1928: Birth year of Philip K(indred). Dick (PKD)

1963 Hugo Award winner for Best Novel: PKD, The Man in the High Castle, in which the Axis powers won WWII, and Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany rule over the former United States.

alternative history (AH) \ n. A genre of fiction in which the author speculates on how the course of history might have been altered if a particular historical event had had a different outcome.

Books read by PKD while researching The Man in the High Castle: Ward Moore, Bring the Jubilee (1953); William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960); Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1952); Louis P. Lochner (trans.), The Goebbels Diaries 1942–1943 (1948); the I Ching (n..d.)

Of these, books that inspired the androids in PKD’s Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968): The Goebbels Diaries 

“[W]ith the Nazis, what we were essentially dealing with was … a [group] mind so emotionally defective that the word ‘human’ could not be applied … This deficiency had been exported into the world after World War II and could be picked up by people anywhere, at any time.” —PKD

1985 Hugo Award winner for Best Novelette: Octavia E. Butler (OEB), Bloodchild.

Kindred (1979): Novel by OEB in which a 20th-century black woman finds herself traveling back in time to the aid of a 19th-century white slaveholder who is also her ancestor.

“To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.” —OEB

Blade Runner (1982): film adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, directed by Ridley Scott. 

Actors considered for the role of bounty hunter Rick Deckard in Blade Runner: Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Mitchum, Dustin Hoffman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Harrison Ford.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Reason Ford was ultimately chosen to play Deckard.

Building used for exterior shots of Deckard’s apartment: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, Los Angeles.

“The truth is more important than the facts.” —attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright

7: Number of Blade Runner versions (work-print, director’s cut, US theatrical release, international theatrical release, US broadcast, San Diego sneak preview, final cut)

13: Number of versions of Gore Vidal’s Caligula (1979)

“It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true.” —Gore Vidal

“Anyhow, you know the truth, the brick-hard, irregular, slithery surface of truth.” —Rachael to Deckard in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

$25 million: Projected production cost of Blade Runner

$28 million: Final production cost of Blade Runner

Fired in postproduction after going over budget: Michael Deeley, Ridley Scott, and the entire production crew.

Dangerous Days: Early title given to the screenplay of Blade Runner

Dangerous Days: Title given to the documentary on Blade Runner’s (problematic) production

$200 million: Estimated budget of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 (October 2017)

39: Age of Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

75: Age of Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049

28: Age of the Hungarian construction worker killed while dismantling a set for Blade Runner 2049 in Budapest

0: Number of times the term replicant appears in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

5: Number of times the term replicant appears in the Blade Runner opening text crawl

replica \ n. 1. An exact copy or model of something, especially one on a smaller scale. 1.1. A duplicate of an original artistic work.

-ant \ suffix \ 1. (forming adjectives) denoting attribution of an action or state. 2. (forming nouns) denoting an agent.

“Replicant \rep’-li-cant \ n. See also ROBOT (antique): ANDROID (obsolete): NEXUS (generic): Synthetic human with paraphysical capabilities, having skin/flesh culture. Also: Rep, skin job (slang): Off-world uses: Combat, high risk industrial, deep-space probe. On-world use prohibited. Specifications and quantities—information classified.” —definition of “Replicant” from the opening credits of the Blade Runner work print, credited to “NEW AMERICAN DICTIONARY Copyright 2016,” and replaced with an explanatory opening text crawl in the theatrical release.

4: Number of years of a replicant life span.

Also 4: Number of years of an American presidential term; number of months between PKD’s death and Blade Runner’s release; number of PKD works adapted for the stage.

4 other screen adaptations of works by PKD: Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, The Adjustment Bureau.

Film franchise inspired by concepts from PKD and Jean Baudrillard, in which a hacker “learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers”: The Matrix

“We are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in our reality occurs.” —PKD

“It is useless to dream of revolution through content, useless to dream of a revelation through form, because the medium and the real are now in a single nebula whose truth is indecipherable.” —Jean Baudrillard



Sources: Collins English Dictionary online; wikipedia.org; Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents (New York City: Seven Stories Press, 1998), 167; imdb.com; brainyquote.com; bladerunner.wikia.com; Gore Vidal, “French Letters: The Theory of the New Novel,” Encounter Volume 9 (December 1967); Oxford English Dictionary online; Philip K. Dick, speech at the Metz International Science Fiction Festival, 1977: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuj6F8L9GOE; Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (, trans. Sheila Faria Glaser (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press), 83.