“Enhanced” is the word of the day for e-books. It strikes fear into the hearts of some authors, and maybe some readers, too. There is the question of hyperlinks. Let’s say my book begins this way:

The police in the small town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, worried briefly in 1974 …

One doesn’t want the reader yanked away to a page listing the Great Luxury Hotels of Los Alamos. Or to any page. One wants the reader to get sucked into the book, there to remain.

Yet e-books have new possibilities, and authors are beginning to explore them. The very creative people at Open Road Media have now published two of my books, Chaos and Genius, in electronic form, for all devices.

The enhanced Chaos gave us a chance to illustrate some of the ideas and the science in ways that break through the limitations of the printed page. Strange attractors are not, after all, static two-dimensional objects; with videos and applets, we can present them as they were meant to be seen all along. We can fly around phase space and zoom into fractals. The Koch snowflake and the Sierpinski gasket come to life.

The publisher made a serious investment, sending film crews to interview me and several of the book’s heroes. Pablo Defendini is the “Interactive Producer.” Different platforms offer different opportunies; at the moment, the Apple and Kindle AV versions offer the fullest use of motion graphic video. The book also contains sixty illustrations redone for color displays.

There are still no bells. Nor whistles. It’s a book. With any luck, the cause of understanding is served.

To buy the e-books.


Find me in the open social web (fediverse; Mastodon): @JamesGleick@zirk.us

Literary agent:
Michael Carlisle
at Inkwell Management,
521 Fifth Ave.,
New York 10175.

Or send a private message.