Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rama Series Summary

Books in Arthur C Clarke's Rama series of novels (in order of publication).

  1. "Rendezvous with Rama"
  2. With Gentry Lee: "Rama II"
  3. With Gentry Lee: "Garden of Rama"
  4. With Gentry Lee: "Rama Revealed"
On quality of the series.
The only decent story in this series is Rendezvous. Slightly dated theme of self-contained extra-terrestrial habitats, but there is enough innovation & good story telling to make it a worthy read.

Rama II is garbage, primarily because of major readability issues.

Garden & Revealed are generally readable. But if I had some other book at hand, I would rather skip them.

Third party illustrations on the series.
A common reason some people don't like Rama series, particularly Rendezvous, is because of the difficulty visualizing the interior of Rama. I have seen some very good pictures on the web that can help reading - alas never saved links.

No matter. I will be looking out for them now, and add here when I find a good one.
  1. Some hand-drawn illustrations of cities & creatures inside Rama (drawn from multiple books in the series).
  2. Very good 3 minute movie showing the approach & landing of human spacecraft on Rama, & entry of human explorers through airlock into the ship. But ship interior is an enigma here.
Influence of "Rescue Party".
Rescue Party appears to be the mother of all Clarkian fiction, & Rama series doesn't escape.
  1. Main novel, Rendezvous, appears to be essentially a detailing of the cylindrical alien spaceship with kilometer-scale dimensions that appears in this story.
  2. Octospiders seen in the 3 sequels could have been derived from tentacled aliens in Rescue Party.
  3. Galactic administration entrusted with their duties by powers beyond the beginning of time reminds me of the end of Rama Revealed.
  4. In Rescue Party, tentacled aliens carry a paralyzer they might have to use on humans. In Rama Revealed, octospiders actually use a paralyzer when they "kidnap" a woman.
Influence of "Jupiter Five".
With minor variations, Rendezvous is simply a longer version of Jupiter Five. In fact, last one third of Jupiter Five gives you a preview of the 3 Rendezvous sequels too!

8 comments:

Ankur Gupta said...

I am looking fwd to reading them all ... Lets see

hippolytus said...

the version of RWR i have has a pretty good picture of the interior seen from the entry end on it and has a circular window cover. is this addition just old and people haven't seen it. unfortunately i think this picture to me is half the book.

Tinkoo said...

In answer to comment by hippolytus above:

I have actually communicated with individuals who found Rendezvous hard to follow because they had difficulty visualizing the interior. In spite of cover, I suppose.

And I have seen some really good illustrations of its interior from multiple locations & perspectives inside Rama - only I didn't save URLs, & Google is no help finding them again.

Would highly appreciate if a reader has come across a good image & can provide the URL. Thank you.

Gabo said...

tMacmillan Readers, in 2003, released an adapted version of "Rendezvous" for students of English... it's quite good and, most importantly, features some very nice illustrations.

Anonymous said...

All 4 book are great, you just dont have the abillity to see that

sarag said...

i think that its wrong to dicount the last 3 books in this series as garbage. the ending i will admit left us with alot of questions. But the main 0nes were answered and i was left with a good feeling about life and our place in the cosmos. and as for the incredible amount of detail, arent we used to that from him?once again mr clark has left us with an incredible work and a sence of wonder. this is one of my favorite series.

Rembrandt18 said...

This is one of my favorite series' ever for some reason. I didn't like the amount of background in Rama 2 and it was somewhat lacking in drama for a long time. I would have liked some more about what was going on on Earth during this time too.

Anonymous said...

I read Rendezvous as a teen and loved it. One of the only books I couldn't put down. The story covered enough illustration for me to follow without over doing the scenes. I found the story focused on the characters more than the actual ship. I look forward to reading the books once again with the hope of loving them a second time around.