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Rama II [Hardcover]

Arthur C. Clarke , Gentry Lee
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 1989
This sequel to a bestselling novel sees a second Raman spaceship arriving in the Solar System. "Rendezvous With Rama", the only science fiction novel ever to receive all of the major awards, is by the author of "2001: A Space Odyssey", who here collaborates with a screenwriter and space scientist.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In 1973, Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama won the Hugo, Nebula and Campbell awards. This new novel is the second in a trilogy about the mystifying world-ships and their flybys of our solar system. Unfortunately, the focus is no longer on alien mysteries, but on the petty concerns of an unlikely assortment of cosmonauts. The 12 specialists chosen to explore a second Raman craft passing through human space 70 years after the first are more involved with adultery, religion and media contracts than they are with scientific advancement. Not only are their actions unrealistic, but the chapter titles telegraph what comes next. The excitement of discovery that was present in the first book is altogether missing from this soap opera plot.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Offers one surprise after  another." -- The New York  Times.

"A masterpiece ... one of the  year's best hard SF epics." -- The  Houston Post

From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rama 2 is garbage April 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is *not* written by Arthur C Clarke, it was written by Gentry Lee alone. The promotion of the book as an ACC book is highly misleading.
Gentry Lee belongs on the slushpile. His writing is full of magic and fantasy rather than science fiction. This book contains lengthy, irrelevant asides. The SF component is trivial; the book is basically a large character study.
It is astonishing how bad this book is by comparison to the excellent, simple narrative "Rendezvous with Rama"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It Is A Dirty Rotten Shame Feb. 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At some point in the last 10-15 years it became fashionable for well-known and somewhat less well-known authors to co-write novels.
I can only speak for sci-fi novels because that's what I primarily read but, BAD IDEA!
I routinely leave novels untouched on the bookstore shelves when I see they have been co-authored. Nothing done by a committee, even a committee of two, is EVER as good as the original thought and personality of a single great author.
In this case the great author is Clarke. Why oh why, did he ever agree to this (please tell me he was not blinded by the almighty Dollar - or in this case the almighty Rupee). It would have been better if it had never been written!
I tried reading and skimming, and reading a few lines from each paragraph, and turning pages hoping it would kick in, but it just continued to wallow in it's own mire.
I stopped dead reading the book at Chapter 5, first paragraph, when I came across this line: "The catalyst for the relatively rapid collapse of the existing institutional infrastructure was the market crash and subsequent breakdown of the global financial system; however, these events would not have been sufficient, by themselves, to......" On and on, Blah, Blah, Blah. Gentry Lee would be hired instantly for a job writing federal government publications.
Does this even remotely come close to the tight, succinct writing in Rendezvous with Rama? (albeit short on characterization - but, WHO CARES when it's Clarke)
It's sad, very very sad. I wanted so badly to read more Rama. Instead I get Rama-dama-ding-dong.
Clarke states in this book's introduction: "I filled floppy disks (for Gentry Lee) with concepts, characters, backgrounds, plots - anything which seemed even remotely useful to the story....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, Absolute Trash May 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Exploring the original Rama was an quietly stunning experience of wonder; the dark, cold, sterile environment; watching as the alien world awoke. The Ramans completely ignored our explorers, considering them merely trash to be swept away by their bots. The central sea was mysterious and fascinating when frozen, it was mysterious and fascinating when the lights came on and the sea began to melt, the unexplored metal buildings were fascinating, the bots were fascinating. The exploration of Rama was stark, quiet, and beautiful.
Now, take these wonderful things, remove them from the story, add some obnoxious characters whom you will hate, study every aspect of the obnoxious characters in painful detail, and call it a sequel.
The contrast between this and the original leaves me at a loss for words. Terribly disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want the time back Dec 30 2002
By jeremym
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The longer I think about this book, the dumber I get. The first book (RWR) is a gem; fascinating, innovative, succinct, and it brings to life one of the better sci-fi characters I've come across: a gargantuan spaceship, revealed in fascinating, intricate detail.
RWR opened so many doors and left so many interesting questions unanswered that I was utterly astonished to discover that there exists someone so enfeebled (Gentry Lee) as to be able to write a RWR sequel that isn't even remotely interesting. Who made Rama? Where did it come from? What is its course? What are the cities? Are the biots the Ramans? No progress is made on these questions in all gazillion pages.
Undertake this book only with a moistened thumb at the ready, because you'll be applying it while skipping through page after page of "character development" that would make Judy Blume readers recoil in disappointment if their hearts hadn't already stopped beating from sheer disintrest. Be prepared to wade through several chapters of religionist thought[provoking bull] between the "action sequences", not something many A.C.C. readers look forward to.
Estimated total number of pages related to the exposition of Rama itself: 30/500+
Number of those presenting new information: 6
Number of pointless subplots: 27
Number of those resolved in the book: uhhh... 1? thankfully.
Transparent villains: 3
Just in case you see light at the end of the tunnel, the ending is even dumber. The only reason I finished it was because I just couldn't believe it. And from what I hear, this is the high water mark of the Gentry Lee sequels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars STOP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!! Nov. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Look, I can understand why you'd want to read this book. "Rendezvous With Rama" was a gem of a science fiction book. Maybe it was a little short on character development, but with such a wonderful world to explore, who cares? Around every corner of the exploration were wonders... flights over a cylindrical sea, biots, mile-long stairways... Wasn't it great? Didn't you feel like you were reading the journals of explorers who themselves felt like ants in a cathedral? Didn't the whole book just blow your mind?
Well you WON'T find any of those virtues in this book or any of the sequale that follow.
Gentry Lee seems to have been given the seemingly impossible task of making RAMA--a space-bourn Grand Canyob-sized artifact of an alien culture--a boring place. What's his secret? He filled Rama with insipid caricatures straight from a 20th century soap opera.
Remember that heroic group from the first book that pulled together in the face of catastrophe? Gone! Rama II and it's sequals leave us with short-sighted bureaucrats, beautiful-but-power-mad Italian women, impossibly altruistic scientists, amoral lawyers, American corporate types who want to use Raman technology to create new weapons (boy, that's not cliche!), cowboy presidents, the pope, African-American gangsters, chess-playing Russians, oversexed teens, murderously jealous lovers, and a computer geek who overcomes his social ineptness to save the day and win the girl (Gentry Lee, not surprisingly, is a computer guy).
Maybe Clarke and Lee were worried that Commander Norton and his crew were all cut from the same "noble scientist" cloth that many of Clarke's characters use. If so, they overcompensated drastically.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars just as good the second time!
I am a huge fan of ACC but I find the Rama series one of his most compelling works. Read it. Again!
Published 7 months ago by BLSF
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so
I was a huge fan of the original "Rendezvous with Rama". It presented the reader with an incredible scenario and allowed him/her to simply explore it along with the... Read more
Published on March 6 2004 by Egoman
4.0 out of 5 stars Really, It's Pretty Good...
I love Arthur C. Clarke, most of the time. I loved "Rendevouz", but felt that it was a little too austere. The sequels went the other way and I welcomed the change. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Read book 1, but not the rest
I loved "Rendezvous with Rama," and as a child, I'd spend time thinking about what it would be like to get left behind. I was excited to find this book - until I read it. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2003 by tollick
4.0 out of 5 stars The return of Rama
This is the sequal to Rendezvous with Rama. It was written by Gentry Lee, based on Sir Arthur C. Clarke's ideas and editorial input. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2003 by Robert Holm
4.0 out of 5 stars A lesser Rama
Something - or someone - was a little out of focus here. I had expected a continuation of the extraordinary saga started in RAMA but instead the story seems diminished. Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2003 by Avid Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A weaker. . .
. . .yet still enjoyable book based on the scenario presented in "Rendevouz with Rama".
Another "Rama" style spacecraft has been sighted. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by David Zampino
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed it, it isn't rubbish like everyone says!!!
This review covers the three books "Rama II", "Garden of Rama" and "Rama revealed". Arthur C. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2003 by "martinezz"
1.0 out of 5 stars Astonshingly Bad
It's been at least ten years since I read a book by skipping a couple of pages, reading a few lines, skipping a few more pages, reading some lines, and so on. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by RaDadIndy
2.0 out of 5 stars Spare yourself the agony and disappointment!
Man oh man!
Since it is now over six months since I finished the series, I can now look back in retrospect. Read more
Published on July 23 2003 by Richard Harris
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