The Naked Sun (The Robot Series) by Isaac Asimov (EPUB)



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  • Authors: Isaac Asimov


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!

User’s Reviews

Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:

⭐It’s a pleasure to read these early Asimov books, which present ideas as relevant today as ever. I enjoyed I,Robot immensely and Caves of Steel to a lesser extent but now that I’ve read The Naked Sun, Caves was essential to read. I’m looking forward eventually to reading the Foundation series and getting lost in space.

⭐This book, this story, still rings truthful today. Humankind cannot be complacent and ignore the need to grow and evolve.

⭐Decide to reread the robot then foundation series – i have intensions of watching the tv show after reading the reviews and how its foundation in name only and not really the story in the books – as with iRobot and caves of steel i found the science and look at the future difficult – why had minimization never occurred to Asimov is beyond me – if you get over the retro science/future the story is still awesome and a great detective story – Daneel should have had a bigger role – oh and every time he called a robot boy just made my skin crawl – i get it but still – its still better than Phillip K Dick referring to aliens by the n-word – because of the dated aspect of the writing i took away a star

⭐The Naked Sun by, Isaac Asimov, is a direct sequel to

⭐. Once again we see detective Elijah Baley called upon to solve a murder involving a “Spacer” (a human from an Earth colony on another planet) only this time he has to leave Earth to perform the investigation. He is reunited with his robotic partner, R. Daneel Olivaw although the relationship seems a bit more contentious this time around. The two meet on the planet Solaria where a leading citizen has been murdered with a good old-fashioned blunt instrument. Baley must overcome his fear of open spaces, resistance from the locals to meeting face-to-face, and the seeming impossibility of satisfying all the facts of the case before he can shed light on the mystery.More than just a mystery, Naked Sun is also a social commentary of sorts. I can’t say I found this aspect of the novel nearly as compelling as the mystery. Without giving too much away, the people of Solaria live in nearly complete isolation and loathe being in the personal presence of anyone, including a spouse or their own child. While this is plausible in a purely academic way given the scenario that Asimov put it place, it ignores many basic human instincts such as sex drive that are incredibly powerful and highly unlikely to be sublimated so completely. Still, as long you take it with a grain of salt, it is still interesting to read about this other culture.The murder mystery in the book was very well done for the most part. It moves along well, introduces a number of interesting characters, and is suitably puzzling to both Baley and the reader as it unfolds. The ending wasn’t quite as tidy as it could have been but I’ll say no more about that for fear of spoiling the story for new readers.The Naked Sun is not a perfect novel. The ending was just a bit off and the sociology is more than questionable. But these are quibbles, not crippling flaws. I would certainly recommend this book, though you should read Caves of Steel (and possibly I, Robot) first. If you’ve read Caves of Steel, and enjoyed it, odds are you’ll find a lot to like in this sequel.

⭐I absolutely loved the story and the tempo. I really look forward to reading the next book in the series.

⭐Put aside the ridiculous description of future technology especially air travel. I mean, sealed airliners with inch thick steel cabin wells?! That’s battleship armor!But on to Baley’s arrival on a distant world to investigate a murder and things get a lot better. The story becomes all about relationships and the danger of solitary living. An accidental but excellent anticipation of the consequences of the lockdowns. The story ends in the, sadly now extinct, uplifting attitude looking outward to new discoveries.

⭐I’ve read 2 of the 3 books in The Robot Series by Isaac Asimov. Like “The Caves of Steel”, “The Naked Sun” is a satisfying read with all the elements you expect from a science-fiction story with some nice little twists and turns added in. I’ve enjoyed both books and am reading the third, “The Robots of Dawn”. Of course, stories are different from real life; and personally, I wouldn’t want someone like Elijah Baley as a detective in any community I lived in. For a character in a science-fiction novel, he’s entertaining and compelling. If he were a real-life detective, however, his ends-justify-the-means approach is toxic. I don’t want to spoil any of the stories, but those who’ve read the books know that he takes very uncomfortable liberties with his responsibility to enforce the law. Fortunately, Elijah Baley isn’t real. He’s make-pretend and is instead a fictional character in a series of timeless science-fiction stories. As an aside, it was interesting reading “The Naked Sun” given our current efforts to counter the threat of COVID-19 through things like social distancing.

⭐This follow up to “The Caves of Steel” reverses the context of the earlier story, taking Baley out of his comfort zone – the enclosed city of Earth, backdrop for the earlier novel – and transplanting him in the wide open spaces of Solaria, one of the far-off planets colonised by humans many years before. Solaria takes the integration of robots into human society a step beyond all earlier imaginings and the machine men out-number humans by thousands to one, but thanks to the laws of robotics, they only fulfil the role of slaves on the massive estates of humans who represent the opposite extreme to the crowded Earth cities where humanity is pressed together into an intimate and convention-bound community. The inhabitants of Solaria find closeness to other humans as disturbing as Baley finds his own phobia of unbounded spaces. It is this contrast of opposing social viewpoints which provides much of the conflict and many of the obstacles during a fascinating investigation of a Solarian murder Baley has been called in to deal with. Once again Baley is partnered up with Daneel, the robot who appears so human he can deceive humans and even other robots.This sequel is not quite up to the same standard as “The Caves of Steel” due to a more intrusive didactical element to some of the dialogue, sometimes verging on philosophical debate rather than science fiction. The ending is also a little unsatisfactory as a likable murderer goes free after Baley frames another person as the culprit (although the victim of the frame cannot be said to be totally innocent of instigating the crime). Technically sloppier is the shoddiness of the frame that Baley constructs, and one suspects that anyone with any brains would perceive a logical inconsistency after a few moments of cool scrutiny. Having said this, it’s still an excellent book worth reading more than once (fourth time for me).

⭐Lije Bailey is a city cop. In a future where humanity has split into 2 camps. There are the people of Earth who live a troglodyte existence, safe in the all enclosing womb of big covered cities. The ‘outside’ is a place to be feared and avoided at all costs. All earth dwellers envy but also hate the all powerful ‘Spacers’ who in the dim past emigrated from earth to colonise other planets. Spacers are rich, healthy, powerful and long lived. Their life style is made possible by the extensive use of advanced robots. The introduction of robots into the rigid society of Earth is disrupting and destroying the hierarchy of the cities – taking jobs from people who rely on their employment to give additional status and therefore small relief from the basic existance of life on Earth.In this, the second book in the series, Bailey, having been reluctantly involved in the investigation of the murder of a Spacer on Earth some years before (Caves of Steel) is now called upon to not only leave his safe city environment but also travel into space. Required now to investigate another crime, Bailey has to battle his own phobias about the open air, as well as the prejudices of Spacers against what they see as a dirty and disease ridden Earthman.

⭐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.+ Clever detective novel.+ Different ways humans have evolved to live is fascinating.+ Interesting look at technology.+ Excellent themes.

⭐Long ago Before the dawn of Star Trek and Well Before Star Wars, we had Science Fiction. When even before Man had reached his Satellite the minds of writers like Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Silverberg and especially Isac Asimov had their readers venturing beyond our Solar System, even outside our Galaxy. Whilst other writers like John Wyndham where speculating about science gone wrong – I wonder if Triffids would be regarded as a GM Crop?Asimov’s Speciality was to write about the Evolution of Robots – Most famously Creating the idea of Positronics and In built Logic or Robotic Laws to define their behaviour.Against this background he descibed a future where after a period of Galactic expansion Society had polarised; into Earthmen still inhabiting a vastly overpopulated Earth; Starmen(and Women) – Inhabitants of the former earth colonies – who were effectively preventing any further migrations from earth; and of course there were robots banned on earth, but widely employed by the starmen.Then there was a Murder on one of these new worlds, and the Starmen once again required help from the home world.

⭐To really enjoy this you need to have read Asimov’s “The Steel Sky” first, otherwise you won’t fully understand the relationship between Earth detective Elijah Bailey and his robot friend and colleague R.Daneel Olivaw or the reasons for Bailey’s intense agoraphobia, both of which are important plot devices. As in “The Steel Sky”, Asimov’s human hero is both fallible and prone to jumping to wrong conclusions, which is part of the story’s charm and a handy way of tying up loose ends at the conclusion, ensuring Bailey reaches a decision which, although deliberately wrong, has massive implications for the future of humanity, a theme Asimov explored in the long-awaited sequel to this novel, “The Robots of Dawn”, and in his Galactic Empire and Foundation series of novels. On the other hand, you could just treat this as a fairly good detective story with several unlikely twists.


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