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You Are Hereby Invited to Join The Kraken:
The Russell Hoban Online Community!

Kraken postage stamp
Kraken postage stamp. More here.
Thanks to Duane Spurlock for the link!

Greetings, fellow (or potential) Hoban fan. You are hereby invited to become a subscriber to The Kraken, the Russell Hoban online community (and de facto international fan club). If you're interested, please carefully read the info below—it explains the different versions of the list that are available, how to subscribe (that just means "join"—it doesn't cost any money or anything!), and the rules for participation on the list.

If, after reading these instructions (or even during!) you still have questions or experience any problem in subscribing, keep in mind that you can contact me (Dave Awl, the list moderator) for help at any time. My address is:

On the Nature and Purpose of The Kraken...

The Kraken is a talk list; a place where fans of Russell Hoban can gather to discuss the man, his work, and where to find it, as well as exchanging news & info, and generally conspiring to return Mr. H. to his rightful place on the shelves of bookstores everywhere by advancing awareness and appreciation of his work.

How to Subscribe

The Kraken is hosted by the Web-based Yahoo Groups service (formerly eGroups and even more formerly ONElist), which provides free online communities. There is a line or two of advertising appended to the list's messages, but it's not very obtrusive and seems a small price to pay for the useful tools and service they offer us.

To subscribe to (join) The Kraken, follow this link:

...and follow the instructions on the subscription page. If you don't already have a Yahoo ID you'll need to register, but it's pretty quick and easy—email, password, and some profile stuff that you can choose to keep private. It's completely free of charge. Once you're a Yahoo Groups member, you'll be able to access your own member page ("My Groups") on the Yahoo site from which you can easily manage your subscription and the options related to it. Don't be afraid to consult Yahoo's Help section if you have questions.

How to Unsubscribe

To unsubscribe from this list at any time, go to the Yahoo Groups web site, at, sign in with your email address and password, and select the "My Groups" page from the links at top right. From the resulting page you can modify all your Yahoo Groups settings, including unsubscribing or changing your subscription between digest, normal and Web-only mode.

What to Post to the List (a.k.a., Rules of the Road)

Please note: The Kraken is a strictly on-topic list. That means that all posts must somehow pertain to Russell Hoban and/or his work, and the various subjects directly related to it. This list is not for general or free-form discussion. Example: discussions of Chopin's mazurkas would be considered on-topic, because they figure into Mr. Hoban's novel Fremder. But posting general laundry lists of members' favorite CDs would be considered off-topic and outside the scope of the list.

If you're looking for a list for general discussion, there are plenty of great ones on the net that encourage it: I even manage a couple myself. (Ask me about The Neo-Futurists' lists if you're interested.) But in order to keep traffic at reasonable levels, we ask that discussion on The Kraken be limited to what's relevant to Russell Hoban.

The Kraken is not moderated in an official sense, but the Moderator (that's me) reserves the right to step in from time to time to make sure discussion stays on-topic.

Also, while we expect vigorous debate to arise from time to time, we insist that such debate be carried out respectfully. Any viewpoint you want to express is allowable, but you must express it civilly. Please avoid name calling and ad hominem insults in general. If your posts are repeatedly abusive, mean-spirited and disrespectful of other members you may be removed from the list.

Keep in mind that it's against list etiquette to ever take somebody's private comments to you and post them to the list without that party's permission. It's a breach of privacy, leads to the escalation of flame wars, allows people to misrepresent each other, and turns everybody on the list into unwilling eavesdroppers. If somebody sent it to you, it's for your eyes only unless they tell you otherwise. Period. If the email says "please distribute," of course, then you have permission and it's okay.

How to Post to the List

Send messages to:

Your message will immediately be distributed to each and every subscriber on the list (digest members may take a bit longer to receive it). You must be a subscribed member of The Kraken in order to post messages to it.

KEEP IN MIND that if you hit "reply" in response to a message that comes over the list, your reply will automatically be sent to THE ENTIRE LIST—not just the person who wrote the original message. If you're not careful, this can result in the embarassment of comments intended to be private becoming public, so think before you hit that reply button. If you want to send a private message to one person, you'll need to create a new message without replying, or remove the list's address from the "To" field in the reply, and substitute the address of the individual you wish to reply to.


Archives of The Kraken are available on the Yahoo Groups site. Just go to The Kraken's "Main Page" on the Yahoo Groups site, at:

and click on the word "Messages" in the list of links running down the left hand side. You'll be taken to the archive of all the list's most recent mail. The archives are also fully searchable for specific topics!

Delivery Options: The Digest and Web-Only Membership

Note that this list is available in a digest format for those who want to be in on the discussion but can't handle a whole lot of mail. Instead of getting each message posted to the list individually in your mail box, you'll get one "digest" note a day containing all of the messages that have been posted. So you'll still get all the same mail, but there'll be a lot less clutter in your mail box. The down side is that you don't get the posts quite so fast.

Yahoo Groups also allows you the option of Web-only membership: reading the list's mail on the Web page's archives when you choose, rather than having it come to you by email.

To change your delivery options go to the Yahoo Groups web site, at, sign in with your email address and password, and select the "My Groups" page from the links at top. From the resulting page you can modify all your Yahoo Groups settings, including whether you get the list mail as individual emails, digests, or by reading the web archives.

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