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Rendezvous with Rama Hardcover – December 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm not sure what finally happened to it, but at any rate I've just recently gotten around to replacing it. And the story is still as great a read as it was when it was new. I can't claim to have read everything Clarke ever wrote, but this is certainly the best of his works that I _have_ read.
Other reviewers have pointed out, entirely correctly, that this isn't a book to read for character development. That's true of Clarke's books in general, I think, but it's especially apt here, where the 'star' of the book is an artifact of an alien civilization. In fact, even the 'star' doesn't get a lot of development, since in the end it remains deeply mysterious. (I don't know what happens in the sequels; I haven't read them and I haven't heard good things about them. I'm treating this as a standalone work.)
But man, if you want to read a gripping, haunting story about the first human exploration of a space probe (or something) from an extraterrestrial civilization -- and if you want to watch the exploration process unfold and feel as though you're participating in the discovery yourself -- then this is a book for you. This is what Clarke does best: when you read a story through his eyes, you're looking outward at the objects of scientific investigation, and helping yourself to a chunk of the intellectual wonder and joy that goes with such investigation.
The excitement here is the excitement of hard science, not of character development. If that's what you want, you'll probably love this book.
The story develops in a fairly slow pace, but it is full of suspense and mystery. The discoveries that the astronauts make are so fantastic and described with such lucid imagination that all I could feel while reading this book was anticipation and awe. Furthermore, the more the astronauts explore and discover the deeper the mysteries seem to grow. One thing I really like about Arthur C. Clarke is that his descriptions are scientifically plausible and still very imaginative. I highly recommend this Sci-Fi novel.
Arthur C. Clarke is my favorite Science Fiction author and Rendezvous with Rama is one of my favorites. It was a collection of short stories that included my all time favorite short story "The wall of darkness" that originally got me hooked on Arthur C. Clarke (review coming). Arthur C. Clarke will never be forgotten.
Rama is a worth while experience. Good Science Fiction is usually also about 'science', but if it is good, it is much about society, about history, usually in the future. The evil cliche term of the paradigm comes to practical use when you read good SF. (The word was invented by evil consultants who needed excuses for the havoc they caused.) SF is about changing paradigms. There is lots of that going on here.
In the 22nd century, the United Planets, which seem to be essentially Earth, Mercury and Mars (which are Earthling colonies) plus some moons are confronted with a scary phenomenon: a huge artificial space body travelling with high speed near the Earth. Luckily the initially silly Star Wars technology had later been developed to the advantage of peaceful purposes and helps arranging a 'rendezvous' with the alien craft, named Rama because the Roman and Greek mythologies have been exhausted in the process of naming space. The process of exploring the strange space body and of thinking through its implications is the actual plot.
Go for it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read, very good. I didn't give it five stars because it certainly could be better written, have better character development and relationships, but what a great story.Published 2 days ago by MCJohnscreek
Slow paced. Poor character development. Had to force myself to finish it. Seemed somehow dated. Will not read other Rama books.Published 3 days ago by Leeane
Keeping firmly in the vein of science fact, the fiction suggests that humans are only as small children in their understanding of the forces of the universe and our ability to... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Mark Slater
I'm sorry, but this isn't Clarke's best. It's slow, it's repetitive, and the main character is flat. The mystery is dull. The characters barely interact. Read morePublished 8 days ago by JV
solid book, great little story that i got wrapped up in. read the wikipedia to get the ending of the series, glad i didn't spend too much more time reading the entire series but... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Joshua Van Leuven
Fascinating imagined reality met by human curiosity and ingenuity. I was totally enthralled throughout the reading of it.Published 11 days ago by Byron Brown
Clarke captures the absolutely chilling feeling of seeing something completely alien, yet strangely familiar.Published 15 days ago by Gooner Gamer