The Fountains of Paradise yesterday and much like Rendezvous With Rama, I am hooked. Welp, I guess the only solution is to buy all his books, or at least the good ones. The Rama sequels certainly don't appeal to me, so I'd avoid them. I think this is an extension of my new found interest/appreciation in classic science fiction.
In any case, the plot of the book involves an famous engineer and his attempt to build the world's first space elevator on top of a mountain which happens to be occupied by a Buddhist monastery. Interspersed is the tale of a king who ruled the fictitious island of Taprobane (the location of the main story) two thousand years before. The book won the 1979 Hugo and Nebula Awards, which is both impressive and about as surprising as find a hooker in a whorehouse.
Picture via riffs&fragments.