Some of these things are sort of covered in Brooks’ other book, At the Edge of Uncertainty, while others weren’t. There’s a bunch of interesting stuff about extraterrestrial intelligence and the experiments looking for microbial life on Mars, for instance. As with the other book, Brooks gives clear explanations. In fact, reading both books illuminated more about the topics that were in both. Each topic leads to the next in a very logical way, too.
The topic selections are all interesting: life on Mars, the ‘wow’ signal, discrepancies about universal constants… It may not all be of interest to every reader, but it’s a good selection of scientific mysteries and frontiers. It explores them quite well, without going into too much detail.
Very much a pop science book, suitable for readers of New Scientist and similar publications. Which isn’t surprising, since he was an editor for that magazine!