Though some of them are dated (inevitably), this is a solid collection of essays from Arthur C. Clarke. The book is divided into three sections: the first is concerned with general astronomy and physics texts; the second deals with communications satellites; the third is a somewhat miscellanous collection of essays. Those of the first type are always interesting, and every book of Clarke essays contains at least a handful of them. In addition to his encyclopedic knowledge of science, Clarke possesses that rare gift: the truly open mind. They often deal with extremely "far out" topics, many of which a lot of people would consider too fantastic to be dealing with (especially at the time the book was published!) But Clarke elicits that childlike sense of wonder in all his readers, as he is a master at explaining difficult concepts by analogy, and sheer force of writing. Much the same applies to the second group of essays, and, naturally, Clarke has a lot to say on the subject of communications satellites, as he, for all practical purposes, came up with the idea. This book, indeed, contains his famous original essay on the subject, Extraterrestrial Relays, for the first time in book form (this concept, and his subsequent work and extensive promotion of it, was the main reason Clarke was nominated for a Nobel Prize.) The third sections contains a somewhat random collection of pieces from the period, including his acceptance speech for winning the Kalinga Prize (for the popularization of science through writing, an award Clarke truly deserved), and a highly amusing piece called "Dear, Sir..." in which Clarke addresses the subject of fanmail, in a truly hilarous manner that shows his often overlooked sense of humor, and the level of his wit. Arthur C. Clarke published many, many books of essays during his remarkable career, and almost every single one of them is out of print. (Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!, a mammoth collection of some of his best writings, was recently put out, and thankfully preserves many of them.) It is worth seeking these books out, as they are some of the best in the field.