Anybody else stumbled upon W.W. Norton's imprint, Atlas Books, and their Great Discoveries Series? I'm guessing some have as David Foster Wallace has penned one of the titles - Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity.
I accidentally discovered the series when I found Madison Smartt Bell's Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution a few weeks back. Bell is one of those writers that I'll grab his new book and march to the counter without even peeking inside. Turned out this was a non-fiction effort, new for Bell besides his work on creative writing. Lavoisier was involved in the race to uncover the chemical process for combustion back towards the end of the 18th century. Looking at the pages up front, I disovered that there were another six books in the series already published, including the one by Wallace. Looking ahead, another five titles are already planned with those being penned by David Leavitt, William T. Vollmann and David Quammen.
Whether or not these titles will appear as projected might be an interesting thing to track, the book by George Johnson was referred to as Hubble and the Measurement of the Universe in books published as recently as 2004, and in fact, is still stated as such on the website. However, when it came out this week, the title was Miss Leavitt's Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe.
It's an interesting idea to bring well known writers of fiction into the series such as Bell, Leavitt, Rebecca Goldstein, and Vollmann and not just scientists, or those like Quammen, who write mainly non-fiction.