Blade Runner,

Blade Runner the books

Monday, November 20, 2006 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

In an effort to continue the exploration of Blade Runner media my final post covers Blade Runner literature. The film spawned 2 book sequels which continue the adventures of Rick Deckard.

Blade Runner, by Philip K. Dick
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a book that most people think they remember and almost always get more or less wrong. Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner took a lot from it, and threw a lot away. Wonderful in itself, the film is a flash thriller, whereas Dick's novel is a sober meditation. As we all know, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is stalking a group of androids who have returned from space with short life spans and murder on their minds--where Scott's Deckard was Harrison Ford, Dick's is a financially strapped municipal employee with bills to pay and a depressed wife. In a world where most animals have died, and pet keeping is a social duty, he can only afford a robot imitation, unless he gets a big financial break. -

Blade Runner 2 : The Edge of Human, by K.W. Jeter
The book continues the story of Rick Deckard. Beginning several months after the end of Blade Runner, the author attempts to resolve many of the differences between the movie and the novel. He also addresses at least one inconsistency to be found in the movie itself -- the question of the sixth replicant. Is Deckard a replicant after all?

The book is, however, extremely poorly researched, showing little indication that Jeter had read more than a synopsis of Dick's original novel or seen the movie more than once. He includes appearances from both JF Sebastian and JR Isidore despite Sebastian and Isidore being the same person (the character was renamed for the movie and given a different disorder, but he serves precisely the same function in the plot of each). This alone would be sloppy enough, but to make matters worse both Sebastian and Isidore were killed in the movie and book respectively. - wikepedia

Blade Runner 3 - Replicant Night, by K.W. Jeter
Is it real or is it a replicant? Nothing is what it seems in Jeter's second sequel to Ridley Scott's classic SF film, Blade Runner, itself based on Philip K. Dick's classic novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Here, Jeter casts doubt on the identity of just about every character who appeared in either the film or the previous sequel, The Edge of Human (1995). The action opens in the orbital studio Outer Hollywood, where a video is being made of Rick Deckard's original pursuit of the rogue replicants, with Deckard acting as technical advisor. After both a replicant and Deckard's former partner are murdered, Deckard storms off the set to head back to Mars, where he lives in squalor with Sarah Tyrell, former heir to the defunct Tyrell company, the original creators of all replicants. Sarah, however, out of her mind with bitterness and boredom, plans to murder Deckard upon his return. Fortunately for Deckard, she is whisked back to Earth by two disciples of her dead uncle, the evil genius Eldon Tyrell. There, she is convinced to reenter the time-warping derelict starship on which she was born, in search of information about her past. If this sounds confusing, it is. Reality could not be trusted in either Scott's film or the Dick novel, and matters have gotten only more complex since Jeter took over the franchise.

Readers unfamiliar with the story's previous incarnations will have a hard time figuring out many twists and turns, suddenly revealed secrets and cameo appearances by characters who died in earlier instalments of the series. - Publishers Weekly

Blade Runner IV, Eye and Talon, by K.W. Jeter
Fully authorised by the estate of Philip K. Dick and written by the author they felt best equipped to take forward the vision of one of the great what's going on here. Blade Runner aficionados, however, will enjoy the names in SF, BLADE RUNNER 4: BEYOND ORION combines the dark imagery, paranoia, tension and pace of Dick's original novel and the cinematic genius of Ridley Scott in a novel that takes the Blade Runner series into a new millennium. Blade Runner has become one of the most recognisable and well loved brands in SF and K.W. Jeter has only added to its reputation and impact.