Rendezvous With Rama - Deepstash

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The Rendezvous with Rama

The Rendezvous with Rama

In the 1970s book, humanity has colonized the our star system. After a significant asteroid impact, a guard system is implemented to watch out for deeps space objects. Rama is such an object, initially thought to be an asteroid, but later to be discovered to be an alien ship.

A crew, led by Cmd. Norton, explores the ship, discovering it is hosting an evolving environment, able to sustain live, populated with weird 3-legged spider-like creatures. 

The ship accelerates and lives the solar system leaving humanity to meditate on the first alien interaction. 


74 reads

Hard SF

The book is a classic example of hard SF. There is almost no plot and the science trumps the narrative. The fun of such a book is imagining the world of Rama, and the philosophical and practical implications of such a scenario. More so than the limited drama caused by interpresonal relationship. Who cares who is sleeping with who and the power dinamics within the group?

The event of Rama is the main character, not just the setting for a traditional novel. 


44 reads

Rama - The Generation Ship

Rama - The Generation Ship

A generation starship, is a hypothetical type of interstellar ark starship that travels at sub-light speed. Since such a ship might take centuries to reach nearby stars, the original occupants of a generation ship would grow old & die, leaving their descendants to continue traveling. The ship should thus be quite massive as it should provide an livable ecosystem. 

Rama, the ship in Arthur Clarke's book, is the archietypical representation of the concept, and a major cultural influence. 


36 reads

Direct Perception

The entities in Rama are very simple and they don't show signs of traditional "intelligence", being guided by the environment more than reason. 

A common assumption is intelligence should be hard. Complex algorithms pick the best course of action by analizing all the parametrs of a complex model. This is what humans do when they play chess, for example. 

What about a coachroch? Their avoid danger by always running away from light, a very simple heuristic, called Idiothetic behaviour. 

The coachroach did not have to reason his situation. His direct perception had enough information to plot a path to action.


24 reads

... the same familiar faces

Dr Bose, a Mars resident & member of the Rama comitee, now 115 yrs old, contemplating about living so long:

"He was dealing year after year with the same familiar faces. There were men around the table whom he had worked for half a century. He knew exactly what they would say and how they would vote on any given topic. He wished some day one of them would do something totally unexpected - even something crazy."


18 reads

Cultural impact of "Rendezvous with Rama"

Cultural impact of "Rendezvous with Rama"

Arthur Clarke's book is a major influence in the development of space adventure movies. Multiple franchises, from Alien to Star Trek, have influences that can be traced back to the book. 

The book also inspired the creation of a real Spaceguard, a radar system to look for potentially dangerous asteroids.


18 reads



Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.

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