ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 06

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This archive includes discussions from July - November 2008.

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Add a reference to a first edition in magazine

Hello, I've got information on the first magazine edition for some titles. Examples : Heinlein's short story "Water is for washing" was first published in Argosy, novembre 1947. Heinlein's short story "Heil!" was first published in Futuria fantasia, avril 1940. And some such. How do I add that kind of information ? (I don't have more information on those magazines ; source : Le livre d'or de la science-fiction : Robert Heinlein, Pocket, 1981). Jessica

Welcome Jessica.
Since Argosy was a general fiction magazine, we would not normally index it. Therefore, we would normally record such information as a note in the title record. In this case the title record "Water Is for Washing" already carries a note to this effect.
It appears we have no record of a story "Heil!" by Heinlein at all, nor do we have any record of Le livre d'or de la science-fiction. As Futuria Fantasia sounds like a genre magazine (in French, I presume) we would index it. If you have a copy, or enough info to enter a record for it, even an incomplete one, you could do that. See Help:Getting Started, Help:How to enter foreign editions, and Help:Screen:NewPub. Enter a new magazine with the "New Magazine" link under editing tools from the main ISFDB page or from an author page. Feel free to ask more questions about any section of this process, or anything else about the ISFDB. -DES Talk 07:08, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, please remember to sign your wiki posts with four tildes (~~~~) in future. The software will convert this to your user ID and a timestamp, or your custom signature if you specify one in your preferences, plus a timestamp. -DES Talk 07:11, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
On further checking I find we list "Heil!" as a variant title of "Successful Operation". We list that as being published in 1940, but list no publications before 1970. Listing the original publication, or failing that, adding a note to the title record for "Successful Operation", would be very helpful. Edit a title record by first displaying the title record (bibliography) and then clicking the "Edit Title Data" link under Editing tools on the left of the screen. Click "Submit" when all changes have been entered. -DES Talk 07:20, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Futuria Fantasia was Ray Bradbury's (English language) fanzine in the late 1930s/early 1940. We don't have it indexed, but I am sure we will get to it eventually. For now, Jim Gifford's list of Heinlein's first editions can be used to sort out RAH's stories. Other sites exist, of course, but I helped Jim clean up his list back in 1994, so I am a bit partial :)
P.S. Le livre d'or de la science-fiction was a French series of collections/anthologies, mostly by US/UK authors -- see OCLC. Ahasuerus 18:26, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer, I've noticed a bit too late for "Water is for washing" (and that gave me the way to proceed...).
In France, "Heil!" is always listed as from Heinlein (and not from Lyle Monroe, though I know it was published under this name). I've just added a note in the record.
I found all the references (sources) I add in Le livre d'or de la science-fiction and they usually don't provide more details than I myself give. When I compare with the ISFDB informations, I find they usually are reliable.
I as well get some information from my own copies of SF books (in French or English - and then usually British editions).
I don't have much time just now, but I intend to add some information from my collections (including Le livre d'or) on the website when I can.
Which leads me to something else: I think translations should not be put as variant titles, but maybe on other pages linked with the main one, for it can be confusing : one can believe those titles are from the authors themselves, and not understand they are from foreign editions (when you don't know much, you have to check the editor to be sure of that ; and know who they are...). But I'll come back to that later, when I begin to put French editions on the website. Jessica 13:02, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Good, you're already thinking like us! We DON'T create variant titles for translations, we put the non-English titles under the (main) English one. For instance, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has one variant title, for the US version, but the French, Spanish, German, Welsh, Latin, Greek, et cetera versions just get extra publications under the main English title. Note that we are NOT totally English-centric, we DO make the English title a variant of an ORIGINAL foreign title. See Jules Verne for instance. I'm sure we will get into some further discussion at some time: e.g. should translations of different English titles go under the canonical English title or the one they are actually literal translations of? BLongley 18:23, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Jules Verne's is a complicated case: some titles on his Summary page are done correctly and some need improvement. We also fail to credit his son, Michel, on the posthumous books as the co-author-cum-ghost-writer. The biggest headache with Verne's bibliography, however, is that we use a "Publication series", Voyages Extraordinaires, for almost all of his books at the expense of "real" series like "From the Earth to the Moon"/"Around the Moon"/"The Purchase of the North Pole", "Robur the Conqueror"/"Master of the World" or "The Children of Captain Grant"/"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"/"The Mysterious Island". Pierre Barbet is probably a better -- if incomplete -- example since it's more straightforward than the mess that is Verne's biblio. Ahasuerus 02:10, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The Voyages Extraordinaires series is a direct copy from Wikipedia. Is there a website that gives a better breakdown of the different series?Kraang 03:32, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The Israeli Verne site that we currently link to is very good. It contains a couple of pages on the posthumous "collaborations" and a FAQ explaining the André Laurie situation. I can't find a list of sequels right now, assuming they have one, but I think I covered them all in my recent Verne post on rec.arts.sf.written. BTW, we also list three books written by someone called Julio Verne and we need to do something about the two versions of Paul Verne's "The 40th Ascension on Mount Blanc". Always something :) Ahasuerus 04:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
P.S. ...and I have just found a very nice list of recent (1965-2007) English translations of Verne's works! Ahasuerus 04:40, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Add a link from a short story to a first magazine edition

Hi everybody,

Thanks for your advice, I need quite a lot actually. I feel a little (a lot!) baffled by the editing tools (although as a user I feel quite at ease now). I'll try to remember everything, as using the 4 ~ to sign, etc..

Maybe the reason is that English is not my native tongue, but there are things I don't find how to do - perhaps they are explained somewhere, but I had a look and didn't find them.

Just now I noticed that a short story - Asimov's "Hell-Fire" - doesn't have a mention of first magazine publication in its record, although that precise first publication is mentioned in another record (but no link has been made). I'm not sure I'm very clear ; it's been published in Fantastic universe, May 1956, and that magazine's issue is recorded, with the short story listed in it. But when you go to "Hell-Fire"'s record, it's not there, and I don't know how to correct it.

Thanks for telling me how to proceed.

Jessica 17:05, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry the editing tools are not easier to use, they are somewhat complex, and the amount of programmer time to improve them is limited. With practice, they do get easier, in my experience.
What you have found is a case where two different people (at least) entered information for the story Hell-Fire, and failed to merge the title records, so that we have two different title records for this story. This happens all too often, because unless a new publication is being entered as a copy (clone) of another, such merges must be done manually.
See Help:How to merge titles for more on the merging process. In addition to the tools mentioned there, there are two other ways to find merge candidates and carry out title merges. Both start from the author page, in this case Isaac Asimov.
Under editing tools you will find "Dup Candidates". This scans the titles recorded for that author, and displays ones with matching titles. Scan through to find examples that you are confident are actually the same work; Check the boxes for all titles you wish to merge within a group, and click "Merge selected records". A new screen will display, with the differences, if any highlighted in red. Select the correct option for each field where there is a difference, and click "Complete Merge" (alternatively, if the differences show you that a merge would be a mistake, simply click your browser's "back" button.) Be careful to check title types. For example, it is not uncommon to have a collection with the same name as a story, or a later expanded novel with the same title as the story it was based on. In either of these cases, merging would be a mistake.
Also under editing tools, is the link "Titles". Click this, and you get a list of all titles recorded by the author (100 to a page, if there are more than 100, as there surely are for Asimov). Check the boxes for any titles that should be merged, and click "Merge selected records". From there the process is the same. Again, be careful of titles with different types.
This problem is not in any way unique to first publications: a story that is in two different collections will often have multiple title records that must be merged. When entering a publication containing multiple works (such as a collection or a magazine) it is good practice to do title searches to see if any of the newly entered titles need to be merged with existing records. -DES Talk 17:31, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


Thanks!

I've had a look and noticed something I didn't see: there are two different titles, one is "Hell Fire", and the other, "Hell-fire", so merging doesn't seem to be possible... (just to try it, I've done as you said, using "Dup candidates", and it doesn't list this short story... of course...). But I still think one should find the first magazine edition (and maybe the other ones) for both, as isn't it the same work? What do we do in such a case? I don't suppose it's possible to redirect the search, so one would find only one record with the two titles? Or do I merge them using "titles"?

As well, I've had trouble doing some searches, when I was not using capital letters inside the title; I think that's the reason, but it seems weird, because it doesn't happen for all titles and I never use capital letters inside titles (I'm mostly doing my search using "cut" and "paste", and as I wrote somewhere before, in France we don't use capitals inside titles). I've checked the spelling in every case and it always seems identical to the one I find when I do it the hard way (using the list on the author's record). I mention that now because for me it is linked to the problem above (i.e. they both create search troubles).

Jessica 19:09, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

"Hell Fire" and "Hell-Fire" are considered different enough (just from that hyphen) to be considered different variations of the same title. (See 198446 and you'll note that "Hell-Fire" is a variant of "Hell Fire" already.) We wouldn't have a variant for "Hell-fire" (lower-case "f") as we capitalize the word after the hyphen. Our upper/lower case differences shouldn't affect searches though. (Apostrophes/quotes often do, annoyingly.) I don't think we mess with French titles too often though, most were imported automatically, so suggestions on the way to record them "properly" is fine by me! BLongley 20:05, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
If your search includes a leading or trailing blank (space) it may fail -- such blanks are matched in the search target. This can in rare cases be helpful, but more often than not it is a nuisance. I find it easy to do with cut&paste without intending to. ISFDB searches are, as far as I know, not case-sensitive, so whether you use upper or lower case does not matter. Our normal standard for English-language titles is to capitalize most words (see Help:Screen:EditPub for the details. I don't know that we have a standard for French-language titles. -DES Talk
I was not meaning French titles but American ones (I'm currently working on a bibliography on American golden age SF, and thus not capitalizing as it is the rule in French libraries). I know about the blanks and I don't think it applies to the cases I refer to, for I'm careful to suppress them when there are some (that's something I'm sure I checked in most cases I had trouble).
About capitalization in general, in French libraries there is a policy of capitalizing only the first letter of a title, and also names and such, for foreign texts as well as French - and as long as it doesn't contradict the tongue's own spelling (as it would for nouns in German, for example). That means we would spell "A Canticle for Leibowitz", for ex., as "A canticle for Leibowitz" - as you would if it were part of a text and not a title. I've received some formal training as a librarian and have been cataloguing abstracts in foreign tongues for a while, that's why I'm sure of it (at least that is taught in the Public Service training center).
Which means that, as we're on an American website, when I enter information, I'm careful to capitalize as you do (and I hope you'll forgive me if I forget it; and as well if I add spaces before some punctuation marks, as we don't have the same rules as you do, and sometimes habit takes over and I don't notice it). But when I enter French titles, I'll apply the French rules... If it's OK with everybody.
Which makes me think that, when I begin to work on it (in quite a while, as I've got too much to do just now), it may be a good idea I post some information on French spelling and cataloguing rules, so that if somebody else happens to enter references for a French title, they may get it right, whatever the case on the cover (again, as long as it's OK with everybody).
Jessica 21:04, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
If the worst error you ever make here is to fail to capitalize some titles in our "standard" manner, you will be doing a lot better than I did, indeed than i sometimes still do. Everyone forgets things, we're a pretty understanding bunch about that sort of thing, i think.
If you were to write up some standards or rules or guidelines for how to enter French titles and other data on French-language pubs, i for one think it would be a very good idea. if anything is unclear, please do give a shout -- our help pages are not always as clear as we would like, nor is info on them always as easy to find as we would like. Better ideas are always welcome.
If a title search fails, sometimes it is worth going to the author page and checking from there. At least it has been for me. I suspect that it has only been that I made an error in entering the title, but it sometimes lets me find records that I was sure we had but was not finding by title searches. Of course, any spelling variant (including things like hyphens and accented letters) causes our title searches to fail, they return only exact matches. I hope all this is of some help. -DES Talk 21:19, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
We're not quite THAT bad... searches are case-insensitive and Al has tried to do some things with different apostrophes, but if you really want to search for all title variants, it's best in ADVANCED search (which will lose any accidental leading and trailing spaces) and replace any controversial character (for French, that would be anything with an accent over or under it, and probably for anything with an accent beside it, or kerned letters, like AE sometimes are) with "%". We're wonderfully inconsistent here at times, so there's still room for discussion on many topics. BLongley 21:43, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Correct. I wasn't sure about the apostrophes. We do not have the sort of "fuzzy" search that google uses to offer a "did you mean..." choice. -DES Talk 21:52, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
True, the software doesn't fuzz it for us so we have to do it ourselves at times. "%" works on our current software and underlying database but over-matches at times. "_" should work for single character matches as well, but I'm less sure of that as it might be for single-BYTE matches. But for now, using A-Z (or a-z) and putting any other characters or punctuation as "%" tends to find you what you need. And a lot more, but if you're searching then I think it's more important to find what you need than miss it altogether. BLongley 22:10, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know about %, maybe we need to put it in a help page somewhere :) -DES Talk 22:31, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Could you be more precise about the % please? Does what you say mean that you can use it to replace part of your word when you do a search? For example, if you typed, let say, "ex%", you would get "example" and "excerpt" and so on? And the same with _ (for one character)? Does it work with the search as well, or only with the advanced search? I've noticed that the system gives you all titles where the expression you enter is contained; which makes searches of titles with one word awkward sometimes... (ex: try "city", the Simak novel...). Maybe we should be able to search with an exact title as well (or is it already possible?). Jessica 07:55, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, "%" is a wildcard for 0 or more characters, "_" for a single character - but what counts as a single character is sometimes not obvious, as you've discovered below. It works in both searches, but please use it sparingly - e.g. "%" alone will match EVERY title or name or whatever you're searching for, so it's quite heavy work for the database. I believe specifying at least the first few leading characters will help. BLongley 21:40, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I'll keep those things in mind as things I'll have to think (and write and work) about, which now makes two: 1) French spelling and entering foreign editions (and such), 2) possibilities about the search modalities. I don't know much about software - only about searches on catalogs (which I have done quite a lot as a job and for my studies) -, so the last would mostly be opinions...

Someone wrote somewhere, about bibliographic websites, that there were other ones in other languages, sometimes linked to Wikipedia as well. I just wanted to add a comment about that. I've been working on science-fiction for several years now and trying to find informations on the internet. There are mostly two places where I found useful information, and that is this ISFDB database and the en-wiki (to be honest, I found another useful site, but it's only useful for me: it gives the original titles of some American authors' writings from the French ones; and it's not much use for anything else) (True, I'm only looking for American writers at the moment). Maybe I should start a topic on that subject as well at one point... (or link that question to the one about foreign editions).

Jessica 07:55, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


Ellipsis

I just had one example of a search that failed. I pasted: "Breeds there a man…?" and didn't get anything, although there is "Breeds There a Man...?" on the database (I just cut and pasted those items here). But I know what happened in that case: my word processor had converted the three dots in one punctuation mark and the database didn't identify it as three dots. One way to search titles ending with punctuation marks, I've noticed, is to suppress it, as those are usually entered in several differents ways - so there are several different records for those, which I think is a problem, actually. Jessica 08:12, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I find it helpful to avoid punctuation entirely in searching. Often this means going to an advanced search. (And looking at your examples of the ellipsis ("...") above, as I'm editing, I can see that they are in fact different - though they display the same on the wiki page.)
When you're adding data, BTW, in many cases if there's a title or name that's the same except for case, your data will be changed to match. This happens for apostrophes, too. But other punctuation marks such as ellipsis (which the help says should be entered with spaces surrounding the periods (" . . . ") it probably won't work that way, so you may need to be very careful.
(One more thing, very minor: in the wiki, we normally indent responses relative to the text they're responding to; this is accomplished by means of leading colons (":", "::", etc.). It would make the discussion a bit more readable if you could follow this convention. (DES is the local guru on how to make the wiki behave, BTW, & has really helped a lot.))
You're right that there's a lot to learn; it looks like you're doing very well. Stuff is buried in many help files & a huge amount of discussion on the wiki, & the initial learning curve is a bit steep. -- Dave (davecat) 15:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
(Oh, yes. When indentation gets too deep, the normal course is to go back to the left margin, but to flag this by saying "(unindent)".) Dave (davecat) 15:18, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
We changed our rules on the ellipsis fairly recently, so not all have been converted yet. I was happy with "...", some others weren't, but it seems nobody on the pro-change side has converted them and so we've got about a 1,000 "..." titles still and 1,150 ". . ." ones, and there may be other variations. For now, either search for both, or leave the punctuation out of the search: if we've got both versions for the same title they should be merged, keeping the ". . ." version. (Wait till you see the M-Dash problems!) BLongley 21:50, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The decision actually was not to change the rule. The reason it was suggested that we change the rule to "..." was that the overwhelming majority of the data was entered that way. It looks like we are actually making some progress. I fix them whenever I come across them in the normal editing process.--swfritter 14:57, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, the decision was to change the practice, as the standard documented in help was not being followed. Better? Whether the "rule" was what we were doing, or what the help said we should be doing (from December 2006 anyway) doesn't really matter now we know which way we ARE moving - although perhaps someone had better tell Dissembler? (Or has he been fixed since that addition?) Anyway, we should probably remind people it's " . . ." now a bit more strongly as we're still getting many new submissions in the the wrong format. And I see I was STILL getting it wrong - help says "space", "period", "space", "period", "space", "period" - and we've only got 864 of the 1187 spaced versions with the leading space. Or did we decide leading ellipses could lose the leading space, and didn't adjust the help? I can't find the discussion that reached the current consensus now. (Calling Wiki-search expert, come in please?) BLongley 19:42, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't remember the discussion, and I'm not sure what decision was reached, but I see no reason for a leading space on a leading ellipses. To be clear, if a title had both leading and trailing ellipses, I would think it should be "period", "space", "period", "space", "period", "space", "Text Here", "space", "period", "space", "period", "space", "period". In short an ellipsis is always separated from any text by a space, but need not have a space before any character. Also, there are some titles with a quote before a leading or after a trailing ellipsis, like ". . . After a Few Words". I see no need for a space between quote mark and period in such cases. I'll try to dig up the prior discussion now. -DES Talk 21:14, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The discussion is at Rules and standards discussions#Ellipsis. The decision (not exactly a true consensus) was for ". . ." rather than "..." with mention of a cleanup script for conversion of existing data. The issue of leading vs trailing ellipses was not raised, nor the issue of quote marks in titles before or after ellipses. -DES Talk 21:23, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the find! I really was misremembering what was said at the time. It does appear we didn't have consensus, just a couple of votes for following the rules of English as opposed to my lazy option of reworking the help that nobody ever pointed me at when I was doing it the other way. (And I think Al was doing it the other way when he started this whole shebang, but he didn't complain about going with the help when we discussed it last). It seems Rkihara and swfritter like "Rules of English" (and I'm fine with that so long as it's English English rules ;-) ), and eventually Ahasuerus added support for current help guidelines. Current help does seem lacking on guidance on leading spaces for leading ellipses though, and if we stick with nit-picking that bit alone then there's not much that needs adjustment. If we reopen the "spaces versus none" argument then it's a bigger can of worms, as the person that entered most of the "wrong" versions hasn't expressed a view, and the person that wrote the help we ignored for ages isn't very active. It's not a big issue for me (as I have no intention on working on the "wrong" titles especially, unless someone starts making them variants of each other) and will follow a true consensus. It's just a question of how BIG a Can of Worms needs to be reopened. I'm fine with leaving it to natural selection (let people enter them anyway they want for a bit, and reevaluate the preferences later - searchers can wildcard that bit for now) or somebody can make a big case of it and we should probably demand a script solution so nobody is misled by current data. (I don't think anyone has ever had a script solution approved yet though.) BLongley 22:11, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The oh-so-tricky wiki-search consisted of typing "ellipsis" in to the box on the upper left of a wiki page, and clicking "search" -- there was exactly one result. Anyone who can use googel could have done that one. -DES Talk 22:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Funny, I now get FOURTEEN results when I do that. I think there's some assumptions about what Namespaces are being searched when we try that. Or somebody added a lot of pages with that in since I last tried it. Wiki-Search is still a mystery to me, and I have in fact started using Google instead, now the robots aren't banned. In-site search could be a lot more intuitive still, I think. BLongley 23:13, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Even so, I'll bet one of the fourteen is the right one. You can specify, in your preferences, the set of namespaces to be searched by default -- if you don't like the results of a search you can change the set to be searched and try again. Or you can use google, that is usually my next step if a simple wiki search does not find what I am looking for easily. Searchign is not what media-wiki does best, no question about it. A google search of the isfdb.org site is far more powerful and flexable. -DES Talk 23:20, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I like the help to be as up-to-date and complete as possible, so my inclination would be to make a decision on the leading ellipsis issue (for preference the one I suggested above) and then change the help to explicitly cover these cases. But some people might think that was being unilateral or premature, so i will wait until at lease some others support such a course of action. Now that we have the web-api available, i think a script solution is more easily implemented, but I won't push for one. Currently, there are about 960 results on a title search for "..." I am fine with the "space" convention -- on this I care more that there be a standard than what the standard is. -DES Talk 22:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure the Web-Api is helping anyone yet, but I haven't experimented. It looks as though we could do massive multiple submissions, but adding hundreds of edits to be approved by humans would not necessarily be a popular choice (if that's what it does). But even if we don't get a major fix done immediately, making sure we all pull in the same direction is good in the meantime. Even if updating help too fast is considered a bad thing, making it clear that some bits are under discussion could save some rework. BLongley 23:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
It hasn't been much used beyond testing, this might be a fair candidate for a first live run: Clearcut and non-controversial. But that is up top the people working with it, and I'm not one yet. My understanding is that while it could be used to dump hundreds of submissions into the queue, it is considered better to dump batches of say 20-50 at a time, and the api is set up to make this easy. In any case, i agree that having a single standard is good even if we don't convert all existing data at once. I also agree that under discussion can be helpful, provided that the discussion doesn't peter our with no conclusion, as too often happens. -DES Talk 23:25, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Help for beginers

Maybe because my English is not good enough, mostly on the kind of technical slang we use, I feel a little lost here (as I wrote before). It's begining to be better, but at first I was really baffled by the organization and couldn't guess how to proceed, even with the help set for beginers.

So I'd like to take up a question about that problem: would it be possible to create two separate sections, one for the search, and one for the editing, which would be as clear and simple and yet complete as we manage, would deal only of things on which there is a consensus (and so wouldn't be a place for discussion; but which maybe would allow people to see what discussion there is on points not yet sorted out, by means of a link to that discussion), and which would allow one to find out easily how to do such and such thing?

I know there is already something like that on the help, but, whereas it seems very useful when you come with a title you want to enter from scratch, it didn't help me much with the changes I wanted to suggest (as adding a mention of first publication, merging...). I know you can find mostly everything here or there on the website, but it's not easy to find it out when you just arrive, and it's impossible if you're not an editor and don't care to become one (I mean, users also can meet problems).

As well, there may sometimes be, even for English speakers, problems of vocabulary - I've noticed that most people, in France, feel baffled by some of the words we use as a librarians - for example our technical word for "record" -, and I guess that some people who want to use this website would appreciate if there was, is such a kind of help page I'm suggesting, links with definitions for some words.

I suppose this problem has already been much discussed, and I'm aware that it would involve a lot of work. But it could save some as well once it is done in such a way that somebody, searching how to do something, would find all the informations in one place, and organized in such a way that they could easily find the right information.

I won't have so much time to work on the database in the coming weeks, and I've still got a lot to learn before I'm able to use it properly, but that's a kind of work I would be glad to do (or help doing) later if it seems useful to other people than myself. I'm thinking of two helps, one for the users, and one for the new editors (only the first one being public, but a new editor should be given the link to the second one when he or she registers), which would explain how the database and the records are organised, how to perform a search in such a way that one would find what they want even if it is tricky, would provide some details about problems as variants or punctuation, so the editors would know how to deal with the different cases they meet and the users would be aware that there can be several records for works which are basically the same (and why), and so on.

I hope I'm writing that in the right place, I'm not always sure where I should take up such or such topic; I know there may be some discussion on that point already, but I don't think I've met it yet (too many things to read on that section of the database; which is one of the reasons I think more detailed helps would come in handy!).

Jessica 11:18, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

A few Analog questions

I am not sure if this is right place to ask this questions, or if I should have used Analog's discussion page for these. But anyway: In the Analog's magazine page where main series of the magazine are listed is said: "The Alternate View ---- The Alternate View: should not be used in the title. The canonical title Analog should be used.". However, if you look at that series [[1]] there are only a few titles where "The Alternative View" is NOT used - and not a single one where "canonical title" is used (if I understand this correctly and it means title should be something like What is "Old-fashioned" Anyway? (Analog Sep 2008)). My opinion is that the Analog need not to be mentioned in the title of every story in that way, as these articles are collected in the series anyway. But it might by a good idea that the series name would mention Analog.

Another question is about Analog series Probability Zero [[2]] Should "Probability Zero" be mentioned in the title of the story? In this I have no opinion either way. Tpi 15:00, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

At least some of the Probability Zero items have been reprinted in author collections and anthologies, generally including "Probability Zero" as part of the title, at least the ones I recall. This would incline me to retain the term as part of the individual item titles. But I am not an expert in this area, and there may be reasons to do things otherwise that I don't know. -DES Talk 15:25, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
If the features are not entered into series, then they should be identified by feature name, and unique title for the individual feature if given. The examples you showed are in series, so using the feature name as part of the title is redundant, since there is a unique title for each essay, and the feature is identified by the series link, for example, The Alternate View: Shall We Save The World? • [The Alternate View]. If the essay does not have a unique title, then it needs to have magazine title and name appended, e.g., [The Alternate View (Analog, Month Year)], even if they are entered in a series. The note regarding "The Alternate View" was probably added after the series was created.--Rkihara 15:44, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Remove Tag? (Or Temporary Tags)?

Is there a way to remove a tag from a work? What I really want is a temporary tag that I can set on a work, then return to the work, complete a task and remove the tag days, weeks, perhaps even months later.

I added a tag to a few works then as a test, I looked for a way to remove it, and if it exists, it was not obvious. Thanks Kpulliam 22:18, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Add the tag normally. When you are done with it (you can find it again via the "my tags" link from the db home page) Click "add tags" again on that title. Scroll down and the tag or tags you have added to the work will be visible. Simply delete any tags you wish to remove. Click "Submit data'. There you are. -DES Talk 22:36, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Kpulliam 22:50, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Splatterpunks II

Something strange occurred when I updated (here) this pub. I hope I don't have to enter the contents again. What happened? Mhhutchins 19:13, 15 Jul 2007 (CDT) I just checked to see if the contents showed up on the various authors' summary pages, and they did -- twice!! But they all refer back to this strange looking page (Python error?). Mhhutchins 19:17, 15 Jul 2007 (CDT) I resubmitted another update (didn't have to enter the contents again) and it cleared up. Mhhutchins 19:22, 15 Jul 2007 (CDT)

This was cleared up awhile back. This can be removed when the page is next archived. MHHutchins 23:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


Split/braided stories

In the shared world anthology Endgame the stories are split into sections and interwoven to have the timeline stay in sync. How do I count the size of the stories. Each section or label the first piece with the total size and explain in the notes? Using serial is possible but thats seems wrong when all the parts are in one book. It is amazing the ways writers can think of to make categorizing things hard. And why is Once Was Enough split into two parts that have nothing between them? Dana Carson 00:02, 20 Nov 2007 (CST)

I ran across the same problem when entering the braided/mosaic novels in the Wild Cards series. For the Walter Jon Williams story ("unto the Sixth Generation") in this volume, I called it a novella, considering the total number of pages combined. It's strange though when looking at some of the individual pieces. I left the "Jube" sections by Martin as "shortfiction" because it is connecting material that doesn't really make up one long piece. I agree it's a mess that can drive a bibliographer up the wall. Sorry for taking so long to respond. This slipped by until the page was archived and the leftover pieces were brought over to a new page. MHHutchins 23:58, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

duelling editorials

Analog, April 1975 has as a "Guest Editorial" a pair of columns. There's a title for the two: "Debate: National Health Insurance". But each also has a title of its own: "And Now, From the People Who Brought You Vietnam and Watergate . . ." (F. Paul Wilson) & "When Somebody Hands You a Lemon . . ." (Alan E. Nourse).
I'm going to enter it as one essay, with the common title, co-authored. My question is whether I should do it the other way, as two individual columns. (Either way a note in the pub.) I'll be happy to change it if there's a consensus for the second approach - or of course anyone else can do so. Thanks. -- Dave davecat 16:00, 23 Nov 2007 (CST)

If I were entering it, I would do it separately. First, because each author wrote alone, and without the insight of the other. Second, because as indexed, it implies that the two of them shared a single opinion. Third, and most importantly, if listed apart, you could add those cool subtitles to the index. "Debate: National Health Insurance: And Now, From the People Who Brought You Vietnam and Watergate" and "Debate: National Health Insurance: When Somebody Hands You a Lemon...." which will then illustrate clearly from the bibliography that there were two viewpoints, etc etc. kpulliam 04:10, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree with kpulliam here. Separate is better in such a case. -DES Talk 04:38, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Where were you when I needed you? <g>
OK, I'll go change it. Dave (davecat) 20:45, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Count me in on making them separate records. Go here for a similar discussion. Sorry for not responding sooner. Sometimes it gets hard to keep track of all of the WIKI changes. MHHutchins 23:49, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Is this normal?

This title appears to have for its title "Hail to the Chief [as by Sam & Janet Argo]". Surely this should instead be "Hail to the Chief" by Sam Argo & Janet Argo, a variant of "Hail to the Chief" by Randall Garrett, right? Before I go ahead & just merge the things, I thought I'd better ask whether there are any traps I'm not seeing here. Any comments or warnings? Thanks. Dave (davecat) 18:42, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

This Title apparently comes from The Locus Index to Science Fiction (1984-1998), which generally displayed "originally published as by" information in square brackets. The 1984 reprint used Randall Garrett's real name as confirmed by OCLC 11351873. Ahasuerus 18:59, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I fixed it then, using Garrett not Argo. This means that the link I gave above is now broken, of course. Dave (davecat) 20:19, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Pseudonyms and me...

I don't know if I've found something wrong, or if I'm just not understanding what I found.

Two variants and a canonical name. Perry Chapdelaine, Perry A. Chapdelaine, Sr., and Perry A. Chapdelaine

The first two appear to be properly marked as Pseudonyms of the last, But when I click on 'Titles' on Perry A. Chapdelaine, Sr. I see We Fused Ones appearing properly as a hidden title (Which then appears unmasked on Perry A. Chapdelaines page.) But the Campbell Letters is not-hidden on Sr's page, and is not showing up on Perry A. Chapdelaine's page.

While this may be obvious to the old hands what is going on here, I would really appreciate an explanation of how this record is wrong (it is wrong right?), how it was created wrongly (so that I and others can avoid it) and an explanation of how to fix it. Thanks kpulliam 01:34, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

The reason the Campbell Letters appears on the Sr. page is simply because no variant has been created for it. It's not really wrong, it's just missing the next step in having it disappear from the pseudonym page and appear on the canonical summary page. If you'd like to try your hand at a little magic and see how it disappears, click on the title, then on the Editing Tools menu click "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work". On the next screen go to the bottom half and change "Author1" to "Perry A. Chapdelaine" and click on the bottom "Create a New Parent Title" button. When the submission is accepted by the moderator, you'll see a new message on Sr.'s page linking you to the canonical page where the title will appear but with the statement [as by Perry A. Chapdelaine, Sr.] Try it and revel in the magical disappearing act. MHHutchins 01:42, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Revel, Revel, Revel. Thanks! kpulliam 02:02, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Answers in letter to the editor page?

I know that letters in lettercolums in magazines are "In With Reservations", and mainly only in cases when the letter is written by a notable science fiction writer/personality, and who is already in the database. But what about the author replies type of contributions on the letters pages which are written by known sf-authors? Tpi 15:34, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I would think those could reasonably be put in, if they have significant content. i wouldn't bother to index a one line "Glad you liked it", or "Sorry I can't please everyone" sort of reply, but if there is content worth indexing, I would list it as an essay, just as if the author had been given a one-issue column. But perhaps you had better have this confirmed by a magazine specialist, which i am not. -DES Talk 15:44, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I would say in. The response may be of value to a researcher. If the writer of the original letter is not deemed significant enough to have his letter entered it should be mentioned in the pub that the response is in reply to a letter and the author of the original letter should be mentioned.--swfritter 16:50, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
(written without seeing Swfritter's reply:) I agree, but I'm not sure about the title format. There's been some discussion, but I couldn't find it just now. (Why do wiki searches always find thousands of entries I didn't want & not what I was searching for??) I think that consensus tended either toward just "Letter" or toward something like "Letter (Analog, October 1964)", & I can't remember which. (If the letter is given a title, that would be added. And maybe "John S. Writer Replies" would count as such a title, if it's done that way.) I'm with Dave in hoping some who took part in these discussions will jump in here, though. I just skimmed them. Dave (davecat) 17:01, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) If the response effectively turns into a letter -- e.g. there were a number of exchanges between readers and writers in the Standard Twins in the 1950s, including a memorable one between MZB and Farmer -- then I am sure we will want to include it. If it's a one liner like the ones that DES mentioned above, I don't think it's worth including except perhaps in the Title's Notes. Ahasuerus 17:03, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I would use the standard format for letters. It is essentially an instant reply letter. I suppose parenthesis could be used to indicate that it is a response. Something like "Letter (Analog, October 1964) (response to Joe X, September issue)" or "Letter (Analog, October 1964): The Price of Bread (response to Joe X, September issue)". Another option, especially if there are many letters by numerous authors especially, is to create a series. And I did update Help although I've got a little work to do to make it appear on the Edit Pub screen.--swfritter 17:09, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I've put your new help text on letters in a template, so that any changes in future will affect both help screen pages at once. -DES Talk 18:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I approved Tpi's submission based upon the above discussion. It looks good to me.--swfritter 17:07, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

A question about searching in isfdb

This question isn't about editing or updating the database, rather more about using it. Is there a way to find the stories a certain author has published in a certain magazine? E.q. how many and what stories by Asimov has been in Analog? Or has Heinlein ever been published in Asimov's? I didn't find a way to do that even in advance search. It may be that I just too dense to find the correct way. Tpi 07:56, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't think so, as such, & I also wish there were.
In theory, there's a poor substitute: advanced search by publisher of the magazine (or fragment thereof) (e.g., "Condé Nast" for much of Analog's history). Unfortunately, advanced search by publisher name is broken, giving only python errors. <sigh>
I thought there was a way to submit SQL searches of one's own, & you could write such a command. But I don't know how to do it, short of downloading one's own copy of the ISFDB. Which certainly can be done. Dave (davecat) 15:19, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
There's no ad-hoc SQL against the ISFDB server allowed that I'm aware of, but it's certainly possible on your own local copy: e.g.
select p.pub_title, t.title_title
from pubs p, pub_content pc, authors a, titles t, canonical_author ca
WHERE t.title_ttype = 'SHORTFICTION'
and p.pub_id = pc.pub_id
and p.pub_ctype = 'MAGAZINE'
and pc.title_id = t.title_id
and t.title_id = ca.title_id
and ca.author_id = a.author_id
and a.author_canonical LIKE 'Isaac Asimov%'
and p.pub_title LIKE '%Analog%'
GROUP BY p.pub_title, t.title_title
order by  1, 2
gives these titles:
Analog Science Fact -> Fiction, October 1960		Thiotimoline and the Space Age	
Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, May 1968	Exile to Hell			
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January 1987		Left to Right			
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January 1990		Nightfall			
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July 1987		Left to Right, and Beyond	
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July 1989		The Mad Scientist		
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 1991		Gold			
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, February 1976	The Winnowing			
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, January 1972	The Greatest Asset		
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, January 1980	The Last Answer			
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, May 1972		Mirror Image			

Replacing the variables with a.author_canonical LIKE '%Heinlein%' and p.pub_title LIKE '%Asimov%' gives no results. Of course, you might still have to search for pseudonyms or variations in Magazine name. If there's any other similar queries you want run let me know, if you can't do them yourself. BLongley 18:35, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


Those were more of examples - but interesting tidbits of info anyway, thanks. Is there any plans to include that kind search anytime in future - it would nice thing to play with?
Another nice thing to have would be awards listing for a single issue of magazine or collection. Somewhat similar than the "award search" on the summary bibliography of the authors. On that you can get listing of awards and nominations that the author has got. There might be a link somewhere in the "publication listing" page of magazines and collections, from where you would get a listing of nominations and awards for stories in that magazine/collection. Tpi 06:40, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Correcting a Mislinked Pseudonym

Please see Lucian of Samosota and Lucian. I believe the way to fix this is to change the shortfiction title A True Story (Excerpt) Author Record to Lucian temp to allow the old author record currently linked to unknown to be deleted. Then it changed again to 'Lucian of Samosota'. Then properly linking 'L of S' to 'Lucian' Is this the correct method? Kevin 05:31, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Done. It took a bit more than that, as varient titles were involved. See now Lucian of Samosata and Lucian. The two versions of "A True History (excerpt)" left under the latter are pending resolution of the odd situation of the collection in which they are both included. -DES Talk 06:22, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! - I updated the link from Gutenberg back to here to point at the new canonical name Lucian of Samosata (Which is how I noticed the problem to begin with) Kevin 06:29, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
And I agree - The TOC for SCNCNFCTN8D1957 is probably wrong.Kevin 06:35, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Quite probably, but before I go changing it, i want some confirmation. I have asked the verifier. -DES Talk 06:39, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
This is pretty much the onmly way (at present) to deal with an incorrect pesud -- change every work pointing to the pesud to a new, temporary author name, then change back after the old author goes away. With an sigmnificant number of works involved, it is very tedious indeed, not really practical. -DES Talk 06:39, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
It looks like a 2nd source verification, and I notice... all the second copies have dates the primary copies left off (with a few true duplicates). Looks like an editing mistake when the dates were added to the contents, the undated versions weren't removed. Kevin 06:46, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Internal Publication Links?

See this SCNCNFCTN8D1957 in edit mode. I used an ISFDB 'P' link for a publication and it works but the Wiki isn't recognizing it as a 'local' link and is still asking for a math verification. Am I doing something wrong, or is there a settings file that needs to be tweaked by a Mod or Al? Kevin 06:43, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

P links are not local links, they are a structured way to create external links. Look at the details of Template:P (A and T work much the same way). I don't see any request for a "math verification". The DB proper is not part of the wiki, and no links from the wiki to the DB will be local links aas far as the wiki software is concerned, even thoguh the domain is the same. -DES Talk 07:11, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I stand corrected. I just figured out that I Do get asked for a math test even for A: links (So all A, T, and P links work the same). I must have missed it last night (or maybe the link was already on the page and trusted by the Wiki). Maybe MODS are trusted and don't get asked for math verification. Every Edit I do, where I add a new external link (including to the ISFDB), I have to pass an 'Are you Human' math test. Is there anyway to set the Wiki to trust external links that go only to the ISFDB by us non-Mods? Kevin 14:56, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it is possible to separately set a person into the "trusted to add external links" group, ask Al. I don't think the wiki software can easily be setup to distinguish between external links based on the domain. I presume this feature is to make it harder for random people to sign up and add a bunch of spam links by script. -DES Talk 17:51, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Correcting Dates in Collections / Magazines

Are there any pitfalls waiting when you change the date of items in a collection/magazine? I think the answer is yes, but only for items with prior publication dates showing in the contents of the publication I am editing.

Example: Magazine is entered with a date of YEAR-00-00. Every entry in the magazine has a date of YEAR-00-00. Are there any checks I need to make before (or after) changing all the dates (for both title, and contents) to YEAR-MO-00? - I think the answer here is 'No further checks required, all dates can be changed.'
Example: Magazine/collection is entered with a date of YEAR-00-00. Every NEW work in the magazine has a date of YEAR-00-00 which needs to be changed to YEAR-MO-00. Some Works in the publication however have original publication dates (Where they have already been properly merged with an earlier publication), not the date of the title collection. I believe that in this situation, all YEAR-00-00 dates can be changed for both the contents and the publication, but the dates for already merged titles should be left alone. After, in non-original/mixed collections, or magazines prone to reprints I would likely be smart to check all titles that started with YEAR-00-00 dates (and now have YEAR-MO-00 dates) for prior publication and potentially merge those works with the first publication.
Am I missing anything? Kevin 04:36, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Sounds about right, although one thing to note is that Serials usually shouldn't be merged with earlier Serials as we can't be sure whether they're exact reprints or Re-Serializations. BLongley 11:50, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Can a Series handle a '0' number?

Subject says it all. I want to set up a series, but there is a 'precurser' work which is just an addon, but it was published separately (and at the same time) from the '1' work. Thanks Kevin 06:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

No, 0 just removes the sequence number entirely (which actually puts it up at the top of the display anyway). You could use "-1" or appropriate negative number though, if you want to keep it separate from Omnibuses etc. BLongley 11:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

UK/US magazine differences

Please see a query at ISFDB talk:Moderator noticeboard#UK reprints of SF mags. Thanks. -DES Talk 16:08, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


Merging a Magazine

The recently entered publication record 270403 (for Fantasy Book, Feb 1982) appears not to have an editor record. The older Editor record 864736 exists, and points to a different publication record FNTSBKFBRR1982, which is a stub. Pub 270403 needs to be merged with Pub FNTSBKFBRR1982, or else the latter should be delted and replaced with the former, i think. I would like advice on how to handle this best. -DES Talk 21:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

You can enter an Editor record for the new pub the same way as any new content. However, merging editor records doesn't merge pubs - in fact nothing merges pubs - so FNTSBKFBRR1982 should go, after extracting any useful information from it of course. BLongley 21:48, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, fixed. I had to change the title on the previouskly existing EDITOR record as well as on the pub record, and delete the stub records. All done now. -DES Talk 22:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

ChapBook Anthology

I found this title 846694 that is entered as an Anthology (because it has two works), but it's actually a Chapterbook put out by Gernsback to promote his magazines. The PubFormat was wrong.... entered as 'ph' and I changed it to 'pb', but I would rather put cb or something else to signify it is a Chapterbook (but chapterbooks are single works). Other thoughts on how to handle this (including, 'good enough as is')?Kevin 02:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Chapterbooks are not optimally implemented anyway. I have no idea what the physical binding for this was like. If you have any data, a note would be useful. If this was bound like a standard paperback, but shorter, I would leave the binding field "pb" in any case. The type and bindign fields need not match. I would be relucrant to invent a new vinding code that may not be clear to users in future. Leavign it as is may be as good an answer as anything. -DES Talk 13:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, "ph" for "pamphlet" is as designed. It's the fourth approved code (after hc, tp, pb) that everyone forgets. BLongley 18:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder. if these are actually pamphlets (and it sounds as if they are, from the description) they should be described as such. -DES Talk 20:01, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the info! I fixed the one I talked about changing above back to ph. I recommend someone fix the help page at Template:PublicationFields:PubFormat because it doesn't talk about 'ph' and the help page Help:Screen:EditPub is built using this section. Is there anything else that isn't listed there?
Template fixed. Check that I got the facts correct, please. -DES Talk 02:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Is it time to add ebook to this list (~210 entries in various forms) as compared to ph which has 124 enties (though I suspect that low count is due to lack of advertising in the help file)? And to standardize it as ebook (199 entries), not 'eBook' which appeared 4 times nor 'Ebook' which appeared twice, nor 'e-book' with 5 instances and not 'E-book' which appeared once (I just submitted changes to move all these to ebook). I recommend an entry like "ebook - Use this for All electronic formats (html, Epub, mobi, kindle, prc, pdf, etc)" or something similar. Kevin 04:53, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Done, along with "audio" as per earlier discussions. -DES Talk 12:05, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Are you volunteering for 750+ edits, DES, or shall we actually put what we DO use for audio formats? "audio CD" has 388 entries versus "Audio (CD)" 4 entries or "audio (CD)" 0 entries. "audio cassette" 265 entries versus "Audio (Cas)" 3 or "audio (CAS)" 0. "audio MP3 CD" 83 entries versus "audio MP3-CD" 1 or "audio (MP3)" 0. It seems we do agree on "audio" being lowercase, but we usually don't put "{" and "}" around formats, and we do clarify MP3s on CD (presumably against audio MP3s for download, of which we have none yet). We do seem to have mostly regularised these now, although there's still just over a hundred "audio" titles left to clean up as to whether it's a cassette, CD, fancy cassette or CD, or if you are just expected to call the author up and have him read it down the telephone... ;-) BLongley 19:29, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I like the parenthesized specifiers, but won't insist on them. If we did agree on them, this seems a tailor-made case for a scripted change to replace all instances without human intervention. I may have misremembered our discussiuons on this point. The help can easily enough be changed to the forms you cite as modal. -DES Talk 22:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't recall Al ever doing a mass-update just by us asking him, but this would be a good case - I cannot see any repercussions from such. (Some of the others we have suggested, like regularizing some punctuation like "...", have "already-created variant" complications - but we have no variants of publication formats.) Unfortunately the Web-API is not really a solution - I think I know it well enough now that I could submit all the edits required for all the publications involved, but that would leave the longest Submission queue ever - there is no auto-approval. If anyone thinks they can persuade Al otherwise (I'm OK with the parentheses really), I suggest we go with what we have for now. BLongley 20:56, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Duplicate Name - No Dates - One Novelist/Author, One Artist

I have run into the duplicate name problem. There is already a record for Donald Macpherson as a cover artist, and a similar record for Don Macpherson. I am tying to enter to works now written by a Donald Macpherson and published in 1935 and 37. In 15 minutes of googling, world catting, gutenberging, wikipediaing, etc I have not found any dates for either of them, in order to use How To Separate Two Authors method. Would "Donald Macpherson (Novelist)" and "Donald Macpherson (Artist)" be acceptable in place of NAME (DATES)? Worldcat and the LOC lists the writer as such by appending ",Novelist" in order to disambiguate between a novelist and a "piper" (Bag Pipes sound recordings - Go Figure) in their catalogs and I thought it might be useful in this situation to just copy what they did. Thanks Kevin 04:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Seems reasonable to me. We can always change it later if dates are found in a reliable source. Do include notes (a wiki page, probably) indicating what you know about the different people and their apaprent period of active work. -DES Talk 13:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Great~ - I'll give it another day for anyone who wants to object, then I'll go with this solution. Kevin 23:47, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


HowTo: Reverse a Pseudonym relationship?

Currently Allan Cunningham is showing as a name used by Alan Cunningham, but in reality the 'Alan' only shows on a single verified work, and I beleive it to be a publisher/printer error, or a misverified name. Is there a simple way to reverse the Pseudonym relationship so that Alan is another name used by Allan? (Option 1, will making Alan a Pseud. of Allan reverse it and I'm finished? Option 2.. Change the name on the title work for Alan to 'AlanWrong' to delete Alan from the DB, then change it back, then make Alan a Pseud. of Allan? Option 3 is it was entered wrong and we can just delete 'Alan' permanently. Or is there a 4th option I'm not thinking of?) ThanksKevin 04:01, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that currently there is no way to either reverse or remove a pseudonym relationship unless perhaps Al monkey's directly with the db. In effect, a pseudonym relationship is forever (until the code is changed). -DES Talk 05:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a hack. Basically we need to delete the author that's the pseudonym. That's Allan Cunningham in this case. When the author gets deleted the pseudonym relationship goes away. Here's how to do it.
  1. using Advanced search we'd search for title records with Allan Cunningham as the author
  2. Edit each of the title records and for each one delete the Allan Cunningham author entry and add a new author named Allan Cunninghamx. We can't just change the author name as that changes the Allan Cunningham entry.
  3. Do the same for publications, awards, review, etc. Once all references to Allan Cunningham are gone then the author record will vanish.
  4. Change the name of the author Allan Cunninghamx to Allan Cunningham and add stuff like the place of birth back to the author page that was in the original record. I went ahead and did this.
It's possible the same method would work if you deleted the parent title using the same method but I have not tested this. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The Stanley Tales.. A Very Long Title and other issues

I came across this in Bleiler. The Stanley Tales by Ambrose Marten in 6 volumes from 1827. I then found Volumes IV and VI on the Internet and found the full title page.... The full title would be... "The Stanley Tales, Original and Select. Chiefly Collected by the Late Ambrose Marten, of Stanley Priory, [near] Teesdale: First Series: Volume IV" Published by "Thomas Hurst and Co.; 65 St. Pauls Church Yard"; "W. Morgan; 33, Old Bond Street"; and "W. Tait, Princes Street, Edinburgh." - All three publishers names, in diminishing type on the title page... BUT on an engraved titlepage preceeding this, only the 'Middle publisher W. Morgan is listed. (And most online secondary sources list this work as published by W. Morgan). I also have a 4th company listed as the printer on the verso "Bradbury & Co.; Fleet Street" showing on both volumes.

See Volume IV at The Internet Archive and Volume VI at Google Books - Oh.. and as a bonus.. there is no Table of contents so I'll have to skim the entire book to get short fiction titles.... but that can wait.

To sum up... I have an author so old, his name involves a village. A dead collector/editor. An unnamed/uncredited collaborator. three different publishers (and a 4th printing company) in 6 volumes of the first series (I didn't look yet to see if a second series exists)

Please take a look at these title pages, and offer up any suggestions you have. Kevin 00:16, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest on the first entry to give the title as The Stanley Tales, the author as Ambrose Marten, and the publisher as Thomas Hurst and Co., and add the info on the other publishers in the notes field. When the pub submission has been accepted go back and edit the title record, adding further info about the title in its notes field. MHHutchins 18:42, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Forgot to mention that there is a table of contents in the Internet Archive flipbook version of volume IV. MHHutchins 18:45, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Now Why I wonder does volume IV have a TOC but Vol. VI doesn't? Kevin 19:06, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

House Names or Multiple Author Pseudonyms

I searched a bit, and found some discussions, but no-where could I find a description of how we are to enter and index a Combination Pseudonym (A single name, used by two or more authors to indicate 'We did this' a shared work.) I also could not find a description of how to enter House Names (A single name used to indicate 'We were paid to do this' or a shared employer). Yes, I know that it can get complicated. An author sometimes adopted a house name as a personal pseudonym, and sometimes authors I'm sure donated or lost a personal pseudonym to a house name after deciding to share it (or the house sharing it without asking).

What I am primarily looking for are the written instructions of "How to enter a Combination Pseudonym" so it looks correct on both authors bibliographies. Example: Author_1's page shows 'ENTERTAINING STORY' with REALNAME_2 (as by FAKENAME), and on Author_2's page you see 'ENTERTAINING STORY' with REALNAME_1 (as by FAKENAME).

I searched the wiki, and read Help:How_to_enter_works_published_under_a_pseudonym, Help:Screen:MakePseudonym, Help:How_to_record_a_variant_title, and Help:Screen:MakeVariant and I didn't find what I was looking for. Maybe it's hiding in the wiki somewhere (or even on the pages I read), but I couldn't find it.

The real database example I am trying to clean up is Brian Craig, apparently a combination pseudonym of Brian Stableford and Craig A. Mackintosh. Kevin 16:49, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there any specific instructions on how to create a house or shared pseudonym. I believe you just go about it as if it's a single-use penname. Check out Alexander Blade as an example. This was used by many authors and they're listed on the Blade page. Clicking on the individual author's page reveals which stories were published using that name ([as by x]). As for shared pennames, check out Robert Randall which has links to the two authors which collaborated under that name. The credits on each of their summary pages show both as the authors (a la with x [as by y]). MHHutchins 17:19, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay! I had been thinking I needed to do something like Makevaraint twice... but in reality... what I had to was enter the work under the pseudonym (or go to it for already entered works), and then MakeVariant, and then Add Author to create the second Author slot, and then put both authors canonical names into the two slots, replacing the pseudonym. I tried this on The Phantom of Yremy to check my steps. Thanks! Kevin 17:42, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Does the happy dance. It worked as I thought. Kevin 19:10, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the summary page for Brian Craig, there's no way for anyone to know that it's a collaborative penname. I wish there was some way that we could indicate that, maybe by adding a plus or an "and" between the authors in the "Used As Alternate Name By" line. Oh well, little fish, big world... MHHutchins 21:13, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not in the database page, but at least the wiki Author:Brian_Craig page will light up now showing there is something there, and I've explained it there. (Thanks for thinking of it!) Kevin 00:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Analog November 2008

There is something strange going on with the latest Analog. I entered it, and probably made a mistake with a date field. (I might have used format dd-mm-yyyy, and not yyy-mm-dd, as the former is the standard around here). Now for some reason the November magazine links to the October's contents: [3] (click the publication link) How to proceed? Has the November contents been lost - and how? What can cause a mistake like that - it is hard to understand that the missed date field might cause something like this. If try to delete this November issue, will I delete the contents of October issue at the same time? Tpi 17:22, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Do an Advanced Publication search for a TAG of 'ANLGOCT2008' and you'll see both the November and October issues have that Tag. If you choose the November issue (by record number, not title) you can change the publication tag to 'ANLGNOV2008' and they shouldn't both link to the same place anymore. BLongley 18:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Authors on Front Page of ISFDB

Do Authors with a year, but no month or date of birth (or death) ever appear on the front page of the ISFDB? (Do they all appear on Jan 1, or Dec 31?) What about Authors with a Year and Month but no day? (Do they appear on the first of the month?) Just Curious. Kevin 03:52, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Interesting question, but I have no definitive answer. I suspect they never appear though. I suppose we could test it, but we'd have to wait for the appropriate dates to come up. I have noticed that if we provide exact dates for both versions of an author name then both turn up on the front page, which looks a little messy or careless on our part. I suspect it's not a big deal though - I've sent ONE "Happy Birthday!" email on account of such a display, and felt "Aw! He died and I didn't know it?" half a dozen times in my time here. BLongley 22:57, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Some Editors and even Mods seem to bypass the Front page so often that they don't notice when we have "unknown" formats listed in "Selected Upcoming Books" that could be easily fixed - I try and keep those fairly tidy and informative, but wish that multiple formats of the same book didn't appear on the same day. Although I see that's not the case today, maybe it's been fixed? But I see we have a "Brilliance Audio on CD Value Priced" title labelled "unk", I'd better go fix that. I think the publisher is a BIT of a clue as to what format it's actually in... :-/ BLongley 22:57, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, that's fixed. "Authors Who Died On This Day" still looks a bit odd with "Jacob Grimm (1785-1863)" and "Jakob Grimm (1785-1863) both there. Anybody feel qualified to fix that? BLongley 23:05, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Grimly fixed. MHHutchins 23:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! If anyone enquires about "Jakob" I can blame you now. ;-) Strangely enough, I was half-watching a documentary on BBC2 tonight with Fry Stephen Fry about Gutenberg Bibles and the "Jakob" version came up - apparently he vandalised one with comments about "this is an original!" or suchlike. But I can happily wait for a German editor to complain. I wandered off into Eric Blair territory from the same sources and fixed George Orwell a bit. I do wander a bit, I know, but it's all good in the - ooh, look! A butterfly! BLongley 00:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Sir Walter Scott and Walter Scott

Anyone want to make a judgment on which is the Canonical name? Sir Walter Scott, or Walter Scott. (A second double entry brought to light by the 'Died this day' list on on the front page of the site.) Wikipedia lists him under 'Walter Scott' but the first three words of the article are Sir Walter Scott.... Kevin 22:56, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I would opt for Sir Walter Scott, but you could make a reasonable case either way. -DES Talk 23:31, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
The only "Walter Scott" is from a pub verified by Bill, so we'll leave it up to him. If I can take the hits for making "Jakob Grimm" a variant of "Jacob Grimm", he can do the same for Scott. :-) MHHutchins 23:34, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, definitely SIR Walter then! Just because I. O. Evans doesn't have respect for the title doesn't mean I don't... ;-) BLongley 00:06, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, just from a practical level, we have more, and no doubt will get more, Sir Walter entries. Unfortunately we can't predict knighthoods in advance... Sir Patrick Moore is unlikely to have much more SF published, but Sir Salman Rushdie might, and Sir Arthur C. Clarke is likely to be reprinted a lot still. (I'd hate to have to flip THAT one!) BLongley 00:06, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd make Sir Walter Scott the canonical simply as most of the stories are by that name but change his legal name to "Walter, Scott", dropping the title. See Lord Alfred Tennyson for example though I see that there Wikipedia redirects Alfred Tennyson to wikipedia:Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson while they redirect Sir Walter Scott to wikipedia:Walter Scott. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:40, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
The trouble with "legal names" is that they can change over time. People get married and divorced all the time; writers may change their legal names to noms de plume, e.g. Andre Norton and Simon Hawke; etc. I figure that titles, which can also change multiple times during a single lifetime, are the least of our concerns :) Ahasuerus 20:51, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
If you want a titleless legal name it would be "Scott, Walter", not "Walter, Scott". Recall that "Scott" is his family name. If John Smith gets knighted (in the UK anyway) he becomes "Sir John Smith" formally, or "Sir John" in direct address and in some other contexts. -DES Talk 21:34, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, missed the transposition! Ahasuerus 23:33, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
"Legal Names" are fundamentally broken. They do change over time, (marriage, divorce, changed by deed poll, etc (we've had a major author come and try and tell us why his name had changed legally and we didn't accept it!)) and we should either remove them, list all of them, or record the changes, or just accept we'll never get a consensus until they're dead. And maybe not even then - it can take years, if not decades or centuries, for somebody to acquire sainthood. I treat "legal name" as just another pseudonym in the meantime. And would actually object if someone tried to pin one on me - I want the egoboo of being here as an author, but don't want my full legal name published: when I'm dead you can decide if I'm "Saint Bill" or "Lord Bill of Luton" or "BLongley, that PITA we're glad to be rid of." BLongley 00:13, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
For most authors they don't change very often. I would treat the field as "Last known legal name" or "last verified legal name", and an attempt to be "Current legal name". If an author presented a plausible reason (such as a court-approved change, marriage, or divorce) I would be inclined to change the field, subject to verification that it was the author writing. By the way, I have heard of 'changing a name by deed-poll" in the UK, mostly in mysteries set in the late 19th or early 20th C. Is this much the same as "changing by court order" in the US? How does it work? Is it still done? Strictly speaking, "Saint" is not part of anyone's legal name AFAIK, even people cannonized by a widely recognized church, such as the Roman Catholic one. Anyway, while this field is perhaps not optimal, is i think not "fundamentally broken". In any case, compared to all the improvements that we badly need, i can live with this as it is, and i do think in many cases it is batter than nothing. -DES Talk 17:35, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
A deed poll is a sort of one-person contract: it's basically a commitment to stop using your previous name and start using a stated other name for official purposes. You don't have to go to court for such, just get it drawn up by a solicitor and sign it and have such witnessed. Even that's not required, you can call yourself by any name you like so long as it's not for fraudulent purposes. (Although that may change if they get the national ID Card scheme imposed.) BLongley 18:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
As to "Saint" - I guess that's Canon law rather than civil law and probably irrelevant for ISFDB purposes. Not something I'm going to research anyway, I'm not Catholic. BLongley 18:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
As to "fundamentally broken" - well, giving it a proper definition would be an improvement. But I agree it's not a priority and I can carry on living with it as a sort of pseudonym, and everyone else can treat it as they see it. BLongley 18:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the info on Deed Polls. It used to be the case in the US that you could call yourself anything you liked, as long as it was not for fraudulant purposes, and it was perfectly legal -- the court order was mostly just to document things, in a sense functioning as a super-notery, and was not generally required. You didn't even need to execute a written document. Indeed I recall Heinlein remarking to that effect, in I Will Fear no Evil, IIRC. But now various government agencies are refusing to recognize any name change without an official document. I had my driving license renewed recently, and the rules on name changes were that they wanted documentation on every change, linking each name to the one before, back to the name on your birth certificate, and that each such change had to be recorded in a governmentally issued certificate of marriage or divorce, or a court order (including a divorce decree or a name-change order) or another government issued document that listed both names. Even without a national ID card, it seems that in practice the ability to call yourself whatever you like on your own authority is gone. Isn't modern life wonderful? -DES Talk 20:56, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) I think/hope the "legal name" field, as it is currently implemented, serves a few useful purposes.

First, it helps to disambiguate authors. For example, we have William Sloane on file. A quick internet search finds Back home; a ghost play in one act by one William M. Sloane III. Thankfully, the Library of Congress identifies "William M. Sloane III" as the same person as "our" William Sloane, but if it didn't, it would be quite useful to know that "our" William Sloane's middle name was "Milligan".

Second, the field helps to clarify the author's exact last name. For example, it's not clear from the canonical name that Patrick Nielsen Hayden's last name is "Nielsen Hayden" as opposed to just "Hayden".

Finally, it identifies which one of the "working names" is the author's "real" name, e.g. "Murray Leinster" vs. "William Fitzgerald" vs. "Will F. Jenkins".

Nothing earth-shattering, but it seems to be reasonably useful even given its limitations. Ahasuerus 00:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Sure, it has some use - as I say, I treat it as another pseudonym, one we may not have recorded on a publication. Since "Last Name" was added for the author directory the second reason is rather weaker now - but I suppose the Canonical last name and legal last name may differ. Where we do miss out though is in the OTHER legal names. For instance, "Alice Bradley" is mentioned in the help example, which tells us to use "Alice Sheldon". So we miss out on recording "Alice Bradley" in the database totally. BLongley 09:54, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I note that we actually have Alice Sheldon on publications in the database and HAVEN'T set up that pseudonym, which tends to suggest people either don't read the help, don't try the examples, or don't use what they find. :-/ BLongley 09:54, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I am sure there are cases when new editors enter pseudonymous Titles and either don't realize that there is a pseudonym involved or don't realize that they need to set up Variant Titles for them. However, the two Alice Sheldon essays are in publications recently verified by Michael, who I am sure knows who Alice Sheldon was :) so I assume it's just something that slipped his mind. At least in my experience, it's not uncommon to go back to a magazine that you verified a few months earlier and say "Sheesh, how the heck did I manage to miss something this obvious?!" which, presumably, is why our magazine editors try to cross verify all magazine issues. Ahasuerus 21:02, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Puzzles & Quizes

Looking through my copy of F&SF February 1977 there are two entries in the TOC that are not in our listing, page 112 is an "Atomic Terms Quiz" credited to an author, 2/3rds of a page in length. On pages 158-160, there is an "Acrostic Puzzle", also credited (3 pages long) with a SF&F theme. Generally, if it is in the TOC, it is included unless it is advertising. Specifically, are puzzles and quizzes in or out? Thx, rbh (Bob) 01:33, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I'd say it's in given the magazine is more or less 100% specfict and that the items are credited. Had they been uncredited works I'd be on the fence. FWIW - I recently verified and decided to keep in ISFDB The Science Fiction Quiz Book as the material is directly related to specfict. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:32, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Definitely in, at the editor's discretion, even if uncredited and even if they are not in the TOC . As far as using the TOC as a basis for inclusion: it's a good signpost but I have seen advertisements listed in TOC's (usually books sold by the publisher) and there is other material, such as cartoons, that are often not in TOC's.--swfritter 15:12, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree 100% with Swfritter, not that he needs me to back him up. In doing Analogs I certainly tried to include the quizzes, & they generally were not in the TOC & were often uncredited. -- Dave (davecat) 18:09, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Submitted new publication but nothing appears in My Recent Edits, Pending Edits, Rejected Edits?

Hello, I just took a stab at adding a publication to an existing title. I got into the editor OK, filled in the empty fields, and clicked on "Submit Data"

This brought up a page titled "Submitting the following record" and showing the XML-encoded version of the data I entered. I couldn't find any additional "Submit" or other control buttons, so I went back to the home page and looked at "My Recent Edits", "My Pending Edits", and "My Rejected Edits".

I get the message "No Submissions" when I click on any one of those. The question is: did I actually submit new publication data to the ISFDB? And if I did, why doesn't anything show up in the three "Edits" status links?

Sorry if I violated protocol or procedure with this posting. I'm still not quite sure what I'm doing around here.

Thanks, Big Al Mintaka 11:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

The submission did make it to the submission queue and I have now approved it. The only changes that I made were adjusting "Hardcover" to "hc" and adding the dollar sign to the price field as per Help:Screen:NewNovel. I then played with the "Recent Edits" option and it seems to be buggy at the moment, failing to display the right data under some circumstances. I will try a few other things, see if I can find a pattern and submit a bug report. And you didn't violate any procedures/protocol by posting a question on the Help Desk page -- that's what it's here for :) Thanks for the submission and the feedback! Ahasuerus 15:23, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Ahasuerus! I've run across a bunch of Kline titles and will be getting more practice at this in the next few weeks. Have a good one, Big Al Mintaka 01:18, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Linking scanned images

I have finally procured a scanner (no small domestic animals were seriously injured during the process) and tried uploading a sample image to the Wiki. After discovering the 600 pixel limit on thumbnails and creating a slightly smaller image, I was able to set up a seemingly OK image of Gordon R. Dickson's Beyond the Dar Al-Harb. However, when I tried linking the Wiki page directly from the ISFDB side, it didn't work. I can link directly to the underlying jpg location, in this case http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/4/40/BYNDTHDRLH1985.jpg, which seems to be what other editors have been doing, but isn't that a little dangerous in case the Wiki software decided to reshuffle the underlying directories, e.g. the next time we move to a different server? Or is the current directory structure guaranteed to be preserved? Ahasuerus 02:33, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

The directory structure is created by a hash of the file name. It is created by the MediaWiki software and should not change on a move to a different server. Even a change to the hash routine, such as might be implemented in a new version of MediaWiki (unlikely but possible) should leave existing (already uploaded) files in the same places. See Feature:90159 for more on this. -DES Talk 04:50, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that's encouraging! Ahasuerus 04:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I might add that I find that I often want to play with brightness and contrast for the best results from a scanned image, before I upload. There are free programs available for this purpose, if you don't have one but are interested. -DES Talk 04:50, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Hm, let's see... Yes, the manufacturer's software that I downloaded earlier today is apparently capable of changing these settings as well. I'll play with them tomorrow, thanks! Ahasuerus 04:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
You can probably also change the scan resolution. For covers, I find 96 DPI is quite good enough, and is faster than higher resolutions. For signatures, i have been using 800 DPI. Logos vary, depending on their size. -DES Talk 05:07, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
After trying a few things, I have found that using 100 DPI or, worse, 75 DPI, resulted in grainy scans and that a combination of your approach and what Bill uses works best for me: pre-scan, crop, scan at 300DPI, then resize to 600 pixels. I am sure there are lots of ways to skin this particular cat, but you end up with the same skinned cat in the end :) I am not sure how often I will be using the scanner since it's somewhat time consuming. Perhaps I could do a second pass after I am done verifying my collection. At the rate I am going, it shouldn't take more than 30 years... Ahasuerus 04:30, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I find that now I've established a "usual" cover-scan practice, I can have the cover scanned before I've even found the publication I want to add it to in ISFDB! So long as I keep the publication editor window and the image upload window open I can set up a P template quickly via copy'n'paste for both title and Publication Tag. Editing it is under 30 seconds unless the scan came out wonky and needs redoing. Uploading is finished while I'm checking whether there actually was anything else on the book worth recording since I first entered it. It's only when I find a sig worth scanning at higher resolution and uploading that it slows me down significantly, but hopefully we'll get each of those few minutes back overall when somebody can quickly find that "PE" is Peter Elson, or that an "F" in a box is Chris Foss, rather than start a new "Unknown Sig" discussion. BLongley 20:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Ballantine Books --Forecast of Paperbacks

I just acquired a copy of Chocky by John Wyndham. It had a folded page in the front with this. Ballantine Books (over) news of (in red border) (over) a review from a trade publication.... (over) Forecast of Paperbacks (over) (message body of) Science-Fiction (over) and Fantasy (over) February 26 (over) Chocky. John Wyndham. Ballantine (over) Books Original, $.75 (over) body of review not credited (review is newspaper size clip)(over) Publishers Weekly (spacing) January 29, 1968 (over) (new data which appears as done on typewriter) Chocky (over) John Wyndham (over) Publication date(colon) February 26, 1968 (over) Book Length(colon) 224 pp. (over) Price(colon) Paperbound Original - 75 cent symbol (over) No hardbound edition available. (end of full typing paper message). Is this of use? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

let's see
Ballantine Books
news of
a review from a trade publication....
Forecast of Paperbacks
(message body of) Science-Fiction
and Fantasy
February 26
Chocky. John Wyndham. Ballantine
Books Original, $.75
body of review not credited (review is newspaper size clip)
Publishers Weekly (spacing) January 29, 1968
Chocky
John Wyndham
Publication date: February 26, 1968
Book Length: 224 pp.
Price: Paperbound Original - 75¢
No hardbound edition available.
What I'd do is to edit this if needed and to copy/paste it into the Bibliographic comments for the publication. From a bibliophile view it's interesting in that it shows how the advertising was done and also mentions what's probably the on-sale-by date and not the "publication" date. I assume your book is at CHOCKY1968 and the bibliographic comments page is at Publication:CHOCKY1968. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:52, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I lost my thoughts on this. I will do as you say. I do have a very 'Wild' thought. I wondered if this type of material was gathered into the old 'Microfiche' systems. I used a supply system that was still updating that kind of information ten years ago. Has the ISFDB contacted publishers for past information on publications that they may have stored? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:09, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Kai Lung: collections, or novels?

I happened to notice that The Wallet of Kai Lung & Kai Lung's Golden Hours are listed as collections, whereas Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat is listed as a novel.
All three of these use the device of a framing story involving a storyteller & recounting the stories he tells in various situations. Now, in The Wallet of Kai Lung the framing story is pretty thin, often amounting to little more than a bit of conversation that elicited a story; but in Kai Lung's Golden Hours & Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat the framing stories are indeed semi-continuous narratives with interest of their own. OTOH, in the case of Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat the main framing story & its substories are only part of the book; there are two other framing stories, each providing background for a single substory.
The title for Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat has a note saying:

The book is broken up into 3 sections, "The Protecting Ancestors", "The Great Sky Lantern" and "The Bringer of Good News". Each section contains linked stories.".

And the one verified pub for it lists no contents except the "novel" & the preface (to that edition) by Lin Carter, & has a pub note saying:

MODERATOR: This is NOT a collection. The stories are clearly labeled "Chapters" throughout the book. The chapters have titles.

My own inclination would be to say that they are indeed all collections, but at any rate they almost certainly all should be handled the same way. (And above all Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat is not a novel but a collection, with three separate & generally unrelated framing stories.) One consequence of calling Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat a novel is that the individual stories within it are not listed as contents, though I'm fairly sure some of them have been anthologized separately. Clearly someone, probably the verifier (Don Erikson), disagrees. I guess I'd like some discussion. Thanks. -- Dave (davecat) 03:58, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I haven't read Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat, but I verified a pub of each of the other two, and they seemed clearly collections to me. That some of the component stories have been anthologised separately (as I think they have) only encourages me to think this. -DES Talk 05:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I have dealt with these boundary collections by first looking to see if any stories have been published separately. If so, I make it a collection. Otherwise I add a note. Sometimes it gets more confusing; I recall spending some time on Earthman, Come Home for example. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:30, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
"Reprinted separately" is a useful reality check and in this case at least three stories, "The Story of Wan and the Remarkable Shrub", "The Story of Ching-kwei and the Destinies" and "[The Story of] Kin Weng and the Miraculous Tusk" have been reprinted separately -- see the ever helpful Bramah Web site. I think it will be easier to keep track of variant titles if we enter the book as a collection. Ahasuerus 01:51, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
After looking closer, there is an additional issue with at least Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat and Kai Lung's Golden Hours. The framing stories and the core stories have their own titles and are both listed in the tables of contents, so it's not clear which ones we want to catalog. At the moment, the first edition of Kai Lung's Golden Hours lists the core stories while the Gutenberg e-text lists the framing stories. By the way, we have what appears to be two identical Publication records for the Gutenberg text, one verified by DES and one by Davecat. One of them contained 2 Collection Titles, which obscured things, but now that I have straightened them out, you can see them both under the same Collection Title. Ahasuerus 02:12, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Good catch on the dual pg editions. They refer to the same e-text, so there should be only one pub record. It looks as if Davecat used the original release date, and I used the date of the most recent revision, some 10 years later. Of course, we could call those separate printings of the same edition. -DES Talk 02:20, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
My conclusion on the PG editions of Golden Hours is the opposite. The one I verified (& downloaded & entered) has a later date (2008-08-22), plus a note of the original date (1998-04-01); I could have sworn I put a note in about that, but I don't see one. The one DES verified has the 1998 date. But there are plainly differences; I just can't (without downloading & comparing the old one) tell what they are. If nothing else, though, DES included a note saying (including the quotes): "Etext prepared by John Bickers.", whereas I put in a note, copied from the PG wrapper text, saying "Produced by John Bickers, and David Widger".
It's at least possible that the only difference is preparation of HTML; I just now went & checked to the extent of seeing that the earlier version on file at gutenberg.org (whose file datestamp is 16-Jul-2005, just to confuse things more) is plain text only. But, again, I don't know what other differences there might be, & surely this is at least as great a difference as a separate price on the cover & printing number in a hard copy edition? -- Dave (davecat) 19:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Editing EDITOR

I approved TBNDVHGJKD2006 with the intention of fixing the EDITOR entry Bluesman had put in for the Bibliography after I approved it. That record is hidden and I can't remember how to get to it to change it. Help. Dana Carson 06:38, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

It can be tricky if you don't remember the Author or the Title. In this case, using Advanced Search on "Title=Biblio" AND "Title Type=EDITOR" found our suspect. Ahasuerus 06:45, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah. I remembered that there was a way but thought that it was a way to make it show in the listing of the publication it was in. Thanks. Dana Carson 17:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, you can temporarily change the title type to a non-"container-type" like "POEM" and the ISFDB gives up trying to hide contents and shows you everything within it. It looks a bit weird if you forget to change it back later, though. BLongley 21:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Merging Editor Records

I attempted to merge over 20 editor records today in one merge, I found that only 17 or so of the records appeared in the approval screen on the Moderator page. I'm assuming that this is a coding issue. Does anybody have any clue what would have happened to the additional 10 or so records had I actually approved the edit? CoachPaul 15:35, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I ran into this limitation a couple of years ago when I was trying to merge a bunch of Robert Louis Stevenson titles. I don't think I ever tested what will happen if you try approving a merge that big, though. Probably won't trigger the Apocalypse, but then again, why take chances? :) Ahasuerus 17:08, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I added this to the bug list as something to test and fix if needed. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:57, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Title type "editor"

How do you add a title where title type is "editor"? Namely I would like to add "Escape Pod - 2007" as I have reached that year already in my small project. Tpi 18:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

When you use the "New Magazine" form, the software creates an EDITOR Title behind the scenes, so you don't have to do anything special. We still have a number of old MAGAZINE issues which were entered before this functionality became available and we need to add EDITOR titles to them, but that's a different kettle of fish, assuming I understood the question correctly. Ahasuerus 01:32, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I believe Tpi is talking about the merged EDITOR record for the whole year. Tpi, the merge of all the EDITOR records for the year should be done first, then you can search for the name that was kept: e.g. if you merge all the 2007 records into "EP087: Authorwerx", then you can still search for the EDITOR record with that name and use "Edit Title Data" to change that name to "Escape Pod - 2007". Given the reported bug above though, and if there's more than seventeen 2007 titles, then we might want to do it in smaller batches and multiple merges. But really there's no hurry to introduce the "Escape Pod - 2007" record until you've got all the records that you want to merge: or at least seventeen of them. Otherwise you'll just continually be merging each entry with the main one, and it's far better to do these in bulk (well, unless the bug is a nasty one.) BLongley 19:03, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Kind of wondered what that "Escape Pod - 2007" record that I approved was doing out there. Went ahead and approved it because I figured there was a plan although as stated above there is more than one way to accomplish the same ends. Eight or nine at a time sounds good. Tpi probably has a good way of searching for the editor titles for a year but what I would normally do is go to Advanced Search and do a Title Search for 'Escape Pod' [title] AND '2007' [title] AND 'editor' [title type].--swfritter 20:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I've been trying to keep up with the Escape Pod edits, since I'm the one who converted them to Magazine from Chapterbook originally, but TPI and I seem to be on different schedules, which is understandable considering he's in Finland and I'm in Florida. CoachPaul 20:50, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I added that Escape Pod - 2007 so that I have something to which merge the invidual episodes. Hope it was the right way to go. Tpi 14:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It was ok, but now you have one extra step that you need to do. When you go to Escape Pod 2007 Editor Record, you find the 2007 episodes there, along with a record for Escape Pod - 2007. You need to then remove that pub, which can also be found by clicking here. Had you just merged together several 2007 episodes and then changed the name of the Editor record that they were merged into, you wouldn't have the extra record to delete. CoachPaul 14:59, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I will leave them in the able hands of CoachPaul unless they stay on there for over a day. They are looking good.--swfritter 16:02, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I somehow assumed you need something to merge into. It didn't occur to me just merge those titles together, I would have assumed they dissappear or something. Must try when I get to the 2008. Tpi 17:37, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Temeraire Vol 1-3 Box Set With Bonus Poster (Mass Market Paperback)

This [4] . I have no idea what this would really be called. Secondly does it have an ISFDB status. I have it, and was going to enter it by each book, as each has separate ISBN, the number lines are sequential and different, so they are for the book publications not the Box set. The set has a separate ISBN. Is this a variation of an omnibus. What do I do? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:04, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd enter each book and an Omnibus for the Box set. If the box doesn't name the set, call it what you will: although as the Temeraire series continues, I'd probably keep some variation of "Vols 1-3" as part of the name in case 4-6 come out in the same way. The "Bonus Poster" I wouldn't mention but if you want to, leave it in notes. BLongley 12:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
While I wouldn't object to Bill's suggestion above, Help:Screen:EditPub#PubType does say:
A boxed set will typically contain books that have their own ISBNs. In such cases the boxed set is not of interest, as it is only a form of packaging; a note can be made in note field for the books contained in the boxed set, but the boxed set itself does not need a separate entity. If a boxed set or other packaging format does not have separately identifiable publications, however, then the whole package is an omnibus, anthology, or collection, as appropriate.
Should we revise that? -DES Talk 13:51, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks greatly, I will enter the books separately and then note that each was connected by the ISBN & Box set presentation. Then if the issue comes up and the ISBN/Box set needs creation it will be easy. I would have thought it was more an issue for collectors than for this db. I appreciate the commentary as I now see this as clearly. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 19:58, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I think I'd quite like to have an ISBN that really was used for SF content of some sort to be recorded here as an individual entry, even if the contents also have their own ISBNs. If the box has no ISBN (e.g. was just a shop assembling latest title with some other related titles they wanted to clear), I'm not interested in it. I'm not an expert in boxed sets by any means (I think I've acquired one in all my years) and I know that I've deleted "ISBN"ed items here that are actually display stands, mixed cases of variable books, etc, so I don't want people to let such stand unchallenged. But if an editor really has the books in an ISBNed case, and the case has a different ISBN to any of the contents, I think I'm in favour. I just don't trust many of our current entries for such - but if the only way I can get one of the contents is to buy the box-set, I'd occasionally be willing to do so, in which case such an ISBN might be useful. Not a big issue for me though as it's not yet happened. BLongley 20:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I have already added the contents, two were initials and one printing matched a verification by DES. I made no changes to that one, but did a Transient verification. The one thing that I learned was that the printings were not unique to the box set. Since the ISBN panel is printed, and not a glue on, I see no reason not to enter it and let it be evaluated for current practice. I bought the box set because Amazon gave a good discount. I will enter it in the morning. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:32, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Well the box set is sitting awaiting your pleasure. I may have missed something as I got rushed at the end. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:31, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
As I said elsewhere, it's possibly TOO much info! It's just a box, although as you point out, sometimes buying the box is a good idea. For the boxes, I'd be interested in changes of official price, maybe even in changes of art on the box. For the contents - I think you'll find them filled with any combination of printings they have to hand. After all, many box sets are of a set of books that came out over several months or years - so there may be a 17th printing of book 1, a 12th of book 2, a 3rd of book 3, a 1st of book 4: but as there's no guarantee of how they will fill them I don't think it's useful to say exactly which printings of each title was in it. If the constituent titles DO change (e.g. if they start putting books 2-5 in instead of 1-4) then we've probably proved the reason NOT to record such boxes - but I've not yet seen that with an ISBNed box. BLongley 23:20, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I think help should change in the meantime, to capture the useful ISBNs: we just have to make sure that we're not entering "A random selection of four of Nora Roberts finest!" or such. BLongley 23:20, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I see the boxed sets as tricky because on one hand there's a desire to document the specific publications that came in a set I also believe the likelihood is high that you will find boxes loaded with different printings though the title change less often. I've also seen cases where the seller was missing a book from the set and used something from their own stock. Thus the contents of the box are likely vary from "publication" to "publication" of the box. However, I am quite interested in knowing what the original list price of the box was. Many of them don't have cover prices as they were often sold via counter displays during the Christmas holidays for use as gifts. I suppose the contents should be listed for completeness but if someone else comes along with the same box but a different set of publications (as far as printing # goes) to we create a new publication record? The box itself won't have a copyright page meaning we won't have a printing # nor printing date for it. -Marc Kupper|talk 06:38, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, a box would need the titles within it, but not the exact publications. If a box of four first printings becomes a box with a second printing and three firsts, then a box with a third printing, a second, and two firsts, I'm not too bothered so long as the individual pubs get their printings recorded. I can't see any reason to try and record every combination of printing numbers that were in a box - anybody could replace one and nobody would be any the wiser as to whether it was official or not. BLongley 21:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I've just recalled another box I own that might be worth a look - a Babylon 5 video + Novel set. If there's a different ISBN on the box to the book, that would be of mild interest to me. Finding where it is might take some time though (VHS tapes have been 'tidied' on my behalf), so don't wait for me to find it. BLongley 21:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

The Day It Rained Forever

This. [5]. Here is the first problem I match except 'Published in Penguin Books 1963'. Usuall format and Tuck's agrees 1963. Do I clone, in order to leave the possibility of a reprint 1967 (which Publication:THDTRNDFRV1967 (1967 date) supports), or take it over. If I leave it, do I remove the firt printing? Dragoondelight 22:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd clone, and as the 1967 Penguin isn't verified and presumably you CAN verify the 1963 Penguin, I'd remove the "first printing" note from the 1967. Maybe poke Mike Hutchins as he Tuck-verified a 1967 I can't see in Tuck that should be there if it exists - but Tuck isn't perfect. BLongley 23:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Second problem, 'Dark they were, and Golden-Eyed'. Mine has no 'comma'. Do I delete the entry, re-enter it without the comma, and create a variant title? I lean to not, but noting it instead. Dragoondelight 22:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

We have verified pubs with the comma. So it's fine to add the title without the comma (but it's still "They Were" rather than "they were" according to regularisation rules). If you suspect that they should all be without comma, call for a check on the verified ones before creating the variant - the comma-less one might be the canonical one. BLongley 23:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Third problem, 'The Smile', reads 'The Smile • [The Time Vault]' . The Time Vault is a Perry Rhodan magazine printing series. This reflects in other anthologies, collections. Also (Shock Short) from the same magazine series is doing that also. The Perry Rhodan series does NOT predate this story/collection and both come of as appearing ODD to me. Check this to see further complications. [6] . Look at page references 24, 36, 106, 139, 183, 232, & 298. Might have missed some. Ackermanthology is at least partially, maybe totally, derived from the Perry Rhodan printing but I chose it to show the greatest effect. When Perry Rhodan series is 'fixed' this format will predominate for this collection. I am fairly positive that this was not the intent of the editor. It might be good for Ackermanthology, but I question the format reference for 'The Day It Rained Forever'. Dragoondelight 22:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

That does look wrong to me, and I can't see why "The Time Vault" series should exist. If a title can be in only one series (as is the current situation), that is not one I'd choose. Same with "Shock Short" - if somebody wants to create such series, please justify them on the Bibliographical Notes pages for such. BLongley 23:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Yup, I ran into this issue a few day ago and was going to leave Bob a message. "The Time Vault" and "Shock Short" are reprint series and were created by [User:Hall3730|Bob Hall] when he was working on Perry Rhodan. They are essentially what we call "Publication series": the only reason they are even vaguely related is that Ackerman chose to reprint them in the same magazine. Putting them in the same series works well for magazine Essays, since they are rarely reprinted, but it doesn't work for reprinted fiction. Ahasuerus 00:24, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Not a problem, but please check for agreement that the 'Short story title' and 'Novel title' for "The Day It Rained Forever" seems to work perfectly. I did not expect that. Great work as far as I could see.

They work for me, if you mean that we haven't confused it with the novel by "Robert C. Lee". BLongley 23:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Please advise to any other possible problems. Apologies and Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

My copy arrived today so I've taken the liberty of entering it here. I haven't created the variants yet, I'd like you to confirm that there's a hyphen in "Ice-Cream" in this edition. (You don't mention that difference above.) BLongley 18:31, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I cloned it this morning, I was away yesterday. My clone is on hold and probably will mix everything up. I have 'The Wonderful Ice-Cream Suit' on contents page and page 37. The Tuck reference says Ice Cream on page 63. I missed that this morning. I only 'lucked' into this copy a week ago and will gladly transient this one. I left a message with Mike Hutchins this morning also. I am not a Bradbury fan, but $.025 is always a good pick up. My copy also has a 1 inch gouge chipped out on bottom spine. I was wondering if the Penguin number reprinted there. It also has nice little personal signature (not Bradbury) and September 1963, so I assume it was a gift. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Your Clone isn't actually on hold, it's just that as I've entered one copy and you've entered another it might be better to get a third view. Approving yours won't mix anything up, if the other moderators know that there are two versions to look at. We'll end up with one eventually, with the best of both submissions. And maybe others - I'm sure there's not just two copies in existence. BLongley 21:26, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I just do not want my entry to 'gum' things up. I actually love the idea of several people working on something as it is a 'more eyes' the better as far as I am concerned. More the Merrier. I love the visualization of the best product possible and care not a whit about verification coups. I still retain the wish we had multiple verifications, to provide greater cross coverage. I appreciate your help on this and everything else. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:51, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Mike Hutchins deleted the 1967 version ( check information at his site under same header). His analysis is clear, but I can not transmit it clearly into a 'game plan' for working on the other issues of this book. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:13, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, added your notes to my edition here, created the variants, and verified it. I suppose the dates of the variants can still be argued about, as can the series entries. BLongley 19:04, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Excellent job. I think it will get attention when later editions and variations turn up, but it should serve as an excellent base line, which is the primary need for the older versions to be. As for arguing the date thing, I understand I must accept 'work arounds', but if I do not object then people will think I agree with the situation. The 'series' entries I will get back to when I re-start my Perry Rhodan verifications. There are more than one issue with the 'mix-bag' PR magazine and translation novels that need airing. They do serve as a good lesson in being 'wary' of such creations. I believe only the 'Time Vault' still is there. I transient(v) it so if somewone has problems I can be in on the discussion. Thanks, greatly. Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:42, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I've confirmed that Dark They Were has variants as I also own S is for Space. It might be worth challenging some of the verified variants, same with "Ice-Cream" versus "Ice Cream". I'm not keen on variants for mere punctuation differences but I must live with them for now. But my biggest issue is over Em-Dash versus En-Dash and such, the presence of a comma versus its absence might be useful so I live with that. BLongley 22:03, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Aside: "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" (maybe without a comma) was a major SF and film bookshop in London that I really miss - "Forbidden Planet" never really had the same "feel" about it, and I always feel a little bit teary when I get a book with a "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed" price sticker on it. I really should go read the story sometime! BLongley 22:03, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I have Classic Stories 2. This. [7] . There is no dash in Ice Cream therefore the Ice-Cream is a variant in 'The Day it Rained Forever'. Obviously there is a comma in 'Dark They were, and Golden-Eyed'. I double checked both.
Tuck, page 63, Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed ("The Naming of Names") is NOT the same story. I do not even think 'The Naming etc' is the basis, unless 'Dark They,etc' was a major re-write. I read 'The Naming' and skim read 'Dark They' to establish a non-relationship. Problem is this checking is going to create another help topic over "The Martian Chronicles" and you are knee-deep in it. You have created a variant title Bradbury avalanche. LOL
Aside. Every time I see your British cover art I wish I could walk British streets. Your comment gave me a time displacement as I have a similar memory spurred when I open a paperback and see it stamped with Petaluma, California. I focus on the Petaluma immediately and travel thirty years back to an old corner book store stuffed with treasures. What memories. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:00, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Price for "Selling Out"

I recently edited the publication for the Pyr edition of Justina Robson's Selling Out, and there was already a price of $15.00 listed. Oddly, the book has no price printed on the cover that I can find (it is a library book, and there's a small possibility that it's printed at the bottom of the spine, underneath the library's stickers, but it would be an odd design choice). The Pyr website does list the book at $15.00 [8]. I'm not sure what the best thing to do here is -- keep the $15.00 in the price field, and add a note that it's from the publisher's website but not on the book, or delete the price, and add a note that while there's no price on the book, the publisher lists it at $15.Jefe 19:30, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I often add prices from publisher's web sites and other secondary sources, such as amazon (Amazon may not be reliable on much, but I tend to trust it on price, at least for fairly recent publications). I don't always remember to note the source, but I should. I would favor leaving the price, but noting that it is not printed on the book, but confirmed from the publisher's web site. Unless you have some actual reason to think that $15 was not the actual publication price -- that would be a different matter. -DES Talk 19:40, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll add a note about the price.Jefe 20:03, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Another question: we list 2007-10-31 as the publication date, but the book doesn't give a month, just 2007. The date is presumably from Amazon or some such (I'm guessing that the original entry was made by dissembler or a similar process); what's the policy here? I'd like to verify the pub, but I'm leary of verifying the date. Should I just add (another) note?Jefe 00:07, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
That's right. Whenever we enter data that is not available within the book itself (price, publication date, cover artist, etc), we add a note explaining where the data came from. In this case, there are a lot of sources on the Web confirming that the US edition appeared in October 2007, e.g. SF Site, SciFan and Amazon.com. Ahasuerus 00:44, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Excising a portion of a novel then publishing the excised portion as a novel

The problem is this. [9] . creates this. [10] . and it is an excisement of book 1 in volume 1 this. [11] . The publisher has removed the book 1 kept the title added book 1 in this specifically (and in the seven following books of the three volumes of the series). My mind is roiling with when is a novel a novel. Is it just when a publisher says so or what?

What I want to do is is change the contents line date for the excised 'new novel' to the original publication that the volume 1 had. 2003. This I am sure will raise a 'fuss' without some warning. As the paperback excisement retains the original copyright of 2003 then the material has not changed significantly, but it's presentation has. By adding the publication I get my needed title creation page and date for the excised novel, but if I leave the content at 2006 then it does not go back to the mother publication. (remember there are 7 more excisement novels not entered yet into the db, so the solution needs to work for all 8).

My next 'fix-up' of this ugly drama is to make the current series 'The Baroque Cycle' into 'The Baroque Cycle (Volume presentations). This would allow me to create a new sub-series 'The Baroque Cycle (Book presentations) for the eight excised paperbacks.

Upon knowing the approved method for this situation. I then wish to enter the seven other 'books' using the Amazon data and then trust it will then be understandable by future users. I am sure you have rules established to handle this but my mind has not been able to twist other things I have done to get this to reflect the facts. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:51, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Yup, it's a known and headache-inducing issue. Our software doesn't support books which get split after publication particularly well, so the best we have been able to come up with so far is what Help:Screen:NewPub currently says on the subject:
  • "Split" novels. Occasionally a novel will be published as a single volume, and then republished (perhaps in another country) as two or more separate volumes. For example, Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy was republished as six volumes in the US. The first book, "The Reality Dysfunction", was republished as "The Reality Dysfunction, Part One: Emergence", and "The Reality Dysfunction, Part Two: Expansion". The other two volumes were treated similarly. In these situations, the books should be treated as novels, even though they form only part of a work published as a novel. Also note that the original book is still treated as a novel; it does not become an OMNIBUS because it contains two works later republished as novels. Situations like this should be documented in the notes, and if necessary discussed on the bibliographic comments page for the publications.
Not a great solution and it does make Series bibliographies look funky, but the best we have been able to come up with. Ahasuerus 00:13, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Got it. So the new publication date stays as the contents date. No problem. Thus I do NOT change the contents dates afterword. I then assume I can add the other novel books and create the proposed series? I do envision ten/twenty years the release of 'The Baroque Cycle', a complete novel of 2500 pages. LOL. Dates really hamstring my thoughts. Great thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not entirely sure I am following, but then I have a headache (I blame Silverberg's Legends!), so perhaps someone else may be in a better position to help tonight. Now to see if NyQuil still works on this wetware... Ahasuerus 03:12, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The Martian Chronicles / The Silver Locusts title variants

In checking for verification 'The Martian Chronicles' and 'The Day It Rained Forever' for the possibility that one story was a variant of another I found a possible Variant Title avalanche awaiting. This concerns the headline titles. My copy of 'The Martian Chronicles' which I was checking to verify yesterday could/should easily be variant named with a date such as 2004-2005: The Naming of Names as was done here. [12] . In fact except for the 'Prefactory Note' which I do not have it is the same. Mine is the 101st printing of 'The Martian Chronicles'. My inclination is to delete all the titles and import 'The Silver Locust' titles. Then delete the 'Prefactory note'. Page numbers may differ slightly. How say yea all. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:33, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, The Silver Locusts edition in question was verified by Bill just a few weeks ago, so it's probably best to wait for him to respond. I'll leave him a note... Ahasuerus 00:24, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
If that's really the way they're listed at the beginning of the story, feel free to import. Note that I've recorded them exactly as stated, so one doesn't have a colon in it. BLongley 18:37, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Pardon me Bill, but I think you did it absolutely right. Yours is not the problem. The problem is that I have no idea how many of the other Martian Chronicles out there did not catch that effectively the stories had had all their story names changed. Well you can only warn people. I am going to clone my copy and then delete and import starting tomorrow. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:48, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing that this is about that some editions don't have the dates in the body of the publication and others do? In other words April 2000: The Third Expedition vs. The Third Expedition? -Marc Kupper|talk 07:28, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
That is correct. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:48, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - I'd recently verified two Bantam printings of The Martian Chronicles and had not considered the dates to be part of the title. It hadn't even occurred to me meaning I verified The Third Expedition. It looking at them again I agree the dates should be included in the titles and so I updated my pubs last night. I suspect we should
  • Convert all of the non-verified Bantam and Corgi editions to use the dated versions.
  • Notify all verifiers of instances where the non-date versions are used to double check this.
    • Hart-Davis name only verified by Thomas conneely but need to re-check.
Okay, this is the first UK harcover edition , Hart Davis 1951, the Chronology ( i.e 'chapter story headings' on page ix-x) list the months ( from January 1999 to October 2026), then the short story title , then page numbers. All are in Month/Year format apart from The Naming of Names which is prefixed in the listing with only 2004-05. In the text itself, all the stories are prefixed with the month/year dating, plus the individual story title.
I have the book in question if any further queries. Thomas conneely 20:09, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


    • Bantam name only verified by Mhhutchins but need to re-check. [Fixed to dated titles. MHHutchins 20:50, 31 October 2008 (UTC)]
    • Time Inc. name only verified by Mhhutchins but need to re-check. [Titles dated but with emdashes instead of colons. Suggestions, anyone? MHHutchins 20:50, 31 October 2008 (UTC)]
    • The Easton Press name only verified by Mhhutchins but need to re-check. [Titles not dated. Left record as is. MHHutchins 20:50, 31 October 2008 (UTC)]
    • Bantam date: name verified by Marc Kupper.
    • Bantam date: name verified by Marc Kupper.
    • Corgi date: name verified by BLongley.
As a minor heads up - the existing double-verified pubs with date: name titles seem to use January 1999 Rocket Summer without a colon in the body of the publication meaning if you import the titles you'll also want to check this. -Marc Kupper|talk 20:17, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, January 1999 Rocket Summer is the exception I alluded to. Another thing that may be of note is that even in "The Silver Locusts" the Prefatory note refers to the book as "The Martian Chronicles" and having been published "eight years ago". So it probably does exist in some but by no means all the "Martian Chronicles" editions, and probably not in all the "Silver Locusts" editions either. And if Dragoondelight's "Prefactory note" is not his typo there's a variant needed there too. BLongley 22:37, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I should have said 'Prefatory Note' which is ABSENT in my copy of the Martian Chronicles. I did have another bogle in that I have a copyright page cover artist of Ian Miller and a back cover cover art by Michael Whelan. I am pretty sure it is Whelan, but wonder how to prove it. My copy says January 1999: Rocket Summer. In fact all the story titles have a colon. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:42, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I picked up a Doubleday 1981 trade printing at the library yesterday and it has the Prefatory Note, January 1999: Rocket Summer with the colon, and the story 2004-05: The Naming of Names is listed as 2004-2005: The Naming of Names in the table of contents. -Marc Kupper|talk 15:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I have three reasons for not using the dates as part of the titles, and you may feel that neither of them are valid, but I will give them anyway. First, I have two copies of TMC and in both of them, both the on TOC and on the first page of each story the dates are given in a different font then is the rest of the title after the colon. Second, I have never seen them used in any reprinting of any of the stories. Third, on the copyright page of my 95th Printing of unknown date of the Bantam/Spectra edition, (and my 55th printing of the same edition is the same too), it says "The lines from 'There Will Come Soft Rains'...". NoAugust 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains to be found. Agree with me or not, I'll go with whatever consensus says. CoachPaul 02:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

In my 101st printing, it is month(small) date with colon(overlarge) and then original title(small). So it is same large same. The purpose on the start of the story page seems to be to exagerate or draw the reader's notice of the date. I do not have a labeled ToC, I have a Chronology, which could be said to be three columns. month/year/colon. Original title. page number. In checking the page number all matched this page, but did not match other copies. Others were off by a page in four instances.
All this being said. The story presentation for my copy is oriented by chronology, hence the reinforcement of having the date as part of the title. It is a statement to read it in a time defined manner. I doubt they (publisher) were meaning to change the title, but they ensured that the date would be very closely associated with the story titles. You have to wonder if the change to force the date into the reader's consciousness was the result of critical appraisal or to facilitate a 'classroom' criteria on the body of work. Over one hundred printings is not a phenomena of popularity, but that the book is used in college courses.
Personally, I would leave this to personal editor/verifier choice and also since it is so common, a training tool. Let new editors stumble upon it and solve/resolve it. As long as the DB has the data, it then can serve to show perception. I will go with any group decision, but can also see leaving 'the field' to others to work upon. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:10, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Bill, Re the 1975 Corgi printing you verified and your note re 1969 / 1965 ... I have a publication purporting to be "Corgi Edition reissued 1969", with 1963 the next earliest date mentioned. My printing has an SBN 552 082740 and the UK price is 4s. There is also something in brackets after the "4s." which I think is 20p (the cover is somewhat battered :-( but the "20" is pretty clear). (I've just entered it, see here) Worldcat has a 1965 Corgi listed and, interestingly, all the copies (1 - 3?) Worldcat can find of it are in Australia (though the Murdoch U records for its one(s) come up as 1956). Tuck is/was Australian, correct?? ... clarkmci / --j_clark 01:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Maybe there are Australia-only Corgi editions then. For the battered 1969, it will be "20p" as an exact pre/post-decimal conversion: I've never seen any UK publication dual-price in such a way that the price-gouging is obvious. (You need to look at two different printings to spot where a 2/6 book became a 25p book later that year.) BLongley 19:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Tuck was Australian, publishing most of his work from the island state of Tasmania.
In response to CoachPaul's argument about not adding the dates to the titles for the Martian Chronicles stories, I tend to agree. Though I don't have hard evidence, it's hard to believe that Bradbury would consider this a true "retitling" of his Martian Chronicles stories. They're simply dates used to make a somewhat tenuous connection between the stories. I think sometimes our policy of recording titles exactly as shown leads us astray from our basic goal here. We can't see the forest because these damn trees keep getting in the way! Does anyone have evidence that "There Will Come Soft Rains" had the year as part of its title in this reprint anthology or this one? Or did an overworked and underpaid editor mistakenly merge them? MHHutchins 06:01, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, the date is a little bit of extra data about the story - I suppose we could record such on the title notes of the original stories in many cases, but I'd quite like to keep that extra info somehow. I've not too bothered if no-one else wants to convert their own on grounds of "date is in a different font" or some such, now we have the variants set-up at least once then the extra data is fairly visible anyway. I'm happy to leave it to editor's choice. BLongley 19:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I suspect the two other anthologies you point out do not have 'with-date' versions but I'm at a loss to understand why anyone would incorrectly merge with the dated version. OK, the dated version comes top of the list and there can be a few INTERIORART records polluting the search results, but it's not as if there's pages and pages of them to search through even if you only searched for "There will". BLongley 19:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Fix-up vs Novelization

This. [13] . Being uneducated I find the term fix-up somewhat disparaging when referring to the composition/construction of anything. I know A. E. Van Vogt used it on some of his work and I am aware that Isaac Asimov used it somewhat slightingly on some of Murray Leinster's efforts. I suggest that novelization is a less attitude loaded term, unless someone is willing to document the author's opinion to saying it is a fix-up. Many stories and novels have elements from other works, but I am unaware that fix-up has come to dominate a writing process. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:37, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of its source, "Fix-up" is the common technical term in SF for a work constructed out of multiple, previously published, shorter work, usually be the addition of linking material. In contrast, "novelization" would imply to me a "novel" constructed from a movie or TV script, or possibly the expansion of a single short work into a novel. Particularly given the first meaning, I regard "novelization" as a significantly more disparaging term than "fix-up" although there are exceptions. Furthermore, a fix-up should often be considered for collection status, while a novelization rarely if ever should. To take two examples of generally acknowledged high quality, and objectively clear sustained popularity, from the same author: Fantastic Voyage is a novelization, while Foundation is a fix-up. Two other examples from a different author: Agent of Byzantium is a fixup, while In the Presence of Mine Enemies is a novelization in the 2nd sense of an expansion of a story into a novel.
The term need not be and often is not applied by the author, and the author's intent is as irrelevant in applying this term as it is in applying the term "novel". The term can be and has been applied to fix-ups constructed well before the term itself was coined. -DES Talk 21:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
See also [14]: a very incomplete list. -DES Talk 21:09, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Fix-up and the SF Citations project entry for "Fix-up", particualrly the Clute and Panshin citations. -DES Talk 21:14, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
That's right, we already use "novelization" as per Help:Screen:EditTitle. However, this raises another issue, namely that the Help text (written in 2006) doesn't match the way the term has been used ever since we adopted John Wenn's conventions back in 1995. It currently says:
  • nvz - Novelization - Indicates that this story is a novelization of an earlier shortfiction. Note that this code is not available when editing the Contents section of a publication but you will see it when editing title records.
while we have used this code (pretty much exclusively) to identify film/TV novelizations. Ahasuerus 00:06, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry I just do not get the use of 'Wikipedia' as a source of the correctness of the term in the literary since. Especially since, I have heard Standard Bibliographic Procedure. It is real simple, fix-up is a basic purgative term invented by A.E. Van Vogt to label something he was doing. Fine use it on what he so termed, but the extension of a short-hand term is itself short-sighted. I fail to see how novelization fits into a negative mold. There are thousands of classics to compare with and many had just as humble origins. Many stories are a process and to use a term which is more slang than anything else is more than odd. The description of which stories was given was excellent, but I thing due deference needs to be adhered to how the author held his work. Fix-up is definitely a judgment, not necessarily even-handed. Simple equation if an editor can NOT say that a cover has beautiful artwork, how can you allow the term fix-up. If you do not like novelization. Simply call the book what the author or publisher labels it. That seems the most NEUTRAL NON-JUDGMENTAL approach that has been so frequently advocated. Call it what the creator or publisher terms it and let the reader/user differentiate. Carefully rereading your analysis of the different examples, I feel you parsing of fix-up versus novelization is still IMO or INTHO. What happens if you just use the simple this 'work of fiction'. Labeling should be restricted primarily to the author on their own work, if we run around and use other peoples terms then you fall foul of good/bad/indifferent/constrained/presumptuous you name it. Describe it personally or by any form of committee is a 'Hugo Award' type of judgment and anyone can readily see that those rules have been bent to facilitate the moment versus the actual. By the way I strenuously refute the fix-up for Foundation and thereby you have the whole problem in a nutshell. If you can quote where and show that Asimov called it a fix-up then I will go with that, but only for that one thing. The extension by comparison is what I have often been warned of here and fix-up is that to the max. --Dragoondelight 00:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)--Dragoondelight 00:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there is evidence to suggest that the term "fix-up" is a "basic purgative [pejorative?] term invented by A.E. Van Vogt to label something he was doing". As van Vogt explained in this 1980 interview:
  • Let's put it very simply: a novel would sell whereas the individual stories seldom did. Hence, the great thought came; and the fix-up novels began. It was a strictly commercial idea in a period when incomes were tiny, and pulp writers all across the land were starving. It was only later that I learned the fix-ups had their critics. I could only shake my head over these people; to me, they were obviously dilettantes who didn't understand the economics of writing science fiction.
So even though the term has been sometimes used negatively, it wasn't originally meant to be a derogatory term, at least not by its creator. Moreover, if I recall correctly, the criticism of van Vogt's fixups had to do with the fact that he often combined unrelated stories, which arguably led to poorly focused novels, but that's not a criticism of the "fix-up" as a form.
The person who popularized the term in 1979, John Clute, had the following to say in the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: "We should perhaps emphasize, therefore, that the term is not, for us, derogatory." And that's the way we have always used the term: simply a description of a book's structure and origins, somewhere between a collection of linked stories and a novel. Ahasuerus 01:10, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Quote from you. "The term need not be and often is not applied by the author, and the author's intent is as irrelevant in applying this term as it is in applying the term "novel"." The Author's intent is as irrelevant. My G, where do I stand to get the word from on high. The author's determination of what it is the ONLY relevant description. He need not be right in what he thinks he has done, but he is right that it is HIS and therefore HE calls that shot. Everything else is a judgment call. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)--Dragoondelight 00:43, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
This is a tricky area. On the one hand, it's natural to follow the publisher/writer's lead in matters of categorization. On the other hand, there have been cases when writers and publishers deviated rather far from the common definition of the term "novel", e.g. many "novels" published by James Gunn were effectively collections of previously published stories with little to no connecting material added. Since van Vigt's observation that "a novel would sell whereas the individual stories seldom did" is vastly more applicable today than it was 50 years ago, it's only natural for writers and publishers to try to pass collections for novels (we all like to eat!), but does it really make them novels?.. Ahasuerus 01:24, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I won't even agree that "it's natural to follow the publisher/writer's lead in matters of categorization". Categorization of this sort is largely a question of fact, and how the author describes it may be of interest, but is in no way determinative. An author may call a 30,000 word work of fiction a "novel" but we don't. An author may call a single 200,000 word work of fiction a "collage" because of the various shifting post-of-view he has used, or a "braided novel", or an "epic". We still call it a novel. The text is the text, whatever the author chooses to call it. The author may call it a hunk of green cheese, we still call it a novel. The author's terminology and intent is IMO strictly irrelevant.
Wikipedia, by the way, does not "prove" the rightness of the term, but it is evidence for its widespread usage and is a good definition of the term. The SF Citations project entry, which I linked to above, and through them the usage by the various Clute encyclopedias (basic sources for SF bibliography) and by Panshin (a very well-noted critic and analyst of SF) demonstrates that the term is in current, generally non-pejorative use, by SF fans and SF critics. That is what really makes the term appropriate her -- it is in general use in the SF community. It denotes a very specific situation, which "novelization" does not cover. Van Vogt may or may not have intended to be disparaging of his own work when he coined the term, such terms as "BEM" and "Space opera" were originally disparaging, but are now descriptive. "Fix-up" is now a purely descriptive term, it is a precise term, and it is throughly appropriate for use here.
The term "Fix-up" is also routinely employed in Stableford's Dictionary of Science Fiction Places.
If the text is a novel, we should call it one, if it is a short story, we should call it one, and if it is a fix-up, we should call it one. Granted there is some judgment needed at the boundaries. A novella blends into a short novel, and aside from arbitrary word counts (which are not IMO irrelevant, but precise word counts are often not handy) there is a vague area on the border. Similarly, there is a grey area between a themed collection and a fix up, but many, indeed most, cases are pretty clearly on one side of the line or the other. -DES Talk 03:55, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
On Foundation, it doesn't matter a whit whether Asimov ever called it a "fix-up" or not. It is a fact that Foundation was constructed out of previously published stories (Asimov lists them in his autobiography) It is likewise a fact that adjustments were made to the original published stories to make them work as a novel, including the add iron of the section "The Psycohistorians", last in composition, but first in internal order, plus rewriting for improved internal consistency and to eliminate redundant matter. Those easily ascertainable facts make Foundation a fix-up, and it is no more an IMO to so call it than to describe one person as "a man 6 feet three inches tall" and another as "a woman 5 feet nine inches tall". In some cases the facts are not as easily ascertained, particularly the degree of re-writing involved, but when they are the applicability or otherwise of the term "fix-up" is unambiguous, and in no way pejorative. -DES Talk 04:03, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Walter M. Miller, Jr. publicly denied that A Canticle for Leibowitz was science fiction, and refused the Hugo for it; we list it none the less. Harlan Ellison often denied that various of his works were SF, I have personally seen him take a book presented to him for autographing, and black out the words "science fiction" on the spine with a magic marker. Yet we list them, and few people seriously argue that they are not SF, just because the author said that they were not. -DES Talk 07:20, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, as to the question of whether the term is "slang". Actually it is not, it is perhaps jargon, or if you prefer "a term of art" in the legal sense -- that is, it is short-hand for a particular specified meaning, and its apparent meaning does not matter. But in any case, what is wrong with slang? "SF" is at least arguably slang. As H. Beam Piper had one of his characters say: "Don't ask if the term is legitimate English. There is no such thing. English is the result of the attempts of Norman men-at-arms to make dates with Saxon barmaids, and is no more legitimate than any of the other results." -DES Talk 04:13, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I guess that makes Olde English the result of attempts of Saxon men-at-arms to makes dates with Celtic barmaids.--swfritter 15:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Could well be :). (Perhaps more realisticly, the results of Saxons attepting to trade with the nearby Angles and Jutes. Not much of the pre-Saxon Celtic language survived into English, while the core vocabulary of modern English is largely Anglo-Saxon.) But underlying the humor is a truth that Modern English is the result of the melding of Romance (Norman French) and Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) languanges, plus much vocabulary from Scandanavian imports in the era before the Norman Conquest, and huge amounts of imported vocabualry from practically every language in the world after the Conquest, pus lots and lots of coinage in various registers (from formal to slang) during more than a thosand years. This makes objections to words, recent or anciant, on the basis of their origins fairly unwise, IMO. (An amusing look at what English might be like without Romance/latinate vocab is Anderson's "Uncleftish Beholding".) -DES Talk 15:58, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Quite so. Anyway, Locus Online and the Locus Index use the term "fix-up" 137 times, so it's safe to say that the term is a part of our "industry standards".
Re: DES' observation that "how the author describes it may be of interest, but is in no way determinative", the value of the author/publisher's claim varies depending on the venue. For example, when a pulp magazine claimed that there were "Two Complete Novels!" in the issue, it was very likely that the "novels" in question were at best novellas and quite possibly novelets according to our classification.
When it comes to deciding whether a book is a "collection of slightly revised stories" or a "fix-up novel", it can be a blurry line and the author's/publisher's claims, although by no means definitive, are usually the easiest thing to check. Established genre bibliographies are another good source, but they too can be off, e.g. Contento tends to call all fix-ups "collections" even when the stories were massively rewritten. Ahasuerus 15:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


And A Canticle for Leibowitz itself is based upon previously published material - three distinct novellas - although it was so well imagined ahead of time that it could better be described as a non-consecutively published serial. As to what is science fiction - I would be perfectly willing to exclude Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Ursula K. Le Guin's negative attitude towards it in the recent Locus is spot on. Along with being badly written, it does not display enough imagination or originality to be considered speculative fiction. As far as to what is a novel. Our 40k word boundary is quite arbitrary. The English literature definition takes many other factors into account with many works shorter than 40k words being considered novels while many longer seemingly unified works are not considered to be novels. I generally associate the word novelization as being an adaptation from a non-literary source. I find no negative aspect to the term fix-up other than the hassle of determining whether a 'novel' is a fix-up or a collection. Publishers should not be trusted.--swfritter 17:26, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)I understand the points for use that have been expressed, but I still feel it is an added level of complexity that is not uniform.

Define it for DB use, where it works at all times, otherwise it is a 'burden' as an added level of complexity and not helpful to the common user level. Establish when used as a 'peculiar' term to the db needs description that it be attributed to a source either editor or some outside persons evaluation. In this case provide/encourage an opposition view with personal source so that people can 'argue/discuss' another view. In Interplanetary Hunter fix-up is used to describe the five chapters and they are cross related to the original story. I have my copy and see a collection of related stories with no connective tissue other than characters and institutions in the body of the stories. What additional changes or revisions that may have occurred are 'NOT' noted and thus it is a matter for someone with all the material to do. In this case with no 'Sourcing' the user is left high and dry (and so am I as a verifier). I have been short circuited out by some other persons wording. I would add IMO collection --Dragoondelight 13:01, 1 November 2008 (UTC) to the title data gladly. Fix-up to me is a dead end evaluation without enough complexity to justify its use. I prefer caution and sourcing data. Though this DB is a now event, the use of terms like fix-up as a SF or STF term is reflecting a backwards viewpoint on a dated event. Tell me the story of the evolution of the story, but do not shorthand encapsul it and risk leaving out data. Note Foundation is already attaining special circumstance Classic exemption from its use. This DB is already treading down the rickety road of shady redefinition that organizations like the 'Hugo Awards' have trod. So I bring my views to your purview and let the DB group do as it will. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:01, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Oddity with import

I had added two essay that a reliable secondary source (the author's web site) told me were present to the 1st printing of a book (The Seven Altars of Dusarra by Lawrence Watt-Evans actually.) The same source told me those essays were also included in subsequent printings (and other editions) for which we already had records, but records that did not include the essays. So i used the import function to import the content from the first printing to the second. It copied the records for the essays, alright, but it also imported a second copy of the record for the Novel. And remove titles won't remove the "main" title, the one that is the title reference. So i figured I'd change this to a different type (Poem), remove one of the two records, and change it back. Not so fast. When i changed it, remove listed the two poem records, but when i removed one, both went. So i added a new version of the novel, and merged the two titles. All is OK. But it seems to me that import shouldn't import a 2nd copy of a record that is identical to an existing copy, and remove should allow deletion of one of two identical records. Was ther a better way to proceed? -DES Talk 05:03, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Two new bug reports filed. The second item is a long standing issue. -Marc Kupper|talk 15:42, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Cover art versus cover design

I was waffling about this while entering several titles by Richard Rohmer, but it cropped up when editing and/or verifying some titles by John Varley. Let's use the Varley examples.

The hardcover edition of Wizard says on the jacket "Jacket design by Tony Russo/The Complete Artworks, Ltd." The hardcover of Demon says "Jacket design by Tony Russo". The paperback editions of Titan and Wizard (I don't have Demon in pb) say "Cover design by Tony Russo" on their respective copyright pages. Now, the way I see it, "cover design" refers to the actual design/layout of the cover, and not to the actual artwork. The artwork in these instances are simply differently-colored variations of the same kaleidoscope-style image, which may well be uncredited images from some graphic design source. Further complicating the issue, in the two aforementioned paperback editions, the covers actually open up to a 2-page color painting by R. Courtney...a sort of "under-cover", one might say (I'm not sure if there's a technical term for it...it's not quite what I'd call a gatefold cover, since that term usually applies to a folded-in extension of what's seen on the cover itself).

At any rate, I'm not sure that crediting Tony Russo as the cover artist is really what's called for (and I'd probably have to take another look at the Rohmer titles I've entered to see if some of them qualify more as designs rather than art). The related question is whether the Courtney "under-covers" qualify as cover artwork or interior artwork. Further complicating THAT issue is the fact that the copyright pages in these paperbacks credit Russo's cover designs and Freff's b&w interior art, but don't mention the Courtney paintings. At the moment, I've edited the entries (though I'd have to go back and look to see if I've done them all) to reflect Russo's credit actually being for cover design rather than art, and for Courtney's artworks, in the Notes section.

It might be a good idea to get some sort of "ruling" on how to handle this type of thing. Jayembee 04:51, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

When there is no credit other than "designed by" I give that person credit in the cover artist field. If both an artist and a designer is credited, I place the artist in the cover artist field, and place the designer in the notes. Interior artwork is an entirely separate matter. All interior art credit is given as a content of the publication. If you're entering a novel, contents can't be added until after your original submission. I get around this by clicking on "New Collection" which provides content fields, and changing the pub type to "Novel". I can then add introductions and interior artwork credit all in the same submission.
In the case of the publication you describe, I would give Courtney an interior art credit because the contribution is not actually on the cover, because you can't see it unless you actually open up the book. Some pubs have die-cuts that show some of the artwork through the opening, in which case I'd give both artists cover credit. Of course, this is how I handle it personally. I'm not aware of any cut-and-dry standard that may apply. I'll search the Help pages to see if there are standards for this situation. Hope this helps. MHHutchins 05:17, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Today I entered Shadowmancer with no artist credit but lots of notes. It's very subjective, but I don't want companies credited as cover artists - they're supposed to be real people, with birth-dates and death-dates etc. Whether the cover is "art" rather than "design" is another issue - I've credited some photographers and sculptors, for instance, when there's some artistic creativity involved. Robert Rankin is probably my favourite example - sculpting one-off things that get photographed for a cover. I give him cover artist credit for those. (Anyone that sculpts a "Voodoo Handbag" for a book with that in the name deserves some sort of recognition, if only a personalised strait-jacket!) But I wouldn't give a Cover Art credit to a photographer for the BBC or ITV or C4 TV tie-in edition of a book which just showed the cast: that's not art, that's reality. But if you aren't making me find birth date and place for "Black Sheep" or "Getty Images" or such you're fine. We're over-polluted with Authors anyway, the miscredits in reviews are probably a bigger problem as they don't link back anywhere. Finding that John Doe Smith is merely a photographer is no major problem in comparison. BLongley
For a while I was crediting cover designers using INTERIORART but have decided to drop this. If a cover has a cover designer credit but not an artist credit then I don't credit anyone though will add a note. If the cover is a photograph then I'll credit a photographer and explain in the notes that the cover is a photograph. If the source of the photo is a stock photo house then they don't get credited though I'll add a note. As it is, I have a note any time a publication does not just credit the artist. If the artist is not credited I have a note so that people looking at the record will know that I looked for the credit, signature, etc. and was unable to find it. -Marc Kupper|talk 03:55, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Question regarding some non-fiction entries that I submitted

I added a couple of non-fiction volumes earlier: The Collector's Poul Anderson and A Key to Fredric Brown's Wonderland. After creating the initial entries, I later went back and entered the contents, which consisted of different items by different authors. The Brown title, for example, is credited to Newton Baird, but also includes some essays by Elizabeth C. Brown, Harry Altshuler, and Fredric Brown himself. I discovered when checking the entries later (in this example, I looked up the summary bibliography of Newton Baird) that the individual items in that volume by him are listed as essays, but there's no overall entry for the volume as a whole.

Am I to assume that by entering the individual contents, the volume then became considered as a non-fiction anthology? It makes sense to think of them that way, though I confess that I didn't look at them that way initially. I'm asking to get an insight into how such things are handled, as it might change how I enter other, similar things.

A related question, with respect to the other aforementioned title, The Collector's Poul Anderson: one of the two authors/contributors is credited as David Stever on the cover, and David Allen Stever inside. When creating the original entry, I used the former, as that's how he's credited on another item of his (A John Schoenherr SF Checklist), but when entering the individual contents, I used the latter form of his name, since that's how it appears on the table of contents and the contents themselves. In cases like this, which name is preferred for the entry? If there's a help item for this, I'm not finding it. Currently, there are separate, unlinked listings for "David Stever" and "David Allen Stever". I'm hesitant about merging them until I see how to address the question, in case the simple answer is to use "David Stever" in all instances, which would eliminate the need to merge them. Jayembee 05:16, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

The Brown publication is missing a title reference. I'm not sure how that happened, having not seen your original submission. Perhaps the title of the essay was the same as the title of the publication, causing a conflict in what title reference was assigned. I'll correct that and you'll be able to see how it appears on Baird's summary page. MHHutchins 05:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I see it as fixed now. I don't recall what exactly I did when I entered the contents, but it was likely a noob error Jayembee 08:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee
It appears that you overwrote the title reference when you added new content to the pub, and the moderator approving the submission failed to catch. (Even we make occasional mistakes!) It's been corrected. When adding content to an existing pub record don't overwrite the first content field. Click on "Add Title" button and start entering the new content.
About the Stever situation: don't merge unless the author credit is identical. We try to make sure that the pub records show EXACTLY how they're credited in the publication. If the same piece has been published as by "David Stever" and "David Allen Stever" we can link those publications by creating variants. See the help pages on how to create variants. MHHutchins 05:26, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Another thing about the Stever issue: we have to first establish which of the names should be considered the "canonical" name. Then we can make the other a pseudonym. That way all pubs will appear on one summary page. Is there any evidence that one of the names has preference over the other? What name does he use on the title page of the publication? That might help us determine which to make canonical. Thanks. MHHutchins 05:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, his name appears in three places: the cover, the title page, and the table of contents. On the cover, it's "David Stever", in the other two places, it's "David Allen Stever". I hadn't really thought about it until I entered the data. He's an old friend of mine (we collaborated on the Schoenherr checklist), and it didn't occur to me (or I'd long forgotten, not having looked at the thing in a while) that he'd used the full form of his name on this. As I said, since he's credited as just "David Stever" on the Schoenherr checklist, I'd be inclined to make that the canonical version of his name just to get both items under the same name. But that's me.

I just checked Clute/Nichols, and he's not mentioned either in my entry (curiously, they refer to the Schoenherr checklist as my solo work) nor Drew Whyte's (it doesn't mention the Anderson work at all) nor Anderson's. I'm sure that he and the Anderson work are mentioned in the Anderson entry in Nichols' original version of the Encyclopedia, but I don't have immediate access to my copy of that.

It's funny how names and associations and memory are. Stever was always "David Stever" to me, so it surprised me that he used "David Allen Stever" on this work. On the other hand, Drew Whyte was always "Drew Whyte" to me, though I always associate "Andrew Adams Whyte" as the by-line on his work, and was surprised that someone of his work appears under the name "Andrew A. Whyte".

By the way, the same thing happened with the Anderson book. It lost its title reference as well. I've corrected it. Also, where does the roman-numeraled pages in this publication appear? If they're before the numbered pages, we need to reverse the order as shown. MHHutchins 05:34, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the roman numeraled pages are at the front. When first entering data on various things, I put the arabic-numeraled pages first. I went back and corrected them, but I must've missed this one (hopefully, it's the only one). I'll change it. Thanks for the help. Jayembee 08:09, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee
Since Stever chose not to use the middle name on the actual title of the full work, we'll make that his canonical name, and make the "David Allen Stever" entry a pseudonym. I'll go ahead and make the changes. MHHutchins 05:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
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