The novel Bladerunner and the short story “Fragments of a Hologram Rose” in Burning Chrome, present us with science fiction worlds. Within the texts the characters are given mediated experiences as their form of reality. The way these mediated realities are implemented is via new technologies. There are many new media in the texts that provide these experiences than are able to be focused on within the scope of this essay so I have concentrated on the ‘mood organ’ from Bladerunner and the ‘ASP deck’ from “Fragments of a Hologram Rose”. One major effect of these media induced realities is the loss of distinction between humans and machines or ‘androids’. This can be seen in the instance in Bladerunner where there is confusion as to who is real or fake and also in “Fragments of a Hologram Rose” where humans have become machine-like. The author of these texts in a way also acts as a mediated experience. However, the message that is shown through stories such as Bladerunner and “Fragments of a Hologram Rose” is that the key difference is the ability to detach ourselves from the medium. Written text allows us to think critically of what we are being shown, which these new mediating media do not.
In Bladerunner we are introduced to the ‘Penfield mood organ’ in the very first sentence of the novel (Dick p1). This displays the fact that this technology plays a vital role in the characters lives. The effects of the mood organ are similarly displayed early in the novel, with the contrasting ‘merry’ and ‘unmerry’ feelings the characters have when they awake (Dick p1). When Iran dials for ‘self-accusatory depression’, Rick sees this as ‘defeating the point’, as the mood organ’s purpose is to promote happiness (Dick p2). However, these emotive responses to the mood organ do not alter the central characters reliance on this technology. In the greatest form of mediated... [continues]
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