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Robot #2

The Naked Sun

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Like all Earthmen, detective Elijah Baley has a terror of open landscape., of the naked sun.

Reacting in fear of 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 Earthmen in a millennium to travel to the Outer Worlds... and he must endure the glare of a sun far more deadly than Earth's.

204 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1958

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About the author

Isaac Asimov

4,023 books23.6k followers
Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (lacking only an entry in the 100s category of Philosophy).

Asimov is widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series, both of which he later tied into the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series to create a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He penned numerous short stories, among them "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time, a title many still honor. He also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as a great amount of nonfiction. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.

Most of Asimov's popularized science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include his Guide to Science, the three volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery.

Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as "brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs" He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, the magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, a Brooklyn, NY elementary school, and two different Isaac Asimov Awards are named in his honor.

Isaac Asimov. (2007, November 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:50, November 29, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_As...

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
March 12, 2022
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: سال1996میلادی

عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، سال1363؛ در302ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز از نویسندگان روس تبار ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: پوپک بریمانی؛ تهران، کوشش، سال1375؛ در310ص؛

عنوان: خورشید عریان؛ نویسنده: ایزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هروس شبانی؛ تهران، شقایق، سال1375؛ در365ص؛ شابک9645542014؛

در سیاره ای دوردست به نام «سولاریا» قتلی رخ داده ....؛ «خورشید عریان» دنباله ی داستان شورانگیز و نامدار «غارهای پولادین» است؛ ماجراهای کارآگاهان «الیاس (الیجاه) بیلی» و «دانیل اولیواو»، که ادامه ی داستانهای این سری در کتابهای «روباتهای سپیده دم» و «امپراطوری روباتها» دنبال میشود

نقل از متن: («بیلی» از وضعیت آگاه بود، و هر کس دیگری روی زمین نیز، از این موقعیت آگاهی داشت؛ پنجاه دنیای خارجی، در مجموع جمعیتی بسیار کم‌تر از زمین داشتند، اما پتانسیل نیروی نظامی آن‌ها شاید صد برابر زمین بود؛ از آن‌جا که اقتصاد دنیاهای کم‌جمعیت فضایی‌ها متکی بر صنعت تولید روبوت پوزیترونیک بود، هر انسان فضایی هزاران برابر یک زمینی انرژی در اختیار داشت؛ این میزان انرژی که هر انسان می‌توانست استفاده کند، صرف پتانسیل نظامی، استاندارد زندگی، سعادت، رفاه و تمام عوامل جانبی آن می‌شد؛ «مینیم» گفت: یکی از عواملی که باعث می‌شه ما در چنین موقعیتی قرار بگیریم، جهله؛ فقط همین، ندون��تن؛ فضایی‌ها همه چیز در مورد ما می‌دونن؛ خدا می‌دونه اونا به بهانه ‌ی مأموریت‌های مختلف، چقدر نماینده به زمین می‌فرستن؛ اما ما هیچ‌چیز در مورد اونا نمی‌دونیم به جز چیزهایی که خودشون می‌گن؛ هیچ انسان زمینی پا روی یک دنیای خارجی نگذاشته، اما تو خواهی گذاشت؛)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 20/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Baba.
3,563 reviews862 followers
August 9, 2021
I really enjoyed this - NY cop, a 'Plainclothesman' from the overpopulated, domed mega cities (The Caves of Steel), of Earth, Elijah Bayley is sent to the far reaches of the known universe to investigate a murder on a planet where murder never happens, where people don't even meet face-2-face, and where there are around 1,000 robots to every person!

Not only do we get a stranger in a strange land, we also get a captivating murder investigation on a planet where it is seen as grossly disturbing to meet in person. Asimov delights with not only strong continuity from The Caves of Steel, but gives the reader insight into the 'caves' that mankind and and the off-worlders have got themselves into, as well as using the investigation as a covert spying operation for Earth! Another world class Asimov joint - 8.5 out of 12
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,645 reviews5,108 followers
March 26, 2018
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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::

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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.

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Robot 6:

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
August 9, 2010
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!
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,224 reviews169 followers
August 18, 2022
Asimov takes a murder mystery WAY beyond merely clever!

A thousand years earlier, mankind had split into two groups who now hated one another with a visceral prejudice born out of fear and a complete lack of cultural understanding of one another. Spacers, those who had seen their destiny in the stars, left earth with the assistance of positronic robot technology and colonized fifty worlds scattered throughout the galaxy. One world in particular, Solaria, was so thinly populated that the inhabitants had simply evolved away from the habit of personal contact. Birth was strictly controlled as a means of population replacement and achieved only through artificial insemination; child rearing was managed with the assistance of robots; communication, when it was deemed necessary at all, was via 3D holographic imagery; and personal contact of any kind, let alone sexual, was considered abhorrent. The taboo was so deep-seated it was capable of provoking nausea if the topic was frivolously mentioned.

So when a leading scientist was bludgeoned to death, the citizens of Solaria were quite incapable of even imagining that anyone other than the scientist's spouse was guilty. But since it had also been determined that she had no weapon, the only possibility that remained was that he had been killed by his own robots, a possibility that, of course, was absolutely impossible because of the three laws of robotics that governed all human-robot interaction. Solaria had no choice but to ask for Earth's assistance in solving the problem. Only an Earth detective would have the intuitive understanding of interpersonal relationships and what would prompt someone (or perhaps a robot?) to violence and murder. And it was well known from his recent performance solving the murder in The Caves of Steel that Detective Elijah Baley was the only detective who could stomach prolonged contact with Spacers and Robots. So Elijah Baley was on his way to the scene of the crime on Solaria.

What an incredible novel!

Asimov outdoes Agatha Christie herself in concocting a compelling futuristic version of the impossible "locked room" mystery whose solution is based on an understanding of the profound differences of three imagined but superbly developed cultures - two human and one robot - all of which respond in profoundly different ways to the same stimulus. He takes a page from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brief and has his detective quote the famous aphorism about the solution, however improbable, being all that is left after one has eliminated the impossible. Asimov takes his obvious admiration of Doyle's work one step further allowing Baley to emulate Sherlock Holmes' personal vision of justice by indulging in a debate over the distinction between legal guilt and moral guilt and how the consequences for the two ought to be quite different. And, of course, in the tried and true fashion of cozy mystery detectives ever since the first cozy mystery was written, all is revealed in a showdown drawing room setting with the master confronting all of the possible culprits as he reveals his subtle chain of logic and the now obvious solution.

But only a master of the sci-fi genre of the caliber of Isaac Asimov could turn what might have been a mere 200 page murder mystery into a deeply moving philosophical essay on his imaginings for the future and survival of humankind and even what it means to be human.

Highly recommended indeed for all lovers of science fiction, classic or contemporary.

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Adrian.
562 reviews197 followers
June 25, 2021
Hopefully a review in the next few days

As I mentioned in a previous review, a house move with a homeless gap in the middle is causing me difficulties in both reading and writing any reviews that are outstanding. That's not the reviews are outstanding, as in good, but outstanding as in late !

That said I think I now only have 2 reviews to go, woo hoo.

So I have to say, as I have before that, Isaac Asimov has to be my favourite author (and I always apologise to JRR Tolkien at this point ). And this book is no exception. I really love the character of Lije Baley and of course Daneel Olivaw. Add into the SF mix the fact that this is again a detective story (Asimov did in fact write a series of pure detective stories) and you get a wonderful novel that fairly zips along.

I have discussed with various Asimov lovers (and haters) how many books should be included in his Robot series, and my answer always is, as many as you want to read. You can start with the early robot stories that are set through the 20th and 21st centuries I, Robot, move to Lije Baley and The Caves of Steel and its sequels, then if you wish you can move to some of the Empire novels as eons pass and the Galactic Empire is formed. Then you move into the later written but pre Foundation stories, through the original Foundation trilogy and on to the later post Foundation works by Asimov and others. All Robot novels

All this goes to show, and is demonstrated ably by this novel, what a storyteller Asimov was, a truly consummate one, with wide ranging thoughts and vistas, believable, human characters, and fabulous expansive story lines (A bit like Tolkien really, now who is my favourite ? )
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
915 reviews408 followers
August 9, 2020
Asimov plantea una de las sociedades más interesantes que he leído: la solariana. Una sociedad en la que cada individuo está aislado del resto y solamente se ven mediante hologramas.

La obligatoria necesidad de usar robots para todo y las repercusiones sociológicas de esto las podemos ir viendo mientras el protagonista, un detective de la Tierra, investiga el asesinato de un ciudadano de este planeta en una especie de "crimen de cuarto cerrado".

Me ha parecido mucho mejor libro que Bóvedas de acero, el anterior de la saga de los Robots. Al llevar al protagonista a un mundo que desconoce le permite hacer preguntas y dar información al lector, algo que chirriaba bastante en el anterior libro al estar ambientado en la Tierra.

Empezaba la reseña poniéndole 4 estrellas, pero qué c***, que me lo he leído en tres tardes disfrutándolo de principio a fin. Un libro sencillo pero muy entretenido. Ahí van las 5 estrellas.
Profile Image for Jonathan O'Neill.
160 reviews327 followers
March 13, 2022
3.5 ⭐

”A robot may do nothing that, to its knowledge, will harm a human being; nor, through inaction, knowingly allow a human being to come to harm.”

Earth’s renowned detective, Elijah Baley, and Auroran robot “detective”, Daneel Olivaw, reunite for another homicide investigation with a spacer twist.

What makes this particular investigation interesting is that the murder was committed on Solaria; a planet containing just 20,000 human inhabitants and 200,000,000 working positronic robots, and which has not been witness to a single murder during its entire 300 years of human settlement. In fact, this being the first crime of violence in two centuries, Solaria has no police force; this seems, at face value, to be one of the reasons they’ve enlisted the help of our favourite logic/reason coupling, Daneel and Baley but nothing in Asimov’s novels should be taken at face value and the results of the investigation have much further-reaching implications for the rest of the series than you would suspect at the beginning of the story.

The most compelling aspect of this novel, and indeed what spares it from being just another run-of-the-mill detective book, is the interweaving of Solarian social idiosyncrasies and postulations regarding the Three Laws of Robotics throughout the investigation. Baley is not only trying to solve a murder but is also having to navigate a completely new style of human (spacer) interaction and determine the uncertain implications that this has on the case.

The Solarian people have a number of societal peculiarities which are all established with the ultimate goal of maximum isolation through social distancing. They do not “see”, they “view”; that is to say, they very rarely, only under the most extreme circumstances, see each other face-to-face. As much as possible, they view one another by holographic means… So, they’re basically living through peak COVID, all the time.

”A Solarian takes pride in not meeting his neighbour.”

There are no willing relationships, only assigned partners paired up to create ideal gene combinations. Solarians reluctantly copulate in order to produce a child (because IVF is apparently not a thing in the future) and said child is brought up by Robots on a children’s farm. When one of the 20,000 Solarians dies, a child graduates from the farm and takes that Solarian’s position.

Baley envisions Solaria as ”a robotic net with holes that were small and continually growing smaller, with every human being caught neatly in place”. It sounds cold, sterile and against all human instinct, and it is. Asimov illustrates this through a prominent side character, Gladia Delmarre, who has an “unnatural” fascination with (read: “very natural” human urge for…) members of the opposite sex which she struggles to hide. In the same way, Baley who, himself, has always suppressed his very human longing for open space; for “unbroken [and] unobstructed space”, as a result of living in one of modern Earth’s “Caves of Steel”, by the end of the novel, is no longer able to do so. Especially given what we’ve been through over the last few years, in terms of isolation and the effects this has had on so many people’s mental health and state of being, the direction that Solarian society has taken in Asimov’s vision of the future seems not only less than ideal but laughably improbable and unsustainable. Personally, I would say that Solaria’s population could be more accurately calculated as 200,020,000 Robots and 0 human beings.

”The cities were wombs[…] What was the first thing a man must do before he can be a man? He must be born. He must leave the womb; and once left, it could not be re-entered”.

”He lifted his head and he could see through all the steel and concrete and humanity above him. He could see the beacon set in space to lure men outwards. He could see it shining down – the naked sun.

At this point, I pretty much know exactly what I’m going to get from an Asimov short story or novel and I like it, but I don’t love it. There are 2 more books in the Robot series which I’m still looking forward to and then I’ll probably pull the cover on Asimov for a bit.
A very fond Adieu from me to you :)
Profile Image for Sesana.
5,195 reviews345 followers
May 21, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Ajeje Brazov.
705 reviews
April 29, 2021
Pianeta Terra, molto in là nel futuro, l'umanità ha colonizzato altri pianeti: i Mondi Esterni e proprio su uno di questi, Solaria, è successo un delitto. Così richiedono, i solariani, l'intervento di un terrestre ad investigare sull'accaduto. Solaria è un pianeta molto "diverso" dalla Terra, nel senso che i colonizzatori terrestri, memoria ormai sepolta, hanno instaurato un...

Secondo "puntata" con l'investigatore Baley ed il suo amico Daneel Olivaw, alla ricerca del colpevole, ma soprattutto alla ricerca di qualcosa più profondo!
Purtroppo, all'inizio, la sensazione di esser davanti ad una seconda puntata, nel senso negativo dell'accezione della parola, si era fatta pressante e poco piacevole. Continuavo a leggere ed ogni volta che giravo le pagine, mi sorprendevo chiedendomi che cosa mi stava o mi voleva raccontare Asimov? Mi chiedevo: "Perchè?" Non è possibile, ma la scrittura era scorrevole e procedevo quasi per inerzia. Arrivato a metà circa, ecco che la scintilla, o qualcosa del genere, scatta e le innumerevoli riflessioni sociali sull'evoluzione umana, tanto care ad Asimov, letteralmente esalano piano piano dalle pagine, fino ad arrivare, alle pagine finali, ad un climax pazzesco, emozionale e commovente.
Il titolo: "Il sole nudo" è così evocativo, sole: fonte di vita - nudo: l'essenza primordiale della vita!
Da leggere assolutamente, soprattutto in questo momento particolare. Ci sono un'infinità di spunti che fanno riflettere sul senso della vita tutta, sul senso di condivisione, sul senso...
Profile Image for Trish.
1,948 reviews3,405 followers
February 25, 2021
A new case for Detective Elijah Baley (a human from Earth) and R. Daneel Olivaw (a robot) and I found myself cheering at the reunion! :D

It's been a few months since the first book and Baley has been promoted. One day, he is called to Washington for a new assignment - one he can't refuse despite the fact that it is off planet!
On Solaris, one of the Spacer colonies that is politically hostile to Earth, a murder has been committed. Puzzling is how the killed scientist could live compeltely isolated (he only ever "met" with others as a hologram) and yet get bludgeoned to death. The fact that his faithful robot servants simply stood by and watched despite the famous 3 laws, is a further complication.
But there is also the problem of Earth's government instructing Baley to assess Solaris for weaknesses since this is the first time an Earther is allowed on a colony planet and both groups of humans are in a dangerous struggle for the survival of the species.
Oh and then there's the fact that Baley feels VERY uncomfortable in open spaces due to him being an Earther (that was so sad to read, the phobia of open spaces, nature, direct sunlight etc).

So this was, once again, a whodunnit (the delightful part, for me, always is figuring out HOW the murder was committed, but that was almost painfully obvious here *lol*). However, since this is Asimov, we also get wittily veiled criticisms of society (from the confinement in cities to racism) and a wonderful exploration of inter-planetary politics. The worldbuilding deepened here, giving a chilling sensation at the back of my head.
In a way, the crimes are always just a vehicle with which to transport the reader to strange futures in order to see even stranger future humans and their master creation: robots.
(Though, here, we also get a glimpse at the world(s) to be explored in the Foundation cycle.)
So while this one’s mystery was „weaker“ it had a more detailed exploration of humans - both the ones back on Earth and the different Spacer colonies, which was what the author was going for, of course.

So was the 1st law broken or not? And how? After all, there is a second murder and the robots are once again not much help, confusingly enough. Dun DUN DUUUUN!

More interesting to me was the assessment of this weird, permanent social distancing (especially considering current world events). Eerily chilling. And, yes, I soaked up all the implications for future stories because all robot stories, in the end, are one. And I intend to read them all (almost).
Profile Image for A. Raca.
729 reviews150 followers
May 13, 2019
"Robotların insanı rahatlatan bir özellikleri vardı: Soru sormuyorlardı."

Asimov, nasıl bir vizyonerlik bu... İmparatorluk ve Vakıf serilerini iyice merak etmeye başladım.

Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,978 followers
February 26, 2021
Asimov robot re-read 2/25/21

This time, like the last time, over thirty years ago, I was struck by how Asimov could twist simple agoraphobia into two distinct branches that could cover two whole branches of humanity. One, a real-presence phobia that mimicks, if not having the motive, our current society where social-distancing is required, not actively sought-after.

Of course, then, like now, introverts tend to thrive in such situations. And Bailey, coming from an extreme extrovert society on Earth, tended to have the upper-hand when dealing with these utterly compartmentalized Solarians on their introverted home-turf.

Asimov always did have a deft hand with turning a handful of simple ideas into far-reaching sociological world-building twists.

And while the murder mystery tale wasn't particularly deep or complicated, it was quite solid.

One thing Asimov always has going for him is a very clear, always accessible style. He really shouldn't be forgotten in the annals of SF classics.
Profile Image for sologdin.
1,706 reviews623 followers
January 25, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Ana Cristina Lee.
652 reviews246 followers
December 28, 2020
Tercera parte de la Saga de los Robots, tras Yo robot y Bóvedas de acero.

Como en éste último, el protagonista es el detective terrestre Elijah Bailey, que en esta ocasión es enviado al planeta Solaria para investigar un asesinato. Junto con su ayudante, el robot R. Daneel Olivaw, se embarca en una aventura que de nuevo tiene como fondo las tensiones políticas entre la Tierra y los mundos exteriores, lo cual le hace guardar un delicado equilibrio en sus pesquisas.

El formato recuerda las novelas clásicas policíacas: después de una serie de entrevistas con los posibles implicados, finalmente Elijah los reúne a todos y revela las conclusiones de su investigación.

La trama es entretenida pero lo más interesante es la creación del particular mundo de Solaria. Sus escasos habitantes – tienen una población estable de unos 20.000 individuos – han desarrollado una fobia al contacto con sus semejantes y viven aislados en sus enormes propiedades, asistidos por innumerables robots. Su modo de vida es completamente opuesto al de la Tierra, donde hay hacinamiento y los robots están proscritos. Estas peculiaridades de la vida de los solarianos dan interés a la aventura de Elijah Bailey, que tiene que luchar contra su agorafobia y al mismo tiempo contra las dificultades que encuentra para interaccionar con los habitantes que sólo se comunican entre sí por videoconferencia (os suena de algo?).

En el fondo hay una reflexión interesante sobre los caminos que puede tomar una sociedad según la manera en que asimile los desarrollos de la ciencia – en especial la inteligencia artificial – y cómo ello puede afectar a nuestra manera de ser humanos.

Como los anteriores: CF viejuna para disfrutar.

Para una reseña más completa:
Profile Image for Francisca.
184 reviews82 followers
August 28, 2020
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.
Profile Image for César Bustíos.
273 reviews100 followers
June 5, 2018
"El planeta giraba bajo aquel sol desnudo, indefenso ante las hordas de microbios llamadas hombres, que se desparramaban sobre su superficie. El planeta giraba locamente, eternamente..., giraba, giraba..."

Lije Baley es solicitado por el gobierno de Solaria, uno de los cincuenta Mundos Exteriores habitados por los espaciales, para llevar a cabo la investigación sobre el asesinato de Rikaine Delmarre, un ingeniero fetal. Estará acompañado por R. Daneel Olivaw, su co-protagonista en Bóvedas de acero, quien fue enviado en representación del gobierno de Aurora para colaborar en la investigación. Con esto, Lije Baley se convierte en el primer terrícola en pisar uno de los Mundos Exteriores. ¡Todo una leyenda!

Me ha fascinado como jugó Asimov con sus propias Leyes de la Robótica en esta novela. Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa, ¿eh? Con respecto al tema cultural, Lije sí que la tuvo difícil, dejar sus Ciudades subterráneas, sus bóvedas de acero, su familia, para encontrarse en un planeta como Solaria en donde las costumbres son ridiculamente distintas a las de la Tierra. Vaya lío.

Entre esta novela y Los robots del amanecer existe una historia corta llamada Mirror image que tuve la oportunidad de leer en El robot completo, tal vez valga la pena una releída. También está Mother Earth, otra historia corta que ocurre unos mil años antes de la saga de los robots en la época en que los Mundos Exteriores fueron colonizados.

Arte de Michael Whelan:

Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews191 followers
August 14, 2019
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.

Profile Image for Denisse.
493 reviews290 followers
May 29, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Krell75.
287 reviews16 followers
October 19, 2022
Ritroviamo il protagonista di Abissi d'acciaio inviato in un mondo esterno al sistema solare per investigare su un nuovo omicidio all'apparenza impossibile.

Qui Asimov non si limita a metter in dubbio la strana società instaurata sulla Terra, la confronta con quella di questo mondo, ancora più particolare, in cui nessun individuo ha mai incontrato fisicamente nella realtà un altro. Spiazzante.
Aggiungiamo i problemi del protagonista ad uscire all'aria aperta, abituato alle cupole sulla Terra e il romanzo acquista un interesse morboso capace di rapire il lettore. Grande Asimov.
Profile Image for Yukino.
1,000 reviews
April 28, 2021

Lettura di gruppo E&L

Questo volume è stata una riconferma che Asimov è, e sarà sempre nel mio cuore.

Riletto con la lettura di gruppo dopo quasi 30 anni, e non ha perso il suo fascino. Amo Baley e Daneel (anche se qui si vede poco e mi è mancato), ma per il resto nulla da dire.
Anzi, il rileggerlo dopo così tanto tempo, in età ormai più che adulta mi fa riflettere e notare aspetti che prima magari avevo tralasciato. Aspetti più profondi e psiologici.
Soprattutto dopo la situazione pandemica che abbiamo vissuto questo libro calza a pennello.

Seconda avventura per i due nostri agenti investigativi, questa volta non sulla terra, ma su Solaria. Mondo di spaziali dove tutto è svolto da robot e non c'è più il contatto fisico tra le persone.
C'è un omicidio e vengono chiamati ad investigare.
Parte piano, ma niente è dato al caso.
Bello davvero, e un finale pieno di speranza, che mi ha fatto venire voglia di leggere subito il prossimo.

Ovviamente 5 stelle confermate.
Profile Image for Nikola Pavlovic.
276 reviews40 followers
May 22, 2018
Knjiga u rangu predhodne (Celicne Pecine). Kraj je zaista dobar, Asimov na inteligentan nacin predstavlja dve razlicite stvari kao lice i nalicje jednog istog problema - udaljavanje civilizacija od onih vrednosti koje ih cine ljudskim. Solarija i Zemlja su daleki ne samo fizicki vec i u svakom drugom smislu a opet su tako dekadentni da ih to spaja vise nego sto ih sve ostale stvari cine razlicitim. Sto se detektivske strane romana tice tu moram biti ostriji prema Asimovu i reci da nema neke preterane fascinacije. Imam neki osecaj da detektivski slucaj u knjizi postoji samo da bi se oko njega gradila Asimovljeva razmisljanja na socioloske teme. Ista stvar je bila i sa predhodnim romanom. Sve u svemu relana cetvorka za ovo delo.
Profile Image for Pat the Book Goblin .
423 reviews124 followers
October 25, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,059 reviews412 followers
May 18, 2022
Me ha gustado más que el anterior, un buen final ha conseguido que al final se lleve la cuarta estrella, 7/10.
Las mejores partes para mí, han sido cuando trabajan juntos Elijah y Daneel.
Me ha parecido que la interacción entre nuestros protagonistas es mas intensa que en el libro anterior de "bóvedas de acero" y había incluso mas piques entre ellos sacándome una sonrisa.
La parte de la investigación en solitario de Baley me ha parecido algo lenta pero con ese final remonta!! Habrá que seguir con los que me quedan!!
Sinopsis: Mientras la sociedad terrestre rechaza a los robots humanoides, los Mundos Exteriores, antiguas colonias de la Tierra, han basado su economía en el trabajo de los robots, desarrollando así una sociedad altamente tecnológica, mucho más que la terrestre, en la que los individuos no soportan la presencia de sus congéneres: todos los contactos sociales se producen por medio de proyecciones holográficas. Por eso, el detective Baley no sabe por dónde empezar cuando le envían a Solaria a resolver el primer asesinato que se produce en doscientos años, pues todo parece apuntar, paradójicamente, a que ha sido cometido por un robot.
Me ha parecido interesante el planeta Solaria, sin apenas interacción humana y con muy poca población humana vs la de robots (1 vs 20.000).
Y el caso es interesante por ello ya que si no se ven en persona ¿quien le ha matado? un humano, un robot (imposible por las leyes de la robótica, ¿o tal vez si?).
¿quien resolverá el caso el detective humano o el robot?
# 36. Un libro del que no sabes nada. Reto Popsugar 2022.
Profile Image for Donna.
541 reviews182 followers
April 12, 2022
This second book in the Robot series takes place a short time after book one, with Detective Elijah Baley of Earth, three thousand years into our future, assigned to investigate a murder on an outer world called Solaria. This request for his assistance was unusual in that Spacers liked keeping their distance from residents of Earth, especially Solarians who lived highly isolated lives and have interacted with people virtually for the most part. They were as phobic of in person contact as those from Earth were phobic of open spaces, the sun, and fresh air, having to live in giant crowded cities beneath domes for economic and ecological reasons.

So right off the bat, this presents problems for Baley as he struggles against his fears while the Solarians struggle against theirs during the ever-widening murder investigation. Good thing Baley once again has R. Daneel, a humanoid robot, assisting him, though not in the way he’s expecting.

I really enjoyed this book much more than I did book one, which I still liked, just not as much as this one. That is because this book had much more depth of character and a more complex murder investigation underway. I felt much more invested in the story and in the characters, even the very strange wife of the murder victim. I sure wasn’t expecting some of what she did in a book of this kind, one written in the late 1950’s. I found it equally amusing and disturbing. My only real complaint is that the robot, Daneel, was hardly in the story. Still, the parts he was in were enjoyable and had me wondering if he had any built in feelings toward humans, whether it be fondness or pity. Asimov leaves much to the imagination in this when not going out of his way to humanize Daneel. He also has some first class world building in this book, both for Earth during that time period and Solaria. What’s more, the psychological and sociological aspects of the story went deep and were highly thought provoking. So I’m looking forward to continuing with this four part series very soon.
Profile Image for Tim.
476 reviews617 followers
June 19, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Marty Fried.
986 reviews91 followers
September 18, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Francesca   kikkatnt.
261 reviews5 followers
April 14, 2023
Secondo capitolo della quadrilogia del "ciclo dei robot". Asimov mi meraviglia ogni volta con i suoi temi così attuali. Su Solaria le persone vivono in totale isolamento, con una vivida repulsione verso ogni tipo di contatto per paura di contrarre malattie. I legami (se così si possono chiamare) vengono mantenuti solamente tramite delle "videochiamate" e perfino tra coniugi si mantengono le distanze. I figli possono essere generati solo tramite autorizzazione e allevati lontano dal focolare, in una "fattoria" dedicata. Gli unici a tener compagnia dei Solariani, uno stuolo di robot al servizio delle anche minime necessità (come ad esempio spegnere la luce o portare un bicchiere d'acqua). Non ho potuto non pensare a fine lettura all'eugenetica, al lockdown di questo periodo, al razzismo, alla sostituzione uomo-macchina, alle nuove frontiere scientifiche che, molte volte, ci mettono davanti a quesiti soprattutto di natura filosofica... Verso quale futuro stiamo andando?
Profile Image for Kara.
Author 22 books73 followers
April 15, 2010
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.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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