A new website devoted to reviewing science ebooks is not so new anymore. Download the Universe is celebrating its first anniversary. And one of its founders, Carl Zimmer, has a dim view of much of what happened with ebooks during that inaugural year.
After mentioning two ebooks he liked, Zimmer writes, "We were also dismayed to discover a lot of wasted opportunities." He takes a shot at a couple of books that grew out of TED talks, which, he says, are based not "on solid science" but rather "a thin cracking skin of ice." He mentions others, not from TED, that also suffered from "absentee editing"--that is to say, no editing.
He likewise mentions some ebooks that he liked, but notes that they are "few in number and small in size."
Zimmer reserves his most...