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Rendezvous With Rama Audio Cassette – Oct 1 1980


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Audio Cassette, Oct 1 1980
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc. (Oct. 1 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736602585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736602587
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

Product Description

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An all-time science fiction classic, Rendezvous with Rama is also one of Clarke's best novels--it won the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula Awards. A huge, mysterious, cylindrical object appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. The citizens of the solar system send a ship to investigate before the enigmatic craft, called Rama, disappears. The astronauts given the task of exploring the hollow cylindrical ship are able to decipher some, but definitely not all, of the extraterrestrial vehicle's puzzles. From the ubiquitous trilateral symmetry of its structures to its cylindrical sea and machine-island, Rama's secrets are strange evidence of an advanced civilization. But who, and where, are the Ramans, and what do they want with humans? Perhaps the answer lies with the busily working biots, or the sealed-off buildings, or the inaccessible "southern" half of the enormous cylinder. Rama's unsolved mysteries are tantalizing indeed. Rendezvous with Rama is fast moving, fascinating, and a must-read for science fiction fans. Clarke collaborated with Gentry Lee in writing several Rama sequels, beginning with Rama II. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Review

Arthur C. Clarke is awesomely informed about physics and astronomy, and blessed with one of the most astounding imaginations ever encountered in print NEW YORK TIMES For many readers Arthur C. Clarke is the very personification of science fiction THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age ... The colossus of science fiction NEW YORKER Quite memorable and at times magical... We glimpse our own future in this technological artifact - a future as magical as it is mysterious BRIAN W. ALDISS --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Zielinski on July 15 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a novel that I had high expectations for, due to its being a "classic" in sci-fi, but ultimately felt letdown by. Great concept. Could be thought-provoking, if you're the type to get deep into an idea. But about what it lacked, let me quote another review:
"The characters are a little bland I guess but it's such a short read and there's so much information to digest there was really no room for hardcore character development. Who cares anyway..."
Well, I guess maybe I'm one of the few who do. There's really NO development at all. As the above-quoted reviewer states, Rama is the main character and the focus of the book. But I don't think it would have been impossible to sustain that same mood, while also making the human characters interesting. The United Planets council scenes were tiresome -- due to too many names and not enough page-time -- but were kept thankfully short. Commander Norton is boring. He's made to seem real simply by the fact that he has a role model in a historical figure -- Captain James Cook. Other people are given hobbies to bring them to life; sailing and participating in the Lunar Olympics are two.
The other reviewer is right, this is not a character-driven novel. The fact that the most disappointing aspect of this book was never meant as its focus and that it was a fluid, quick read earned it three stars from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andre Farant TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Feb. 14 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" (among many, many others), "Rendezvous with Rama" is considered by many one of his finest works and a contemporary classic in the genre of hard science-fiction. It tells the tale of a ship and its crew tasked with docking with and exploring the interior of a mysterious alien vessel nick-named Rama. The story approaches such a momentous event from a variety of perspectives, including the political, scientific and philosophical. It mostly withstands the test of time and offers an interesting mystery that keeps the reader wondering.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The tragic meteor impact of 2077. Gigantic cameras, probes and satellites launched into orbit. That momentous event of 2131 when an asteroid, 40 kilometres across, came hurtling towards the sun. And humankind’s first ever contact with an alien civilization. From one of the greatest names in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke, comes this story of survey ship Endeavour and its mission to gather as much information as possible in its first extra terrestrial contact before Rama touches perihelion and starts on its way back.

As we follow Commander Bill Norton and his team into the heart of Rama, Clarke takes us out of our comfort zone, and we too are made to “discard the instincts both of earth and of space, and re-orientate to a new system of coordinates.” When you are in the endless blackness of space with no blue sky to denote ‘above’ or green grass to denote ‘below’ and not even the pull of gravity to give a sense of ‘up’ or ‘down’, what a sense of disorientation that would lead to. And that amazing feeling of being in completely alien surroundings is exactly what I experienced reading this book.

Creation that moves from the ice age, to water and oxygen formation, to the making of plankton in mere hours; an endless world of ‘cities’ with ‘buildings’ and ‘streets’ and a sea; a weird world with cones emitting strange magnetic fields; crab-like robots and even alien flora … what really takes the story to a whole new level is the constant sense of waiting for something unfathomable - a sense that is heightened with an intensified race against time as Rama’s outer hull changes from 270 degrees below, to molten lead, as it races towards the sun.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After a meteorite impact devastates Italy, humanity instigates project Spaceguard to track potentially dangerous space rocks. In 2130, Spaceguard detects a gigantic object moving at 100 000 km/h heading for a loop around the Sun. Closer inspection reveals the object to be a perfect cylinder 54 km long and 20 km across, its origin apparently intelligent, and its source deep space.

A investigation team is quickly dispatched to rendezvous with the object—now called Rama after a Hindu god—while it still remains in the solar system. To the surprise of everyone involved, Rama appears to be an interstellar ark: a world contained in a spaceship, complete with spin-induced artificial gravity and a surprisingly Earth-like atmosphere. But more importantly, there is no sign that Rama is inhabited—what, then, is the purpose of the craft?

This is definitely a hard science fiction novel, in that its focus is a primarily scientific account of the further exploration of Rama, pinning down technical details and the testing of hypotheses on the ship's origin and function. Needless to say, no first contact novel would be complete without the politics springing from an alien encounter, and Clarke's view of interplanetary negotiations on such add a nice complement of believable soft science fiction to round out the novel.

For the most part, Clarke also avoids character development, again preferring to develop Rama itself. I've read on various websites that the sequels place stronger emphasis on characterization, but, as with Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey series, don't measure up to the original (which, in Rama's case, was initially supposed to stand alone). Much of this can probably be blamed on collaborating with other authors, who are usually good but not nearly as good as Clarke.
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