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Rendezvous With Rama (Sf Masterworks) Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; First Thus edition (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082533
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,197,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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
I'd almost forgotten what 'hard' SF was really like until I read Rendezvous with Rama. It was wonderful to have a story where physics is integral to everything, where speed of light limitations are woven into the story, where the alien artefact has a design that takes physics into account (I'm still pleased that I managed to predict one minor plot element by recalling one of the physical properties of water.)

And how can I fail to love a story that actually takes Coriolis force into account?

The strong grounding in reality makes the whole story feel so much more real. You believe in the characters and in the dangers they encounter, because you know that no 'magic' will be used to rescue them if they get into a tight corner.

Another good point about the focus on hard science is that the book hasn't dated. There were only two small moments when I realise how long ago the book was written. One was when the shape of Rama was compared to a domestic boiler, and the other was a reference to the steady state theory. Apart from those two minor points, the book could have been written yesterday. The laws of physics don't change with fashion.

Clarke can't write in depth characters, but they work reasonably well in this book, and the setting of Rama itself makes the story live.

This was a 9/10 book for me and I'd happily recommend it to anyone.
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By A Customer on 2 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
It is difficult to overestimate the effect of this ground breaking novel on present day science fiction - hardly anything I read today by writers like Iain Banks, Alastair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton et al escapes its brilliant influence. I read it when it first came out in the late seventies and was staggered by its vision. If many of its insights now seem trite, it is only because they have been re-used by other writers to such a degree that they have become almost commonplace. Like Niven's Ringworld, it has shaped modern day science fiction. That is why it is a classic.
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Format: Paperback
I first read Rendezvous with Rama about 15 years ago and found it an absolutely riveting read. I don't think any SF book I have read since has come near it in terms of instilling an awe-inspiring feeling of wonder and the thrill of exploring the unknown. This is what SF is really about for me and in this book Arthr C Clarke writes it better than anyone else I can think of. Don't expect high literature but revel in the nicely flowing, descriptive prose nonetheless. The one problem with the Masterwoks edition is the rather poxy cover that doesn't do a terribly good job of conveying the story within the pages!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Until two months ago, I had read only one Arthur C Clarke novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey, as a school boy some 35 years ago. I have now read The City and Stars, which was excellent; and now this novel, which won all sorts of awards back in the 1970s, which was almost as good. A mysterious object enters the solar system like a comet on a long approach, but it turns out to be artificial. A mission lands on it and explores the mysteries of this giant hollow cylinder. Clarke's imagination and extrapolation of scientific principles are breathtaking and this is a great read. I might say I was slightly frustrated by the lack of explanations at the end, but in an SF novel this powerful, that doesn't really matter. I am aware that there are several sequels to this, but that they are generally poorly regarded.
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Format: Paperback
This is without doubt one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time and you can read it in one sitting.
I loved every bit, from the puzzling astronomical observations when Rama is first spotted in the solar system, to the eventual exploration of the spaceship by the human investigators. There are other things I’d like to highlight but that would spoil the fun for the reader.
It’s one of those books every wannabe sci-fi novelist wishes they had written. Fantastic - literally!
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