Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a fifty-kilometer-long cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is widely regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography. What follows is a lean and straight forward description of what lies within that cylinder – the Rama of the title. It turns out to be a kind of world turned outside in, with a sea that arches above the explorers' heads, apparent cities dotted around the inner circumference and lighting provided by giant trenches in the walls. The characters are sketched sparingly and are all relatively sober scientists.