Philip K. Dick has written over fifty novels, and is considered
of the greatest experimental writers of the 1950s and '60s, such as;
Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and Thomas Pynchon.(Star 34) He has written
fiction and regular fiction. His fiction usually spoke of people
figure out who they are, or what they are supposed to be. He is best
however, for his work in science-fiction, and this represents the
his work. He has, also, won awards for two of his science-fiction
won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1962 for The Man in the High
Castle and the
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year in 1974 for
Tears, The Policeman Said (Brians 1).
An opera has been based on one
later novels, Valis (Brians 1). One of his short stories, We Can Build
You, was made into a movie recently. The movie was Screamers, starring
Weller. He has also had two of his novels, We Can Remember It for You
Wholesale (Total Recall), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade
made into movies. Of the two, Blade Runner (B.R.) has had the greatest
B.R., however, differs greatly from Dicks' original novel, Do Androids
Electric Sheep? (D.A.D.O.E.S.)
Blade Runner was released in 1982 under the direction of Ridley
who also made another sci-fi classic, Alien.
The film begins in the city of Los Angeles. The year is 2019.
The city of
Los Angeles is overpopulated, teeming with all sorts of humans.
are all over the place.
The Japanese input was strictly the
Scot's. Scott saw the future world being controlled by the Japanese.
Dick did not mention this. The planet is recovering from World War III,
although I'm not sure they actually say this. In the book, the war is
stated and was called World War Terminus. The effects of the radiation
mutated some people. Only the ones who had not been disfigured or
genetically by radiation from the nuclear bombs could emigrate, (leave
planet earth). Some, who were perfectly healthy chose to stay,
stayed because they were stubborn and wanted to die on the planet they
on. The chickenheads had to stay, it was law.
Chickenheads is Dicks
the disfigured or the genetically altered. They are also referred to as
specials. There are no chickenheads in the movie. None of this is
in the movie, but this is what is explained in the novel.
The ones who do emigrate to other planets receive one free worker
them with their settling of a new home. The worker is not human. It
android. In the movie they are called replicants or skin-jobs. These
newest versions of androids, which were created by the Rosen
Nexus-6 mimic humans in every way, except in one thing,
Empathy is the ability to feel for another. For example, if you
a puppy that was beaten, skinned, and then left to die, that care would
empathy. Androids don't have this trait. They would watch the
puppies' skin be
removed without a blink in their eyes. They can pretend to feel, but
have to know first there was something disturbing about the skinning of
The nonexistent empathy of replicants is never discussed in the movie,
is pretty obvious in the way they kill or try to kill. This lack of
scared many humans on earth, so a law was passed that didn't allow
In the novel, this is where the bounty hunters come in. Their job
retire (kill) the androids, who have somehow escaped to earth or just
weeded out from the other humans.
You might be wondering why I said bounty hunter instead of blade
Well, the term blade runner is never used in the novel. Apparently,
Scott wanted a specific name for the people who hunted down the
Scott was told of a
Burroughs book named Blade Runner: The Movie. The book was never a
Burroughs just had that in the title. Scott liked the way blade runner
so he bought the rights of the Burroughs novel (Blackwood). That is
how he came
up with the title and a name for the hunters of the replicants.
The way a blade runner can know if an android is a human or not
the Voight-Kampff test. This is shown in the movie, although not used
as in the novel. The test consists of the tester setting up several
and seeing the testes's responses. The responses are measured through
in the eyes and the blushing of cheeks. The blushing is recorded by a
that is placed on your face and the dilation of the eye; by a laser
in your eye. An example of something that Deckard or whoever was
the test would say was: "You are watching an old movie on TV, a movie
before the war. It shows a banquet in progress; the guests are
"The entree," he continued, "consists of boiled dog, stuffed
The needles moved less this time, less than they had for the raw
raw oysters more acceptable to you than a dish of boiled dog? Evidently
not."(Dick 45) A human would react more to the dog than raw oysters.
showed that this particular subject, Rachael Rosen, was an android. It
just be one question though, it would be many. All would be something
these lines, though. After, he found out for sure; the android, ( or
movie: replicant), would be retired. The Voight-kampff test is only
the beginning of the movie when Dave Holden is administering the test
The main character of the novel and movie is Rick Deckard .
played by Harrison Ford. He is a blade runner (bounty hunter) that has
of retirement. Rick is hired to track down four androids: Roy Baty,
Luba, and Polokov. The original number of replicants had been five,
but one of
his colleagues, Dave Holden, had already retired one. The name of the
replicant is never mentioned.
The original five had killed their
on another planet, stolen a ship, and illegally come to earth. In
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?