miércoles, 14 de junio de 2017

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick [Review]

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Author: Philip K. Dick
Genre: Science fiction, Dystopian, Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey
Publishing date: First published in 1968
Pages: 249

Hello, it’s been a while since my last review, today I’m reviewing Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I had high expectations on this one, and I’m not disappointed.

The book is settled in a dystopian Earth after a nuclear war. Earth is not safe to live in due to
Blade Runner is a movie
                adaptation of this book.
radioactive dust that deteriorates people’s health until they become intellectually slow humans classified as a "special." The Earth's dust-irradiated atmosphere leads the United Nations to encourage mass emigrations to off-world colonies to preserve humanity's genetic integrity, with the incentive of free personal androids: robot servants identical to humans. As time passes by, those androids become more and more realistic until it’s hard to differentiate them from people. Rick Deckard, the protagonist, is a bounty hunter, he signs for a new police mission that is to remove 6 nexus-6 androids that had gone rogue. These androids are almost human, the only thing Deckard has to identify them is an empathy test, androids don’t feel empathy. During his mission he will start doubting himself, wondering if he is doing the right thing “retiring” androids, beings that want to live their own lives, that have intelligence of their own; and reflexing about what makes us human.

The book has an interesting premise that caught my attention immediately, a world in which androids are so advanced they can be confused with humans. A world so torn apart that the only hope of humanity is fleeing from the planet, and those who stay risk their health. A world full of discrimination and odd beliefs. The setting is realistic and actually possible, technology keeps advancing, in Japan they are working to develop realistic sexual dolls, and artificial intelligence is growing too, so it wouldn’t be strange if in the near future we could see an intelligent robot.

Another thing that caught my attention is that the protagonist questions himself about what makes us human, the book concludes that is empathy, humans need human interaction and feel empathy for others. After finishing the book I reflected a lot about that, and came to the conclusion that now humanity is more like androids, mainly in internet, people is indifferent each other and whenever they see someone struggling they just look somewhere else, don’t caring about anyone but themselves. People have become cold and distant with each other.

Now talking about the structure of the book, it’s short, easy to read and keeps the reader interested in what’s going to happen next. Even thou I truly enjoyed it; it had some things I didn’t like at all. The characters were cold and unlikeable, and I never developed a connection with them. Also some parts of the book are kind of slow, although it’s mostly to describe the world and how everything works to submerge the reader in the setting. The action parts pace was a little slow, but enjoyable.

If you want to read a short and dystopian story about androids and existential reflections about being human, you totally should read this book, is interesting and will make you reflect about life.

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