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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 (178 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.


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 500 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
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although it has been almost two years since I read "Rendezvous With Rama," I clearly remember how the novel entertained and impressed me. I recall that Arthur C. Clark's writing was really nice and concise. The story was propelled forward by a developing mystery that effectively pulled the reader along. The plot was a rather novel idea for an extraterrestrial encounter, although it was really an old idea in a new guise - H. G. Well's First Men In The Moon but instead of being in the moon, this story's astronauts make their way inside Rama. Clark managed, along the way, to sprinkle nice futuristic predications into the story regarding man's presence on the moon as well as other planets of the solar system. He introduced an interesting idea of genetically enhanced chimpanzees but failed to utilize the chimpanzees when the opportunity came up - to disarm an approaching warhead. The ending left the reader unsatisfied but the author is immediately forgiven when the reader reads the very last sentence. This is a great work of extraterrestrial speculative fiction and all fans of science fiction who appreciate a story adhering to hard science should take the time to read it, as it is well deserving of both the Hugo and Nebula awards that it earned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
We've all read scifi by brilliant minds with great technical ideas that somehow fell short in the storytelling department. And we've all read page-turners that gripped us, but didn't engage our minds.
But if we're lucky, we've also read Arthur C. Clarke.
"Rendezvous with Rama" is Clarke in peak form, combining great science with the kind of mysterious story that really sticks with you. The blend is perfect, and the pace of the revelations -- both scientific and dramatic -- is flawless.
In fact, the science and fiction in this science-fiction story are so amazingly good that the shallowness of the characters doesn't hurt the story. A cornerstone of scifi is looking at how people behave in situations that are out of the ordinary. Normally, that means that we need compelling characters with lots of development, layers, internal conflicts and bad hair days. The first time I read this novel, I was put off by the anonymity of the characters. Not only don't they have first names (perfectly reasonable, given that it's a military expedition), but there's very little about them that helps me identify with them. It wasn't until my second or third reading that I realized why that doesn't matter here: becuase the story and the science are so deep, I was *already* involved in the novel, and didn't need to get into a character's head to find my place in the story.
Sequels would do wonders for character development (though they were further examples of the dirty-old-man method of writing female characters), but wouldn't touch the sense of mystery, drama and even suspense that "Rendezvous" gave me. This isn't a library book; it's one you'll want to keep coming back to.
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