In the infamous words of Monty Python (thanks Little Tongan), "and now for something COMPLETELY different..." - I introduce you to my gateway book to science fiction "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".
"Science Fiction!" I hear some of you shriek... "save me from the trekkies and the ewoks, etc etc!" - it's not all nerd boys and dress-ups... although I do love me some nerd boy, just ask my IRL friends. The best sci-fi writers are those who make you believe that maybe, just maybe, one day this could be true and I think that Philip K. Dick does that successfully in this novel.
More familiar to people as the story behind the movie "Blade Runner", "Do Androids..." takes a step away from the heavy hitting action sequences of the movie and focuses more on the intricacies of human nature - or non-human nature as the case may be. In a post-apocalyptic world, most of the human population has fled to Mars, aided in the pioneering of a new planet by hyper-realistic robots, barely detectable as different from human beings. The remaining humans are segregated by how much the nuclear fall out has degraded them - once you fall below a certain level on the IQ test, you are considered a "special". Androids break away from the colony on Mars and come back to Earth... and what results is a well-written novel on what it truly means to be human.
I enjoyed this book far more than the movie as it delved deep into what it meant to be able to feel empathy, a truly human trait. It looks at how man treats his fellow man and the difference between doing something because you should or because in your heart, you feel that its the right thing to do. PKD writes in such a way that you feel drawn into the stories of Rachael Rosen, Deckard and Isidore, thinking how it must feel to be in their positions. It also makes you realise how much of life n our planet we take for granted - that our sheep are indeed real, not electric.
This is a great sci-fi book to start on if you haven't read a lot of the genre, not overly filled with jargon or warring aliens (although those books can be fantastic too!). I'm glad I bought my copy, but you may want to borrow from your local library before seeing whether it is a book you wish to own.
4 out of 5 stars.