Short book, more of a short story than a novel really. But it quickly paints a picture of a bizarre but believable (mostly….not sure about “Mercer”), and very interesting future. This is the story the movie “Blade Runner” was based on (I can see why they changed the title…); I’ve never seen it so don’t know how close the story is to the book’s.
Anyhow, I liked the future setting. Post-holocaust; animals are scarce and owning one is a sign of prestige. There are androids, but they are only meant for the colonies, not for Earth (I don’t think there is ever a reason given for why, come to think of it.) Deckard is a bounty hunter who goes after androids who kill or otherwise escape their masters and find their was to Earth. The androids are very life-like; just a subtle psychological test is the only way to tell an android from a human. And the android manufacturers keep getting better and better, so the line between artificial and real grows thinner and thinner.
There is definitely a psychological bent to this book that I don’t really claim to understand fully. Maybe something on our perception of reality – are androids just as good as humans because they look and think the same? How about “chickenheads” (people with radiation induced mental disabilities)? What about artificial animals? What about Mercer, a prophet of sorts who turns out to be a sham (but people don’t care much and still follow him with their empathy boxes)?
Kind of bizarre, really….