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Robots and Murder: The Caves of Steel/ The Naked Sun/ Robots of Dawn

(Robot #1-3)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,628 ratings  ·  59 reviews
In The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov first introduced Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw, who would later become his favorite protagonists.

The book's central crime is a murder, which takes place before the novel opens. Roj Nemmenuh Sarton, a Spacer Ambassador, lives in Spacetown, the Spacer outpost just outside New York City. For some time, he has tried to convince the Ea
Hardcover, 745 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Doubleday & Company (first published 1952)
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4.41  · 
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 ·  2,628 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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This series combines Asimov's fondness for the locked room mystery and science fiction in an explicit way. The principal hero is Elijah Bailey, an everyday detective working in the city, yet who will also become the prophet of human exploration and settlement of the universe.

The basic set up of the series is that the population of Earth lives in huge covered cities, almost completely sealed off from the outside world. One character in The Caves of Steel has a window in his office which is consid
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it
One word, and one word only, need be used to succinctly describe Asimov's robot novels: Jehoshaphat! While I realize that the first two novels of this omnibus were written during a period of publishing history particularly rife with taboos, long since abandoned in more modern literature, the fact remains that Asimov could barely write more than two pages without using Elijah Baley's non-expletive. While I usually find Asimov's writing to be both quixotic and enjoyable, these three novels felt st ...more
Ethan I. Solomon
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: five-star-books
When most people think of Asimov they think of Foundation and the books in that series. I think of The Caves of Steel and the books in The Robot Novels series. The protagonists are Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw, who -SPOILER ALERT- also shows up in the final book of the Foundation series, if my memory serves me correctly.

Few books touched my imagination like The Caves of Steel and the other Elijah Bailey novels. The images burned their way into my mind. When I look to the sky I often wonde
Ea Solinas
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there's one thing the mighty Isaac Asimov excelled at, it was robots. Lots of robots.

So it isn't surprising that when Asimov wrote a trilogy of mysteries, they revolved around robots. And murder. Robots and murder together, whether as the victims or the suspected killers -- and this combination proved to be all the more compelling as Asimov sculpted an entire futuristic world where robots dwell among humans, domed cities dot the Earth, and the simple art of murder has been further complicated
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jehoshaphat! I loved wasting my life to read this. The first two books...ok. They were ok. The third book though had all of the emotional pay off because the two main characters SHOULD HAVE ENDED UP TOGETHER!!!! My hard copy is littered with with all of the post-it notes marking all of the obviously homo-romantic interactions between these two. And like all of Asimov's characters' choices/motivations/mannerisms it came out of fucking nowhere. I was on an emotional roller coaster for that last bo ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This series was the first Asimov books I ever read, a long, long, long time ago, as a teenager. The first one I read (out of order) was The Robots of Dawn, and I loved it. Never before had I read such a wonderful blend of classic SF with classic mystery. The end just blew me away, and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever read. So... this year, as an adult, I revisited these books to see if they would leave the same impression. I still absolutely loved them.
Kevin Flynn
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this edition a lot. There's a Commodore 64 text adventure of the third book too
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Robots and Murder is a trilogy comprised of three books: The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun and The Robots of Dawn. I had read these books in college back when, thanks to a geeky friend, I had a fling with Science Fiction that lasted during my twenties.

Caves of Steel takes place on Earth. We see a world that has become so overburdened with people that at one point in time, a number of people left to explore and settle other worlds. The rest stayed home and retreated into domes. In order to insure
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: robot lovers
Recommended to Kylie by: Father
Shelves: favorite-books
I was so blessed when I was a little girl, my Dad had collected science fiction and western novels and he introduced me very early on to the delight therein the wonder that lay in the brown box in the back shed. BOOKS!! So many BOOKS!
Being dyslexic my spelling was horrible, but I could read well beyond my years, and one of my first adventures into the future was Issac Asimov's Robot Novels. I picked up The Caves of Steel first and fell madly in love with the character of R. Daneel Olivaw, the r
Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I didn't really read this edition; the one I read only contained Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun, but I couldn't find that one in the listings. But I have read The Robots of Dawn some time ago, so I'm not really cheating, right?
So, what's it all about? Isaac Asimov basically invented the robot genre (among others) and nobody does it better. These were the early entries, introducing the intrepid detectives Lije Bailey (human) and R. Daneel Olivaw (robot). Asimov's writing may have
Alex Lee
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is actually 3 novels in one.

Here we see a progression of Asimov's robot stories as they reach dizzying heights of what robots and human ethics progress. Asimov sees the consequences of robots (too many robots) sheltering humans, and how human formality tends towards a 'purer' expression of desire so that in the end people lose touch with reality entirely. In the end, it comes to robots not only to manage our base desires but also to manage the continuity of human kind at all.

The mind readin
Julian Meyers
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Robot Novels, by Isaac Asimov (one of the top three scifi writers of all time) is set in the future where there are robots which are able to do humans tasks, and humans have settled across the galaxy. Prejudices exist against robots and people who are from other parts of the galaxy. This means that whenever there is a crime that involves them, it can be very complicated diplomatically. The series is based around Elijah Baley who is a detective of earth and is sent on various cases across th

Molly G
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reread June - July 2010

Reread May 2009

Always forget what an engrossing read they are.

Currently also listening to a radioplay of a Douglas Adams "Dirk Gently" novel, so the "holistic detective" thing is likewise running through my mind and Lije Baley certainly has some of that going on. Everything is relevant to the crime, every ounce of understanding of "white knowledge"*, because everything is interconnected and sometimes it takes unfamiliarity to be able to see relevance. (See my favorite quot
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isaac Asimov, one of the great science fiction writers, has a great book that is beautifully written as a science fiction mystery. This book may be old, but it is still a good read even to this day.
The main character is Elijah Bailey and he’s a homicide detective, and he is tasked with the murder of a roboticist named Dr. Sarton. Elijah lives on earth, where cities are underground and they are very against robots. There are people on other inhabited planets, and the earth people call them spacer
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I starting reading this in the hospital back in 2009. Then I hit a spot where I couldn't read, put it down and then for some reason every time I looked at it I didn't want to pick it up.
Recently a tragedy happened in my life. I read one novel and ripped right through it. I needed SOMETHING to occupy my mind. I picked this one up again and fell right into it.
It's an easy read but it has some interesting basic science concepts that are something you should expose young people to. It shows stigma
Derek Pennycuff
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was such a chore to read. And now I'm questioning everything. Chiefly why the hell Asimov built such a reputation after publishing stuff like this. To be fair, maybe I just can't appreciate it within the timeframe it was written. The portrayal of women in all three of these books, even the far more recent final volume, is deeply troubling to me. And I'm sure we wouldn't have character's like TNG's Data were it not for these books laying the ground work. But I feel a single Data focused epis ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Great light mysteries with some insightful reflections on society. Asimov was BRILLIANT at using robots to reflect so clearly on the nature of humanity. A trick adeptly mastered in Star Trek The Next Generation's character "Data". Using a non-human... non-LIVING no less!... character to point out both the depth and the shallowness of humans. This gives Asimov much more freedom because the reader can't dismiss the perspective of the robot (culture, background, circumstance, parenting, etc.) Anywa ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-16
Having enjoyed the episodic format and character focus of I, Robot, I was reluctant to try the novels with their promise of a more linear mystery plot but in the end, I don't regret it. Where I, Robot played with the Robotic Laws freely, the Robot Novels took a deeper, personal look inside the society of humans and robots through the eyes of Elijah Baley and Daneel Olivaw.

The world-building and plot were well-woven together, always a plus, but I fell in love with the character development and ho
Peter rock
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This trilogy is an incredibly well thought out series concerning robots and the future of earth. It's impressive that Asimov's ideas about robots as presented in the first book existed all the way back in the early fifties. This series is in the same universe as I, Robot and the Foundation trilogy. When you combine all the stories, it's a series that spans dozens of books and thousands of years of history. It's in this trilogy that Hari Seldon's ideas of psychohistory are supposed to have origin ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3 great classic sci-fi novels. I find it hard to belive the caves of steel was written in the 50's!, his writting is so timeless.
The novels are all set in a future where human kind lives in vast enclosed cities, (caves of steel) and rarly venture outside.
Robots do all the hard work, outside, as humans don't trust them.
The naked sun is set on another world, where people (spacers) live in isolation in a house full of robots to cater to every need.

John C. Fries
The Robot novels were precursor works to Asimov's Foundation series, begun in the mid 1950's. Establishes the mission of science fiction - to imagine how human society is changed by advances in science and technology. For an example, on an Earth so crowded that the massive populations can only be sustained in intensively crowded cities, with people living their entire lives in artificial environments underground, intense agoraphobia on being exposed to the open air becomes a social norm.
R2 Manning
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read the robot trilogy back as a teenager. Asimov was, and remains, one of my favorite authors. Primarily because I thought that his work was very well thought out and grounded in some scientific reality. Of course he remains one of the "godfathers" of hard science fiction, particularly with respect to robots. I recent re-read the series, and still find it to be engaging, provocative, and thoroughly entertaining. But that is just me.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, robots
A very nice little series of books - I read these over the course of several months, and it is still easy to follow when taking breaks in between, though I would have loved to have just torn through them all at once. They are great books - written a few decades ago but a very interesting take on society, in my opinion. There is still discrimination, taboo affairs, misunderstanding across culture - plus, of course, robots. Quite amazing stuff, and a must read for anyone who likes robots.
Lawrence Burry
This is my first read of Asimov's work. Each of the three successive stories begins rather dry and seems to drag on. After getting about half way through the story, it picks up to a decent pace and begins spiraling and almost racing towards the end. It took me some work to keep going through the slow parts, but it was well worth it in the end.
Gordon Gravley
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the great things about Asimov is that sometimes the "science fiction" is merely a backdrop to another genre. In this case, a mystery/crime drama, with detectives Lije Baley and R.(for Robot) Daneel Olivaw as the unlikely partners in these three books. (A formula Hollywood would "borrow" countless times over.)
Daniel Montiel
Jul 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed the Foundation series so much, I wanted to go back a little and see what (retconned or not) came before. While I enjoyed these first 3 Robot books, I like the Foundation series much more. These are more human analysis, while Foundation to me feels more like politics and international (well, interstellar) politics.
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the acclaimed Robot series by Asimov. You should read these first, then Prelude to Foundation, then Forward the Foundation, then read the Foundation Series. They tie in in chronological order.
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read The Caves of Steel. I read this back and high school to see how it help up. Not too bad. Some of the sciences seems retro and futuristic since it was written in the 50s. I still enjoyed it though as a murder mystery set in the future.
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The caves of steel is the other book in this series, but later I think there were one or two more books added to this series. It's been so long since I read these books. I wonder if I read them again if I would still like them.
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Isaac Asimov's Robot Series/Daneel Olivaw Series 1 4 Jul 21, 2013 07:03AM  

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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine o

Other books in the series

Robot (4 books)
  • The Caves of Steel (Robot #1)
  • The Naked Sun (Robot #2)
  • The Robots of Dawn (Robot #3)
  • Robots and Empire (Robot #4)