Monday, March 2, 2009

Sheep finished, beginning Narnia

I finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? today, and also skimmed the afterword, which is all about how Philip K. Dick originally didn't like the idea of the film Blade Runner, but over time changed his mind, and when he saw the first 2o minutes in a private screening, he loved it and said that it would become a classic (Dick was never able to see the full film; he died of a heart attack before it was completed).

The afterword made me realize that I've made mention of the film Blade Runner quite a lot while discussing the book in the blog. It's hard to avoid referencing a sci-fi classic when reading the book that it is based on. However, making constant comparison between the book and the film are not really the point. The point is that I'm reading a lot of books, and having finished the first one that I had not read previously, I am beginning to wonder why I'm doing this.

I think partly, any list that says "these books are worthy" makes me wonder if they really are. There is also my originally stated motivation, which is simply to expand my acquaintance with the genre. Beyond that, I suppose I'm doing it for the same reason that someone attempts to run a marathon or break a world record - just to see if I can do it.

And on that note, one down!

As I neared the end of Electric Sheep, I decided the time had come to pay off some long-standing library fines and check out the next book I would like to read. I set out with the intention of checking out The Man in the High Castle, because I enjoyed Electric Sheep so much that I felt like reading another novel by Dick. That novel had been checked out, and so I went with The Magician's Nephew from the Chronicles of Narnia. Sometimes the universe makes our decisions for us.

As for why I'm not starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: When I was a kid, the Chronicles of Narnia were arranged in the order in which they were published. These days, they are arranged chronologically in order of the events that occur within the books. I've decided that I'll comply with the new order, because all the copies at the library are numbered in the new order, and it just makes it easier. Besides, if Wikipedia is to be believed, C.S. Lewis approved of this reading order.

By the way, in that Wikipedia article I'm ammused by the vague reference to "some readers" who think that the novels ought to be read in order of publication, because The Magician's Nephew assumes you have some awareness of Narnia, while The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe introduces you to this new world. In geek circles, it is unimaginable that you would not have at least a general awareness of Narnia and Aslan. That's tantamount to asking someone what his Han Shot First t-shirt is all about.


  1. Uh, excuse me? but according to lord Lucas, Greedo tried to get the drop on Han by taking a random and unaimed shot at a nearby wall! Just kidding, Star Wars sucks after you turn 13...

  2. I hear the wall also owed Jabba money.