It’s been a long time since Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep hit the shelves in 1968 and inspired a generation of Sci-Fi fans. In the novel, Dick imagined a post-apocalyptic world wherein earth and much of its population have been decimated by nuclear fallout after a massive world war.
Most animals were either forced into extinction or are now extremely rare due to the radiation poisoning resulting from this so-called World War Terminus. The book’s plotline follows the protagonist, Rick Deckard as a police bounty hunter, racing through a near-future San Francisco on the trail of six dangerous androids.
Many of us Sci-Fi fanatics know this story intimately from Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece, Blade Runner. Now, almost thirty years later, writer Chris Roberson and artist Robert Adler have imagined a prequel that will be available for the iPad in comic form. Taking place immediately after World War Terminus ends, the problems with artificial life – androids – become apparent.
The government decides they must become targets, hunted down, but who will do the dirty work? Two men are assigned: Malcolm Reed, a ‘special’ human with the power to feel others’ emotions, and Charlie Victor, who’s the perfect man for the job – or is he? Meanwhile Samantha Wu, a Stanford biologist, fights to save the last of the world’s animals.
Roberson elaborates on the storyline in comments to Wired.com.
“Our story takes place in the immediate aftermath of that war as the populace comes to grips with the virtual extinction of animal life,” he said. “Meanwhile, the off-world colonies lure more and more people away, and androids originally intended for the battlefield are being repurposed to serve as the colonial workforce.”
The comic and its four variant covers will be available for $4 on May 26. However, if you’d like to get a sneak peek, an 8-page digital preview is available at the iTunes app store. The app will run on your iPhone, iPod touch or of course, the iPad.
Alternately, head over to ComiXology for some great screenshots and glimpses of the variant covers. Having checked out the iPad digital preview, I can say with certainty that Roberson and Adler have done a brilliant job of extending this popular Sci-Fi property. Philip would be proud.