Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1968. The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-normal intelligence who aids some fugitive androids.
The novel is set in a post-apocalyptic near future, where Earth and its populations have been damaged greatly by Nuclear War during World War Terminus. Most types of animals are endangered or extinct due to extreme radiation poisoning from the war. To own an animal is a sign of status, but what is emphasized more is the empathic emotions humans experience towards an animal.
Deckard is faced with "retiring" six escaped Nexus-6 brain model androids, the latest and most advanced model. Because of this task, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids possess no empathic sense. In essence, Deckard probes the existence of defining qualities that separate humans from androids.
The book's plot served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner.