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Naked Sun (Bantam Spectra Book) (Robot) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Nov 1991
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Reissue edition (1 Nov. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553293397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553293395
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,380,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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”
THE GUARDIAN

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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