I've read the original Rendezvous with Rama but I never got around to reading any of the sequels. So I never got the straight story on how the whole series ends. From what I gather from the Wikipedia article on Rama Revealed:

The Rama spacecraft rendezvous with an enormous "Tetrahedron" near the star Tau Ceti, at a place designed to research any intelligent life capable of spaceflight.

The Rama aliens are apparently collecting intelligent life from around the galaxy using their Rama spacecraft, but why are they doing this?

Why are the Rama aliens sending Rama spacecraft around to collect intelligent space-faring species?

  • Maybe they are collector?
    – DavRob60
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 19:33
  • 1
    Recommend you finish reading the series too (including the 2 additional books that aren't part of the series, but set in the same universe)! It's worth it! :-) I know they're all available on paperbackswap (if you're a member)... I just put my collection up on there in the last few days. Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 14:43
  • What's with the downvote? Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


In short, they're searching for universal harmony.

They've been tasked with the job of searching this particular galaxy for lifeforms/processes that could lead to a completely harmonious universe. There are Nodes in every galaxy in the universe, as well as all the other universes that have been created. The constructors of the Node are the ones creating all the universes to do their search.

The major issues get cleared up pretty well IMO, but there's some minor ones that seem to be left open for future storytelling. "Bright Messengers" & "Double Full Moon Night" (not part of Rama series, but set in the same time/space) eventually clear up a few more minor mysteries about Rama/the Node, but then add a couple of new ones... :-)

  • Brian, can you elaborate on that? It's been a long time for me, but I don't remember what hints these books provided.
    – Uri
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 14:33
  • @Uri - The mystery of "Maria" and the 2 adults in the Octospider zoo are cleared up by Messengers/Night. Background on the great chaos is also covered. However, there's the new mystery of the particle beings and how they can be so advanced that they're effectively more powerful than the Nodal Intelligence (which was planted right after the big bang by beings that were powerful enough to create the universe). Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 14:40

It's been about 15 years since I read the sequels so my memory is quite fuzzy, but I seem to recall that I enjoyed the ride up to a very disappointing ending.

If I remember correctly, it was implied that the Ramans are actually carrying out some divine duty, so that the research/experiment is being carried out either to please a god or because it was commissioned by a god.
Since a logical question would be "why would an omnipotent being need to drag life forms to the other side of the galaxy to study them", my guess at the time was that this was not the god of earth religions, but rather some higher kind of being, either ascended or from a higher "zone of thought".
However, I have heard others commenting on the ending that the entity does refer to the Christian god, which makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Sorry I didn't choose yours it was a tough call. Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 20:37

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