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Arthur C. Clarke: the Rama trilogy


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A great ride, starting with the short story, ending with the trilogy; recent post about climate change reminded me of this story.

 

1. Rendevous with Rama:

 

Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a fifty-kilometre-long cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers, who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries.

 

 

2. Rama II:

 

the focus is no longer on alien mysteries, but on the petty concerns of an unlikely assortment of cosmonauts. The 12 specialists chosen to explore a second Raman craft passing through human space 70 years after the first are more involved with adultery, religion and media contracts than they are with scientific advancement.

 

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3.  The Garden of Rama

 

the massive spacecraft Rama is back, but the luster and sense of wonder generated by its first appearances have eroded. The once-exciting vessel, a "cylindrical worldlet," has been turned into a cheaply painted backdrop for an equally garish exposition of vice-lord politics. When Rama returns to earth and demands a sample of humanity for observation, a lying, corrupt government hands over 2000 citizens. These individuals serve as a microcosm to reflect most of today's big sociological problems, thus implying that in 300 years no existing problems will have been solved nor will any others have been created.

 

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4.  Rama revealed

 

A massive alien starship carries its human passengers to the end of their generations-long odyssey and toward an epic confrontation with the mysterious Ramans

 

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