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Rendezvous With Rama Hardcover – 1 Aug 1973

4.6 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Aug 1973
£52.13 £21.51
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151768358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151768356
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,271,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

" Mr. Clarke is splendid...We experience that chilling touch of the alien, the not-quite-knowable, that distinguishes SF at its most technically imaginative." -- "The New York Times"

"Mr. Clarke is splendid...We experience that chilling touch of the alien, the not-quite-knowable, that distinguishes SF at its most technically imaginative." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

One of SF's classic stories by one of it's greatest masters. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I first came across this book via BBC Radio Four's programme 'Story Time' in November 1976 (or, as my wife says A Long Time Ago). It impressed the hell out of the ten year old me and, having ordered it from the local library, was impressed all over again. My dad was already a big sci-fi fan and, as a result of my evident enjoyment, began to feed me his Asimov and Clarke collection volume by volume.
Rama remains as fresh and enjoyable a book at nearly fifty-one as it was forty years ago. What I appreciate most now is the spare, uncluttered style of the author. Clarke is not big on wordy prose and his emphasis on concepts and story is often at the expense of detailed characterisation. In some ways this makes the book dated. If you are expecting detailed interpersonal subplots then you are likely to be disappointed.
Rama is on a hyperbolic path through the solar system, so Commander Norton and the crew of the Endeavour have a limited amount of time to explore the vast interior of the craft. What I liked about this was that there are no sudden shock revelations as to what Rama 'really' is. The explorers struggle to make sense of an inexplicable alien environment and what they do discover comes via good old fashioned scientific investigation and reasoned deduction.
This is classic 'hard' science fiction, emotionally understated by todays standards perhaps, but no less powerful for that.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arthur C Clarke describes our encounter with a huge cylinder built by alien hands that enters our solar system. It's our first encounter with aliens although we have populated the other planets and moons (except Venus?). A crew of astronauts board the craft and explore the interior but have great difficulty discerning the function of what they find. There doesn't seem to be life aboard, or is there? Clarke's great skill is in imagining a truly alien vista and doing it so credibly. I read the book in a couple of days such is the compelling nature of the saga as each revelation occurs. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who has the slightest interest in science fiction.
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Wonderful.
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Interesting and enjoyable I just wish there was a great sequel. ( don't want to give the story away ). Leaves me thinking.
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Format: Paperback
This is a really interesting look at how alien first contact might actually be - it has a lot of elements of Lovecraft in it, especially as the first humans to visit Rama explore a thoroughly alien geography within. It's also surprisingly brisk in its pace as compared to much classic sci-fi - it reminded me a lot of Asimov's Foundation books, in that there's very little time devoted to characterization, and a few rough sketches of personality are used only to illuminate larger and more interesting themes.

If it has a fault though, it's that it's all a bit sanitized - the first hundred or so pages do a wonderful job of building up a sense of palpable menace, but it becomes obvious shortly after that it's not going to pay off - as dangerous as Rama is made to seem, nobody is ever at any genuine risk of death or dismemberment. I wasn't expecting it to morph into Starship Troopers, but given the context I would have liked to have seen a little more recognition of how dangerous this kind of scenario could genuinely be.

Still, well worth reading and one of the better works of classic sci-fi that I've read.
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Format: Paperback
A giant cylinder is spotted entering the Solar System and a team of astronauts is sent out to investigate.
The cylinder is unfeasibly vast and (it is discovered) hollow with gravity on the inside of the cylinder produced by centrifugal force. The interior surface is lit by enormous lamps, covered with a variegated landscape and divided in two by a band of sea which exists in a circle around the inside.
Perhaps Clarke's best work, this succeeds (as did Niven's `Ringworld') by its sheer lack of explanation. In fact, the entire novel is, in some ways, an exercise in minimalist adventure, since despite the excitement of the exploration itself and having to rescue a crewmember who becomes stranded on the other side of the central sea, nothing really happens.
One cannot help, however, still being awed by Clarke's depiction of this magnificently vast alien mystery which appears in our Solar System and allows us inside her enormous shell before shortly afterward disappearing.
Again, like Niven's Ringworld, the novel was later lessened by inferior sequels (written in this case in collaboration) and which gradually eroded the awe and mystery which was an integral part of the original books. If you haven't read the Rama sequels you'd be best advised not to bother. The writing is far inferior to Clarke at his best and one suspects that his literary input was minimal.
However, getting back to the original, this is a novel which well deserves the title `classic' and still manages to evoke a sense of wonder set against a background of a universe vast and ultimately unknowable.
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Format: Paperback
Arthur C. Clarke wrote this novel about contact with an alien culture after 2001. It explores similar themes. The massive Rama craft/object looks like a technology that could enable star travel for humans within an artificial world. The story is bracketed around the technical knowledge of space travel at the time. The power for Rama is guessed at while that of the humans in future is still rocket fuel.

The physical description of the artificial world is detailed and and I'm sure if it were possible to recreate Rama it is accurate according to the laws of physics.

To enable Rama to have gravity we are told by the author such things as the number of times it needs to spin to maintain gravity along its interior surface. Also how gravity varies between different areas of Rama; The reactions inside should it alter course. I enjoyed reading the book and though it was written before the age of the computer and subsequent development in sci-fi writing, I think it has aged well.
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