Having just brought up the idea of turning a SF short story into a movie, and having long commented about the range of how good or bad they can be, I am going to cheerfully steal this following from fellow UCF'er Eric, so that I can refer to it in the future. (grin)
...with a tip o'the hat to Boing Boing, is Aaron Ross' three-minute student film based on Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama; aptly enough, Ross apparently made this in 2001.
It's an indicator of just how cool a Rama film might be and just how cool it probably won't be if it finally gets made; various versions of a feature length adaptation have been in various stages of production over the past ten years or more, but it's hard to imagine Hollywood will nail the sense of pacing and mystery that Ross captures and that's at the heart of the original novel's success. (Maybe if Kubrick was still with us.) First contact stories are a penny a bushel, and it's not even enough anymore to have a really awesome alien or concept nor has it been sufficient for a long time; Rama remains a gem in the subgenre because it also brings to the table some of the tightest writing of Clarke's career and is essentially written as a whodunit, the mystery being "What the hell is this goddamn cylinder careening through the Solar System?"
What could be or could've been--Aaron Ross' Rendezvous With Rama:
Hard To Argue With The Sentiment
The original novel Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke was a tight, exciting and science literate novel. I have referred my students to it, saying that it is practically an entire course in rotational and gravitational physics -- if you can follow this, then you understand the whole Mechanics Physics course we try to teach you. (grin) Besides the mystery that Eric alludes to above, the other thing is that orbital mechanics demand that the human team depart the Rama cylinder absolutely by a certain time or they won't make it back. Of course you know they're going to be pushing hard on that deadline. (double-trouble-grin)
Some people really like the whole Rama series, but I'm of mixed mind with them. They're kind of like the 2001 or Dune sequels. Dr. Phil's Rule of Sequels for movies apply here, too -- there is an innocence to the first book which can never be captured in the sequels.
Anyway, if this thing is bouncing around the Internet from a 2001 student film, fresh off a bounce by Boing-Boing (sorry, couldn't resist), maybe it'll follow District 9 and someone will decide to do something anew with Rendezvous With Rama.
Speaking of Options
Morgan Freeman was the last person I knew of who held the option to make this film. How cool would that be?