ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 17


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This archive includes discussions from January - September 2015.

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Expanded archive listing


Japanese language titles

Are there any moderators familiar with Japanese? I know nothing about it and am not comfortable dealing with such submissions. I wouldn't know what exactly I'm allowing into the database. :) Mhhutchins 22:35, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know Japanese, but I think at one point Ron mentioned that he studied it in the past. In general, our data entry forms should be robust enough to handle pretty much any language.
I have approved the latest submissions, which were mostly limited to adding links to the Japanese Wikipedia. Japanese titles are usually harmless, although we may want to keep giant robots away from magical ponies :) Ahasuerus 23:16, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I have a fair working knowledge of Japanese (of course I am not a moderator either). I would say I can speak it fluently (not natively) and can read most simplistic things enough to dig farther and ask questions if I cannot find it myself. Uzume 00:53, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
That's good to know! I may have some questions ahead of the next round of language enhancements :) Ahasuerus 02:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Fire away! I look forward to hearing them. I have been wondering about some things like authors and pseudonyms in this space. Typically the canonical name is the one most well known (even if it is a pen name). That said, virtually all the Japanese authors are entered in some romanized methodology (which is not consistent). That is probably not unusual due to the historically English orientation of the ISFDB, however, as the number of foreign works rises, it seems to me eventually the most commonly used named for authors would likely also be their native ones (nom de plume still being possible). In the Japanese cases, these would likely not be in the Roman/English alphabet. Does this sound like the right thing to do (making tranliterations as pseudonyms for translated works, etc.) or should we wait to go that far? Uzume 07:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's one of the issues that I have been pondering. I need to implement a few other features before I start working on the next round of language enhancements, but we might as well get the discussion started. I will post the details on the Community Portal tomorrow. Ahasuerus 08:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I can also help with Japanese titles. Nihonjoe 07:22, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Astounding Stories

Wildside Press is reprinting the early issues of this magazine. Just to let you know that these are NOT facsimile reprints. The fiction, and covers, have been reformatted, and all columns (if any) and all of the ads are missing. Some of this may not be important, but this means that there is not even an attempt at a facsimile reprinting of these magazines. I'll list the first two sometime in the future, but just in case somebody else lists these, I thought that I would mention this. MLB 05:54, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

I stand corrected, the copy that I have is from Createspace, a credit from Amazon, there is no other publisher listed for my copy and there is a lot of the early issues from Createspace. MLB 08:03, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Since you say CreateSpace, by chance are they "re-prints" of these? It's not unknown for people to sell versions of out-of-print works that are freely available from Project Gutenberg. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:05, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

ClonePub review changes

The Clone Pub review page has been enhanced to display links to the same "Additional Sources" sites that are listed on the NewPub/AddPub review page. Ahasuerus 05:38, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Merging interior art

This is why there is a section in Rule & Standards that precludes merging interior art. I don't mind divergences from the standards as long as the reasons are clearly documented. The nightmare with interior art is that the artwork must be visually compared in order to insure that like items are being merged. To my mind Virgil Finlay is the ONLY artist who is worth the effort of going through this process.--swfritter 20:44, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Can you point out the documentation that states interior art records should not be merged? I can't seem to find it under the specific help page about merging titles or the general help page). Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:49, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Help:How to merge titles has a section on "Merging Artwork". The relevant paragraphs read:
  • Interior artwork in like publications may be merged. If the interior artwork is known or expected to be the same, such as interior artwork maps in a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd printings of a paperback of the same title, then the artwork may be merged. Some care should be exercised to ensure that interior artwork hasn't changed between hardcover and paperback publications of the same title, but most modern HC releases followed by paperback releases are expected to duplicate the interior artwork and may be merged, barring some information indicating that the artwork changed. (Often if there is change from the HC interior artwork, the copyright for the new artwork will match the paperback publication, and not the HC publication year.
  • Interior artwork in different publications should only be merged upon a direct comparison. Sometimes a book may reprint interior artwork from a pulp magazine several decades past. The new book may correctly credit the original artist and the source, but the modern book may omit panels or even entire pages. You should only merge interior artwork that has been subject to re-editing after directly comparing both the subject and scope of the two pieces of art, and you can confirm that they are indeed the same complete work of art.
Ahasuerus 21:54, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Sometimes it's hard to find the right documentation. Now I know where to direct inquiries about merging titles. Mhhutchins 20:14, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I would also like to point out to other moderators that these standards do not preclude the merging of INTERIORART records, only that special care should be taken in accepting them, i.e. primary verification of both records. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:38, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the amplification. This issue was a total nightmare when editors started merging non-matching interior artwork for Amazing Stories/Fantastic Stories with the artwork from subsequent magazine reprints . Luckily, that was primarily a special case but I am missing at least a quarter of my hair as result of that experience.--swfritter 23:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2015

I just entered the information for this issue into the databank, unfortunately there seems to be a phantom LCCN attached to it. It can be eliminated or I can do it if this issue's information is accepted. Sorry. MLB 03:14, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

What's a phantom LCCN? If it's just a typo, that can be easily fixed in an update to the record. If it's something supernatural, well, you know who you're gonna have to call. :) Mhhutchins 01:46, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

A new cleanup report for publishers with invalid Unicode characters

A new cleanup report for publishers with invalid Unicode characters has been coded and deployed. It will become available from the Cleanup Reports menu once the nightly job runs at 1am server (US Central) time. There are 86 affected publisher records. In most cases they can be fixed by adding a single character to the end of the publisher's name (I usually use "1"), filing it, then editing the publisher record again and removing the added character. However, it's possible that some "bad" publishers are duplicates or near-duplicates of other publishers, so please check for similarly named publishers before correcting the data. (Duplicate publishers are reported by the nightly job, but near-duplicates are much harder to find.)

Also, please note that this patch includes a number of behind-the-scenes changes to the way the cleanup menu works. If you seen anything unusual, please report it here. Ahasuerus 05:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

this one will not disappear from the list. Looks like a publisher from Tibet and has one bad character (ṅ). --Willem 14:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Cleaned now. Just changed the combined diacritical character ṅ with a unicode character ṅ. Mhhutchins 16:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Something I've discovered in the process is that almost all of these occurred when an editor copied and pasted data from OCLC which uses combined diacritical characters. We need to make a bold statement on the community portal asking editors to avoid this practice as much as possible. As hard as it's going to be for them to find the proper unicode character it's going to be just as hard for the moderator to fix it. Almost every editor uses Windows and it has a character map. Mhhutchins 16:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
That's right, OCLC was our main source of combining diacritics. However, the last patch also changed our software so that all "recognized" combining diacritics are automatically converted to their Unicode counterparts at data entry time. Which means that copy-and-paste should be safe to use going forward :) Ahasuerus 18:15, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
That's great. Takes a load off the backs of the moderators. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:47, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
BTW, at this time the software knows how to auto-convert over 200 "recognized" combinations to Unicode. That should account for the vast majority of what we have to deal with, but it's possible that I missed something. In a few months I will check the database again and adjust the logic accordingly. Ahasuerus 18:15, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) The following cleanup reports have been added:

  • Publication Series with Invalid Unicode Characters
  • Series with Invalid Unicode Characters
  • Authors with Invalid Unicode Characters

In addition, please note that we now have 6 pairs of identically named publishers, which can be safely merged. (We really need to change the software to disallow the creation of duplicate publishers and publication series, but that's a different story.) Ahasuerus 22:47, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I cleaned up most of the authors. There are two remaining, likely due to having combinations that you don't have yet in your translation table. Chavey 06:56, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The small letter "u" with a dot above (in this author's name) is not part of the Azerbajani alphabet, nor any other alphabet, so it's likely an error in the OCLC listing. I changed it to a standard "u".
In this author's name, the small letter "n" with a dot above is U+1E45. There is no alt code for it so I just copied and pasted it from Windows Character Map. Mhhutchins 07:43, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
"The small letter "n" with a dot" (as well as its uppercase counterpart) have been added to the list of auto-converted characters.
I see that the last unfixable record, Cây Đè̂n Thà̂n, has been fixed by moving the offending characters to Notes. According to Wikipedia, all Vietnamese characters are defined in Unicode, so I suspect that it was a WorldCat error. Alternatively, perhaps we just don't know enough about the Vietnamese alphabet (which apparently has a complicated history) to figure out what's going on here. Oh well, there is only so much we can do... Ahasuerus 04:21, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Cloud on Silver

I'd like to change the cover artist of this, PV'd by BLongley, from Barbara, to Arthur Barbosa. Examples of his signature can be found here. Wikipedia also mentions that Barbosa did some Georgette Heyer covers, so it must be the right Barbosa. Horzel 12:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, those are the same signatures. I'll update the pub record. Thanks. Mhhutchins

Moderator review page for NewPub/AddPub submissions

The moderator review page for NewPub/AddPub submissions has been changed to reflect the new layout of the New Pub submission page. There is one caveat -- although the name of the "type" field has been changed from "Pub. Type" to "Title Type" on the New Pub page, it remains "PubType" on the moderator review page. This is due to the way submissions are stored in the database and, although it could be fixed, it would require more work than it's worth. Ahasuerus 23:39, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

NOVEL Publications with Fewer Than 40 Pages

A new cleanup report, "Novel Publications with Fewer Than 40 Pages", has been deployed. Once we clean up the 412 pubs that are currently outstanding, we can add the ability to "ignore" records and incrementally increase the threshold value until we reach 100.

Please note that the report doesn't understand Roman numerals, punctuations, etc, so it may miss certain oddball cases like "[3]+34" or "vii+23". Ahasuerus 02:54, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

The report logic has been tweaked to include publications with page counts containing Roman numerals, square brackets and plus signs. You will see an extra ~50 publication records once the nightly job runs. Ahasuerus 04:31, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Records with Suspect Unicode Characters

6 new cleanup reports have been deployed. They cover authors, titles, pubs, series, publication series and publisher with "suspect Unicode characters". These characters are Unicode characters which can be legitimately used in certain (usually Asian) alphabets, but which shouldn't be used as substitutes for regular apostrophes and other punctuation. The new reports are similar to the previously deployed "Invalid Unicode Characters" reports except that they let you "ignore" records.

I have corrected or "ignored" all but the author records, which were left for your viewing pleasure. Ahasuerus 03:00, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Fixer - January 2015

Fixer has completed his monthly run. I will be submitting a number of newly identified 2014 ISBNs over the next few days. Ahasuerus 03:46, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Fixer's 2014 queue is now empty -- thanks to the moderators who have processed the submissions! Ahasuerus 22:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Removing an author

Hello, is there a way to manually remove this author? Hauck 11:42, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I am aware of three scenarios that can result in an orphan author record like "W Gillings":
  1. The author has no titles, but there is one or more unlinked reviews of his works on file. Unlinked reviews come up on one of our nightly cleanup reports, so this is less of a problem these days.
  2. The author no longer has any titles and should have been automatically deleted when his last title record was removed from the database, but for some reason the record wasn't deleted. There is a known bug with Cover Art deletion which can cause this to happen. The easiest way to delete these types of author records is to create a new novel for them, then delete the publication record and the title record. In 90% of all cases this process results in the deletion of the orphan author record.
  3. All of the author's titles have been deleted, but there is one or more records in the table that links authors and titles. This scenario is uncommon, but apparently it can happen if the database goes down at the exact moment when an author's last title record is in the process of being deleted. The only way to delete these "stuck in limbo" authors is for the database administrator to remove the links manually. Once that has been done, the trick described in point 2 above should work.
In this case adding and then deleting a novel for "W Gillings" took care of the problem. Ahasuerus 15:25, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Hauck 16:08, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Is there a way to find these authors/artists, perhaps a clean-up report, and then remove them from the database? Mhhutchins
We have a couple of Bug reports (Bug 200 and Bug 220) that cover this area and it's on my list of things to do -- Real Soon Now (tm) :-) Ahasuerus 19:05, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Python errors

I think I mentioned it at one point last year, but just in case, let me re-emphasize how important it is to report Python errors quickly. Also, please don't try to manipulate the data to work around Python errors -- in some cases it is harmless, but in other cases it can cause database corruption to spread. In a worst case scenario we may have to go back to the last "good" backup and lose N days worth of work. That would be ugly... :-( Ahasuerus 00:15, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Here are some Python errors:
I am curious where your comment comes from though. Uzume 01:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! To answer your question, there have been cases when editors encountered Python errors but didn't realize that they were a problem. They never reported them, so they remained in the system until I stumbled upon them. Ahasuerus 02:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The Python errors reported above have been fixed. Ahasuerus 05:40, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Lyrical Trade / Lyrical Press

Fixer has identified and submitted a number of SF books by "Lyrical Press". Apparently, "Lyrical Press" is a new Kensington Publishing imprint, apparently one of their two digital imprints (the other one is eKensington.)

Since Lyrical Press also does digital-to-paper editions, Amazon lists their trade paperbacks as "Lyrical Trade". I have changed Fixer's software to use "Lyrical Press" in the future (although we may want to change it to "Lyrical Press / Kensington Books"), but the ISBNs that have already been submitted use "Lyrical Trade" and will need to be corrected manually. Ahasuerus 03:49, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

It appears that Lyrical Press has been around at least since 2008. It's also in the db as "Lyrical Press Inc." and "Lyrical Press Inc". I'll merge these publishers and then try to determine its exact relationship to Kensington. Perhaps it was absorbed after its first publications. If so, we can separate the pre-Kensington titles and add "Kensington Books" only to those after it became an imprint of the larger company. Mhhutchins 04:26, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Kensington acquired Lyrical in summer 2014 according to this page on their website. Lyrical was founded in 2007. There are currently no post-acquisition publications in our db. Mhhutchins 04:46, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Just entered the first ones from October 2014 as "Lyrical Press / Kensington Publishing Corp.". The title pages give "Lyrical Press" over "Kensington Publishing Corp." The Amazon Look Inside show the copyright statement "Lyrical Press books are published by Kensington Publishing, Corp." Mhhutchins 04:52, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The reason that we have no post-acquisition pubs in the database is twofold. First, "Lyrical Trade" was not on Fixer's list of "notable" publishers. Second, they appear to specialize in new and "digital-to-print" authors (similar to 47North etc.) Because our coverage of self-published e-books is meager, all of their authors were "unknown" as far as Fixer was concerned. As it happens, "notable publisher" and "known author" are the two major criteria used by Fixer during the automatic phase of the data acquisition/sorting process, so none of the Lyrical Press/Trade books made it on the list of "important ISBNs" in 2014. It's a good thing that I review the "unimportant" ISBNs as well (although not as carefully), so eventually I noticed the pattern. Ahasuerus 05:03, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
"notable publisher" and "known author" are the two major criteria used by Fixer during the automatic phase of the data acquisition/sorting it should be. I can't imagine us doing more, unless we had more moderators actually handling Fixer's submissions. Thanks for keeping the rest of us sane. Mhhutchins 05:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
All known "Lyrical Press" ISBNs have been submitted. A couple (3?) of them were from 2013 and the spelling of the publisher's name was different, so they may need to be adjusted. Ahasuerus 22:22, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Amazon author photos redux

Have we yet determined if we can deep-link to author photo files on Amazon? There's a submission in the queue that does that. Mhhutchins 16:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Not yet. I have sent Al an e-mail. Ahasuerus 22:10, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I also just realized that there is no moderator warning as there usually is for links to images on non-permitting sites. Perhaps that's because the software doesn't differentiate between author photos and book covers. I suppose it would be impossible to have it do so. But knowing that this field is specifically for author photos should help in that regard. Mhhutchins 21:38, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That's an interesting point. I could enhance the software to distinguish between author images and pub covers. Ahasuerus 02:22, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The submission has been on hold for ten days, so I went ahead and accepted it. Let the chips fall where they may. Mhhutchins 02:08, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from Al re: this issue... Ahasuerus 04:07, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Fixer has come across and submitted a dozen ISBNs by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, a Canadian publisher. Some are from the 1990s and early 2000s and may need additional massaging. Ahasuerus 02:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Like changing "and" to "&" in the publisher name? Mhhutchins 03:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that was something that I noticed after the third (give or take) submission, at which point I instructed Fixer to auto-correct the name. Ahasuerus 04:09, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Another question: how certain are you that the list price given in this record was the list price at the time of its publication in 2004? There is no list price currently listed on either or Nor on B&N which is cited as the source. Does Fixer know how to go back to get contemporaneous prices? Also, do we know if this is in US dollars or Canadian dollars? Mhhutchins 03:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Fixer gets his data from a separate Amazon database and it's possible that that database has different data. When dealing with older books, I have seen Fixer get the list price from Amazon even though no price was displayed on regular Amazon page. In a few cases I was able to confirm that the price that Fixer got from Amazon had been the actual price as of the time the book was published, but, of course, that's not a 100% guarantee. Ahasuerus 04:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
An odd F&H listing here. According to the OCLC record the publisher was Stoddart, and its ISBN falls within their range, not F&H. And again, that price on a 1996 book. Mhhutchins 03:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Same situation with this record. Maybe Stoddart was later acquired by F&H and Amazon is playing the same game as when this happens with other publishers (like HarperCollins). I'm going to correct the publisher of these books to that given by OCLC. Mhhutchins 04:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Turns out all but one of these were published by Stoddart (pre-2000) or Stoddart Kids. It became an imprint of F&H in 2004 per this news release. Mhhutchins 04:30, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

"Publications with Invalid Catalog IDs" improvements

The cleanup report "Publications with Invalid Catalog IDs" has been enhanced to perform more rigorous format checking. It now requires non-catalog ID values to contain 10 digits, 9 digits + "X/x" or 13 digits. The next time the nightly job runs, you will see 4 additional ISBNs that will need to be corrected. Ahasuerus 23:16, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Moderator review page for Edit Title submissions

The moderator review page for Edit Title submissions has been changed. In the past, it displayed a table listing publications which contain either the about-to-be-modified title or its children. Post-change it displays two tables: one for publications that contain the title and another one for the title's children (if they exist.) Ahasuerus 04:14, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Great. I didn't realize this change was needed until I mistakenly rejected a couple of submissions. Thanks for the fix. Mhhutchins 05:44, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Development update - February 2015

Things may appear to be slow on the development front, so let me post a quick update re: where we are at the moment. I am currently in the process of streamlining and standardizing all (79!) cleanup reports. Hopefully the last one will be finished in a few days. I am also supervising Fixer's work on identifying additional editions of the books that we already have on file. It's a little tricky and more than a little time-consuming because of the way certain APIs work, but Fixer is making good progress. We should see the result in about a month once everything has been reconciled. Ahasuerus 00:44, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

All of our nightly cleanup reports have been converted to the new way of doing things. A number of minor bugs were identified and fixed along the way and the format was tweaked in a number of cases, but nothing earth-shattering. Hopefully nothing was broken during the rewrite, but if you see anything unusual, please post your findings here. TIA! Ahasuerus 04:55, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Captain Future Letters

I seem to make friends wherever I go. So, here's another reason to ask me to go find my shadow on the dark side of the moon. I have four facsimile reprints of the Captain Future pulp, and I've noticed that these pulps letter sections have been reprinted in the anthologies in this series of anthologies. Should I know go back and list these letters and then variant them? If I should list these letters is there an easier way to do than one letter at a time? And what about the illustrations? Oye!!! Time for a vacation I think. Lemme know. MLB 04:14, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

If the letters have the same headings it would seem that they could be merged, in which case it might also make sense that they should also be entered into the original magazine pubs. If the source is a facsimile reprint the page numbers would presumably be the same. The standard is to list "significant letters by well-known sf personalities" which is a standard which does not apply to most of these letters. I personally consider that standard too restrictive. There is some fascinating information to be gleaned from the letter columns. Documenting the existence of the letters might be of value to sf historians. In those publications that have titled letters, the titles themselves can help determine if a letter might be of interest to a researcher.--swfritter 17:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, I understand "significant letters by well-known sf personalities" rule, whether I agree with it or not. After all, what is a significant sf personality? Some became writers (Isaac Asimov, Milton Lesser, Richard Parks), some editors (Robert A. W. Lowndes, Donald A. Wollheim), and some, throw conventions, publish fanzines, and keep the interest in speculative fiction alive, although their contributions are often forgotten after they move on. Letter columns are filled with such long time fans. A good example is Rick Sneary whose letters appeared in sf magazines for decades. However, be that as it may. Since the letters in the Captain Future magazines are now reprinted in an anthology, would it be proper now to enter them? And if so, should I, and if I do, is there an easier way than having to manually merge dozens of entries? MLB 22:45, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
If the titles/authors of these letters are the same in the reprints, as I assume they are, then you can simply import the relevant titles using the recently added "Import Title(s)" functionality -- see the "Import Individual Titles" section of Help:Screen:ImportContent. Please note that you can import multiple titles at the same time. In addition, as the Help page, "You can also enter the URL of the title", i.e. "" instead of "1798746", which makes copying and pasting easier. Ahasuerus 00:10, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Wendy Webb vs. Wendy Webb

Ok, after I primary verified The Vanishing, I found out that there are two Wendy Webbs on this site, both with some of the same books. Is Wendy Webb (I) and Wendy Webb the same person, or different peoples. If they are the same, shouldn't these pages be merged? If not, then shouldn't the novels by Wendy Webb (I) be removed from the Wendy Webb page? The novels by Wendy Webb (I) are copyrighted by Wendy K. Webb if that helps. Honestly, I don't think that they are same person. Wendy Webb (I)'s webpage states that she is a native Minnesotian, not a Floridian. MLB 03:49, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

I have removed The Vanishing from the page for Wendy Webb. If you know any other title by the other author that is incorrectly listed, go to the title record and add "(I)" to the author credit. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:11, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report -- Duplicate SHORTFICTION in Magazines/Fanzines

A new cleanup report, "Duplicate SHORTFICTION in Magazines/Fanzines", has been deployed. The data will become available after the nightly process runs at 1am server (US Central) time. The report searches MAGAZINE and FANZINE publications for 2+ SHORTFICTION title records with identical titles. Occasionally these combinations are legitimate and should be "ignored", but in most cases one of the two occurrences is a mistyped INTERIORART record. We also have two pubs with 2+ "Letter to ..." ESSAYs which were entered as SHORTFICTION. Ahasuerus 06:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Changes to the Edit Title review page

The Edit Title moderator review page has been changed to display the names of primary verifiers (if any.) Ahasuerus 20:05, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Novel Publications with Fewer Than 40^H^H 60^H^H 70 Pages

The cleanup report previously known as "Novel Publications with Fewer Than 40 Pages" has been changed to "Novel Publications with Fewer Than 60 Pages". In addition, the ability to ignore legitimate NOVEL publications has been added.

Once the nightly job runs at 1am server time, the number of pubs displayed will rise to 500+. Once they have been cleaned up, we can further increase the threshold to 80 pages, which will add another 1,100+ pubs. Ahasuerus 21:24, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

The threshold has been changed from 60 to 70 pages. Ahasuerus 21:29, 15 March 2015 (UTC)


I just accepted a submission from a new editor who flagged an anthology of graphic horror stories as "graphic" (as in "graphic novel"). That may be a problem. Mhhutchins 19:47, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

I have to admit that this connection didn't occur to me, but there was another terminological conundrum that I ran into while working on the "graphic flag" FR. According to Wikipedia and some other sites:
  • In the publishing trade, the term is sometimes extended to material that would not be considered a novel if produced in another medium. Collections of comic books that do not form a continuous story, anthologies or collections of loosely related pieces, and even non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels" [...]
If we were to adopt this definition, we could change "Graphic" to "Graphic novel" and it would still cover all of our title types. However, it seemed unnecessarily confusing, so I decided to use "graphic" instead. Ahasuerus 20:02, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Leaving it as "graphic" would require moderators to check each submission to see if it is flagged as "graphic" and determine if it's correct. I imagine the next step is to be sure that someone doesn't start flagging all INTERIORART and COVERART records as "graphic". Mhhutchins 20:09, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
There is an FR to "Disable the Graphic field for COVEART/INTERIOART records". I expect to be able to implement it today or tomorrow. Ahasuerus 20:36, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Changing the flag to "graphic novel" clarifies its intended purpose. Or do I misunderstand the purpose of the flag? Mhhutchins 20:09, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I suggest not limiting it to novels as such a name implies. See this story. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:17, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that was my concern as well. The term "graphic novel" seems to suggest that it is limited to novels even though the industry apparently also uses it to describe other title types, even including non-fiction. Perhaps "graphic format" would be a reasonable compromise? Ahasuerus 20:36, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I would suggest "graphic story" since the fiction portion of them are already considered to be SHORTFICTION and the publication itself to be a CHAPBOOK. Are any one them actually 40,000 words? Your suggestion of "graphic format" sounds like a reasonable alternative. Mhhutchins 20:57, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, graphic publications can also be collections or anthologies. That's why I think it would be better to have a generic label like "graphic format" that would work equally well for all title types. Ahasuerus 21:00, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Moderator review changes for AddPub submissions

As per FR 775, the moderator review page for AddPub submissions has been changed. If the submitted publication title doesn't match the title of the Title record that the new publication is supposed to be merged with, a yellow warning is displayed. Here is an example. Also, please note that this should only happen with robotic submissions since regular AddPub submissions default the title of the Title record and do not let the editor change it. Ahasuerus 05:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Fixer submissions without publisher

There are many submissions currently in the queue which give no publisher credit. The ones with ISBN range 978-1-4352 are library binding publications by Paw Prints. After acceptance, please update the record to add them as the publisher. If you don't, any searches for this ISBN range generates a python error once the search reaches a publication with a blank publisher field. Thanks. Mhhutchins 06:14, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Could you please post the exact sequence of events that causes the Python error? Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
P.S. And I will update Fixer to use "Paw Prints" for this ISBN range. Ahasuerus 06:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
This happened a day or so ago. There was a Fixer submission without a publisher. So I did a search for the ISBN range. The search returned maybe 15-20 publications before it reached a record which had a blank publisher field. Below that last entry the Purple Python Monster reared its ugly head. I added a publisher to that last record and a subsequent search went all the way to end with no error. Mhhutchins 06:55, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll see if I can recreate the problem... Ahasuerus 06:58, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I just did, by accepting a submission for a publication with no publisher credit and not fixing it. Do an ISBN search for 97814395. Mhhutchins 07:00, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
That's another ISBN range for Paw Prints (978-1-4395). Mhhutchins 07:03, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I was just about to post that I was able to duplicate it on the development server :-) Ahasuerus 07:04, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report - potential author duplicates

A new cleanup report has been deployed and will become available tomorrow morning. It finds pairs of similar author names which may or may not be the same person. As you would expect, some of them are data entry artifacts, some are variant spellings that need to be set up as pseudonyms, and some are legitimately different people who need to be "ignored".

At the moment, the report is limited to author names starting with the letters 'I', 'O', 'Q', 'U', 'V', 'X', 'Y', and 'Z'. It will be expanded as the cleanup effort progresses. Ahasuerus 01:32, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Author names starting with the letter 'F' have been added and will appear tomorrow morning. There will be 40ish new pairs, about half of them apparently false positives. Ahasuerus 03:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
You added names starting with "N" the other night, but didn't note it in the list. Mhhutchins 04:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
That's right, the "N"s were silently added in the same patch that added the "Invalid URLs" report. I mentioned the omission in my post announcing the new report and now it's been fixed. Ahasuerus 05:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The letter 'W' has been added and the results will become available tomorrow morning. Approximately 120 new pairs are expected, quite a few of them false positives. Ahasuerus 21:11, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Adding publess records for translated titles

I would post this on the Rules & Standards page, but it's not really about changing a standard but clarifying an editing function.

Should we accept submissions that want to create title records for translated titles created by using the "Add a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work to This Title". This function is rarely used. Look at statistics page to see my point. The editor at the top of the list was adding Hungarian titles without pubs, a practice I questioned which upset him and he subsequently disappeared. As a comparison, I'm in third place and have used this function 292 times and the "Make Variant Title" function 29453 times.

The problem with this function is that it creates publess titles, and there is currently a clean-up report that finds such titles (except for three types), many of which are non-English. If SHORTFICTION were added to the script, I'm sure there would be thousands of them in the database. I've worked occasionally on this list, but really don't have the time to start adding publication records for languages I'm not familiar with.

Back to the original question: should we discourage editors from using this function to create publess titles? Right now there are three submissions in the queue wanting to create three different Russian language title records for a Fredric Brown story. I'll leave those to someone with Russian language skills, but it would be nice to have a policy about such submissions. Mhhutchins 21:54, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree that creating pub-less VTs is generally not the best way to add data to the database. I left a note to that effect on the editor's Talk page (User talk:Galacta) after approving and massaging his/her submissions. Ahasuerus 21:04, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm #2 on the list of "Add Variant Title". I like to use that for language translation titles, but only when I'm going to immediately add a publication to the title. I tend to use it because it saves me the effort of entering the author's name. That's not a big deal -- I can just as easily create a new pub and then "Make This a Variant". If it helps prevent the mass of titles with no pubs, I'd gladly change how I process such works. Chavey 03:22, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
That is the exact same rationale behind my using the function as well. As moderators we don't have to wait for the submission to be moderated before adding a publication record to the new title. I'm afraid non-moderators might forget they've added those titles while waiting for a submission to be moderated. In most cases, I don't think they intend to even add pub records, believing the title is sufficient unto itself. So there's no reason why you should stop using the function in the manner we've both used it. And we've got a clean-up report to keep us informed of those publess titles. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:58, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Conflicting rule: Interior art

Two statements concerning 'artwork not attached to a story' are at odds to each other and should get immediate attention. In Contents: title under Artwork, it states:

  • Interior art should have the same title as the fiction or essay it is associated with. If it is independent of other content, and has no apparent title or caption, give it the title of the publication in which it appears, disambiguating if necessary. [Note: occasionally a work may actually be titled "Untitled" which can correctly be given as the title of the work in the ISFDB record.] Cover art should never be entered directly as content, so there is never a need to enter a title for cover art records. Cover art is always titled "Cover: " followed by the title of the publication. Artwork on the back cover of a publication is treated as interior art.

The other, found in Entry Type under Interiorart states in part:

  • The third way to use this entry type is to capture illustrations that are not attached to individual stories, or to capture illustrations of stories which are illustrated by multiple artists (a rare situation). In these cases each entry indicates a specific illustration, and the page number is the page number of the illustration itself. Illustrations not attached to a story are given a title of "Untitled".

As you can see there are two different instructions for the same situation. I have been instructed to follow the former, the latter is probably an artifact of the past, but this already cost me more than a few hairs. To save new editors from the same fate I think some quick tweaking is in order. Syzygy 20:54, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Obviously an error. No illustration should be titled "Untitled" unless that is how it is titled in the publication. A "not attached" illustration obviously illustrates the publication in which it is published. That last "help" should be changed. I will make the standards compatible. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Mhhutchins 21:05, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
In the second section I've replaced
Illustrations not attached to a story are given a title of "Untitled".
with the same statement in the first section:
If an illustration is independent of other content, and has no apparent title or caption, give it the title of the publication in which it appears, disambiguating if necessary.
I'm not sure why there are two separate sections on titling interiorart, but at least they should agree. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:12, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll check my PVs for "Untitled" and change where needed. Syzygy 21:24, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Illegal values in submissions

A few days ago Michael and I noticed that a new editor was creating submissions with Dutch equivalents of words like "NOVEL", "Yes" and other values in drop-down lists. It turns out that this editor browses the Web using Google's translation services. Since Google kindly translates out data entry forms for him, all values in drop-down lists get replaced with their Dutch equivalents.

I'll need to check to see if I can address this issue in the software, but for now please be on the lookout for invalid values in submissions and reject them. Ahasuerus 22:48, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Half-Minute Horrors

I just added and changed content for several listings of Half-Minute Horrors. I made out the page listing before I changed the content, forgetting that the page I was working from had the previous content in it. I then got food poisoning and I entered the new content between bouts of nausea, like I'm doing this. So, page numbers and new content: ok, however Worms (Lane Smith), The New Me: A Pantoum (Gail Carson Levine), The Ballad of John Grepsy (David Rich), Horrorku (Catherine Applegate), Halloween Mask (Sonya Sones), and Aloft (Carson Ellis) are all still poems. Cartoon: The Legend of Alexandra & Rose (Jon Klossen) is still a cartoon, and please don't change the title of Vladimir Radunsky's piece of verse. I'm very sorry about this. MLB 14:50, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, things like that do happen! Every other time there's something that is a mistake: it's only human! Would you like to correct the mistakes on your own? And there's a possible one that I'm not sure about, but the author of Inventory looks a bit peculiar. Do you have the book still lying around, to look things up?
There also was a question yesterday on your talk page regarding the author Robert J. Defendi, that you might have missed courtesy of your illness. Christian Stonecreek 15:11, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report - Invalid Record URLs in Notes

A new cleanup report, "Invalid Record URLs in Notes", has been deployed. The data will become available early tomorrow morning once the nightly job runs.

Please note that the report logic identifies Notes with invalid links to ISFDB records only. It is currently limited to the following types of problems:

  • URLs of deleted/merged titles, publications, etc.
  • Malformed URLs that cannot be displayed properly.
  • Malformed URLs that most browsers can display, but that need to be fixed because you never know what any given browser or browser version may do with them. This includes missing quotes around HTML elements, extra spaces, etc.
  • URLs that take you to odd places like "Edit Publisher".
  • URLs that still work, but are no longer fully supported, e.g. "ay.cgi?An1952" instead of the currently standard "ay.cgi?1+1952" or "ea.cgi?Ray Bradbury" instead of "ea.cgi?194".

We have about 260 records with these types of problems, so it is not too bad. Special thanks to JLaTondre for providing a Perl version of the report!

In addition, author names which start with the letter "N" have been added to the "Suspected Duplicate Authors" report, although I forgot to update the message at the top of the page. Ahasuerus 03:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Please note that there is no way to "ignore" a record at this time. Clicking a "Resolve This ..." link merely deletes the selected record from the report in order to help keeping track of what's been fixed. "Resolved" records with problematic links will re-appear on the report when the nightly job runs again. Ahasuerus 16:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Probably shouldn't be a way to "ignore" one of these complaints -- they should *always* be problems in need of being fixed. Chavey 19:49, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, that was my thinking as well, but you never know what we may find. Once the current crop has been cleaned up, we'll see if there are any "unfixable" (for whatever reason) links left. Ahasuerus 20:02, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Paw Prints

Just a heads up that there will be more Paw Prints submissions over the next couple of days. Apparently they released 400+ books in 2009-04... Ahasuerus 00:10, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Only 100 left! Ahasuerus 05:56, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd bet money that the contracts with the original publishers were signed in April 2009. These probably aren't actually "published" until a library orders a copy. Only then do they take a copy of the original paperback book and rebind it with a hard cover. Mhhutchins 20:58, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it seems like that 2009-04 was the month when they added these ISBNs to their "print-on-demand" catalog. In any event, 2009-04 has been submitted :) Ahasuerus 22:05, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixer's progess - 2015-02

Fixer has completed the first part of his "ISBN reconciliation" project which I mentioned earlier this month.

There is good news and bad news. The good news is that Fixer has found a lot of new "AddPub" ISBNs, over 10,000 of them. The bad news is that it will take us some time to work our way through them. For the last couple of days I have been working on sorting the new ISBNs out, mostly pruning CreateSpace reprints of classic SF, but it's a time-consuming task and won't be completed overnight. I will be submitting the resulting AddPubs in batches as they become available. Ahasuerus 04:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Penguin Classics

While adding pubs to the new Penguin Little Black Classics series I noticed there were a few already present as published by Penguin Classics, probably added via Fixer. None of these pubs state Penguin Classics as the publisher (as in "Published by Penguin Classics") so I'm dubious as to the accuracy of describing "Penguin Classics" as a publisher or even as an imprint of Penguin. Wikipedia calls it an imprint however I believe this is in error at least as far as we define the term "imprint", and nowhere on Penguin's own detailed history of the series is it referred to as an imprint or a publishing entity in its own right: it is always referred to as a series, and with several sub-series.

All the pubs we have with Penguin Classics as publisher are unverified and date from 2009 onwards (to date 31 in total). I propose changing the publisher of these titles to "Penguin Books" or "Penguin Books (US)", etc. Your thoughts/corrections/input, please. PeteYoung 06:01, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

I agree that the publisher name should be changed to "Penguin Books" and merged with the current publisher of that name. But before doing so, I suggest that you (and others who want to help) go through the pubs and add the proper publication series name to each pub record. There are less than 30 records so it should be fairly simple to do. I'll work on some as well. Mhhutchins 08:26, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Throwing in the towel for tonight (or should I say this morning), but there are less than a dozen left. Have at it. Mhhutchins 09:07, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I had verified Monkey as "Penguin Classics / Penguin", but long enough ago that I didn't understand "Primary2" and didn't click it. But I have no objection to changing it to a series instead of an imprint. Chavey 18:19, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Uncredited and Unknown

Would someone take a look at this? The original has the pub as by unknown and the title as by uncredited, and the submitter switched those credits around. I took it because it made sense and did not seem any worse. But do we have to have the title with the same credit as the pub, and then variant the uncredited one to an unknown one? Thanks. --MartyD 11:24, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

As I understand it, "unknown" means that we do not know how the original is credited, e.g. whether there's a name, a statement of "Anonymous", no statement at all, etc. In other words, we don't have access to a copy, so we don't have the knowledge that someone else, presumably, has. In this case, we do understand what's in the original: There's no name there; and scholars have been unable to determine a name. That's "uncredited", not "unknown". Chavey 18:27, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of which one you choose, they should match. The author field of the publication record must be exactly the same as the author field in its title record. Otherwise it will appear on the clean-up report which finds mismatches in author fields of pubs and title records. Personally, I would credit the publication record (and its title record) as "uncredited" and then variant its title record to "unknown". For example if a book is credited to the housename "Alex Archer" and we don't know who wrote it, we variant the "Alex Archer" title record to one credited to "unknown". (See here.) Mhhutchins 20:22, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Removing Amazon's generic cover images from Fixer submissions

When accepting Fixer submissions which have picked up Amazon's generic cover images like this one and this one, the moderator should follow up with a submission to remove the link. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:07, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Cleanup report clarification request

For some time, this cleanup report has been complaining about the same three publications. I looked at the "error message" ("This report currently checks that each publication has one (and only one) title of the matching type"), and the books, and could see nothing wrong with them. I suspect Mike has looked at them also, and may have been in the same situation as me. When I accidentally generated some new titles that got the same complaint, I realized that what it was complaining about was that those three collections all claim to contain other collections within them. Logically, that's not uncommon, but apparently we have no clean way of expressing that phenomena. However, it seems to me there should be a better way for the cleanup report to tell us what it's complaining about here, because I couldn't figure it out from the current message. Chavey 07:59, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Technically, an ISFDB publication record can not contain more than one content record of the same type as its title reference record. So a COLLECTION can not contain two COLLECTION records, and a NOVEL can not contain two NOVEL content records. This cleanup report finds ISFDB records which violate that standard. There's a way to fix situations in which a publication actually does contain more than one COLLECTION, NOVEL, ANTHOLOGY, etc. It's called an OMNIBUS. I wasn't able to convince the primary verifier of those three records of the ISFDB standard and software limitations, so I let it go. The same situation arose a few days ago and I explained it to the primary verifier who changed the publication to an OMNIBUS. If you'll read this entire discussion you'll see my interpretation of the ISFDB standards. A COLLECTION is a type of publication which differs from a gathering, grouping, or collecting of stories within a publication. Mhhutchins 18:21, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'll go read that and catch up. Chavey 00:12, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixer 2015-03

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Fixer has identified lots and lots (10,000+) of additional AddPub ISBNs. I have been working on sorting them out -- most of them are "classic reprints" from CreateSpace and should be assigned a lower priority -- and will be submitting additional 2014 AddPubs over the next few days. Ahasuerus 02:30, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I am almost done sorting out the additional ISBNs and Fixer will be submitting some of them in the near future. The first step is to catch up on the paper-based and electronic AddPubs. Ahasuerus 17:15, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

William Black / Bill Black

While looking up some of the names that were in the two issues of the semi-prozine Starwind that I recently entered into this database I found that the writer William Black also has some artwork listed. But, I fear that the artwork may be by the comic artist Bill Black, and that the comic artist who runs AC Comics, is also the artist Bill Black who is also listed on this site. I compared the signatures of the comic artist Bill Black and the fanzine artist Bill Black and found them to be the same. Should the artwork of William Black be lifted out of the writer William Black's listing and listed as William Black (artist)? And if so, which should be canonical name? I suspect Bill Black, as that is the name he is still using for his comic art. MLB 23:57, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I have since found out that there is also a digital artist known as William Black who specializes in speculative artwork who is no relation to the above Bill Black. ***Sigh*** MLB 00:05, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I can't help with William Black, but consider our menagerie of Andrew Smiths :-) Ahasuerus 00:35, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I changed all of the artwork (mostly fanzine work) credited to "William Black" to "William Black (I)", and then varianted those to credit "Bill Black" as the canonical form of the artist's name. Mhhutchins 02:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Conversion of short works and picture books from NOVEL to CHAPBOOK

Just a heads up: I've been working on this cleanup report which finds works that are less than a set number of pages and typed as NOVEL. Currently, the bar is set at 60 pages, but will be moved up gradually, probably stopping at 100. In the process of cleaning records from this report, I've converted some which are primary verified. I didn't feel it necessary to notify the PV editor of these conversions, as the changes are mandated by the ISFDB standards. If you have any verified publication records on this report, please respond to this message and let me know that you prefer to clean them yourself. If you choose to do this, keep in mind that any awards, synopses, notes, series data and reviews will remain linked to the NOVEL title record. So that is the title record you should change to SHORTFICTION. If you change it to CHAPBOOK, it will create a new error because CHAPBOOK records should not have series data, reviews or synopses. (Although occasionally a review and award is for the CHAPBOOK and not the SHORTFICTION which it contains. That would have to be worked out when it appears on an error report.) After converting the NOVEL title record to SHORTFICTION, the publication record(s) should be updated to CHAPBOOK, and a CHAPBOOK content record should be added. Mhhutchins 20:03, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

New submission state

In the past, submissions could be in one of three states: "New", "Approved" (aka "Integrated") or "Rejected". The way things worked, when a moderator clicked the "Approve" link, the software would update the database first and change the submission status from "New" to "Approved" second. This could result in one of two problems:

  1. If the approval process errored out half way through, the submission remained in its original "New" state and another moderator could try to approve it again, thus creating multiple partial records.
  2. If the server happened to be particularly slow during the approval process, another moderator could come along and try to approve the submission before its status was changed to "Approved", thus creating a duplicate record or worse.

The last patch changed the approval process. The way it works now, as soon as you click "Approve", the status is changed to "In Progress" and the submission becomes unapprovable. If the approval process errors out, the submission remains labeled "In Progress" and will appear on the newly added Errored Out submissions report. Once the approval process is done, the submission state is changed to "Approved", just like it's always been.

As always, if you see anything unusual post-patch, please post your findings here. Ahasuerus 02:01, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Nice improvement in the "behind the curtain" function of the moderating process. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Fixer 2015-04

Well, we have good news and we have bad news. The good news is that I have finished entering the "forthcoming" books for May. The bad news is that I have noticed that with the increased number of new ISBNs appearing these days -- coupled with Fixer's improved data acquisition logic -- the data entry process takes me longer and longer every month. The fact that I have had to spend a fair amount of time on non-ISFDB activities lately doesn't help either. At the rate things are going, pretty soon I won't have any time left for software development.

As I am sure many moderators have noticed, I have been slowly delegating more submissions to Fixer. I guess I'll have to accelerate the delegation process going forward, but please, please be extra careful when approving Fixer-crafted submissions. Fixer is a robot and although his accuracy is much better than it was even a year ago, he is not perfect. Occasionally he messes up and moderators need to clean up after him. TIA! Ahasuerus 04:25, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

In this batch I've noticed several Fixer NewPub submissions that claimed to be NOVELs when they were actually Collections or NonFiction. One example of the kind of thing we need to keep an eye out for. Chavey 06:29, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't recall any Fixer NewPub submissions ever being anything other than NOVEL. Only the AddPub submissions have been correctly typed...because a human had previously corrected it. That's something anyone who has worked on Fixer submissions is probably already aware of. At least, I would hope that they were. Mhhutchins 17:42, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Some Amazon records have "Anthology"/"Collection" subjects and browse nodes associated with them, but I have found their classification to be very unreliable and more often misleading than not. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to come up with a workable algorithm, I figured that humans are in better position to make these kinds of determinations than robots. Ahasuerus 17:15, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
This doesn't surprise me, but having only recently gotten into Fixer submissions, I've spent a lot more time on AddPub submissions than on NewPub. ('Cuz they're easier :-) ) Chavey 18:18, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
When you change the type of a publication record, don't forget to change the type of its title record as well. This isn't done automatically. I've gone back and corrected several title records (like this one) which no longer matched the type of the publication record. If they don't match, the publication record doesn't have a title record linked to it, like this one (which you can fix or I will once you've read this.) Mhhutchins 19:12, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I thought I'd been doing that, but obviously I missed that one. Chavey 23:18, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) The rest of Fixer's catch for January-April 2015 has been submitted. Once the submissions have been processed, I will submit 2014. (I am still processing the new ISBNs from 2001-2014 that Fixer's improved algorithm found in February-March, but I am getting close to the end.) Ahasuerus 21:09, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Publication vanished without a note or reason?

My primary verified former publication "423593" containing a collection of three other pubs vanished without any notice.

Is there any reason for that?

My goal was to get Eric Frank Russell as complete as possible, but when publications from him vanish, it seems that goal is impossible to reach ever and all my work was useless. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Stoecker (talkcontribs) .

Checking submission history, I see that this publication, "Terra Sammelband Nr. 6", was deleted on 2014-09-19 with the following comment: "No regular publication, just a re-bound new distribution; contents vary from copy to copy". I'll leave a note on Stonecreek's Talk page so that he could join this discussion once he comes back from his vacation. Ahasuerus 20:56, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
It has an own cover, an own price and was released. After a bit more research it seem to be true, that they reused the release numbers for slightly different content - at least I found indications for Band 4. But I think the idea of ISFDB is to allow to document exactly these differences in publications? So instead of deleting something which existed (I'm positive of that, because I have it) shouldn't it be the goal to document other releases as well, so users of the database can see this? --Stoecker 21:55, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I am not entirely sure what happened in this case. Perhaps Christian forgot to notify the primary verifier(s) when he deleted the pub? I guess we'll find out when he comes back. Ahasuerus 18:02, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, there was no reaction to various notes from me and other editors for more than a year, which is the period of time we assume an editor to have become inactive. In this case, I finally found a copy of "Terra Sammelband Nr. 6" containing Terra 493 and two other Terras but not Terra #489 & 491, and particularly not the Russell collection. I also found various copies of other #s of "Terra Sammelband", in which random volumes of Terra were bound together, sometimes picking publications from a range of over 40 issues. This implies that the contents of each volume of "Terra Sammelband" do vary from copy to copy and are not fixed.
I also found several different releases, but a "random volumes" sounds a bit strange to me and I can't believe it. For Band 6 I found one other form and maybe a third were the description is unclear. For the other situation seems to be equal, a few different releases. Do you have any other evidence proving the randomness except your feeling? If not, then please add the other variants and this entry back instead of deleting a correct entry. This collection has an own binding and is not a a simple wrap around the normal Terra magazines. It even has own price and cover (even when using that of another Terra publication). There are many similar things of different republications in the database and I don't see why this one should be somewhat special. This database should document different releases, so its exactly the right place to store such information.

P.S. The reason why I was mainly silent is exactly this attitude expressed here again - I didn't want to fight over every single change I do. --Stoecker 15:41, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

As you seemingly used not the original publications but "Terra Sammelband Nr. 6" to verify the #s 489, 491 & 493 of the publication series Terra (which in itself implies a mere repackaging), you may be assured that every regular Russell publication and your verifications of them will stay in ISFDB. Stonecreek 04:53, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Which is not true. I own and used all German Russell works except one and also many English ones and this also includes Terra 489. It's true that I don't care much for 491 and 493 as no Russell inside. --Stoecker 15:41, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

So again it remains like always? The moderator had "a feeling" and acted on it and nothing can change this? --Stoecker 12:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes, after digging up several copies of this and other 'issues' of "Terra Sammelband" I had to decide on categorizing this either as a regular or an irregular publication, since your talk page gave the impression that you became inactive. It would help a lot if you just would drop by on a regular basis.
It also wasn't a 'feeling' on my part but the concrete evidence that not two copies of a given number of this whatever-it-is share the same contents making it highly irregular. In addition, these items have only a new wrap-around cover binding together three randomly picked remitted numbers of "Terra" with absolutely no copyright section for the publication.
It would also help if in the future you would answer on the arguments and evidences brought into the matter! Thanks, Stonecreek 15:09, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Why? It didn't and doesn't change a single bit what I say or do not say. You anyway do what you want. I simply stopped adding German stuff with the exception of missing Russell's. --Stoecker 12:35, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, you didn't even try. Contrary to your implication I searched for evidence in either direction and waited until I had found a bunch of "Terra Sammelband".
The pro side as I see it is that you own a copy with three particular "Terra" publications. The other side is that these three Terras don't represent the general contents of any "Terra Sammelband", because they are randomly picked from the remittends AND they have no copyright section of their own, if I remember correctly. If your example publication has one, please state some portion of it.
You may undertake a proposal on how to handle such a publication; it was not an action for eternity on my part, just a step I saw as logical at a time you weren't available. Stonecreek 13:35, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Short Fiction Series

How does one re-classify a series ( as a Short Fiction series (like

Susan O'Fearna 22:38, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

The software determines each series' type, i.e. "Fiction Series", "Short Fiction Series", "Anthology Series", "Nonfiction Series", etc, based on the types of titles that the series contains. Any series that contains novels or collections is automatically considered a "Fiction Series". In this case "Swan's Braid & Other Tales of Terizan" is a collection, which makes it a "Fiction Series". Ahasuerus 01:01, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

The Specialist series

I have entered 11 books in "The Specialist" series by John Cutter (John Shirley) but I now note that there is already a series with this name. Can the new (non-genre) one be renamed "The Specialist (Cutter)" to eliminate any confusion?SFJuggler 15:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Any time two series have the same name, one of them must be disambiguated. You will have to update each title in the Cutter version. Mhhutchins 16:45, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Will do.SFJuggler 03:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Richard Newton / Newton (artist)

Having no life, based on signatures found on many of the book covers and art found here I believe that the artwork of Newton is all by Richard Newton. At least the signatures on the books that I own match Richard Newton’s. Should these two pages be merged? Let me know. Now I have to go lay down, my brain hurts. MLB 07:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Artists/authors' summary pages for two different names can only be merged under special circumstances and with extreme caution. If the records crediting "Newton" give the signature as the sole source for the credit, and the signature is identical to a book whose cover is credited to "Richard Newton", then the "Newton" publication records can be updated to credit "Richard Newton". This will automatically move the records to his summary page. If any of them are primary verified, you should first leave a message on the PV editor's talk page. Mhhutchins 04:14, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
What I'll do then is variant only those that I primary verified. MLB 02:08, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
No, you shouldn't variant them. You should change the actual credit. As I said above If the records crediting "Newton" give the signature as the sole source for the credit, and the signature is identical to a book whose cover is credited to "Richard Newton", then the "Newton" publication records can be updated to credit "Richard Newton". Nothing was said about creating a variant. You can update the artist credit in your own records as well as those that are not verified as long as there is a visible signature which matches that of the artist. Enter the complete canonical form of the artist's name. Give the signature as the source of the credit. Mhhutchins 02:49, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Changes to the Transliterated Legal Names report

The cleanup report of transliterated legal names has been enhanced to look for authors with one or more transliterated legal names and no regular legal name. Like other cleanup reports, it will be regenerated at 1am server (US Central) time. Ahasuerus 05:42, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Without knowledge of the author and the alphabet of his/her working language, how would one go about clearing the list? Should I leave it alone and hope that some other moderator will come along and add the "regular legal name"? Mhhutchins 06:41, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I was working on cleaning up these records last week and shrank the list from 300+ authors to about 180. Then I took a break to work on Fixer and the software. Presumably someone else has cleaned up another 50+ authors in the last few days. One way or another, I expect the rest of the problem authors to be fixed in the next couple of weeks, although a few Thai/Bengali/etc legal names may take longer. Ahasuerus 16:05, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
(Or wait until Halley's Comet returns?) I edited the author data of every one of 125 names currently on the list, moving the transliterated name (the only alphabet I'm familiar with) into the proper field, hoping that would solve the problem. There are literally thousands of authors in the database that have blank legal name fields. What's so special about these authors, other than having a working language which very few people on this database have any familiarity? In other words, I think the list is not necessary. Mhhutchins 06:41, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Moving the transliterated form of a legal name to its proper field without entering the correct value in the "Legal Name" field makes it harder for other editors to find the records that still need to be fixed. It's all good, though -- these are exactly the kinds of problems that I hoped to identify when I added this field to the database as a guinea pig :-) Ahasuerus 16:05, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what is meant by "find the records that still need to be fixed." Why single out these few authors, just because their legal name is in a different alphabet than the thousands of other authors in the database with a blank "Legal Name" field? Or maybe there's a reason I'm not seeing for treating these authors differently? Mhhutchins 16:20, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
It's one thing if we don't know an author's legal name and the field is blank. There isn't much we can do about that until someone submits the data.
However, what this report finds is authors whose legal names we do know. It's just a question of entering the original form of the legal name and the transliterated form(s) in their respective fields, which is similar to other cleanup tasks.
Not all editors are well positioned to work on this particular cleanup report (or some parts of this reports), but that's to be expected -- we all have our areas of expertise. Ahasuerus 16:52, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

The SF of Isaac Asimov - Joseph Patrouch

Brin1 PV'd this book but since he is no longer active and I have found information on the cover artist I wish to add to the record. The artwork is featured on this website and is credited to Peter Jones and is signed PAJ on the iceberg at the bottom which the Panther edition has conveniently cut off. --Mavmaramis 17:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, in this case, just go ahead and add the cover artist (best with an accompanying note). Good find! Stonecreek 18:32, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Rendezvous with Rama

Re: this book. Cover art is almost certainly John Harris. Black and white sketch version appears on page 68 of this publication. Can't make link in the note field work. --Mavmaramis 19:35, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Linking in the Note field of ISFDB records must be done using HTML. Here's the help page. Linking in the wiki section (these pages you're on now) must use standard wiki markup (instructions here). Mhhutchins 03:53, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Editing unverified publications not owned.

I wanted to ask about this. I added cover artist for this book which I don't own because it's featured in this book. What's the procedure for doing so - post additions here ? (Coukld get swamped with similar short messages in the next few days as I continue to wade through my directory of scanned book covers). --Mavmaramis 12:22, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Update the publication record (without notification here) and provide the source for the data in the Note field. This should be done every time you're a) editing a book that's not in your hand using secondary sources and b) when you're updating a book which you have primary verified, but with data from secondary source(s). In this case, you can either link to the source (if there's a record in the db) or provide more bibliographic information, e.g. "Cover art credit from page 91 of Solar Wind (Peter Jones, Paper Tiger, 1980)." Mhhutchins 17:09, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Request for assistance to convert German publications to CHAPBOOK

RE this cleanup report: After converting at least a couple thousand publication records of less than 70 pages from NOVEL to CHAPBOOK, there remain 450+ records for such books, all in German. While I was comfortable changing the English language titles, I am less so with these works. Most of these have been primary verified and it would be great of the primary verifiers would do the conversion, because they can determine if these works are actually less than novel-length (40K words) and make the decision to do so. I've noticed that many of them are abridged versions of English language works, and I'm unsure how they should be handled. In previous cases where it was obvious that the works were abridged, I removed the pub from the title record and created a separate SHORTFICTION title record for their content to keep them from being merged with the NOVEL versions of the work. I believe the German titles should be done the same way, but I know too little about them to make that determination, especially when it comes to how many words can appear in a publication of 60-70 pages from German publishers of the 1950s and 1960s, the era that most of these appear to have been published. All help would be appreciated. Mhhutchins 01:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, I suggested at an early stage that these could be handled as titles of novella length and thus lead to CHAPBOOKs, but it was emphasized that it'd be better to keep them as NOVELs in order to be able to variant them to the original titles. They are mostly abridged, but it is also questionable if the original titles always live up to NOVEL length. I have serious doubts in many cases, see this for an example. Stonecreek 03:35, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, one of the causes of this problem was the use of the software's variant function to enter translated works when a new relationship function should have been created. If we had a relationship function, there would have been a link between the abridged work and the full work, regardless of the language and the type. But all of that is water under the bridge. We have to deal with the situation using the current software.
In a case like the one you've linked, if I were certain that it was an abridged translation of novella length, I would 1) remove the variant relationship, 2) change the title record to SHORTFICTION, adding a note about its relationship (with an optional link) to the English NOVEL record, and 3) change the publication type to a CHAPBOOK, adding a CHAPBOOK content record. That's three separate submissions. Complicated, yes, but the only way to do it. The title of the translated, abridged work will be displayed twice on the author's summary page, first under the CHAPBOOK listing and second under the SHORTFICTION category, both times separately from the original title. It will not be displayed at all under the original English title record. Mhhutchins 04:00, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
AFAIC (as an non-english speaker), it's this automatic link (original-translation) that is largely the most valuable information that can be given by the ISFDB for a translated title, to loose because of our idiosyncratic typology problems is just a shame. Hauck 07:56, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
But this is the standard procedure for abridged works, regardless of the language. Look at the CHAPBOOK section of Mary Shelley's summary page to see how the abridged publications of Frankenstein are handled. If we can't link the abridgements of one of the most famous novels in the history of science fiction, why should we make an exception for some obscure German translated abridgement? We don't link excerpts to the original title, so why should we link abridgements, regardless of the language? Sorry that I have to keep saying this, but it has nothing to do with language. If we had a relationship function, the problem could be easily solved. Mhhutchins 14:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, the CHAPBOOKs of Frankenstein are credited mostly to Shelley and a co-author, who did the respective condensation, so this does seem to be a different case; and the exception could be made (provided the original is in fact a NOVEL) because it is just an obscure translation, and is not noteworthy. Stonecreek 15:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The example I linked to should have illustrated that the problem lies deeper. The editor for Moewig, for example, seems to have relied on titles for which the cuts were to be as few as possible, so the question is if the original titles do qualify as NOVELs by the 40K standard. During my time I have done a few word count estimates that have led to turning NOVELs into NOVELLAs, so I'm inclined to think that the majority of NOVELs chosen for an abridged translation in a digest publication need to be examined first to avoid futile varianting and adding of notes & links. I plan to do some examinations of a few other titles but right now I am too much involved in adding to Franz Kafka's summary page and correcting (& adding) entries of 'Perry Rhodan' magazine that were added by Willem and me relying to heavily on Perrypedia. Christian Stonecreek 06:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
At 141 pages, I'm pretty certain that Reynolds' Code Duello qualifies as a NOVEL. That would make a 66-page German translation must certainly an abridgement. So you would follow all three steps of the procedure I outlined. Yes, in some cases you would have to determine if the original English work is truly a NOVEL, but then I did that for a couple thousand records. If the original English work is less than 100 pages and typed as a NOVEL, then a word count would have to be done. If it turns out to be a novella, and the German translation turns out to be an abridgement of that novella, you'd still need to do the same three steps. If the English work is determined to be a novella, and completely translated into German, then you would not do the first step, but rather maintain the variant relationship. You would first have to convert the original English work into a CHAPBOOK with a SHORTFICTION content, and then proceed to do the remaining two steps, with an additional step of varianting the newly created CHAPBOOK records. Mhhutchins 07:13, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, pretty certain isn't sure, after all it depends on the respective typesetting and use of free space. There are lots of translated titles that have less pages, like the ones here. Stonecreek 15:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
And that's the reason I was asking for help, as I said in my original message. Mhhutchins 16:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If no one wants to make the effort to convert these less-than-70-page publications from the NOVEL-type we're almost certain they are not, then I could just choose the "Ignore This Publication" option for all of them. Then Ahasuerus can proceed to rewrite the report to find publications of less-than-80-page publications (of which there are probably at least a thousand or so), removing all non-English language publications from the list. I won't clean up the list if I have to work through it as I had to do in this latest round. Mhhutchins 07:20, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I haven't got the time resources to do much work right now, so the option to "Ignore This Publication" seems preferable to me. Stonecreek 15:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with this option. Hauck 17:15, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll leave that to anyone who wants to work on the cleanup reports. I will no longer be doing it, as it seems only a few moderators have any interest in the overall quality of the database while others are more concerned with their own small corner of it. I'm also going to stop moderating any submissions other than my own. It's time that I concentrate on my own projects. If I don't make this move now, I don't believe I'd be staying around much longer. Mhhutchins 16:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Even if I'm respectful of the tremendous work that you've done, I really don't find your finger-pointing attitude correct.Hauck 17:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, come on, Michael. Sorry, it wasn't my intention to frustrate you: I didn't mean to. It's just that there are so many 'novels' that were entered just because they were published as such.
I think we all are interested in the overall quality of the database! Adding to the summary page of one of the most eminent authors of speculative fiction and correcting mistakes that crept into the database as well as monitoring does help to better the quality. I'd love to (and will later this year) review some of the titles in question, but there's so much to do on oh so many levels. Christian Stonecreek 18:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, burnout is a very real problem in the fan publishing/bibliographic world. As our late contributor Robert Reginald once wrote about his 22 year experience with Borgo Press, "We just burned out eventually". The good news is that this example shows that burnout doesn't need to be permanent: within 5 years Borgo Press was back as a Wildside Press imprint. (Parenthetically, I try to avoid sharing Al's fate by taking short breaks now and then. Of course, I am retired and don't have to deal with all the other things that he has to deal with.)
In addition, a community effort like the ISFDB requires constant compromising, which can get on one's nerves. It's the price that we pay for being able to do so much more together than we would ever be able to do separately.
To go back to the original issue, "relationships" are a big can of worms which we haven't sorted out yet -- see my latest thoughts at the end of this discussion. For now I think we have only two choices: keep the abridged translations as variants or move them to separate SHORTFICTION titles if the differences between the original text and the translation are too great. It's the same dilemma that we have to deal with when entering other abridgements. Ahasuerus 03:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You are right, after a short break one is usually much more concentrated and focused. One thing I like to add, which may not have been clear: one page in those german digests contains roughly twice as much words as an average paperback page, sometimes even more, so that these are really long NOVELLAs, and I have the impression that most of the original titles that got translated are also really long NOVELLAs, though they were marketed as NOVELs (which every eager publisher may want to do), so that there's in fact no substantial (or sometimes absolutely no) abridgment. It would be then misleading to install a separate CHAPBOOK. Stonecreek 06:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Absinthe and Arsenic

The review link didn't link and I accidently created another listing for Absinthe and Arsenic. I think mine is better as I tracked down this collection's contents. I think one should be deleted and mine should be accepted, but I don't think it's up to me. It's been a very long day, and I'm sorry for the trouble. MLB 03:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Corrected, you can have a look at the result here. Hauck 07:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Lyrical Underground

FYI, Kensington Books has launched yet another "sub-imprint" of their imprint Lyrical Press, Lyrical Underground. According to the publisher, it specializes in "digital first mysteries and thrillers". Some of them contain SF elements, e.g. William W. Johnstone's supernatural thriller A Crying Shame. Ahasuerus 18:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Valancourt Books

Fixer has identified and submitted 45 ISBNs published by Valancourt Books. Please note that a few of them may not be SF, e.g. it looks like Philip Bennion's Death by Richard Marsh is a mystery with no SF elements and needs to be entered as a non-genre work. Ahasuerus 01:30, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Many are gothic novels which almost always have some minimal fantastic elements, often in the form of the appearance of a ghost. According to Aldiss and other SF historians the gothic novel is an important precursor to modern sf.--swfritter 02:11, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Omitting series from canonical title text

I suggested to Taweiss that "The Sandman:" be omitted from the canonical titles. Please chime inhere if you think that is an inappropriate recommendation. Thanks. --MartyD 10:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

That was a good recommendation. Of course, the editor still has the option to add series data to the title field of the publication record if it reflects the publication's title page. (As I see you've pointed out.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:22, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Interior Artwork that is the cover for a book in ISFDB

Hello. Regarding the Stewart Cowley pictoral books (and those under his pseudonym) I decided to add content. However, as I'm sure most people are aware most of the illustrations in these volumes are used as book covers.

My question is how do I enter the title of the interior art used in this way ? --Mavmaramis 04:50, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

We tend to give the interior art the title of the corresponding chapter, see here and eventually add a disambiguating rank. Hauck 09:49, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Hauck that's handy. But how do you disambiguate to the book - not all books are referenced in the contents of the book you linked and I know that every image in that book is a book cover - doesn't show up under 'edit' - however I'll get busy with contents - no doubt you've noticed I've been adding contents to various art portfolios. --Mavmaramis 10:01, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
If the image was used as a book cover, and you know the title of the book, I would think it would be fine to indicate that as the title of the individual piece if you are entering all of them. That's usually what the piece is titled, anyway (not always, but usually). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:54, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Heart-Readers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Someone varianted the different cover to the original cover and I can't seem to get them separated... help? Susan O'Fearna 21:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Done. Entering "0" on the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" page breaks the relationship. I have also updated various Note fields to clarify that the art is different. Ahasuerus 22:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks... annoying that someone ignored the note that was already there pointing out that there's TWO DIFFERENT covers :D Susan O'Fearna 08:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #20

Just entered some new information about this issue of this small-press magazine. Unfortunately, I accidently hit the enter key and I need to correct two items. When, or if, my data is accepted I will correct these mistakes. Very sorry. MLB 02:31, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Authors the same...

The author Rich Larson is the same person as the artist Rich Larson

Could someone merge them? Susan O'Fearna 16:35, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Please provide evidence of this. All facts seem to point out that they are not the same person. The artist is almost exclusively in collaboration with Steve Fastner since the 1980s, while the author has only published stories since 2012. Mhhutchins 16:41, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
Fastner and Larson met in 1976, six years before the birth of author Rich Larson. Mhhutchins 16:55, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
looks like someone has moved the artwork to the correct guy -- I think that fixes it ! thankx Susan O'Fearna 17:43, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

two different books -- can we UNVARIANT

Ballads & The Book of Ballads are NOT the same book. Ballads has about 1/2 the content as The Book of Ballads. Susan O'Fearna 17:35, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Unvarianting done (just put "0" in parent title Id). Hauck 18:49, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Essays with a 'shortfiction' story length

I'm finding quite a few essays that also have a shortfiction ("sf") story length in older issues of Vector, eg. here and here. I'm thinking a cleanup report would be useful to catch more of these minor bibliographical indiscretions. What does the group mind think? PeteYoung 10:47, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Clean-up reports aren't necessary if you can get the results just by doing an advance search. (I did and found 602 such records in the db.) But unless an individual editor makes a point of doing a periodic search for these titles, a clean-up report might be in order. But even that's worthless if more moderators don't run the clean-up reports and repair the problems. Mhhutchins 15:03, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Then I wonder if there's a way of globally removing 600+ "sf" descriptions from these essay records in one hit. That would save an editor many hours of work to rectify such a small detail. Ahasuerus? PeteYoung 15:19, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If this is a matter of finding an editor to take care of this, I will gladly volunteer, but the problem is that a moderator will still have to approve all of the edits. Is that acceptable? Syzygy 19:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I understand that could be a problem, since many moderators only moderator their own submissions. Go ahead and make the submissions and I'll accept them. I cleaned more than a hundred of them this morning. Mhhutchins 20:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Proceeding, but I don't know how far I'll get today. Syzygy 20:52, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) There is a nightly cleanup report that finds invalid "storylen" values. I have created an FR to change this report to include "non-SHORTFICTION titles with 'sf', 'ss', etc storylen values". Ahasuerus 01:29, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Does that mean that I should cease with my editing of title records with this anomaly? Syzygy 17:11, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I think not. The cleanup report only lists anomalies (or so I think). I've approved your last batch. Hauck 17:17, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Then unless I "hear" otherwise, I will continue. Thanks. Syzygy 17:26, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for volunteering to help clean this up. Here's another one if you have time. There are more than four hundred records for INTERIORART with a "sf" storylen field. I've started to clean them and any assistance would be appreciated. Mhhutchins 17:24, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Done. POEM with sf next? About 200 records. Syzygy 22:27, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure. And I'm discovering they're also many non-SHORTFICTION-typed records which have "ss", "nt", and "nv" in the storylen field. Those will have to be eventually cleaned as well. Thanks, Syzygy, for lending a hand here. Mhhutchins 23:32, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm thinking this may call for a clean-up report. It could find all records which are typed as anything other then SHORTFICTION which have anything in the storylen field. Ahasuerus, is that possible? 23:34, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, indeed -- see FR 811 mentioned earlier :-) Ahasuerus 23:44, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) I'm pretty much caught up with most of the title types. should SERIAL be cleaned up as well? Syzygy 19:11, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

At one point we allowed a SERIAL-typed record to be "lengthed" as a novella if it was published as a "Complete Novel" but was less than 40K. If you find any that are "(Part x of y)", then the length should be removed. I'll search to see if any of those are in the db. BTW, thanks for all the work you've done here, beyond the "call of duty". It is very much appreciated. Mhhutchins 19:18, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I found a few hundred with these values, lengthed as "sf", "ss", "nt", and "nv". I'll start removing the ones typed as "sf", if you'll start on the "ss" ones. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:21, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
It just occurred to me that some of these are serializations of less-than-novel-length works. In those cases, the serial records are linked to a title record which is properly lengthed. BUT, that doesn't meant that each of the serials records should have the same length. So, yes, please remove the lengths from any serials which are titled "(Part x of y)". Mhhutchins 19:25, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
SERIAL with ss length done. I have to "sign off" now, but will finish up anything left tomorrow. Thanks for letting me help, I consider this a learning experience. Syzygy 19:47, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I have reviewed the remaining title types and there are now less than 80 records with storylength designations (excluding SERIAL type which has been dealt with). Type-length with one record each are NOVEL-nv, ANTHOLOGY-ss, NONFICTION-sf, NONFICTION-ss, and CHAPBOOK-ss. Multiple records exist in CHAPBOOK: sf(65), nt(3) and nv(6). I'll consider this a manageable amount for better minds to deal with and conclude my part in this cleanup at this time.
A couple of notes about advanced search. First, in the title search form where it states "Valid storylen (story length) types are:", sf should be added to the list as it is a searchable storylength. Second, in the publication search form where it states "Valid title types are:", might be better stated as "Valid publication types are:" so as to match what is on the pull down menu. Just sayin' Syzygy 15:22, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Good points, thanks! Ahasuerus 15:27, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Changes made, thanks again. Ahasuerus 20:03, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) The cleanup report has been modified as per the discussion above. Once it runs at 1am server time, it will find 126 problematic titles.

Please note that I have found and adjusted one title where the "storylen" value was correct and the title type was wrong. There may be additional instances, so please be careful. Ahasuerus 04:02, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Done. Mostly CHAPBOOKs with the length of the text they contain. Changed some CHAPTERBOOKs to COLLECTION, blanked the length for the one installment (sic) SERIALs (those pesky (Complete Novels)). Hauck 07:54, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 15:27, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Moderator Availability update

I'd update my availability if it were a simple matter of a click and an edit. Now that we have to search for the template and then edit it...forget about it. Mhhutchins 22:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, while I applaud the intent behind the new templates, there are some things I don't like about them (primarily the main noticeboard one which doesn't differentiate the page you are on; I think that can be confusing to new users). Anyhow, I found and edited the availability template to add an edit link to it. You can now click on it from this page to edit it. I removed the previous 'moderators are encouraged to watchlist this page' (I don't know why we'd need to watchlist the template. Perhaps the intent was to watch this page, but that wasn't clear.) and the spam category (never seen that used). If someone wants to add those back, feel free. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:10, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for adding the edit link to the template. That makes it so much easier. Is there a way to have these templates flush to the left instead of the right side of the page? The way they're currently displayed is rather unpleasant. Mhhutchins 23:17, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but what about the TOC? Push it after (get's pretty far down the page then)? Or move it over to the right (not the standard)? -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Can the TOC come before the Mod Availability table? Mhhutchins
I wonder if the detailed descriptions of each page really need to be so, well, detailed? If we could eliminate them or at least make them shorter, the header would become more manageable. Ahasuerus 02:29, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
IMHO it's now too much cluttered. Hauck 17:34, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree. As I said above, it's not aesthetically pleasing. Mhhutchins 18:28, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I included the descriptions as that is what was on the pages before. I have just now edited the text down a bit. Is that better?
Can the server here handle "if" switches (see here and here)? If so, then something could be added to the template to make it highlight which page it's on (probably by changing the background color of that part of the table). As it is, title of the page it is on is shown in bold black with no link (which is just the default way the wiki software prevents direct links from the page you're on to the page you're on). I'm happy to modify it any way you want. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:34, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it looks better, thanks! I am also thinking that "Start a new discussion" and "Archived discussions" do not necessarily need to be displayed in the header. The "R&S Example page" was an experiment that hasn't been used in years, so I think we can safely delete the link to it. The "Development" page is only used by developers and we don't need to link it from the template. Ahasuerus 01:51, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I removed the example page. Before I rearrange everything by removing the Development section, please look at alternate version 1 for a simplified version of the template, and let me know what you think. And here's alternate version 2. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:07, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the discussion and archive links, I find them useful, but they can be removed if needed, or reduced to very abbreviated links. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:16, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I like "Alternate Version 2" better. Let's see what other folks have to say about the "new discussion" and "archive" links. Ahasuerus 02:24, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Number 2 for me too. Hauck 10:02, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I updated it to #2. I also made a couple minor formatting tweaks. Let me know if there are any questions. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:22, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Looks much better, thanks! Ahasuerus 04:39, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Going back to my question about "if" and other parser functions, can we add the ParserExtension to the wiki here? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 04:09, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Well... The last time I exchanged e-mails with Al, he was going to work on updating the Wiki software. However, it's been a while and I am not sure where that project is since Al is on hiatus. I know very little about PHP/MediaWiki, just enough to keep us going, but I could try to install it on my development server and see what I can do. No promises, though, since I have a lot of other balls in the air at the moment. Ahasuerus 04:39, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I think the software here is about 14 versions behind what they are using on Wikipedia. I can understand not wanting to mess with it if you aren't familiar with it. It can be triksy at times. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:35, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
The real problem is not so much MediaWiki but the fact that the main DB is using MediaWiki for authentication so that the two applications are essentially using the same back-end DB. Even if we wanted to continue with such an architecture it would be better to use the MediaWiki web API and allow the two applications to change their DB schema as they see fit. Uzume 06:05, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report - Primary-Verified Publications with Unknown Binding

A new cleanup report, "Primary-Verified Publications with Unknown Binding", has been deployed and will become available around 1:20am server time. Ahasuerus 03:46, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Nice. Is it possible to also have the list of the PVs? Hauck 09:14, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Excellent point - done! Ahasuerus 22:57, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
How about sorting by Primary Verifier? That would make it easier to use. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:46, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Sure, I'll work on it tomorrow. Ahasuerus 07:03, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, appears to be a minor bug with line 205. Verifier is listed twice. Thought perhaps it was a double verification but pub only has a single transient one (unless they fixed it since the report was run). -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:46, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
Hm, I don't think I can recreate the problem (and the numbers keep changing as problems get resolved.) Do you happen to remember which pub it was? Ahasuerus 07:03, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
I believe he's referring to "The Science Fiction Writer's Bulletin", for which there are two issues verified by Bill Longley, and nothing in the title to distinguish them. I suspect the issue isn't a software bug, but rather that the titles of that magazine need to be disambiguated. Chavey 16:06, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
No, I was not. I was referring to "Thunder's Shadow Collector's Magazine, August 1995" (still on the list) which has the verifiers listed as "Ofearna , Ofearna". The publication only has a single transient verification. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:08, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Yup, it was a display bug. The bug was fixed in the same patch that made the report sort by verifier. Ahasuerus 01:19, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Death at the Blue Elephant

Last collection I posted made more work, so I will post my info here (This is a World Fantasy nominated collection, the TOC is nowhere on the internet): Death at the Blue Elephant, Janeen Webb (Ticonderoga Publications, 2014, trade paperback)332 pages there are already links to all these stories except the 5 original stories, the 2 Jack Dann collaborations will need to be linked to his page as well) Introduction, Pamela Sargent Preface: What Am I Doing Writing Fiction? Velvet Green (original) Manifest Destiny Death at the Blue Elephant Red City (title variant, originally published as "The Red City") Paradise Design'd The Lion Hunt Incident On Woolfe Street (this is the correct spelling of "Woolfe", the original entry needs to be corrected from "Wolfe") The Lady of the Swamp (original) A Faust Films Production Gawain and the Selkie's Daughter Niagara Falling (with Jack Dann) The Fire-Eater's Tale (with Jack Dann) Skull Beach (original) Tigershow Hell is Where the Heart Is Full Moon in Virgo (original) Blake's Angel The Sculptor's Wife (original)

a few other corrections: Sonya Taaffe, there is a story and a poem listed under "Sonya Taafe", please place these under "Taaffe", there is no Sonya Taafe Robert Shearman shortfiction, the 2015 entry for "Featherweight" should be combined with the 2010 entry. Same story R.B. Russell shortfiction "The Exquisite Process of Gala Gladkov" (2011) and "Gala Gladkov's Exquisite Process" (2012) are title variants of the same story, please combine RogerSSS 19:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC) Roger SSS

Done. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:24, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

"Novel Publications with Fewer Than NN Pages" -- threshold changed to 75 pages

The cleanup report originally known as "Novel Publications with Fewer Than 40 Pages" has had its threshold changed from 70 to 75 pages. The new version of the report will become available in about 30 minutes. Ahasuerus 05:52, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Cover art by Motoichiro Takebe

For some reason, when I submitted these three title updates ([1], [2], [3]), the system changed the language to English even though it was already set as Japanese, and I didn't notice it. So, the "English" titles need to be changed back to Japanese and they need to be unvarianted and merged.

Thanks for any help. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 23:56, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

I corrected all the English ones to Japanese, and that seems to have fixed it. They no longer show up twice in the listings. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:46, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

"Publication-Title Type Mismatches" update

"Publication-Title Type Mismatches" has been modified to let moderators "ignore" mismatches. Ahasuerus 18:18, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

Import/Export review page

The moderator review page for Import/Export submissions has been changed to display the same list of verifiers/warnings as the one displayed for Edit Publication submissions. Ahasuerus 00:02, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report, "Author/Title Language Mismatches"

A new cleanup report, "Author/Title Language Mismatches", has been added. It identifies NOVEL titles whose language code doesn't match the working language of at least one of its authors. VTs are ignored.

Please note that quite a few of these mismatches, like Perry Rhodan in French, are legitimate and will need to be ignored. The rest of the reported items vary from incorrect language codes/working language settings to missing VTs and will need to be fixed. The data should become available when the nightly task runs at 1am server time. Ahasuerus 05:57, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

About the "Perry Rhodan in French" titles: are these original works published only in French? If not, they should be varianted to the original German title record. Mhhutchins 15:35, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I believe they are portmanteau novels based on multiple original stories. For example, the Note associated with La métamorphose du molkex reads "Original titles are given as _das zweite imperium_ & _Im banne der riesenplaneten_. The two parts are not individually named in french. Translated and adapted by Marie-Jo Dubourg." Ahasuerus 16:07, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Other than translations of not-yet-present titles (if they even exist), there are even some that are adaptations/abridgments/translations of up to five (!) novellas. Good luck to the brilliant mind that will be able to "variant them to the original German title record". This won't be me. Note that all this data is explicitely stated in the notes. Hauck 16:11, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
It was a question. And the operative word here is "if". Thanks for answering. Mhhutchins 17:49, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Goblin Fruit webzine

I'm holding a submission to add an issue of this webzine to the database, but based on the current standards it doesn't appear to be eligible. How can I tell the submitter this when there are four issues of it already in the database? Can the moderator who accepted the submissions for those records justify keeping them in the db? The issues are not downloadable and it is not a SFWA-qualifying market. Mhhutchins 22:51, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

"Invalid Record URLs in Notes"

"Invalid Record URLs in Notes" should no longer report that it has found 10 non-existent notes. I am sorry it took me so long to fix it. It required non-trivial changes to the Title Merge logic. Ahasuerus 03:38, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

P.S. The report still shows a count of 10, but it should go down to 0 once the nightly task runs. Ahasuerus 03:43, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

"Novel Publications with Fewer Than 80 Pages" updated

The selection logic that drives our "Novel Publications with Fewer Than 80 Pages" report has been updated. Starting tomorrow morning, it will include the 92 publications whose "page count" field doesn't contain three consecutive digits but includes one or more plus signs. Ahasuerus 23:17, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report - Publications with multiple COVERART titles

A new cleanup report, "Publications with multiple COVERART titles", has been deployed. The data will become available tomorrow morning. It should find approximately 2400 pubs, but I expect that many of them will be "ignored". Ahasuerus 02:55, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

New cleanup report - "Authors with Invalid Birthplaces"

A new cleanup report, "Authors with Invalid Birthplaces", has been deployed. It should generate a list of 48 authors whose birthplace values do not follow our current data entry standards re: Scotland, England, and US states -- see FR 797 for details. Ahasuerus 04:02, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Cleared them all but one: Clement C. Moore. Not sure how to change it, because it appears to be correct. The Province of New York existed until 1783, and it was part of British America. Or should all US births after 1776 be entered as USA? Mhhutchins 06:50, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I would opt for post July 2, 1776 (the actual vote for independence) being recorded as USA. History is never clean. While Britain did not recognize the USA's independence until 1783, the Continental Congress and the New York Provincial Congress were in existence and governing. The subtleties of history are beyond the scope of this project and we should go with what causes the least confusion. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:57, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
At this time the report expects "British Empire" or "USA", so changing "British America" to "British Empire" would solve the problem. Granted, it's true that two entities claimed sovereignty in 1779, but, since our software doesn't support multiple birthplaces and since the place was under British control at the time, I would opt for "British Empire". Ahasuerus 17:06, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Changed as suggested. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That's fine. It seems to me if we have to research whose army was in control of a given territory vs. using the generally accepted start of date of a country, we're making the birth place more complicated then it needs to be. But if folks are willing to do that, it's not something I'll argue about. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:47, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Competing sovereignties and unrecognized entitles like "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" are always a pain :-( Ahasuerus 20:29, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for doing this! When I worked on this back in April, I fixed all of the birthplaces by hand, and mentioned that of course they would start to diverge again. I'm glad that this is now a Cleanup Script so that "by hand" effort doesn't have to be repeated. Chavey 08:08, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
And that's why I always tell editors to document their suggestions and concerns in Feature Requests. It may take some time, but chances are that something will be eventually done about it :-) Ahasuerus 01:54, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Pre-2000 ebooks - moderator warning

We have seen a few e-books whose publisher apparently forgot to updated the publication date when preparing the e-version, so a new moderator warning about pre-2000 e-books has been added. Ahasuerus 01:52, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Duplicate sub-series numbers within a series

A new cleanup report, Duplicate sub-series numbers within a series, has been deployed. It won't appear on the main cleanup menu until tomorrow morning, but if you follow the link, you will see that it has found what appears to be a typo/mismatch in one of our Perry Rhodan sub-series. Ahasuerus 21:38, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for it, I have fixed it. Stonecreek 03:52, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Titles by Non-English Authors without a Language

A new cleanup report, "Titles by Non-English Authors without a Language", has been deployed. The data, a tad over 3,000 titles, will become available tomorrow. For now, the report ignores REVIEW, COVERART and INTERIORART records.

A little bit of background. Although the "Language" field was made required in Edit Title and in New Pub a little over 4 years ago, approximately 55% of our title records are still language-less. The goal of this report is to identify and correct as many non-English titles as possible. Once we are reasonably sure that the remaining language-less titles are English, we can run a script which will perform language assignment automatically. Ahasuerus 03:10, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Does the script find titles by non-English authors without a language or non-English titles by authors without a language? Mhhutchins|talk 15:57, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
It's the former. We already had 4 language-specific cleanup reports (Dutch, French, German, Other) that covered the latter scenario. Ahasuerus 16:53, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
How would one know that an author is non-English if no language has been assigned? :) I think it would be clearer to call them "Titles without a language by Non-English Authors". Mhhutchins|talk 18:10, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
That's a good point, I'll change it in the next patch. Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:33, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Done. Also, please note that this a good opportunity to further tweak/correct translated titles, identify their parents, etc. Ahasuerus 22:56, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Primary-Verified Anthologies and Collections without Contents Titles

A new cleanup report, "Primary-Verified Anthologies and Collections without Contents Titles", has been deployed. The data will become available tomorrow morning.

Please note that the "Ignore" column was added primarily because of non-genre anthologies/collections, although it can also be used to handle other types of oddball cases. Ahasuerus 22:52, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Since this (and the other report which finds PV records with unknown binding) should be directed at every primary verifier, not just moderators, wouldn't it be nice to allow all editors to view it and clean up their own records? Mhhutchins|talk 22:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
That would be a subset of FR 818, "Let non-moderators view cleanup reports". It's not a trivial change since we will want to restrict the ability to "ignore" records to moderators, but certainly doable. ETA a few days. Ahasuerus 23:02, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Publication Title-Reference Title Mismatches

A new cleanup report, "Publication Title-Reference Title Mismatches", has been deployed. The data will be available in a couple of hours. The report looks for publications whose title and the title of their "reference [main] title record" are not contained within each other.

There are approximately 2,500 mismatches in the database, but the report is currently limited to CHAPBOOK pub, so it finds only 92 pubs. We can think of them as guinea pigs which will hopefully help us fine-tune the report. Ahasuerus 04:50, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Based on Michael's feedback, the report has been tweaked to ignore most punctuation differences. The new logic should cut the number of reported discrepancies by 40-50%. The changes will become visible tomorrow morning.
P.S. Please note that some differences are subtle, e.g. "l" vs. "1" vs. "I". Ahasuerus 16:16, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your efforts to make this report more reasonable in how it handles differences between pub titles and their title references. Sorry to pick apart what I'm sure is a very meticulous procedure. I appreciate that you earnestly consider the input I provide, however goofy it is or ignorant I am of software coding. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 19:37, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Hey, feedback is a vital part of the development process! A lot of things that make sense on paper end up being inconvenient once real live users get to experience them. Even certain multi-billion behemoths of the IT industry <insert your favorite bête noire here> agree that you should listen to your users ... at least in theory :-) Ahasuerus 20:07, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) The report has been modified to include OMNIBUSes. The new data will become available in the morning. Ahasuerus 00:24, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

Added the ability to ignore pubs. Ahasuerus 03:56, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for this feature. Mhhutchins|talk 06:12, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction - changes to metadata and content?

I am in the process of verifying/updating this book: [4] but have been directed here by a notice on the discussion page of the PV1 editor, Brin1, who appears to be no longer active. The 'Pages' and 'Binding' entries need to be amended, and the first item in the Contents (Copyright and Acknowledgements) doesn't qualify as Content imho. Ok to proceed? Astrodan 16:43, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Please proceed to make corrections based on your copy of the publication, if you're certain that it's the same edition and/or printing. Mhhutchins|talk 19:39, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
Note that our etiquette requires you to clear the matter with all PVs. You can consider me notified as PV2.Hauck 05:30, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Hervé. You're right. The notice on non-active editors page states:
If this user is the sole verifier of a publication record, inquiries regarding any other changes to the verified record at the Moderator noticeboard. Otherwise, please post notices and inquiries only on the talk pages of the other primary verifiers.
I'm the one who wrote that notice and should have checked the record first for other PV editors. Mhhutchins|talk 06:12, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
I read it too, mustn't have scrolled down far enough to see Hauck at PV2, sorry. I'll double-check the match before proceeding. Astrodan 08:00, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

A Case of Conscience - identity match query

I'm verifying my copy of this book [5], but have been directed here again from a yellow note on the P1 verifier's discussion page. There are no other PVs. The copyright page of my book shows the publishing data below;

              First published in Great Britain in 1999 by
                     An imprint of Victor Gollancz
                        Reissued by Gollancz
               An imprint of the Orion Publishing Group
                          3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2  

I wanted to check with the PV1, P-brane, whether he based his Pub note "Updated second printing" on the same data as mine or not.

In the absence of his confirmation, how safe is it to assume that his note is the same as my number line second printing indicator? Astrodan 09:48, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Quite safe: after all the number line indicates the second printing of this edition. Stonecreek 10:43, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks, doing it now. Astrodan 11:02, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Changes to "Reviews not Linked to Titles"

The cleanup report "Reviews not Linked to Titles" has been changed to include unlinked REVIEWs with VTs. The report will continue ignoring unlinked REVIEWs whose parent or child records are linked.

The data, approximately 110 additional REVIEWs, will become available tomorrow morning. Ahasuerus 01:28, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection

I've verified this book from my own copy, but would like to add pub notes, change 'Year' and 'Pages' in the Publication Metadata and add an unnumbered section page number to "Introduction (Gold)" in Content. Strict interpretation of the yellow note on the user page of (now inactive) PV1 'BLongley' seems to direct me here. Ok to proceed? thanks, Astrodan 11:23, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

How did you determine the date (year) of the 6th printing? Thanks Kevin 12:39, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, remiss of me, I should have included that. The printing history lines from my book's copyright page read exactly as follows:
                  This paperback edition 1996
                           7 9 8 6
              First published in Great Britain by
                 HarperCollinsPublishers 1995
There are no other print date indications that I can see in the book. Astrodan 13:22, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Editions and printings (in most cases) are not the same and shouldn't be confused. In this case, the Voyager edition was first published in 1996 (as represented by this record), and your copy is the 6th printing of that 1996 edition. Note the change in price. So it should continue to be undated unless you can find a reliable secondary source for its printing date. Mhhutchins|talk 15:04, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, understood about the date year.
I take it that it's still ok to amend the 'Pages' to read [12]+434, as there are 12 unnumbered pages at the front of the book, 2 of which contain the "Introduction (Gold)" listed in 'Content', and to give that 'Content' listing the page number [11], the unnumbered page it starts on?
Lastly, if the book remains undated, is it safe or not to include a pub note stating "This paperback edition 1996. Number line: 7 9 8 6" as it appears in my book? Astrodan 01:02, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Your interpretation of documenting the page number for the introduction matches my understanding of a proper way to document what you describe. Kevin 01:52, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
As for 'Is it safe?', It's always safe to add factual un-interpreted data from a printed volume. I will note however that the text you are suggesting adding to the notes, does not convey any new information that is not already in the publication record. It's your verification however. You are welcome to add as much detail as you feel needs to be present to accurately describe the book in hand. As BLongley is currently inactive, I see no reason not to submit your proposed page update for the page count and for the Introduction page number. As a courtesy, it's normally expected that you should also place a note on the inactive editors talk page, informing them of the changes you've made to the record. That way if 5 years from now and he is active and you are inactive, he will be able to figure out where the added information came from if someone asks. Thanks Kevin 01:52, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Bill Longley has passed away so it will not be necessary to post anything on his talk page. If there are other PV editors, notify them. If he was the only PV editor, post it on this page. Thanks. Mhhutchins|talk 03:46, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't aware that Bill had passed. Kevin 14:18, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Points noted, thanks. Bill Longley was the primary, and only, verifier prior to me. After looking again at the two titles discussed above, I agree with Kevin's point about new information. I've now carried out the page amendments referred to only. Astrodan 10:48, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Kustannus Oy Jalava (Finland)

Changing the name of a publisher can only be done by a moderator, so can someone change Kustannus Oy Jalava (Finland) to Kustannus Oy Jalava? The country in parenthesis seems redundant as there is no other publisher with the same name. Also the publisher's bibliography page has a note stating the country of the publisher. Thanks. --Jorssi|talk 10:41, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Right you are. Done. --MartyD 11:32, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection - Content removal

I've submitted a removal request for a Content title "Acknowledgements (Gold)" from this book, as it consisted solely of a list of story titles, and their copyright dates, and as such did not seem to comply with Content rules in the Help pages. Posted here due to of the status of PV1, the only other verifier. Astrodan 11:05, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

"ss" vs. "ß"

I've told an editor that we consider the use of "ss" vs. "ß" in German titles to be two different spellings. If my guidance in that regard is misguided, please set the record straight here. Thanks. --MartyD 01:33, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

I believe (German editors, please correct me if I'm wrong), "ß" is a separate letter of the German alphabet which is rendered as "SS" when every letter of a title is in uppercase. (This is because there is no uppercase form of the letter "ß".) If that's the case (no pun intended), we should consider them interchangeable based on their proper use, just as English users don't consider "A" to be different from "a". And since we don't variant based on case, then "SS" and "ß" should be merged as "ß". If there were an English novel titled Time in a Bottle, but it is presented in all caps as TIME IN A BOTTLE on its title page, we'd still enter it as Time in a Bottle. Mhhutchins|talk 03:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Oops. I see this has already been discussed at the talk page you've linked to. I'll comment there. Mhhutchins|talk 03:54, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

"Suspected Duplicate Authors" changes

Due to its impact on system performance when run overnight, "Suspected Duplicate Authors" has been changed to run once a week. I am currently running its latest version which has added "H" and "K" to the alphabet soup. There appears to be a minor bug resulting in at least one author pair appearing twice. Ahasuerus 03:22, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

The bug has been found and will be fixed shortly. Unfortunately, it will take another hour to regenerate the report. Ahasuerus 03:32, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
The bug has been fixed and the report has been regenerated. Ahasuerus 05:40, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
The letter 'T' has been added and the report is being rerun as we speak. As some of you may have guessed, I started with the less commonly used letters and have been working my way up. Here is the current author breakdown in case anyone is curious:
 Letter Count
| X    |    59 |
| Q    |    60 |
| U    |   232 |
| Z    |   296 |
| Y    |   387 |
| O    |   661 |
| I    |  1238 |
| V    |  1569 |
| N    |  2595 |
| F    |  2776 |
| W    |  3616 |
| H    |  3976 |
| K    |  4890 |
| T    |  5057 |
| G    |  5348 |
| E    |  5525 |
| B    |  5564 |
| P    |  5650 |
| L    |  5893 |
| C    |  8222 |
| S    |  8702 |
| D    |  9164 |
| A    |  9314 |
| R    |  9528 |
| M    | 11334 |
| J    | 15511 |
Of course, the more letters we add, the longer it will take for the report to run, which is why it was moved to a weekly schedule. Ahasuerus 01:25, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
To what do the numbers refer? Surely there weren't 4,890 almost matches with the letter "K". It seemed like there were about 100 near-misses. Mhhutchins 02:58, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
The second column shows the number of authors whose first names start with the letter shown in the first column. The letter 'J' is the undisputed champion due to all the Johns, Jims, Joshuas, Jonathans, Jeans, Jeremys, etc out there :) Ahasuerus 04:26, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
"G" has been added and the report is being rerun as I type. 11 letters to go! Ahasuerus 00:04, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
"E" has been added and will become available once the process completes. Ahasuerus 22:48, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
"B" has been added and will become available tomorrow morning. Ahasuerus 05:14, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
"P" has been added. The report is being rerun and the new version should become available in about 3-4 hours. Ahasuerus 01:13, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
"L" has been added and will become available in a few hours. Ahasuerus 21:10, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
"C" has been added and will become available later tonight. Ahasuerus 21:10, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
"S" has been added and will become available in about 6-8 hours. Ahasuerus 06:52, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
"D" has been added and the report is being regenerated. I expect it to become available in about 8 hours. It's a doozy -- almost 500 suspected duplicates. Ahasuerus 06:52, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

[unindent] O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I just can't wait for the letter "J"! Mhhutchins 16:57, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

It's certainly good that we are making progress and that there are only 5 letters left. However, now that "D" has been included, it takes our poor server almost 12 hours to finish the compile. Once we add the rest of the alphabet soup, I expect that it will be closer to 24 hours. Ahasuerus 04:26, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
I made the table sortable:
Letter Count
X 59
Q 60
U 232
Z 296
Y 387
O 661
I 1238
V 1569
N 2595
F 2776
W 3616
H 3976
K 4890
T 5057
G 5348
E 5525
B 5564
P 5650
L 5893
C 8222
S 8702
D 9164
A 9314
R 9528
M 11334
J 15511
Not sure why the inner borders aren't showing up. Weirdness. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 00:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) The letter "A" has been added, although it will be more than 12 hours before the report has been fully rebuilt. "A" is not as impactful as "D" -- only 270 suspect pairs. Ahasuerus 15:34, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

'R' has been added. Once the recompilation process has completed (ETA 3-5am server time), I expect that there will be almost 500 additional "suspected duplicate pairs". Ahasuerus 18:11, 15 October 2015 (UTC)
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