Naked Sun (Bantam Spectra Book) (Robot) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 1991
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1 Nov 1991||
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From the Inside Flap
A millennium into the future, two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the Galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. On the beautiful Outer World planet of Solaria, a handful of human colonists lead a hermit-like existence, their every need attended to by their faithful robot servants. To this strange and provocative planet comes Detective Elijah Baley, sent from the streets of New York with his positronic partner, the robot R. Daneel Olivaw, to solve an incredible murder that has rocked Solaria to its foundations. The victim had been so reclusive that he appeared to his associates only through holographic projection. Yet someone had gotten close enough to bludgeon him to death while robots looked on. Now Baley and Olivaw are faced with two clear impossibilities: Either the Solarian was killed by one of his robots--unthinkable under the laws of Robotics--or he was killed by the woman who loved him so much that she never came into his presence!
From the Back Cover
Like all Earthmen, Detective Elijah Baley has a terror of open landscape, of the naked sun.
Reacting in fear against the technological superiority of the Outer Worlds, the people of Earth have hidden themselves in vast underground cities, nursing a hatred for Spacers. The fifty Outer Worlds of the Spacers together are home to fewer people than planet Earth. And home to many, many more robots. Earthmen hate Spacer robots too …
But Baley doesn’t. He once had a robot partner, R. Daneel – and when the authorities of the planet Solaria request terrestrial assistance in investigating a murder, Baley is once again teamed with Daneel. He is the first Earthman in a millennium to travel to the Outer Worlds … and he must endure the glare of a sun far more deadly than Earth’s.
THE THREE LAWS OF ROBOTICS
• A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
• A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law
• A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
“'The Caves of Steel' and 'The Naked Sun' are the best books Asimov ever wrote”
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A tremendous detective story set in space in an oddly retro future. By far the best of the three Asimovs featuring plainclothesman Baley, not being lumbered with long passages... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Richard M Marshall
As thought provoking now as when first written. Will the growth in "intelligent" machines lead to improvement in the human condition or inevitable stagnation? Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kim
The second book in the 'Lige Bailey' trilogy, where he once again proved very wrong those critics who'd said it was impossible to write a successful detective mystery set against a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. Steven J. Parkes
This is the second of Asimov's full length robot novels featuring Earth detective Elijah Bailey and Robot Daneel Olivaw. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Hopper
The usual Asimov clever, somewhat naive, but quite satisfying sf crime novel. The book deals with programmed responses. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brainman60
Purchasing this book enabled me to complete my collection. It is classic Asimov and well worth the read, I would recommend the series to any Science Fiction reader.Published 7 months ago by P. Seymour