ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 07

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This is an archive page for the Moderator noticeboard. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from March - April 2009.

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Contents

Michael Whelan-bogus submission Sorry!

Sorry, I opened the edit screen of Michael Whelan to compare how it was formatted and it got submitted, but there should have been no changes. Apologies, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:32, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I was just about to ask you about that. Since there were no changes, I'll go ahead and accept it. Sometimes my fingers will brush the enter key and zap it before I make any changes, so I just go ahead and accept the submission (a secret of mine that keeps my rejects low!) MHHutchins 20:41, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Practice Effect

Just submitted two edits for two PBs of "The Practice Effect" with, I think, the wrong cover. Came a cross another ne that should go on these two pubs. Please reject these two and I'll upload the correct cover. Thanks, ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:51, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I remember approving some of these on Saturday, but just noticed this comment today. Can you check to see if the pubs in question have the right image? Thanks. MHHutchins 18:36, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

The Stone God Awakens

There are two entries for The Stone God Awakens for probably the same edition, this one and that one. According to the International bibliography there were five Ace printings. Is it ok to delete the second one? Willem H. 12:54, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Delete the one with the least info. Thanks. MHHutchins 18:35, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Python error result of accepting submission

Can another moderator attempt to approve this submission. Each time I try I get this message:

<type 'exceptions.AttributeError'> Python 2.5: /usr/bin/python Mon Mar 16 13:38:28 2009

A problem occurred in a Python script. Here is the sequence of function calls leading up to the error, in the order they occurred.

/var/www/cgi-bin/mod/pa_new.cgi in ()
483 print "
"
 484 
 485         Record = DoSubmission(db, submission)
 486 
487 print "
"

Record undefined, DoSubmission = <function DoSubmission at 0x93e03e4>, db = <_mysql.connection open to 'localhost' at 935dc0c>, submission = 1127604

/var/www/cgi-bin/mod/pa_new.cgi in DoSubmission(db=<_mysql.connection open to 'localhost' at 935dc0c>, submission=1127604)
 378                         artists = doc.getElementsByTagName('Artist')
 379                         for artist in artists:
 380                                 data = XMLunescape(artist.firstChild.data.encode('iso-8859-1'))
 381                                 addPubArtist(data, Record)
 382 

data = 'Jack Vance', global XMLunescape = <function XMLunescape at 0xb7ad81ec>, artist = <DOM Element: Artist at 0x932d8ac>, artist.firstChild = None, artist.firstChild.data undefined

<type 'exceptions.AttributeError'>: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'data'

The submission remains in the queue despite my accepting it. Thanks. MHHutchins 18:40, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know what the problem is, but it did the same for me. I copied the XML and managed to submit via the API so the publication exists now though. I've also left another copy of the submission under the Data Thief id for people to look at and see if they can spot the difference: the only one I'm aware of is that I had to enter Dodkin's Job without the apostrophe first and replace it later - but that shouldn't be the cause of the trouble. BLongley 20:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I think I can see what it is -
		<Artists>
			<Artist>
			</Artist>
		</Artists>
Some sort of white space in the artist field when submitted maybe? BLongley 20:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Yep, seems confirmed. See "BL TEST 20" with the same problem. BLongley 20:27, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the great detective work. Those white spaces can cause problems that as a non-techie I would never be able to figure out. How can you foresee a problem when you can't "see" it in the first place! Thanks again. MHHutchins 20:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
There's one tiny clue - look at the "Artists" line in the submission. It shows "-" to indicate there's no value there, like in the price field above it: but it shows it on a green background rather than pink, indicating that ISFDB thinks there is some value there. BLongley 20:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
So that's where the little bugger was hiding! Now it all makes sense. I'll go ahead and reject the submission. Thanks for the fine sleuth-work. Should we start calling you the Error Detective? MHHutchins 17:48, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've been called worse! ;-) I actually like these problems. I never get the chance to be a Sherlock Holmes or a Hercule Poirot unless it's a computer-based problem. I don't think even Dr. Watson could sell a story of "The Case of the Badly-Formed XML" or suchlike though. BLongley 22:37, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

HTML problem in the moderator acceptance display

I've placed this submission on hold for moderators to look at. It's a fine example of how mis-written HTML can not only mess up the record display but the moderator acceptance page as well. I've never seen it this bad though. Look how the Verified Warning is now part of the submission. The problem began with the orignal record, not with this submission, which only doubled the wonkiness of the display. I'm afraid to accept it because there's no telling how the record will display now. The editor of this submission has been asked to resubmit the update. MHHutchins 19:43, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not even sure what the original display was intended to be - nested unordered lists? If so, all it needs is one final "</ul>" on the existing note. BLongley 20:22, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Looking at the original record I could see that the final line had not been closed, but was afraid to accept the submission of a new update without being sure how it would affect the record's display. MHHutchins 20:36, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Wise move! If in doubt, avoid. We really do need a proper HTML validator for notes at submission time, although I wouldn't like to write one from scratch. Reading bad HTML shouldn't need to be a Moderator skill. BLongley 20:56, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Seas of Venus- change in contents deliberate

Apologies. The story " The Real Jungle: Belize, 2001" is a non-fiction short story of roughly 28 pages. I changed it in contents deliberately to change all the entries. Hope it works. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:28, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, changing the type of a title record in the contents section of one pub will change the record as it appears it every pub. But it should be typed as ESSAY instead of NONFICTION. :-) MHHutchins 16:49, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Got it. Hate It. Will comply. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:03, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that a true NF short story then gets buried in the piles of essays. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Wish we had a non-fact/facetious article type like Bill Contento's Locus database. It's not fiction, it's not fact, it's somewhere in between. MHHutchins 20:16, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Sethra Lavode- contents change of "Afterword" to shortfiction

Apologies again. The afterword is credited to John M. Ford, but the in universe story is credited to "Ivan Sekêly". I changed the story in contents from "essay" to short fiction. Problem is I do not want to create the pseudonym above. Read my submitted notes. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:01, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

You're correct that a pseudonym should not be created. The way I credit a fictional author is in the title of the story itself. In this case, it would be "Encounters with Paarfi and the Gods by Ivan Sekêly". But I wonder, is John M. Ford also credited on the title page of the story? Thanks. MHHutchins 16:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
The crediting for John M. Ford is only by copyright credit on copyright page. The real problem is that there are a host of in-house real people creating these type short stories and throwing them into that universe book releases. There may be four different people who have created writing in-universe only aliases for different Brust books. It is a mimicry of the Brust character "Parfi" who he uses as the alias to have written the story in-universe and so far I believe the short story mimics have all created their character aliases with the only real world crediting on copyright page. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:15, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Another one of those slippery situations that a narrowly-defined field-oriented database doesn't handle very well. MHHutchins 20:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Added the 'by Ivan Sekély' line as suggested and re-submitted. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:02, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Naked Came the Farmer

In my quest to correct and verify everything I know about Philip José Farmer, I came across Naked Came the Farmer. This is listed as a non-genre novel which is essentially correct. The problem is, there are 13 chapters by 13 different authors. I would like to enter the contents, but then I will have to choose an entry type for the chapters. Serial would be best I think, as the chapters were serialized in several newspapers, but it is also nongenre, as it is a mystery. I have no idea of the consequences of these choices. The book itself should then be an anthology with Farmer as editor, which is not true of course. Anyone have any suggestions? I have already done a primary verification. Thanks Willem H. 17:50, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I think you can leave the containing title as NONGENRE NOVEL. NONGENRE type is out for contents or it will look like 13 NOVELs in various places. SERIAL might work but I'm not sure what a serial with each episode having a different author would look like. It certainly won't look particularly NONGENRE except in the pub itself. Are the other authors mostly Genre authors? If not, I'd leave the contents in Notes rather than do something that creates extra Non-Genre authors. BLongley 18:47, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, there you have a point. The split between genre and non-genre authors is 6 to 7, so I would be creating seven new authors, just for a chapter of a mystery novel. I will just copy the note from the International PJF bibliography, which at least gives adequate information. Thanks. Willem H. 19:25, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Could someone look at fixing Kathleen O'Neal Gears page. Go in from the Author Directory on the home page. It leds nowhere. Thanks. --Chris J 02:57, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The Author Directory uses the wrong kind of apostrophe -- ’ instead of ' -- which break links. I am afraid there is not much we can do about it until Al fixes the software :( For now, if you manually change the apostrophe character to the single quote character in the URL, you will get to the right page. Ahasuerus 05:19, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

To Your Scattered Bodies Go

I would like someone to delete this pub, as it is the same book as this one, but has some wrong information. The problem is, that it is a verified edition. I made a note on Brin1's user page, but I believe he hasn't been around since mid 2007, so I don't expect a reaction. What to do in such a case? Willem H. 21:03, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

You're right. The first SFBC edition wasn't published until 1980, when the first four Riverworld novels were reprinted by them. I'll delete it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I'm not sure when or if Brin will ever return. MHHutchins 05:56, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

The Reluctant Dragon

Please reject my update to this pub. I thought I was cloning (those links are too close together), and it looks like it was edit instead. Thanks.--Rtrace 04:50, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. (I should have looked here first!) MHHutchins 05:50, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

The Enternal Champion

I think my submitted edit to remove pubs from 6127 should probably be rejected. I had submitted it thinking that the omnibus had been merged with the novel. Whereas the title is showing all locations of the novel, I realize now. Ah, the joys of two titles with exactly the same name! Sorry for the trouble. --Rtrace 01:45, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Already rejected. Thanks.--Rtrace 02:13, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Twilight World / Tomorrow's Children

I was checking and verifying this pub, and noticed that none of the 8 editions of Twilight World has the titles right. The prologue is the story Tomorrow's Children (I compared the text), only one has the epilogue, but then as a 1984 shortstory etc. Once my edit (which I think is correct) is approved, i'll start adapting the other editions, and notifying the verifiers. Willem H. 15:46, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I disagree that NONE of the 8 editions is right, as mine is. Looking at your edits in the queue, I'm surprised your 1986 Sphere edition really reinstated Waldrop as co-author, as he wasn't credited in the 1984 one. But you're title-merging and making variants and they do not look right overall. What exactly are you aiming for? BLongley 20:42, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I could have made a mistake there, in adding Waldrop as co-author. The prologue is credited only to Anderson. I followed the method used in the Book of Anderson(four verified editions), where Tomorrow's Children is credited only to Anderson, but Waldrop is added anyway, with a note on the bibliography page of the title (Twilight World has that note too).
There is one thing missing in your edition. As I stated in my question about this title, the prologue from Twilight World is the same as the story Tomorrow's Children. In your edition, the prologue is credited as a 1961 Poul Anderson story, with no link to Tomorrow's Children.
Variants aren't "in the edition" though. The important thing is to get exactly what is stated recorded (apart from the usual title suffixes required to distinguish what something is a prologue or epilogue for), which I did. The variants are behind the scenes - they don't actually affect what's in the pub, only how it might be displayed. BLongley 19:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
My plan was, to have the four stories in the series Tomorrow's Children, add the prologue as a variant to the story Tomorrow's Children, merge double entries of the same story and then ask the owners of the verified publications to re-check their editions. Is that wrong? Willem H. 22:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I accepted the submission merging the two title records for "Tomorrow's Children" in separate editions o Twilight World, but when I did, the second submission creating a variant became moot (same situation with two earlier submissions.) Please make a submission with the newly merged record. Also, it's come to my attention that the story was completely written by Anderson. He acknowledges the idea given to him by his friend (Waldrop) by giving him co-credit in the original publication. Because of this, a variant should be created showing Anderson as the sole writer with those publications credited to Waldrop as a pseudonymous publication, i.e. "Tomorrow's Children by Poul Anderson [as by Poul Anderson and F. N. Waldrop] MHHutchins 23:51, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
It sounds as though there's only publication (the first) where Waldrop is really credited, so that should probably be the variant and the Anderson alone the canonical. I can't really support the prologues becoming canonical even if they outnumber other versions though. And there's a LOT of titles to check. :-( BLongley 19:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Just accepted this new pub of Twilight World. Is Waldrop credited on the page 5 (the title page) as the co-writer of the "Prologue"? Thanks. MHHutchins 23:53, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Prologue (Twilight World)

I think I made the same submission twice, trying to make this a variant of that. Please reject one of them. Thanks Willem H. 19:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. MHHutchins 23:45, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Pub Tag

For some reason [this] pub's tag seems to be for PKD's "Martian Timeslip"? It links to "Maze of Death" but the lettering is for the other pub. ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:15, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The system automatically assigns a tag for new pubs, but every once in awhile a human comes along and changes the tag (for various reasons). That's OK, but you have to make sure the same tag hasn't already been assigned to another pub. The only possible explanation for a tag MRTNTMSLPD1971 winding up on A Maze of Death is that there was a duplicate publication for Martian Timeslip, so instead of deleting it, someone used it to create a new entry for a pub of A Maze of Death. Feel free to change the tag, but make sure it's not already being used in the database. Search for it by adding the tag after http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?. MHHutchins 17:59, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Nice theory, except that "MRTNTMSLPD1971" implies a 1971 publication and there's no signs of there having been a Martian Time-Slip published that year. (Nothing between 1964 and 1976 in fact, except for non-English editions.) "A Maze of Death" leads to "MZFDTH" prefixes, but there's a "MZODTH1973" which looks to have been manually created as there's a vowel in it. Hmmmm - another "Paperback Library" edition.... BLongley 19:24, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Another theory: it was mistakenly entered ("add publication to this title") under Martian Timeslip's title record. The system automatically puts the title and author into the record, but the editor doesn't notice this until he goes back to look for the pub. Then he unmerges it from Timeslip, changes the pub's title to Maze and merges it with that title record. Mystery solved? MHHutchins 23:29, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
That's possible. I know I've sometimes entered a set of new publications that are so similar that it's easiest to use the browser back button and just overtype a few fields that differ rather than start from "New Pub" again. And I've caught myself trying that after an "Add pub to title" as well. So it's possible that somebody else didn't notice quite in time. If someone can remember entering a set of Paperback Library Phil Dick pubs in alphabetical order that might confirm it. In the meantime I've looked at "The Man in the High Castle" and "The Man Who Japed" and others around that range and not spotted any other cases like this. I don't think it's a problem, just an oddity. BLongley 19:03, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

The Star Giant- one edit and one clone

This. [1]. I did an edit for my copy match of most of the data. I then did a clone of the old one(changing the date and facts that matched my copy) to preserve the commentary and data plus the one cover image I could find. Thanks, Harry.--Dragoondelight 20:11, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Analog Jun 1994 reviews

I entered the reviews which are in April issue to June issue by accident. Please reject those, I try again later - seems that I should go to the bed...Tpi 19:09, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Done. BLongley 19:13, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Peter Phillips = Howard Browne

It seems like this discussion has ended, and it's up to me to do something. If it's ok, I'll start with unlinking all the Peter Phillips stories except for "Well I'll Be Hexed!". Everyone seems to agree this one is by Howard Browne. According to the help text there will be three different authors named Peter Phillips, one (Peter Phillips (1920-)) for the british newspaperman, one (Peter Phillips (1908-1999)) for the pseudonym of Howard Browne (other suggestions?), and one (Peter Phillips (1939-)) for the New Worlds cover artist, (this man), with bibliographic notes not to confuse the authors. Finally the stories will be linked to the right authors. Anyone have a problem with this? Willem H. 17:02, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Probably the best plan considering the lack of a truly definitive source. The most important thing is to fully document the basis for our decisions. Each title record should probably have some kind of notation also.--swfritter 18:25, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Unlinkings approved, carry on. BLongley 13:34, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, next set of title updates/deletions approved. I did the final(?) Make Pseudonym for Peter Phillips (1908-1999) / Howard Browne. Are we done now? BLongley 21:19, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it's ready. I added some author notes, and there should be a variant title coming. Willem H. 17:49, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Primary (Transient) verification - time for a change?

It's been some time now since I invented it and it's proven quite popular. Not entirely as I intended though - I see people questioning Transient verifiers when the Primary verifier is perceived to be inactive, for instance. (I think people are still afraid to 'take over' a Primary Verification.) And there seem to be several people happy to use "Primary (Transient)" as a second Primary verification where they are happy to keep the book and answer questions. On some books, it seems we could do with two or three or even four such slots for all the people wanting to verify it. I know that "Multiple Verifiers" is on the wish list, but also recognise that giving everybody their own Verification Source to verify against is impractical. BLongley 01:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

However: we could provide more than one option for people that want to verify against primary sources: "Primary 2" and "Primary 3" maybe. Useful for the faint-hearted that don't want to be Primary 1 at the expense of someone else. No, the mods won't get warnings about such verifications till the code changes: but maybe it gives people a chance to say "Yes, I'm happy to talk about this publication" a bit more often? BLongley 01:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

This is just an idea, I can cope with a vote for "no change" quite happily: and only post the idea here first as only Mods can do the "[Edit Ref List]" stuff that would be required, and presume most Mods do check how much any particular edit will interfere with Verified pubs. It'd be more work for us (particularly without software changes to give us more warnings) so I'm a little reluctant to admit this idea is possible to a more general audience just yet. (I know, this is the internet, it's going to be seen by non-Mods anyway, but I do think those of us that could end up with more work should decide if we can cope with such first.) BLongley 01:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

In summary: do we want one or more new Verification Sources to be added, or do we carry on with what we have? Discuss. BLongley 01:00, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't mind the creation of a new verification, but there's a hitch. Several of us tried adding a new verification source a few months ago (Bleiler's 1978 Checklist) and was unable to do so. If you can add a new one, let us know how it's done. Thanks. MHHutchins 20:27, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

The Elric Saga, Part II SFBC info question

The SFBC help page told me to ask here. I have an SFBC edition of The Elric Saga, Part II (#01995) I am certain I obtained from them after 1985. I find THLRCSGPRB1984 dating the first SFBC edition September 1984, and the Locus1 entry and the 1984 SFBC listings doing likewise. On my copy's copyright page, however, I find the statement: "Science Fiction Book Club edition/July 1984". I'm looking for two pieces of direction: (1) Should I update any of the above ISFDB records with the information from my book? (2) Does it seem my copy is a later reprint, or could it be the 1984 printing although obtained new a couple of years later? Thanks. --MartyD 11:20, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

(1)No, don't update the current information as it's correct. You can add a note about the statement. I think your reprint confuses the printing date with the publication date (month as a selection of the club.) (2)Because your copy is a reprint with a new catalog number you can create a new record for it. If it has a gutter code you can date it from that. If it doesn't have a gutter code, zero the date. In the notes of that pub you can mention the statement about July 1984. MHHutchins 15:37, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I will do that. How does one know when existing information is correct and when it is not? --MartyD 10:25, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
If it's primary verified, ask the verifier. If it's not, and you don't have the publication in hand, you should research from more than one reliable source: Tuck, Contento, Reginald, Currey, Bleiler or OCLC. Less dependable sources: Amazon, abebooks.com. If there's no consensus, leave the information as is. MHHutchins 14:48, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Best SF: 1969

Submitted an incorrect page count for [[2]] Took the count for the 1970 Best SF instead of the 1969. My oops. ~Bill, --Bluesman 04:12, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Correction submission accepted. MHHutchins 05:08, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Lord Halifax -- incremental submissions

I am going to enter the two pieces of Lord Halifax's Complete Ghost Book (Castle, 1986): Lord Halifax's Ghost Book (G. Bles, 1936) and Further Stories from Lord Halifax's Ghost Book (G. Bles, 1937). It will probably take me days to get all of the content and notes in, so I am going to have to do it piecemeal and make partial/incomplete submissions along the way. I do promise I will finish entering them. I just wanted to warn you all, and I apologize for the extra approval work. --MartyD 10:27, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

No problem. Submit away. MHHutchins 18:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny

I would like to enter the first two volumes of NESFA's Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny, Threshold and Power & Light. However, it can be a huge job as the projected six volume contain not only all short fiction and poetry and other stuff by Zelazny, but also sections called "A Word From Zelazny" with all stories as well as notes by the editors. I think it will come close to 200 entries per volume, if I list them all seperately. So I have a few questions before I start.

  1. All poetry is mentioned on the TOC. Some of the poems however are embedded in the stories and would normally not be listed. The TOC then gives a page number for the editors' note. Do I follow the TOC, or can these poems be left out.
  2. Do I list all the editors' notes seperately, or can this be one entry with a note to explain it.
  3. The same question goes for the "A Word From Zelazny" entries.
  4. When I enter stories in a collection or anthology ISFDB always (even when I copy the data from the original story) turns them into a new title, that later has to be merged with the original entry. Is there no easier way to do this? Is it impossible to have a field in which to enter the parent number (like when making a variant)?

I'll start with entering the publications without the contents Willem H. 19:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

To a a large extent the level of detail is up to you. My own personal opinion would be to focus on the items that most people would be interested in - the stories. 1. If there are not a huge number of poems as described and they have distinct titles it seems should be OK to enter them. It's possible they may also have been published elsewhere. The negative aspect is that there will be the appearance that the poems are longer (and the stories shorter) than they actually are. 2, 3. You're solution sounds acceptable and in my own opinion a desirable option. 4. I wish. Probably not likely to happen in the foreseeable future. I might note that you do not need to enter the original publication date or even the length of the stories that are already in the database since that data can be supplied from the existing stories that you merge them with.--swfritter 23:36, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
  1. Here's a solution for the pagination problem of the poems: don't enter the page numbers. For the essays and fiction, do enter the page number. That way any poems that have previously been published can be merged with current records.
  2. If the editors' notes have individual titles (on the pages on which they begin) then enter them. If not, I don't think it would hurt to just mention them in the pub's note field.
  3. How long are the pieces titled "A Word From Zelazny"? If they're substantial you might want to disambiguate each one by adding the title for which the "word" is about, e.g. "A Word From Zelazny (A Rose for Ecclesiastes)"
  4. This would require substantial changes in the way the software works. Personally I find it easier to 1) use the "dup candidates" tool and 2) merge each title than it would be to 1) search for the title, 2) copy its record number and 3) paste that record number into the working edit.
MHHutchins 04:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Re 4: You can avoid merges if you Import contents from other collections. Any excess titles are easily removed with Remove Titles from Publication. The major gotcha is that Import doesn't check for Duplicate contents, so you must remove titles that would be duplicated first, as a later Remove titles will remove both copies. I've usefully used such to create an overall "Every title" publication to clone to individual Volumes, each of which can then have the inappropriate titles removed: e.g. when a two-volume US work is republished as three volumes in the UK. It's usually fewer edits and certainly fewer merges, but more careful checking on the way. BLongley 09:34, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
According to Locus the majority of these stories are reprinted here for the first time which means that one would might have to import single stories from twenty or more different pubs. I thought about suggesting the import method but realized it might end up requiring more work. It might also make things easier to copy an paste from the internet listing.--swfritter 14:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I'd certainly import the 43 titles from TOSPIN1981B rather than retype them. And with 22 in NCRNVRTNSV1987 and MNNFRMHVNK2003, 17 in THLSCMLT4B1980, 15 in THDRSFHSFC1974, and 13 in each of FRSTFRDGKH1990 and MLO1334, I think it's worth a look. You just have to recognise where to stop before you get into more work checking than merging would be - you certainly shouldn't need to go as far as importing single titles. BLongley 14:53, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
It would be nice if we had a "create single pseudo-pub containing everything this author ever wrote" function in ISFDB for cases like this, there's several authors this is happening to. Hmmm... I wonder if that can be done via the Web API? I must look into that. BLongley 14:53, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for all the advice. It gives me some things to experiment with (I didn't know about the importing option). I'll probably be submitting some partial updates over the next days. Thanks Willem H. 20:20, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
The import functionality may work better in volume 2. Volume 1 may have items that are not in the database and if they are in the database they may be not be in any of Zelazny's collections which means you would have to search out the various pubs in which the such singles appear.--swfritter 21:43, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


Ant(h)ony Alban

I was verifying this pub and noticed that the name of the author was misspelled. this discussion was already done, but it seems like Anthony Alban has surfaced again. I changed my edition of Catharsis Central, deleted the duplicate entry of The Day of the Shield and added a note for Antony Alban. Sources are Tuck vol.1 and The SF encyclopedia by Nicholls. Willem H. 21:35, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Shsilver submissions

Please watch this editor's submissions closely. Despite the notice about "Helix" I put on his talk page he is attempting to put an issue of Helix in the database primarily because he has a story in it. It was my own feeling that Helix should have been in the database but the consensus at that time was that it shouldn't - so away it went. I contacted the author via email and he indicated in a response that he could see his talk page but was not able to access it - if somebody has a better idea why perhaps they could leave a note on his talk page. Another issue which should be discussed separately is whether or not authors/artists credited without a period as part of their middle initial should be listed as such. It is nice to know that authors think it is important to be listed on the ISFDB but not if they going to ignore agreed upon standards. If at some time I get his permission I will post the text from the email communications - I realize now that I should have posted them on his talk page first before I sent them and informed him that I had done so.swfritter 19:37, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

His Wikipedia entry [talk page] has a note from him that his middle name is "H" without the period...in other words it is represented as a fact not a preference (in this particular case). Kevin 20:09, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
There has been some talk over several pages (Mike Hutchins, Bluesman etc) about Shsilver - if his middle name is truly just H as it seems to be, then of course it shouldn't have a period added. Judging by several DAW covers though, he may have a period forced upon him at times, in which case we will need to create a variant for those. I'm happy to let him choose his canonical name though. BLongley 21:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
As Helix (Though now defunct) was Hugo Nominated for semiprozine in 2008 and published a nebula nominated short story in 2007.... would it fall into the same more in than out category as ClarkesWorld? Kevin 20:12, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
That was not he standard at the time. I lost the argument for inclusion. In addition, the entries were not kept up to date so we have no primary source for verification - which is one of the main reasons webzine were not allowed and the primary reason any that are entered in the future need to be kept up to date. In addition, they were entered without any heads up from the editor(s) that they were going to be entered despite the community decision that webzines should not be in the database.--swfritter 20:19, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I understand that wasn't the standard at the time... I was merely bringing up that now, in retrospect it meets a significant threshold of our standards... It might be sufficient enough grist for the mill to re-open discussion of helix on the rules and standards page. Kevin 20:32, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
But there is no longer a Helix website. We could dig the data out of a backup but we would still have to piece together the last three issues. I think many of the stories are out there in an orphan state.--swfritter 20:43, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
There are many places on the web that reviewed [3][4] those final issues of Helix and can be used to confirm content [5]. Shsilver 18:27, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
If there's enough evidence of first publication of fiction in Helix, then we can treat it like a Non-Genre magazine and do the relevant fiction only. I see no reason to try and add anything else, but if someone else takes on those duties I won't complain so long as I don't have to moderate it. (I guess I'm calling for a Mod-level sponsor of any such entries.) BLongley 21:10, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
This is a community decision. I can dig through the backups and reconstruct the issues that used to be in the database and do a partial reconstruction from the above sources.--swfritter 19:14, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) At one point we had a discussion about the spelling of Forrest J(ames) Ackerman's name. Ackerman didn't like his middle name and even came up with a semi-facetious explanation that "J" was his full middle name and not an abbreviation. He never used the period in private correspondence and tried to convince his editors (with some success) not to use it in print either. We decided to use the period after all, in part in order to avoid creating variant titles for each story that appeared both ways. I thought this decision was documented in Help, but I can't find it anywhere.

Since we now have two authors with similar concerns, we may want to revisit the issue. Ahasuerus 23:16, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Made the following notation on the editor's talk page.--swfritter 18:09, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
As I've noted to you, I resubmitted based on the advice of another editor and have also point out places on the web (reviews, etc.) where the content of Helix could be confirmed[6][7][8]. I just find it really interesting that in one e-mail I received from swfritter, he commented that he couldn't include the Helix information because it couldn't be confirmed as factual and he also couldn't use the correct spelling of my name because "As for the period used with your initial. That is a standard regularization issue," regardless of any factuality or verifiability or the fact that the H is not an initial, but actually a name.--Shsilver 18:27, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Glad you found the Wiki. I have started a discussion on the initials issue in Rules and Standards. In my email I described why the Helix titles are still in the system and I would like your permission to put my email and your responses on your Talk page. I might also not that those issues of SF Site that contain the bulk of your bibliographic content appear to have been placed in the system a long time ago before the webzine restriction was formalized.--swfritter 18:50, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)If no one has any objections I will resurrect those issues of Helix that were removed from the system and add data I can from the three issues that were not entered. The data from those last three issues will be partial since we have only secondary sources to depend on - mostly from reviews of the stories in those issues. I will update Help to indicate that online publications must have received a nomination for a Hugo award and that any existing publications that don't meet that requirement should not be removed without community consensus.--swfritter 22:24, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

This is going further down the slippery slope than I ever thought we would. If we have to rely on secondary sources about the contents of a website that no longer exists, we should reconsider any reevaluation of the standards concerning exceptions for "Hugo-nominated" webzines. I might reconsider it if someone had made text-files of the website's pages and distributed it for free or even printed out the pages and handed them out on the street corner as long as there is physical evidence of its existence. Are we heading toward inclusion for any webzine or any story self-published on the internet? Clarkesworld yesterday, Helix today, what's tomorrow? MHHutchins 22:59, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
There are a large number of pubs in the ISFDB which have data from secondary sources and while we have been able to use primary sources to clean up much of that data some of it will never be completely verified or entered completely. Helix is the best argument for not including webzines but it is in many ways an anomaly. SF Site has been active and stable since 1997 and there are others that are just as stable. Neil Clarke lists physical, ezine, and webzine pubs that are legible for the Semiprozine Hugo which could serve as a source for candidates. It is very possible that the Semiprozine Hugo may be eliminated after this year. In such a case we would have to find new criteria. The most important thing is that an editor commit to keeping a given webzine up to date so that we can be fairly certain that the contents are complete when a webzine disappears. Of course, we have no control over whether an editor disappears. If I am the only editor who is interested in maintaining webzines and we cannot attract any others it's probably a good idea to scrap Clarkesworld, SF Site and any and all titles that appeared in them or Helix. The only thing we might want to do is keep stub pubs for any stories that were nominated for major awards. If any of them appear in anthologies we can list their original publication information in the title notes.--swfritter 23:55, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The entries that were removed did come from a primary source so there is some justification for restoring the pubs. I put the Helix submission on hold because I also questioned the wisdom of entering a publication for which there will never by a primary source available. If even one person had objected to entering the Clarkesworld webzines I would not have done so. If even one person requests that I remove them I will do so. The SF Site entries have been in the system for such a long period of time that I think they should stay although the pubs notes should explain the reason for their continued existence. Hopefully the webzine publishers will have enough sense to start following the Jim Baen's Universe model of providing both webzine and downloadable versions.--swfritter 19:25, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
I grant that there are thousands of pubs here based solely on secondary sources, but at least they are attainable, with an expense of time, energy and money. I've thought about creating stub records for such stories, even going so far so to create records for the first year's output of Sci Fiction, arguably the source for the best short fiction ever published on the internet. That project was laid to the side when I feared the archives on scifi.com would be dumped. Fortunately the archive is still there. But you have to go through the backdoor of the site. Any searches from the front page say that the fiction has been removed "in an effort to streamline". Even now there's a notice that it will be removed on June 15, 2007. Yes, 2007, but it's still there. Who's to say for how much longer? I like your approach of having a caretaker for these webzines. Someone to answer questions and keep up with the changes. I'd be willing to go along with that. After all, the space it would take up in the database would be immensely small. It seems that we've come to an understanding about what should be done to include these publications. Perhaps this should be taken to the rules and standards page for further discussion, or considering the response to your earlier discussion about Clarkesworld, it might be a waste of time and effort. MHHutchins 20:23, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
And it is now the SyFy Channel. No comment. Clarkesworld is for right now a trial case and I will not lobby for any expansion of criteria beyond the requirements that such pubs be nominated for a Hugo and that somebody be willing to take responsibility for any future titles that meet that criteria. It actually would be nice to have all the Sci Fiction titles in the database as a historical record. As for Helix. If I do resurrect it and/or add what data I can from secondary sources I will put all kinds of disclaimers in the pubs. I totally agree with your comment about the potential of eventually being able to access primary sources - that is even more true if the Google Books project works out.--swfritter 21:12, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
SyFy??? So "sci-fi" is for "geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements". Not the best way to attract the science fiction fan (more intelligent and financially well-off than the average consumer) to a network that I'm only aware of because of the derision laid upon its movies by Joel McHale on The Soup. Guess I'm not missing much! How many readers of SF actually watch anything on this network? MHHutchins 21:24, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
"Battlestar Galactica" was the last gasp for a channel which sometimes produced some quality material. I would bet they lost a ton of many on that. I am more and more convinced that s-f is actually dead but still walking around like a zombie. If we could actually determine the date when it died we could set a cut-off date for what appears in the ISFDB and wouldn't that make life much easier?
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