Many readers may know this story better by its film name – Blade Runner. For readers who enjoy thought provoking, intellectual science fiction you can’t bypass the works of Philip K. Dick.
Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter in futuristic San Francisco. His job is to eliminate androids on earth. Androids were developed in order to be shipped off planet to colonies in the galaxy to act as servants for humans.
There are small bands of humans left on earth in various cities around the world. News is limited to reality based gossip columns that play on television and radio. Emotions and moods are set and reset on a machine in each home in order to offset depression caused by the nuclear winter which hangs over everything.
A new religion or ideological following has emerged called Mercerism. It is tied in with the mood machine and a worship of animals. Many animals are extinct and the prices to own them are very high making ownership of a real animal both valuable and status adding to one’s life. Deckard and his wife are owners of an electric sheep but have aspirations to own a real animal.
A fellow bounty hunter of Deckard’s has been injured on the job and so the hunt for several androids is turned over to Deckard. With the bounties he hopes to be able to purchase real livestock.
From there the story is about the hunt.
The writing is excellent. A very descriptive tale of how the world works, the value of people and human versus android interactions and the role of sentient beings in our lives. One of the strongest underlying themes is that of emotion.
If you have seen the film first, then expect some deviation and a different experience. This author has had many of his stories adapted from page to screen. Some license is always taken because of the intellectual nature of the writing and it is hard to put thoughts onto film.
The story itself is fairly short but it is well worth any amount you have to pay to access it. If you are a sci-fi fan you are probably familiar. If this is a genre you do not usually read from, please try this author. You will not be disappointed.