What I really appreciate about the book are: (1) it provides an excellent narrative of the lead-up to our current space exploration paradigm along with the prominent personalities that influenced it; (2) it introduced me to relevant works of fiction while providing insight on works with which I thought I was familiar (e.g., the purpose of the Star Child in Clarke's and Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"); and (3) the authors clearly explained the broad motivations behind government investment in space.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either robots or space because the authors treat each topic separately and together to explain our current space exploration paradigm. They also offer a reasoned discussion on how this paradigm may need to change in order to support interstellar travel.
This book pairs well with the following:
StarTalk Podcast - "Space Chronicles" [Part 1] [Part 2]
StarTalk Podcast - "I, Robot" [Part 1] [Part 2]
Wonderfest 2009 - "Do Robots Make Better Astronauts?"
NASA - Eyes on the Solar System
If you've read this book too, give me a shout!