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Rendezvous with Rama | [Arthur C. Clarke]

Rendezvous with Rama

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.
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Publisher's Summary

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft.

Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams...and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits - just behind a Raman airlock door.

BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer, who explains why Rendezvous with Rama will make the listener "feel both humbled and exhilarated at the same time".

©1973 Arthur C. Clarke; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1974
Nebula Award, Best Novel, 1973
John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Best Novel, 1974


"A frighteningly logical, believable, and grimly prophetic tale...Clarke is a master." (Los Angeles Times)
"A first-rate tour de force." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2356 )
5 star
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4.4 (1591 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (1567 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (79)
1 star
 (65)
Performance
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  •  
    Rafael Rosa 10-12-14
    Rafael Rosa 10-12-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome story,speed it up to 1.5x to fix narration"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ?

    I'm not sure it's a recording issue or the narrator's fault, but there are many "gaps" inside sentences, which is extremely annoying. Speeding it up to 1.5x fixes it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it grabs you attention to the end and it isn's super long, specially if you speed it up to 1.5x to improve the narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 10-09-14
    Patricia 10-09-14 Member Since 2014

    I love working with grey cells and hands ;) Reading, programming, crafting, all things I enjoy. The love of my life: my Kindle ;D

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excelent history, poor performance"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    My brother! The love for Science Fiction runs in the family :)


    What other book might you compare Rendezvous with Rama to and why?

    It's hard to decide, but i think is comparable to Ringworld. Why? Because play with a possible future when humans are still humans, with flaws and greatness and carry on with inter-species problems with various grades of success... Great history, well stablished, individuals and societies well described and believables.


    What didn’t you like about Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) ’s performance?

    The introduction was great! BUT the main performer seems DEAD! I bet the man is able to make it sound boring an entire NBA final! Keeps making pauses breaking the line of thought... I Iove the book but i CAN'T finish the second chapter of the audio! Painful! Please!!!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This audio book dissapoint me... THE BOOK NEVER!


    Any additional comments?

    Please make a new version with a performer alive, thanks ;/

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pen Name 10-08-14
    Pen Name 10-08-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, Poor performance"
    If you could sum up Rendezvous with Rama in three words, what would they be?

    Classic Science Fiction


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rendezvous with Rama?

    One of the most dramatic moments is when... I don't want to spoil it.


    What does Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Peter Ganim's performance was pretty bad. Often, it would sound like he was bored while reading it. Most of the time, it was read Staccato with... pauses... between... each.. word. However, he did produce a different voice for each of the characters which I had overlooked in my first reading of the actual book. The captain, for instance is Aussie, which I totally missed.

    Robert J Sawyers Introduction was great. He relates his own experience in reading the book which was neat.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It brought back some good memories of being curled up in bed with a flashlight under the cover so I could read and not keep my brother up.


    Any additional comments?

    It pains me that such a great book got such a bad reading. It wasn't enough for me to be upset over the purchase, but it certainly could have been better. I may avoid any other books read by Peter Ganim as a result though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 09-13-14
    Jonathan 09-13-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This narrator is excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't understand why people don't like this narrator. He's easily the best I've heard on Audible. Most narrators ruin the experience by trying to over-act the parts. Women narrators trying to produce believable men's voices and vice versa is just plain terrible and often irritating to listen to. When you tell someone a story in real life, do you try to mimic all the voices with perfect fidelity?! Of course not. You use subtle inflection to make the point. When I say, "my mom says hi"... you can bet it would be weird if I voiced "hi" in an attempt at my mom's voice. Since most writing consists of sentences like, " 'Let's go that way,' he said." it's even more jarring. This narrator does a beautiful job of giving you just enough distinction to understand dialog versus narration, but not so much as to sound painfully unnatural.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danish Princeton, NJ 09-09-14
    Danish Princeton, NJ 09-09-14 Member Since 2015

    I recently started listening to books and am addicted! Sci-fi is my favorite genre!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "God awful narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would definitely recommend the book; however, in written form and not the one narrated by Mr. Peter Ganim


    How could the performance have been better?

    A voice acting course for Peter Ganim, perhaps?


    Any additional comments?

    I've only heard a couple chapters of this book but now contemplating returning it because of the narration. The story by AC Clarke is engrossing, as always, but the narration is so dull that I'm easily distracted and I fail to follow the story and continuously see myself rewinding it and then persevering through the awful narration again. A man can only take that much...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 06-16-14
    Ben 06-16-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Claims of Narrator's ineptitude grossly exadurated"
    Any additional comments?

    There have been a lot of comments about the lack of skill of this Narrator. I will say he wasn't amazing, but the story absolutely is. I didn't mind him at all. Give the demo a listen, if you don't mind it, I highly recommend downloading it

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fitzwoman 05-27-14
    Fitzwoman 05-27-14

    Reader, reviewer, blogger

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    63
    39
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    1
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    "Excellent job with an extraordinary story"
    Would you listen to Rendezvous with Rama again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen again. I enjoyed it immensely.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The story wasn't exactly character-driven, but I don't have a favorite.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It certainly made me think, mostly about contact with aliens and the size of the universe.


    Any additional comments?

    I hadn't read this book previously and was fascinated by the story. The narration was top-notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darkstar 05-18-14
    Darkstar 05-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books ever"
    What did you love best about Rendezvous with Rama?

    The details of Rama


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rendezvous with Rama?

    The first time they see Rama through the flash of a flair


    Which character – as performed by Peter Ganim and Robert J. Sawyer (Introduction) – was your favorite?

    Can't pick one


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When they had to leave Rama


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 02-09-14
    Keith LIVERMORE, CA, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So plausable and well done!"

    What a great story. It is so well done and believable. I really enjoyed this one! Ignore what others say about the narrator. He was fine. He wasn't the best I ever heard but he was very far from the worst.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 01-31-14
    Donald 01-31-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Classic Sci-fi, with actual science."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rendezvous with Rama to be better than the print version?

    The audio version is amazing, the performers do a good job at evoking the scale and tension of exploring the alien artifact.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The unraveling mysteries, the science explained or alluded to.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    There goes the neighborhood.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Benjamin
    Brough, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    2/15/09
    Overall
    "Excellent Book, poorly read"

    This is one of my favourite books and it tells a mind blowing story but unfortunately the reader is very bland and for me this is a very important part of an audiobook!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    St AlbansUnited Kingdom
    2/27/09
    Overall
    "Disappointed"

    After reading all the great reviews and see all the awards it got. I was really looking forward to listening to this audio book. However after aprox 5 hours, I just had to stop.
    It was boring. This confused me. I've since come to the conclusion, that the narrator's dull tone, is what made me switch off. Shame really as like I said, I was really looking forward to listening

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • David
    10/28/09
    Overall
    "Rendezvous with Rubbish Narration"

    Don't get me wrong, the book is superb. Typically Clarke, more interested in the wonder of discovery than in deep and rounded characters, the book is nevertheless compelling and convincingly realistic.

    The narration however, leaves much to be desired. From a main character who can't decide between the Queen's English, the strains of the South Pacific, or Cockney, to general narration that is so staccato and uninflected that it could be voiced by Microsoft Narrator, this is quite possibly one of the single worst readings of a book I have ever come across.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    4/1/09
    Overall
    "Beautiful imagery, nocharacter development"

    For people who love the imagery that a really well written Sci-Fi book can conjure, this is the book for you. A great adventure-in-space story. The only downside is the absence of any real character development or any human story - the characters are there merely as observers of what the author wants to show the reader/listener and to enact any action that needs to be executed to move the story on. We know very little of the people in the story, which may suit some listeners but I could have done with a little more to cement the story together.

    Still a beautifully written and well narrated story which I highly recommend.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • S
    Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
    11/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best Sci Fi books written - seriously!"
    Where does Rendezvous with Rama rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The imagination displayed in this book is mind blowing. When you think that it was written in 1973! Man was still walking and driving on the moon at that time.
    He extrapolates a future, populates it, designs a whole world in a spaceship that is the size of Greater London and then lets you explore it.
    So his characterisation is not as strong as you might like. But the scope he gives you to think about what he is describing is fantastic.
    There are two great books about the first contact with aliens.
    This one and Larry Niven's 'Mote in God's Eye'. I can never decide which is better.


    Any additional comments?

    As an example of the power of the thinking here I have clipped in this section from Wikipedia…

    "Clarke invented the space study program which detects Rama, Project Spaceguard, as a method of identifying near-Earth objects on Earth-impact trajectories; in the novel it was initiated after an asteroid struck Italy on 11 September 2077, destroying Padua and Verona and sinking Venice.
    A real project named Spaceguard was initiated in 1992, named after Clarke's fictional project. After interest in the dangers of asteroid strikes was heightened by a series of Hollywood disaster films, the United States Congress gave NASA authorisation and funding to support Spaceguard."

    This man helped to make things happen by telling the world what they would look like.

    Expand your mind and listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • G.Williams
    wigan, United Kingdom
    10/31/11
    Overall
    "Peter Ganim"

    Just wanted to say that I was nearly put off puchasing this audio-book because of the bad reviews of the narration of Peter Ganim. Well I have to say I'm glad I did (purchase), because I realy enjoyed it. Well done Peter Ganim !
    Oh and by the way, the story is absolutly top class. Five stars allround.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • tim
    chafford hundred, United Kingdom
    9/5/11
    Overall
    "Shame for narator bad reading"

    One of the best SyFy books ever written, spoiled with amazing BAD narrator, with all do respect :)
    ...please get your self anything else but this book, don't waste your money or credit.
    Very badly disappointed :(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ben
    edinburgh, United Kingdom
    8/8/11
    Overall
    "rama review"

    Whilst of its time this is one of Clarks more fully formed and fleshed out worlds with characters that connect with the story rather than just inhabit a space within a wider plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William
    Castlewellan, United Kingdom
    6/2/10
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    I found this most enjoyable, and found myself wanting to learn more and more about Rama and its makers. By the way I have listened to many audiobooks with this narrator and have become used to him, so while he may annoy some, I had no problem whatsoever. Only thing is, when will Rama 2 be on audible?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chusan Services Ltd
    4/3/10
    Overall
    "Good and bad"

    This is a great story, probably Arthur C Clarke's best. What a shame Peter Gamin (the reader) has such a boring voice and condecending delivery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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