ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 34


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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 January - December 2021.

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Archives of old discussions from the Help desk.

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Expanded archive listing


Tor Horror / Diana Tregarde / Lackey

While PVing some of the books in the Diana Tregarde series by Lackey I noticed the publisher indicated Tor Horror on the title page. However, this publisher is not currently used. Is there a reason? Too few publications? Or should I just edit to that value to create. There are currently no active verifiers for these books. [1] and [2] --GlennMcG 16:50, 8 January 2021 (EST)

These are very old records and the rules around standardization of publisher names had changed a lot of times - and if noone looked/worked on untangling these, chances are that they defaulted on the "main" publisher and that was it. If it is on the title page and is indeed shows as a publisher and not as a pub series, go ahead and change it. Talk to any active PV and so on first - it is not different from the Fantasy one you were untangling earlier. Annie 18:37, 8 January 2021 (EST)
It looks parallel to me, but these were the first I'd seen, while there are lots of Tor Fantasy. Looks like it was a short lived experiment, in that the 3rd book in the series uses the 'fantasy' variant. --GlennMcG 18:57, 8 January 2021 (EST)
Which explains why we already had Fantasy and not Horror - more books, more likely someone to decide to use it or a book to have ben touched in the last decade. :) Annie 19:40, 8 January 2021 (EST)

Upload cover scan

Trying to upload a cover scan for this publication. File uploaded is a JPG and 100k in size. Gives me this error message. Image does display here though. Help --Mavmaramis 09:53, 19 January 2021 (EST)

It is the other size component - the size in pixels: 600 × 737 pixels -- the library we are using supports up to 600 pixels on the longest side. (the upload screen has this text: "Cover images should be no more than 600 pixels along the largest dimension"). Unlike the space size, this restriction will not block you from uploading. Technically these images are visible everywhere but on their web page. I usually try to find a smaller one/shrink what I have when this happens... but as you noticed, it works on the work page. Annie 12:29, 19 January 2021 (EST)
Thanks Annie. I knew about the size limits. I was fairly sure I'd resized it appropriately but obviously not. --Mavmaramis 16:50, 19 January 2021 (EST)

Search by date.

Is this possible? I'm after a novel published on a specific date. Title unknown, publisher unknown. So, search criteria are Date, Novel (not short story or magazine), Country (UK). Any help welcome.

Sure! Use the advanced search, it's only that you seem only be able to break it down to month (use the YYYY-MM format, for example 2021-01) with the Advanced Search. :Country seems also difficult, but the language (presumably English) is there to choose. Stonecreek 11:26, 22 January 2021 (EST)
Country search should be doable if you're doing a publication search and do price containing £ , I'd have thought? (i.e. just the pound sterling sign, no value). I don't know what proportion of pubs don't have a price, but I'd have thought it's a fairly small minority.
This is assuming the publication is after 1970, anything before then is another story :-( ErsatzCulture 13:17, 22 January 2021 (EST)
ErsatzCulture's idea is for publication search. My proposal to search by language will only work for the title search (only those have languages attached), which won't be a problem if it's a first edition that you're looking for. Do you have any more information (idea for a publisher, format, or something)? Stonecreek 13:24, 22 January 2021 (EST)


Project Gutenberg's 1999 edition of his 1901 collection The God of His Fathers has a story, "Jan, the Unrepentant", which has a match to a 1934 French collection which calls it "Jan the Unrepentant", missing the comma. That Gutenberg edition gives the story as new along with 3 other stories, but the guy died 80+ years earlier. I can't change the French edition's title to the correct one because it's primary verified, plus it's classed as non-genre while the 1999 version is not. So someone needs to decide what to do here, whether to change the 1934 title or make it a variant and make both titles non-genre, and whether to find the dates for those other 3 stories and enter them so there isn't a listing for 4 1999 stories under Jack London's record.--Username 11:17, 22 January 2021 (EST)

I cautionary changed the 1999 dates to 1901 (the pieces might have been published before, but 1901 is the best we know so far). I also merged the "Jan, the Unrepentant" titles, which posed no problem, since it wasn't the English title that was PVed, only the French translated one. Stonecreek 13:32, 22 January 2021 (EST)

Paul Haines

"Cooking for the Heart" was in Lullaby Hearse. It was reprinted as "Slice of Life: Cooking for the Heart" in Doorways for the Dispossessed, and as "Slice of Life - Cooking for the Heart" in Slice of Life. ISFDB has a note under #1291233 saying it was first published in Lullaby Hearse but doesn't link the two different records because of the title difference, and there's no variant for the title with the colon. I'm great at most things when it comes to editing but I can't deal with this minutiae. If anyone wants to take this, feel free.--Username 00:19, 23 January 2021 (EST)

It is an extremely easy thing to do: You go to the title that is to become a parent (also known as the original except in special cases), get its ID, then go into the variant-to-be, go to "Make This Title a Variant" on the left and use the ID you found in option 1. I had done that now but please try on your own next time - this is one of the simplest operations in the DB and almost all new editors manage to do these very early on.
PS: It will be appreciated if you stop using all caps in the title of every post you post in Talk -- sentence case works as well and is a lot less annoying on a watch list. You may notice that you are the only one using this kind of titles in the Talk pages - which I fixed in this one. Thanks! :) Annie 00:35, 23 January 2021 (EST)
I've made variant titles literally hundreds of times since I became an editor barely a month ago, so telling me "please try on your own next time" is really sarcastic and unhelpful. I asked for help with this one because there was a note under the "Slice of Life" title mentioning the zine where the story was first published but apparently nobody bothered checking the record for that zine and seeing the original name of the story right there in the contents and making a variant. Plus you apparently didn't notice the part of my above message where I said there's no variant for the title WITH THE COLON. A quick check of Google Books would show you that the story was printed with a colon after the word "Life" in the Prime Books collection, and I assume the version with the dash is how it was printed in the other collections. One of these story collections was verified back in 2012 and I'm apparently the first person in nearly 9 years to notice any of this. So complaining about my capitalizing the titles of my posts is ridiculous. I've done an unbelievable amount of work over the last month or so adding story collections and anthologies to ISFDB that are not found on any other sites, fixing incorrect dates and titles and author names, merging and varianting titles, identifying variant names, adding book covers, author photos, links to pages on for fiction found nowhere on current webpages, etc. Sometimes I have more than half of all the pending edits on ISFDB. But one of the most time-consuming parts of my editing is having to fix info that was VERIFIED BY MODERATORS before I started here even though the info is clearly incorrect, or me asking a moderator to fill in some info I'm not sure how to do and them complaining about not being "slaves" and how they're not getting paid to do that, and when they do deign to do a little work often they make mistakes that I have to make another edit for in order to fix. I've already complained before about this hostility, so I'll just end this by saying that if this info was correct in the first place I wouldn't need to ask for your help. So in the future keep comments to yourselves unless they can help me add or fix something, or it's some praise which I certainly deserve for the ungodly amount of improvements I've made to ISFDB--Username 01:42, 23 January 2021 (EST)
Regardless if the title is correct or not, the variant had to be created. Which is now done. Chasing the correct title is a different process and something that we have a process on - which I am working on. If your point was to ask help for the title and not the variant, maybe write a bit more clearly what you need help on. Some of the old records are in a really bad shape because rules had changed and sometimes because people were not paying attention. We find them, we fix them. It takes time and effort.
Everyone here is a volunteer, all help is welcome. Let's not get insulting to people who may or may not have time to do things (or may be working on their own projects while also working the queue), shall we? Want some numbers? You have 1,111 edits in a month as of an hour ago, I have 258,911 in 4.5 years. So yes, I know how much work goes into fixing issues in this DB. Apologies for trying to help you here based on what you posted and not being able to read your mind on what you ask to be tackled from the multiple issues in this specific title. I will try to remember not to do that anymore.
Shall we calm down here? Annie 02:06, 23 January 2021 (EST)
And if you are done with the grumbling, this should now look correct now (with a note where needed - at least one of the books we have indeed has the "-" and not a ":"; the Prime ones are confirmed ":" so are now split; the verified one stays where it was as I cannot find an image anywhere. If you can find me an image of "The Mayne Press" edition somewhere, it will be helpful). It helps if you post links btw - not just titles. Implying that you are the only one doing any work is not a way to get people to work with you - in case you had not realized that yet. Anything else that needs fixing on this one? :) Annie 02:19, 23 January 2021 (EST)


It seems odd to me all issues of this magazine up until #24 have no publisher credit on ISFDB except for #12, which has Interzone as the publisher(?). The only other publication by Interzone was a 1982 chapbook, so this may be an error (or maybe all those other issues should have the same publisher, too). Who knows?--Username 13:07, 24 January 2021 (EST)

Well, me: there was in fact no credit for a publisher in the first issues. I'll take a look into that no. 12. Thanks for the hint! Stonecreek 13:27, 24 January 2021 (EST)

The Homing

This, 51KnNwWOrmL._AC_SX60_CR,0,0,60,60_.jpg, shows the 1992 cover of the British reprint of this novel, which unlike the earlier editions reveals the real names of the authors. I want to add the image, but should names be changed?--Username 19:53, 24 January 2021 (EST)

Is that The Homing by John Saul, or The Homing by 'Jeffrey Campbell' you are referring to :) ? - I guess the latter as you're talking about authors, plural, but please do add links to the (ISFDB or other) records you are mentioning in your posts. As to your question, I haven't found any other pictures of the cover but the one available from Amazon here, which I always find suspicious and starts me thinking if this edition has actually been published at all? But if you're absolutely sure that the this edition really has been published, and that the cover really corresponds to the 1992 reprint edition, then you can update the existing record with the two separate names AND don't forget that you'd have to add a new Contents title with both names as well (it doesn't exist yet) - and remove the existing title record). MagicUnk 14:22, 26 January 2021 (EST)

Winston Churchill

So this,, shows it was first published in Dec. 1898, unlike ISFDB saying Jan. 1899. Also, it says it was written by "Winston Spencer Churchill", but that variant name only shows up for a reprint in a 1969 anthology. Also, it's subtitled "An Episode of the Red Sea", but that doesn't show up at all on ISFDB. Don't want to F up a major author like this without knowing under which name I should put this link and whether I should change the date and add the subtitle (and delete notes from a couple of the variants saying it was first published in 1899). --Username 09:13, 25 January 2021 (EST)

I did a quick check, and the story has been published in Jan 1899, not in 1898 (as the scan title incorrectly suggest) - this link for example shows that the first volume has been published July 1898-January 1899. In addition, the last page of the scan of the story says With the present January number Six Numbers... ergo, the story has been published in Jan 1899.
That said, the January 1899 issue of the Hamsworth Magazine (Vol 1, No. 6) in which this story first appeared has not been entered into ISFDB (nor has the entire Vol I for that matter). So go ahead and add that missing magazine pub record and import "Man Overboard!" into its Contents section (or add and merge afterwards). Have fun! MagicUnk 14:01, 26 January 2021 (EST)


Note for this 1982 novel by Ken Greenhall says there was an earlier 1981 British edition under Greenhall's pseudonym Jessica Hamilton. I found the cover and created a new record and entered all the other info available, but after approval it sits alone instead of being under the Childgrave record. Can someone add this 1981 edition as a variant to the #858887 record? --Username 10:34, 26 January 2021 (EST)

You can do that yourself by varianting the Jessica Hamilton title record to the Ken Greenhall original title record. You do this in exactly the same way as any other varianting you would do.
As an aside, it has been requested before, it would be appreciated if you'd add links in your postings. Don't assume other editors or moderators will immediately find what you're talking about - lend them a hand by providing links, which you can easily do by just copying the URL in your message, or put it between [ ], or by using the {{t|xxxxx|title}} or {{p|xxxx||pub title}} templates. Thanks! MagicUnk 13:32, 26 January 2021 (EST)

Author Tanya Allan

Just curious, I created the page for Tanya Allan, but does anybody but me think that the author Tanya Allan-Johnson is probably the same person? The primary for the later seems to gone AWOL. MLB 22:36, 28 January 2021 (EST)

I tend to think the same, but I do think the probability for this is around 75%, and that'd not be enough to link them for sure, IMHO. But what would be possible is to add notes to both author entries, along the line that it's possible that the two are one and the same. Christian Stonecreek 07:05, 29 January 2021 (EST)
And I just did so for the supposed variant name. Christian Stonecreek 07:10, 29 January 2021 (EST)
Thanks. MLB 21:17, 30 January 2021 (EST)

Steranko artist in Swords Against Death

I added the cover artist [3] to [4], which shows as an alternative to [5]. However, the title doesn't show up in the list. What step did I miss? --GlennMcG 16:08, 29 January 2021 (EST)

You need to create a parent which brings it to the canonical page. When you have a title in a pseudonym/alternative author listing, you need to create a parent title to bring it to the main author page (or variant to an already existing title there). So open the title, use the second option in the "Make This Title a Variant" (this page for this one) and only change the author name from the alternative to the main one - that will create the needed parent and bring it to the canonical name page. Annie 16:42, 29 January 2021 (EST)

Peter Tremayne (Ants)

Hell-o. Tremayne's novel [6] was translated into Portuguese under the title As formigas vem ai!. This translates as The Ants are Coming! The original British edition is listed as just The Ants on ISFDB but has two smaller words under the title on the cover, Are Coming! I think this was the intended title, and there are several sites online that list it as such, but I hesitate to change it until hearing from someone else. --Username 19:49, 29 January 2021 (EST)

Well, there is a pved publication (though the verifier isn't active at the moment), so better leave it at that, since an 'intended' title or the title as printed on the cover is of no interest to ISFDB: only the title as printed on the title page is. Thanks, Stonecreek 08:25, 30 January 2021 (EST)

The title page didn't include the full title in the original edition [7], but clearly Tremayne restored his preferred title for reprints [8] --Username 09:36, 30 January 2021 (EST)

Understanding data in the CIP block of a book

I'm new to doing this and am not a librarian, just a long term collector.

Can someone help me interpret how to read some data on one line of the CIP block of a book? The book was printed in 1979 (or a little later). The CIP data contains a line reading: [PZ7.C7878Ov 1979] [Fic] 79-10489

I tried to find something in the Help Desk archives but I couldn't find a way to search through all the topics at one time.

Thanks Phil Freund 16:49, 2 February 2021 (EST)

PZ7 means juvenile and young adult literature. The last number on this line (79-10489) is supposed to be the LCCN number but older ones may not be available online. Fic and 1979 should be self-explanatory. Which book does it belong to and what else is on the surrounding lines?
The only part from the CIP data that we care about in the DB is the ISBN if it is there and the LCCN. You can note the rest or use some of it (we have a flag for juvenile) but most of the rest is more fro libraries than for here.
Do you need any more information or did that help enough? Annie 17:40, 2 February 2021 (EST)
Wikipedia has the full list of these codes. Annie 17:42, 2 February 2021 (EST)
Thanks! I think this helps enough. The book is [9] Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. The following line is the ISBN. Just above the Printer's Key is a line that reads "First Voyager/HBJ edition 1979". Would that be enough to change the date entry to 1979-00-00? Phil Freund 22:39, 2 February 2021 (EST)
1979 will be the first printing. What you linked is the third - and the CIP data does not change between the printings - not often anyway - I’d expect all printings to carry the same details more often than not. So there are two options here:
  • You are holding an edition with a printer key for the third printing. Then you have this book indeed. The date is not clear and cannot change.
  • You are holding an edition with a complete printer key or a key A - aka first printing. In this case, you probably have this although it is a different ISBN so probably not. It is also possible that what we have is a second printing.
Unless there is a specific date for the printing itself or we can find external collaboration, the date will remain 0000 I am afraid. Hope this makes sense. You add a note with the CIP data so if someone can find additional data, it can be used as collaboration later on though. Annie 01:32, 3 February 2021 (EST)

Patreon edition ebooks

A number of authors are providing early releases of their new publications to people who have signed up for a subscription on Patreon. There’s a lot of inconsistency in how the individual Patreon programs are setup.

Let me use Glynn Stewart’s Patreon offering as an example. For $5.00 per title, subscribers are able to download a Patreon Edition of an about-to-be-released title. Each of the titles is typically released two weeks prior to the general availability of the title and can no longer be downloaded once the publication is generally available. Each has a cover that is the same as the initial release cover with the words “Patreon Edition” added to it. The title page includes the term “Patreon Edition” on it. The edition also serves as a final editing check before full publication since each subscriber is encouraged to report any typos, etc. In many ways, these titles can be considered final eARCs.

Should these title variations be added to the database and if yes, would they be handled any differently than we handle variations of other titles? A unique publication date can be obtained by looking at the availability posting date on the Patreon page for that Author’s subscription. A unique cover image is available. Would I just go with that? Phil 11:46, 5 February 2021 (EST)

It really comes down to how different they are. We don't list eARCS separately and with ebooks, we tend to lump versions a bit more than with we for for paper books (versions and ebooks are a complicated matter). You may look at existing Patreon editions and notes to see what had been done. But as a whole, unless it has an extra story or artwork or something, I will leave it just on the notes level... Annie 11:58, 5 February 2021 (EST)
Then I'll plan on adding the info to the Title notes. Thanks! Phil 14:37, 5 February 2021 (EST)
Having the notes will allows us to move them out into proper editions if we decide to do that at some point so... yeah. As always with the DB - the better notes we have, the easier it is to implement a change if we need to so... document, document, document :) Wait to see if anyone else chimes in with another idea/solution but that is what I would do :) Annie 14:54, 5 February 2021 (EST)
I don't have any ideas or solutions, but when I saw this item, it reminded me that I read a while ago that Baen make some sort of very rough/early e-ARCs available to purchase, and that would seem to be a reasonable precedent, if there's ever been any discussion of how to handle them? A quick Google returns this page of examples, and this discussion about their content. ErsatzCulture 15:15, 5 February 2021 (EST)

(unindent)I am afraid I missed this discussion back in February. To answer ErsatzCulture's question above, yes, we have been aware of the "e-ARCs" that Baen has been selling since 2008 -- here is the relevant discussion. As was pointed out at the time, these are -- arguably -- not ARCs at all:

  • ... these "e-arcs" are actually being advertised and sold. The traditional ARC was only distributed to reviewers and buyers for bookstores and distributors, and indeed generally carried a large "NOT FOR SALE" notice. Fans only got these if they knew someone on the distribution list, or if someone on that list sold a copy in violation of agreement. But with Baen marketing these, arguably they aren't "really" ARCs at all, but separate editions. -DES Talk 12:33, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

"Patreon editions" are apparently similar in that they are only available for a limited time, have a different publication date and a separate price. I think they are more like "privately published" books, which were commonly sold to subscribers about a century ago, or more modern book club editions than traditional ARCs. I think they need separate publication records. I am going to copy-paste this discussion to the Rules and Standards page Ahasuerus 15:25, 11 July 2021 (EDT)

Add Publication Query


I need to add an additional (earlier, probably original) publication to an existing title. The HelpScreen, "AddPublication", suggests that this can be done by using the "Add Publication to this Title" feature from the main title record in the left navigation bar.

I am attempting to add a publication to "No Me Dejes" by Mark Oshiro, Title Record # 2629625. This sure looks like the main title record to me. I am not finding anything that looks like "Add Publication to this Title".

I assume that either a) the HelpScreen is not correct, or b) I have not found the actual main title record.

Regardless, I would appreciate help or guidance. I will be doing more of these, so I would certainly like to get it right.

Thanks. Dave888 19:18, 5 February 2021 (EST)

Or c) you hit one of the two fiction text types that work differently :)
It is because it is a short story - it is a special case because it is not a container record. You need to add a chapbook to have it as a separate publication - which is different from novels/collections/anthologies which are both containers and text records. So if there was one already, you could clone that. As there is not one yet, you need to do New Chapbook and either add the story manually (and then merge them) or add it with no story (and a moderator note) and then import the story.
Same will happen for a poem for example :) Chapbooks are... special. Annie 19:26, 5 February 2021 (EST)
Well, I was thinking the other option was something I just had no idea about, and there you are. Especially after reading (only once, and I may re-read it a few times) the "Help:How to convert a novel to a chapbook" page, I can see that this is starting to get into some serious DB matters. I know just enough about databases to get into a lot of trouble. My thanks on the specific directions. I'll be back in touch if I still don't get it, and I'm sure you'll see my submittals here. I'll probably do one like this, and then wait for approval to ensure I have actually gotten it. Thanks!

Dave888 10:26, 6 February 2021 (EST)

Martha Brown, M.P.

Should this record, [10], be deleted? It has wrong first name, wrong publisher name, wrong title, etc. There's already a record, [11], with correct info. --Username 00:04, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Looks like the entry is per an appearance in this reference. There are several people who have copies of it (as well as one who has a copy of the variant). You should ask them to check. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:19, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Fur and Fangs

I would like to add the chapterbooks one through ten of Fur and Fangs by Rae D. Magdon, which can be found on Amazon. They have also been collected into one book Fur and Fangs: Volume 1-10. I think the chapterbooks should be listed as a serial, and the final "collection" as a novel. What does anybody think? MLB 21:26, 17 February 2021 (EST)

Yep - definitely look like a serialization and not like a collection. That's exactly why we allowed serials inside of chapbooks :) Annie 23:07, 17 February 2021 (EST)

Chapbooks in series

Can chapbooks be in series or have I missed something. Castle of Horror is a sequel to Bride of the Rat God I created a series but when I go to edit the Title data on Castle of Horror I can't edit the Series field. Dana Carson 23:14, 18 February 2021 (EST)

Some time back the outcome of a discussion was to not allow chapbooks in a series. I don't know if it is that good: IMHO some chapbooks should belong to a title series. They can dominate an author's summary page. Stonecreek 23:45, 18 February 2021 (EST)
OK will add a note to the chapbook that it is a sequel. Dana Carson 00:07, 19 February 2021 (EST)
You put the stories into the series - the chapbooks are just containers. When the stories get reprinted into a collection, they remain part of the series. :) If it is a real chapbook series, then make it a publication one. While the chapbooks can dominate a page, we can figure out how to deal with it - adding both the story and the chapbook to a series will pad the series pages badly. :) Annie 00:32, 19 February 2021 (EST)
And Done. Annie 00:34, 19 February 2021 (EST)
Maybe it'd be possible to actively choose if one wants to have CHAPBOOK title series displayed (like with languages displayed); obviously that would mean to have title series reserved for CHAPBOOKs (but we already have a few that are devoted to OMNIBUSES; they were entered as subseries - as would be the CHAPBOOK title series)? Anybody wants to spend a thought on that? Stonecreek 03:34, 19 February 2021 (EST)
Re. "the chapbooks are just containers. When the stories get reprinted into a collection" - aren't collections and omnibuses (and anthologies too, although probably not that often in the context of series) "just containers" too? AFAIK those should be marked as part of a series when applicable - but as a relative newbie here, it's not particularly obvious to me why the latter should be treated as part of a series, but not chapbooks.
(Apologies in the likely event I'm just repeating an argument someone else already made, one which evidently didn't "win" last time ;-) ErsatzCulture 09:00, 19 February 2021 (EST)
Chapbooks contain single stories. Collections and so on contain multiples. So if we add the chapbooks, you have 1 on 1 duplication inside of the series. Adding collections adds a bigger entity and these can be legitimately numbered entities (different from their stories). Chapbooks series will always duplicate their story’s number and series. This is the same reason why we can import a collection in an omnibus but importing a chapbook is meaningless. Chapbooks are essentially an ISFDB construction allowing us to catalog single stories/poems/serials. Annie 10:15, 19 February 2021 (EST)
I'm going to be a devil's advocate/irritating pedant (delete as applicable) here, and point out there was a 2020-05-09 rule change that says a chapbook can have more than one fiction title (but only one fiction title) - I would link directly, but the link on the rules changelog doesn't work, and I couldn't see the discussion in the rules archive to fix the link to point to the right place. ErsatzCulture 10:42, 19 February 2021 (EST)
I have updated the links to Archive 18 of the Rules and Standards page. Thanks for catching it! Ahasuerus 12:54, 19 February 2021 (EST)
I imagine the number of chapbooks that contain more than one piece of fiction from the same series is somewhere between very few and zero, but I could certainly imagine that you might have a chapbook containing both an "n" and "n.m" entry in a series, so the chapbook itself could have a different series number?
Anyway, that's a relatively trivial thing. My personal concern - and again, I imagine I'll be reiterating old ground - is that whilst the current practice avoids duplicating series data in the database, it leads to (IMHO) confusing pages e.g. at first glance, I don't think it's at all obvious to someone who doesn't have a pretty good understanding of the DB, why this bibliography page has 3 chapbooks that aren't displayed under the series they are part of. (The underlying SHORTFICTION/novella records are indeed under the series, but they aren't as visible as the separate chapbook section.) If the chapbooks were tagged as part of the series, that would at least have them in the (again IMHO) correct section, even if that means we'd have both the CHAPBOOK and SHORTFICTION showing next to each other.
This particular issue might be solvable in the display code, assuming that my preference for having them all under the series is shared by the rest of the ISFDB gestalt - but I'd definitely want to hear any opinions yay or nay before spending time looking into that. ErsatzCulture 10:42, 19 February 2021 (EST)
Open an R&S discussion if you feel strongly about that. I still prefer not to double series just so that a UI looks nicer. Get enough people to agree, rules will get changed. I proposed once to send the chapbooks at the very bottom of the page. That will clear the author pages and make the chapbooks less visible. Adding them to series will just bulk up the series, leaving all of those high on the pages. Annie 10:56, 19 February 2021 (EST)
The hypothetical code change I am talking about would not require any change to the rules or current practices - basically something that would look at the (fiction) titles within the pubs of a CHAPBOOK, and if they're all part of the same series, then consider that CHAPBOOK to also be part of that series. Probably this would require an extra DB lookup; I don't know what that page is currently doing, possibly it might already have enough info to make that determination? But as I say, I wouldn't want to spend time on looking into that unless it was something that was already agreed would be preferable to implement. ErsatzCulture 11:13, 19 February 2021 (EST)
Combined here -- this will add chapbooks in series which is now not allowed both under the rules and in the code. We need to change both - get people to agree that it is a good change, then look at whatever you want :) As is obvious, I do not think it is a good change - I will live with it if the majority prefers it but a code change/FRs are discussed first. In all cases, the discussion does not really belong in the Help Desk thread of someone who came to ask how to add a chapbook to a series and all they needed was to be reminded that the series goes on the story - which for some reason the first responder failed to do and instead went on a tangent how we need to change the rules. Not that threads here do not get all kinds of weird. So if you have a proposal, write it up, post in R&S and/or Community and see what support you will muster. :) Annie 11:21, 19 February 2021 (EST)

Help correcting a mistake I made

I added the table of contents to the trade paperback edition (the one I own) of Neil Clarke's The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 5. That was blessed by a moderator and went live. Except I've discovered that I created new copies of all the stories so they (almost) all have duplicates now; my copies show up as only published in that publication. Another moderator mentioned the need to merge each of the duplicates; I would try it myself, but I'd probably break something else and my merges would just have to wait in moderation queue anyway.

After that, I'll have a question about adding the TOC to the other editions (HC and ebook). I followed a moderator's step-by-step instructions in doing that, but apparently something (I don't know what) happened to one of the stories and my additions got force rejected. Do I just start over or do something else? Sfmvnterry 19:36, 20 February 2021 (EST)

All the merges are done. Now that we have the contents in one format, you can use import. Go to the book that has the contents already and get the is from the top right corner. In this case it is 794324. Go to one of the other formats - for example. Look at the left menu and locate “Import Contents”. In Option 1 use the ID we started with. On the next page adjust any page numbers if needed. This will ensure that instead of creating new records, the existing ones are used. Repeat for the other format. :)
What happened to a story or the anthology title was the same that I did here - there two of them, they got merged, one ID got dropped.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Import process. Annie 02:09, 21 February 2021 (EST)
Thanks! I'll learn more as I go along, but I have one question now, because I see that Jonathan Strahan's new annual doesn't have its TOC either. How do I ensure I'm not creating duplicate stories? Sfmvnterry 11:45, 21 February 2021 (EST)
Find the IDs of each story and then use import again - but using Option 2 and using the IDs of the stories and not the whole book - one per line. Annie 12:44, 21 February 2021 (EST)
Does the moderator UI include a field for IDs when importing? I get to the page titled "Import/Export Contents" and there are no fields for ID numbers for individual stories, just page number, author, title and other details. Sfmvnterry 19:26, 21 February 2021 (EST)
Then you are on the edit page - not on the import page or you went with the wrong option. Click on the Import link on the book level and look at option 2 on the screen - Option 1 is to import from another book, option 2 is to import individual titles. This is where you list the IDs, one per line. Then you press submit and it gets you to where you cans specify the page numbers for the stories you are importing. This first page also has a help page linked at the top. Annie 21:17, 21 February 2021 (EST)
PS: If you are just now adding the book, it needs to be added before you can import into it (unlike adding new stories which can be added while adding a book) (in case that case comes up). But it sounds like you are in an existing book - so make sure you list the IDs on that first import page, before you go into the next one. You get the stories IDs the same way we got the Publication one - except you get it from the story page and not from the page of a book that contains it. Annie 21:36, 21 February 2021 (EST)

Fur and Fangs

I’m missing a step. How do I make Fur and Fangs the novel, part of Fur and Fangs the serial starting here. MLB 07:52, 21 February 2021 (EST)

The novel becomes the parent. Variant All the serials to the novel and you are all set. Annie 12:45, 21 February 2021 (EST)
Ola!!! It worked! Still so much to learn about this editing stuff. MLB 20:41, 21 February 2021 (EST)

Doctor Who Target novelizations - series or pub series?

Anyone familiar with the current state of play on these? (I haven't bought or read one for about 30 years...)

The reason I ask is that:

  • "Doctor Who Target novelizations" is currently set up as a series i.e. at the title level
  • There are a couple of Eric Saward novelizations (here and here) that first came out years after most (all?) of the others, and weren't packaged as Target-branded novelizations (AFAIK), so they are just in the overall Doctor Who Universe series
  • However, there are new pubs of these two novelizations coming out in a couple of weeks, and these are branded as Target novelizations
  • Strictly speaking, they seem to be branded as "Target Collection", perhaps there's some subtle distinction here (vs "Target novelizations" that someone else understands better than I do?
  • There are other titles coming out soon that are branded "Target Collection", but have been recorded here as "Target Novelizations" though.

Any thoughts on how best to handle these new Eric Saward pubs? (Bearing in mind that "DW Target novelizations" has approaching 200 entries, so any change to that might be a big job...) ErsatzCulture 12:36, 23 February 2021 (EST)

You had to go there, didn't you? Some of the Target Collection ones are novelizations and belong to the old title series, some are not (or not clearly). These are one of the series I am pondering on - they used to be a clear title series but then things changed. So I had been parking the novelizations in there until I have some time to sit down with the full lists and see what needs to be moved and how. If it is a novelization, stick it in there for now so we do not lose track... There are a few of those series in the Doctor Who Universe that do not make sense in the way they are setup now - but that will need an overhaul which will need discussion and a plan before we start changing (and we have a ton of verifiers so... we will need consensus - which is not easy). If you have a full idea on the needed overhaul, please feel free to share as well. But let's not rush into "fixing" without a complete plan or we will end up with a disaster (just look at the Marvel/DC universes where some editors decided to start changing on their own... and now the whole sets are somewhere in the middle of a flux that had not been touched in years). Annie 12:48, 23 February 2021 (EST)
OK, do you know if there's been a prior Wiki discussion about this that I should read to bring myself up to speed? (I did do a search for "target", but couldn't see anything relevant on the first page of results - not that that's a great search term, of course.)
Based on what you've said, I propose to:
- Mark the two existing Saward Daleks titles as part of the DW Target novelizations series, so at least they are all in the novelization series
- Add the new pb pubs of them
If I see any other titles that strike me as being in the same boat, I'll update this wiki item to make others aware before doing any submissions. ErsatzCulture 13:09, 23 February 2021 (EST)
For Dr Who? Not yet - or not lately. :) Which is why I am saying that we need a plan and a discussion before an editor goes headlong into changing things radically - which we may need to... I know of the state of these because of the pre-publication titles I had been dealing it for the last year+ - had to track down where a lot of them need to go.
Yeah - add the Saward's into it for now so we do not lose them. The whole Doctor Who canon is all over the place - I keep finding stories and novels with no series set at all. :) Annie 13:24, 23 February 2021 (EST)

Baen vs Baen Books publishers

I just noticed the split between Baen and Baen Books. The notes indicate that the they exist in different time frames, and with 3 different logos, but don't give guidance on the specifics of how to choose between them.

It appears that Baen Books came earlier, and had a logo that contained the words 'Baen' and 'Books' in a squashed hexagon. However, it looks like lots of publication records don't honor these differences, in that the year ranges overlap quite a bit.

So what criteria should be used to distinguish these separate imprint/publishers? --GlennMcG 19:18, 23 February 2021 (EST)

I could ask Toni Weisskopf about it. She's the publisher at Baen, and has been with them since the beginning (or very close to it). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:21, 23 February 2021 (EST)
Some of the overlaps are because of reprints, some are simply mistakes (a lot of them I suspect...) and some may be because of already printed stock... The logos were very different:
  • This one (or this one is Baen Books - the logo literary says Baen Books in a funky font on all of the ones that should be under the older Baen Books.
  • this one (looks like a star) and later ones which were all kinds of circles (this one for example although the design changed a few times is Baen.
That's the theory anyway - there are some that seem to be in Baen and still carry a Baen Books logos so should be kicked out. I am not sure why we even want to keep these separate - it IS the same publisher after all, despite the different times... Annie 19:38, 23 February 2021 (EST)

Robert Bloch

His collection, [12], has a few issues. A couple of story titles are slightly different than the contents page of the book, [13], and someone entered 1 of the stories twice under 2 different names. So 1 of those has to go and someone with this book should check to see if titles at head of other stories are same as contents. --Username 16:43, 25 February 2021 (EST)

As can be seen at the publication page, the book has been verified and the verifier is active (last activity date being yesterday). When there is an active verifier, please just post the question at the verifier's user talk page. That will ensure they see the question vs. hoping the see it here. I have pinged Dirk for you. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:44, 25 February 2021 (EST)
I am afraid that The House of the Hatchet -2nd Tandem Books edition needs at least some of the same changes I made to The House of the Hatchet -1st Tandem Books edition.--Dirk P Broer 17:07, 26 February 2021 (EST)

Thomas F. Monteleone's Dragonstar

Monteleone's Dragonstar series lists four titles, including Dragonstar itself, seemingly only ever published in English as a serial. It seems highly likely (and his Wikipedia entry appears to back this up) that 'book 2', Day of the Dragonstar, is simply the first paperback publication of Dragonstar, in which case the two titles should be merged. Thoughts? Mellotronman 06:51, 27 February 2021 (EST)

It is very likely BUT... weirder things had happened before so let's try to verify :) There is an active PV here (GlennMcG) so I would say to start by posting on his page to see if there is something in the book itself that may confirm this first. If there isn't, some of the PVs of the original Analog issue are around - so a check between GlennMcG and one of them on actual text may solve this. If all else fails, we will need to look for evidence elsewhere (libraries for example). Let me know if you want to try to send the questions to the relevant people or if you want me to. :) Annie 22:45, 4 March 2021 (EST)
Thanks, Annie - please could you ask the relevant people? Thanks! :-) Mellotronman 06:26, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
A pigeon had been sent to start the process ;) Annie 12:31, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
I'll compare them. I should have that issue of Analog as well. --GlennMcG 15:11, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
The paperback is a revision/expansion of the serialization. Minor differences near the beginning, but the chapters diverge after a while. --GlennMcG 16:19, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
So different enough not to become variants. We allow for some changes but sounds like they are substantial? Are you willing to write some notes in both of them explaining the difference (not in the plot but textually).
Which probably means that the whole series 2-4 should be shifted as 1-3 and the now 1 should be sent into ) with a note explaining that it is an early version of 1. Thoughts? Annie 18:17, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
I don't think we ever defined just how much the book version has to diverge from the original serialized version before we break the "variant title" connection and call it a separate work. In this particular case I recall doing a fair amount of digging back in 2006 and determining that the differences were too significant to link the two versions.
The next question then is whether the German translation (Drachengestirn) was based on the serialization or on the book version. Ahasuerus 18:53, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
We have a PV and the pigeon had been sent with a formal invitation to the party. :) Let's see if the German book will help us figure that out. Annie 19:11, 12 April 2021 (EDT)
I have checked the book and the stated original title is just given as 'Dragonstar', which would point to the serialization, but it's seems still possible that the text was translated from the manuscript for the book publication. Christian Stonecreek 00:55, 13 April 2021 (EDT)
Having said that and spent some time to get the feeling of the novel it does appear to be the English novel proper translated: also, the note of thanks is for help on creating the book. Are there those notes, the dedication and a prologue with the magazine version? Christian Stonecreek 08:40, 13 April 2021 (EDT)
The paperback book has an acknowledgements page thanking Stanley Schmidt, Victoria Schochet, Melissa Anne Singer, and Dr. Charles Sheffield. The Analog serialization does not. --GlennMcG 17:26, 13 April 2021 (EDT)
Thanks! Based on that I varianted the translation to 'Day of the Dragonstar' instead. Shall the series be shifted to encompass now only three parent titles? Christian Stonecreek 05:36, 14 April 2021 (EDT)
Well, we still have 4 titles which are distinct and IN series - we just need to figure out how to record that. I think that a 0, 1-3 numbering will be better than the current 1-4 one. Plus adding notes to the serial, the book publication and the series. Any objections? Annie 12:18, 14 April 2021 (EDT)
Based on my somewhat vague recollection of my 2006 investigation, 0 and then 1-3 would work best. I remember comparing the magazine version and the book version and finding significant differences, but I can no longer recall the details :( Ahasuerus 12:27, 14 April 2021 (EDT)
Glenn has both and confirmed above that they indeed diverge -- so we are all set. I will fix the numbering and add notes. Thanks everyone for the responses here! Annie 12:38, 14 April 2021 (EDT)
I looked a bit deeper, and most of the my noted divergence is the addition of chapter 10 to the paperback version. So last chapter == last chapter, but are numbered 21 vs 22. My sampling technique was to look at the beginning and end of each chapter and comparing text. It's not clear how different they need to be, but I'd guess that well more than half the text is shared between the versions. --GlennMcG 15:18, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
More than half sounds like at least 20-30-40% difference. That’s way too high to consider it the same text. Minor revisions are fine; that’s sounds like a major one. So we are all good I think. :) Annie 15:27, 15 April 2021 (EDT)


I just had a whole lot of work dumped on multiple issues of Beneath Ceaseless Skies because they were forced. I know that I've asked this before, but what does this mean for my submissions? MLB 18:18, 3 March 2021 (EST)

Your submission contained a title ID somewhere in its contents that does not exist anymore - either it got merged (so the ID you used does not exist anymore) or deleted (so it does not exist anymore). When that happens, the original submission is not salvageable. Someone may decide to assist and recreate it manually so you do not need to but other from this.
Looking at one of these rejections, most likely the EDITOR record got merged somewhere before your Clone was processed (if it was a title lower, parts of the submission will be visible). Looking at the XML of the submission tells you that 2839142 (the ID that is now invalid) used to be the parent - so yep, this is your EDITOR record getting itself merged into its yearly record after you submitted the clone but before it was approved. Annie 22:40, 4 March 2021 (EST)
Sorry to you so late, my computer had a technical fart, then went on strike for about two days. Now, can I recreate the clones? MLB 18:27, 5 March 2021 (EST)
Absolutely. Once the merge was done, that is the best/only thing you can do. Annie 19:23, 5 March 2021 (EST)


Just imported contents into this collection, [14], and it's another one with a cover using that familiar painting but there's lots of variants of Goya's name and that painting on ISFDB so I don't know where to put it. If anyone has a copy they can see how it's credited and add it. --Username 19:53, 4 March 2021 (EST)

Oh my, here's a good one. I searched on and found this, [15], which shows cover for Hazardous edition of this book (according to ISFDB) but says PARALLEL UNIVERSE on the back. Maybe Goya cover was a placeholder and the old cover was just reused instead. Figure this one out! --Username 20:04, 4 March 2021 (EST)

Macdonald's Haggard editions

I was adding as many Hookway Cowles covers for Rider Haggard books as I could find and only chose ones that said "Macdonald Illustrated Edition" on the bottom of the cover. Now I see that 1 book I didn't find a cover for, [16], uses "Macdonald Illustrated Edition" as a Publication Series on ISFDB. So my question is, should that really be considered a series, and if so, should all the others be part of it, too? --Username 18:31, 5 March 2021 (EST)

Thoughts on eBay as a source?

I haven't seen any prior discussion on this, feel free to redirect me if there is some. While researching completing my own collections I've come across detailed eBay listings of books with images that have the ISBN, copyright date, etc, all the info needed to fill in a pub here. In my opinion it's almost like a transient verification, so having it in front of you then gone later. How do you think this might work here? Kapotun 11:03, 6 March 2021 (EST)Kapotun

Transient is more than that - it needs the complete book - so not even close. It is closer to using a publisher site for example. But eBay and auctions and other online stores had always been a good source for additional data - just do not include links to them in the Notes themselves (“scanned pages in online stores/eBay listing/auction listing” is a good way for example). Add the link to the moderator notes so whoever approves can see your source. I often need to use them when working on Central European books. Annie 12:47, 6 March 2021 (EST)
Thanks for the reply, makes sense. Kapotun 14:35, 6 March 2021 (EST)Kapotun

Coverart inside of magazines/art books

What's the correct process for entering book covers as interiorart? Do I add them when I enter the magazine or do I need to create the variant first? Do we handle art which covers are based on differently than a picture of the cover (with titles, price, etc.)? Thanks, TAWeiss 11:12, 14 March 2021 (EDT)

You can enter them when you enter the publication. Once the publication is accepted, you would variant the interior art record to the cover art record. The existence / nonexistence of titles, prices, etc. on the image doesn't matter. We treat them as all the same image and variant them to the canonical title. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:38, 14 March 2021 (EDT)
Thanks! TAWeiss 21:36, 14 March 2021 (EDT)

Email notifications for watchlist

I am not likely to log into this on a frequent basis. Is there a way to get email notifications of changes that are in my watchlist? --Jktrigg 00:06, 15 March 2021 (EDT)

Unfortunately no. You can leave a message on your Talk page for people to use the Send Mail to user functionality to notify you when they post there (so you get notified) but it is manual and only for your Talk page -- not for all you are watching... Annie 11:31, 15 March 2021 (EDT)

Tor Fantasy

In the process of PVing my collection I've updated a fair number of books from Tor to Tor Fantasy. But I've only done it on the specific printing/format I own. I'm now second-guessing myself on whether I should have also done it to printings or formats (pb,tp,hc). At least in the cases where I have multiple copies, the publisher matches, but I can't prove it in all cases. Leave things alone, or update to match? --GlennMcG 17:41, 16 March 2021 (EDT)

Considering the history of the Tor publisher versions, I would not update unless there is at least one indicator besides "the other formats came out from it" - as they usually come a few months/years apart, things change. But if you can find a secondary source/scanned pages somewhere that show you the publisher as you expect to see it, sure, update them - with a note explaining based on what exactly you are updating. Annie 17:45, 16 March 2021 (EDT)
Same for printings? Seems even more likely to be the same. --GlennMcG 17:57, 16 March 2021 (EDT)
More likely still does not make it the same as having a book in hand - we had seen weirder things (including later printings from a new publisher...). :)
For printings with active PVs - they will need to concur before the change - or at least I won't be comfortable approving the change of the data without positive approval.
For ones with verifiers who are inactive, with only secondary verifications and even with no verifications at all (most of those have at least a source which probably says Tor), using something like
  • "Publisher changed to "Tor Fantasy" on (date) based on the XXX printing of this edition. The YYY printing (this edition) had not been inspected" works for me (or words to this effect).
What we need is to make clear that the change was done post inactive primary and any secondary verifications and what it is based on. Unless you have OCLC or another secondary source concurring - then base it on that and not on the other printing if you prefer. :)
If you want, wait for another opinion as well. I am sure that if someone strongly disagrees with me, they will stop by and comment. :) Annie 18:39, 16 March 2021 (EDT)
One thing to keep in mind is that the choice of the imprint can be influenced by marketing considerations. For example, the marketing department may decide that having "Tor Fantasy" on the spine would likely boost mass market paperback sales. At the same time their research may indicate that "Tor" may be a better choice for hardcovers because the people who buy books in hardcover have a different profile. In this particular case, it's hypothetical, but I have seen similar arguments made by industry insiders, so it's possible. From our perspective, it means that we can't be sure that the imprint will stay consistent across bindings and printings. Ahasuerus 18:51, 16 March 2021 (EDT)

Preferred procedure for questioning the inclusion of a tile in a given series

What is the preferred procedure for removing a title from a series. Do all the PV's of every format need to be contacted for their concurrence? The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind is is an example. It is included in the Sword of Truth series, but, it is a totally unrelated standalone novel. I have come across other examples and usually refrain from editing or verifying. No longer wish to pass these by. Thanks in advance Scifibones 19:09, 17 March 2021 (EDT)

I wouldn't say it's totally unrelated. You can read the Wikipedia article for a list of things that show a relation, and this review makes that connection, too. Our listing also mentions that it is "Only indirectly related to the Sword of Truth universe." ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:50, 17 March 2021 (EDT)
You're welcome to make a list of the others you've found, too, so they can be discussed. We try to be careful, but errors occasionally creep into the database despite our best efforts. Please include links to each of them. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:52, 17 March 2021 (EDT)
I accept your explanation. Perhaps "totally" unrelated was a bit strong. I think of the references in the wiki article, cited above, as author devices. In this case, a reward to a loyal reader, "I know who or what he's referring to". As far as the narrative, any name could be used and still make the point. Many authors name characters after characters in another author's work. This can be a shorthand method of invoking an emotional response. Many have used the same name for an invention, think "ansible". Perhaps a token of admiration for Ursula K. Le Guin(the first I ever saw use this word). We can all think of many similar examples. I won't submit this change, However, I would still like an answer regarding notification when there are many editions and with multiple PV's. Scifibones 21:11, 17 March 2021 (EDT)
We do not have a "kinda connected but not part of the universe/series" - if we want to show connection we either need to add it, or we need to just leave the connection in the notes. Also - note that it is in "Sword of Truth Universe" and not in the main series. That's how we solve these "kinda in but not really in" cases - we throw a parent or child "universe" series (child or parent depends on what else is going on with this series) and put them there. And if/when someone knows the exact relationship, they are welcome (encouraged really) to write a note explaining said relationship - so the next time everyone knows why it belongs :) Annie 21:19, 17 March 2021 (EDT)
For multiple PVs, just pick one place to have the main discussion, and then post a link to it on each of the PV's talk pages. Something like, "We're discussing this issue over here (insert a link), so please come share your thoughts." Something like that. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:02, 18 March 2021 (EDT)
Thanks Joe Scifibones 15:02, 18 March 2021 (EDT)
No problem. Feel free to post any other questions you have here and we'll be happy to help you out. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:40, 18 March 2021 (EDT)
"Ansible Universe" series. Very large. gzuckier 00:01, 23 March 2021 (EDT)

Gray Matter / Grey Matter

[17] reveals Stephen King's story "Gray Matter" was published as "Grey Matter". ISFDB only has 1 out of countless reprints of this story with that variant title, a 2012 Hodder tp of Night Shift, [18]. So does this need changing? Pan Books of Horror and Stephen King stories are 2 of the most detailed and verified areas on ISFDB so I wonder why nobody noticed this. Do they always spell Gray as Grey in British books? If so, how many others with this story may have the same variant title? --Username 19:32, 19 March 2021 (EDT)

Sometimes UK publishers change the spelling to conform to the UK standard and sometimes they don't. The same thing happens in the US when UK books are reprinted. There is no way of telling short of asking the primary verifiers to re-check their copies. Ahasuerus 19:43, 19 March 2021 (EDT)

Title series fine tuning

Hi! Would it take a great amount of work to install the use of decimal numbers for sub title series, like it's possible for single titles? I think there are a considerable number of series that could be ordered chronologically, the major franchises among them. I am especially asking for the Perry Rhodan universe, which has many mini series that are determinable in the overall time line. Christian Stonecreek 07:41, 20 March 2021 (EDT)

Let me make sure that I understand correctly. You would like to be able to enter values like "3.5" in the "Series Parent Position" field, right? That way Perry Rhodan (3. Ausg.) and Perry Rhodan (3. Aufl.) could be entered as sub-series "3" and "3.5" respectively instead of "3" and "4", which is what we currently have and which messes up the rest of the sub-series numbering within Perry Rhodan Heftserie.
Does this sound about right? Any other scenarios which would benefit from adding support for decimal numbers in the "Series Parent Position" field? Ahasuerus 11:15, 20 March 2021 (EDT)
It's more about the fiction series proper (rather than the magazines): for example this series appeared in 2008, but the time dealt with fits chronologically in between this and that one, initially published 1963-1965.
And, well, all title series that have sub-series may possibly benefit; this should at least include the universes of "Star Trek" (like here), "Star Wars" and the various comic metaverses, but likely much more (the examples were the ones that sprang to my mind).
All of these may and/or have been eventually coming back to events which were published earlier, and would take a considerable amount of renumbering the given order (which would only be valid until the next prequel or in-between sub-series gets published). Stonecreek 14:36, 20 March 2021 (EDT)
Second prequel series in a big Universe - now the only way to sort this is to pull all prequel series in their own master prequel series or renumber all existing ones. Allow 0.2 and 0.4 for example and we are in a better shape. Prequel series for subseries 5 and 6 in a long seriesb, written later so the numbering is established (now these go inside of series 5 but if we can use 4.5, that makes the page clearer). Same for “another author wrote a sub series that need to slide between series 3 and 4” scenarios (some of the small presses do that a lot). I might have even asked for that way back when - or asked why it is different from the order of books. There are a lot of cases where can use the same flexibility as we have with titles if we had it. :) Annie 14:54, 20 March 2021 (EDT)
PS: However Not all series should be ordered chronologically based on internal fictional universe dates. In some cases they need to be read in order of publication. Unless we allow the two orders to be shown somehow, the request for the decimals is only for series that make sense, not for reordering all series (which is what Stonecreek seems to imply so just clarifying). Especially the major franchises - ordering by chronology there will be mostly a disaster and if we go there, it will require a lot of discussion and agreement of majority of editors working in them. Annie 14:59, 20 March 2021 (EDT)
Yes, it'd be only possibly meaningful when there's a distinct line of time throughout the Universe, which seems not to be the case in the various comic metaverses (with alternate character incarnations for example). However, a series published much later than the initial works of fiction, for example on youth adentures of Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne, or set during another certain period, would still be possible to fit into the order for a given character incarnation. But my doing for the foreseeable future would be working on the Perry Rhodan Universe. Stonecreek 08:52, 21 March 2021 (EDT)
OK, I can see how it can be useful -- FR 1403 "Allow decimal numbers as Series Parent Position values" has been created. Unfortunately, experience suggests that it will take a fair amount of time to implement. When I added the ability to enter values like "3.5" in the Series Number field, it took a couple of weeks to get it to work correctly. Ahasuerus 12:29, 21 March 2021 (EDT)

Limited Edition 30th Anniversary DAW Science Fiction / Fantasy Boxed Set

Rookie Question. How do I create an entry for the above named item. Then I would like to clone each of the HC records into this entry making all the necessary changes and notes. Am I on the right track? Scifibones 16:08, 20 March 2021 (EDT)

You enter it as an Omnibus, adding in the notes that it is a box set, and then you import the contents of the separate books that make it up (for collections/anthologies you import the collection title itself AND the contents separately). If the books inside of the box set are different from the books we have already, you clone them separately as well. So for a box set of 6 books, you will have 6 separate publication records + 1 for the boxset - and you can use the notes to link them together. Meanwhile their contents will be linked because they will be imported in both the book that contains them and the omnibus that contains the book. :) Annie 17:48, 20 March 2021 (EDT)
Annie, I've submitted step one Scifibones 15:00, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
The box set has been approved. Now you can import the contents. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:48, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
Once the titles are approved, I then import the detailed contents? Scifibones 16:59, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
Since it's an omnibus, I'm assuming the contents are already in the database somewhere. If you follow the instructions Annie gave above, you can import them. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:03, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
If you are still unsure, post the ID/link to the book you are not sure about and step by step based on it can be provided :) Annie 17:18, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
Hi Annie, I have submission 4942863 pending to merge the two titles in. If I understand your directions I will have one more step to go. Scifibones 17:33, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
Approved. Two of them actually - one to import the Fantasy book contents and one the SF book. I added page markers so the anthologies stay in place. When you import from the Fantasy book, leave the pages as they are in the hardcover. When you import from the SF one, leave them in place during the import but before submitting, change all of the (1 becomes 1|1001, 23 becomes 23|1023 and so on - the first number will be shown, the second will be used for sorting). This will sort the two books separately and one under another on the box set record instead of mixing them. Let me know if you have any questions/concerns. Annie 17:50, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
Approved. There was one small thing I forgot to mention - the roman numerals from the first book needed piped numbers to go after the anthology as it was sitting at 0 so they preceded it (non-numbers are at the top of any contents page). Fixed that and we are all set. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions if anything of what was done here is unclear :) Annie 19:07, 22 March 2021 (EDT)
I knew that, I have used pipes many times. Just missed it. You also caught my typo in the sci/fi intro. Last question on this entry. Should I include the DAW collectors numbers, obviously they are the same as the regular hc. Maybe this thread will help someone else —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Scifibones (talkcontribs) .
No worries - I just fixed it - part of why we have the system set the way it is - second set of eyes are useful. The DAW number: In the notes? Yes. In the usual field - only if it belongs to the set as a whole. Annie 20:32, 22 March 2021 (EDT)

writers conversing

How would one classify an article which is a couple (or more) of writers conversing? It's not exactly and interview, unless each is interviewing the other. Include it as an essay?

Thanks. gzuckier 23:58, 22 March 2021 (EDT)

Yes. If no specific interviewer or interviewee(s) are identifiable, this is the way of denominating. A note for the title (and with the publication) would be welcome. Stonecreek 00:09, 23 March 2021 (EDT)
OK thanks gzuckier 23:31, 23 March 2021 (EDT)


I accidently variated The Mound with The Curse of Yig, how do I change this? MLB 18:06, 24 March 2021 (EDT)

You can undo it by going the variant title and using the Make This Title a Variant tool. You can then enter 0 to remove the relationship, of the id of the actual parent title that you want. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 18:22, 24 March 2021 (EDT)

John Russo

I’m updating the page on John Russo, and I would like to know if this author has passed the threshold to add this book. Somebody please say no. MLB 23:31, 24 March 2021 (EDT)

Based on Amazon's Look Inside, there seems to be at least some genre content in it, so it looks like it would be a nonfiction inclusion. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:23, 25 March 2021 (EDT)
You all hate me, don't you? :) MLB 13:01, 25 March 2021 (EDT)
How could we hate you? You're so lovable! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:24, 25 March 2021 (EDT)
And good with ketchup! :-) Ahasuerus 17:08, 25 March 2021 (EDT)

"Adult" reprint

This, [19], is apparently from 1931. See here: I have no idea how to enter this properly, who to attribute it to or whether that other edition in the PDF belongs here, too, so I'll leave it here in case anyone else knows (or cares) about anonymous porn. --Username 00:44, 2 April 2021 (EDT)

If The Sex Club is a non-genre story, it should be marked NON-GENRE and a note added that it is only listed because it is part of the collection. MLB 06:31, 13 April 2021 (EDT)

I read your note and looked into it, but it turns out moderator RTrace must have seen my note because he did a good job of entering the original 1931 edition and linking everything together plus added some info he found. He didn't mark Sex Club as non-genre but there's no proof it's not so we'll let it be unless someone finds a copy and wants to read it (both unlikely). So all's well. I've been doing a lot of stuff for these awful "adult" books and he must be, too, because he just added a gay porn title, Satan's Stud, with one of the worst/best covers ever. Take a look: [20] --Username 11:49, 13 April 2021 (EDT)

Did the devil break that guy's legs, or what?! LOL! :) MagicUnk 13:23, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
Checking Kenneth R. Johnson's "Pornography Index", I see the following comment in the "Exclusions" section:
  • Harrington, Len
    • Satan’s Stud.
      • TROJAN CLASSIC TC 230, (GX, Inc.), Chatsworth, CA , n.d., (nov,orig), 185pp.
      • “It was rumored that the studio had sent out extras, making David Hendricks’ funeral one of the most lavish in Hollywood history.”
      • Listed in Reginald. Actor David Hendricks falls in with a witch coven. No real magic.
It looks like it's non-genre even though it was listed by Reginald. Ahasuerus 13:42, 15 April 2021 (EDT)

Whitman confusion

I was adding a lot of info to Whitman children's books, including catalog ID's; many said ID was already on file but most of those were for completely unrelated books by different publishers that happened to have the same ID. However, the very last Whitman book I entered info for, [21], had the same ID as a Tarzan book by Whitman, [22]. There seems to be some confusion in the note for the Tarzan book, so something needs to be cleared up here. --Username 17:01, 3 April 2021 (EDT)

The yellow warning for catalog ID is there to make you look to make sure you do not create duplicates you do not want. In most cases these matching values are from different publishers or different printings and can be ignored but once in awhile, it will show you that we already have the book you just entered/edited.
I am not sure what you expect to be able to cleanup. The note explains clearly where the number comes from and what else we know - until someone finds the book and look at it, I do not see anything else we can clear up. Annie 13:52, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
No big deal; children's books are usually a confusing mess with reused ID's and much else. Honestly, I wrote this less than 2 weeks ago and can barely remember what I did for this book, anyway; hundreds of other things have taken its place. Maybe in my travels I'll arrive at it again someday and fix whatever needs fixing. --Username 14:19, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
My best guess is that our source mistyped an ID (or something else got mixed up). But without another source, the notes is the best we can do. Once another source or the book is found, we may be able to clean that all up. In the meantime we document what we see and we make it as clear as possible. :) Annie 14:24, 15 April 2021 (EDT)

"To Clear Away the Shadows" RCN 13 ?

I bought this last fall and finally got around to reading it. Yes, it's in the RCN 'universe', but the characters in the last 12 volumes in the series don't appear. I kept waiting for Lt. Leary and Lady Mundy to show up. Instead, the book introduces an entirely new character, who is charming, and I'd anticipate reading more about, but it's not exactly the same 'series'. How do you know when to start a new series? Who puts names on them? Do we have to wait until Drake writes another book about Lord Harry? Jack Sjmathis 14:54, 15 April 2021 (EDT)

The author and/or a publisher usually. We can split if it makes sense but until the next one is out, we would not know if this is a “standalone in the series” or a sub series or there will alternative books. Leave it as 13 for now, add some notes if you want explaining the characters shift and let’s see what happens next. Annie 15:30, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. I'll stick a note in it. JackSjmathis 09:36, 17 April 2021 (EDT)
I wrote a note to Dave Drake via his website, and he simply replied that he was regretting calling it an RCN novel, and that he probably wouldn't use the character again. Also, Biomass Bob declared my attempt to enter a note into the pub notes as not relevant, which is fine, since it looks like the issue is moot. Perhaps the RCN series has come to an end. Jack Sjmathis 22:01, 19 April 2021 (EDT)
I added a note on the title level. This will help sort out the numbering when/if there are more stories (when this one may need to be ejected from the 13th place) :) Annie 22:48, 19 April 2021 (EDT)


Who should verify webzines? In general, who should verify any pub that's only on the web? Maybe I missed something, but recently I've seen a number of webzines submitted and I don't know how verification should be treated. As primary? As transient? If publisher's website is checked, does that mean no verification? Bob 15:42, 15 April 2021 (EDT)

Transient unless you have a backup copy in your possession (or ensure that there is one on I guess) I would think. If you want to verify that is - I don’t verify webzines as I don’t think it adds value. Think of what verifications signify - transient means you worked off a copy of the publication but don’t have it anymore. That kinda defines a webzine being checked against its site. Permanent requires actually being able to get to it again eventually - to the same version you checked before (even if their site dies or things get changed there). Annie 15:48, 15 April 2021 (EDT)
That was kind of what I have assumed in the past, but wanted at least one other opinion. Thanks, Annie. Bob 21:53, 15 April 2021 (EDT)

Probable Pseudonym

I was verifying my C.C. MacApp ( magazine collection vs ISFDB and one story I have wasn't listed. Instead, there is a separate listing for Carrol J. Clem ( with only that one story.

There is no mention of Clem being a pseudonym of MacApp in Clute or McGhan, nor was it mentioned in a letter I received from Frederick Pohl in response to an inquiry about MacApp. I know have other resources but, sadly, my SF collection is in disarray and I can't locate them.

I don't believe I would have added that story on my own. I'm pretty certain I sourced that pseudonym somewhere (possibly from a fanzine?).

Is there some way to add that unverified information and, if so, would someone be willing to do so? Editing ISFDB looks like a huge can of worms to me and I'm reluctant to learn just to make one tiny contribution. I would appreciate it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DrMemory (talkcontribs) .

Several sources cite C. C. MacApp as a pseudonym for Carroll M(ather) Capps, notably Wikipedia and LibraryThing. I wasn't able to locate anything suggesting that "The Historian" is by anyone other than Carrol J. Clem or that Clem is another pseudonym for Capps. If you are verifying magazines, you should work from the publications, not from the author bibliographies. For example, If, May 1996. If the story should have been credited to MacApp instead of to Clem, the capture of that publication's information would be where the discrepancy lies. I don't understand what you are asking, but I hope that helps. You can record additional information in Notes ("Edit This Pub" for a specific publication, "Edit Title Data" for a title, or possibly "Edit Author Data" for an author (but we wouldn't record information about specific titles or publications in an author record's notes)), depending on what it is you want to capture. It is safe to do that -- submissions are moderated, so a moderator will see whatever you do and will be able to help with it if it should be done differently. --MartyD 08:32, 17 April 2021 (EDT)

page #

Where there is another title page on page n, then typically a blank page, then the text starts on page n+2, which page number do we list? In anthologies as well. Thanks. gzuckier 17:07, 16 April 2021 (EDT)

Can you derive the page number from another page? Which publication are we discussing? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:24, 16 April 2021 (EDT)
I think the question is "if there is a separate title page which is not the book title page and has only the title but NO text, do we count that as the starting page for the story/novel or do we count the first page of text?". I am looking for an old discussion we had about that. Annie 19:27, 16 April 2021 (EDT)
Ah, that's the half title page (that's what it's called in the business). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:06, 19 April 2021 (EDT)
The governing page is this one. I remember we had a slight disagreement on what "the content begins" means (and/or about which work are governed by the "for works which have illustrations preceding their title pages" rule - magazines only or all books - or I am conflating discussions). I am still looking for the old threads :) Annie 19:32, 16 April 2021 (EDT)
Here is a hypothetical scenario based on my reading of the question:
  • Story #1 ends on page 19
  • The next page is unnumbered and empty except for the title of Story #2
  • The following page is unnumbered and empty
  • The following page is where the text of Story #2 starts; its page number is 22
Assuming that my understanding is correct, then I think the first sentence of Template:PubContentFields:Page -- "The number of the page on which the content begins" -- applies and "22" should be entered in the page number field for Story #2. Ahasuerus 20:36, 16 April 2021 (EDT)
OK, thanks. gzuckier 03:34, 18 April 2021 (EDT)

Ebook differences -- one record or more?

I'm sort of embarrassed to have to ask this, but.... I am dealing with a case where an ebook has been issued, and if bought from the publisher (on the publisher's site) costs $7.00 and is delivered in Apple's format, with an equivalent page count of 292. Amazon also has this ebook, but has a list price of $6.99 (vs. $7.00) and delivers in Kindle format, with an equivalent page count of 214. The format/page count differences could be handled in the pub notes, but what about the price? Should we make two records, just for the different prices at the different sources, or should this be handled in some other way? --MartyD 07:49, 22 April 2021 (EDT)

I don't know if this is official "best practice", but I've only ever submitted multiple ebooks if they have different ISBNs (e.g. for MOBI vs EPUB - I was going to provide this as an example, but it seems I never got round to submitting the "other" ISBN - oops)
For UK ebooks, just about every major publisher (HarperCollins I think is the exception) that lists a price on their site, has a different price from what's listed on Amazon or Kobo. For these I enter the publisher's stated price in the price field, and add a note that the vendor price is different example. I *think* this might be different from what happens (by default?) from Fixer submissions though.
(Less often, there are some ebooks that don't have a price on the publisher's site, and have different prices at different stores. In these cases, I just enter whichever price looks most like it was decided by a human and/or least just a USD->GBP conversion, and again make a note about the different values example.)
I'm not going to claim that my way is the right way - you could argue that using a price that doesn't seem to exist anywhere outside of the publisher's website doesn't make sense - but that's what I've been doing for the past couple of years... ErsatzCulture 08:06, 22 April 2021 (EDT)
Unless the books carry different ISBNs or covers or contents (or other indications that they are different books), I note all the differences in the notes (different prices, formats and sources) and leave it as one record. And especially with ebooks, the publisher, Kobo, Apple and Amazon often have different prices even within the same price region. I’d use the publisher site price in the price field usually. Audiobooks have similar issues. Welcome to the digital world :) Annie 08:55, 22 April 2021 (EDT)

Novel or Non-fiction?

This book,, is here as both novel and non-fiction. It's non-fiction so the novel record should probably be deleted. Person who created the record in 2019 disappeared from ISFDB soon after, but moderator shouldn't have approved it because it says "compiled and edited" on the cover and the non-fiction editions have been on ISFDB since 2012. --Username 22:37, 22 April 2021 (EDT)

Thanks for finding this! I have deleted the doublette. Stonecreek 00:57, 23 April 2021 (EDT)

Audio Author Confusion

This,, is odd because the cover clearly has a different author than the one on ISFDB. I imported Gillian Roberts' short story into it, added cover, and removed Crowther's novel credit. If anyone knows what, if any, his contribution to this is (maybe he did the reading of Roberts' story), reply here. --Username 18:11, 26 April 2021 (EDT)

Do you have a link to the cover? I'm not seeing one at the link you provided. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 10:45, 27 April 2021 (EDT)
Okay, I found the submissions. You can see the result here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 10:56, 27 April 2021 (EDT)

Optimal way to clean up duplicate pubs?

I inadvertently created 2 copies of the same pub here. (These are identical, except that one had a later edit to add the ASIN I missed in the original submission.)

These have consecutive pub IDs, so I'm guessing either I hit the submit button twice and/or there was some site availability issue at the time that caused me to resubmit, and I wasn't paying enough attention to notice the dupes.

Anyway, what's the preferred way to clean this up? I was assuming the advanced search link above would give me a merge option, but I guess that's only for titles? Is deleting one of the pub records the way to go, or is there a better option? Thanks ErsatzCulture 17:11, 28 April 2021 (EDT)

The only way is to delete one. I have taken care of it. You are correct that merging is only for title records. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:52, 28 April 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. ErsatzCulture 06:37, 29 April 2021 (EDT)

Genre Book?

This,, has a note by another editor unsure whether it's a ghost story. I found this,, which gives a description about id and ego and other stuff which doesn't sound supernatural. Does this book belong here? Book seems rare so it's unlikely anyone's read it recently, but you never know. --Username 19:47, 30 April 2021 (EDT)

I don't think it's a ghost story, but your reference says:
"The Strange Bedfellows of Montague Ames" by Norton Parker is the amazing adventure of a worried man whose Super Ego and Id materialized one night in a taxi on Fifth Avenue, and came to live with him. Montague Ames, left only with his Ego to support him, found his Freudian other selves entertaining at first, but finally had to fight desperately to subline them.
and a reader review on Amazon says:
...and awakes one day to discover that he has been separated into his Ego, Super Ego, and Id--the three parts of a human psychologically. ...
If those mean physical manifestation of separate people (vs. his imagining their appearance), I believe that would qualify as "supernatural" and make it eligible for inclusion. --MartyD 10:03, 1 May 2021 (EDT)

Multiple names for the same author?

I recently had to look something up, and now I would like to know if Chaz Brenchley, Charles Brenchley, and Mr and Mrs Brenchley are the same person. I also think the last has been entered wrongly into the databank. MLB 20:49, 2 May 2021 (EDT)

The Gift of Fire and On the Head of a Pin

I'm in the process of PVing my copy of [[23]] and have a question. This book (and I assume the other formats by the same publisher) is a little odd, in that it's almost in dos format, with two separate titles. (two title pages, two covers, one copyright page).

I'd expect that the titles would be separated by a '/', rather than 'and'. Each title page has just the single title. Each cover has 'and other title' after its own. And the copyright page has the two titles separated by a '/'. Is there a reason that the records use an 'and' that I'm missing? Submit an edit or edits, or leave well enough alone? --GlennMcG 01:57, 3 May 2021 (EDT)

I've ended up deciding to submit a few edits. --GlennMcG 14:52, 8 May 2021 (EDT)

The Voyage of the Princess Ark serial

The Voyage of the Princess Ark was a 36 entry serial in Dragon Magazine. It was only partially reprinted as part of the rules for Champions of Mystara. The box set has an ISBN of 1-56076-615-8, and one of three rule books contains a summary of the first 15 episodes and the full text of the remainder. Do I simply create a new entry for this ISBN as a collection , and include this detail in the description? Do I create a separate title for the full story and a collection for the subset in the rule books? Would this still be a collection since the speculative content is by a single author even though others contributed to the non-genre content. TAWeiss 11:42, 3 May 2021 (EDT)

James Herbert; listed as nonfiction on ISFDB, but Fantlab has a copy which revealed that Herbert's few short stories were also included, so I entered them here. Should this still be nonfiction or is there a type that encompasses both fiction and nonfiction, or should a note be added? --Username 10:51, 8 May 2021 (EDT)

Replacing Covers

I had a cover image from rejected recently because someone else had uploaded a scan of the cover so I needed to replace it; I remembered another book that I left a message about on the boards months ago,, requesting anyone who could provide the full cover image at to do so. Now that I learned recently editors can add an image from anywhere online as long as you upload the scan to the wiki, I did that with Four for Fantasy but it kept showing the 2-author image that was already there instead of the 4-author cover I uploaded, and Devil's Mistress showed the cover with the big X on it instead of the clean cover with text visible at the bottom. So by the time I figured out this wasn't working I'd made a mess of those 2 image pages, so I'd like to request that someone delete my repeated attempts at uploading an image to Four for Fantasy (and maybe adding the full cover to the record if possible) and adding the Bookscans cover to Devil's Mistress if possible. Also, a note about whether I did something wrong or if there's a problem going on with replacing images on ISFDB would be good, and I'd like to know if I feel the need to delete any uploaded images in future whether there's a way for me to do it myself; there are a few others where the dimensions were too big and it didn't display the cover on the upload page so I didn't end up using them, so I'd like to delete those, too, and keep only the ones that actually ended up being accepted and added to the records. --Username 12:37, 9 May 2021 (EDT)

Your uploads worked. I reverted to the versions you added. The old wiki software the ISFDB uses has a bug in that when a replacement image is uploaded, it doesn't tell the browser a new version is present and so the browser continues to use the cached version (if the image has already been viewed). You need to force the new image to be displayed (Ctl + F5 on most browsers). Any other user see the image will see the new one. Deleting images is limited to moderators. If there is one you need deleted, you can post on the moderator page or add {{Deletion candidate|reason}} on the page (which will tag it for deletion). -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:13, 9 May 2021 (EDT)

Removing invalid Cover Artist info

How do you remove the Cover Artist references from a publication record? I have found a number of ebooks where the cover associated with a publication record doesn't match the cover as published in the ebook. I've replaced the cover images with the correct ones but need to have the now incorrect cover artist info removed from the pub record. Phil 08:09, 15 May 2021 (EDT)

There's a featured link on the left side (tool bar) to remove titles from a given publication record. Hope that helps. Stonecreek 08:37, 15 May 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. Looks like just what I needed. Phil 09:37, 15 May 2021 (EDT)

Cartoon Strip

I tried to delete a cartoon strip from the database since its cartoon strip from a non-genre magazine by an artist with only one other entry. A moderator pointed out perhaps this should be converted to an interiorart record. He rejected my request since I has not indicated if the cartoon was a genre entry. It's clearly a genre cartoon, so that causes some level of confusion on my part. Would we retain a cartoon strip by an author/artist already in the database? There are artists in the database {e.g. Elmore and Foglio ) who've written cartoon strip series in Dragon ( which is a non-genre magazine). Do those strip series qualify as cartoons for inclusion? TAWeiss 11:17, 15 May 2021 (EDT)

Per Help:Entering non-genre periodicals:
Interior art specifically associated with a speculative fiction story may be entered, if the data is available. Otherwise do not enter any interior art. Normally no editorials, letters, or essays will be entered. Reviews of SF works may be entered, but this will be rare. Significant essays specifically connected with SF works may optionally be entered, but this also will be rare.
This would imply cartoon strips wouldn't be included. We primarily focus on written works and art secondary. However, Dragon is such a borderline case (it's all the larger definition of genre, just not the more tightly defined definition ISFDB uses) that I don't care one way or the other myself. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:53, 15 May 2021 (EDT)
Makes sense to me. I’ll resubmit the deletion request with more detail. ThanksTAWeiss

Adding a joint pseudonym for one known and one unknown author

D. K. Fields is a pseudonym for David Towsey and Katherine Stansfield. The latter doesn't appear to have any speculative works published under their own name, and so isn't in the database. However, the alternate name edit screen requires the parent author to exist.

Is there some way of creating an author record that has no titles/pubs, or should I just add the alternate name for the author that does exist in the database, and just add a note for the other one? This scenario doesn't seem to be covered on Help:Screen:MakeAlternateName.

(I guess I could add one of their novels, and mark it as non-genre, in order to create the author record, but that seems a bit of a cheat?) ErsatzCulture 11:52, 16 May 2021 (EDT)

Create the variant first (using option 2 on the variant screen). That will create the author record which you can then use to make the pseudonym. Variants can be made without a pseudonym relationship being created first. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:28, 16 May 2021 (EDT)
Thanks - I assume when you say "the variant screen", you're referring to the title variant? I've submitted an edit for that - if I've misunderstood, whoever picks that up from the moderation queue, please reject it. ErsatzCulture 12:36, 16 May 2021 (EDT)
That was correct. Edit approved. You can now create the pseudonym. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:46, 16 May 2021 (EDT)

Adding own work

Hello all! I published a book, Fantamatematica, of (really) short SF stories. May I add it to the database? If so, which is the correct section to add it? TIA, --.mau. 14:34, 16 May 2021 (EDT)

Yes, if it is published and genre, it can be added. It would be a collection based on your description. See Help:Screen:NewPub for instructions on how to add a pub. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:11, 16 May 2021 (EDT)
Thank you! I am looking at that page, and indeed my book should be filed as a collection. --.mau. 16:38, 16 May 2021 (EDT)
Here's the title: Fantamatematica. Please let us know if the contents were added correctly for each publication. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:43, 21 May 2021 (EDT)

Help remembering the name of two books

Hello all,

I would like to inquire if anyone here can help me remember the names of two SciFi books and their authors, please? I was given the name of this and a few other sites in reply to a query I posted in a Flipboard article.

The first book starts off with a description in italics of farming and potatoes and I seem to recall (red) weevils mentioned in the first few pages. It had flying (hovering?) robots in it with tentacles and with eyes around their bodies. In one scene a character is walking up a hill and is followed by a rolling ball of light that travels on its arms (tentacles). I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall a battle which also takes place in this book. I know this is not much but I hope someone can help.

In the second book I am trying to identify, the crew of a ship wakes up to find that the ship is infested with aliens/monsters and at the end of the book we find out that the ship was damaged by a meteor (I think) and that the crew are lost in space due to the accident with the meteor and are using virtual reality to pass the years away. I think some of the crew members were asleep during the story, but am not sure. The book has a green cover with an alien creature on it I seem to recall.

These were among the first few science fiction books I ever read and hence my memory is very hazy. It has to be over 20+ years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Best regards,

Lee —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lefeu (talkcontribs) . 02:15, 19 May 2021 (EDT)

Cover artist problem for Moonsinger omnibus

All of the publication records for Andre Norton's Moonsinger omnibus show the cover artist to be Alan Pollack. Locus1 shows the cover artist as Alan Pollack. The base cover art is the same for all of the publications. The problem is that both the copyright page on the 2013 ebook that I have in hand and the cover artist credit for that title on the Baen website indicate that the cover art was done by Bob Eggleton. The notes for the 2006 ebook mention that a signature on the cover appears to be that of Alan Pollack but a close look at the cover art doesn't seem to show any signature. The cover art help template indicates that the printed credit should be used if there's both a signature and a printed credit. Would I be wrong to change the artist credit for all the pubs to Bob Eggleton? Phil 13:15, 19 May 2021 (EDT)

It's definitely a Pollack cover. Eggleton's style is nothing like that (at least none that I've seen). I suspect it's simply a mistake when copying over the content for the copyright page and whatnot. It's easy to miss one or two things when you do that.
Digging a little deeper, you can see Pollack credited here and here. Pollack also did the Baen covers for the other books in the series, so that lends itself to Pollack being the artist on this one. I've also sent a note to an editor at Baen to see about getting this page corrected. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:37, 19 May 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for keeping me from making a mistake. I'll go back to updating and PVing! Phil 13:45, 19 May 2021 (EDT)

Query on eligibility for Stupefying Stories blogspot publication.

Recently, both myself and various other authors have had stories published on the Stupefying Stories blogspot website. I wanted to ask, as we were paid for these & published, do these qualify for a listing on ISFDB? If so, how and where (which category?), as I like to keep my credits as up to date as possible.

Link to mine and another author's stories as an example:- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RayDaleyWriterUK (talkcontribs) .

Per policy, these will only be eligible if they can fit either under the
  • "Speculative fiction webzines, which are defined as online periodicals with distinct issues (note: online periodicals without distinct issues are not considered webzines)"
  • "Online publications available exclusively as a Web page, but only if:
  • published by a market which makes the author eligible for SFWA membership (listed here), OR
  • shortlisted for a major award"
Unless I am missing something, that does not fit under any of those. So... we have two choices:
  • Shoehorn it under the first condition (using the date of the story as an "issue" date). While we had done that for a few major markets, it is essentially circumventing the reason for the wording of this specific rule (aka exclude blogs and author sites and so on) and depending on who handles it, it may get rejected (because technically speaking it is against the policy).
  • Reopen the discussion on online content being added - I think we are overdue (the first rule was added a few years ago - before that even these were not allowed) and I think that the sites of existing magazines/publishers should be eligible.
I know - not the answer you wanted but... this is where we are :) Annie 15:07, 28 May 2021 (EDT)

RayDaleyWriterUK If I'm allowed to argue our case, here goes. Stupefying Stories has a listing. Rampant Loon Publishing has a listing.

We were paid by Rampant Loon & published by Stupefying Stories. Admittedly, not in their magazine.

Bruce Bethke had this to say on the matter:- "Having no knowledge of the internet speculative fiction database, I have no idea what terminology to use. They're published. The authors were paid for them. There was some competition to the selection, as stories were submitted that we did *not* publish. In terms of length, they appear to meet the definition of "drabble" or "microflash" stories."

These stories aren't going the be the last such material coming under these circumstances. I'm not asking for a loophole. If ISFDB were looking at revising old rules such as online content being added, now seems to be the ideal time to have such a conversation. Stupefying are currently undergoing integration of all their various web based publication, it would be a shame to lose out on having material added when logic seems to say we could have a credit for these. I didn't want to just go ahead and add these, then have them rejected. I asked here, because I wanted it to be done correctly and by the book.

If there is an option to have sites of existing magazines & publishers added, could that be looked into?

Secondary verification w/SFE3

Question: in the bibliographies of both Edward E. Kramer and Martin H. Greenberg, SFE3 lists the anthology Forbidden Acts and has it published in 1999, which is wrong. But in the biography of Mike Lee, who contributed a story, it mentions the book and has it published in 1995, which is right. So do I mark it as "verified" by Clute/Nicholls, or not?--Rosab618 06:13, 29 May 2021 (EDT)

The current consensus is to not mark publications a verified in Clute/Nicholls when they only appear in SFE3 (see this discussion). That being said, Clute/Nicholls does not have an entry for Edward E. Kramer or Mike Lee. That title does not appear in the Greenberg entry, nor in the addendum in the 1999 edition. I also note that you've verified this one for Clute/Grant. I can't find this title in my copy. Again, there are no entries for Kramer or Lee. Is it perhaps under some other name? --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 11:41, 29 May 2021 (EDT)
Try under Nancy A. Collins.--Rosab618 23:27, 2 June 2021 (EDT)

Odd login glitch when using temporary password

I reset my password, since I'd forgotten that I'd registered an account several years ago, and tried to log into the primary domain, but I kept getting the error "Failed login: bad password".

However, using that password to log in to the wiki worked just fine. I had the "temporary password, please make a new one" prompt and responded to it by so doing, and on revisiting the main site I can now log in using my new password. But there's no indication of any requirement to do this on

I'm using Opera v 76 on Windows 8, if that helps at all. My problem is solved, but I thought someone ought to hear about it, in case it happens to others. Thanks.

Terry Mixon ebook pub dates

I'm starting to work through Terry Mixon's ebook publications using my personal copies to update the notes and then verify the publications. I'd like some guidance regarding the pub dates. The copyright pages for each of his most recent three books all have "Digital Edition date" entries on them. Those dates are later by several days than the current record dates which are originally from (and still match the current book info). Should I be using the "Digital Edition date" from the copyright page or the dates? For example, Imperial Recruit shows the pub date as 2021-03-09 but the copyright page shows "Digital edition date: 3/18/2021". Phil 15:21, 1 June 2021 (EDT)

Answered on the Moderator board. Phil 11:41, 5 June 2021 (EDT)

Review of three-volume collection

In the June '88 issue of Fangoria, there's a review of The Selected Stories of Robert Bloch, a three-volume collection. This only exists as a series here. How should I link the review? Thanks, Rosa--Rosab618 23:31, 2 June 2021 (EDT)

The three volumes do form a series but the individual titles are listed here at ISFDB. So it's possible to enter three Reviews, each for one volume of the 'Selected Stories'. Hope that helps, Stonecreek 00:09, 3 June 2021 (EDT)

How to merge two authors?


I am listed under 2 author names: I started writing under my real name (Irene Punti) but have switched to using a pseudonym (Emma Culla) for privacy reasons. I have publications listed under both, and would like to merge them under Emma Culla.

Could you please help me on this matter?

Thank you!


The ISFDB records author/editor names as stated on the title page of the publication where the work appears. We then link different forms of authors/editors' names using the "Alternate Name" mechanism. As per Help:Screen:MakeAlternateName:
  • In the ISFDB, an alternate name means that the author wrote a work under a name different than their canonical name. This leads to a few rules:
  • [snip] An author who is widely known within the genre by an alternate name, e.g. Mark Twain or Cordwainer Smith, will have a canonical ISFDB name which is technically a pseudonym. This can create odd situations where a person's legal name is listed as an alternate name.
Normally, we would look at the number of works published as by "Irene Punti" and as by "Emma Culla" and then choose the canonical name based on which one is more "widely known within the genre" as per the Help text above. However, ISFDB:Policy states that "The ISFDB does not identify publicly undisclosed pseudonyms even if individual editors are aware of them". Since googling suggests that "Emma Culla" and "Irene Punti" are not publicly linked at this time, we won't be linking the two until and unless the situation changes.
Hope this helps! Ahasuerus 16:00, 8 June 2021 (EDT)

AvoNova vs AvoNova / Avon Books

While verifying Lone Star [[24]] I ran across the publisher AvoNova / Avon Books. Only used once for this publication, but it seems like it's actually a better name for the publisher AvoNova. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 16:43, 9 June 2021 (EDT)

No comments.... So I've decided to change it to simply AvoNova. Renaming AvoNova to AvoNova / Avon Books can occur at a later time if desired. --GlennMcG 02:40, 15 June 2021 (EDT)

Excerpts from translated titles not showing in base author's page

The excerpts [25] don't show up on Алексей Пехов page. I think I need to create a fake entry, and link them, but I'm not sure how translations affect this. --GlennMcG 20:14, 10 June 2021 (EDT)

All fixed. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:32, 10 June 2021 (EDT)

Adding essay to a publication

How do I add an essay or short story to my bibliography? I tried to add an essay earlier this year and the request was rejected because the journal was already in the database. I just wanted to add my essay in that journal to my summary bibliography.

---Lee Weinstein —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lweinstein (talkcontribs) .

Go to the magazine issue record in the DB. In the top right corner, there is a link "Edit". Inside of the record, find the "Regular Titles" section, Press the "Add Title" button to create a new record and add the title, type and author. If you can give an example of a magazine where you want to add something, I can provide you the exact URLs as well. Let me know if you have any concerns/questions. Annie 17:35, 11 June 2021 (EDT)
PS: For Penumbra 1, the record you want is this one. Annie 17:36, 11 June 2021 (EDT)

Broken series link

Clicking on the link for Frederik Pohl's Heechee series from this record gives a "Page Does Not Exist" and "Second parameter not specified" error. --Mavmaramis 13:34, 17 June 2021 (EDT)

Can you reload and try again? It works for me - however Ahasuerus installed a patch to fight Facebook IDs in Series pages this morning so you may have caught a cached version? If it still does not work, can you post here the address the clicking on the series is sending you to? Annie 14:46, 17 June 2021 (EDT)

(after edit conflict)

Could you please clarify? When I go to the title record for The Annals of the Heechee, I see Series: Heechee, which takes me to the Series page for Heechee. Is the link not working for you or are you referring to another link?
P.S. I am currently in the process of changing the way the ISFDB software handles URLs; it's very likely that you ran into an unintended side effect. I just need to know more about the specifics of the problem that you encountered. Ahasuerus 14:48, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
OK, I have recreated the problem on the development server. The behavior depends on how the user has "Display translations on Author and Series pages" (under User Preferences) set up. Working on it... Ahasuerus 14:58, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
I believe I have fixed the problem. Please let me know if anything looks off. Ahasuerus 16:16, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
It was Series: Heechee that was giving me the error. Series now displays so thanks for your speedy fix. --Mavmaramis 16:39, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
Excellent :) Ahasuerus 22:43, 17 June 2021 (EDT)


I recently submitted an edit which was accepted for [[26]] to remove the 'J' initial from the Reaves author. However, it still shows 'as by' the 'J' version. What did I miss? --GlennMcG 15:03, 17 June 2021 (EDT)

You changed it on the book level only, the title record is still the old one. Once the record is created, the title and publication author/title matching needs to be done manually. If a title is only in a single book, you can do it from the Edit screen (you change both - although you may want to be careful if the title record is a parent) but when it is not (like here), you need to change them separately. So in this case, you have two options:
  • Remove the title with the wrong author and import the one with the correct one (this one.
  • Go to the title record here and unmerge the book. That will create a new title with the correct author and once crated it can be merged with the existing one.
Let me know if this makes sense :) Annie 15:20, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
I'm assuming I need to wait for the title remove to be approved before importing a container title. --GlennMcG 16:38, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
Both can usually go in parallel - you may see some yellow warnings but they can be ignored. I approved the remove and imported the other one :) Annie 22:22, 17 June 2021 (EDT)

publisher maybe changed their name.. ?

how to handle that SST Publications was formerly Short, Scary Tales Publishers? Susan O'Fearna 16:03, 17 June 2021 (EDT)

Did they change their name on the title page/copyright page of the books? Their site has both names so I am inclined to just use the longer name and add a note explaining the double name if the credits had not changed or if both names are now there. Unless they changed how they credit in the books - then we can add notes explaining and linking the two. Annie 22:28, 17 June 2021 (EDT)
Well, Big Lizard has SST, not Short Scary Tales... and it just came out this year also, the three Joe Lansdale e-books from SubPress still say SST Presents: Joe Lansdale so, I'm asking :) Susan O'Fearna 01:06, 20 June 2021 (EDT)

Adding a new series suddenly moved OTHER books by the author into the series??

I've just added Triorion as a series, on Awakening [27]. When I went to review the series, suddenly Heart of the Dragon [28] shows up as part of the Triorion series. That's legitimate, as Heart of the Dragon is part of the Triorion Universe, but the edit screen had just told me that this was a new, never-existed-before series, so this was quite surprising. Is this a known bug?

(Also, is there a Wiki template for linking to books? Or do I just use the URL like I did here?) athompso 16:35, 20 June 2021 (EDT)

There are a couple of things going on here. First, your submission hasn't been processed yet. I have put it on hold for now.
Second, the ISFDB supports two types of series: "title series" and "publication series". As Help:How to work with series explains:
  • Titles in the ISFDB can be organized into series. Some series, such as Harry Harrison's Eden trilogy, for example, are composed only of novels; others, such as Le Guin's Hainish series, include both novels and short fiction.
  • These series are linked by common characters, story lines or settings. Every publication of a given title will have the same series information.
  • A publication series is a set of similarly packaged books designated by the publisher (or publishers), often related only in theme or marketing. They may share an editor, or a presentor, or merely be grouped by the publisher. For example the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series or the Millennium / Gollancz SF Masterworks series are publication series.
  • Different editions or publications of the same title may not all belong to a given publication series, indeed it is possible for different publications of the same title to belong to two or more different publication series.
Triorion is a title series, but your "Edit Publication" submission would have created a new publication series of the same name. Also, it would have added a link to this Web page to the publication record for the 2017 ebook edition, but I suspect that you meant to add it to the title series record. Does this make sense? Ahasuerus 17:55, 20 June 2021 (EDT)
I have approved the submission and moved the series-specific information to the series page. Thanks for contributing! Ahasuerus 22:36, 28 June 2021 (EDT)

Editing submission

Question: when you make a submission and it shows in your recent submissions, if you find an error is there a way to edit this without cancelling this one and resubmitting a new one??

Also I am not sure on how to contact a mod. I have gone to that persons talk page but am not sure how to start a thread. aardvark7 12:41, 21 June 2021 (EDT)

Nope, no way to edit.
To contact someone: Go to their Talk page (mine for example is here). Note that when you clean on the name of someone, you get to their user page. The Talk page is the second tab when you are on the user page. Press the "+" sign at the top of it (next to "Edit"). Pretty much the same way you add a message here :) Annie 12:51, 21 June 2021 (EDT)

Finding a user's Talk page

I'm pretty new here and still learning my way around. I keep seeing references to contacting other users via their Talk page. I have seen several comments on Help Desk posts on how to find a user's Talk page but could never make those methods work for me. I could never find a link on a user's page labeled "Talk". This has been confusing and a bit frustrating.

Today I figured out why. There are no links labeled "Talk". They all are labeled either "Discussion" or "Discuss this page". Further, the location and title of the links to user Talk pages depend on which skin is being used. I suspect most people are using the default MonoBook skin. For that skin, the link is labeled "Discussion" and is the second tab at the top of the page. (That's the only skin that has tabs, BTW.) Early on, I changed to the Cologne Blue skin. For that skin, it turns out that the link is labeled "Discuss this page" and is located under the heading "This page" on the left side of the webpage. Once you are there, adding a new Talk post requires you to click on "Post a comment" under the "This page" heading on the left side of the webpage. Every other skin has different wording and/or locations.

Is there any way to update the Help info about Talk pages so that it can guide users to the correct location for the skin they have selected? Phil 14:05, 22 June 2021 (EDT)

Which help pages are we talking about? Please post links to the ones you've found. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:11, 22 June 2021 (EDT)
I'm not sure if there are more but the only one I found consistently is Wiki_Conventions in the "User talk page" section. I wish the info or a link to the Wiki Conventions page was also in a FAQ so that it can easily be found. It's not intuitive to find it on the Wiki Conventions page. Phil 17:42, 22 June 2021 (EDT)
I've added the Help template to the top of that page, and the template now links to that page (second link from the top on the left). That should make the page more visible. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:07, 22 June 2021 (EDT)
Thanks! That's a good start but I think the text in parentheses on the Help Page template which states "useful information for those unfamiliar with using a wiki" is wrong and should read something like "Conventions and Customs of the ISFDB Wiki" to bring it in line with the actual content of the Wiki Conventions page.
I'm still bothered that there's no easy way to directly find the Talk information. Should I be proposing (on the Community Portal) a short FAQ that points to the Wiki Conventions page as well as proposing changes to the wording of the User talk page section on the Wiki Conventions page? Phil 08:09, 23 June 2021 (EDT)
I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out what you mean by "directly find the Talk information". If you mean how the different skins present the information, you're welcome to write up a quick guide and we can look at incorporating that somehow. If you mean something else, please clarify.
To clarify, I haven't found a way to search for "User Talk" that directs me to the relevant discussion on the Wiki Conventions page. I just happened on it by chance. I'm thinking that other new editors might not be as lucky as I was and a simple FAQ could cut down the need for moderators to keep posting how-to directions. I will think about creating a quick guide for the various skins and once created will post it on the Rules and Standards discussion board for possible inclusion. Phil 18:35, 23 June 2021 (EDT)
As for "useful information for those unfamiliar with using a wiki", that is correct. Those of us who have used a wiki for almost two decades now don't ever use that page because we're familiar with how things work. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:14, 23 June 2021 (EDT)

Don't feel bad. I've been told to use the user's Talk page to get in touch with them for changes and such. Have never been able to find it and am still confused. aardvark7 02:48, 24 June 2021 (EDT)

Now that I understand how to find it, perhaps I can help. First, click on the user name you want to talk to. That should bring up their user page. To find the link to their Talk page, do a page search (for Chrome use Ctrl-F) for the term "Discuss". That will highlight the link to the User's talk page. Click on that to bring up their Talk page. Assuming you are using the default MonoBook skin, click on the tab displaying "+" next to the Edit tab at the top of the page to start a new discussion with that person. Hope this helps! Phil 13:05, 24 June 2021 (EDT)

Santa's Christmas Journey read aloud concert

The Kettle Moraine Symphony in West Bend, WI is planning a live in person Family Christmas concert. There will be a live Santa Clause reading Santa's Christmas Journey by Roger Brooke with familiar Christmas tunes weaved throughout the story. Do we have permission to read this story aloud? Connie Schulist Operations Manager, librarian, cellist —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kmsymphony (talkcontribs) . 09:44, 23 June 2021 (EDT)

You would need to contact Roger Brooke or the publisher of the book to get permission. As far as I can tell, we don't even have that book listed here. We are a database of speculative fiction stories (books, magazines, etc.), not a rights clearinghouse, so we have no way to give permission to you. Sorry we can't help more. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:58, 23 June 2021 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Schulist, I located a copy of that book,, which can be read in full only if you have an account on that site. However, if you type "copyright" in the search box, it shows the copyright page and title page, which reveals the book is from 1985 and was published by Raintree, and gives their address, 330 E. Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202. Since you are also in Wisconsin, maybe that will help you locate rights to read the story, assuming they're still in business and still at the same place. A company named Capstone seems to have bought them up, judging by their Wikipedia page, and 1 of the copies on Google Books says "Capstone PressInc, 1993", so rights may belong to them now. --Username 17:48, 23 June 2021 (EDT)
Great information! Hopefully, they'll be able to contact the right people now. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:03, 24 June 2021 (EDT)

Same Book?; the PB says it was revised, but there's a separate record that has the same ISBN as the original HC but also says it was revised. I think there's something amiss. --Username 11:26, 24 June 2021 (EDT)

Dark Sister; Tor HC was followed by Tor TP, but there's a St. Martin's Press TP with same ISBN. That can't be right. --Username 11:33, 24 June 2021 (EDT)

Definition of interview

Are only interviews in Q&A format allowed to be called interviews?--Rosab618 02:22, 25 June 2021 (EDT)

Here's my take: If the article is Q&A format, it should be entered as an interview. If it turns into an article with the interviewee having an occasional quote and the interviewer writing a lot of narrative prose in between quotes, then it becomes an essay. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:59, 25 June 2021 (EDT)
Well, I don't think only Q & A formats are allowed. We have in fact some by now classic volumes of interviews (here is one of them), where the questions and answers are formulated & incorporated into essays that also reflect on other aspects (personality, circumstances, literary etc.). Christian Stonecreek 15:25, 25 June 2021 (EDT)

Interior Art

Hello, everyone. I haven't had much to do with art until now. In the first issues of Fangoria, there was a feature called "Fantasticart", about individual fantasy artists. Featured artists so far include Don Maitz, Carl Lundgren, Michael Hague, and Dennis Anderson. Sometimes it was the first publication of the art, sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes the art appeared under a different title earlier or later. For example, "Check Out the Sunset" by Don Maitz was a book cover, before being published under its original title. For another example, "Lady and her Pet" was first published in Fangoria #1, before becoming a book cover in 1982. Does that make the appearance in Fangoria the parent? How do I connect each illustration to other appearances? Thanks.--Rosab618 17:46, 25 June 2021 (EDT)

Can anyone help?--Rosab618 12:28, 26 June 2021 (EDT)
To connect the interior art and cover art appearances, you would variant the one to the other. Same as you would be for an alternate title or author credit.
Yes, which ever one appeared first should be used as the first appearance date.
If that wasn't clear, let us know. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:07, 26 June 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. Do I merge the illustrations with the same titles? E.g., the 1993 trading card "Check Out the Sun" with the 1979 appearance of "Check Out the Sun"?--Rosab618 18:48, 26 June 2021 (EDT)
Only if you are sure they are the same illustration. If they are both variants of the same cover art, that is an easy case. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:22, 26 June 2021 (EDT)

My Beneath Ceaseless Skies clones

Look, I’m just as tired of updating the entry for the webzine Beneath Ceaseless Skies as most moderators are tired of looking at my edits. But, it’s a job that’s gotta be done. So doing my submissions over again for mistakes I don’t understand is frustrating. I would probably just do the same mistakes again. So, why were my clones of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, #314 and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, #315 rejected? What was I doing wrong, and how do I correct these mistakes? I just want to get done with this self-assigned assignment. MLB 21:52, 30 June 2021 (EDT)

All 5 are "Forced" rejections from the looks of it - which means that someone merged a title between the time you created the clone and the time it was approved (and the ID of the title inside of your clone now does not exist thus making the clone broken). So just resubmit them again and they should be fine. Annie 11:31, 1 July 2021 (EDT)
No, it took four days from me entering the first entry to them being approved then another two days until my clones all got bounced. Time enough. This is wearing out my legendary patience. MLB 17:38, 1 July 2021 (EDT)

Christopher Nuttall Bookworm titles

I'm looking for guidance on how to handle the titles for Christopher Nuttall's last three Bookworm books. The books are already in the DB: see here, here, and here. The problem is that the canonical titles and current publication titles don't match the titles as published on the title page and the copyright page. For example, the book named The Very Ugly Duckling shows on the title page as Bookworm II The Very Ugly Duckling and on the copyright page as Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling. Doing an ISBN lookup shows the title as Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling as does the title as displayed on I understand that the title rules say that a series name shouldn't be included in the title but in this case, the publisher has very clearly included them that way. I have all three ebooks in hand and will primary verify them but I want to make sure the titles are correct before doing so. Should I leave the titles as they are or change them to match the title page? Phil 18:29, 1 July 2021 (EDT)

We prefer to use simplified titles so we pull the series name out even when printed on the title page. So both "Bookworm II The Very Ugly Duckling" and "Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling" (although this one being on the copyright page is kinda irrelevant anyway) essentially becomes "The Very Ugly Duckling", #2 in the series called Bookworm. Amazon's conventions are irrelevant, the title page usually wins - except for this simplification of titles when series are involved. A note can be added in the publication notes that the series is printed in the same font and so on if needed but I would not add the series name to the title in this case (and I did not as these are my handywork). Even if you change them now, someone will find them in a week/month/year and "regularize" them again...
A lot of series books are like that - the series is part of the title often because it makes the books easier to identify - thus the wording in the help page: "The present (2018) usage is to enter only the "simplified" title, for example, you could enter the title for a publication as "Song of the Dragon" and the note would have "The title page states 'Song of the' over 'Dragon' over 'The annals of Drakis: Book One'." :) Annie 19:07, 1 July 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for the clarification. I will leave them alone! :) Phil 22:00, 1 July 2021 (EDT)

The Honor of the Queen, Second Edition

In 2013, David Weber issued what appears to be an ebook-only revised edition of The Honor of the Queen that includes additional content. The title page shows it as The Honor of the Queen, Second Edition. Should this be considered a variant? If so, what's the best way to add it in? (Add variant, then add pub to the variant title -or- Add novel, then make it a variant) Also, what's the correct way to enter this title? I haven't dealt with a title that includes a comma before. Phil 11:12, 8 July 2021 (EDT)

That depends on how different it is. If they are just textual revisions, we use a single title ("The Honor of the Queen" and then add the "Second edition" in the publication as a note only. If it is heavily redacted to make it a new work, you add it separately as a novel under the name "The Honor of the Queen, Second Edition", do NOT variant it and add notes to make sure it does not get merged.
Variants are for changes in language, author or title; we do not use variants for textual changes. Annie 11:38, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
PS: One thing to consider - if you split into a separate record, anything published after that and any translation will need to be researched to determine which version was used. I am not saying not to split them but... are they really THAT different? Adding a chapter won't make me change the title record - I would merge and add notes explaining the change in the main title for example. Adding 100 new pages - well, that IS different. Annie 11:39, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
OK. That points me in the right direction. Now I just need to figure out how much was changed! I'll try a chapter-by-chapter comparison with the Baen free edition to start with and see where that gets me. Phil 13:24, 8 July 2021 (EDT)

Item is variant of itself? This interior art is listed as a variant to itself. It's a glitch. I don't know if I can fix it. Can someone help? Thanks!--Rosab618 15:02, 8 July 2021 (EDT)

You break the cycle by breaking the variant which means making it a variant of 0 :) Fixed. See if that looks ok now. :) Annie 16:03, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
Thanks, but now the variants of it are gone. Is there a way to find them and re-variant them?--Rosab618 17:10, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
Oops - I did not see variants (and they should have stayed in place technically if they were attached to it). Let me see if I can pull the list from backups so we can chase them down. Annie 17:13, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
I think I found them all, and submitted them as variants. I'll delete my submissions if necessary. Thanks again! :) --Rosab618 17:25, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
Nah, I will approve yours and use the backup to make sure we did not lose any. Not sure why they got dropped if this one was the parent (they should not have) but that is a different question :) Annie 17:55, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
By the way - in case you are curious - this happened because when you merged the two titles yesterday, you left the default to stay on the Parent line. When merging a parent and a child, you need to reset that by selecting the radio box that is next to empty and not the one with the value inside of it on the Parent line. Otherwise you create a loop like this one. Not an issue and easily fixable when we find it - but it may take awhile to find it. So keep an eye on that for next time :) And that may explain why we lost the variants is my guess - somewhere the linkage went bonkers. :) Annie 18:23, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
And the backup found one more variant which is now connected as well so we are back to normal. Thanks for paying attention to the variants! Annie 18:26, 8 July 2021 (EDT)
Yup, it happens when breaking self-variants. Bug 777 has been created. Thanks for identifying the problem! Ahasuerus 10:54, 9 July 2021 (EDT)
Fixed. Ahasuerus 13:43, 9 July 2021 (EDT)

Watch on the Rhine -- German (sub) title

I was PVing [[29]] and was about to change the title to add the parenthetical subtitle (Die Wacht am Rhein). And then I started second-guessing myself. Is a subtitle really a subtitle if it's just the title translated into another language?

Thoughts? --GlennMcG 18:23, 10 July 2021 (EDT)

I’d add it as a note but not as a subtitle personally. And in this case, one of the other PVs is active - so changing the title should be discussed with them before a change anyway:) Annie 20:06, 10 July 2021 (EDT)
I agree with Annie. Since it's a translation, it's not a subtitle. Good question, though. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:02, 12 July 2021 (EDT)

Some Downloading Questions and a Request

Hello! I am hoping to get some help from one of the database admins. My situation is that I'm building a time travel database that, among other things, will contain listings of time travel stories with links to the full records at the ISFDB. (It also has comic books, movies, tv shows, and a few other items, with links to other sites.)

During my development state, it's best for me to automatically download certain ISFDB html pages to my desktop (with no copy online) and then parse out the relevant data (such as titles and authors). I will only be downloading the html of those pages and not images, and I won't be hotlinking to images either. I have considered some alternatives, such as downloading all of the raw ISFDB MySQL files, but parsing that or rebuilding a local copy of the ISFDB would be considerably harder for me, whereas parsing html is easy.

So, I've done some tests this week, and I'm ready to start my automatic downloading process. My questions:

--Is it okay if I do this? and What's the best way to do this that will not put an undue burden on ISFDB resources?

If my approach is acceptable to the ISFDB admins, there would be several thousand ISFDB pages that I would like to download to my desktop for parsing over a period of time. If needed, I can limit the number of pages that I automatically download each day. I can also insert a delay in my downloader (so that after downloading each page, there is a pause before the next page is requested). If I do insert a pause, is there a particular length of time that you would suggest? Is there anything else I should do to not cause problems for the ISFDB?

I also would like to apologize because it's possible that my test programs this week have already caused ISFDB problems. My realization of that possibility is the reason that I'm writing now.

For me, the ISFDB is a terrific resource, both in its own right and for building related projects. As I find new items that are not in the ISFDB, I will submit them and mark them with the ISFDB time travel tag. Also, my web site will use the same Creative Commons license that is used here, and I will acknowledge the ISFDB as the source of some information. My time travel website has been online for about 13 years, but I am just now turning it into a real database. It is only a hobby and something that I hope others will find useful and fun. Like the ISFDB, there is no advertising, and there are no commercial aspects to my site. If it would be helpful, I can post a link to my site and provide direct contact information to the admins, but I didn't want to do so on this forum without permission.

If you'd rather that I not do this kind of downloading, please let me know that. In that case, I would probably do similar downloads from the Library of Congress catalog or elsewhere, and I can also copy bibliographic data by hand (so the ISFDB would still be a source for me). But the LoC is not as well organized or as focused as the ISFDB, and doing things by hand would cause significant delays.

And I'm always open to other thoughts and ideas about my site. Thanks for any help you may provide in helping me download pages automatically without being disruptive.

--Michael Main 14:35, 14 July 2021 (EDT)

Thanks for checking with the other editors first! :-)
Accessing and downloading several thousand Web pages wouldn't affect server performance too much if you do it as a single-threaded process and add a one second delay between requests. However, keep in mind that this type of screen-scraping/parsing, although relatively innocuous and easy to implement for a quick and dirty project, tends to cause problems if you try to turn it into a production-grade process. For example, HTML layouts can change over time. Also, a single process which downloads a few thousand pages may not be a big deal, but if it is run periodically, it can become a burden. This is why keeping two databases in sync using screen-scraping is the last resort and should only be used when there are no other options.
Ideally, you should be able to get all of the data that you need from the latest publicly available backup file. If all you need is the raw data, then it's as simple as downloading a compatible version of the MySQL software and loading the backup file as described over on ISFDB:MySQL Only Setup. You can then create a SQL query that will get you the data that you want and dump it into a flat file for further procesing. If you need help with the query, please feel free to ask -- we have a number of people who should be able to help. We have done it for a number of third parties (Web sites, journalists, reviewers, etc) over the years.
The nice thing about this approach is that once you have the original setup done, it should be easy to refresh your data using the latest ISFDB backups, which are posted weekly. There will be no HTML dependencies, no delays associated with screen-scraping, no extra load on the server, etc.
Re: leveraging the catalog of the Library of Congress, keep in mind that they have anti-robot measures in place and use JavaScript, so screen-scraping may not be scalable. There are some freely available dumps of their catalogs floating around the Web, though, e.g. here. Ahasuerus 15:48, 14 July 2021 (EDT)
Many thanks, Ahasuerus, for your quick and thoughtful response! Your discussion and expertise on how to best keep two databases in sync are greatly appreciated; it is a problem that I have never dealt with before, seeing as how the time travel database is my first attempt at any database. I've read what you've written several times, and I think my long-term solution will be exactly what you've suggested: building my own private copy of the ISFDB and updating it from your public backup files. I will then query that private database for the pieces I need to keep the stories-and-novels section of the time travel database in sync. And for the short term, I think I will parse the HTML of the few thousand pages that I need, because I know that doing so will be just a few hours of work. Those requests will come from a single-threaded php process using get_file_contents(), and I'll put in a one-second delay between page requests. Please let me know if I inadvertently do anything to cause problems at your end.
Thanks again for your help, Ahasuerus, and for all the information about the ISFDB, the LoC, and other issues. --Michael Main 19:26, 14 July 2021 (EDT)
Glad to be able to help! :-) Ahasuerus 18:48, 14 July 2021 (EDT)

The Dragon's Nine Sons / Solaris US

When PVing [[30]] I came across the publisher Solaris US. Not noted in the book as such, except perhaps as a 'printed in the US' statement, and US and CAN prices. The publisher [[31]] appears to be mostly unused. Is this the dregs of a failed endeavor, or something I should account for? Thanks. --GlennMcG 16:17, 14 July 2021 (EDT)


After thousands of edits, I don't think I ever unmerged anything until today; Recently I added "Heretics" to the 2010 e-book because it dropped all the stories from the original edition and just kept the title tale, but today I saw it again and realized it says Collection, which is wrong because it only has one piece of fiction. So after they're unmerged the format needs to be changed to Novel, I think, since the note says it runs 216 pages in the e-book. --Username 21:00, 17 July 2021 (EDT)

I made it a chapbook. --Username 20:21, 1 August 2021 (EDT)

Database crash - impact on the Help Desk questions

It looks like the Wiki database crash earlier this afternoon resulted in a loss of the last few questions posted on the Help Desk. I am currently investigating to see what the full impact of the crash is. Please see the Community Portal for further announcements. Ahasuerus 17:28, 20 July 2021 (EDT)

As per my Community Portal post, I have fixed the immediate database problems caused by the crash and we should be back up. The Help Desk posts made since 2021-07-17 couldn't be recovered. If the posted questions haven't been resolved yet, please post them again. Ahasuerus 18:29, 20 July 2021 (EDT)

Blaze Ward - The Last Ranger

The Blaze Ward short story The Last Ranger has two title records in the database for the same story. (The Last Ranger (ANPS-1, CE 2053) and The Last Ranger). According to the copyright page in the ebook edition of The Rangers, the story was originally published in the anthology Alternative Truths. Both stories are the same; only the titles differ. I think that the title The Last Ranger (ANPS-1, CE 2053) (used in one anthology) should be made a variant of the title The Last Ranger (used in two collections) since The Last Ranger is the more commonly used title. However, this would make the earliest published title a variant of a later title. Is this the right thing to do or do I have it backwards because of the publication dates? Phil 22:43, 20 July 2021 (EDT)

Generally, the first title is the one used, and any other titles are considered variants of that one. If you can find the Knotted Pine 2017 chapbook, we can add that (there's one from 2018 already). I've merged them together at this title. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:35, 21 July 2021 (EDT)
Thank you. Phil 18:36, 21 July 2021 (EDT)

Travel Guide to Vulcan; Essay?

I notice the title "Vulcan", a travel guide to Vulcan, is typed as an essay. Does essay include fiction as well? It's not exactly a novel, but it is fiction, and some well known fictional stories are in the form of essays but still regarded as fictional stories. The book is actually, as you might imagine, composed of lots of small "essays", as befitting a travel guide. ?? Thanks. gzuckier 00:28, 23 July 2021 (EDT)

The Help leaves to the editor's discretion whether a fictional essay should be typed SHORTFICTION or ESSAY. Depending on how the contents are presented, I'd be inclined to make the publication a COLLECTION, with one SHORTFICTION per city/chapter/whatever the organization, or simply make it a NOVEL. Yes, it purports to be factual, but "travel guide" makes me think it is including a lot of new, made-up-by-the-author material that wasn't part of the actual Star Trek. Just my opinion. --MartyD 08:33, 25 July 2021 (EDT)
If it's an "essay" that is written from a fictional point of view, I treat it as short fiction. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:49, 26 July 2021 (EDT)
thanksgzuckier 22:46, 26 July 2021 (EDT)

PV search

Is there a way to search for publication records which I've PVed, and have a specific publisher? --GlennMcG 17:36, 26 July 2021 (EDT)

Go to Advance Search and select Publications. Make the first selection criteria Primary Verifier and enter your user name. Make the second criteria Publisher and enter whatever publisher you are interested in. Use the "and" operator (default) and you are set. John Scifibones 18:16, 26 July 2021 (EDT)
Ahh! I had tried advanced search starting with publishers, but it had no options for PV. Thanks. --GlennMcG 19:41, 26 July 2021 (EDT)
Is there a way to change the sort order? --GlennMcG 01:28, 27 July 2021 (EDT) Never mind... I found it. --GlennMcG 01:47, 27 July 2021 (EDT)

Swords and Salt

The Swords and Salt stories by Lindsay Buroker were published both individually and in collections. I just added the first published collection which is Swords & Salt: The Complete Series. That title was renamed in 2016 to Chains of Honor: the Prequels so it should become a variant of Swords & Salt: The Complete Series. However, Chains of Honor: the Prequels is already a variant of The Swords & Salt Collection: Tales 1-3 (which itself should actually be a variant of Swords & Salt: The Complete Series).

To make this all correct, can a moderator please make Chains of Honor: the Prequels a variant of Swords & Salt: The Complete Series after removing it as a variant of The Swords & Salt Collection: Tales 1-3? I'll then be able to make The Swords & Salt Collection: Tales 1-3 a variant of Swords & Salt: The Complete Series and all will be correct. Thanks! Phil 15:02, 31 July 2021 (EDT)

I will fix them all up. I even wonder if that Tales 1-3 is even valid, but I don't think there is a good way to know now. --MartyD 08:35, 1 August 2021 (EDT)
This should all be properly arranged now. I also merged the content titles. --MartyD 08:51, 1 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. Phil 12:00, 1 August 2021 (EDT)

Help Adding one of My Stories

Hello: I am a retired astronomer who writes science fiction. I have just had my fourth short story published, in Flash Fiction magazine. This is different from Flash Fiction Online magazine. I don't believe your database automatically includes Flash Fiction contributions.

I couldn't figure out how to list this, so I am respectfully asking for help:

Andrew Fraknoi: I Swallowed a Martian, Flash Fiction magazine, July 23, 2021: [32]

My author record is Author Record # 91057

Thank you, Andrew Fraknoi

Arcanum 101 by Lackey and Edghill wrong type

The title Arcanum 101 by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill is incorrectly setup as a chapbook when it should be a novel (the word count is a bit more than 58000 words). The ebook pub record here has the correct ISBN and ASIN but the regular title is listed as short fiction as a result. I have a copy of the ebook in hand but need this corrected before I can update the publication record and primary verify. Thanks. Phil 10:33, 2 August 2021 (EDT)

This has been corrected, and the novel is here. Also, the ISBN and ASIN listed on it were not correct according to Amazon. If your copy has a different ISBN and ASIN, please clone this one and adjust those as necessary. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:02, 2 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for the fix. The original ASIN and ISBN were correct for the original edition I purchased from on 2014-06-13 even though they are no longer active on Amazon so I'll clone. I suspect the date on the current record should be 0000-00-00 since there's no indication as to when Amazon discontinued the older edition and ASIN and replaced them with the current ones. Thoughts?
And just to make things even better, the title is actually "Arcanum 101: Welcome New Students" on both my copy and the title page as seen on the current Look-Inside view so I need to fix that here and here as well. Phil 17:06, 2 August 2021 (EDT)
I've updated the title. I agree that the current entry should be a 0000 date, so I've updated that, too. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:29, 3 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for all the help. Phil 14:06, 3 August 2021 (EDT)

Review and interview in one essay

My understanding of policy is that reviews must be listed along with the essay in which the review appears, i.e. 2 items in the contents of a publication, whereas interviews don't. However, what about an newspaper article which is partially an interview with an author and partially a review of their latest work? Can that be just the interview and the review listed, or does the article have to be listed as an essay as well? (In specific, a review of Something New Under the Sun and interview with Alexandra Kleeman in the NYTimes. I'd say the major thrust of the article is the interview, the review is 2 or 3 paragraphs outlining the plot with some interpretation and comparison to Kleeman's other work. Thanks. gzuckier 14:19, 3 August 2021 (EDT)

I would pick whichever is the majority of the essay. If it's more interview than review, enter it as an interview and leave a note on the title giving more details about its contents. If it's more review than interview, enter it as a review and leave a note on the title. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:14, 4 August 2021 (EDT)
I disagree - we want two separate entries (one as interview, one as review - both types have additional authors and connections that can be set and will be lost if either is missing). As for a third entry for the article itself? Up to the editor. If the whole article is the two pieces; I won't add an article; if there is more in the article itself, I'd add it as well. Annie 12:44, 4 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. gzuckier 00:51, 5 August 2021 (EDT)

The Defiance by Bill Baldwin

There's a 2014 ebook of The Defiance by Bill Baldwin where the title page shows "THE DEFIANCE / New E-Book Edition / Revised and updated from the original". Should this just be another pub of the main title or should it be considered a variant titled The Defiance: New E-Book Edition? Making this more confusing, it looks like this version may actually be a Director's Cut variation but without that stated. The trade paperback edition from the same publisher dated 2014 has the Director's Cut appellation. Phil 08:57, 4 August 2021 (EDT)

I swear it's documented somewhere, but I can't find it. Generally, we treat "minor" revisions as the same work and "major" revisions (e.g., an abridgement or an expansion) as new works. If the former, then it's just another publication of the same title (or a variant, if the details of titling/crediting are different). If the latter, then it's a new title, with appropriate notes about how/why it's not the same work as the other (if not obvious from the title itself). Which it is is at the discretion of the editor. --MartyD 10:32, 5 August 2021 (EDT)
What Marty said. IF it is very different, it become a separate title. If it is just edited or close enough, it is the same one. And I would not use "New E-Book Edition" as a subtitle for a title or a publication - I will add that to the notes only. Keep in mind that every time we split into separate titles, every reissue and translation will need to be reconciled - it can be either version. It needs to really be different to go that route - otherwise, especially now in the era of ebooks, we will keep splitting as crazy where the text is just slightly edited. But up to you as the adding editor :) Annie 13:05, 5 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for clarifying. I'm going to have to think on this for a while. The same situation exists with several other titles in the same series. The author's 'Director's Cut' appellation was used on the trade paperback editions published the same year as these ebooks yet as far as I can tell, the only use of the term 'Director's Cut' for the ebooks is on the Amazon website. I'll do some more research. Phil 17:14, 5 August 2021 (EDT)

Complete Idiot; first book has "Complete Idiot's Guides" as a publisher series, the Harry Potter and Narnia books have it as a series, and the rest don't have it at all. --Username 21:31, 6 August 2021 (EDT)

All fixed. They are now all part of the publication series. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:24, 9 August 2021 (EDT)

False information listed as "Verified" for Startling Stories 2021


I just discovered someone listed and "verified" the story Payload in the 2021 issue of Startling Stories as being by a German author named Michelle Stern. This is false. I am the author and I am not a German author named Michelle Stern, I am a U.S.-based science fiction/weird fiction author, M. Stern. I cannot get anyone to fix this as the person who "verified" this is not logging in. Can you please correct this error? It is hugely frustrating to see one's work misrepresented as being by another author and quote-unquote "verified" as such, and I can't find any way to contact a moderator directly to have it fixed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Msternauthor (talkcontribs) .

I have separated out the two M. Stern author records. Your entry is now M. Stern (I). Thanks for letting us know. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:05, 7 August 2021 (EDT)

Paul Lehr

I believe that the art on the covers of Nine Tomorrows, and The Legion of Space are reworkings or revisions of two of the pieces on Selections From Possible Worlds of Science Fiction what are anybody else’s thoughts? Should Paul Lehr be given the credit? MLB 17:56, 8 August 2021 (EDT)

Not if the rework was done by other artists and is more than recoloring/rotating and/or removing/adding some objects (basically the usual criteria on when we keep art together). We have that a lot in the European markets - someone local takes a cover/image and changes it just enough to make it a rework and not an original. So... depends on how different they are really. Annie 11:00, 9 August 2021 (EDT)

Secondary cover images

When Pving [[33]] I noticed that the text/logo on the cover of my copy is slightly different, but the promotional image given has a the full wrap-around artwork. Is there a way to upload additional images for a publication to the wiki? Ideally, I'd have the current artwork be the secondary, and my scan of the actual release be the normal cover image. Thanks. --GlennMcG 18:54, 12 August 2021 (EDT)

Technically you can upload it the wiki directly and then link to it in the notes. There is a chance that it may be lost if we have archiving issues (the covers are archived separately) but it will work on the site. Annie 19:15, 12 August 2021 (EDT)
How does one upload to the wiki directly? I haven't found the spot in the interface that allows that. --GlennMcG 21:46, 12 August 2021 (EDT)
Never mind... found the toolbox in lower left corner. Hidden pretty well. I think I can figure out the template stuff, but I'm curious if there is a convention for choosing a file name. --GlennMcG 23:58, 12 August 2021 (EDT)
Not really. It is not a standard operation after all. You can use the tag (the name used for the cover when you upload proper cover) if you want - that will make clear what this image is. Make sure to add some notes in the wiki page on why we need two covers - or someone may helpfully decide to move your image and overwrite the proper cover. Annie 01:08, 13 August 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. It wasn't clear to me whether the namespaces overlapped when choosing the filename. (I didn't want a clash with anything). --GlennMcG 02:27, 13 August 2021 (EDT)
Throw a _1 at the end if you are worried. :) Annie 03:02, 13 August 2021 (EDT)

The Strange Case of the Two Paul Alexanders

Just to let people know. Illustrator Paul Alexander IS NOT the same person as writer Paul Alexander Zink. They have been combined together as Paul Alexander and will have to be separated in the near future. MLB 04:30, 16 August 2021 (EDT)

The records have been disambiguated and SFE3 has been notified. Thanks! :) Ahasuerus 10:47, 16 August 2021 (EDT)

Can't log in

Hello! :)

I was able to reset my password for this wiki, but it doesn't work for the main ISFDB and I see no option to ask for a password reset there. Please advise. --Galacticjourney 20:30, 16 August 2021 (EDT)

I have left a message on your Talk page about the login problem. Ahasuerus 13:37, 17 August 2021 (EDT)

Also, "Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963)" is misnamed in the database as "Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963)"

Gideon ( --Galacticjourney 20:30, 16 August 2021 (EDT)

Checking the paperback edition's publication history, I see that it was originally entered as "Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963)", but then "Rediscovery" was moved to the "Series" field. I am going to notify the editors who worked on this record and we will correct this error. Thanks for the heads-up! Ahasuerus 13:37, 17 August 2021 (EDT)

Thousand and one arabian nights, not a novel?

The original version, Richard Burton as author, published as a large series,, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night (1885) and variants are listed as type novel, most of the other titles of the series, all with Burton author, are listed as collections. To me, collection seems more correct than novel, despite the framing narrative, there are only 4 listings under this title and variants, nobody has verified them, it seems to me in the interests of consistency they could be changed to type collection from novel? Thanks. gzuckier 22:56, 16 August 2021 (EDT)

The Shield Maiden

There's a bit of a mess right now with The Shield Maiden by Linda Pearce and Michael 'Tinker' Pearce that needs a moderator's help to correct.

• Title record 1609306 is listed as a variant of title record 1639337 but that is incorrect and the variant linkage(?) on 1609306 needs to be removed.

• Title records 1609306, 1639337, and 2899456 are really all the same title and need to be merged. The merged record author names should be Linda Pearce and Michael 'Tinker' Pearce. The merged record date should be 2012-11-27. The merged record series name is 'The Foreworld Saga' with no sequence number.

TIA. Phil 13:04, 17 August 2021 (EDT)

Hi Phil, corrected it, but not as you suggested. The SideQuest Adventures' title page has the author as "Michael Tinker Pearce" (checked LookInside on, so that's what we need to record. Also, it so happens to be the author's 'canonical' name as that's the name that is printed on the title page of the listed publications most often. The 2012 The Shield Maiden is published as by "Michael 'Tinker' Pearce", which is the alternate name of "Michael Tinker Pearce", hence The Shield Maiden (1609306) is to be the variant of 1639337. Have a look. MagicUnk 15:14, 18 August 2021 (EDT)
I'm a little confused since the 2012 title (1609306) is the oldest publication title by date and the SideQuest Adventures' title is a later inclusion as part of the collection. I would think that the oldest title by date would be the parent and any later version would be a variant. Phil 15:49, 18 August 2021 (EDT)
Yes, you are right. But this is not that case. With alternate author names it's a little different, and varianting in this case has nothing to do with title variants (the titles themselves are exactly the same in both publications), but everyting with author name variants: the record with the author's primary name is the main record, the record with the author's alternate name is the variant - and both title records have the exact same date to make the relationship between author's primary and alternate names clear. So, look at The Shield Maiden's title record. You'll notice that it says Michael 'Tinker' Pearce, and that it is a variant of The Shield Maiden with Michael Tinker Pearce as author. The latter is the author's primary name, so must be the primary title record too. Since we now have two title records with different authors (primary and alternate), we can choose one of the two to use as contents record in the anthology, and it so happens that that is 1639337 with Michael Tinker Pearce as author. Hope that makes it clear(er). Regards, MagicUnk 04:08, 19 August 2021 (EDT)

An ERB reference

I have an extensive reference for Ace/Ballantine Edgar Rice Burroughs publications and was checking it against existing entries. A number of questions arose.

  • This seems too small in scale to warrant a new External Verification or External Identifier. Would it be acceptable to note the book and link to the ISFDB title entry in the Notes?
  • The entries are by the publisher stock number for Ace with variants for differences in i) printing dates (including absence) ii) publisher address, iii) printed advertisements, iv) inserted advertisement cards (generally cigarette) or v) colouration of page edges. I'm inclined to accept i), ii) and iii) as different ISFDB publications, as they would be print runs, but ignore iv) and v) as these can be adjusted after a single print during assembly. I could put these in the Notes. Will this be a problem,? Ballantine does not have this issue.
  • Where Ace variants need to be generated and there are PVs, would it be acceptable to edit the existing entry as one variant, create the new variant and notify the PV's of the difference and let them change their verification as necessary? What should be done about non-active verifications? Should the Notes be updated to reflect having pulled the rug out from under them?
  • The sample title I checked has an additional entry not in the reference, which was based on a 1980 Locus issue. In this case, the page count was off (241 vs. 210 for earlier and later publications) and I'm inclined to ask for it's removal. What would the process be and what information should be provided to ease the moderator's anxiety/effort for this and other cases, should they arise?
  • ../Doug H 12:52, 21 August 2021 (EDT)

Password issues -- 2021-08-25

I used a temporary password to login and now cannot change my password. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mmyoung (talkcontribs) .

I am moving this discussion to your Talk page to make sure that you don't miss it. Ahasuerus 14:48, 25 August 2021 (EDT)

Including free ebooks

Quite a few self-published authors seem to be providing free ebooks to readers who sign up for their newsletters/mailing lists. In some cases, the ebooks are made available exclusively to those who sign up and are unavailable elsewhere. In other cases, they are made available both for free and also for purchase. Are the ones exclusively available for those who sign up for the mailing lists considered candidates for inclusion on this site? Phil 12:40, 26 August 2021 (EDT)

Sure. Even in earlier times there were publications that were only available to (book) club members or to a reading circle. As long as there are corresponding notes about the availability they should be in. Stonecreek 13:36, 26 August 2021 (EDT)
I've added plenty of exclusive ebooks for several authors such as Aliette de Bodard. If an author later makes a story more publicly available, we certainly want details of an earlier edition, even if it was issued privately. PeteYoung 04:27, 28 August 2021 (EDT)


I see from some random searches that fanzines, or at least some well-known ones (e.g. those of Richard E. Geis) are indexed. I have scans of Karen Anderson's Vorpal Glass handy (they're also online at fanac) and there's definitely material in there that I would expect to see listed here (for example, the fourth issue has an otherwise unreprinted paper by Hal Clement). Is it okay to start adding them? Frink 09:51, 27 August 2021 (EDT)

Go ahead. That one is definitely one of our fanzines so we want it. Annie 10:38, 27 August 2021 (EDT)
All genre fanzines, absolutely. There are plenty that we haven't yet made any headway on. Also zines which have mixed genre/non-genre contents are still useful, but it's usually best to only index the genre contents. PeteYoung 04:33, 28 August 2021 (EDT)

Which price to use

I have a situation where there are two different first day prices set for the same ebook. The price when purchased from the publisher's online store is $3.99. The price when purchased from is $4.99. Both prices are from the first day of publication. I think I should use the price from the publisher's online store with a note and also show the price in a separate note. Is this correct? Phil 22:44, 29 August 2021 (EDT)

Yes. Also, include date as of which the data was retrieved. MagicUnk 08:56, 30 August 2021 (EDT)
Yep. The hierarchy goes: Printed/stated price in/on the book, publisher site price, reseller or other secondary source stated list price, whatever other price we can find from a reseller. In case there are prices in multiple currencies in the same source, the one that matches the publisher's country wins, the rest go into the notes (except for editions which are never sold at home, for these the target country's currency can be used). When one is missing, go down the list. Always document the source and the date it was pulled at. :) Annie 21:26, 30 August 2021 (EDT)

Swap canonical and alternate name?

I've now seen a couple of cases where a trans author changed their name years ago, and all of their work since then has been published under their new name, and they’re well known under their new name, but their new work is still showing up as being by their old name (with an “as by” showing the new name). I tried to change the way that’s presented for one of the authors, but saw that both the old name and the new name are showing as canonical. (That is, I go to the edit page for the old name, and in the “Canonical Name” box, it shows the old name; but I go to the edit page for the new name, and in the “Canonical Name” box, it shows the new name.) I would like to make things so that the new name is the canonical name, with the old name listed as an alternate. I’ve read various help pages that talk about canonical names, but none of them that I’ve seen explain how to change a canonical name or how to reverse things so that a formerly alternate name is now canonical. Can you tell me how to make that change? (I considered using “Make/Remove Alternate Name”, but I wasn’t sure whether that would mess things up.) --Elysdir 11:35, 1 September 2021 (EDT)

It's a lengthy process. The best course of action would be first to unvariant all titles (ie display all variant titles, then go to 'make this title a variant and enter '0' to break the relationship). Then, switch canonical and alternate names by selecting the alternate name and breaking the relationship, and then re-establishing the alternate name relationship. Finally, variant the titles with the old author name to the titles with the new author name. Since it's easier for a moderator to do these edits, if you would give me the name you want reversed, I'll see what I can do to help (if it's not too much work - my time is limited ;)) Regards, MagicUnk 13:32, 1 September 2021 (EDT)

2021 Dwarf Stars Award

Hello - noob here! Voting finished yesterday on the Dwarf Stars Award and votes are in the process of being counted. It's great to see the ISFDB listing the winners and finalists of the Award each year (as with other literary awards). However, for this year, only 44 of the 51 poems among the finalists are currently listed on your entry for the 2021 Dwarf Stars Award ([34]). Is there any chance the missing finalists can be added to the entry before the winners are announced? --Explorer1000 16:48, 1 September 2021 (EDT)

Do you have a link to a full list? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:41, 14 September 2021 (EDT)
Oops! Sorry to take so long to get back. I didn't know anyone had responded. Scifibones subsequently updated the entry on the award for this year and I gave him some information that helped him do that.--Explorer1000 15:17, 21 September 2021 (EDT)

Non-Genre titles related to Genre titles

Author Mark Hayden has published three action/adventure titles and two detective titles in addition to his urban fantasy titles. All of the those titles are non-genre but all also contain characters that are an integral part of the urban fantasy King's Watch series. Should these titles be entered in the database with the non-genre flag or should they just be referenced in the notes of the author record? Phil 08:37, 14 September 2021 (EDT)

If they have characters that are part of the urban fantasy series, I'd include them here. If they don't have any genre content themselves, then mark them as non-genre, but they should definitely be included since they are in the same universe. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:40, 14 September 2021 (EDT)
If they have characters from speculative and/or fantastic series, then the books are inside of a speculative universe which makes them in scope IMO. Just add notes. Annie 12:49, 14 September 2021 (EDT)

Artist credit (in error).

Two publications of Tarzan's Quest (here and here) have incorrect attributions for the cover artist, stating Robert Abbett as opposed to Richard Powers, who is credited (as Dick Powers) on the earlier publications (here and [35] here). I expect the cover art should be credited to "Robert Abbett (in error)", based on some other examples but was unclear on two things, alternate names and mechanics.

  • Robert Abbett is an alternate name for the canonical Bob Abbett. The earlier pubs use the same image on a different cover layout and credit to Dick Powers which is an alternate name for the canonical Richard Powers. Do I need to create a "Bob Abbett (in error)" as a canonical base for "Robert Abbett (in error)"? Do I variant this / these to Dick Powers or Richard Powers?
  • As there are two publications, direct edit is not possible. I suspect dropping the cover art record title from one publication is the start, but whether I also drop the title from the other pub at the same time or wait until the new COVERART entry is created and alternate names are generated so I can edit the second is not obvious to me.

../Doug H 11:37, 15 September 2021 (EDT)

You can always edit the COVERART itself (for example) as both copies of it needs editiong. Two choices:
  • Correct it outright and add notes for the real attribution
  • Change the author of this one to "Robert Abbett (in error)" and then the author on its parent here to Richard Powers and then pseudonym "Robert Abbett (in error)" (when created) to Richard Powers. That will keep all existing titles still in play, clear the field and reduce the number of edits. Same for the other cover :)
I prefer the second way because it keeps the "what is in the book" where it is visible. But either works for art. Let me know if that does not make sense. Annie 11:48, 15 September 2021 (EDT)
Go with what is on or in the book. So, the 2nd option it is. MagicUnk 13:26, 15 September 2021 (EDT)

The Sorcery Code author issue

The novel "The Sorcery Code" has two different authorships depending on how it was published. One is credited only to Dima Zales. The other is credited to both Dima Zales and Anna Zaires. As far as I can tell, they are the same novel. Anna Zaires' website shows it authored in collaboration with her husband Dima Zales. Dima Zales' website makes no mention of Anna Zaires. I have in hand the ebook anthologies that show the two different authorships. How should this be handled? Phil 12:15, 24 September 2021 (EDT)

Add them as credited in their respective publications (as we always do). Then variant the one that is only by Dima to the one that is with the two names (you always want the two authors on the parent record in such cases so that it shows up on both their bibliographies). Annie 12:18, 24 September 2021 (EDT)
PS: And done. Annie 12:20, 24 September 2021 (EDT)
Thank you! Phil 12:59, 24 September 2021 (EDT)
Any time. The credits of those two always give me a headache... Annie 13:04, 24 September 2021 (EDT)

Linking a parent title in a contents list with a publication that's a variant.

This art piece is not linked within the contents of Starliners to Space 8 but since Space 8 is a variant of the one in Starliners I can't see a way to do that. --Mavmaramis 17:21, 26 September 2021 (EDT)

You cannot. The interior art is the parent so it is the cover that will show up as a variant of it. If the cover was published first, the relationship needs to be reversed. If the interior art was published first, then it is the original and in the contents it looks like an original. If you click on it, you see who else reprinted it and the connection to Space 8 is there. Annie 17:37, 26 September 2021 (EDT)

Baen CD-ROM Library

The eBook publication versions contained on the various Baen CD-ROM Library volumes don't for the most part seem to have been added to the ISFDB nor can I find entries for the actual CD-ROMs either. There's a lot to add here so before I start adding them, I would like to make sure I am using the best approach. Here's my plan:

For the CDs:
- Title: Use the name on the CD-ROM label e.g. "The Posleen Disk"
- Type: Anthology
- Format: Other
- Publisher Series: Baen CD-ROM Library (This is a new Publisher series)
- Image: Use the CD-ROM label image
- In the Notes, include info about how it was distributed as well as info about other items included on that CD such as folders of images, folders of audio files, etc.
- Regular Title entry for each eBook on the CD

For each of the eBooks on the CD:
- Add a new pub for each title if the title/date combo doesn't exist
- Date: Use the earliest date from the date modified field on the eBook content directory tree for one of the six formats (.doc, .htm, .lit, .prc, .rb, .rtf).
- ISBN: Likely blank since all that I've looked at have the ISBN of the hardcover edition on their copyright pages. But I will state that in the notes.


Phil 10:07, 29 September 2021 (EDT)

Are those novels or stories? If there are 2 or more novels, it should be Type: Omnibus and not Anthology.
I would not date based on the "date modified". Just date based on the date you assign to the whole disk. Feel free to add notes into the record on other dating but "modified" and "published" are different dates and our date field is for the latter. So just use the date of the CD itself for all the ebooks (unless they get a different date by being merged with something older). Annie 14:34, 29 September 2021 (EDT)
Definitely Omnibus. As to the dates, if I understand correctly, each CD is considered a publication. If the same title is delivered on 4 CDs, I will need to add 4 new publications for that title with the dates set to the dates of the CD releases. Plus add a note describing which CD Title that specific pub is associated with. The dates for the Regular titles being added with the CD should be the oldest pub date of each title so they merge correctly. Is this correct? Phil 16:12, 29 September 2021 (EDT)
Depends. If they were delivered always together, you add them as one publication and add notes. For example a lot of audiobooks were delivered on 12 disks (or cassettes) when technology was not what it is today. These are 1 publication with a note that it contains 12 physical disks/cassettes.
Leave the dates to be the same as the CD. Don't worry about them (unless you are importing - in this case ensure that what you are importing is not AFTER the CD date). Then when you merge, IF there is an earlier date, you select that and that sorts it out. That way you do not have unattributed dates. The only case you monkey with dates is if you know you need to import the title somewhere - so you do it on addition and not with a post-update before importing or if you are planning to add an older edition (again - just prep work). :) Annie 16:18, 29 September 2021 (EDT)
FYI, images of most of the released CDs are available here. This Wikipedia article has additional information in the "Baen CDs" section. Ahasuerus 17:26, 29 September 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. The only one I think I'm missing is the one for Cryoburn. Phil 19:32, 29 September 2021 (EDT)
Is it best to show the author as "uncredited" since we really don't know who the editors were? I've been tempted to use Jim Baen but he is the publisher, not the editor. Phil 08:48, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
As per Help:Screen:NewPub, the rules for "uncredited" vs. "unknown" are:
  • If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited". If you are working from a secondary source which does not specify the author, but does not explicitly state that no author is credited in the publication, use "unknown" rather than "uncredited".
I take it that you have the physical CDs and they do not mention who the editor was, right? If so, then it should be "uncredited". If we later find out who the editor(s) was/were, we will create variants. Ahasuerus 10:37, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
I have some of the physical CDs. The rest are the ISO image downloads. So I should use "uncredited" for the physical CDs and "unknown" for the ISO images? I'm assuming that the ISO images are considered a secondary source that gets credited as such in the Notes. Phil 14:06, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
Now that I'm preparing to add a title for which I only have the ISO image as the source, I'm torn over what date to use. I could go a couple of ways. On one hand, the date of the ISO image could be considered the publication date since the creation of an ISO image is a form of publication. On the other hand, I could use 0000-00-00 since there's no way to know when Baen actually made the ISO image available on its website. Thoughts? Phil 09:16, 5 October 2021 (EDT)

Serialized novel, collection or a split novel

A novel is written as 3 separate stories. One of them is published in a magazine (I can find no trace of the other 2 being published separately before the whole novel came out). Subsequently, a few years after the novel came out, the three parts are published on their own as separate books. I can see 3 ways to record this:

  • Make the 3 parts SERIALs and record their later occurrences in book form as chapbooks with the serial inside.
  • Make that magazine appearance short fiction (or an excerpt), connect it only via the notes and treat the later 3-parts publication as split novels (so novels basically). That would leave two identical texts unconnected though.
  • Threat the whole novel as a collection - like we do with Foundation.

If it was not for that initial magazine appearance, this would be obviously the second scenario. The novel in question is Ночной Дозор/Night Watch in case someone wants to track down more data. I lean towards option 2 quite honestly (and I really would prefer not to go the collection route because it will confuse anyone finding our records and only part had been published earlier...) but that initial publication gave me a pause.

For what it is worth - some of the later novels also got published as split novels later on - but they do not have that initial magazine appearance so they are clear. Unless we go for collections here as well. And going with the same option as above will keep the series consistent (so the split parts won't be showing as serials under one novel and as novels under another).

Anyone with an opinion? I may be overthinking it a bit so second set of eyes please :) Annie 15:55, 30 September 2021 (EDT)

I read this book approximately 10 years ago. My notes state that it's organized as "three closely linked novellas", so we could enter it either as a fix-up NOVEL or as a COLLECTION. Ahasuerus 17:37, 30 September 2021 (EDT)
That does not help much. Thanks though :) Annie 16:14, 1 October 2021 (EDT)

Multilingual Publications

What causes a multilingual publications to show up on the cleanup report? This one for example.John Scifibones 08:27, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm responsible for a number of the publications showing up on this list, I would like to correct whatever is wrong and prevent them in the future.

The cleanup report does exactly what its name suggests -- it looks for multi-lingual publications in the database. Some of them, e.g. books with parallel English and Spanish texts, are legitimate and will be marked as "ignored" by moderators. Others had the wrong title imported and need to be corrected. For example, consider this edition of The Elf Queen of Shannara, which you verified in August 2020. It includes a Dutch INTERIORART title, which looks suspicious in a run of the mill 1992 Del Rey book. Chances are that it needs to have an English "Morrowindl" record added, the Dutch title removed and the resulting 2 INTERIORART titles varianted. Ahasuerus 12:06, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks for responding. I'll take care of this edition of The Elf Queen of Shannara. The magazines, Samovar, Mithila Review, Eye to the Telescope, and Liminality, Strange Horizons all look correct.John Scifibones 12:20, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
Moderators can ignore the legitimate multi-language ones - the code does not know when it is a mistake and when it is supposed to be that way so it flags everything and we mark them as ok when they are. I’ll clear the report later today of the false positives. Annie 12:49, 1 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks Annie. When I'm working on a multilingual publication, should I add a reminder to clear this flag in the notes to moderator?John Scifibones 08:00, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
No because we cannot do anything about it until the report is generated overnight and the publication pops up there. :) I used to check that one weekly (at least), I just need to get in the habit of that again. If they start piling up again, feel free to nudge me on my page or post on the moderator board and someone will assist. Annie 08:44, 2 October 2021 (EDT)

Asimov's Annotated "Paradise Lost"

I had just submitted Asimov's Annotated "Paradise Lost" and got to wondering what the type should be. The primary content would be Milton's poem - hence POEM, but it's non-genre below the threshold so would not be in the Regular Titles . Asimov is above the threshold, so his annotations (NONFICTION? ESSAY?) would qualify and would appear in the Regular Titles (if they had a cohesive form). I don't plan on adding any titles in the Regular Titles, so only the publication's title will exist as a TITLE - currently as non-genre NONFICTION. Should it be something else? ../Doug H 11:59, 2 October 2021 (EDT)

Why would Milton's poem be considered non-genre? Clute/Grant lists it, stating about Milton: "His renown, in both English literature and genre fantasy, is based primarily on Paradise Lost..." I've no idea why the excerpts from this poem have been marked non-genre. I would list it as a CHAPBOOK with the poem. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:52, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
If the excerpts are non-genre, it implies the full poem is non-genre and treating it as anything else creates a conflict, one I don't intend to address. CHAPBOOK sounds right for the publication and ESSAY for the annotations. I figure I'll leave the poem out of the contents (being non-genre below-threshold) if I can, a CHAPBOOK with only an ESSAY may not compile. I'll stick it in if I must, but mark it non-genre. Once the dust settles on whether Paradise Lost is genre or not and belongs on ISFDB or not should be possible to address by simple insertions or edits. Thanks for helping me avoid sticking it in NONFICTION. ../Doug H 19:50, 2 October 2021 (EDT)

The Honorverse Disk CD-ROM omnibus problem

Something odd has happened. I created a new omnibus named "The Honorverse Disk" and it created the correct title record here. I checked the pub record created at the same time here and everything looked OK. However, after doing the title merges, I checked the pub record again and and it now shows the Omnibus Title to be "The Prince" instead of "The Honorverse Disk". The problem may be that "The Prince" is itself an omnibus which is included in the "The Honorverse Disk". In order to get that title included, I had to initially enter it as a novel and then change the type when I did the title merge. Can someone fix this? Phil 15:31, 2 October 2021 (EDT)

When you have an omnibus inside of another, things like that happen - the server is a bit confused. Pull out the other omnibus and replace it with its contents only. That will fix it. Think of the omnibus and chapbook types as containers only - you never import them inside of something else, you import what is inside of them. Annie 15:41, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
PS: You will have the Same Problem if you add two collections inside of a COLLECTION record or anything else like that.  :) The System does not know which one is supposed to be the reference title so it does weird things. Or any other type. We need a reference title matching the publication type. When you give the system 2 or more of these, it gets wonky. That’s why 2 novels never make a novel publication for example. Annie 15:47, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
PS1: The fact that the system did not allow you to add a second omnibus should have given you a clue. Please don’t try to do clever workarounds via editing title types in such cases - if you do not understand why the system stops you from adding something somewhere, come and ask. Annie 15:49, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm not sure how to do what you ask and be true to the contents on the CD. The Prince currently only exists as an omnibus title. That's how it is delivered on the CD. It doesn't seem right to add the four individual component titles of "The Prince" to the "The Honorverse Disk" omnibus when they only exist as part of a single delivered title. If that is what has to be done, I'll do it but it feels inaccurate. I'm sure I'll have this same situation happen when I add other Baen CD-ROM Library titles so the resolution to this case will tell me what I have to do the next time. Phil 16:32, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
But that’s not how the DB works. You add the individual titles and add a a note explaining the situation. You cannot have an omnibus inside of an omnibus. Omnibus is a container containing other pieces of novel length usually (or collections or anthologies) - the other pieces do not need to have been published on their own. So for cases like this you either treat the thing as a single novel (if they are delivered always together, what makes them an omnibus - don’t think of what someone else’ may call them, think of how we define the term in the dB?) or you add the pieces and write notes. Annie 16:38, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
And it is common certain titles to be only published inside of other titles. No reason not to list them or we will lose a lot of stories. :) If the disk calls that an omnibus, don’t try to emulate it - our omnibus is a very specific thing. I think that there is some of this going on and that’s understandable. People call their texts every which way. We record not based on how they are called but based on what they actually are. So look at it - is it consisting of novel sized texts? Add them as novels. Is it consisting of shorter ones? Then it is a collection/anthology. Is it a single text that calls itself an omnibus? That’s a novel. Annie 16:52, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm not convinced that The Prince is truly an omnibus since two of the four component novel titles are by more than one author. What if I change the type of "The Prince" to Anthology? Can an anthology be included in an Omnibus? Or am I just reaching to make my case? :) Phil 17:31, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
Being from more that one author is irrelevant here - omnibus contents can be by different authors. Omnibus can contain an anthology but it will be incorrect as an anthology cannot contain two novels. Just add the novels. That way they will even show up in the authors’ pages. If I understand what your are seeing, I’d add the 4 novels on their own and add them to their own series called The Prince. That gives you both the individual titles (if they ever get reprinted) and some organization of the 4 together. Annie 17:39, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
The novels already exist and are part of an existing series so... I'll remove "The Prince" omnibus regular title and add the four novel titles plus add a note of explanation to the "The Honorverse Disk" title. I'll also add a note when I add the new pub records that match the date of the "The Honorverse Disk" to each of the individual novel titles. I think we're losing clarity for the title "The Prince" but I doubt the DB design ever conceived of one omnibus legitimately being included in a different omnibus. These CDs are a new edge-case paradigm and present a new challenge. Phil 18:07, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
Nope. You just keep insisting on conflating what we call omnibus with what the external world calls an omnibus. Annie 19:14, 2 October 2021 (EDT)
PS: And we had seen this before - box sets where one of the content volumes is an omnibus - both paper and e-ones. :) This may be a new media for it but the usecase had always been there. It comes down to how we define the type Omnibus and how we use it. :) As i said - Just As with chapbooks, it is there to be a container. So when you wants its contents, you get that - not the box itself. ISFDB’s terminology can be a bit removed fo how people see the terms in the real world. :) Annie 19:54, 2 October 2021 (EDT)

Yetenekliler Dünyası / The Father Thing

This book seems to be a reprint of this book, and using my translator function, I believe that the contents could be listed as translations of this book’s contents. What does anybody think? Translations are almost never perfect. MLB 01:54, 4 October 2021 (EDT)

Seems to be but let me check a few other sources to make sure the stories match completely - dropping/adding a story happens a lot with translations. Annie 15:23, 4 October 2021 (EDT)

Hexadecimal Kid

Richard Sandes Forsyth wrote three Tron-like stories starring the Hexadecimal Kid that appeared as serials (1978–1981) in Computer Weekly and Practical Computing originally, and one of them was also reprinted as a serial in Computerworld. The exact page numbers appear to have been lost to time; the author has provided me via email with the dates in which each chapter appeared. For example, "ASCII Through the Logic Gate" appeared in 33 parts ("Block 0" through "Block 32") in Computer Weekly beginning on 1978-05-25 and continuing each week until 1979-01-04. (All the data I have is here, if you want to see what I'm working with.)

Should I list the data source as "Other: Data provided in email by author" or just the author's website? (The names of the parts came from the author's website; the dates of publication came from the email.)
There are two levels: the data on the magazine (date of publication, price, format, etc.), and the data on the known speculative content. It seems that only the latter was provided by Forsyth. Thus, this should go into the notes (something like 'Known speculative content provided in email by its author').
Does the part's title need to have appeared in print to be listed as such? For example, could I list it as "Son of Hexadecimal Kid, Page 13: Page Boundary" even though the part title doesn't appear in print but does appear on the author's site?
No, we go by the printed title.
Should I retain the author's whimsical jargon-naming of the parts (Bit 0–16, Block 0–32, Page 0–16) or should I list Page 13 instead as "Son of Hexadecimal Kid, Part 13: Page Boundary"?
It seems the 'whimsical' titles are the ones that were printed, so we go with them.
And is there a better way to submit this stuff in bulk than simply clicking Add New Magazine for every single issue?
Alas, no. Stonecreek 10:50, 4 October 2021 (EDT)

Thanks Sylvar 10:43, 4 October 2021 (EDT)

It seems the publisher was inconsistent about publishing the titles of the parts of Son of Hexadecimal Kid:

Part Number Part Title Title As Printed
0 The Base Page Page 0 — the base page
1 Front Page News Page 1 — front page news
2 Virtual Paging Page 2 — virtual paging
3 Page Boy Page 3 — page boy
4 Turning the Page Son of Hexadecimal Kid
5 Page Thrashing Page 5 — page thrashing
6 Page Feed Page 6 — page feed
7 Page Replacement Son of Hexadecimal Kid
8 Radio Paging Son of Hexadecimal Kid
9 Off the Page [unknown]
10 Pageantry Son of Hexadecimal Kid
11 Page by Page Son of Hexadecimal Kid
12 Full Page Spread [unknown]
13 Page Boundary Son of Hexadecimal Kid
14 Page Proof [unknown]
15 A Page and a Half Son of Hexadecimal Kid
16 Torn Page Son of Hexadecimal Kid

Should I really enter those as printed, even though they're inconsistent with each other?

And how should I link them to each other as parts of the main serialized story? Sylvar 13:33, 4 October 2021 (EDT)

Yes, publication data beats consistency.
You add them as SERIAL in the magazine. Then once approved, you variant the SERIAL to the story/novel they serialized. See this for an example. The "(Part X of Y)" is only added IF the separate parts don't have unique names (See the parts here for an example with unique names). Annie 13:54, 4 October 2021 (EDT)
Okay, so I think my titles for this series would be
  • Page 0—The Base Page
  • Page 1—Front Page News
  • Page 2—Virtual Paging
  • Page 3—Page Boy
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 4 of 16)
  • Page 5—Page Thrashing
  • Page 6—Page Feed
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 7 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 8 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 9 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 10 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 11 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 12 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 13 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 14 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 15 of 16)
  • Son of Hexadecimal Kid (Part 16 of 16) that reasonable enough to submit? Sylvar 11:07, 8 October 2021 (EDT)
If that is how they are titled, it is reasonable enough. Annie 12:39, 8 October 2021 (EDT)
The titles of parts 9, 12, and 14 are my best guesses based on Parts 7–16; no copies of parts 9 and 14 are online but we know the issues they appeared in. And as far as the author and I can figure, the publisher simply forgot to publish Part 12, even though they intended to, and the piece is also available as a pdf on the author's website. What should I do with Part 12? Sylvar 12:52, 8 October 2021 (EDT)
Technically a PDF is a an ebook so you can add it as a chapbook (and then inside of it you have that missing 12th piece and you can variant it to the complete text the same way you do the rest. Its date won't be in sequence. Alternatively, you can leave it out and just add a note about it in the complete title record. Annie 14:05, 8 October 2021 (EDT)

Is it okay for the 1978 and 1979 serializations of The Hexadecimal Kid and His Faithful Dog ASCII to be variants of the same 1978 title, or should the 1979 reprint serials be variants of a different title, "The Hexadecimal Kid and His Faithful Dog ASCII (1979)"? The text of the pieces did not change, as far as I know. Sylvar 10:46, 11 October 2021 (EDT)

Art credit for an entire magazine issue

As an example: Practical Computing (August 1980) has a credits statement next to the table of contents for the entire issue which says "Art[:] Margaret Smith". Is it reasonable to therefore credit the cover art and interior art, if not otherwise signed/attributed, to Margaret Smith? Sylvar 12:22, 5 October 2021 (EDT)

Unless the speculative content is not illustrated, I'm afraid the answer is no: we only record the artists whose work illustrates works of speculative fiction (see rule 4. here). So, if Isaac Asimov would have had a robot story of his published in Practical Computing we would index this story and the artwork that illustrates it, but not the cover artist or other artwork (or content) unrelated to speculative fiction. Stonecreek 12:35, 5 October 2021 (EDT)
Did you really mean to say "Unless the speculative content is not illustrated"? From context, it looks like you meant something else. Sylvar 14:59, 5 October 2021 (EDT)
Let me rephrase my question: If interior art illustrating speculative fiction is not explicitly credited on that page or a nearby page, but the magazine lists a single name in the credits for "art", is it better to list the illustrator as "uncredited" or in the name of the person credited for that issue's art? See, for example, this INTERIORART illustrating the SF short story that begins on the previous page. (I am aware that since the cover in this case is illustrating a fantasy scene from a game, I should not enter it because games are excluded from ISFDB's definition of speculative fiction.) Sylvar 14:59, 5 October 2021 (EDT)
Double negatives in languages can be fun when you go into a language which does not support them :) To clarify: If there is art connected to the genre piece you add, it gets added (and yes, you can use the artist credit from the complete issue - just make sure you document where the credit comes from). If the piece has its own title, you use that. If it does not, use the title of the story it illustrates. If there is more than one, use [2], [3] and so on after the title of the second, third and so on. Annie 15:06, 5 October 2021 (EDT)

Magazine format question.

Quick question on magazine formats. Yes, I have looked at the help page. For magazines, 8.5" x 11" and perfect bound, just confirming that we use tp instead of quarto. Thanks John Scifibones 09:48, 6 October 2021 (EDT)

Well, we say usually, not always. :) Perfect bound is a lot more prevalent now because of how printers work so what would have been saddle-stapled a decade ago can go either way these days. And most new magazines are PODs. So either works really. If I am adding from secondary sources, I am more likely to go for tp; if I can see it, it depends on how it feels.Annie 12:24, 6 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm working on Space and Time, adding missing issues, and reviewing existing issues. SFE3 says they went to perfect bound after issue 81. I'm going with tp unless anyone voices an objection. John Scifibones 12:45, 6 October 2021 (EDT)

William Hope Hodgson

I've been adding some Turkish editions of William Hope Hodgson's works, but I'm stumped by this book. Google translator states that this book is called Out of the Storm but the story described seems to be The Voice in the Night. Does anybody have any ideas? MLB 23:04, 11 October 2021 (EDT)

Matching by title is not always a good idea - publishers and translators get creative in weird ways and match the wrong books - so careful with that. Let me see if i can figure out what they translated with this one. Annie 00:29, 12 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. MLB 03:42, 12 October 2021 (EDT)

Schwarze Messen: Dichtungen und Dokumente

Hello, something went wrong Schwarze Messen: Dichtungen und Dokumente. The authors are not merged, so we have two Meyrinks: the original and a new one. When I am search "Meyrink" I find only the original. When I am search for duplicate for the new one I get no other title. I have no idea what to do. Help is very welcome. Thanks Henna 14:43, 12 October 2021 (EDT)

I will try to fix it. If I am successful, I will tell you what I did. :-) --MartyD 14:52, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
Unsuccessful. I have consulted the Oracle. --MartyD 14:59, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
I fixed it by copying and pasting the correct name into the author field for the work. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:24, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
It is an invisible/non-printable character picked up during the copy/paste. The server already have a map of these to clean on "save" but there is a new one here - which needs to be added to the map and then scrapped from the authors which got caught into it. It happens now and again... and more of weird characters keep popping up. The only solution is to retype/copy-paste the author again in the broken record - but it also needs a fix on the code side. Annie 15:49, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
Yes, sorry about the obscure comment. I pointed Ahasuerus at it so he could see what the offending character is. I realize if we retype the name in the existing record it would cure this particular author's problem. --MartyD 16:29, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
(removing the templates from the title of the message so the pointers can work properly). Yes - understood - I sent him the report I stumbled upon as well - I was just explaining what caused it (for anyone who had not been fighting these before) and how they got into the records and that even if we fix all of them on the site, they will happen again - as there is a new non-printable involved. Browsers being helpful when copying and grabbing stuff you cannot see - one of the reasons I almost never copy/paste directly from sites I am not using often - I paste in notepad and copy out from there. :) Annie 17:38, 13 October 2021 (EDT)
Many thanks to all of you. Now everything is fine. Henna 04:38, 14 October 2021 (EDT)

ISBN as printed, even if the check digit is wrong?

This publication lists the ISBN slightly differently than the printed copy, as scanned by the Internet Archive.

Currently listed in ISFDB: 0-87795-577-8
Shown on inside front dust jacket: 0-87795-557-8
Shown on copyright page: 0-87795-557-8
Shown on back cover: 0-87795-557-8
Printed variant if it had a valid ISBN-10 check digit: 0-87795-557-3

For what it's worth, the ISBN currently listed has a valid check digit—it just isn't what was printed.

What should be listed in the record? Sylvar 12:47, 15 October 2021 (EDT)

The correct one in the isbn field. The wrong one with no dashes in the catalog ID field if the field is not used for something else (helps with searches; only optional these days). And a complete explanation of the situation in the notes including what exactly is printed where. Annie 13:00, 15 October 2021 (EDT)
Although for that specific book - make sure we do not have two versions with two ISBNs. The above was a general answer on how to handle incorrect ISBNs in books. Especially when external sources like OCLC recognize the isbn that we have. :) Annie 13:02, 15 October 2021 (EDT)

Fantastic Story Magazine

While looking up something else I found this. Is this eligible for the database? If so, as what? If not, why? Just would like to know the rules. MLB 22:46, 15 October 2021 (EDT)

(now in the actual Help Desk): Not eligible because it is not a book really, it is a blank notebook/notepad (with lined pages in this case) with a fancy cover and a stiff price. The only way to have somehow added it would be to pretend it is an art book (so non fiction) but a single cover does not make an artbook. With illustrations out of copyright, there are a lot of these floating around (and some even in copyright - there are usually at least 20 new notebooks with Harry Potter covers every year and when the year journals start showing up you get everything from Moleskine's Le Petit Prince to Star Wars and beyond on covers and don't get me started on some of the other media franchises, especially the juvenile ones). Now - if there was a new illustration every few pages or there was actually a story, it would be eligible because of them. As it is now, it is on the same level as a keyring with a scene from LOTR or a piece of original art of one of our artists. Annie 01:30, 16 October 2021 (EDT)

Titling essays in series

Hi, everyone. I was just combing the wiki for an answer to this question. If a magazine has a named regular column, and each individual column has its own title, how should they be titled here? Should each individual title be used, and the essays just put into a series named for the column's title? Thanks.--Rosab618 02:36, 16 October 2021 (EDT)

You use the title as it is printed in the magazine (minus the column name) and then put them in a series using the column name. See Analog's The Alternative View for one of the more famous examples. Or the later entries into Asimov's Reflections. The "Column name (issue)" is used only if that specific installment of the column has no individual title. Annie 02:59, 16 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks, Annie. In the case of an interview in The Scream Factory #15, in the TOC an interview is called "TSF BiblioFile: Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem", but on the page of the interview, that title is on the right and "Scream Marriage" is above the text. TSF BiblioFile was the name of the interview series, apparently. Should I just call the interview "Scream Marriage"? And what should I call the interior art that goes with the series, not that specific interview?--Rosab618 03:56, 16 October 2021 (EDT)
For the interview, I'd call it just "Scream Marriage" - yes. Add a note in the publication notes explaining the TOC vs on the page naming.
For the art... if this interview is the only thing in the column, I will just call it the same as the interview - the column in this issue is the interview. If the section has more than one interview, "TSF BiblioFile (The Scream Factory, #15) or whatever the issue is called is probably better. If the same art exactly appears in all the magazines, just "TSF BiblioFile" may also work (with a note once created that it is the same art in all issues. Or I will just call it decoration and add only a note that it is there and just ignore it when doing the listing. :) But then I am prone to do that for insignificant interior art pieces sometimes. Annie 04:07, 16 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks, Annie!--Rosab618 04:13, 16 October 2021 (EDT)

Titling interior art

How should one title interior art that doesn't have anything to do with the text on the surrounding page? In issue #15 of The Scream Factory, much of the interior art seems to be placed more or less randomly. For example, Greg Weber's two-headed doll sculpture appears on the same page as a bibliography of Peter Haining. Should I name the illo after the bibliography, since the illo has no title of its own, although it has nothing to with the bibliography?--Rosab618 04:11, 16 October 2021 (EDT)

We do not name based on what it is printed next to, we name based on what it is illustrating and/or is associated with.
If it illustrates something else in the issue, use the name in whatever it illustrates even if it is not close to the actual text physically.
If it is just there and does not seem to connect to anything, use the name of the publication for the first one of these ("The Scream Factory, #15" for example, then "The Scream Factory, #15[2]" for the second one from the same artist and so on). The exact help page sentence for these is: "If it is independent of other content, and has no apparent title or caption, give it the title of the publication in which it appears, disambiguating if necessary.".
So in your case, use the magazine's issue name as a title. Annie 04:17, 16 October 2021 (EDT)

Serialized Translations

Should the translator template be added to serial titles, or is it's inclusion in the parent tile sufficient? John Scifibones 12:02, 18 October 2021 (EDT)

It needs to be added in each installment. As we do not have a variant of a variant and the serials are directly under the original, we treat them as we would treat any other variant. Plus keep in mind that unless the story/novel translation is also printed in its entirety somewhere else, there is np combined title in the correct language anyway. Annie 12:08, 18 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks John Scifibones 12:23, 18 October 2021 (EDT)

Variant name help

Today I added a Michael Arnzen collection, The Selected Works of Michael Arnzen: Needles and Sins, but Michael Arnzen is a variant name. Would someone change it, and the stories I haven't varianted, to Michael A. Arnzen, as by Michael Arnzen?--Rosab618 01:24, 19 October 2021 (EDT)

this book (you have a title ID used in a publication template which does not work very well)? I am not sure what exactly you are asking. So let's start with the first question:
  • How is the author credited in the book? If they are credited as Michael Arnzen, that's the versions that need to be used and then they get varianted to the canonical.
As the cover says Michael Arnzen, unless you know that he is credited otherwise inside of the book, these are correct and then the stories which has no parents need to be varianted up. Are you asking someone to finish the varianting?
If you are asking something else, can you please clarify? Annie 01:32, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
Sorry, I fixed the link. Yes, I want the book and the orphaned stories to be varianted up. Thanks!--Rosab618 01:56, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
Can someone finish the varianting?--Rosab618 13:51, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
I’ll finish it when I am back on a computer. If it is urgent, you can always just do it yourself - it involves the same number of steps regardless of who does it. Annie 14:26, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
How is it done?--Rosab618 15:16, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
Ah, you never needed to do variants that do not have an existing parent? Sorry, did not realize that.
Let's work with "A Lust for Lungs". Go to the title record. Press on "Make This Title a Variant". You want Option 2. Change the author name to the canonical name (Michael A. Arnzen in our case) in there and press submit. Once approved, a new title will appear under the canonical name and the two will be automatically connected. Rinse and repeat for all the titles. Let me know if you want to try or if you want me to do them. Annie 15:53, 19 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks, Annie. I've done them now. It's good to know I can do that.--Rosab618 01:51, 20 October 2021 (EDT)
And all approved and the book looks fine to me - but check it one more time just in case. Outside of a very few things which only moderators can do (change the name of an author for example), anyone can change/connect anything - so if you are not sure how, just ask. If you ever work translations, that's also how you make an original title we do not have a record for yet - you just change the title, language and date (and eventually the author if needed) and you have a parent for your translation. Or you can add the book in the other language and then variant but even I would not try that in some languages (I'd add a parent title in most language but whole books are complicated). Let me know if I can assist further! :) Annie 02:11, 20 October 2021 (EDT)

What about this interview? The interviewee has an alternate name.--Rosab618 21:02, 4 November 2021 (EDT)

Template:TitleFields:Interviewee provides the answer. John Scifibones 21:19, 4 November 2021 (EDT)
Thank you!--Rosab618 21:26, 4 November 2021 (EDT)

Translation question

Have a situation with the following facts. A subsequent serialization of Joseph Olenin's Coat, 2016 which is a translation of Le Manteau de Joseph Olenine,1886. I see two possible treatments.

  1. Variant the serial titles to the 2016 translation and add title notes showing the original French title and publication data. (Drawback - all English titles on a French author's bibliography page.)
  2. Variant the serial titles to the original French publication. --John Scifibones 16:13, 21 October 2021 (EDT)

Which is the correct treatment? John Scifibones 16:13, 21 October 2021 (EDT)

Into the French. If the story was ever published as non-serialized English version, that one will become a translation of the French as well. See The Italian Serialization for an example. We do not support variant of a variant so everything always get varianted into the original/canonical title. :) Annie 16:30, 21 October 2021 (EDT)
I'll try to find enough to also add the original non-serialized version published in The Cossack Review. Thanks for your help John Scifibones 16:41, 21 October 2021 (EDT)
The more versions we have, the better. PS: If you want to indicate that a serialization is the same as a non-serialized version, you use the notes :) Annie 16:52, 21 October 2021 (EDT)
Non-serialized version added as you suggested. John Scifibones 23:57, 22 October 2021 (EDT)

Mountain Magic (Wellman version)

One of the titles I need to include in a new Baen CD-ROM Library publication is Mountain Magic (Wellman version). Looking at the notes for that pub record, there is an explicit statement that the publication is supposed to be an Anthology. It is currently an Omnibus but looking back at some of the edit history, it was obviously originally an Anthology. Even using Import for the titles themselves, including it in the new Baen CD-ROM Library publication's notes is massive since it's an Omnibus consisting of over 40 titles; including an Anthology would be much, much simpler. :) Can anyone comment on this? Phil 13:16, 22 October 2021 (EDT)

You are hitting again the industry vs ISFDB definitions. In ISFDB: a novel and two collections and other stuff make an omnibus. If you remove the two internal collections (not their contents, just the containers), you have one novel and a LOT of stories - which can be an anthology. So you have two choices:
  • Remove the collections, making it an anthology
  • Keep as is - so it is an omnibus. I'd do that because then you keep the relationship to the collections
However... You WILL want to include the contents anyway. You do not need to do it one by one - look at the Import screen - option 1 allows you to import ALL titles from another book in 1 step - so it does not matter what type it is really - I'd be importing the contents into the Disks (and not just the containers) regardless of the container type. Then the Disk will show on the listing for a story - as opposed to just having the collection and needing to drill to see where the collection may be. Simpler is almost never better.  :) Annie 13:25, 22 October 2021 (EDT)

Eligibility of a graphic novel that includes a text story

Sanity check to avoid wasting the time of me and a mod on something that would be rejected: is a graphic novel that contains a text story eligible for inclusion? (Probably just adding that story to the contents, but skipping the comic story.) ErsatzCulture 17:02, 22 October 2021 (EDT)

The story is eligible. The Graphic story is not (unless we say that the author (Schwab) is above threshold which may well be the case). So two options:
  • Add as a non-genre collection with the prose story added and a note explaining the situation in the TITLE note. Do not click on "graphic" anywhere :)
  • Treat Schwab as above threshold - so a collection again but now genre and with both stories added.
I'd do the first but you decide what you want to do. Annie 17:12, 22 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks - the threshold policy is a bit too mysterious for me, so I'll be going with the first option. ErsatzCulture 17:48, 22 October 2021 (EDT)
I'd consider V. E. Schwab definitely above the threshold, so I'd include the graphic story, too. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:55, 22 October 2021 (EDT)
But will they be in 10 years? With SF getting more and more mainstream, determining treshold becomes a lot more complicated for living authors - some like Gaiman are obvious but some not that much. I see a lot mode YA authors publishing on both sides - and you never know where the majority will end up - it used to be so much easier. I tend to agree for Schwab, she seems to be safely over. I’m fine either way - but we may need to rehash some of our definitions. Although based on our rules, if the graphic story is added, it will need not only be marked as graphic but as non-genre as well because it is not speculative fiction/not related to speculative fiction under our definition of the genre. No graphic novel can be considered genre under our definition due to the very clear exception kicking them out even if it is admitted as an above threshold author work. :) Annie 01:09, 23 October 2021 (EDT)
I suspect she will be in ten years, too. And I agree we need to rehash some of the definitions. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:22, 25 October 2021 (EDT)

Pub verified by inactive editor with blatantly incorrect page count

This pub was verified as having a third of a million pages, but the editor who PVed is inactive. There's a similar looking pub with a more plausible page count that's a substring of the dubious page count. Would it be reasonable to correct the erroneous pub to have the same page count, or would it be better to blank out the page count field, so as not to have apparently verified data that hasn't actually been verified? (Possibly with a pub note tweak to state as such?) ErsatzCulture 17:57, 24 October 2021 (EDT)

Fix and add a note saying "Page number corrected on DATE and after all the verifications based on OCLC/BNF/edition X whatever source gave you the number; original value was "XXXX" or words to that effect. Or remove the page number and leave a similar note. That way it is clear why it was changed, when and that the verifiers had not looked at the book again. That's the general way to correct any incorrect info in the physical fields/data in a PVd book where a PV cannot be raised to check for an error. No changes without notes even if they are that blatantly wrong unless they are just formatting/moving stuff in the correct fields. Annie 18:10, 24 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks - edit submitted. ErsatzCulture 18:48, 24 October 2021 (EDT)
And rejected. You added the note. You missed to fix the actual field. Want to try again? Also - for this book you have better sources: OCLC says 441 and BNF says 441. Which explains the typo - someone was correcting from 350 to 442. So please be careful when correcting based on other editions especially when one is pb and the other tp (hint: tp have bigger pages, not necessarily bigger fonts in those days) or they are across unrelated publishers (different fonts used) - sorry, was explaining the principle above and missed to check if your similar editions are similar. For older books OCLC/BNF/other local library is almost sure to have some data. So add the two IDs, add the pages based on that and then add the note that the page number is updated on that date, post verification based on the OCLC/BNF numbers correcting the old value of 350442. :) Annie 19:22, 24 October 2021 (EDT)
And fixed. Annie 19:38, 24 October 2021 (EDT)
BTW, I dunno if this is something that would be worth having a cleanup report for? The very basic SQL query I've been using to pick out some of these dodgy pubs is:
    select * from (select pub_id, pub_title, pub_pages, CAST(pub_pages AS INT)  num_pages from pubs where pub_ctype = 'NOVEL' ) foo order by num_pages desc limit 50;
This gets to novel pubs around 1450 pages, which I guess is the point at which the entered page counts are probably correct? I'm sure something more intelligent could be put together, but perhaps that's a start? (NB: a couple of these are picked up by the existing report, but not most of them.) ErsatzCulture 18:48, 24 October 2021 (EDT)
So submit a bug for the report - we have a report, it just needs a bit of fixing. :) Annie 18:59, 24 October 2021 (EDT)

Need help with basic uploading.

I uploaded this cover, which is not the whole cover. (Had a moment). Tried the upload a new version link and pointed to the image of the whole cover. I kept the original file name. Got the warning that this is the same image, uploaded it anyway as the old image was replaced. The old image was uploaded again. Any suggestions?John Scifibones 09:09, 28 October 2021 (EDT)

Your browser may have cached the prior image. Try doing a shift refresh and see if the latest appears. Also, is it OK if I delete the earlier uploads? Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 09:36, 28 October 2021 (EDT)
Thanks Ron, that was it. Yes get rid of the old versions. I have to do the same for the other two issues, you can get rid of those as soon as I do them. Give me 20 minutes. John Scifibones 09:42, 28 October 2021 (EDT)

Repeated title in the same publication

I have found instances where the same title is repeated, by the author, within a given publication. However, separate title records were created when originlly entered into the database. Is the best fix, remove one title, merge, import the merged title back into the publication, put a note in the title record? Or is there a better way? John Scifibones 17:41, 28 October 2021 (EDT)

Happens with poetry and very short shorts. There are two possible scenarios here with 3 possible ways to handle:
  • Same title, different text - one of them needs to be disambiguated and they are NOT connected after that; notes need to be added to explain what is going on (and which is which so they don't get merged again and so it is clear which one to use if they get reprinted (for poetry, I'd use the first line to disambiguate one of them or even both in this case - makes matching later easier bu the usual [2] also works, the first line goes into the notes in that case).
  • Same title, same text - one of them get disambiguated and then varianted to the other one (due to a software limitation - you cannot have the same title record twice in the same publication). You won't be able to reimport it again after a merge as it is already there - thus the workaround here. Alternatively, list it only in the first appearance and add a note listing the rest of the pages it appears on.
Let me know if I can assist further. Annie 17:56, 28 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm glad I asked first. Disambiguate and variant was not intuitive, yet this is what needs to be done. Thanks John Scifibones 18:05, 28 October 2021 (EDT)
Yep - sometimes we need to do weird things because of how the software works. It can be changed but it will requite a lot of effort and cannot be done overnight - so we work inside of the framework of what we have. :) Annie 18:14, 28 October 2021 (EDT)

Merge Pyr publishers

Seems that perhaps Pyr [36] and Pyr / Prometheus Books [37] publishers should be merged. The description of Pyr talks about Prometheus Books, and it seems likely to be just an old vs new recording style issue. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 17:00, 29 October 2021 (EDT)

Oh yes - they are the same publisher - we have a few pairs like that in the DB (I just posted about another one of these here earlier this week and : getting ready to go ping PVs about it)...
Generally agree that we should merge them (look at a random year for both of them - it seems like in the years when both are used, the ebooks went to Pyr, the paper books to the longer name - but even that is not consistent or make any sense to split them this way) but there are a lot of PVs on the publications of both so I'd leave this here for a few days to see if someone else will chime in with a disagreement and/or notes and if it gets ignored, I'd ping a few of the more active PVs with books caught into this. . Annie 17:13, 29 October 2021 (EDT)
I'm curious what you are proposing to do. Pyr is an imprint of Prometheus Books, are you proposing to eliminate the use of just the imprint? If so, I believe you need a standards change. Ultimately, we may get to a point where both the imprint and publisher are required, and I support that. P.S. I'm one of the PV's. John Scifibones 17:59, 29 October 2021 (EDT)
Under the current rules both of these are valid names for the same publisher while Pyr was an imprint of Prometheus (using just the Imprint name when it does not cause confusion is allowed and we have other examples like that - and in cases like that we "standardize" into one of the two OR we find a separation line between the two forms if there is a clear one). The way these two publishers are used now splinters the Pyr record and gains us nothing. Pyr had always been an imprint - first of Prometheus Books and since 2018 of Start Publishing. So we have 2 choices here:
  • Split into two publishers based on this change of ownership - so all pre-2018 books go into Pyr / Prometheus Books and all later ones into Pyr / Start Publishing (or maybe just Pyr)
  • Combine all Pyr books together into Pyr and explain the corporate ownership in the notes
I'd vote for the latter - Pyr is Pyr regardless of who happened to own it at a certain time. But I tend to prefer that to splintering records based on corporate decisions which barely register with a reader and making the DB all but unusable for Publishers' listings. Annie 18:14, 29 October 2021 (EDT)
I thought you were suggesting the opposite, hence my question. The publications I PV'd are all just Pyr. Since that is where you're going, I'm fine with it. John Scifibones 18:37, 29 October 2021 (EDT)
If we merge everything into a single publisher, it cannot be "Pyr / Prometheus Books" due to the 2018 change. :) Annie 18:45, 29 October 2021 (EDT)

(unindent) In the mean time, I'd like guidance on what I should do with some books that I've PVed with this issue. Two of the three U.S. paperback publications of the series [38] are set to publisher Pyr, but all marked Pyr | an Imprint of Prometheus Books. Should I start to attempt an edit (after consulting active PVers) to the full Pyr / Prometheus Books? Or hope that it gets dealt somehow, sometime in the future with a more global publisher change? Thanks. --GlennMcG 15:30, 7 November 2021 (EST)

As long as you discuss with the PVs, sure. There won’t be any major changes coming short term so we operate under the rules as they are now. Annie 16:40, 7 November 2021 (EST)
My thoughts are to use "Pyr" and note the change of ownership in publisher notes. Using this does not show where the split takes place in 2018, but if we split the publishers as described above we can use this info when publisher is upgraded to "Imprint" and "Publisher/Parent" field. The splitting is only useful for 2018, so Id still merge into "Pyr".Kraang 20:41, 8 November 2021 (EST)

ARC edition clarification

Previous discussions about ARC editions and Patreon editions seem to indicate that we are not creating publication records for those items. If that's the policy, what should be done if there's a pub record already created for an ARC edition? I just discovered this record Storm from the Shadows ARC. The associated title record here needs to have its date adjusted to match the earliest pub date but what date should be used, the date from the hardcopy edition or the date from the ARC? Phil 08:37, 30 October 2021 (EDT)

Your first assertion is correct, ARCs are generally not indexed but with a few exceptions. I don't recall it being discussed much in the last ten years, however I do recall past reference being made to a discussion circa 2011 where it was pretty much agreed that only ARCs with an allocated ISBN should be indexed, and even then when it is also being sold by the publisher to the public, and that the date should be entered as "8888-00-00" (ie. unpublished) with any actual ARC publication date included in the notes, with the publication of the proper first edition being the true "First Edition" date. I don't know if this ever became written policy, and this approach may indeed have been superceded in the intervening 10 years. I have a few ARCs for which collectors of them would love to see some bibliographic referencing for, yet I've never entered them here given the ISFDB's general antipathy towards them. Can any other seasoned editor point to something in black-and-white that can clarify? PeteYoung 16:53, 30 October 2021 (EDT)
I believe the last iteration of this discussion was in February-July 2021. I agree that it would be desirable to have whatever we can decide on formalized. Ahasuerus 17:11, 30 October 2021 (EDT)
I just discovered that Baen included the eARC of Mission of Honor as part of Baen CD-ROM Library #22 The Mission of Honor Disk which I'm currently preparing to add to the DB. Until we have a decision, I'll just enter it as a note instead of a new title even though that title is the reason that the CD-ROM was created. Phil 18:39, 1 November 2021 (EDT)

Need help with an author photo upload

Can't seem to load this image into Bolesław Leśmian. Think I did tag and upload out of order. John Scifibones 13:39, 30 October 2021 (EDT)

There is not an upload option for author photos that tags them. You have to manually apply one of the tags (see Category:Image License Tags for available tags). You then click on the image, copy the URL, edit the author page, and paste the URL (similar as you do for cover images). Hope that makes sense. Let us know if you have further questions. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:52, 30 October 2021 (EDT)

Binti trilogy unrelated titles across languages

I just noticed there are 3 separate title entries for the collected Nnedi Okarafor's Binti trilogy across different languages:

IIRC the omnibus vs collection disparity comes from the third in the trilogy being long enough to be considered a novel. (There may also be a consideration that there's also a fourth novelette in this series, which may or may not be present in the various omnibuses or collections. IIRC that's not usually something that impacts varianting though?)

Should these be kept as-is, or should the title type be made consistent, and the French and Portuguese titles be made variants? ErsatzCulture 09:28, 2 November 2021 (EDT)

EDIT: On closer inspection, this is a bit messy, because this nominal "trilogy" has four stories, it looks like the French and Portuguese collections have 2 novellas and a novelette, whereas the German omnibus has the 2 novellas and the novel, and the English omnibus has all 4 stories. My confusion is further compounded by only one of these 4 titles having the content field specified, and the one that does is arguably wrong - at title level it has "1-3", whereas the pub details show 1, 3 and 4 as the contents ... ErsatzCulture 09:45, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
EDIT#2: Checking the Amazon BR preview of the Portuguese ebook, it turns out we have the contents wrong - it contains the 2 novellas and the concluding novel, and not the novelette. (The French book does have the novellas and novelette though.) I'll submit an edit to fix the Portuguese contents.
This confusion does make me think that this series should be renumbered though, as 1 (the opening Binti novella), 1.5 (the novelette), 2 (the Binti Home novella) and 3 (Binti: The Night Masquerade). This would make the contents numbering on the German omnibus correct, and makes the Portuguese "Trilogia Completa" look (slightly) less inaccurate. Any objections? ErsatzCulture 11:22, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
This the update that got our order all weird instead of inserting the novelette as 1.5 (and then noone thought to go clean the collections and omnibuses notes). But yes - Home Should be #2 and all should flow from there. See also the author site.
PS: Careful with international editions - make sure you really are sure who translated what :) Annie 14:07, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. I've got edits accepted or pending to fix this up; although I'll hold off from removing the novelette for a few days in case the editor who originally added it think it genuinely does exist in Portuguese. (The only Google hits I got for it were from ISFDB) ErsatzCulture 18:11, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
Paulotecario‎ occasionally disappears so it is unclear when he will be back. Check with the moderator who approved as well - Rudam may have some memories where he verified that it is indeed there as I do not see a note on sources in the submission. Annie 18:21, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
I have all the English releases, if anyone needs me to look at them. I don't think I've verified the information here yet, though. They're good stories, though. :) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:43, 2 November 2021 (EDT)
Thanks - I think all the English details are OK, other than the meta issue of the series numbering, which is hopefully now fixed.
One related question: I just went to add the series and content numbers to the French collection, but I get a popup saying that only omnibuses can have content numbers. This restriction isn't mentioned on Template:TitleFields:TitleType and whilst Template:TitleFields:Content only mentioned omnibuses, it doesn't explain why the content numbers can't be used on collections. My understanding - primarily an earlier Wiki discussion about Binti the Night Masquerade and the knock-on effect on the English language compilation IIRC - was that that a collection becomes an omnibus if it contains a novel, but what happens if the numbered stories are novellas? (Apologies if this has been discussed previously - a cursory wiki search didn't throw up anything that looked relevant.)
(Given that the Brazilian collection turns out to have 2 novellas and a novel, I assume that can be converted to an omnibus and then made a variant of the English language one.) ErsatzCulture 08:31, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
The Content field is indeed for omnibuses only. We Used to allow it before - that’s where jvn used to go before we had a checkbox fro example. But since it remained only for the content numbers, it had been omnibus restricted. You cannot have everything treated everywhere - it is on the page of the field and you are supposed to read those for fields you rarely use (or want to use in new circumstances). If you think the help page needs to be updated, make a proposal in R&S :) I’ve tried twice to get community support to allow its usage for collections/anthologies for exactly this kind of cases and people did not care much so that’s it :).
For the Brazilian one - yes, it needs to match the type. In my book one novel does not make an omnibus but that’s fine as long as they match. But don’t connect them until we resolve the case of that fantom novelette - we only variant exact omnibuses IMO - extra titles make them different because of the Content field so they stay on their own. Annie 11:59, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Can you put the variant edit on hold then please? ErsatzCulture 13:15, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Yup. Annie 13:16, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

<<deindent>> Thanks. BTW, I just checked the Amazon preview of the German ebook (not currently in the database, but presumably the same contents as the physical edition that is) and it does appear to lack the novelette, as recorded in the database, so presumably should be unvarianted from the English language omnibus? ErsatzCulture 13:31, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

See that IMO up there in my statement? We have somewhat conflicting practices on that. If they are collections, we will usually variant translated collections with minor differences (missing story or 2 or added story or two - otherwise way too many collections will just never get connected anywhere and that serves no purpose) and just add a note). With omnibuses as we list contents on the field, it is trickier and never clear where to draw the line. I would not variant them. Some people do. If they are, the content field should show very clearly that they are different (Which in my book means they should not be varianted at all - so round and round we go). :) Comes down to our definition of variants and what minor is. Another thing we need to codify a bit better but all attempts had failed so far so we kinda play it by the ear. Annie 13:45, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

The 1635: The Eastern Front Disk ISO

While preparing the data for creating the new Baen CD-ROM Library title "The 1635: The Eastern Front Disk", I discovered that at least one of the component collections has a different title depending on which of the eight file formats is viewed. In this case, "Rx for Chaos" is the canonical title and is used in the .doc, .epub, and .rtf format files. On the other hand, "Prescription for Chaos" is used in the .htm and .mobi format files. (I don't know about the .lit, .lrf, and the .rb file types because I don't have any software that will open them to check.)

I think that I should handle this as follows:

  • Include the canonical collection title with its component titles imported like normal with the page number set for example to |1.1
  • Include the new "Prescription for Chaos" title with the page number set for example to |1.2 . Once the new title record is created, make it a variant of the canonical title. (I don't think there's a reason to import the component titles from the canonical title since they would be duplicates and not show anyway.)
  • Create notes describing the two title/file format situation.
  • Create duplicated title notes for all of the component titles in the new "Prescription for Chaos" title just like I do for all other duplicated titles in these CDs/ISO images.

Is this a good approach or is there a better way? Phil 13:29, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

Nope - don't add both of them in the same book - that implies they are BOTH in the same book at the same time - which they are not. You have two options:
  • Create two separate high level books - one with the one name, one with the other.
  • Create a single one, use the one name and add a publication note explaining the difference in naming.
I'd go with the first option if I were you (different contents == different books) but... Annie 13:48, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
So if I understand correctly, create two new stand-alone collection titles with names like "Rx for Chaos (Baen CD-ROM Library)" and "Prescription for Chaos (Baen CD-ROM Library)"? Then add notes and import content titles as required and include both of the new titles in the new CD-ROM omnibus? Wouldn't both of the new titles also be variants of the original Rx for Chaos title? Phil 16:48, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Nope. Create two collections - yes (just as titles unless they were published that way - so nothing to import). But also do two separate omnibus publications - one for the formats that use Rx and one for the ones that use Prescription. No omnibus should have both collections included at the same time UNLESS both are really included. If I am reading the contents list of a book, I should not need to read a note to understand that there is a fake title in there that may not be in my copy and that even if the omnibus record in ISFDB contains 2 collections, I am getting just 1 in my book. :)
Or to say it a different way - build the omnibus with ONE of the titles and in the notes list the formats this publication is for. For the ones you do not know, chose where to list them and note that it is unclear if they are not actually part of the other publication (and link to it when you have both). When you are done, clone it for the second version. In that one remove the collection and replace it with the other collection title and adjust the note for the formats. Annie 17:06, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Both titles ARE actually included in this one ISO image omnibus. There's literally only one source file containing all these items. This omnibus is a monster. There are 68 titles included in it including 4 other omnibuses. (The value in the content field will likely be 38N+10A+14C+4O+2S.) The same two titles split by file format situation also exists for the excerpt of "1635: The Eastern Front" included in it as well. Plus I may well find more cases like this as I go through each of the included titles. (And someone, somewhere has the actual CD-ROM the ISO image was created from as well so the decision for this will someday be repeated when that publication is added.) Is making clones actually the best thing to do? I really think this is just one very complex publication. :) Phil 18:10, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Let's make sure we are talking about the same thing. If I download/get/open the ".htm" format of the ISO, do I get TWO separate collections or just the one called "Prescription for Chaos"? Annie 18:36, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
The file with the .htm suffix only contains the one collection called "Prescription for Chaos" on its title page. Phil 22:07, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
OK. If you add the two collections to the Contents, the book will look as if BOTH are available at the same time in the same contents page. Which is never true. Which means that they should never appear in the same Contents/Regular Titles list inside of a book. So we can resolve that in two ways: have two separate records splitting the formats and using the notes to explain why we have two of them OR have a single record with ONE of the collection titles and keep the second title for the collection in the notes only (listing the formats for which it is different). Considering that all formats are in a single ISO, we may be better off with just a note.
The problem here is that you essentially have multiple books in the same container (the ISO is not really an omnubus of all those collections and novels and so on - it is an omnibus of the different formats which are the complete omnibuses themselves; the ISO is an external wrapper for that). Because we cannot have omni inside of an omni, we record them all as if they are a single one. Yes - the DB is not really built for that and frankly, I don't think it should be. Use the notes to explain the situation and we are all set. Add an extra note inside of the collection title notes explaining the same. That should be more than enough. :) Annie 22:22, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

The Dread Machine

Before I do anymore work on The Dread Machine I have to know something, why are the contents of this issue completely different than this issue on the publisher’s website. I have no doubt the contents were copied by the original poster correctly, but this goes beyond a simple mistake. So … ? MLB 21:18, 3 November 2021 (EDT)

Because instead of adding the issues, someone had been working from The All Contents page and just adding the stories - or so it looks. That's not a record for Issue 1.1 - that's just the stories that were on the site at the time they were added here. Go to the last few pages of All Contents and you will see the stories we have in the order we have them. The fact that without the issues this webzine is not really eligible to be in the DB under the current rules or that this is not how we add magazines (webzines or not) was kinda ignored by an impressive number of moderators. Ignore this record for now - I will sort it out later this week and see if it is salvageable and add the 3 issues that are actually eligible if you want. :) Annie 21:32, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Oh dear: there is also the 2021 version. Let me try to untangle what we do have first, then we will add what is missing. Thanks for finding this one. Annie 21:39, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
And there is another webzine in a similar shape: Diabolical Plots - 2020. Let me see if there will be others because I am starting to have a very bad feeling. Thanks for finding this mess - it needs solving! :) Annie 21:49, 3 November 2021 (EDT)
Well, I ain't touching it until all the problems are worked out. This is why I list two versions of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the Kindle version and the web version. As I've been instructed to. MLB 00:43, 4 November 2021 (EDT)

Publication tag mismatch error

Created a small problem when uploading a cover. I attempted to use the automated upload and I hadn't logged into the wiki. After logging in, and uploading this picture, There was no tag (at that time). Instead of grabbing a blank template, I let the auto upload generate a tag and I slapped on the uploaded picture. That caused this warning. How do I correct the error? John Scifibones 12:59, 4 November 2021 (EDT)

If you really want to, you need to re-upload the file with the "Upload cover" on the publication page and it will show up in the correct place and we can delete this one. Or you can leave it where it is and ignore the warning. Annie 13:22, 4 November 2021 (EDT)
Since everything is correct except the expected location, I'll just leave it. John Scifibones 13:32, 4 November 2021 (EDT)

Canonical name correction


I just noticed that the author of "Silver Door Diner" (found in Fiyah, Autumn 2020Publication Record # 866330) is listed as "Bishop Garriso". This is the only publication listed for "Bishop Garriso".

The correct spelling of the author's name is "Bishop Garrison". I have confirmed this at Fiyah magazine and a number of other places. See

"Silver Door Diner" is the only work listed by "Bishop Garriso", and "Bishop Garrison" is not yet listed as an author.

I am sure that the canonical name needs to be corrected, as this is a typo and not a variant that I have seen anywhere for this story or this author.

Please advise me on how this can be dealt with. I have not yet figured that out.

Thanks. Dave888 16:25, 5 November 2021 (EDT)

Posting a link to the author page you are talking about is very helpful. :) Here. Fixed. Sometimes typos like that happen - a missing last letter is an easy mistake to do when adding a lot of contents.
As there was no information to be lost on the author page and it was indeed a typo in our DB and not in the magazine, you could have done that in two ways:
  • Rename the author directly - a moderator action, you ask for it on the Moderator portal. I just fixed based on the request here.
  • Just change it in the title record. This is a bad option if the author page already has data (web sites, images and so on) as they will be lost and you will need to add them again to the new name. Annie 16:45, 5 November 2021 (EDT)
Thanks. Yes, I meant to include a link to the author page. My bad. And thanks for the advice about the Moderator portal. Yeah, I don't like Option 2 - that sounds like it would be more problematic. Best wishes.Dave888 18:00, 5 November 2021 (EDT)
In this case it would not have made any difference which way you go - the author did not even have a language set. But when changing author names, publishers and pub series from inside of titles/publications, this needs to be kept in mind - when the last reference is changed, they are deleted automatically and all data attached on them is lost. Series names as well to some extent but there we need to delete the old one manually so we can rescue the information before that. :) Annie 19:11, 5 November 2021 (EDT)

It Came from the Multiplex

I corrected the contents of the e-version of It Came from the Multiplex from my copy. However, it would be easier to rebuild from scratch the trade paperback of It Came from the Multiplex, so should I just delete the paperback version, or just delete the paperback's contents, then import the contents from the e-version? MLB 00:07, 6 November 2021 (EDT)

Use Remote Titles to remove the contents (with a moderator note explaining what you are doing) and then import from the ebook. Annie 04:45, 6 November 2021 (EDT)
Importing contents does not import titles that are already present in the target publication, so you won't end up with duplicates. However, if you want to pick up the page numbering for everything from the source publication, deleting all the contents first with the note that Annie suggests is a good way to go. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 07:54, 6 November 2021 (EDT)

Format question

European description of a 2021 poetry collection "A5 booklet, printed on high quality paper, in colour 40 pages." Just confirming that we treat this as a tp. Thanks John Scifibones 12:05, 6 November 2021 (EDT)

Well, we do have the A5 format, especially introduced for European needs. If it's saddle-stapled, it'd not be filed as a tp, I think. Christian Stonecreek 12:34, 6 November 2021 (EDT)
I thought A5 was for magazines. Here is a link to the publisher's page, note Jane Yolen's statement. The Last Robot. Thoughts? John Scifibones 12:57, 6 November 2021 (EDT)
Ph if stapled - that’s what the pamphlet format is. Tp otherwise. And yes - A5 is for magazines despite some people deciding to use them elsewhere against the written rules. :) Annie 02:13, 7 November 2021 (EST)
Maybe we can get a feature that prevents the wrong formats with the wrong types? Or at least flags them with yellow and puts them on a cleanup report? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:05, 8 November 2021 (EST)

The Books & Braun Dossier

There are a couple of problems related to this title.

  • The TP edition here and title here (plus variants) are recorded as a Collection. I think it should be an Anthology since (using the ebook published about a month earlier) some of the component stories are attributed to Pip Ballantine alone, some to Tee Morris alone, and some to both in collaboration. Can I just submit changes for the title and pub records to switch them from Collection to Anthology or does this need to be done by a moderator?
  • Several of the component titles are shown in the ebook to be authored just by Pip Ballantine or just by Tee Morris but the same titles are already in the DB with the author shown as by both Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. I'm confident these are the same titles because the blurb on the back cover of the TP edition states "First published in The Tales from the Archives and Ministry Protocol, these stories are now collected for the first time in one volume." Since I'll be adding them to the ebook pub, do I just enter them as new regular titles with just the single author and then make those new title records variants of the multi-author title?

Thanks. Phil 13:09, 16 November 2021 (EST)

That still makes it a collection by the two authors - you can have 2 authors collection and with collaborators like that, such collections happen often. :) Anyone can change the type but in this case, the type is correct.
Correct. Record the stories as shown in the book. Then we will variant if needed. Again - not uncommon :) The only thing to keep in mind when you do the variants is that the title with both authors on it should be the parent so the story shows up on both authors' pages (we won't show it based on a variant only. Annie 13:19, 16 November 2021 (EST)
Thanks for clarifying. I've submitted the ebook pub as a collection now that I know which type is correct. I'll create the variants as you specified once it's approved. Phil 15:43, 16 November 2021 (EST)
If my understanding turns out to be incorrect, we will convert all of them in bulk :) Approved so you can variant -- keep in mind what I said above about the parents (and that may mean date adjustment in the parent). Annie 15:53, 16 November 2021 (EST)
And it took all of 3 minutes for that to happen. Template:PublicationFields:PubType says:
  • ANTHOLOGY. A publication containing fiction by more than one author, not written in collaboration, should be typed as an ANTHOLOGY. For example, "Late Knight Edition" contains stories by both Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm, individually; this is an anthology, not a collection. If a book of Conan stories contains stories which are all partly or wholly by Robert E. Howard, it is a collection; if one or more of the stories is by Lin Carter or L. Sprague de Camp, not in collaboration with Howard, then the book is an anthology.
So yep - anthology. I will change them. Sorry about that. I was looking at the collections definitions and missed to look at the anthology one. :) Annie 16:04, 16 November 2021 (EST)
So now I have a problem with the anthology records. I think the new title The Books and Braun Dossier should be the canonical title since it's older than the existing canonical title The Books & Braun Dossier by over a month. However, the old has a variant here which only differs by using Philippa Ballantine instead of Pip Ballantine as an author. If I remember correctly, a variant can't have a variant, right? For that matter, I'm not even sure why the existing canonical record exists since the title "The Books & Braun Dossier" was only published as by Pip Ballantine, never by Philippa Ballantine. Is it so the title will show under the canonical author's name? Please help me unravel this! Phil 08:18, 17 November 2021 (EST)
Yep, it needs to exist so that the book is visible on the canonical author's page. :) Even if the book is never published under the canonical name of the authors, if you want it to appear on the Author page of the said author, you need a parent to bring it there. That's why you need a Philippa Ballantine parent for every book she publishes under another name. So back to our set of titles here: this cannot be the parent because it has the wrong author :) So what you do in this cases is:
  • Update the existing parent to have the proper first date and whatever you want to be the canonical name. See what I did here.
  • Put the new title under it the usual way.
Problem solved. Now only one thing remains: all the stories here need parents so they show on the Philippa Ballantine page. Let me know if you have any questions! :) Annie 14:30, 17 November 2021 (EST)
So for these, do a make variant and use Option 2, changing the author name to Philippa Ballantine, correct? Which get added to the "Books & Braun" series: the variant, the new parent, or both? Phil 16:15, 17 November 2021 (EST)
Yes on how you do the variant UNLESS there is already a title for that on Philippa Ballantine's page for the story - then you use that and option 1.
Variants cannot be part of a series - the inherit it visually but their records are not part of the series officially :) So it will always be the parent. However, there are two ways to do it here:
  • Set it on the variant before it is connected, make sure it is approved before the "Make Variant" and then do the parent creation: the system will move it to the parent for you.
  • Make the parents, then add the series to them when they are approved. Annie 16:20, 17 November 2021 (EST)

«Commentaire pour servir à la construction pratique de la Machine à explorer le Temps»

The short story "How to Construct a Time Machine" by Alfred Jarry first appeared as «Commentaire pour servir à la construction pratique de la Machine à explorer le Temps» in Mercure de France, février 1899 and can be found here, on HathiTrust. Since I don't speak French, I don't trust myself to enter this correctly. Would someone who speaks French please do so? Sylvar 13:39, 18 November 2021 (EST)

That shows Albert Fleury Dr Faustroll as the author (see the table of contents on p.862). Is that another name for Jarry? I know he wrote Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll, pataphysicien in which Dr Faustroll is a character, but that's all I know. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:05, 18 November 2021 (EST)
Great catch! It appears so; the Bibliothèque nationale de France lists "Faustroll, Docteur (1873-1907) pseudonyme" in their authority record. Sylvar 22:09, 19 November 2021 (EST)
Okay, this has been updated. See here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:33, 23 November 2021 (EST)

Setting up a separate Talk page for PV change notifications

I've seen some Talk pages where the user has setup a separate page for PV change notifications plus adding a banner section on their main talk page pointing out their PV change notification preferences. How do you setup a separate page so it can be linked to from your main Talk page? I think I can borrow the banner section coding from other users and adapt it (though I have only rudimentary HTML skills) but how to set up the target page eludes me. TIA Phil 13:08, 21 November 2021 (EST)

Just open the page as if it exists already and it will allow you to create it. If you would like me to, I can create it for you (just let me know how you want it to be called after your username)? Annie 16:14, 21 November 2021 (EST)
Example: If you want it to be called "PV Notifications", open Click on "Edit" either at the top or in the middle of the page and when you save, you have a new page. :) Annie 20:26, 21 November 2021 (EST)
Thanks for offering. I was able to do it myself and it's ready for use. :) Phil 11:20, 22 November 2021 (EST)

Prince Caspian

There are a lot of publications for Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis. I was getting ready to clone to create a pub for the 42nd printing of the Collier/Macmillan paperback first published in 1970 when I noticed that the title page shows "Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia". I assume I should create a new novel with that title and then make it a variant. I'm just kind of bothered that there several other Collier/Macmillan paperback printings that are PV but simply show "Prince Caspian" as the title. Thoughts? Phil 11:30, 22 November 2021 (EST)

Several of the other publications made note of the sub-title, and many of these have PV's that you could confirm with after you have created the new title and variant'd it back to this title. ../Doug H 16:36, 23 November 2021 (EST)
If you look at the publications, there are a few with the subtitle mixed in the list. Some editors merge the subtitled variety of a title with the non-subtitled and that used to be a lot more prevalent in the past. I tend to keep them separate - if the subtitle is important enough to be recorded, it deserves its own variant. So yes - add your own book, variant it where it needs to go and then go talk to PVs where the subtitle is actually there. :) Annie 17:00, 23 November 2021 (EST)
I've added the new title and have a submission to make it a variant. However, when I got ready to contact the PVs of the other two pubs that are just different printings, I found that one has no PV and the PV for the other is no longer active. Leave it as a dead end unless someone does a PV at some later date? Phil 13:07, 24 November 2021 (EST)
Pretty much. We can add a dated note about the different printing information (dated so it is clear it is post all verifications) but we are not changing verified books unless we actually KNOW that there is a mistake. Annie 14:08, 24 November 2021 (EST)

Dune reader's guides

I have a question. Now that there is another version of Dune coming out, I’ve noticed that there are a number of reader guides out there to these series. Do Cliff’s Notes, and stuff like that belong on this site? MLB 01:43, 25 November 2021 (EST)

They are not forbidden. Abridgments and non fiction about speculative fiction are always allowed. Annie 14:25, 25 November 2021 (EST)

Anthologies with Afterwords by each author

I have found several Andre Norton Anthologies that have an Afterword for each of the stories included. Each Afterword is written by the author of the short fiction work that precedes it. The first one I entered is Four from the Witch World and only has four stories. Did I do the Afterword titles in an acceptable way? If not, I'll change them if you'll let me know a better way. The anthology publications I'm about to work on have 18 or more titles in each one so if I need to change my method, now is the time. :) Phil 15:59, 25 November 2021 (EST)

They are not wrong/bad as they are but I’d reverse the story and book title on the title line of these afterwords or even skip the title of the book (unless the afterword is specifically written for this book and not just for the story - explaining why the story is in the book for example) - that way a reprint won’t require a new invented title. Plus we add the book name to differentiate and the story title is a differentiator enough (often anyway). See this for an example - these afterwords are strictly for the stories. Annie 16:34, 25 November 2021 (EST)
Thanks! I went ahead and removed the book title. One of the other anthologies had been done that way so at least it's consistent for that series of anthologies. Phil 16:34, 26 November 2021 (EST)

Cover tag question

I uploaded a couple webzine covers and noticed that a different tag is applied if the source noted is the website vs. scanned by user. The fair use language is applied if it is scanned by user. Does it make a difference which one is used? John Scifibones 11:26, 28 November 2021 (EST)

Nevermind, fixed my mistake John Scifibones 13:01, 28 November 2021 (EST)

Simplified titles for excerpts

Does the convention of removing (not including) the series name in a title apply with excerpts? --GlennMcG 15:41, 30 November 2021 (EST)

Yep. We also include the excerpts in the series occasionally thus making clear where they belong. Annie 16:30, 30 November 2021 (EST)

Andre Norton Sword Series Set

In 1984, Unicorn Star Press published the Andre Norton Sword Series Set consisting of three trade paperback titles shrink-wrapped with a single front card. It has its own ISBN printed on the card. I believe this should be an omnibus but since the "binding" is shrink-wrap and it consists of three separate trade paperbacks, I wanted to check to see if there's anything else that needs to be done when creating this omnibus that is special other than good notes. Phil 18:30, 30 November 2021 (EST)

Yep - that’s a boxset (minus box but with cover and ISBN so still the same idea) so it goes in as Omnibus. The format is the format of the books - so tp. And add a note explaining the shrink wrap and all that. Annie 18:39, 30 November 2021 (EST)

Edgar Allen Poe's Snifter of Terror

Hi, everyone. I was just wondering if I could add this anthology series of comic books. There are non-graphic stories and poems as well as the graphic stories. But could I add the (very altered) graphic Poe adaptations as well, or should I leave them out? Thanks.--Rosab618 03:46, 2 December 2021 (EST)

The altered graphic stories are not eligible in any way or form. Graphic contents (manga or comics) are only eligible when by an above treshold author as that essentially overrides everything else. Still - single comics issues are not eligible even by those per our practice (if they are graphic only - which is not the case here).
The poems/stories if the are Poe's text exactly most likely are eligible. Single comics issues can be borderline but in this case because there are the text versions, they are in I think (if added - they go in as non-genre magazines with only the text versions added). However, the whole series is collected in a paperback (that's volume 1) and that paperback is also eligible (minus its graphic contents of it. Annie 12:57, 2 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks, Annie. I think I'll add the comic books since I don't have the paperback.--Rosab618 13:51, 2 December 2021 (EST)

Unverified OCLC

Can someone tell me (roughly) how many OCLC external identifiers have been specified on publications that have no primary verifier? Thanks in advance. P.S. Please keep/post the query, there may be some refinements some day. ../Doug H 14:20, 2 December 2021 (EST)

At this time, we have 145,254 OCLC External IDs. 75,689 of them are for publications without a primary verification (either permanent or transient). The query is as follows:
               select count(i.pub_id) 
               from pubs p, identifiers i, identifier_types it
               where p.pub_id = i.pub_id 
               and i.identifier_type_id = it.identifier_type_id 
               and it.identifier_type_name = 'OCLC/WorldCat' 
               and not exists 
               (select 1 from primary_verifications pv 
               where pv.pub_id = p.pub_id)

(Drop "and not exists" and everything that follows it to get the first number.) Ahasuerus 20:56, 2 December 2021 (EST)

Thanks. Pandemic downtime has given me too much time to think up new projects (and no additional time to implement). The reason I asked about the unverified OCLC was to gauge the scope of a project. The OCLC provides a list of libraries purportedly carrying particular publications. I would be willing to provide primary (transient) verification against any copy held in my immediate locale. I expect there are others equally willing. I was just toying around with ideas on how to match the two up for myself or someone in general. Can't actually get into many of these libraries under pandemic conditions, but an interesting thought experiment. ../Doug H 12:17, 3 December 2021 (EST)
Why just the ones with OCLC numbers? If you are hitting the stacks in a library, you may as well just go after everything in the SF section :) A few years ago I was considering doing just that in my local library but then things happened as usual and the plan fizzled out. Annie 17:05, 3 December 2021 (EST)
Different problem. I did indeed go to all my local libraries verifying Jules Verne books. I thought about it for all SF books but figured a) my hit rate for unverified is likely low and b) my overhead in checking each book (entering, searching, checking copies) on a tiny interface (I no longer hate my phone, but we're not good friends) and then dealing with entering it makes this a particular problem that needs particular solutions. The OCLC situation is one where a book is important enough to enter and verify without seeing a copy. It makes possible a limited list of publications for any given location with particulars to check, with only minor edits likely. A different situation. Even with the many thousands of candidates, the number of ones likely to be addressed from my home town are pretty small. It would also give rise to small helpful projects that avid contributors can do in their neighbourhood that no one else can do (as well as getting them out of their cyber-dens). As I said, many projects, just needed data for the OCLC one. Here's one we can work on together - a local university library has a special Slavic section of somewhat older books. If I get you a list, and you mark which are candidates, WHEN they let me back in I could go collect the data, enter them and verify them with your editorial oversight. I don't know who I can get to do the same for the Icelandic ones though. :-( ../Doug H 16:34, 4 December 2021 (EST)
If anything, it is just a different side of the same problem. Using my library list I can easily add the books based on oclc and other sources and then request them out (thus turning my usecase into yours). Get that list of yeh Slavic ones or point to it and I can vet what we want from it. If you get me that Icelandic list I can see what I can do - not strictly my bailiwick but I can at least find the highly probables and I have someone I can ask for ideas. Annie 17:06, 4 December 2021 (EST)

Kris Longknife Print-on-Demand PVs

I'm PVing my more recently purchased Kris Longknife books and they're POD. They have a recent manufacture dates (some as recently as a few weeks ago), and are marked Rev 2.0 on the copyright page. For example: [39].

I could use guidance on how to deal with this issue.

Should I:

  • Edit the base record, and record my rev and date, vaguely parallel to how SFBC editions are dealt with?
  • Add a new publication record?
  • Something I haven't thought of?

Thanks. --GlennMcG 18:05, 2 December 2021 (EST)

POD are difficult because of the varying dates, but I'd say if there's a "Rev 2.0", that's very similar to statements like "Second Edition" or "Second Printing", and it's a clear distinction between printed copies of that and earlier printed copies. So I suggest you make another record for it, noting the "Rev 2.0". It is easy to merge them later if we decide having two records is inappropriate. --MartyD 09:54, 3 December 2021 (EST)

Classifying a collection containing genre and non-genre titles

Assuming the following contents:

non-genre novella157pp65%
genre novelette67pp28%
genre short story16pp7%

Is this a genre publication with one non-genre title or a non-genre publication listing only the two genre titles? John Scifibones 10:34, 7 December 2021 (EST)

Is the author of the non-genre work above the threshold? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:14, 7 December 2021 (EST)
The author of this collection does not generally write within our genre. Just so happens that two of the three works are genre. John Scifibones 18:01, 7 December 2021 (EST)
I'd list the collection as non-genre and put the non-genre work in the notes. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:34, 8 December 2021 (EST)
Yep, I concur. Annie 14:43, 8 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks for the help John Scifibones 14:52, 8 December 2021 (EST)

"A Logic Name (sic) Joe"

It hurts my heart to say that, on its first publication, the story was called (in the voice of its narrator) "A Logic Name Joe". Not "Named"—but "Name".

Here, see for yourself.

Should we account for this in some way?

Apologies if this is the bibliographic equivalent of "WE! DO NOT! TALK ABOUT! THE ORANGUTAN!".

And apologies for forgetting to sign this earlier. Sylvar 10:48, 13 December 2021 (EST)

No worries. This is already shown here. The incorrect title is varianted to the correct one. Thanks for watching for errors, though. There's always the possibility of typos like this. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:05, 13 December 2021 (EST)
It appears that this are only variant titles because of the alternate author names, not because of a variant title with only "Name", or am I missing something? Christian Stonecreek 13:19, 13 December 2021 (EST)
It's a bit of both, since the typo was in the original that was credited to the pseudonym. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:22, 13 December 2021 (EST)
I do not see the title "A Logic Name Joe" in the link you mentioned. I only see the typical "A Logic Named Joe". Sylvar 15:17, 14 December 2021 (EST)
Weird. It was there before and now it's not. I can't see a record of it being changed, either. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:54, 14 December 2021 (EST)

The em-dash swamp

I'm PVing [40] and ran across the story Golden the Ship Was — Oh! Oh! Oh!. The title page for the story doesn't have spaces around the em-dash, which is in conflict with publication entry. Help for 'title' [41] indicates there shouldn't be surrounding spaces. Is this a rathole to avoid, or something I should attempt to submit an edit for?

Has this query been lost, or is the lack of input a hint to let sleeping dogs lie. --GlennMcG 15:11, 14 December 2021 (EST)

When researching this, I attempted to run an advanced search for titles containing " — ", but the spaces seemed to be discarded from the search query. Is there a way to specify a literal space character? --GlennMcG 01:21, 12 December 2021 (EST)

Spaces are recognized in advanced search without doing anything more than typing them. If typing [space] [Alt0151] [space] doesn't work, (I get 4176 hits at this time) try a force clear of your cache and run the search again. See if that helps. John Scifibones 09:00, 12 December 2021 (EST)
It's not working for me. Even after clearing the cache I get get 7131 results, which include entries both with and without surrounding spaces. (I've also tried using a different browser).
Advanced Search | Titles | Title, contains, ' — ', and | Get Count
(The quotes around the space-emdash-space are just for clarity here, but not entered in the field). --GlennMcG 15:21, 12 December 2021 (EST)
One of the check boxes in User Preferences is "Keep leading and trailing spaces when searching". Perhaps the two of you have this option set up differently? Ahasuerus 16:14, 12 December 2021 (EST)
That did it. Thanks. --GlennMcG 16:58, 12 December 2021 (EST)
Sure thing. I have also fixed list indentation in User Preferences to make it clear which preferences are grouped together. Ahasuerus 19:06, 12 December 2021 (EST)

Lost entries in Help Desk

I had an question about editing titles with em-dashes in the help desk, but it seems to have disappeared. Was there a restoral from backup? It also had question about advanced searches with leading and trailing space, which was answered. --GlennMcG 20:23, 12 December 2021 (EST)

The question was asked and answered on ISFDB talk:Help desk, i.e. the Talk page associated with this page. I have moved it here -- see the section immediately above. Ahasuerus 20:38, 12 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks. I hadn't really internalized the difference between adding an entry to the help desk vs. one for a users talk page. Somehow the 'New Post' button was invisible. --GlennMcG 21:11, 12 December 2021 (EST)

Conversion of chapbook/novella to novel - sanity check/experienced wisdom required

Converting a novel to a chapbook is thoroughly documented, but as far as I can tell, the reverse isn't - I guess it's a much less common action?

Anyway, I tested doing a chapbook/novella to novel conversion on a local instance of the site/database over the weekend, and it seemed to go OK. However, when I came to replicate that on the live site, I managed to fall at the first hurdle by not exactly repeating what I tested on my local instance.

Specifically, on my local tests, I did the following 3 steps:

  1. Convert the SHORTFICTION/novella title record to NOVEL
  2. Remove the CHAPBOOK title contents record from all the relevant pubs
  3. Convert the relevant pubs from CHAPBOOK to NOVEL

Instead what I did for the first step was convert the CHAPBOOK (i.e. not SHORTFICTION record to NOVEL. This means that when I try to remove one of the contents from one of the pubs, I get a warning box that states:

   WARNING: Unable to locate the title reference for this publication.
   Removing titles while in this state is dangerous. Check to make sure the publication type is correct (collection, novel, anthology, etc.). Then come back and remove the title in question.

which is worrying, so I've gone back to my local system (which was refreshed from the weekend's copy of the database, and had my prior test edits undone). I *think* I have got things to the desired state by doing:

  1. Update all relevant pubs from CHAPBOOK to NOVEL
  2. Merge the NOVEL and SHORTFICTION/novella title records.

The latter step does prompt another warning box:

   WARNING: records 2930366 and 2930367 both appear in the publication ReDawn
   Merging titles causes the title names to be commonized, AND causes that new title to show up in the publications those titles point to. If you merge two 
   titles that appear in the same publication, you will cause that title to show up twice in that pub. This is probably not what you want.
   If you are trying to remove a duplicate title from a publication, edit that publication, and click on Remove Titles From This Pub. Then select the title you wish to remove.

Despite, this doing the merge does appear to have had the desired effect - everything is showing as a novel, there are no duplicate contents showing, SQL queries on the local database show what I'd expect.

Is this (i.e. converting the pubs then merging the titles) a reasonable course of action, or would it maybe be better to revert the CHAPBOOK-to-NOVEL edit, and then follow my original course of action? Thanks ErsatzCulture 14:36, 13 December 2021 (EST)

This process is not preferable: all reviews and other links (for example awards) usually are linked to the SHORTFICTION, and by deleting that all of these links are broken. Stonecreek 13:11, 15 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks for responding - unfortunately it's still not clear to me what the safest/best course of action is. Is switching the pubs from CHAPBOOK to NOVEL and then merging the NOVEL and SHORTFICTION/novella title records OK? Naively I'd assume that merge actions should not break anything, but I would prefer it if someone could explicitly reassure me that that is the case. ErsatzCulture 14:01, 16 December 2021 (EST)
In most cases this would not be okay (as explained above). It should be the conversion of the SHORTFICTION to NOVEL; this way the links that are connected to the fiction remain intact (CHAPBOOK is not a fiction title but rather a container title, like COLLECTION or ANTHOLOGY). Stonecreek 14:29, 16 December 2021 (EST)
OK, I'll revert the edit I made and go back and do the steps I originally intended to do. Thanks. ErsatzCulture 16:10, 16 December 2021 (EST)

Need misspelled alias corrected

Author alias Larry Schwinger here is misspelled as Larry Shwinger. Can a mod please correct the spelling to Larry Schwinger? Phil 11:59, 15 December 2021 (EST)

We need Chavey to chime in on this one since he's verified that publication. If it's misspelled in the book, we need to keep the misspelling. It's already varianted to the correct spelling. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:10, 15 December 2021 (EST)
I posted a note on his page. I have the book in hand and it's spelled correctly on the copyright page, just not in the DB. Phil 14:25, 15 December 2021 (EST)
How is it spelled on the Title page? That's the one we use if we have access to the book. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:32, 15 December 2021 (EST)
He's the endpaper map artist and not on the title page. Phil 14:36, 15 December 2021 (EST)
Larry Schwinger is the artist who did the endpaper maps, he is credited on the title page verso not the tile page. I have a first printing and the name is spelled as Phil is stating. I will be glad to provide a primary verification after I see what the final record looks like. Hope this helps, John Scifibones 14:40, 15 December 2021 (EST)
This has been corrected. Thanks for catching it! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:47, 16 December 2021 (EST)

Awaiting approval for new magazine


On 12/6/21 I submitted a new magazine, "Vastarien: A Literary Journal vol. 4, issue 2," for verification. It has remained under pending edits since then. I have watched the backlog go up&down from 100+ to 400+ several times. The question is, has this pending edit gone astray, or is someone holding it while they are simply too busy with life as Christmas/Covid looms?

I ask, because I have never waited more than 5 days for this process to play out before, and we're into the 9th day.


Distanceswimmer —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Distanceswimmer (talkcontribs) . 15:02, 15 December 2021

I see one on the 9th, but nothing before that. All of the moderators are volunteers, and (especially during the holiday season and summer) sometimes it takes a while to get to everything. We all have real life things that get in the way of participation here. A few things:
  1. I notice that you added it to both a title series and a publication series with the same title. Generally, magazines are included in a title series, but not in any publication series. I've removed the publication series.
  2. The web page for publications is for pages specifically about that publication or issue. The generic URL should go on the title series page. I've done this for you.
  3. There's no need to include an Amazon web page if the item has an ISBN or an ASIN. We automatically link those. I've removed this URL.
  4. When including the artist, it's always good to include in the publication note where that information was obtained. Something like "Cover artist per copyright page" or "Cover artist per back cover and copyright page", for example.
  5. When you post to a discussion page or a user's talk page, you can sign your posts by using four tildes at the end, like this: ~~~~
Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks for contributing to the site! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:45, 16 December 2021 (EST)

Edgar Allen Poe's Snifter of Death, #1

Hi. I'm now the proud owner of a physical copy of this comic. It measures 10" x 6.75". What should I list as the format? Pulp?--Rosab618 18:22, 18 December 2021 (EST)

How many pages? What kind of binding does it have? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:25, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Hi, Nihonjoe. Thanks for responding. It has 32 pages and it's saddle-stapled.--Rosab618 14:32, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Probably pulp, then. That's the closest we have. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:16, 20 December 2021 (EST)

Adding Infinite Matrix stories?

I would like to add some stories that were published in Infinite Matrix, especially the Rio Hondo stories. But given the different publication dates, I’m not sure how best to do that. Should I “Add a new magazine” for each story? --Elysdir 14:27, 20 December 2021 (EST)

Yes, that it what you would have to do. You would add the issue in which the story appeared. A few issues have been entered already. See here. --MartyD 16:36, 21 December 2021 (EST)

Merging reprinted reviews

Do I have to change all the dates of the reprints to when they were originally published?--Rosab618 14:55, 20 December 2021 (EST)

Do you have a link (or links) to what you're talking about? That will help us better understand your question. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:03, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Right here. These reviews were all published elsewhere, Interzone mostly.--Rosab618 16:17, 20 December 2021 (EST)
That link doesn't work. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:21, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Sorry, fixed it.--Rosab618 16:23, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks! What's with the weird page numbering? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:50, 20 December 2021 (EST)
I messed up. Instead of typing (for example) 62|62.1 for the pages with more than one item, I thought 62|1 would work just as well. It didn't. I fixed it and re-submitted, but there's quite a backlog.--Rosab618 17:59, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Okay, I approved the page numbering corrections. Please review it and make sure everything looks correct. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:23, 20 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks, it looks right. But what about merging the reviews? Oh, I know. I'll go to "Show All Titles" and merge them that way.--Rosab618 23:13, 20 December 2021 (EST)

Author name clash -- Christopher Smith vs. Christopher L. Smith

I recently submitted an edit to variant a story [42] credited as Christopher Smith to a new parent Christopher L. Smith. I had evidence that 'L' had written it (his biography on the Simon & Shuster web site [43]). However, when I look at the main page for 'L' [44], when I click the link for 'only as by Christopher Smith', it takes me to the author page of the non-author [45].

Is there a step I missed, or is this expected? --GlennMcG 15:24, 21 December 2021 (EST)

If there is more than one Christopher Smith (e.g., here, a Christopher Smith who is Christopher L. Smith and a Christopher Smith who is not Christopher L. Smith), then the bibliographies need to be separated by creating two different "Christopher Smith" records. We do this by adding a disambiguator to one or more of the names. Help:How_to_separate_two_authors_with_the_same_name explains how to do that. Please take a look and see if you can figure out what to do. Ask if you get stuck, but you'll be a nice test case for that help text, so I don't want to prejudice anything. --MartyD 16:32, 21 December 2021 (EST)
Would Christopher Smith (L.) be a reasonable way to disambiguate? None of the examples given in the instructions seem to apply very well. Other than rule that the disambiguator must be added to the right, I'd prefer Christopher (L.) Smith for aesthetic reasons. --GlennMcG 17:02, 21 December 2021 (EST)
I'm not sure I understand the issue. We have two Christopher Smith's:
  1. Christopher Smith as an alternate name to Christopher L. Smith with a single work.
  2. Christopher Smith (I) with three works.
It looks like they are properly separated already based on what you are describing. Did something change since you posted this or am I misunderstanding? -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:42, 21 December 2021 (EST)
I sorted them out since it looked (based on everything I could find) like there were two different Christopher Smiths. Then I noticed your comment here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:49, 21 December 2021 (EST)
And to answer Glenn's question, "Christopher L. Smith" is always the way the name would be entered unless (for some bizarre reason) a publisher entered his name with parentheses around the middle initial. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:51, 21 December 2021 (EST)
The publisher used the name without any middle initial. That's what started me down this road. --GlennMcG 17:56, 21 December 2021 (EST)
And I can't comment on whether the instructions for this issue are sufficient. --GlennMcG 17:59, 21 December 2021 (EST)
However, I seem to have been heading the wrong way in attacking the problem after reading the instructions. I didn't pick up on the difference between two authors whose canonic names clash vs. a 1 canonic/1 variant clash. The instructions didn't help as much for the later case, as was I thinking that I could disambiguate the variant. --GlennMcG 21:08, 22 December 2021 (EST)

Unpaginated illustrations

In The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, each illustration is right before the story it illustrates, on a plate with no page number. How do I add them in the right order, before each story, with no page numbers?--Rosab618 00:01, 22 December 2021 (EST)

Here is an example of how it's done (please concentrate on the Giger plates, not the Schoenherr & Schiemann illustrations that are part of the regular page count). If you call up the edit screen for the publication, you'll also see how those pages for the plates were entered. Hope that helps, Christian Stonecreek 01:44, 22 December 2021 (EST)
I'm sorry, I don't understand how to do it.--Rosab618 21:21, 24 December 2021 (EST)
You would enter "|SORTPAGE" for them. For example, if the plate appeared between pages 142 and 143, you would enter the page number as "|142.5" (without the quotes, but including the pipe before the "142.5") This will sort the page as if it was numbered "142.5", but will display no page number. Be sure to make a note in the publication that the illustration pages are not numbered. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:16, 30 December 2021 (EST)

Dead links in publication record (any record?)

While PVing Wall of Years I noticed that proof cover is a dead link. Is there something I could/should do about it? --GlennMcG 17:11, 25 December 2021 (EST)

It was deleted many years ago without a reason supplied. I restored it and added a license template. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:41, 25 December 2021 (EST)

Law of Survival / Kristine Smith

While PVing Law of Survival I discovered that the 'excerpt' for Year's Best Fantasy really isn't an excerpt, but an blurb/description of the then upcoming anthology. And it's not really written by Hartwell, unless he refers to himself in the third person. Is there a better way to mark this up? Should it even be included? --GlennMcG 00:37, 26 December 2021 (EST)

My 2 cents: I'd skip it as advertisement - unless it is from the actual book, it is not an excerpt and we do not index advertisements... If it stays, it will be an essay with the name of the book and uncredited author I would think... Annie 23:28, 30 December 2021 (EST)

The Beast-King Murders

This book, part of the Phantom Detective series, is attributed to George A. MacDonald (under the pseudonym Robert Wallace). But the Greenleaf Classics website attributes it to D.L. Champion. Which is right?--Rosab618 02:10, 26 December 2021 (EST)

Ask the editor who made the variant? Here is the history - Rtrace may still remember his reasoning. Annie 23:25, 30 December 2021 (EST)

How to Build a Better Robot by James Rollins/Clemens - merge question

It looks like the contents of the hc and tp of Crucible have been been entered separately, and so there are duplicates of the essay "How to Build a Better Robot". More accurately, there are quadruplicates, due to the book being attributed to a variant author name.

Rather than make a mess of this, could I query the correct way to merge these? My guess is that the two titles for the James Rollins should be merged first, ensuring that the correct parent ID reference is kept - 2679173 I think - and then merge the two titles for the James Clemens parent author. (Doing the titles for Clemens first would seem to have the risk of leaving one of the Rollins titles with an orphaned parent ID reference, albeit temporarily.)

However, one thing that concerns me is that the title merge page (tv_merge.cgi) doesn't give any explicit indication about which of the two IDs would be kept - I'm assuming it's the lowest and/or the one associated with the most "winning" fields when resolving the conflict, in which case 2671973 would indeed be correct (vs 2900726), but this all seems nebulous enough that it seemed safer to pose this question rather than stumble in blindly... ErsatzCulture 17:09, 30 December 2021 (EST)

As you noted, the two duplicates by Clemens should be merged as duplicates. Do this by clicking the Check for duplicates link while on his author page. There will be a few other possible duplicates listed, too, but ignore those for now. Check the boxes next to the two entries for "How to Build a Better Robot" and click the Merge Selected Records" button.
Once that's done, you can do the same for Rollins name. Once those are all merged and approved, you then variant the merged Rollins title to the merged Clemens title, leaving the Clemens title as the only one left, with the Rollins publications varianted to it. Please let me know if you have any questions. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:11, 30 December 2021 (EST)
The question is of the order here, not of how to do it :) It ultimately does not matter. The merge will preserve the lower ID -- so you can use that when selecting a parent for the merge of the variants (OR add a moderator note to ask the moderators to first approve the variants merge (submit it first, then use its ID in the notes for the second one in case someone works out of order - that's what I used to do when I could not approve my edits). Worst case scenario, the order gets messed up and something is force rejected - you can then resubmit later :) Annie 23:22, 30 December 2021 (EST)
Thanks both - a couple of edits are in the queue for this. ErsatzCulture 16:24, 31 December 2021 (EST)
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