About the book (from wikipedia):
The Songs of Distant Earth is a 1986 science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke based upon his 1958 short story of the same title. He stated that it was his favourite of all his novels. Clarke also wrote a short movie synopsis with the same title, published in Omni magazine and anthologized in The Sentinel in 1983.
The novel tells of a utopian human colony in the far future that is visited by travellers from a doomed Earth, as the Sun has gone nova. The Songs of Distant Earth explores both apocalyptic and utopian ideas, as well as the effects of long-term interstellar space travel and extra-terrestrial life.
Gerald Jones of the New York Times gave the novel a positive review, praising 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.”
The novel is set in the early 3800s and takes place almost entirely on the faraway oceanic planet of Thalassa.