Fiction Reviews

Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night

(1996) K. W. Jeter, Orion, 16.99, hrdbk, 309pp. ISBN 1 85798 420 X

Continuing the reconciliation of the Phil Dick and Ridley Scott versions of the original story, Jeter expands upon some of the themes he introduced in the second book, The Edge of Human. Deckard is a consultant on the film being made of his exploits, but leaves in disgust when the first replicant (a 'prop') is killed. But Dave Holden (shortly to be killed himself) has delivered a talking suitcase containing the downloaded personality of the original Roy Batty. This draws him into the intrigue of the repsymps (replicant sympathisers) who are aiding the replicants who have taken over the outer colonies. Meanwhile, Sarah Tyrell (the 'template' for Rachael) has been contacted by a 'shadow' Tyrell corporation with their own agenda...

Jeter continues to drop in Dick-isms, particularly in his Martian landscape, drawn from Dick's Martian Timeslip among others, and also to play with the usual Dick obsessions, conspiracy, identity and reality. But I have to say that these sequels are actually pretty boring, and it seems an impossible task to recreate Dick's intensity and vision. Consequently the books lean more towards the film (and are relatively successful in that area), with a liberal dose of Jeter himself (which is no bad thing, generally), and the story seems to get lost in the attempt to please everyone.

Tony Chester

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