ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 15


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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 January - July 2014.

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Expanded archive listing


Amazing Stories Annual, Vol. 1, facsimile

Well, I did it again. I was putting in the correct page numbers and the illustrators correct names, as listed in this publication when I accidently hit the enter button, and instead of re-doing it all, if accepted I will go back and finish what I started, and correct other content errors. MLB 20:15, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

There is also an illustration by "Gambee", I suspect that this may be artist Martin H. Gambee, but I can't find something accredited to him with his signiture to compare the artwork here to. MLB 20:36, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

New warning for disambiguated authors

The New Pub approval page has been changed to display a warning when a disambiguated author has been submitted. For example, submitting a new pub for Robin Hardy will cause this warning to be displayed because we also have "Robin Hardy (III)", "Robin Hardy (UK)" and "Robin Hardy (US)" on file. Ahasuerus 05:46, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Fantastic. Thanks! Mhhutchins 07:06, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's better than nothing :) Ideally we'd support multiple authors with the same name the way Goodreads does it. However, it would be a time-consuming project, so a warning will have to do for now. Ahasuerus 08:57, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

"Pre-2005 pubs with ISBN-13s" cleanup script enhanced

The cleanup script previously known as "Pre-2005 pubs with ISBN-13s" has been enhanced and renamed. It's now called "Pre-2005 pubs with ISBN-13s and post-2007 pubs with ISBN-10s" and functions as its new name implies, all at no extra cost!

The bad news is that we have 2,666 questionable ISBN-10s from 2008-2013. The good news is that 2013 and, to a lesser extent, 2012, 2011 and 2010 are reasonably clean, so we are getting better at it. Ahasuerus 07:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the enhancement. I think most of those 2007-2009 records with the wrong ISBN were from Dissembler, which entered only the ISBN-10, even if the ISBN-13 was given in its source. So even when editors were primary-verifying those Dissembler-generated records, they failed to change the ISBN. When I brought this situation to your attention you "fixed" Fixer, and that's why the last few years are better than the years when Dissembler was harvesting records. Thanks again. Mhhutchins 17:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Sure thing! The other script that you requested may take a bit longer, but I'll see what I can do later tonight. Ahasuerus 21:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Images Which We Don't Have Permission to Link to

A new cleanup script, "Images Which We Don't Have Permission to Link to", has been deployed. Now that I am looking at the results, perhaps another column with the pub's title wouldn't hurt... Ahasuerus 01:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Done. Also changed the sorting logic so that all URLs from the same site would appear together. Ahasuerus 01:30, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
The image files on were linked to the records by an inactive editor from his own website. I assume he granted permission since he linked them himself. Should this website be listed among the allowable sites? Mhhutchins 02:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, it would seem logical, but I am a bit concerned about the durability of the site. If you go to, the site will ask you (sic!) to set it up, which makes me think that it may go away on 2014-06-29 when its registration expires (even if no one hacks it in the meantime.)
Ideally we would copy all images to our Wiki, but, unfortunately, it would involve a non-trivial amount of work. Ahasuerus 05:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Of the several dozen I've worked on since the script was posted, almost all of them had images on Amazon (to which I linked the records). I'll remove the links to eventually, and either replace them with Amazon links or upload a copy of the image file to our server. Mhhutchins 06:10, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Author merges

I have been working on some bugs associated with author merges lately and I see a lot of possible problems with running "Titles only" and "Publications only" merges, so I'd like to disallow them. Does anyone find this functionality useful or would be it be OK to limit author merges to just "Both titles and publications" merges? Ahasuerus 01:39, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

In the relatively few cases in which I've merged authors, I've never needed to do separate merges of titles or publications. I've always chosen to do both with a single merge. If an editor is certain that the authors are the same, then there's no need to do separate merges. If the editor isn't sure, he should first start by correcting/merging the titles which he is sure are the same. Mhhutchins 03:34, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
That was pretty much my take on it as well, but I wasn't sure if there were any other ways in which moderators were using this functionality. Of course, once I slept on it (the ability to take naps at will is the best thing about retirement! :-) I realized that I could simply query the submission table and see how often it has been done.
It turns out that there have been only 3 "Pubs Only" author merge submissions, 2 of them during the original testing in 2006 and one by a then-new editor who didn't realize that merging authors with their pseudonyms would be a Really Bad Idea (tm) (the submission was rejected). Similarly, there were 5 "Titles Only" author merge submissions in 2006-2007, two of them during testing and three by newly minted moderators who haven't tried it since.
Since it hasn't been used in almost 8 years and since it can cause all kinds of issues, including the creation of two identically named authors, I'll go ahead and disable it. Thanks! Ahasuerus 04:48, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
That seems to be the best move. I just checked to see how many author merges I've done in 7 years and it's 227. I had not realized I'd done it that often, but compared to 252,000 submissions it is relatively few. Mhhutchins 05:05, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I think I got it fixed. In addition, merging authors should no longer result in loss of e-mail addresses or Web pages. Ahasuerus 22:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)


I accepted Puck of Pook's Hill (1906) modifications that included specifying Macmillan as the publisher. I'm wondering if it should be Macmillan UK (it seems to have been published by Macmillan in London), but we don't have anything there prior to 1966, and it looks a little to me like the separation of Macmillan isn't as complete as the notes make it sound. Would someone familiar with that separation take a look and change this pub's credit, if appropriate? Thanks. --MartyD 12:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

It should probably be Macmillan and Co.. The notes indicate that it is the British publisher of that time period and that seems to match the book as listed in Worldcat. There also appears to have been a Macmillan of Canada edition in 1906 and a scan of that edition can be found in The Internet Archive. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:17, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, missed that. Thanks! --MartyD 16:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
That is a side project that I've been working off and on for the past few years. It's not as simple as it first seemed, because often a title would be published in both the US and the UK, and since there was only one record for it I was unable to determine which edition it referred to. Ideally there would be two records, but without more substantial data, I just left it as is. I'll still come back to it from time to time in order to clear up the more obvious cases, but there will be some that will be just "Macmillan" as long as editors continue using it for both publishers instead of designating the actual credit. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Science Fiction Film and Television academic journal

I'm holding a submission which wants to add this periodical to the database. (It mistakenly believes it can enter the title without adding individual issues of the journal.) Even though it is published by the same university press as Extrapolation, an academic journal devoted to SF literature, I'm uncertain whether Science Fiction Film and Television should be part of the database. It would open the floodgate to add any number of magazines (and fanzines) devoted exclusively to SF film and television, such as Cinefex, Starlog, Cinefantastique, SFX, Famous Monsters of Filmland, etc., even though its standards are far more higher than those. How do other moderators feel about its inclusion? Mhhutchins 23:21, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

FYI: here is the table of contents of the latest issue. Mhhutchins 23:24, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Hm, I am not 100% sure, but I think that although we list "books about SF in movies/TV" and "genre magazines", the intersection between the two is a step too far for us. Ahasuerus 01:28, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Although the issue of sf movie magazines has been discussed before (and dismissed as not eligible), I can't find any discussion about sf film-related books. I know there's a plethora of them in the database, mostly due to the policy of including titles which are reviewed in sf magazines. There's nothing in the policy about including such books otherwise. Mhhutchins 01:50, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I seem to recall that the last time this question came up (a bit less than a year ago?), Bill Longley said "I think this train has left the station" and there were no other comments, which I took for (possibly reluctant) agreement. Unfortunately, I can't find the discussion :( Ahasuerus 04:05, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
You may be remembering this discussion from last year when a question arose about allowing a science magazine (Future Life) which included sf-related essays but not fiction. I believe there was also another discussion when an editor wanted to index an issue of Cinefantastique which included no fiction but an article about the filming of a sf work. Mhhutchins 06:29, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Hm, I think it was a different sub-discussion, one specifically about non-fiction books about Dr. Who, Star Trek, etc. Oh well, one way or another it looks like the consensus is against the inclusion of media magazines. Ahasuerus 01:49, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
From the description entered in the submission, it seems to me more like it would fall into the non-genre/"general interest" magazine category. If there happened to be articles talking about "neglected texts" and "canonical texts", we would want to record them, while other articles probably not. --MartyD 02:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Yet, the rules are clear that only the fiction in non-genre magazines is eligible for the database. A non-genre magazine without fiction would thus be ineligible, regardless of whether the subject of the text is literary and not media-related. Disregarding the rules about "fiction only" could lead to an even greater misinterpretation allowing non-spec-fic periodicals into the database, even if they just include work that is only slightly sf-related. Mhhutchins 03:34, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd speak against an inclusion; I think that we would gradually end up with all kinds of media magazines, that may occasionally discuss how a certain fiction was adapted into film or whatever. Stonecreek 07:43, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Not a moderator, but given the table of contents I would say the journal (at the very least, this particular issue) is not appropriate for submission. That being said, I did submit an issue of SFX that did not contain any fiction, but did contain an interview with an author and numerous book reviews. I included the note "Only speculative fiction content listed; most articles pertain to television or film". Albinoflea 04:49, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Under the current rules, that record wouldn't be eligible for inclusion. The note that "only speculative fiction content listed" is false, when no speculative fiction is present in the record. I'm not going to delete it, but I hope no one else uses that record to add other movie magazines. That's the whole point of my argument against allowing such records into the db. Mhhutchins 05:05, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I would vote for handling it as a non-genre magazine. Chavey 10:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Then that rule needs to be made more explicit as I don't see how we would expect newer/infrequent users to pick it up. ISFDB:Policy (the primary place we point people) doesn't mention of it (and seems to say the opposite via Rules of Acquisition #3 and #6). Help:Entering non-genre magazines does have the statement "However, the ISFDB is not a general-fiction index and the non-speculative-fiction contents of such a magazine should not be entered.", but that statement is not the clearest ("not a general-fiction index" makes it sound like it's focused on the non-genre fiction; "non-speculative-fiction contents" could be easily misinterpreted as "non-speculative-fiction related contents" as any where else we talk about SF in terms of inclusion, we lump in SF-related non-fiction). -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:50, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
You're right. It should say "the nonfiction content of such a magazine should not be entered, regardless of its relation to speculative fiction." I'll start a discussion on the Rules page to alter that instruction, even though it has been discussed ad nauseum in earlier posts. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd also exclude this magazine, but then I'm also in favor of purging publications like this one. We have a quite a few film related books due to reviews (which should be included per policy), but that seems to have led to people adding additional non-reviewed ones like this example. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:50, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Exactly! That's a perfect example of the slippery slope and a direction I'm trying to fight against. That's why there's also a proliferation of science books (and pseudo-science books), even if they're not being reviewed. I had originally pushed that such reviewed books be entered as ESSAYs and not REVIEWs, which "required" (not really) the creation of a publication record just in order to link them or to avoid stray authors in the database (i.e. authors who have works reviewed but not publication records.) It's too late to close that door now that the elephant's trunk is inside. Mhhutchins 17:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Recent Rejects improvements

As of patch r2014-51, the list of "Recent Rejects" should take much less time to load. Ahasuerus 01:12, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Duplicate titles cleanup

A new cleanup script, "Publications with Duplicate Titles", has been added to the menagerie. Please note that it takes 25 seconds to run and slows everyone else down, so it would be best if those who plan to work on the cleanup could run it once and then use the generated list for as long as feasible.

Since the bug in Import/Export which allowed these duplicate titles to be added was fixed earlier today, I expect that once the currently outstanding issues have been fixed, we can disable this script to avoid overloading the server. Ahasuerus 04:34, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

short fiction that appeared ...

What do we do to get short fiction for an author on the list of their fiction even if we don't know page number info, other content, or HAVE the item it appeared in?

For example (and probably the only one I'd do anything to), Nina Kiriki Hoffman's first two pieces of published fiction, "The Magic Piano" and "Cross My Heart" were published in a small-press 'zine called Concept in 1975 and 1977, respectively. They've never been re-printed... shouldn't they be here somehow?

Also by her were "Social Worker" which appeared in Bill Munster's Footsteps in 1986 -- and I can't find my copy of that 'zine.

Or, her "Laundry" which was in Deathrealm #5 in Spring of 1988 (and again it seems to have walked away during a move since then).

So, can anyone out there tell me how I should / can handle these? Thanks Susan O'Fearna 23:09, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

You can create stub records for the publications which are totally spec-fic, with just a minimum of data: pub title, pub author (or editor), and pub date. Or you can create a false publication record giving and enter all of these stories as contents of that false publication. Once the submission is accepted, you can delete the publication record (and its title record), and the content title records for the stories will remain in the db. Then you can go back and add the original publication data in each of the title record's Note fields. I recommend the latter approach. Mhhutchins 01:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
How do you create stub records? Susan O'Fearna 17:30, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
A "stub record" is any record created with less than desired information from secondary sources. Just the same as creating any other publication record, click on the appropriate "Add New Data" link on the front page of the db. Mhhutchins 17:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I have created a record for Deathrealm #5 Spring 1988. Mhhutchins 17:59, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I have created a record for Footsteps #7 November 1986. Mhhutchins 18:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I have created publess title records for The Magic Piano and Cross My Heart. Mhhutchins 18:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
So, I can create a magazine/anthology record even if I don't have any more info than that one story appeared in it?Susan O'Fearna 19:52, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
As I said above: to create a publication record, you must at minimum complete these three fields: title, author (or editor), and date. Mhhutchins 20:23, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
To finish the Nina Kiriki Hoffman update, could some kind soul who knows how to, create a short-story record for "Party in My Pants", which appeared online at the Whidbey Island Student Choice Award in 2009 (I can't find it there anymore, but I saved the file...) Susan O'Fearna 02:43, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Ebook follies

As you know, I have spent the last few days teaching Fixer how to handle ebooks. It looks like 95% of the technical challenges have been overcome, but there are some data quality and consistency issues that I'd like to mention here.

It turns out that in some cases publishers use a different form of their names when creating ebook records, e.g. "ChiZine" instead of "ChiZine Publications". There are also times when the page count is set to "1", which is not particularly helpful. It doesn't happen very often, but please be on the lookout for these and other anomalies when approving ebook submissions.

Also, I am a bit worried about the volume. It would appear that a number of houses are currently in the process of republishing their backlists as ebooks, including novellas, short stories, anthologies and so on. That's a lot of work for us, although I am not sure just how many pubs we are looking at yet. I expect that I'll get a better feel for it in the next week or two as some of my mini-projects evolve. Ahasuerus 05:44, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

New cleanup script -- Publications with Suspect Images

A new cleanup script, "Publications with Suspect Images", has been installed. As you would expect, it generates a list of publications whose cover URLs appear to be broken. Unfortunately, it's not always 100% accurate because some sites do clever things with their images, but it should be reasonably close. Once a URL has been corrected (or removed or confirmed as valid), please click on the "Click to Resolve" link in the same row and the pub will be removed from the "suspect" list.

In the meantime, I will try to improve my tool's accuracy to reduce the number of false positives. Once the current list has been cleaned up -- which I am sure will take a fair amount of time given its size -- I will start running the tool every couple of months to catch any new offenders. Ahasuerus 05:56, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

P.S. Now that the "Publications with Duplicate Titles" script no longer reports any duplicates, it has been disabled to avoid performance problems. Many thanks to Michael and others who worked on it! Ahasuerus 05:56, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Moderation request

Hi -- would someone mind approving (or rejecting, if there are problems) the Solar Pons edits I made earlier today? I have to pack them up to ship them to a buyer tonight, and would like to give the resulting records a once over with the books in front of me so I can verify. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk) 22:48, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Done! Ahasuerus 00:36, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Mike Christie (talk) 00:39, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

UK price of Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine

It looks like User:Zflip hasn't found his Talk page yet. Since I am not sure if and when he may respond to my message, I'll re-post my question here where more UK prices-savvy moderators may be able to comment.

Zflip has added a 1970 Macdonald edition of Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine. The record looks OK, but "90p/18s" in the price field seems odd. I assume that it stands for 18/90, but there were only 12 pence per shilling pre-decimilization, so 90 pence seems unlikely. Or was there some obscure twist to it that I am not familiar with? Ahasuerus 05:06, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't have the book but it's almost certainly 90 new pence, and 18 old shillings, which would be the same price -- a pound is 100 pence and used to be 20 shillings. Mike Christie (talk) 11:47, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Mike! I'll make the change and leave a note on the editor's Talk page. Ahasuerus 16:54, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Why not email the user and let them know that there are messages on their talk page which need responses? When I do that I get a response at least half the time. Mhhutchins 23:36, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Good point, I will give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:04, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Held Gandalf submissions

Would anyone care to suggest the best course of action for those four submissions from Gandalf that I've had on hold for 6+ weeks now? I'm thinking perhaps none is "in" anyway. I don't mind being the bad guy. I'm also happy to take them off hold and let someone else handle them. Thanks. --MartyD 11:50, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

When this happens, I usually copy the submissions to the editor's Talk page before rejecting them. That way if and when the editor finds his Talk page, he won't feel like his work has been lost. Ahasuerus 14:25, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
You can email the editor using the wiki mail system. Also, "Gandalf" is very likely Arlan Andrews. There's an email link on his author summary page. Mhhutchins 23:39, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

"Bad Ellipses" cleanup

Two more cleanup scripts have been added: "Titles with Bad Ellipses" and "Publications with Bad Ellipses". There are only 100+ of the latter, but the former will take some time to clean up because there are 3,000+ (or roughly 40%) bad records. Perhaps we should use this as an opportunity to discuss ellipsis use to make sure that we are all on the same page going forward. Ahasuerus 06:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

After reviewing the list, I am thinking that it may be better to convert all "..."s to ". . ."s programmatically. Going forward, we may want to change the software to do this conversion automatically at data entry time just like multiple spaces are automatically replaced with a single space. I will start a discussion on the Community Portal. Ahasuerus 12:56, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
If it can be done automatically, I don't see the point of discussion. It's an established standard...unless you want to discuss changing the standard. As far as I'm concerned, if a standard can be enforced programmatically, I say go for it. Especially since practically no one other than me actually works on the clean-up scripts. Mhhutchins 16:27, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure the standard is clear on the issue of "ellipsis next to other punctuation marks", so I have started a discussion on the Rules page. Ahasuerus 16:31, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
But then the discussion turned in another direction, as such discussions seem to always do. Punctuation before and after the ellipsis hasn't even been part of the discussion. Mhhutchins 19:57, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Unmerge / Moderator Screen interpretation

Could (and would) someone explain how to interpret this screenshot? I think it means the editor when to that title and did Unmerge Titles and checked both boxes, but where the title is in the onmibus, I don't understand what the action would do. Thanks. --MartyD 02:11, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

I think it will remove both publications from the title record, and each will then have their own separate title record. Have you asked the submitter about his intention for the submission? Mhhutchins 02:28, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
No, I hadn't. Since I didn't understand what accepting the submission would do, I didn't know what my options were. I ended up doing a local experiment, and I find accepting it would have done a bad thing: It would have made two collection title records, one for the unmerged collection (creating extra work, since now that would have to be re-merged with the original collection title), and another for the unmerged omnibus, making the omnibus publication's title record be a collection instead of omnibus. Somewhat moot, as the submission is gone. --MartyD 12:39, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I've treated the problem, probably not very efficiently. I've made the unmerge, changed type, merged two identical titles with the same pub (bad idea !), recreated the correct omnibus. An interesting experiment in fixing. Hauck 13:05, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

The Forever Man

Hi. I would like to add a cover art credit to 40058 for Mark Slowaski (listed on the back cover). The sole primary verifier has a note on his talk page to ask here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AliHarlow (talkcontribs) .

As you have a copy and have primary verified it as well, go ahead and make the change. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:59, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Fixer and e-books

As mentioned earlier this month, I have been teaching Fixer how to handle ebooks and trying to get a better idea of how many additional ISBNs we are looking at. Here is what I have found so far.

At this point Fixer knows of 643,421 "allegedly SF" ebooks. Of that number, 131,869 have been examined since January and I expect that I will finish the process in the next few months. Of the 131,869 examined ebooks, 31,120 had ISBNs. They can be further broken down as follows:

  • 8,312 ISBNs were automatically rejected or suspended by Fixer's logic
  • 9,393 ISBNs had identifiable prices
  • 13,355 ISBNs are still without a price, although I plan to enhance Fixer's logic to check other sources in the near future

In other words, at the moment we have 9,393 additional ISBNs that are ready to be processed. I plan to start submitting them shortly, but please keep in mind that this is terra incognita in some ways and there will likely be a learning curve. For example, consider the case of D. J. Molles, who self-published a post-apocalyptic series in 2012 and quickly became successful. The series was picked up by Orbit in 2013 and was e-published in January 2014 with a paperback edition scheduled for the middle of the year. Nothing earth-shaking, but the pattern is a little different compared to what we are used to. Ahasuerus 17:38, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

A rare case, but I suppose anything can happen. I'd rather work backward in these cases, rather than opening the door for all self-published ebooks. Let's start with ebooks with ISBNs from real publishers by authors already in the database. Even that relatively small segment of held submissions should keep us busy for years to come. And if by some miracle we get 1000 new editors from which we can draw 100 new moderators, then release the floodgates. Till then... Mhhutchins 18:48, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
That's actually pretty close to the way Fixer works right now. Everything published by established publishers is automatically assigned to "queue 1", which is how Fixer found D. J. Molles the other day.
Books "by authors already in the database" (but not "from established publishers"), on the other hand, are a mixed bag. On the one hand, a lot of well-known authors have taken advantage of the ebook revolution to make their older (and sometimes even newer) books available, e.g. On My Way to Paradise or Amityville Now: The Jones Journal. On the other hand, a huge number of public domain texts (from Dracula to John Carter) have been published via CreateSpace and similar outlets, which would overwhelm us if we tried to catalog all of them. And, of course, ISFDB already covers books by some self-published authors, so the fact that we have one or more books by Joe Q. Public listed is no guarantee that he is not self-published. Just earlier today I added a new feature to Fixer so that he would show me not only how many titles by a given author ISFDB already has, but also a list of publishers associated with the author. So far I have found it very useful when deciding whether an ISBN should be added to Queue 1 or to Queue 2. Ahasuerus 00:27, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, a reminder that not everything that says "CreateSpace" is actually published by CreateSpace. For example, Stamps, Vamps & Tramps, which Fixer submitted the other day and which I processed earlier today, was published by Evil Girlfriend Media, a small SF press, and contains stories by a number of established authors like Nancy Kilpatrick andRachel Caine. Ahasuerus 21:39, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Russian submission

See this submission. What do we want to do with Russian publishers and Russian publication series and Cyrillic? We already have Detskaya Literatura (note a transliteration different from the submitter's) and Biblioteka priklyucheniy i nauchnoy fantastiki pub series. Do we want to change those to include the original Cyrillic and then a parenthetical Latin transliteration, just go with the transliterations and punt Cyrillic (or perhaps just go with Cyrillic and punt transliteration, although that would be a searching nightmare, so I'm not really suggesting it)? Thanks. --MartyD 11:07, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

I'd say we best stay with what we have for publishers; else, the next logical step would be to change the canonical names for far too many authors. Stonecreek 11:29, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Welcome to my nightmare! Make yourselves comfortable :-)
Our default approach is to enter everything exactly as it appears in the publication, which in this case would mean using Cyrillic (or Arabic, Sanskrit, Georgian, etc). However, as Marty pointed out above, it would make it impossible to search for non-Latin records unless you happened to be familiar with the alphabet in question.
The long term solution will be to add a new field, "Transliterated/Romanized name/title", to all of our records, including authors, titles, publications, series, publication series and publishers. Ideally, these fields will be automatically populated at record creation time based on standard transliteration charts, but at the very least we will need the ability to enter/edit transliterated values manually. We could then display the original value and make the transliterated version available via mouseover/hover box. At the rate we are going, I expect to have this FR implemented in the next 6-12 months.
For now, I would recommend using the original (in this case Cyrillic) value in all fields. The only exception is the author field, which, as Christian said, will be a time-consuming project. Ahasuerus 18:35, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Concerning this matter, wouldn't there be a way to make Детская Литература and Библиотека приключений и научной фантастики variants of Detskaya Literatura (although Dietskaia would be a better transcription in my opinion) and Biblioteka priklyucheniy i nauchnoy fantastiki ? Because Быстрые сны is now separated from the rest of the series (which I hadn't noticed at first). Linguist 13:29, 21 February 2014 (UTC).
I am afraid the software doesn't support variants for publishers and/or publication series at this time.
As far as transliterations go, there are many different crosswalk tables. Once the proposed "transliterated name/title" field has been added, we'll have to decide which one(s) we want to use. Ahasuerus 17:09, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Cold Print

Hello. I have followed Unapersson's suggestion to post inquiries here, concerning this publication he is the sole verifier of. I own the 1987 Grafton edition, which is priced £6.99 and not £2.95 as it appears on the record. I suppose this is a mistake, but could it be an unspecified later edition ? All the other data tallies with the record. Linguist 12:58, 21 February 2014 (UTC).

Is it possible that you own the trade paperback that is not yet in the database? The record Unapersson verified is for the mass market paperback. --Willem H. 16:16, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
My copy is a normal paperback, not a trade paperback; but indeed, it is the same cover. Linguist 17:08, 21 February 2014 (UTC).
Strange. The price (£6.99) is too high for a 1987 regular paperback. I checked Locus #320 (september 1987), which has the price at £2.95. If the higher price is not printed on a sticker, it can only be a much later reprint. Even the 1993 Headline edition was cheaper. --Willem H. 19:19, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
The Australian price is $14,99, which is also high. There is absolutely no other indication of reprint or anything, but indeed it has to be one. I'll just add a new pub, date unknown. Thanks. Linguist 20:11, 21 February 2014 (UTC).

Two accounts

I have been working off two computers and have unfortunately created two accounts. Can you merge Tweiss and Taweiss into the same account under the user name Taweiss? I've done most of my work with that account, and I'd like to be able to keep track of my edits with a singe account. Sorry for the confusion. I do have a pending edit under Tweiss which took a fair amount of time to complete. I'm hoping that the edits I've done with that account can be preserved. TAWeiss 01:13, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

We use the MediaWiki software for account management and, AFAIK, there is no easy way to merge accounts in our version of the software. There is an extension that lets you do that, but first we would have to upgrade PHP to 5.3 and MediaWiki to 1.13, and that would be a big project in itself. Sorry :-(
I would recommend picking one account and using it going forward. The other account can remain dormant indefinitely; there is no harm in that. Also, keep in mind that once an edit has been accepted, the change won't be undone no matter what happens to the account that initiated it. Ahasuerus 01:35, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

The Mammoth Book of Zombies

Hello. This is to say that I will add interior art credits and a scan of the cover to Unapersson's record of this publication he is the sole verifier of. Linguist 22:14, 2 March 2014 (UTC).

Patch r2014-127: Add Pub improvements

The pre-approval page for Add Pub submissions has been enhanced. If a submitted pub has a more exact date than its associated title, e.g. "2012-03-04" vs. "2012-03-00", you will see a yellow warning. Um, that color that we use *is* yellow, right? :-) Ahasuerus 00:21, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Patch r2014-128: Submission approval page changes

A new link, "View Raw XML", has been added to all submission approval pages. If you follow the link, you will be able to view the submission's raw XML. You should then be able to return to the submission approval page. Ahasuerus 03:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

After watching it in action for a bit, I realized that it made the approval area very busy and moved the new link all the way to the right. Ahasuerus 05:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Allhallow's Eve

As I was adding a pub to this title, I noticed the different spellings Allhallows Eve and Allhallow's Eve. Shouldn't these be considered as variants ? Thanks. Linguist 17:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC).

Yes, but in this case, the one record entered as "Allhallows Eve" isn't primary verified. If you can determine through a reliable secondary source that it is correctly entered, you can unmerge it from the current title record, and make it a variant title. Mhhutchins 18:01, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Doing some further research, I see that OCLC gives the first NEL edition and the Kinnell edition as Allhallows Eve. I'll unmerge them and create a variant. Thanks for finding this. Mhhutchins 18:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Digging even deeper, I learned that all printings before Headline's didn't have the apostrophe in the title. So I made Allhallow's Eve into the variant title. Mhhutchins 18:16, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Headline / Headline Feature

Again, while editing some Richard Laymon, I noticed that some editions are attributed to Headline Feature, ans some others to Headline. Wouldn't that be the same thing, ans shouldn't these two records be merged ? Thanks again. Linguist 17:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC).

Headline Feature is an imprint of Headline. We try to keep such distinctions in the database. It's possible that some of the records may have to be corrected. If you see any that don't match your copy, please update it. Mhhutchins 17:58, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I used “Headline” for all the records I made, not seeing any mention of “Headline Feature” anywhere, until I fell upon it by accident. I'll have to go through them again. Ah well. Linguist 20:07, 4 March 2014 (UTC).
Don't hesitate to change the publisher credit for any non-verified record, especially if it indicates Amazon as the source. Also, if a publication shows different forms of the publisher's name, the title page credit should be used. Doing a search for the publisher can also give you an idea about which form is more prevalent, i.e. "DAW Books" and not "DAW". Mhhutchins 02:07, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Impartial and objective synopsis?

So how did this synopsis get moderated? It looks like a quote, which I suppose is OK, but the source should have been cited. Mhhutchins 17:53, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

The quote is not in the submission table, which goes back to April 2006 when ISFDB 2.0 went live. In all likelihood, the synopsis was entered in the 1990s or the early 2000s, i.e. during the Stone Age :-) Ahasuerus 18:28, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
And nothing like it shows up in a Google search of a few selected terms. So it was written early on specifically for us. Doesn't that make you feel special? Chavey 02:57, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
So you think Doctorow himself wrote it? That's a possibility. I'd like to keep it just to point at as a bad example of synopses. :) Mhhutchins 04:20, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Fixer tackling e-books

I am happy to report that the e-book reconciliation project has been completed. The results are as follows:

  • ASINs processed: 656,449
  • ISBNs found: 136,771
  • ISBNs rejected for various reasons: 44,445
  • ISBNs eligible for inclusion: 92,326
  • ISBNs with identified prices: 49,403
  • ISBNs without prices: 42,923

Fixer is ready to start creating submissions for the generated ISBNs. Of course, with 92,326 ebook ISBNs in the queue, it will take a while, so we'll need to prioritize. I have submitted the first 20 AddPub ISBNs; let's see how it goes. Ahasuerus 03:29, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Variant Titles.

I am putting some foreign variant titles to some Dr Who books. Why is it that both show up like this but only one shows up here. --Chris J 22:08, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Check your language settings under "My Preferences". You probably only have one selected. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:59, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Fixer, ebooks and prices

Fixer's logic has been adjusted to leverage Amazon's "list prices" when available. This should help with 47North and other Amazon imprints because their books are not listed anywhere else. It should also improve the quality of some Baen records since they have an exclusive arrangement with Amazon. Unfortunately, only 50% of Baen's books (give or take) display the list price. Oh well, we do what we can... Ahasuerus 07:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

You've gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to ebooks. I think the latest set of Fixer submissions are about as good as we're gonna get, all due to your fine efforts. Thank you. Mhhutchins 20:47, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words! :) I think we can do even better, though. The latest algorithm works as follows:
  • Check B&N and use their list price if available
  • Check Amazon and use their list price if available
  • If neither is available, then use Amazon's Kindle price since it's presumably an Amazon exclusive of some sort
It's not bullet-proof, but I think it should cover over 98% of all cases.
Now, if we could find a reliable source of UK prices for ebooks, we would be all set. Unfortunately, W. H. Smith uses discount prices instead of list prices, Pickabook can be very slow and Amazon UK uses the same approach as Ahasuerus 22:17, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Pickabook has been added as a source. Ahasuerus 06:21, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Before the Golden Age 1

As per BLongley's talk page : my copy of Asimov's Before the Golden Age 1, Orbit, 1975, doesn't have any Roman numerals before the Arabic ones, but an unpaginated section. Should the data be modified in that respect ? Thanks. Linguist 16:36, 27 March 2014 (UTC).

Yes. Add the pages using Arabic numbers in brackets in the Page Count field. Then give the starting page of the introduction in brackets, using Arabic numbers as well. Mhhutchins 17:09, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Linguist 17:14, 27 March 2014 (UTC).

Help with The Gift

Would someone please help me with this? I can't judge whether there should be two entries. I did find a December, 1993 reference saying Zebra's name was being dropped in favor of Kensington, so I suppose a Zebra announcement might have been early and then never actually come out that way. Thanks. --MartyD 00:34, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Close to what I'm thinking. The title was announced as part of the series, and then the series was discontinued (it's the "last" title to appear). I've created a record for it, noting the possibility that it doesn't really exist except in the form that MLB verified. Mhhutchins 01:27, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the assist. --MartyD 01:52, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Das kosmische Duell

I don't know how it got in the database, but i.m.o. this is wrong. According to the help text "If a book was written in one language, but a foreign language translation was published first, then the original language title is entered as the canonical title and the translated title is entered as a Variant Title." I would like to change title and language and correct the title record for the Gollancz E-book. Am I missing something here? --Willem H. 20:44, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

No, I agree with what you propose. It would follow the current standards: a book written in one language but first published in another language should retain the author's title as the canonical one with the translated title as a variant. This is true regardless of the language, English or otherwise. Mhhutchins 21:14, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I thought so. Corrected now. Thanks! --Willem H. 13:43, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Latest award changes

The way "special" awards, i.e. awards whose award level is 70 or higher, are handled has been changed. The only visible change is that "Delete an Award" should no longer error out when running into "special" award levels, but there were numerous other changes under the hood which will make it possible to implement additional fixes in the near future. If you see anything unusual, please report it here. Ahasuerus 02:16, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

I did some testing of your changes, and did not uncover any problems. The things that had caused it to error out before all passed with flying colors. Chavey 16:25, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Great, thanks! :) Ahasuerus 20:17, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Nebula Award Stories 6

A few remarks about this pub verified by Brin1 :

  • the last numbered page is 190 (last page of last story); it is followed by two unnumbered pages containing Nebula Awards data. Shouldn't this be expressed as 190+[2] instead of 192 ?
  • this data is entered in the contents as “Nebula Awards 1965-1970”, p. 191, but the page is in fact untitled and unnumbered. As opposed to this, the ToC gives “Nebula Awards” (no dates) as a title, located p. 191.

I would tend to enter the page number as [191] and the title as just “Nebula Awards” (+ explanatory note). Thanks for your advice about this. Linguist 21:43, 31 March 2014 (UTC).

I agree with your take on the situation. If the piece on the unnumbered page 191 isn't titled, you have the option to take the title from the contents page, as long as you note that in the Note field. Of course, the piece may be titled differently in another edition of this anthology. So you'll have to use the "Remove/Add" method of making this correction instead of updating the content's title record.
On your other point, the rules allow the page count field to be entered either way, as long as you explain it in the Note field. (There are two ambiguously-worded statements about this situation in the current rule about unnumbered pages, and I'm not going to open that can of worms.) If you choose to use the "+[x]" method the page number of the last content should be bracketed. Mhhutchins 22:50, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers to this problem. Linguist 08:17, 1 April 2014 (UTC).

Award changes 2014-04-01

The latest patch has made it possible to edit "special level awards", i.e. awards whose level is between 70 and 99. If you try to enter an unsupported "special" level, e.g. 80, the software won't let you proceed and will display a list of valid "special" levels. Numerous other fixes were also implemented to make awards behave consistently across the board. The next step is to change the New/Edit Award data entry forms to display "special levels" as a human-readable drop-down list. Ahasuerus 05:28, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Done. We are getting closer and closer to that almost mythical point where we will be able to let non-moderators edit awards! Ahasuerus 02:18, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Moderator approval pages have been changed to display level descriptions ("Win", "Nomination", "Widrawn", etc) in addition to numeric values. Ahasuerus 01:12, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
"Add Untitled Award" is now available as part of the "Add New Data" section in the navigation bar. In addition, if you select "Add Untitled Award of This Type" from an Award Overview page or a year-specific Award page, the Award Editor page will default to the previously selected award type. Ahasuerus 04:25, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Mouseover help and Moderator Notes have been added in anticipation of making New Award, Edit Award and Delete Award available to all editors. Ahasuerus 19:31, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Fixer and subtitles

Fixer's logic has been adjusted to remove the following types of subtitles:

  • "[A ]Novel", "[A ]Thriller", "[A ]Supernatural thriller"
  • Parenthetical subtitles that include the ISFDB-recognized name of the title's series. For example, "DAWN (Warriors: The New Prophecy, Book 3)" will be automatically changed to "Dawn" because the parent title is "Dawn" and the ISFDB series name is "Warriors: The New Prophecy".
  • Certain types of series-related subtitles that follow a colon, e.g. "Book One of the Quicksilver Trilogy". However, Fixer does NOT remove "post-colon" subtitles if they are the same as the series name because some publishers use the "Series: Title" format when they send data to Amazon. I am still working on fine-tuning this part.

If you run into any problems with the new logic, especially with pubs being added to wrong title records, please let me know. Ahasuerus 00:07, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Pickabook nixed

It turns out that Pickabook is not a reliable source of e-book prices :-( I have changed all of our Pickabook-tainted records to use prices from W. H. Smith, Waterstones and Sony's ReaderStore, so the immediate problem has been addressed. I will start working on getting a better source later today. Ahasuerus 19:53, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Award linking enabled

Award linking has been enabled.

I think we are almost ready to let non-moderators edit/delete/link awards. Anything else that we need to do before I flip the switch? (Aside from creating/editing a few Awards-related Help pages.) Ahasuerus 02:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

I noticed that when an unlinked award is linked to a title record, the title field of the award changes to match the title field of the title record. I can see how this could save another submission to correct the title field, but what if someone accidentally enters the wrong title record number? Moderators would have to be extra diligent in accepting such submissions. Mhhutchins 02:57, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I also see that it changes the author/artist field to match the award to the title record. Mhhutchins 03:02, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yes, that's a good point. I should have clarified how the process works.
When you link an "untitled award" to a title record the software doesn't overwrite the originally entered title/author(s). The data is still on file, but from that point on the display logic uses the title/author(s) of the linked title record. The idea here is that the people who gave the award may not have used the canonical name of the title and/or the author, so the software auto-corrects for that. However, if you unlink the award and its associated title, the display logic will use the originally entered title/author(s), which will still be on file. Does this make sense? Ahasuerus 04:38, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it makes sense. But in fixing some of these awards, there's been some data loss. For example, in this award, Stephen Jones was nominated as the editor of the collection. Even though we don't recognize editors as authors, perhaps the award judges did. There were several cases like this (and I've only done a few dozen, so there may be even more.) I had no choice but to accept the link and the award nominees were changed. I know logically they should match. And I have no idea how it would work otherwise. Just thought other moderators should be aware of the situation if they choose to work on linking these stray awards. Mhhutchins 16:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I am thinking that if an award was given to a collection editor, translator or another person not currently credited in the database, then it would be best to keep it as an "untitled award" until we have proper support for translators, collection editors, and so on. For example, "Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire" has a "best translator" category which is different from various "best translated novel", "best translated short story", etc categories. Ahasuerus 21:37, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree with this approach. Leave these as untitled awards for now. Chavey 03:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Some questions: will there be a need for a clean-up script that finds these stray awards once the current list has been cleaned? Has the award entry method changed so that such non-linked awards can't be created? What happens when a title with a linked award is merged with one that is not linked? Does the award data transfer with the merge? Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:08, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The software attempts to re-point award records during title merges, but I have a gnawing suspicion that there may be a bug in the code. The award records that you have been fixing were all linked to valid titles at some point in the past, but now they are pointed to non-existent titles. It's possible that this was caused by an old bug that is no longer present, so my proposed approach is to fix the data and then see if any new problems crop up over the next few months. If they do, then we will know that the bug is still there. Ahasuerus 21:32, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
One last question: how did these awards get into the database without being linked to a title in the first place? Mhhutchins 16:11, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

[unindent] There's an error in this page that lists editors who link awards. Mhhutchins 17:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

There was a flaw in the design of the nightly job that updates these numbers, which was exposed by the addition of a new submission type. I'll fix it in the next patch; thanks. Ahasuerus 18:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
"Untitled awards"? Oh, awards for works which do not have a title record in the database (such as for films, series, individuals, etc.) Not "awards without titles." Got it. Mhhutchins 18:00, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's what the software has always called them, but I agree that it can be confusing. If you can think of a better term, I am all ears :-) We'll definitely need to change the terminology once we add support for "awards given to individuals" and "awards given to publishers". The current logic is based on "lexical match", which can cause problems, e.g. see the Summary Bibliography page for "ACE" and the associated Award Bibliography page. Ahasuerus 18:36, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I interrupted myself with the "unindent". There are a few questions about the new clean-up script from just before that. No rush. Mhhutchins 21:06, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Understood, I was just distracted making various software changes that should be installed shortly. Please see my response above -- does it answer the rest of the questions? Ahasuerus 21:32, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Here's a further example of an award which nominates both the author and the illustrators. Should it remain unlinked? Mhhutchins 22:05, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Hm. In this case we do have the title records that the award relates to, but how do we link it? I suppose we could create two award records, one for the poem and one for the artwork. I guess ideally we would change the software to allow linking a single award to multiple title records, but that would be a non-trivial change... Ahasuerus 22:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Another case where one award goes to multiple titles is when an award is given to an entire series, which happens reasonably often. I thought i had submitted a feature request to allow giving an award to a series, but I don't see that in the Feature Request list. But being able to link a single award to multiple titles would be one way to implement the "award to a series" phenomena. It might also be a better solution than a true "series award", since a series award might not naturally show up in the award list for books in the series, or for the author of those books. Chavey 03:29, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Hm, please bear with me as I am trying to think through various ramifications here. For example, the 2014 Hugo nomination of the Wheel of Time series will be linked to the 14 novels in the main series plus the original "New Spring" novella plus the "New Spring" novel plus "River of Souls", but not to any of the omnibus titles, right? But what will we do if Sanderson writes another "Wheel of Time" story at a later point? Similar issues may arise when dealing with awards given to Discworld, the Alvin Maker series, the Dying Earth books, Elric etc. Ahasuerus 00:49, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

[unindent] Another puzzle: why does this award show up on the "Suspect Untitled Awards" clean-up script, but this one and this one do not? Mhhutchins 23:03, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

The script recognizes "Traduction" as a valid "untitled" category, so it ignores the last two awards. "Traducteur", OTOH, is not recognized by the script, so it reports the award as a possible anomaly, which it may very well be since I think it's the only award of its kind. Ahasuerus 23:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

What criteria are used to determine that it's "suspect"? Mhhutchins 23:03, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

It's a combination of things, including certain categories like "Best Novel" and "Best Collection" (which should be presumably linked to titles) and the presence of circumflexes, which is a VERY old way of indicating variant titles, discontinued when we migrated from ISFDB 1.0 to ISFDB 2.0 almost 10 years ago. Ahasuerus 23:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

How do you mark an award as "untitled" (i.e. for a film, series, individual) so that it doesn't show up on this list? Mhhutchins 23:03, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

There is no way at this time. Once the first pass is finished I will review what's left and either tweak the logic or perhaps retire the script altogether. Ahasuerus 23:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I just noticed that Ron just entered a slew of "untitled" awards and none are showing up on the clean-up script. Does that mean that there are legitimate "untitled" awards and the system recognizes them as such and won't add them to the clean-up list? Mhhutchins 23:31, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
The script searches for untitled awards whose "category" field includes the words "novel", "story", "book", "collection", or "anthology". (It also tries to eliminate false positives by excluding "graphic", "illustrator", "publisher", "novelist" and "editor" and doing a few other clever things with pattern matching.) Some of Ron's newly entered untitled awards were missed by the script because the hit list doesn't include the words "Novella" and "Novelette", but that can be adjusted :) Ahasuerus 23:45, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, wait, I need to take the last part back -- "Novella" and "Novelette" should have been found by the cleanup script because they match the word "novel". Perhaps it was something else like "Dramatic Presentation, Short Form" that did not register? Ahasuerus 00:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In other news, I have installed another patch, which fixed the "Top Contributors" problem, hyperlinked Link Award submissions from the Recent Integrations page and made the Link Award page a little easier to use by putting the cursor in the "Title" field when the page is first displayed. Ahasuerus 23:45, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

"Note to Moderator" added to Link Award

"Note to Moderator" has been added to Link Award. Ahasuerus 01:53, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

SFE3-ISFDB linkage

The SFE3 folks would like to improve the way our sites link to each other, which seems like a loadable goal. I have run a few queries checking their master list of authors/editors/artists against our data and here is what I see:

SFE3 URLs already in ISFDB: 4,941
SFE3 URLs not in ISFDB: 5,447
Of the 5,447 SFE3 names not in ISFDB, the following matches have been found:
  Found a matching ISFDB author: 2,344
  No (exactly) matching ISFDB author found: 3,103

So we are about 45% there, which isn't bad, but we can certainly do better. How about I create a cleanup script which will have three columns: SFE3 URL, "matching ISFDB author" (where available) and "Click to resolve" (which will remove the record from the list)? Once everything has been linked (which I am sure will take some time), I will send a list of our records along with the SFE3 URLs to the SFE3 team and they will update their Web pages with links back to ISFDB.

What do you think? Ahasuerus 01:03, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Sure. A clean-up script would be the best way to go about it. (In fact, I can't think of any other way that doesn't require an editor to go through thousands of author records to find matches on SFE3.) Mhhutchins 01:41, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I have considered a number of alternatives, but they all have their drawbacks. For example, I could ask Fixer to create submissions that would add SFE3 URLs to the 2,344 "matching authors". Unfortunately, Fixer uses a local copy of the ISFDB database. Since the latter is a few days behind the main server, there is a chance that a Fixer-generated submission could overwrite a recently added URL in an author record. The only way for Fixer to avoid this problem would be to query the live server and get a current list of URLs for the author, but our Web API only lets you query pub records at this time. I could enhance the Web API to allow querying author records, but that would take some work. In the end I decided that a cleanup script would be the most straightforward solution. Ahasuerus 02:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
BTW, was "loadable" a Freudian slip? :) Mhhutchins 01:41, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
I blame seasonal allergies! :) Ahasuerus 02:08, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
While doing some SFE3-ISFDB linking himself, Dave Langford has also kindly been notifying me of assorted broken links to other author websites that he comes across in our author records. Can something be created to pick out these broken links? I imagine there are hundreds. PeteYoung 04:28, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we could create a cleanup script for broken Web page links which would be similar to the Publications with Suspect Images script. Ahasuerus 04:41, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
P.S. It wouldn't be perfect because it would have no easy way of telling that a page that says, e.g., "This blog has been deleted by the author" is no longer valid. Still, it would be better than nothing. Ahasuerus 04:43, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
The major blog hosting sites will return an HTTP error status for a deleted account. The problem I ran across when trying to implement such a check was a large number of false positives (error statuses reported for valid pages). Whether it was miss-configured web severs or servers trying to discourage scripts, I don't know (or possible a scripting bug, but I was using standard Perl libraries). That coupled with the extensive time required to check all the URLs (61,551 from last database dump), made me put improving it on the back burner. I currently just check Wikimedia links each week (deleted pages, disambigution targets resulting from moved pages). -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:53, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I will keep it in mind when I tackle the script. Ahasuerus 02:14, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) OK, the script is now live. It's a bit slow because it has to display a table with over 5,000 rows, but it's functional. I have processed a few and although in many cases the missing SFE3 links take you to trivial articles -- "A pseudonym used by Forrest J. Ackerman for his short work only" or "Referred to in the Robert Lynn Asprin article" -- some are much more substantial.

P.S. I will be likely unavailable most of the day tomorrow. There is a very small chance that it will turn into a much longer (up to a few weeks) absence with limited or no Internet access, but it's highly unlikely. Ahasuerus 02:14, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Everything is back to normal. Ahasuerus 19:09, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Analog 2

The cover artist for this publication is Jack Gaughan, according to Outermost: The Art + Life of Jack Gaughan, page 142 and 145. Sole PV, Scott Latham, is no longer active. Horzel 21:50, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Update the record and give your source in the Note field. Mhhutchins 21:53, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

A new cleanup script: SERIALs without a Parent Title

A new cleanup script, "SERIALs without a Parent Title", has been added to the "Variant Titles" section. Ahasuerus 00:50, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Variant submissions by Biomassbob

Please do no accept the submissions varianting the non-English language titles. They should be rejected. Please see the note I left on his talk page. Feel free to accept the submissions for English language titles. Thanks Mhhutchins 06:57, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Science Fiction Chronicle submission missing issue month & year

Not sure who will wind up reviewing this submission, but I just noticed on my Pending Submissions list that my entry for the November 1990 issue of Science Fiction Chronicle is missing the "November 1990" in the publication title. Apologies. Albinoflea 05:00, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I added that, but I didn't do any other magazine-management things to it. --MartyD 10:35, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Z Is For Zombie

I recently read 'Z Is For Zombie', and my review is on Amazon here and based on the novella that is reprinted in Otto Penzler's anthology Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! this is a pretty pedestrian crime/action story. It is listed on this site here. I'm not saying that it should be removed, that's above my pay grade, however, perhaps a note should be appended to it that despite being listed as having some supernatural content, it does not. It IS in Penzler's anthology, so many will expect it to be listed, but an explanatory note should be attached to it perhaps? MLB 22:42, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

I suppose Penzler included it for its Voodoo references. Sounds like a Scooby Doo story to me. You can add a non-spoiler synopsis to the title record, noting its lack of a fantastical element. Mhhutchins 00:25, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Gateway/Orion e-books

Now that Fixer knows the prices of many (hopefully most) Gateway/Orion "yellow jacket" e-books, I will be submitting them in batches. There are a lot of ISBNs to process, roughly 2,380; I will try to limit the runs to 20-30 ISBNs. Please note that Gateway has changed some titles and it looks like a few novels may have been broken up into 2 volumes. Please be on the lookout for these oddballs. Ahasuerus 17:49, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

I noticed that these titles have US prices, so I'm assuming they are available in both the US and the UK. Is there a way to provide the UK price, since this is a British publisher, even if it's in the Note field? Also, there will be titles from this publisher which are restricted for UK sale only. Is there a way to distinguish these releases? Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:16, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Of the 2,380 Gateway ISBNs originally in Fixer's internal queues, only about 50 had US prices and most of them have already been submitted. In all cases the reason for the US price was that Amazon UK didn't have the ISBN on file. However, please note that the query mechanisms (known as the API and the Amazon UK API) used by Fixer are not perfect. It's possible for an ISBN to be available from Amazon UK even though the Amazon UK API doesn't acknowledge its existence. Analogously, sometimes the API doesn't know that an ISBN is available from
Given these API limitations, I think the least time-consuming approach would be to process everything and then review the putative "US" records and see if they need to be adjusted. Ahasuerus 18:52, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan. One other thing: the imprint was launched in July 2011, and I've got a couple of submissions on hold that give the publication date as 2008. Maybe these ebooks appeared under a different imprint? Mhhutchins 20:35, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Hm, it looks like Amazon's data is somewhat messed up. Consider Paul McAuley's Cowboy Angels. The Amazon record says "Publisher: Gateway", but according to Look Inside the copyright page says "Orion ... A Gollancz ebook". Ditto Human Is?: A Philip K. Dick Reader.
Currently Fixer's logic says "If the name of the publisher is "Gateway", change it to ""Gateway / Orion"", but I think I need to change it to "If the name of the publisher is "Gateway" and the publication date is later than July 2011, change it to ""Gateway / Orion". Otherwise change it to "Gollancz / Orion"". Ahasuerus 21:48, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
If possible, that would be the way to go. Mhhutchins 21:57, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, I think I got it. Ahasuerus 23:02, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
There have been a few non-yellow-jacket "Gateway" ebooks published since July 2011, mostly in the "S. F. Masterworks" series, e.g. Dark Benediction, but it's unpredictable, with some Masterworks ebooks appearing with yellow jackets. It's only ca. 20 ISBNs out of over 2,300, though. Ahasuerus 21:48, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Some of those I've converted to Gollancz, like the two Michael Bishop titles which were published simultaneously in trade paperback and ebook editions. Since both had art "covers" (if you can say an ebook has a cover) and a title page crediting Gollancz, I changed the ebook edition to Gollancz, even though Amazon had it as Gateway. I think we can fairly say that if the ebook has cover art and not the generic yellow cover that it was originally published outside the Gateway program. That's not to say that it wasn't later incorporated into that program. Mhhutchins 21:57, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I guess ideally Fixer would check the background color of the image and adjust the publisher accordingly. It's not as hard as it may sound, e.g. see this example, but it's still too much work considering the number of questionable pubs involved. Ahasuerus 23:02, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking that moderators should be on the lookout for non-yellow cover art, and use that as a guideline to determine if the book is in the series. Fixer shouldn't have to do everything! :) Mhhutchins 23:26, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
Like most five-year-olds, Fixer has lots and lots of energy :) Ahasuerus 23:49, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) Moving right along, down to 1,530 ISBNs in the main queue. Plus a couple hundred that were set aside because there was no obvious match. Ahasuerus 05:30, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Just a reminder: If Fixer (or actually any editor) makes a submission for a CHAPTERBOOK title, it must have a content record. I've gone back and added contents for several of these records (such as this one. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:47, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) Down to 450, not counting the set-asides. Ahasuerus 23:27, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Only 100 left in Fixer's queues! Ahasuerus 01:09, 23 May 2014 (UTC)
The last batch has been submitted. Many thanks to the moderators who have been working on these submissions, especially Michael!
This has been a very useful experiment, which gave me an opportunity to fine-tune Fixer. I plan to do more of these runs, starting with AddPubs for 2012. Ahasuerus 19:03, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Multiple occurrences of the same INTERIORART record in a publication

Bob and I are in the process of discussing a publication which includes two occurrences of the same INTERIORART title. The software doesn't expect the same title record to appear twice within the same publication, so some kind of workaround is needed (at least until we change the software.) Bob's proposed solution, currently on hold, is to create two identically named title records and then variant one of them to the other. I guess it should work, but I wonder if any other approaches have been tried. Ahasuerus 19:24, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Varianting will certainly not work. The display in both the publication record and the title record will look very strange. We've overused that function too much already, and there's no reason to go to there again. If the work is identical, the title is identical, and the author is identical, how could one honestly call one a variant of the other? Why not just note it in the record and let it go? I can't see the necessity of having two content records for the same work in the same publication record, when a note will suffice. I've entered dozens of records where a frontispiece might appear as an interior art or endpaper art, or any other combination of appearances within a book, and I've never had the need to create separate content records for them. Mhhutchins 20:00, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Michael. When it occurs (like maps on both front end paper and back end paper) I enter them once, and add a note about the second. --Willem H. 20:33, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I also don't see a need to complicate the software to handle duplicate records in a pub. A note is sufficient. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:53, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I have done the same thing that Bob is attempting, many times, with one small difference. When I have done it, I have always disambiguated the title of the second occurrence of the artwork by appending "[2]" as we do with any item with the same title, author, title type and language that appears multiple times in the same book. I've always thought this has worked well. While this happens most frequently with artwork, I can give one example where a short story appeared twice in the same book (if you include the accompanying CD). Since one of the pieces of data that we tack (though not required for artwork) is the page number (or now, position) where a title appears, I feel that having the item listed twice in the book is important and don't agree that repeated occurrences should only be listed in the notes. However, I also feel that some sort of disambiguation is necessary. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 01:15, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Not every piece of information is of the same importance. Tracking page numbers at the cost of adding ambiguity to the title names is a mistake in my opinion. Please think of it from the perspective of our average user. Varianting is supposed to be used when the title has actually changed. From looking at it, I wouldn't have known what you intended especially given there are no notes explaining your intent. How is the average reader supposed to know? If you wanted to record the page number, hacking the page number field to have both entries would be a better approach. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:32, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Also remember this is a discussion about duplicate INTERIORART records. We can discuss the necessity of having duplicate fiction records in one publication in the database some other place and time. --Willem H. 12:00, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
The same principles apply in my opinion so not sure why there needs to be distinction. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:12, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the same principles apply, but am happy to limit the discussion to INTERIORART for sake of simplicity. I'm guessing that what JLaTondre means by "hacking the page number field" would be to enter something like "10 & 27" in the field. Please correct me if I misunderstood. I would not be in favor of this, especially since we have just implemented the enhancement to allow us to precisely order the contents (with the |). I think this would lead to even more confusion than noting the second appearance in the notes. An average user may find the disambiguation confusing. However, disambiguating identical titles by adding an ordinal number in square brackets (e.g. "[2]") is heavily used throughout the database. I had thought this was mentioned in the help page, but unfortunately it only states that titles should be disambiguated as necessary without suggesting how. Regardless, once the second appearance of the artwork has a title with disambiguation, we can't merge them without losing that disambiguation, which leave us only the options of linking by variant (the title does vary because of the disambiguation) or omitting the second appearance in the database and reflecting it in the publication's notes. As I noted above, I have used the former method which always seemed the logical way to reflect repeated artwork. I had not even considered reflecting it only in the notes until it was suggested in this discussion. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:04, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) Thanks to all who have contributed! I'll need to look into the technical ramifications of allowing multiple occurrences of the same title record per pub. If it's feasible, then we can discuss whether it's desirable (FR 609.)

For now, I have removed the hold from the submission if anyone wants to tackle this case. Ahasuerus 21:24, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Ron, if "disambiguating identical titles by adding an ordinal number in square brackets (e.g. "[2]") is heavily used throughout the database" then the persons doing it are not following the standards. We only disambiguate if the works are different, but have the same title (i.e. illustrate the same work) and have the same artist credit. Please point out records for works of art which have been disambiguated but are identical. They should have been merged into one record. Otherwise there are two records for the same work and a database user would have no way of knowing that. Until the software has been changed to accept two occurrences of the same work within the same publication, we shouldn't be using variants and disambiguation as a band-aid, which only exacerbates the problem. Mhhutchins 21:59, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
When I stated that the technique of disambiguating by using ordinals in brackets was heavily used, I was referring mainly to different works with the same title, as you say. However, since the technique isn't documented (that I've been able to find) it is certainly a reasonable interpretation that the technique applies equally whether the artwork is identical or not. In both cases, we have multiple instances of items that have the same name, author and title type. Logically it then proceeds that the second instance which now has a variant name should be made a variant of the canonical title. I've been doing this for some time and I could not provide you with all the records where I have done so. I'm not sure if you're asking for purposes of demonstration or clean up. While I don't feel that these records need to be cleaned up, we definitely don't want to merge the titles. I've set up two test publications for purposes of discussion. This publication demonstrates how I have handled repeated artwork. I also set up this other publication with two identical titles which I subsequently merged. The software gives you a big yellow warning telling you that you probably don't want to proceed and you end up with a single title in display but two titles (more precisely the same title twice) when you go to the edit screen. You cannot vary the page number for these two titles, they will only display once. The software clearly doesn't support the same title occurring more than once per publication with the same title, author and type. One live example where I have used this technique would be this pub where this title and this title are the same artwork. The situation is slightly different since they are both variants of a COVERART title. It seems obvious to me that both differently titled instance refer to the same artwork. A variant relationship always (with the arguable exception of translations) means that. In any case, please don't merge those two titles or we'll end up with the same corrupted data as in the second example. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:44, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Good. You clarified the point that your original statement wasn't true, regardless of how one can reasonably interpret it. And the tests you've done clearly illustrates why the software should be changed before we start disambiguating, varianting and/or merging. BTW, it was never my intention to "clean" records, and I never actually said that I would, especially if the record is primary verified. I just wanted those PV editors to join the discussion. That seems unnecessary now since it seems you might be the only editor who is actually using this procedure. Mhhutchins 18:16, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
After each post I feel as if I've failed to make myself understood. My first statement was true and I was only asserting that we disambiguate multiple title records that have the same title in this manner frequently as can be seen in most old illustrated pulps (e.g. [1]). What I feel is reasonable is to think that this same technique would apply whether the artwork referenced by the multiple title records are identical or not. I'm glad you didn't intend to clean up the records. Your statement "They should have been merged into one record." is what made think that is what you might have intended. I just wanted to point out that there would be software issue with such a merge. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 20:24, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going to get into an argument over semantics. Yes, you can say "identical titles" includes "different works with the same titles". But here we're talking about "identical works with the same titles". And it is an ISFDB standard to merge "identical works with the same titles". It all goes back to changing the software to accommodate identical works published in the same publication. If that is ever done, it would be easy to find such titles using a script. By disambiguating and varianting them, you would be hiding them from a script that looks for identical titles within the same publication. But then I suppose someone could write another script to find those titles which you have handled this way. Still, it's going to take a lot of edits to get them back in shape so that they can be displayed properly after the software is implemented. I would admit that my method of recording the second appearance in the note field would be just as hard to find, but not as hard to update. In the end, this is a fiction database, and I've personally wasted too much time worrying about how artwork should be handled. (Thanks to Bill Longley who made that sentiment quite clear in several discussions about artwork that eventually petered out.) Mhhutchins 01:01, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

(unindent) I'm not trying to argue semantics and I only brought up "different works with the same title" and how we disambiguate them to show that I feel the same principle applies whether the works themselves are identical or not. Regarding the three methods you mention on how to deal with repeated works in a single collection and how they could eventually be cleaned up. Merging them into a single title record isn't supported by the current software. If it is attempted, we are warned against it. If we ignore the warning we end up with a odd looking record (e.g [2]) and we've lost the page number of one of the instances. It would be easy to find by script, but to restore the page number we would either have to re-examine the book, or depend on the page number of the second instance being recorded in the notes. The approach you've suggested by recording the second instance only in the notes, would be difficult to find by script unless we are very precise about how it is recorded in the notes and everyone follows the same format. It would take a minimum of 2 edits to clean up the record once the software supports it. (add the new title and then merge). My approach of variants preserves the page number. It can be found easily by script. I could do the pseudo-code myself. When the software supports multiple titles, it can be cleaned up with a single edit (merge the two title records keeping the un-disambiguated title(field) and dropping the variant relationship). As JLaTondre pointed out above, the same principles apply here whether we're discussing artwork or fiction. However, fiction duplicated in a single collection is much more of an edge case (I am only aware of the single example cited above) and Willem H. had asked that we limit this discussion to artwork. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:30, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Edit Award Type enchancement

A new field, "Poll", has been added to the Award Type Editor. The value is currently set to "Yes" for the following awards: Locus Poll Award, Analog Award, Asimov's Readers' Poll and John W. Campbell Memorial Award. All other awards are not considered "polls". When displaying award data for "polls", the software shows the actual poll place rather than "win" or "nomination". Ahasuerus 03:12, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Very nice! Chavey 16:12, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Fixer submission / collection variation help

I could use a suggestion about what to do with this Fixer submission (no fault of Fixer's). We have a collection record. But the Gateway edition appears from the Look Inside to be presented as a novel in three parts, with 27 chapters. I am not doubting it's the same collection. Should I add "Part One" or maybe "Part One (Greatheart Silver)", etc., varianted to the novellas? Should I make it be a novel? (and then what? Variant a novel to a collection? That would be an interesting twist.) Something else? Thanks. --MartyD 11:17, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

From the description in the Note field of the primary verified record, the print edition is identical. The three primary verifiers of that publication record (Bluesman, Ahasuerus, and Willem) should agree on how to handle it. My suggestion: the record should be handled like a fixup: the type should be changed to a NOVEL, and its contents removed. Its title record should be changed to NOVEL, and its constituent stories should be recorded in the Note field (linking would be nice). (This title record can be used as a guide.) Despite what it says in the title record, the ISFDB bases how it types a book on the publication itself and not on how Clute/Nichols classifies it. This PJF bibliography types it as a NOVEL. Mhhutchins 17:21, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
If the verifiers agree that it's a COLLECTION, then they should remove the current contents, and add three content records titled "Part One (Greatheart Silver"), etc, which are then varianted to the original title records. Then you can import the contents to the ebook edition. Mhhutchins 17:28, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I've proposed changing it to a NOVEL per your suggestion and asked the verifiers to respond yea or nay here. --MartyD 16:10, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I do not have any strong opinion for either choice, note that this bibliography typifies the book as a collection. If NOVEL is chosen, don't forget to change the type of the french translation. Hauck 16:29, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree it should be a NOVEL. But then, the three Weird Heroes stories should be changed to type SERIAL and varianted to the NOVEL record. --Willem H. 18:48, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't do that, unless they were actually published as the first, second and third parts of a novel. Otherwise there are hundreds of similar cases where series stories were later combined to create novels. Would you think those should be varianted to the novel? Talk about opening a can of worms! Mhhutchins 20:27, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Michael that changing the three individual stories to SERIALs would be going too far.
As far as the original question goes, well, I can live with either NOVEL or COLLECTION, but let's consider the circumstances before we change the title type.
The copyright page of the Tor edition says that the three parts of the book were originally "serialized" in the Weird Heroes anthologies and make no mention of any changes to the text. The title pages of the three parts say "PART ONE", "PART TWO" and "PART THREE". Suppose we change the title type to NOVEL and then a new edition of this book reprints the Tor text, except that it changes the titles of the three parts back to what was used in Weird Heroes. Would we then call the new edition a COLLECTION even though the only difference would be in the way the title pages of the three parts appear? Ahasuerus 20:39, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, because that's how it's published. Records should reflect a book as published. That's why we're such sticklers about credits, etc. Mhhutchins 22:01, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
But then we would have to variant the new collection record to the novel record, right? Ahasuerus 22:56, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Not necessarily. It would sure be nice at these times to have a relationship function. :) Mhhutchins 23:47, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Unfortunately, it would be a major change affecting many parts of the system, hence time-consuming to implement :( Not impossible, just time-consuming. Ahasuerus 05:27, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

(unindent). Ok, so no consensus among the verifiers: Bluesman thinks it should remain COLLECTION. Hauck and Ahasuerus can "live with either", with reservations/caveats. Willem H. thinks it should be NOVEL but the stories should be SERIAL. Thanks for all of the feedback. I am going to leave it alone and make the Fixer submission contain "Part One (Greatheart Silver)", etc., and variant those. --MartyD 10:54, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Nebula Award Stories 8

Added some notes (9-digit SBN, overseas prices) and uploaded new cover scan to this pub verified by Brin1 and BLongley, no longer active. I also noticed that the titles of the essays starting respectively on p. 265 and 269 are “The Nebula Awards” and “The Hugo Awards”, not just “Nebula” / “Hugo Awards”. I suppose this should be corrected ? Linguist 12:37, 13 May 2014 (UTC).

Done. Hauck 13:19, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

The Stars(,) Like Dust

I have noticed that an important number of pubs have The Stars Like Dust (no comma) as a title. Yet, the latter never appears as a variant of the canonical title The Stars, Like Dust, especially when you search the database. After cloning a new pub with the same title, I had half a mind to variant it, but wondered if there was an obscure reason why the variant had never been created. Any opinions about this ? Thanks. Linguist 15:23, 17 May 2014 (UTC).

You're right, I've extracted the Panther printings, merged and vted them to the canonical (with comma). The other titles without commas seems more the results of quick cloning than the "real" thing (covers, when present, shows the comma). Hauck 16:50, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks for dealing with this. Linguist 08:46, 19 May 2014 (UTC).
I suppose the same thing applies to this one ? I don't seem to be able to variant it myself, or change the title reference. Thanks. Linguist 09:00, 19 May 2014 (UTC).
That pub record is under the correct title. Or was it corrected after you posted this? Also, these editions are from Panther. Why does everyone keep saying they're from Sphere. Even the title record says that. Mhhutchins 17:48, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
My mistake (corrected). Hauck 06:03, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Gateway - NewPubs

I am happy to report that all of Fixer's Gateway-related AddPubs have been submitted. The following 9 ISBNs haven not been submitted because they are no longer shown by Amazon and show up as "unavailable" on Book Depository:

  • 9780575088009
  • 9780575111790
  • 9780575111806
  • 9780575111820
  • 9780575111837
  • 9780575111844
  • 9780575111851
  • 9780575111899
  • 9780575112025
  • 9780575112049

It seems likely that they were canceled by Gollancz prior to publication, so I will leave them here in case anyone wants to do more digging.

Now that the AddPubs have been taken care of, we can start tackling NewPubs. There are 332 of them in Fixer's queues, 29 (tentatively) showing US prices and 303 showing UK prices. It seems likely that the supposed "US" pubs, which will be submitted first, will need to have their prices changed from dollars to pounds and their Notes adjusted accordingly.

There is a variety of other Amazon-originated issues with these NewPubs, including, but not limited to:

  • Missing co-authors, e.g. Roadside Picnic
  • Misspelled titles and author names.

In addition, there may be Gollancz-originated issues, e.g. at one point I had to correct the co-authors of two Bill the Galactic Hero sequels because the cover (unlike the title page) showed the wrong co-author (!) And then there are legitimate differences vis a vis what we currently have on file, e.g. US/UK spelling differences like "Honor/Honour".

In other words, NewPubs will require a lot more TLC than the AddPubs. Thankfully, there aren't nearly as many of them. Ahasuerus 23:18, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

There seems to be an attempt on the part of Orion and R. L. Fanthorpe to either rewrite or correct history by giving co-author credit to Patricia Fanthorpe for many of his early novels. Luckily for us, the credit on both the cover and the interior page is given as "Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe writing as X" so we can change the credit to the original pseudonym and merge the records. If they had omitted the "writing as X" credit, we would have to create a lot of new variants. Mhhutchins 01:29, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
It looks like it's coming from the Fanthorpes, e.g. Patricia says "[Lionel]'s also the author of over 250 books -- several of which I co-authored with him" on their Web site. The claim is echoed by the SFGateway site, which says that "A number of his works were co-authored with his wife and business partner, Patricia." On the other hand, the Fanthorpes have also co-authored a number of non-fiction books and it's not entirely clear whether these statements refer to fiction or non-fiction. Ahasuerus 01:48, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

"Add New Award Type" implemented

A new Web page, "Add New Award Type", has been implemented. At this time it is only accessible by "bureaucrats" (Al and me) in order to avoid collisions between moderators when dealing with ambiguous cases like the ever popular "The SFWA/Damon Knight Grand Master award: a separate award type or a Nebula category"?

If you would like to see a new award type added, please post a request here and I can do it quickly. (As opposed to the old way when I had to add new award types programmatically.)

So far I have migrated Rondo Hatton Horror Awards from the Wiki to the database and everything looks good. Ahasuerus 23:21, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Another moderator-only option, "Delete Award Type", has been implemented. As you would expect, it won't let you delete an Award Type if there are related award records.
The next step will be to convert Award Categories to Award Type-specific drop-down lists. The list of categories for each Award Type will be determined by moderators, which should help us consolidate categories. Once the functionality has been put in place, we should be able to open up award editing to all editors. Ahasuerus 19:49, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance

This book was verified by Dcarson, who is not currently active. Two issues with the publication information: First, the page count given is 320. My copy has 305 numbered pages. If you include the "About the Editors" the page count goes up to 307. If you include the forthcoming books ads, the count goes up to 312. Second, the "Introduction" is attributed to "uncredited". This is not correct. Both the table of contents and the Acknowledgements list the author of the introduction as Jean Rabe. Catkhan 00:37, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Catkhan

I've dug my copy from its shelf and corrected the data (I've set the number of pages at 307 even if I think that the "About the authors" bit shouldn't be listed). Hauck 10:14, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Martha Well/City of Bones

This book was given a primary verification by WimLewis; while reviewing to add a secondary verification I see that my copy includes the LCCN (95-6316). I would like to make this change to the pub, but WimLewis is no longer active. Is the correct procedure to go through this noticeboard, or to make the change myself? Catkhan 00:59, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

If you'd like to add notes to a primary verified record, feel free to make the submission updating the record and leaving a message on the PV editor's talk page. Some editors have created special pages for such messages, so please carefully read the notification preference given at the top of their talk pages. If you wish to make a change to any other field of a primary verified record, it is best to leave a message before making the submission. It is also a good idea to link the publication record in the messages so that the editors know exactly which record you're referring to. Also, don't forget to do an additional primary verification of the record in the first available slot.
In this case, based on the message at the top of the PV editor's talk page, and because you're only adding notes, then a message on the Moderators' noticeboard wasn't necessary. You could have posted a note there on his talk page and then made a submission to update the record. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 02:19, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Dragons of Darkness

Some of the interior art links for Dragons of Darkness appear to be broken. In particular Michael Whelan, Tom Miller, Richard Hull, Lynn Anne Goodman, Freff and others. The link from the book takes you to the artist's pages but there is no link back to the book.SFJuggler 18:20, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I am afraid I am unable to recreate the problem. Could you please link to a title record which appears in this pub, but not on the artist's Summary page? Ahasuerus 19:32, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
The works of INTERIORART are linked on the artists' summary pages to a title record for that work, not to a publication record. On the ISFDB page for that work (its title record), there is a list of publications in which that work appears. For example, the work by Tom Miller is titled The Dragons' Club. You will find that title listed on the artist's summary page. You will not find the title of the publication in which that work appears. This is identical to the way SHORTFICTION or any other contained work is displayed on an author or artist's summary page. The publications in which a work of SHORTFICTION are published do not appear on the author's summary page. This has always been the way the database is structured. Mhhutchins 01:57, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Noted.SFJuggler 03:27, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

To slash or not to slash

While searching for Granada (publisher) in the database, I fell upon these different entries :

  • “Dragon / Granada” and “Dragon Granada”.
  • “Panther / Granada” and “Panther Granada”.
  • “Triad / Granada” and “Triad Granada”.

If the slashed and unslashed varieties refer to the same thing, shouldn't this be normalized ? And if they don't (why ?), shouldn't the difference (and the reason for it) be made more obvious ? Thanks. Linguist 09:13, 27 May 2014 (UTC).

Well, these were entered by diverse editors. The standard as stated in the help pages would be to use slashes. Any objections to merging the respective versions? Stonecreek 17:43, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I would object. I've seen printings that give the publisher as "Triad Granada" [sic] on their title pages. In that case, you shouldn't use the slash in the ISFDB publication record. If the book states "Triad, an imprint of Granada" (or something similar like "Triad, a member of the Granada Publishing Group") then you should use the slash.
I think the different ways of entering publishers is because there really is no documented standard about which location in the publication should be used to determine the publisher credit. Sometimes it's obvious that the publisher's name should be "normalized", but in other cases, by doing so, you'd be losing real data that shows how a publisher actually changed their publishing credit over the years. That's why I suggest to always use the title page publisher credit, and only "normalize" it if it appears to be an anomalous usage (not appearing in other books from the same publisher during the same time period.) Please do not "normalize" records that have been primary verified before discussing it with the PV editors. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:59, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks for clearing matters up. Linguist 21:20, 27 May 2014 (UTC).

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park was verified by Animebill who is no longer active. Besides some links and notes in the notes section I would need to change the page count and add the introduction that is not listed/mentioned plus a scan of the cover.SFJuggler 03:33, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, please do so, and in case the moderator handling the submission doesn't see this posting, leave a message in the "Note to Moderator" field to read the posting on the Moderator noticeboard. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:13, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Fixer - 2012 AddPubs

FYI, Fixer is in the process of submitting AddPubs for 2012. Ahasuerus 03:33, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

AddPubs for 2012 and 2011 have been submitted. Or at least the part that I sorted out last year... Ahasuerus 05:37, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

The JAG in Space/Paul Sinclair series

I am reading Failure to Obey by John G. Hemry from this issue of Analog, and I find that it is part of the JAG in Space / Paul Sinclair series, and although Paul Sinclair does not make an appearance, there is a Sinclair involved, and Paul is constantly referenced. I was wondering if I should make a parent series of JAG in Space, and make Paul Sinclair a sub-series, and then add the Failure to Obey story character (Jen Shen, I believe) as another sub-series. Since this series involves several verifiers, I am unsure as to whether or not this should be done, so I’m posting this query here for guidance as to which way to go. MLB 17:01, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

If Paul isn't in every story of the series, why not just change the title of the series to "JAG in Space"? It doesn't make sense to create sub-series for characters when there's a possibility of a story that involves characters from different subseries. What does the author call the series? Mhhutchins 20:45, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
The author calls it "JAG in Space", but what does he know? His website says the books were written as by Jack Campbell. SFE3 calls it the "Paul Sinclair" series, his publisher labels the "A Paul Sinclair Novel" while Amazon lists them as "JAG in Space". Mhhutchins 20:55, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
You also have the option to create a universe series to contain the short story, and making "JAG in Space / Paul Sinclair" into a subseries of that. But I have no idea what you'd call the universe series. Mhhutchins 20:56, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
How about the JAG in Space Universe or the JAG in Space Series, as Failure to Obey is essentially a courtroom drama. MLB 23:51, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Universe is better. In my opinion, a series should not be titled Series, although I'm certain they're in the database. Mhhutchins 23:57, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Submissions approved, series linked. Unfortunately, the Summary page won't display the Jen Shen sub-series in the same place as the Paul Sinclair sub-series because the former doesn't have a book length title. Ahasuerus 20:01, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Childhood's End

I have added some data to this pub record, verified by Unapersson : artist name (W. F. Phillipps), from signature on the cover + a lot of notes, and uploaded the cover scan. Linguist 09:27, 5 June 2014 (UTC).

Armchair Fiction - links to cover images on an unpermitted server

As shown in the results of this script, moderators have been accepted submissions which have links to an unpermitted server. Please double-check when accepting submissions to make sure that the URL in the cover image field is to a permitting website. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:48, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Also, the images are so poor they're not even worth linking to even if we had the website owners' permission. Mhhutchins 18:51, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
All recently submitted Armchair-hosted images were submitted by User:ArmChairFiction‎, who, AFAIK, is the publisher, so I was going to leave a note on his Talk page asking for permission to link to his site. As you note, the quality of the images is very low and we may want to replace them, but it would be useful to have his permission on file just in case. Ahasuerus 19:17, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I had accepted a few more submissions linking there and had meant to do that before leaving the house this morning but ran out of time. --MartyD 01:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

(Unindent) Should we be accepting these records at all??? I'm quite sure not all of the works are in the public domain [Edgar Rice Burroughs certainly isn't] and all the artwork is a direct rip-off of the original publications. I'm not even sure the © expires on artwork. Of the 23 submissions in the queue, all held, at least 10 have bad checksums, all are entered as new publications when none are [at least none of the individual titles are, the omnibi are a different story]. Is this publisher even legit? The amount of clean-up on these records is not insignificant. --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:56, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

In general, we include illegal pirated copies of books -- although I think we try to include a note that it is (or appears to be) a pirated copy. This book, for example, is an unauthorized translation of Geoff Ryman's "Air" into Hungarian. (They didn't even have the courtesy to send him a copy of it, much less royalties.) I know I've seen other pirated books posted. You say "I'm not even sure the © expires on artwork". It falls under exactly the same provisions as literary works, e.g. see Understanding Copyright and Related Rights, p. 3. The only real argument I would see for not accepting them is the amount of work needed to clean-up the submissions. Having not looked at them, I cannot speak to that. Chavey 03:58, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
[After edit conflict] True, it's going to take some work to clean them up. But we've been adding records for this publisher for quite awhile. I'm not in a position to determine their legitimacy, and don't feel compelled to research it. There's nothing in the current policy which requires that an editor consider a publication's legality in order to create a database record for it, only that it actually exists. (See, for example, all of those bootleg publications of works by Robert E. Howard that Biomassbob added to the database.) Mhhutchins 03:59, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
The major problem with this editor's submissions is that no one has taken much time in working with her. I don't think she even knew about her talk page until I sent her an email the other day. I'm worn out when it comes to mentoring new editors and was hoping that another moderator would take on that task. The fact that she is an employee of the publisher should be something in favor of keeping her as an editor, and not dismiss the submissions out-of-hand. Mhhutchins 04:06, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
A few thoughts:
  • This publisher does appear to care about copyright, e.g. the Notes field of our Black Magic Holiday / Star Hunter record says "Not published - the publishers discovered "Black Magic Holiday" was still in copyright under a different title and no copies were ever distributed."
  • The Gods of Mars was published in 1913 and, like other texts from before 1923, is in public domain in the US, e.g. see this Gutenberg version. There is also an awful lot of SF that was first published in the late 1920s-early 1960s and is currently in public domain because copyright was not renewed after 28 years back when it was still required. I run into it every month when Fixer retrieves yet another batch of CreateSpace-facilitated reprints of Dick, Anderson, etc.
  • In general, as Darrah and Michael wrote above, we are interested in documenting what has been published irrespective of the published material's legal status, which can be complicated and uncertain, especially when different countries' laws are involved.
  • Crime reporters are not complicit in the crimes that they report on :) Ahasuerus 04:32, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

New cleanup script

A new cleanup script, "Empty Award Types and Categories", has been deployed. Ahasuerus 22:46, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Boy in Darkness (chapbook)

Regarding this publication verified by Unapersson, it appears to me it should be merged with this un-verified publication Markwood 01:39, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Publication records can't be "merged". I'll delete the unverified one. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Mhhutchins 02:55, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Editing Award Categories

A new option, "Edit This Award Category", is now available to moderators when viewing award categories. Once I finish adding Notes, Web pages and "Display order" to the Award Category page, awards should be all done :) Ahasuerus 00:37, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Open Road Media - 2014-06-17

FYI, there are only 388 Open Road Media ISBNs left in Fixer's queues. Ahasuerus 23:47, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

The AddPubs have been submitted. There is another batch of 55 NewPubs in the wings. Ahasuerus 06:32, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 22:07, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

New cleanup script, Titles without Authors

A new cleanup script, "Titles without Authors", has been added to our tool set. Because the query that generates this report takes 15+ second report on the live server, I had to move the logic to the nightly job.

Now that the foundations of nightly processing are in places, I plan to move a number of other time-consuming cleanup scripts to the nightly job. You can expect to see more "Click Once Resolved" links in the foreseeable future since they are needed to support any reports that are not regenerated on demand. Ahasuerus 03:16, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

"Recent Rejects" list

The "Recent Rejects" list should load much faster now. Ahasuerus 22:51, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

"Variant Title-Pseudonym Mismatches"

A new cleanup script, "Variant Title-Pseudonym Mismatches", has been added. It covers a multitude of sins, from missing pseudonyms to disambiguated authors and ghostwriters, so please be extra careful when processing non-trivial cases.

The logic that finds mismatches is complicated and may need to be further tweaked (e.g. "uncredited", "unknown", "The Editor(s)" and prolific ghostwriters are currently ignored), but it's a start. (Special thanks to Marty for helping with the logic!) Ahasuerus 14:29, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for filling the request, and so fast. There is a situation that those working on the script should be aware of: works which were published as "Anonymous" and then varianted to the known author will appear on this list. Do not correct the problem by making "Anonymous" into a pseudonym of the author. Just remove it from the list as a non-resolvable mismatch. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:12, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Found another situation that is not resolvable: when a book is credited to an actual person, but was ghost-written by another (see here). Since we can't make the actual person into a pseudonym, I can't think of any other way to resolve the conflict. Mhhutchins 18:04, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Re: "Anonymous", at first I was going to add it to the list of excluded authors like "unknown", "uncredited" and "The Editor(s)". However, a number of "Anonymous" records looked like they should be changed to "uncredited", so I decided to keep them, at least until we finish the first pass.
Re: the "Click to resolve" link, keep in mind that, as per the note at the top of the page, this list is regenerated nightly, so all removed titles will reappear tomorrow morning. The "Click to resolve" link can still be used to keep track of what you are working on, but the real solution will be to identify the authors that shouldn't be reported and add them to the nightly job that rebuilds this list. And once we enhance our support for ghostwriters, the whole issue will go away. Ahasuerus 20:15, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I'll start keeping a list of authors to exclude from the logic. Mhhutchins 20:46, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Hopefully, once all of the missing pseudonyms have been assigned, what remains will be effectively the list of authors to add to this script's ignore list. Ahasuerus 21:00, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
I've started working on this in earnest, and have found that the number of "anonymous" titles slows down looking for legitimate mismatches. (Having to use the "Click Once Resolved" button every day for the same titles just to get a cleaner working list is rather tedious.) Is there a way to program these out from the list, like you did with "uncredited"? Or because of your statement above that some of the "anonymous" records are incorrectly credited (I've not found any yet), could you create a separate list of just these "anonymous" titles? Thanks for considering it. Mhhutchins 17:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
At one point we had problems with incorrectly entered "Anonymous" authors, but if you are not finding them, then they must have been resolved by now. Let me change the script... Ahasuerus 21:29, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Done. The next run, which will happen at 1am server (i.e. US Central) time, should ignore Anonymous. Ahasuerus 22:08, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I've spent the last hour or so going through the records for "Anonymous" and at least half of them should have been credited to "uncredited". This doesn't affect the script since none of them were varianted to true authors because they were all visible on the summary page for "Anonymous". When I get a chance, I'll look at the "Show All Titles" list to determine if there any problems with any that are varianted to another author. (Just glancing through the list, there's relatively few of them.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:44, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

The Magic Labyrinth

The publisher of this pub, primarily verified by Bill Longley, is entered as “Grafton”, which is confirmed by both copyright page and spine; but the title page only has “Panther: Granada Publishing”, which I mentioned in the notes. I was wondering whether it shouldn't be the reverse here ? Thanks for your help. Linguist 15:02, 22 June 2014 (UTC).

I agree that the publisher should be given as "Panther / Granada", but since there is no standard about which publisher credit has priority (that I'm aware of), we can only note the differences. Without a standard there are going to be identically credited books which appear differently in the database, based upon the verifying editor's subjective decision. Feel free to start a discussion on the Rules and Standard page. Mhhutchins 17:19, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. I'll transfer this exchange on the page, and see if anyone is interested in the matter. Linguist 21:17, 22 June 2014 (UTC).

Meet Lara Adrian, our latest guinea pig

As some of you may have noticed, Fixer has submitted 30ish e-books by Lara Adrian. Unlike other Fixer runs, this one was author-specific and therefore experimental. Most of the resulting submissions are AddPubs and shouldn't present any issues, but a few are NewPubs varying from omnibus editions of Midnight Breed novels to standalone short stories. I am treating it as a test run, so if you encounter anything unusual or anything that Fixer could improve in the submission logic, please post your findings here. TIA! Ahasuerus 22:14, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Fixer and 2014 e-AddPubs

Fixer is almost done submitting high priority e-AddPubs for 2014. There are a few dozen UK ISBNs that we do not know the list price for and some other oddball pubs, but for the most part we are caught up. Many thanks to the moderators who have been working on these submissions, especially Michael!

I plan to run 2013 next, although it looks rather daunting, with over 5,000 AddPub ISBNs. I guess 2013 was the year when parallel e-publication became the de facto standard. It also looks like many publishers have been working on making their back catalogs available electronically over the last year. Ahasuerus 03:13, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Mills & Boon

Does anyone know why on Mills & Boon we have a note saying anything after 1971 should be entered as "Mills & Boon / Harlequin"? I have a couple of Fixer submissions on hold where the Look Inside shows only Mills & Boon. And the Mills & Boon website describes them as a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises, not as a Harlequin imprint. I'm happy to go with the flow, but it doesn't sound quite right to me. --MartyD 11:42, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I did that to separate the pre-Harlequin publications from the post ones. We don't have a method to distinguish subsidiaries, divisions, etc, so I opted for the method used for entering imprints. Can you think of a different way of separating them? Or do you believe that Harlequin should not be considered the publisher of the Mills & Boon titles and that they all be entered under the same name as 1908-1970 titles? Mhhutchins 18:32, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
I didn't think we did subsidiaries (or divisions) as imprints. I don't object, particularly, although I don't see how an editor would ever get it right if there's no mention of Harlequin in the books. It's also hard for moderators to catch, since one would have to be aware of it (and remember it), given no cue from the publication. I would not have noticed anything wrong had the submissions used "Mills & Boon". --MartyD 12:43, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're asking then. Again, do you propose that there be no distinction between the pre- and post-1971 publications? I'd be willing to go along with any consensus arrived by the group. It would be easy to fix since there are no verified copies of any Mills & Boon publications. As for how an editor will enter them, we'll have to wait until someone with an actual copy of one of the books wants to do a primary verification of an ISFDB record. As for moderators, anyone who has handled more than a few Fixer submissions has learned there are things that crop up occasionally to be fixed and remembers them when confronted in later submissions. This is just another thing (among several hundred more) for moderators to be aware of. That's why we get paid the big bucks. :) Mhhutchins 15:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not asking for anything, I was only asking "why" to be sure that following the note was appropriate (I couldn't tell where it came from). I have no problem making the submissions conform to what's currently called for, and that's what I will do. Thanks for the explanation. --MartyD 01:03, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Fixer - 2012

Now that all e-AddPubs for 2014 have been submitted, Fixer will concentrate on AddPubs for paper-based books published in 2012. So far, January has been submitted. Ahasuerus 00:23, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

It sure would be nice if more moderators would become involved in working these submissions. They're relatively simple with only an occasional hitch, and they could be knocked out in no time, leaving you more time to work on software development. I've noticed you're submitting (and moderating) most of the NewPubs, while most of Fixer's submissions are AddPubs. This makes it much easier for other moderators to handle. I wonder how many of them were frightened away in the past and don't realize just how much better Fixer's submissions have become in the last year or so. If Fixer's submissions had continued as they were, I might not be moderating them myself. Thanks for the job you're doing in keeping the db up-to-date. I don't think the other editors fully appreciate the effort you're making in adding new titles, or they would be helping more. They may not even realize how much harder it would be if most books they're updating and verifying didn't already have a record in the db. Mhhutchins 16:10, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Michael that they are pretty easy to deal with. It usually consists of cleaning up the title (removing the Amazon added series name, etc.) and then checking the Amazon Look Inside (if available) to ensure the title, author, and publisher credits are correct as shown plus see if cover artist or interior artist credits are shown. Correcting the title is one thing I'd call out as it seems some moderators have been approving them as is (an advanced search on publication with a title of "(", notes of "Amazon", and publication year of "2014" will show what I mean - only a handful of those 60 pubs should a parenthetical). -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:14, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

(after edit conflict)

Thanks, Michael, very kind of you :-)
We really have 2 separate Fixer-related projects going right now. The first is my attempt to keep up with the new books released by publishers every month. Of the roughly 4-5,000 new ISBNs that Fixer finds monthly, less than 2,000 are added to the "new" queue; the rest are auto-suspended based on various rules. I then review the "new" queue and assign its ISBNs to queues 1, 2, 3 or 0. Queue 1 is the one that gets submitted to ISFDB. Queue 2 is "we'll get to these guys eventually" and includes Ellora's Cave, amateur reprints of the classics, new books by self-published authors some of whose works are already in ISFDB, etc. Queue 3 is the nether regions of the self-publishing world. Queue 0 is where incomplete records go; it gets revisited once every few months to see if better data may have become available.
Queue 1 is where most of the action is. Of the 600-700 ISBNs that I process every month, roughly 150-200 are AddPubs and I can usually get them out of the way quickly. The rest are NewPubs and they can take a while to process: I need to put new titles into their respective series, assign tags, find Web sites and biographical data for new authors, etc. At this time I handle all of these activities myself, but I hope to be able to turn at least some of them over to moderators in the foreseeable future.
The other Fixer-related project is back-entering the data that we missed in previous years. At the moment Fixer is concentrating on AddPubs, but eventually we'll graduate to NewPubs. I still need to prioritize the ISBNs before Fixer can create submissions, but I am leaving the approval side of things to moderators.
Here is an example of what the main Fixer interface that I work with looks like:
Love & Romance
Paranormal & Fantasy
Paranormal & Urban

Price: $10.99  Pages: 421   ISBN: 0062060805 / 9780062060808
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books        Date: 2013-01-29  Binding: Kindle Edition
Title: Asunder (1529041 - NOVEL)
Authors: Jodi Meadows (164358 - NOVE-3)
URL: h ttp://
(a)hasuerus, (f)ixer, (r)eject, (s)suspend, (0/1/2/3), (p)ublishers, (q)uit?
The first 8 lines should be self-explanatory. "(1529041 - NOVEL)" next to the title is the record number of the existing ISFDB title that this pub will be added to, which lets me know that this will be an AddPub. "(164358 - NOVE-3)" next to the author's name is the record number of the ISFDB author record and the number of titles of different types that we have on file. In this case ISFDB knows of 3 novels written by Jodi Meadows. The URL line tells me that the pub has a cover image associated with it, but it doesn't display the image, so sometimes I miss things like "cover not final" and placeholders.
The last line lists the submission options that I have. "a" creates a submission using my main ISFDB account, "f" creates a submission on Fixer's behalf, "r" rejects the ISBN outright (calendars, comics, etc), "s" suspends the ISBN (foreign language books, books for very young children, etc) and moves it to a special queue, 0/1/2/3 moves the ISBN to one of the previously described queues. "p" lists the publishers that the currently displayed author(s) is/are associated with it. In this case, if I choose "p", I will see the following information:
 Jodi Meadows:
  Katherine Tegen Books - 5
  Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins - 1
which can be helpful when trying to determine whether a CreateSpace author has been associated with major publishers in the past. Anyway, hope this helps some! Ahasuerus 22:28, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
It does! And it makes me appreciate your efforts even more. Mhhutchins 22:58, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Fixer and e-books published in 2013

AddPubs for January, February and March have been submitted. With multiple moderators working on submissions, things are moving along faster than expected :) Ahasuerus 04:20, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

April 2013 has been submitted. Ahasuerus 05:08, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
May 2013 has been submitted. Ahasuerus 20:48, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
June has been submitted. Ahasuerus 06:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
July has been submitted. Ahasuerus 16:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
August has been submitted. Ahasuerus 03:11, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
September has been submitted. Ahasuerus 03:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
October has been submitted. Ahasuerus 02:28, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
November has been submitted. As some of you may have noticed, there is a certain logic to the way Fixer submits these ISBN:
  • established US-only publishers
  • established UK-only publishers
  • US books by transatlantic publishers (like Tor) and by less well-known US publishers
  • UK books by transatlantic publishers and by less well-known UK publishers
Ahasuerus 01:49, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
December 2013 has been submitted. The results of an additional "cleanup" pass have been submitted as well, which means that all known AddPubs for 2013 are now done :-) Thanks to everyone who has been diligently working on the project for the last few weeks! Ahasuerus 04:50, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
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