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The Naked Sun Paperback – 27 April 2018
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- Publisher : Voyager GB (27 April 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 000827777X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008277772
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.63 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 67,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘One of the classic presentations of the womb-city, metropolis as mother, which has haunted imaginations ever since… The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun are the best books Isaac Asimov ever wrote’
‘Isaac Asimov was one of the great explainers of the age…It will never be known how many practicing scientists today, in how many countries, owe their initial inspiration to a book, article, or short story by Isaac Asimov’
‘Asimov displayed one of the most dynamic imaginations in science fiction’
‘Asimov’s career was one of the most formidable in science fiction’
About the Author
Isaac Asimov was born in 1920 in Russia and was brought to the USA by his parents three years later. He grew up in Brooklyn and attended Columbia University. After a short spell in the army, he gained a doctorate and worked in academia and chemical research.
Asimov's career as a science fiction writer began in 1939 with the short story 'Marooned Off Vesta'. Thereafter he became a regular contributor to the leading SF magazines of the day. Asimov wrote hundreds of short stories and novels, including the iconic I, Robot and Foundation. He won the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula Award once.
Apart from his world-famous science fiction, Asimov also wrote highly successful detective mystery stories, a four-volume History of North America, a two-volume Guide to the Bible, a biographical dictionary, encyclopedias, and textbooks, as well as two volumes of autobiography.
Asimov died in 1992 at the age of 72.
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This sequel is not quite up to the same standard as “The Caves of Steel” due to a more intrusive didactical element to some of the dialogue, sometimes verging on philosophical debate rather than science fiction. The ending is also a little unsatisfactory as a likable murderer goes free after Baley frames another person as the culprit (although the victim of the frame cannot be said to be totally innocent of instigating the crime). Technically sloppier is the shoddiness of the frame that Baley constructs, and one suspects that anyone with any brains would perceive a logical inconsistency after a few moments of cool scrutiny. Having said this, it’s still an excellent book worth reading more than once (fourth time for me).
In this, the second book in the series, Bailey, having been reluctantly involved in the investigation of the murder of a Spacer on Earth some years before (Caves of Steel) is now called upon to not only leave his safe city environment but also travel into space. Required now to investigate another crime, Bailey has to battle his own phobias about the open air, as well as the prejudices of Spacers against what they see as a dirty and disease ridden Earthman.
The story once again focuses on Elijah Baley a detective on Earth who has been charged with investigating a murder, this murder is on another planet ruled by colonists called spacers, no earthman has ever set foot there before and it's an uncomfortable experience for both sides.
What I loved about Caves of Steel is in abundance here, this isn't a book about police, murder, or even robots though all three aspects are present, it's about the differences in culture between earth and the spacers, how they live so differently based on their environments and upbringing with the earthmen living in super cities almost like hives, eating and showering communally, every inch of space earned through career for small extra luxuries compared with one planet of the spacers where they have so much space and robots to tend their every need that even being in sight of each other physically makes them feel sick. The, I suppose psychology would be the word, of it all and experience Baley goes through trying to understand it all rather hooked me so I read The Naked Sun happily in one day (It is fairly short regardless).
Rather a shame that books three and four in the series (Robots of Dawn & Robots and Empire) to reasons unknown to me aren't available on the kindle at time of writing this. Still I have purchased the physical books as I will not miss the next in the series. If you're looking for a sci-fi series with more to it than space ships and lasers then this is a good bet.
+ Clever detective novel.
+ Different ways humans have evolved to live is fascinating.
+ Interesting look at technology.
+ Excellent themes.