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The Naked Sun

by Isaac Asimov

Cover artist: Ed Emshwiller

Publisher: Lancer

Pub year: 1964

Cover price: 50¢


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Book detail for The Naked Sun

Cover tagline

An "impossible" crime — on a planet where it was almost impossible for an Earthman to live — called for the fantastic talents of a robot detective.

Back cover text

Other planets, other fears...

Elijah Baley, Earth's most capable detective, took crime in his stride. But he had lived all his life in the underground cities, and the open, blazing sun of planet Solaria sent cold chills down his spine.

To the Solarians, the simple fact of Baley's presence was terrifying enough. For in spite of their habitual nudity, they panicked at the idea of being in the same room with another human being.

And R. Daneel Olivaw, whose mind was a super-scientific electronic computer, proved that even robots can know the face of fear...

THE NAKED SUN is a rare and perfect blend of science fiction and detective story, with a crime that could only take place in the future but with all clues fairly planted. The crime is murder — but the result could be catastrophe for Earth. Only Isaac Asimov could have achieved this stunning combination — and many critics rate it as his masterpiece.

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Interior text


Survey any random number of science-fiction readers, whether casual now-and-then types or dyed-in-the-space fans, and you will find that the name that stands out most prominently in their minds is I-S-A-A-C A-S-I-M-O-V.

Perhaps that is because it is so hard to spell — and because Ike's feelings are so obviously hurt every time anyone misspells it.

Perhaps, too, it is because he is a superb writer as well as a genuine scientist ... because his view of the universe is so broad, up-to-date, and continually questioning ... because he has such a fine flair for original ideas and unerring sense of pure story-telling ... and things like that.

At any rate, THE NAKED SUN may well be his best book. If you're a fan, you know that it's about Elijah Baley, R. Daneel Olivaw, and the fantastic planet Solaria, where the sun was — unbelievably — not a terrifying sight to the inhabitants. If it is new to you, you'll find it an astonishingly good mixture of science fiction and detective story.

Read it.