In January 2021, the world has long since had a nuclear war and dust falls over the plant. Most have immigrated to Mars but those brave enough or unfit to travel stay on the planet Earth. If you are an immigrant to the red planet you receive an android, they look human so much so most of the time you cannot tell that they are not one. The main difference is that androids lack empathy. The government on Earth has banned these creations but some have escaped from Mars to try to live lives as normal humans. Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter his mission is to kill eight of the androids that have escaped from Mars. It’s a difficult task as the androids or “andys” know that they are being hunted and go a sophisticated route to stay hidden. This story goes through the minds of the androids, a man who might help them along the way, and the man who is hunting them.
I picked this book up as it is actually January 2021. Now, you might be thinking that plot sounds crazy, 2021 is nothing like how it is described in the novel. That’s because this is a science fiction novel published in 1968. It was so surreal to be reading something that takes place when we are living but was written over fifty years ago. Obviously, life is nothing like how it is in this book. It just fascinates me to see what people in the past thought the future would be like.
“Everything I’ve done has been wrong from the start.”Chapter 20.
The main point of views in this book are the bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, and a ‘chickenhead’- someone who the nuclear dust has impacted, J.R. Isidore. The read gets to see how both of these men survive in this dystopian San Francisco and how they both feel about androids plus how they deal with those beings. The character’s were not really likeable or unlikeable, I did not really care what would happen to them. However, even though this book only takes place in a few days, I feel like their was great character growth in these men. Their thoughts on society really change throughout the story and they often have to question why they do what they do, if what they are doing is right or wrong. The characters get a four out of five rating.
The electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.”Chapter 22.
The early chapters do a good job at worldbuilding in the sense by explaining the war that wiped out most of the population of animals. It does not go into detail why there was a war or what countries were involved, as the characters do not seem to remember. The religion is something that I thought needed a little more building though. Every time ‘mercerism’ was mentioned the plot just went crazy like it was some kind of drug trip. I honestly do not know what was happening in those paragraphs. I am still very much confused as what the meaning of those points were, maybe the next books explains better. I also do not understand why animals are so important in this world even to the point where there are electric animals. It seems the wealthy have real animals while those who are less fortunate have artificial ones that like androids look just like real ones. Atmosphere gets a three out of five.
The writing was not anything special. It was not the best writing that I have ever read and it was not the worst either. It was not too lengthy which is really nice. My pet peeve was thought that it would randomly change perspectives in a chapter without a break or anything. Just an average writing style, it got the job done. Three out of five rating.
I really liked this plot. The idea of androids escaping slavery on Mars and trying to live and hide among humans is super interesting and then you add in the idea of them being hunted. I wish there could have been a POV from one of the androids but we did not see that in this installment. The plot gets a four out five.
I was wanting to know what would happen next and who would survive but repeating myself, from the character section, I did not feel emotionally connected to the characters so whatever would happen would not really have a big impact on me. This book was not predictable but it was not shocking either, I won’t go into that any more as I am scared that I might give too much away. Intrigue gets a three out of five rating.
Ah, logic, this section is always fun for fantasy and sci-fi and one that is always fairly difficult to judge. I think sometimes for the characters things just went too easy, maybe that is why this book was relatively short, less than three hundred pages. Again, I do not know the logic behind the religion and I don’t know a lot about nuclear waste so I do not know if all the science behind that held any truth. Logic will once again get a three from me.
I did enjoy reading a classic science fiction novel, I think this is the first of it’s kind that I have picked up. This book did have an interesting plot and I liked that for a sci-fi the characters actually got to grow and that all the focus was not just on the plot of the novel. This 2021 world is fascinating but I think it could have used a bit more backstory, I will have to do some research on this book. I most likely will be picking up the next book and other books by Philip K. Dick. If you were interested in this story you might want to check out the Amazon series ‘Electric Dreams’, each episode is based on a different story from the author and there are well known actors on the show. It was what brought this author to my attention!
This novel gets the rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.