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But the key milestones thestory are almost dwarfed by the eerie, unsettling atmospherics,and subplots.The specifics of Deckard’s tense domestic life mightseem like throwaway details.Of course, all of the high-flung praise came after the fact.
These, and other elementscasually introduced into the narrative augment the pervasive sense ofdread that can be felt viscerally by the reader of this work.
Despite the unreal sense of techno noir that permeates these pages,science is catching up with Dick's outlandish premise.
In one of the journals, a Nazi officer complains about not being able to sleep because he was “kept awake at night by the cries of starving children.” Instead of empathizing with their suffering, the officer only saw them as a nuisance that disturbed his sleep.
That one line had a deep impact on Dick who thought, and the crux upon which his reflection of life hangs.
The question ofwhether machines can attain to the status of person-hood, and how thatleap can be tested and verified, might once have been issue left for philosophers or, occasionally sci-fi writers.
But this is increasinglya matter for empirical testing and, perhaps soon enough, regulationand litigation.Even the androids themselves might not be aware oftheir true identity, perhaps believing that they are human beings.The authorities, however, have developed a diagnostic tool, the Voigt-Kampf Empathy Test, which can distinguish between realand ersatz homo sapiens. The plot proceeds from this point along the familiar lines of thepolice procedural, with the investigator tracking down the guiltyand meting out appropriate 'justice'.And the same goes for he and hiswife's desire to own a real pet animal—which is thwarted becauseof the prohibitive cost.After Deckard's real sheep died from tetanushe was forced to settle for an electric one.I could tell you that the anxiety-ridden hunt for human-like androidsin this book represents the queasy quest for authenticity of the late1960s.I could tell you that the "othering" of the androids, who arehunted and killed as threats to society, reflectsa critique of the Vietnam War from the perspectiveof Berkeley, California—where the author lived in1968, when.”—delving into the backstory of classic and memorable novels starting with Philip K. ”It is by no accident that this series first appears in the month of October, leading up to the national day of horror—Halloween.This and subsequent articles will reference novels of horror and dystopia; novels that make you you out of your wits, either through immediate frightening chills from demons and monsters or through a prospective future that is unimaginably dark and inhuman.For some, it is the harbinger of cyberpunk,for others it anticipates Jean Baudrillard's Alas, none of these grandiose claims has, I fear, much bearing on what Philip K. We need to remind ourselvesthat our esteemed author wrote his novel in a state of personal crisis,and any obsessions he revealed about sincerity and authenticitywere personal ones, anxieties that Dick lived through each day,and didn't need to find described in a book of philosophy or aclassroom lecture.The power and vibrancy of Dick’s work from thisperiod has little to do with the concepts at play (although many conceptsat play), but derives from their immediacy, their felt reality no matterhow unreal the unfolding plots.