It’s 2019. The year in which Blade Runner is set. How fitting then that we find ourselves living in a reality seemingly penned by P.K. himself. Smart homes and private space exploration are a new normal and, to those of us that remember vividly a world before high-speed internet, waking life is increasingly mind-bending.
So many of those ideas set forth in the science-fiction writing of the twentieth century have been made manifest. It feels sometimes as though we are the characters written into those pages by Dick and Atwood and Asimov and Butler and so, so many others. Writers now made oracles by the revelation of the truth of their predictions.
But does this total immersion into the Dickian satisfy our curiosity? Heavens no! Instead, the more we sip at the cup of knowledge, the more we thirst. The more we wish to speculate on what is to come next. We find ourselves, as a species, fixated on the future.
Science-fiction is more popular than ever. Just look at the list of top grossing films. From Star Wars to Avatar to the Avengers. Chinese marvel Liu Cixin’s incredible Three-Body trilogy is reportedly a seven figure commodity. Clearly, the public hungers for the futuristic, even while steeped in the real thing in our daily lives.
We ask ourselves: Did the introduction of Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? into the public psyche in 1968 alter the course of events that followed? Did it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Did Dick, in fact, write the future?
And, if he did, can we?
Well, friends, can we?