User talk:Davecat

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Important!

This editor is no longer actively participating and is unlikely to respond to messages left here.

If this user is the sole verifier of a publication record, please:

  • post only notices on the user's talk page concerning the addition of images and notes
  • post 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.

Please be warned:

I'm busy with other things, & around pretty rarely, for the immediate future anyway. When I do check in, I'll try to respond to additions to this page; but don't put anything here which really needs a timely response. Or do so at your own risk.

Thanks.
       --Dave (Davecat)

Contents

Welcome!

Hello, Davecat, and welcome to the ISFDB Wiki! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will insert your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! Mhhutchins 16:19, 17 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Updating Analog issues

Welcome to the ISFDB, Davecat. Thanks for your recent submissions updating Analog issues of the 1960s. Everything looks good so far. Some early magazine issues were first entered when the date field only allowed a year designation. Improvements in the database now allow designation of month and day (if applicable.) If it's not too much trouble, please consider when updating the issues to also update the date field at the same time. For example, if you're working on the December 1966 issue of Analog, change the date field from 1966-00-00 to 1966-12-00. This should also be done for each of the content entries as well. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask, either on my talk page or on the help page. Just click the plus sign (+) at the top of the talk page to create a new subject. Again, welcome and thanks. Mhhutchins 16:27, 17 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Help links

Just a quick note to the effect that all isfdb.tamu.edu links are currently broken. You can still access the Help pages (and other Wiki pages) if you replace "isfdb.tamu.edu" with "www.isfdb.org" in the URL. Thanks for editing! Ahasuerus 14:34, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Your Questions

I've answered the inquiry you made about the erroneous title record in the June 1967 Analog on my talk page. Here's a helpful hint about keeping track of responses to inquiries here on the ISFDB Wiki. Set your preferences so that an automatic watch is placed on any Wiki page that you edit. Then occasionally check your watchlist. You can also check the Recent Changes page, but it tends to get somewhat crowded during certain times of the day. It appears that you've already figured out how to get around the "tamu.edu" problem, which I hope will be resolved soon. That's enough to make you an experienced editor! Mhhutchins 15:45, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Another Welcome

Glad to have you aboard. You may notice that many of your submissions will be on hold until Mhhutchins can look at them and others can discuss them with him. What you see on his talk page may not be final decisions. There are two of us working extensively in magazines and we are looking forward to co-ordinating with you once you are comfortable with the system.--swfritter 12:26, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, I'm still learning, as you can see.

I have no objections whatever to having things be held for discussion among the moderators - I'd sure rather get things done right rather than learning later that I've done them wrong. I'm trying to remember to check my pending edits to keep track of this. Thanks very much for any (serious) feedback you can give me. (And that's what I've gotten so far.)

-- Dave 12:50, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Dave, I've responded to your inquiries on my user talk page. All of your submissions have been accepted but one (the change in story length) for which I explain on my user talk page. I wanted to answer your questions on the same page on which they were asked instead of "ping-pong"-ing back and forth. Mhhutchins 16:35, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
You don't have to worry about responding to my submission comments or even necessarily reading them. They are primarily meant as input for Mhhutchins to save him some time when viewing your submissions. With the skill level and interest you have shown it probably will not be much longer before other moderators will be communicating with you directly.--swfritter 16:56, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Creating variants

Now that you've learned how to create variants in titles (and exceedingly well, I might add), the next trick is to make an author a pseudonym. Go the page for Guy McCord and choose "Make This Author a Pseudonym" from the menu. On the next page you'll find two fields. You can enter Mack Reynolds' Record # (which happens to be 400) or just put his name in the Parent Name field. Be careful that you spell his name correctly, otherwise you might make "Guy McCord" a pseudonym of "Mac Reynolds" (if it existed in the database!) Mhhutchins 17:39, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks! I've done it. I vaguely think I noticed at least one other such pseudonym while wandering through the data, & now I think I know what to do if I remember it. --Dave 20:38, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Adding interior art credit and book reviews

I don't want to shove this down your throat, but when you feel more comfortable in updating the Analogs, you might consider adding credits for the interior art and book reviews. Here's an example of a complete and verified issue of Analog from the period in which you're working. Again, this is entirely up to you, of course. Please don't feel like I'm pushing you into the deep end, but you've really come a long way in such a short time. Mhhutchins 18:15, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks. I don't think you're "pushing me off the deep end", though I know there are still some things I don't know about. And you're definitely not shoving anything down my throat! But for the present, well, there are plenty of holes in the data that I care more about & which can be updated pretty quickly & easily - all those missing page numbers, in particular. Checking for illustrations, for example, is likely to slow me down a lot - it means flipping through every page, I'd say.
My plan is to run through the issues I've got (& there are quite a lot) for which page numbers are missing & do those, add editorials at the same time where those are missing, & when all that's done take a slower pass for other things. I'll probably dragoon family members in for that pass. But it will all take a while. I may start adding the Brass Tacks (letters), In Times to Come, etc., which can be seen from the TOC page. I see the value of having all the book reviews indexed, too, but as with illustrations that is likely to be a very big, slow job. (I'll have to manage a procedure that lets me check for titles in the database already, too, right?) So I'm pushing your request down in the pile, but not intending to drop it forever. (I'm afraid my editing pace will slow somewhat once I'm more sure that I know what I'm doing.)
I keep realizing that I need to learn more about just editing these talk pages - I see the "Editing help" link there, but that page seems to lack any content. I figured out the leading colons for indentation by observation; the buttons are fairly straightforward; the tildes for "signature"/timestamp was in your welcome message; & I've learned the hard way not to separate my "signature" for readability (it encourages people to put replies before the "sig"); but I'm sure there's more to learn. -- davecat 21:00, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It's good to prioritize, as we all have time constraints when it comes to the ISFDB. I tend to jump from one project to another just to keep from going nuts concentrating on the same thing. Right now I'm enjoying walking you through this learning process.
You're picking up the Wiki editing as fast as ISFDB editing. I learned how to edit talk pages by opening them in an edit window and seeing how they work. In other words, you learn by doing. You can't do much damage by experimenting, because you can always revert a page to its previous state. So have fun. Mhhutchins 22:29, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Ok, Mhhutchins, I've tried entering illustrations, book reviews, etc. - completing one issue. You can see what I did - the issue is Analog, April 1969. Besides that it took a LONG time, even just this one issue hatched a lot of questions - even after much recourse to the help page. So I'm going to ask here, & either I or someone can (I hope) clean up any messes I made.
(1) I changed the page count for the magazine as a whole. It showed 178. The pages are numbered 3-178 (actually 4-178, starting on the reverse of the first leaf), which would make the front cover 1 & 2. If I understand the rules, the two sides of the back cover should also be included in that count, so I changed it to 180. Is that right?
(2) The editorial had a small illustration (no credit) - crude drawing of a TV set with the article title inside. (TV was relevant to topic.) I entered this as an uncredited illustration, & I think that is probably right; is it?
(3) The Science Fact article (essay) had a photograph, captioned "Cornell University Photograph", as its title pages. I entered it as interior art, put "Cornell University" as author, & intended to add a note that it's a photo after it's approved. Is that right?
(4) The same article had another illustration, a chart labeled "Simultaneous recordings of a pulse from CP0950, observed with two polarizations" (looks like tracks of pens on moving paper, in effect a graph with no numbers). I entered this as interior art but am much less sure this is correct; please advise.
(5) The same article had a table as well - "LATEST (Nov. 26, 1968) PULSAR DATA" with various data columns. I did the same for it, & am even less sure. Again, please advise.
(6)In the book reviews, one of the (book) authors' names had an accented "e" in it. The help page says "Other characters should be entered in Unicode if possible; this includes accented characters"; but I don't know how to enter Unicode. I found another author's name on the site containing the same character & used copy-&-paste to copy that in, but it looks like a smaller font. Um. Help??? Or is that OK?
(7)In entering the "Analytical Laboratory" feature, I thought it prudent to enter the full title of "The Analytical Laboratory/January 1969" (this is ratings based on user votes of the stories in that issue), even though no one else seems to have followed that practice - as well as including the "(Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, April 1969)" following some but not all past practice (search title "Analytical Laboratory" to see what I mean). Is that OK?
That's a lot of questions for you to have to answer, but the sooner I learn what I'm doing the less cleanup will be necessary at some future time. And I address it specifically to you because you suggested that I enter this much detail; of course anyone else may jump in to answer. Thank you very much. --Dave davecat 15:28, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
A response to each of the numbered items:
  1. You're correct in counting the last page as pages 179 and 180. So the mag's total would be 180
  2. Technically correct, but personally, I don't bother with illustrations to non-fiction, especially if they only illustrate the heading and are uncredited.
  3. I don't think we credit photographs unless they're the manipulated work of artists like J. K. Potter, or if the photographs are original and intended to illustrate that particular piece (so such thing as technical photographs and film stills would not be credited.) Let me read further into the ISFDB Standards to give you a more definitive response.
  4. Same as #3
  5. I don't think we credit tables, but let me investigate further.
  6. Yes, try to get as close as possible with non-standard letters. Cutting and pasting is fine. I use the Character Map included in the Windows Accessories / Systems Tools folder.
  7. I think your method is better than the one that is more commonly used. A search revealed around 50 results using the other method, so it wouldn't take too much work to change those. Since you seemed to have taken on the mantle of cleaning up the Analogs, I will leave this decision to you. Or you can place a message on the Rules and Standards Discussions page and get comments until a consensus is arrived. Afterwards we can write it into the Rules and Standards.
Hope this was able to clean up most of the issues. Mhhutchins 16:06, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog SF->Fact, September 1968

Right after hitting Approve on this I realized that the dates you updated were all Octobers, but this the September issue according to the title. Also, the Campbell essay you added mentions June 1968 in its title. Could you doublecheck this pub for correctness? --WimLewis 15:07, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)

<sigh sigh> Um. Ooops. Thank you. I've changed them again. I was hurriedly making changes to several issues. I see someone else has a probable error I made this morning, too.
Regarding the editorial I added ... I chose Essay, but, well, it's an editorial in the form of a 6-line poem; I guess I should change the type to poem, since that's a valid type. But the date is a matter of lead time from writing to publication (& the magazines came to my mailbox a couple of weeks or so before their cover date). June 5, 1968 was the day Robert F. Kennedy was shot. (At this late date I'd never have figured this out if seeing it for the first time - but I remember that rather bitter editorial poem quite vividly from 1968.) Possibly I should add a note somewhere, now that the title's been added. --Dave davecat 15:42, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)
You can add the info in the note field of the title record. Very few of us (including myself) would have known the significance of the title's date. Mhhutchins 15:51, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I guess I'd like to reopen this matter of the editorial that's a poem. I managed to mess up changing the author, & now a title search finds 3 different title records. I'll fix that. But in the meantime I noticed that, in setting the item's type to Poem instead of Essay, it no longer shows up on Campbell's bibliography with the series (Editorial (Analog)). What I'd propose to do, when I fix things up, is to make it an essay, but explain in the notes that it is in the form of a poem. In further defense of this, I'd point out that clearly Campbell didn't write it to be great poetry (and it's not); he wrote it as verse as an effective means of making a point. (I'm tempted to scan the thing in & post it; the illustration (full-page photograph, composed for the purpose, with the text typed on it as (maybe actually) by a typewriter) contributes greatly, too. But I'll avoid posting this copyright material.)
Anyway, I'll wait for comments before doing anything at all about this. Thanks. --Dave davecat 11:15, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm assuming that series only link titles that are all the ESSAY type or NOVEL/SHORTFICTION type. Since poems are separated on an author's summary page, they won't be linked in with an ESSAY series. Here's my suggestion: change the type back to ESSAY but place a note in the title record that it is written in the form of a poem. That would allow it to be grouped under the Analog Editorial series, probably the best place it should be. I think the various records that came up on the search is because of the variant created for the lack of a "Jr." in the author's name. I'll check it out. Mhhutchins 17:00, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks. Unless someone else jumps in to contradict on this, I'll set it to be Essay with notes indicating the verse form. --Dave davecat 20:45, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog, November 1968

Please double-check this issue of Analog. Your submission added the Campbell piece, but is it shortfiction or essay? Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:11, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Again, thanks and <sigh>. Failed to notice & change the default on that one. It's an essay, of course. (Though some readers probably might have considered it fiction. (It's an attack on the then-current state of our two-party political system - most of what he says applies (or fails to apply) equally today, mutatis mutandis.)) --Dave davecat 16:02, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog, December 1969

Good job with the update on this issue of Analog, but I don't think you have to give each piece of artwork credit, only credit the artist with each piece of fiction. A problem will arise when someone wants to merge two records with the same title, only to discover that they're both in the same pub. I've not ran across this issue before. Maybe a moderator more experienced in interior art in magazines can chime in here. I'll ask around. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:17, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Some editors, including Al, credit each illustration using the [1], [2], etc convention, e.g. Analog Science Fact -> Science Fiction, January 1965. As our Help pages say:
It is also acceptable (but not required) to enter all pages where multiple artwork appears in a story.
Ahasuerus 15:26, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, I'll hope to remember to look at that & either do it that way (in the case of the Freas illustrations for sure) or maybe delete in the case of the SciFact article's chart/graph things (see my questions a couple of sections back, which I was writing when this item was created). --Dave davecat 15:39, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
ACK!!!! I went to fix the Freas illustrations for the serial, & forgot the need to delete/re-add (so presumably I've created variants). Unless they get rejected, I'll plan to fix this tomorrow. --Dave davecat 16:01, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
No, it's fine. Remember: if you change a content record, you're changing all pubs which contain that record. In this case, there are no other records, so it was fine to change the titles themselves. In fact, this is an easier method than the "Drop Title"/"Add Title" method. But do this ONLY WHEN THERE ARE NO OTHER PUBS CONTAINING THIS TITLE. (I'm not hollering, just emphasizing an important point to keep in mind!) You're doing some fine work here. Mhhutchins 16:15, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Further response to your update on Analog, April 1969

Here's what I discovered from Swfritter and on that will help us both in the future concerning interior artwork. From the help pages this:

Rules for including artwork. If artwork illustrates a particular story, it should be included. If it does not, but is a significant piece of artwork, or is signed by or credited to a well known sf artist, then it should be included. Credited cartoons are always included. Uncredited full-page cartoons in digest magazines of at least 1/3 page cartoons in pulp and bedsheet size magazines are always included. The title should be "Cartoon: " followed by the caption, in the original case, between quotation marks. If there is no caption the words "no caption" should be used without quotation marks. See the February 1957 issue of Dream World for examples (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?DRMWRLDFEB1957) If an article is illustrated with diagrams, or with photographs, these do not need to be included; they are not "artwork" in the sense that we are indexing.

You can index individual pieces, but as we both learned, give each piece its own desigation (adding a number, for instance). Or do as I do, and just give each story its own artist credit.
So following these standards and using the April 1969 issue of Analog as an example:

  • The editorial artwork on page 4 would not be credited, so it should be deleted.
  • The essay on page 53 should show only the canonical title of pub and month in its title: "In Times to Come (Analog, April 1969)"
  • The interiorart records on pages 72, 78 and 83 should be deleted (and don't forget to delete the orphan titles)
  • Give each of the two records on pages 108 and 128 an individual title.
  • Drop the title record "The Reference Library" on page 160 and add a content entry for "The Reference Library (Analog, April 1969)". [Don't change the content record because there are MANY title records with the same name, which may be affected. I'm not sure, but it's better not to take a chance.]
  • Change the title record "Brass Tacks (Analog Apr 1969)" to "Brass Tacks (Analog, April 1969)"
  • Each of these columns have a series entry, so update them to add them to the series: In Times to Come, The Reference Library, Brass Tacks, and The Analytical Laboratory.

After updating this pub, you'll get a good idea about what a complete entry for an Analog issue should look like. I might be throwing a lot at you at once, but feel free to go back to updating and verifying only the fiction contents. In either case, thanks for doing whatever you're able to do. Mhhutchins 17:21, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks very much for the detailed, helpful info! --Dave davecat 08:49, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Oh. Yes, this helps me (a lot!) toward knowing what all should go into an issue's listings. My plan at this point is to mostly go ahead with the issues that don't have page numbers yet, adding those; but I'll also plan to add the editorials & departments (where missing) that can be seen from the title page itself. For variety, I'll also sometimes work on some general cleanup - for example, getting all those editorials with titles starting "Editorial: " changed, with the series reference added to the title records.
Now, that brings up one more question. You gave as the form to use "Brass Tacks (Analog, April 1969)", but I see a lot of the titles with other formats, mostly things like "Brass Tacks (Analog Science Fiction -> Science Fact, April 1965)" (& similarly for other departments). Should I modify those? The form you had me change, which was different yet, had been copied from the verified issue you'd suggested as a model. That's not a complaint; my point is simply that these things have a lot of inconsistencies, & is cleaning them up appropriate? (And I hope I'm not tying up too much time in discussions among the moderators, but I'd like to do things right.) Again, thanks. --Dave davecat 09:43, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
And one more (afterthought) question: Is the issue of Analog "Science Fact" articles with titles beginning "Science Fact:" parallel to that of editorials with titles beginning "Editorial:", since there's a series for those as well?
--Dave davecat 10:01, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
There are Analog series records that have the complete pub title, but that was before a standard could be established. Take a look at this page for Analog. Besides the series standards, you'll find links to every issue which could save you some searches. You'll also see that "Science Fact" should not be in the title and neither should "Editorial" (unless it's part of the title) Mhhutchins 16:48, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog, July 1969

In the update for this issue of Analog, you began changing the dates to 1969-07-00, but half-way through you stopped. I assumed you hit the submit button before you were completely updating the pub. Mhhutchins 16:52, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Right. Making too many changes, lost some, I'd say. I've changed the rest (all, I hope) & resubmitted. Thank you very much. --Dave davecat 17:01, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Editorial in parentheses?

Does the editorial in the July 1966 issue of Analog have parentheses around the title? Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:22, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Parentheses, no - but I suspect you meant quotation marks, which it does. (Unsafe At Any Speed was the title of a book by Ralph Nader, published in 1965, & for a while his chief claim to fame; the phrase was much quoted for many purposes.) --Dave davecat 20:39, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Sorry 'bout that. Of course I meant (quotation marks). Thanks for verifying it. Mhhutchins

10/23/2007 submissions on hold

I have put your submissions on hold for Mhhutchins. Please ignore the comments I made about them until he gets a chance to look at them - I used a certain amount of shorthand. One thing I did screw up on which caused some confusion is the way I documented the 'In Times to Come' essay series. It should actually be 'In Times to Come (Analog)' since there is the possibility that other magazines might use this somewhat generic title. I would rather have fresh egg on my face now then a ton of rotten ones later on. Good job. You have some good ideas.--swfritter 13:36, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Your latest set of submissions and series titles.

I've approved most of them, but have a couple on hold. I'm not sure why you'd want to drop the Campbell editorial ("Men in Space") in this issue, or the editorial ("Technological Status") in this issue. Were the variants in authorship created incorrectly? There was a duplicate submission that I rejected (it should be in your "My Rejected Edits" list.)
Swfritter has reconsidered the title of the "In Times to Come" column, so please place any future submissions into the "In Times to Come (Analog)" series. He also suggests (and I agree) that a better format for titles in the Analytical Laboratory series be: "The Analytical Laboratory: [date of issue polled] (Analog, [date of issue in which the poll in published]" (Using the colon instead of the slash.) Since we led you astray with these series issues, I'll go back and correct those records to conform with the newly established standard. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:44, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The problem with the two editorials is that I first entered them with the name John W. Campbell, Jr. (following many examples I'd seen); on discovering that they should be entered as shown in the editorial itself (John W. Campbell), & then set up as pseudonyms, I attempted to correct them. This created a new title, as a variant of the old, incorrect one. I can't see any other way to get rid of the incorrect entries except to delete the variants from the pub, delete the variant title, delete the original title, & reenter it correctly. (Please tell me if there is a better way!) (Can't just delete the incorrect one because it has a variant.)
Regarding the AnLab title format: I used a slash initially because the examples I was looking at (in the physical magazines) had it that way. On looking more widely, I see that Campbell was not all that consistent (sometimes date on separate line, especially when he put two or more batches in one issue; sometimes something like "April Issue"; at least once no indication at all of what issue was being polled). Given this, a colon seems much more reasonable than the slash. (I'm betting he initially went with the slash sometime when he was squeezed for column length or something like that.) I'm all for trying come up with a standard format while still trying to represent the actual title/subtitle pattern shown in the magazine. Thank you (& swfritter!) very much. -- Dave davecat 16:52, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Orphaned titles

  1. Here's a title that has been orphaned by one of your submissions. Was the editorial in the November 1966 Analog credited to Campbell or Campbell, Jr.?
  2. Here's another orphaned title, but I can't find the issue in which this editorial appeared. Perhaps the wrong title record was deleted?
  3. This title also has no pub record. But I did find the same title (as by Campbell, Jr.) in this issue.
  4. Here's two records with the same title but neither has pubs: this one as by Campbell, Jr. and this one as a variant by Campbell.
Thanks for checking these out. Mhhutchins 16:01, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Placing the Analog editorials into a series, the variant bug

I believe I've figured out the problem here. Because you're creating two records, one under the published author (Campbell) and another for the canonical author (Campbell, Jr.), you can't place both records into a series without both showing up in the series list. I think you've been looking at the series list and deleting duplicate which is not a very good idea. You should only delete records from the pub or title listings.

Because Campbell, Jr. is the canonical author, I suggest that you place only the title record under his name into the series, and leave the title records with the Campbell only credit un-seriesed (Is that a word?) This is a known bug of how the db deals with series. It just can't handle variants. Sorry that I didn't bring this up sooner and it just didn't occur to me. I'm going to go ahead and try to clean up the series, and let you do as I suggested for any future submissions. Mhhutchins 16:17, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

No, I didn't mean to have two titles at all. According to the standards, these should just say Campbell, & then get that linked to Campbell, Jr. as a pseudonym. Having messed that up, I was trying to clean it up. It took me an unreasonable amount of time to learn that changing the author of a title didn't actually change it but added a variant. Sorry. (See above in the previous talk note for more detail.) --Dave davecat 16:58, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm not sure what you mean by "changing the author of a title didn't actually change it but added a variant." A variant is only created when you use the "Make This Title A Variant" function on a title's title record page. If you use the "Edit Title Data" function on this page, you can add or change anything in any of the fields without creating a variant. This would not be a variant record but an edited version of the same record. Perhaps the confusion is semantic? Mhhutchins 17:29, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
That isn't the way it's seemed to work. Admittedly, at least some of the times I haven't gone into the title editor as such, but changed it in the pub. But when I changed the author's name there (& maybe also when I tried it in the title record), I found that I then had the original title record still in existence, plus one with the new version of the author's name, which said it was a variant of the other (& the first, incorrect one said that it had a variant & so could not be deleted). This wasn't obvious until I searched by title or looked under the author, so I did quite a number. It's also not what the help files seemed to say would happen. I am reasonably sure that I did not create any variants at all through the "Make This Title A Variant" function; I used that only to mark it as a pseudonymous work, using the bottom half of the screen.
I may have gotten myself confused here, but that's sure what it has looked like to me. --Dave davecat 18:42, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT) (I keep thinking I should enter a test case, but (1) I can't find just now where in the help stuff it said how to identify such a thing for everyone's benefit, & (2) the lag in getting submissions approved means it probably would take 2 or 3 days. -- davecat 18:58, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT). Aha! found it - it's [[1] this link] -- davecat 19:03, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT) I'll try it in the October 1966 issue. davecat 19:05, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT))
You must create a variant for a pseudonymous work, in order for it to appear on the canonical (parent) author's summary page. The database treats a variation in authorship the same way it treats a variation in the piece's title. Let's say that a story was published as "A Story" by "John Smith" but actually written by "Jim Brown". When you enter this from the pub (either magazine or anthology or collection) you enter it exactly as it's printed in the pub. You know "John Smith" is really "Jim Brown" so you go to the title record of the piece you just entered and use the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" function to create a variant under the author's real name. So now when you go to "Jim Brown"'s summary page you see a listing for "A Story" (as by "John Smith"). What if Jim Brown then decides to reprint the story under another title and under his true name? We enter the new title record exactly as it is published: "A Tale" by "Jim Brown". We know that this is the exact same story, so we go to the new title's title record page and use the "Make This Title a Variant..." function. Because we know that there is already a record for this story, we must have first determined what the record number is for that original entry. You can go that its title record page and remember or record its number from your browser (it'll be the number after www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi? ). On the variant page there are two options. In the first option you can create a variant if you know the record number of the parent title ("A Story"). Since we've remembered or recorded the title record number of "A Story" (the parent title) we place that number in the first field and press the "Submit Data" button (the upper submit button, not the one at the bottom of the page.)
Take a look at this story, written by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore. It was first published in 1946 as "Chessboard Planet" by "Lewis Padgett", then as "The Fairy Chessmen" by "Lewis Padgett", then as "Chessboard Planet" under both of their true names. Each time this same story is published under a different title or different author a variant must be created, and then merged with the parent title for it to show up on one title page showing all the publications.
I'm sure you're already familiar with most of this in the short time you've been submitting. Hopefully, this may help clear up any questions you may have about variants. If not, just let me know. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:51, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Your testing

I see you've submitted an edit to a record by changing the title and author from a pub's content entry. I'll approve it and let you see the results. Mhhutchins 19:54, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Well, clearly I was misunderstanding what I was seeing. This worked the way you said. (What this means is that I got off track on which things I'd done what to.) Ouch. Sorry to grab so much of everyone's time with this. Thanks for the quick approvals, allowing me to finish this off tonight. I've deleted the test entry from the pub & will delete the author & title either in a couple of minutes or tomorrow. Thank you -- Dave davecat 20:05, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Here's another test. Do a search for the edited story title ("Test essay initial entry") and see what dropping the record from the pub does. Now do a search for the edited author ("Test Davecat name 2") Mhhutchins 20:09, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I already saw that (after you approved the title/author changes) a search on "Test Davecat" only found the edited version, & same for a search on "Test essay". I've dropped the record from the pub (& you approved that); that left me with the essay & the author, second version of each. I've submitted the deletion for the essay, & it's pending. I'm guessing that I couldn't delete the author while there's an essay out there anyway; but looking ahead at the author record, I don't see any way to delete an author, either under the tools or on the edit screen (unless somehow "Dup Candidates" relates to that). Need to log out now so I'll check this tomorrow; but how do I delete the author record? Or does it automatically vanish when the last work for that author is deleted? As always, thank you for taking the time to help me with this - it turned out to be a big tangle of my own making. -- Dave davecat 20:32, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Just like you can't delete a title record if there's a pub record of that title, you can't delete an author record if there are title records under his name. When all the title records have been deleted, the system automatically deletes the author record. I think your testing has given you greater insight into how the db works. Mhhutchins 21:16, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes. In two ways this is not the way I'd have designed things, I think. (I'd have had keys for nominal author & canonical author both in the pub, I think. And I'd be strongly inclined to allow orphan authors so that author info doesn't get lost so easily. But (in the former case) that would complicate searches & (probably) take more space, & (in the latter case) you could wind up with a lot of bad info in orphan author records.) Thanks for all your help. I'll work on cleaning up the messes I left in trying to clean up messes I thought I'd made. This may take a while. -- Dave davecat 09:28, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Clearing out the John W. Campbell page

I was going to clear up the summary page for John W. Campbell, but thought that you might want to take a whack at it. It'll make you'll more familiar with creating variants that will appear on the canonical author's summary page, in this case John W. Campbell, Jr..

The first thing to take into account is that there should be no records listed on the pseudonym summary page. Each of the titles on this page should have a variant made of it. For instance, if you make a variant of this essay it will disappear from this page, and appear on Jr.'s page with the title "Sensational Discovery [as by John W. Campbell]". The entry for this essay in the publication in which it appears will change from "5 • Sensational Discovery • essay by John W. Campbell" to "5 • Sensational Discovery • essay by John W. Campbell, Jr. [as by John W. Campbell]". If you get a chance, try making variants of a couple of these.

Something else to keep in mind: once Sensational Discovery has been moved over to Jr.'s page, you will want to place it into the Editorial (Analog) series. And remember to change the record under Jr.'s credit to the series, not the non-Jr. one. Hope that's clear. Have fun! Mhhutchins 19:08, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I keep running up against things I should have noticed but didn't, or noticed & forgot to ask among everything else. The Brass Tacks department comprises reader and/or author letters, usually with brief (or not so brief) replies by Campbell; but these replies are formally uncredited, though the letters are mostly addressed to Campbell & it's pretty clear from the replies that he composed them. (This is during the Campbell period, obviously. I'll get around to Bova & Schmidt eventually, I hope!) Options I see:
  • I guess my own impulse would be to just make them all say JWCJr up front. Since nothing says JWC (unlike the editorials), I'd avoid that.
  • I could use The Editor; unlike AnLab & In Times To Come, that's not explicitly given but seems very defensible to me.
  • I presume that "uncredited" would be a bad choice, but I toss it in for completeness.
I'll avoid changing Brass Tacks until I hear an answer. (Otherwise, I've started the process.) Thanks --Dave davecat 11:40, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
From Help - "Letter columns with embedded editorial responses should be credited to whoever writes the responses, or to "uncredited" if this is not obvious." Once again we cannot be sure that Campbell wrote all the responses. He most certainly wrote the long responses but some of the one-liners may not have been by him. In case you are thinking about it, we generally do not currently enter the names of the letter writers although that may be a future consideration. That was one of my first impulses but once I realized how much other work needed to be done it seemed a lot less important.--swfritter 12:41, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Changing the author credit to The Editor

You asked this on my talk page:

In the September 1969 issue of Analog, there's a Science Fact article credited to The Editor (credit at end, p. 75). This was previously credited to JWCJr. I noticed it in adding page #s & missing departments in that issue. I was going to change it (would need to remove/add, as it apparently was anthologized), but then I thought I'd check what The Editor says. Look at it here: [[2] this link]. Among other things, it says "Used As Alternate Name By: Larry T. Shaw". How should I handle this, please? (Really, I'm not trying to cause trouble!) Thank you! -- Dave davecat 14:07, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I first went to the summary page for The Editor, clicked on the "Make This Author A Pseudonym". On the next page, I put "John W. Campbell, Jr." in the Parent Name field and submitted. After the submission was accepted, you now see that Campbell is listed as one of the authors who used the pseudonym "The Editor". Checking at the top of John W. Campbell, Jr.'s summary page you will now see that "The Editor" is one of the pseudonyms that Campbell used.

You're right to realize that since there are two publications of Political Science - Mark II, you can't just edit the title record to show the author as "The Editor", or you would be changing the authorship of both records. I don't have a copy of the anthology in which the article was reprinted, and let's assume that you don't either. Thus we have to assume that the person who entered that publication correctly gave credit to John W. Campbell, Jr.

Here's the steps to get this title in shape.

  1. Go to Analog, September 1969.
  2. Choose "Edit This Pub" from the editing tools menu.
  3. Go down under the Content listings and click "Add Title", and enter the essay exactly as it appears in the publication. Submit.
  4. After the submission is accepted, go back to the pub record and choose "Remove Titles From This Pub" from the editing tools menu.
  5. Check the box for the incorrectly credited title (in this case, the one credited to Campbell; the one that you added for "The Editor" should be listed as well.) Submit.
  6. After the submission is accepted, go to back to the pub record for Analog, September 1969 (for the third time!) and click on the link from the essay to get to its title record page.
  7. On the essay's title record page (there should only be one pub listed here) choose "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" from the editing tools.
  8. This will lead you to the Make Variant Title entry page. Go down to the bottom section. Remove "The Editor" from the Author1 field and replace it with "John W. Campbell, Jr.". Click the BOTTOM "Submit Data" button.
  9. After the submission has been accepted, go to the summary page for John W. Campbell, Jr. You will find that there are two entries for this title: the original one that lists the George Hay anthology as a pub, and the one that you just created that lists only the September 1969 issue of Analog. In order for these to appear on the same title record page, they must be merged. Click on "Dup Candidates" in the editing tools menu.
  10. On the Duplication Finder page, you find pairs of identical titles. Go down until you find "Political Science - Mark II". Make sure that the Type matches (they both should state ESSAY.) Check the two boxes and and click "Merge Selected Record".
  11. On the Title Merge Results page, there may be conflicts between the two records that must be resolved before the titles can be merged. If the conflict is in the date, choose the earliest date of publication. Click "Complete Merge".

That should do it. And it only took 11 steps! There should now be a title on Campbell's summary page for "Political Science - Mark II [as by The Editor]" and the publication should have a content entry for "Political Science - Mark II - essay by John W. Campbell, Jr. [as by The Editor]". Mhhutchins 20:00, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Verifed Pubs

Some of the issues you have been Verified by Alibrarian. Normally it is a courtesy to inform the verifier that you have made a change to their verified pub but this particular verifier no longer seems to be actively reading their Talk page. I have not been notifying Alibrarian. If it is a very significant change you may want to notify the verifier before you make the change. If you are doing the series thing to the essays you do not need to notify.--swfritter 12:51, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Ack!! Several times now I've made a (mental) note to check whether the pub is verified before changing; I wasn't sure what I should do if it was, but I keep forgetting anyway. Thank you for the reminder. I hope it's the last time. And thanks for the additions on Alibrarian & on pulling things into series. --Dave davecat 13:44, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Observatory series

New series? There is already an Observatory (Amazing) series so perhaps we should make Observatory (Analog). I think you see now why it's a good idea to qualify the series with the canonical title of the magazine. It's always a good idea to use the series search option to see if there are any similar series.--swfritter 12:56, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Oops! I just approved a submission for The Observatory (Analog, October 1963) placed into a series simply titled The Observatory. Because Swfritter is more familiar with the series created for columns in various magazines, I'll go along with his observation that this Observatory be more specific. I'll more more observant in the future. Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:58, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I was going to approve it and change the name of the series. I just wanted to make sure that Dave did not add a bunch more.--swfritter 14:03, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
That one title was already in a series of that name("The Observatory"). I just verified that it was attributed to The Editor, changed the author to that, & eventually made that a pseudonym for JWCJr. The series already existed. But I agree that putting magazine name into mag-related series is the way to go. Does one create a series just by putting the new name into the title's Series field? (Swfritter slipped in while I was editing this resp.) -- Dave davecat 15:27, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes the series is created automatically if it does not exist. I kind of wondered why there were no titles in the series list.--swfritter 16:06, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
FYI, the intended behavior of the software is for the Series record to disappear once it loses its last Title record. Unfortunately, it turned out to be difficult to implement because of nested Series -- we allow unlimited nesting, BTW. Consequently, series auto-deletion, although improved in the last few months, is still flaky and you may see weird artifacts left in its wake, especially when there are nested series involved. Ahasuerus 13:17, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The Editor problem

I did not realize how many of these there were. This is more of a project than a quick fix. I'm just glad we caught your submissions before things got out of hand. I am usually working on multiple projects at the same time. It is much less tedious to do a few from each project at a time. I would rather see you entering new data than burning yourself out fixing mistakes made by others.--swfritter 13:08, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I'm glad this got brought up to me fairly early, too. I was generally trying to follow previous models, & I'd rather do it to current standards.

Up to a point, I'm enjoying doing this cleanup. I will continue to add page numbers & editorials (& probably AnLabs & Brass Tackses & In Times To Comeses) as well, especially now that I (hopefully) have got the authorship issues down.

The thing that really makes it kind of a pain is waiting for submissions to be approved, simply because (say) I can't make JWC a pseudonym for JWCJr until the title with JWC in it exists. (And, as mhhutchins has seen & maybe you too, once in a while I think I haven't made a change & try to do it again. Often can't tell from the pending list what's actually pending.) That's not a complaint - the approval process is unquestionably a Good Thing. Thanks! -- Dave davecat 13:59, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I remember having a little notepad around and writing furiously in pencil all the things I had to keep in mind. One thing you might want to to is create a bookmark folder and bookmark the pubs your are working on under that folder.--swfritter 14:12, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Would it be reasonable to do something similar to what we do with authors with the same names. So have The Editor (Analog), The Editor (F&SF). Dana Carson 03:54, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Great idea! A fair amount of fix-up work to do and needs some documentation but better now than later. We should wait a couple of days for any further comments but it sounds like an obvious impmlentation.--swfritter 13:49, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Oh yes, let's tackle that before "The Editor" has a page longer than Asimov's! The only thing that worries me is that when you look-up "The Editor" there are a few Strays with no titles, which makes me think someone has tried this before and been over-ruled? BLongley 13:53, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Another issue is whether or not we want to standardize such entries as "ed.", etc. as "The Editor".--swfritter 14:22, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Who Goes There? by JWCjr

I see that you've cleared out the JWC summary page. Good work. When you made a variant of Who Goes There?, the record was moved to the JWCjr summary page. There's one more step you need to do to clean up this record. It must be merged with a previous record of the same title. Use the "Dup Candidates" editing tool, and you'll see a list which includes the two records for "Who Goes There?" Be careful that you merge only the records that have matching types (there's a collection with the same name, and merging the three titles would be, let's say, less than disastrous, but very difficult to correct!) Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:03, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I couldn't do that until the record existed. In the near future, the JWC summary bibliography will have new stuff, transiently, as I enter more editorials. Ditto for The Editor, which I don't think I've cleared out yet. -- davecat 06:15, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Hmm. There seems to be a problem with merging. It shows "title_storylen Conflict:", with two radio buttons; the first says "nv" [novella], the second is blank. I'm going to choose nv & go ahead & do it. Someone can let me know if this is wrong. (I did investigate enough to see that nv & <empty> are in the two title records as they stand now, before the merge.) -- Dave davecat 06:28, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
A "conflict" simply means that the records being merged have different values in that field. If one of the records doesn't have a value in that field, then it's usually safe to choose the other record's value unless it's clearly wrong. If both records have a value in that field and the values are different, then it gets trickier -- see Help:How to merge titles.
Most of the non-trivial conflicts have to do with the "story length" field, e.g. "novella" vs. "novelette" or "novelette" vs. "short story", and the date field, e.g. 1939-00-00 vs. 1940-00-00 or 1939-00-00 vs. 1939-04-00. We follow the standard Hugo/Nebula rules for story length:
  1. sf - Shortfiction - This is the default story length for shortfiction and means the length is not defined.
  2. ss - Shortstory - A work whose length is less than or equal to 7,500 words. (Roughly, 20 or fewer pages in a book.)
  3. nt - Novelette - A work whose length is greater than 7,500 words and less than or equal to 17,500 words. (Roughly 20 to 50 pages in a book.)
  4. nv - Novella - A work whose length is greater than 17,500 words and less than or equal to 40,000 words. (Roughly 50 to 100 pages in a book.)
which can make life difficult if the story in question is right on the border between two categories, especially if it was published in a magazine with lots of partially filled pages.
As far as dates go, if one date has the month specified and the other one doesn't, then we want to use the one with the month. Otherwise we generally use the earliest date of publication -- note the word "publication" as opposed to "completion by the author(s)", which can be months or years earlier than the date of first appearance in print. Another scenario that can potentially lead to confusion is an article/story that was first published in a fanzine or semiprozine and later reprinted in a professional publication, H. P. Lovecraft being our primary offender. The reason why this can be confusing is that some bibliographic sources list the first date of professional publication, while others do not discriminate between different types of publications for "first publication" purposes. Which reminds me that we need to add a note about our stand on the issue to the Help pages.
Finally, Serials are a separate can of worms. To quote our Help pages:
Magazines: Serial installments of a work are always given the date of the magazine in which they appear even if the work has been published previously in book or serial form. Novel length works (40,000+ words) printed as a single installment in a magazine are treated as serials and given the date of the issue in which they appear; the Title Type is "Serial" and the text "(Complete Novel)", preceded by a space, is appended to the title. See "Beyond This Horizon (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?2373)" for an example of a novel which was published as a multi-part serial, a book, and then as a single installment serial.
Happy editing! :) Ahasuerus 11:01, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Um. A "single installment serial"? (Somehow I didn't think that looking at records in the database will clear that one up for me, & I was right. How is it a serial?)
Oh, I know, it's quite awkward and counterintuitive :( The underlying problem is that magazine appearances and book publications of novel length fiction have been historically treated differently by collectors (especially first edition collectors) and bibliographers. If you look up any pre-WWII SF writer in, say, Clute/Nicholls's Encyclopedia, you will notice that for novels they give the date of the first magazine appearance and the date of first book publication separately. The latter are bolded and the former are not to make sure they are not confused by the readers. We try to replicate this behavior, thus the differentiation between "(Complete Novel)" Serial records and subsequent Novel records. The two are automagically linked on each author's Summary Bibliography page when it is generated, e.g. see Jack Williamson's bibliography. Unfortunately, the linkage is purely lexical at the moment, so it doesn't support Variant Titles well, but Al was going to fix it once he comes back. Ahasuerus 17:43, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
But your mentioning serials reminds me of a related issue I've been meaning to ask about. Sometimes a novel appears as (say) a novella or two, then a serial. Campbell did this frequently; ones that come readily to mind include McCaffrey's "Weyr Search", a novella (which won the Hugo in its own right) & Dragonrider, a serial, which together make up most of the content of the novel; Piper's "Gunpowder God" & "Down Styphon" (looks like maybe neither of those was a serial, but together they're Lord Kalvan, & several of Schmitz's (Telzey stories come to mind). I don't see anything indicating this except where the serial portion has the same title & is listed as a variant. (I haven't looked widely, I admit.) But is there some way to note that "Novice" and "Undercurrents" are (each) parts of The Universe Against Her?

And it gets worse, I suppose. I vaguely remember some Van Vogt novels (The War Against the Rull comes to mind) for which independent short stories were rewritten to link them together; I think maybe some stories went into more than one novel.
This is something I'd be inclined to clean up as I come across them, not systematically, if I knew what to do. Thanks -- Dave davecat 16:31, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Ah, the dreaded monster known as the fixup raises its ugly head, and the ISFDB trembles in fear and loathing. Is there anyone who can save us, or are we doomed to forever cower in the shadows of this evil more powerful than any creature that slithered out of the imagination of H. P. Lovecraft? Has Davecat arrived on his snow white steed to battle that monstrosity? And shall he fall by the wayside, among the carcasses of past editors strewn like the offal of butchered animals on the path of Good Intentions and Well Meanings? Mhhutchins 17:14, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes, War against the Rull has indeed reduced me to the gibbering wreck you see before you. See the variations in the verified van Vogts viewable? Braver men than me have fled in terror... BLongley 06:18, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

(unindent and collision with Michael's post)What you are describing is known as a "fixup" -- the term was invented by its founding father, van Vogt, BTW -- the bane of genre bibliographers' existence. At this time we enter all involved Titles separately and then document these relationships in the Notes field. Eventually we will want a "related to" field and an associated "nature of relationship" field with a drop down menu of choices like "part of a fixup", "abridged", "revised", "expanded", "restored", etc. One of these days...

P.S. Don't worry, everybody asks these questions at first. They are the same questions that Al and I struggled with in 1995 when ISFDB was being dreamed up and then again in 2006 when the current ISFDB-2 version was implemented :) Ahasuerus 17:43, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I think I'll tiptoe quietly away from the true fixups; if nothing else, at this point I doubt that I'll recognize any. As far as the novel-broken-into-pieces-for-magazine-publication issue: it would seem to me to be reasonable to drop something into the notes field of the title, maybe along the lines of "This story was incorporated into the book version of The Lion Game"; is that OK? There are probably a large handful that I can spot easily. Thanks. -- Dave davecat 20:13, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Sure, that should work! Ahasuerus 21:21, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Brass Tacks credits

Because Analog doesn't show an author credit for these columns, didn't we decide to leave them as "uncredited"? And if we do, I don't think we should create a variant giving JWC,Jr. as the "uncredited". Mhhutchins 22:20, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

OK, I misunderstood about the variant. -- davecat 10:06, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I just read Dana Carsons response above (The Editor Problem). My concern is indeed that "The Editor" or "uncredited" just mixes these up with entries that are clearly by different people, with no notice, & Dana's is probably the way I'd do it myself at this point, for "uncredited" as well as "The Editor". I see the responses in the letters column, most but maybe not all by Campbell, as rather different from something that is just plain unidentified. But I'll do it however you folks decide. -- Dave davecat 10:45, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I personally feel that as long as the item shows up in the pub contents (and in a series listing, if applicable), it really doesn't matter if it shows up on an author's summary page. If there are a thousand entries for the author "uncredited", it's no big problem as far as I'm concerned. If the piece is credited to "The Editor", there should be a variant created only if we are positive who wrote it, in which case it will appear on the author's summary page and not on the generic "The Editor" summary page. If we're unable to determine who the real author is, I don't see the problem of their being mixed with other items on "The Editor" or the "uncredited" summary pages, because that's exactly what they are: items whose authorship has not been determined. Otherwise they would be on another summary page. Mhhutchins 13:03, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
OK, I'll do it that way unless a different consensus arrives. Thanks. davecat 13:10, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Publisher credit for the Analog issues you're updating

Dave, I meant to bring this up when I noticed it last week, but it slipped my mind. Since you're updating issues of Analog, it would only take a few more seconds to add the publisher (Condé Nast Publications, Inc.). I see that you've also started designating the binding as "digest". Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:30, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

A few seconds except for that !@#$% "é". As with the Digest, I will do it when I notice & remember.

That reminds me: I noticed that some of the issues already have sizes; in particular, in the period when Analog had larger issues, IIRC a couple of different sizes were in use for magazines of same size/format/binding. I'm reasonably sure Digest is correct for the smaller ones, but not sure about the larger ones. Right now I'm in the middle of the digests, though. --Dave davecat 14:21, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The standard magazine terminology is "digest", "pulp" (8 by 11) and "bedsheet". Some collectors also distinguish the "trimmed pulp" format since trimmed pulps are a little smaller than regular pulps (not to mention much easier to read because they don't leave flakes on your body/furniture). Campbell was the first one to switch to the digest format ca. 1944 and the rest of the field followed in the early-to-mid-1950s. Campbell also tried the bedsheet format ca. 1964, but it didn't pan out and he switched back to the digest format within 18 months or so. I suppose we would need a special term for "slick magazines" if more than a few SF writers (Heinlein in SEP, etc) had sold to them. Ahasuerus 14:33, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The bedsheets were March 1963-March 1965. Browsing through the ISFDB records, I see most of them are marked "bedsheet". December 1963 through February 1964 are marked "large", as are September & November-December 1964 & January-March 1965. Campbell definitely referred to it as "bedsheet" in something I was checking a couple of days ago. I'll just go change the "large" to "bedsheet" in that handful, I think. If I need to change them back, someone will let me know (or reject them). Some of those may be verified. This is not a terminology I was familiar with. --Dave davecat 14:55, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Series entries

I just want to make sure you have seen the discussions about the validity of some of the series data going on in Rules and Standards. It may well be that those for which the titles do not provide any kind of unique information ('Brass Tacks' for instance) might be unnecessary. Since these series were already in place it was logical to add to them but it might be that we are replicating unnecessary tasks.--swfritter 14:43, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks - had not seen it, will have to read it more carefully later. Especially if more discussion ensues & evolves toward consensus I can recognize. davecat 15:04, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
DO remember that this isn't a place where you just sit and watch the Moderators decide policies, your input is just as welcome and your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. Sometimes a new editor can point out "The Emperor's got no clothes on!" and stop us dinosaurs doing pointless things. I've got no particular beef with this issue, I'm not working on magazines (although I've given examples of what would happen if I DID, which seems to have stimulated some thought) but sometimes someone has to ask "Why?" in an annoying voice to get people to stop and reconsider. I piped-up on this as it looked like the magazine-editors were descending into a masochistic orgy of self-imposed rules and conventions - it's no skin off my nose if they want it that way, but we're trying to ATTRACT more editors, not put them off. BLongley 16:46, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I think if you look out there in Rules and Standards again you will recognize the value of the series data so your entries are not in vain and are in fact quite valuable. Your User Page seems to indicate that you have a relatively moderate set of data you are interested in entering but there are a number of ways you can stay active once you have entered data from your own collection. I hope you stay for a long while.--swfritter 09:02, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Placing the right variant into the series

I've approved a couple of series placement submissions, but want to remind you that in order for the record to show up on the canonical author's summary page within the series listing, you must choose to place the variant under the canonical author's name and not the actual author's name. For an example, Mr. Edison's Lamp shows up in the Editorial (Analog) series as by JCW, but not in the listing on JCWjr's summary page. On this page the record is in the Essay listing and not in Essay Series listing under Editorial (Analog), where I think you want to place it. Remember there are two records for this title, here for JWC, and here for JWCjr. If you check out both you'll find that only the JWC record is in the series, and not the JWCjr (which is the one you want to have in the series). Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:24, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The ISFDB database

Getting MySQL up and running with the database is relatively painless but in order to get it to run with other platforms (in my case Delphi 7) I had to resort to using ODBC as the db interface. I think there are some driver issues involved with accessing the native database. I was also able to import the data into Access 2000 via ODBC but after doing the joins I could not get the data to sort correctly. Perhaps a bit too much data to be handled adequately?--swfritter 09:33, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I don't know what Access' limitations are these days, but the first thing that comes to mind is "Unicode". Our database stores all data in Unicode, which many older/cheaper databases apparently do not support. Ahasuerus 10:29, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I don't have access to Access. When & if I get around to trying this, the database I have available is Open Office Base. I have my doubts that it will open a MySQL database, but I haven't investigated; my scepticism derives entirely from trying to import a comma- or tab-delimited file, normally the lowest common denominator for transfers between databases. (You can indeed import one, but it's a real pain: open the thing (named .csv, not .txt) & get a spreadsheet (& you must have or now add column headings for the fields); then by shift- or control- or shift-control-click, select all the records you want to copy; then without releasing the mouse button drag it into the database & go through creating the table. Can't import records into an existing table.) -- Dave davecat 13:33, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Open Office Base does not have that capability, at least not a few months ago. The best way to use the data, without spending some bucks, is with the MySQL query browser. We should really document step-by-step the process of installing and accessing the database. If I remember correctly Crystal Reports might work but I haven't tried the trial edition and I think it is fairly expensive product.--swfritter 14:07, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It is indeed fairly easy to get MOST of the data into a local MySQL database, if you can install MySQL (which you should be able to do on most home PCs, not necessarily a work one). There do seem to be some issues with truncation of data and maybe Unicode issues, which I may look into next reinstall - the backup provided destroys the previous database and creates a new one, it isn't just data, it's a whole "destroy and recreate all the database tables and insert the data" format. It's possible to query such a local database via various tools (I haven't tried it with Delphi 7, I gave up on Delphi around version 4 or 5) but I've had some success with TOAD and HeidiSQL and a few other front-end tools. If you have a preferred database (rather than front-end) then maybe it would help if we converted the latest backups into a more-useful format? I keep meaning to convert the current backup into Oracle format so I can use PL/SQL rather than learn Python or suchlike, but I can still do useful stuff in MySQL anyway for now so keep putting it off: but am willing to help get more people looking at the data in whatever format they prefer. BLongley 16:03, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The Editor entries

Hopefully this idea will receive a quick and positive reception. Don't worry about fixing any current entries. I will get them.--swfritter 17:25, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Please see this discussion when you get a chance. In the meantime, please don't create variants for the Analog items credited to the Editor. Enter credits exactly as they appear in the publication. When a consensus is arrived at later concerning the "Editor (Analog)" situation, those pieces can be changed. Sorry about the conflicting information. Mhhutchins 18:25, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Have seen it (& added my own $2.00 to the discussion), will do. I'll start putting the series info in The Editor things as I do them or notice them, too. Thank you! davecat 09:36, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog December 1970

'Apron Chains' was changed to page 4 from page 110 when the second value was correct. The essays appear to have already been in the database - they are doubled up. I can take them out if you want me to.--swfritter 19:12, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I'm sure I'm responsible for all of this. I thought I'd entered things for that issue, but they weren't there & didn't seem to be in my pending list. (Possibly the pub page was still cached. I try to remember to refresh under these circumstances but might have forgotten.) Thank you for changing the bad page number. I've submitted removals for the duplicates; when those are approved, assuming they are, I'll delete the titles. Thank you for catching this. -- Dave davecat 08:46, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

It looks like someone, presumably you, did go ahead with this. I saw that the duplicates had disappeared from the pub, assumed that it was due to my removals, & went to delete them; but the first one disappeared between my opening the title & my clicking on delete, as the record wasn't there to delete. I see that my removals are still pending; I just hope they're the same records you removed or that someone rejects them. davecat 14:03, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It wasn't me but Everything looks AOK.--swfritter 14:20, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

D. Pattee?

I encountered an interior illustration which was uncredited but signed legibly "D. Pattee". This is in Analog, March 1970. Following what's said in the pub editor's help, I used this name & put a note in the title record.
I see that there is, in the database, one entry for a David Pattee: the cover for Astounding, November 1950. Should I be making D. Pattee a pseudonym for David Pattee? I don't really have any evidence (either way). Thanks. -- Dave davecat 17:38, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Talk pages

I realize that anyone can edit anyone's talk page pretty freely any time, & that the changes are visible to everyone; is there a convention on how much it's reasonable to remove old postings from one's own talk page? I'm inclined to keep sections where there was discussion of issues, or anything else that I think might help some newby who (heaven help him) is browsing through this page in hope of enlightenment; after all, that's me even now to some degree, certainly a week or so ago. But does a section where, say, Mhhutchins says "Please double-check this issue (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?ANLGNOV68) of Analog. Your submission added the Campbell piece, but is it shortfiction or essay? Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:11, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)" need to hang around indefinitely? Or anything else that's mostly just communication, not enlightening to anyone else? Thanks. davecat 17:54, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

For right now it's probably better to leave it all there. There is a fairly simple method of archiving but your page probably is still manageable. And by the way, if a long discussion gets started on your page and starts getting off target for your purposes please feel free to politely suggest that the subject might be more appropriately continued on another forum. We do have a tendency to get carried away at times and no one will be offended.--swfritter 20:17, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The Reference Library (Analog book review column)

As I'm entering these, I see a possible issue here. There's a common heading for the department (drawing of a book framing the words "the reference library P. Schuyler Miller"). But at least commonly Miller did not jump into reviews of specific books; first, there's a brief (usually) essay with its own little title. In the issue I'm looking at right now, April 1970, it's called "The Anderson Universe" & it's not brief - 3 pages! It gives general comments on series with a common background (including future histories as such), then discussion of Poul Anderson's series. Books are cited in passing (Satan's World & The Rebel Worlds).
Now, I've been ignoring these; the previous ones I've looked at enough to consider weren't reviews as such in any sense I'd recognize. But I'd already been wondering whether the pub contents should include the little essay's title instead of "The Reference Library (Analog, month year)", grouped with all the others by series name. This one maybe ought to be included as a review or reviews; but how does one handle brief discussions of two books (cited with publisher, # pages, & price) buried in a 3-page essay?
For the present I will again ignore this & get to the reviews, proper, but I surely would appreciate some guidance. Thank you! --Dave davecat 10:04, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Ack! That particular issue's Reference Library continues with a section headlined "Charters to the "Helicon"" before actually getting to reviews. I'd kind of forgotten how much of these columns each year was information about upcoming cons. Don't know whether that will affect responses to my initial mess of questions. davecat 10:11, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I generally do not enter reviews unless the books are reviewed as unique entities. The general guideline in help is that there at least be some indication whether the reviewer had a positive or negative opinion of the book. Some of the early F&SF issues which could have 20 or more mini-reviews which fulfilled the minimum requirements. And then at the end of each year the books are mentioned each in a Best Of column.--swfritter 14:25, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog may-aug 1970

The example in Help has a space between the title and the sequence number for multiple pieces of artwork. I fixed up these issues to be consistent. Multiple artwork entries are justifiable content that Al the programmer wanted. As a retired programmer I appreciated those times when I could put on my 'Feed the programmer' face. Well now I find myself on the opposite side of the fence. Also, if you think about it, you can wipe out the prices that are in the notes. I believe they are from a time when there was no price field.--swfritter 18:14, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks. I'll start putting in those blanks. I think there are some earlier issues where I did it wrong; I'll hope to eventually catch & fix them.
As far as adding the multiple illustrations, I keep imagining myself as someone researching (say) Kelly Freas & wanting to find every last drawing.
I'd wondered about the prices in the notes, but hesitated to just nuke them without knowing why they were there; & there was always something more urgent to ask. I'll try to remember. Again, thanks. --Dave davecat 09:07, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

adding existing title to existing pub?

OK, I'm stumped. Somehow, a while back, I apparently brought into existence two title records for the same title. One of them I made a variant (the author's name as given was a pseudonym). But, somehow, the title that wound up in the pub was the other one (that wasn't a variant). I've been trying to fix this ever since discovering it.
I removed the title (that wasn't a variant) from the pub, & deleted it. So now only the one that is a variant remained. I added the title to the pub, using (AFAICS) the same title, author, type, etc. as in the existing record. This apparently created a new title record. So I'm back where I started.
I guess that if I'd thought a bit faster, I'd have at this point made the new record a variant for the existing one with the author's canonical name, then deleted the variant that I've been trying to get into the pub. I was a little slow, & submitted a removal for that one; unless it gets refused, I'll have two records, neither in the pub. What should I have done in the first place?
Thank you very much. -- Dave davecat 14:32, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

It would help if you mentioned the Title you're concerned about? BLongley 18:17, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Oh. "Sensational Discovery" is the title. (Does this mean it's not supposed to work the way it did?) The record which I wanted to add (to Analog February 1969) is 785673; the one which was created instead is 801033. -- davecat 05:40, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
This ties in with your merging question below. You've no doubt been warned not to change entries in a publication (as it changes them EVERYWHERE they're used), but to remove the wrong one and add the right one instead. However, ISFDB isn't sure whether you're creating a new entry to this pub that's already used elsewhere, or a totally new entry. There's actually THREE "Sensational Discovery" titles now:
1969 	ESSAY 	785673 	Sensational Discovery 	John W. Campbell
1969 	ESSAY 	786057 	Sensational Discovery 	John W. Campbell, Jr.
1969 	ESSAY 	801033 	Sensational Discovery 	John W. Campbell
There's no problem with that, I presume you created 801033 when you tried to add the No-"Jr" version to the publication. This is NOT an error on your part, it's because ISFDB can't know whether you're adding a new title or an old one, so it creates a new one and leaves it to you to merge them later if needed. You could add 785673 or 801033 to Analog February 1969 and either would be correct: except that only 785673 would make it show as "John W. Campbell, Jr" writing as by the No-"Jr" version. You can't add by record number though, only type all the details in again - which will create ANOTHER title record. Still not a problem: you can merge 785673 and 801033 and whatever the new one is all in one step. It will warn you that there is a title_parent Conflict: one of the No-"Jr" records points to 786057, and that's the detail we want to keep. The others - they're just duplicate data. We don't want people thinking he wrote it four times, three under one name and one the other, so we merge the spare records (usually keeping the lowest record number, in case anyone is linking to it). BLongley 15:13, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
That's probably not very clear. :-/ I'll go see if I can track down the help on merging that you read and can't find now. BLongley 15:13, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Capitalization issue: In Times [Tt]o Come

I should have asked this a while back, but it kept getting shoved down in the stack. Sorry. In entering these, I've been following what's given here as a correctly formatted example. In it, the "To" is capitalized. But in the pub editor's help (see here under "Title", some distance down) it says:

  • Case. Titles should have case regularized unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case. For example, if the title is "EXTRO" in all caps, the title should be entered as "Extro". This applies to the titles of short stories as well as books. Typesetting style is not important; for example, Fantastic Universe typically printed story titles in lower case, but these titles are regularized for the ISFDB. Regularized case means that the first word is capitalized, and all later words are also capitalized except for "and", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", and "to". Hyphenated words have the first letter after the hyphen capitalized.


I suspect that I'm supposed to follow the standard given there, & assume that the correctly-formatted example is wrong. I'd appreciate either confirmation or disconfirmation, though. Thank you! -- Dave davecat 15:03, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Ouch! One wrong item gets in there and it keeps getting replicated. I will fix.--swfritter 15:35, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Done. Well at least the correctly formatted example was formatted correctly - at least for the time being. I keep reminding myself to print out that tiny little section and tape it some place. Thanks!--swfritter 16:21, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Capitalisation was one of my first queries and there's been several discussions since. EXTRO/Extro is a particularly bad example - "MUgwump 4 or Mugwump 4" SHOULD have been better but petered out when we couldn't find an example of an editor that DID retain the author's intention... as always, I'd invite you to question the standard rather than ask what the standard IS, when we're inconsistent. The sooner we point out the discrepancies the better - but the Help is not always inarguable. A lot is still just created/adjusted on the basis of what we DO rather than what help says we SHOULD do. BLongley 18:16, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)
I'd think by now you'd have seen that I won't hesitate to question a standard if I think it doesn't make sense (or if I think there are reasons for doing it some other way which may have been overlooked).
(Sorry. I didn't mean to be as snippy as that sounds; merely, I've already jumped with both feet into discussions where I hadn't seen all the background discussion that had already taken place. Several times in a week or so.) davecat 16:26, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
No worries - you develop a thick skin around here after a while. You probably never WILL read all the background info (I didn't - there'd be no time to edit, let alone moderate or advise if I did). Current discussions should make people drag up the relevant info, if it's actually still relevant. BLongley 17:22, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
I admit to thinking consistency is important in a context like this; but I might argue against regularization in the cases you cite if I were familiar with the works in question.
In this case I thought the standard is fine, though. (Although when I mentioned to my wife (who worked for many years as a descriptive cataloguer in a major university library) the list of little words to not capitalize, she said, "If they're not going to capitalize prepositions they shouldn't capitalize any of them.", or words to that effect.)
I've been bitten several times now by following examples I see in the data (canonical forms of magazine column/department titles, especially, but also use of author's canonical name rather than name as printed); that's one reason I'm eager to get in & work on cleaning them up. -- Dave davecat 05:56, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Someone else might have more information but a lot of the initial data was entered from secondary sources and it may be that the conventions were inherited. I know that I constantly have to look up the list because my intuition tells me that the list should be longer but I certainly don't want to be the one who has to correct massive inconsistencies. For curiosity's sake, you might ask your wife about how to enter an ellipsis. I think we've got it right. And thanks for questioning both the data as entered and the standards. Not even close to being snippy. The various forums have gotten so bloated that it can be difficult to track down discussions. Added to that is a tendency to not move discussions the Community Portal and Standards pages from user talk when that might be more appropriate.--swfritter 17:17, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
We do actually seem to get more FIXED when it starts on a user talk page. The Community discussions tend to get archived by creation date rather than last activity date: and even my question about how we might improve this petered out and is probably going to be archived unresolved. :-( BLongley 17:42, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
I asked Grace about ellipses. She didn't recall anything specific on them, so she dug out her copy of AACR1 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, edition 1 - edition 2 came out in 1978 (& says "Cataloguing"), but her own copy is edition 1). It doesn't say anything clear about whether there should be spaces between the dots. Its rules were more concerned with when to use an ellipsis. I checked my (old, old) copy of Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, & it confirms the style in the standard here. (Note, though, that both of these are concerned with the use of ellipsis in omitting something from quoted material, not explicitly with formatting an ellipsis included in a title.)
My own quibble with the standard as stated is that it is worded to cover ellipses in the middle or at the end of a title, but not at the beginning. (I'd advocate changing "If the ellipsis is in the middle of the title" to say "If the ellipsis is not at the end of the title".) -- Dave davecat 10:58, 3 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Logging in?

I thought this happened once before, but wasn't sure. Yesterday afternoon, before I shut down, I logged out, & it told me I could continue to browse the database but wouldn't be able to edit (or whatever the exact message is). This morning when I connected I was apparently logged in without going through a login. Not sure what's going on, but I thought I'd mention it. davecat 06:03, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

multiple alternate names? or rather the reverse

If I do a name search on Vincent diFate, I get this summary biblio page which says, at the top of many other things:

  • Used As Alternate Name By: Vincent Di Fate , Vincent Di Fate

The two "Vincent Di Fate" links both take you to (AFAICS) the same summary page; certainly if you click on "Author Data" from either of them you get the same record.
What causes this (the existence of two identical links here), & is there an easy way to fix it? Thanks. -- Dave davecat 09:57, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

It's down to two pseudonym records, both linking the same variant name to the same canonical name. :-( I'm not sure how it occurs (it might be as simple as somebody submitting a make pseudonym that's already there, and a mod that doesn't check for such before approval), but there's several others. I don't know an easy way to undo them so I won't test making any more. BLongley 14:30, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Thank you. That's a page I'm going to have to try to study in detail at some point - nothing quite out of my reach, I think, but I'll be really slow on it. As for my immediate question, also, thanks; since it's a known case of a known problem with no quick solution, I'll just tiptoe back to data entry. -- Dave davecat 17:25, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
There's definitely no rush - I'm brain-dumping my thoughts there as I investigate things that ISFDB doesn't give you, that can be better found in SQL at the moment. It's leading to all sorts of other thoughts that would be useful even WITHOUT SQL, but I'm not organised enough to go fix all the help as I find things out. I HATE documentation tasks, but can manage a sort of Blog of what I'm doing at least - hopefully people will tell me where I'm going wrong, and if I'm not there's some useful info, I think. Of course, fixing ISFDB itself would help more but I haven't even got a local copy working yet. :-/ BLongley 17:55, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

bug in Advanced Search? or what?

I tried an advanced search (author "Vincent" AND author "Fate" AND NOT title "Cover"), & it gives me the following error:

ProgrammingError Python 2.4.2: /usr/local/bin/python
Fri Nov 2 10:15:23 2007
A problem occurred in a Python script. Here is the sequence of function calls leading up to the error, in the order they occurred.
/www/isfdb.tamu.edu/root/cgi-bin/edit/tp_search.cgi
171 db = dbConnect()
172 db.select_db(DBASE)
173 db.query(query)
174 result = db.store_result()
175 num = result.num_rows()
db = <_mysql.connection open to 'localhost' at 81f2c0c>, db.query = <built-in method query of Connection object>, query = "select titles.* from titles,authors,canonical_au...e '%Cover%' order by titles.title_title limit 100"
ProgrammingError: (1064, "You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'ANDNOT titles.title_title like '%Cover%' order by titles.title_title limit 100' at line 1")
args = (1064, "You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the ... order by titles.title_title limit 100' at line 1")

(The whole line starting "173" is highlighted.)
Is there a problem with using "and not"? Or something else I did? Or what? Thanks. -- Dave davecat 10:29, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Look at the fragment of SQL: it says "ANDNOT" rather than "AND NOT". Yes, it's a bug, I don't think ANY "and not" queries work. A good reason to download a backup and try SQL queries instead, if you know SQL. BLongley 13:39, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
I knew I'd mentioned something about "And NOT" before. Feel free to read, try them if you get MySQL working, or ask me to run such queries if you can't yet. BLongley 18:49, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

merging titles

I know I read a page somewhere that talked about merging titles. I didn't understand it very well, & was going to go back & read it again before I started asking dumb questions, but I can't find it. The help on Editing:Merging_Titles goes to a page that says "(There is currently no text in this page)". Can anyone point me to something more useful? Otherwise the questions are likely to be dumber than usual & take many keats of my talk page (& require even more in answer). (In summary, though, I can say this: I don't really understand what it does, or what the criteria are on when to do it. I do have a case in mind, but it's probably a bad example.) Thanks davecat 13:41, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

This screen will get you to a link to this screen. Please note on the first screen there is an option to "merge authors". That is an option that is rarely needed and best avoided. Merging titles can get a little trickier if pseudonyms are involved. Most of the essay data you are adding at this time should not require merging because most, except perhaps the editorials, do not appear elsewhere.--swfritter 16:50, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Thank you!!!!!! I think that's not the page I was remembering, but this one I pretty much understand. To check: merging titles actually deletes one of the title records (fixing any inconsistencies as you specify), & fixes pointers (references) to the deleted one in other records to point (refer) to the non-deleted one?
If that's right, at some point I will post (here, I hope) a question about a case. It more or less fits the criteria given, but to mind is a bad candidate for merging. Out of time for today & maybe the weekend. Thank you!
(I don't suppose there's a site map of the Wiki?) -- Dave davecat 18:13, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
That sounds about right. I will try to remember to set up a small sample set so you can see the results. I hope you increase your collection but you may want have them sent to a p.o. box so you can sneak them in the house and say to your wife, "But honey these were already in my collection."--swfritter 18:32, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Analog December 1969

Deleted all the stubs created by this submission. I might note the incorrect ellipsis entries will eventually have a software fix although I will admit I can't stop myself from fixing them when I can.--swfritter 18:26, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Thanks. I had a note on them. I'm pretty sure this wasn't one where I entered the duplicate entries, but I happened on them; but maybe I was to blame. -- davecat 09:26, 3 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Orphans are not a total disaster. I think that there may be a process in place to clear them out periodically but it still important that we remember to clear them out.--swfritter 13:26, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)

Learning with test data

One of the best ways to self-teach some of the concepts of The ISFDb is to create test data and play around with it. Just make sure you use data that can easily be tracked down and removed from the system. You might want to put the string "Davecat" in every thing your enter - "Davecat Title", "Davecat Author", etc. Just let me know when you are done with the data and I will remove it. If your merging idea included combining multiple pieces of artwork withinin an issue you might want to play around with that. I might also note that if you want to reduce some of the clutter on the Publication Listing screen you can click on Concise Listing link underneath Other Bibliographies on the left hand portion of the screen.--swfritter 13:35, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)

Entering initials and then making a pseudonym

The fact that your intuition suggested that you enter the initials from the editorial in Amazing and then assign a pseudonym to those initials is probably an indication that you have better intuition than I do. It is not only acceptable but quite likely the proper action. I just hope there are not too many cases where more than one person signs items with the same initials.--swfritter 13:45, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)

I guess my position on that (assuming I understood you correctly) would be that it's attributed, so barring evidence that the attribution is incorrect we should follow the attribution. As usual, I'm still very new here & may be missing some very real complications. (But that's the way I'd argue on "The Editor", too, when there actually is a specific person identified as editor of the pub. If Kay Tarrant (say) entered text & credited it to Campbell, it was intended to be taken as Campbell's work. (But I'll continue to do it the other way, unless a clear change of consensus arrives; and I'm merely stating my view, not seriously agitating for a change!) -- davecat 14:53, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
Initials are much more precise. Rkihara have started a bibliographic tasks pass through Imagination and we have decided to not enter editor initials and create pseudonyms but to enter name of the person they represent. We are hoping that Imagination will be the proving ground for the general standards and methodology we want to apply to all the magazines. Based upon the input we get we may have to make adjustments. You may want to keep an eye on our progress.--swfritter 16:51, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
I have referred this issue to the Standards page. Do you have it on you watchlist?--swfritter 20:01, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
I did & I do. I've also now added a comment to your entry there. -- davecat 10:37, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)

Brass tacks March 1971

It wasn't due to your submission but the column was classified as shortfiction. I will fix. Glad to see you are getting involved in the discussions and using the forums.--swfritter 16:56, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)

I fixed at least one such today myself. Conceivably this one was due to another of my submissions, Friday or over the weekend. Thanks. -- Dave davecat 17:10, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)

Amazing December 1965

Editor in Discussions. The standard usage has been to assign "The Editor" for cases where essays are signed "ed.", "Editor", etc. The usage can be documented in the Notes. This is definitely an issue that is open to question since there does not seem to be any specific mention of this practice in Help. I used to get occasional remarks from other editors because of level of detail I wanted to enter in magazines but you and Rkihara are starting to make me look like a slacker. If you convince him to put in all the artwork and he convinces you to put in the fanzines we are really going to have our work cut out for us.--swfritter 17:04, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thank you. I wondered, then decided to follow the exactly-as-it-appears policy; should have asked (or probably read the pub-editor help more closely), but wanted to get the thing done. I've fixed it, I think. Unless it's "editor" not "Editor", or something else, in which case I need to fix the note. (I'm not where I can check it easily right now.) I did do an author search on "editor", I think.
As for slackers ... I don't have any fanzines; the handful I've seen were IMNAAHO despicable (but may not have been a good sample); and AFAIK Analog never reviewed fanzines at least in the years I've got. So hopefully I'm off the hook on that one. (I'd really like to see the Analog listings be seriously useful to someone scholarly. As I mentioned elsewhere, that Amazing & one other I hope to turn up are all the non-Analog mags I've got.) -- Dave davecat 19:37, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)
The pub Help really doesn't make any kind of explicit statement about "The Editor". If we ever allow letters from fanzines it may be my only way of getting into The ISFDb. If I still have the fanzines, most of mine were eaten by termites, I did have a couple of letters published in the 70's. As for the scholarly aspect, it would be my wish The ISFDb could serve as research hub that will not only be used to collate existing information but also for original research. --swfritter 20:17, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)
Some of us dread the time when we run out of other things to enter into the ISFDB and have to key in our embarrassing fanzine contributions! Thankfully, I have almost 20,000 pubs to process first... Ahasuerus 18:08, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
I'm hoping to get past the Analogs I have in hand. At that point I'll look at books, but they're not organized all that well for the purpose, & I doubt I have many that aren't in other people's hands & already done. It's obvious that a lot of folks here are fairly serious collectors, not to mention having more money available. No fanzines, in any case. -- Dave davecat 11:27, 8 Nov 2007 (CST)
I've pretty much done my books, over a couple of passes as the bar kept getting raised: and am only acquiring about 10 a week, so I can keep on top of those. I should scan more covers (I've got almost 700 on Amazon UK, and 300 on Amazon US, but I know there's some overlaps so that's less than half my books). But the bibliographical work and data-fixing is quite fun. I'm not actually that keen on typing so cloning, Add pub to existing title, etc are fine tools for me, and knowing SQL allows me to find some really obscure stuff to fix! BLongley 15:20, 8 Nov 2007 (CST)

inadvertent automatic merge?

Entering data for Analog, August 1971, I entered an editorial by Campbell called "Final Blackout". The pub editor, which elsewhere has been happily creating multiple identical titles for me, chose this time to assume this is the same as a serial of that name from 1940. Aaaaaaargh! (See it here 808149.) Is this when I use the Unmerge Titles tool? (If not, I'll have to fix something up unless someone rejects the submission, as that is what I just tried. From the help I think it's what I need to do.) Thanks. -- Dave davecat 20:34, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)

This had nothing to do with what you did. It happens in every instance where a serial is lexically identical to another record, whether it be story, novel, or essay. Perhaps one day we'll be able to connect records manually, instead of having the system do it automatically. Until then, we have to deal with what we've got. Mhhutchins 21:37, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)
Sorry to be dense. Do you mean that it's impossible to unlink them? I gather that unmerging was not the thing to do, since you did reject it. Thanks. -- Dave davecat 14:40, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
Basically, anything you enter that has the same title as a Serial will show up as having been serialised. It's the ISFDB software doing it, it just recognises that your entry matches the title of a serial and "helpfully" provides a link. That will improve eventually, I'm sure, don't worry about it. I know there are two different books that apparently both got serialised decades before they were actually written, I just can't recall the examples right now. :-/ BLongley 16:29, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
OK. Thanks very much. -- davecat 16:36, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
This is even weirder than I had realized. That serial is by Hubbard; the essay is by Campbell. I guess I'd have to call it a bug for sure. (But I won't worry about it.) davecat 13:35, 28 Nov 2007 (CST)

Mechasm book review

I must admit I was somewhat taken aback when you submitted a merge for two book reviews in the Aug, Sept 1971 issues but to my surprise they are the same review. I think there is one typographical difference in the next to the last paragraph. This strange anomaly and the minor typographical difference should probably be documented in the notes for both issues.--swfritter 15:41, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)

I see you already documented it in a later submission. I should have known you would.--swfritter 15:43, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thank you. I wouldn't have noticed the typo, I think; but I was so startled myself by the two - apparently identical on a quick scan through both together - that I got Grace to check me as I read through it aloud. (I did not read out every single punctuation mark, though - only those which seemed unobvious.) She had the August issue, with the typo, & spotted it.
This is speculation, but here goes: the next issue after those two (October 1971) is the one which included the death notice for Campbell. I'd guess off hand that something in the surrounding circumstances might have caused the repeat of the editorial. I'm absolutely sure that they did not reprint it just to fix the typo!
I do not normally seriously read the reviews as I'm entering. Or the stories, though occasionally I can't resist. I'd never get much entered if I tried to do that. -- davecat 15:53, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
Just think how long it would take us to enter the magazines if we tried to determine from the reviews whether the reviewer actually liked the book or not.--swfritter 16:15, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
Agreed, mostly. Especially if the reviewer says such & such is good, but such & such is stale, or something like that. It's possible that if a review column used something like a 1-5 star system, one could fairly easily put something in. (That's why I said "mostly".) -- davecat 16:26, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)

(unindent) Hmm. You might take a look at these two entries: The Space Ark (Book Reviews) & The Space Ark (Book Reviews). I can't help wondering whether one of these is an error, or whether they are identical reviews. I kind of suspect that one is an error, or that they were loaded from some index, since the numbers are consecutive. Strange . . . -- Dave davecat 10:34, 4 Dec 2007 (CST)

Adding a magazine

  • Tags - Tags for most pubs are created automatically. The user should create the tags so that they will be more consistent throughout a magazine series. There are three parts to a magazine tag. 1 - a (hopefully) unique text string which in some way reflects the canonical title of a magazine. 2 - a text string which designates the month or issue number of the magazine - examples are 'JAN', 'SPR', 'N01'. It is preferred that three characters be used but not required. 3 - the year the magazine was published. Four digits should be used. If there are already existing issues of a magazine series in existence then their tag format should be used with the following exception - the full four digits of the year should always be used for new magazines. Many existing magazine have two digit years.
  • Title - For the title of a magazine, the best source is the information (often below the table of contents) about the publisher, giving the address; this often says something like "IF is published monthly by . . . ." If this is not present, the magazine cover and the heading on the contents page are about equal in priority; again take a good guess. The name on the spine should be used last. You may find sometimes that the publication information only says "Published by . . ." without giving the magazine name; and then the title on the contents may differ from the cover. In these cases, either choose something that seems reasonable to you, or agree an approach for that publication on the magazine's project wiki page. Also, please note that the title should be of the form Magazine Title, Date, such as Asimov's Science Fiction, June 2004. This helps differentiate different issues of the magazine. See the note on missing and variant dates below for more on formatting this part of the title. [extracted from Help]
  • Magazine Wiki Page - It does not require Moderator status to edit a Wiki page. The magazine wiki page is used to place links to magazine issues. If the user has experience editing wiki pages and dealing with links the existing entries will serve as a model for creating new links. An inexperienced user should ask for help if they feel uncomfortable with the process. The wiki page should be previewed before saving it. A history is kept for Wiki pages so it is relatively easy to restore the wiki page to a previously existing state if any major errors are made.
  • Add Magazine - Once the appropriate values have been determined the new magazine can be added. From the Editing Tools menu on the The Internet Speculative Fiction Database screen click New Magazine which will launch the New Magazine screen. Use the guidelines from the example below to enter the Publication Metadata information and then content may be added using the standards in Help:Screen:NewPub.
  • Example - The reprint magazine which has Great Science Fiction from Amazing with issue "No. 1" on the cover. The technical title from the small print on the table of contents is GREAT SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE. At least one source designates this as the "Fall" issue but there is no such designation anywhere in the magazine. It is identified by a sequence number of "NO. 1" on the cover and table of contents. A good choice for the first part of the tag is "GRTSFMG". "NO1" will do for the second part. Adding the year we get GRTSFMGNO11965. 1965 is the copyright year of this issue. The title of the magazine should be entered as "Great Science Fiction Magazine, No. 1". Note that even though the title is printed in uppercase in the magazine it should be converted to mixed upper and lower case. It might be acceptable in this case to enter the title as "Great Science Fiction (from Amazing) Magazine, No. 1". The parenthesis are an indicator that the contents within are not an official part of the title but it may help the user to readily identify the magazine. The date of the magazine should be entered in the format 'YYYY-MM-DD'. In this case the magazine has no designation as to the date it was published. If there is a reliable source for the month of publication the date from the source can be used but the source must be documented in the notes for the publication. The vast majority of publications do not have a day of publication. Noted magazine historian Mike Ashley in Transformations has documented this issue as having been published in December of 1965. Thus the date becomes 1965-12-00. If no such source existed the correct entry would be 1965-00-00. Since there is no editor listed, the editor assignment should be to 'uncredited'.

Davecat - hold off on any further processing. When I first started this I hadn't intended it to be so detailed but it may serve at the beginning of a tutorial for entering magazines and I want others to look at it.--swfritter 11:59, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)

I will hold off. Thank you for the detailed instructions - that has actually answered most of my questions (but I appreciate the desire for a check from others as well). The one thing I don't know & know I don't see here is what one uses to create the magazine in the first place; my using the wrong tool was the cause of the issue with the Asimov story, I'm quite sure. Thank you. -- Dave davecat 13:48, 9 Nov 2007 (CST) (I can't imagine how you came up with your choice of example, though.) -- davecat 17:19, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)
Do I still need to hold off on entering this? Thanks. davecat 16:05, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Go ahead and use the instructions above. If there is something somebody doesn't like we can always make changes afterword.--swfritter 17:55, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
New Magazine, rather than "Add Publication to This Title". We're not very good at making it clear what the publication level titles are as opposed to the Content-Only titles, as they overlap. (A NOVEL can be part of an OMNIBUS, for instance.) But you shouldn't start a new publication from anything obviously content only, like Shortfiction or Interiorart - that it allowed you to SUBMIT such makes me think we should file a new Feature request, if not a Bug Report. BLongley 15:24, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)
Guess I should have included the simplest step but I wasn't sure how the submission got started or if something weird might happen if there was no tag and a generic editor.--swfritter 16:27, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)
I'm glad you caught it & rejected the submission. I'm sure I'd seen the New Magazine link (& the other Add New Data things) at some point, but I normally don't scroll down that far on the screen for a title. Everything I've previously done with a title is in the Editing Tools section above that. And 90% of my editing time, at least, has been in the listing for an issue of Analog or in the pub editor. Sorry. (At this point I'm quite confused about what "Add Publication to This Title" actually does. But I think I won't need to deal with it for a while.) -- Dave davecat 17:17, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)
If the currently displayed Title is a book (i.e. a novel, a collection, a non-fiction book, etc), then clicking on "Add Publication to This Title" will create a new publication (or edition, if you will) record for the book. If the currently displayed Title is a Collection with known contents, then it's usually better to use the Clone Publication option since it preserves contents Titles, so you won't have to re-enter and re-merge them. Ahasuerus 18:01, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)
The only time you will want to use the "Add" option on a Short fiction Title is when adding a Chapterbook (<100 pages) publication to it. It's not very common, but it happens. Ahasuerus 18:01, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)

Asimov problem fixed

I fixed the problem with the Asimov story so that will not be an impediment when adding the Great SF magazine.--swfritter 12:34, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)

Bunch of Analogs on ebay

real cheap.--swfritter 18:20, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

Hmmph. Thanks, I think. I in fact did put in a bid. Not quite sure whether to hope someone outbids me or not - money is currently very tight, & the shipping cost seems pretty high. (You just want me to get them so I can enter all the data, right?) davecat 19:20, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
There's that, but you also seem to be enjoying yourself. Every once in awhile you can luck out, not have any competition, and get stuff really cheap. I usually try to stop bidding if I am not the only bidder. The next thing is going to be a 10-step program for ebay bidders.--swfritter 20:53, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

Health Hazard date - Analog Jan 1973

Is there a reason for zeroing out the date? Also I deleted that orphan for the "force" title. Hallus entry looks OK now.--swfritter 19:08, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)

Ouch. I don't know what happened to that date. (Possibly I pasted the wrong thing in. I was almost certainly changing "1973-00-00" to "1973-01-00" in all of them - would it zero it out if I had the wrong format entirely or something?) I've submitted a fix.
I didn't see an orphan for the Hallus entry. (Um. OK, have now read your reply to my question in your talk page.) Thanks. -- davecat 20:38, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
If the entered date doesn't use the YYYY-MM-DD format, the software will default to 0000-00-00. The only exception that I know of is that "YYYY" is converted to YYYY-00-00 and even that may not happen consistently. We try to catch 0000-00-00 dates at submission approval time, but if we don't know the date of publication, 0000-00-00 may be legitimate, so it's not a cut and dry rule. Ahasuerus 21:07, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
That's about what I guessed. In entering lots of other stuff in these issues, through the pub editor, I'm also just using cut-&-paste to change YYYY-00-00 to YYYY-MM-00 in the existing contents; & sometimes instead of the whole text getting selected (to be changed) only part of it selects for some reason, so that the result may be 1YYYY-MM-00 or something. The worst (because it's actually invisible in the pub editor's screen) is if nothing actually selects, & it winds up with YYYY-00-00YYYY-MM-00 or YYYY-MM-00YYYY-00-00 (depending on where the cursor landed). I'm trying to catch them when it happens, but almost certainly something like that is what happened here. Thank you. -- Dave davecat 05:44, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)

Analog May 1974

As good a way of handling the Elwood thing as possible - especially since you documented the issue so well. "The Gods' Decision" has a zero date which you would have noticed although you are probably getting tired of looking at this issue.--swfritter 18:34, 19 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks, & I hope so, & yes. But better to get it right now. -- davecat 07:50, 20 Nov 2007 (CST)
I've finally figured out that the pub listing shows the year if, & only if, the title's date is not exactly the same as the pub's date. So if it shows "1974" that means I need to fix something even if the title's date is 1974. (Given that this is Analog & reprints aren't a problem, that is.) -- davecat 10:32, 20 Nov 2007 (CST)

Analog, July 1974

No reviewer given for "Commune 2000 A.D.". Also J. Eric Holmes, MD. MD should be normalize to M.D. even though that is not exactly the way it is printed.--swfritter 20:23, 20 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks. Fixed, I think. I also noticed that the Holmes somehow wound up with date 0000-00-00. Sigh.
But that brings up another issue. The Holmes article was (it turns out) in August, not July. So I searched for "Eric Holmes", chose "J. Eric Holmes, MD" - & found a biblio list with nothing in it! Because I'd already made the title a variant (pseudonym). Fortunately, there aren't too many titles under the official name (John Eric Holmes), & I remembered the title in question. But I'm pretty sure I used "MD" instead of "M.D." because (besides being what was in Analog) that form existed, & J. Eric Holmes, M.D. didn't. I probably should fix up the rest, too, but I guess that will mean going through John Eric's biblio listing one by one. Again, fortunately, there aren't too many; but is there a way to get to them more directly?
Thanks. -- Dave davecat 08:10, 21 Nov 2007 (CST)
Hmph. Never mind. On looking again I see that in John Eric's biblio listing the ones with variant names do show as "as by". Oddly, I don't see another "MD", though. I could have sworn that name already existed. -- davecat 08:17, 21 Nov 2007 (CST)

Analog July-Sept. 1975

The prices from July to Sept. 1975 need to be changed to decimal dollars.--Rkihara 12:25, 26 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks. I'll take care of it. (I presume you mean "$1.00".) -- davecat 12:59, 26 Nov 2007 (CST)

Some fine work!

You haven't been around for a while so I am assuming that you have gone through the Analog issues that you own. Just hope you are checking in every once in awhile. Your efforts will definitely reap rewards in the future if other editors use your entries as a template for the rest of the Analog series. Thanks for the fine work and I hope to see you back here again.--swfritter 18:39, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)

Very true, you have submitted a lot of useful information and I hope your absence just means that you are enjoying the holidays! :) Ahasuerus 19:16, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)
Um. Actually, I just got busy with other things, & no one was telling me or asking me anything that needed a response; I've mostly managed to check my watched pages every couple of days. (Last weekend we were part of a group playing for a dance, & almost all the music was unfamiliar; trying to get at least vaguely familiar with it on my own, followed by intensive practices & then the event itself, took a lot of time.)
In the Analogs, I'm working backward now - stopped at May 1968, & have some 6 years' worth that direction. I believe that some of those have been pretty fully entered by other people. I also do have, mixed in with much other stuff, a moderate number of SF & fantasy books (mostly not very recent); I suspect most of those won't actually add anything to the database, but I plan to go through them eventually. And then there are the Mythprints (which I asked about a while back here). I'm probably going to have to ask for help in setting up a new wiki page whenever I get to that.
And thanks for the words of encouragement. From you folks it means quite a lot; I value your determination to try to get things right, & meeting it to some degree (like that "I should have known you would" in the Mechasm-review item above) is pretty satisfying. Dave (davecat) 15:41, 22 Dec 2007 (CST)
Glad to hear you are OK! The last time an editor disappeared, we later found out that it was due to an emergency heart surgery, so it's good to know that everything is in order. Ahasuerus

Analog, October 1967

Glad you are back. Those short reviews are a great example of reviews that just barely qualify for inclusion.--swfritter 16:53, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)

Thanks. When there's a whole bunch of reprint or reissue notices like that, I'm trying to add a pub note about it. Yes, they're pretty brief for the most part, but Miller never (or at least almost) lists a book without a sentence or so identifying it in some way. And they're at least evidence of an edition's existence. -- Dave (davecat) 17:54, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
From Help: "Note that you should only include books that are actually commented upon. If a reviewer mentions that a publisher has re-issued a work, but does not comment on the quality of the book, don't include it. Even a brief comment, such as "recommended", is enough to qualify, but without any comment the review should not be listed." I tend to fudge a bit sometimes. Even if the reviewer does not comment on the quality but provides some other significant piece of bibliographic data I have a tendency to include it. If it is an edition that is not currently in the database that also might be a valid reason to include it.--swfritter 18:27, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
It's often not that difficult to create the stub book from a review and a quick online search - it depends on the magazine/fanzine though, e.g. one Fanzine I entered today had publisher, date and price, but not page count and ISBN - another had ISBNs but not publication format - but some magazines review the hardcover and paperback simultaneously and give you LOTS of info. I personally don't consider a publication complete till all the SF genre links work as best they can: that's pretty easy for 1970s, 1980s and 1990s publications, but it does mean I can spend an hour or two checking links. If you'd rather concentrate on entering magazines to the exacting standards that put me off (e.g. you know I'm not interested in every piece of interiorart, or serialising everything that can be serialised) at least feel free to nudge me to find publications reviewed that we don't have yet. I'm not sure HOW this can work - note the review details that don't naturally fit in the magazine format in notes, then point me at the magazine, maybe? - but after a few days of checking authors with no publications (part of a clean-up project here) it's obvious we have a lot of dead-end links that I am happy to help out with. Reviews are good, though once we have more reviews than publications I think we've probably done enough - but recovering totally missing books is a small pleasure of mine here. BLongley 20:09, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
Create a very minimal stub title entry and slap a tag on it? Dana Carson 21:46, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)

"The Index to the Science-Fantasy Publishers"

I approved your submission and then checked with OCLC, which had a more detailed record on file. The 1966 version was a "second revised edition", which I have added to our record along with the publication date. Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:58, 2 Jan 2008 (CST)

Thank you! I'll hope to get the rest of the reviews finished & that issue of Analog submitted now. (Got interrupted about the time I put in the stub.) -- Dave (davecat) 20:00, 2 Jan 2008 (CST)

Analog, March 1966

In your submission updating this pub you're adding a shortfiction title "Crackpots in Government" which is already listed as the editorial by Campbell. I could go ahead and approve the submission and then remove this title if you'd like. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:24, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)

Your next submission removed the original editorial. Am I correct to assume that you want to change this piece into fiction? Just let me know if that's the fact and I'll approve both submissions. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:26, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)
Not quite. First, the original was by Campbell, Jr., but it's shown as by Campbell. So I was removing the one that was there from the pub, adding the new one, & going to (after approval) make the new one a variant of the old one. As soon as I did it, looking at the submission record, I saw that I'd forgotten to make it an essay. So I was waiting for approval before I did all that I just said and also changed it to essay.
I think the simplest thing, given the other changes to the pub, would be for you (or whoever) to approve it, & I'll do the anticipated fixing up. I have a note to do it.
What's particularly humiliating is that I did exactly the same thing yesterday (on another editorial). Whoever moderated it either didn't notice or assumed that I'd catch it (which I did as soon as I looked at the revised pub listing). And then I did it again today! <sigh> I guess I need those pills Ahasuerus was mentioning.
Thanks for checking with me, Michael; I'm sorry you noticed only because of the extra hassle for you - in another case I might have done the same thing & missed it, so I'm quite glad you're on the job. (All of you folks!) -- Dave (davecat) 19:48, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)
You're very welcome, and thank you for all the contributions you've made here on the ISFDB, especially with Analog. And it's truly no hassle. I've approved the two submissions and will let you make the corrections as you see fit. Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mhhutchins (talkcontribs) .
Um. Wow, that was a quick approval (when I made the final changes)! Thank you, Michael. -- Dave (davecat) 13:57, 20 Jan 2008 (CST)

Astounding 10/1959

The reason those pages are missing from this issue is that they contain a couple of significant polls from Astounding (Adventures in Time & Space is #1) and Nebula (More Than Human is #1). Somebody tore them out and did some book shoppin'. The book review is for "Nine Tomorrows" and I have added it along with entries for the two polls. Also, when I find artwork that is editorially credited by last name but legibly signed by the artist with a fuller name by the artist, I go with the signed name - Virgil Finlay instead of Finlay;Kelly Freas instead of Freas, etc. That was one of my issues in my recent post. I will make another post specifically about this issue to see if we can get a consensus.--swfritter 22:00, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)

Thanks. It was obvious that the pages had been cut (not torn) out; my off hand guess was that someone either objected to a particular review or wanted to pass one along to someone; your explanation seems pretty likely.
(That is, it was obvious once I realized that it went from the middle of a discussion of the state of SF in England into the middle of a review of a book by Asimov. A quick look at page numbers, followed by a glance at the inside of the spine . . . ) Dave (davecat) 14:43, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
Was it really Nine Tomorrows? (Sigh) I didn't look at the review that carefully (was searching for what happened to the title/author listing), but I thought it mentioned the G&S parody poems. Thanks for following up!!
OK, I'll try to remember on the art credits. I'd obviously misremembered your post, & the discussion did kind of fizzle out (& mutate a bit?). My one concern would be that sometimes the signatures aren't all that obvious. (Also, I guess: later Freas routinely used that KF-on-a-circle logo, & Summers routinely signed "LRS", & Jack Gaughan had a stylized "JG". How would I treat those? (And I know sometimes when a signature is missing it's because the picture was cropped; I know this because I've seen half-cropped "LRS" monograms.))
Again, thanks! -- Dave (davecat) 09:52, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
There is still a certain amount of ambiguity about crediting artists. I know there has been talk about creating a database of author signatures. When I see initials I always prefer using any printed credit preferably from the title page but sometimes from table of contents. If it's initials only and it's a well known name I go with the canonical name - that's a judgment call. If it's initials only and the name is not known, something that seems to happen rarely, there is no choice but to use initials. I always try to leave a note in the mag saying how I determined artist credits - if there is a list of artists on the table of content I list those artists in the notes. I never credit an artist unless there is something on the story title page or an initial/signature on the art although I made leave a note guessing at the identity. That's my take.--swfritter 14:34, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
Speaking of missing pages. There were two stories that someone liked so much in the April 1956 issue of Fantastic Universe that I am entering that they actually cut the stories out. Oh well, when I became a fan in my early teens I used to sign my name in the mags and tear out and bind the serial episodes.--swfritter 15:44, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)

Changing the name of the title record for magazine cover

Maybe I've been out of the loop, but I don't recall seeing a discussion about changing the title record for a magazine cover from the format that is assigned to it by the system, e.g. "Cover: Astounding Science Fiction, February 1959" to the name of the piece of fiction which suggested it ("Cover: The Pirates of Ersatz (Astounding, February 1959)"). Is this something new? If so, shouldn't there be a new field on the magazine entry page that would allow it without having to re-enter the info after the pub record has been created? Please let me know (or direct me to the page of the discussion.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:06, 5 Feb 2008 (CST)

Here is one discusstion. The cover art records are similar to Editor records. Except for the artist, they have to be updated manually - including the date. Until they can be incorporated into the title records (and who knows what side consequences that may have), they need to be updated manually.--swfritter 19:26, 5 Feb 2008 (CST)
I'm not sure what you mean by "updated manually". Aren't all updates manual? Maybe I'm even more out of the loop than I first imagined! :) I don't see the necessity of changing the title of cover art records. (Maybe the dates.) The submission I was questioning changed the actual name of the cover art. The discussion you linked to was about Editor records, so I don't see the similarity between them and the cover art records (other than they're both hidden when you edit a pub.) Enlighten me. Please. :) Mhhutchins 19:45, 5 Feb 2008 (CST)
I did mention the cover art in my part of the discussion. Cover art data is just like Editor records in that, with the exception of the artist name, it is not accessible from within a pub and it is not updated automatically when a pub is updated which means that if the title of a mag is updated the corresponding title record for the cover art is not updated. I don't know the particulars of this particular instance but I have had to change a number of cover art records when I have updated title information, most often because of an abbreviated date.--swfritter 21:23, 5 Feb 2008 (CST)
There was another discussion, & I asked about this very issue. See this discussion. The one answer I got was a how-to kind of thing; nobody objected, certainly. (I had a bit of trouble finding this, because it's been archived.) -- Dave (davecat) 09:09, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
I honestly feel we shouldn't be changing the title record that's been assigned by the system. Updating the dates, of course, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about changing the title of the title record. If you feel the system's way of assigning a title record is wrong, that's a matter for discussion. And Al von Ruff would have the final say in what changes would be made. I can't imagine the time and effort it would take to go back and change all the cover art titles to match the piece of fiction that suggested them. But that's up to the people who will be making the changes. Perhaps taking this discussion over to the Rules and Standards page would bring more points of view into the mix. Mhhutchins 11:33, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
Whereas my own feeling is that, when a magazine's cover art is titled (on the cover!) & intended to illustrate a particular story, the cover art's title should indicate that. And no automatically-generated title will do so.
I do agree that the title should also indicate which issue of which magazine it is a cover for; but we have a canonical form for doing that. Dave (davecat) 13:40, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
Well, it had better be decided as to whether the Cover Title (which we can maintain, but is not shown usefully) should be used or not: there's a risk that Al may decide that Title Title or Pub Title changes should be cascaded. Try a search for "Cover: Star Trek" and see how many automatically generated titles no longer reflect the same title as the Title record (although may match the Pub Title still). I'm keen to move Series Data out of the Title and into the Series support, but that's not universally done at all levels by any means. You only have to correct Title Title to get Review Links to work - Pub titles seem to be a matter of taste, and Coverart Title is mostly forgotten about. BLongley 14:12, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
I just went back to your submission, and it appears that in the meantime someone has made changes to the original title record so that it's no longer accessible. It could have been among the magazine cover art title records that swfritter was updating. I'll have to reject the submission since the title record no longer exists. Mhhutchins 11:41, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
I've just tried to move the discussion (of the underlying issue here) to Rules and standards discussions, where I'd say it belongs.
Michael, sorry, I didn't mean to blindside anyone with this; having received no response in a month & a half I'd assumed it was noncontroversial. My apologies. Dave (davecat) 14:03, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)

The Professional Approach by Thomas

I was too quick to approve your submission to change the title record for this piece from a short story to a novella. The NESFA Index maintains that it's a short story, and the issue's page numbering (though not the final arbiter) would suggest it as well. How many pages long is the story? You may note that the issue of Analog containing the story still shows it as "shortstory", but that's because the variant record still has that as its length. (If you change the length of a title record it doesn't automatically change the length of any variant record.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:18, 5 Feb 2008 (CST)

This title is available through Project Gutenberg. See this link. I extracted the text of the story itself (not title, editor comment, or all the Project Gutenberg stuff at the beginning & end). I ran this text through wc (Unix/Linux program which counts lines, words, & characters as delimited by whitespace). It showed 7933 words, which would make it a novelette. I thought I'd made it a novelette, not a novella - that part was my goof, obviously. <sigh> And thanks for the reminder about the variant - I thought of that earlier, but completely forgot it by the time I made the change.
As far as the page count (in digest-size Analog): There are 14 full pages of text, 1 full except for a row of asterisks (with some margin) at the bottom, & a page with at a guess a bit less than 1/4 page of text. (But, as I said, 7933 actual words.)
All the rest of these (this series) that I've seen are listed in the table of contents as "Special Feature"s, & probably because of that got brought into the ISFDB as Essays rather than shortfiction types. This one, however, is listed in the table of contents as a short story. But since I had the Gutenberg available, I decided to actually count the words. -- Dave (davecat) 09:30, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
I've just changed the story (parent & variant) to novelette. You may, of course, reject those submissions. Dave (davecat) 09:38, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)
When the word count is known and is close to one of the dividing lines, it's probably best to enter the count in the Note field and indicate the source of the information. That way if/when the next editor goes to merge the title with its twin and scratches his head wondering whether it's an "ss" or an "nt", he will have some supporting data to go by :) Ahasuerus 10:45, 6 Feb 2008 (CST)

Review Deletion of Single Reviews (Ace Double)

I've put your deletion of two reviews on hold, until I can check into this. I believe the practice has been to review the titles in an Ace Double separately, as sometimes only one title is reviewed, and the other is not. Maybe someone else would like to comment on this?--Rkihara 14:06, 21 Feb 2008 (CST)

I haven't seen it addressed recently, but the recent practices I've seen are to make the Magazine Review entries match the Title entries so the links work, and deal with any differences in notes. As Ace Double titles are entered as an Omnibus with the two titles separated by " / ", the only way the link will work is to maintain this title, although of course the note can say "Only Title B was reviewed, Title A having been reviewed in its stand-alone version earlier" or "The reason there are two reviews of the same book here are because Title A was reviewed by Reviewer C but Title B was reviewed by Reviewer D". Or even "There is no real review of Title B, reviewer simply states that it's unreadable rubbish". (I've left single line reviews out before - e.g. "Star Trek Book. Enough said.") BLongley 14:30, 21 Feb 2008 (CST)
I can't tell what's happening here from the held edit alone, but if it's a review of at least part of an Ace Double then it's correct to delete a single title review IF the Double Title review and explanatory Notes are present. BLongley 14:30, 21 Feb 2008 (CST)
My understanding was that what was reviewed should match what the magazine said, with noted changes to make it match titles in our database (when they exist but are different in form). I guess it looks like I was wrong about this; I hate to say it, but I've either entered or "corrected" quite a few by now. <sigh> For the moment I'll hold off on changing them back again, in case others weigh in, to avoid if possible doing it twice more.
I guess I can see some justification for listing them as separate reviews, but it also seems quite misleading. -- Dave (davecat) 15:46, 22 Feb 2008 (CST) (That is, I'll hold off on going back & tracking down all the other ones. I wouldn't touch the ones you're holding anyway, until they're either rejected or approved. Dave (davecat) 15:50, 22 Feb 2008 (CST))
I think, to avoid civil war here, we let Books be Books and Magazines be Magazines, so mere Reviews (whether in Book or Magazine) are adjusted to match the reviewed titles, not vice versa. Other contents (short-fiction mostly) are usually dealt with by variant titles when needed. Of course, a Magazine may be reviewing a Variant title we haven't got yet, so it's probably OK to leave it with no link here if there's more Magazine evidence of the existence of a title than Book evidence - for instance, I've seen reviews that include high-res-enough cover-art to determine price and publisher, and enough publication details to make me think we should create the edition of the book we haven't got yet. I've not seen the opposite yet (create magazine from a book review) but I could probably find some Fanzine/Magazine details worth recording from such Magazine reviews. BLongley 16:51, 22 Feb 2008 (CST)
There seems to be no clear rule on entering reviews of Ace Doubles. I'll move this discussion to Rules and Standards.--Rkihara 10:12, 23 Feb 2008 (CST)
Rkihara (Ron?), at this point would you either accept or reject the deletion submissions? I'd urge just accepting them; the submissions to remove them from the pubs, & those to change the other reviews to reflect the double, had already been approved when you held these, so I don't myself see a reason to keep the orphan titles; if they're added back to the pub, it will generate different titles which would then have to be merged, right? If a clear consensus develops that these are to be treated as separate reviews, I'll have to track down & re-fix all the ones I've done. (And I'm hoping for a clear consensus one way or the other, though it seems that lots of times discussion just dwindles after everything's been said, with no real decision.) -- Dave (davecat) 10:40, 26 Feb 2008 (CST)
Okay, approved. I was hoping for a clear cut rule, but I guess it'll have to stew for a while. --Rkihara 18:22, 26 Feb 2008 (CST)
Well, in this case (as I said) I don't think any ruling would have mattered for these submissions - the titles were out of the pub, & AFAIK there's no way to add a specific title record to a pub. You have to add a new record, & then merge.
I won't "fix" any more of these, though I'll add pub notes if I find reviews of omnibuses in the future (either way). I think probably if I'm adding reviews myself I'll still be inclined to use the omnibus's title, both because that's what seems to me to be the right way, but (more importantly) because that's easier to track down & change later if a decision should be made the other way.
In any case, thanks. I hadn't realized that this was a controversial issue. (And I'm glad not to see these any more every time I try to find what's pending.) -- Dave (davecat) 10:10, 27 Feb 2008 (CST)

I may be scarce for a while

Since a similar situation earlier caused confusion: I'm likely to be busy enough over the next couple of weeks that I may not (read should not) be logged in here & doing stuff much at all. It doesn't mean either that I've dropped off the face of the earth or that I don't have more to work on here. Dave (davecat) 15:21, 27 Feb 2008 (CST)

J. P. Kirton

I am getting a record not found error which cannot be approved. Approved another record with this author. I am not sure what happened but I will probably need to reject this. Glad you are non-scarce again.--swfritter 13:53, 11 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Thanks. I wondered why it was hanging in the queue. In effect it became a duplicate, as I changed it in the author & title & then (as those hadn't been accepted yet) in the pub; probably something about my not waiting caused the problem.
I'll probably continue somewhat scarcer than before, but hope to be back reasonably often. Assuming I can connect, that is; when I tried to grab a few moments, repeatedly over several days, apparently ISFDB was down. I'd have emailed someone to ask, but hadn't actually made a note of the moderators' address. I'm glad we're back up. Dave (davecat) 11:03, 18 Mar 2008 (CDT)
Rejected it because it would not pass muster anyway.--swfritter 14:44, 18 Mar 2008 (CDT)

A Spaceship Named McGuire

Are you going to be entering more Project Gutenberg titles? On my user page, you may have seen it before, are links to the Project Gutenberg titles. When I first broached the subject of entering Project Gutenberg titles the idea was shot down like it was the object of a Vice-President Cheney dove hunt; using tags was the only valid method I had of documenting the titles. Thankfully, we no have some standards in place. It would be great if you wanted to work in this area so we could eventually remove the tags.--swfritter 14:56, 18 Mar 2008 (CDT)

I have entered a number of PG editions, and plan to enter more. I had been adding tags as I entered if they were not already there, perhaps this is unneeded. See Publisher:Project Gutenberg for more info. -DES Talk 16:41, 18 Mar 2008 (CDT)
Thanks. I guess the tags do serve a useful purpose until the advanced search works. With publisher lookup we also have a way of finding them. They serve as nice cookie crumbs for right now but it I don't consider it a high priority to maintain tags for titles that have been added as Project Gutenberg titles. I will continue to enter tags when I see new titles released but only so they are easy to find.--swfritter 19:52, 18 Mar 2008 (CDT)
I'm intending to add Project Gutenberg ebooks as I encounter them, if (obviously) on checking I see they're not already there. I had seen the thing on your talk page, but had forgotten it - & also didn't see where to add the tag (but now I do, I think). I will try to remember that, but unless I do enter them more regularly (this is my second) I'm likely not to. Thanks very much for the pointers. -- Dave (davecat) 16:45, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)
And the stories are free!--swfritter 16:57, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Thanks

Thanks for fixing my back-link on the PG author stuff -- I lifted the link from the wrong line of recent changes. oops. -DES Talk 10:54, 20 Mar 2008 (CDT)

You're welcome; it was more obvious to me, since I knew where I'd put the posting. It was a minor change, but might save someone some confusion. Dave (davecat) 13:28, 20 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Astounding Science Fiction, March 1959

Was Manly Wade Wellman really called "Manley" in the review here? BLongley 16:23, 24 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Yes. I didn't notice this, or I might have fixed it & put in a pub note. Wonder what the book itself actually says. What's reviewed is a reprint, Galaxy Novel No. 34, 1958, 191 pp. $0.35. Aha. A quick google finds a listing here but likely somewhat transient, which says it's by "WELLMAN, MANLY WADE (SPELLED MANLEY ON COVER)". Wonder what it says on the title page - is it correct there, or does the bookseller merely know the correct name?. -- Dave (davecat) 10:12, 25 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Moderator?

As far as I can tell, you are getting very close to the point of self-sufficiency ISFDB-wise. You understand magazines, variant titles and pseudonyms, you communicate well, and you do not hesitate to ask questions. Do you think you are ready to start approving your own submissions? If you do, I can nominate you for moderator. Of course, a moderator can also approve other editors' submissions, but there is no expectation of doing so on a regular basis since we all have different schedules and time budgets. Ahasuerus 12:54, 29 Mar 2008 (CDT)

P.S. You may want to take a look at the Moderator Qualifications page when you get a chance :) Ahasuerus 13:04, 29 Mar 2008 (CDT)
The ability to moderate my own submissions would usually be most welcome indeed. I think it probably would be safe most of the time, but have a tiny bit of concern about the rest. OTOH, I note that errors on my part occasionally slip by moderators at this point, so maybe that isn't a big change.
I feel a lot less sure whether I'm ready to moderate other people's submissions; but possibly I'll feel differently about that after seeing actual submissions. So I guess this is a yes, & thank you. -- Dave (davecat) 10:03, 31 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Notifying editors of changes to verified pubs

A very thorough job on Alibrarian's page page which shows a laudable respect for other editors but I think most others will agree that you probably only need to notify other editors about significant errors and different interpretations of the standards that you are making and especially not about additional data. If you are editing a whole series of mags verified by the same person you can make a fairly generic entry for all the magazines. If the editor in question does not respond to any of your messages then they are either inactive or do not disagree with your changes and you can probably feel comfortable continuing to make changes to their verified pubs. Welcome aboard.--swfritter 16:17, 9 Apr 2008 (CDT)

OK, thanks. I'll try to remember; shouldn't be hard, as it will significantly reduce my work. (Not to mention that I was filling up his talk page Dave (davecat) 10:24, 10 Apr 2008 (CDT)) (And good timing - I'm just about to do another one. And I know Alibrarian seems to not respond on his talk page.)
Again thanks for your help with everything. -- Dave (davecat) 16:31, 9 Apr 2008 (CDT)
Yes, I think you can be a bit less thorough on notifying ALL changes - if you look at Alibrarians's full talk page you can probably tell where OUR patience ran out. I've only started posting there again as Alibrarian has shown signs of activity again too - I freely admit I've taken over some of his titles in sheer frustration at his lack of response. (And surrendered them again when the standards for magazines got too high for my taste.) But in my opinion, a Primary Verification from someone familiar with Current Standards is probably better than a previous Primary Verification from someone that's gone inactive. There's a few caveats - even with magazines, there may be more than one edition (see the top submission on the queue for "Astounding Science Fiction, May 1956" - UK version). Some Magazines like Destinies were so close to Books that we've had to classify them as Anthologies so we could record multiple printings. And when you get to proper books, you really have to know a lot of totally different stuff... but don't let me put you off those, feel free to ask for advice. BLongley 17:49, 9 Apr 2008 (CDT)
I'm trying to record many of the "gut-feelings" I have for when edits are right or wrong: you'll already have some of them, you may not know it yet. E.g. If someone submitted an Analog Magazine with a format of "A4", you'd know that was wrong, wouldn't you? Would you know that it might have been right for an Interzone though? I can spot that an Orbit hardcover from 2005 might be right, one from 1975 wouldn't be. With Gollancz, 1975 would be a hardcover, 2005 might be a paperback. I think every Moderator starts with an area of expertise that they've demonstrated on the way to becoming a Mod, but many do acquire other senses even if they only just LOOK at submissions for a bit. They don't have to, of course: and my fear is that we'll get a Mod that will just approve edits from Editors he knows automatically because he trusts them more than other Mods do, and not spot that the editor is outside his area of expertise. So please DO look at more submissions, learn a bit, ask for advice, don't do anything you're uncomfortable with, and challenge other Moderators and Verifiers when something seems wrong. At worst we'll get a better explanation of why it's RIGHT, that we can share, but usually it's a "yes, my bad, will fix" response. We've all got to keep our feet on the ground, nobody here is a perfect editor and nobody's a perfect moderator either: and I don't want to see a new level of "self-approving-only" moderator that can't/won't go beyond that, so learn as slow or as fast as you want - we're all in this together for a "constantly improving" resource, and so far we don't have anyone with the Ego to try and take-over - let's all try and stay "constantly improving" people and we'll make this place great! (Not that it isn't already!) BLongley 17:49, 9 Apr 2008 (CDT)
Sorry. That's a bit of a waffle that should be a bit more general, but I've just seen what time it is and need sleep more than figuring out where I should have posted really... BLongley 17:49, 9 Apr 2008 (CDT)

Wiki codes

When linking to a page in the wiki, it is better to use a proper wiki-link (with double square brackets) than a url (with or without single square brackets. For one thing, a wiki-link will show up in "what links here" and can be adjusted if the page moves, a url will not. It is also usually shorter in the source text, and will not need adjustment if our domain ever changes.

When a URL is being displayed as an example, rather than used as a link, surrounding it with nowiki and /nowiki tags will prevent the wiki software from displaying it as a link. See the example in the "links" sections of the Publisher:Project Gutenberg and Publisher talk:Project Gutenberg pages.

I hope these comments are helpful. -DES Talk 19:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for butting in here, but DES, can you suggest some improvements to, for instance, Publisher:Orion Publishing Group, Ltd.? I've tried to use Wiki-Links a bit more recently, but the 'Publisher:' prefix looks ugly. And I've still no idea what benefit the Namespaces give us. :-/ Feel free to just educate me more on my talk-page, but this sort of thing would probably help a lot more people if added to "Editing help" in the long run. BLongley 19:58, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
The first question is How to hide the namespace. We can type [[Publisher:Gollancz|Gollancz]] to get Gollancz but is there a way to avoid copying the name? Also I see some templates to link to authors and publications (A, P), link {{A|Henry_Kuttner}} to get Henry_Kuttner; perhaps we should have a standard way of linking to the ISFDB data? --Roglo 06:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Glad to help if I can. The "piped link" such as [[Publisher:Orion Publishing Group, Ltd.|Orion Group]] is probably the easiest way to hide the namespace. IMO it doesn't look as ugly when the publisher doesn't have the word "publish" in its name, for example i think Publisher:Baen looks better than [[Baen]] would, but that is a matter of taste.
I'll look into the templates we have on hand. We can easily devise templates for linking to any of the standard kinds of ISFDB data, and document these in the help. We could also have a template that made a link to a publisher page but hid the publisher prefix, if we want.
As to the benefits of namespaces, there are several, none are overwhelming. First, they keep separate kinds of content logically sorted, and make it easier to be sure what the proper name for a page should be. They also allow searching only through a specified namespace or set of namespaces. Also, by using the special pages|all pages page, we can see a list of all pages in a given namespace, or all pages starting with a particular letter or string. for example, see [3] which is all pages in the publisher namespace. In many ways the benefits are not unlike separating all the files in a large computer folder into a set of sub-folders: it makes things easier to find, at the expense of making paths longer. I'll respond further on the subject of templates after looking at what we already have. -DES Talk 11:43, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I have organized the templates we have for inserting links into wiki pages into Category:Linking templates. Have a look. I have created Template:Publisher to faciliate links to publisher pages. All of this is documented in Help:Linking templates and on the talk pages of the individual templates. I hope this is helpful. -DES Talk 14:15, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it is very helpful; thanks! --Roglo 19:33, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

(Unindent) I'm afraid I don't understand how to do proper wiki links. When I put in a link, I usually copy the URL; I don't know how to determine what the wiki link should be. I'm not unwilling, just ignorant; I'm having to discover things about using the wiki mostly on my own, by observation. (Got a tutorial or some doc stashed somewhere?)
I'm also confused by the piped link notation & templates, BTW. I just don't know quite enough to understand what you're saying. -- Dave (davecat) 15:07, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Wiki links are in fact quite easy, one you get used to them. A basic wiki link is simply [[Title of page]]. For example, to link to your user page, you type [[User:Davecat]], which gives the following link: User:Davecat. To link to the Baen publisher page, you type [[Publisher:Baen]] which gives the following link: Publisher:Baen. The title of a page is always in large type at the very top of the wiki-page. Note that wiki links go only to wiki pages, not to ISFDB data records, such as author, title, or publication records.
A piped link is simply a way of displaying a different text for a link. It looks like [[Title of page|Description]]. For example, the link [[User:Davecat|Dave's user page]], gives the following link Dave's user page and [[Publisher:Baen|Baen]] gives Baen. This can be used to shorten the name of the page in the displayed link, or to use any descriptive name that may seem useful.
Using the pipe character without any description defaults the link text to the page title without any namespace, so [[Publisher:Baen|]] gives the link Baen and [[Template:A|]] gives A.
Templates are basically macros -- predefined bits of text and/or wiki-code that you can insert on a page. Some templates take parameters, either required or optional. Templates are called by placing the name of the template in double braces. So, for example, {{A|Elizabeth_Moon}} gives then link Elizabeth_Moon. Template:A includes an optional parameter, so {{A|Elizabeth_Moon|name=Moon}} gives the link Moon.
Templates can serve any purpose at all. The template A is an example of a Linking template which is used to insert a link into a wiki page. More about such templates can be found at Help:Linking templates.
You can find more about wiki editing in Help:Editing and the various pages linked to from that page, and the pages in Category:Wiki Help.
I hope this is helpful. Where should a link to Help:Editing be placed so that more people can see and make use of it if they wish to, without getting in the way? Is there any part of Help:Editing or any of the pages in Category:Wiki Help that is unclear or needs improvement? I'll be glad to do what I can to make things better. -DES Talk 15:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
You can also use "Wikipedia" as if it were a namespace, to link to a Wikipedia article. Thus, for example [[Wikipedia:Science fiction]] gives the link Wikipedia:Science fiction. The general form is [[Wikipedia:Title of article]]. Such links can also be piped, so [[Wikipedia:Science fiction|SF]] gives the link SF. -DES Talk 15:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I have also created Template:Series, for use in placing a link to an ISFDB series display on a wiki page. -DES Talk 22:47, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

"I know I did it right this time - why is it making the variant backward?"

I noticed you asked this question of yourself on recent rejects: can I gently point you at the last part of the Moderator Help on this topic? "Please note that at this point the parent title and the child title are reversed on the approval screen due to a software bug."

Please DO point out problems/omissions/clarifications-needed with the guide, we don't get too many new people reviewing it and we've all been a bit lazy improving it when we HAVE figured things out. And maybe we need to bug Al about this bug, it's been around for ages. BLongley 20:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, okay. Fixed. Alvonruff 00:55, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Um. I remember seeing that, now that you (Bill) mention it. The very first make-variant I did had them reversed, & I rejected it because I wasn't sure whether I'd done it backward; but after that they all seemed to be correct, so even if I'd remembered that note in the moderator help I'd have thought the problem had been fixed. Really, I did quite a few that came out right. Can't help wondering what the bug was, to be so intermittent, but it doesn't matter. And thanks for fixing it (Al). -- Dave (davecat) 13:23, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
There are two ways to make a variant: one is by entering the record number of the parent title (if it exists), the other by entering the title/author information (if it doesn't exist). The method which entered title/author data did it right; the method which used the record number didn't. Intermittent if you're not tracking which method you're using; very reproducible if only using the record number method. Alvonruff 14:22, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I could have sworn that I was paying attention to that difference; obviously I was wrong. The tracking was all in my memory, which has been known to fail occasionally. -- Dave (davecat) 19:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Blind Man's Lantern

Hello Dave, I believe the interior illustrations have been credited as short fiction in your verified pub Blind Man's Lantern--Rkihara 17:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Ack! Fixed. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! -- Dave (davecat) 14:17, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Artwork for Operation R.S.V.P. unmerged

As per a long discussion with Rkihara. Merging interior artwork is more than a little bit tricky. I have changed the artwork for your Gutenberg pub.--swfritter 18:40, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. I've now gone & started to read that, decided I just can't spare the time now (& for a week or so, as we're about to go out of town AGAIN), & maybe 3 weeks. Argh. I'll just say that I've been entering a LOT of PG things with reprinted artwork. I've tried to match them with the originals when I have access to the originals; a particular trial occurs when artwork spans two pages in the original, seen as one drawing with a gutter in the middle, but PG separates them with a lot of text (so that one is below the other instead of next to it, & usually not viewable on the same screen). In these cases I've tried to indicate this in naming the artwork.
Let me make clear that I'm not complaining, at all. (I think I wouldn't have done the title changes this way, but I also see the logic behind it, especially given that eventually someone will try to merge them even though the help says never to merge artwork.) I'm merely pointing out that there are a lot out there that will need renaming if we do it this way, & that I've been busily adding to the pile. (If there's a way to search for PG pubs that I've verified, that would find most of them.)
I'll try to work on it when I'm back at things again, if I ever dig out from under. Again, thanks for the pointer here; I've been away too much to keep up with discussions.
(Oh, & I wasn't the one who merged those illustrations, not that this matters.) -- Dave (davecat) 22:15, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I just wanted to give you a heads up on something that affected your entry. --swfritter 16:54, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
"Help says never to merge artwork" will probably have to change, albeit slowly and cautiously. Captioned cartoons seem OK at the moment. Book covers have been in the past, where art is the same and only the text changes. Note that the cloning of books means this is pretty unavoidable at times. But there's big questions about whether cover-art applies to a pub or a title or something in between and even I am letting the proliferation of COVERART entries on a simple search go for now until Al can step back and see how messy our non-advanced title searches are getting. (I've yet to find a new user that wants COVERART and ESSAY and REVIEW entries returned from such, although I have found one interested in INTERIORART when I mentioned Pauline Baynes pictures are available in Colour.) BLongley 22:52, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Cartoons are only categorized as interiorart because that is the closest fit. They are definitely a different beast. COVERART is also an issue unto itself.--swfritter 16:54, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Which reminds me, I found magazines with titled comic strips in recently. Not a lot, but enough to make me want them entered here if only to clarify the pagination of the short story before. (And they are by authors and artists already here.) INTERIORART for those as well? Any special title-suffixes / notes required? I haven't spotted any reprints yet but can't be sure we won't get them. BLongley 17:29, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
My first inclination is to treat them as fiction leaving the length as shortfiction and have entries for both author and artist with the artwork treated as one piece of art - only a first thought.--swfritter 18:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Changes to verified pub Astounding/Analog January & February 1960 - Campbell as The Editor

Changed the column identifiers from Astounding to Astounding/Analog to be consistent with the way the title of the magazine is listed. Also - was there ever a resolution as to whether John W. Campbell should be a pseudonym of "The Editor". I could browse through the wiki but you might have a quicker answer. Most of the other editors are just leaving it as "The Editor". The only problem is that now in some cases "The Editor" entries are being placed in the editorial series (where the series may have been applied - not in this case) and in other cases John W. Campbell. It is going to take quite a bit of work to make this data consistent. In either case the series data will have to be removed from a number of titles and placed in the another title. If we were to go with "The Editor" we would have to unlink and delete the Campbell variant titles.--swfritter 16:19, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I think I've been leaving "The Editor" as the author, not as a pseudonym for Campbell, for things such as AnLab, In Times to Come, etc. At this point I'd only make it a pseudonym for Campbell if I thought it had content that was, well, Campbellish rather than routine. An editorial, say, is a clear example where (if it says "The Editor" I'd enter it that way but then make that a pseudonym for Campbell. That's my gut feeling, anyway.
I'm now past the point where I have any unentered Astoundings/Analogs left. I still would like, eventually, to make one more pass through, checking & verifying (any that I didn't the first time & which no one else has verified). -- Dave (davecat) 23:56, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
The editorial is the only thing that is important enough to matter and virtually all cases I have no doubt that Campbell is the author. The other items aren't important and could easily have been done by his long time assistant editor or even an intern. I have a hard time believing he actually tabulated the AnLab votes - he, of course, would have been responsible for those AnLabs which were supposedly readjusted in order to reward his favorite authors with the associated bonus. I guess we should make a real decision on the "The Editor" as pseudonym for Campbell thing using the correct forum.--swfritter 15:16, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Agree on ". . ." Astounding January 1960

The art director seems to have gone totally wacky with the ellipsis in the title graphics - as you note mostly to link the text of titles that are printed on more than one page. The same is done in some of the subsequent issues. I totally agree with your decision not to use them if the TOC and footers do not have them - especially if they are reprinted without the ellipsis in the title. Kudos for correcting the cover artist attributions to be as listed. It's something most editors don't catch - I have made the same mistake numerous times.--swfritter 16:33, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what item occasioned that comment, as it's been a while since I dealt with any of those; but I'll take the credit with thanks.
OK, looking at this item's title, I guess it must have been Astounding, January 1960, done 5 months or so ago. I may have made the same decision in other cases & not noted it so clearly. I don't recall other issues with quite so many of the things. -- Dave (davecat) 00:13, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm! I've been leaving most attributions for cover artists alone, even if they're not identical to the TOC listing, assuming that the editor who made the original entry used an authoritative secondary reference (Contento, Bleiler) to make the attribution. There seems to be some evidence of this, since some covers that have attributions have no signature or TOC credit.--Rkihara 16:58, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
What's really weird is that the less data there is in the pub the more likely we are to use the full name. If there are initials we go with the full name as we do when there is no credit at all and we go with a secondary source. It does make the data a little inconsistent to not enter as credited; it might have made some sense not to have so closely followed the model of author attributions.--swfritter 17:09, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
The main reason it is important to enter the artist as entered is when it comes to determining a canonical name for the artist. Emsh is the obvious choice for Ed Emshwiller (at least 90% and probably much more of his work is signed or credited to Emsh) but most of the data entered from secondary sources was entered as Ed Emshwiller. Kelly Freas vs. Frank Kelly Freas is a similar case although I think that one could go either way even though Kelly Freas was probably used more often and quite often only Freas although the last would not seem a good choice.--swfritter 18:16, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I by now have fairly strong feelings on Freas - namely, that "Kelly Freas" should be the canonical form. Almost all things that were signed were signed either "Kelly Freas" or with a KF-circle logo thing. It really looks to me like that's the form he intentionally used. Plain "Freas" is in magazines that pretty much consistently just credited artists by last name (Astounding, early Analog, Amazing Stories are the ones I'm familiar with). There was one "Science Fact" I can recall where, I think, "Frank Kelly Freas" was credited as co-author (with Dickson maybe?); IIRC the text reporting referred to him as Kelly, though. Might be wrong on that.
On Emsh I'd be inclined to use Emsh as the canonical form.
You (a bunch of you) have read a much wider range of things than I have, though, so on all this I'm quite willing to listen to argument & accept any clear consensus. -- Dave (davecat) 00:13, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Those same points have passed through my mind, re: initials, and the like. In my case, I only expand the initials out if I have seen an instance where a work was signed with initials, but fully identified in the pub. I keep a list of initials, with sketches if they're stylized for identification. I should have noted the pubs in which they were explicitly identified, but have done so, and maybe I should have photographed them too. I'm on the fence about identifying cover artists, but if you feel it is more proper to enter them as identified in the pub, I will do so.--Rkihara 18:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I wish you had more issues. I am working down from 1960 and it is always a relief when I find that you have verified one of the issues; I rarely have to make any but the simplest modifications on anything you have worked on. I think Freas was credited often enough as Frank Kelly Freas that it is not a major issue one way or the other.--swfritter 15:23, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I wish I did, too, though mostly in the backward direction. I let my subscription lapse because issues were piling up unread. Part of this was due to changes in myself & my circumstances, but partly I found that after Campbell there just seemed to be less & less stuff I found really worth reading (& paying for). (By no means none—I've continued to find stories I really like which were published in Analog since then. But during the 1970s it changed quite markedly. I'd have to say that IMNAAHO the decade beginning around 1962 or 1963 was something of a golden era, despite a modest number of turkeys that Campbell apparently bought because they were pro-psi or pro-smoking or things like that.) -- Dave (davecat) 20:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. For similar reasons in the late seventies I quit reading Analog after taking it monthly for almost twenty years. I used to read it from cover-to-cover, but the quality of stories had fallen so low, that it actually made me angry to think I was paying good money to read the magazine. I haven't regularly purchased a copy of Analog in nearly 30 years, though I bought a complete set from 1975-2000, for a dollar a year to complete my run to the millenium.--Rkihara 22:22, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Changes to verified pub Analog October 1959

Added review for "Threshold of Eternity" by John Brunner. This was half of an Ace Double. I added it as a separate review. I went half-way through the long (inconclusive I guess?) discussion on it and pretty much threw up my hands. Adding a single review for both books makes absolutely no sense to me. How am I find a review for the double appearance of a book that is later released as a single? Part of the problem then was that the links were lexical. I guess we could cover all bases by adding a review for the combo volume and individual reviews for each novel. Bet you wish that subject had never come up and probably wish it hadn't come up again!--swfritter 16:31, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, if you search for a book by title, reviews of the doubles which included that do pop up. Yes, the discussion was inconclusive, I think. Given the number of SF works which appeared in one form & later were significantly modified, I'd prefer to see reviews tied more tightly to the specific edition under consideration, & some doubles are cases in point. But it's a somewhat minor question; usually reviews appear within a year or so of the edition being reviewed, so one can figure it out.
Sorry to have missed entering that review (unless, of course, that was the issue where my copy had a couple of leaves cut out, in which case it's probably your fault, as you saw my pub note & filled in what was missing <g>). -- Dave (davecat) 20:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I would like a link to both the main title and the edition!! Reviews of previous editions are usually relevant but it would be nice to know which edition.--swfritter 22:12, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Changes to verified pub Analog August 1959

Found one more illustration on page 87 for "The Outsiders". Also changed author of "How to Do It . . . The Land Color Process" from Campbell to "The Editor" as credited.--swfritter 18:43, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good. Thank you. -- Dave (davecat) 19:50, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Questions about July 1959 issue of Astounding

There is a combined listing for two "The Analytical Laboratory" ratings. I have been entering these as separate essays for each issue being rated - otherwise it looks as though a bi-monthly issue is being listed. All right if I do it with two essays? In the reviews is a listing for "The Fitzroy Jules Verne" which is actually the name of a series - the three books reviewed are in that series. Should that series entry be removed? It can't linked to anything and it is documented in the notes.--swfritter 18:58, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I entered an awful lot of AnLabs which covered multiple months; if you want them done as separate essays I'll do it that way if I do any future ones, but you'll find a lot to change.
As far as the Verne, by all means. I'm pretty sure I'm totally responsible for the reviews in that issue, but I can't think why I'd have listed it that way. <sigh> -- Dave (davecat) 19:58, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. The AnLabs can be fixed pretty quickly and should be easy to spot. I actually did not notice the Verne issue at first. The heading makes it look as though the series name is actually a book - at first I thought it was an omnibus that was being reviewed.--swfritter 14:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Changes to verified pub Analog February 1959

This issue Split up Analytical Laboratory (which I probably will not notify about in future), found another piece of artwork for Hi Diddle Diddle! on page 85. "The Professional Touch" is categorized as an Article in the TOC but it I think it is pretty obviously fiction (of novelette length - 20 pages). It is entered as shortfiction and is in the series Patent Office. One of those in the series is a novelette and the other is also shortfiction. Make sense to make it a novelette?--swfritter 15:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I left it as shortfiction simply because I don't really have a feel for the divisions. I think I was the one who set up that series & that I also changed the other one from essay to shortfiction. If they're novelette length, then by all means set the length.
It's been a while now, but I think there are at least a couple more; they're in issues I don't have. Advanced search on title containing "profession" & author containing "Lockhard" yields (after sorting it by date):
Year 	Type 		Record 	Title 			Authors
1952 	ESSAY 		193431 	Improbable Profession 	Leonard Lockhard
1954 	ESSAY 		193427 	That Professional Look 	Leonard Lockhard
1955 	SHORTFICTION 	198325 	The Magnificent Profession 	Leonard Lockhard
1956 	ESSAY 		193422 	The Curious Profession 	Leonard Lockhard
1959 	SHORTFICTION 	193420 	The Professional Touch 	Leonard Lockhard
1961 	ESSAY 		190433 	The Lagging Profession 	Leonard Lockhard
1962 	SHORTFICTION 	190265 	The Professional Approach 	Leonard Lockhard
1962 	SHORTFICTION 	853031 	The Professional Approach 	Charles Leonard Harness Theodore Lockhard Thomas
1964 	SHORTFICTION 	193417 	Professional Dilemma 	Leonard Lockhard
I was tempted to just change them all to shortfiction & add them to the series even when I couldn't look at them, but I resisted. I feel pretty certain, but I'd hate to be wrong on this. (Boy, do I wish my collection went back that far, though.) -- Dave (davecat) 15:41, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I also wish your collection went back that far. Contento lists "The Professional Touch" as a short story. It is close to the borderline. Wish I did not have read an "Article" to find out whether it is fiction or not. I will come to those other titles eventually.--swfritter 16:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes. By all means don't tell me about splitting up AnLabs. I'll trust you to do it correctly, but if you make an error & someone checks with me as verifier, I won't mind fixing something like that any time.
And it's a pity that these "Lockhard" stories didn't get collected in a book, & that PG hasn't gotten around to more of them. They're not spectacular, but nice & generally interesting. -- Dave (davecat) 16:52, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Changes to Your Verified Pub Astounding, February 1952

Added "Nav Bar" to notes. Changed volume no from Roman to Arabic numerals for consistency. Added comments to notes. Linked applicable essays to series. Checked transient verification.--Rkihara 17:47, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

(Sorry, I've been pretty busy & lacking normal connectivity besides for a couple of weeks.)
I like the "Nav Bar"; I'd love to see those turn up. As far as the Arabic numerals: consistency with what? I've seen them entered both ways, but when the magazine itself uses Roman I've gone with consistency with the magazine itself. As far as the comments in the notes, not sure what you added but it looks fine. As far as essay series, if you found something to add, I guess it's an oops on my part. (And it doesn't look like the editorial is in a series. Don't have time right now to dig out the magazine & check; was it not labeled as an editorial? Seems to me there was at least one such case.) Thanks -- Dave (davecat) 19:03, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
No oops on your part, your edits are pretty tight, only small changes made due to changes in what is included, and for uniformity with all issues. The Roman numerals are a uniformity issue, as the majority of the magazines including Astounding have volume and issue numbers entered into the notes with Arabic numerals. Inconsistent with the magazine entry, but consistent across all magazines. We've been stripping "Editorial:" from essays that are being placed in editorial series, as it's redundant. The "editorial series" will also need rework, as they were signed "The Editor," but will be changed to "John W. Campbell, Jr as by 'The Editor.'" The rework for these essays is complicated. Comments added: "Cover illustration untitled. Attributions for art use the most complete form of the artist's name found in this issue." I've been adding the last sentence to explain why an attribution was shortened or lengthened. For example, an attribution for Cartier, but one of his illustrations was signed Edd Cartier, or vice-versa.
If you leave a note with Swfritter, he will probably be willing to generate a Nav Bar listing for you requiring only cut and paste.--Rkihara 19:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks; I think I can figure that out; I can copy from an existing one if it comes up.
I know about the pseudonym issue for the editorials, & removing "Editorial: " from the title if it's there. (Which it usually was when I was going through them; not sure whether the original entry was by hand or automatically generated, but it clearly was based on an existing reference source, & provided the skeleton for full entry from the magazine.)
I hope to get back to being more active eventually, though most of the entry I could do is now done. Haven't yet started through the book collection, but I'm really anticipating that others have done almost everything I've got there. Dave (davecat) 18:12, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
As long as there is month data in the pubs I can generate the navbar cut/paste data in about a minute - I use the non-user changeable record numbers.--swfritter 19:25, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Astounding July 1959 - Review of Parapsychology

Your verified pub July 1959 Astounding in the review of Parapsychology credits the coauthor as 'Platt' while the published title and entry is by 'Pratt'. I have submitted a correction. Please check the original publication. If it states 'Platt' then we can add a note about the error. - Thanks Kevin 06:43, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Pratt it is. Thanks. -- Dave (davecat) 15:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Skylark Three

Did you have any other ideas on how to deal with this? No matter how wacky. It's going to be a problem that is going to pop up more often as we see more original material published electronically.--swfritter 23:40, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Not really. And I really wish I did. I see a couple of problems in that particular example, one being the copyright claim. That's way too common, but we have to live with it; but how do we avoid having someone assume that this is the original date for a work?
The big problem really is the swamp we've got with variants being overloaded, both for titles & for authors. I've spent some time (not all that much, I admit) thinking about a design that might work for sorting it all out, & all I've got is a headache myself. We really do need something to cut through the variant/fixup mess, and another means entirely for mere variation of names. But anything of the sort means, at a minimum, an alert editor & usually a knowledgeable one. (Mere alertness being required when the work itself states "This book contains material first published as a short story titled . . . ", of course.) The pseudonym/variant form issue is likely to be a bit less vexing, but requires some knowledge & alertness, too. <sigh>
Regarding Skylark Three, I did with the PG edition what seemed appropriate. Since it was a republication of a serial, if there wasn't already a title record for a novel with that year, I made one. (Already not a task for the fainthearted, as that creates a pub as well as a title. What did I do? Maybe I made the PG edition first, & changed the title's date?) I made the PG edition a pub of that title record, in any case. The reproduced artwork, moved around, added to the fun; I think the page scans were there for examination in this case, a good thing. And the Campbell letter, of course. And voluminous notes documenting all the difficulties.
But no, I don't have any good ideas on what we should do. If Harry's right that the text of the Pyramid edition is the same as that of the serial, I'd argue that we should date that title from the serialization; but then he takes that back talking about the ending. (I think I had the Pyramid edition 20 years or so ago. <sigh again>) And this would be a change of standard, certainly. Plenty of headaches to go around. Wish I had something better. -- Dave (davecat) 14:40, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, May 1959 -- review

I altered a review of The Planet Jupiter in your verified pub so that it matches the book, as reported by OCLC. I added a note to the review title record about the error. -DES Talk 09:02, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I removed your note, since, on checking the magazine itself, it appears that "Peck" instead of "Peek" was my reading or typing error, not an error on Miller's part. Good catch, in any case. -- Dave (davecat) 17:45, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Found it in the "Authors that exist only due to reviews" project page. -DES Talk 17:52, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

A Treasury of Great Science Fiction - added notation

Morning! This. [4]. I added notation from my copy, specifically a different gutter code and a note on the 'calligraphy' used in The Stars My Destination, which I matched to my ver of another edition. FYI, the cover does not credit the cover artist, crediting is this from front inner flap "Jacket design by Sydney Butchkes". Personally, I do not credit design to artist, unless I know that it is an artist. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:21, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. My copy (bought used) does not have a jacket. -- Dave (davecat) 02:24, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Interior art for Project Gutenberg titles

I noticed you are not using the the original date of publication. No big deal either way but I have been using the original date for interior art and they probably should all be done the same way. I just wish there were some reasonable methodology we could use for merging them. The labor it would take to visually verify interior art is a bit huge. Do we have any separate wiki documentation specifically on Project Gutenberg? Incredible job by the way. Hope you get some more Analog's for Christmas.--swfritter 23:20, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

(Sorry, very busy with other things; probably won't be around very much. I know some other very active folks (both editors & moderators) are much busier; I don't know how they do it.)
I had been using the original date of publication (date of original publication). I then read a discussion, which I don't think I could find now, where you specifically were discussing flagging reprinted art as with "(reprint)" & began doing this; if we're treating the reprinted art as a (putatively) distinct work, then it would deserve its own date, wouldn't it?
Having seen some artwork mangled by PG (split into separate drawings, with borders or significantly separated in the text) I'm hesitant to identify them as being identical & merge them without being able to check; per you (again), I have not merged artworks even when I could be sure. (And I am not intending to knock PG, even on artwork. Generally they are doing a superb job, amazingly conscientious, especially given that it's being done for free by volunteers. But errors do happen, especially when things get scanned as single pages & then forever viewed that way throughout the process. Just like ISFDB, it's a big, complicated project with a lot to learn.)
No Analogs, I'm reasonably certain (nor Astoundings either); though I admit Grace surprised me the last time. (This is almost certainly books of Scottish country dance music. (I haven't been snooping, but web pages got left open & then I got called in to help deal with browser ordering woes. So I'm really not much in the dark. These are things I can really use; I've got borrowed copies now, but I really need to get them back to the owner. Money is very tight for us, so a present is a big chance, though the giver can't understand why this is what is asked for on my behalf the last couple of years.))
I eventually hope to get back to downloading PG stuff I'm interested in, & entering any that's not in the DB or has been changed, but it won't be soon. If I get a job I'm applying for, especially. -- Dave (davecat) 02:22, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I just wish there were a logical way to resolve the merge issue without requiring verification of the artwork. Any ISFDB changes that would resolve the problem would probably require programming changes and massive amounts of data entry work. If the standard was a single entry for all interior art work for a story merges would make more sense. I guess it does not matter which date is used. At least the data is there and hopefully some methodology for dealing with the problem will be found. Hope the job-hunting is successful.--swfritter 16:06, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

An Exchange of Gifts

Think [this] is the SFBC edition. Locus states it's the only edition with the extra interior art pieces. Same thing was done with another Wildside McCaffery book "Dragon's Bell". The two Wildside editions that were hcs were both limited editions. Cheers! ~Bill, --Bluesman 02:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Unlinked Reviews - Jul 1963 Analog

Hi, the "Beyond" that is reviewed in the July 1963 Analog would be this one. "The World Within" would be this. I'm not sure how to get the links in myself. Cheers Jonschaper 04:51, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

That's easy! Just pull up the review record by clicking on the word "Review" in the Contents of the magazine pub and click on "Link Review to Title" in the navigation bar. Ahasuerus 04:58, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Changes to user rights

Just to let you know that as per Moderator Policy, a moderator who hasn't been active for a over a year has his moderator flag removed. When this policy was adopted, the rationale was that an inactive moderator would have a hard time keeping up with all the policy and software changes that we have been going through.

Since you haven't been active since mid-2009, I have turned your "moderator" flag off, so when you come back, you won't be able to approve submissions. No need to panic, though :) as we have a list of Moderator Qualifications and you can reclaim the ability to approve submissions once you go through the process. Hope to see you again when you have time for the ISFDB! Ahasuerus 04:56, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. At this point I know I'm not even nearly up to speed & know it. That's even ignoring the kind of changes you mention. (I'n back here now checking for some info not to do anything.) Dave (davecat) 22:51, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, February 1952

Added letters from L. Sprague de Camp, Eric Frank Russell, and Kathering MacLean to your verifed pub.--Rkihara 23:30, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, January 1959

Added letter from Eric Frank Russell to your verified pub.--Rkihara 07:22, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, February 1959

Added letters from Donald B. Day, Daniel Luzon Morris, Fred Prophet, and Roger Sims to your verified pub.--Rkihara 16:38, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, July 1959

Added letters from John P. Conlon, Fred Prophet, and Roger Sims to your verified pub.--Rkihara 17:34, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, October 1959

Added letters from A. C. Clarke, and Jim Harmon to your verified pub.--Rkihara 17:33, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Astounding Science Fiction, January 1960

Added letter from Bret Hooper to your verified pub.--Rkihara 01:23, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Skylark Three (Project Gutenberg)

Hi Dave, Regarding this reprint that you verified (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?282665): I recently verified the 2nd of the three issues of Amazing with the original serialization of this novel. If you are interested, the Campbell letter can now be varianted to the original letter, which is in the September 1930 issue rather than October as you had guessed. Also, if you care to merge/variant the two illustrations from the reprint to the originals, let me know and I can break them out. I normally only create a record for the story illustrations as a group rather than individual illustrations, but I'm happy to split them for the purpose of connecting them with copies in other publications. Just let me know if you want me to do this. All the best, Ldb001 22:25, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

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