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Rendezvous with Rama (Rama #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  97,840 Ratings  ·  2,579 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 an inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published 2000 (first published June 28th 1973)
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Welfare You're confusing science for technology. It seems obvious that the scientific principles underlying the technology are the same today as they were…moreYou're confusing science for technology. It seems obvious that the scientific principles underlying the technology are the same today as they were then, even if technology you speak of itself didn't exist at the time of the book's writing.(less)

Community Reviews

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Patrick
Jan 24, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing
It's odd to think that this book was published 40 years ago. I don't know why that strikes me as strange, but it does....

It's tempting for me to call this book "Traditional Science Fiction." Or "Classic Science Fiction" or something along those lines. But what I really mean to say is that this is a story where the science is one of the central aspects of the story.

The basic premise of the story is: In the future, humanity finds a alien spacecraft and investigates it.

A lot of the joy of explor
...more
Lyn
Mar 31, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
Mysterious and engaging, classic science fiction.

I first read this back in high school, we'll just say a LONG time ago. Since then the concepts, ideas and themes surrounding this archetypal work of science fiction have been a huge influence on works in this genre. Clarke first published this Hugo and Nebula award winner in 1972. The first works that I think of that was influenced by RWR is John Varley's excellent Titan series, first coming out in 1979. His influence on Ridley Scott's Alien, also
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Cassy
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
...more
Dan Schwent
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
...more
mark monday
Nov 07, 2011 mark monday rated it liked it
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
Apatt
Sep 06, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing
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
Scurra
Jan 02, 2009 Scurra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
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
...more
Alex
Sep 06, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, 2016-bingo
Rendezvous With Rama is the best and worst of classic pulp science fiction. The sciencey stuff is neato and the plot is exciting; philosophically, it raises some good questions. But the prose is functional at best, and the characters are wooden. If you can get past that, it's a great book. If you can't, most science fiction is maybe not for you.

Clarke is given to breathless, pulpy sentences like this: "It was a good plan - and it failed completely." Which, I mean, I appreciate a good pulpy sente
...more
Stephen
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
...more
El
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
Caitlin
Mar 20, 2008 Caitlin rated it really liked it
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
Amar
Jul 03, 2016 Amar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amar by: Marijan
Shelves: read-in-2016
Ovu knjigu bi volio da sam pročitao kad sam bio mlađi , jer mislim da bi mi se onda još više dopao .

Meni se dopao lagani Klarkov stil , bez previše nepotrebnih opisa , dovoljno da shvatimo neke stvari .

Jednostavna priča o stranom objektu koji se kreće kroz sunčani sistem ,priča o drugačijem prvom susretu koji živi od misteriozne i napete atmosfere da saznamo sta je to u odlično izmišljenoj RAMI .
Zaista fascinatni opisi!

4*
Eric
Jan 17, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
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
Krbo
Jul 02, 2016 Krbo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Svakako jedno od dva najbolja Clarkeova djela.
Tko god zavoli SF i naleti na Clarkea mora pročitati ovo, Odiseju 2001 i pogledati film (Odiseju naravno jer su knjiga i film neraskidivo vezani istodobnim nastankom).
Osobno još preporučujem i Kraj djetinjstva, no to je osobno - za ono prvo dvoje postoji opće svjetsko suglasje.

Izvlačeći pradavna sjećanja (jer me uvijek zanima reakcija "na prvu loptu") sjećam se koliko je ovaj "prvi susret" bio drukčiji od svih ostalih. Toliko stran i nepoznat svijet
...more
Brad
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
...more
Desclian
Jan 26, 2011 Desclian rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
"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
Space
Apr 10, 2013 Space rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Darryl Knickrehm
Jan 27, 2013 Darryl Knickrehm rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Paul Bryant
Jan 24, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
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
Daniel
Sa jedne strane vrlo jednostavna postavka: nepoznati objekat se kreće kroz sunčani sistem i mi hitamo da ga ispitamo pre nego šo odmagli dalje, a sa druge strane imamo odličan hard SF roman koji odlično prikazuje kakva bi mogla biti budućnost kroz 100 do 200 godina. Znači kolko se bavi istraživanjem (mogućih) vanzemaljaca tolko se bavi istraživanjem ljudi i uticaja svega ovoga na ljude i njihove reakcije na sve to.

Što se pisanja tiče ovo je gosn. Artur iz najboljeg perioda kada je sve lepo pisao
...more
George
May 16, 2008 George rated it it was amazing
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
Manny
May 14, 2009 Manny rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Giant alien spaceship is sighted. People go and check it out. It's full of cool stuff.

Clarke adds some sex to show that he isn't just a holdout from the Golden Age, but his heart's not in it. As soon as they've finished, he wants to go out and explore the spaceship again. I can see his girlfriend rolling her eyes.
Samantha Glasser
Dec 05, 2012 Samantha Glasser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pulps, fiction
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
...more
Ana
I'm unsure why it took me so long to read one of Clarke's books. I've had them in my ebook collection for what feels like years and yet never tackled his work until now. That has all changed with the Rama series. So far, so good. Classical SF, which basically means a lot of science and a few characters here and there - I, personally, am a really big fan of this style and can appreciate it through and through. I hope it continues like this, because it promises to be a very interesting series. I d ...more
Henry Avila
Dec 13, 2012 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liam
Sort of weird in that undefinable Arthur C. Clarke/old sci-fi way, I enjoyed this. No conclusion which was sort of expected, again for aforementioned reasons.

The idea of finding, or being visited by, an alien artefact with no life is sort of confusingly disturbing. It's a bit of a paradox - aliens are creepy in and of themselves, so surely them not being there should be less so. That's the main thing that drew me to this book, the idea of the aliens just being completely absent.

I was a little di
...more
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
...more
Gregor Xane
Jul 01, 2013 Gregor Xane rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
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
Ubiqua
Sep 07, 2015 Ubiqua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Con Incontro con Rama, del 1973, Arthur C. Clarke immagina che il sistema solare sia attraversato da un'astronave aliena, apparentemente disabitata. Essa, chiamata Rama dai terrestri, è un vero e proprio micromondo cilindrico, che simula la forza di gravità grazie alla forza centrifuga ottenuta ruotando sul proprio asse. Il romanzo racconta l’avventurosissima esplorazione dell’interno di Rama da parte di un gruppo di scienziati.

Con loro il lettore entra nel mondo delle geometrie impossibili, del
...more
Molly Billygoat
Dec 01, 2015 Molly Billygoat rated it it was amazing
Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama is an exciting and intelligent take on man’s first contact with alien life. Clarke’s prowess in the fields of physics and mathematics shines through in his writing from beginning to end. So does the fact he was an H.G. Wells fan. In fact, one character within the book expresses his love and admiration of Wells’ ideas in the third chapter.

Like Wells, Arthur C. Clarke poses these questions: If humankind came into contact with alien life, would the aliens be
...more
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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
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

Rama (7 books)
  • Bright Messengers: A New Novel Set in the Rama Universe
  • Double Full Moon Night
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
  • The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
  • The Tranquility Wars

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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.” 27 likes
“When in doubt, say nothing and move on.” 23 likes
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