I have to preface this review by telling you I was annoyed to have to read another white dude-authored book for my grad school class. The CUNY Graduate Center MALS program, digital humanities track, but also the Readings in Fascism class from over the summer have been working to dismantle my literesbian separatism. I read everything through an intersectional feminist lens anyway, always prepared to be irked by racism, sexism, ableism, etc., but in this case, I might have been extra...
If you haven't read it, and I can't remember if I have or not (if I did it was the late 20th century when I was still basking in the male gaze), it's about a bounty hunter tasked with taking out androids. The androids have somehow come to Earth from Mars where humans have a meh colony. Much of the human population has fled there (or made an incentivized move) following some kind of manmade natural disaster that made the whole country resemble Burning Man with the playa dust getting into everything, including your junk. "Kipple" is also a problem. That's household detritus that multiplies unless you keep it at bay.
Before Harrison Ford, or whatever his name is in the book, can take out an android, he has to administer a test to prove that they are not human. It's an empathy test that includes questions about human baby leather. Future humans care a lot about animals. Androids have to be programmed to do so, but their reactions to cruelty scenarios are a hair slow to compared to people's.
I was turned off from the beginning with Dick's description of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as waking up merry and his wife Iran being "unmerry" and having a "bitter sharpness." Next up Deckard mansplains how their mood machines work. All of the women in Androids are unpleasant, but I suppose the men are, too. The difference is who is telling the story and how the unpleasantness is described.
The mood machine has a "pleased acknowledgment of husband's superior wisdom in all matters" setting, which Deckard is good enough to dial for his wife, who switches it to wallow-in-depression mode. LOL.
Deckard is set up as an everyman with descriptions like "as had most people at one time or another." Like other humans, he's obsessed with acquiring a live animal to take care of. The animals are highly valued; there's a book that keeps track of their value: Sidney's. There are multiple references to the print book throughout the story. Deckard has only an electric sheep, though. I didn't get the sense that he truly wanted an animal other than as a status object. I think you're supposed to eventually wonder if Deckard himself is real. Whatever.
Fave thing, because of my undergrad theater degree, is the appearance of Al Jarry. He doesn't have a big part, but he maybe is the Pere Ubu of the story.