^ Philip K Dick Alright, so in the interest of not spoiling the story, this is the schedule for discussion (feel free to read faster than this, obviously - but tryto keep your ideas and questions within the timeframe) Sept 1-7: Chapters 1-6 (inclusive) Sept 8-14: 7-12 Sept 15-21: 13-19 Sept 22:29: 19-22 Its a fairly short work, and quite an easy read, though that shouldn't imply that it is an easy text to think about and understand. So, to get your brains into discussion mode, here are a few little things to consider: 1) In the spirit of science, consider your reading as a process of hypothesis formation and correction. How does Dick establish not only his characters and plot, but larger concepts like humanity and empathy? Are your hypotheses confirmed as you read on, or must you correct them? Is Dick aware of what his readers expect, and does he deliberately exploit this? 2) The article inserted before the novel begins highlights the special relationship humans have to animals. How is this borne out in the novel? Has the nature of this relationship changed from 1966 when the article was written, to 1992 when the novel takes place? 3)One of Dick's concerns in the novel is to find that which defines humanity. He constructs androids and humans as binary to begin with, and uses this model to attempt to enumerate the differences which define the two. What problems are there with this approach? Does it work? Does Dick find his difference? and, 3b) In this model, Deckard represents humanity as the absolute antithesis to the android. What ideas do his actions, thoughts, and interactions with other characters suggest about humanity. Finally, a quote from James Lovegrove that I think sums up Dick's book perfectly: Dick's plastic realities tell us more than we'll ever want to know about the inside of our heads and the view looking out. In his tortured topographies of worlds never made, we see mindscapes that we ourselves, in our madder moments, have glimpsed and thought real. Dick travelled out there on our behalf. It is our duty to read the reports he sent home. Happy reading!