Download the Universe: Week One!

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We’ve come to the end of the first week of Download the Universe, a science ebook review. Today’s review is from Maggie Koerth-Baker, the science editor of Boing-Boing and author of the forthcoming Before the Lights Go Out, a book about the future of energy. She reviews Into the Forbidden Zone by William Vollmann, in which the author recounts his journey into Japan’s post-tsunami hell. Maggie weaves in her own reflections on how hard it can be for us to judge the real risks we face from nature and from our own technology.

It’s been a great experience to see the idea for this project go from conference-hallway gabbing to actual publication. Here are the rest of this week’s offerings:

“A New Kind of Review for a New Kind of Book”–my introduction to the site and some thoughts about the history of science in books.

“A Cabinet of (Chemical) Curiosities”–Deborah Blum reviews The Elements, an iPad app about chemistry

“The State of the ebook, Early 2012”–John Timmer surveys the business and creative possibilities of ebooks today.

“Narrative and Neuroscience”–Annalee Newitz reviews Blindsight, an Atavist publication about a brain injury that sends a man into a different kind of existence.

Stay tuned (or rss’d)–there’s a lot more to come.