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Rendezvous with Rama (Rama #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  73,589 ratings  ·  1,828 reviews
At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare f ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published September 1st 1973 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. (NY) (first published 1973)
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Steve Sckenda
I roam the universe of books and cross all genre galaxies. A few years ago, I realized that I had neglected science fiction and resolved to read some award winners by famous sci-fi writers. Upon reading the first few pages of “Rendezvous With Rama,” I was intrigued that on September 11, 2077, a meteorite wiped out Italy.

But this September 11th inspires humans to work together for species survival and to beat their swords into space probes. So began “Project Spaceguard,” which, in the year 2130,
Dan 1.0
An enormous alien structure enters our solar system and a team is dispatched to explore it before it drifts away and is lost forever. What will humanity discover after its Rendezvous with Rama?

Years ago, I decided I needed to read more hard science fiction. Then I read Ringworld and was so uninterested that I quit my hard sf quest before it began. Months ago, a copy of Rendezvous with Rama fell into my clutches. I decided to give it a try, despite my fears that it would be another Ringworld, a b
Ladies, have you ever heard the advice that the more you cover up, the sexier you are? Forgo the plunging neckline for the small keyhole. Let the boys use their imagination. Hint, but don’t show.

Clarke evidently had. He dressed this book in a turtleneck, elbow-length gloves, trousers, work boots, and one of those hats with ear flaps. There is barely any flesh showing. What does show is intriguing – a mysterious spaceship, a beautiful flower, an unknown destination, buildings with no doors or wi
mark monday
i like world-building in science fiction and fantasy. in these modern times, extensive world-building is commonly derided... it is often seen as a lazy way to create a world, telling not showing, an author so in love with something they've built that they just want to describe instead of allowing the reader to slowly experience. i understand that point of view; world-building can often be seen as a glorified, masturbatory info-dump. but for some reason, it just doesn't bother me too much. i thin ...more
For heaven's sake, don't expect great writing from this book. For all his talent, Clarke wasn't a wordsmith (heck, even Asimov could write better!)
Instead, simply glory in one of the cleverest conceits you will ever read - an encounter with an alien civilisation in which the aliens are absent and there is no convenient "universal translator" to explain things. Slowly you can begin to piece things together, keeping maybe one step ahead of the astronauts, but you become aware that trying to under
This book was my introduction to Arthur C. Clarke, and I happened to read it just before he died. I wasn't sure what to expect. My friend lent me his copy, which was printed in the early 90's and looked pretty pulpy. And the title? But I really enjoyed it. Written in the 70's, but the science wasn't painfully outdated, except he hadn't foreseen just how small and complicated our computers would become even in a few years. Not badly written for a scientist, and he passes my sexism test. (I frowne ...more
I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a scientific person. I didn't do so great in science classes in high school (fuck you, Chemistry!) outside of Biology because that biology makes sense and because, I dunno, that whole science thing can be so boring to me. There's a lot of numbers, and I remember something about a mole bridge, and most things are pretty black and white and I'm the kind of kid that likes gray areas. It's a wonder that my boyfriend and I were even friends, ever, let alone in a relatio ...more
5.0 stars. One of the best first contact novels ever. The ability of Clarke to bring a high level of detail regarding the mechanics of the expedition without having the story get bogged down is a rare thing. This novel succeeds brilliantly. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winner: (tie) John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winner: British Scienc
Jan 17, 2008 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi fans, those interested in space tech/travel
Rather than do a synoptic review of "Rama", I'll just go ahead and rave about my absolute favorite part of this book: There are no spoilers to reveal! I suppose that's a spoiler in and of itself, but without going too far over the line, I love how much remains a mystery. This is a sci-fi masterpiece because it retains so much of the science while remaining purely fiction. The professional team that investigate Rama have no clues, they have to make theories and guesses as they go along, and thing ...more
Rendezvous with Rama is one of those strange cases (which seem to happen to me a lot), where I remember more about my life while I was reading a book than the about the book itself.

I remember liking it, and I have vague recollections of the Raman robot beings and the weirdness of Rama's interior, but that's about all I can conjure from the book.

But everything surrounding my reading of the book is vivid.

I was on my way to Stratford, Ontario to see The Three Musketeers, Hamlet, The Importance of B
Boy, this was a great book. If you think of all the sci-fi story templates and formulas, you could find this story done a hundred thousand ways. But not like Clarke does it.

He breaks every mold, and this ends up being a very unpredictable - even to your disappointment - book. Let me explain. You find yourself as a reader wanting something to happen so badly, that you scarcely think that it's probably better that it didn't. Just like every romance movie where the guy gets the girl at the end, you
Samantha Glasser
I read this book because my dad and I played the Commodore 64 game by the same title when I was a kid, and we never beat it. Now that I have read the book, I don't feel any closer to beating the game (but I haven't yet read the sequels), but I did quite enjoy my reading.

The story is set in the future, when men have settled Mars, Mercury, and the moon, and asteroids are a major issue, so men patrol the skies for their safety. That is when they spot Rama, a cylindrical structure so smooth it coul
"Rendezvous with Rama" is the perfect example of a great idea executed in the worst possible way. The concept behind the plot really captured my attention and had me dreaming of possibilities, but the plot itself, as well as Clarke's writing style, was not even anti-climactic: it was the height of boring. First, Clarke should be noted as having a particular style, something that (unfortunately) not many sci-fi writers have. He has his own voice, his own turns of phrase and, if I had to look at a ...more
Henry Avila
A large object, is discovered entering a remote part of the Solar System,in 2131.Thirty miles long and heading in the direction of Earth.Causing nervousness back on our world.Everyone knows what happened in 2077.A large fireball hit the Earth,killing hundreds of thousand of people.Destroying cities and untold trillions of dollars in damages.At last ,in Project Spaceguard,an early warning system, was established.A kind of shield, can later be formed,that protects Terra from being smashed again, b ...more
Paul Bryant
It was only after I’d read Rendezvous with Rama that I found out it was a Big Dumb Object story. I mean, I knew Rama, the mysterious alien spaceshippy thing which appears in our solar system, was an object, and was dumb too – it doesn’t say a word to a soul, not one word – and yes, it was big too, really big. Bigger than a whale! Ten whales! But I didn’t put it all together. However, some critics did, and unkindly pointed out that quite a bit of science fiction is about Big Dumb Objects which hu ...more
Gregor Xane
I found Clarke's journalistic writing style engaging. This, coupled with short, tight, chapters, made for a novel that moved along at a fast clip. Although, I found the premise intriguing, overall it seemed like a bit of a tease. Especially the last line of the novel. It seemed to indicate that there would be a trilogy of Rama stories. But it doesn't seem like this was ever really Clarke's intent. I know there were other Rama books penned a couple of decades later, but Clarke wasn't the author o ...more
I first read this book in high school years ago. What sticks with me most about this book is that by revealing very little about the culture who built the giant artifact/ship know as Rama, Arthur C. Clarke was able to tell a story filled with awe. Mr. Clarke never reveals the intentions, functions, or meaning of any of the artifacts which his characters encounter on the vast spaceship. In doing so he conveys the idea that the purpose of Rama is beyond human understanding and reason. The seemingl ...more
Sep 22, 2009 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans
Recommended to Tatiana by: reading challenge
Shelves: 2009, sci-fi, nebula, hugo, locus
I used to be a huge sci-fi fan year ago and now I've almost forgotten how much fun these books were. Luckily, a reading challenge encouraged me to revisit this genre.

"Rendezvous with Rama" is one of the most well known and critically acclaimed Clarke's novels, and rightfully so. The story takes place in a not so distant future, when a strange cylindrical object, later christened Rama, enters the solar system and travels directly towards our sun. Very soon it is discovered that this object is def
Darryl Knickrehm
Now this is science fiction. A story which is all about the science. No action, no adventure, just a realistic 'what if' scenario that keeps you glued to the page. Awesome.

Rama is a first contact story, but without all the fear and Hollywood elements. It is a thoughtful, educated look at what might happen if mankind actually met an alien race. And it is by no means the standard 'they-land-on-earth-and-they-try-to-destroy-it.' The idea of Rama is novel. The way the story unravels is intriguing. E
Rendezvous With Rama starts off where lesser books would climax. To begin with parts of Italy are wiped out by an asteroid leading to the creation of the Spaceguard system for detecting future asteroids well in advance of collision so that preventative measures can be taken. Along comes another huge object initially mistaken for another asteroid but as it draws nearer turns out to be a ginormous spaceship with no apparent mean of propulsion. The ship is given the named Rama and the crew of Earth ...more
Brilliant. Nothing short of brilliant. The first book in what would become a 4 book series may not have the same philosophical depth as the follow-up trilogy, but is, nonetheless, the seminal work of science fiction when it comes to sheer "what-if".

Clarke uses the vehicle (metaphorically and literally) of an abandoned (?) alien ship passing by Earth as a jumping off point for his thoughts on what civilization and technology may one day be capable of. Based in real science, but with Clarke's exce
Jul 03, 2010 NG rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to NG by: حسام محمد دياب
رواية جيدة فعلاً، ونهايتها نصف الحاسمة/ نصف المفتوحة، تترك المجال للأجزاء التالية مع الكثير من الترقب لمعرفة المزيد..
فهذه الرواية لم تكشف شيئاً تقريبا من أسرار راما، مما يعطي المجال للاجزاء التالية كي تشرح أكثر..
الرواية منطقية جدا كذلك، تعتمد على العلم والخيال معاً مما يجعلها "خيال علمي" حقيقي وليس تخريف محض كأغلب الكتبات في هذاالمجال.
الاحداث متسارعة وغير مملة، على الرغم من أن الوصف الدقيق لراما افقدني الاتجاه قليلاً وجعلني عاجزة في كثير من الأحيان عن تصور شكلها، إلا أن هذا لم يقف عائقاً أمام ا
Rereading a book you loved as a teenager but haven't read since is always a tricky prospect because it's just possible that you may end up hating that book now. The good news is that I didn't hate this book, but I had to take 1 star away from my original rating because it's not as perfect as I remember it being.

Set in a near future where human beings have colonised several planets and moons in our solar system, this book is the original great big mcguffin story. Rama is a gigantic spaceship that
Crystal Starr Light
Good hard science fiction for the physics and math junkies

It is the year 2153. Humans now inhabit the moon, Mars, Mercury, and the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. Suddenly, from the depths of deep space, comes an artifact called "Rama". Commander Norton and his team of space men and women (and chimps) head out on the spaceship, Endeavor, to explore this world before it heads back out into space.

I'm familiar with Arthur C. Clarke, not just from the movie, 2001: A Space Odessy, but also his
Sep 03, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Another book from the mists of time...

Arthur C. Clarke was a man with an imagination bigger than most of the minor planetary bodies in our solar system. Heck, maybe even the major planetary bodies - take that Jupiter, with your many moons and Saturn with your lovely rings.

Here is a man who conceived of Earth getting anonymous interest from benign start-faring civilizations and then had the audacity to have them leave us alone! Maybe he wasn't the first to write that, but "The Sentinel" (the st
Greg Strandberg
Aug 05, 2014 Greg Strandberg rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hard Sci-Fi fans
I really loved reading this book way back in middle school, oh...around 1994 or so.

It was the first of the Rama Series, and the only written by Clarke alone. Many think Gentry Lee ruined this book for many readers when he teamed up with Clarke, but I disagree; I think he helped continue the story line created here.

And it was a great story. People find some weird alien object floating in space. And then they decide to visit it.

I loved how Clarke did a lot of history and back story for his world.
Jonathan Cullen
Jan 17, 2011 Jonathan Cullen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: those who think they liked Eon but aren't sure
This is a three-star classic disguished as a four-star. There is certainly nothing spectacular about Clarke's style, language and pace. However, this book feeds a sci-fi reader's appetite for exploration and wonder.

Big thing. Check out big thing.

Some may feel that the exploration doesn't get very far but I believe the fun is in the journey. This probably deserves three, but I'm giving four just because it was good at what it was designed to be; nothing more nothing less.
Simon MacKintosh
Almost half a century ago, when I was young and science fiction fans could still look forward to the next story from Isaac Asimov or Arthur C Clarke, I developed the notion that short stories were the best medium for science fiction. During this time, I read Rendezvous with Rama. I suppose I should go back and read it again before commenting on it, but I was so disappointed with my first reading that I don't feel motivated to give it a second chance. Nor have I any desire to read the subsequent ...more
Arthur C. Clarke deserves his reputation as a great writer although his style is very different from many others in the SF genre. I was impressed from the beginning of this novel, as the scholars gather to discuss the “asteroid” approaching Earth—Clark must have participated in just enough of these committees to know about the axe-grinding and the politics involved in their workings. As someone who has worked in a university environment (although just about any large organization would substitut ...more
Honestly more of a 3 but parts of it are worthy of a four.

This is the sort of science book that shows what I have experienced as the biggest difference between science fiction and fantasy. Well, other than the most obvious. Fantasy seems to concentrate more on character. Science fiction ideas. Like in everything there are exceptions but this is generally how I feel. My favorite fantasy books have to feature characters I love and care about. My favorite science fiction tends to be the ones that b
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Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

Rama (4 books)
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
  • The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) Childhood's End 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) The Fountains of Paradise The City and the Stars

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“If such a thing had happened once, it must surely have happened many times in this galaxy of a hundred billion suns.” 19 likes
“He had a suspicion of plausible answers; they were so often wrong.” 11 likes
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