C. Namwali Serpell

  • The Empathy Exams

    DO ANDROIDS DREAM of electric sheep? It’s a funny question, built up of several others: Do androids dream? Of what? If they’re electric, are their dreams electric, too? And since humans dream of living sheep. . . . But that doesn’t quite follow. We don’t dream of sheep; we count sheep to fall asleep, whereupon we dream, and not necessarily of sheep. The question, more fantastical than scientific, drifts into a kind of nonce analogy—which is perhaps why the screenwriters who adapted Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel eventually dropped its title altogether.

    The title they optioned instead, Blade Runner