The Songs of Distant Earth - Arthur C. Clarke - 1986 BCE Hardback - Michael Whelan Cover

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Cover art: Michael Whelan

Historical Context & Critical Reception: “The Songs of Distant Earth is a 1986 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, based upon his 1958 short story of the same title. He stated that it was his favorite of all his novels.”

The Songs of Distant Earth received a positive review from Gerald Jones in The New York Times. Jones praised its scope and its exploration of philosophical dilemmas: "The drama that interests Mr. Clarke is played out on a much larger canvas. It concerns the lures and limitations of knowledge, the destiny of mankind, and the fate of the universe."

Blurb: “Just a few islands in a planetwide ocean, Thalassa was a veritable paradise—home to one of the small colonies founded centuries before by robot Mother Ships when the Sun had gone nova and mankind had fled Earth.


Mesmerized by the beauty of Thalassa and overwhelmed by its vast resources, the colonists lived an idyllic existence, unaware of the monumental evolutionary event slowly taking place beneath their seas...

Then the Magellan arrived in orbit carrying one million refugees from the last, mad days on Earth. And suddenly uncertainty and change had come to the placid paradise that was Thalassa.”