Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1432
J. Quarterman
March 1993

Recent Internet Books

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


This article originally appeared in Volume 2 Number 12, (December 1992) of Matrix News, the monthly newsletter of Matrix Information and Directory Services, Inc. (MIDS).

1. Which Books

Here is a list of books related to using the Internet, which is the global and exponentially growing network of more than a million computers that communicate by interactive use of the TCP/IP protocols, for the use of millions of users. This article was prompted by the recent publication of nine or ten books on the Internet in the space of a year (some are so new they aren't even published yet). I have also included some books that have been around for quite a long time (as long ago as the dim past of 1984). I think all of them contain useful information for people new to the Internet.

Some of the books included here are about more than the Internet. Some of them are about the Matrix, which is the set of all computer networks worldwide that exchange electronic mail. The Matrix includes FidoNet, UUCP, BITNET, USENET, the Internet, and many others, but is not limited to any one of those networks. This particular bibliographic collection is oriented around the largest computer network in the world, the Internet, because of all the recent books about that network. Matrix News continues to publish information about the Matrix, including but not limited to the Internet.

   Author          Pp. Price  Audience       Type           Other
   LaQuey & Ryer   208 $10.95 public         user guide     some
   Kehoe           112 $22    technical      user guide     minimal
   Krol            376 $24.95 researchers    guide, catalog minimal
   Kochmer         450 $39.95 researchers    guide, catalog some
   Marine, et al.  380 $39    administrative contacts,      some
   Dern             ?    ?    new users      user guide     chapters
   Lane &          200 $37.50 information    primer         ?
   Summerhill                 professionals
   Malamud         376 $26.95 varied         travelog       some
   Quarterman &    448 $42.50 varied         standards      minimal
   Lynch, Rose     822 $40    technical      standards      minimal
   Tennant, et al. 142 $45    professionals  textbook       ?
   Benedikt        444 $15.95 varied         anthology      some
   Kahin           446 $34.95 faculty        scholarly      variable
   Parkhurst        86 $10.50 librarians     scholarly      some
   McClure, et al. 746 $45    varied         scholarly      some
   Levy            473  $4.95 public         history        some
   Raymond         453 $10.95 varied         dictionary     some
   Stoll           332 $19.95 public         spy story      some
   Hafner &        368 $22.95 public         journalism     some
   Denning         574 $23.95 public         scholarly      some
   Sterling        352 $23    public         documentary    some
   IRG             240 $15    technical      catalog        minimal
   NorthWestNet    297 $20    technical      catalog        minimal
   Frey & Adams    436 $26.95 varied         desk ref.      many
   LaQuey (UDCN)   645 $34.95 varied         directory      several
   Quarterman      746 $50    varied         context        all

Table 1. Network Books Summarized

I have excluded from this article books that are solely about technical aspects of technology, such as the TCP/IP protocols. Instead, I have included books about the resources and users of the Internet. I have grouped them in rough classifications for convenience of presentation. Several of these books fit several classifications. For that reason and others, the classifications should be taken as illustrative, not definitive. Table 1 summarizes some features of all the books described.

Thanks to various people for input; especially David Bridge. Much of the detailed bibliographic information came from the Library of Congress catalog server supported by Digital Research Associates, Inc., accessed via gopher and Telnet over the Internet.

Please note that prices may change, as may electronic mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and postal addresses. The price you pay, in particular, may be less because of a discount, or more because of shipping, or because you buy the book outside of the United States. The information included here is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but your mileage may vary. Use at your own risk. But please do report errors, changes, and additions to

Some bibliographic citations end in a line of the form


This means you can retrieve further information by connecting to with FTP, logging in as user anonymous, using your electronic mail address as a password, and changing to path/name as a directory, or retrieving it as a file, whichever works.

Some citations end in a line of the form


This is a domain address for further email inquiries.

2. Introductions

New user guides and information on getting connected fill most of the new books about the Internet.

LaQuey & Ryer:

               Tracy LaQuey, and Jeanne C. Ryer, The Internet
               Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global
               Networking, p. 208, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA,
               October 1992.
               $10.95. ISBN 0-201-62224-6.
               Book Review: Internet Society News, 1(3):34.
               Summer 1992.
               Book Review: Link Letter, 5(3):4. Nov. 1992.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 2(9):8-9. Sept. 1992.

This is the least expensive introductory guide for new users of the Internet, and perhaps the only one aimed at the general public. It is also being made available online by anonymous FTP from, two chapters a month.


               Brendan P. Kehoe, Zen and the Art of the Internet:
               A Beginner's Guide, p. 112, Prentice-Hall,
               Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 1992.
               $22.00. ISBN 0-13-010778-6.
               Book Review: Link Letter, 5(3):3. Nov. 1992.
               Book Review: MicroTimes, 102:3, Nov. 23, 1992.

The first edition of this book was and is available only online, from various anonymous FTP servers. This second edition is somewhat enlarged and updated, yet is still the shortest introductory Internet book.


               Ed Krol, The Whole Internet User's Guide &
               Catalog, p. 376, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.,
               Sebastopol, CA, 13 September 1992.
               $24.95. ISBN 1-56592-025-2.
               Book Review: Internet Society News, 1(3):33.
               Summer 1992.
               Book Review: Link Letter, 5(3):3. Nov. 1992.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 2(11). Nov. 1992.
               Book Review: MicroTimes, 102:3, Nov. 23, 1992.

Perhaps the most ambitious of the new crop of books, this one is both a user's guide and a catalog of resources in one. It is aimed at graduate students who want to use the Internet for research.


               Jonathan Kochmer, and NorthWestNet, The Internet
               Passport: NorthWestNet's Guide to Our World
               Online, 4th ed., p. 450, NorthWestNet, Bellevue,
               WA, 1993.
               $39.95. ISBN 0-9635281-0-6.

A forthcoming guide and catalog, not yet seen. It is paradoxically both the fourth edition of and the successor to the other NorthWestNet book listed later.


               April Marine, ed., Internet: Getting Started, p.
               380, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, September
               $39.00.  ISBN [none].
               Book Review: Internet Society News, 1(3):33.
               Summer 1992.
               Book Review: Link Letter, 5(3):4. Nov. 1992.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 2(12). Dec. 1992.

How to join the Internet, and some context so you will know why. This book is not a guide, and not a catalog, but it does contain numerous contact listings.


               Daniel P. Dern, The New User's Guide to the
               Internet, McGraw-Hill, New York, forthcoming in
               1993.  ISBN 0-07-016510-6 (hc). ISBN 0-07-16511-4

A forthcoming new user guide, not yet seen.

Lane & Summerhill:

               Elizabeth S. Lane, and Craig A. Summerhill, An
               Internet Primer for Information Professionals: A
               Basic Guide to Networking Technology, p. 200,
               Meckler Corp., Westport, CT, forthcoming in 1992.
               $37.50. ISBN 0-88736-831-X.

This book, not yet seen, is apparently aimed at information professionals, presumably meaning librarians and others.

3. Travelogs

This category has only one book in it so far.


               Carl Malamud, Exploring the Internet: A Technical
               Travelogue, p. 376, Prentice-Hall, Englewood
               Cliffs, NJ, August 1992.
               $26.95. ISBN 0-13-296898-3.
               Book Review: Internet Society News, 1(3):34.
               Summer 1992.
               Book Review: Network Computing, 3(11):46. October
               15, 1992.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 2(9):9,11. Sept. 1992.

Many fine lunches and dinners with users, administrators, and developers of the Internet in many countries around the world, with accurate technical background. Certainly the most wickedly funny of all the books about the Internet. Contains a subplot about how and why ITU and ISO do not publish their standards online.

4. Standards

The seemingly obscure topic of standards is actually illuminating when the subject is Internet Standards, because the processes that produce them reflect how the whole network works: by the efforts of its users and engineers.

Quarterman & Wilhelm:

               John S. Quarterman, and Susanne Wilhelm, UNIX,
               POSIX, and Open Systems: The Open Standards
               Puzzle, p. 446, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1993.
               $42.50. ISBN 0-201-52772-3.
               Book Review: Internet Society News, 1(3):34.
               Summer 1992.

Context about open systems standards. Includes a very brief history of the Internet, comments on the effects of networks on standards and the reverse, commentary on the benefits of publishing standards online, and an in-depth examination of the IETF standards process used to produce Internet Standards. Also includes an Internet growth graph.

Lynch & Rose:

               Daniel C. Lynch and Marshall T. Rose, eds., The
               Internet System Handbook, p. 822, Addison-Wesley,
               Reading, MA, 1993.  $40, ISBN 0-201-56741-5.

A description of the process that produces Internet Standards, and some other user level material in addition to protocol material.

5. Textbooks

This category includes a textbook on using the Internet, and some other books that could be used as textbooks for sociology or policy.


               Roy Tennant, John Ober, Anne G. Lipow, and
               Foreword by Clifford Lynch, Crossing the Internet
               Threshold: an Instructional Handbook, p. 142
               pages, 1993.
               $45.00. ISBN 1-882208-01-3.

A short textbook on using the Internet, by two librarians at the University of California at Berkeley.


               Michael Benedikt, ed., Cyberspace: First Steps, p.
               444, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991.  $15.95. ISBN

An anthology of sociological examinations of networks and related topics, by writers, scholars, and public figures. Edited by a professor of Architecture at the University of Texas.


               Brian Kahin, ed., Building Information
               Infrastructure: Issues in the Development of the
               National Research and Education Network, p. 446,
               McGraw-Hill Primis, New York, 1992.
               $34.95, ISBN: 0-390-03083-X.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 2(5). May 1992.

Includes the entire text of the High Performance Computing Act (HPCA) of 1991 that authorized the forthcoming National Research and Education Network (NREN), as well as numerous examinations of what it does and should mean. Papers from a workshop at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Tough sledding in spots, but very rewarding in others.


               Carol A. Parkhurst, ed., Library Perspectives on
               NREN: The National Research and Education Network,
               p. 86, LITA, Chicago, 1990.
               $10.50. ISBN 0-8389-7477-5.
               Book Review: Matrix News, 1(7). Oct. 1991.

Another NREN policy anthology; this one oriented towards library uses.


               Charles McClure, Ann Bishop, Philip Doty, and
               Howard Rosenbaum, The National Research And
               Education Network (NREN): Research and Policy
               Perspectives, p. 746, Ablex Press, Norwood, NJ,
               $45 personal; $95 institutional. ISBN
               0-89391-813-X. Book Review: Matrix News, 1(6).
               Sep. 1991.
               Book Review: Electronic Networking: Research,
               Applications and Policy 2(1). Spring 1992.

Masses of information on NREN, and examination of its potential effects on research.

6. Hacking and Cracking

Hacking is skillful programming. Cracking is breaking and entering. If you don't know the difference, read the first two books below. If you don't think it matters, read the last book below, which examines how law enforcement agencies confused about computers and networks did some very strange things.


               Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer
               Revolution, p. 473, Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden
               City, NY, 1984.  $17.95. ISBN 0-385-19195-2 (hc).
               $4.95 ISBN 0-440-13405-6 (pbk).

Tales of the real hackers who invented the modern computer industry. Some of these people are still quite active on the nets today.

Raymond & Steele:

               Eric S. Raymond, ed., Guy Steele, The New Hacker's
               Dictionary, p. 453, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA,
               1991.  ISBN 0-262-18145-2 (hc). $10.95 ISBN
               0-262-68069-6 (pbk).

The authority on hacker jargon, and a very amusing book. Look it up in here when you doubt a definition in the press.


               Clifford Stoll, The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy
               Through the Maze of Computer Espionage, p. 332,
               Doubleday, New York, 1989.  $19.95. ISBN
               0-385-24946-2 (alk. paper).

A spy novel, except it's true: a first person account by a down- on-his-luck Berkeley astronomer who with others tracked down a KGB network spy. Despite its necessary concentration on cracking, still a readable introduction to what the Internet is about.

Hafner & Markoff:

               Katie Hafner, and John Markoff, Cyberpunk, p. 368,
               Simon & Schuster, New York, 1991.  $22.95. ISBN

Interviews with some of the crackers who have appeared conspicuously in the press in the past few years. One of the co- authors is the New York Times reporter who broke the Stoll story to the public.


               Peter J. Denning, ed., Computers Under Attack:
               Intruders, Worms, and Viruses, p. 574, ACM
               Press/Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1990.  $23.95,
               ISBN 0-201-53067-8.

Details of celebrated network security cases, including those described in the previous two books. Includes Stoll's original article about the Wiley Hacker, and responses and articles by others on the same subject. Has extensive coverage of the 1988 Internet Worm. Also includes information on viruses. Has quite a bit of material on the cultures of the networks, and on social, legal, and ethical matters. Starts with the standard historical network papers, including "Notable Computer Networks" by Quarterman and Hoskins.


Bruce Sterling, The Hacker Crackdown: Law and

Disorder on the electronic frontier, p. 352,

Bantam, New York, 1992. $23. ISBN 0-553-08058-X.

An in-depth examination of the forces of law who try to deal with computer crime, and of the issues involved, written by one of the science fiction writers who invented cyberpunk. The real story behind Operation Sundevil and the Legion of Doom. Readable, informative, amusing, and necessary.

7. Resource Guides

These have always been available online.


               NorthWestNet, NorthWestNet User Services Internet
               Resource Guide, p. 297, NorthWestNet, Bellevue,
               WA, 1992.
               $20.  ISBN [none]. Book Review: Matrix News, 2(1).
               Jan. 1992.

NorthWestNet's Resource Guide.


               NNSC, Internet Resource Guide, p. 240, NSF Network
               Service Center (NNSC), BBN, Cambridge, MA, 1991.
               $15. ISBN [none].

The original Internet Resource Guide.

8. Also About Other Networks

The network service most people use is electronic mail, which is carried over many networks other than the Internet, throughout the worldwide Matrix of interconnected computer networks that exchange mail. These are books about networks that cover more networks than the Internet alone.

Frey & Adams:

               Donnalyn Frey, and Rick Adams, !%@: A Directory of
               Electronic Mail Addressing and Networks, p. 436,
               O'Reilly & Associates, Sebastopol, CA, January
               1991.  $26.95. ISBN 0-937-17515-3 (pbk.).

A quick desk reference to many networks, with two pages on each one.

LaQuey (UDCN):

               Tracy Lynn LaQuey, Users' Directory of Computer
               Networks, p. 645, Digital Press, Bedford, MA,
               1989.  $34.95 Digital Part Number EY-C200E-DP;
               Digital Press ISBN 1-555-58047-5; Prentice-Hall
               ISBN 0-13-950262-9.

A directory of users, domains, etc. of the Internet, BITNET, UUCP, etc.


               John S. Quarterman, The Matrix: Computer Networks
               and Conferencing Systems Worldwide, p. 746,
               Digital Press, Bedford, MA, 1990.  $50. Digital
               order number EY-C176E-DP-SS, Digital Press ISBN
               155558-033-5, Prentice-Hall ISBN 0-13-565607-9.

A context book about all computer networks worldwide, including UUCP, FidoNet, BITNET, USENET, and the Internet. The longest of all the books listed, and the most comprehensive.

9. Publishers

These are in alphabetical order. Most of the telephone and fax numbers are only for orders, not for other kinds of communications.

          Ablex Publishing Corp.          Doubleday, a division of
          201-767-8450                    Bantam Doubleday Dell
          fax: 201-767-6717                  Publishing Group, Inc.
          355 Chestnut St.                212-765-6500
          Norwood, NJ 07648               800-223-6834
                                          fax: 212-765-3869
                                          666 Fifth Avenue
          Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.   New York, NY  10103

          800-447-2226                    Library Solution Press
          1 Jacob Way                     510-841-2636
          Reading, MA 01867               fax: 415-594-0411
                                          1100 Industrial Road, Suite 9
                                          San Carlos, CA 94070
          Bantam, a division of
          Bantam Doubleday Dell
             Publishing Group Inc.        LITA Publications
          212-765-6500                    ALANET ALA0085
          800-223-6834                    800-545-2433
          fax: 212-765-3869               312-280-4270
          666 Fifth Avenue                fax: + 312-440-9374
          New York, NY  10103             50 East Huron Street
                                          Chicago, IL  60602
          Digital Press
          617-276-1498                    212-512-2000
          fax: 617-276-4314               1221 Ave. of the Americas
          Digital Equipment Corporation   New York, NY 10020
          12 Crosby Drive BUO/E94
          Bedford, MA 01730
          Meckler Corporation             Simon & Schuster
          (203) 226-6967                  212-698-7000
          Fax: (203) 545-5840             800-223-2336
          11 Ferry Lane West              fax: 212-698-7007
          Westport, CT 06880              Subsidiary of
                                          Paramount Communications Inc.
                                          the Simon & Schuster Bldg.
                                          1230 Ave. of the Americas
                                          New York, NY  10020
                                          SRI International
          MIT Press             
          Massachusetts Institute         415-859-6387
             of Technology                415-859-6387
          Cambridge, MA  02142            fax: 415-859-6028
                                          Network Information Systems
          NorthWestNet                    Center
         333 Ravenswood Avenue,
          206-562-3000                    Room EJ29
          fax: 206-562-4822               Menlo Park, CA 9402
          NUSIRG Orders
          15400 SE 30th Place, Suite 202
          Bellevue, WA  98007
          NSFNET Network Service Center

          Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.
          10 Moulton Street
          Cambridge, MA  02138
          O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

          800-998-9938  7am to 5pm PST
          fax: 707-829-0104
          103 Morris Street, Suite A
          Sebastopol, CA 95472

          fax: 515-284-2607
          Route 9W
          Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Security Considerations

Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

John S. Quarterman
Matrix Information and Directory Services, Inc. (MIDS) 1106 Clayton Lane, Suite 500W
Austin, TX 78723

   Phone: +1-512-451-7602
   Fax: +1-512-450-1436

For further information on MIDS, contact:

Matrix News
Matrix Information & Directory Services, Inc. (MIDS) 1106 Clayton Lane, Suite 500W
Austin, TX 78723

   Phone: +1-512-451-7602
   Fax: +1-512-450-1436