The Songs of Distant Earth

( 12 )

Overview

Thalassa was a paradise above the earth. Its beauty and vast resources seduce its inhabitants into a feeling of perfection. But then the Magellan arrives, carrying with it one million refugees from the last mad days of earth. Paradise looks indeed lost....

Finally in paperback! His first novel since 2010! Clarke is at his brilliant best in this tale of life on a paradisiacal world, of the clash of two cultures and of mankind's first...

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Overview

Thalassa was a paradise above the earth. Its beauty and vast resources seduce its inhabitants into a feeling of perfection. But then the Magellan arrives, carrying with it one million refugees from the last mad days of earth. Paradise looks indeed lost....

Finally in paperback! His first novel since 2010! Clarke is at his brilliant best in this tale of life on a paradisiacal world, of the clash of two cultures and of mankind's first contact with truly alien intelligence.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345322401
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 431,944
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.83 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clarke is widely revered as one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, esteemed alongside Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, a trio known informally as the “Big Three.” Before his death in 2008, he authored more than 100 novels, novellas, and short story collections and laid the groundwork for science fiction as we know it today. Combining scientific knowledge and visionary literary aptitude, Clarke’s work explored the implications of major scientific discoveries in astonishingly inventive and mystical settings.

Clarke’s short stories and novels have won numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Several of his books, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey II, have been adapted into films that still stand as classic examples of the genre. Without a doubt, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most important voices in contemporary science fiction literature.

Biography

Widely considered the greatest science fiction writer of all time, Arthur C. Clarke turned his formidable technical knowledge and lively creative imagination into an amazing career that spanned the fields of literature, invention, futurology, and entertainment.

Born in 1917 in the seaside town of Minehad in Somerset, England, Clarke developed an early interest in both science and its literary sister, speculative science fiction. After secondary school he moved to London and joined the British Interplanetary Society, where he contributed articles to the Society's bulletin. During WWII, he joined the RAF, working in the experimental trials of Ground Controlled Approach Radar, the forerunner of today's air traffic control systems. (This experience inspired his only non-science fiction novel, 1963's Glide Path.) In a technical paper written in 1945 for the UK periodical Wireless World, he set out the principles of satellite communication that would lead to the global satellite systems in use today.

After WWII, he attended King's College, London, on scholarship and received first class honors in Physics and Mathematics. He sold his first sci-fi story to Astounding Science Fiction magazine in May of 1946. From that point on, he never stopped writing. Some of his more notable works include Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama, and The Fountains of Paradise.

In 1964, Clarke was approached by film auteur Stanley Kubrick to collaborate on a science fiction movie script. The material chosen for adaptation was Clarke's 1948 short story "The Sentinel," an eerie tale about the discovery of an extraterrestrial artifact. Over the next four years, he expanded the story into a full-length novel, while simultaneously writing the screenplay with Kubrick. In 1968, both versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey debuted to great acclaim. Clarke also worked in television -- as a consultant during the CBS news coverage of the Apollo 12 and 15 space missions and as creator of two distinguished series, "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" and "Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers."

In 1954, Clarke visited Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon). He fell in love with the country and settled there in 1956, founding a guided diving service and continuing to produce his astonishing books and articles. On March 19, 2008, he died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90, leaving behind an impressive literary legacy and millions of bereft fans.

Good To Know

Clarke shared an Oscar nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Clarke was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

In 1986, the Science Fiction Writers of America bestowed on Clarke the title of Grand Master.

At home in Sri Lanka, Clarke survived the deadly Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 that caused the deaths of more than a quarter million people.

Clarke was an expert scuba diver and in 1956 founded a guided diving service in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.

In Profiles of the Future (1962), Clarke set forth his "Three Laws," provocative observations on science, science fiction, and society:

  • "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  • "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  • "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  • Read More Show Less
      1. Date of Birth:
        December 16, 1917
      2. Place of Birth:
        Minehead, Somerset, England
      1. Date of Death:
        March 19, 2008
      2. Place of Death:
        Sri Lanka
      1. Education:
        1948, King's College, London, first-class honors in Physics and Mathematics

    Table of Contents

    Author's Note
    I Thalassa
    1 The Beach at Tarna 3
    2 The Little Neutral One 7
    3 Village Council 9
    4 Tocsin 15
    5 Night Ride 18
    II Magellan
    6 Planetfall 31
    7 Lords of the Last Days 37
    8 Remembrance of Love Lost 43
    9 The Quest for Superspace 47
    III South Island
    10 First Contact 55
    11 Delegation 61
    12 Heritage 70
    13 Task Force 74
    14 Mirissa 76
    15 Terra Nova 81
    16 Party Games 84
    17 Chain of Command 91
    18 Kumar 96
    19 Pretty Polly 98
    20 Idyll 109
    IV Krakan
    21 Academy 119
    22 Krakan 131
    23 Ice Day 138
    24 Archive 142
    25 Scorp 151
    26 Snowflake Rising 157
    27 Mirror of the Past 162
    28 The Sunken Forest 166
    29 Sabra 172
    30 Child of Krakan 175
    V The Bounty Syndrome
    31 Petition 187
    32 Clinic 191
    33 Tides 194
    34 Shipnet 196
    35 Convalescence 200
    36 Kilimanjaro 203
    37 In Vino Veritas 206
    38 Debate 211
    39 The Leopard in the Snows 220
    40 Confrontation 224
    41 Pillow Talk 228
    42 Survivor 231
    43 Interrogation 236
    VI The Forests of the Sea
    44 Spyball 245
    45 Bait 248
    46 Whatever Gods May Be... 253
    VII As The Sparks Fly Upward
    47 Ascension 263
    48 Decision 271
    49 Fire on the Reef 275
    VIII The Songs of Distant Earth
    50 Shield of Ice 281
    51 Relic 284
    52 The Songs of Distant Earth 286
    53 The Golden Mask 291
    54 Valediction 301
    55 Departure 303
    56 Below the Interface 308
    IX Sagan Two
    57 The Voices of Time 313
    Chronology 314
    Bibliographical Note 316
    Acknowledgments 317
    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 12 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 9, 2006

      Very Good, Mr. Clarke

      I found this book to be not so much science fiction, but, rather a story about how we relate to each other. I don't know about everyone else, but I found it also to be a bittersweet story. It begins with the last spaceship from Earth (before our Sun goes supernova) with the last humans aboard arriving at a 'seed' planet where humans were planted seven hundred years earlier. The story goes on to explore the differences between the Thalassans and these 'strangers from the sky,' before they continue on to their destination planet. Principally, it is the relationship between Loren Lorensen, Lt. Commander of the spaceship Marissa, a beautiful Thalassan who thirsts for knowledge (and Loren) and Brant, her Thalassan 'significant other.' While Clarke writes that the Thalassans say they have done away with Jealousy, Lust and Fidelity in order to better mankind, don't you believe it. I read this book several years ago and I never stop thinking about. It is thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 10, 2000

      Arthur C Clarke's favourite... and mine for what that's worth

      Quite moving, entirely plausible, thus very readable. Inspiring, unlike the Rama series, which, though very gripping and imaginative, became increasingly depressing and dystopian.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 8, 2013

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 4, 2006

      Great concept... and that's about it

      The ideas are awe-inspiring, as Clarke goes to great lengths to ascertain the fate of humanity following the destruction of the solar system, but the buck stops there. There's not much of a story except for kayak trips and love triangles (or should I say, love pentagons). Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

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      Posted July 23, 2009

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