The Naked Sun
By Isaac Asimov
The Naked Sun is the second volume in the Robot series by Isaac Asimov.
This is the second book in the Elijah Baley series. The simple fact that it's the number two in a series, gives it a couple of advantages and a couple of disadvantages. On the plus side is that we know the main characters and their world and on the negative side is the lack of freshness and the fact that you already know the main characters and their world. The Naked Sun mostly gets around this by placing Baley on an alien world and in a milieu that is so hostile to him that he in contrast changes character.
The Naked Sun is a murder mystery just like The Caves of Steel is, but the interesting thing about The Naked Sun, is that Asimov uses most of it to highlight and investigate the downside to a robotisized society and a society that has placed so high a value on the individual as to remove all personal contact. Sometimes he takes it a bit too far, but it's quite interesting to draw parallels between Solaria and America, especially on the sexual morals questions (in understanding America, one must never forget that a large part of the emigrants where religious Puritans, that weren't accepted in their homelands).
The murder story itself, is in my opinion better than the murder story in The Caves of Steel, even if he cheats a bit in the end.
Written on 2nd June 2001 by TC .