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Rama II (1989)

by Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Rama Universe (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,773292,512 (3.34)37
In the sequel to the multi-award winning sci-fi novel Rama, a second Raman spaceship enters our solar system and "offers one surprise after another" (The New York Times).   Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed--or had existed--elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us.   A crew of Earth's best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. They are armed with everything we know about Raman technology and culture. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to encounter on board Rama II: cosmic secrets that are startling, sensational--and perhaps even deadly.   "A masterpiece . . . one of the year's best hard SF epics." --The Houston Post… (more)
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English (27)  French (2)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This book feels rather different from Rendezvous with Rama.

For the first half, I wasn't sure that I actually liked the difference. Rather than the almost sterile science fiction that Clarke is better known for, the sequel deals a lot more with characters, drama, and to some extent matters of faith. It's especially interesting in how long it takes them to even get to Rama, especially compared to the first book.

Through the next quarter though, it really started picking up. I started to actually care about the characters and couldn't put it down. The feel of the ship, especially with some of the new findings, is just different enough that I wanted to know more.

At first, I wasn't sure that I was going to read the other two sequels. After this, I'm not sure how I couldn't. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Ah, now I remember this book. Contrary to what I said in my review of [b:Rendezvous with Rama|1930977|Rendezvous with Rama|Arthur C. Clarke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1288718658s/1930977.jpg|1882772] I now recall that four years ago I actually read the first three books in this quadrilogy, not just the first two. This book is frightfully dull but not quite bad enough to warrant quitting the series.

One of the good things about this book's predecessor is how quickly it gets into the action. The cosmonauts are inside Rama within about ten pages. Here we get a hundred pages of inept character development before they finally reach the spacecraft. All of Gentry Lee's characters are one-dimensional stereotypes of fictional characters. Each of them has to be horrible or lovely, with their actions being over the top so we can't get the two groups muddled. Every other character was abused as a child and that's used either as an excuse for them growing up to be an immoral charlatan or as proof that they have lots of moral fortitude.

The book doesn't really add anything to its predecessor, I guess you have to read its two sequels for that. But since [b:The Garden of Rama|112518|The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)|Arthur C. Clarke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171659410s/112518.jpg|876293] was bad enough to lead me to stop reading the series three quarters of the way through, I'm not sure it's an experience that I'm going to enjoy. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Ah, now I remember this book. Contrary to what I said in my review of [b:Rendezvous with Rama|1930977|Rendezvous with Rama|Arthur C. Clarke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1288718658s/1930977.jpg|1882772] I now recall that four years ago I actually read the first three books in this quadrilogy, not just the first two. This book is frightfully dull but not quite bad enough to warrant quitting the series.

One of the good things about this book's predecessor is how quickly it gets into the action. The cosmonauts are inside Rama within about ten pages. Here we get a hundred pages of inept character development before they finally reach the spacecraft. All of Gentry Lee's characters are one-dimensional stereotypes of fictional characters. Each of them has to be horrible or lovely, with their actions being over the top so we can't get the two groups muddled. Every other character was abused as a child and that's used either as an excuse for them growing up to be an immoral charlatan or as proof that they have lots of moral fortitude.

The book doesn't really add anything to its predecessor, I guess you have to read its two sequels for that. But since [b:The Garden of Rama|112518|The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)|Arthur C. Clarke|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171659410s/112518.jpg|876293] was bad enough to lead me to stop reading the series three quarters of the way through, I'm not sure it's an experience that I'm going to enjoy. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
Not as strong as the first novel in this series... too much melodrama between cardboard characters. ( )
1 vote keithostertag | Sep 30, 2019 |
If you liked Rendezvous with Rama, skip this unless you're the world's biggest fan of Gentry Lee. An almost completely unrelated book, this is filled with third-grade soap opera and constant, petty digressions from Clarke's fascinating ideas.

Clarke is not the world's greatest writer and the first Rama book was stilted and nerdy, but it was also ripe with enthusiasm and seriously awe-inspiring ideas. The addition of B-movie drama here doesn't deepen, humanize, or in any way improve Rama; it just cheapens it. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Gentrymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Aronica, Barbara CohenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swendsen, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The great radar pulse generator Excalibur, powered by nuclear explosions, had been out of service for almost half a century. It had been designed and developed in the frantic effort during the months following the transit of Rama through the solar system.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the sequel to the multi-award winning sci-fi novel Rama, a second Raman spaceship enters our solar system and "offers one surprise after another" (The New York Times).   Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed--or had existed--elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us.   A crew of Earth's best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. They are armed with everything we know about Raman technology and culture. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to encounter on board Rama II: cosmic secrets that are startling, sensational--and perhaps even deadly.   "A masterpiece . . . one of the year's best hard SF epics." --The Houston Post

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RAMA II

Humanity has a second date with destiny...


Rendezvous with Rama is hailed not only as one of Arthur C. Clarke's all-time bestselling novels, but as one of the most popular classics of modern science-fiction. Published in 1973, it is the only sf novel ever to scoop all he major awards - five in the English language, including the Hugo, the Nebula and the British SF Award. It told of how, in the year 2130, a mysterious and apparently untenanted alien spaceship, Rama, entered our solar system. By the end of the novel, many wonders had been uncovered but few of its mysteries had been solved...

Now, the Ramans return - in an enthralling and long-awaited sequel as brilliantly imaginative as its predecessor. RAMA II is set in 2200, four years after a second approaching spacecraft has been detected. But this time Earth is ready...

And now, with the arrival of Rama II, some of the questions posed by Rama may at last be answered.

Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age...The colossus of science fiction - New Yorker
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