Talk:Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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  1. Pre 2009

Incorrect facts in the page (Feb 2012)[edit]

The write-up of the "Setting" and "Plot" is pretty bad and full of errors, as follows:

  • "Animals are rare and people are expected to keep them" -- it's not stated anywhere in the book that people are "expected" to keep animals. They do, and there is status attached to them. But nowhere is it stated that any authority expects people to, although there's a reward for finding supposedly extinct species.
  • "It is revealed that neither Mercer nor Friendly are actual humans" -- an ambiguous statement, implying that Mercer is an android. The actor who played Mercer is tracked down and is old. It is said earlier that androids live only four years. So the actor is a real person. Mercer isn't real. That's for sure. But that's the extent of what's stated or implied in the book.
  • "Androids are used only in the colonies" -- clearly not true. Rachael Rosen is a clear example. The only thing the book states is that androids have to be owned to be legal.
  • "Although [androids are] made of biological materials and physically all but indistinguishable from humans" -- the book is not clear on this point. References are made to a "brain box" in an android, for example. The test on bone marrow is likely to be more to ensure that the retired android isn't a human who's been outfitted with android parts, which is hinted at in the beginning of the book when Rick talks about the embarrassment of talking about his robotic sheeep. (talk) 15:55, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "Deckard, seldom works in and does not consider himself to be either a peace officer or a full-time bounty hunter" -- Citation needed! Incorrect. Deckard is just another bounty hunter working for the SF Peace force who has a "better" colleague, but who one who is injured, so he gets a crack of the whip. That's all that's stated or implied in the book.
  • "he is attempting to acquire the funds for a real black-faced Suffolk ewe" -- Nope! Deckard had a ewe. It died of tetanus. In the book he attempts unsuccessfully to buy an Ostrich, after chatting-up a neighbour to maybe buy his forthcoming colt, and then successfully buys a goat.

I'm going to stop here, but I hope I've shown that this is a very low-quality article with lots of errors. (talk) 16:01, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Instead of criticising all the other contributing editors, why don't you just make the changes - seeing as you're such an obvious expert? a_man_alone (talk) 16:57, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Because edits I do on Wikipedia are usually reverted. Better to discuss them here and let the "editor" make the changes once agreed. (talk) 17:10, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps because of the way you present your arguments? Nevertheless, you are also an "editor". If you do not do them, it seems unlikely others will, simply because you have identified everybody elses efforts as being low quality and error prone. a_man_alone (talk) 10:06, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

SF Peace Force? I don't understand that sentence at all. Nor the original either. In the book it states he was a former police officer who becomes a bounty hunter — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

I think some of the 'incorrect facts' stated here are correct facts. Androids are only used in the colonies -- the ones on Earth are renegades and there illegally, while Rachel Rosen is a prototype given special dispensation to be on Earth by the company that owns her. The book is fairly clear on what the androids are made of (organic material), and a 'brain box' is slang for the cranium. There's no mention of fitting humans out with android parts that I can find. He is trying to raise funds to replace his sheep with a real one -- the goat is very spur-of-the-moment. Others are, I think, correct. I've made some changes. MotleyPhule 05:07, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Is mercerism consumerist? Anymore than other religions? I changed the word to collective. It is explictly a collective spirituality, whether or not the fact that it's origin was fabricated. I know many people who are more moral/kind and belong to a religion whose origins I consider at least partially fabricated. That does not make it consumerist, even if a religion is co-opted by consumer/capitalist agendas. Am I the only one that thinks that mercer was invented as an avatar to focus on so that humanity might become so empathetic they eschewed murder/killing? The androids hate the empathy box because they do not have empathy. And so they seek to undermine both the box and its mythos. Mercerism is a very complex and important part of the novel, not found in the film. Maybe it deserves more care and detail in this article kelticpete (talk) 23:22, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Article needs to be reworked[edit]

Some of the descriptions are more relevent to the movie than to the 1960s literature. The Nexus-6 and the name just weren't that prominent compared to the level of lack of development of San Francisco and Seattle as the author perceived it as his being a west coast inhabitant.Ncsr11 (talk) 01:02, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Some possible goals for this article[edit]

1) More references.

2) Enlarge further reading section. Include some stuff that might actually be interesting and not just publication histories and the like.

3) Pare down the Plot section: it's too long for such a short novel.

4) Perhaps an addition of an 'importance' section.

5) a discussion on themes?

6) a detailed description/analysis of characters? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marlowbel (talkcontribs) 03:22, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

7) A section on Reception. Perhaps this could begin with an expansion on the "Further Reading: Critical Reception" section?Sure noodle (talk) 10:53, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

What else?--MotleyPhule (talk) 07:54, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I have chopped the plot section to remove material that is explained elsewhere in the article, such as the nature of the androids and the setting. I've tried to include a starting point into themes of empathy, religion and examination of the human condition. The themes are often realised through characterisation, specifically by the use of doubling: Rachel/Pris, Isidore/Deckard, Deckard/Retsch, Mercer/Friendly etc. -- (talk) 16:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


The play in Teatr Wybrzeze in Gdańsk was cancelled, because the theatre did not get the copyrights. Could someone put this in a proper place? My English isn't good enough to do it professionally. Here's the link in polish -> —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ziomalkav (talkcontribs) 08:11, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the information... I think that since the play didn't go ahead it's probably not worth mentioning that it was planned. I'll remove the section, but let me know if you think it's worth inclusion.--MotleyPhule (talk) 08:37, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Sheep or goat?[edit]

"Setting" section states that Rick Deckard owned a sheep, and later a synthetic sheep, while the "Plot" section talks only about his goat. Which was it, or was it both? Some clarification wouldn't hurt.-- (talk) 22:13, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, the setting is correct, at the start of the novel he owns a synthetic sheep and had owned a real one. During the course of the novel he buys a goat, which Rachael kills. I'll make some changes.MotleyPhule (talk) 05:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Google references[edit]

I have removed the implication, made in the apprently obligatory 'cultural references' section, that the Google product names are direct references to the book. The word 'android' was in use well before Dick's novel, while 'nexus' is defined as "a connection, link or tie" - a perfectly valid explanation for using it as the name of a mobile phone. While they are similar, there is nothing in the citations to suggest either name is actually a reference to the book. -- (talk) 14:43, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

It is a sourced fact that the names of these Google products are named after the book/film. magnius (talk) 14:54, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
The nytimes article states only that Dick's family think it's a copyright infringement. That doesn't make it a deliberate reference on the part of Google. The Register provides only a single line referring to the book/film, and links to a version of exactly the same story. Yes the names are similar, but neither of the cited articles establishes any deliberate reference as 'fact'. Can you point me to one that does? -- (talk) 16:31, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
It may need to be rephrased to say something like ~ Google was widely believed to have named to their products after Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? so much so that the estate sued Google over the similary.
Deleting the content does not WP:IMPROVE the article[1]. Editors have changed the article in good faith, and in this case citations have even been provided. Sure deleting is the easy option, but a bit of rephrasing could probably address your concerns too. -- Horkana (talk) 02:00, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Speculation isn't content. Just because a bunch of people think something doesn't make it true or noteworthy. Google has not confirmed that this was their intention. A bunch of people think Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite, but I'll note her article doesn't contain that info. A bunch of people think Richard Gere once had to have gerbil removed from his ass, and his article lacks that info. There is a story about Rod Stewart having his stomach pumped for a large amount of semen, and his article lacks that info even though plenty of people believe it. If Google cops to it, fine, otherwise it is just another random rumor. The fact that Dick's estate thinks it can sue is irrelevant as well, as they wont be able to prove it even if they had grounds for a suit. I've read the two articles and they most they say is that some press reports were released (and they don't say by whom). Okay someone released a press report saying what? We don't know who released the report or if they had any idea what they were talking about. Ekwos (talk) 02:25, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


Many of the examples given in the so-called "adaptations" section are not adaptations at all, they are simply vague allusions to the novel, and many of them are unreferenced. Before anything is added, what is listed needs to be sourced or removed. I think the latter is preferable. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 18:14, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

The BBC has broadcast two versions of the book; the first is an eight-part reading of the novel, read by actor Kerry Shale, and initially aired on digital channel Radio 7 (now Radio 4 Extra) in 2010. The second is a two-part dramatic adaptation by Jonathan Holloway, starring James Purefoy as Deckard, Jessica Raine as Rachael Rosen and directed by Sasha Yevtushenko. Part one was broadcast on Sunday 15th June 2014, with the second part a week later. Jock123 (talk) 11:59, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Natural City[edit]

21:34, 12 August 2012‎ Evanh2008 (talk | contribs)‎ . . (19,153 bytes) (-22)‎ . . (Reverted good faith edits by Idot (talk): Not an official adaptation. (TW)) updated since my last visit (undo)

Tales from Earthsea (film) legally is not official either, but it is mention as adapatation of Earthsea (Idot (talk) 21:45, 12 August 2012 (UTC))

The main difference is that reliable secondary sources have identified those works as being based on the works in question. I haven't heard of Natural City until today, but it certainly sounds like an unofficial adaptation of Dick's novel However, the key test is whether or not reliable sources agree with that assessment. If they do, you are welcome (and encouraged) to add those sources where appropriate and generate content that properly summarizes those sources. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 23:17, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
  • since English is not my native language, may you help me to find such sources? (please) Idot (talk) 02:59, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. I've begun looking for sources and will post here once I've found some. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:48, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Added a section on it today, though I'll be continuing to look for new and better sources. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 18:07, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
nice! (Idot (talk) 04:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC))

Does this really count as an adaptation? An adaptation is when a work is adapted/converted/modified to fit a different format. Thus, Bladerunner is an adaptation of the novel into a film. Works that are similar are not necessarily adaptations -- not even unofficial adaptations. Perhaps this would be better in a section on a 'Cultural Influences' section like this one: on Heinlein's Starship Troopers. MotleyPhule 22:39, 23 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by MotleyPhule (talkcontribs)

I removed the reference. It does not seem to be an adaptation of the novel. the references note its similarity to Blade runner which is not a close adaptation of the novel.AbramTerger (talk) 01:07, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Philosophical themes[edit]

There is a strong existentialist theme (and philosophical references) in the book, the fact that the protagonist is called Descartes (thinly veiled as Deckard) is a dead give-away! This is central to the book, i.e. what does it mean to be human and what defines humanity, the fact that Deckard seems inhumane compared to some of the 'non-humans' as a literary device to examine these ideas much as Camus did with the Le'strangeur. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Steffclarke (talkcontribs) 12:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Indeed. The idea that humans feel empathy, while androids do not, is at least strongly questioned in the narrative, if not outright demonstrated to be false. This article errs in stated it as a fact. Mercerism thus both justifies the oppression of androids, and gives humans a sense of identity -- and absolves them of guilt for cruelty and destruction of the natural world. If that distinction between humans and androids is proven false, that would precipitate a crisis for humans, that they could not accept. (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

I would like to add that I enjoy reading sections of Wikipedia pages regarding references in pop culture, which is very similar to this proposed section. I am currently watching the Russian sci-fi detective series, Better Than Us, and the opening scene of S1:E6 is of a page from this book. Chrisjburt (talk) 06:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Critical Reception[edit]

I added a "Critical Reception" section, using several sources that appeared to be the most commonly referenced, beginning with those sources already listed in the "Further Reading" section that now follows CR. I have not looked into reception outside of the area of literary criticism and cultural studies, and I imagine there are other domains for response of which I'm unaware. However, I do suspect that, as in the Humanities journals I perused, most of the critical attention has been aimed at the film adaptation. Sure noodle (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:00, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Cultural Influence section needed?[edit]

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and its movie adaptation Blade Runner have influenced post-Blade Runner culture considerably.

Two examples are the song More Human Than Human by White Zombie and John Scalzi's science-fiction novel The Android's Dream (which is not about androids, but has as a major plot device a breed of sheep with electric blue-colored wool named "Android's Dream" as an homage to the Philip K. Dick story).

It may be worth adding a "Cultural Influence" section to the article to track these and other cultural influences of Philip K. Dick's story and its movie adaptation. Thoughts, anyone? loupgarous (talk) 18:01, 2 March 2016 (UTC)

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Second hatnote[edit]

I kinda feel like this is superfluous. Readers seeking the film will naturally type in Blade Runner, and the introductions for that article and this article prominently link to each other. the novelization also does not have any specific section on the film article discussing the 1982 novelization version, and it's a pretty Wikipedia-thing (so it seems) to type in something as specific as Title (year media), anyway. hbdragon88 (talk) 04:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Bone Marrow Analysis paragraph removed[edit]

The article previously contained this paragraph: The characters and text refer to these androids (or "andys") variously as "robots", "machines", and "programmed", but it is later made clear that they are constructed of organic materials so similar to a human's that only a tedious "bone marrow analysis" can independently prove the difference. To save time in identifying incognito androids, various style personality tests have been devised. This is mentioned in the book, and many feel that the fact that the androids are organic is very important to the themes of the book. Many also don't think it's important, but I don't think this paragraph should have been removed just because some people think it's not important. If no one objects, I'll revert the edit that removed it. AmethystFloris (talk) 10:07, 24 April 2020 (UTC)

Well, I object. The scientific specifics are not needed for (and are even overwhelming to) a mere summary paragraph. We're looking at general background that connects to the plot and the most general events/motivations of characters within the plot. Wolfdog (talk) 11:48, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
Since it's very important to the themes, it should be mentioned in a Themes and analysis section (with the proper citations). DonQuixote (talk) 12:47, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
That could work. Wolfdog (talk) 15:33, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm down with that, but I also can't help thinking, wouldn't that require the creation of an entire section simply for one theme? I mean, I can try to embed it into the plot somewhere if you want instead, but the question of whether the andys are organic or not is something wondered by many, and if you can't find an answer on Wikipedia, I feel like Wikipedia's not doing its job. It should be your first port of call. AmethystFloris (talk) 00:49, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
That's not wikipedia's job. The purpose of an encyclopaedia is to summarize reliable sources. If you want an in-depth summary of the plot, then you should look at something other than an encyclopaedia...or read the book. And you're right, an entire section for only one theme is too much. That's why we should summarize what reliable sources say about themes and analysis.. DonQuixote (talk) 04:13, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
I think the purpose of an encyclopedia is to educate...and I don't think the composition of the andys is "in-depth"; it's basic. Even if you put a pin in the importance of it as a theme, which is a subjective matter, in the plot summary, without explaining that they're organic, it makes no sense as to why Deckard has to administer an empathy-based test rather than a physical one, so I think it's also important to the plot. AmethystFloris (talk) 23:42, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
Tertiary sources educate by summarizing secondary sources. That's to avoid original research. DonQuixote (talk) 00:05, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
I know. I'm very familiar with Wikipedia. But at the moment, we've got a page that previously explained the organic composition of the androids and the subsequent development of personality tests, and now that's been removed, it just jumps straight into the empathy tests. So I'm going to write it into the plot section unless someone'll revert it. AmethystFloris (talk) 00:32, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
Probably Wolfdog because he literally objected to it above. The scientific specifics are not needed for (and are even overwhelming to) a mere summary paragraph. We're looking at general background that connects to the plot and the most general events/motivations of characters within the plot. DonQuixote (talk) 02:30, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
He objected to it being restored to its original place, which was the introduction "setting" section; not the longer plot section. AmethystFloris (talk) 03:12, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
That's still Synopsis. Instead of trying to shoehorn it into Synopsis, it might be better to include it in a well written Themes and analysis section. DonQuixote (talk) 11:59, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
I think a well-written, well-cited Themes and Analysis section is definitely something that would be a credit to the article. I also appreciate Wolfdog's argument that the original paragraph as-written was overwhelming for the initial "setting" section. But right now, without explaining that they're organic so empathy tests are necessary, the plot summary doesn't make sense. I'm suggesting a change along the lines of -
Current: These androids are capable of extremely realistic behaviors, which make them difficult to detect, but Deckard hopes to earn enough bounty money to buy a live animal to replace his lone electric sheep. Deckard visits the Rosen Association's headquarters in Seattle to confirm the accuracy of the latest empathy test.
Suggestion: These androids are made of organic matter so similar to a human's that only a "bone marrow analysis" can independently prove the difference, making them difficult to detect, but Deckard hopes to earn enough bounty money to buy a live animal to replace his lone electric sheep. Deckard visits the Rosen Association's headquarters in Seattle to confirm the accuracy of the latest empathy test (to save time in identifying incognito androids, various style personality tests have been devised). AmethystFloris (talk) 21:53, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
What's confusing about These androids are capable of extremely realistic behaviors, which make them difficult to detect,? Makes perfect sense to a general reader. DonQuixote (talk) 22:53, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
It doesn't explain why the tests aren't physical -- if anything, it's more confusing, because why use an empathy-based test when they have extremely realistic behaviours, instead of a physical one? So, I'm going to add that change now. AmethystFloris (talk) 22:58, 6 May 2020 (UTC)
There, I've put that in. I hope you approve. AmethystFloris (talk) 23:08, 6 May 2020 (UTC)