Sci Friday: DO ANDROIDS DREAM v. BLADE RUNNER

BookPeople's Blog

~post by Marie

I am often championing science fiction and fantasy for its amazing imaginative scope and its ability to point to touchy political, social, religious, and ethical themes in a way that would otherwise be impossible under normal fiction and literature criteria.  Phillip K. Dick’s cult classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep explores one of the most fundamental themes of life as we know it: what makes us human, and how do we differentiate ourselves from what we have deemed to be non-human?  In his dystopian futuristic/apocalyptic society, Dick is able to explore this by introducing a variety of extremely human-seeming androids, and using them as a sounding board for how the humans of his created world differentiate themselves from their fabricated counterparts.  What is the fool-proof test?  Empathy.  Specifically, empathy towards animals, who have been all but wiped out after some nuclear fall-out obliterates the landscape, and…

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