ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 15

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This is an archive page for the Help Desk. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from August - December 2011.

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Contents

Extract, abriged, etc... works

Hi, shouldn't we mark somehow the real parent of all the (Extract), abriged, (from), etc... works? take for example Gulliver's Travels excerpt 93405 Shouldn't it be connected to Gulliver's Travels? Regards, Qshadow 12:28, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I take this to mean "Why don't we make all derived works into variant records of the parent title?" If that's what you're asking, it's because VARIANT as a db function means that the only difference between the two records is either 1) the title or 2) the author credit or 3) both. A change in text can not be used as the basis for creating a variant relationship between two records. There have been discussions over the year about creating a function that can establish a "derived relationship" between records, but nothing has been done about it, as far as I know. Those relationships would include excerpts, abridgements, expansions, revisions, rewrites, fix-ups, etc. I look forward to the day when this function is implemented. Mhhutchins 14:30, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, these relationships are exactly what i meant.
Maybe it is a dumb question, but why nothing has been done? is it lack of time, or somebody opposition to this idea? and if this and many other features are not implemented because of lack of time, maybe we should consider putting some books advertisements and using the money to pay for the features? After all the main goal is to improve the db. Qshadow 15:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
There's been no opposition to the feature, because it's not really been discussed to any extent. We only have a few programmers, all volunteer, who have to prioritize their work (and time) on the db. The feature we discussed must be low on their list of priorities. As for raising revenue, I'm not sure how the host of the db gets paid, maybe out of Al von Ruff's pocket? I wouldn't mind links from the main page (forthcoming pubs) to Amazon listings, which might raise a few dollars, but I wouldn't want links from the db records. And all revenue would have to go back into the db, otherwise it wouldn't be fair for the editors who have volunteered their efforts to building the db. Mhhutchins 16:04, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Al paid for hosting for a while, then it was provided by TAMU for free, now I am paying for it. But it's just $30/month, a drop in the bucket compared to what would be needed to hire a developer. Not only would it be expensive ($100K+/year for someone who knows what he is doing), but it would also transform the project into a full blown non-profit, with taxes, contracts, legal issues, etc. It would be a very different model. Ahasuerus 16:26, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
You have a point Ahasuerus, but i have another suggestion. I am sure there are a lot of developers that like SF and would be willing to volunteer and help ISFDB, if only they new that we need them!
So what do you think about putting some link on the website, maybe even on the menu, saying something like:
We are looking for volunteers to implement new features for the site!
and the link will go to some page where job requirements will be provided and the list of wanted features. This page will also be done on a wiki basis, so you do not have to do it all. I feel like in our changing world where everything can be done on community basis, this will be no issue to find very candidates. What do you think? Qshadow 17:18, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's pretty much how we got the developers that we currently have. Except that we didn't have to advertise -- they slowly progressed from users to editors to moderators to developers :) Ahasuerus 22:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
We don't always go that way - I think MartyD showed his developer skills before we made him a Moderator? (And I think we'll need him back soon after some of the improvements I've submitted but can't take further.) I'm usually happy to help train a new developer or good editor, or even a newbie moderator, and particularly like new uses of our data I'd never thought of. BLongley 02:49, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
At the moment we have one active developer, Bill Longley, and one tester/code reviewer/site administrator (me). Unfortunately, my availability varies from "low" to "moderate". Before we go fishing for more active developers, we need to figure out how to address the current testing/code reviewing bottleneck. A distributed testing process may be viable, but then we need more testers and, most likely, more formal testing processes. Ahasuerus 22:24, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Qshadow, have you seen our development site? Or noticed the Development page? We know we have a long list of bugs and FRs that need addressing at some point (OK, some may be duplicated or undesirable and should be closed), but we're just not organised enough or staffed enough to make such big changes yet. I've got 10 unsubmitted changes for "Translator" support on hold while I see what Ahasuerus does to my current outstanding fumblings, for instance. Yes, we do want new Developers, but at the moment more TESTERS is probably the priority. And we need to clone Ahasuerus a few times, of course. BLongley 01:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
BLongley, thanks for the links! I somehow missed them. But that's exactly what i am talking about, the link to the development page is only from a few pages, and people rarely go there. But we can put this link to other pages as well preferably even under the ISFDB banner on the top left or something, and/or advertise that we need more testers. Again I feel that if only more people new that we need help, they would gladly help, be it testing or developing. At least we can try, and remove it later.
I mean look even at the main contributors page [1], there is hardly 100 active contributors for such a huge project as ISFDB. can't be that only 100 people in the world are interested in SF and are willing to help, at least by editing... We need some marketing department here ;)
On another note, the sheep was already cloned, so why not to try with Ahasuerus? ;) Qshadow 08:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
If only there were 100 active editors. There are actually about 20 of us. Mhhutchins 13:04, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Ahasuerus, I understand that you are the one that hold the power implement the suggestion, try to get more community participation. but I feel some reluctance which I do not quite understand, maybe I am missing the whole picture? Qshadow 08:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, the short answer is that I am still sick and not in a good position to think/write about this. The long(er) answer is that open source project management is a complex issue and requires careful research. It would be easy to post "Developers wanted!" messages, but if we don't have appropriate testing and source control processes in place it will just make our CVS repository completely unmanageable. First we have to implement branching, something that I really need to do ASAP... Ahasuerus 15:44, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Query returns no results for some titles only

Hi, I made a query (below) that should return contents of anthologies and it indeed worked fine for most of the titles, but for some titles as in the example below i got zero results, I checked the db and the title id is perfectly legal and has publication and contents, so why do i get zero results?

SELECT DISTINCT
anth_title.title_title, anth_title.title_id, anth_content_titles.title_id, anth_content_titles.title_title
FROM pub_content pc_anth_name, titles anth_title, pub_content pc_anth_content, titles anth_content_titles
WHERE anth_title.title_id IN (1015115, 1021207, 1021208, 1027859)
AND pc_anth_name.title_id = anth_title.title_id
AND pc_anth_name.pub_id = pc_anth_content.pub_id
AND pc_anth_content.title_id = anth_content_titles.title_id;

Regards, Qshadow 23:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

This is because there are no pubs associated with those titles (try "select * from pub_content where title_id in (...)", and you'll see). The IDs you are using are canonical titles with variants, and the publications are solely associated with the variant titles. You need to do either:
WHERE (
 anth_title.title_id IN (1015115, 1021207, 1021208, 1027859)
 OR anth_title.title_id IN (
  SELECT title_id FROM titles
  WHERE title_parent IN (1015115, 1021207, 1021208, 1027859)
 )
)
or
WHERE anth_title.title_id IN
 (SELECT title_id FROM titles
  WHERE title_parent IN (1015115, 1021207, 1021208, 1027859)
  OR title_id IN (1015115, 1021207, 1021208, 1027859))
I'd think the second approach would perform better (and could probably benefit from a "distinct" in that inner select), but I didn't try it. --MartyD 13:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, MartyD! Actually I suspected that there may be no publications associated with the titles, so I used the website to check it, and there were pubs for each title page, but now I understand that to show the title page the site engine probably fetches publication from variant titles as well...
Now, actually I have a table of my_best_anthologies, so the IN command is not good for me, I tried to translate what you did in to my case, but my query is stuck forever.
SELECT DISTINCT
anth_title.title_title, anth_title.title_id,
anth_content_titles.title_title
FROM pub_content pc_anth_name, titles anth_title, pub_content pc_anth_content, titles anth_content_titles, my_best_anthologies
WHERE anth_title.title_id IN
 (SELECT title_id FROM titles
 WHERE title_id= my_best_anthologies.title_id
 OR title_parent = my_best_anthologies.title_id)
AND pc_anth_name.title_id = anth_title.title_id
AND pc_anth_name.pub_id = pc_anth_content.pub_id;

Please, suggest. Qshadow 14:40, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

You appear to have a cartesian product there - try removing the ", my_best_anthologies" from the end of line 4 if you want to use IN functionality: or if you want to use JOIN functionality to bring in my_best_anthologies, change lines 5-8 to
WHERE (anth_title.title_id = my_best_anthologies.title_id
       OR anth_title.title_parent = my_best_anthologies.title_id)
BLongley 17:02, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, BLongley! I will try this. Qshadow 12:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Import/Export of contents

A very stupid question from a perfect neophyte. I want to import/export table of contents between different publications of the same work. Is this possible? If so, and if the sections titled Help:Screen:Import/ExportContent are the right ones, where do I find this publication ID/record number? Thanks, and apologies if this is too inane a question. Waldstein 17:21, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

When looking at a publication, the record id is the last parameter in the address bar: e.g. for The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 22 the address is http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?358553 and the record number is 358553. The publication ID is shown in brackets after the "Bibliographic Comments" section, in this case THMMMTHBKC2011. BLongley 17:32, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks a lot! Works beautifully. Will remember for the future. Waldstein 17:42, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Other books Databases?

Hi, maybe this question is a little off topic, but are any of you aware of similar database (like ISFDB), but for all literature? When I say similar I mean community based: anyone can edit, and the content is not proprietary. The Internet Book List is community based, but it is rather small in size (68,225 Works only for all literature). And it doesn't provide access to the DB for the public. So it is not "open content" like wikipedia or isfdb. Are there any other projects that you are aware of? Thanks, Qshadow 13:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, there is Open Library and then there are "social cataloging" sites like LibraryThing and GoodReads (as well as Shelfari and other relatively minor players.) They use robots as well as user-submitted contents, which is similar to what we do here. Other catalogs and digital libraries like Google Books and WorldCat also allow a limited amount of user-submitted content. Most of them have publicly accessible APIs and Open Library lets you download their backup files.
Also, isbndb.com and WorldCat allow a limited number (500 and 1,000 respectively) of daily ISBN look-ups. Ahasuerus 14:01, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Ahasuerus, I wasn't aware that openlibrary lets us download the db! I wonder if they merged the ISFDB db into their? Qshadow 21:55, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Open Library's backups are publicly available, e.g. here is the version that I am currently working on. They are useful, but I prefer to go to the primary source of their data, i.e. publicly available library catalogs.
I don't know whether Open Library uses our backups, but Freebase does. We had a few e-mail exchanges with their team a couple of years ago. Ahasuerus
We're pretty good in our specialisation, I think. I do keep meaning to look into other resources that can help us rather than vice versa, but Ahasuerus is far ahead of me in those areas. If you find a willing donor then I'll have a look at our submission API again. BLongley 00:59, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Wow, this was a lot of useful info, I love community based open content, and this is a treasure for me. Thanks, a lot. Qshadow 12:18, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Somerset Maugham in ISFDB?

I am very pleased to see my favourite writer in ISFDB, but I cannot but ask myself, and others, what is he doing here? True, there are but two of his novels listed, but if The Magician might just pass for speculative fiction, his harshly realistic debut slum novel Liza of Lambeth is actually the very antithesis of speculative fiction. On the other hand, as Arthur Clarke once asked: is there really any other kind of fiction?

So my question, in short, is this: should I add more titles of Maugham, and if so, what kind should they be to qualify as speculative fiction? Or is his fiction only incidentally included here, as in the case of most of short stories listed? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Waldstein (talkcontribs) .

I'm not familiar with his works, but please don't add any more if they're not speculative fiction. We do make exceptions for authors that have a lot of Spec-Fic and also OTHER works, but I don't think that is the case here. BLongley 22:44, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I'll delete Liza (don't know how it got in here), but The Magician seems to qualify as spec-fic based on the wikipedia summary. Mhhutchins 01:33, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
BTW, all of the short fiction appears to be genuinely spec-fic, as they appear in legitimate spec-fic anthologies. Waldstein, have you read any of them? (Also don't forget to sign your posts.) Mhhutchins 01:37, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I still can't get used to the signing. I thought the same and was about to suggest deleting "Liza" and leaving "The Magician", which may pass as some crude horror stuff.
The short stories are very interesting mixture. Some of them ("Lord Mountdrago", "The End of the Flight", "The Taipan", "A Man from Glasgow") do play with supernatural forces and may thus be regarded as speculative fiction, I guess. But the others are just as speculative as every non-nonfiction writing. "Footprints in the Jungle" is a crime story, "Mr Know-All" and "A Friend in Need" are charming trifles exploring nothing more (or less) than human nature, and so are "The Romantic Young Lady" and "The Colonel's Lady", which are more social satire than anything else. Oddly enough, one of Maugham's finest short stories of the spooky supernatural kind ("P&O") is missing.
Sometimes Maugham even wrote stories that resemble fantasy ("The Judgment Day") or utopia ("The Closed Shop"), but these certainly were exceptions especially designed for light entertainment; very untypical of him and very far from his best in the genre. Waldstein 01:57, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
By the way, Maugham has one fairy tale among his stories, too. It is rather famous and has been published separately in at least two illustrated editions. If fairy tales pass for speculative fiction, I may add these in the future. If not, I won't. Waldstein 13:09, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Fairy tales are a subgenre of fantasy and is considered spec-fic. I think you're taking "speculative fiction" to include any fiction that is speculative. That's not the case. True, all fiction is speculation, but not all fiction is "speculative fiction". Check out the Definitions and Rules of Acquistion here. Mhhutchins 14:43, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Same AuthorID used as Real Author and as Pseudonym Author

I am trying to distinguish between Author ID that represents real author, and the same ID that can also represent somebody's pseudonym. How do I do it? Let's say I have table with TitleID, AuthorID

and I would like to change all Pseudonyms to real authors. But because of the problem above, I will do more harm to my table.

If I could at least find out which IDs are dangerous and have double meaning, I could avoid them, or do manual replace (which can be pretty hard work, but better then nothing) Thanks, Qshadow 19:45, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I found a way to find out if a Pseudonym Author is also a name of a real one, or just a Pseudonym, as can be seen in my next post below, I look for other fields like Bday, Death date, Country, LegalName, if they are present this Author is also real. Qshadow 07:53, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Should i fix entries like this?

Here is a list of suspicious AuthorIds:

16103 is a pseudonym, and uses another pseudonym "William Arrow" is it possible?
83109 Diane Detzer, I probably should connect Jorge de Reyna directly to Adam Lukens, and remove it here, right?
122923, some cyclic dependencies there.
134505 should point to 16832 ?
618 is a house name so  Dent, Lester details should be removed probably

Qshadow 23:10, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

You are absolutely right, the listed author records had various problems. They are all fixed now, thanks for finding them! Ahasuerus
I am glad to help! Actually I am passing over pseudonyms table now, and will probably cleanup more. Qshadow 08:00, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Ahasuerus, I am also cleaning all Pseudonyms from extra data that should be present only if the Author is real, like Bday, Deathday, Country, LegalName. I think you (or some other moderator) told me once that Pseudonyms should not contain this data. First of all if the data is incorrect and needs to be fixed, it is impossible to go fix it in all places, secondly this will help if one wants to find out by query if the Pseudonym is used only as Pseudonym, or maybe it is also a Real name. So if it has extra data it is ALSO a real name. Hope this is ok. Qshadow 10:22, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, please help me fix those, as I am not sure how to do it properly:
FIXED 115973 the novel should be moved to Camille Marbo, and all details removed as this is a Pseudonym.
FIXED 127557 the novel should be moved to Yves Dermeze, and all details removed as this is a Pseudonym.
FIXED 7066 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 7065.
6029 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 2945.
FIXED 5422 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 5421.
FIXED 118565 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 127949.
1602  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 18858.
28022 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 2887.
66871 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 81469.
11265  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 1732.
9327  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 5405.
2956  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 276.
118449 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 119250.
128789 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 120953.
134934 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 135880.
113149 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 12970.
11471 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 3025.
36698 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 3998.
27409 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 1886.
80801 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 12804.
47281 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 148261.
35982 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 2069.
113805 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 115292.
16133  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 15944.
37181  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 131678.
16066  should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 23220.
19639 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 16268.
36441 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 108245.
4272 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 7585.
FIXED 2564 should probably be marked as Pseudonym and merged with 2565.
FIXED 1320 is a Ps that has another PS.
OK 17771 should be removed completely?
FIXED 6405 this Pseudonym has Legal name which is even not the legal name of the real author, so what is it?

Qshadow 12:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

There's lots of interesting examples there. "Legal Name: Knox, Calvin Moses" obviously can't be right for a pseudonym. "Legal Name: Henry Bott: Used As Alternate Name By: Henry Bott" looks rather redundant. But some of them do NOT want merging - we record authors as stated, so "Charles McGraw" and "Charles G. McGraw" are different and should stay that way. BLongley 04:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
You asked how to fix these problems. There are different reasons why they're problems and have to handled accordingly. The first step is to determine which of the authors should be the canonical (parent) name and which one is the pseudonym. If the current set-up is not correct, you might have to break the relationship first. Use the "Make/Remove a Pseudonym" function on the author's summary page. If there is no canonical name given on the next page and the "Remove" button is missing, you must back out. That means the current author is considered the canonical name. If you believe that's wrong go to the pseudonym name, use the "Make/Remove a Pseudonym" function and click the "Remove" button to break the relationship. Then go back to the previous canonical name, click on the "Make/Remove a Pseudonym" link and enter the name of the previous pseudonym to make it the canonical (or parent) author. At no time should you use the MERGE AUTHORS function, which can only be done by using Advanced Search, giving each of the names in the first two boxes of the Author Search Form joined by "or". I'm telling you how to merge authors just to let you know it can be done, but also telling you that in these cases it should NOT be done. I've fixed the first three on your list. Mhhutchins 05:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Fear not, the ability to merge authors (or publishers) is no longer available unless you are a moderator! :) Ahasuerus 05:37, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Try to fix a few yourself and the moderators will gladly guide you through it. You may have to explain exactly what you're doing by posting a message on the Moderator board, or by placing a note in the Note to Moderator field when available (I'm not sure if all submissions have this option).
About the fourth from the last item on your list: I see no problem here. Can you point out why you think there's one?
About the penultimate item on your list: Why should "U. R. A. Furball" be removed? It was actually used as an author of a real story as really published in this issue of Analog.
About the last item on your list, "Calvin M. Knox" having a Legal Name: the editor who recorded this probably had a source that Silverberg intended the middle initial to stand for "Moses", maybe even in a fake biography in one of the magazines where the pseudonym was used. I agree it shouldn't be in the Legal Name field, but there should be a mention of it somewhere in the db, and in this case, probably on the Bio:Calvin M. Knox page. To remove legal name, birth, death, place of birth data on a pseudonym just use the "Edit Author Data" function, and clear the appropriate fields. Mhhutchins 05:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, guys! a lot of help and info here. I will try to explain:
  • "U. R. A. Furball" - I didn't think that "unknown" can have pseudonym, is this possible? Maybe just remove the Pseudonym link?
  • Knox, Calvin Moses - Fixed as Mhhutchins suggested, even Silverberg himself doesn't have a Bio page yet but his pseudonym already has ;)
  • Nobody commented on 1320 which is ps having ps, so I fixed it myself, hopefully correctly.
  • I am confused by the "Charles McGraw" and "Charles G. McGraw" - is this the same person? if yes, I thought that the rule is to gather all works under canonical author, and mark those written under pseudonyms "as by [pseudonym]", so for example "Dorella" from the same author is under canonical name, but why "Failure Reactions" is not?:
Dorella (1992) with Mark Garland [only as by Mark A. Garland and Charles G. McGraw ]
If I understand these rules I will feel confident to start fixing the rest of them. Qshadow 08:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

[unindent]

  • "unknown" is always the canonical (parent) author of an obvious pseudonym (especially a house penname) when the true author's name is unknown. Once that true author's name is known it is then easier to transfer the pseudonym and those title records associated with it. Mhhutchins 14:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I must admit this is one of those controversial areas. I personally don't like making anything a pseudonym of "unknown" - it hides away the problem rather than fixing it. We could fix Erin Hunter for instance, but given a little more time we'll find the real authors. I can understand giving up on some really old titles, but not the newer ones where the truth will out in the end. And some just have a total lack of interest from editors - Daisy Meadows needs fixing but we have nobody interested in those books. BLongley 19:29, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree it's not very pretty, but was a fix that the magazine editors came up with when it came to house pennames for which there is no evidence of the real author. (I don't even remember it coming up for discussion on the community pages when they were doing this.) I'd like to come up with a different name, but then I don't want to deal with the thousands of title records that are in the db. Mhhutchins 19:44, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Bio pages are only created when necessary, usually for authors who don't have wikipedia pages. Silverberg doesn't need a Bio page.
  • I didn't comment on all the items on your list, as I only checked some of them. If you have any questions on how to fix any particular one, just ask.
  • There is no "problem" with "Charles G. McGraw" (pseudonym). Yes, he's the same person as "Charles McGraw" (canonical). Just reverse the situation with "Brian Aldiss" (pseudonym) and "Brian W. Aldiss" (canonical). The problem is that one of the title records by "Charles G. McGraw" has not been varianted to "Charles McGraw". But that should not have come up as an "error". There are probably thousands of such errors in the db: title records that are still under the pseudonym name and have not yet been varianted to the canonical name. There's several hundred under this pseudonym alone. I'm going to fix the McGraw title record. Mhhutchins 14:34, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully I will understand the McGraw issue after I will see how you fixed it. I think I understand the source of confusion, when I said "remove" the "Failure Reactions" title from "Charles G. McGraw", I didn't mean "unlink it from this pseudonym" what I meant is "remove" it from appearing under it, and instead make it appear as variant title under real name. Of course it should be still linked to the pseudonym. Anyway I will see how it is done after you finish it. Qshadow 14:47, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I should let you do it, so you can better understand the situation (I won't call it a problem). Go to the title record here. Click on "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" under the Editing Tools menu. Go to the second section (below the heavy dark line) of the page that appears. Replace "Charles G. McGraw" with "Charles McGraw" then click on "Create New Parent Title". After the submission is accepted go to both author's pages, look for "Failure Reactions" on each page and you'll see what the submission accomplished. Mhhutchins 17:04, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Done it, and I see the result. It is as I thought. I will start fixing the other titles. Thanks. Qshadow 17:33, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I have just finished moving all author data from pseudonyms to real names, this what bothered me the most, as for moving the titles it is not really a problem, more a minor issue. Qshadow 20:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Merging on different pages

Hello. I was trying to merge this cover and that one but I can't (they're on two different pages) as I've the message "Error: You need to select at least two records to merge.". What Am I doing wrong ? Hauck 18:42, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I think the software is more to blame than you. :-/ You can get both titles on the same page by using advanced title search for "Cover: The Dramaturges of Yan" OR "Cover: La Derni" - note that "Cover: La Dernière Forteresse" seems to get confused by the accent. BLongley 19:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
However, I would say that you shouldn't MERGE them, but make the French title a Variant of the English one, as they have different titles. BLongley 19:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. I supposed that the basic "unit" was the illustration (the picture) itself and that it stayed the same even on different (and differently titled) books. This system of vtying doen't seem completely right to to me, so I'll abstain. Hauck 19:44, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Your choice, and I understand it. I suspect few people search for covers directly, and we're probably not the definitive source for artists anyway. Merging titles does help us Database-wise as it removes duplicates, but moderating such has only recently become easier and few editors (Dirk Broer being the main one that comes to mind) use it. If there is a title for the art itself, I could understand standardising on that, but when it's used on different titles I suspect Variants might be preferable. And we don't want to lose all the Language enhancements that mean we can record a title language even for COVERART, do we? ;-) BLongley 22:41, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
This is very much a case for creating a variant coverart title record, not merging. Because we give coverart records the name of the book that they illustrate it makes sense that the coverart record for a foreign language book retain the name of the book that it illustrates. If the same art was used for the cover of a differently titled book, then one would become the variant record of the other. Should the coverart record for La Dernière Forteresse be given the title "Cover: The Dramaturges of Yan"? I don't think so. They would be very hard to explain to a casual db user. Mhhutchins 05:36, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
You're both right, I've tried it and it's satisfying when viewed from Foss' page, the only thing that I think is missing is a kind of "link" (except when it's in the notes) from the second (or nth) usage of a cover to the first (here from AEVV's Book to Brunner's). Hauck 09:39, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that the artwork should -preferably- get the name that the artist has given it. If that lacks, then it's first known publication. The titles under the artwork should reflect the instances that artwork was used as coverart, regardless of the language. I also think that it would help to display the original artwork (thus without writer's name or title) along its record. Variants -in my eyes- are other outcuts, and perhaps the mirror images. But that is just my opinion. --Dirk P Broer 10:01, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
It's hard to know what an artist titles his work, almost impossible to know 99.99% of the time. That's why we choose to title artwork the same as the work that it illustrates, just as we do interiorart records. About displaying artwork without text, that would be copyright infringement, and would not be covered under "fair use" as in the case of book covers. I don't think we have enough money to hire a lawyer to protect us if we choose to display art. That doesn't mean there are aren't thousands of websites that do reproduce original art. That doesn't make it right. I'm even concerned that we link photographs to author summary pages without permission from the photographers, which is another case of blatant copyright infringement. Your other belief that we should create variants based on changes in design, details, color-tinting, cropping, mirroring is just not possible to do, and contradicts the definition of "variant" as it's used in the ISFDB, i.e. based on a change in author (artist) credit or title, not a change in text (content). Maybe if we ever get a "derivative" function, it could be implemented. Mhhutchins 18:59, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
You have made clear what is not to be considered as a variant, cover-art-wise. Are you able to define what variant cover art consists of just as easily? --Dirk P Broer 20:38, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and I quote from my previous comment: the definition of "variant" as it's used in the ISFDB, i.e. based on a change in author (artist) credit or title, not a change in text (content). This is true of all title records, regardless of the type: publication record, editor record, cover art record. A cover art record that is a variant based on title: an example, and a cover art record that is a variant based on author (artist) credit: an example. Mhhutchins 20:55, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
So the covers of the three Coronet Durdane titles are not to be considered variants of the original artwork? But then again, we have nowhere to enter a record for the original artwork, so the case is clear with your explanation. --Dirk P Broer 21:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Probably you're both right, Dirk's theoritical point of view : a work of art (titled by its author) should have a varying number of publications (or variants), one for each of the different book where it appears and Michael's practical one : we're not allowed to display it "naked" (not on the cover of a book) and its name is generally unknowable. There is also perhaps a language bias as I (as a frenchman) tend to percieve the word "variant" as meaning "slighty different than" (e.g. a rotated image or a B&W one) and not (as in ISFDB-parlance) meaning attibuted to a different author. The only point left to know is if in case of vt at the book title level or book author level (e.g. a typo later corrected) we should make also a variant of the cover art. Hauck 21:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Dirk, this file should not be on our server. Also, there's no record of it in our database, so there's no possibility of it being the parent record for any book publication of it. Hauck, you're right. It may be a matter of definition, so that's the reason I gave (and because I was asked) what is the ISFDB definition of the word. That should have settled it. Mhhutchins 21:48, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Shall I give a link to the site that displays the artwork, or shall I try to scan the three covers alongside each other in order to point out that the cover art for this trilogy forms one continious artwork? --Dirk P Broer 21:55, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
A link would be OK. Mhhutchins 22:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Placed six links, this file can be deleted once the six edits have been approved (I cannot do that myself). --Dirk P Broer 23:26, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Algorithms for automatically finding potential errors in DB

Hi, I would like to share some simple algorithms that I use to find errors in our DB, for example using such algorithm I found all the problematic loop Pseudonyms (some of them i listed in my post above), that should (probably) be fixed. I am thinking on several other algorithms to find dups & errors in titles, magazines, publications, etc... I suggest opening a new page dedicated to this (unless i missed it and it is already exists?). Regards, Qshadow 15:09, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

We usually create a mini-project page like the ones here: Bibliographic_Projects_in_Progress. We don't really have a standard place to record SQL tips and tricks - I dumped some of my original thoughts at Talk:Database_Schema, but most of my SQL is just inserted into related talk pages when people ask for help. BLongley 17:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Qshadow 17:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Publication under wrong title

I was trying to fix a problem with this publication 43693, being under wrong title, it should be under title "The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy II", but this title doesn't exist yet. I didn't find any possibility to create new title, I found only creation of new publication. So what do i do? Also how do you fill in all the contents? Is there some automatic filling (once I have filled ISBN), from other databases like openlibrary? Regards, Qshadow 11:42, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

(Before you proceed, read the entire message.) Go to the title record (click here, or in the future click on the "Title Reference" link in the publication record). Choose "Unmerge Titles" under the Editing Tools menu. Check the box for the publication that is under the wrong title record. Submit. Once approved, a new title record will be generated for (each of) the unmerged pub(s). You can then do any further necessary edits to the new title record(s), such as merging them with any matching existing records, placing them into series, etc. BUT in this case, it's not necessary, because the pub record you're referring to is an unwanted duplicate which is identical to this one. Just delete the first one. Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:01, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Bad ISBN number in Amazon

Hi All, sorry for bombarding this forum with questions, hope they are important. I just added new publication under "50 Great Short Stories" 825325(still pending review), but after that I found that the ISBN that i took from Amazon is probably wrong, see this review: Bad ISBN. So what do we do in this cases, how do I make sure? I searched on the net and all other DBs have the same ISBN... I wouldn't care as much about the ISBN if I wasn't worried that it may be used for automatic contents and other data filling for this book. and thus all the data would be corrupted. Regards, Qshadow 12:40, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

There is no such thing as "automatic contents and other data filling" (I wish!). All content entering is manual, unless you're either cloning an existing (manually entered) publication, or importing contents from an existing (manually entered) publication. Back to your question: ISBNs do link to various outside databases, see the list under "Other Sites" of the menu. So we try to make sure they're as correct as possible. In any case, we record EXACTLY as the number is stated in the book, and will make changes under certain circumstances if we know it's a bad number (each case is different, so just inquire if that should happen.) I'm assuming you're entering data from a book-in-hand. In this case, it appears that the ISBN is correct, at least according to this OCLC record. Does that record match your book? An even more important question: are these speculative fiction stories? If not, you should only enter those stories covered under our Definitions and Rules of Acquisition. Looking at the list of titles on the OCLC record, I see maybe ten stories that would qualify. Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:14, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Your submission is on hold, awaiting response to a few questions. Does your copy have a printed price? Is the title on the book's title page 50 Great Short Stories or Fifty Great Short Stories? (The OCLC record gives the former title.) Is your copy dated 1988 (with ISBN 0553277456)? There are earlier printings with different dates and ISBNs according to OCLC. Does it state the printing number? Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:20, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately I do not have the book, all the info is from Amazon. So most of your questions are irrelevant :( I was just going over all the Anthologies, finding the ones that need fixing. So I went to Amazon, and took all details from there, it is only in the comments page that I saw that ISBN may be wrong. Maybe the people who wrote it are mistaken. I will follow the guidelines when adding titles, thanks for the link. As for the Automatic data filling, theoretically it is possible, it is just that we need someone to write the script ;) Qshadow 15:17, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Don't let Amazon be your sole source. Because it is so often incorrect, it should only be used as a corroborating source. And because you're not working from the book itself, you must record the sources for your data in the note field. Again, only add speculative fiction contents, and note the incompleteness of the record. I suggest that you cancel the submission and update the first edition, then use it as a clone source for later editions. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I cancelled the submission, though I chose it because it was the most complete representative of the title out of all publications, meaning it had contents, and all other info. On the other hand the 1952 doesn't have anything, and I can't find any data to put there. Regards, Qshadow 19:42, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Your submission was for a new pub, and it had no contents (that's why in my original response I asked that you be careful not to add non-spec-fic stories.) If you wished to add more complete data for this title, I suggested that you first update the 1952 edition (meaning adding the pertinent contents), from which you can clone the 1988 edition of your original submission. This would take some research if you don't have a copy of the book itself. For the most part, a better approach to learning how to enter pubs, especially collections and anthologies, is to first enter a book-in-hand. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:00, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
The nearest thing we have to "Automatic data filling" is allowing bots like Fixer and Dissembler to create submissions. And they haven't proven themselves to be reliable enough to allow them to work unsupervised. BLongley 17:40, 16 August 2011 (UTC)


'Add Publication to this Title' link not appearing

I am trying to add the first edition of Olaf Stapledon's "The Flames: A Fantasy" to the title's page, but the 'Add Publication to this Title' link is not appearing anywhere in the left column. How to work around this? PeteYoung 03:38, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

That function is not available when the title is SHORTFICTION type. You have to create a record for the publication in which the story appeared. If the story appeared in a stand-alone volume, choose "Add New Chapterbook" and be sure to add a content record for the story itself. Mhhutchins 04:08, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I've added the 1947 first edition here. Was this the publication you wanted to add to the db? Mhhutchins 16:25, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's the one, thanks. I'll be able to add the cover price later as the book isn't currently to hand, but for now I've added its Wikipedia entry.PeteYoung 08:34, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Beginning questions

I am new to ISFDB and have a few questions about getting started. My initial project will be to add as much info as I can to the books referenced in 'Horror: 100 Best Books', and 'Horror: Another 100 Books' (that aren't currently filled in). I'm a horror fan and have made a hobby out of trying to collect and read as many of the books in these lists as possible. I also have a fairly extensive collection of horror anthologies that I plan on adding (when needed) to the db. I have a few questions related to anthologies that I wish to ask.

First, what is the difference between SHORTSTORY, SHORTFICTION, NOVELLA, and NOVELETTE? I assume that this is discussed somewhere but I couldn't find the relevant definitions. Hyperdex 19:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

SHORTFICTION is an ISFDB term for all fiction that is less than NOVEL length. Check out the Length section of the General Contents help page to see the differences in the three other designations. Mhhutchins 21:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Second, am I correct in assuming a COLLECTION is a collection of stories by a single author and an ANTHOLOGY contains stories by multiple authors? Hyperdex 19:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that's correct. Mhhutchins 21:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Third, I am going to be entering in a few entries that contain a large number of stories. Is it kosher to enter the whole book in multiple submissions? I ask this because I am going to be doing this in bits and pieces and won't have the required time to enter some of these books in one sitting. Hyperdex 19:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

It's a very good idea to enter such large content anthologies in several submissions. You don't want to lose all your efforts if the slip of the finger on the backspace button causes your browser to be unable to return to the page you're working on. Most moderators will understand that you're entering contents piecemeal, but it would be a good idea to let them know in the "Note to the Moderator" field what you're doing. BUT remember, you must wait before a submission has been accepted before you start a new submission to add more contents. Unless there's a problem that may require an answer for the moderator, it shouldn't be too long a wait. Mhhutchins 21:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Something else to keep in mind when entering a collection or anthology: first check to see if there is another edition of the book already in the database. It's a lot easier to clone or import contents than to manually record each content record and then have to merge it with the matching content record. Mhhutchins 21:16, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

I will probably have more questions later, but this is a good start. I apologize in advance if this is not the right spot for questions of this form. If it is, just point me in the right direction. Dave aka Hyperdex 19:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)Hyperdex

Don't hesitate to ask on this page if any questions arise. Someone will be able to help you if you stumble into unknown territory. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 21:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, please carry on. Horror is one of our weakest areas, and one of our vaguest: see ISFDB:Policy#Definitions, the "Supernatural" section. We don't want all horror, but we certainly want some more than we currently have. (We could lose a few too, but people aren't brave enough to delete much.) BLongley 00:26, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
One of these days I'll be rich enough (or foolish enough) to purchase a copy of Ashley/Contento's Supernatural Index. That index alone would help fill in the majority of horror shortfiction (in anthologies and collections) up to 1995. And once I've gone through my copy of Reginald, that should deal with the book-length horror titles through 1974. It was the horror boom years of the 1980s-1990s where we probably have the least coverage. I wonder how good Locus was at keeping up with horror in those years? Mhhutchins 00:59, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Running Fuzzy duplicate finder on all Authors

Hi guys, I am running fuzzy duplicate finder on all authors (that are not pseudonyms) to find bad entries, and/or pseudonyms that are not marked as such, I only passed letter A so far (I got 2277 fuzzy dups that differ in one letter only) of course most of them obviously are not duplicates, but some of them ARE very high probability dups, for example:

16443	Alan Frackelton vs. 127297	Alan Frackleton
295	Alexander Jablokov vs. 159129	Alexander Joblokov
10807	Alice Laurance vs. 23603	Alice Laurence
116891	Anna Martin vs. 12823	Anya Martin
100905	Arthur Pendragan vs. 14138	Arthur Pendragon

This is by far not the full list of all problems even in the letter A. I need more time to do full work. After I post here my results it will be hundreds of potential dups, and checking them all is a real effort that will take several people. So is this the correct place to put it? Or maybe on [Bibliographic Projects in Progress] ? Regards, Qshadow 21:31, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Create a new page, post the data there, and then place a link to it on the Projects page. Do you know how to create a Wiki page? Mhhutchins 21:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Here is new page Fuzzy_duplicate_finder_on_all_Authors, I added the link to the projects as well. Please look on a few authors there and let me know if I am really found something interesting, or are they all genuine authors? Qshadow 22:34, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Very interesting. Some of them are obviously the same author, but the question is: are they here because of entry typos, or were the titles entered as actually credited in the publications themselves, which will require the creation of pseudonyms and variants. It will take some research on each of them before we start merging and/or correcting. Thanks for the list. I'll poke around it when I get some time. Hopefully, other editors will do the same. Mhhutchins 22:38, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, looks interesting. Some project pages peter out when the questions get too hard, but we normally come out of it with better data. Thanks for this. BLongley 00:05, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Total Number of titles per Author

Hi, I would like to be able to generate a table where I have

AuthorID TotalNumberofTitlesPerAuthor

How can I do this? More difficult question is: if I would like to get number of titles to include also titles written by all pseudonyms of this author, is this even possible? I am working on several interesting statistical pages, in addition I am using this information to help me find bad entries (for example title or author with high number of views BUT belonging to Author that has TotalTitles=1 is very suspicious, it may indicate mistype or unmarked pseudonym of some famous Author), if I could get this table and go over it, I may find something interesting. Regards, Qshadow 08:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

You need to work with the canonical_author table. Something like:
select ca.author_id, count(distinct t.title_id)
from canonical_author ca, titles t
where ca.ca_status = 1 and ca.title_id = t.title_id and t.title_parent = 0
group by ca.author_id;
ca_status = 1 gets you author (I think 2 is reviewer and 3 is interviewer, although I did not go check). The title_parent = 0 constraint will get you only the parent titles (something that's not a variant of something else), which should cope well enough with pseudonyms; properly configured pseudonyms will have no non-variant titles of their own, while ones that are not yet set up completely will show those non-variant titles as their count. --MartyD 11:00, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, this was much easier then I though. But it doesn't count titles by pseudonym authors, right? Qshadow 11:51, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I somehow missed the last part of your message ;) But what if I would like to count views per Author (including views of their Pseudonyms)? Regards, Qshadow 13:35, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
There's an annual views column on the authors table, and you can go to the pseudonyms table to find the canonical author (if any):
select a.author_id, p.pseudonym, a.author_annualviews
from authors a LEFT JOIN pseudonyms p
ON a.author_id = p.author_id
Hope that helps. BLongley 16:42, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks BLongley, but this is not what I want (well another option is that i didn't understand your solution), What I want is to get
AuthorID SUM(author_views of this parent author + author_views of all his pseudonyms)
For example if AuthorA (100 views) has two Pseudonyms PS1 (60 views) & PS2 (10 views), I will get:
AuthorA 170
I have tried using COUNT(DISTINCT a.author_views), but i got column with all 1. Regards, Qshadow 17:16, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I think I got it, I used SUM instead of COUNT, and it looks like it works, i am checking now. Qshadow 17:32, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Nope, SUM didn't help me. I get either millions of views, or if I use SUM(DISTINCT I get only the parent views. Need some help, thanks. Qshadow 17:35, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like you forgot the GROUP BY. And you have to allow for Authors with no pseudonyms. Try:
select if(p.pseudonym is null, a.author_id, p.pseudonym) main_auth, SUM(a.author_annualviews)
from authors a LEFT JOIN pseudonyms p
ON a.author_id = p.author_id
GROUP BY main_auth
Is that more like it? BLongley 18:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Nope, I run it as is (only changed author_annualviews to author_views), and here what I got (I am running on old dump, so the view numbers are low)
1	4674
13	12288
16	12769
19	3762
23	26307
30	14032
So, only Authors that do not have Pseudonyms got in. Qshadow 19:00, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
It's going to be difficult to compare numbers if we have different dumps. And are you running with a LIMIT clause? As Author 23 does have a pseudonym: e.g. I get this total:
select if(p.pseudonym is null, a.author_id, p.pseudonym) main_auth, SUM(a.author_views)
from authors a LEFT JOIN pseudonyms p
ON a.author_id = p.author_id
where (p.pseudonym = 37827 or a.author_id = 37827)
GROUP BY main_auth
main_auth	SUM(a.author_views)
37827		29731
From this raw data:
select a.author_id, p.pseudonym, a.author_views
from authors a LEFT JOIN pseudonyms p
ON a.author_id = p.author_id
where (p.pseudonym = 37827 or a.author_id = 37827)
author_id 	pseudonym	author_views
23		37827		28998
37827				733		
I see now you expected the authors the other way around, but have you considered house names like Erin Hunter? BLongley 20:02, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I see now what the problem is, the script doesn't give me
AuthorA 170

OR in your example i would like to see

main_auth	SUM(a.author_views)
23             29731

instead it gives me

PS1 170
PS2 170

which is not good, how can I get only the Real names? (yes i considered the house names, I will remove all the pseudonyms from the results, so I want to end only with real authors) Regards, Qshadow 09:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) Maybe we should start a SQL coding help page somewhere. What you need to do is produce a sum of the author views of each pseudonym, grouped by canonical author, and add that to the canonical author's views. I.e., combine:

select a.author_id, a.author_views from authors a
where not exists (select p.* from pseudonyms p where p.pseudonym = a.author_id);

with

select a.author_id, sum(pa.author_views) from authors a, pseudonyms p, authors pa
where a.author_id = p.author_id and p.pseudonym = pa.author_id group by a.author_id;

It's a light-dimmer, but something like this:

select a.author_id, a.author_views + sum(pa.author_views)
from authors a
left outer join (pseudonyms p, authors pa) on (a.author_id = p.author_id and p.pseudonym = pa.author_id)
where not exists (select p.* from pseudonyms where p.pseudonym = a.author_id)
group by a.author_id, a.author_views;

That took over 3 minutes to execute on my computer, and the results aren't quite right (In my copy of the DB, I get ~78000 authors that are not pseudonyms, but the above produces almost 85000 results). I tried using a temporary table and doing an outer join over that, but I couldn't figure out a syntax MySQL would accept. --MartyD 11:37, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

And some days we are just far too clever for our own good. Here's a simple, fast way that seems to work, no outer joins required:
select x.author_id, sum(x.author_views) from (
  -- Selects id, view count for non-pseudonym author records
  select a.author_id, a.author_views from authors a
  where not exists (select p.* from pseudonyms p where p.pseudonym = a.author_id)
 union
  -- Selects id, total view count for all pseudonyms of that id
  select a.author_id, sum(pa.author_views) as author_views from authors a, pseudonyms p, authors pa
  where a.author_id = p.author_id and p.pseudonym = pa.author_id group by a.author_id
) x
group by x.author_id;
Completes in under a minute on my machine, finding what I think is the expected number. I confess, I did not perform any QA to speak of. :-) Hope this helps. --MartyD 12:49, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks MartyD, at last it works! Now i need only try and understand what you did there ;) Qshadow 17:10, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm still trying to figure out what the value is. :-/ If we've got an author with multiple pseudonyms set up right, then counting views of the pseudonyms is just counting hits on pages that redirect to the canonical author with all the data - e.g. Iain Banks to Iain M. Banks. That strikes me as double-counting.
Hm... Maybe you are right, and if yes my life will be much simpler :) But I am confused by some cases when the Pseudonym has MORE views then the real name, if what you say is right the pseudonym views should always be <= real name views. For example let's take 2857 J. D. Robb (8594 views) vs 4853 Nora Roberts (6579 views), please help me understand such cases. Maybe this happened because at some point J. D. Robb was not marked as pseudonym? or had unique titles not marked as variants of Nora Roberts? I am really puzzled. Maybe I should use MAX value of Author and his pseudonyms, and this will be better then just Author views or SUM, what do you think? Qshadow 09:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
For House Names, where people are even more likely to go the pseudonym first, then find they need to go to several other pages, I can understand counting hits on each canonical author as well (which is why I proposed my last suggestion) - but those still get some double-counting as it will count hits on the canonical authors that didn't go via the pseudonym. The more I think about it, the less useful summing up all the author views seems to be. :-( Still, if that's what you want to do, go for it! I'm always interested in new uses of our data. BLongley 22:45, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
For House names you are absolutely right, I am going to use their original views only. by the way I wanted to suggest new field for Pseudonym Schema, that would set the PS type: HOUSE_NAME, JOINT_PS, REGULAR_PS, etc... what do you think? Qshadow 09:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Awards Editing

I think I've stumbled across a bug with Awards Editing. I've left the submission in the queue to aid with investigation. What happens is that I get "<class '_mysql_exceptions.ProgrammingError'>: (1064, "You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'Shea' where award_id=38099' at line 1")" when attempting to approve the submission. I suspect this may have something to do with one of the authors having an apostrophe in her name. The odd thing is that the edit appears to have taken (Best Related Work. I was marking the winner of the award from an existing nominee record and it appears to have been so marked. Feel free to delete my submission when investigations are complete. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 15:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the relevant update got through:
update awards set award_level='1' where award_id=37799 
But the script also attempts to update the Award Authors (unnecessarily in this case):
update awards set award_author='Lynne M. Thomas+Tara O'Shea' where award_id=37799
and gets confused by the unbalanced single quotes. I thought we had Bug 2828187 "Awards for Authors with apostrophes in the name are broken" by that appears to be for a slightly different problem. BLongley 16:22, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Project: ISFDB:Data Consistency/Pseudonyms With Titles

The project page ISFDB:Data_Consistency/Pseudonyms_With_Titles was not updated for a long time (since 2009!), I have made a new query, and would like to post new data and create a new project, since the data in the old one is mostly irrelevant now. I suggest leaving the old one as reference. The new query gave me only 817 titles that are truly orphaned. It doesn't look that much considering the size of our DB. So few weeks effort and we fix this. So how do you suggest to proceed? Regards, Qshadow 17:55, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

What is your definition of "orphaned"? The original project was to show pseudonymous authors that had title records which had not been made into variant records by the canonical author. These title records are not "orphans" as we have grown to use the term here on the ISFDB. (This is what we call titles which have no pub records.) As for creating a new list, please do so. And there's no need to keep the old one, even as a reference. If you update the same page with a new list, the old list remains in the Wiki history of the page. I would suggest that you use the same format as the original list, linking the pseudonymous authors to their summary page. I look forward to seeing your list. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:42, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
IF your script does what Michael rightly says was the original intent, then yes, please go for it. But when you mention "only 817 titles" I think you might be looking at a different problem - I'm sure our artists will provide far more problem titles than that. BLongley 23:49, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I do mean exactly what Michael says about original intent, but guilty, I was running the script only on authors who wrote SF (using type 'NOVEL','SHORTFICTION','SERIAL'), lets start with those and move to others when we finish them. I will create a new list as soon as my real job ;) allows. Regards, Qshadow 08:49, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
BTW, I was running on my old dump, now when i rerun on the (almost) latest dump 2011-08-13, I got 1076 titles by 407 Authors. Qshadow 12:39, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I have just finished creating new page, it is not EXACTLY in the same format as the old one, but it is easier for me to work with this format. Qshadow 13:24, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
It looks fine. I'll start working on it when I have the time. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:10, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Series_parent comparison to 0

I am trying to build simple IF below, but for some reason, even when series parent is not set i never get TRUE value for the IF i have tried '0', NULL, \N,

IF(s.series_parent='0',s.series_id,s.series_parent)

What should I use? Thanks, Qshadow 19:10, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

ifnull(s.series_parent,s.series_id) --MartyD 22:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. Qshadow 08:04, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

So I accidentally un-verified a pub

I went to verify a publication as Primary2, but un-checked Primary by mistake while I was at it. Which added me as 2nd verifier but happily removed the first verifier without confirmation. Oops. Restoring the "Primary" field to "Verified" set it back to verified, but with me as verifier. Double oops. My questions are: a) can the original verifier be restored? b) should not the database at least confirm attempts to un-verify a pub, and c) might there be some clarification in the help that this is a bad thing to do? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by jcameron (talkcontribs) .

I think we've got this recorded as a problem: FR 3089013 "Prevent accidental removal of verifications by another editor (allow moderator override?)". At the moment, I think the answers are a) only by the original verifier, b) Yes (in my opinion), and c) Yes (again, in my opinion), but Help updates can be done far more easily than Code changes. BLongley 01:24, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Which pub record did you un-verify? We can always check to see if any of the active editors was the one to verify it. If not, you may as well make yourself the primary 1 verifier. Mhhutchins 01:52, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Looking at "Recent Verifications", I guess it's this? I can't tell from the backups who verified it first - we do remove stuff that might invade privacy. But looking at who uploaded the cover you used suggests it might be me - I'll check it out later. BLongley 02:54, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that was the one. I can't remember who was the original verifier; I didn't make a note of it, not expecting this to happen. Thanks; I'll just try to be a bit more careful in future. Jcameron 12:36, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Checked now, and I do have that printing. I'm going to assume it was me as original Verifier and I'll reclaim that spot. Only Ahasuerus or Al could check for sure who did it, but I'm happy to give up that spot if someone else claims to have got there before me. It's comparatively recently that we enabled multiple Primary Verifications and I know that some of my early desired edits were a bit spoiled when someone had got there first. (Which is why I added such Verifications, and even since then I sometimes find all 5 slots filled up before I return to them!) There's probably some improvements still to be made - active editors are often (quite rightly) upset if someone changes a book they put so much effort into checking, but some Verifiers have quit editing or talking, so sometimes checking with all Verifiers is a bit of a pain. BLongley 22:36, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Getting new data/getting specific info

hello, I am trying to use the database and am very impressed with its completeness. However, for the project I am currently trying, it would need to be up to date information- is there anyway to get this data refreshed on a monthly basis? Alternatively, is there an api I could use to access isfdbs database to always ensure I'm getting the most up to date info? (something like isfdb.org/api?author_id=1 to get all posts by the first author id) many thanks.--Jlightbody 18:44, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

We can do better than monthly - it is usually updated weekly: see ISFDB_Downloads. There is a Web API as well: Web_API, but not by author, just by ISBN. We might add such in future but we have a bit of a backlog on development at present. BLongley 22:50, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I saw the download page, but the files are rather bulky- I was wondering if there was a download that so you could just get the new data fetched, not the existing stuff.Jlightbody 02:25, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid not. The data isn't stamped with any kind of "last-updated" information so it's impossible to do a "changes-only" download. Sorry! BLongley 22:31, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
okay. thanks for all the help.Jlightbody 23:47, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
No problem, we try to help even when it's bad news. You can of course use things like www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?1 to get all titles by Author Number 1, but we'd rather you didn't work through all the author numbers - we're generously sponsored for site-hosting at the moment, but not that much. (We've been killed off by three past hosts at least, and I'm always wary of encouraging more non-standard usage.) I'm happy to work on API improvements and anything else that means people get the data that they want rather than the data we provide - for instance, I don't dare come here on my mobile phone as it takes 5% of my monthly data allowance just to visit the home-page! :-( BLongley 02:16, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Co-author question

I've been corresponding by e-mail with John F. Carr, since I had some questions regarding his books that I wanted to clarify for their record here. Anyway, he asked my why Roland Green was credited as a co-author on some of his books, and I explained that it was because Roland was listed as co-author on the title pages. The only story that Roland actually helped with was Great Kings' War. This is what John wrote to me:

Also, on the Kalvan books, I do not know why Roland is listed as co-author on them as he hasn't written a word for any of the Kalvan books since "Great Kings' War" was published. We did co-author one Kalvan novella, Siege at Tarr-Hostigos for "There Will Be War: Armageddon," 1989, Baen Books, New York, NY. Also, I wrote (by myself) a novella, Kalvan Kingmaker, which appeared in "Alternatives," edited by Robert Adams, 1989, Baen Books, New York, NY.

I replied to that with the explanation regarding the title pages. He then wrote:

I included Roland's names in those books as a courtesy, and -- at the time -- I had hoped we still might write together again. No such luck; Roland had a serious heart-attack in the late 90s and also went partially blind.... Sadly, Roland hasn't written anything in over a decade. I'm deleting his name (except from Great Kings' War, of course) from the new 2nd editions, such as the new "Kalvan Kingmaker." I'll probably bring out a 2nd edition of "Siege of Tarr-Hostigos" next year, as well as an e-book. Although, I'm working on the e-book now.

I'm wondering what the policy here is for this request? Thanks :) (P.S. For those of you that didn't know, John is now publishing e-book versions of his hardcovers) AndonSage 21:21, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

We can't disregard the credits that actually appear on the book's title pages. It's possible to make each of the title records into variants of a parent title record such as the credits will read Siege of Tarr-Hostigos by John F. Carr [as by John F. Carr and Roland Green]. I'm confused that in one email he writes "I do not know why Roland is listed as co-author" and then on a subsequent one writes "I included Roland's names in those books as a courtesy". Is it faulty memory? Are you in contact with Roland Green who may be the only person who can confirm Carr's assertion? Mhhutchins 22:11, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I think John didn't understand that because he included Roland's name as a co-author on the title page, that Roland would be getting credit as co-author here. The only book whose front cover has Roland's name on it is "Great Kings' War"; the "Siege of Tarr-Hostigos" novel only has John's name on the cover. We're really only talking about changing one publication, Siege of Tarr-Hostigos and one short story, Kalvan Kingmaker, here. In regards to the "Kalvan Kingmaker" short story, I don't know why Roland is credited, as I don't have the Alternatives book that it's listed in, but I ordered a used copy from Amazon today so I can check it myself. I am not in contact with Roland Green. AndonSage 22:37, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
You can always ask the verifier of the record. That's one of the reasons why we verify pubs. According to the OCLC record, only Carr is credited with "Kalvan Kingmaker". Locus1 credits both, which may be the origin of the error (if it's an error.) Cover credit means next to nothing as far as most bibliographers are concerned. Dustjackets are not a permanent part of a book and are often separated from the book. Cover credits often differ from a title page credits, so we had to make a choice about which matters more. And of course, title page credit would naturally trump cover credit. Mhhutchins 22:50, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I wanted to wait until I could check the book myself, before contacting the primary verifier, but since you found the story as only by John F. Carr in the OCLC, I went ahead and posted a message on [Don Erikson's discussion page]. So that takes care of the short story. In regards to "Siege of Tarr-Hostigos," we have to stick with what's on the title page, yes? When the second edition comes out, without Roland's name in it, does a variant record get created, then? AndonSage 23:21, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Author Disambiguation

This help page recommends that when we encounter multiple authors with exactly the same name, that we make their names unique by appending their birth and death years in parenthesis after the name. No suggestion is given on how to work this if both (or all) of the author's dates are unknown. I am pretty sure that John Davis is at least two and likely three or four different authors. I just added the 1929 story from Miller/Contento which sometimes does have birth and death dates but does not in this instance. I suspect that the other distinct authors are 1) the artist, 2) the writer of the two 90s stories (Locus has no birth or death dates) and 3) the essayist whose picture and web page are linked (again no dates). Do folks agree that we likely have 4 authors here? If so, what would be the preference for disambiguating the names? I can suggest John Davis (I), John Davis (II), etc. or we could go with John Davis (artist), John Davis (twenties), John Davis (nineties) and John Davis (essayist). Thoughts? Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 05:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

An " (artist)" suffix seems to have become the defacto standard for such - just remember to adjust the "last name" field on the newly created author, I don't think the software will do that for you. I'd be OK with " (essayist)" suffix too with the same proviso. "Decade of writing" suffixes seem little used, we only seem to have one of the Sternbach authors set up that way. BLongley 22:42, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

separating authors with the same name

Although I have read the help info on separating authors, it is still not clear to me how to do this if different author entries do not already exist. Specifically, the author entry for Peter Roberts conflates 2 different authors (I know, because I am one of them), & needs to be divided into 2 entries. Could someone please tell me how to accomplish this? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PeterRoberts (talkcontribs) .

I'm afraid you need to go to each title you know about on the Peter Roberts page and change the author to something more distinctive. Presumably you know your own work and could add your Birth Year (if you're happy to reveal such) or Country of Birth to your own works? (We don't expect you to know anything about the other(s), although if you do that would help.) BLongley 22:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, when I go to the Peter Roberts page & select a work, the only author option that seems to be available to me simply takes me back to the same page that lists all the works of both Peter Robertses, & it's not clear to me that editing that author page does anything but alter the data for both (although I dad add some additional info about myself). There is no obvious way to create a new author page from that point, & I don't know how to create a new author page from scratch, so I'm still at a loss for how to disambiguate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PeterRoberts (talkcontribs) .
You can't change the author page. You can change the title credit for any of the titles. Click on the name of the work that you wrote. Then choose "Edit Title Data" under the Editing Tools menu. On the next page, change the name in the Author1 field to "Peter Roberts (1975-)" (or whatever). Then submit. (Please sign each comment with four tildes when posting on the Wiki.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:34, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Are you logged in when you try it? That might cause the problem. I'm not sure which one you are, but if you wrote The Corobite Mines, go there and choose "Edit Title Data" under "Editing Tools". If you're the poet that wrote Bridges, do the same there. If you're the author of The Trial of Jeremy Owens, do it there. If you wrote all those letters to Vector, do it on each of those. You can't create a totally new Author page with one edit, we need to check each title one by one. There might actually be more than two of you! ;-) BLongley 01:41, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I suspect at least three authors. The author of the 1978 novel may very well be a pseudonym. All of the early 1970s essays are probably by one guy. And the 2000s short stories are probably by another writer. Mhhutchins 01:54, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
I can believe up to five. :-/ Let's see what this one knows about and we (for a very loose value of "we") can sort out the rest later. BLongley 02:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. What I didn't know before was that I needed to go in under "Edit Title Data" (this does not seem entirely intuitive to me - I would have expected an "Edit Author Data" option) - now I know. To help (at least partially) clear up the question of how many authors named Peter Roberts there may be, I am only responsible for the short stories & the poem (as well as more of each, which I will add later as time permits). PeterRoberts 05:41, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that our current User Interface is still more "User-Vicious" than "User-Friendly". :-( Those of us that have mastered it are usually willing to teach, and some of us will take suggestions for improvement as well and try to update Help pages or even the software itself. Please carry on editing and we'll try and learn from you as much as you learn from us. BLongley 02:49, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Adding a short story found on a publisher's web page

Hi all, I'd like to add an entry for a free short story I found on a publisher's webpage because it is a prequel to a series already entered in ISFDB. As far as I can tell, it is the only place it is published.

Do I do this as a chapterbook? or what container (if that's the right term) should I select? ... Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 01:46, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, Chapterbook is usually the best for that situation. Kevin 02:30, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you --clarkmci / j_clark 04:10, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it's not eligible for entry into the database, unless it's downloadable as an ebook. See #15 under the Rules of Acquisition. Once the story is published in a book, you can always note its original publication. Mhhutchins 04:17, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Also, you can create a stub record for the story itself without creating a permanent pub record for the website publication ("chapterbook"). This way there's a title record of the story in the database without violating any Rules of Acquisition. Mhhutchins 14:06, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Understand re Rules of Acquisition. To create the stub, is the following what you have in mind? &/or is there a quicker way?
(1.) Add New Something (typing just title & author); then (2.) Edit Title to change to type SHORTFICTION, plus type Notes regarding the story/situation; then (3.) delete the publication record that was created? ... Thanks, --clarkmci / j_clark 12:41, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
That's pretty much how you do it (Ahaseurus taught me that trick). I use "Add New Collection" so that a content entry field can be added to the record, and then enter the story (or stories) in those fields. Once it's in the db, I delete the pub record and the content title records remain. Mhhutchins 15:31, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Missing title reference

How is it that this pub doesn't have a title reference? Did I miss something at the time of editing? Waldstein 14:57, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Did you create this record, or update an existing one? It's possible that you overwrote the title record, which can only be done on certain types of publications, such as NONFICTION. You'll have to update the record and add a new title record, then merge that title record with the existing one. Click on "Edit This Pub". Scroll down under the Content section until you see a button "Add Title". Then fill in the title field as "Profiles of the Future". Under the entry type field choose NONFICTION. Then under the author field enter "Arthur C. Clarke". After the submission is accepted you can merge the title records and this pub will be listed with the other pubs under the same title record. Mhhutchins 15:27, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I was trying to remember exactly what I did. I think first I cloned the pub, but then canceled that and edited an existing pub. Anyway, I will do as you say. Waldstein 18:25, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Looks beautiful now. Thank you. Waldstein 19:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Chapterbook series or Short Fiction series?

Hi, I am working on an author [2] who has published a series of chapterbooks (i.e. short kids books) - The Sunken Kingdom. It was in as 1 novel and 3 chapterbooks. The series had been set up as the novel + 3 short fiction. I changed the novel to chap. & put the short fiction title into the series, but the result looks odd to me: 4 chapbks not in a series, then a short fiction series. Is this our std way to do it, or should it be a chapterbook series? ... Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 03:59, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

There was some work done several months back to allow chapterbooks to be placed into series without causing display problems, but the general conclusion was that the shortfiction content title record should be placed into the series, not the chapterbook title record. The display you point to looks OK to me because you can't have both title records in the series. You can experiment to see how it would look. Place both into the series, and then remove the shortfiction from the series. I think you'll come to the same conclusion that the shortfiction displays better. Mhhutchins 04:20, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure that we achieved a consensus (we usually don't) but in this case I agree the Shortfiction looks better. But why not do both? One series here and a new "The Sunken Kingdom Chapterbooks" series? BLongley 19:37, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
I personally don't feel the need to change juvenile novels to Chapterbooks, I'd be happy to keep them as novels of "jvn" length, but if people are going the chapterbook way then there is no reason to let one set of works be sorted right and the other wrong. BLongley 19:37, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Correct Title question

I have a question about the correct title for Sacrifice (the second book in the Mortal Path series) by Dakota Banks. It's my understanding that we are to use the title from the title page in the book. For this book, the front cover, the spine, and the title page all have "Sacrifice (over) Mortal Path (over) Book Two". So shouldn't the title be "Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book Two"? The record was already created, and I didn't want to change it without asking. FYI, Dakota Banks website also lists the title as "Sacrifice: Mortal Path Book Two".

Second question... if the title needs to be changed, will changing it in the publication record take care of everything, or does it need changed elsewhere? BTW, I currently have an edit submitted for this book, that doesn't have a title change, so that should be accepted first. Then the title can be changed if necessary. Thanks :) AndonSage 04:13, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

We don't include the Title Series, or series number, in the title of an individual book. That's recorded elsewhere (in the series record). So a book might be listed on its title page (and elsewhere) as, say, "Star Trek Starfleet Academy - Crisis on Vulcan", but we would process this as the series title (Star Trek Starfleet Academy) and the book title (Crisis on Vulcan). So in your case, the book really should be called "Sacrifice", and nothing more. Chavey 13:20, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
That's what I needed to know! Thanks! :) AndonSage 20:41, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
That's not an absolute. Per the help: Note that the title page may show the series name, and sometimes the publication's position in the series. It is left to the editor's discretion on if this should be part of the "title" that you enter for the publication. If you don't enter the series name as part of the ISFDB title then editors are encouraged to include a note explaining how the title is stated on the title page.
Both ways are acceptable and both ways are found in the database. --JLaTondre 21:52, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, J. AndonSage 07:45, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Page Count Question

I hope I am posting this in the correct place. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merlene (talkcontribs) .

Yes, it's fine here. BLongley 20:34, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

I have been a book seller/collector for many years. I am used to arriving at the page count by using all of the pieces of paper multiplied by 2, excluding the free endpapers. I have noticed, here for example: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?47738 "The Stainless Steel Rat Goes To Hell" is listed at 253 pages (the length of the story), while I would have listed it at 256.

I will use whatever method is appropriate--did not find a definition here when I ran "search".

Thank you, —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merlene (talkcontribs) .

We go by the last page number of the story, possibly allowing for one final unnumbered page. See Template:PublicationFields:Pages. Note that Magazine page numbering is done differently to Book page numbering, so be sure to read to the end where the "count forward" is explained. BLongley 20:34, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Anyone recognize this signature?

I'm hoping someone recognizes a signature. I'm waiting for a record edit for Cluster by Piers Anthony to be approved, then I'll upload the cover image. But in the mean time, the signature looks like a P within a V, sitting on top of a T (or possibly a J). It's copyright 1984, if that helps place the artist. Thanks. AndonSage 07:49, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Just in case anyone else was thinking of doing it, I went through all of the signatures we have in our Artists' Signatures collection, and did not find one like this description. Chavey 12:48, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
The cover image has been uploaded and be found here. The signature is at the lower right corner. AndonSage 02:31, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Anthony's bibliography by PSP gives as illustrators for the 8th printing Victoria Poyser & K. E. Johnson, it seems coherent with the initials as readable even if the signature is not looking like the one used by Poyser alone. Hauck 05:26, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I can definitely see how the initials for those two people are incorporated into the signature. I added your explanation to the notes for the record. AndonSage 08:08, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Confusing variants

I can't figure out the right approach to a set of variants I'm entering. In "The Destroyer" series, there were two books published about the universe of the series, in 1982 and 1985 (and another later, but I'll stick to these two). Most of the stories are "in-universe essays" written as by "Chiun", the fictional Master of Sinanju, but actually written by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. But many of them were re-titled between the 1982 book and the 1985 book. So, for example, we have "Can You Kill A Close Friend?" (1985) by Chiun, which should be a variant of "Can You Kill a Close Friend?" by Murphy & Sapir, but should also be a variant of "Thoughts on Killing a Friend" (1982) by Chiun, and then each of the last two should be a variant of "Thoughts on Killing a Friend" by Murphy & Sapir. But of course I can't actually do that. So how do I enter these stories? Chavey 13:23, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Sometimes it's easier than you think. There should be a canonical title, usually the first published title by the real author(s) (in this case the 1982 version, "Thoughts on Killing a Friend" by Murphy and Sapir. All others are variants of the canonical, so there is no need to create a record for "Can You Kill a Close Friend?" by Murphy and Sapir, or a chain of variants. --Willem H. 14:32, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks much, I'll do that.

Missing Images

Is there any listing of books that are missing images? Thanks, Merlene —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merlene (talkcontribs) .

No, and the list would be too long to post. If you're volunteering, let me know which kind of books you can provide images for and I'll try and give you a personal project page. BLongley 01:58, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Collection or Anthology?

If a book is a collection of stories published under one pseudonym, but the individual stories were ghost-written by different people, is that a collection or an anthology? The help pages don't seem to address this. Chavey 00:20, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

If it looks (to a person standing in a bookstore) like a collection... then it's a collection. IMHO Kevin 02:09, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. That's an easy criterion to apply. Chavey 04:07, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Legends - question about interior art

I'm wondering whether I need to/should enter the individual art in the anthology Legends (ed. Robert Silverberg) in the Contents section, or if what I have in the notes is enough? Just wondering what the policy is for this. I'm guessing I should probably enter the art in the Contents section, but wanted to check first. Thanks :) AndonSage 02:24, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

If I owned that book I would definitely enter all that as interior art. In fact, even if you don't enter it into the database... I might sneak back someday and enter it... but I would rather share the fun with you. Kevin 03:31, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
You might want to simply start with the titled pieces of art or those associated with a single story... the 'All other in-text illustrations' attribution to Whalen might get messy and could be left for another day. ... just a second thought. Thanks Kevin 03:33, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'll add them. I have some questions, though. For titled pieces (e.g. The Little Sisters of Eluria on page 19 or Granny Weatherwax on page 93), should I add "(Legends)" or "(Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy)" after the name? For the untitled pieces, should I use the name "Legends [1]" or "Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy [1]", increasing the number each time? Thanks :) AndonSage 04:52, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
For the titled pieces, you don't have to disambiguate. Just title them "Storyname" and type = interiorart. For the frontispiece and the endpapers... I would personally recommend you title them as 'Legends (frontispiece)' and 'Legends (endpapers)'. For the 'All Other' untitled pieces I would enter a single credit for each artist, once for Whalen titled 'Legends', interiorart, and again for Parkinson. Put a page number on Parkinson, but since Whalens is covering multiple pages, leave it un-paginated and put leave in the notes that it covers many pages. Give it a try, see how it looks. Kevin 23:33, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I've added all the interior art content. Take a look and see what you think. Thanks for the help :) AndonSage 03:36, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Looks nice. I Think you've laid a fine foundation. If anyone comes forward with extra info in the future to identify any of the unknowns there is now an obvious place to put it, and everything that we know form the copyright page has now been transcribed as good as we can at this time into the database. Good Job. Kevin 04:13, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Adding an issue of ng magazine to the series

How do one adds an issue og NG magazine to the existing seies? More specifically, I'd like to add this title to the corresponding series. Thanks! P-Brane 09:33, 4 October 2011 (UTC).

To add a title to a series, you edit the title and supply the series name. Here, though, I think you are asking about combining it into the "Harper's Magazine - 1889" entry, right? To do that for any magazine, go to the editor's bibliography page, pick Show All Titles from the left, and now you can choose the two titles and merge. If there are too many titles and they break across pages in the listing, you can use Advanced Search (e.g., search for titles with "Harper%1889") and do the same thing. --MartyD 10:30, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! But there results some awkwardness - merged title has month in the pub date and another edit is needed to set it to YEAR-00-00. Cheers, P-Brane 13:31, 4 October 2011 (UTC).
That's not essential, and in some cases undesirable when there are different editors in the same year e.g. Star*Line in 1996 and 2004. Keeping the first month ensures correct sorting. BLongley 14:57, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Title Series or Publication Series

Here's an interesting twist.... How should a publisher-trademarked title series be captured? Check out this Look Inside for Lords of Dyscrasia, a Dyscrasia Fiction™ Novel. --MartyD 10:55, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

I would say that it's a title series. The question is: If the book were published by someone else (or by the publisher in a different format, different edition, etc.), would it still be viewed as being part of that series? Well, if the book were to be released in, say, England in a print format, then that publisher would have to go through a bunch of negotiations to deal with the trademark. But it would still be a "Dyscrasia Novel". That makes it a title series. Chavey 13:50, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Darrah. Regardless of who the copyright holder is, the novel is always going to be considered part of the series, no matter who publishes it. Even if the current publisher/copyright holder "farms" out the series to other authors, it remains a title series, e. g. Forgotten Realms. All titles are published by TSR/Wizards of the Coast, but it's still a title series. Mhhutchins 17:31, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Robert Watson

The Robert Watson record was three different people (an artist and two different authors). I separated out the records per the help. However, the Robert Watson record now shows up as an empty record. There is no "delete author" option so what is the process for cleaning up such stray records? Thanks. --JLaTondre 17:15, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

The problem was with the two Whilom reviews. They were still using "Robert Watson" rather than Robert Watson (1947-). Once I added "(1947-)" to the Author field in these records, "Robert Watson" was auto-deleted.
BTW, the way to find these "dangling" reviews is to run an Advanced Title Search using "Reviewed Author". Ahasuerus 17:31, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. Appreciate the explanation. --JLaTondre 17:35, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
We really could do with someone reviewing the help and FAQs to cope with these newer features, I never remember to do so even when I'm the instigator of the changes. :-/ BLongley 20:39, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

David Conway

I believe the David Conway author record needs some sorting. The website (which I added) and birthplace are for the author of the fiction (novel, collection, & shortfiction). The fiction author's website doesn't list a birthdate as far as I can see. I did find this biography for another David Conway (a children's picture book author) which lists the same birthdate as given in this article. Even if the birthdate is not correct for the fiction author, based on the picture on the fiction author's website, it seems unlikely he wrote the non-fiction as well (unless the picture is really out off date). I think that:

  • The birthdate should be removed; and
  • The fiction and non-fiction should be broken into seperate records.

However, I don't have anything concrete to base that on. Does anyone with access to other sources have any information that could help clarify this? Thanks. --JLaTondre 21:58, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree completely with the approach you've suggested. The nonfiction and fiction are very likely by two different artists, and the Irish children's book author is not the author of Metal Sushi and Death Disco. I'll make the reviewer and essayist into "David Conway (II)" (even though he's the first author to have the title, it's more likely that we'll get more records from the current author with that name.) I'll also remove the author data except for the website. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Mhhutchins 23:25, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Joseph Wrzos/Joe Ross edits

Folks,

I've recently been in touch with Joseph Wrzos, who edited Amazing Stories during the 1960s.

According to him, there are a number of errors on pages associated with his entries, including the misspelling of his name, crediting a pseudonym as the real name and listing his real name as a pseudonym & etc.

From Joe:

  • with regard to the snafus at ISFD, concerning the Wrzos/Ross entries, I'd like to make a few suggestions to help straighten out the whole mess. ...that eliminating an entire page (the "Joseph Ross" entry) might not be feasible. And that combining the "Ross" bibliography with the "Wrzos" might be a hassle. Note : As a non-member, I can't move around ISFD very well Still, from the few entries I can access, I think it would be helpful to make the following basic alterations :

(1) For the Legal Name : "Wrocz, Joseph Henry" entry (which is a misspelling of my last name), simply change "Wrocz" to "Wrzos, Joseph Henry"

  • Add to this same entry page : "Used These Alternate Names : Joseph Ross."
  • Below which addition, both the birthplace and birthdate remain accurate (for "Wrzos"). But "Biography : Bio : Joseph Ross" isn't. "Bio" is short for biography, and my pseudonym didn't have any. The "Bio" should be for "Joseph Wrzos."
  • Same entry : Add : Used These Alternate Names : Joseph Ross. For "somewhere" on this page, it should be indicated that "all" the bibliographical items listed at the bottom of the page were written by "Wrzos" under the alternate name "Joseph Ross." As it stands now, it isn't clear who wrote what.

(2) For the "Joe Wrzos" entry page (elsewhere) the top line is dead wrong! The first line should be : "Legal Name : Wrzos, Joseph Henry." Followed by (data now incorrectly credited to the "Joseph Ross" alternate name) : Birthplace : Newark, New Jersey, USA" and "Birthdate : 9 September 1929." The next two lines, "Biography : Bio : Joseph Wrzos" and "Bibliographic Comments : Author : Joseph Wrzos," are accurate. Leave them as is. (3) Note : As the "Used These Alternate Names : Joe Wrzos" entry page now stands, it would seem to indicate that the pseudonymous "Joe Ross" (not myself") wrote all the works listed in the bibliography below. As a laughable consequence, when an ISFD visitor follows links from "Wrzos" to "Ross," he would probably assume that "Ross" wrote everything listed on "both" pages, and that "Ross" did so under a "Wrzos" pseudonym! [How'd "you" like to see your own efforts digitally (or otherwise) credited to a phantom pen name, Steve?] (4) For the present "Joe Wrzos" bibliography entry, in the last line : Delete "[only as by Joe Wrzos]"completely. Everything in this page's bibliography, including "all" the "Joseph Ross" pseudonymous pieces, was written by me "alone." Nowhere in the LOCUS Obit pages honoring the late Edd Cartier is there any indication my tribute was other than solo. So why cloud the obvious? [Where does ISFD get such ideas?]

In short, the main thing is to delete the "Wrocz" misspelling and to separate my "Joseph Wrzos" bibliography from my "Joseph Wrzos" AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC editorials, and from the "Foreword" to the Doubleday BEST OF AMAZING collection.

However, to compound the problem (I don't know if you're aware of this), there "is" another individual out there with the legal name of "Joseph Ross." I believe he is (or was) a lawyer, and is only tangentially connected with the SF/Fantasy field. Though (even ISFD knows about this; see the link close to my name) he had a letter published in LOCUS.

I hope someone can assist in making these corrections. If independent verification is needed, I can supply contact information for Joe.

Thanks

Steve Davidson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by CrotchetyOldFan (talkcontribs) .

I will make corrections to the obvious mistakes (the name misspelling), but must retain the credits as actually recorded in the publications. That's an ISFDB standard which can't be changed. If you want to keep "Joseph Ross" credits separate from "Joseph Wrzos", then they would have to be two different authors, which your message makes clear isn't true. We have to make one of them into the parent (canonical) author and the other as a pseudonym. From the tone of your message, I can assume that the author would prefer that "Joseph Wrzos" be considered his canonical name. I will make "Joseph Ross" into a pseudonym, and make variants for all records that are credited him as "Joseph Ross". They will appear on the Wrzos page as "xxx [only as by Joseph Ross]" which means that the piece was written by Wrzos, but its only publication was credited to "Joseph Ross". That display can't be changed. Mhhutchins 17:04, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I was aware that Joseph Wrzos was the "real" editor, but entries already had Sol Cohen listed as editor, as he is credited in the magazines. At the time it seemed to me that there was a little fuzziness about whether the "real" editor should be credited for magazines, or the editor as listed, as I saw both. I generally left that field unchanged in the beginning, but I finally decided that the "real" editor should be credited, since it is generally known in the field who did the real editing. It's best that one person makes the corrections, so I'm good with whatever is decided.--Rkihara 18:49, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Fiction Series vs. Short Fiction Series

Hi, I'm new here, and I don't quite understand the difference between a Fiction Series and a Short Fiction Series. Initially I thought that a series containing a least one novel is a Fiction Series, while a series containing only short stories is a Short Fiction Series. However this doesn't seem to apply, since Isaac Asimov's Black Widower series is classified as Fiction Series. On the other hand, his Azazel series is a Short Fiction Series. Both series consist of short stories. So how does this work? Darkday 17:20, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Your first instinct was correct. If a series includes both stories and books (not just novels, because collections count, too), then it's a Fiction Series. If it's only stories, then they're displayed in the Short Fiction Series category. The reason Azazel is under the Short Fiction Series category is because no one has placed the collection into the series. I'll let you do that and then you'll see how the display will change. Mhhutchins 17:40, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, I understand now how it works, although I don't like it too much (a series of short stories is a series of short stories, no matter whether a collection exists or not). Does this mean it is an error that the Azazel collection is not in the series, or is this optional? I've seen at least one other case where the collection is not assigned to the series. Darkday 20:51, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Most places where we get data from are pretty bad about understanding series at all, and so it's common that books come in and don't get properly placed in a series at first. It often takes dedicated editors, who are familiar with the books (or take the time to look at author web sites, etc.) to get books into the proper series. And, in the long run, is one of the "added benefits" that ISFDB tries to offer that most other general (non-author specific) sites don't. But it takes work, and time. Chavey 00:48, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Handling of excerpts

Which date should be used for excerpts, the publication date of the original novel or the publication date of the excerpt? Apparently both variants are used, see The City and the Stars (excerpt) (1956) and The City and the Stars(Excerpt) (1990).

According to the help pages, the title (unless it is self-explanatory) should have the suffix " (excerpt)". But I saw a lot of cases where a capital E is used, or where the space is missing (which looks really ugly). I've also seen "extract" instead of "excerpt". Is it worthwhile to change these titles according to the rules? Is it necessary to notify the verifiers for such minor changes? Darkday 18:00, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

I think we should follow the standard: small "e" and call them "excerpt"s, but don't think it's worth the effort to change them (but that's your call.) Some of these are from before the standard was set, and some are from recent editors who weren't familiar with the standard. As for dates, they should all have the date of the work from which they were excerpted, but only if the larger work appeared first. If the excerpt appeared first, as in previews in the back of book, you should leave the dates alone. Also, don't merge excerpts as they may be different. In the case of the second example you linked to above, the date should be changed, there should be a space between the title and the first parenthesis, and the "e" should be small. That should be the same for all of the other excerpts from the same book in which that one appeared. Feel free to change them, but again don't merge them with records for previous excerpts. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:24, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Collections in Series

How is a collection or anthology handled when only some of the collected stories belong to a series? Should the collection be added if the majority of the stories belong to the series, or only if all stories belong to it? For example, The Rest of the Robots is assigned to the Positronic Robot Stories series. 5 of the 8 stories belong to this series, and 3 don't. Darkday 18:47, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

The original collection was an omnibus that contained two Robot novels as well as the five Robot stories. I think that percentage is sufficient enough to add it to the series. Whether this is done in other cases, I suppose depends upon each title. Mhhutchins 19:11, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy By Women

There are two The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy By Women records with an ISBN of 0-670-85907-9; a UK edition dated May 1995 and a US edition dated Oct 1995. Locus also lists these two editions. I have a copy of one of these, but I cannot tell which one. The only date is a year and the printing line says it is the first printing. On the front inside dust jacket, the US & CAN prices are listed at the top, but the UK price is listed at the bottom. Since I'm in the US, it seems most likely it is the US version, but there is nothing to distinguish that (even the publisher address lists all locations). Any suggestions on how to handle this? Just assume it is the US version (update and verify that one) and include that assumption in the notes? -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:12, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd guess that if you have the US and Canadian prices then you have the later "International edition" but I wouldn't be sure until some can tell us what prices the UK one has. "slightly different jacket" is too vague but suggests to me there is a way of telling, I just don't know what it is. BLongley 22:18, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
I have the trade paperback edition of the book. On the copyright page it says "Printed in England by Clays Ltd". Look on your copyright page and see if you can find a statement of that form, which would tell you which edition you have. In the case my book, it was printed in England, the price box has the UK price at the top and the US price at the bottom, but it was clearly sold in the US because it still has the original bookseller's sticker on the back (dated 1996-12-06, which is just shortly after it was published), and that sticker lists a US price, not a UK price. So at least for the tp edition, there weren't two different editions. Chavey 03:00, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Mine also says "Printed in England by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc", but I don't think that is enough to differentiate it. It is conceivable the international version (I said "US edition" above as the record has a US price, but BLongley correctly points out that Locus calls it an "international edition") was printed in the UK as well. I think it's highly likely I have the international edition (Oct 1995), but I think the presence of US & CAN prices as well as a UK price is more indicative of that than the publishing location. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you really want to track it down, Clays have a phone number and email address. And their current "part of St Ives plc for the past 25 years" claim means that (allowing for late website updates) that they might not have been part of St Ives for the first edition. My advice is to leave it until the first edition verifier comes along, as a Moderator's life is too short to chase down each printing. Think bigger now you're a Mod - get the minions to work for you! (Once you've enticed them in, of course...) BLongley 02:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
And while you're at it, could you check the author attribution on the title page for "Sur", p. 376. The tp version was incorrectly claimed to have listed the author as "Ursula Le Guin", but did properly credit "Ursula K. Le Guin". This might have been something corrected from the hc edition, but it's also possible that the attribution for the hc edition is wrong. Chavey 03:37, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Mine has it as "Ursula K. Le Guin". However, if mine is indeed the Oct 1995 version, it could be something that was corrected from the May 1995 version. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:15, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Tales of the Black Widowers

I think the two pubs Tales of the Black Widowers and Tales of the Black Widowers might be identical. I have a copy of this book, and the notes of both pubs match my copy. How is such a situation handled? Darkday 00:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Because both were primary verified, ordinarily you'd contact each of the verifiers who would determine which one to keep. In this case, one was verified by a inactive editor, so I've deleted his and kept the other. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Mhhutchins 00:48, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Problem with Award snafu affecting page display

Hi, I've stuffed the display of Scott Westerfeld's Pretties here by putting a non-integer in the "Level". (It was accepted by the moderated, but now ... :-( ). Remove Award has a similar problem. Would someone please fix . --clarkmci / j_clark 09:07, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

I think you're going to have to bring this to Ahasuerus' attention to fix - I may be able to do something with an API submission that bypasses the screen limitations you've found, but I wouldn't hold your breath. :-/ BLongley 15:46, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. And yes, we definitely need to add a safeguard to make sure that only numeric values are allowed in his field. It will be done as part of the award improvements that are currently in the pipeline. Ahasuerus 02:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd be happy to help with that, but we also need to discuss award levels in general - it's still possible to enter the "special levels" but if you get them wrong they can't be fixed. I'm leaning towards disabling new entries for such for now, but rather than delete the existing ones I think we should look toward enabling full editing eventually. But we can do that in phases. BLongley 02:56, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

The reason I did it was that I saw some "Honorable Mention" levels that someone had put in; but these don't some up if do Edit Award, therefore I couldn't see a pattern to follow. What I want to put is "highly commended". How do I do that? Thanks ...--clarkmci / j_clark 09:07, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

"Honorable Mention" is award level "93". There's no specific code for "highly commended". BLongley 15:46, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, how do I do "No Award Given This Year"? (Again existing ones I've tried to look at for a pattern don't appear to come up in Edit.) ... --clarkmci / j_clark 11:05, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

"No Award Given This Year" is award level "73". BLongley 15:46, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Reviews that use a pseudonym

I was working with the author Amelia Reynolds Long, who was listed with a canonical name of "A. R. Long". However, according to our records, only 3 of her stories were published as by "A. R. Long", while 15 of her stories were published as by "Amelia Reynolds Long", hence the full name seems much more naturally the canonical name. So, I switched the canonical name, and re-did the various pseudonym relationships. One question remains, having to do with reviews of her stories. Bleiler reviewed 2 of the stories written as by "A. R. Long", listing them under that name, so those reviews carry through exactly. But he also reviewed 4 of the stories published as by "Amelia Reynolds Long", apparently listing those stories as by "A. R. Long". But since that is one of the pseudonyms that Amelia used, according to the Help Screens, that means I should leave those reviews as reviewing a story by "A. R. Long", even though we don't have a title record for such a story. That means that a title record such as "the review of The Twin Soul" is orphaned, and does not show up in Amelia's bibliographic record. Presumably, I can correct this by either: (i) making the review title record a VT of another review title under the "Amelia" name; or (ii) Making a "blank" title record for the story as if it had been written by "A. R. Long", and making that a variant of the actual story. But this leave's Amelia's bibliography record with titles that say "[also by A. R. Long]", which isn't true. So I assume I'm supposed to do option #1. Is that correct? Or am I missing something. Chavey 10:05, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

You can leave the review record as A. R. Long, but link it to the title record for The Twin Soul by Amelia Reynolds Long. We don't need a title record for The Twin Soul by A. R. Long. BLongley 16:25, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Not having worked on reviews before, I was unaware of the linking process; now I see it. Chavey 18:43, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

George Florance-Guthridge

Does anyone know the source for the varianting of the stories by George Florance-Guthridge into two authors: George Guthridge and Florance Guthridge? I saw that Locus1 tentatively credits "Florence? Guthridge" [sic]. I think we'd need something more definitive than this. It was always my understanding that "Florance-Guthridge" was his complete last name, and that he later dropped the "Florance". I found an email address for Guthridge and am waiting to hear back from him. Mhhutchins 00:10, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

He wrote back and said that "Florance" was his first wife's last name and that she had nothing to do with the writing. I'll make the corrections to the ISFDB records. Mhhutchins 02:31, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Now, does anyone want to correct Wikipedia? My guess is that that's when the ISFDB error came from. Chavey 02:41, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. Seems like the last place to consider as a confirming source would be Wikipedia. Mhhutchins 02:51, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Not the last, but certainly not the only one to trust. There's a bit of reciprocity between us and Wikipedia - they link to us for some authors, we link back, and it's sometimes difficult to tell what the true source is. At least we DO permit "original research". BLongley 04:36, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
That Wikipedia article cites the ISFDB as its only source. I suspect it is propagating our information. :-) Looks to me like the source may be Contento (see, for example here), combined with a misspelling of his "Florence" as "Florance". --MartyD 11:23, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Cover image in database does not match book-in-hand for that edition date

Hi, I just signed up as a user so am still getting up to speed. I hold a copy of Larry Niven's The Ringworld Engineers in my hand here. It's the Del Rey Ballantine paperback edition dated March 1981. ISBN is 0-345-33430-2. Cover by Donato Giancola (credited on back cover.) The cover shows Louis Wu seated facing to the right against a blue hexagonal window.

This edition appears in the database with a completely different cover image. I'm not sure how to proceed. Chris Winter 23:36, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Often reprints do not show the actual printing date, but only the date of the first printing. Is there a printing number or a number line in the book? (A number line is a line of numbers across the bottom of the copyright page. The last number present indicates the printing number for the book.) What is the cover price? Price is often a good if rough indicator of date. What books are advertised in the back, if any?
The price is given as $6.99, so it must be a relatively recent edition.
The printing number line reads: "OPM 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33" Chris Winter 23:06, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
That would make it the 33rd printing, and it seems to be a printing we do not have recorded. Please do enter it. To do so, from the title record display (bibliography) for The Ringworld Engineers, click "Add Publication to this Title" in the editing tools section (you must be logged in). Then fill out the form. Since there is no indication of when this printing was published, enter the date as "0000-00-00" which will display as "date unknown". Enter the printing number any any other useful info from the copyright page or front or back cover in the Notes field. When you are done click Submit. After that you can upload a cover scan if you have a scanner, but one thing at a time. Once the entry is approved you can primary verify it to record that you have checked the entry against a book-in-hand. -DES Talk 02:42, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Data submitted. Chris Winter 20:05, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
That ISBN appears to have first been used on the 8th printing, dated October 1985, and priced at $3.50. The first record we have of cover art by Donato Giancola seems to be the 24th printing, dated June 1996, priced at $5.95. We don't seem to have an image online for that printing currently. Can you scan the book you have in hand, and upload the image? If so it will help, but first let's get your printing identified as closely as possible. -DES Talk 00:18, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I just corrected the link to the 24th printing with the Giancola painting. Chris' copy has to be a later printing of the March 1981 edition. The ISFDB record for the first printing has two primary verifiers. Mhhutchins 00:39, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Sergio & Ingrid: Pioneers to Mars (English and French Edition)

OK, this is the first major breakage of the new language Support I've seen. How do we cope with Bilingual editions? BLongley 17:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Note that there seems to be a 2004 English-only edition but as that has the same number of pages I've no idea how this bilingual edition is presented. BLongley 17:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

If we're certain that it actually contains two versions of the novel, we can make it into an omnibus containing two title records, each with their own language designation. As for the language of the omnibus title record, I'll leave that up to the software writers to see if they can make one title record have two languages. Mhhutchins 18:26, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
It certainly appears to contain both English and French, possibly mixed on each page. (Although I'm not sure there's much thought in the translation - would you really convert "As the French say, Bon voyage!" to "Comme disent les Français: Bon voyage!"?) Two Novels with different languages are manageable, even though one being a variant of the other may be a bit confusing. And if the translation is really on each page, page-numbering for each is not possible. I'm not sure if it's worth the effort to allow for multiple languages on one title, although it might be possible to derive multiple languages for an Omnibus, Collection or Anthology based on the languages of its components. BLongley 15:35, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

removing erroneous information

simple. earlier today, I discovered that the Maxim Jakubowski article has my name listed as a alternate name... so after two hours of digging I still can't find a simple way to correct this... Contact the person who verified the page -- okay who verified the page? There are references to remove buttons that aren't there -- to author data buttons in left side that aren't there... Ah, I'll use the erroneous information form -- hmm -- I'll send an email to the contact it's right there -- well no... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Alan Bard Newcomer (talkcontribs) .

I'm not sure what is the original source that your name is a pseudonym of Maxim Jakubowski's. But I can remove the connection and all of the work credited to Alan Bard Newcomer will appear on a separate page. How does that sound? Mhhutchins 23:56, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Non-magazine serial?

I could use help/opinions with this. Faerie Tale is billed as episode 1 of a serialization of Initiate (which is itself book one of a series). On Amazon I see seven installments of the serial. I thought I'd be clever and make Faerie Tale be a chapterbook containing the serial episode of the novel title. I'm not thrilled with the result, though, since serializations are presented as "Magazine appearances" in the author's summary bibliography. But the only alternative I came up with would be to treat the episodes as short stories and then the novel as a collection, and that approach thrilled me even less. What do people think about how this should best be treated? Thanks, --MartyD 02:24, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Look at how King's The Green Mile is handled. This appears to be a similar case. All of the constituent parts were entered as chapterbooks, and all were part of the same series. The combined book is handled like a fixup, i.e. we didn't include the parts as contents in the pub record. Mhhutchins 02:31, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Contrast the way King was handled to John Saul's The Blackstone Chronicles, where each part was entered as a chapterbook, but the combined book was entered as an omnibus, with each of the constituent parts entered as contents. (I disagree with the method used in this case, because the combined book is a novel, not an omnibus. If each story is self-contained, it should have been entered as a collection.) Mhhutchins 02:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Also entered in evidence, m'lud, is Starfleet: Year One. We've stretched "variants" in several ways already, for Variant Titles (displayed), Variant Authors (misincluded in the first), serialisations (assumed to be in Magazines but obviously aren't always) and want to stretch it for "Variant Languages" and maybe even for different translators. We can hide some of them with display changes before we have to cope with umpteen forms of relationships between titles, but in the meantime we have to work with what we have. I'm open to suggestions, but suspect it's a case of "you muddle on this way for now, and we'll get there eventually", like it is with our current partial language support. BLongley 03:38, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do it the first way. --MartyD 12:25, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Multiple Publishers

Pilgrimage of the Sacred and the Profane's title page, copyright page, and spine list two separate publishers: DH Press (an imprint of Dark Horse Comics) and Digital Manga Publishing. The current publication record is given as Dark Horse Books / Digital Manga Publishing. The slash normally indicates an Imprint / Publisher. That's not the case here; rather it's two companies in a joint venture.

Further more, the copyright page states "First DH Press Edition: November 2006". The ISBN also has the DH Press publisher code (at least I believe so, I'll admit to still finding ISBNs a bit arcane).

Any thoughts on how to handle this? Use "DH Press & Digital Manga Publishing"? Use only "DH Press" and include Digital Manga Publishing in the notes? Other? -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:00, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I'd go for the & solution. While the slash is used for some joint ventures (e.g. SFBC editions) I don't particularly like that. BLongley 20:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that's what I did. I can always change it if a different consensus develops after more feedback. I believe all the "Dark Horse Books / Digital Manga Publishing" books should be updated similarly, but I'll wait until I get copies of those books before making changes (it looks like they are all part of the same series and I'll put it on my to-do list). -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:53, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
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