I am searching for a book that I loved when I was a young teenager. In the book as I remember it, people live in a giant, tubelike meteor. There are intense, fascinating descriptions of how the ceiling is also the ground (because it curves up), so the people can look up and see rivers following and animals walking around above them. I also remember that there are alien fruits, which the people name after how they taste, not how they look - so if a fruit tastes like a cucumber but looks like a watermelon, they call it "cucumber." Pretty sure there are also benevolent aliens in the book, and that it's a series that was originally written by one author, then taken over by another. Thanks in advance for your help!
Might it be the Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke, and Gentry Lee?
The "Rama" of the title is an alien starship, initially mistaken for an asteroid categorised as "31/439". It is detected by astronomers in the year 2131 while it is still outside the orbit of Jupiter. Its speed (100,000 km/h – 62,137 m/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate it is not on a long orbit around the sun, but is an interstellar object. The astronomers' interest is further piqued when they realise the asteroid has an extremely rapid rotation period of four minutes and is exceptionally large. It is named Rama after the Hindu god, and an uncrewed space probe dubbed Sita is launched from the Mars moon Phobos to intercept and photograph it. The resulting images reveal that Rama is a perfect cylinder, 20 kilometres (12 mi) in diameter and 50 kilometres (31 mi) long, and almost completely featureless, making this humankind's first encounter with an alien spacecraft.
The solar survey vessel Endeavour is sent to study Rama, as it is the only ship close enough to do so in the brief period Rama will spend in the Solar System. Endeavour manages to rendezvous with Rama one month after it first comes to Earth's attention, when the alien ship is already inside Venus's orbit. The crew, led by Commander Bill Norton, enters Rama through a safety system consisting of triple airlocks, and explores the 16-km wide by 50-km long cylindrical world of its interior, but the nature and purpose of the starship and its creators remain enigmatic throughout the book. Rama's inner surfaces hold "cities" of geometric structures that resemble buildings and are separated by streets with shallow trenches. A band of water, dubbed the Cylindrical Sea, stretches around Rama's central circumference. Massive spires, which are theorised to be part of Rama's propulsion system, stand at its "southern" end. They also find that Rama's atmosphere is breathable.
While Arthur C. Clarke was the sole author for the first book, Gentry Lee co-wrote the next three books, and was the sole author for the fifth and sixth books.
Eon (1985) by Greg Bear.
An asteroid, not a meteor.
Juno has been hollowed out along its long axis, subdivided into seven cylindrical chambers, and rotates to provide artificial gravity. The chambers are terraformed, with the second and third containing cities that have been maintained by automatic systems for centuries.
Sounds like Heart of the Comet by David Brin and Gregory Benford.