Friday, September 2, 2022

Review of Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

This review was written by Eugene Kernes   

Book can be found in: 
Intriguing Connections = 1) Adventures Of The Space Faring Kind, 2) Once Upon A Future

Watch Short Review


“There was also a sense of danger here that was wholly novel to his experience.  In very earlier landing, he had known what to expect; there was always the possibility of accident, but never of surprise.  With Rama, surprise was the only certainty.” – Arthur C. Clarke, Chapter 4: Rendezvous, Page 11-12

“During the first “nights” in Rama it had not been easy to sleep.  The darkness and the mysteries it concealed were oppressive, but more unsettling was the silence.  Absence of noise is not a natural condition; all human senses require some input.  If they are deprived of it, the mind manufactures its own substitutes.” – Arthur C. Clarke, Chapter 17: Spring, Page 84

“He did not interrupt the Commander again, and made no comment when Norton had finished.  Yes, it made sense, and was so absurdly simple that it would take a genius to think of it.  And, perhaps, someone who did not expect to do it himself.” – Arthur C. Clarke, Chapter 31: Terminal Velocity, Page 165

After the Earth has been ravaged by meteorites, leading to a loss of cities, wealth, and knowledge, humans became determined to prevent more disasters.  Turning their energies from fighting each other, to unity in the goal.  By 2130, asteroids were easily discovered and their statistical movements calculated.  But then a mysterious asteroid was discovered, to be a lone wanderer from outside the solar system.  The asteroid was named Rama.  Although initially rejected an unimportant, turned out to be very important.  When images of Rama were taken, Rama was accepted as no mere asteroid, but a massive spaceship.  For information gathering, the ship Endeavour was selected, with its Commander Norton.  They need to find out the purpose of Rama.  This is a space adventure full of decisional uncertainty.  An adventure with plenty of planetary politics. 

The book takes a while to build the suspense, which contain repetitive activities.  What the activities do is create a consistent story, and explain decisional minutia.  Details that explain the complexity and sometimes monotony of the type of exploration they are undergoing.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?  Why do people read this book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•Why did humanity become united?
•Who are the simps and what is there purpose?
•How are the planets governed and what are some politics?
•What are the different inhabited planets, their environments, and what kind of cultures did they produce?
•What is Rama?  
•What is the purpose of Rama?
•What are some internal features of Rama?

Book Details
Publisher:         Bantam Spectra [Bantam Books]
Edition ISBN:  0553287893
Pages to read:   243
Publication:     1990
1st Edition:      1973
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          3
Overall           5