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Lee, Gentry

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1942-    ) US author who held several important posts in NASA's deep-space exploration programme and was a screenwriter for Carl Sagan's Cosmos television series. His sf has been written exclusively in collaboration with Arthur C Clarke (whom see for details); at least initially, the senior partner provided outlines based on ideas generated by both writers, and then the books themselves were written by Lee. Cradle (1988), the first and weakest, is a First Contact drama set in a drably described Florida, and exhibiting little of Clarke's economy or intensity. Following on from Clarke's solo Rendezvous with Rama (1973), the Rama Sequels by Other Hands sequence – Rama II (1989), The Garden of Rama (1991) and Rama Revealed (1993) – shows a continual improvement, though its taking literally of the final sentence of the original – to the effect that the Ramans do everything in threes – has ultimately a deflating affect. More fully independent of Clarke, the Rama Universe – credited solely to Lee, and comprising Bright Messengers (1995) and Double Full Moon Night (1999) – carries on from before, implying an ultimate Uplift scenario as humans, this time settlers on Mars, undergo tribulations that may be educational.

Through the Rama books, Lee has proved competent at conveying technical information, though tending to lapse into an "airport novel" approach when it comes to dealing with human beings. His most recent singleton, The Tranquillity Wars (2000), a competent Space Opera, does not alter the general conclusion. [NT/JC]

Bert Gentry Lee

born New York: 29 March 1942




  • Rama II (London: Victor Gollancz, 1989) with Arthur C Clarke [Rama: hb/Perfection Art]
  • The Garden of Rama (London: Victor Gollancz, 1991) with Arthur C Clarke [Rama: hb/John Brettoner]
  • Rama Revealed (London: Victor Gollancz, 1993) with Arthur C Clarke [Rama: hb/Bob Corley]
    • Rama: The Omnibus (London: Victor Gollancz, 2011) [omni of the above three together with Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke alone: Rama: pb/]

Rama Universe

individual titles


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