I could stand it… But now it has changed. You can’t go back, he thought. You can’t go from people to nonpeople.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

4/5 stars

How- To Read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
1. Read it in English.
I first read this in Finnish and they had translated the title as ‘Bounty Hunter’. Not fun. Many other translators apparently thought the title  was too difficult to translate…In Swedish: Dreams of Androids, Dutch: Electric Nightmares, Italian: Then Hunter of Androids? I can imagine how they translated everything else.
2.
A must read for PKD fans and for those who love science fiction :)
3. Cult classic thing. You know how it is with those.
4. Many interesting adaptations, for example: 1982 film Blade Runner and its 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049.

Have you read this? Thoughts? What makes you so sure you’re human?
This post is a part of a very happy event called scifi month. Check it out.

“You mean old books?”
“Stories written before space travel but about space travel.”
“How could there have been stories about space travel before –“
“The writers,” Pris said, “made it up.”
― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Pictures: Black sheep from PixabayDo androids dream of electric sheep? | by Bill McIntyre ,do androids dream of electric sheep? | by cdrummbks

How-To Travel Through Time

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.”
― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

The Time Machine is a science fiction novel (or a long short-story?)  by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and it has become a classic. In the book, the narrator introduces us to inventor and scientist whom the reader will know only by as Time Traveller. It’s impolite to call him anything different. In The Time Machine, our Time Traveller travels far into the future, into year 801, 701. There he learns that humanity has evolved when he meets Eloi. Eloi are described as naiive and small post-humans with large eyes and small ears and mouths.

Time Traveller soon learns that sweet Eloi do not inhabit this new world alone. There are also Morlocks who are quite different from the other human species.

“The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness.”
― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

The Time Machine is epic. H.G. Wells was a pioneer and this is one of the cornerstones of all science fiction works that came after…and especially dystopian genre? I like this novel a lot. I think Wells was one of the first ones to tackle the question of what the world would look like 800 000 years in the future. There is already a gap between people so what if after many millennia our world would look like this? Who would become Eloi and who would become Morlocks? I like Wells’ style, he’s whimsical and yet his language is beautiful and descriptions are rich. What did make me drop one star from the rating was the pessimism. I like to think that there is some hope for humanity. I want to read about people who push above everything, whereas here it just got more and more hopeless.

 

4/5 stars

How- To Read The Time Machine
1. 
Just 118 pages! The perfect read if you’re having a busy phase in your life! Whimsical and beautiful style of writing ought to keep you entertained. You can get the book at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/35
2. 
Essential read for all science fiction fans and I think this is great piece of work even if you don’t like the genre too much.
3. Plenty of good, entertaining and very different kinds of adaptations.

Have you read this? Thoughts? This post is a part of a very happy event called scifi month. Check it out.

“Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.”
― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

How-To Fight Buggers

“Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

 

Ender’s Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth’s future, the novel presents an imperilled mankind after two conflicts with the alien species called “buggers”. In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games.

“I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly – I’ll beat you unfairly first. ”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

About the plot: After certain events, Ender is offered a place in battle school located in earth’s orbit. Ender’s life in Battle School is a difficult one, he is isolated from his fellow recruits and given tasks that are increasingly difficult. The cadets of the school participate in competitive war simulations in zero gravity and we learn soon that Ender quickly masters whatever simulation he participates in, he is a strategic genius. He seems to pass every simulation, every game there is…
But the simulations aren’t quite what they seem…

At first, it was hard for me to get into this book because main characters seemed too young and too cunning and they’re sent to learn how to fight when they’re 6? Yet that’s what we do, right? We screw things up or in this case aliens has screwed everything up and then send kids to fix everything.

“Peter, you’re twelve years old. I’m ten. They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

I got into this book quite quickly. I liked Ender a lot. He’s smart, he does not want to cause any harm, yet he will do what has to be done. His brother Peter is a ruthless sociopath and his sister Valentine is compassionate and kind. Ender is somewhere in between. I also liked the plot, even if the battle scenes were a bit boring from time to time. Also, the narration wasn’t too clear, however, somehow it suited the book well.

In the end, I guess why I rated this book so high was because of how humans had encountered alien life form. Buggers came and then there were many wars and there was no common language or understanding between the two species. And now, 30 years after this book, would we understand aliens or would we end up in Ender’s Game?
5/5 stars

How- To Read Ender’s Game
1. 
If you liked this, there’s more.  3 books worth more. While I was a fan of two first books in Ender’s Quintet, I had quite big difficulties finishing the last two books.
2. 
If you don’t like war fiction, I don’t think you’ll find this too exciting. Moreover, everyone in this book manipulates others and so it certainly does not present you with best human characteristics.
3.
There is a film adaptation from  2013. Written and directed by Gavin Hood, the film stars Asa Butterfield as Ender.

Have you read this? Thoughts? This post is a part of a very happy event called scifi month. Check it out.

Cover image by: Gwydion M. Williams, Post pictures: Ender’s Game Fromic Fight on VimeoEnder’s Game Formic World Fight on Vimeo.