Review of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

SciFi fans and devotees of the movie Blade Runner will be interested in this unique novel by Philip K. Dick. I had been wanting to read this novel for many years, but finding a reasonably priced copy proved difficult. As a fan of Blade Runner I wanted to experience the original source material for the movie–this novel.

Quite a surprise.

The story finds Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter for the San Francisco Police Dept., living in a post-apocalyptic Earth after World War Terminal. Most everyone of means and ability have departed the forsaken Earth for colonies elsewhere in the solar system.

A group of eight rebel androids have escaped one of the colonies and have come to Earth illegally. Rick’s job is to hunt them down and kill (retire) them. Actually, a superior bounty hunter within the department had been assigned the task, but was horribly wounded by the third android he’d tracked down. Thus, the job falls to Deckard.

The key delineation between humans and the current sophisticated Nexus-6 androids lies in the body’s unconscious responses of empathy, which are elicited through a battery of questions-the Voight-Kampff test.

Deckard must first go to Rosen Associates, the maker of the androids, and make certain the Voight-Kampff test will work on the Nexus-6. At company headquarters he meets Rachael Rosen, the supposed niece of the founder, and Deckard shows that she is an android, much to the discomfort of Rachael and the elder Rosen.

Then, the hunt begins.

Empathy, especially for animals, plays a strong underlying theme within the story, which is much more philosophical, and perhaps spiritual, than Blade Runner. Also, in the novel, it is Deckard, not Roy Baty (android leader), who undergoes a significant transformation in his character.

There are many more differences between the movie and the novel, some nuanced, others quite huge.

Not wanting to provide any spoilers, I must admit that I was baffled by the ending chapters. I guess I’m not smart enough to comprehend what Mr. Dick was trying to convey.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. 4 Stars.

#Review of The Day After Roswell

#Readers and fans of #UFO, alien, and #ancientaliens theories will find this a very interesting book. Col. Philip J. Corso (Ret.) offers the story of what transpired (his facts) from the point of the “alien vehicle” crash near Roswell, NM in July 1947 up through the mid-1980’s.

There is tremendous detail of the U.S. Army and the Foreign Technology unit that the author worked within, as well as many tangents from that. At times, the timeline and narrative facts get lost in the tangents and self-congratulatory prose.

Sadly, other than his word, Corso does not present any tangible evidence (for the doubters). In fact, the U.S. Army purposely chose to hide the advanced technology harvested at the Roswell crash site by sending it to tech companies, such as Hughes and Bell Laboratories, whereby these companies incorporated the alien technology into their ongoing projects. Thus, the true source of their innovations was hidden forever. All of this was orchestrated by the Army’s Foreign Technology unit, which was run by the author in the early 1960’s.

Another peculiar aspect about Corso’s story comes in the form of strong statements that aliens were threatening the U.S., especially military installations, as well as Earth and its inhabitants. However, the only evidence offered is reference to cattle mutilations and human abductions, along with what sound like alien recon activities. (To my mind, if the aliens wanted to attack or destroy us, then wouldn’t they have done it by now, certainly with their superior technology, especially prior to 1960.)

Much of what he relates about aliens visiting Earth matches what I’ve seen from other credible sources-some secret.

One extremely interesting tidbit Corso relates pertains to the development of the transistor. For details on this:

http://rense.com/ufo/amcompgift.htm

or

http://beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/belllabs_transistor1.html

Overall, I am glad I read the book. 4 Stars.

Pre-Holiday Rush Thriller Giveaway

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#Review of Red Sparrow

#Readers of spy #thrillers will most likely enjoy this debut novel by Jason Matthews, a former officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate (now the National Clandestine Service-NCS). Matthews writes with authenticity, for sure. The story centers around the development of a Russian intelligence officer (spy) named Dominika Egorova. She is the daughter of parents less than loyal to the regime. However, at first, Dominika is highly nationalistic, until the Russian Federation’s spy handlers begin to piss her off by: 1) sending her to Sparrow (seductress) school, and 2) using her in a high level murder cover-up.

Thus begins her unconscious conversion, which becomes conscious upon assignment to trap a CIA officer, Nate Nash, who runs a CIA mole within the Russian intelligence service (SVR).

For me, Matthews offers competent storytelling, but the writing craft needs some work. His style appears to be run-on sentences (like Ludlum’s sentence fragments). 3.5 Stars.