Can Denis Villeneuve make a movie out of Rendezvous with Rama?

What has a superbly detailed technical description of an interstellar megastructure and no characters or story?

Denis Villeneuve’s latest film project.

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Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

4 thoughts on “Can Denis Villeneuve make a movie out of Rendezvous with Rama?

  1. Thanks for your analysis of Rama as hard sci fi. I can’t wait for the movie — and trust it will be done right.

    There is one super interesting scientific error in the book, which I think has gone unnoticed.


    It relates to the reason for the taller southern sea cliff. It is a pivotal event in the story when the polymath hero Dr Perera, in a brainwave, realises that the southern cliff is built to contain the cylindrical sea should the spaceship accelerate towards the north (and he calculates a maximum acceleration of 0.02 G, a figure borne out in the climax).

    What a ripping yarn!

    And yet the climax shows that Rama is propelled by a Space Drive. The mechanism remains a mystery but we do know that every atom in the body is driven forward by the same force, whatever it is. Including the sea water.

    With a space drive, all the water would stay put, and there would be no need for the taller cliff. Sorry!


    1. @Steve Wilson, I think you are wrong. Under acceleration, the water would move, as you do in a train during acceleration, whereas your seat does not because it’s fixed (and so does the cliff).

      Thank you Damien Walter for your nice podcasts


      1. This is all hypothetical of course — or outright fictional — but the premise of the Space Drive is that some force acts on the ship to propel it forward. Anti-gravity is one example mentioned in the novel. Every piece of matter in Rama would be propelled by that force, including the water in the Cylindrical Sea. It would not slosh backwards against the 500m cliff but instead just move with the rest of Rama, as one.
        Your train is different; it is accelerated by a force that acts only on the carriage and the seats attached to it; your inertia as an uncoupled passenger forces you back in the seat.


  2. Does the book give the specifics of the drive and its effects on matter within the ship?I loved the series, very inspirational.



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