cover image Replicant Night

Replicant Night

K. W. Jeter. Spectra Books, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09983-6

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.)