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The Naked Sun (The Robot Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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THE NAKED SUN starts up where THE CAVES OF STEEL left off, although you certainly do not need to have read the earlier book to enjoy this one. Earthman Detective Elijah Baley is once again teamed up with R. (for Robot) Daneel Olivaw to solve an unexplained murder. The gimmick this time is that the homicide occurred on one of the mysterious Outer Worlds, and Baley must not only act as policeman, but as an unofficial spy for an Earth government curious as to what the culture is like on those advanced, robot-dependent planets.
The mystery is rather clever, although I did figure out what the murder weapon must have been before Baley did. As usual with Asimov's mysteries, I found myself enjoying the investigation more than the occasional plot logic that's thrown to the audience. In the case of this book, the storyline has some solid twists and turns, the only real flaw being that the cast of characters is so small that one could just pick a suspect at random to have a pretty good shot of correctly identifying the killer.
The real star of this story is the universe that Asimov builds.Read more ›
Asimov creates and socially interesting world in Solaria where people avoid human contact, live miles apart from each other and dependent upon robots to automate their society and keep their standard of living of high. Asimov deftly ties the intricacies of the Solarians into the mystery of the murder and ongoing multi book arc or robot progression. The whole thing is executed with Asimov's straightforward style and the character interaction and relationship between the two main characters is excellent as well.
I highly recommend this series to any science fiction fan as this is really top shelf sci-fi writing from the best. The series should be read in order though and one should start with the I, Robot short story collection before proceeding to The Caves of Steel (which is the predecessor to this novel). Also this series is entirely appropriate for any one of at least high school age.
Bottom Line: This series was revolutionary when it came out in the 50's. It's still one of the best ones out there.
I was a little disappointed after reading CoS, and was expecting something of the sort here, but that didn't happen. CoS was set on an Earth which I found awkwardly described - you got the impression Asimov was trying to say things about the way people thought but couldn't quite get them out. No such problem with The Naked Sun, where Baley's future-Earth foibles are out in the open (figuratively and literally), and Asimov also successfully hints for the first time that a utopia made up of a world where everything is done for you and where people can live for hundreds of years may, possibly, be flawed, a thesis that becomes stronger in "Robots of Dawn" and "Robots and Empire."
Asimov wrote that CoS was an attempt to answer a critic that it was impossible to combine the genres of science fiction with detective stories. The Naked Sun is much more than an answer to that challenge, it's one of Asimov's earliest studies of humanity, and it's a well written thoroughly readable one at that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's an amazing and very clever story, yet easy to read for a non-native speaker like me. So if you want to have a good time while reading a great science fiction story, don't... Read morePublished 12 hours ago by christophe patetnoster
Generic review for Asimov's books because I bought all of them for my collection and am writing ALL of the reviews at once. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Darion
It is an Asimov book on robots! What else do you need to know?
Appart from utter fannatism, it is far better written than the first one, Caves of Steel, but it will get... Read more
Asimov's writing style has much improved in this series. Good to the last page; much better reading than the "Foundation" series.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I just like Isaac Asimov - must be the second or third time I've read itPublished 2 months ago by jvh
This is a classic novel of Asimov's Robot series. It introduces characters and elements that are vital for the series storyline. As a stand-alone book it is also good. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amelia
I've just recently read this novel, and I can see how it influenced two later science fiction novels I know of: To the Galactic Rim (John Grimes Saga), by A. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M. A. Plus