After World War Terminus the surface of Earth has become contaminated with radioactive dust. Most people have fled to one of the colony planets, but some have stayed behind on Earth where the radioactive dust has killed most animal life forms and owning a pet has become an important social symbol. Ever since his sheep died Rick Deckard has been dreaming of owning his own real life animal.
‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ describes one very eventful day out of the life of android bounty hunter Rick Deckard. He is finally offered the financial prospect of being able to buy an animal when he receives the commission to retire six Nexus-6 model androids that have escaped from a colony planet and are now trying to blend in on Earth. The narrative is accessible and deceptively uncomplicated, but the tale is actually very wise and discerning. It does not get its charm from ingenious technological inventiveness, but rather from the heartfelt delight that can be taken from little things, like caring for a spider or being able to lead a telephone conversation. It is those small things that make this novel so irresistible. The storyline about Isidore whose life takes an upswing when his isolation is broken by a group of androids that moves into his apartment complex is truly touching. Furthermore, the interactions between Rick Deckard and Rachael Rosen offer a fascinating glimpse at android psychology and self-awareness. Regrettably there are some other things that remain unexplained, most notably the mysterious apparitions of Mercer. Despite of those ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ is a captivating novel, mostly due to the wonderfully amiable characters.
This book served as the inspiration for the 1982 movie ‘Blade Runner’.