Rendezvous with Rama

Rendezvous with Rama is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters the 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. The novel won both the Hugo[4] and Nebula[5] awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography. The concept was later extended with several sequels.

Rendezvous with Rama
Rama copy
Cover of the first British edition[1]
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
Cover artistBruce Pennington[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesRama series
GenreScience fiction
PublisherGollancz (UK)
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (US)
Publication date
Jun 1973 (UK)
Aug 1973 (US)
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages256 (UK)
69,048 words[3]
AwardsLocus Award for Best Novel (1974)
ISBN0-575-01587-X (UK)
Followed byRama II 

Plot

After an asteroid falls in Northeast Italy in 2077, creating a major disaster, the government of Earth sets up the Spaceguard system as an early warning of arrivals from deep space.

The "Rama" of the title is an alien starship, initially mistaken for an asteroid categorised as "31/439". It is detected by astronomers in the year 2131 while it is still outside the orbit of Jupiter. Its speed (100,000 km/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate it is not on a long orbit around the sun, but comes from interstellar space. The astronomers' interest is further piqued when they realise the asteroid has an extremely rapid rotation period of 4 minutes and is exceptionally large. It is named Rama after the Hindu god,[6] and an unmanned space probe dubbed Sita is launched from the Mars moon Phobos to intercept and photograph it. The resulting images reveal that Rama is a perfect cylinder, 20 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter and 54 kilometres (34 mi) long, and almost completely featureless, making this humankind's first encounter with an alien spacecraft.

The solar survey vessel Endeavour is sent to study Rama, as it is the only ship close enough to do so in the brief period Rama will spend in the solar system. Endeavour manages to rendezvous with Rama one month after it first comes to Earth's attention, when the alien ship is already inside Venus's orbit. The crew, led by Commander Bill Norton, enters Rama through a dual safety system consisting of three sets of triple airlocks (one of which is blocked by an impact of a smaller asteroid), and explores the vast 16-km wide by 50-km long cylindrical world of its interior, but the nature and purpose of the starship and its creators remain enigmatic throughout the book. Rama's inner surfaces hold vast "cities" of geometric structures that resemble buildings and are separated by streets with shallow trenches. A mammoth band of water, dubbed the Cylindrical Sea, stretches around Rama's central circumference. Massive cones, which the astronauts theorise are part of Rama's propulsion system, stand at its 'southern' end. They also find that Rama's atmosphere is breathable.

One of the crew members, Jimmy Pak, who has experience with low gravity skybikes, rides a smuggled skybike along Rama's axis to the far end, otherwise inaccessible due to the cylindrical sea and the 500m high cliff on the opposite shore. Once at the massive metal cones on the southern end of Rama, Jimmy detects strange magnetic and electric fields coming from the cones, which increase, resulting in lightning. Due to his proximity to the spires, the concussion from a discharge damages his skybike causing him to crash on the isolated southern continent.

When Pak wakes up, he sees a crab-like creature picking up his skybike and chopping it into pieces. He cannot decide whether it is a robot or a biological alien, and keeps his distance while radioing for help. As Pak waits, Norton sends a rescue party across the cylindrical sea, using a small, improvised craft, constructed earlier for exploration of the sea's central island. The creature dumps the remains of the skybike into the sea, but ignores Pak himself, who explores the surrounding fields while waiting for the rescue party to arrive. Amongst the strange geometric structures, he sees an alien flower growing through a cracked tile in the otherwise sterile environment, and decides to take it as both a curiosity and for scientific research.

Pak jumps off the 500m cliff, his descent slowed by the low gravity and using his shirt as a parachute, and is quickly rescued by the waiting boat. As they ride back, tidal waves form in the cylindrical sea, created by the movements of Rama itself as it makes course corrections. When the crew arrives at base, they see a variety of odd creatures inspecting their camp. When one is found damaged and apparently lifeless, the team's doctor/biologist Surgeon-Commander Laura Ernst inspects it, and discovers it to be a hybrid biological entity and robot—eventually termed a "biot". It, and by assumption the others, are powered by internal batteries (much like those of terrestrial electric eels) and possess some intelligence. They are believed to be the drones of Rama's still-absent builders.

The members of the Rama Committee and the United Planets, both based on the moon, have been monitoring events inside Rama and giving feedback. The Hermian colonists have concluded that Rama is a potential threat and send a rocket-mounted nuclear bomb to destroy it should it prove to pose a threat, but Lt. Boris Rodrigo takes advantage of the 8 minute transmission delay and uses a pair of wire cutters to defuse the bomb and its control.

As Rama approaches perihelion, and on their final expedition, the crew decide to visit the city closest to their point of entry, christened "London", and use a laser to cut open one of the "buildings" to see what it houses. They discover transparent pedestals containing holograms of various artefacts, which they theorise are used by the Ramans as templates for creating tools and other objects. One hologram appears to be a uniform with bandoliers, straps and pockets that suggests the size and shape of the Ramans. As the crew photographs some of the holograms, the biots begin returning to the cylindrical sea, where they are recycled by aquatic biots ('sharks') and the six gigantic striplights that illuminate Rama's interior start to dim, prompting the explorers to leave and re-board Endeavour.

With Endeavour a safe distance away, Rama reaches perihelion and utilizes the Sun's gravitational field, and its mysterious "space drive", to perform a slingshot manoeuvre which flings it out of the solar system and towards an unknown destination in the direction of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Ending

The book was meant to stand alone, although its final sentence suggests otherwise:

And on far-off Earth, Dr. Carlisle Perera had as yet told no one how he had wakened from a restless sleep with the message from his subconscious still echoing in his brain: The Ramans do everything in threes.

Clarke denied that this sentence was a hint that the story might be continued. In his foreword to the book's sequel, he stated that it was just a good way to end the first book, and that he added it during a final revision.

Reception

John Leonard of The New York Times, while finding Clarke "benignly indifferent to the niceties of characterization," praised the novel for conveying "that chilling touch of the alien, the not-quite-knowable, that distinguishes sci-fi at its most technically imaginative."[7] Other reviewers have also commented on Clarke's lack of character development and overemphasis on realism.[8]

Awards and nominations

The novel was awarded the following soon after publication

Design and geography of Rama

Rama16wiki
An artist's impression of the interior of Rama.

The interior of Rama is essentially a large cylindrical landscape, dubbed 'The Central Plain' by the crew, 16 kilometres in diameter and 50 long, with artificial gravity provided by its 0.25 rpm spin. It is split into the 'northern' and 'southern' hemicylinders, divided in the middle by a 10-km wide expanse of water the astronauts dub the 'Cylindrical Sea'. In the center of the Cylindrical Sea is an island of unknown purpose covered in tall, skyscraper-like structures, which the astronauts name 'New York' due to an imagined similarity to Manhattan. At each end of the ship are North and South "Poles". The North Pole is effectively the bow and the South Pole the stern, as Rama accelerates in the direction of the north pole and its drive system is at the South Pole.

The North Pole contains Rama's airlocks, and is where the Endeavour lands. The airlocks open into the hub of the massive bowl shaped cap at the North Pole, with three 8-kilometre long stair systems, called Alpha, Beta, and Gamma by the crew, leading to the plain.

The Northern hemisphere contains several small 'towns' interconnected by roads, dubbed London, Paris, Peking, Tokyo, Rome, and Moscow. The South Pole has a giant cone-shaped protrusion surrounded by six smaller ones, which are thought to be part of Rama's reactionless space drive.

Both ends of Rama are lit by giant trenches (three in the northern hemisphere and three in the south), equidistantly placed around the cylinder, effectively functioning as giant strip lighting.

Books in the series

Clarke paired up with Gentry Lee for the remainder of the series. Lee did the actual writing, while Clarke read and made editing suggestions.[9] The focus and style of the last three novels are quite different from those of the original with an increased emphasis on characterisation and more clearly portrayed heroes and villains, rather than Clarke's dedicated professionals. These later books did not receive the same critical acclaim and awards as the original.

Gentry Lee also wrote two further novels set in the same Rama Universe.

  • Bright Messengers (1995)
  • Double Full Moon Night (1999)

Adaptations

Video games

A graphic adventure computer game of the same name with a text parser based on the book was made in 1984 by Trillium (later known as Telarium) and ported to other systems such as the Apple II and Commodore 64. Despite its primitive graphics, it had highly detailed descriptions, and it followed the book very closely along with having puzzles to solve during the game. It was adapted from the Clarke novel in 1983 by Ron Martinez, who went on to design the massively multiplayer online game 10Six, also known as Project Visitor.[10]

Sierra Entertainment created Rama in 1996 as a point and click adventure game in the style of Myst. Along with highly detailed graphics, Arthur C. Clarke also appeared in the game as the guide for the player. This game featured characters from the sequel book Rama II.

Radio adaption

In 2009, BBC Radio 4 produced a two-part radio adaptation of the book as part of a science-fiction season. It was adapted by Mike Walker, and was broadcast on 1 March 2009 (Part 1) and 8 March 2009 (Part 2).[11]

Film

In the early 2000s, actor Morgan Freeman expressed his desire to produce a film based on Rendezvous with Rama. The film has been stuck in "development hell" for many years. In 2003, after initial problems procuring funding, it appeared the project would go into production.[12] The film was to be produced by Freeman's production company, Revelations Entertainment. David Fincher, touted on Revelations' Rama web page as far back as 2001,[13] stated in a late 2007 interview that he was still attached to helm.[14]

By late 2008, David Fincher stated the movie was unlikely to be made. "It looks like it's not going to happen. There's no script and as you know, Morgan Freeman's not in the best of health right now. We've been trying to do it but it's probably not going to happen."[15]

In 2010, Freeman stated in an interview that he was still planning to make the project but that it has been difficult to find the right script. He also stated that it should be made in 3D.[16] In January 2011, Fincher stated in an interview with MTV that he was still planning to make the film after he had completed work on his planned remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (which was scheduled to begin production in 2012 but has since been scrapped[17]). He also reiterated Freeman's concerns about the difficulty of finding the right script.[18]

In an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson in February 2012, Freeman indicated an interest in playing the role of Commander Norton for the film, stating that "my fantasy of commanding a starship is commanding Endeavour". Tyson then asked, "So is this a pitch to be ... that person if they ever make that movie?" to which Freeman reaffirmed, "We ARE going to make that movie." In response to a plea to "make that come out sooner rather than later", Freeman reiterated that difficulty in authoring a high quality script is the primary barrier for the film, stating "... the only task you have that's really really hard in making movies, harder than getting money, is getting a script ... a good script".[19]

Non-fictional aspects

Neo-chart
Number of NEOs detected by various projects:
  LINEAR
  NEAT
  Spacewatch
  LONEOS
  CSS
  Pan-STARRS
  NEOWISE
  other

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 in 2077. A real project named Spaceguard was initiated in 1992, named after Clarke's fictional project and "with the permission and encouragement of Clarke"[20]. 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. By 2017, there were a number of different efforts to detect potentially dangerous asteroids - see figure on right.

An incoming interstellar object was discovered in 2017, by Pan-STARRS, a system similar to SpaceGuard. Like Rama, the object had an unusually elongated shape. Before the official Hawaiian name 'Oumuamua was selected, a popular choice was Rama.[21][22]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bibliography: Rendezvous with Rama". isfdb.org.
  2. ^ "Publication Listing". isfdb.org.
  3. ^ "Rendezvous with Rama Book Details". AR BookFinder. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "1974 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "1973 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  6. ^ Brake, Mark (December 2012). Alien Life Imagined: Communicating the Science and Culture of Astrobiology. Cambridge Press. p. 257. ISBN 9780521491297. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ Leonard, John (22 August 1973). "Books of the Times: Two Tales for the Future". The New York Times. p. 35. Retrieved 29 March 2015 – via TimesMachine.NYTimes.com.
  8. ^ Wilson, Mark. "Review: 'Rendezvous with Rama' by Arthur C. Clarke". About.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Arthur C. Clarke looks back on the lifetime of influences that led him to become a science-fiction Grand Master". Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
  10. ^ Rendezvous with Rama @ The Museum of Computer Adventure Games
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Classic Serial, Rendezvous with Rama". BBC.
  12. ^ "Freeman Still Pushes Rama". Sci Fi Wire – The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel. 14 March 2003. Archived from the original on 17 January 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Rendezvous with Rama". Revelations Entertainment Web site. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  14. ^ "David Fincher and Quint talk about everything from A(lien3) to Z(odiac)!!!". AICN. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  15. ^ Billington, Alex (13 October 2008). "David Fincher's Rendezvous with Rama Officially Dead". firstshowing.net. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  16. ^ "Morgan Freeman, David Fincher Still Planning A 'Rendezvous With Rama'". MTV.
  17. ^ "20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Is Dead; Fincher Like to Pass on THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE". Collider.
  18. ^ "David Fincher Confirms '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' In 3-D, Talks 'Dragon Tattoo' & 'Rendezvous With Rama'". MTV.
  19. ^ "A Conversation with Morgan Freeman". StarTalk Radio. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012.
  20. ^ Morrison, David (2018). "Interstellar Visitor: The Strange Asteroid from a Faraway System". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (2): 5–6.
  21. ^ John Wenz (22 Nov 2017). "The first discovered interstellar asteroid is a quarter-mile long red beast".
  22. ^ "The first visitor from another solar system has just been spotted: Rendezvous with Rama?". The Economist. 2 Nov 2017.

External links

1973 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1973.

Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice is a science fiction novel by the American writer Ann Leckie, published in 2013. It is Leckie's debut novel and the first in her "Imperial Radch" space opera trilogy, followed by Ancillary Sword (2014) and Ancillary Mercy (2015). The novel follows Breq, the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery and the vessel of that ship's artificial consciousness, as she seeks revenge against the ruler of her civilization.

Ancillary Justice received critical praise, won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award and Locus Award, and was nominated for several other science fiction awards. The cover art is by John Harris.

Another novel, Provenance (2017) and two short stories, "Night's Slow Poison" and "She Commands Me and I Obey", by the author are set in the same fictional universe.

Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.

He is famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time. Clarke was a science writer, who was both an avid populariser of space travel and a futurist of uncanny ability. On these subjects he wrote over a dozen books and many essays, which appeared in various popular magazines. In 1961 he was awarded the Kalinga Prize, an award which is given by UNESCO for popularising science. These along with his science fiction writings eventually earned him the moniker "Prophet of the Space Age". His other science fiction writings earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership made him one of the towering figures of science fiction. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel. In 1934, while still a teenager, he joined the British Interplanetary Society. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system using geostationary orbits. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946–47 and again in 1951–53.Clarke emigrated from England to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in 1956, largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving. That year he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. Clarke augmented his fame later on in the 1980s, from being the host of several television shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death. He was knighted in 1998 and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.

Arthur C. Clarke in media

In his lifetime Arthur C. Clarke participated in film, television, radio and other media in a number of different ways.

(Note: in media, in this article, does not include his published writings.)

Big Dumb Object

In discussion of science fiction, a Big Dumb Object (BDO) is any mysterious object (usually of extraterrestrial or unknown origin and immense power) in a story which generates an intense sense of wonder by its mere existence; to a certain extent, the term deliberately deflates this.

The term was not in general use until Peter Nicholls included it in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as a joke in 1993, while its creation has been attributed to reviewer Roz Kaveney.Big Dumb Objects often exhibit extreme or unusual properties, or a total absence of some expected properties:

The monolith in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey is an indecipherable influence on the protohumans to whom it first appears, and later in the film serves to show how little humans have evolved. Astronaut Bowman's attempt to interact with the monolith only makes him a part of its mystery.

The object discovered in Quatermass and the Pit was made of a material of extreme hardness, such that diamond-tipped drills and acetylene torches would not damage it. At the same time nothing would adhere to it.

In Arthur C. Clarke's novel Rendezvous With Rama, a 50km-long cylinder is detected entering the solar system.

Charles Sheffield's Heritage Universe setting features many immense alien artifacts, some of which are more inscrutable than others.

The Marker from Dead Space emits a persistent electromagnetic field from seemingly no source, which could be used to provide limitless energy. In attempting to reverse engineer the Marker on various research stations across the interplanetary colonies, scientists discover that the electromagnetic fields sent by the Marker and its duplicates cause living people to suffer paranoia and hallucinations, while also causing the dead to reanimate, becoming "necromorphs" that attack the living.

In the movie based on Michael Crichton's novel Sphere, the eponymous object would reflect everything in its presence except people. If it did reflect someone, she or he was alone, and the individual was accepted as worthy to harness the device's power.

In Iain Banks' novel Against a Dark Background, the Lazy Guns have a lot of mass and yet little weight, and weigh three times as much upside-down as upright.

The dome from the Stephen King novel and television show Under the Dome. The dome is large and transparent unless touched by a person; it gives a slight electric shock when touched for the first time by someone, but not afterwards. It cannot be penetrated, even by a MOAB, and is seemingly causing many mysterious events in Chester's Mill, the town that the dome is enclosing, including causing all electronic devices near it to explode, visions, and, in one character, premature birth.Such unexpected properties are usually used to rule out conventional origins for the BDO and increase the sense of mystery, and even fear, for the characters interacting with it.

Bruce C. McKenna

Bruce C. McKenna (born March 14, 1962 at Englewood Hospital) is an American writer for television and film. He was the co-executive producer, creator, principal writer and researcher on the 2010 HBO 10 part mini-series, The Pacific, which was co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The Pacific received eight Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Miniseries, at the 62nd annual Emmy Award ceremony held on August 29, 2010. The Pacific had been nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, including Mckenna's nomination for "Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special" for his writing (with co-writer Robert Schenkkan) of the episode "The Pacific" - "Part Ten."In 2001, he wrote three episodes of the television series Band of Brothers, entitled: "The Last Patrol" (co-writer; eighth episode), "Bastogne" (sole writer; sixth episode), and "Replacements" (co-writer; fourth episode). Mckenna's "Bastogne" episode won a Writers Guild Award, garnered an Emmy nomination, and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize.Before his work in television and film, Mckenna worked as a journalist and freelance writer. He has written many articles on the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Pakistan, and has interviewed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. McKenna "was the first Western journalist to write about Pamyat, the Russian anti-Semitic movement that emerged after the breakup of the Soviet Union." His work has appeared in Arete, the arts magazine, The National Review, The New York Times, and other publications.

He is currently adapting Arthur C. Clarke's novel Rendezvous with Rama for the screen. He also is writing the screenplay for The Hands of Shang-Chi. In 2002, McKenna sold a pitch for an "Untitled Western" that he went on to write for a high-seven figure deal. Ridley Scott is currently attached to direct.McKenna, a native of Englewood, New Jersey, is the son of paleontologist Malcolm McKenna and Priscilla McKenna, who had served as Englewood's City Council President. He attended Elisabeth Morrow School and graduated from Dwight-Englewood School in 1980 and Wesleyan University in 1984, Phi Beta Kappa, where he majored in European history and received the Dutcher History Prize. After graduation, he attended the Ph.D. program in Russian and Soviet intellectual history at Stanford University for one year. Mckenna left Stanford to become a freelance writer focusing in politics and foreign affairs.

Gentry Lee

Bert Gentry Lee (born 1942) is an American scientist, currently chief engineer for the Planetary Flight Systems Directorate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and science fiction writer. He had engineering oversight responsibility for the twin rover missions to Mars that landed in January 2004, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in 2006, and the Deep Impact and Stardust missions. He was also the chief engineer for the Galileo project from 1977–1988 and director of science analysis and mission planning during the Viking projects.As an author he is best known for co-writing, with Arthur C. Clarke, the books Cradle in 1989, Rama II in 1989, The Garden of Rama in 1991 and Rama Revealed in 1993. He collaborated with Carl Sagan on the 1980 series Cosmos.

Rendezvous With Rama was written in 1972 and Clarke had no intention of writing a sequel. Lee attempted to turn the Rama series into a more character-driven story following the adventures of Nicole des Jardins Wakefield, who becomes the main character in Rama II, The Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed. When asked, Arthur C. Clarke said that Gentry Lee did the writing while he was a source of ideas.Lee went on to write three more science fiction novels after Rama Revealed. Two take place in the Rama universe (Bright Messengers, Double Full Moon Night) while one makes several references to it (Tranquility Wars).

In 2009, Gentry narrated and appeared in Discovery Channel's 2-hour special "Are We Alone?", which examined the possibility of life on other worlds in the solar system.

Ivan's hammer

Ivan's Hammer refers to the theoretical use of a natural asteroid or meteoroid as a Weapon of Mass Destruction in a first-strike role. The concept can be traced back to the 1960s. At the annual meeting of the American Astronautical Society, in January, 1962 Dandridge M. Cole warned that as early as 1970 the Soviets could develop the technology to divert a near earth asteroid to impact a target on earth.During the late 1960s and early 1970s a number of science fiction writers used the concept in story ideas, most notably Robert Heinlein in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress(1966) where a rebellious Lunar colony uses large payloads of mined ore to bombard Earth from the Moon; Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (1972); and Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1977).

A RAND Corporation study from 2002 also discusses the method and feasibility of such an application, and Carl Sagan discusses the idea at length in Pale Blue Dot.

Locus Award for Best Novel

Winners of the Locus Award for Best Novel, awarded by Locus magazine. Awards presented in a given year are for works published in the previous calendar year.

The award for Best Novel was presented from 1971 (when the awards began) to 1979. Since 1980, awards have been presented for Best SF Novel and Best Fantasy Novel.

Megastructure

A megastructure is a very large artificial object, although the limits of precisely how large vary considerably. Some apply the term to any especially large or tall building. Some sources define a megastructure as an enormous self-supporting artificial construct. The products of megascale engineering or astroengineering are megastructures.

Most megastructure designs could not be constructed with today's level of industrial technology. This makes their design examples of speculative (or exploratory) engineering. Those that could be constructed easily qualify as megaprojects.

Megastructures are also an architectural concept popularized in the 1960s where a city could be encased in a single building, or a relatively small number of buildings interconnected. Such arcology concepts are popular in science fiction. Megastructures often play a part in the plot or setting of science fiction movies and books, such as Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

In 1968, Ralph Wilcoxen defined a megastructure as any structural framework into which rooms, houses, or other small buildings can later be installed, uninstalled, and replaced; and which is capable of "unlimited" extension. This type of framework allows the structure to adapt to the individual wishes of its residents, even as those wishes change with time.Other sources define a megastructure as "any development in which residential densities are able to support services and facilities essential for the development to become a self-contained community".Many architects have designed such megastructures. Some of the more notable such architects and architectural groups include the Metabolist Movement, Archigram, Cedric Price, Frei Otto, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Yona Friedman, and Buckminster Fuller.

New Writings in SF 22

New Writings in SF 22 is an anthology of science fiction short stories edited by Kenneth Bulmer, the first volume of nine he oversaw in the New Writings in SF series in succession to the series' originator, John Carnell. It was first published in hardcover by Sidgwick & Jackson in 1973, followed by a paperback edition under the slightly variant title New Writings in SF - 22 issued by Corgi in 1974. The contents of this volume, together with those of volumes 21 and 23 of the series, were later included in the omnibus anthology New Writings in SF Special 1, issued by Sidgwick & Jackson in 1975.

The book collects several novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors and an excerpt from the novel Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke, with a foreword by Bulmer.

Rama (video game)

Rama is a first-person adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line in 1996. The game is based on Arthur C. Clarke's books Rendezvous with Rama and Rama II and supports both MS-DOS and Windows. In 1998, a PlayStation version was released in Japan.

It is the second Rama game to be produced. Rendezvous with Rama, a text adventure, was released in 1984 by Telarium.

Rama II (novel)

Rama II is a science fiction novel by Gentry Lee and Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1989. It recounts humankind's further interaction with the Ramans, first introduced in Rendezvous with Rama. Written primarily by Lee, Rama II has a distinctly different writing style than the original, with a more character driven narrative and a closer-to-contemporary mindset, ambience and human relations than the first novel's more futuristic tones.

Rama II is the first novel of the "new" Rama series, as Rendezvous with Rama is not always counted as part of it. The Rama series includes two more sequels: The Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed.

Rama Revealed

Rama Revealed (1993) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. It is the last in a four-book series of Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama by these authors, and as the title suggests reveals the mysteries behind the enigmatic Rama spacecraft.

Ramachandra (disambiguation)

Ramachandra is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu in Hinduism.

Ramachandra may also refer to:

Ramachandran plot, in biochemistry, a diagram visualization of protein angles

A fictional alien space ship in Rendezvous with Rama, a book by Arthur C. Clarke

Rendezvous with Rama (video game)

Rendezvous with Rama is an interactive fiction computer game with graphics published by Telarium (formerly known as Trillium), a subsidiary of Spinnaker Software, in the year 1984. It was developed in cooperation with Arthur C. Clarke and based upon his science fiction novel Rendezvous with Rama.

The Garden of Rama

The Garden of Rama is a 1991 novel by Gentry Lee and Arthur C. Clarke. It is the third book in the four-book Rama series: Rendezvous with Rama, Rama II, The Garden of Rama, and Rama Revealed, and follows on from where Rama II left off.

The Hammer of God (Clarke novel)

The Hammer of God is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke originally published in 1993. It deals with an asteroid named Kali headed toward Earth. Captain Robert Singh of the spacecraft Goliath is sent to deflect it. Kali is discovered by Dr. Angus Miller, an amateur astronomer on the planet Mars.

The View from Serendip

The View from Serendip is a collection of essays and anecdotes by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1977. The pieces include Clarke's experiences with diving, Sri Lanka, his relationships with other science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, and other personal memoirs. There are also reproductions of past lectures, as well as speculations about things of scientific interest. The essay "The World of 2001" had been previously published in Vogue. It predicted the end of menial labor (mental as well as manual), due to automation and bio-engineered apes.

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