In 'The Naked Sun' (1947), planet Earth, departure point for the conquest and colonisation of other worlds, finds itself caving in, overpopulated and poor. Its inhabitants live on top of each other in underground cities and suffer from an irrational fear of open spaces and robots.
In stark contrast, proud, rich outer space worlds revolve around distant stars. Mechanical cultures based around robotic slavery, whose haughty inhabitants have extremely long lifetimes and are free from illnesses, scorn their terrestrial origin and continue to isolate Mother Earth. Until the unheard of happens: a murder is committed in one of these perfect worlds, Solaria, and in the face of such an uncommon event, an experienced detective from Planet Earth is sought after to shed light on the matter. Elias Bailey is forced to overcome his agoraphobia throughout the novel and fight against the prejudices of the outer space beings and their strange customs and phobias.
This highlights the stagnation of the Outer Space Cultures, whose inhabitants, extremely scarce in number, are protected and surrounded by thousands of robots to the point of being horrified when faced with personal contact, which they consider shameless. They rely on a sophisticated means of communication to hold holographic meetings only...each and every one of these factors thus making it impossible to commit the murder that, undoubtedly, has been committed.
Part of the Robots series, fundamental subject matter in the works of Isaac Asimov, it is the second novel with detective Bailey and his robotic sidekick, R. Daneel Olivaw. The first was entitled 'The Caves of Steel', in which the friendship ad the terrestrial's confidence in the robot are strengthened, and Earth's doors once again begin to open to the stars.
Classification: Science fiction detective novel
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