15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more step in Asimov's future history
While this is basically a second science fiction/mystery featuring the team of Earth NYC police detective Elijah Bailey and android R. Daneel Olivaw, the future history thread is taken further as Bailey's determination to spur interest on Earth in colonization on other worlds steadily increases. As he works to deal with his agoraphobia, having never been outside Earth's...
Published on 25 April 2003 by Neal C. Reynolds
3.0 out of 5 stars Asimov
First read this in the early 70s at that time i loved all things asimov. on reading 2014 abit surprised at thin characters and ropey plot but still asimov and still enjoyable if a bit naive.
Published 5 months ago by Baronbill
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more step in Asimov's future history,
While this is basically a second science fiction/mystery featuring the team of Earth NYC police detective Elijah Bailey and android R. Daneel Olivaw, the future history thread is taken further as Bailey's determination to spur interest on Earth in colonization on other worlds steadily increases. As he works to deal with his agoraphobia, having never been outside Earth's "caves of steel" previously, this determination becomes ever more obsessive.
The mystery itself borrows from the classic "locked room" mystery genre. This murder could not have happened because the Solarians can't stand being in each other's presence long enough to murder another. However, it did happen and since husbands and wives do need to be in each other's presence for purposes of procreation, the victim's wife is the obvious suspect.
Bailey is hampered in his investigation by three factors: his agoraphobia, the Solarians' aversion to be in another's presence (presence of an Earthman being even worse than the presence of another Solarian since Earthmen are considered disease carriers), and R. Daneel Olivaw's over-protectiveness due to his adherence to the three laws of robots.
All in all, this is indeed a well-crafted mystery as well as science fiction novel, and an excellant early novel in Asimov's future history.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elijah Bayley and R. Daneel Olivaw team up again.,
By A Customer
This is the second of Asimovs' Elijah Bayley and R. Daneel Olivaw detective trilogy. They met in 'Caves of Steel' which are the overcrowded permanantly covered cities of Earth. In 'Naked Sun' earth detective Elijah is plucked from his home world and transported to Solaria a world with 10,000 robots to each human to team up again with human like robot R. Daneel Olivaw to solve a murder case with galactic consequences. In doing so he has to fight his agrophobia and be out in the 'Naked Sun' for the first time in his life. To Solarians Earthmen are disease ridden, short lived and take the disgusting habit of actually being in the presence of other humans for granted. On Solaria inhabitants never actually 'see' each other in person only 'view' each other over holographic links. Meetings between husband and wife are exclusively for procreation and not spoken of in polite society. So who could have visciously smashed the skull of a prominent 'good' Solarian roboticist leaving an unknown robot with a permanantly frozen brain and where was the murder weapon? As the story unfolds Elijah forms an increasingly dependant bond with his robot partner and a strange relationship with the murdered mans young widow Gladia. Asimovs talent for story telling and weaving mystery into a well crafted plot is well displayed in this book. The people who live such strange lives are so believable. Bayleys intuitive blundering and Daneels constant logicality and desire to protect the Earthman suck the reader in to a world so far removed from our own in space and time and yet we understand and symperthize. If you read and enjoyed 'Caves of Steel' you will enjoy 'Naked Sun' and at the end you'll be hooked and need to read its sequel 'Robots of Dawn'.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative concepts in this space mystery,
Asimov was a creative thinker, and a beloved science fiction author. Sad to say, he was not the best writer in the world, having no notion of character development and falling into cliche far too often. Having said that, it's possible to read Asimov's books with great enjoyment if you overlook these faux pas.
"The Naked Sun" is a continuation of "The Caves of Steel", introducing the detective pair Lije Bailey, human, and Daneel Olivaw, robot. In "Caves", the pair team up for the first time to solve the murder of a Spacer, an outworlder living on steel-clad, subterranean Earth. Based on their success, the duo are tapped to solve a murder mystery on Solaria, one of the Spacer planets, along with Aurora, that are the first extra-terrestrial settlements of human beings.
Solaria is a peculiar place. The invention of tri-dimensional television projection (which sounded futuristic when the novel was written but now sounds plausible) was adopted by the Solarians with fervor, so much so, that actual physical contact and presence is considered on par with bathroom subjects. The rich planet, with its lavish estates of orchards, factories or farms, is presided over by a limited number of Solarians who live in splendid isolation, surrounded by fleets of robots to run their enterprises. From status (only a few people and many robots) the Solarians first limited physical contact as a way of showing wealth, then it became a mania, a sort of agoraphobia, where breathing the air that is polluted by another's presence is considered more than a bit distasteful. Solarians are quite social--but all socializing is done via tridimensional projection. Only husbands and wives (and the occasional doctor) are ever tolerated up close.
So, in a world where physical proximity and of course, sexual intercourse a necessary but unpleasant evil (they hadn't considered artificial implantation?) how does a MURDER occur if an individual could not stand to be in the presence of another and all robots are guided by the Three Laws and cannot harm a person? This is the puzzle Lije and Daneel are to solve. It's complicated by the disturbing presence of Gladia, the beautiful widow of the victim. She is the prime suspect, of course, but what was her motive?
Lije is sadly, cloned from the hard-boiled detective cliche like Sergeant Friday of "Dragnet", but less so in "Naked Sun" than "Caves of Steel." Gladia, however, is quite successful as the troubled woman. The plot of this book is intricate, and the novel flies by--a page-turner. Along with "The Gods Themselves", I think this is one of Asimov's best novels.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asimov at his very best,
The 'Naked Sun' is the 2nd of Issac Asimov's SF detective novels, and is probably the best (the only other contender is this books forerunner 'The Caves of Steel.' Asimov presents us with a future where much of humanity has left for the stars and the Earth has become a sort of overcrowded ghetto for those who remain. Earthmen are now generally confined to their planet, and it is extremely unusal for any to leave. Earthmen are now considered inferior by the instellar colonists who call themselves 'Spacers.'
As well as presenting a compelling mystery and reuniting the two main characters from the previous book Daneel Olivaw and Elijah Bayley, 'The Naked Sun' paints a compelling picture of a society far removed from our own. Not all of Issac Asimov's work tallied with his legendary status...but if you want a book that will demonstrate how he achieved it, this ones for you
5.0 out of 5 stars A look into humanity and culture.,
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This review is from: The Naked Sun (The Robot Series) (Kindle Edition)
Having recently decided to invest in reading classic sci-fi, Asimov was pretty high on my list of authors to look into. This is both the second book in the robot series as well as the second of his titles I have so far read and I must admit while I enjoyed the first book (Caves of Steel) a lot, The Naked Sun takes the core of what made it good and expands on it making it not only a great sequel, but an all round great book.
The story once again focuses on Elijah Baley a detective on Earth who has been charged with investigating a murder, this murder is on another planet ruled by colonists called spacers, no earthman has ever set foot there before and it's an uncomfortable experience for both sides.
What I loved about Caves of Steel is in abundance here, this isn't a book about police, murder, or even robots though all three aspects are present, it's about the differences in culture between earth and the spacers, how they live so differently based on their environments and upbringing with the earthmen living in super cities almost like hives, eating and showering communally, every inch of space earned through career for small extra luxuries compared with one planet of the spacers where they have so much space and robots to tend their every need that even being in sight of each other physically makes them feel sick. The, I suppose psychology would be the word, of it all and experience Baley goes through trying to understand it all rather hooked me so I read The Naked Sun happily in one day (It is fairly short regardless).
Rather a shame that books three and four in the series (Robots of Dawn & Robots and Empire) to reasons unknown to me aren't available on the kindle at time of writing this. Still I have purchased the physical books as I will not miss the next in the series. If you're looking for a sci-fi series with more to it than space ships and lasers then this is a good bet.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sun shines,
Isaac Asimov returned to his "Robot" tales for "The Naked Sun," a taut murder mystery wrapped in a heavy sci-fi cloak. If anything, "Naked Sun" is more imaginative and tightly-written than the previous novel, "Caves of Steel," with its unconventional detecting and seemingly unsolvable crime -- as well as a world that's as alien as any extraterrestrials could ever be.
Cop Elijah Baley isn't too fond of robots. Or Spacers. So he's less than pleased when he is sent to Solaria, a sparsely populated world where robots do all the work, and humans "toil not, neither do they spin." He's there to investigate a strange murder -- a scientist named Delmarre was murdered, and his widow Gladia is the only possible suspect. But she seems too ditzy and fluttery to crush a person's skull.
When an official is poisoned right in front of Baley, his suspicions are confirmed -- somebody is still murdering, and it may be linked to some touchy political subjects that Delmarre was working on. No human was close enough to kill either man, and no robot was capable of murder. With the assistance of his robot sidekick R. Daneel Olivaw, Lije Baley starts to unravel a mystery that seems to have no suspects...
Does a world full of languid, long-lived people waited on by robots sound like paradise? It won't after "Naked Sun," where such a civilization is enough to drive you nuts with boredom. Asimov did an excellent job with the Solarian civilization, where actually being in the same room as another person is considered an unspeakable intimacy and the world "children" is almost obscene.
Since this is all completely foreign to Lije Bailey (who comes from overcrowded Earth), it comes across as alien to the readers as well. It also adds an enticingly weird dimension to his detective work: Bailey has to solve a mystery entirely through communication equipment, and robots keep clearing away evidence. Add some agoraphobia and solid social commentary, and you have a story that is reminiscent of Agatha Christie writing Star Wars.
Bailey and Daneel make an excellent team -- there's Bailey's human gut feelings and intuitions into the human mind, coupled with Daneel's cool calm robot logic, and his lack of prejudices. The supporting characters are also nicely done, particularly the mildly neurotic Gladia and the nervous Gruer.
Asimov's "Naked Sun" is a tighter, tauter mystery than "Caves of Steel," with a bizarre civilization and a mystery that seems impossible to figure out. Immensely enjoyable and thought-provoking.
5.0 out of 5 stars A tight probe into human nature,
By A Customer
Like all of Asimov's best works, this novel is a tight exploration into how humans operate. He contrasts humans both with robots and with aliens in the work, and though humans have the lower hand here, he offers hope for the future. The book happens to be a well-crafted mystery as well, just as it happens to be science fiction. Good science fiction posits humans in exotic locales doing ultimately familiar things. The fear of Elijah Bailey is a bit odd, since it is of open spaces and sunlight, but we all fear things, and Asimov gets to the heart of what fear is and how it can--and in the humans' situation in the novel--must be overcome. It is an extremely satisfying book, as most mystery novels are not.
5.0 out of 5 stars The second installment of a truly classic sci-fi series,
By A Customer
Yet again, Asimov proves that he is indeed THE Science Fiction mastermind. "The Naked Sun" sends detective Elijah Baley into his most challenging case yet. He must lead a successful offworld investigation against impossible odds, which leaves you intrigued every step of the way. The bold R. Daneel, and the sexy Gladia Delmarre add more spice to Lije's ordeal. A true MUST read to all sci-fi fans out there!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read, as are all the Asimov Robot novels,
By A Customer
If you are a fan of the Asimov Foundation universe, you will love this book. While it is not necessary, suggest you read Caves of Steel first, which is the first Elijah Bailey Robot Detective book.
Even if you are not a Foundation universe fan, you will love this book if you are interested in robots (Asimov's three laws) or even if you are a mystery fan and want something in a futuristic setting.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking with timeless relevance.,
Asimov is an absolute legend in Sci-Fi and not least for his Robot stories. The Naked Sun continues the story of the collaboration of Detective Elijah Bayley and his robot partner Daneel Olivaw in solving the seemingly unsolvable crimes. Once more the future of Earth and Mankind hinges on a successful outcome. I thoroughly recommend it.
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The Naked Sun (Unknown Binding - 1957)
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