Rama II Hardcover – Nov 1 1989
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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"
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....Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Part romance novel -- which wasn't welcomed. There were a few redeeming chapters but compared the Rendezvous -- a poor second installment.Published 14 months ago by Randy Nelson
I am a huge fan of ACC but I find the Rama series one of his most compelling works. Read it. Again!Published on March 3 2014 by BLSF
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 morePublished on March 6 2004 by Egoman
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 morePublished on Dec 28 2003 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on Dec 13 2003 by tollick
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 morePublished on Nov. 25 2003 by Robert Holm
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 morePublished on Oct. 21 2003 by Avid Reader
. . .yet still enjoyable book based on the scenario presented in "Rendevouz with Rama".
Another "Rama" style spacecraft has been sighted. Read more
This review covers the three books "Rama II", "Garden of Rama" and "Rama revealed". Arthur C. Read morePublished on Sept. 24 2003