This is yet another collection of essays by science fiction grand master Arthur C. Clarke, but as the title suggests, at least this one is focused squarely on a topic sure to capture the attention of his loyal fan base. There are no new entries here; this is more like a greatest hits collection culled from his many previous books of essays, but this volume avoids some of the flaws of those earlier publications (repetitiveness and lack of focus), and stands as a forthright, though still modest, work.
"Memoirs of an Armchair Astronaut (Retired)" discusses the early days of the British Interplanetary Society and sets up Clarke's unique qualifications as an authority on Space and Space flight. This piece captures the spirit of fun and adventure that is missing from more dated articles on particular achievements of the U.S. space program such as "The First Scouts" and "Appointment with Mars". Those readers who are interested in learning about Space but haven't been keeping up might be interested in factual science pieces like "The Winds of Space", which discusses solar wind, and "Time for the Stars" which describes how time will be kept on other planets of the solar system, but given the pace of advancement in space science, many readers would probably rather see discussions of more recent developments.
The real reason for reading Clarke is, of course, his boundless imagination, and the best entries are those where he lets it roam free. "The Solar Century" catalogues the planets and the obstacles to human settlement of same, along with some possible solutions. "The Shores of Infinity" takes a hard look at the possibility of interstellar travel, while "When the Aliens Come" considers different scenarios involving contact with extraterrestrial life. No Clarke book is complete without his trademark sense of humor, and it comes through at its most dryly ironic in "The Meddlers", "Report on Planet Three", and the more personal "Dear Sir...".
Essays of the scientific kind appeal only to a very narrow audience, especially once they've passed their expiration date. While Clarke's imagination and humor often take these pieces beyond that vein, they still don't compare to his science fiction. So while this book is superior to Clarke's other collections, it still doesn't really merit a recommendation.