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Blade Runner - Review

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

Blade Runner (1&2): When researching for my novels, I always find time to watch some SFF movies. My forthcoming novel, Sentient, is set in the year 2120. It is a world filled with replicants (I've called them biots) like the movie Blade Runner. Given both Blade Runner (1982 DIrector's Cut) and Blade Runner 2049 are considered classics, I revisited both. All writers should include viewing movies as a way to ignite that illusive creative spark. It will also help motivate you when the inevitable writers block occurs.

Blade Runner (1982) is universally accepted as a classic, future-noir fantasy. Its sequel had a lot to live up to, but it proved to be every bit as good, winning new generations with its spectacular cinematography and deep world building. It is set thirty years after the first movie where its blade runner, Decker, has retired from retiring replicants, having fallen in love with one instead. The new blade runners are upgraded replicants responsible for hunting older models lost to all digital files as a result of a ten day worldwide blackout. K is the protagonist, tracking down the wayward androids. He's a veteran blade runner who begins to experience doubts about his role and place in his dystopian world, filled with decaying industrial sites, leftovers from a radioactive wasteland. K is every bit as enigmatic as Deckard, leaving the audience to wonder how it must feel to be an android. Do they have a soul? Do they dream of electric sheep?

Both classic movies helped me to 'world build' my novel, Sentient. Set in 2120, Earth is now ravaged by climate change and global decision making has willingly been handed to artificial intelligence. Earth's population is ten billion, half humans and half biots (replicants) or castes (humans with technological implants). In this future, biots are designed to serve their assigned human or caste leaders. Most of the friction occurs between humans and castes, as they both envisage different evolutionary paths. Human's favour natural selection, whereas castes want rapid, untethered technological advances and unnatural evolution.

Their differences are magnified as both groups seek to gain control of a plentiful supply of Illithium, a substance rare on Earth. Humans want the resource to be used for terraforming Mars, whereas the castes want to develop it for inter-solar and inter-galactic exploration and colonisation.


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