"Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human" is a 1995 follow-up to the first Blade Runner film. The novel was penned by K.W. Jeter, friend of Philip K. Dick, with the official blessing of the Dick estate. The novel is not in any way connected to Blade Runner: 2049, and presents a different storyline, which is no longer considered canon. I would watch the theatrical version of the first Blade Runner right before reading the novel, if possible.
"The Edge of Human" is based specifically on an (intentional?) plot hole from the theatrical version of Blade Runner, a hole that was corrected in later versions of the film. In the movie, Deckard's boss at the LAPD makes mention of six replicants that Deckard must hunt down and "retire," though by the end of the movie, only five replicants have been accounted for, with no mention of the sixth. Now, in the novel, Deckard is accused of murder, after it is discovered one of the replicants he killed in the movie was actually a human. In order to clear his name he is forced to hunt down and kill the mysterious sixth replicant. The plot is rather confusing, especially if you have not seen the movie in a while. There are a number of flashbacks and references to the film during the course of the novel.
Author K.W. Jeter does an admirable job of conveying a written tale that evokes the same aethetics and mood as the film. Locations, descriptions, and dialogue all feel very faithful to the movie. Some of the dialogue and descriptions are beautifully written, and are quite delicious in their evocative verve. The pacing is also very similar to the film, so don't expect a fast-paced action thriller, but rather a moody tale that raises questions about ethics and what it means to be human, what it means to be "real."
I appreciate the fact that the author tried to take the events of the movie and stand them on their head, and cast them in a different light. However, this approach also comes across as rather too bold, as if the author wants to change the events of the movie, or even erase them. But I'll leave it to the reader to discern for themselves whether they like the approach. I also felt the logic of the some of the characters was questionable and was not always sure why events transpired the way they did.
I would recommend "Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human" to any dedicated Blade Runner fan. Although no longer part of the canon, the tale is an interesting follow-up the one of cinema's great pieces of science fiction.
Now, onward to "Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night!"
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Spectra (1 October 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780553762679
- ISBN-13: 978-0553762679
- ASIN: 0553762672
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 549 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)