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Usenet is a collection of forums where discussions on nearly every topic you can think of take place.

In our little corner of this is alt.books.iain-banks

Clicking on the link above should let you join us if you have a news server set up already, if not, you may need to do some setting up.

If you're in the UK, you may be using one of the free ISP's, not all of these carry a news server, and not all of the ones that do will carry alt.* hierarchy newsgroups (like alt.books-iain-banks). The best thing to do is to look on your ISP's website for any information on their news server, and if they don't have one, join one that does. We'll be compiling a list below of the ISP's that people are using that do hold alt.books.iain-banks:

SoftNet Free From Software Warehouse stores, not that fast for web access, but a decent news server

You don't have to use a news server from your ISP, some people prefer to use the free web-based news services like These act like the web-based e-mail accounts that you can pick up (Hotmail and the like). These will mean that you have to spend more time online though, getting conected to a news server with a decent news reading program means that you can download the messages all at once and read them once you disconnected; any messages you want to send in can be saved until you next connect. Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer's Outlook Express program can both do this quite well, but you should be able to download a program for this from the likes of Tucows.