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review 2018-06-20 14:01
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

Not sure I would ever have read this if it wasn't for the movie adaptation but I enjoyed it. I think it may have been more powerful back in the time it was written but there were enough thought provoking elements to keep it feeling relevant for me. It's pretty different from the movie so don't expect it to be similar.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-28 15:54
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by Alan Dean Foster
The Force Awakens (Star Wars) - Alan Dean Foster

This is the first book adaptation of a film that I've read and the first I've ever wanted to. There are of course many Star Wars novels, none of which I've read. I wondered what sort of money-grabbing, hastily edited crap I might be delving into. Though in the opening pages there was some awkward language or editing, on the whole those issues didn't persist, and the book gave me what I wanted, which was a sort of "behind the scenes" look at the story, moments we see on actors' faces translated into words, "missing scenes," etc. I got just as emotional reading particular scenes as when I watch the movie and at the same time was interested by some changes or details explained (I believe the adaptation was based on the shooting script).

 

Some film versus book differences of note:

 

Unkar Plutt isn't just a jerk, he's kind of a creeper, too. There's a missing scene where he shows up on Takodana for Rey, and Chewie rips his arm(s) off! In addition, Rey comes much closer to selling BB-8 than she appears to in the movie. There it seems her conscience gets the better of her; in the book, she counters Plutt's offer of 50 portions with 100. When he immediately accepts, that's when she decides not to sell the droid; it's like she can't bear to let him have something he so obviously wants.

 

I'm a bit confused by the timeline of some things in the films, so it was helpful to learn, for instance, that when Kylo Ren removes his mask when Han directs him to, we discover it's the first time Han's seen his son "grown."

 

There's a whole lot more on Kylo Ren's thoughts and his interactions with Snoke. In the film he comes off as moody and prone to anger. This is actually atypical of him, according to the book. He's all about control and lack of emotion. He even says that revenge is "an adolescent concession to personal vanity," which is interesting given his focus in The Last Jedi.

 

The book also provides context that I was unclear on, such as the fact that the Republic still exists, but there's typical political infighting in the Senate; most believe Leia is blowing things out of proportion concerning the First Order. In addition, there are more details about the First Order, storm troopers, and how that system-destroying weapon works.

 

There's more than that, so if you're a Star Wars fan (aren't you?!), it's worth checking out. I've already started the next one (by a different author).

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review 2018-05-06 17:56
Mind Blown- Loved It
LifeLik3 - Jay Kristoff

I just finished this moments ago and am in a whirl of Oh My's. Holy twisted crumpled tales of love, hate, and robotics.  I LOVED IT. Mr. Kristoff, what was that ending ?  Oh you are good, cruel but deliciously good. This is why I read all your books, you challange my expectations. 
The beginning of the book was a slow start, the slang slowed me down. It was different enough that I couldn't flow through it. It was a short struggle, to maybe 15 % and I got it. The story never slows, never goes where you expect, it's an unknown path ahead in this book.

The story follows Eve, who as a young girl loses her everything in a violent event. She is a being raised by her grandfather, surrounded by her best friend, and robots.  Everything is going as well as it can till a reviled being is found in a crash wreckage. This is a world or radiation, gangs, androids, love and hard core everything. It had moments that reminded me of many moves and TV series. It was Thunderdome, Mad Max,  and Westworld. Speaking of Westworld, wait till you met The Preacher, and hold on when you do he's a...well you'll see.

Romance, it's there, unexpected in such a story but fits so well and twists the heartstrings in all the bleeding places. Rocky, filled with pain and sweetness, it's a hard one to walk away from when the book ended.  I was so invested in these characters I was left feeling gutted at the ending. Mr. Kristoff, leaves us hanging off the side of a thousand foot cliff lined with broken bones and scrap metal.

I received this book from the publisher for a non biased review.

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review 2017-11-29 14:11
Fictionalizing Philosopher: “Philip K. Dick and Philosophy - Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits” by Dylan E. Wittkower
Philip K. Dick and Philosophy: Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits? - D.E. Wittkower

‘In Blade Runner, also, it is an authentic relationship to Being that is taken to be what essentially ensouls both humans and replicants. Such is the import of Roy Batty’s famous final soliloquy:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-Beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.”’

 

In “Philip K. Dick and Philosophy - Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits” by Dylan E. Wittkower

 

 

I just wanted to say that in my opinion any attempt to construct a coherent interpretation pf Phil Dick’s universe is missing the point. To be able to to construct a Weltanschauung of Dick’s writing we should focus only on philosophy. In all of Dick’s fiction time and causality are of the essence. The point is that, once time and causality become malleable, there is no hope of forming a solid, consistent interpretation of events in Dick’s fiction. That leads to our questioning the Nature of Reality. The focus shifts from epistemology - the problem of knowledge - to ontology - the way different realities are produced. This shift, according to Brian McHale, is precisely what defines the transition from modernism to postmodernism. In its resistance to coherent interpretation, "Ubik" is similar to certain more "literary" works of the 60s, for example the “nouveau romans” of Robbe-Grillet, or Richard Brautigan's "In Watermelon Sugar". (Granted these are very different stylistically). Is it because Dick is writing SF that so many assume the incoherence is sloppiness rather than a deliberate rhetorical strategy?

 

I think Robbe-Grillet was perhaps deliberately, not just stylistically, trying to put thinking and theorizing about the art of writing into the structure of his novels to create novelty, as writing, which he called “Noveau Roman”. I don't know what Brautigan was trying to do, but Phil Dick's subjects and concerns about reality weren't about writing per se, but about living. I don't think he was trying to deliberately create a new kind of writing or novel. That doesn't mean his works are narrowly interpretable, but many, many SF novels have time travel, space/time warps, and so on, but are interpretable. Interpretations or readings are just perspectives which aren't meant to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Reasonably consistent interpretations are possible, such a everything-is-perfect's Jungian analysis. Works like Phil Dick's makes people want to interpret them and present many overlapping and partial possibilities of interpretation and perhaps ultimate impenetrability.

 

 

If you're into Literary Criticism on Phil Dick, read on.

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review 2017-11-22 14:39
Reality and Illusion: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick,Robert Zelazny

The one faithful film adaptation of a PKD story I'm aware of was the Linklater version of A Scanner Darkly. All the others take a major conceptual element of the story's basic premise, but then seriously alter the narrative in ways that often make them very different thematically. I really liked the Linklater film, too, because I think the "slavish" recreation of the story does a far better job of presenting the ideas that Dick had in their full nuance and depth than any other film version of his work ever has.) Most other adaptations of his work (there are some I haven't seen) tend to fall far short of that, which is really a shame. I mean, Blade Runner (the 1982 version) is a great movie. I like it a lot, but the novel has layers of philosophical depth that the film just doesn't get anywhere near. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” is one of Dick's many explorations of what was clearly his favorite philosophical topic, namely "what is the difference between reality and an illusion?" The movie is reasonably accurate in its representation of the basic plot points (a police officer hunts for escaped androids from space colonies, who are illegally living on Earth and posing as humans) but doesn't even attempt to probe the weirder, but more thought-provoking elements of the story--e.g. that the human race is actually going extinct, and that the robots' brains are distinguishable from those of humans by the robots' inability to feel empathy toward living things.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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