Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clark
1974 Hugo Award
1973 Nebula Award
In the year 2131 a huge object is discovered near Jupiter. It is traveling unbelievably fast and is headed in Earth's direction. Survey photos determine it is not a natural spacecraft, but a manufactured vessel from outside our galaxy.Man has populated planets and moons around the solar system and manned spacecraft are always in flight. The logical choice to investigate the new arrival is a solar survey vessel named Endeavor.
I don't read much science fiction but I plan on reading the rest of this series. It was meant as a stand alone book but it also left questions about the mysterious Ramans. Maybe the next book will give some answers.