Fictional Story (Android)
This list of fictional robots and androids is chronological, and categorised by medium. It includes all depictions of robots, androids and gynoids in literature, television, and cinema; however, robots that have appeared in more than one form of media are not necessarily listed in each of those media. This list is intended for all fictional computers which are described as existing in a humanlike or mobile form. It shows how the concept has developed in the human imagination through history.
Fictional Story (Android)
On Earth, owning real live animals has become a fashionable status symbol, both because mass extinctions have made authentic animals rare and because of the accompanying cultural push for greater empathy. Poor people can only afford realistic-looking robot imitations of live animals. Rick Deckard, the novel's protagonist, for example, owns an electric black-faced sheep. The trend of increased empathy has coincidentally motivated a new technology-based religion called Mercerism, which uses "empathy boxes" to link users simultaneously to a virtual reality of collective suffering, centered on a martyr-like character, Wilbur Mercer, who eternally climbs up a hill while being hit with crashing stones. Acquiring high-status animal pets and linking in to empathy boxes appear to be the only two ways characters in the story strive for existential fulfilment.
Dick also intentionally imitates noir fiction styles of scene delivery, a hard-boiled investigator dealing coldly with a brutal world full of corruption and stupidity. Another influence on Dick was author Theodore Sturgeon, writer of More Than Human, a surrealistic story of humanity broken into different tiers, one controlling another through telepathic means. A few years after the publication of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the author spoke about man's animate creations in a 1972 famous speech: "The Android and the Human":
BOOM! Studios published a 24-issue comic book limited series based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? containing the full text of the novel and illustrated by artist Tony Parker. The comic garnered a nomination for "Best New Series" from the 2010 Eisner Awards. In May 2010, BOOM! Studios began serializing an eight-issue prequel subtitled Dust To Dust, written by Chris Roberson and drawn by Robert Adler. The story takes place in the days immediately after World War Terminus.
These official and authorized sequels were written by Dick's friend K. W. Jeter. They continue the story of Rick Deckard and attempt to reconcile many of the differences between the novel and the 1982 film.
Critical reception of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? has been overshadowed by the popularity of its 1982 film adaptation, Blade Runner. Of those critics who focus on the novel, several nest it predominantly in the history of Philip K. Dick's body of work. In particular, Dick's 1972 speech "The Human and the Android" is cited in this connection. Jill Galvan calls attention to the correspondence between Dick's portrayal of the narrative's dystopian, polluted, man-made setting and the description Dick gives in his speech of the increasingly artificial and potentially sentient or "quasi-alive" environment of his present. Summarizing the essential point of Dick's speech, Galvan argues, "[o]nly by recognizing how [technology] has encroached upon our understanding of 'life' can we come to full terms with the technologies we have produced" (414). As a "bildungsroman of the cybernetic age", Galvan maintains, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? follows one person's gradual acceptance of the new reality. Christopher Palmer emphasizes Dick's speech to bring to attention the increasingly dangerous risk of humans becoming "mechanical". "Androids threaten reduction of what makes life valuable, yet promise expansion or redefinition of it, and so do aliens and gods". Gregg Rickman cites another, earlier, and lesser-known Dick novel that also deals with androids, We Can Build You, asserting that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? can be read as a sequel.