The Naked Sun (The Robot Series)

The Naked Sun (The Robot Series)

by Isaac Asimov

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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 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!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553293395
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1991
Series: Robots Series , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 65,936
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.72(d)
Lexile: 740L (what's this?)

About the Author

Isaac Asimov began his Foundation series at the age of twenty-one, not realizing that it would one day be considered a cornerstone of science fiction. During his legendary career, Asimov penned more than 470 books on subjects ranging from science to Shakespeare to history, though he was most loved for his award-winning science fiction sagas, which include the Robot, Empire, and Foundation series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Asimov entertained and educated readers of all ages for close to five decades. He died, at the age of seventy-two, in April 1992.

Date of Birth:

January 20, 1920

Date of Death:

April 6, 1992

Place of Birth:

Petrovichi, Russia

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Columbia University, B.S. in chemistry, 1939; M.A. in chemistry, 1941; Ph.D. in biochemistry, 1948

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "The Naked Sun"
by .
Copyright © 1991 Isaac Asimov.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

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Naked Sun 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Starfire32210 More than 1 year ago
Read this over and over and will again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't get over Isaac Asimov's books. He has an M.Night Shamalan twist type of thing going but, his stories are actually good. The book gets you into a reality thats hard to escape from. After reading this series i definatelly recomnend moving on to the Foundation Series for the total mind blowing Asimov twist!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Naked Sun shall remain renowned as one of the greatest of Asimov's novels. A brilliant combination of thrilling action, engaging mystery, and fasicinating theory, and with a carefully cultivated aura of the echoes of change and the triumph of a new world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent. The storyline is absorbing and intelligent, the writing, superb. Isaac Asimov is considered by everybody to be one of the best science-fiction writers, as well as the most prolific.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic Asimov. Has held up well over the years but not as much fun as when I first read it 50 years or so ago.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Among Asimov's best novels, the picture of the culture of the advanced "Spacer" "Outer Worlds" such as Solaria, and of robots is rich and thought provoking, and I can't help but give a nod to that in my rating. Yet I admit this wasn't as enjoyable to read as it was in my teens, and part of that is because the scenario seems dated, but partly because I've changed.We were introduced to the detective duo of Elijah Bailey and R. (for robot) Daneel Olivaw in Caves of Steel. The title refers to the domed supercities under which 8 billion people live in semi-starvation and can only be sustained in carefully controlled supercities with tight rationing. When Asimov wrote Caves of Steel in 1953, the world population was near two and a half billion. It's now close to 7 billion, and it is estimated it will reach 8 billion in 15 years, so it's hard to see Asimov's vision of industrialized societies at the edge of starvation as plausible. His earth society strikes me as Sovietesque. Each human being has a rating which controls such privileges as space and rations. There's no sense that Asimov believes this kind of command and control economy is unjust or the cause of near starvation--rather you get the sense this is the rational way to order society and nigh inevitable--at least without robots and/or the ability to spread out amongst the stars.Things are different in the fifty wealthy "Outer Worlds" which dominate Earth and doesn't allow its teeming billions to leave the planet, controls their trade and dictates to their government. The most extreme among these worlds is Solaria, with only 20,000 people spread across an entire planet, but with millions of robot servants. There it has become nearly taboo for two humans to inhabit the same room, except for the assigned spouses. Instead they "view" each other remotely rather than "see" each other where they could be within touching distance. When for the first time in the history of their planet, a Solarian is murdered, Baley is sent for and is reunited with Daneel to solve the murder.Daneel really is an appealing character. He reminds me of Data of Star Trek. But I also found something disturbing about how he protects Baley. Under Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics" no robot can harm a human being or allow one to come to harm. But the more sophisticated the robot--and Daneel is a state of the art human-seeming android--the more sophisticated becomes the concept of "harm." Thus while Baley wants to overcome his agoraphobia, Daneel is willing to override that by force if necessary to spare him the "harm" open spaces bring him. Daneel is practically the embodiment of the nanny state, and Asimov would in later novels only expand on this idea of the benevolent robot who is "here to help" which would weave together his scientific Foundation series and his Robot series. Asimov has a faith in social engineering and the pliability of human society I don't share--or at least can no longer share.And really, the entire mystery depends on the fact that the wife seems the only plausible suspect since only she would live on the estate. But given the extreme distaste the Solarians have for touching, for even being in the same room with another human, why would they even have assigned mates for the purposes of having children? How were they even able to bear having sex since apparently there is no artificial insemination?One other thing I found a bit disconcerting which I'm sure Asimov included as a commentary on the race relations in America at the time (The Naked Sun was published in 1957). Baley is always calling robots "boy." (And robots call humans "master.") It made me wince inwardly every time he did it. I wanted to like Baley--and mostly I do. But it's hard to like a bigot. But it says something about Asimov that engaging with this book makes me think about such issues as individualism versus "the tribe" and stagnation versus dynamism. Not exactly the sort of thing that happe
SystemicPlural on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favourite Asimov robot book.Asimov's three laws of robotics have been criticised as being unrealistic, but if you understand them as a plot device for exploring the implications robotics on humans then the issues he explores are as valid today as when he wrote.People fearing for their jobs.People no longer being stimulated to explore new knowledge.Effecting peoples social skills.The inherent contradiction in programming a robot to protect humans - to be totally protected the human has to be cocooned.An much more.
weakley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another classic scifi detective novel. Quick read but very good. flag
annbury on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the best of this wonderful series, in which New York detective Elijah Baley must travel off earth to a spacer world. (The spacers -- humans whose ancestors abandoned earth to form a galactic empire -- have become much more powerful than the crowded millions who remain on Earth). Off earth, he must cooperate with the robot detective, R. Daneel Olivaw, with the very strange society of the spacers, and with the gorgeous Gladia. I loved this book fifty years ago, and I still do.
Cecrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The mystery component seems to take a back seat in this sequel to "The Caves of Steel"; it becomes more a study of a potential society, such as has evolved on one of the Spacer planets. Perhaps for this reason I wasn't quite as engaged as I was in the first novel, but it was still a fine continuation, a quick fun read, and I'm looking forward to the next, "Robots of Dawn".
aethercowboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When a robot has been discovered as the culprit in a murder, Earth detective Lije Bailey and his partner, R. Daneel Olivaw head to the scene to figure out what really happened.Set on the anti-Earth world of Solaria, Lije and Daneel must deal with anti-earth sentiment while trying to find the true culprit, or at least the reason behind a robot's seeming dismissal of the Three Laws of Robotics.Second in a series featuring Lije and Daneel, this book is sure to please Asimov fans as well as anybody who appreciates a good science fiction mystery.
melydia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This time around, Lije Baley is sent to solve a murder case on another planet. I just want to note that sometimes dated SF can be really amusing. In this case, I was entertained by the notion that the ¿expressway¿ between DC and NYC takes ten hours. But that¿s neither here nor there. As an Earthman, Baley is used to crowded underground cities and always being surrounded by people, be it in the cafeterias for meals or in the public restrooms. The planet Solaria is the opposite: the planet is home to only 20,000 people, each of whom has a private estate and lives more or less as what we would consider a recluse. While three-dimensional holographic ¿viewing¿ is a perfectly acceptable means of being social, being in the physical presence of another human being has become thought of as utterly distasteful. Most of the story deals with the society itself, coupled with Baley¿s struggles with agoraphobia. I was fascinated by all the different characters, even if the murder mystery felt somewhat artificial. After all, I was more interested in the science fiction part of the story, and in that respect Asimov never lets me down.
KidQuislet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good stuff. Classic sci-fi by one of the all-time best.
bigorangemichael on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second in Isaac Asimov's robot series is just as fascinating as "Caves of Steel" but doesn't quite live up to its predecessor.Earth detective Lije Bailey is called on for a special mission to the planet Solaria. He's been requested to look into a murder on that world of a prominent Solarian who was either killed by his robots (which would violate the rules of robotics) or his wife. But Bailey has a secondary assignment--a sociological survey of the planet and its people.Teamed again with R. Daneel Olivaw, Bailey arrives on the planet to find that there are only 20,000 inhabitants on the world. Each person is tended by multiple robots and there is rarely any in-person contact. Contact takes place by holographic interface (think "Star Trek"'s holodeck) which really narrows down the list of potential suspects. It also serves as an impediment to the investigation since the Solaran taboos on personal contact mean that a lot of the evidence in the case was destroyed before Bailey arrived.The mystery isn't necessarily the most complex one in the universe, but it serves as the starting point for the novel. Asimov takes time to really develop Bailey in this story and we see some growth in him over the course of the novel. What keeps this from being a five star review like its predecessor is that at times, it's not nearly as much fun to read as the first. The society of Solara is interesting, but no where near as compelling as the future Earth we see in "Caves of Steel." Interestingly, Asimov will later combine the two worlds in the next novel in the series, which had some mixed results. However, that shouldn't go to say the novel is a bad one. It's still a great read and a lot of fun.
tronella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another Robots detective novel, sequel to Caves of Steel, which I finished recently. I enjoyed this, but I don't really have any comments - other than that I am strangely charmed by the idea of people putting makeup on their earlobes to make them more blue.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had fond memories of this novel from having read it as a teen, but a recent re-read left me with mixed feelings. It's an intriguiging mystery, and the exploration of some of the consequences of the famous Three Laws of Robotics is interesting. The ending is both clever and affirming. On the other hand, the Solarians strike me as completely unbelievable both as individuals and as a society.
Redthing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read The Caves of Steel before this one!Elijah Baley takes off to Solaria to solve a crime. Of course, the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. A fantastic book for any SF reader.
Capfox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When it comes to it, these are really much better detective/sci-fi stories than the ones in the book from Nic that I read a few months ago. It's all about setting up a situation, with rules that are known to everyone involved, and then solving the puzzles that are involved.Asimov, in fact, really prefers coming up with scenarios in which he can test the rules of robots against the minds of people; it means that the writing style for these books tends to be pretty spare, with lots of dialogue. This one is no exception; it's thus a very easy read, and the world is easy enough to picture, but you can come up with some of the details on your own, which I like.The story itself for this one was good enough, I s'pose, although again, the mystery itself is guessable. When you're not a mystery writer by trade, it must be hard to figure out how to fool people best. But if you want to figure out all the logical implications of robots that are constructed in a certain way, Asimov is your man. This wasn't quite as good as the first one, but it was still fairly good. It's worth a read, anyway, and it won't take you long.
PghDragonMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While dated by today's standards, this book is still a worthy addition to to any bookshelf to represent Science Fiction. "Naked Sun" stands alone, but it is a sequel to "Caves of Steel". Together, these two books helped define our vision of robots. Isaac Asimov was still a relatively new science fiction author when this story was published, but the brilliance of his writing was already evident. It is because of his writing style that I still read and re-read Naked Sun.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Science fiction. And mystery. An earthman, a police detective, is sent to Solaria to solve a murder in a place where the robots outnumber the humans thousands to one, and the humans only interact via "viewing" (holograms). His partner is the robot he worked with before, who's masquerading as a human. A sequel to I, Robot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Robot series is fascinating , even still today, and this in patticular is as strong as any of the prior installments. It's very much a mystery science fiction novel and never loses interest. If you have made it this far in the series you will not be let down.
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