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A bounty hunter for the San Francisco Police Department and protagonist of the novel. His job is to hunt down and “retire” rogue androids by killing them, in the hopes of using the bounty money to replace his electric sheep with a live animal. Throughout the story, Deckard struggles more and more with his job, questioning whether or not the androids he kills are actually living beings.
A lonely “special,” a human whose mental faculties have diminished due to radiation poisoning. Isidore works for Van Ness Pet Hospital, a business that discreetly repairs electric animals for those who cannot afford living animals. Through Mercerism, J.R. feels empathy for his fellow humans, but is at the same time excluded by his classification as a “special.”
An android posing as the daughter of Eldon Rosen, the innovator behind human-like androids. Rachael is the antagonist of the novel, and throughout the story she manipulates Deckard into feeling empathy for androids.
Deckard’s wife. Iran and Deckard’s marriage is strained by circumstance and personality differences. Deckard tries to maintain a positive outlook, but Iran is usually morose and depressed. She, like J.R. Isidore, relies on her empathy box to connect to others.
A mythical figure through which humans gain empathic connection to one another. Mercer is the supposed founder of “Mercerism,” the prevailing socio-religious belief system of what remains of humanity. Humans use an “empathy box” to become the martyr-like figure of Mercer, endlessly climbing a mountain.
The dominant media figure of humanity. Buster Friendly maintains TV and audio broadcasts nearly constantly, providing escape and distraction. Friendly maintains a hostile attitude toward Mercerism, and an otherwise clown-like persona.
A bounty hunter in Northern California. Resch is a foil to Deckard, ultimately serving as a warning to Deckard—getting too close to androids can be dangerous and force a person to question everything.
An android posing as a Police Inspector. Garland operates a shadow police department in San Francisco, protecting androids living secretly on Earth.
A rogue android who has come to Earth in secret. Pris is the exact same type of android as Rachael Rosen.
The businessman and engineer behind the Nexus-6 brain unit. Rosen worries about bounty hunters and how much they disrupt his business.
A cop at the San Francisco Police Department. Hardened by years of experience, Bryant maintains a dismissive attitude toward the needs of his underlings.
An escaped android whom Deckard must “retire,” or kill. Polokov poses as a human officer of the Soviet Union’s police force.
An escaped android who yearns for a “normal” life by posing as an opera singer.
An escaped android, and the decisive and brutal leader of a small group of androids recently arrived on Earth.
An escaped android and Roy’s wife.
The mean-spirited boss at Van Ness Pet Hospital.
The actor who played “Wilbur Mercer” in a series of videos in the distant past.
Head bounty hunter in the San Francisco area.