Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

As much as I love all things Star Trek, I'm really not that big of a sci fi fiend. I haven't read many sci fi books and I haven't watched all that many sci fi movies or TV shows. What little I have read has been very dry. In fact, the main sci fi novel I remember reading prior to picking this book was 'Contact' by Carl Sagan, which was like reading a dictionary.

This book was written just like that. Characters had little to no personalities or back stories, and the dialogue was very very dry. The prose was as dry as toast, too. For that reason it was difficult to get a good mental image of what things were supposed to look like, because they were described so scientifically or functionally.

But it was still a good book. I found it as a recommendation from a blog I read and it seemed like a good thing to shake things up. I don't read much fiction, but when I do I can read very quickly. A story moves along in the way a non-fiction book never does.

This was very interesting in that there was very little conflict and no 'bad guy.' It was about a big 'thing' that enters the solar system in the year 2100 or so and they send a space ship to check it out. It turns out to be artificial, and when they get inside it they find out it's basically a self-sustaining world complete with an ocean and dirt and robots and stuff like that.

The story moves really slowly. There are no aliens in it, so it's all just about the wonder of exploration and the weird things that "Rama" (the space cylinder thing) does. It has no resolution, and you never find out what it was meant to do or why it was there, or that kind of thing.

Still, very interesting stuff. It's good to read something different and to add some variety to my train reading. Apparently the book is considered a sci-fi classic, which is funny because if all you have to do to be considered brilliant is to come up with a weird idea, write it up like you're writing a repair manual for a Dodge Stratus, and then never pay it off, then stay tuned for my new book, "Encounter with Neptune 7," coming soon to a Kindle near you.

If anyone has any other reading suggestions, leave them in the comments and I will add them to my library queue.


Hillary said...

Contact was like reading a dictionary.

And if you get the chance, read "The Book Thief." Best book I read last year. It's historical fiction and 600 pages, but I literally finished it in two days.

Christian said...

I think I read that. Cornelia Funke?

Hillary said...

Markus Zusak. You would remember it. Or at least you should remember it. The one with the little girl in WWII Germany and all the intertwining stories..sound familiar?

Christian said...

No, I think I was thinking of The Thief Lord. I'll put this one on my list.