Dániel Panka, a researcher working toward his Ph.D. in the Modern English and American Literature and Culture program, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest is interested in science fiction, popular culture, genre theory, and surveillance studies. His current research focuses on artificial people and transparency in science fiction. He has published a chapter in the essay collection Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction (eds. Grzegorz Maziarczyk and Joanna Klara Teske, Brill Rodopi, 2017) and an essay in the Frankenstein Special Issue of Science Fiction Studies (eds. Michael Griffin and Nicole Lobdell, July 2018). He was awarded a 2020 Fulbright to the University of California, Riverside.
The essay focuses on the “Mission Street Station” episode in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968). The episode revolves around two central problems: the human/android divide and fake realities. The first part of the paper concentrates on theories of classification and analyses the problems of the Voigt-Kampff test understood as a classificatory apparatus. The second part focuses on the Mission Scene as a fake reality and identifies a potentially problematic race-focused reading. Dick, a prolific essayist and public speaker, expressed his preoccupation with questions that constitute the conceptual core of the scene on several occasions. Therefore, the essay also relies on the author’s nonfiction to discover and establish the importance of the oft-neglected Mission Scene in the novel’s critical reception. (DP)