Blade Runner: Replicant Night

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Overview

The Blade Runner adventure continues in this dark and stylish novel of nonstop futuristic suspense as ex-blade runner Rick Deckard must cross the most dangerous line of all—the line between human and android.

Rick Deckard had left his career as a blade runner and the gritty, neon-lit labyrinth of L.A. behind, going to the emigrant colony of Mars to live incognito with Sarah Tyrell.  But when a movie about Deckard's life begins ...

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Overview

The Blade Runner adventure continues in this dark and stylish novel of nonstop futuristic suspense as ex-blade runner Rick Deckard must cross the most dangerous line of all—the line between human and android.

Rick Deckard had left his career as a blade runner and the gritty, neon-lit labyrinth of L.A. behind, going to the emigrant colony of Mars to live incognito with Sarah Tyrell.  But when a movie about Deckard's life begins shooting, old demons start to surface.  The most bizarre and mysterious is a talking briefcase—the voice belonging to Deckard's most feared adversary.  The briefcase tells Deckard that he's the key to a replicant revolution back on Earth.  Deckard must deliver the briefcase—the secret contents—to the replicants of the outer colonies before he is tracked down and killed.  Is the briefcase lying?  Who is really after Deckard?  And who is the little girl who claims her name is Rachael?  Once again Deckard is on the run from a sinister force determined to destroy him—and already closing in.

The acclaimed science fiction saga featuring android-hunter Rick Deckard--originally created by SF legend Philip K. Dick and hero of Ridley Scott's brilliant 1982 movie--continues as Deckard takes a job as a consultant on a film about replicants that soon becomes grimly real. Publicity on BDD ONLINE's Spectra Forum (http: //www.bdd.com/spectra).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Is it real or is it a replicant? Nothing is what it seems in Jeter's second sequel to Ridley Scott's classic SF film, Blade Runner, itself based on Philip K. Dick's classic novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Here, Jeter casts doubt on the identity of just about every character who appeared in either the film or the previous sequel, The Edge of Human (1995). The action opens in the orbital studio Outer Hollywood, where a video is being made of Rick Deckard's original pursuit of the rogue replicants, with Deckard acting as technical advisor. After both a replicant and Deckard's former partner are murdered, Deckard storms off the set to head back to Mars, where he lives in squalor with Sarah Tyrell, former heir to the defunct Tyrell company, the original creators of all replicants. Sarah, however, out of her mind with bitterness and boredom, plans to murder Deckard upon his return. Fortunately for Deckard, she is whisked back to Earth by two disciples of her dead uncle, the evil genius Eldon Tyrell. There, she is convinced to reenter the time-warping derelict starship on which she was born, in search of information about her past. If this sounds confusing, it is. Reality could not be trusted in either Scott's film or the Dick novel, and matters have gotten only more complex since Jeter took over the franchise. Readers unfamiliar with the story's previous incarnations will have a hard time figuring out what's going on here. Blade Runner aficionados, however, will enjoy the many twists and turns, suddenly revealed secrets and cameo appearances by characters who died in earlier installments of the series. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Jeter follows up his Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (Bantam/Spectra, 1995) with the continuing saga of Rick Deckard, created by the late Philip K. Dick and immortalized on film by Ridley Scott. While consulting on a film about his life, the weary android-hunter Deckard becomes embroiled in a clandestine delivery of a talking briefcase to insurgent replicant androids and the discovery of a ten-year-old girl who is the key to the Tyrell Corporation's slogan, "More human than human." Jeter captures Dick's original darkness and sends his characters through their dismal world with aplomb. Highly recommended for sf collections and for fans of Dick's books and the film.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553577754
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Series: Blade Runner Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Wake up . . .

He'd heard those words, that voice, before.  Deckard wondered, for a moment, if he were dreaming.  But if he were dreaming—I'd be able to breathe, he thought.  And right now, in this segment of time, all he could feel were the doubled fists at his throat, the tight grip on the front of his jacket that lifted him clear of the Los Angeles street's mirror-wet and rubbled surface.  In his vision, as he dangled from the choking hook of factory-made bone and flesh, all that remained was the face of Leon Kowalski and his brown-toothed grin of fierce, delighted triumph.

The other's stiff-haired knuckles thrust right up under Deckard's chin, forcing his head back enough to make him dizzily imagine the passage of air snapping free from the straining lungs in his chest.  He could just make out, at the lower limit of his vision, his own hands grabbing onto Kowalski's wrists, thick and sinew-taut, more like the armatures of a lethal machine than anything human.  His hands were powerless, unable to force apart the replicant's clench.

"Wake up .  .  ."

The same words, a loop of past event repeating inside Deckard's head.  An echo, perhaps; because he knew the other—the replicant, his murderer—had said it only once.  But he'd known it was coming.  Those words .  .  .  and his own death.  Everything had to happen, just as it had before.  Just as he knew it would.

Echo, dream, memory .  .  .  or vision; it didn't matter.  What was important was that there had been a gun in Deckard's hands, in the hands that were now clawing to let desperate air into his throat.  His gun, the heavy black piece that was standard issue in the LAPD's blade runner unit, a piece that could blow a hole through the back of a fleeing replicant and an even larger, ragged-edged hole through its front.

And that had happened as well.  Echo of time, echo of sound, the impact of the gun's roaring explosion travelling up Deckard's outstretched arms, locked and aimed, as it had so many times and so many replicants before.  While the sound of death itself had slammed off the city's close-pressed walls, the intricate neon of kanji and corporate logos shivering as though with a sympathetic fear, the honed leading edge of the shot and its lower-pitched trail rolling over the street's crowded, incurious faces.  All of them as used to death as Deckard was, just from living in L.A.; he knew they could watch him being pulled apart by Kowalski with the same indifferent gazes they had swung toward the replicant Zhora's bullet-driven terminal arc.

When he'd still had the gun, he'd walked with the black piece dangling at his side, its weight pulling down his hand the same way it'd dragged rocklike the shoulder holster strapped beneath his long coat.  Rivulets of L.A.'s monsoon rains and his own sweat had oozed beneath his shirt cuff, across the back of his hand, into the checked, death-heated grip inside the aching curve of his palm.  He'd walked across spearlike shards of glass crunching under his shoes.  The frames of the store windows through which Zhora's dying body had crashed were transformed into gaping mouths ringed with transparent, blood-flecked teeth.  He'd walked and stood over her, his sight framing a vision of empty hands and empty face, eyes void as photo-receptors unplugged from any power source.  All life fled, leaked from the raw hole between her hidden breasts, dead replicant flesh looking just the same as human.  The furious energy, the animal grace and fear, that had impelled her dodging and running through the streets' closing trap, spent and diluted by the drops of tear-warm rain spattering across the pavement's red lace.  Deckard's energy, that of the hunter, also gone.  The chase, from the moment Zhora had wheeled about in her dressing room at Taffy Lewis's club down in Chinatown's First Sector and nailed him with a hard blow to the forehead, then all the weaving among crowds and dead-run stalking over the metal roofs of the traffic-stalled cars—that hadn't exhausted him.  It'd been the end of the chase, the shot, his own will inside the bullet.  That had struck and killed, a red kiss centered on her naked shoulder blades.  That had seemed, for a moment, to kill him as well.

Exhaustion had made it possible for the other escaped replicant to get the drop on Deckard, to pull him between two segmented refuse haulers, then smack the gun out of his grip like swatting a fly and send it spinning out toward the street.  So exhausted that he hadn't been surprised at all when Kowalski, eyes maddened by the witnessing of the female's death, had picked him up like a rag doll and slammed him against the side of one hauler, spine leaving a buckled indentation in the carapacelike metal.  And words, spat out angry and sneering, something with which Kowalski could hammer the killer.

How old am I?  Then—My birthday's April 10, 2017.  How long do I live?

Deckard had told him the answer, gasped it out with the last of his breath.  Four years.  That was how long all the Nexus-6 replicants had been given.  They carried their own clock-ticking deaths inside their cells, more certain than any blade runner's gun.

The answer hadn't been to Leon Kowalski's liking, though he must have known it already.  His eyes had gone wider and even more crazed.  More than you.  More than the man dangling from his fists had to live .  .  .

"Wake up!"

But that's wrong, thought Deckard.  The other's face, mottled in his sight with the black swirling dots of oxygen starvation, grinned up at him.  The operating remnants of his brain could remember what had happened before.  Kowalski hadn't shouted the words, not that loud; he'd mouthed them softly, as though savoring their taste between his teeth.  Those words, and the words that'd come after.  And he didn't lift me so far off the ground .  .  .

"Wake up!  Time to die!"

He could feel himself dangling in air, could hear the replicant's voice, the words shouted or whispered—it didn't matter now.  It hadn't mattered before.  All that mattered was the crushing pressure on his throat, the weight of his own body against Kowalski's fists squeezing off the city's humid air from his lungs.  The other's words roared inside his head, each syllable a pulse of blood against his skull's thin shell of bone.  Now the voice, the shout, seemed to hammer right at his ears.  Maybe that's why it sounds so loud, thought a cold, abstracted part of Deckard, watching himself die.  Because I know .  .  .

He knew what happened next.  What would happen, had already happened; foreordained, scripted, bolted to the iron rails of the past, unswerving as those of the rep train that rolled in the darkness beneath the dark city.

Time to die .  .  .



    

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