Saturday night I finally got around to watching Silent Running. I can certainly forgive anyone who thought that movie was an inspiration for Unity, because it certainly would have been if Rendezvous with Rama hadn’t. I highly, highly recommend watching it. (I also find it interesting that both things came out the same year.)
Also, read Rama, while we’re at it. Although you shouldn’t bother with the sequels “coauthored with” (i.e. almost entirely written by) Gentry Lee. They start out okay but get pretty terrible pretty quickly (with thinly-veiled SOCIAL COMMENTARY and an overly-literal deus ex machina) and use cheap cliffhanger tactics to keep you reading them even though they are not at all worth the effort, and it upsets me that some part of my memory is now involuntarily devoted to them.