This book was one the first sci-fi books I read when I was a lad. It is still one of my favorites. Yes, the plot is simplistic by todays matured settings which are primarily based on political correctness. Yet the primary theme is based upon the "great unknown of outer space" and the thrill of "first contact" with an alien race. This deep space theme has since lost its luster to more mainstreamed UN type themed movies (i.e. like conflicts all over the planet today). I'm sorry but I'll take any great unknown story over the boooring sci-fi themes of today. Remember "Rendezvous with Rama". Great book!!! Mind you there are some exceptions to what has been written but mostily it's been boooring stuff.