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Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
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Rendezvous With Rama (1973)

by Arthur C. Clarke

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Rama Universe (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,587129726 (3.96)2 / 267
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    Contact by Carl Sagan (5hrdrive)
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    Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke (Death_By_Papercut)
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English (121)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (128)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
I decided to grab this classic, because I had slacked on reading this big name in Science Fiction

Listening to the description of Rama, I'm thinking of the reports of the long piece of space debris that flowed through the solar system recently. Rama isn't as disfigured as the piece we saw on the reports, however.

This to me is a very dry read. It's a recitation of actions, with little to no emotion behind it. Yes, you get thoughts, but the characters all seem so ... stiff. RAMA is described, but it feels dead, overall, even as biots begin to appear. Even the RAMA committee, which you'd think would be more hot headed and grumbly, feels very low key, if not lacking any emotion. I'm wondering how much of my feelings of lacking emotion has to do with the dry reading that the narrators of the audio book are doing.

This felt very meh when it comes to plot. Yes, the world was as much a character as the humans exploring, but the entire thing was a recitation of what happened. Plodding along, lacking depth. No real climax to speak of, and it just kinda ended. For such a big name book... I'm disappointed. ( )
  gilroy | Feb 8, 2019 |
Rendezvous with Rama is Clarke's second most famous book. Unfortunately it does not approach the sci-fi glory that is 2001. It is more run of the mill sci-fi. A projection of Clarke's ego rather than a struggle. ( )
  Stbalbach | Jan 9, 2019 |
This is one of the most heavily awarded novels in SFF history. It won Hugo (1974), Nebula (1973), Locus Award (1974), British Science Fiction Association Award for Novel (1973), Jupiter Award for Best Novel (1974)
John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1974). Is it up to its fame? The short answer is “yes, but…”
This is year 2130 and the Earth colonized part of the Solar system, including Moon, Mars, Mercury, moons of Jupiter. An unknown object appears in the system, initially identified as a large asteroid (christened Rama, because astronomers depleted Greek names and shifted to other cultures), but then its artificial nature is spotted. This is some kind of alien vessel, supposedly slower than light generational ship, which is out in space for more time than entire human history.
Only one vessel can intercept the invader and board it and only for a limited time, for the alien ship mover to the Sun and it is expected that even inside the temperatures will be beyond human tolerance. This is a classical hard SF, almost everything is in line with what we know about physics, thus perfectly plausible.
The exploration of the alien vessel is also done perfectly, with no easy way out, which can be found in some other books, like “enigmatic writings on pylons”: just imagine that an sentient ant found a car – it is unlikely that it will find the answers to life, the universe and everything (which, as we know, is 42) or will be able to replicate it, but such an ant can comprehend it.
As noted, the vessel exploration part is done perfectly. Alas, the story also has the other part, which ought to show how the humanity and its norms have changed (like it is ok to have two wives if they are in different jurisdictions, Earth and Mars for example. No mention if two or more husbands is okay as well as no husbands) and how politicking remained the same, just moving from nations to planets as the actors. A nice bit about modified Christianity is added. The life outside the alien vessel is a much weaker part of the novel, pulling my overall rating down a notch.
All in all a great story for hard SF fans, not so great for social/soft SF admirers. Worth reading.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
It's odd to think that this book was published 40 years ago. the concepts, ideas and themes surrounding this archetypal work of science fiction have been a huge influence on works in this genre. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship. Great read. ( )
1 vote buffalogr | Nov 5, 2018 |
mmmmm Rama. I think this was the first sci-fi book I've ever read (and I've probably still only read a dozen or so). Rama is a great mystery of a novel. Arthur C. Clarke sets up a futuristic world born out of terrible global tragedies, and uses this political set-up to explore an alien ship that approaches the Earth at a breakneck pace.

I won't spoil anything here, but suffice it to say that nothing is as expected, and - while the book is marvellous as a kind of literary meditation on cultural differences, and timeless qualities of humanity - it most definitely leaves you wanting more. Surprisingly, Clarke hadn't really envisioned a sequel when he wrote it. Unsurprisingly, three would come to pass. Each of these would be a lesser novel than the one that came before, but they comprise a definite trilogy so I'd recommend either stopping after this book, or reading the whole series. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
กลุ่มอ…Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castellano, Peter M.Back cover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Merlo, AuroraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, StanislawCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleissner, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ganim, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jiránek, MiroslavCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Longworth, TobyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, Robert J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siegel, HalCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swendsen, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallandro, LeonelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volný, ZdeňekTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zebrowski, GeorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Sri Lanka, where I climbed the stairway of the Gods.
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Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.
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Book description
Haiku summary
An unknown space probe
flies through Earth's solar system;
What is inside it?
(sullijo)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553287893, Mass Market Paperback)

An all-time science fiction classic, Rendezvous with Rama is also one of Clarke's best novels--it won the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula Awards. A huge, mysterious, cylindrical object appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. The citizens of the solar system send a ship to investigate before the enigmatic craft, called Rama, disappears. The astronauts given the task of exploring the hollow cylindrical ship are able to decipher some, but definitely not all, of the extraterrestrial vehicle's puzzles. From the ubiquitous trilateral symmetry of its structures to its cylindrical sea and machine-island, Rama's secrets are strange evidence of an advanced civilization. But who, and where, are the Ramans, and what do they want with humans? Perhaps the answer lies with the busily working biots, or the sealed-off buildings, or the inaccessible "southern" half of the enormous cylinder. Rama's unsolved mysteries are tantalizing indeed. Rendezvous with Rama is fast moving, fascinating, and a must-read for science fiction fans. Clarke collaborated with Gentry Lee in writing several Rama sequels, beginning with Rama II.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:19 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Astronomers discover a huge, celestial object hurtling through space and after a space probe confirms that is not a natural object, send a space team to investigate.

» see all 10 descriptions

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