In Philip K. Dick's dystopian sci-fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, bounty hunter Rick Deckard is assigned to track down, identify, and "retire" six rogue Nexus 6 androids (or "andys") that have illegally escaped to Earth from Mars.

He is provided with equipment to perform the Voigt-Kampff test on suspected androids to determine their identities, and is also provided with paper copies (referred to as "onionskin carbons" or "poop sheets") that contain known information about the runaway androids.

However, while reading the book, I do not recall any mention of Deckard or the police department being provided with any photographs of the six runaway androids. Given the advanced technology that exists in the book's universe (vidphones, mood organs, laser guns, etc.), it seems strange that they wouldn't possess photographs or that they would somehow lack the ability to take them.

I can only assume that photos would make it much easier to identify the androids; so why weren't any provided?

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I have read over the paragraphs where Deckard first talked with Bryant about Dave notes, which had the list of the possible androids. The list was based of suspicions that Dave himself had about the people he listed, the first two were correct, and the third manage to shoot at him while taking the test.

Rick said, "Yeah, I heard about it on the grapevine. How many andys are involved and how far did Dave get?" "Eight to start with," Bryant said, consulting his clipboard. "Dave got the first two." "And the remaining six are here in Northern California?" "As far as we know. Dave thinks so. That was him I was talking to. I have his notes; they were in his desk. He says all he knows is here."

So a picture won't help at all, since the picture wont provide any help to find out if the person is an android or not. All the cases have "poop sheets" which have information about the suspect, as we can see when Deckard reads about Polokov, so that's how Deckard is able to find most of the Nexus-6 androids.

He studied the poop sheet on Polokov; it gave a description of the man - or rather the andy - and his current address and place of business: The Bay Area Scavengers Company with offices on Geary.

The list helps him find the "suspects" and he must administer the Voigt-Kampff test to find out if they are androids or not. There could be many reasons why they don't have pictures of the Nexus-6, it all really comes down to the author not adding that detail to the story, and switching it with the "poop sheets" as a way to locate the androids.

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    It seems as though plastic surgery would be something easily accessible, though. Wouldn't that make a picture from whatever factory specs/docs are available less than reliable? Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 18:07

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