I find it hardest of all to do a review for a book that I liked fine. Where do I go with FINE? I can't gush, I can't spew my bile: it's a pretty good, if thick, space adventure in which a giant alien cylinder is discovered, explored, and abandoned when time runs out and it flies away again.
I liked it, but I didn't love it. (And that COVER! Is it intentionally inducing the nausea one would feel in outer space? WTF, Nineteen-Seventies?)
'R With R' is a mystery story which ultimately provides no answers. Still, I found it to be a good ride, an intriguing puzzle, and a fun adventure, in much the way that the TV show Lost wasn't. Oooh, SNAP! Plus, it had a giant biosphere with some robots and some other freaky stuff inside a metal tube in space! That's better than some lame-ass smoke monster!
Although I understand the sequels have a bad reputation with some, I own them and plan to read them someday, if only so I can discard them as well, making space for more of the drivel I favor. Or maybe I'll adore them. Who can say? Mysteries abound.
There was a Niven and also a Heinlein nominated in the same year. I haven't read them yet. (Odds are real good I'll be royally pissed at the Hugo peeps for their lack of being in total agreement with me. Heinlein vs Clarke? No contest, mac.)
Morgan Freeman loves 'Rendezvous With Rama' and wanted it to be a movie decades ago, and if he hasn't soured on the whole thing, still does. I'd go watch that, sure. A world inside a cylinder? Hook me up with them fancy visuals, brother! As far as casting, the characters in the novel are all interchangeable space professionals with chiseled jaws (even the girl. If there WAS a girl. I can't recall any point at which it would've made the slightest difference one way or the other).
Competent Professionals +
Giant Mostly Empty Artifact =
Nobody Getting Laid.
Arthur Clarke was an army guy, briefly married, was knighted, loved scuba diving, and is partly responsible for the invention of the satellite. Sweet, right? I use those. What did Heinlein ever invent? WATERBED! Feh!
Clarke wrote much of the movie 2001, which is VASTLY overrated, and some of the movie 2010, which is keen!