SiStan ChapLee

Monday, June 9, 2014

Off Topic: The Golden Age of Hard SF

Arthur C. Clarke, Incontro con Rama, transl. Beata della Frattina, coll. “Classici Urania” 262, Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1999 [orig.: Rendez-vous with Rama, 1973] 

A super-classic of hard science fiction, both conveying typical Clarkean atmospheres – cf. the “superhuman silence” in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but even better than that – and paying tribute to the masters of the genre, such as Jules Verne, HG Wells, HP Lovecraft, plus Odysseus' voyages and possibly, the Medieval “reports” from fabulous lands. This Italian version is a very good one, just falling into minor mistakes on some rare occasions, e.g. “dramatic, transcendental” being rendered as drammatica, trascendentale. The most 'shocking' characteristics are to be found in the cover image, showing a spaceship that has nothing to do with Rama, and in the back cover, that, in its turn, describes the alien vehicle as a “huge sphere”! While wonderful pictures on this novel had been made by the great English SF artist Jim Burns.