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CYBERIA

ASK THE AUTHOR: For those frustrated because they had a question about a book but couldn't get in touch with the author, CNN Interactive offers a solution. It has started a series, Ask the Author (www.CNN.com/Asktheauthor), that will cover five genres (science fiction, horror, romance, mystery and magic/realism) with 12 authors available starting out. Readers can post questions, and the authors will post answers daily. In addition, CNN will offer live chat with some of the authors the last Tuesday of the month at www.CNN.com/chat.

LESS PAIN, MORE GAIN: Internet surfers can lead too sedentary a life: too much sitting, not enough exercise. Aches and pains can develop from hitting the keyboard too much or not sitting properly. What's a surfer to do? Computering & Exercise: Escaping the Aches & Pains of Computer Work (Rockett Publications, $24.95, www.computerhealth.com) by Dr. Ricky Lockett offers an assessment of the issues as well as exercises to help you have a healthier computing lifestyle.

INDIES FIGHT BACK: Independent, locally owned bookstores aren't giving up the online world to the big guys without a fight. Late this summer, a new site will tout the benefits of these local shops at www.booksense.com. The site promises recommendations, featured titles, award winners and bestsellers.

FOR WORD LOVERS: The Word Wizard (www.wordwizard.com/) is for everything you wanted to know about words and could ask. Origins of words and phrases, new words, quotes, slang _ even discussion groups where participants can imagine themselves as characters from Shakespeare to Raymond Chandler. It's free but requires registration.

NOVEL WITH A CAUSE: Here's a chance to read a new kind of novel and support a cause. Leslie Guttman, an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, has written Message Pending (www.messagepending.com), a love story told through an exchange of e-mail. It costs $8.95 for the 12-part novel, with half the proceeds going to the Pesticide Action Network (www.panna.org).

NETTING SUCCESS: E-commerce is hot, hot, hot, and books telling how the successful made it big in cyberspace are following quickly. Net Success: 24 Leaders in Web Commerce Show You How to Put the Internet to Work for Your Business ($24.95, Adams Media Corp., www.businesstown.com), by Christina Ford Haylock and Len Muscarella explores the Internet's influence on consumers and looks at how business leaders approach a wired marketplace. The introduction is by America Online's Steve Case.

CORRECTION: The Book Adventure site (www.bookadventure.org) we featured in July does have the quizzes and other activities related to children's books. But the site only lists about 3,000 children's books on the site; it does not actually offer them online.

Dave Gussow's Cyberia column appears monthly.

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