Ok, I could have sworn the scheduled reading this week was ch 6-10, so this initial post will concern those chapters. I will edit it once I’ve caught up with ch 11-15.
Leaving aside Rick Deckard for a moment, we got a glimpse of John Isidore’s side-story beginning with his encounter with Rachel Rosen/Pris Stratton. During his introduction to her he introduces the terms kipple and kippleization. These terms coined by the author referred to the trivial trash that we tend to accumulate: papers, wrappers, old furniture and belongings , etc. It is interesting the way that Isidore explains the process of kippleization to Rachel/Pris, that trash genuinely reproduces and spreads by itself, as if it were a matter of fact. A scientific fact.
Speaking of Rachel/Pris, to the reader it becomes evident that she is an android, with her hesitation and analytical way of thinking and speech. She calculates every possibility that could result from doing what Isidore suggests, although her mechanical mannerisms must have gone over the chickenhead’s head.
After his encounter with Rachel/Pris, Isidore heads to work and we learn about Amanda Werner who is being featured on the Buster Friendly radio show that Isidore listens to. The way her life is described draws many parallels to some celebrities of today, especially reality celebrities, that are famous for no apparent reason:
“Women like Amanda Werner never made movies, never appeared in plays; they lived out their queer, beautiful lives as guests on Buster’s unending show…”
Through Isidore’s internal dialogue we are informed that celebrities such as Buster Friendly and Amanda Werner are on radio and television about twenty-three hours a day all year round, prompting Isidore to ask his boss, Mr. Sloat, if the characters are some form of immortal beings from another system, and leading the reader to wonder if they are androids as well. We also learn through Isidore that Buster friendly tends to mock Mercerism on his shows, leading him to suggest to his boss that Buster and Mercer are fighting for control over people’s “psychic souls”, a war that Mr. Sloat suggests that Buster is winning.
After Isidore’s ordeal with Horace, the electric cat that resulted to be real and is now dead, we rejoin Rick Deckard as he attempts to administer the Voight-Kampff test to opera singer Luba Luft, and here is where things start to become tangled. Miss Luft manages to evade Deckard’s questions, although it is not made clear at the moment if this results from her being a Nexus-6 android itelligently avoiding the test, or an actual singer’s eccentric absent-mindedness. Regardless of the reason, Luft ends up calling a harness bull (uniformed policeman) to arrest the bounty hunter. Deckard, thinking it is all a misunderstanding that can be sorted out at the police headquarters, does not put up resistance and goes with Officer Crams. When they start heading to a police HQ he has never heard before, Deckard realizes he’s in trouble. Stripped of his weapons and documents, Deckard is taken to the senior police officer Inspector Garland. While going through Deckard’s papers, Garland notices that he himself is next on the list of androids to be retired by Deckard. At this moment Deckard is suspected to be an android himself…
– To be continued –