Rendezvous with Rama Author:Arthur C. Clarke At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredible, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers an... more »d planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. It will kindle their wildest dreams... and fan their darkest fears. For no one knows who the Ramans are or why they have come. And now the moment of rendezvous awaits -- just behind a Raman airlock door.« less
This is excellent classic sci-fi. It is the story of astronauts in the not too distant future rendezvousing with a mysterious cylindrical "spacecraft" dubbed "Rama" that had entered our solar system. The astronauts investigate the craft, discover how to enter it, and ... I won't spoil the rest. You'll have to read it yourself to find out what happens. Good stuff!
I love Arther C. Clarke. This is the starting point for the RAMA books he wrote with Gentry Lee. A good space mystery with a lot of "heady" sci-fi notions about alien encounters. Not a bad first book recommendation for someone who has never read Clarke's stuff.