“The Naked Sun” By Isaac Asimov 

The Naked Sun1590158
The Robot Series, Book 2
By: Isaac Asimov
Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
Release date: 07-15-14
Publisher: Random House Audio

I absolutely love the Robots → Empire → Foundation books written by Asimov. The story from beginning to end is simply genius and a great representation of the possible future of humanity. Any chance I get to revisit these books I jump on it. This time around I found that the books have been re-issued as audiobooks and that just gives me the excuse to get lost in the stories again.

The narrator, William Dufris, delivers the characters of Plainclothesman Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw to match exactly what I had pictured in my mind when originally reading these books. The frustration of Bailey and the precision of Olivaw are perfect and make this audiobook even more rewarding.

In this book, Plainclothesman Bailey, from Earth is called upon by Solaria to investigate a murder on their planet, the first one in hundreds of years. Solaria was colonized by humans centuries ago, along with other outer planets in the galaxy. Earth is now reduced to underground cities (caves of steel), where people live in fear of open spaces and the Sun. Colonists who move to other planets are far superior in terms of military and technology and Earth men live in perpetual fear of these spacers.

Solaria in particular has made superlative advancements in Robotics. The ratio of 1 human to robots in solaria is 1:10,000. There are only 20,000 humans in Solaria who own large and self sufficient estates, with armies of robots to fulfill their every whim and fancy. Over a period of time human interaction has become minimum on Solaria, people seldom view each other and almost never see/meet. They use some advanced 3-D/television technology to interact with each other without ever meeting in person. On the other hand, Earth is over crowded and human interaction is a necessity, for this reason a detective from Earth would do a much better job of investigating a murder then a Solarian.My favorite aspect of the robot books by Isaac Asimov is that he came up with three laws of robotics which his stories generally revolve around and some feel would actually be imbibed into Robots when the time comes. Basically he creates detective stories with the following rules to go by:

1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.  A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Even though these rules sound full proof, and there would be no way a robot could harm humans, but human ingenuity coupled with human machinations can lead even the incorruptible robots to do things which their makers would have never anticipated. Thus making the twist to the detective story only Asimov could write.

Publisher’s Summary

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!

©1957 Isaac Asimov (P)2014 Random House Audio