I just finished reading Rendezvous with Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke. I didn’t really know what to expect since (gasp) I had never read anything by him before, and I only saw the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey once. It was a very enjoyable read that even those who prefer the so called hard-core scifi would probably approve of. Best of all, it kept me guessing pretty far into the story.
Rama is the name given to an unusual astronomical entity, at first thought to be a meteor. It is soon discovered that this “meteor” was constructed by an alien race and is heading straight toward our solar system. A spaceship and crew are of course dispatched to investigate, and the story focuses on their exploration of the interior of Rama, and on the reactions of a group of human scientists and diplomats.
My hubby Nathan (who I am trying to convince to post reviews here also) has read all of the Space Odyssey books, and based on his comments (mostly that the first one was good, but the rest plagarized the first more and more as he went along so that by the end it was barely worth continuing to read) I haven’t bothered much with Clarke as an author. But Rama changed my mind and I will be on the lookout for more books by him. I suggest you give him a chance as well. You might be pleasantly surprised.