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Rendezvous with Rama

(Rama #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  122,957 ratings  ·  3,659 reviews

An enormous cylindrical object appears in Earth's solar system, hurtling toward the sun. A ship is sent to explore the mysterious craft-which the denizens of the solar system name Rama-and what they find is intriguing evidence of a civilization far more advanced than ours. They find an interior stretching over 50 kilometers; a forbidding cylindrical sea; mysterious and

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Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published November 30th 2012 by RosettaBooks (first published June 28th 1973)
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Stebbins 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)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
IvanOpinion I think it was that such an orbit would be within Hermian "jurisdiction", so they felt more able to assert their view that malign intentions should be…moreI think it was that such an orbit would be within Hermian "jurisdiction", so they felt more able to assert their view that malign intentions should be assumed.

(Given the level of Raman technology, I'm pretty sure that Rama would have had self-defence capabilities easily able to foil a nuclear missile. I rather expected the plot would develop with the missile being detonated and having no effect or Rama's defences splatting the missile seconds before detonation.)(less)
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Patrick
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I've been trying to read more classic sci-fi and my experience has been very hit and miss so far...

But this was a very interesting take on the whole "first contact with aliens"!

I do wish there was a bit more but it seems like I always do. Nevertheless the ending was pretty satisfying, would recommend!
Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters the Solar System. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. The novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the
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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
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Evgeny
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
We, the humanity, see quite a lot of comets and meteors flying around. So in the future (fairly distant) nobody cared much about yet another such visitor until astronomers realized it had an ideal cylindrical form. At this point it did not take a genius to realize its artificial origin. Luckily there was a spaceship nearby to catch up with the guest (named Rama)
Rama
before it disappears into depths of space. This is the story about the ship's crew exploring dead alien derelict and the reaction of
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J.L.   Sutton
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was just enough detail to go with the all the mystery behind the alien ship hurtling through the solar system to make Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama an engaging and thought provoking read! Other than a spaceflight to intercept and explore the huge Raman spacecraft, there’s very little action in this novel and (unfortunately) very little character development. I do think there is a sense of wonder about the possibilities contained in the mysterious ship. The book whets your ...more
Apatt
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Manuel Antão
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2008
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Workmanlike Prose: "Rendezvous with Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke


Ah, yes. Rama. I actually read this with a torch under the blankets in an intense all-nighter back in the day. What I like about this book in retrospect is its complete lack of compromise as a work of SF. Characters? Who the frack needs 'em. Themes? Bah, pointless! All SF needs to be is an unbroken, brilliantly done description of an alien environment. I'm glad things have
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
This book was SO BORING. Wow.

I did not care about any of these characters, they were only slightly different demeanor-wise, which I guess could be believable among astronauts, but it made for a really lacking characterization element.

Even during parts of the plot where danger was ensuing I felt no sense of danger & I had no feelings of hoping that the character in danger survived.

In this novel women hardly served a further purpose than to be a distraction for or sleep with the men. Sure
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Gary
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally read this in junior high, when I first eagerly devoured all the writings of the "Big 3". This reread is part of a project to revisit the classics I read in my youth, now with my pesky adult brain in tow.
Rendezvous with Rama is pretty much the prototype for what people complain about when they say "they don't make 'em like they used to." It is also, by consequence, exactly what others are criticizing when they say "they shouldn't make 'em like that anymore." It is essentially a hard
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Scurra
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 ...more
Duane
This is one of my all-time favorite science fiction novels. Arthur C. Clarke's 1973 classic made a clean sweep of the genre's awards, winning the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula awards. The concept of the story is brilliant. The planet sized, spinning, cylindrical world of Rama is the star of the story, featuring a sea that circles the inside of the cylinder. The visuals created by Clarke were stunning. What will mankind make of this interstellar traveling alien world? I loved it, couldn't ...more
Will M.
“But at least we have answered one ancient question. We are not alone. The stars will never again be the same to us.”

I remember promising to read more /classic/ SciFi books last 2014 and so far I've failed. I can only remember the Ender series (I haven't even read the last book of the original quintet) and The Martian being my /classic/ SciFi reads since 2014. I have a vast interest in space, aliens, space opera... well SciFi in general but I have to honest and say that I'm a but intimidated
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Alex
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
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
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Othy
Jan 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick
This was a fun read. It was very typical classic sci-fi with no character development, lots of adventure and mystery packed in a 200 page novel of awesome goodness. It wasn’t long and drawn out like most books today. It was one of those small treasures not many people know about but should. I got sick of all the modern alien invasion stories but this one is different which was refreshing. Sometimes I like simple characters but a larger-picture-kind-of-story. If you’re like me this one is for ...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
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Ova - Excuse My Reading
I've read this book when I wasn't even 20 and would love to re-read sometime.
I know hardcore sci-fi books are not too much fun to read, especially if they are in the space (My eyes bled while I read 2001: A Space Odyssey) but I remember really enjoying parts of this book, although overall finding it very long.
Caitlin
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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 ...more
Anthony
Fascinating, mysterious, and imbued with a rare and spectacular sense of wonder. And happily concise, intelligent, and even occasionally funny. This was my first Arthur C. Clarke novel and it will definitely not be my last.
Eric
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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 ...more
Manny
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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Monica
This was a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, this is a classic by my favorite of the Grand Masters, Arthur C Clarke. It was also quite thought provoking and philosophical with a touch of creativity. On the other hand, I found it banal and even more problematic, sexist in his depiction of the characters and his projections about futuristic culture.

Clarke is always best when pondering philosophy and the nature of mankind. Though he shows some cynicism, I have found him to be mostly optimistic
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Darryl Knickrehm
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 ...more
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7,479 followers
Arthur Charles 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
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Other books in the series

Rama (4 books)
  • Rama II (Rama, #2)
  • The Garden of Rama (Rama, #3)
  • Rama Revealed (Rama, #4)
“When in doubt, say nothing and move on.” 36 likes
“If such a thing had happened once, it must surely have happened many times in this galaxy of a hundred billion suns.” 35 likes
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