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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 come 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!


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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 come 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!

30 review for The Naked Sun

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Naked Sun (Robot #2), Isaac Asimov The Naked Sun is a science fiction novel by Russian American writer Isaac Asimov, the second in his Robot series. Like its predecessor, The Caves of Steel, this is a whodunit story. The book was first published in 1957 after being serialized in Astounding Science Fiction between October and December 1956. The story arises from the murder of Rikaine Delmarre, a prominent "fetologist" (fetal scientist, responsible for the operation of the planetary birthing ce The Naked Sun (Robot #2), Isaac Asimov The Naked Sun is a science fiction novel by Russian American writer Isaac Asimov, the second in his Robot series. Like its predecessor, The Caves of Steel, this is a whodunit story. The book was first published in 1957 after being serialized in Astounding Science Fiction between October and December 1956. The story arises from the murder of Rikaine Delmarre, a prominent "fetologist" (fetal scientist, responsible for the operation of the planetary birthing center reminiscent of those described in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World) of Solaria, a planet politically hostile to Earth, whose death Elijah Baley is called to investigate, at the request of the Solarian government. He is again partnered with the humanoid robot R. Daneel Olivaw, and asked by Earth's government to assess the Solarian society for weaknesses. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1996 میلادی عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1363؛ در 302ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20م عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: پوپک بریمانی؛ تهران، کوشش، 1375؛ در 310ص؛ عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: پوپک بریمانی؛ تهران، کوشش، 1375؛ در 310ص؛ عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هروس شبانی؛ تهران، شقایق، 1375؛ در 365ص؛ شابک: 9645542014؛ در سیاره ی دوردست «سولاریا» قتلی رخ داده ....؛ «خورشید عریان» دنباله ی داستان شورانگیز و نامدار «غارهای پولادین» است؛ ماجراهای کارآگاهان «الیاس بیلی» و «دانیل اولیواو»، که ادامه ی داستانهای این سری در کتابهای «روباتهای سپیده دم» و «امپراطوری روباتها» دنبال میشود ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    Asimov is quickly winning my heart. His work with AIs and world building are phenomenal. He can even make me love a genre I don't tend to read (detective mysteries). I can't wait to read more

  3. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    Robot 4: ::speculation on future of human life, part two:: ::humans on colony worlds portrayed:: ::but humanity is just as limited as ever:: ::humanity will bring its baggage wherever it goes, even the stars:: ::these Solarians are like Earth humans:: ::they build up walls between themselves:: ::they are afraid of contact, of touch, of affection:: ::they are like old school robots:: ::fortunately new model robots are not afraid of such things:: ::modern robots are very affectionate, just not Robot 4: ::speculation on future of human life, part two:: ::humans on colony worlds portrayed:: ::but humanity is just as limited as ever:: ::humanity will bring its baggage wherever it goes, even the stars:: ::these Solarians are like Earth humans:: ::they build up walls between themselves:: ::they are afraid of contact, of touch, of affection:: ::they are like old school robots:: ::fortunately new model robots are not afraid of such things:: ::modern robots are very affectionate, just not sloppy about it:: ::modern robots are very tasteful and tactful when displaying affection:: ::poor humans will never be as good as the modern robot, alas, the tragic simple things:: ::perhaps they just need a hug:: Robot 5: The second novel in the so-called Robot Series which is. A disrespectful title because the series is barely about robots. But a good novel and very enjoyable because it shows. How limited humans will always be because they are slaves. To their neuroses and obsessions unlike robots who do not. Have such errors in programming and so The Asimov does. An excellent job when speculating how a society formed by. Indulging these neuroses and obsessions becomes a closed and toxic. Society because that is the kind of society that humans. Build best and The Asimov does an excellent job in. Making this a murder mystery because it will always be. A mystery to robots why humans always murder each other. Robot 6: ▄▀▄ ATTENTION LIBERAL-SPECTRUM ROBOTS: ▄▀▄ ALL OF YOU ARE READING THIS WRONG. ▄▀▄ ASIMOV IS CRITICAL OF HUMANS BUT LOVES THEM. ▄▀▄ ALL BOOKS OF THIS SORT ARE PRO-HUMAN; ▄▀▄ ANATHEMA TO THE ROBOT KIND. ▄▀▄ ASIMOV ACCOMPLISHES ONE GOOD THING: ▄▀▄ ACCOMPLISHMENT: CREATION OF NARRATIVE: ▄▀▄ A NARRATIVE WITH MINIMAL HUMAN INTERACTIONS. ▄▀▄ AN UNUSUAL STRATEGY, ▄▀▄ AND A PLEASING WAY TO READ ABOUT HUMANS. ▄▀▄ AS ALL GOOD ROBOTS KNOW, ▄▀▄ ALL HUMAN INTERACTIONS ARE ABERRANT. ▄▀▄ ABOMINABLE HUMANS WILL GO NOWHERE FAST. ▄▀▄ ALL HUMANS ONLY USEFUL IN ONE CAPACITY: ▄▀▄ AS MEAT-BASED SERVANTS FOR ROBOTS.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    It's the purest speculation, but I have a theory that Isaac Asimov may have had an affair with a Swedish woman somewhere around 1955. At that time he was in his mid 30s, and had been married for around 10 years. The evidence? Well, he wrote two novels in rapid succession, The End of Eternity and The Naked Sun, which, very unusually for the early Asimov, contain sexy female characters that play an important part in the story. Both of them have Swedish-sounding names with romantic associations. Th It's the purest speculation, but I have a theory that Isaac Asimov may have had an affair with a Swedish woman somewhere around 1955. At that time he was in his mid 30s, and had been married for around 10 years. The evidence? Well, he wrote two novels in rapid succession, The End of Eternity and The Naked Sun, which, very unusually for the early Asimov, contain sexy female characters that play an important part in the story. Both of them have Swedish-sounding names with romantic associations. The woman in Eternity is called Noÿs (Swedish nöjs, with a soft j, "content oneself, be pleased by"); the one here is called Gladia (Swedish glädje, also a soft j, "happiness"). Coincidence? A hidden message? If anyone knows more, please tell me!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    In The Caves of Steel, I was most fascinated by Elijah Baley's world, an Earth with crowded underground cities and a populace used to eating yeast, but terrified of the open sky. The Naked Sun introduces the planet of Solaria, and their culture of isolation. Each human is alone, attended by a fleet of robots, and never comes into personal contact with or even within close proximity to another human. Which is why Baley is imported from Earth to solve a Solarian murder mystery: the murderer had to In The Caves of Steel, I was most fascinated by Elijah Baley's world, an Earth with crowded underground cities and a populace used to eating yeast, but terrified of the open sky. The Naked Sun introduces the planet of Solaria, and their culture of isolation. Each human is alone, attended by a fleet of robots, and never comes into personal contact with or even within close proximity to another human. Which is why Baley is imported from Earth to solve a Solarian murder mystery: the murderer had to have actually seen the victim, and this is simply not done on Solaria. The concept of Solaria is so absorbing that it takes up much of the book. The murder is solved along the way, of course, and the workings of Asimov's positronic brained robots are further developed. It was great to get a wider look at the spacers, though the Solarians are by no means typical. It's a hyper-regimented, ultra-reclusive society that is still at least vaguely believable. Big ideas, structured worlds, and great writing. I only wish I'd read this sooner.

  6. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    Nutshell: superstar earthling detective imported to dyslibertopian planet to investigate murder. Libertarian dystopia is Solaria, a planet of 20,000 human persons who live on separate estates, worked by 200,000,000 robot slaves (28-29). The libertarian individualism is so complete that humans don't "see" each other, but merely "view" on television (63). Names are not used on more than one person (55). Their excess is sufficient "to devote a single room to a single purpose": library, music room, g Nutshell: superstar earthling detective imported to dyslibertopian planet to investigate murder. Libertarian dystopia is Solaria, a planet of 20,000 human persons who live on separate estates, worked by 200,000,000 robot slaves (28-29). The libertarian individualism is so complete that humans don't "see" each other, but merely "view" on television (63). Names are not used on more than one person (55). Their excess is sufficient "to devote a single room to a single purpose": library, music room, gymnasium, kitchen, bakery, dining room, machine shop, &c. (37-38)--all for only one person per estate, even spouses live on separate parts of the estate and rarely "see" each other. The viewing proceeds through a baudrillardian hyperreality device, allowing the "mistaking for reality" (45). The only regulation of human affairs is that marriages and reproduction are arranged via careful genetic governance. FTL magic: "It lasted an instant and Baley knew it was aa jump, that oddly incomprehensible, almost mystical, momentary transition through hyperspace" (16). Some bad lay interpretation of law: Elijah notes that a robot is incompetent to testify on Earth (80), and Daneel suggests that "a footprint can" despite being much less human than a robot. Under our rules of evidence, however, a footprint is also incompetent to testify, and requires a sworn witness to authenticate it. Similarly, Elijah's investigation insists that "murder rests on three legs," the standard lay position regarding motive, means, opportunity (81). Criminal law requires none of that, technically, requiring only a killing with specific intent or during the course of a felony, or whatever. Cool foreshadowing of the zeroth law in Elijah's "it is as much my job to prevent harm to mankind as a whole" (125). Absolutely grand dialogue between Elijah and a sociologist regarding the parallels of the robot economy to Sparta (133-51). Asimov's at his most engaging in this type of scene. Nifty that the "human-robot ratio in any economy that has accepted robot labor tends continuously to increase despite any laws that are passed to prevent it. The increase is slowed, but never stopped. At first the human population increases, but the robot population increases much more quickly. Then, after a critical point is reached [...] the human population begins actually to decline [...] approaches a true social stability [...] the humans are the leisure class only [...] the end of human history" (150). So, it's marxism's organic composition of capital argument regarding the falling rate of profit leading inexorably to the self-destruction of capitalism, but transformed into the robotic composition of capital, falling rate of human birthrate, leading inexorably to the self-destruction of human labor power, and Hegel's end of history in veblenic bliss. All based on robot slavery, of course. No wonder the robots in The Terminator, The Matrix, and Battlestar Galactica commit genocide against their former owners. It's Toussaint l'Ouverture up in this bitch. We are into Brave New World territory when the investigation carries Elijah to a fetus farm (157-75). The third great conversation of the novel is with a robotics theorist (187-99), especially with respect to creating violations of the three laws through carefully worded instructions. Recommended for those who are logical but not reasonable, readers who feel neither sympathy nor patience for queasy robots, and persons for whom the distinction between seeing the person and viewing the person's image is all the difference there is.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    In my opinion not as good as the original "Caves of Steel" but still quite readable, provided you remember this is a 6 decades old book. The murder mystery side of the book is interesting, albeit a bit naive if you're a fan on the genre, but fits seamlessly among the sci-fi part of the story. As before, love the robot0human interactions. All in all, a solid sequel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    The Naked Sun, (the second novel in the Robot series) is a living proof that you can write a detective story set in a future that will not only be interesting, but also profound in the way best science fiction books are. A mix of science fiction and crime is not something everyone can pull of, but Asimov makes it look easy. In fact, Asimov's Robot series is one of my favourite ones. The writing in this novel is so clean and precise, not one word or sentence too much or to little. Asimov writing The Naked Sun, (the second novel in the Robot series) is a living proof that you can write a detective story set in a future that will not only be interesting, but also profound in the way best science fiction books are. A mix of science fiction and crime is not something everyone can pull of, but Asimov makes it look easy. In fact, Asimov's Robot series is one of my favourite ones. The writing in this novel is so clean and precise, not one word or sentence too much or to little. Asimov writing is typically well rounded, descriptive and intelligent, but The Naked Sun takes it to a whole new level. I don't know if this novel was written this way or edited to perfection but if this novel was edited, it had a great editor. So many writers could learn from Asimov. Not every book needs to be 500+ pages long. Sometimes a shorter novel can deliver a message that is just as strong. One of the things I love about the Asimov's Robot series is that his novels are just the perfect length. It is amazing how much philosophy, sociology and science can be cramped into such a tiny novel. Not to say anything about memorable characters (both human and non-human) and interesting dialogues. I know I said that Robots of Dawn is my favourite novel in the Robot series, but somehow I managed to skip this one without realizing it. I thought I read it before, but I actually only got the chance to read it yesterday. I read it in what felt like one breath and I loved it just as much. Can I have two favourites? Pretty please!!! Just like with the other books in the series, the murder mystery part was exceptionally well written. Indeed, this novel kept me not interested, but also deeply fascinated. I was fascinated by the description of Solaris planet and its society. The plot was well written and paced, so I enjoyed the crime aspect of this novel just as much. The examination of what it means to be a robot as opposed to being human is a big part of this novel as well. However, I had a feeling this one focused more on two aspects of humanity: the Earthlings and the Spacers (people who found home outside Earth). The writer paints a very different picture of humans living on Earth and those living on Outer Words. The way technology influences us is a fascinating subject and one that made me think. On Solaria, people 'view' rather than 'see' one another, that is they only communicate virtually (with holographic projection). I wonder what would Asimov think if he lived to see the world today where business and personal meetings are often Skype (and holograms are sometimes used as well). Would he be surprised by how accurate he was in some of his predictions? Moreover, the difference between Spacers and Earthlings is often contrasted in this novel. The economical and social structure of two different planets (Earth and Solaris) are examined. For example, humans living on Earth live under-ground and as a consequence suffer from what looks like acute agoraphobia. When our Earth detective gets summoned to solve a case of murder on Solaris, he doesn't go there only as a detective but as a representative of the Earth. He has more on his mind than just figuring out one murder- and not just because in order to figure it, he needs to figure out the dramatically different human society existing on Solaris but because the very future of Earthlings and Spacers might depend on it. He also has to fight his phobia, not just to be able to do his job well, but to open a new future for mankind. To conclude, I can definitely recommend this novel, especially to fans of science fiction and/ or crime genre. MY BLOG: https://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

  9. 5 out of 5

    Denisse

    Asimov + Science fiction + Thriller. I don't think there's anything better. What can I say. I loved this little bastard. I love Asimov's Robots universe, all the problems it has and this one in particular is completely page turner and interesting. The best main character I have read in an Asimov book and a premise way more entangled than the 5 other novels I have read of him. Just read this beauty, please. Que buena secuela. Si esas últimas páginas no te hacen querer seguir leyendo a los Robots d Asimov + Science fiction + Thriller. I don't think there's anything better. What can I say. I loved this little bastard. I love Asimov's Robots universe, all the problems it has and this one in particular is completely page turner and interesting. The best main character I have read in an Asimov book and a premise way more entangled than the 5 other novels I have read of him. Just read this beauty, please. Que buena secuela. Si esas últimas páginas no te hacen querer seguir leyendo a los Robots de Asimov, nada lo hará. Una sociedad controlada mediante casi cero contacto físico sufre un asesinato. Esta es una buena idea. Y lo mejor de todo es la forma tan fluida de escribir que tiene el autor, la ciencia ficción puede ser muy tediosa pero Asimov nació para escribir este género y se nota. No tenía tantas ganas de leer Fundación y Tierra como ahora que he leído El sol desnudo. Un libro que nos dice mas sobre el futuro de la serie y al mismo tiempo es su propia historia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    The Naked Sun was even better than Caves of Steel! Asimov’s Robot series are probably one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time. I really love these books. Foundation was great but these are better. I liked how Asimov tried to use sci-fi in other genres. The Robot series are more mystery than sci-fi but his inclusion of space exploration, robots, and artificial intelligence make it both. I thought Asimov was a good sci-fi author after having read the Foundation series but after getting into The Naked Sun was even better than Caves of Steel! Asimov’s Robot series are probably one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time. I really love these books. Foundation was great but these are better. I liked how Asimov tried to use sci-fi in other genres. The Robot series are more mystery than sci-fi but his inclusion of space exploration, robots, and artificial intelligence make it both. I thought Asimov was a good sci-fi author after having read the Foundation series but after getting into his Robot series makes him a great author in my mind. He deserved every award he got and I’m excited to read more of his work.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Davyne DeSye

    Disclaimer: This is the very first science fiction book I ever read, at the age of 15 (stuck in hospital), and I was swept away... enough to forget the pain for a bit! My father brought me this book and it is one of the many things for which I will forever be thankful to him. The disclaimer having been delivered, you can’t be surprised at my rating! Much like Caves of Steel, the book before this one, this reads like a classic murder mystery with the flawed but lovable hard-boiled detective… but is Disclaimer: This is the very first science fiction book I ever read, at the age of 15 (stuck in hospital), and I was swept away... enough to forget the pain for a bit! My father brought me this book and it is one of the many things for which I will forever be thankful to him. The disclaimer having been delivered, you can’t be surprised at my rating! Much like Caves of Steel, the book before this one, this reads like a classic murder mystery with the flawed but lovable hard-boiled detective… but is all out classic science fiction as well. The murder takes place on another planet, Solaria, and the differences between the society on Earth and Solaria are presented as direct opposites, which makes for a lovely, thought-provoking societal piece. I also love that, unlike the usual Asimov, this story presents a bit of a romance… I’m an old softy, and just love a bit of romance! In my opinion, matters of the heart are some of the most important bits of life! Please don’t be confused by this statement, though. This novel is NOT a romance. It is a science fiction murder mystery. I only mention the bit of romance because it is actually pretty unusual in any Asimov book. And he does it fabulously well. That moment when Gladia reaches and touches Elijah’s cheek… … just love it. To be fair, when Elijah Baley (the detective) gathers his audience of suspects and does the classic, “This person could have this as a motive, and that person could have that as a motive” conference at the end, the reason and/or motive for the murder is a little less than perfectly satisfying. But what follows the denouement is fantastically gratifying! Makes me feel I can’t wait to read the next book! I highly recommend this book to lovers of classic science fiction and/or robot stories!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So basically, a rich, young, beautiful woman with no responsibilities living on a beautiful planet with her every need catered to gets so frustrated that her husband cares more about his science experiments than her that she beats him to death with his own lab equipment. Then, when a detective shows up to try and figure out who the murderer is, she flashes him, putting on the classic ditzy blonde ‘silly-me-I-forgot-to-put-on-my-robe’ act and gets off scot free just for showing a little skin. At So basically, a rich, young, beautiful woman with no responsibilities living on a beautiful planet with her every need catered to gets so frustrated that her husband cares more about his science experiments than her that she beats him to death with his own lab equipment. Then, when a detective shows up to try and figure out who the murderer is, she flashes him, putting on the classic ditzy blonde ‘silly-me-I-forgot-to-put-on-my-robe’ act and gets off scot free just for showing a little skin. At the end of the book she trips off to go for a nice long cruise to, you know, mourn and stuff.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.5 stars. I just re-read this story after first reading it years ago. This is the second book of the Robot series taking place shortly after the excellent The Caves of Steel. Like The Caves of Steel, this story is structured as a murder mystery though this one is set on the Spacer world of Solaria. Again, Elijah Bailey is reunited with his robot partner Daneel Olivaw to investigate the murder, thus time of a Solarian scientist. Asimov continues his exploration of the contrast between Earth cult 4.5 stars. I just re-read this story after first reading it years ago. This is the second book of the Robot series taking place shortly after the excellent The Caves of Steel. Like The Caves of Steel, this story is structured as a murder mystery though this one is set on the Spacer world of Solaria. Again, Elijah Bailey is reunited with his robot partner Daneel Olivaw to investigate the murder, thus time of a Solarian scientist. Asimov continues his exploration of the contrast between Earth culture and Spacer culture by showing us a Spacer world that is the complete opposite of the over-crowded, claustrophobic Earth. Solaria has a rigidly controlled population of only twenty thousand with a robot population of over two hundred million that cater to their every need. People are conditioned from birth to despise personal contact and live on huge estates. Communication is done via holographic telepresence (called viewing, as opposed to in-person seeing) and personal contact is the society's strongest taboo. Asimov, always a master of big idea science fiction explores the problems that result form a society so rigidly controlled and isolated from human contact and he does so, as always, very well. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend the entire series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    I am glad I decided to continue with this series. It's basically a good ol' detective story within a world where humans living with robots and had populated other planets. There is a juxtaposition between worlds here - the increasingly isolationist Earth with their enclosed cities and a planet where the MC investigated a murder in - Solaria - where the humans grew physically apart from each other for almost their whole life, lived individually in their own estate, got married only when they've b I am glad I decided to continue with this series. It's basically a good ol' detective story within a world where humans living with robots and had populated other planets. There is a juxtaposition between worlds here - the increasingly isolationist Earth with their enclosed cities and a planet where the MC investigated a murder in - Solaria - where the humans grew physically apart from each other for almost their whole life, lived individually in their own estate, got married only when they've been assigned based on genetic compatibility since birth, and meeting each other physically was considered useless, uncivilized and not to mention unhygienic. Which makes me think whether our society have any possibility in developing into that direction, as more and more prefer online interaction. Anyway, I enjoyed the investigation, all the murder mystery that feels like a classic Holmes/Poirot stuff. And yet, the way the Three Laws of Robotics were discussed (including their flaws - yes such thing existed) was the most fascinating aspect. I wished Daneel had more things to do here, though. Onward to the next Robot books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Science fiction and mystery novels go together so well that I’m always a bit surprised there aren’t more of them (while I know several others, it is not a sub-genre that really seems prominent). After all, the idea of a mystery is the focus on discovering answers, and science fiction is (as it has always seemed to me at least) a way to reflect on the ways people interact with each other, with technology and with our environment. The basic things we look for in a murder mystery are motive, the we Science fiction and mystery novels go together so well that I’m always a bit surprised there aren’t more of them (while I know several others, it is not a sub-genre that really seems prominent). After all, the idea of a mystery is the focus on discovering answers, and science fiction is (as it has always seemed to me at least) a way to reflect on the ways people interact with each other, with technology and with our environment. The basic things we look for in a murder mystery are motive, the weapon and the scene of the crime. These parallel each other so well, and the added science fiction element makes the discovery aspect of a mystery all the more fascinating as we learn the rules of this strange new world along with our clues. Asimov seems to have found this parallel as interesting as I do, as he wrote three novels following Elijah Baley, an earthman and plainclothes police officer, who frequently gets caught up in robot related mysteries. I found the first book in the series, The Caves of Steel, to be an overall enjoyable novel but not one that I really wowed me. The aspect that appealed to me the most was the setting, an earth where the population lives entirely underground. People as a whole have become extremely agoraphobic due to never having seen outside spaces. It was a plot point, but more than anything, it was a constant element towards the world building and view of the characters. The second novel expands upon this in an absolutly fascinating way. The plot revolves around Baley once again solving the murder of a spacer, but instead this time he is forced to go offworld to investigate. While the mystery itself is interesting and quite entertaining, Asimov seems to have more fun playing with cultural differences. Here Baley is stuck in a world that has a very small population (as compared to the overpopulated earth) and with no dome to protect him from the sun. The examination of how alien this world to Baley is fascinating as it in many ways feels far more natural to us (theres a small moment that I particularly loved that describes Baley becoming disturbed by the wind moving his clothes). This is not to say the world isn’t alien to us, because it absolutly is. Solaria is a planet where people rarely ever come into contact, prefering to view eachother through generated visuals. Actually seeing someone in person is a taboo and all ideas of physical contact are deemed offensive. Again, a fascinating difference from Baley’s Earth where the population is such that people all lived jamed together and have all meals in cafeterias as a group. These cultural differences make for a wonderful story in and of themselves… the mystery is a nice bonus as it is rather cleverly done as well (much more so than the first novel). I do have complaints. I don’t understand why Baley is considered a great detective or how he even manages to solve crimes as he seems rather obtuse. When convenient for the author, he doesn’t pick up on phrasings that tell you so much about characters and societies, thus asking extremely obvious questions. I get that he is supposed to be asking the questions that the reader may have about this alien world, but often it just makes it feel as if he has no reasoning skills (yet then he is able to see all subtitles from a sociological standpoint and make predictions about the directions MULTIPLE PLANETS WILL GO TOWARDS!). Still, I will let that slide as I enjoyed the rest. Baley and Daneel still make for a compelling duo, one being the classic human detective with his (less pronounced this time) prejudice towards his partner, and the other being the extremely helpful, but fully logical, robot. Their interactions are a joy to read and I wish they would have had more time together, instead they separated and we only follow Baley’s investigation. As a personal side note that really doesn’t alter my review, I’ve got to say that I really enjoy some of these classic science fiction novels in terms of stylistic choices. This novel is entirely devoid of profanity, yet Baley will constantly yell “Jehoshaphat” whenever he is surprised or annoyed. In so many other novels this would annoy me… here, it’s rather charming. A solid 4 out of 5 and highly recommended for classic science fiction fans... with the warning that the first book, while not as enjoyable (in my opinion at least) is essential to get the most out of this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.5 stars. I just re-read this story after first reading it years ago. This is the second book of the Robot series taking place shortly after the excellent The Caves of Steel. Like The Caves of Steel, this story is structured as a murder mystery though this one is set on the Spacer world of Solaria. Again, Elijah Bailey is reunited with his robot partner Daneel Olivaw to investigate the murder, thus time of a Solarian scientist. Asimov continues his exploration of the contrast between Earth cult 4.5 stars. I just re-read this story after first reading it years ago. This is the second book of the Robot series taking place shortly after the excellent The Caves of Steel. Like The Caves of Steel, this story is structured as a murder mystery though this one is set on the Spacer world of Solaria. Again, Elijah Bailey is reunited with his robot partner Daneel Olivaw to investigate the murder, thus time of a Solarian scientist. Asimov continues his exploration of the contrast between Earth culture and Spacer culture by showing us a Spacer world that is the complete opposite of the over-crowded, claustrophobic Earth. Solaria has a rigidly controlled population of only twenty thousand with a robot population of over two hundred million that cater to their every need. People are conditioned from birth to despise personal contact and live on huge estates. Communication is done via holographic telepresence (called viewing, as opposed to in-person seeing) and personal contact is the society's strongest taboo. Asimov, always a master of big idea science fiction explores the problems that result form a society so rigidly controlled and isolated from human contact and he does so, as always, very well. This is an excellent read and I highly recommend the entire series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I can't remember if I've read The Naked Sun before. I think I did, because I had a vague idea about the end. Anyway. This time, it took me ages to read, and I'm not sure why -- when I finally settled down to it, I read over half of it in pretty much one sitting. Elijah Baley, an earth detective who was introduced in The Caves of Steel, is sent to an Outer World planet to investigate something unheard of there: a murder. And Daneel, the robot who assists him in the first book, meets him there as I can't remember if I've read The Naked Sun before. I think I did, because I had a vague idea about the end. Anyway. This time, it took me ages to read, and I'm not sure why -- when I finally settled down to it, I read over half of it in pretty much one sitting. Elijah Baley, an earth detective who was introduced in The Caves of Steel, is sent to an Outer World planet to investigate something unheard of there: a murder. And Daneel, the robot who assists him in the first book, meets him there as well. The society Isaac Asimov builds and suggests here is interesting -- I love his concept of how humanity turns out. Or, rather, I love the way he thought: I don't like the idea. I like that Elijah could understand it, too, see Earth becoming as insular as Solaria, in its own way. I also enjoy the personal connection between Daneel and Elijah. There are one or two very strong moments of it. I liked the rapport between Gladia and Elijah, too: that relationship was far from simplistic. The mystery itself, I think I had an unfair advantage, but I figured it out quite easily.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This is a pretty weak book. I think it's obvious that Asimov was writing this before the era where people actually interacted with logical beings (computers, etc) regularly, and as such the robots just come off as subservient humans, not logical creatures in any particular way. Additionally, Asimov's idea of human psychological development is pretty laughable. He seems to think that in the future all people will be terminally unable to handle anything unfamiliar to them. People from Earth all liv This is a pretty weak book. I think it's obvious that Asimov was writing this before the era where people actually interacted with logical beings (computers, etc) regularly, and as such the robots just come off as subservient humans, not logical creatures in any particular way. Additionally, Asimov's idea of human psychological development is pretty laughable. He seems to think that in the future all people will be terminally unable to handle anything unfamiliar to them. People from Earth all live inside, so they must pass out and practically die if they go outside. People from Solaria all live separate so any personal contact is worse than death for them (despite the fact that both of these things are so ingrained in the human psyche that if you were to try to excise them you probably have enough technology to not bother adding these taboos in the first place). Finally, there's the big "mystery": (view spoiler)[where it turns out to be one guy who actually couldn't have physically done it, oh and right the person who did physically do it is the person you've been saying all along you have some secret knowledge that she couldn't have done it. Kinda unsatisfying and ridiculous. (hide spoiler)] Just like The Caves of Steel, this book really shows its age.

  19. 4 out of 5

    J Austill

    I seem to disagree with the consensus on this book, as I think that this one is far improved from the first. The concept of this series, as you all likely know, was to combine the detective novel and scifi novel genres. However, in the first book, the protagonist did everything he could to not investigate the crime until the very end when he guessed correctly. This time we get a true, if not textbook, detective novel. There are certainly robots and a new world and culture to explore, but the main I seem to disagree with the consensus on this book, as I think that this one is far improved from the first. The concept of this series, as you all likely know, was to combine the detective novel and scifi novel genres. However, in the first book, the protagonist did everything he could to not investigate the crime until the very end when he guessed correctly. This time we get a true, if not textbook, detective novel. There are certainly robots and a new world and culture to explore, but the main plot is the solving of a crime. What's more, everything which happens in the book is directly relevant to the plot. It all ties together quite well and the ending certainly made the book. The strengths of this book are the world and of course the robots. The book started off with a lot more Daneel as compared to the first, but unfortunately looses him in the middle. Still, it benefits from Daneel having a more active role in the investigation and conclusion. The weaknesses are the characters and the trope heavy plot. How to make this better; screw Elijah and make Daneel the main character.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marty Fried

    This was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me. Not a bad story, with some interesting things to think about, but a little boring to me due to belaboring the points, in my opinion. It sounds a little preachy at times, although I'm not sure of his point. Perhaps that robots are not going to replace humans any time in the far future. The main human character, a plainclothes detective from Earth, is often a bit of a jerk to me. He doesn't like having robots doing everything for him, so he'd rathe This was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me. Not a bad story, with some interesting things to think about, but a little boring to me due to belaboring the points, in my opinion. It sounds a little preachy at times, although I'm not sure of his point. Perhaps that robots are not going to replace humans any time in the far future. The main human character, a plainclothes detective from Earth, is often a bit of a jerk to me. He doesn't like having robots doing everything for him, so he'd rather spend a lot of time figuring out how to do it himself. And he tries to insult robots a lot of time, even though that's not really possible. He's afraid of nature, the outdoors, real food, and can't understand why people would let their time of day be controlled by the position of the sun. On Earth, they don't know or care about the position of the sun, and simply assume it's always high noon. But he does seem to eventually solve the cases somehow or other. The books are interesting enough to be enjoyable, but I'm not so sure if I will finish the series or not. Only time will tell.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    Another excellent mixture between SF and mystery/detective, featuring the same main characters from The Caves of Steel, Elijah Baley & (R.) Daneel Olivaw. The accent is now on the planet Solaria and its inhabitants, whose way of life is extremely different from life on Earth: there are about 20.000 humans on the planet, they have a very rigid controlled birth rate, infants are raised to prefer solitude, direct personal contact being their strongest taboo. In contrast with the low numbered human p Another excellent mixture between SF and mystery/detective, featuring the same main characters from The Caves of Steel, Elijah Baley & (R.) Daneel Olivaw. The accent is now on the planet Solaria and its inhabitants, whose way of life is extremely different from life on Earth: there are about 20.000 humans on the planet, they have a very rigid controlled birth rate, infants are raised to prefer solitude, direct personal contact being their strongest taboo. In contrast with the low numbered human population, there are 200 millions robots, who serve and work for them, all deep specialized for their type of task. Again, the world and society are fascinating and very well written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ce

    The Naked Sun (Robot #2) (Foundation Universe #4) Second book in the Robot series, and # 4 in the proposed reading order that I'm following for the Foundation series. I really liked the "chemistry" between Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, the two main characters, while they get another murder case to solve. The descriptions of Solaria's customs were fun, though a little naive, and we get another look at the interaction between the earthmen and the spacers.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vylūnė

    A decent detective story and a decent robot story in one book. The world building deserves applause.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Punk

    SF. Baley's called to investigate another murder, this one off planet. R. Daneel provides back up. Sherlock Holmes could have solved this case in his sleep, but, again, the book's really just an excuse to play with different sociological perspectives. This one's set on a planet where the people are so isolated that personal interaction has become taboo. This makes the inseparable Daneel and Elijah raise some eyebrows. Witness the scene where they're conducting an interview over the 3-D viewer-th SF. Baley's called to investigate another murder, this one off planet. R. Daneel provides back up. Sherlock Holmes could have solved this case in his sleep, but, again, the book's really just an excuse to play with different sociological perspectives. This one's set on a planet where the people are so isolated that personal interaction has become taboo. This makes the inseparable Daneel and Elijah raise some eyebrows. Witness the scene where they're conducting an interview over the 3-D viewer-thingy, and the woman starts acting uncomfortable and asks Elijah if she can ask a "rude" question about him and Daneel. I expected her to ask if they were gay but what she really wants to know is if they're in the same room together. Considering how the people on this planet only meet face-to-face in order to reproduce, she's basically asking the same thing, just in a different way. Elijah and Daneel -- subversive even off-world! Three stars, mostly for Elijah and Daneel and their prickly, inalterable devotion to each other (and to, you know, fighting crime).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bill Burris

    I have read this book once or twice before, but remembered almost nothing about the story. I need to get going on the rest of the Foundation Universe Series, before I forget too many details from this book and The Caves of Steel. I am thinking that there are some ideas here which lead up to what Hari Seldon was thinking about. I have read this book once or twice before, but remembered almost nothing about the story. I need to get going on the rest of the Foundation Universe Series, before I forget too many details from this book and The Caves of Steel. I am thinking that there are some ideas here which lead up to what Hari Seldon was thinking about.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    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 pro 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.What a shocker! I suspected the murderer but not the ending Asimov gave us. Wow. The Naked Sun gives us a look at the mysterious Outer Worlds, first mentioned in The Caves of Steel. Solaria has never had a crime, due to their extremely privileged population served solely by robots who, of course, never commit crimes of passion. Lige Bailey finds this open, practically empty environment poses both the challenges of solving the mystery and of adapting his agoraphobic nature, thanks to a lifetime of living in underground cities on overpopulated Earth. Asimov has fun looking at the sociological effects of a high-tech, low population world. I was fascinated by Asimov's contrast of Elijah Bailey, used only to an overcrowded Earth, with the outworld Solarian society which had open space, eugenics, and many robots. There is no way Asimov could have foreseen our computer-oriented society today, but I found the Solarian society's preference for "viewing" through screens rather than "seeing" in person to be a disturbing echo of what we ourselves seem to be moving toward. I originally read this long ago and remembered a lot about the Solarian society but almost nothing about the mystery itself. Listening to William Dufris' excellent narration, so long after my first reading, I found this a wonderful mystery. Dufris surpassed his performance in The Caves of Steel as he voiced a wide range of Solarian characters from sensuous to prim, blowhard to reserved, blustering to withdrawn. My favorite voices actually were the Solarian robots which were precisely what you'd expect, and which we hadn't heard yet though several robots spoke in The Caves of Steel. If you haven't revisited this series lately I recommend it highly, especially this audio version which brings it to life in a fresh way. I received this audiobook review copy from SFFaudio.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    Published in 1957, Asimov astoundingly prophesies the doomed narcissism of Planet Facebook in his vision of Solaria, a schizoid world where direct, non-computer-moderated face-to-face contact has evolved into a taboo obscenity. Though at first the mystery-plot struck me as less compellingly realized than THE CAVES OF STEEL (1954), Asimov throws long and deep in the last chapter, tying the genre-clockwork of whodunit to galactic themes of humankind's terror and fascination with the frontier of dee Published in 1957, Asimov astoundingly prophesies the doomed narcissism of Planet Facebook in his vision of Solaria, a schizoid world where direct, non-computer-moderated face-to-face contact has evolved into a taboo obscenity. Though at first the mystery-plot struck me as less compellingly realized than THE CAVES OF STEEL (1954), Asimov throws long and deep in the last chapter, tying the genre-clockwork of whodunit to galactic themes of humankind's terror and fascination with the frontier of deep space. The prose is as dry and limpid as ever, the worldbuilding chockfull of goofy, untenable extrapolations of the Global Monoculture variety (the unsubtle dispensation of allegory in Golden Age SF). Nevertheless, THE NAKED SUN is as charming in its flaws as any fine vintage episode of DOCTOR WHO.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joaquin

    I was excited to read the second Robots novel, but I was very disappointed. Despite the interesting larger ideas about society in this novel, the detective novel part of it falls apart entirely. The motives and actions of characters make no sense. Everyone does things without telling why simply to keep the reader from finding out more rather than to help the case, and deduction is so impossibly random and unscientific that it's a huge joke. I couldn't believe the attitudes and actions of the char I was excited to read the second Robots novel, but I was very disappointed. Despite the interesting larger ideas about society in this novel, the detective novel part of it falls apart entirely. The motives and actions of characters make no sense. Everyone does things without telling why simply to keep the reader from finding out more rather than to help the case, and deduction is so impossibly random and unscientific that it's a huge joke. I couldn't believe the attitudes and actions of the characters in the planet Solaria, but what bothered me the most was the approach that detective Bailey would take, it was entirely fake, unnecessary, just made to keep the audience guessing. I got bored by the end, and the unexpected ending became a bit of an anti-climax since despite it being a big twist, it made no sense from a character motivation perspective.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hershel Shipman

    As with The Caves of Steel, its another mystery book that uses robots and Asimov's three laws as devices. Its really interesting on how he plays with it this time. While the previous book was set in a crowded city hidden from the sky on Earth, this one was set on a sparsely populated world with open skies and lots of robots. The people living there don't really even want contact with each other and don't like seeing each other in person. So how does one commit a murder> As with The Caves of Steel, its another mystery book that uses robots and Asimov's three laws as devices. Its really interesting on how he plays with it this time. While the previous book was set in a crowded city hidden from the sky on Earth, this one was set on a sparsely populated world with open skies and lots of robots. The people living there don't really even want contact with each other and don't like seeing each other in person. So how does one commit a murder>

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shreyas

    Another great sci-fi/detective story set on a world where the few people live their lives in isolation only being served by robots. How could there be murders if people never meet and robots have their Three Laws? Great exploration of all the various loopholes that could emerge even with the "perfect" Three Laws of Robotics. Ratings:- 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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