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The Naked Sun

de Isaac Asimov

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Foundation Expanded Universe (3), Isaac Asimov's Robot Series (5)

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5,379851,485 (3.9)109
The Earth will be destroyed by Solaria's robot army if Elijah Baley fails to find the murderer of an eminent scientist.
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Anglès (76)  Italià (3)  Castellà (2)  Francès (2)  Eslovac (1)  Danès (1)  Totes les llengües (85)
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3 1/2 stars: Good

From the back cover: A millenium 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 hermitlike 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 has 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 his 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 so much that she never came into his presence!


Ugh, rarely have I seen a book description that misses the point and / or is so inaccurate with respect to the story!! I put these here to help remind me what the book is about but this one was very off!

To start with, the victim was not "so reclusive" - the entire Solarian society was set up where no one ever "sees" each other in real life. Ever. It is all virtual, all people. This is key to the mystery itself. Everyone only "views" each other through projection. Each individual lives in their own mansion, with thousands of robots. Even spouses (only have children when allowed by society) are separated and find sexual relations repugnant. Furthermore, to this end, the "woman who loved him so much" - uh, no, not at all, actually. (head shake).

I liked this book quite well, as I have all the others in Asimov's Robot series. Asimov is definitely dated, but the way a mystery can be played with the Laws of Robotics where certain situations are impossible make it engaging. Furthermore, Baley's prejudice against robots lends itself to interesting thoughts of racism. Its unclear to me how much of that is intentional on Asimov's part and how much is his racism of the time. He certainly has sexist tendancies. However, they are presented with low frequency and not over the top, that the plotting and futurism of the series wins out, vs some of his other work I've read which is really hard to read these days.

As for the mystery, it was very engaging. The end denoument was one where you go back and forth a few times, before the final solution is laid out. I found the final 50 pages in particular to be very good.

I liked this passage at the end of the book after the murder had been fully revealed, when Baley is back on earth and reporting to his superiors about Solarian society. It reminds me, in this COVID pandemic time, of how we humans are relating to each other as well:

"Without the interplay of human against human, the chief interest in life is gone; most of the intellectual values are gone; most of the reason for living is gone. Viewing is no substitute for seeing. The Solarians, themselves, are conscious that viewing is a long distance sense. And if isolation isn't enough to induce stagnation, there is the matter of their long lives. On Earth, we have a continuous influx of young people who are willing to change because they haven't had time to grow hard set in their ways." ( )
  PokPok | Aug 8, 2021 |
Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov (1991)
  arosoff | Jul 10, 2021 |
Bear in mind, though, that ‘Speculative Fiction’ is really a cluster of genres – Le Guin and Banks don't have much in common other than the SF label – so you might need to cast around quite a bit, to find something to your taste. I think there's much more variation in topic, style, and concerns within SF than within thrillers, or crime fiction, say.

Also prose quality: some sub-genres seem to specialise in authors with tremendous imaginations, capable of great attention to detail, but who can't write a tolerable sentence to save themselves (yes, I'm looking at you, Hard SF). There is a lot of dross out there (though no-one will agree on what's dross and what's not), but the good stuff does redeem it. Having been investigating some older sci-fi works of late I've been impressed by the less-is-more approach to world-building. In “The Naked Sun”, for example, Isaac Asimov sends a human to the distant planet of Solaria to investigate a murder. Life on earth- whether for reasons of defense or pollution is never made clear- now takes place exclusively in underground cities, so our investigator experiences acute agoraphobia anytime he is in the open or even just able to see the sky, which is all the time in Solaria, an advanced utopia where married couples live isolated on enormous estates while robots meet all their needs. Given their small numbers and high dependency on technology, the Solarians have also become unused to close physical human contact- even within a single room or building- and are visibly repelled when our investigator requests "personal" meetings- they are only accustomed to dealing with one another via life-like holograms. Setting up the investigator's physical agoraphobia against the social phobia of the Solarians is a very effective way of examining ways in which humankind might develop, without the need to portray much of the alien planet beyond a few interiors. Between the investigator's preferred underground quarantine and the Solarian's enforced physical distancing we also coincidentally have the perfect mix of COVID era social relations. Asimov also wrote books on Science, so you would think he'd be hot on being particular about his world building. However I remember an interview with him in the 1980s. He apparently approached his Science Fiction as if he was trying to solve a problem like a detective or science researcher. He didn't worry too much about details of world building as the plot and narrative were more important to him.

SF = Speculative Fiction. ( )
  antao | Jun 23, 2021 |
Very similar to Caves of Steel, this is the 3rd book in Asimovs Robot series. Fun detective novel in a space setting. I was a bit disappointed by some of the answers, but overall it was satisfying. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
Giallo e fantascienza si fondono in questo romanzo del geniale Isaac Asimov, l'autore di "Anni senza fine" e di altri romanzi di successo. Da una povera Terra, umiliata al punto che i suoi abitanti vivono vergognosi nel sottosuolo, viene chiamato a Solaria, pianeta della Galassia, un intelligente poliziotto perchè svolga le indagini relative a un delitto. Solaria è un mondo perfetto, i suoi abitanti sono pochissimi, rigorosamente selezionati, ricchissimi e padroni di uno stuolo di perfetti robot capaci di eseguire qualsiasi lavoro. Da duecento anni non succedeva un atto criminoso a Solaria, dove la polizia è ritenuta superflua. Ora, un uomo viene ucciso in circostanze misteriose. Un uomo potente, un perfetto Solariano. Chi è il colpevole? I Solariani che vivono nelle loro torri d'avorio non si frequentano l'un l'altro, ma si "vedono" solo a distanza grazie a ingegnosi visori. Chi dunque ha ucciso il dottor Delmarre? Sua moglie, la piccola Gladìa dagli occhi verdi, che inconsciamente si ribella al rigido formalismo solariano? Il vecchio Thool, tremulo e bonario medico? Il rigido Leebig, o la esperta Klorissa? Tutti avevano l'occasione e il movente per uccidere, ma chi di loro è il colpevole? Ciò che i superuomini non sono riusciti a fare, lo fa il modesto poliziotto della Terra perchè è più umano, e può comprendere meglio i tortuosi meandri del sentimento. E dà una grande lezione ai superuomini di quel mondo perfetto: l'uomo deve restare uomo, le macchine non potranno mai sostituirlo del tutto.
  M.Antonia | Mar 11, 2021 |
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Elijah must face is extreme agoraphobia, and Gladia must confront the Solarian fear of interpersonal contact. These Solarians represent what can possibly happen when dependence on robots is taken to extremes. Also, we get to see the developing relationship between Elijah and Daneel.
afegit per circeus | editaThe Science Fiction Review (Nov 5, 2005)

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (20 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Isaac Asimovautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Beem, A.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bing, JonEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgeEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dufris, WilliamNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Emshiller, EdCover Artistautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Foss, ChrisAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Freas, KellyAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Groot, RuurdAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Haars, PeterAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kezmarsky, PaulDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Powers, RichardAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Puttkamer, Jesco vonTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ray, RuthAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Stoovelaar, FrankAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Whelan, MichaelAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Youll, StephenAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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To Noreen,
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The Earth will be destroyed by Solaria's robot army if Elijah Baley fails to find the murderer of an eminent scientist.

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