BookTalk event, 4 December 2017: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

This December at Cardiff BookTalk we’re taking a look back at Philip K. Dick’s classic vision of the future in the 1968 science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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This event comes on the eve of the 50 year anniversary of the book’s publication and also coincides with the recent release of Blade Runner 2049, the newest iteration of Dick’s post-apocalyptic world on film—as well as the new Channel 4 TV series, Electric Dreams, which is based on Dick’s short fiction.

How does Dick’s picture of a decrepit and dying earth and its lonely, desperate, wired-up inhabitants resonate today? What are the ethical and philosophical implications of the human-robot relationships the novel depicts? How do the novel’s very popular film adaptations reframe its narrative and themes? And do androids dream of electric sheep?

We are thrilled to have a panel of experts from three different universities responding to these and other questions from a range of critical perspectives:

  • Dr Raya Jones (Social Sciences, Cardiff University) will discuss how androids and humans interact in the novel
  • Dr James Burton (Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London) will explore how the novel prompts us to reconsider our definitions of the human and the non-human
  • Dr Lisa Stead (Film Studies, University of Exeter) will expand our discussion of the novel by turning her attention to the film adaptations, particularly focusing on questions of gender

The Format

Each of our speakers will present a 10-15 minute talk, explaining how their research intersects with our chosen book, and then there will be an opportunity for (always lively!) audience questions and discussion. To make the most of the session, you may like to read or re-read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—and perhaps check out Bladerunner 2049 while it’s still in cinemas.

The main event will be preceded by a reception with tea, coffee and biscuits at 6.30pm in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cardiff CF24 4HQ.

All welcome! Book your free tickets via Eventbrite by clicking here.

About the Author

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Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was an American science fiction writer. Dick explored philosophical, social, and political themes in his novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, alternative universes, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. His work reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences.

Over his lifetime, Dick published some 44 novels and wrote approximately 120 short stories, most of which were published in science fiction magazines. A variety of popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990 and 2012), and Minority Report (2002). In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series. Read more about Dick on Wikipedia.

 

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