Finished reading Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. What a surprising treat!
Rendezvous with Rama is considered one of Clarke’s best novels – winning a slew of sci-fi literary awards. While I’m not a huge Clarke fan myself, this came highly recommended as a ‘must read’, so I dove into the audiobook on my drives to/from work.
The story (no spoilers):
A gigantic, mysterious, cylindrical object appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. A ship is quickly redirected to investigate before the enigmatic object, called Rama, sweeps through the solar system and disappears, or crashes into the sun, or parks and starts an invasion(!?). The astronauts land and soon discover they can enter the kilometers long, hollow cylindrical object to decipher it’s puzzles. What becomes apparent is this object is clearly extra-terrestrial technology of high order; but apparently lying completely dormant without any signs of activity or life. After entering the object itself, they begin and fantastic exploration that leads the reader on an amazing ride as Rama starts to wake…
If you want to read a gripping, fantastic story about what a first human encounter with an alien space probe/vehicle/whatever – and if you want to watch the exploration process unfold and experience awesome and wonderful sights – then this is a book for you. I found myself riveted by the descriptions and picturing the fantastic scenes in my own mind. This alone is worth the price of entry!
While Clarke posits what he think alien technology might look like, I found some of the suggestions too implausible, or in some cases, overly simplistic or even a little silly. Still, the parts he really nails are so good that these minor points do not overshadow the amazing sights and experiences he does create.
I highly recommend this book to someone who loves good old fashioned sci-fi exploration and adventure into strange new areas. It’s quite a treat that is worth a read. A-