May 25, 2015

S-L-O-W Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama"

Maybe I’m missing something obvious.

Man has colonized the solar system, but there are no extraterrestrials. Rama, which is first though to be a comet or asteroid is too perfect to be either. It looks designed.

Some generic scientists (but they are progressive, one guy has two wives on different planets) go explore it. It must be weeks they’re exploring. It turns out to be a spaceship. There are creatures in it, but they don’t seem sentence. Some stuff happens. The people who live on Mercury try to blow it up. It gets some power from the sun and then goes away.

Is it just me, or was this a boring book? Maybe I don’t get science fiction at all, and this is supposed to be some sort of philosophical meditation on something. Whatever it is, it is a really slow book where it feels like not much happens. It might work as a set up for a deeper series, but it looks like the continuation books of the series are poorly reviewed. I don’t care about the characters, but I did want to know more about Rama. It is obvious Clarke thought deeply about the construction of the ship, I just wish he thought more about what to do with it.