ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 31


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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 July - December 2019.

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Archives of old discussions from the Help desk.

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Expanded archive listing


Why can't I mark a chapbook as part of a series?

I'm trying to add Carnival of Terror, by Steven Otfinoski, and I think it is chapbook length (118 pages). But if I try to add it as a new chapbook, it won't let me make it an entry in the series "Make It Happen." What should I do? Thank you in advance.--Rosab618 02:20, 3 July 2019 (EDT)

Personally, I am not all at ease with this, but per our rules it is not allowed to put CHAPBOOKs into a series, it's only possible for the content title(s). Stonecreek 03:10, 3 July 2019 (EDT)
Thanks, Stonecreek. I’ll work with that.--Rosab618 02:06, 5 July 2019 (EDT)

Fred/Frederick Patten

If this Fred Patton is this Frederick Patten, then shouldn’t his editor page be marked unresponsive? MLB 19:04, 7 July 2019 (EDT)

Tagged. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:47, 9 July 2019 (EDT)

Alice Dryden

I would like to eliminate the Alice Dryden and Alice “Huskyteer” Dryden listings, and move them over to the Huskyteer listing, as that seems to be the name, in one variation or another, that she writes under. Is that okay? MLB 21:16, 7 July 2019 (EDT)

I'd vote 'no', since the majority of publications have the name Alice Dryden full or as part of the name, and one of the last known publications from 2017 still only has 'Alice Dryden'. Stonecreek 23:29, 7 July 2019 (EDT)
Okay, so I just switched "Huskyteer"'s fiction over to Alice Dryden's page. MLB 03:55, 8 July 2019 (EDT)

Publishers Facet / Helmond

This one might be for the Dutch experts :)

While reviewing pubs from Uitgeverij Facet, I noticed that quite a few entries in PPN have two ISBN's (example here), one for Facet (presumably for Flemish market), and one for Helmond (presumably for the Dutch market). Now, I'm wondering what the best way would be to record these publications; do they require two separate records, or rather, is it only one publication (by Facet) with two ISBN's printed on/in them? I'm inclined to go with the latter based on the fact that all covers of this and similar cases I have been able to unearth so far only have Facet on their front cover, and never (ever?) any indication there exists a separate Helmond edition. Thoughts on how to best proceed? MagicUnk 08:20, 14 July 2019 (EDT)

As we have but one field for publisher and ISBN, I am inclined to say that the publications should be entered twice: once as Dutch and once as Belgian. Otherwise it should be handled in the Note field, and which publisher then gets the publication record, the Dutch or the Belgian?--Dirk P Broer 08:26, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
Well, I guess the pub should be recorded under Facet, since that's what's printed on all covers (that I could find). Could an alternative be to have a publisher Facet-Helmond perhaps? MagicUnk 08:44, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
If it is one physical book, we should have just own record here. Multiple publishers and multiple isbns are both somewhere in the planning - it is a common scenario with the Russian books for example so pick one of the publishers and use that. Or make up a new one with the two names and add a note on both original publishers with a link. Or something. Note that we do have a notes template for the additional ISBN :) Annie 13:09, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
According to Fandata there are 7 publications co-published by Facet and Helmond (4 printings of Grieselstate and two other titles by Anthony Horowitz and Malpertuis by Jean Ray). The link you provided doesn't work, but it should be one of these. I.m.o. the best solution for now is having them under publisher 'Facet / Helmond' with the second ISBN and an explanation in the notes. --Willem 16:17, 14 July 2019 (EDT)
After I posted my question here, I managed to find the email address of Walter Soethoudt, the former owner of publisher Facet, and he confirms that they are one publication, with two ISBN's. I quote : "Één uitgave (van Facet) met twee ISBnummers", which translates as One publication (Facet) with two ISBN numbers. So, I'll enter these pubs as published by Facet, and will use the template in the notes for the second ISBN and clarify it's the one attributed to Helmond. Thanks for the suggestions. MagicUnk 06:45, 15 July 2019 (EDT)
Oh, and I've updated the link to the PPN record. Hope I've done it right this time, and this one's permanent :) MagicUnk 06:50, 15 July 2019 (EDT)
Received even more information from the publisher. The 2nd ISBN was intended for import purposes by Helmond, to be able to sell them in The Netherlands 'as if they were published by Helmond'. Go figure... MagicUnk 13:33, 15 July 2019 (EDT)

Facet vs. Facet / Clavis vs. Clavis

I am gradually entering the Facet publication catalog. While doing so, I came across a number of entries in the De Belgische Bibliografie (KBR) - such as this one - that have Facet / Clavis as publisher. As Facet has been taken over by Clavis in 2006 and continued to be an imprint of Clavis up until somewhere in 2008 (when Facet ceased to exist), I am inclined to enter the few records from the period 2006-2008, and that KBR lists as Facet / Clavis, as imprint / publisher in the ISFDB too. Is this OK? MagicUnk 06:41, 17 July 2019 (EDT)

That sounds right to me. --MartyD 08:17, 20 July 2019 (EDT)

Richard Parks

I've been updating the Richard Parks page and I can't see his picture. Is this just me?, or a problem with home website? If it's the home website I can replace the picture with one from Amazon. MLB 23:09, 14 August 2019 (EDT)

I cannot see it either (from an Irish Wi-fi so it is not just a US thing). Annie 00:19, 15 August 2019 (EDT)
I couldn't see it either. I grabbed the image from Amazon and cropped it for use here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:45, 15 August 2019 (EDT)

Lan Wright's Space Born

I am currently reading Lan Wright's 'Space Born.' Your entry lists this as a variant title for 1/2 of the Ace double M-103, titled 'Exile from Xanadu.' However, it's more than just a different title: 'Space Born' is both a revised and expanded version of 'Exile from Xanadu.' I have copies of both, and am seeing changes in the text, and extra material as well. Does this warrant 'Space Born' being an all together different book? The Wikipedia article on Wright doesn't list 'Space Born' at all. I'm reading the hardcover copy, copyright 1964, published in 1966 by The Science Fiction Book Club (by arrangement with Herbert Jenkins), London. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Smitty66 (talkcontribs) . 08:26, 20 August 2019 (EDT)

How significant are the changes? Is it just a few words here and there, or was it significantly changed and/or expanded? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:58, 3 September 2019 (EDT)

The Dead Man of Varley Grange

The first publication date in the data base for the anonymous story 'The Dead Man of Varley Grange' (1878) appears to be an error. The text mentioned that a character was killed in the battle of Islandhwana which did not take place until February 1879. Probably only a misprint? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mog Lair (talkcontribs) . 23:28, 2 September 2019 (EDT)

I'm assuming you mean this story? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:10, 3 September 2019 (EDT)

Frankenstein's Daughters

I have a question. I recently read the book Frankenstein's Daughters by Jane Donawerth and it is chock full critical reviews. I'd like to list them on this site, but, I hesitate to do so. I've seen others do this, but is there a protocol for such things? MLB 18:05, 8 September 2019 (EDT)

I do not see why not - if they are reviews of "our books", we want them showing up on the title pages of our books. As long as you promise to also add the books it reviews that we do not have yet and connect the reviews :) Non-fiction books that are essentially collections/anthologies of essays and/or reviews have those essays/reviews as their contents in the same way a non-fiction magazine or fanzine does. Annie 18:13, 8 September 2019 (EDT)

Translator credit

I'd hoped to update a number of translation notes and wondered about how to phrase the translator in the Tr template for:

  • a known and specified translator
  • a known but unspecified translator (i.e. the translation text matches that of a publication with a named translator)
  • an unknown translator (uncredited and unknown to research - to this point)
  • a different unknown translator from above with a different translation (uncredited and unknown to research - to this point)
  • an undetermined translator (meaning the publication may be any of the above and the editor did not know or specify)

Just within Jules Verne translations there is "an anonymous hand", "an uncredited hand", "an uncredited translator", "an undetermined translator", and so on for a total of 20 variations. I don't plan to clean up the thousands of titles, but thought I could make Jules Verne a model for trying for consistency. ../Doug H 23:43, 10 September 2019 (EDT)

I use
  • "an uncreduted hand" when I know it is not credited in the book and I have no idea who the translator might be
  • "an unknown hand" when I am not sure if it is credited and I have no idea who it is (and I just cannot find it)
  • "an anonymous hand" for when the translation is considered anonymous (especially the classics).
  • "Tr|name" if the translator is known, regardless of the source (with a note after that if the sourcing is especially unclear - so not Look Inside, not one of the external ID, not a verifier note and so on).
And yes - there are a lot of variations - it had been a long project. Easy to pick them up later though so not too bothered to clean them up.
If you do not like these - chose your own I guess - we will reconcile them all one day. All of those unknowns and uncredited ones will require another look one day anyway (maybe we can find the actual translator later)... Annie 00:18, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
There are quite a number of entries that put the various unknown forms in the "Tr|...| format. I see you don't. I think it aids in the location of entries, is there a reason you prefer not to? ../Doug H 08:30, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
Can you restate the question - not sure what though are asking? I have added more unknowns and uncredited than anyone - if it is a translation it needs a Tr. :) If you mean that we have more than one pattern - yeah, I am pretty sure I changed mine as well. I am just not going to spend the time to switch between two different unknown patterns in a title. Annie 11:16, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
In your examples, the first three had "xxxx", but only when the translator was known did you use "Tr|name". This suggested you would not use "Tr|an unknown hand". My advanced search for title with notes containing "Tr|un", "Tr|an " and variants yielded over 10,000 hits. My 'question' then would be whether yours were in that count or not. ../Doug H 15:24, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
Ah, sorry. When I said "an uncreduted hand" and so on, I meant "Tr|an uncreduted hand" - sorry, I was just explaining my wording :) As of this morning there are less than 500 translations that have some notes but do not have a Tr template. I had been hitting these hard in the last year or so we have a report) :) Annie 15:32, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
You may want to hold off on the Jules Verne titles - I see Dick Sands, Five Weeks in a Balloon, Journey to the Center of the Earth, On the Track, The Mysterious Island. ../Doug H 16:51, 11 September 2019 (EDT)
 :) I had been skipping them - these ~420 still on the list above are the "stuck and need a LOT more research" :) So I am hitting the "no notes at all" ones at the moment. If something is on that list, I still think we CAN find the translator - someone just need to do the heavy lifting :) Annie 16:58, 11 September 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) My plan is to use

  • {{Tr | translator name}} - on titles with known translators. I believe I have text for all these translations.
  • {{Tr | an anonymous hand}} - with titles where the translation text is known but the translator is not. I.e. a classic - lots of research and no result. Probably English or old.
  • {{Tr | an uncredited hand}} - with titles that have unknown text but can be verified as not having a translator. I.e. like classic but research unknown. Probably non-English and recent.
  • {{Tr | an unknown hand}} - with titles that have not specified a translator or text, i.e. the dumping ground. Verified pubs in here will result in contact.

../Doug H 12:26, 12 September 2019 (EDT)

Sounds like a plan and pretty much matches what I do. No spaces around the "|", right (in case you did not add them here just for visibility)? :) Annie 12:29, 12 September 2019 (EDT)
So are we giving up on crediting translators per the pub? If the pub doesn't have a translation credit, shouldn't it always be uncredited? If the translator is known via a secondary source, a note added in addition (that can later be turned into a variant when the database supports translators)? Or are we going to treat them the same as cover artists (where if we can identify the artist per a secondary source, we add the credit to the pub with a pub note providing the source)? When doing the templates, we should be keeping in mind that the long term goal is move them into a database field. If we're loosing information on whether the pub actual credits the translator or not (which is what the above suggestion would do), how are we going to handle it down the road? -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:44, 12 September 2019 (EDT)
We already miss that information for most of the credits we had been saving all over the system through the years - most of the moving from notes to templates was really changing existing text and making sure that all attached editions belong to the title - some editors had added the translators in the system with notes for where they are coming from, some just added them into the system.
It is a separate kettle of fish and a discussion that we need to have if when we build the system, we want to do it like we do the authors or always go for the canonical form of the translator (I think that we should go for the canonical name on the title level, with notes in the pub level for specifics if desired - but that is just me - there is no much point having the same named translation by X to have 10 variants because the publishers liked to credit weirdly or the translator got married 4 times and the credits go to all the names). Publication notes still can (and sometimes do) have the notes about the exact credits (if someone had added them there). Noone is removing information that we already have.
So at this point, any way we can find to verify that two variants are actually the same text so we can merge (or that they are separate so we can unmerge) them are welcome - which was one of the intended reasons for trying to figure out the translators. As for moving to the DB - yes, we will. One day. The speed we are moving at, it may even be this century. In the meantime we add more and more translations and delaying the process of figuring out our bad merges (if which there were many) does not help us. Annie 17:11, 12 September 2019 (EDT)
My intent is to document for Jules Verne, at the title level, enough information about the translation (translator and text) that any future publications that are added can be placed with like translations. And to ensure that the existing publications are consistent. There are multiple uncredited translations of JV's works and I'd like to see them distinguished. Publications notes could and probably should document the translator reference and if necessary note the match was based on the text. As for all the other authors, titles and publications, at best I hoped it would serve as a model for discussion on how well it works. ../Doug H 23:31, 12 September 2019 (EDT)

1 Novel, 1 ISBN, 2 volumes

Need some help on how to best record Nevelen van Avalon, which is a single novel with 1 ISBN, but has been published as two separate pb pockets. Do I serialize these two? See also here, which is even worse, as for that one the novel has been published in three separate volumes. Any help appreciated. TIA! MagicUnk 12:22, 13 September 2019 (EDT)

Common with the French. We add the books separately and variant them to the full novel (and add notes). Serialization as used now (and per the rules) is only for magazines (and the e-serializations that seem to be popular lately). See this one for an example. 499 and 456 pages books definitely get added as novels and get varianted to the complete novel.The one ISBN is not a problem - just add notes explaining the case. Annie 12:44, 13 September 2019 (EDT)


This problem might have been encountered before, but I have been trying to solve it for nearly an hour, without success : this pub is an OMNIBUS containing two other omnibuses that won't merge with their duplicates. Or rather, merging them wreaks havoc in the different container titles, which change names or merge with what they shouldn't. So I have left them unmerged, but before I post a notice saying not to merge them, does anyone know a solution to the problem (or am I doing it all wrong ?). TIA, Linguist 06:50, 17 September 2019 (EDT).

My idea is to remove the intra-omnibuses: after all, omnibuses are defined to collect novels, collections and/or nonfictions, NOT omnibuses. Christian Stonecreek 08:41, 17 September 2019 (EDT)
I believe we had a similar discussion a couple of months ago, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.
The underlying technical problem here is that the software expects to find one (and only one) container title in a container publication. It looks for the first title whose title type matches the publication type of the publication. If an OMNIBUS publication contains multiple OMNIBUS titles, it confuses the software and the results are unpredictable.
The easiest way to resolve the issue would be to do what Christian suggested above. Ahasuerus 08:58, 17 September 2019 (EDT)
Thanks for your prompt responses. The trouble is that if I remove the OMNIBUSes, I'll remove some content : as it stands, the second one, Silo Origines (corresponding to Shift) seems to be presented as a single novel in three parts in French (no source indicates any contents, whereas the English version consists of three novels). Would it be acceptable to label it "NOVEL" for technical purposes, account for the situation in the notes, and make the system ignore the NOVEL / OMNIBUS discrepancy in the variants ? Linguist 09:27, 17 September 2019 (EDT).
I've been thinking something similar. We will have similar problems with novels like the Foundation if/when I get around to adding the big Bulgarian omnibus here - even though we treat them as collections, the world sees them as novels. One option may be to allow "restricted" varianting of novels into collections and omnibuses (which will solve that issue nicely) amongst all the empty collections we have across languages because of those "collections". Annie 10:01, 17 September 2019 (EDT)

How to enter this one?

The De Nederlandse Bibliografie (PPN) has De moordenaars (by Feist) as published by Zwarte Beertjes. The issue that I'm having is that to my knowledge Zwarte Beertjes is a quite famous publication series, originally by Bruna, and not a publisher/imprint proper - even though it is reported as such by PPN for this particular publication. And PPN has quite a few other publications out there with the same issue. I did some preliminary internet searches, but couldn't dig up definite confirmation of what's going on with this particular edition of the title. I did find two 2nd-hand sellers that reported De Boekerij as publisher, which makes sense considering the publication history of the different editions, and which conclusion is supported by this wikipedia article (in Dutch). In addition, this article (in Dutch) has ...Het colofon zegt tenminste vanaf 2002: “Uitgegeven door “Bruna Uitgevers B.V., Utrecht” of; “De Boekerij bv, Amsterdam” in samenwerking met Zwarte Beertjes. In other words, Zwarte Beertjes are published either by De Boekerij, or by Bruna. Given all this, I am inclined to record these particular publications in the ISFDB as a publication in the Zwarte Beertjes pub series, and published by either De Boekerij, or by Bruna - which one exactly to be deduced from secondary sources/evidence - and adding a note explaining all this (obv.).
Anyone (Dutch speaking) that knows more about this? Any suggestions? MagicUnk 09:59, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

I think you can use Berenweb as a reliable source (It states "De Boekerij" as publisher). Publishing in the Netherlands in those years was a bit confusing with all the takeovers and merging of publishers. --Willem 11:04, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
...sigh...if I'd done only a little more searching... AnyHo. Great resource with lots of detail! Thanks Willem! MagicUnk 11:29, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

Are children's stories with talking animals in?

Quick question: are children's stories (6-8 yo) with talking karate bunnies in? Thanks! MagicUnk 12:14, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

As per ISFDB:Policy#Exclusions, "Speculative fiction is defined to exclude ... Animal books for very young children, i.e. books for preschoolers which depict simple scenes from animal life featuring anthropomorphized animals". If this book is for somewhat older children (6-8), it may be borderline eligible, but I doubt anyone will shed tears if we omit it, especially if it has no other speculative elements. They are not raygun-wielding time-traveling alien bunnies, are they? Ahasuerus 12:21, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
Just my 2 cents (apparently I need to post it in order for this to be seen so resolving conflict here): If the only SF element is the talking bunnies and it looks like more pictures than text, I would usually bounce it out. If the bunnies are from space and there is enough text to constitute a story, I will usually add it :)
As a basic guideline, anything that shows up as 32 pages (or 48) is highly suspicious in my experience and I usually ignore these. Amazon's "Look Inside" is a very useful feature. If you are not sure, leave it out (especially at that young age)Annie 12:39, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
I generally interpret that as "if the only speculative fiction element is anthropomorphized animals (such as the Peter Rabbit books or the Old Mother West Wind series), then it's out". If there are more specfic elements (like magic, mythical beasts, spaceships, etc., then I include them. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:01, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
Of course, it appears someone disagrees regarding the Old Mother West Wind stories. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:02, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
Well, we DO allow fairy tales so where do you draw the line between them and those stories? :) If an editor feels so strongly about adding them and it is more text than pictures, I won't reject them. But I won't add them on my own :) Annie 14:28, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
Fairy tales tend to have magic in them. I wouldn't mind if the rule was changed so anything like that is fine. The Old Mother West Wind books are basically like Peter Rabbit (as far as magical/sf content goes), but they are actual novels. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:01, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
No magic in Red Riding Hood for example, just a talking animal (who also eats people). And yet, I will argue with anyone that calls it anything but a fairy tale. It is a very thin line that separates the categories sometimes. And don't get me wrong - I am not arguing for Old Mother West Wind being eligible - I had never heard of it until now and from the looks of it, I would say that it is a bit on the outside of what is eligible - just pointing out that strengthening the language will kick out some stories we do want. :) Annie 17:20, 19 September 2019 (EDT)
Thanks everyone. As my rabbits only do karate, they're out :) MagicUnk 17:51, 19 September 2019 (EDT)

Locus1 secondary verifications for books after 2007

I keep seeing Locus1 verifications for books published after 2007. According to any help page I can find, here and here, it really stops in 2007 (not to mention that the site stops as well. So how/what is being verified as Locus1 for newer books? And if we have a legitimate case for it, should we update the help pages? Annie 04:20, 21 September 2019 (EDT)

If they don't have listings after 2007 then they should definitely be removed. The editor who added them should also be notified to make sure they are more careful. Do we have a cleanup report that lists any entries like that? If not, perhaps we ought to add one to help keep them under control. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:04, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
Nope. Think of that, we probably need a cleanup report for any verification that is not OCLC and that is after the last year of that specific source. Unfortunately, as things stand now, we cannot remove verifications if the editor is not cooperating - see this for example... but it would not hurt to find them and see how many we have and what we can do with them. I will drop a note to the editor I saw doing it lately and see what they say.Annie 12:33, 21 September 2019 (EDT)
Editors may have mistakenly flagged these as "I have verified they're not in there", instead of NA-ing the entry. MagicUnk 00:35, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
Nah, misunderstanding of what this specific verification is. :) On the way to resolving the whole thing. Annie 00:57, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
I believe most of these verifications were done by Bluesman from the yearly CD-ROM's issued by Locus. Can't find the discussion(s) we had then (maybe on the deleted Bluesman archive pages). We were convinced that Locus1 would be expanded with the years after 2007. --Willem 03:42, 22 September 2019 (EDT)
That was what I thought as well - the CD and later the site - here are the numbers - Chris J is steadily catching up with Bill. Which is why I was surprised to see them on post-2007 books a few times and finally decided to ask what I am missing. Mystery solved now. A for why Locus never extended beyond 2007 - oh well... Annie 04:04, 22 September 2019 (EDT)

Non-polled awards with second and third place

I am trying to get the Elgin awards updated and what we are doing there (and I continued for awhile but thought to come and ask for other ideas) is to add all non-winners as nominees and then use the comments to specify who ended up second and third. Which is ok as far as the data is concerned but if you look here, there is no way to easily find out who won the second and third places... And that page will get worse when we add all the nominees (one of the categories has 26 nominees this year for example). Making those 2 "Finalists" sends them after the Nominees so that is not a good idea (because our special categories are built for things that are under Nominees I guess)...

One option may be to make all "Nominees", "Preliminary Nominees" or something else from the special menu and leave only these 2 as Nominees but that will be a bit misleading for anyone seeing the page.

So... anyone with a good idea on how to handle these? Thanks! Annie 02:35, 23 September 2019 (EDT)

I'd recommend converting the award type to polled. Then the award records for first, second and third can be entered with their poll position. The remainder can be entered as finalists. I don't think we need preliminary nominees here, as that is generally used for awards that have two rounds of selection, especially for non-polled awards.
I've converted awards from non-poll to poll before and I recall that winners automatically convert to poll position 1. I don't recall what nominations get converted to. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 16:34, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
I will look into it then. I was leaning this way as well after some thinking (with a note on why it is polled) but wanted to see if anyone else had any ideas. Thanks! Annie 17:46, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
For anyone that finds this later - the nominations convert to poll place #9. :) Annie 19:37, 13 October 2019 (EDT)

Coloring book with fairy tale: in or out?

Should I add a coloring book that also happens to contain a couple pages of short fiction? MagicUnk 18:46, 23 September 2019 (EDT)

Depends on how short is the short. If it is a few sentences per page on 32 pages, I would bounce if out - books for very young kids are out of scope. If it is from the series I am thinking of, I would not add it. . Annie 20:35, 23 September 2019 (EDT)
It's these ones:
* 9781626923997 Color the Classics: The Snow Queen: A Frozen Fantasy Coloring Book by Jae-Eun Lee, 2016-08-09, Paperback, 80pp, $13.95, Waves of Color
* 9781626924222 Hansel & Gretel: A Grimm Fable Coloring Book by Rosa, 2016-09-20, Paperback, 80pp, $13.95, Waves of Color
Hansel and Gretel contains a 10-page retelling, whereas Color the Classics have 17 + 53 (mix of text & art) pages of story. Not enough to retain? MagicUnk 11:42, 24 September 2019 (EDT)
Up to you. They have the stories so... they are technically eligible unless we declare the retelling as "for too young children" which from what I can see they are so... I would say leave them out. :) Annie 12:02, 24 September 2019 (EDT)

Second opinion

Before I'm adding these I'd like a second opinion whether to add these or not.

  • This anthology of folk tales are children's plays for reader's Theatre: 9781620355213 Folktales on Stage: Children's Plays for Reader's Theater (or Readers Theatre), With 16 Scripts from World Folk and Fairy Tales and Legends, Including Asian, African, and Native American by Aaron Shepard, 2017-01-13, Paperback, 184pp, $16.00, Shepard Publications
  • Not much to be found on this pub; doubtful at best. 9780998557915 Double Acting by Jess Mowry, 2017-01-09, Paperback, 140pp, $9.99, Anubis
  • Same for this one. Doubtful - are there religious miracles in there? * 9780718090227 The Angels' Share by James Markert, 2017-01-17, Paperback, 320pp, $15.99, Thomas Nelson

Thanks! -MagicUnk 08:52, 13 October 2019 (EDT)

I would kick out all 3 :) This is from Fixer, right? The basic rule is - if it looks dubious after some digging and if it is a modern book that cannot be found anywhere - kick it out (if it looks like it got pushed, copy it back on the original list with a note of the new publication date). If it is ours and exists, it will show up again. Annie 17:49, 13 October 2019 (EDT)
Thanks Annie. The latter two go out then. But what with the first one. That anthology is real and does contain fairy tales and legends, albeit in the form of a play script? MagicUnk 00:51, 14 October 2019 (EDT)
It is borderline - some days I would add it, some days - I won't. As it is adapted for (young) children, I lean towards "no" - I tend to draw the line on where the young children exclusion applies a bit higher than some editors. If an editor adds it, I won't bounce it though. Think as a user of the DB - would you expect it to be here? If yes - add it. If not - well, if another user thinks otherwise, they are welcome to add it. If you do want to kill it but do not feel like adding it - return it back to the list (although if it comes to me clearing the list, I will most likely kick it out). :)Annie 01:09, 14 October 2019 (EDT)
Ok. Makes sense. I'll follow your lead. Out they go :) MagicUnk 18:13, 14 October 2019 (EDT)
I don't know. Double Acting seems like it belongs based on the description of "gun-toting ghosts", which fits right into the supernatural end of things. The other two I would leave out. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:18, 14 October 2019 (EDT)
If we consider these real ghosts (well, fictional) - yes. Based on the rest, it sounds more like "ghosts of the past" than actual ghosts with guns. Can go either way. If someone adds it, I will leave it based on that exactly. I would probably pass on it. Welcome to the border between our genre and the rest of the world :d Annie 19:50, 14 October 2019 (EDT)

How to fix wrong omnibus content?

I'm not sure how to go about fixing this omnibus. It contains two novels in Portuguese, but it shouldn't. The first novel is the Portuguese translation and the second novel is the original French novel, not a Portuguese variant. This can be seen in the Look Inside at here. ../Doug H 22:49, 18 October 2019 (EDT)

"Remove titles from this publication" -- the menu is on the left. It will open this. Then import or add the correct titles. Annie 23:16, 18 October 2019 (EDT)
A night's sleep and I tried merging the two - given they have the same title/author and just different languages I'm hoping that will work. ../Doug H 10:56, 19 October 2019 (EDT)
FYI This approach worked. ../Doug H 20:13, 19 October 2019 (EDT)
Yep, if they (or at least one of them) were not in other books as well, it works. :) Annie 21:15, 19 October 2019 (EDT)

The Black Fang Betrayal

Explain to me the rules behind round-robin/collaborative novels. I was going to enter ( The Black Fang Betrayal], but I saw that it was already entered. However, according to Amazon, The Black Fang Betrayal is collaborative novel, yet each chapter is a separate story about a separate character, even though they are all tied together. I think that each story should be entered separately. Plus, there are three bonus unrelated stories. So, should this book be listed as a novel, or, because of the added stories, an anthology? MLB 00:51, 19 October 2019 (EDT)

I would personally add it as an anthology with a note that it is presented as a novel. Alternatively - add as a novel with all authors listed, with a note explaining the situation. If the stories can work on their own, I’d go the anthology route. If they are real chapters and don’t make sense on their own, I’d probably go the novel route. We have both types in the DB. We probably should agree on a standard but oh well. Annie 01:28, 19 October 2019 (EDT)

How to merge publishers?

Tor UK and Tor / Pan Macmillan UK are the same imprint. The latter is more precise, the former is more popular.

  • Which one to choose, and
  • How are publishers best merged? Manually, or...? MagicUnk 02:15, 19 October 2019 (EDT)
Moderators can merge with one click so we can always do that - no manual updates needed. However - both have a lot of verified publications so we need an agreement before we proceed and we need to make sure they did not change the way they credited themselves. We may also be looking at leaving them split but with years of operations - note that the longer name is not in use in the last couple of years - most likely because they changed how the books were credited... Annie 02:22, 19 October 2019 (EDT)
I browsed through the listings for both publishers, and I'd say it is unlikely the differences are due to different ways they're credited. Both came into use in 2003. Very few stray records predating 2003 are erroneous. Rather, the shorter form came into use by some editors as a shorthand for the longer form. I'll solicit some of the verifiers later today. MagicUnk 02:43, 19 October 2019 (EDT)

Unacessible user page

At the end of this section user Terraflorin notes that he is not able to edit his user page. Is there a known bug or a timeline to wait for? Stonecreek 15:17, 21 October 2019 (EDT)

We had a really bad spammer problem back in the early 2010s, e.g. see this discussion. We ended up implementing various safeguards which have evolved over the years.
On the plus side, the safeguards work quite well and the amount of spam that we see these days is minimal. On the flip side, we had to prevent new users and users with a low number of Wiki edits from editing non-Talk Wiki pages. The threshold number of edits (which I haven't made public to discourage spammers) is quite low, though. Once a user edits his or her Wiki page a certain number of times, the restrictions are automatically lifted. It's not ideal, but it's much better than the ocean of spam that we had to deal with ca. 2011. Ahasuerus 17:09, 21 October 2019 (EDT)
Thanks for the answer, Ahasuerus, I'll notify the user. Stonecreek 13:19, 24 October 2019 (EDT)

Around the World in 80 translations?

I've run into some difficulty with a particular translation of Jules Verne's Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in 80 Days). It has been ascribed to Towle, although many publications do not provide a name. A variation of the translation has been ascribed to Towle and D'Anvers. The changes are relatively minor (rephrasing some sentences) and infrequent. This suggests that they might be set up under a single TITLE record. However, there may be publications which do in fact credit both Towles and D'Anvers. If translators were treated like authors this would made them separate TITLEs, and while we may do so at some point, we don't now. There is another edition with a credit of "revised and updated" by Rogers, which is essentially the Towle/D'Anvers edition with American spelling and expressions.

Is this one translation with lots of notes or three? Is there a possible fourth for publications which are clearly one of these, but uncertainty as to which? The are also title variations within at least one of the translation variations (80 vs. Eighty). For context, this is the most translated of Verne's books (into English) with 11 by the mid-90's with these 3 counting as 1. ../Doug H 12:15, 24 October 2019 (EDT)

If I understand the question, you are asking if slightly revised translations should be treated as the same (so bundle them under one title) or as separate ones (so separate titles)? Is that correct? Annie 12:32, 24 October 2019 (EDT)
Yes, with the additional wrinkle of varying credits. ../Doug H 12:53, 24 October 2019 (EDT)

HTML help

Hi, per this publication, could someone have a look at my html and enlighten me as to why unwanted blank lines appear - for instance, between "Copyright © Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1974" and 'Page following copyright page:'

Apart from the four intrusive blank lines, everything is as I intended. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 20:41, 25 October 2019 (EDT)

It is the new line after /ul. So in order to fix that, you put the /ul tag on a new line (never a bad idea anyway - much much easier to see that way) and then you write the text to follow after it on the same line. Technically you can just write the text after the /ul on the previous line but... let's be nice to the next editor that needs to edit it, shall we? I think I fixed it - look at it and let me know if this is what you wanted to do. Annie 22:56, 25 October 2019 (EDT)
And you do NOT need "br" tags to make a new line. We have them all over the place for two reasons:
Old editors that are used to adding them and I had been trying to break them out of the habit
Old notes when you DID need them to make a new line :)
The only place you want a br is where you really want things to go on the next line - such as the very first line of a note. All the others are superfluous. :) Annie 22:58, 25 October 2019 (EDT)
Perfect Annie! As a new editor, there's a lot to study on :) I've removed all the unnecessary break tags as well. Many thanks! Kev. BanjoKev 23:54, 25 October 2019 (EDT)

Novella vs. Novel

Once again I have a question. How long does a book have to be to be considered a novel? I tried entering this book, amongst others, and was told it is not a novel here. I think that 174 page piece of work should be considered a novel, not a novella. No wordage is listed on either Amazon or Goodreads. MLB 17:48, 26 October 2019 (EDT)

Out of curiosity I did count the words on p. 4 via Lookinside and it was well over 350 words. Being on the safe side and counting only 300 words and 150 pages to account for half pages, empty pages etc. still makes 45000 words for this title. Well over the threshold of 40000 words. Looks like it's a novel afer all. MagicUnk 16:23, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Yeah, with "May December Publications", the usual breaking between the novellas/novels is ~140-150 pages mark in my experience if the text is the usual density. There are always exceptions but this one would not have even sent me counting once I saw the page density. Annie 16:41, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
if there is a look inside, I try to estimate based on a sample page.A lot of Tor’s novellas are 170-240 pages when printed for example so 174 can go either way. If there is no look inside, a look inside of a book from the same publisher around the same time may give you an idea. Anything under 200 pages (which is not a classic) is very often a novella. Between wide margins and big fonts, 174 pages new fiction is very unlikely to be a novel in my experience. . Annie 19:22, 26 October 2019 (EDT)
But don't you also have to consider font size and book size? The page size for an average trade paperback is much larger than that of the page size of a mass market paperback. A standard should be set, I think. A novel doesn't have to be War & Peace, but being short doesn't make it a novella either. I realize standards change over the years, what was a novel in the sixties would be considered a novella now. Still... I realize I may come across as being difficult, but my preferences mean nothing on this site, it's the rules here that count. So, should anything under two hundred pages be considered a novel? If so, what about the hundreds of books under two hundred books published whose page count is not that high? Doesn't this mean that a lot of retro-fitting has to be done on this site? MLB 20:10, 26 October 2019 (EDT)
we have a standard - based on words count. If it does not have 40K words, it is not a novel. That is why I look at look inside to see the pages. We cannot set a standard based on number of pages alone because the publishers use all kinds of weird fonts and sizes. Anything under 120/140 is almost guaranteed not to be a novel. The next 50 pages or so are hit or miss - this the look inside trick. If I cannot calculate and it is over 150, I go for a novel on general principle although some are probably long novellas. Annie 21:33, 26 October 2019 (EDT)
Sounds like flipping a coin to me, but rules is rules, I guess. MLB 22:19, 26 October 2019 (EDT)
Whatever though, I think I'll do something else for a while, and let somebody else finish T. W. Brown's stuff. MLB 22:32, 26 October 2019 (EDT)
Well, for this case, there was a look inside feature available, showing that for this (and other publications in the series) there are less than 200 words per page.
Even a book with 300 pages (and advertised as a novel/'Roman') can turn out to be a chapbook. Stonecreek 02:56, 27 October 2019 (EDT)
It's not really "flipping a coin", MLB. We use the guidelines for story length given by SFWA for the Nebulas, and they are very clearly spelled out on the Help:Screen:NewPub#Regular Titles page:
  • SHORTFICTION for the following:
  • Short story is less than or equal to 7,500 words
  • Novelette is greater than 7,500 words and less than or equal to 17,500 words
  • Novella is greater than 17,500 words and less than or equal to 40,000 words
  • NOVEL for greater than 40,000 words
We can't get more specific than that. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:16, 28 October 2019 (EDT)
Our help actually says:
  • shortstory - A work whose length is less than or equal to 7,500 words. (Roughly 20 or fewer pages in a book.)
  • novelette - A work whose length is greater than 7,500 words and less than or equal to 17,500 words. (Roughly 20 to 50 pages in a book.)
  • novella - A work whose length is greater than 17,500 words and less than or equal to 40,000 words. (Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book.)
So it's not at all clearly spelled out. We have debated the wording before, but it remains what it is. We should also not be expecting all our users to be interested in spending time counting words. That's why we have the page count guidelines. We should be happy they are willing to take the time to enter the publications at all. Changing a pub from a novel to a chapbook is much easier than entering the whole pub over again. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:37, 28 October 2019 (EDT)
These numbers of pages are fine for older publications but these days, the pages are a lot smaller (bigger books, less words, go figure) :) We probably should update the numbers of pages in the help page or expand a bit but oh well. I usually just check and change (and explain) when something needs changes - if they want to add them in one form, we can fix them later if needed - I rarely reject new publications outright, even when there is a lot of work to be done after that - it is still less work than starting over most of the time. :) But I will reject a change to a different type solely based on number of pages when it is in the border ares and there is a way to do something like a counting. Annie 19:48, 28 October 2019 (EDT)
Yes, JLaTondre, I was quoting them. I didn't include the rough page counts because they are exactly that: rough. The word counts are pretty much set in stone, though. If someone entering doesn't want to take the time to count the words or estimate them, that's fine, but the only unclear part is the rough page count. I agree with Annie in that I'd rather have to correct something later than have it not entered. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:12, 28 October 2019 (EDT)
For the cases in question, it would have been possible to use amazon's look inside for estimates of the word count. Many modern publications only have less than 200 words on a page. I guess it just looks good if you obtain a copy that has 250 pages (which would have fitted in a 80 page paperback of oldern times). Stonecreek 05:11, 29 October 2019 (EDT)
I guess that this means I'm a bad editor. I'm just not going to count words. Two recent deaths in my family, one of which was me, I ended up in a semi-coma for three days, have convinced me to stop and evaluate my time. I love editing for this site, but I'm not going to count words in an ephemeral publication where there is too much chance in it's shown wordage, I have learned just how unreliable Amazon's Look Inside feature is, and I have had to look for lost editions on multiple sites, when the wrong edition is clearly listed on the Look Inside feature. Including, this feature listing the wrong book. I'm not trying to cause trouble, but I'm just not going to count words on every publication, I don't have the time, and my health isn't up to it. I can only use the information that's there. That's what primary verifiers are for. Only in these days of bloated 1000 page "epics" from authors like Stephen King or John Ringo could a two-hundred plus page novel be considered a novella/chapbook. This can be very frustrating when an older work is listed as a novel, but a newer one, at twice the length, is listed as a novella. Double standards. As I said, I'm not trying to cause trouble, or get people angry, but it seems that certain standards just keep changing over the years. But, rules is rules, and I'm just a lowly editor who has to follow them. MLB 14:01, 29 October 2019 (EDT)
Nope, you are not a bad editor - far from it. As far as I am concerned, if you add it with the wrong type, I will just fix it. If it looks like a novel, add it as one. If it is not, we can fix it later. Look Inside does not solve everything and it is not good for older books sometimes but it can help. I am not sure why adding with the wrong type gets rejected but if it happens often, we can have a discussion on the moderator board around our rejection policies. I would rather have you add them than not, warts and all. We have a lot of works in the DB that are mis-categorized - we do only what we can. 200 pages with no ability to look at the text is indeed a novel. 100 pages under the same situation is a novella. :) Annie 14:11, 29 October 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) So, to summarize. The core standard is that the dividing line between novels and novellas is the "40,000 words line". Sometimes -- e-books are a good example -- word counts are easy to calculate. Other times -- especially if we don't have access to the text -- it can be difficult. Even if you have a physical copy, determining the exact word count can be time-consuming. Consider pulp magazines which often included small illustrations, ads, "departments", letters, etc and arranged them like a jigsaw puzzle. There were times when you had to count the actual words on half the pages.

In the absence of a reliable word count, we have little choice but to come up with an estimate. We can use a variety of data elements: page count, publisher, year of publication, format, font (if available), and so on. For example, we know that specializes in standalone editions of short fiction and short novels, so they have few words per page in their books. We know that Amazon's page counts are often off, sometimes by dozens or even 100+ pages, while WorldCat counts tend to be much more reliable. We can use this information to estimate which side of the "40K" divide a text falls on.

Still, an estimate is just an estimate and will be trumped by the actual word count if and when it becomes available. Ahasuerus 15:23, 29 October 2019 (EDT)

I'd say that for a 'regular' publication (chapbook or novel) it's not too demanding to get at a rough estimate, provided one has access to the text (or a portion of it via look inside). You really only have to count the words on a sample page and multiply the words with the page count of the text. You get used to it quite fast after some rounds.
I'd also say that it's more valuable to correct an erroneous entry than to perpetuate the error. Stonecreek 00:16, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
So you would rather have people not add the books at all if they are unwilling or unable to do that? There are a lot of health issues for example that can make that very hard (or impossible in some cases). I would rather have the book and deal with it on our end than not have it at all - we can fix it post-approval if needed. Noone argues that we need to have the books saved incorrectly permanently but just rejecting because the record needs fixes can discourage an editor from even attempting to add books that are in that gray area between the types - which is A LOT of the books of the small US presses. Annie 00:27, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Sorry, Annie, I'd be all with you if this would be the standard procedure for all moderators (which it is not). Especially at high times (like weekends) one tends to approve the submissions by the lot (including me sometimes). So, I personally am doing that correcting with submissions by new editors that don't know all the fads & fallacies. I guess for established editors it has to be a conscious choice of adding sheer number vs. adding fewer, but unerroneous & corrected records. Stonecreek 01:05, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
There's a choise moderators have to make: Force editors to count words and run out of editors very quickly, or stick with the rough page numbers guideline and keep your editors. MagicUnk 01:21, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
The choice is between to have erroneous entries or not. Stonecreek 03:25, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Well, no. The choice is between having data, or having no data at all. If the choice is to require/enforce exact data (wordcount), you won't have anyone left willing to enter the data. We are talking about the feasibility/ability to get to the data in the first place. While, yes, you could request/enforce editors to start counting words, you'll quickly run out of editors. Same will happen if you outright reject their efforts - especially so for a minor infraction which could be corrected much easier with a simple subsequent edit rather than having to enter the whole record all over again (rejecting otherwise valid submissions is generally counterproductive as it just frustrates editors, especially with inadequate communication).
Since with the amount of work already required to just keep the ISFDB more or less up-to-date with new releases, we can't afford to lose time counting words. Our time is better spent elsewhere. Ergo, we have to come up with another (albeit inaccurate) rule that does work and can be followed in most cases. Mind that this does not prevent you to engage in a conversation with the submitter for certain cases - comes to mind. This is an example of a rule that while exact and desirable, is unenforceable in practice (or if you do, comes with consequences).
I have previously suggested to up the page limit but for the life of me can't find the discussion anywhere (anyone else can dig up that conversation?). We could be more specific, say, by updating the rule/tooltip to read "Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book, or 100 to 150 pages for books published after 2000-01-01" (or something similar) to at least partially cover current practice. MagicUnk 09:03, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
But it is! When confronted way back with the perspective of having to estimate word counts for fictional texts, I wasn't thrilled either. But it proved the only way to prevent erroneous data from overflowing the db. The page count may be a guidance for old publications. Sadly, it is no more. If a text that fills 300 pages in a stand-alone publication is one day reprinted in an anthology or a collection and turns out to be a novella after all, than you have to correct all the ebooks, tps, hcs and pbs that have been entered in between. So, it's the only meaningful thing to check the publication (or, for example, look inside) with the first entry for a sample page, and make an educated estimate of the word count. After doing it 10 times you become faster, and even more after 20 estimates. Also, you can find the usual candidates more easily by concentrating on certain publishers. Stonecreek 10:13, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Hmmm. OK, I'll concede that I haven't actually done the test myself. I may be wrong after all, so I'll have a go at it when I'm submitting my next batch and see how it works out. MagicUnk 11:18, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
Counting words on a sample page and multiplying the count by the number of pages is certainly useful, but it has its limitations. It assumes that the sample page has the same ratio of "description to dialog" as the rest of the text. It also assumes that paragraph length is uniform throughout the text. It also doesn't account for blank pages inserted in between chapters, full page illustrations and partial pages.
All of these issues were common during the mass market paperback era, at least in the US. Put yourself in the shoes of a typical mass market paperback publisher circa 1970. The industry operated in increments of 32 pages back then. It meant that they could print a 96-page book, a 128-page book, a 160-page book, a 192-page book, etc. So what options did you have if you had 109 pages worth of text? You could ask the author to cut the text so that it would fit in a 96-page paperback, but even back in 1970 96-page books were a bit too short to be successful commercially. Alternatively, you could ask the author to pad the book to 128 pages. And it did happen occasionally, but there were times when it wasn't feasible. For example, if you were about to reprint a novella first published in a pulp magazine in 1945, would the author really want to try to recreate the style that he had used 25 years earlier? The amount of money involved was often insufficient to justify a significant investment of time and "sweat equity". And so the solution was to add blank pages between chapters, start chapters halfway down the page and so on. Ahasuerus 11:20, 30 October 2019 (EDT)

(unindent) For what it's worth, whenever I enter a new novel/novella title which appears to be borderline, I add a note like "At this time it's not clear whether this is a short novel or a novella". I add similar caveats when we have doubts about other information, e.g. "It's not clear whether this young-adult gothic horror novel contains any speculative elements" or this example. Conversely, if we do know the word count, I add it to Notes like I did here to make sure that everyone knows why we believe that a title is a novella and not a novel (or vice versa.)

The important thing is to make sure that we don't make any claims that we can't substantiate and to cite our sources. That way if we find additional information later, we can easily compare sources and update our records. Ahasuerus 10:34, 30 October 2019 (EDT)

Ah, citing sources - a Good Thing™ :)
Out of curiosity, why would you doubt Desdemona and the Deep is a novel? Is it because of Filesize? LookInside is no help apparently; even though the printing looks dense, there's no indication how many electronic pages there really are. MagicUnk 11:18, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
That's right, it's because it was published by Consider All Systems Red, the novella that I linked earlier. We know that it contains 31,910 words. Our verified editions contain 152 (trade paperback) pages and 171 pages (hardcover.) The numbers translate to 186-211 words per page. Since Desdemona and the Deep is reportedly 216 pages long, its word count is in the 40K-45K range -- assuming that the publisher used the same font and page layout. That's very close to our 40K threshold, so we can't be sure that it's a novel and not a novella. Ahasuerus 11:34, 30 October 2019 (EDT)
novella - A work whose length is greater than 17,500 words and less than or equal to 40,000 words. (Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book.) I think when an editor, such as myself, has had hours of their work rejected, or deleted, due to the arbitrary interpretation of the rules, you’re quickly going to eliminate most editors. If a piece of fiction that is 175 pages, 190 pages, or 250 pages is to be considered a novella, then that should be in the rules. It’s not. Not totally. Clarify. One or the other. And sorry, if as an editor I don’t know how to count wordage, or if I’m not sure, then change the rules, and then list how to do this on that page. On the rule page.
Since I started editing for this website I’ve been fascinated and interested in indie authors and publishers, and I have listed, updated, or created pages for 160, or more, authors. So, I was asked to help clean up some of the listings on this page, which I’ve been doing. But why bother? I can stick to updating anthologies, and listing facsimile pulp reprints, and not worry about having my work (tracking down obscure editions, covers, and one-off publishers) deleted willy-nilly. If there is one thing that I’ve learned from reading these responses, is that there is no one accurate way to find an exact, or even an estimated, word count. The fact that these books aren’t transitorily, or primarily, verified should be a warning that the records for these novels can’t be a 100% accurate when the information is gathered from second- and third-tier sources. That is, unless you only want to list materials from verified sources. That's why notations are important.
Anyway, I’m sorry to have been the cause all of this hoopla. MLB 02:27, 2 November 2019 (EDT)
Don't be sorry! The discussion about inconsiderate moderators is a discussion that must happen and cleared out if ISFDB is to survive... MagicUnk 04:07, 2 November 2019 (EDT)
I agree that the rules need to be clarified. "(Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book)" may have been a decent rule of thumb in the past, back when we mostly dealt with US/UK books published by traditional publishers. These days, however, there is too much variety to make it even remotely reliable. The easiest way to deal with it would be to delete the sentence. We may also want to add a link to a new Wiki sub-page with an explanation of how to count words in a work.
Should we move that part of the discussion to rules$ standards? MagicUnk 16:55, 2 November 2019 (EDT)
Will do! Ahasuerus 12:22, 3 November 2019 (EST)
Re: rejecting submissions with a lot of information in them, it's a whole different can of worms. In most cases, I would encourage moderators to put them on hold and communicate with the submitting editor to clarify/correct any issues in the submission. On the software development side, I think it would be useful to allow moderators to change the status of a rejected submission back to "New". That way accidental rejections could be easily reversed. It would also make it easier for submitters to appeal rejections on the Moderator Noticeboard. Ahasuerus 12:07, 2 November 2019 (EDT)
While being able to revert a rejection is surely going to be helpful, it will not take away the irritation of having your work dismissed without prior discussion, especially not if the rejection was unwarranted as in the case for MLB's being perfectly valid novel-length pubs... MagicUnk 16:55, 2 November 2019 (EDT)
Well, accidents and borderline cases are liable to happen. For example, sometimes a new editor submits a book which appears to be ineligible. The reviewing moderator typically puts it on hold and leaves a note on the editor's Talk page asking for a clarification. If the editor doesn't respond, the moderator has to decide at what point to reject the submission. If we had the ability to resurrect rejected submissions, it would make the decision much easier since there would be no danger of losing data. Ahasuerus 12:22, 3 November 2019 (EST)


Hi, I'm asking what is the consensus/opinion on the use of [over]; whether it's best/clearest at conveying a line break in a book but not having a line break appear in its Publication Record. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 16:04, 6 November 2019 (EST)

In the notes? It is a way to show it. As is actually making a real new line. Either works - really comes down to editor preference. :) If not in a note, example? Annie 16:10, 6 November 2019 (EST)
Sorry, meant to say in the pub.record notes. Example here. Kev. BanjoKev 17:02, 6 November 2019 (EST)
I don't have problems with this wording and usage. It is clear and explains what you mean so... short of actually having a line break, that is probably the best option. :) Annie 17:15, 6 November 2019 (EST)
Thanks Annie, appreciated. Kev. BanjoKev 18:20, 6 November 2019 (EST)

My Votes in (Internal and/or External) Chronological Order

Is there a way to view my votes in the order in which I cast them, or the order in which the stories were published, and preferably both? I don’t need a user interface, a magic URL suffix would suffice. — FlaSheridn 18:45, 9 November 2019 (EST)

The only way I'm aware of is this page, which lists them in vote value order (with "10" at the top). It might be possible to do a sorting, but that would be Ahasuerus' area of expertise. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:38, 10 November 2019 (EST)
Yes, please, Ahasuerus?
FlaSheridn 20:34, 13 November 2019 (EST)
OK, FR 1318, "Allow sorting 'My Votes' by title and by title date" has been created and shouldn't be hard to implement. "The order in which I cast them" would be a bigger project because we currently do not record the date/time when each vote was cast. I am currently sick, so I can't do much, but I will see what I can do once I recover. Ahasuerus 21:22, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Thank you; not displaying nonexistent information sounds reasonable. Get well soon, and thanks for all the previous good work.
FlaSheridn 21:15, 14 November 2019 (EST)
On second thought, does the entry for a vote contain a sequential ID? If so, sorting on that would suffice.
FlaSheridn 07:07, 15 November 2019 (EST)
That's a good point. It may be possible, but I'll need to check and see whether internal IDs change when a user updates his or her vote. The FR has been updated, thanks! Ahasuerus 16:04, 15 November 2019 (EST)

Martian Time-Slip : PKD : SF Masterworks II, 1st printing

Hi, I'm trying to track down the correct first printing date of the above as here.

As with that record, my apparent first printing is undated with the same "This edition reprinted by Gollancz" on the copyright page (there's no number line).

Amazon here states at the top "Martian Time-Slip Paperback – 5 Jun 2013" but further down in 'Product details' has "Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (6 Jun. 2013)".

The sfgateway site here has the second series cover but the sale date and ISBN of the first series.

It's not listed on Wikipedia 'SF Masterworks', I can't find any reference on the PKD fansite and it's not on OCLC/WorldCat. The first printing date must be known - I just can't find it. Any help would be appreciated. Kev. BanjoKev 18:53, 11 November 2019 (EST)

I found this entry for 1990 in the British Library, but it's a different ISBN. The ISBN we list is not found in the BL (even though it should be, since it was published in the UK). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:40, 11 November 2019 (EST)
Thanks for looking :) btw, I've just found the most complete list I've seen yet of Masterworks, here: Kev. BanjoKev 21:33, 11 November 2019 (EST)
The wikipedia article for the series is not half bad as well (and has the titles since 2016 but no dates for anything). This one has dates though. You probably should add it to the series page. :) Annie 22:17, 11 November 2019 (EST)

Number line on a US book: second set of eyes needed

Can someone (especially from the US side of the pond) look at this number line (and the one before that) and tell me what printing they think that is:

  • Revised edition, 2011
  • 15 CG/OPM 70 69 68 67 66

I read this as 66th printing, published in 2015. The original is from 1997 and it is a popular enough book to have a 66th printing indeed. Or am I misreading? Thanks! Annie 12:11, 12 November 2019 (EST)

This is peculiar. Normally, a group of letters in the middle of a number line stands for the name of the printing company, typically a subcontractor -- see Wikipedia. In most cases, the actual "printing line" would be to the left of the abbreviation and the "year line" would be to the right of it. However, it looks like "CG/OPM" does it the other way around. For example, see this record, whose number line says "16 17 18 19 CG/OPM 10 9 8 7". From context, it stands for "7th printing published in 2016".
In other words, I agree with your conclusion, but it's a rather odd case and may merit an explanation in the Note field. Ahasuerus 13:49, 12 November 2019 (EST)
That's why I asked. My first reading was 15th printing but then I stopped and looked at the other side and the numbers did not make sense while 15 for the year did. Same publisher (and apparently same printer) for the book I am looking at - so it sounds like this is their way to record this. Will add notes and will add something on the publisher level for that oddity. Annie 14:00, 12 November 2019 (EST)

Using talk page for discussion

I have been making some additions and a couple of weeks ago moderators were making comments and I was responding. Now I've forgotten how to get in or log in within on the Talk Page to respond to further moderators' comments. Please remind me. Thankyou! - Leigh Blackmore —The preceding unsigned comment was added by LeighBlackmore (talkcontribs) . 22:14, 13 November 2019 (EST)

In the upper right corner of every of our wiki pages there is a link to 'log in'. The username and the password should be the same as for the editing tasks. Stonecreek 02:28, 14 November 2019 (EST)

The Hand of Chaos : Keith Parkinson cover and interior artwork

Hi, could someone explain why Keith Parkinson's interior artwork (variant of cover art for The Hand of Chaos) in all five titles here are dated 1993-12-00 and not 1993-04-00. Is it maybe because the 1993-04-00 and 1993-05-00 pubs here were entered after the 1993-12-00 pub and the variant dates were overlooked because they appear as 1993, without following them through on the Edit button and revealing them to be 1993-12-00? Thanks, Kev. --BanjoKev 20:55, 22 November 2019 (EST)

Actually, this record needs to be dated 1994-00-00 I believe (based on its first publication as INTERIORART in "The Art of Keith Parkinson") as there is no 1993 book that has it as an internal illustration. But yes, you are probably right - it remains 12-00 because noone adjusted the dates with adding new books later and shifting the cover art. The coverart dating is irrelevant as we are changing type - and variants are dated based on the publications they appear in :)
As for why... See this request and some of the numbers there. We have problems with our dating that need a lot of cleanup. Rules had changed a few times, rules had been misunderstood or just not followed. And sometimes people just do not pay attention when shifting one piece of data that needs to be followed by other changes. Annie 21:04, 22 November 2019 (EST)
Thanks, makes perfect sense; don't confuse the types and yes, 1994-00-00 is the first interior art publication. I'd like to fix this before I move on and I know at publication level the dates are greyed-out (because of use in more than one), pointing to change further up the hierarchy at title level, but I can't find the starting point. Kev BanjoKev 21:32, 22 November 2019 (EST)
The record you started with in this post. Click edit on it. :) it is inside all the publications in the table under it and nowhere else. It is only tricky at the parent level as you see the list of all variants as well (you can select do not show variants and translations to see only the ones attached to the parent). For a child record, what you see in the table under them on the Title record is what contains them. So you edit by editing the title record itself. Annie 21:37, 22 November 2019 (EST)
Think of a publication as a collection of title records - each publication has at least one (we call it reference title - it usually matches the type of the publication except for the EDITOR case), most have more than one. When two publications need to have the same record inside of them (same is defined as same type, same language, same spelling of the title, same spelling of the author name, same text/translator/image (with some provisions of what we call same image) if applicable), instead of having two title records and connecting them, they are merged into one record (manually if need be). So this is inside of the 5 publications in the list under it. You cannot edit it from inside of one of the publications because you won't have visibility of the other 4. So you need to edit the record itself (date, type, length if applicable, title and author are the 5 fields that get greyed out if the title is used in more than one publication). Records that are only inside of a single publication can be edited (these 5 elements only) either from the publication Edit screen or from the title edit screen. Does this make sense? If not, what does not so I can try to explain better? Annie 21:47, 22 November 2019 (EST)
Yes, all makes sense. I've submitted the title edit. What I was missing/not finding was the 'Edit Title Data' link in the left menu panel - such a simple thing! Thanks :) Kev. BanjoKev 22:22, 22 November 2019 (EST)
The edit can be reached from two places - it is also at the top right corner, next to the record Id. Glad you found one of the places.  :) Annie 22:30, 22 November 2019 (EST)


Hi, I have four artwork titles, of which only 1) & 2) presently and correctly exist:
1) COVERART for 'xyz'
2) INTERIORART for 'xyz' (variant of cover art for 'xyz')
3) INTERIORART for 'The xyz' (variant of cover art for 'xyz')
4) INTERIORART for 'The xyz (sketch)'

Am I correct in making #3 a variant of #1 (the added 'The') and making #4 (a preliminary sketch of #3) a variant of #2?
Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 10:30, 26 November 2019 (EST)

We do not make variants of variants. So both 2 and 3 will be variants of 1. 4 may also be a variant - if it is missing only the color for example. Annie 13:38, 26 November 2019 (EST)
And if the sketch is just a preliminary one and different, it stays alone and you connect only via the notes. Annie 13:39, 26 November 2019 (EST)
Just the sort of answer I was looking for. Thanks Annie, Kev. BanjoKev 13:49, 26 November 2019 (EST)

How to merge 'Ren Dhark' magazines to editor 'uncredited'?

please see:

What is the best practice to merge some magazines for 1968 & 1969? Would i get the same difficulties, if i rename 'uncredited' to 'various' or 'unknown'? Please give me you proposal or a workaround or a link to a help-describtion. --Norman 05:38, 27 November 2019 (EST)

No need to rename anything. The easiest way is to go to 'advanced search' (on the left, just above 'logged in as'), select 'Titles'. Then enter 'title contains Ren Dhark', 'Author's name is exactly uncredited' and 'title type is excatly EDITOR'. Then push 'get results' and you come to this screen, where you can select the titles you want to merge. There's a link to the help text there. --Willem 06:09, 27 November 2019 (EST)
Many thanks for your advise William. That helps really. --Norman 10:21, 27 November 2019 (EST)

Suhrkamp Phantastische Bibliothek #7

Hello, on the site is stated the numer 7 was maybe never issued. A research on the secand hand bookmarket shows two ISBN:

  • 3-518-06824-5 apparent wrong
    • 1. printing 1976 with the original cover
    • 2. printing 1976, 11. - 20. thsd.
    • 3. printing 1977, 21. - 30. thsd. with a new cover
    • 4. printing 1978
    • 5. printing 1979
  • 3-518-36824-9 corrected with a new cover
    • 6. printing 1979
    • 7. printing 1981

Help is very welcome to sort this out. Henna 14:15, 28 November 2019 (EST)

Hi Henna, we have a 6th printing in our library which i could take a look at today. Seems they integrated later printings in "Phantastische Bibliothek". The 6th printing states "Band 7" and there is a listing of the pub series in the back that also states it as such. I took a view pictures, you can find them here. Werner Welo 09:56, 7 December 2019 (EST)
Hello Werner, thanks for your research. I will add the 6th printing. Thanks again Henna 16:13, 8 December 2019 (EST)

Art Calendars

Do art calendars count as 'works' to be included? Art books by artists who produce SF covers and interior art seem to be included (e.g. Frazetta) and even some calendars (e.g. Hildebrand Tolkien). What would be the threshold for a particular artist? Does the presence of an ISBN on the calendar make a difference? ../Doug H 11:59, 4 December 2019 (EST)

No official rule so just an opinion: Kinda... Art books that contain speculative fiction images are included under the same rule that includes the non-fiction about speculative fiction :) Calendars are a little more in the gray area. If it is strictly by one or more of our artists and all the images are speculative fiction related and an editor wants to add it, I would approve it. See this search for what we do have for calendars (some of these are not calendars really so we have less than that) - The Frank Frazetta Calendar 1977 is not much different from an artbook with the same set of images really - and all of those are also covers. I do not add or verify the ones I have. But if an editor wants to work on that, more power to them (and some of those calendars tend to have an essay or an introduction about the artist -- so they will be eligible based on that - for example). We are not an art DB but the way we record the covers makes us look like one occasionally. :)
ISBN does not make a difference. As for the threshold -- in my book, it should be even higher than for non-genre books. But that's just me - if it is not reprinting covers or used for covers, I don't think it belongs. But YMMV. Annie 12:43, 4 December 2019 (EST)

Don Bendell

I wrote a series of scifi novels (the Tracker series) in the early nineties, and you have me credited for that. I wrote the book under the nom d' plume Ron Stillman, and I created the series. However, you credited me for writing Tracker books 1 through 8, but in actuality, the publisher Berkley Books hired another writer under that pen name to write Tracker 7 and Tracker 8. I did not write those two books. I created the character, series, and pen name and wrote Tracker books 1 through 6. With the last two, the series lost popularity with those two books and was cancelled by the publisher. Just want to clarify. Thank you. Don Bendell

Thanks for the clarification. Do you happen to know the name of the writer for books 7 & 8? (We'd like to have those also credited correctly). Thanks, Stonecreek 10:42, 6 December 2019 (EST)

Graphic format TITLE vs. PUB

The Graphic Format flag is provided at the TITLE level, but the associated help has "Check the check-box only if the main title in this publication is a graphic novel or another type of work in which graphic material is inseparable from the text." suggesting it applies at the PUBLICATION level. My situation is an abridged form of a Jules Verne novel, presented as narrative over graphic panels, generally four per page. The art work is definitely comic-like.

Because I could see the text being used in another publication with no images or other images, I'm thinking this should not be flagged as Graphic Format, even though it is graphically formatted. Or am I missing something? ../Doug H 23:17, 10 December 2019 (EST)

Correct, marking the title record as graphic format would imply all the publications under that record are graphic format. In the case you describe (abridged, graphic format), it probably shouldn't be in the same title record as the other Jules Verne novels (especially if it's been abridged to shortfiction vs. a novel). How is the publication credited; just to Verne or Verne and the artist? If the first, I would variant it to the Verne and the artist. If the second, it should be entered as both anyway. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:11, 11 December 2019 (EST)
In order for it to be considered comics/graphic format, the art should be part of the story and the story should not work without the art. If the story works on its own, regardless of how illustrated it may otherwise be, I would record as two entries - one for the text, one for the interior art (the same way we do for children books). If the text and the art are not separable , the text on its own will never be published (as it won't make sense) so all editions of this text will be always graphic format. So either it is separable (then two entries are in order) or it is not (and then the text on its own won't appear anywhere) Annie 19:13, 11 December 2019 (EST)
Standard practice has been to enter two entries (one text and one art) even for graphic novels when the pub credits them separately. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:27, 12 December 2019 (EST)
Yep - and rereading, good catch on how I said things. However we won't mark the story as graphic format if it can be published on its own and make sense; we will if the art is needed for the story to work (aka real comics book). Annie 19:22, 12 December 2019 (EST)
Yes, entirely agree with that. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:01, 12 December 2019 (EST)

[only as by Alternative Name] and [as by Alternative Name]

Hi, by which method do I create the former statement next to a cover art title in the author's canonical name Author Record (which will appear as the latter statement in the 'Cover:' field of the Publication Record)? As in, hypothetically for example:

On Frederick Smith's author record - Eternal Dogs (1984) [only as by Freddy Smith]

And on the novel Eternal Dogs Publication Record, in the Cover: field - Eternal Dogs (1984) • by Frederick Smith [as by Freddy Smith]

Btw, this is a genre title :) Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 18:17, 13 December 2019 (EST)

You add the book with the author name as given and then make the title a variant to a title where the author is the actual name. Then if the only copy we have is from the pseudonym, it shows up as "only as by". If we have copies from both the pseudonym and the canonical author it shows "also/as by". Annie 18:34, 13 December 2019 (EST)
With the caveat that we don't variant from published to actual name if the author/artist has only been credited in the database under the published name. If that is the case, we simply edit the author's page to list the actual name. Adding that since neither name above is in the database and wasn't sure if that is the actual record or a hypothetical. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:40, 13 December 2019 (EST)
Thanks to you both. It's all turned out surprisingly well! And yes, the above was a complete hypothetical. The actual instances are; the pub here [1] and the two cover art authors here [2] and here [3] and they now appear as I intended. Btw, it makes sense that Mike Topping is now the canonical name rather than the pseudonym, as it was before. There seems to be only one pub where Michael Topping is the actual name credited. Kev. BanjoKev 19:29, 13 December 2019 (EST)
We create the pseudonyms based on what we have in the DB. Reversing them and changing the canonical name does happen when we get more details and books. At least this one had only a few titles - reversing the pseudinym when you have hundreds is... challenging. One thing to be careful when reversing a pseudonym of an artist - if the artist credit is from a secondary source, we use the canonical name as we have it at the time of the adding of the book. When reversing the pseudonyms, these need to be changed to now use the new canonical. It does not seem to be relevant here but wanted to point out that in case you do another one. :) Annie 21:05, 13 December 2019 (EST)

How to add/merge an additional Pub?

Please can you help me by adding a second pub like in example [4]? What have i done?

I've add an new ANTOLOGY #750001.
Then i've made an titelupdate (adding to series [5])

I'm not sure how to proceed. Finaly i what to add each of the four novellas to their primary titel records. Can you please give me an advise? --Norman 15:36, 15 December 2019 (EST)

In this case, you need to merge the two separate records of the stories. You can look for duplicates (the link is on the left menu - same way you were merging the EDITORs earlier) and in this case, it opens this. Should be self-explanatory from there.
If the record was not created yet, you could have imported the stories instead of typing the titles again - submit the anthology with no contents and then use Import after it is approved.
If there is a second edition of the same anthology, instead of adding a new anthology with "New Anthology", you can clone the existing one (left menu on the publication screen). Annie 16:44, 15 December 2019 (EST)
Many thanks. --Norman 17:15, 15 December 2019 (EST)

A two-collection omnibus

De Laatste Wens / Het Zwaard der Voorzienigheid is an omnibus containing two collections. Currently, its contents lists the individual stories of the first collection and the second collection only its COLLECTION container record. I have an eighth printing. How should I go about entering this OMNIBUS of two COLLECTIONS? Record all the idividual stories of both collections? Or just the two COLLECTION container records as contents? Thanks! MagicUnk 13:42, 16 December 2019 (EST)

Add the two collection records and the stories inside of them. Make sure the two collection records are just before their own contents. This way it is clear why it is an omnibus (just the stories will make it a collection) and one does not need to traverse through the collection to find where the story is available. Annie 15:06, 16 December 2019 (EST)
OK, I'll do that. Thanks Annie. MagicUnk 15:41, 16 December 2019 (EST)
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