Review of Rendezvous with Rama

Published on 2019-01-03 by John Collins.

I decided last year to finally start reading the classic science fiction texts of Arthur C Clarke, and began with Rendezvous with Rama. The book made the news again in 2018, when the asteroid Oumuamua made a pass through our solar system, and many observers noted the similarity with this event and the plot of Rendezvous with Rama.

The book was published in 1973, and has aged well for the most part beyond some borderline sexism. The plot resolves around a crew of astronauts docking with and exploring Rama, a mysterious oblong object from deep space that is passing through our system. The vivid clarity of the descriptions of the environment being explored, and the automated systems inside the object, are simply amazing.

The sense of verticality of Rama’s architecture that Arthur C Clarke is able to portray in words alone almost gave me vertigo, I honestly never felt this way reading a book before, he is a masterful writer and I look forward to reading his remaining titles soon.

The beautiful leather bound edition of this book I have, pictured above, is from Easton Press and is sadly no longer in print, but I was able to find it at a reasonable price (and in great condition) on Ebay.