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Rendezvous with Rama Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1990
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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
A great, read certainly. The concept is so interesting and the story so well told I'm surprised there isn't a movie made around this - but soon enough I'm sure.Published 21 hours ago by Nikolay Krylovskiy
No doubt it's a good book, I just don't have a good enough base for comparison. The detail Clarke uses is beautiful, it makes visualization so easy. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kyle A. Hippchen
As usual, Arthur Clarke's brilliant science fiction of space exploration and expansion that takes place in the future, shows that a human traits, good and bad, live on in spite of... Read morePublished 11 days ago by T-200
This was one of my favorite books as a kid. Read it over and over. It still hits all the right notes. Of course some of the book is a bit dated. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Tony
Love the book, hate this edition. I thought I was buying a full sized hard back copy of this great scifi story. It came in "library binding" with which I am familiar. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Michael Malloy
Rama is without a doubt one of most influencing and well-written works of hard science fiction written in the 20th century. Read morePublished 12 days ago by George
Science Fiction fans will likely be pulled to the story's imagination. There is also some good hard fiction in this book. It was a good adventure for me. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Todd Weed
Fascinating tale by a master. Arthur C. Clarke in top form. I found it very satisfying as a true science fiction story.nPublished 22 days ago by fogi bear
Intelligent and scientifically coherent depiction of first encounter with aliens. It is very probable that we are very young civilisation and thus every possible passing alien ship... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Antti Kivelä