BIOGRAPHY The great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick was born in 1928 in Chicago and spent most of his life in California, Los Angeles and the Bay of San Francisco. His troubled and disordered childhood was marked particularly by the death of her sister and by his parents divorce. In California Dick attended the Berkeley University, but he didn’t continue to study because of his views against the war of Korea and his innate pacifism. The meeting with the science fiction happened by chance in 1949, when he bought a magazine of science fiction by mistake. During his life he married several times and to maintain the family and the living standards of the second wife, Dick tried to leave the writing of science fiction to venture into mainstream literature. Over the years, the use of drugs brought him to a state of addiction, which didn’t prevent him from writing some of his most disconcerting works including "The hunter Android." After the abandonment by the fourth wife Dick left his house to move to Vancouver (Canada) where he participated to a conference on science fiction. The excessive use of psychotropic drugs and the lack of money lead to an exaggeration of amphetamine abuse, a problem which couldn’t be solved after a brief hospitalization in a community of recovery for addicts.
The writer died in Santa Ana, California, for cardiac collapse in 1982, while he was working in his first film based on one of her stories, "Blade Runner" by Ridley Scott.
His works are characterised by a sense of reality constantly eroded, with protagonists who often discover that their loved ones and even they themselves are secretly robots, aliens or supernatural beings subjected to brainwashing .
DO ANDROID DREAM OF AN ELECTRIC SHEEP? It is a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, written in 1966 and published in 1968.
The story is set in San Francisco on the days 3 / 4 January 1992.
Following World War II, after the drop of the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, plants and animals on Earth are disappeared and many of the surviving humans start to emigrated to colonies on Mars. The rain of radioactive dust covers everything and leads to progressive deterioration of mental and genetic identity of individuals. The remaining humans are divided between regulars and "specials," people who are too stupid or too affected by radiation to be allowed to reproduce.. To encourage the people not affect by radiations to move to the colonies extraworld, a law assigns them an android as a servant. However, androids can’t leave the colonies to move on Earth. The protagonist is Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter forced to withdraw 6 androids escaped from a colony on Mars. Deckard is driven by a desire to buy a real animal to replace its electric sheep, but must struggle with a new generation of androids, the Nexus 6. Deckard is seduced by Rachel, an android that brings the protagonist to reflect about the meaning of humanity: if your task is that to protect human beings, is it human to kill an android that feels alive? The most significant theme of the novel is the difficulty of distinguishing a human being from an android. In fact in the novel human beings lose their humanity seem to be androids. Men, thanks to a special machine (the modulator mood Penfield), can decide their feelings, becoming machinery themselves. So, Deckard, like other hunters of androids, must be prepared to kill androids, but for doing so, he must suppress his feelings towards creatures that seem human. This is the most terrible aspect of the novel: men are like androids and not viceversa.
This novel is probably Philip K. Dick's most well-known novel. This is due, in part, to its subsequent adaptation by Ridley Scott into the movie Blade Runner. This novel is without a doubt Dick's most important android work, and arguably one of the most important novels about androids or artificial humans.
BLADE RUNNER (1982)
The story is inspired by the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick.
We are in Los Angeles, in the year 2019.
Flames, smoke, shadows. The second world war has caused huge disasters, whole animal species have been lost, the men leave and go to the colonies extraworld. A blanket of dust darkened the sky.
Genetic engineering, wonder of Tyrell Corporation, create replicants. They are little more than slaves, they have no past or future. For biological reasons have only a few years of life. They are artificial, and some don’t know it.
A group of six replicants (NEXUS 6) possess a shuttle, flees from a colony and return to Earth, where two of them are caught. The ex-policeman Rick Deckard puts on the tracks of the other four replicants to kill them, that are guided by the leader Roy Batty.
Deckard makes the test named Voigt-Kampff, on the human Rachel, to understand the difference between the human beings and the androids, but it reveals her real identity : she’s also a replicant. Infect the Tyrell Corporation, creates replicants physically equal to the men, but more intelligent and faster then human.
Ridley Scott is committed to create a future post-atomic, degenerated, in perfect style cyberpunk. Blade Runner is innovative for its time. Today, after twenty years away, it is valued for the moral issues involved by the phenomenon of cloning, at least partly attributable to the themes covered in the film. The slogan of Tyrell Corporation is "more humane human beings” and this represents the ambition of intellectual, a man who interprets life as a laboratory experiment.