on 26 November 2011
This is second time around for me, this time on the brilliant Kindle. ACC (and Gentry Lee) are right up there with my other favourite authors; Feist, Iain M Banks...
A few spelling mistakes in Rama. Brois [Boris]. Thank you Amazon for making the series available on Kindle!
UPDATE: After enjoying the Rama series a second time (this time on the Kindle) I am disappointed about the number of spelling mistakes, repeat paragraphs. Amazon need to sort this out when converting books. The fourth book is terrible for errors.
on 13 February 2012
As a lifelong fan of Arthur C Clarke I looked forward to reading this omnibus edition. The story doesn't disappoint with the usual
digressions from pure Sci-Fi to geographical & historical fact, gives the characters more depth.
However.... The quality of the downloaded (Kindle) book leaves much to be desired. Without knowing exactly how the book is converted
to electronic content it's difficult to 'point the finger' but, if they have proof readers then I would point it firmly at them.
The book is full of spelling errors and inconsistancies, in one chapter alone for example there are several mentions of both
'pyjamas' and 'pajamas' (make your mind up please). The numeral 1 (one) is frequently used instead of the capital I. Some
sentences are repeated, sundry other spelling mistakes where odd characters are used instead of alphabetic ones.
I'm currently about 75% through the story, (and enjoying it), but the above do detract from the quality. I hope this is not
the standard I have to expect from other books I intend to purchase. The rating given is a reflection of the reproduced book and
not the story itself.
on 26 November 2011
At last the Rama series is available on the Kindle, and what a bonus; an omnibus of all four main titles (Rendezvous With Rama, Rama II, Garden Of Rama, Rama Revealed) for less than £10.
I loved this series when I first read it in paperback many moons ago. I was vary intrigued by the whole Rama world and where its inhabitants were going to end up when their journey first started. I found it to be one of the most visualising book series I had ever read to with so many interesting characters and objects. I loved the Myrmicats. >.<
Great conversion to Kindle. No typos that I have noticed so far.
Here is a review of the first book of the series:
RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA
This is an absolutely awesome story from the Master of the Sci-Fi genre. The storyline had me engrossed from the first page up to the last. There are so many unanswered questions with regards to Rama, its purpose and the wonders held within. I know these are answered in the subsequent books and I can't wait to get started on Rama II. I'm vary interested in finding out and also am staggered at how ACC thinks these things up.
True,real, engrossing Sci-Fi read.
For those of you considering getting the Kindle edition of the 4-part omnibus. It converts vary well to kindle. No proplems whatsoever.
I hope they make an omnibus edition of the 2001 series for the Kindle too.
on 22 December 2011
The first is by far the best book and the collaboration of styles certainly makes a marked difference in the latter books. For instance, whereas the first book left an impression of the details of an alien landscape and a sense of awe at the mystery that unravelled, the co-authored books have an element of sexuality and religion within them which sets them a little uncomfortably apart. Having said that, and despite the differences in style, I was glad to see the rest of the series eventually unfold to give more details to this world. As a series they are well worth the read, despite what one reviewer here says.
on 28 September 2015
This collection of books by Arthur C Clarke spans a large part of his writing career, and the divergence of style is very noticeable. In the first book, we are in classic “hard SF” territory, with a strong focus on technological speculation justified by a real grip of the principles of physics and engineering. Human astronauts of the not-too distant future engage an enormous cylindrical spacecraft that visits our Solar System from interstellar space. Clarke describes in loving, sometimes repetitive detail the way in which the rotation of the craft generates the effect of gravity for those who enter it and walk on its inner surface through a 1xg reactive force to its centripetal acceleration; the way this makes life relatively normal for inhabitants from earth-like planets, but how the visual and climatic effects are deeply disturbing. (He avoids tackling the rather trickier physics of the behaviour of the Rama “atmosphere” under artificial gravity, and this is left to later SF authors to attempt.) He also evokes the sense of wonder one would feel when brought face-to-face with artefacts of immeasurably more advanced cultures. However, the plot-line is relatively under-developed, and the characters barely fleshed out.
All this changes in the second volume, which is written with much greater expansiveness, and a voluminous description of the back-story of the characters who will go on to encounter the second “Rama” vehicle to enter the Solar System, many years later, some of whom will stay with the plot until the end of the fourth volume. The dramatic change in style is explained by Clarke’s explicit collaboration with co-authors in these later books, and there’s no doubt that the change was vital to carry any but the geekiest readers through the sequels. Nevertheless, the characters are resolutely two-dimensional caricatures. No sooner has Clarke introduced a character than they are pigeon-holed into a stereotype whose future development is entirely and depressingly predictable. The only slight exception to this is the character of Richard, who takes three books to develop from a stereotypical semi-aspergic scientist to caring family man, though he does so in the course of about a page, and as a result of adopting a pair of alien birdlings! The plots of books three and four elaborate the story in often stimulating ways, but to me fail satisfactorily to explain why all the long-distance inter-stellar travels are necessary for the higher purpose of Rama’s creators. In the end, the eschatology becomes increasingly implausible and unnecessarily faux-religious, and one feels he had difficulty knowing how to wrap things up.
The transfer to Kindle is pretty poor. It has clearly been scanned from hard copy, with insufficient proofing. There are mis-transcriptions of “1”s for “l”s in most chapters and multiple occasions on which half-paragraphs are repeated disconcertingly. For £13, I think buyers deserve better.
I remember reading the original volume years ago and loving it. When I found out there was not just one but several sequels, I had to have this omnibus.
But it turns out that the majority of this collection isn't Arthur C.Clarke's work at all and, unfortunately, it shows.
Volume two runs the gamut of characters from "inscrutable oriental" to "paranoid Russian" to "Shakespeare-quoting Brit" to the Sabatini character who is so openly sociopathic on so many occasions that she just isn't believable at all. The main protagonist is a supermodel-pretty genius, medical hotshot and former Olympic athlete who has a child secretly fathered by (spoiler). In other words, this is some fantasy woman who contrasts jarringly with the troubled but sensible everyman captain of the first book. There is a religious element which adds an interesting aspect to this sequel, even though it, like the many flashbacks, is belaboured into the reader a bit.
From volume three onwards, it is basically "Yummy Mummy in Space", as Gentry Lee's protagonist again and again proves herself to be more right, more clever, more empathetic, more visionary, more generally wonderful and totally awesome than everyone else in a deadeningly repetitive manner. Everyone else, obviously, being stupid and self-interested, in order to make Yummy Mummy look even more radiantly messianic.
This is a series that started with a genuinely thought-provoking classic, followed it with an interesting but rather McGuffin-riddled sequel and ended up floundering around in an attempt to tie up the loose ends.
on 15 May 2015
I read the original Clark novel many years ago. Up to recently, I wan't aware that there were follow-ups. I had to have the lot of course. The whole is overall a Clarkean prodigious feat of imagination, and in some ways a bleak view of humanity, a space version of Dave Allen's old joke about there being a walled compound in Heaven within which reside the Catholics "because they think they're the only ones here".
I made it to the end of this 1300-odd page odyssey, but only just, because it ran out of steam, and I found myself starting to jump whole sections. I guess I finished it out of a sense of duty to a great SF writer, but the thing started to drag from about the half-way point. Much clever material, but stretched too thin and with too much extraneous matter. Not to mention many, many misprints. Regretfully, I think there are better 1300-pagers around.
on 8 August 2014
The journey that these books take you on absolutely astounding. The ideas presented on both the Rama spacecraft and the alien races encountered is some of the most fascinating science fiction I've ever read. The epic scale of the discovery of Rama as it's presented in the first book was absolutely mind blowing, as was the journey made by the characters in the following three books.
The first book was written solely by Arthur C. Clarke with the following three written by Gentry Lee using Clarke's suggestions and ideas. There is a big difference between the two writers: Clarke is all about the wonder and excitement of exploring Rama itself and Lee is all about the characters. Although the two styles compliment each other very well, Rama itself seems to take a backseat in the three following stories, which could also be read as one very large story.
Despite this being one of the most gripping page turners I've read in a while, it does have plenty of faults. Arthur C. Clarke has always (in my experience) had issues with characterisation. The interactions with many of the characters feels a little flat and his writing is much better when he's describing vast, technological marvels. Gentry Lee on the other hand is all about the characters, however I think he goes a little too deep into them and ends up with very uneven personalities who sometimes make inexplicable decisions over the course of the story. He's also a little too obsessed with sex, and tries to fit a lot of it in. But what he does put in feels passionless and unnecessary.
Despite it's faults, the Rama series is an amazing journey and one that's well worth embarking on.
on 30 August 2013
A useful collection of the Rama novels. A number of typos, that suggest a slightly imperfect OCR from a printed edition.
Readers who are familiar with the original Rendezvous with Rama book may find the very different writing style of the later novels to be a surprise. Here the text was only read and edited by Clarke: the bulk of the writing is by Gentry. They are much more 'wordy' and involve much more personal discourse, rather than purely scientific. I find myself speed-reading past many pages to get to the 'interesting' parts!
on 27 February 2014
Unfortunately the publisher did not see fit to proof read any of the books in this edition. The first book is good, the follow ups are merely OK & to my mind he didn't really know where to go with it. A missed opportunity.