Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? · Philip K. Dick · 1968
Del Rey, 2017 · 224 pages, paperback
Most of mankind has emigrated for the colonies (i.e. Mars and other off-planet bodies). Those remaining on Earth are charged with maintaining it. Rick Deckard works as a bounty hunter for San Francisco and “retires” rogue androids with the hope that the reward money could buy him a real live animal to replace that electric sheep. He’s afraid the neighbors are getting suspicious.
Other men, like J.R. Isidore, are “specials, “chickenheads,” “antheads,” whose exposure to the radiation left by World War Terminus has made them ineligible for emigration to Mars. They’re tasked with more menial jobs – repairing artificial pets, say, or collecting trash, a lucrative business as everyone is fighting against a relentless deluge of virtually self-reproducing detritus and trash aka “kipple.” Continue reading
Sharpened rays of sunlight and four trigger pulls, how to live when life and death are interchangeable?
The Stranger · Albert Camus · 1946
Matthew Ward translation · Vintage, 1989 · 123 pages, paperback
Albert Camus was a proponent of the idea that life becomes absurd once a man learns he is living only, one day, to die. Whether any one of us came into being in the first place is a chance occurrence that alters any other life on only a very insular level. And when we do die…well, we won’t be here to remember the things we did.
And we know this and yet we live this short little march with our full attentions. This is what Camus said was absurd. The Stranger is a slim book that puts Camus’ ideas in the clearest terms.