- 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)
Rendezvous With Rama Hardcover – 1 Aug 1973
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" 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.
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.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best Sci-Fi novel I have read yet - although admittedly I have not read many - yet. I was also pleased to see that violence did not play a large part in the novel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Herr Holz Paul
This sat on my 'must read' list for sometime. Missed the mark for me. Perhaps too high-brow for me as I like my fiction to entertain and take me on a journey, this seemed to want... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ian Pickford
Really fantastic. Gripped me from the start and I had to read all the way through.Published 3 months ago by A V Constantine
A wonderful work of "hard science-fiction". it's amazing how well this has aged - it might as well have been written today. Can't wait to read part II!Published 7 months ago by Dr Dombo
Read this many years ago, and still remember some of the sequences vividly. I was a youngster at the time, so not sure how it looks to adult eyes, but it was compelling reading... Read morePublished 7 months ago by SF Fan