In 1973, Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama won the Hugo, Nebula and Campbell awards. This new novel is the second in a trilogy about the mystifying world-ships and their flybys of our solar system. Unfortunately, the focus is no longer on alien mysteries, but on the petty concerns of an unlikely assortment of cosmonauts. The 12 specialists chosen to explore a second Raman craft passing through human space 70 years after the first are more involved with adultery, religion and media contracts than they are with scientific advancement. Not only are their actions unrealistic, but the chapter titles telegraph what comes next. The excitement of discovery that was present in the first book is altogether missing from this soap opera plot.