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Undergound. Go to Table of Contents.

   I like that. Call me subversive, but I'm chuffed `Underground' is

   engaging enough to make people miss bus stops. It makes me happy, and

   happy people usually want to share.


   There are other reasons for releasing `Underground' in this format. The

   electronic version is being donated to the visionary Project Gutenburg,

   a collection of free electronic books run with missionary zeal by

   Michael Hart.


   Project Gutenburg promises to keep old out-of-print books in free

   ``electronic'' print forever, to bring literature to those who can't

   afford books, and to brighten the world of the visually

   impaired. `Underground' isn't out of print -- and long may it remain

   that way -- but those are laudable goals. I wrote in the `Introduction'

   to the printed edition about my great aunt, a diver and artist who

   pioneered underwater painting in the 1940s.  She provided me with a kind

   of inspiration for this book. What I didn't mention is that as a result

   of macular degeneration in both eyes, she is now blind. She can no

   longer paint or dive. But she does read - avidly - through `talking

   books'. She is another reason I decided to release `Underground' in this



   So, now you can download and read the electronic version of

   `Underground' for free. You can also send the work to your friends for

   free. Or your enemies. At around a megabyte of plain text each, a few

   dozen copies of `Underground' make an extremely effective mail bomb.


   That's a joke, folks, not a suggestion. ;-)


   Like many of the people in this book, I'm not big on rules. Fortunately,

   there aren't many that come with this electronic version. Don't print

   the work on paper, CD or any other format, except for your own personal

   reading pleasure. This includes using the work as teaching material in

   institutions. You must not alter or truncate the work in any way. You

   must not redistribute the work for any sort of payment, including

   selling it on its own or as part of a package. Random House is a

   friendly place, but as one of the world's largest publishers it has a

   collection of equally large lawyers. Messing with them will leave you

   with scars in places that could be hard to explain to any future



   If you want to do any of these things, please contact me or my literary

   agents Curtis Brown & Co first. I retain the copyright on the

   work. Julian Assange designed the elegant layout of this electronic

   edition, and he retains ownership of this design and layout.


   If you like the electronic version of the book, do buy the paper

   version. Why? For starters, it's not only much easier to read on the

   bus, its much easier to read full stop. It's also easier to thumb

   through, highlight, scribble on, dribble on, and show off.  It never

   needs batteries. It can run on solar power and candles. It looks sexy on

   your bookshelf, by your bed and in your bed. If you are a male geek, the

   book comes with a girl-magnet guarantee.  The paper version is much

   easier to lend to a prospective girlfriend. When she's finished reading

   the book, ask her which hacker thrilled her to pieces. Then nod

   knowingly, and say coyly `Well, I've never admitted this to anyone

   except the author and the Feds, but ..'