Dust to Dust, the prequel to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, was released on May 26. Dust to Dust, Chris Roberson’s prequel to Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel, is jointly presented by BOOM! Studios and Electric Shepherd.
The prequel comprises an eight-issue miniseries, with art by Robert Adler, and is being sold as a standalone as well as a companion to BOOM! Studios and Electric Shepherd’s Eisner Award-nominated Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? comic series.
So what happened before we dreamed of electric sheep? Find out in Chris Roberson’s Dust to Dust, which kicks off the continuing battle against androids hidden in a war-ravaged future society.
Chris Roberson fell in love with Philip K. Dick’s books when he was about 25. He says he felt like a bomb went off in his head, after which he devoured each and every book. Philip K. Dick’s varied approach to the same theme – reality, identity and humanity, and the fact that he told terrific stories within these themes had an immense impact on Chris Roberson.
He felt the same way about Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a 1968 science fiction novel that chronicles the life of Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids. The novel also follows John Isidore, a man of sub-normal intelligence who befriends some androids.
Set in a post-apocalyptic near future (the Earth and its populations have been damaged by nuclear war during World War Terminus), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, has Rick Deckard on a new job – retiring six Nexus-6 model androids, the latest and most advanced model. The novel explores the issue of what it is to be human and what separates humankind from androidkind. The 1982 film Blade Runner was based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Chris Roberson says he signed up on the dot when he was approached to do the prequel Dust to Dust by BOOM! Studios.
So what happens in Dust to Dust? Who hunted androids before Rick Deckard took on the job? The prequel opens in the aftermath of World War Terminus, which ended when one side released dust, a radioactive substance, into the atmosphere. Animals started becoming extinct, and many humans either died or started developing genetic defects.
Many survivors in Dust to Dust ready to leave Earth and head to off-world colonies, where they will be assisted by androids that have programmed to serve their every wish. Originally developed for combat, some of the androids don’t fancy the idea of becoming servile servants. A group of androids goes rogue, and veteran Charlie Victor is sent after them.
Victor’s partner in Dust to Dust is a special (those affected to dust exposure) named Malcolm Reed. Reed, diagnosed a schizophrenic when he was a teenager, developed a brain tumor after exposure, which prevents him from joining off-world colonies.
Reed’s brain tumor gives him a heightened empathic sense and the ability to pick up emotions of those around him. Reed becomes Victor’s android detector- if he can’t feel any emotions from someone, chances are it may be a rogue android (since androids don’t have emotions). Meanwhile, Samantha Wu, a Stanford biologist, is fighting to save the last of the living animals.
Chris Roberson says his Dust to Dust is a completely new story with fresh characters that explores Philip K. Dick’s world of androids. His goal, he said, was to do a smart, fun, adventurous bit of science fiction. Will Dust to Dust take the reader on a great big adventure through Philip K. Dick’s world? We’re waiting to find out!