ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 07

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This archive includes discussions from November 2008 - February 2009.

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Expanded archive listing

How the name "Louis L'Amour" is entered

I just submitted a new novel entry for Louis L'Amour's The Californios (as I described in the note field, it's a western with lost-race elements and mysticism). After submitting it, I noticed that another novel of his that's already in the database, The Haunted Mesa, has his surname as "L'amour". I thought that it might somehow be a deficiency in the software (not allowing an upper case letter after an apostrophe), but Madeleine L'Engle doesn't have this problem. It's possible that there's a good reason for L'Amour's name being this way, but I thought I'd point it out so that it can be corrected. Jayembee 06:03, 3 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

Right you are - that's the way it is on the official website. I updated the author data. Note: case is not taken into account when matching author names. The novel ended up being credited to the already existing author despite the case difference.--swfritter 15:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Would promotional giveaway samplers be included?

I have in my collection a number of paperback samplers published as promotional giveways. Most of them are non-genre (though some of those include at least one borderline SF title), though one is a sampler published by Bantam Spectra in 1985, with excerpts from eight then-forthcoming SF novels. If it helps any, it can be seen listed in the Locus Index. Jayembee 10:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

If they were all SF, I would list them as collections of excerpts. If only some entries were SF, I would list only those entries, with a note that non-genre entries were omitted. In any case i would include a note describing the special background of such publications. -DES Talk 21:32, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. We already have a few promotional giveaways on file, e.g. Silverberg's Revolt on Alpha C. Ahasuerus 22:14, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
There are several "samplers of series" already on file - I know, I keep finding that a book I picked up at a car boot sale is actually a full "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Charmed" novel given away with some magazine. And there are samplers which are mostly Collections of extracts - haven't entered many of those as they're all new excerpts and a bit of a pain. But they're definitely printed SF. BLongley 23:05, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Ibid on DES' comments. I personally was wondering the other night, since we seem to be allowing electronic-only short stories to be added, if movies should be indexed... -Marc Kupper|talk 22:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
To me, e-texts are still texts, therfore written albeit not printed on paper. I see that as quite different from videos of any sort. Anyway, that is a different question from the sampler siutuation. -DES Talk 22:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Please NO! Let IMDB deal with those and we can link to them. It's bad enough when we have a Novel (in) of the Film (out) of the Short Story (in)... and there are no doubt Novels of the Film of the TV episode based on the Short Story, etc. (Twilight Zone stuff probably - and we've already had disagreements over the "audiobooks" of those.) BLongley 23:05, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid that we are not equipped to index movies simply because our software doesn't have support for hundreds of data elements that movies need -- just pick the IMDB entry for a random blockbuster! Ahasuerus 22:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yep, and their rules for the fields are even more complicated than ISFDB's. I've tried to send in corrections at times and don't think I ever succeeded. -Marc Kupper|talk 04:59, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Fred Pohl's Hatching the Phoenix

Hi, I've just imported the contents of The Mammoth Bk of Best New SF 13 (Dozois), from the "... Seventeenth Annual Collection" and noticed that the Pohl story is type SERIAL rather than SHORTSTORY. Is this what people expect? (It seems it was originally 2 part serial in Amazing Stories.) ...clarkmci/--j_clark 05:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

It's not what I'd expect. Maybe if it was still in the same two parts, but once it's not split it's not serialised. BLongley 19:05, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't look long enough to be a novel either. It place 17th in the 1000 Locus poll for novellas.--swfritter 20:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The 1000 poll? Yeesh, Locus has been going longer than I thought. ;-) BLongley 21:32, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

"1016 to 1" vs "10 to 16 to 1" (James Patrick Kelly)

Also in importing the contents of The Mammoth Bk of Best New SF 13 (Dozois), from the "... Seventeenth Annual Collection", I notice that the James Patrick Kelly story is, in my copy, actually

1016 to 1

The story is in 5 other publications in ISDBF, all currently entered with title "10 to 16 to 1".

Will ISFDB break if I embed the superscript html in the title for my publication? If no, should I change it for my publication (in the usual way)? Does the actual title in the other 5 publications have the power of 10 superscripted? ... clarkmci/--j_clark 05:29, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

No, ISFDB won't break - see [1]. BLongley 22:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what people would search for: if I'd entered it from scratch I'd probably have entered it as 10^16 to 1, as that's what I use in most computer languages - but the "to the power of" symbol is highly variable, e.g. I think it was "**" on my first computer and "↑"on my second. But I really don't like using the same word "to" twice in the name, it makes it look like a ratio between three things rather than astronomical odds. Unfortunately "16 to 1" is probably the substring I'd attempt to search for if I didn't know a standard for the character, and the end sup tag prevents that search working. BLongley 18:32, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, can't answer the third question, I own none. BLongley 22:00, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

If changing a title's publishing date, should I also change the date in the Bibliographic comments tag?

Hi, This book Conan, by Robert E. Howard et al currently has a publishing date of 1969. This is a Lancer paperback. Lancer used catalog numbers to track publications; this pub's cat. no. is 75104-095.

I have a copy of this book. There is a copyright date of 1967 on the title page verso, but no other indication of when this book was actually published (that I can find, anyway).

My q's:

1. Unless there's a catalog list for Lancer somewhere that shows the publication date to be 1969, should I change the date to 1967 to reflect the copyright date?

2. If a publication date is changed this way, what should be done with the Bibliographic Comments tag, which contains the date?

e.g. for this pub, CNNZGTRDVM1969

Would this become CNNZGTRDVM1967 ? How would this change be implemented?

Note: The Bibliographic comments page currently has no entries.

Big Al Mintaka 22:33, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Copyright dates are, unfortunately, highly unreliable. The original copyright year often (but not always) reflects the year of the first publication, but copyright renewals throw another monkey wrench in the works. In this case, the Robert E. Howard bibliography site has reasonably complete information about the book except that the compiler uses the word "edition" where most publishers would use the word "printing" :
  • Year : 1968 through 1973 - See Notes
  • Book No. See Notes
  • Edition : 12 editions - See Notes
  • Format : Paperback
  • Pages : 221
  • Cover art : Frank Frazetta
  • Illustrations : None
  • 1st edition, 1968, 73-685, purple edges, 60 cents
  • 2nd edition, 1968, 73-685, purple edges, 60 cents, Canada
  • 3rd edition, 1968, 74-958, purple edges, 75 cents
  • 4th edition, 1968, 74-958, purple edges, 75 cents, Canada
  • 5th edition, 1969, 74-958, purple edges, 75 cents
  • 6th edition, 1970, ,75-104, purple edges, 95 cents
  • 7th edition, 1970, 75104-095, purple edges, 95 cents
  • 8th edition, 1970, 75104-095, purple edges, 95 cents, Canada
  • 9th edition, 1971, 75104-095, yellow edges, 95 cents
  • 10th edition, April 1972, 75104-095, yellow edges, 95 cents
  • 11th edition, Sept 1972, 75104-095, yellow edges, 95 cents
  • 12th edition, May 1973, 78744-125, yellow edges, $1.25
Does this help? Ahasuerus 23:01, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes it does help, thanks! For one thing, it tells me that I've been looking at the wrong "printing". It also narrows down the possible matches for my edition to two others in that list. I'll have to do a little offline research on that bibliography website, which I did not know existed. Thanks also for that link!
There are minor inconsistencies between that bibliographical list and the list at ISFDB. For example, the list above has two 1972 printings, whereas the ISFDB list has only one. In the ISFDB list, the Publication Listing for the 1972 edition says that page 221 has a "4-72" date code. Howard's biblio has no notation to that effect. My book doesn't have any date codes on that page either.
Taking the Lancer codes, page edge coloring, and lack of a date code into account, it appears that my book is either the 1971 or Sept 1972 printing in the Howard list. In the ISFDB list it is most likely the 1970 printing. The ISFDB list may therefore require both the addition and modification of printings.
If I can figure out what's going on I'll certainly post the info here before doing anything else.
Have a good one, Big Al Mintaka 03:10, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
As to changing the publication Tag from CNNZGTRDVM1969, I wouldn't bother. It's just a Unique Identifier, automatically generated, and you can actually break things if you change it to a non-unique value (so do an advanced search for the Publication tag you want to change it to if you must): e.g. there are so many "Doctor Who and the..." pubs that I had to fix many pubs with overlapping DCTRWHNDTH prefixes. Any link using such went to the first publication and ignored the rest. But it has no real meaning even if you can see how some of them were generated - see all the BKTGnnnnn entries as well. BLongley 19:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I would go farther, and say don't ever change the publication tag for any reason, unless it is currently non-unique. Outside sites, including wikipedia, and our own wiki pages, can and do link to records usign the pub tag, and changing the tag will break all such links for the pub in question..
It is worth noting that ther is no reeason to assume that the ISFDB list of printings is complete. if a printing appears in a reliable external list, feel free to add itto the ISFDB, with a note on the source, please. -DES Talk 18:10, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Adding a new Author

How??? Searched the 'Help" and it covers just about everything else...??? --Bluesman 01:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Because there is no need to add an author as such. When you add a work by that author, the author is automatically added for you, and if someone deletes all the works by a given author (perhaps they weren't SF) the author is automatically deleted too. Not that there aren't places where the help is lacking, but this is not a big issue, though perhaps the help ought to say what I did above somewhere. -DES Talk 01:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
And to quote Help:How to:
  • Note that there is no way to directly delete an author. If all the title information for an author is deleted, the author will disappear from the ISFDB, but there is no "Delete Author" function. Similarly, there is no way to directly create an author; once a work by that author is entered, an author record will appear automatically.
It was hidden in plain site/sight :) Ahasuerus 01:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

So this is accomplished by adding a new title to any existing author and then putting in a different author's name in the field?--Bluesman 05:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

No! Please don't do that. Simply create a new record by going to the edit tools on the home page. Choose the type of publication: novel, collection, anthology, etc., and then add the info in the fields. If the author is not in the database, a new author record will be created. If the author is in the database, the new record will be added to his summary page. In other words, you can not add an author without creating a pub record which credits him/her as the author. This applies to shortfiction within the contents of a larger work as well (magazine, anthology, nonfiction). MHHutchins 05:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Mhhutchins is absolutely correct above. What may be confusing you, from any author's biblio page the "New Novel", "New Collection", "New Anthology", etc links are available. One might expect that these would create a new publication with the author's name already filled in, based on the page you were on. But the software doesn't work like that (maybe it should, but it currently doesn't). New novel (or new anything else) from anywhere that it is available creates a completely blank record for you to fill in all the data for, including the author's name. It doesn't matter what page, including an author's page or the main page, you may have been on before you clicked on The "New ..." link. All the "new" links are available from the main page to any logged-in editor. They are not available from every possible page, and I think there are some pages where some but not all of them are available. Since every page has a link to the main/home page, it is often simpler to go there first. -DES Talk 15:36, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Merging publications

I can't figure out how to merge two publications of a title. The help section only seems to deal with titles. My use case is the two pubs of Michael Swanwick's Moon Dogs: these seem pretty clearly identical (all the data, including the ISBN is identical). There were apparently two states of this book, issued simultaneously, and which had different ISBNs, so an alternative to merging might be just to change the ISBN of one of the two titles.Jefe 21:53, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Generally speaking, we don't merge publication records, which is why there is no help on it. If these two records really reflect the exact same publication, simply copy all the info into one of them, and delete the other. If we choose to regard the two "states" as different publications, because of the different ISBNs, then simply correct one or both of the records until each accurately represents one of the states. In such a case, a note in both pub records, each referencing the other, would probably be a good idea.
Do you have physical copies of the two different states with their different ISBNs? If not, do you have info from a reliable source that establishes that both states were in fact issued?
By the way, you can use the template {{T}} to link to title records. In this case, this would look like Moon Dogs. See Help:List of ISFDB Templates for other possibly useful templates. -DES Talk 22:11, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not just "generally speaking", you CANNOT merge publications, only titles. As DES says, make sure one of the publications has all the data and delete the other. In this case the only difference is whether it's "NESFA" or "NESFA Press" for the publisher. We don't seem to have decided on a preferred option there, so no loss. However, we could usefully have the contents added (e.g. from here, or any other useful reliable source). That page also seems to give the two ISBNs and prices: "Hardcover edition, ISBN: 1-886778-22-1, $25.00. Boxed edition, ISBN: 1-886778-23-X, $36.00." Does this mean you SHOULDN'T delete one of them - no, it just suggests that it's easier to delete one, enter the contents for the other, and clone the other changing ISBN and price. Adding contents to both and merging all those titles is far harder. Changing the ISBN of one of them would be a good pointer to the existence of the other, but then you'd be skipping the hard work of entering contents, and we don't want to make life TOO easy on our editors.... ;-) BLongley 23:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I've marked one of them for deletion. I don't have the energy to enter all the contents (and then reconcile them later!) at the moment, so I'll leave that alone for now. Thanks for the templates pointer -- I didn't know about those!Jefe 01:02, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
It was only 5 minutes to enter the contents, so I've done that. (Another 15 for merges though!) BLongley 19:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I've dug up my copy, and polished up some of the story data.Jefe 00:54, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Pamphlet containing a single story

I have a pamphlet, published in 1975 by Charles Miller of the Robert E. Howard short story The Grey God Passes. The pamphlet contains only the single story with illustrations by Walter Simonson. I'd like to set it up in the database, but am not sure what type of publication to list it as. Should I add it as a publication to the shortfiction title record that already exists, or set it up as a new title? If it is a new title would it be a new novel, collection or something else? --Gloinson 02:06, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

I would add it as a publication of the story, of type "CHAPTERBOOK". However, there are some significant implementation problems with this type (a fix has been requested, but we don't know when or if one will be available). Some editors would suggest setting this up as a collection with a single content item. That also allows specifying an editor, if there was one. Please don't enter it as a novel. -DES Talk 16:16, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I've set it up as a Chapterbook. --Gloinson 04:54, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

The Best of John Russell Fearn, vol 1-author removal

This. [2] . I just reread the author/collection instructions and finally I understand it, I think. Collections are entered under author, but not under editor. I entered the above wrong. It bothered me that I could not get it to appear under it's author. I just submitted the author, but I have no idea how to delete an erroneous author, (this case the editor). I understand the need to get it under the author so users can find collections and get them, but I do not understand why the editor would not be included. Even though this one is a Forry type, others have and do work at editing material for collections and I think they also need top billing. My concern being that Major Ingredients by Eric Frank Russell is a collection, but if the editor Rick Katze had not busted his buns, it might not be available. By not entering him also, we miss the opportunity to make connections to other NESFA/Katz projects. I admit I am quirky on how I find books, but I have searched editors for their material, just like I do authors, and sometimes they interconnect with my odd wants. Additionally, could the collection instruction be differentiated slightly, say by highlighting collection, on the help editing panel. With no separation, it was hard for me to parse personally. Sorry about this. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:24, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

The ability to specify editors for single author collections and novels has been requested and Al has confirmed that he will implement it when he gets a chance. We have also talked about making the whole system more flexible and adding "roles" to books, e.g. "editor", "designer", etc, which is what library catalogs do, but nothing definite at this time.
As far as fixing this publication goes, all you need to do is replace the Publication Author with "John Russell Fearn" and everything will be right with the world again :) Ahasuerus 18:11, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Shudders, I will give it a go. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:46, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to mention that we will also need to correct the author at the Title level. A Collection Publication contains Contents level Titles (stories, essays, etc) and a Collection Title record. The latter is not editable when you are editing the Publication record, so it needs to be edited directly via "Epit Title". Ahasuerus 23:22, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, since The Best of John Russel Fearn, etc is on hold. That hold, has to be my add of JRF, with no deletion of Harbottle. Therefore if it should be done, by direct removal it needs to be rejected. Also the second one might also be too early.
To recap, I need to substitute JRF for Harbottle, first step. Then I need to change the title record from Harbottle to Russell, second step?. Sorry, but if that is not the "Epit Title" I do not know what it is and I may not have ever seen it. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:23, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
No worries, I have approved your change to the Collection Title and then changed the Publication's author to "John Russell Fearn", so we are all set :) Ahasuerus 15:52, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Heartily. It looks much better with the author getting direct credit. I also think I am detecting a re-scripting of the notes formating. Is it your desire to have the {This Publication Record] on top line? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 21:42, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I always correct typos/punctuation/HTML, merge duplicate Notes lines, adjust related Title dates and such on auto-pilot without notifying the submitting editor. It's only when there are structural problems with submissions that I hop over to the Wiki side and leave a note to the editor. When the edition/printing information is buried deep in the Notes field, I usually move it to the top to make it readily available to our users, but we don't have hard and fast rules re: Notes. As long as the information is clearly presented and is easy to find, it's all good! :) Ahasuerus 21:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
No Problem with that. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:13, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Standards for Synopsis?

I've often used this site, but felt that a synopsis for works was needed to make it really useful. I was excited to see a synopsis appear here as i was wandering around. For my own sake, i've made small paragraph-sized synopses for a lot of the sci-fi i've read. I'd be glad to contribute these, but i wanted to make sure i was doing it right. I can't find any info on what is acceptable or desired for synopses.

Thanks.--Jwbjerk 19:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Edit Title Help has a very brief section. It's possible there might be entries elsewhere - anyone? In addition to what is mentioned in Help, copying blurbs and summaries from books is generally frowned upon for a number of reasons - the example you link to above looks like it might be just such an animal.--swfritter 21:36, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Ideally the synopsis is not copyright work. Using the provided example:
  • "Grad-school dropout Matt Fuller is toiling as a lowly research assistant at MIT when" is on 1250 web pages.
  • "With a dead-end job and a girlfriend who has left him for another man, Matt has nothing" is on 5 web pages.
It seems the synopsis was created by extracting two sentences from the front flap.
Publisher's web sites usually have a statement that all of the material on their site is copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission. I personally believe that copying an entire synopsis would not qualify as "fair use" it also seems publishers are not complaining that synopses appear on thousands of web pages. I'd still prefer to get feedback from a couple of the larger publishers, Penguin Group for example, to see what their thoughts are on this. --Marc Kupper|talk 08:15, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm not very interested in adding in the blurbs from off the backs of books, the content i have in mind is original. Personally i think most blurbs were written by people who knew very little about the book, i don't have a high opinion of them.--Jwbjerk 02:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

That sounds good. I know some people react with horror to synopses as sometimes they are spoilers. As part of verifying an anthology last night I added the synopses I wrote back when I read it but then decided to trim them way down to be more like teasers. --Marc Kupper|talk 03:30, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia might also be an appropriate place. There are well thought out standards which allow spoilers. Some significant shorter works along with novels are covered.--swfritter 18:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Board book?

I approved this submission from Fixer, but wondered why Amazon didn't show a binding format. After clicking to Amazon from the link in the pub notes, I saw they classify it as a "board book". Some dealers do the same, but their info may just be from the same source as Amazon's. So what sort of binding is this? Hardcover, trade paperback, or a strange amalgalm of the two? MHHutchins 22:47, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia says. Although I am not sure the example above follows the definition. Trade paperback seems to me to be the closest although it is not very close to being accurate.--swfritter 23:01, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, if Wikipedia's definition is to be believed, then it seems to be a hardcover book with uncommonly thick pages. Wouldn't it make it a "hc" in our world? Ahasuerus 02:23, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Sounds OK - although to me cardboard denotes something a little softer and the kid books I remember that might have been included were fairly bendable although they may not be what is being referred to.--swfritter 22:16, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Then I think you aren't remembering what's referred to. These have very thick pages, I'd say around 1/8" off hand, though it might not be much more than half that. The books are usually not tall but at least as wide as the average pb - maybe about 5" square?. (My sons now being in college, & no grandchildren on the horizon, I don't have samples on hand.) If you bend them, the cardboard would crease, very permanently. Intended to be handled by very young toddlers while surviving the experience. -- Dave (davecat) 01:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
There were several more Fixer submissions with the same description. If Wikipedia's definition is the same as Amazon's description, can you imagine how thick a 549 page book would be? Why would a large print book for adults be published like a child's picture book? There are plenty of books in the db published by Thorndike that are categorized as hardcovers. 'Tis a puzzlement, indeed. MHHutchins 03:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Amazon says "Board Book: Designed for infants, the pages of these books are made of thick cardboard that can support extra wear and tear" and doesn't mention the "luxurious editions of regular books" Wikipedia does. But I think what they're referring to in these many-paged examples are books with board covers but still with paper pages - the difference between these and regular hardcovers is mainly that the illustrations and blurb are printed directly onto the cover, not a dust-jacket. But I've never bought one from Amazon so am not 100% sure. A true board book (not a board book binding) would typically only be about 12 pages. BLongley 19:17, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
In looking at the available binding from Amazon I see we are missing out on a number of bath books and foam books. FWIW - I was dealing with a publisher the other day where "hardcover" meant that the cover art is printed on the board and they had another term for books with the artwork on a dust jacket. In this case it's not clear if "board book" is in error or the publisher's idea of what they are selling. It's late for me but I'd chase the book down on the publisher's web site and if needed ask them directly what the term means if it's not explained on their web site. --Marc Kupper|talk 08:26, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

The Shadow Matrix---copyright crediting used for other author

This. [3] . The title page says only Marion Zimmer Bradley, but the copyright is to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Adrienne Martine-Barnes. The book shows both. What is the correct usage? Also it has the DAW ISBN on back cover and copyright page. No price. September 1997 printing date. DAW collector number of 1065. Actual page count is 510. 493 pages numbered. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Make the authors Marion Zimmer Bradley and uncredited for both the publication and parent title. From the parent title make that a variant title with the authors Marion Zimmer Bradley and Adrienne Martine-Barnes. Once you have the new title record, edit it and cite the source for the uncredited reference (which should also be noted in the publication notes). As it's a couple of steps I went ahead with this other than editing the parent title record. Harry, please review, and correct if needed, the note I added to the publication. Once the wording is nailed down we can copy/paste it here.
While it's not in the help I have lately been dealing with those extra pages using this syntax which I keep meaning to propose on the rules page; [10]+436+[6] which would be 10 unnumbered pages before page 1 and six after page 436. If there's material worth including in the ISFDB contents then I use page numbers such as [5] and [440] to reference them with [5] being the 5th unnumbered page in the block before page 1 and [440] being a few pages after 436 but it's in the unnumbered territory. --Marc Kupper|talk 21:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Just my two-cents worth: I don't feel this is the way the publication should be recorded. Copyright has nothing to do with authorship. Is it not ISFDB policy that records should reflect what's on the title page? Otherwise, how would we handle all of those sharecropping works farmed out by Byron Preiss, Martin H. Greenberg and other packagers? How about a Nebula-award winning novel which is co-copyrighted with the author's sister-in-law? There must be hundreds of works in which co-authors are not credited for various reasons. When we have definitive proof of co-authorship then we can place that info in the note fields, but, even then, not in the author fields. (And there's no way that I'm going back to check the copyright of the thousands of records that I've verified. :) MHHutchins 04:48, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Mike - uncredited co-authors/editors should have to live with a place in notes, if any. I know Locus keeps adding Martin H. Greenberg to Denise Little anthologies based on "copyrighted by Little and Tekno Books" but that doesn't reflect what the book says about the editors. I could live with it if additional authors and editors were credited elsewhere (e.g. I own several "The Best of X" books credited to X alone, but with covers saying "Edited by Angus Wells") but copyright statements don't indicate co-authorship or co-editorship, or we'd have dozens of authors called "The Estate of..." for a start. I can wait for the extra fields for translators, editors of collections of other people's work, etc, rather than introduce unverifiable co-credits. BLongley 19:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
The argument is not and has not been using copyright crediting to establish who is on the author line. It is what to do if others have added an uncredited in the book copyright only author. I would not have credited anyone on a copyright basis. Is Marc's solution wrong or not? I, in my ignorance, would have been happy to delete the second author, as I still can not definitively attribute the work to them. AT what point would you attribute a second author, not mentioned in the primary source. Along these lines an anthology is attributed to the writer of the stories, but rarely is that author the person who presented the anthology for printing. Hence we ignore an editor. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:48, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
If we're arguing, it's against the person that originally added the undeserved credit, which we seem to be guessing is due to a copyright credit. I'd delete the second author and leave a note. So I guess I'm saying Marc is wrong in his solution, if there's nothing in the publication that really suggests a co-author. BLongley 22:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
As to "an anthology is attributed to the writer of the stories" - no, it's usually credited to the Editor. It's only if there's no credited Editor that it seems reasonable (to me) to use all the Authors as co-Editors when there's a small number of people that may have organised it between themselves. 3 or 4 maybe, but a dozen or more is right out. BLongley 22:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Apologies if I'm guessing too much - but if you meant to say "A collection is attributed to the writer of the stories, but rarely is that author the person who presented the collection for printing", then I agree - see my comment on Angus Wells. BLongley 22:58, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
No apology as you are right and it proves my point that some of the terminology slips in my mind. I will delete the uncredited author in the version for my book and note that I have no substantive reference in the book to add her as an author. I also will note it in the title entry that it needs some verifiable data. I did look for the possibility of emailing the co-author All Tomorrow. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:36, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. As a sideline, I've created Author:Angus Wells with what I know about his editing credits so far, hopefully we'll eventually get that information into the database in something better than notes. But I think such pages are the way to go for now, rather than adding lots of "uncredited" pseudonyms. BLongley 20:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I think I did not make the problem clear, though I think Marc got it. The book had two authors credited with nothing to support the second except a copyright. The second author was already listed in the db. I believe Marc made it uncredited to make it clear that the db has no support for the second authorship. I can find nothing definitive to establish the second authorship, but it undoubtably exists to an unknown extent. No one wishes to create new authorship by copyright crediting. Thanks for the warning though.
Will make statement in title record to the effect that second authorship is pending confirmation.
Apologies Mark, the other commentary was dealing with parsing DAW's SFBC edition from their hc market edition. I read the new SFBC help and parsed another edition out, so I get it. The problem is I bought my SFBC DAW editions at first time sales bookstores and not as a club product. I will not be truly satisfied until I physically have an SFBC and a DAW hc edition of the same book to look at. I feel slickered. LOL. I appreciate the help. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:07, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
My ISFDB time has temporarily (hopefully!) shrunk to a few minutes a day, so I can't comment at length at the moment, but my general approach is that copyright information can provide us with useful hints, but is rarely a definitive proof of authorship. Some pseudonymous romance novels print the author's real name on the copyright page -- presumably on the assumption that romance readers do not read copyright pages -- so that information is likely correct. On the other hand, the copyright to most sharecropped novels is owned by the publisher/packager, so it's totally useless for our purposes.
There are also many permutations in between these two extremes, e.g. in this case it's "well known" that Bradley was effectively unable to write after a stroke and that all of "her" post-stroke novels were ghosted by Adrienne Martine-Barnes (and perhaps others, although I don't recall the details), but I wouldn't rely on copyright alone for this information and would look for other, more authoritative sources. Still, copyright information can be useful since it can prompt an editor to start an investigation into authorship issues. Ahasuerus 02:06, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
It's late and I need to be up in a few short hours. I just wanted to add that I added the credit based on a "secondary" source much like the secondary source we had for that business with the Binary Star publications. As people already noted, after her stroke (actually, I think after the second one), MZB turned more and more to co-authors to do the heavy lifting. From what Elisabeth Waters has written it seems at times MZB sometimes only had the barest outline. At times I do record things in the notes and not as full ISFDB credits. For example, those Martin H. Greenberg/Teknow copyright credits are always in the notes as I feel his role in that case was more of an owner and overseer and not as a directly contributing editor. Again, it's nothing I can cite specifically. I guess I could e-mail him and ask. --Marc Kupper|talk 08:33, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
In thinking more about this I see it as a judgment call. We sometimes run across secondary sources for a bit of data and need to decide if it's reliable and based on that how to integrate the data in ISFDB. As it is, near the top of the to-be-verified stack is an anthology where I noticed they spelled a co-editor's name entirely wrong. The literalists will say, "no, there's a person we've never heard of" and the judgment call is I will be entering her as stated and doing a variant title based on secondary evidence of who the actual co-editor is. Adrienne Martine-Barnes as a co-author of The Shadow Matrix is a similar judgment call. Incidentally, I believe she's also an uncredited co-author for Exile's Song and Traitor's Sun though for the latter title I see I solved the issue in a different fashion - what do people think of Traitor's Sun (uncredited co-author?)? --Marc Kupper|talk 22:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say that any time we create a Variant Title for a pseudonymous author or a ghost author we have to rely on some kind of secondary source for information. After all, if the real author were stated in the primary publication, he wouldn't be pseudonymous :) In many cases this information is reasonably unambiguous, say when it comes from a later reprint under the real author's name, but even that can be wrong or misleading, e.g. when a co-authored story is later reprinted under one of the author's names. In many other cases, this information comes from sources like encyclopedias or Web sites and, as we know all too well, everybody from Tuck to Clute to Don D'Amassa is wrong from time to time. Finally, copyright statements are an even less reliable source of pseudonym identification, but they can be a useful point of departure when searching for the Real Author (tm).
One thing that I find puzzling about Marc's experiments is the use of "uncredited" in this context. How can a title be attributed both to an author and to "uncredited"? This doesn't seem to compute, unless I am missing something. I also don't think that the use of "uncredited co-author" is superior to simply entering the author as stated on the title page, say X, and then, if there is reliable evidence that there was an uncredited co-author involved, say Y, making it a variant title "as by X and Y". Ahasuerus 04:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
My use of “uncredited” seems to be introducing confusion rather than indicating MZB and an uncredited co-author. It seems there will little loss of information if we remove “uncredited.” An alternative would be to change it to “uncredited co-author” or “Adrienne Martine-Barnes (uncredited co-author).” and “Adrienne Martine-Barnes (ghost writer).”
The original thinking was that when looking at a bibliography that people would see “The Shadow Matrix (1997) with Adrienne Martine-Barnes [as by uncredited and Marion Zimmer Bradley]” and that people would realize that AMB was the uncredited co-author.
It’s been my observation that copyright statements tend to be accurate, reliable, verifiable, but should not be taken as gospel. When verifying books I always take a look at them and will add notes if they differ at all from the credited author name(s).
With regard to this specific title.
  1. AMB is credited on the copyright page.
  2. MZB’s strokes and consequent use of co-authors seems to be well documented in Locus issues.
  3. I just took a look at the MZB Literary Trust site which is run by Elisabeth Waters and see that it lists one of the stories as “with” and the others as “by” Adrienne Martine-Barnes.
    • Exile's Song, 1996 (with Adrienne Martine-Barnes)
    • The Shadow Matrix, 1998 (by Adrienne Martine-Barnes)
    • Traitor's Sun, 1999 (by Adrienne Martine-Barnes)
That last bit introduces an extra wrinkle in that we find that The Shadow Matrix was ghost-written by AMB using the pseudonym or house name MZB. --Marc Kupper|talk 02:51, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Unindented. I verified the book without the 'uncredited', with MZB as listed in the book. I added noted that the MZB literary trust gave a by credit to AM-B. That seems to work at book level. I then probably messed the title record up. I put a note in it giving the MZB literary trust crediting. I then added AM-B back in the uncredited author block. My thinking was the book level is correct, though people may need to delete AM-B in future verifications to reflect what their book credits. I am unsure that the uncredited authorship is needed, when the title record gives a valid source for the second authorship. Please correct my interpretation. Sorry for the workout, but as will happen I have some of the other MZB books with that question also. I intend to do as I have here, unless you correct what I did above. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:23, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

The publication record looks good however something that came to mind is to remove statements such as "Adrienne Martine-Barnes is an uncredited co-author in the book, but the MZB Literary Trust Site says the book is by her." from the publication record. This way the publication record is an accurate and literal description of the book and we'll reserve "interpretation" and "explanation" for the title records.
I went ahead and changed the child title record so that it's "by" MZB only and thus matches the publications. I also moved the notes to the parent title, expanded on them, and added a link to the literary trust web site. The "uncredited" author is gone.
If that looks good to everyone then I'll clean up Traitor's Sun and Exile's Song to use the same method rather than the construction I'd set up last year for Traitor's Sun. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:30, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Looks real good to me, I think a db user will understand it. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:56, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me too. BLongley 21:33, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Strong Arm Tactics not Strong-Arm Tactics

This. [4] . I realize this was probably iniated as an input by the computer catch system at Amazon. Problem is my first edition tp is without the -(dash). In fact my copy has much duller cover. When putting in the title they did not allow a title page look. My title page is Strong Arm Tactics, as is front cover, spine, and copyright line. and second reprinted title page on page 13. My inclination is to change the title record to omit the (dash). Also, my ISBN is the hardcover one according to the back cover. The copyright page has ISBN Hard Cover 1-59222-045-2 (over) ISBN Soft cover 1-59222-044-4. I wish to change to the soft cover notation??? My price tp is 16.95, but the hardcover is showing 25.95 instead of 30.00 at Amazon. The Hardcover look at backcover shows the same ISBN's for both books as my copyright page. Unfortunately the 'Look Inside' is the same scan. Bc scan price is the same as Amazon. My visual plan

Change title record to no (dash)
Switch ISBN to softcover/hardcover statements, note mine reflects hc (when verifying).
change hc price to reflect Amazon/backcover statements.
Verify tp.

Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 17:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed changes submitted. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:15, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Votes & Tags

I have tried several times to 'vote' or 'tag' a pub but it never 'takes'. What am I doing wrong?? Seems to be nothing in any help section, or I just can't find anything.--Bluesman 21:33, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Votes and tags apply to titles, not publications. Could you give an example of a title that you have voted or tagged? --Marc Kupper|talk 22:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
It's been months, but I'm pretty sure the last one was Alastair Reynolds' CHASM CITY or ABSOLUTION GAP. Tagging and voting is the easy part but there is no 'submit' button...? ~Bill, --Bluesman 00:00, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
This is a non-moderated submission which is automatically accepted by the database. Go to the title record and click on "Add Tags". You're sent to a page that list current tags, but you're not obligated to use one that's already been established. Even so check to see if there's one that's close to how you want to tag the work. You have to type in the tag name in the field at the bottom of the page. DON'T PRESS "Add Tag" unless you want to add an additional tag because it brings up another empty field. Press the "Submit Data" and the tag is then listed on the title record and added to the author's summary page to other tags. I've never voted, but looking at the submission page it appears to be rather simple. I'll try it out later tonight. MHHutchins 00:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no "Submit Data" on the voting page.I can pick my vote but it doesn't go anywhere...??--Bluesman 05:41, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Strange indeed. I thought it could be your browser not being able to read the source code for the submit button, but I see it's written in HTML, so that can't be the problem. I'm stumped. Anyone have any other suggestions? MHHutchins 23:00, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Javascript disabled maybe? BLongley 23:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I see this problem while using Safari. Alvonruff 23:24, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
And that is my browser. What can I do? ~Bill, --Bluesman 01:09, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Safari - very fussy. Fixed. Alvonruff 13:11, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Signature identification?

I have just verified the second printing of the Fawcett edition of Thomas N. Scortia's Earthwreck!. There is no signature on the cover, but there is something that looks awfully familiar on the spine. As described in Notes, it's "a big "B" with a smaller "w" and an "o" (?) inside the B". I am sure I have seen it discussed here, but I can't recall who is behind this sig :( Ahasuerus 02:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like Wayne Barlowe's sig. Look at the bottom right corner of this cover. It's cut in half but it's Barlowe's sig. (His initials are W D B, with the W and D inside the B.) MHHutchins 02:50, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's a cover with the full sig. MHHutchins 02:56, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
That's the one, thanks! Ahasuerus 03:01, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I did add him to the Artist Signature Library but perhaps "WdB" wasn't a very intuitive short-name. BLongley 18:03, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Some time ago DES put an explanation somewhere on a page as to how to archive talk pages. Can't seem to find it or anything in the HELP. I am finding it's taking much longer to load or add to my page, over 150 entries so want to archive older stuff and see if it helps. How? Thanks. ~Bill, --Bluesman 03:39, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Your completed 2008 discussions have been archived (and my rates are even more reasonable than DES'!) The key is that you can create as many Wiki pages under your User page and your Talk page as you want, so you can easily set up any project pages or archive pages by simply entering their URL into the browser. Ahasuerus 00:17, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Muchly appreciated!! Now if you could only explain that in english.... ;-). Creating the new page I think I get, but how do you import/export the contents? And be able to cut it off at a certain point (like you did with 2008 discussions)? This is not intuitive to me. My experience with computers is very spotty. My first encounter was about 1968 when they still used punch cards, and then absolutely nothing until 2000 when I bought my first laptop. My experience with this DB is all I know and that isn't much, as yet. I would love to navigate with the ease you do, but I'm still a kid that needs pointing/direction. Thanks! Can I assume the bill is in the e-mail?? ;-) Speaking of which, is there a way to put one of my e-mail addresses here so only moderators can know what it is? ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:09, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I've been wondering if there are tools available for this that DES used with the idea being to locate and extract all threads that have not had new content in the past N days. Usually I just archive from the top and just hope I don't accidentally archive an active topic. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:18, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
No special tools, just manual cut & paste, reading to check the date of the last post in each section. Can be tedious, but it works. Using a tabbed browser it isn't all that tedious, actually. -DES Talk 16:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Perry Rhodan- not cloneable

Apparently the change from novel to magazine has made them not cloneable. Is there a fix for the series. I am currently adding publication. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:33, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Magazines can't be cloned and so the "fix" would be to change it to any other type and then clone. It's a two step process. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Just keep in mind that Magazine Publications have a special (and usually invisible) EDITOR Title, which is automatically created when you use the New Magazine/Fanzine form. They are used to organize editors' Summary Bibliography pages, but there are still many old Magazine Publications that do not have EDITOR Titles. That's why playing with Magazine pubs can be both frustrating and dangerous, especially if you can't approve your own changes, so multi-step changes quickly become a headache. Ahasuerus 18:57, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
I wrote this so people would be aware that cloning was not working. Is there an objection to just doing add publication? That two-step process works out to 1) change type, 2) aw acceptance, 3) clone and 4) change back original. I have 5 sure non cloneables, at this point, probably 9 and this is only to PR#14. Actually a couple more, for covers, found of other printings. By using a second screen to compare/copy from Add looks easier. The good side is that the story text pages 1-whatever apparently are never changed by these reprintings. Advertisements do change, and so far no pages have been added. If they use all the allotted space for the book, then there is no ads. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:07, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
In terms of database design, Magazines have been assumed to be one-off publications, with no reprints. So you can't clone them as there was (theoretically) only ever one publication and creating a copy would be a mistake. OK, this was a short-sighted decision (it makes cloning US magazines to their UK version a few months later difficult for instance, and Book-size magazines like Destinies have to be kept as Anthologies to allow the multiple printings they actually did go through) but we're stuck with it for now. I don't have enough Perry Rhodan to really comment (two books maybe?), but if it's a problem keep them as Anthologies until you've got them all sorted. And maybe even later. BLongley 22:27, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
That is a good idea. Once I add, I will try to make sure the db has the other printing editions, clone them as the data stays the same in these Ace reprints. Then change them back. I think I have at least one copy of each, some doubles and triples of early years. LOL Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:07, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Nine Tomorrows

I have a slight problem with a pub that hopefully someone out there can help with. The pub record for the Fawcett Crest book NNTMRWS19X2 indicates that it is a 4th printing. In every detail, my copy of this book is the same, but there is NO statement of printing. Looking at the other Fawcett printings this would appear to be a third printing as the number falls after #T1344 & #T1632 but before #Q2688 It also places third by price increments. (Checking the ISFDB publisher info would place this in 1973.) It appears that Fawcett changed the catalog # with each printing, so it is unlikely this is a second printing under the catalog #M1971. As the pub record is not verified, can't ask for a check from a single individual. What do I do with this pub? Change the printing to unknown or 3rd? Create a new listing? Any other suggestions? Thanks. --Bluesman 19:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Since that pub hasn't been verified and everything except for the printing statement matches your copy-in-hand, I believe you should remove the statement, add a note that your update removed the statement, and then verify that pub record. Anyone object to that strategy? MHHutchins 01:01, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Seems like a reasonably safe approach. Ahasuerus 04:10, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! ~Bill, --Bluesman 04:53, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Your note seems fine - FYI - some publishers only changed the catalog # when they changed the price. I thought Fawcett was one of those but this particular title shows two catalog #s at 75¢. Their catalog #s have an embedded price code (the letter) and the # part of the catalog # was a serial # that got incremented for each new title or edition. See Fawcett Gold Medal.

Tomorrow, the Stars

We have several title records currently: by Robert A. Heinlein, by Frederik Pohl & Judith Merril, and another Heinlein, a variant of the Pohl/Merril one. The variant seems to be because the Wikipedia article says Pohl and Merril did almost all the editing, but Heinlein's introduction does credit them, in addition to Truman Talley and Walter Bradbury. I'm not particularly keen on this as it seems we have either five editors or one title-page-credited editor. Does anyone have opinions either way? It's too late to undo the Author pseudonyms, but at this point it's easy to at least break the title pseudonym if we like. BLongley 21:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

A little more info: Walter I. Bradbury was apparently the science fiction editor at Doubleday & Co around the time of first publication. Truman "Mac" Talley is apparently a respected New York editor and he has an imprint with St. Martin's Press. (Used to be with E. P. Dutton.) BLongley 22:17, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of acknowledgments, copyrights, award acceptance speeches, and death-bed confessions, we must stick with the title page credits. Then place all other information in the pub notes. (Anyone disagree? Meet me in the lower parking lot at 3:05.) MHHutchins 22:20, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. It should be in TITLE notes. ;-) But I'm really unhappy with the variant solution, or we should apply the same to Three for Tomorrow, and then Arthur C. Clarke becomes a pseudonym for Robert Silverberg. Far too messy for my taste. BLongley 23:33, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, the Publication record and the Variant Title record will certainly reflect what's on the title page, which is to say "Robert A. Heinlein". That goes without saying, but the question that Bill seems to be raising is who should be credited as the "actual editor". I think it would be best to list at least Heinlein, Pohl and Merril. If we don't list Heinlein as one of the actual editors, the book won't appear on his Summary Bibliography page, which will be counter-intuitive. And besides, he did contribute that introduction, if nothing else.
One caveat that comes to mind is that this anthology is used as an example somewhere deep inside Help. If we change it, we will need to find another example to use in Help. Ahasuerus 22:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

"Make Mine Homogenized"?

We seem to have two title records for the same title: [5] & [6]. The first is listed as a variant of the second. Any reason for this state of affairs to continue? I'd be inclined to just merge them, but maybe I'm missing something obvious here. Thanks. -- Dave (davecat) 20:05, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I discovered the same situation with a couple of Arthur J. Cox title records earlier in the week. Before you merge them you have to break the variant connection first (with "0"). But make sure the story didn't appear under a different name or author some time in it's history. At some point someone approved a submission that changed a content record which made both records the same title or the same author. That's the main reason a title record becomes a variant of itself. MHHutchins 20:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately it not always apparent that a story is in a variant title relationship from pub view. See the Robert Silverberg story on page 111 as by Bob Silverberg where the relationship is apparent. When the story is reprinted on page 126 under his real name there is no indication that it is part of a variant title situation and it would be difficult to do so in pub view because there might be multiple variant titles attached to the parent. Complicating the issue is the fact that much of the data was initially entered from secondary sources that used either real name or a different canonical name.--swfritter 01:09, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

David Brin's: "Otherness"

In checking the contents for OTHE1994 before doing a transient verification, came across a story listed as "NatuLife (R)" when it should be "NatuLife ®". The (R) was probably the closest way to represent ® on a PC without going through hoops. With a MAC it is simply "Option + r". Since no publication would have it with the (R) should I just change it, or do the normal delete/add/merge?? ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:11, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Looking at the title notes I'd get all the '(R)'s reconfirmed as it appears there's a 'TM' version too that should be split out and variants created. BLongley 19:35, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
As I was typing when Bill beat me to the punch. The title record notes that there is a TM in the original F&SF appeareance. It is not (TM) as the title rec says but rather a small TM raised above the title without parens - you can probably fix that one quickly with your MAC. Looks like it is a variant title situation in either case. Use of the ® seems valid if you can get confirmations for verified pubs. Also, some not so good news about F&SF going bi-monthly.--swfritter 20:10, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
The Alt-Keystroke combination for ™ is ALT-0153 but that certainly is a tiny couple of characters.--swfritter 22:25, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not keen on use of extended character sets here - I don't want people creating variants based on whether the TM or R was superscripted, level, or subscripted. Or a Graphic now available in your favoured font. The letters might be significant, especially in legal terms, the formatting isn't. If people really care that much, I could also add Font information for a lot of my publications. And I'd rather chew my own gonads off than redo all my publications with that much information! Can we agree that letter-differences are significant, formatting differences are NOT, and special symbols are in the "Bloody Unicode!" category that Al hates? Let's develop our own, SIMPLE, standard for such if we need too, like putting brackets around the "R" or "TM" or not. It won't solve all our problems (there are titles that are pure mathematical formulas, or continue over several lines to make sense) but let's not over-complicate yet. BLongley 23:16, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not all that critical that we use them or just the bottom 128 codes since they are of no value for doing searches. There might be some environments where they do not appear correctly. Standardization would be nice.--swfritter 23:50, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The gist is "leave it alone, it's not that important"? Fine by me. Just hadn't run across one of these before and thought I would ask. ™ ® ¢ € and my favorite ¿ for those questions that really turn your head around! ;) ~Bill, --Bluesman 00:31, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

The Dreaming Earth

The pub record for THDRMNGRTH1974 has me confused (what else is new ¿). The notes just don't jive with the copy I have. Mine does have the first and third printing dates as stated but nothing for the second printing. My edition is printed in Canada, but the only mention of this is on the copyright page in a totally different type face (smaller and fainter) which is typical of Canadian printings. The rest of the copyright page is usually/always the same as the US edition. The same/duplicate plates are used. I can't imagine any publisher/printer deleting a reference to a second printing. I'm reasonably certain the note is wrong. Do I just change it or enter mine as a separate pub? It's not verified so can't ask the original submitter.... ~Bill, --Bluesman 04:45, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I can't see how the note can be wrong - how do you accidentally enter a second printing date that isn't there? I'd create a separate pub and note the discrepancy. BLongley 19:59, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, thought of that too, and likewise couldn't see any reason why it would be added if it wasn't there. An odd one! Maybe someday someone will Verify the US edition and we can ask. Thanks! ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Hopefully the editor will return to verify. There have been several editors that do one pass of their entire collection for editing, and you have to wait for them to finish their whole collection before they'll do a verifying pass. Given the care taken with the notes (HTML and all that) I suspect this is the case. BLongley 21:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Some publishers and editors are capable of amazing feats. One publisher apparently printed a duplicate "second printing", presumably because the record of the original second printing had been lost/mislaid. And we recently discovered that a story was published in Russian Science Fiction 1968 and in Russian Science Fiction 1969, presumably because the editor couldn't tell that he was about to publish the same text in a different translation. At least it was a decent story :) Ahasuerus 00:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
But it might be someone with a collection like Don Erikson's - he's been here almost 7 months and is still only up to 'P'. (Which is actually over two-thirds through if the distribution is like mine, the pain of 'S' to come is balanced by the lack of 'Q's and 'U's.) BLongley 21:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually I've been here since June of '07 except for Sept-Oct. when I was out for my heart & spine surgeries (all better now). I still have to go back and finish the rest of the DAW Gor books because they SOOO boring. I've stopped, for a change of pace, in the P's to do THE WHOLE SCIENCE FICTION DATABASE #3 covering the first half of "B". I may slow down some in the future to get back to some neglected interests, but you'll never be able to get rid of me. BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Don Erikson 00:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
We can do better than that. We can make you a moderator! BWAHAHAHAHA back at ya! MHHutchins 03:46, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Variant title/pseudonym/merge/???

I just had four edits, all involving works by John W. Campbell, (Jr.), all approved but not getting the result I had hoped for. There must be another step, but the "Variant/merge dance" as it has been so aptly described, still mostly escapes me. I have followed the help pages but always seem to get somewhere else. Case at hand: I have four early ACE editions, none of which have the "Jr." designation. I want to change the author to reflect that, but only for this pub. I'll just use one as an example: SLNDSSPC1966 "Islands in Space". I don't have the other three listed pubs, from different publishers, so don't really want to change the complete title record. There doesn't seem to be a way to accomplish this. Submitted a title/pseudonym variant so now the title record is changed but not the pub record. What step in the dance am I missing? After causing a lot of unnecessary work a while back with some Vonnegut submissions, I want to be clear before doing anything more here. [Vonnegut: this one won't go away, either. After Jr.'s father died, he dropped the "Jr.", which he called "an act of freudian Cannibalism". No publication since then has the "Jr.", including reprints of earlier works that were released with the "Jr.". I have checked this at new bookstores. Only the works up to and including "Breakfast of Champions" should have the "Jr." and then only for printings up until his father's death. Now that's a mess!!.] The Campbell adjustments seem benign by comparison. I await my enlightenment!! ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:10, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I had approved the variant titles so you could see the results and fix things if needed. Right now the Islands of Space publication says the author is John W. Campbell, Jr. and its title record has the same. You have the publication and it credits John W. Campbell (no Jr.). The steps are
  1. From the publication's parent title record you click Unmerge Titles and select your publication. This will create a new title record that has this single publication. Wait for this to get approved.
  2. Edit the publication and fix the author name in both the top (metadata) and in the Contents. This will update both the publication and title record in one shot. Wait for this to get approved.
  3. From Advanced Search look for that title and maybe a generic author name like Campbell. The only reason to include the author in the search is it'll weed out coverart record, etc. Look for the title you just added and also see if the same title/name already exists. If so, you merge them. If the same name/title does not exist then look for the a title record that should be its parent, #1698 seems to be the case there, go to the new title, and from the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" you would enter 1698 for the parent title record. --Marc Kupper|talk 19:36, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I am so getting a headache....... ~Bill, --Bluesman 23:14, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I had to run for a bit but an easier solution is to do a pub-update to correct the name in the top part. Ideally the moderator is paying attention and does the unmerge/merge for you but you could give them a nudge with a publication note at the same time you do the name change. The moderator will do something along the lines of 1 to 3 above. The most confusing aspect is the Unmerge Titles as I have not figured out the pattern to what author name it picks for the new title record. Thus I pay attention to the SQL dump when approving the Unmerge Titles to figure out the new record number. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:25, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Marc's advice may seem counter-intuitive, particularly as we warn all new editors not to adjust contents. But unmerging a publication does create a new title that will be safe to edit. However, it can be hard to find as it will look just like the original one! It will be the one with the highest title id though. So I'd recommend an Advanced Publication search rather than a Title search. Additionally, if you've edited the Publication (but not contents) to the desired author before the unmerge, the corrected author record will be more visible. Of course, that would mean yet another step... maybe something to try for the first few attempts though. BLongley 20:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
The Vonneguts could be a bigger problem. It's possible to unmerge many publications at once, so if there's a definite date for the change then we can unmerge all printings of a title after that in one go. But every single one of them gets a separate title. OK, we can also merge all the unmerged ones again in one go, but it does get a bit messy in the meantime. Leave those for now. BLongley 20:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Now that's the best advice so far. I only mentioned it as possibly the worst example out there. And now what is the canonical, as he may have legally changed his name?? I'll leave this to braver souls! ~Bill, --Bluesman 23:21, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I repeat: "Leave those for now". We're currently stuck with Canonical Authors - we can fix publications at title level if they're attributed to the wrong real author of a "House Name" (set variant title to 0), but "Kurt Vonnegut, Jr." is canonical and we have no way to fix that yet even if his "No Jr" version is actually more prevalent. Which I guess it will be in time, if not already. Something to address in the long term, as more and more people change from names like "Arthur C. Clarke" to "Sir Arthur C. Clarke" and so on. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was lucky, getting his knighthood before ISFDB started... and I dread to think how long it'll be before "Sir Terence Pratchett" or "Terry Pratchett, K.B.E." starts appearing on title pages. BLongley 23:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
To add to the confusion... I should comment a bit on the words "publication's parent title record" I used in #1 above. When you are looking at a publication there's usually a line at the top that says "Title Reference: ..." This is a bit misleading. A publication record has zero (though usually one) or more title records associated with it. The publication display code gets the publication's type, NOVEL for example, and scans the contents looking for a record with a matching type. It takes the first one it finds and calls that the "Title Reference". It grabs the first matching title type and there is no attempt to match the title or author. The display logic also does not display any records with a matching title type in the Contents section. This works well most of the time but can cause confusion if someone were to add a second NOVEL to the contents. It won't show up. This happens most often if you have an omnibus of anthologies you want to include the original anthology titles within it. The correct way to do this is you have a title record of type OMNIBUS, make the publication of type OMNIBUS, and then you can include anthologies in the contents. The instinctive thing is to call the publication an anthology as that's most likely what it looks like but then you'll find you can't see the child anthology records. You can also run into a situation where there is no matching record. In that case there won't be a Title Reference: line. Thus there is no "parent" title record in the strictest sense of the word but the code takes a guess that ends up being right often enough that people assume publications contain a pointer to their "parent" title. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:41, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I've set up an example for you, Bluesman. Do an Advanced Title Search for "BL TEST 20" and see 3 titles that look identical. Try again with an Advanced Publication Search for "BL TEST 20" and see the difference. The second record (279029) is one I unmerged from the first (279028) without making any changes before the unmerge. The third (279030) is one where I edited the Publication Author ("in the top part" as Marc says) before the unmerge. It's safe to edit the author of the title ("in the lower part") in either 279029 or 279030, but I think it's clearer that 279030 should be adjusted. Feel free to edit either 279029 or 279030 or both for practice. After that, make either or both of them a variant of 279028. BLongley 20:49, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
And I do this from where? (I've read all this three times and I'm more confused than ever... and I mean the entire thread, not just the last part). ~Bill, --Bluesman 23:21, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Go to [7] (It's where any "Advanced Search" link should take you.) There's three sections: "ISFDB Title Search Form", "ISFDB Author Search Form" and "ISFDB Publication Search Form". The last section is famously broken in many ways, but it still has its uses. Try "BL TEST 20" in the "Enter Term 1" fields without changing the type in the dropdown list on the right. Sections 1 and 3 are the useful ones in this case. BLongley 23:40, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Perry Rhodan #55: The Micro-Techs

I could not search title and it is missing from the Perry Rhodan series. I also can not get AT a title record to enter it in series. I found this through a serial entry, but I can not 'twist' it into an editor title record. This. [8]. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:01, 12 January 2009 (UTC) P.S. Also PR#56 & 57 are playing delinquent also. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:03, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

OK, I added an "EDITOR" record for #55 and it should be findable through normal search now. If you go for "Mirco-Techs". Should ALL the titles be "Micro-Techs" instead though? I'm always reluctant to "fix" translations that may have been done incompetently. BLongley 00:13, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
I found the editor and submitted a change to 'Micro-Techs' and put in the series designators. I will change or delete/change all the 'Mirco's' to Micro's. Sorry, I could not see that. I agree calling it to my attention, so that I fix it is best. After reading the bollux, I went and triple checked the book even though I was 'sure'. LOL. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:31, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
"Mirco"s all gone now. (I removed pubcontent you marked "del", and deleted the stray titles this left.) BLongley 21:43, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


I made a minor change to a note in a pub. When I looked at the submission, it showed a bunch of additional changes. It looked as though each title with an apostrophe was changed, the apostrophe going from something fancy (concave on the left, like half of a close quote) to a straight vertical apostrophe. I'm guessing that the new ones are the simple non-extended ASCII apostrophes, but haven't taken steps to check this out.
If this is something automatic happening to regularize apostrophes so that searches work right etc., then I'm all for it. But I thought I'd mention it since I haven't seen this before. I did go ahead & approve the submission (& am going to do a bunch more similar ones). -- Dave (davecat) 15:22, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Oh yes, there are snippets of Python code whose only purpose in life is to convert apostrophes and handle other Unicode weirdness. It's not pretty, but it works. Most of the time... Ahasuerus 23:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Dee Henderson - any spec-fic at all?

I'm doing a bit of cleaning up and this writer has been popping up more than a couple of times. I've been unable to find anything which could remotely be called spec-fic. Not even paranormal romance (a genre which is beginning to peeve me off more than a bit. I just re-joined the SFBC after more than twenty years and it's unbelievable the number of paranormal and vampire romance novels in their latest catalog. Does the Science Fiction in SFBC mean anything?) Someone has taken the time to put some of her titles into series, but for the life of me, I can't find anything close to SF. I did learn a new TLA (three-letter acronym): CBA, standing for Christian Booksellers Association, a group to which she belongs. It was created to fight the ungodly members of the ABA. Anyone prepared for the Rapture? (Another subgenre of literature that gives me the creeps.) MHHutchins 05:20, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Her website seems to indicate there's no spec-fic in there at all. BLongley 15:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
So does anyone object to my deleting those records? MHHutchins 16:29, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
No objection(the people that write this drivel are mostly out in space, maybe that's the connection to spec fiction), flame away! :-)Kraang 04:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
No SF contents that I can see, so an obvious candidate for deletion. Sometimes we hesitate to delete lovingly compiled bibliographies of non-genre authors if it looks like our version is the only one readily available on the Web, but Henderson is very popular and there are better biblios out there.
As far as the "drivel" aspect goes, there is no way around listing what some (or even all) of us consider to be drivel if we want our coverage to be comprehensive. We just need to make sure that it's specfic drivel :) Ahasuerus 05:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Believe me, I've entered my share of drivel (90% of the Robert Hale publications, for example), but as long as it's spec-fic it's going in. In any case, Dee Henderson is no longer an SF writer. She'll be happy to know that. MHHutchins

Entering shillings/pence

I have a book that is priced 3/6 with the slash small and up high and a comma under that. It's not clear from Help:Screen:EditPub#Price how I'm supposed to enter this price. Is it just 3/6 without a currency lead-in? Thanks --Marc Kupper|talk 06:34, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's how it's entered. See this help page for further info. MHHutchins 06:47, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe this should get shifted to rules & standards. At issue is that the page you referenced has "Enter a single price, preceded with a currency symbol" at the top but does not give a symbol to use with a shilling/pence price. wikipedia:Pound sterling#Pre-decimal says the symbol is "s" implying I should enter s3/6. I don't have my database server up at the moment to see how shilling-priced publications are entered with or without this prefix. --Marc Kupper|talk 01:13, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I can see how the help page could be mis-read, and it probably needs to be clarified. Perhaps just to say "All pre-decimalization British prices should be enter "s/p" without the use of a symbol". I don't recall seeing any British publication that uses a symbol other than the pound sign in post-1970 editions. Maybe one of our British editors can step up and clarify the help page. (I'm talking about you, Bill Longley.) I think it's past the point for a Rules & Standards discussion, unless the current records can be edited in one grand swoop. MHHutchins 01:33, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've had a stab at clarifying help on British prices as to what you might see, what it means, when the formats were likely to be used, and what all the other prices are for. I do feel I've rather taken over the section though, but I am speaking for multiple countries they were sold in. I'm a little unsure on whether the pennies-only price advice is what we actually have been doing though, I own very few books or magazines that old, but it does seem to be aligned with the shillings and pence prices. I also resisted the temptation to explain the "Guinea" (21 shillings) as that's an uncommonly high price for a book. BLongley 14:49, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Re currency symbols - I guess we don't use anything apart from the "£" in ISFDB, unless you count the "/" and "-" separator and zero conventions. But the books and magazines themselves may use "p" and "d" symbols which I hope I've clarified enough. I presumed that Maltese Pounds and South African Rand and Spanish Pesetas and other oddities were not worth explaining as they're secondary prices I'd recommend leaving "as is" in notes. BLongley 15:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The British generally didn't use a symbol, it's assumed anyone seeing 3/5 knows what it means. Their coins and stamps are also issued without the countries name on them, again the assumption is everyone will know where there from.Kraang 03:51, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, "3/5" would indicate a typo. ;-) When books were priced at about that amount the granularity was usually in half-shillings, so 3/- or 3/6 would be far more likely. Older books and magazines would be in quarter-shilling ranges, e.g. 1/3 or 1/6 or 1/9. And you'd probably have to go under a shilling before you got to penny granularities - e.g. 3d to 6d is too much of a price-hike, so 4d might be seen. Of course, nowadays the increments seem to be in whole pounds and it's only the kibblesworth that means we don't get nice round prices. BLongley 14:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I took a look at the updated Template:PublicationFields:Price and it seems clear enough now. Thank you. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Revert Damaged Page?

I seem to have made this page un-editable. It appears to be normal, but in the edit mode, there are no entry fields for content and the html source code for the remainder of the page appears in the comments box. Is there any way of reverting the damage or should I delete the pub and reenter it?--Rkihara 19:07, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't delete and reenter it - at worst, I'd create a new magazine and try and import the contents from AMAZJUL1929 first, rather than retype them all. (It looks as though the page numbers need redoing anyway, as they're all too high for a 100 page magazine?) Alternatively, if you can see what went wrong we can try and fix it with a web-service API submission as I can't think of a way to do it from the front end. I can't see what's causing it though - invalid HTML in the notes can cause odd displays, and the missing Bullet Point before "Bibliographic Comments" seems to confirm that, but I can't see the error. I could try and just zap the notes? BLongley 20:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The page numbers are correct. The early pulps numbered pages contiguously across the issues of each volume. Consumer Reports numbered their magazine pages like this until the nineties. The problem happened after I pasted the Nav Bar, and the only thing that I can see is that I left the right caret off the end comment of the code. The page is still usable, although not editable, hopefully someone knows how to fix this.--Rkihara 21:10, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, approve this submission if you want to try zapping the notes. BLongley 21:13, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
That did the trick. Thanks!--Rkihara 21:29, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Yay! Data Thief did something right! (At second attempt, anyway.) BLongley 21:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
As to the original error - well spotted. I didn't check the comments, it's normally a problem with other tags, e.g. missing an end italic tag or making it another start italic tag, which leaves the whole page looking off. But missing a ">" can mean breaking all HTML until the next ">", which I guess is what happened here. And when it's the last tag in notes that's missing, you're going to remove an essential part of the Form HTML that follows. BLongley 21:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Harry has helpfully submitted an example of a minor error of this type, see here. Look at the 'Telepathic Piracy' line. It's a rather subtle mistake to spot when moderating, isn't it? I can understand these getting through occasionally. :-/ Still, it shows up better on approval - although by then it might be too late. I've documented what Data Thief did, hopefully Fixer and Dissembler and all our other Web-API users will learn this trick soon too. BLongley 22:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Is "Fearless" Spec-Fic?

I've read Wikipedia:Fearless_(book_series) and am still unclear as to whether I should Zap the two pubs I've found, leave them, or add the other 34/38/42. BLongley 16:00, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, the plot device that the series is built around ("a girl born without the fear gene") was speculative as of the time of the writing, which is one of our major eligibility criteria, so I would be inclined to include it.
As an aside, there has been a lot of seepage over the last ~25 years, with the likes of Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts and Stephen King blurring the lines between different genres as well as between genre and non-genre fiction. As a result, there are quite a few otherwise run of the mill works of mimetic fiction that freely incorporate speculative elements. More headaches for us, but I suppose we can at least semi-facetiously claim that we are slowly absorbing the mainstream :) Ahasuerus 16:29, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've arranged what we had and set up the one known variant title, perhaps Fixer can add the rest? Author "Francine Pascal", but please no "Sweet Valley" books. BLongley 19:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
A quick check finds 154 "Francine Pascal" titles in Fixer's database, most of them in the Sweet Valley universe. I was going to ask Fixer to ignore the SV books, but according to the Sweet Valley Wikipedia article, books 104-106, Love and Death in London, A Date With a Werewolf and Beware the Wolfman, deal with a werewolf and there is also a vampire in at least one of the books. Oh well, I guess we will have to identify/enter them manually. Ahasuerus 01:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
All known SF books in the SV universe have been entered manually, although there may be more vampire/werewolf/magic ones in the wild. Fixer is about to upload about 60 non-SV ones. Ahasuerus 03:17, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
All known Fearless books have been uploaded, have at it! I have also found other specfiction sub-series in the Sweet Valley universe, e.g. Sweet Valley Twins Super Chiller Books, but that's a headache for another day. Ahasuerus 04:44, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, we're over 2/3rds of the way there now. I'll have a look for the missing ones after I've eaten. BLongley 15:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
All main Fearless titles now present, including the Doubles. Which seemed to be necessary as the later titles appear to have been released in the double format before they were released as singles. We don't have the last two Super Editions "The Silent Hand" and "The Screaming Heart" as Amazon data looks particularly incomplete. Somebody could go through "Amazon look-inside" to confirm/correct dates and add Canadian Prices, but I've had enough for now. BLongley 19:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I have added The Silent Hand and The Screaming Heart as 8888-00-00 titles based on what has become a familiar OCLC pattern: a record with no page count or dimensions supposedly owned by just a few libraries. Ahasuerus 22:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

W. E. B. Griffin

Can anyone tell me which, if any, of W. E. B. Griffins work is Spec-Fic? BLongley 23:16, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Not me. And such a pretty page. Be a shame to zap it, but I can't find anything that would make me want to keep it in the db. If you look into the title pages, you'll only find a single pub for each title, so it may not be too hard to zap. I had too much fun with Dee Henderson to steal that pleasure from you. MHHutchins 00:01, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm thinking this is something Data Thief should learn to do. Not being able to submit the title delete until the pub-delete is approved is a pain. BLongley 00:15, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd want to hunt through the logs and see who did all that work. They may know why it's specfict. I can't see anything that looks like specfict on the Wikipedia article. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:01, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
"The Wonders os Astonomy [sic](1964)" and "The Wonders of Rockets and Missiles (9164) [sic]" looked mildly of probable NONFICTION interest, but only "Dave White and the Electric Wonder Car" looks possibly Spec-Fic to me. How futuristic were electric cars in 1974? "Marty and the Micromidgets" doesn't appear to involve shrinking the kids or suchlike though. BLongley 18:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I have created a brand new "Biblioholics" site for these non-genre bibliographies that we don't necessarily want to keep within the ISFDB. See the W. E. B. Griffin page for an example of how these biblios can be copied over with a single cut-and-paste. Ahasuerus 20:05, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Looks good, but if it all links back here we can't delete our entries without breaking those links? BLongley 20:17, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a way to move all Author-specific Title- and Publication-level bibliographies without a lot of manual edits which would effectively replicate the existing ISFDB functionality. I suppose I could teach Fixer to crawl all Web pages for a given author and create a new page over on Bookaholics that would look something like this:
Badge of Honor

    * 1 Men in Blue (1988)
           Men in Blue, (Feb 1991, W. E. B. Griffin, Jove Books, 0-515-09750-0, $7.99, 352pp, pb) 
    * 2 Special Operations (1989)
           Special Operations, (Mar 1995, W. E. B. Griffin, Jove Books, 0-515-10148-6, $7.99, 368pp, pb) 
    * 3 The Victim (1990)
           The Victim, (Oct 1994, W. E. B. Griffin, Jove Books, 0-515-10397-7, $7.99, 352pp, pb) 
but it may take a couple of days to code given my other commitments this week. Would it be useful? Ahasuerus 22:11, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be useful - but not for us. If we want to rid ourselves of non-Spec-Fic we can just zap it. If we're being nice and letting other people have our nicely-organised data, we can point them at our backups. I don't think this warrants any extra effort on our (OK, your) part. Be slightly nasty at times, it's not as though we owe any non-Spec-Fic-interested users anything. BLongley 23:35, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, our backups are not something that 99.99%+ of the world is likely to use whereas a Google-indexed Web page is only a few keystrokes away. And besides, I am sure some of us have created bibliographies for all kinds of non-SF stuff as well, e.g. one time I compiled a list of books by and about John Randolph of Roanoke and posted it on Wikipedia, only to see it deleted by a "minimalist" editor. Hm, come to think of it, let me post it on the Biblioholics site :) Ahasuerus 23:56, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, we don't have to zap our stuff anytime soon. We can hold all deletion projects as long as we like. (They're a major pain anyway, especially for non-mods.) And "data donated by ISFDB" might be a plus point for us in future. Making an effort to preserve such for other sites just seems a little unnecessary at present - just don't delete them, add a note that we're not actively encouraging additions, go back to Spec-Fic work. Working on another site to preserve stuff that may be deleted here eventually still seems wrong to me. I prefer additions rather than deletions: I usually only support deletions if their presence is encouraging the wrong sort of additions. BLongley 00:37, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be useful to copy one or two non-genre biblos to Biblioholics as an experiment so that our editors would see what kind of data is preserved/lost. I think I can create a workable script fairly quickly by running against the backup database; we'll see how it goes tomorrow. Ahasuerus 04:40, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I should have left the Brother Cadfael series a bit longer then... but it was no better than the Wikipedia version, and all the publications were gone anyway (if we ever had them). Still, Data Thief has had one good stab at seriescide now, maybe that's slaked his thirst for blood wood-pulp. And you can get what we had from the backups. BLongley 21:04, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
No worries, not a big deal. However, I have learned to distrust Wikipedia's stability, especially once they deleted a biographical article of mine after a year+ of generally trouble-free existence. Obscure genre (western, thriller, romance, etc) authors are particularly susceptible to the "sudden Wikipedia death" syndrome, so it's probably best to err on the side of caution and copy them over to Biblioholics. I will open the site up for editing by ISFDB contributors once things look stable. Ahasuerus 01:11, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Variant Titles in Series Display?

Please see The Lost Fleet Series. Book 3 appears only once, while books 1,2, and 4 appear twice, once with the published pseudonym, and again with the canonical name. I could not identify a difference in the titles listed.

Is there an official preferred way this should display (each book once with canonical name, each book once with published pseud., or each book multiple times for each variant)? How do I implement the preferred official way? Kevin 16:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

One entry, under the canonical name, is all you need. BLongley 17:04, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
So how do I go about removing the double entries in this example? (and how did they get created?) Kevin 17:09, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I think I figured it out.... the Varient titles for the three dupes had the series data, but the variant title for number 3 did not have the series data... I just had to navigate until I was looking at the variant title record, and then edit it to see the series data to remove it... At least that's what I what I think I just did. Thanks! Kevin 17:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, looks fine now. I did get surprised when you were editing Fearless and I was editing Fearless around the same time - some titles are just too common! BLongley 18:51, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Tony Hillerman

Another nicely organised author, but which (if any) is the Spec-Fic for Tony Hillerman? BLongley 20:37, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

He wrote a series of mysteries about a Navajo tribal police detective. It's my understanding (I've never read any of his work) that occasionally the stories would involve Indian spirits, ghosts, shamen, and the like, but I can't say if the resolution of the crimes were supernatural or mystical, or if there were a rationalization of the events. It's another case of spec-fic leaking (every so lightly) into the mainstream, and not the other way around, as he was basically a mystery writer. MHHutchins 21:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Have read them all - not really Spec-Fic - the fantastic aspects are usually red herrings. Including them is the same as including mainstream novels with Christian miracles. In some ways it's kind of too bad we aren't a combined s-f/mystery site. When I read modern novels I am as likely to read mysteries as s-f. I am obviously not the only one but I already have enough to do with the s-f.--swfritter 22:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I do read outside the Spec-Fic genre - Jonathan Gash is a particular favourite as Lovejoy is based around the town I grew up in. To keep our workload manageable, I'd sacrifice all those too though. I can't support its inclusion above and beyond much children's fiction that definitely IS Spec-Fic, even if it's below my own interest level. I would like a way of donating our data to another more appropriate site before mass-zapping, but Data Thief has learnt how to kill and wants some action! BLongley 23:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I have read all the Hillerman novels. Several of them evoke various spirits or beings from Navajo myth or superstition, or in some cases from the beliefs of other Native American groups. In some cases various characters believe that supernatural events are occurring. In some cases the reader may believe this for a time. However, all such events are eventually explained as misinterpretations of natural events, or as people intentionally faking supernatural manifestations, or both. These are not, IMO spec-fic of any kind. They are however, very well-written mysteries. I would like to have somewhere to save the data we have before deleting it, but IMO it clearly doesn't belong here. They aren't even the same as "including mainstream novels with Christian miracles", but rather more like mainstream novels where someone who is Christian believes that a miracle has occurred, but all events have natural explanations. -DES Talk 16:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Andrew M. Greeley

Once again, Andrew M. Greeley has a nice bibliography, but his science fiction has been limited to a couple of novels, God Game and The Final Planet, according to his Wikipedia article. His fantasy output consists of the "Angel Fire" series, at least as far as I can tell. Does he have any other specfic projects aside from a couple of anthologies of fairy tales and such? If not, we may want to zap all of his non-SF, but even if he is over that "certain threshold", we will need to change many of his "novels" to "non-genre"/"non-fiction". Ahasuerus 03:02, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

"The Magic Cup" seems to be Fantasy, according to Tor and Amazon. But I don't think he's over the threshold to warrant a full bibliography. BLongley 19:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... the Nuala McGrail series may be borderline. She's "more than a little fey" according to one blurb, and "sometime psychic" according to another. Anyone read any? That description could put it about the level of "Lovejoy". BLongley 19:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

signature help, please

Does anyone recognize the signature on the artwork in the HTML version at PG Simak Hellhounds of the Cosmos? I'm clueless about artists from the period; the signature is fairly legible but stylized, & I can't quite be sure what it is. Thanks! -- Dave (davecat) 15:24, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The Title page doesn't give a credit. Astounding 1932 Title Page but the higher resolution scan (It's Fuzzy from microfiche though) appears to read Astounding 1932 page 336 as H H Harcini 31 or M Marcini 31 or something like that.... ISFDB search for 'marchi' yields M._Marchioni and Marchioni as a very likely suspect (Though this appears to be a very early credit for that artist... 2 years earlier than anything on these two names. Kevin 23:09, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
That is M(ark) Marchioni's signature.--Rkihara 00:49, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you both, very much. Dave (davecat) 18:01, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Variant Title - New Date? Re-Verify?

I'm entering a collection where a story is published under a variant title. No big deal. This was one of the 'many' where Campbell picked a title he liked, but every collection published afterward uses the Authors working/preferred title. I'm thinking that it's correct to have the original publication under 'Campbells Title' (1967) with the Variant title showing as 'New Title' (1969) since the new title was first published 2 years later. My concern is that the New Title has been republished a dozen times, and every editor has gone with the original 1967 date, and several of those instances appear in Verified publications. If I make this change (in date of the titles original publication) via title merge after entering the collection I am working on, is that going to require a bunch of re-verification requests? (Or am I mistaken and the Variant title should be shown with the first date, not the new date). Thanks - Kevin 02:36, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

According to Help:Screen:MakeVariant, "For works that have had variant titles, the date to enter is the first under any title and any pseudonym; variant titles do not have their own dates". This was primarily done to ensure that our users see the first publication date when reviewing Collection/Anthology Contents section where only one date is displayed, but it has its drawbacks, which have been hotly debated over the years. But then again, what hasn't? :) Ahasuerus 03:52, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay. I've seen it both ways. I'll go with the guidance as stated (But I personally prefer the two date format, but I understand the limitation we are working within). Kevin 04:17, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd prefer variants to have date of first variation, but can see the problems (mostly display issues that could be sorted). If it was an absolutely solid rule, then I'd expect "Make Variant" to adjust the dates accordingly, but it doesn't and we'll keep having the debates. I do take a small delight in fixing titles that use the "Title X^Title Y (UK, 19zz)" format without "correcting" the date of the UK variation (or US variation if it was originally British) but I usually have to do that by entering a new publication that ISFDB1 didn't have before. So ISFDB gains overall and my point is lost... :-/ BLongley 23:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Python error

I submitted an edit of this pub, and can't figure out what I did wrong. But please tell me if there's a way to save the info sent in the submission without having to re-enter it. MHHutchins 21:21, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

After some manipulation, it's fine now, and I didn't have to re-enter the contents. There was a problem with one of the contents (which had duplicated in the submission), and once it was removed everything else showed up. MHHutchins 21:34, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Can you be more specific? Which title was duplicated? I looked at it for ages and all I saw was that "Once Over Lightly" by "Gene DeWeesse" probably has an extra "S". Actually, that's still got two essays so might be the problem, but I've never seen a Python error because of it. BLongley 22:33, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
When the pub record page was displayed, a python error (you know that pink and pink madness with all of those characters only a programming geek would be able to understand) blocked all of the contents. Even though the contents weren't visible they were still there when I went to edit the record. One content entry (the Piers Anthony profile) appeared twice in the edit record, one of which was correct, and the other was ANTHOLOGY type instead of ESSAY with no author credit. I wasn't able to edit the record (when I tried the python error still displayed.) So I chose the "Remove Titles" tool, removed the erroneous record and it was accepted. After I approved that submission everything appeared as it should. You must have came to it after I'd made that last submission. And thanks for pointing out the extra "S" in DeWeese. MHHutchins 00:18, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
The real annoyance is you fixed the issue before I could document a bug report. :-) I stared at the XML for a while and everything looks fine other than I see that the code is failing to escape < and > that appear in the body of the notes. As it was all new content I'm confused by "There was a problem with one of the contents (which had duplicated in the submission), and once it was removed everything else showed up." --Marc Kupper|talk 07:37, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to have annoyed anyone by actually fixing it. :( Let's start from scratch: after approving the submission, I viewed the pub record page. Everything below Contents showed a python error. No contents were displayed. I chose to "Edit This Pub". All of the content records were there in the edit mode, with the only difference between what I entered and what was in the record was an additional record for the Piers Anthony profile. This record was of the ANTHOLOGY type with no page numbers, no dates and no author. I wasn't able to edit the record, so I backed out and chose "Remove Titles from This Pub". Both of the Piers Anthony profile records showed up on the contents list in the edit mode. I checked the box for the bad record, submitted it, accepted it. No python error. No problem. Next time something like this happens I'll keep mum about it until I'm pretty sure I won't be able to fix it. MHHutchins 02:23, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, BAD Mike, don't fix things till a "programming geek" like me can have a look. ;-) And I think the "Gene DeWees" with a shortage of "E"s might be one of yours too. (Although I still find it amazing that somebody's name is 50% the same vowel and that's not enough!) BLongley 01:38, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it was one of mine. I'll fix that record. Woulden'te won'te toe deenye aeneyone alle the "e"s fore whiche hee's eentitled. MHHutchins 02:23, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
"E" is a Class A drug in the UK, so possession of too many might turn someone into a Dealer rather than a User and get them banged up for years. "L" has no such reputation, but I've noticed that as my name gets shorter the percentage of "L"s goes up. At one time I'd have happily married an "Allen" and taken her surname, which would put me up to 44% or so "L"s. At which point you're not worried about drugs, you might feel you're turning into a small Welsh village though. ;-) BLongley 02:59, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Credits on audio books

Should the narrator be listed as an author on a audio CD? I wouldn't think so but a few are. I'd think that is a notes matter or a db entry when we get the relationship field. Dana Carson 22:07, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I put them in notes. For example, the four CDs on our home page today that looked incomplete (unknown binding) that I felt I should tidy up. Which have you found listed as (co-?)authors? BLongley 22:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah that's where I got started on this also. The one I noticied that made me think of this is the Courts of the Crimson Kings which has both as authors. Went and looked at the publisher page to see what others were missing. Dana Carson 23:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, "Todd McLaren" then? I should probably look more carefully at "co-authors" I demote to "Reader" or "Narrator" or "Translator" in notes. Artists I normally put back to Cover Artists or Interior Artists, so they don't get lost. But it might be time to do a search of notes for a list of "The Usual Suspects" that WILL come back from obscurity when we get such sorted out. BLongley 00:39, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I exile them to Notes as well. I hope they find it comfortable there! Ahasuerus 02:09, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, I've not yet seen an audio reader/narrator or translator come here and try to correct their entries, although it seems to be increasingly common for an author to do so. I think all such should get some credit (particularly as some big-name authors like Brian Stableford are missing a lot of credits for translation efforts) and I'm mildly interested in audio readers - it seems some only do abridged works, and some do unabridged works, and I'm wondering if these differences could be used to guess abridgement or not. And authors reading their own audio-books might be of some special interest. BLongley 03:20, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Need to think about how we enter the ones with a ebook included. Do they get two entries? Dana Carson 23:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean. Are these CDs with an audio track (possibly an MP3 version, still "audio" in my mind) and a text version (might be ASCII, HTML or PDF or something else, but silent)? BLongley 00:39, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
If you see the cover for Chessmen of Mars it says in the top right corner, INCLUDES eBook. According to the ad copy pdf on the publishers site, Tantor Classics now include PDF eBooks, each of which contains the full text of the book. Dana Carson 01:04, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, I think I'm getting there. Your links aren't working though - you can't add a "|title" to a "pl.cgi" link, although you could to a "{{" "P" link. Bit of a mismatch - In the Courts of the Crimson Kings works and so does In the Courts of the Crimson Kings, or The Chessmen of Mars and The Chessmen of Mars. BLongley 01:22, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I swear I made those links just like I always do. I was checking during a slow time in a 7th Sea game so I was distracted. Looks like those all need more "printings", they seem to come in three versions, audio CDs, audio CDs in a library binding and MP3 CDs. Still thinking is there is a good way to show that the "book" has two copies of the story, one audio, one PDF. Dana Carson 22:30, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

"Buried" pubs

Two pubs VCSFRMTHSK1967 & VCSFRMTHSK1971. Both should be in the non-fiction section of Arthur C. Clarke's bibliography page. They aren't. The only way I could find them was through the cover art after doing a title search. The same search listed the preface and essays (though the pub has no essay of that title). How do I get them unburied? --Bluesman 04:34, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Clarke has two "Voices from the Sky" Title. One is a 1962 Essay and the other one is a 1965 (?) Non-fiction book which collects various essays. Unfortunately, someone must have merged the Essay Title and the Nonfiction Title, so all we have left now is an Essay title. Consequently, the Nonfiction Title is gone and Nonfiction pubs no longer have a Nonfiction Title to link back to. Let me run a couple of Unmerges and re-merges... Ahasuerus 05:10, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, everything should be back to normal now. And the morale of the story is to be VERY careful when merging different Title types, e.g. Essay/Nonfiction, Collection/Novel, Shortfiction/Novel, etc. To paraphrase a children's ditty, "Don't ever merge a crocodile, no matter friendly how" :) Ahasuerus 05:25, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The Sword and the Sorceror---proper crediting

This. [9]. My copy says Norman Winski wrote the book based on the other's screenplay. Is there an objection to me deleting the others, or did I miss something. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I'd move the "Based on" information to title level notes and leave Winski as the sole "author". Although if you also add the title level Wikipedia Link then people can go off and find far more information about screenwriters, producers, editors and such that we're not especially interested in. I find such a useful copout when there's a book of the film of a book by a different author - it saves trying to link dozens of authors to Philip K. Dick for instance. BLongley 19:55, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Ernest Bramah

Does anyone think Ernest Bramah has got to the level of notoriety that means we should keep A Guide to the Varieties and Rarity of English Regal Copper Coins: Charles II - Victoria, 1671 - 1860 ? Ironically, I only found this book when looking for malformed prices, and it no doubt would tell me exactly how many copper coins of various eras it would take to purchase the book. BLongley 21:23, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Oh, absolutely! He is one of the founding fathers of the genre, after all. A slightly unusual one, to be sure, and perhaps not as influential as some other folks, but still. The biggest problems with his Kai Lung books are that:
  • They are usually novels-cum-collections-of-linked-stories and many stories-cum-chapters have been reprinted in various collections and chapbooks, so they are better off as ISFDB Collections even though you could argue that they are closer to Novels than Collections
  • Most of the stories have two titles, one for the framing story and one for the "story within the story". Naturally, half of our pubs are entered one way and the other half are entered the other way... Ahasuerus 21:42, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Is that a vote for keeping his NONFICTION? BLongley 22:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Yup! Not that there is much of it... Ahasuerus 23:10, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
I daren't look at his actual fiction. (ISFDB details scare me away from even attempting one of his works!) BLongley 22:47, 11 February 2009 (UTC)
Most of his stories are about a "China that never was". They are cleverly done, but if it's not your kind of thing, then it's definitely not your kind of thing. Ahasuerus 23:10, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


Have finally got my scanner up and running. Uploaded my first image and , of course, problems. In the HELP, Step 9: "When the image description page appears, click on "Edit" at the top." There is no "Edit" at the top, and yes I am logged in. Had a similar problem with "Votes" that was corrected by Al (my browser is Safari). Is this the same problem or is there something I'm missing? ~Bill, --Bluesman 18:09, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

I doubt it's the same problem as that was the ISFDB software and this is the Wiki. Can you use this link? BLongley 18:47, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Don't tell anyone, but I haven't added the license tag for the past few dozen or so images that I've uploaded. I stop at Step 8. I think Dave (DESiegel60) was trying to protect us against lawsuits by copyright holders. My take is this would fall so securely under fair usage that even if the image isn't tagged with the fair use label, I can't see anyone taking any action. MHHutchins 19:12, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Forgot to add: if you choose to add a license, go to the "Edit This Page" link. I use the Cologne Blue skin so my link is on the left sidebar. Yours may be in a different place on the page, depending upon what skin you've chosen in your preferences. I just checked out the default skin and saw that there are tabs at the top of the page. Unless you've changed your skin from the preferences page, you should have an edit tab at the top of every wiki page you access. After you've chosen "edit", you'll get a box which will contain the description you gave the image. Just add the template which applies to your image and save. When I was using a template I used Cover Image Data2|<TAG>, which I believed was the simplest template. Go here to see how to fill in <TAG> part of the template. MHHutchins 19:29, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, when I gave you this advice I may have hinted that I find it acceptable to ignore all the Licensing stuff. (Preemptive justification just seems like unnecessary work to me. I don't go to the police station and show my driving license before every car journey, for instance, I just know I have one if it ever gets demanded.) I do leave a minimal note on my uploads though so I can find where in ISFDB the image is being used, if I need to. BLongley 20:11, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Which one is a pseudonym?

I found that Anthony R. Lewis and Anthony Lewis have separate entries. I think it can be assumed with fairly good confidence that this is one person. I was going combine them - but which is canonical name, and which is pseudonym? Tpi 18:38, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

As Anthony R. Lewis is already the canonical author with respect to Tony Lewis, it should be the canonical author for Anthony Lewis too. Or we can ask Al to break the Tony Lewis link (I don't think it's practical to do via the web interfaces) and start over with the most-used as canonical to minimise the work. But as some people have already have put both pseudonyms into the same series, it's a lot of work to do right in any case. BLongley 19:13, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and someone ought to look at Anthony Lewsi too. BLongley 19:14, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
And after that, how about doing Tom Easton (Thomas Easton is already done), and checking the suspicious Tom Eastman?
I fixed the Thomas Eastman and Anthony Lewsi records. All were typos. MHHutchins 03:31, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Another pair which should be combined: David Mattingly and David B. Mattingly . About same amount of artworks. Which should be canonical name? (And how the combining works, if I just mark one name as a pseudonym of another, is that enough? Or should every single one of his works (attributed to pseudonym) to marked as variant/pseudonymn after that separatedly?)Tpi 10:27, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget 'Dave Mattingly'. This. [10] . 'Dave Maddingly' [11] . The problem is that many times the variants are variants created by the inattention of the copyright page writers. I question what is really the correct way to credit them. You can not stick with signatures as some use initials, but it is unreasonable to create pseudonyms for the 'errors' of others. The only true real name is most probably what the author uses to credit himself, but that changes as in 'Romas Kukalis' vs 'Romas'. Sorry this is not helping, but I am following the 'discussion'. I also, (beat me on the head) have been trying to 'note' as given in the book, and then correcting to what seems the best true identity. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I think in most cases it's best not to attempt to assign a canonical name. The database is not complete, and as many authors/artists are still producing work under various names, their canonical names can be indeterminate. I'm holding off on assigning pseudonyms or canonical names until we can easily reverse the relationship between the two.-Rkihara 17:25, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Links in Notes

HELP does not seem to tell how to put an internal or external link in the Pub Notes. How do I do that? Thanks. ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:18, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

You learn HTML and pray you get it right, as you can make a pub totally uneditable if you get it wrong. :-/ This may be why it's not in Help, it's a bit dangerous. BLongley 20:44, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that Web pages can disappear or change over time, e.g. our Title records can be merged, Locus Index pages slowly mutate over time, etc. There is no guarantee that any links that you enter today will be still pointing to the right data this time next year. Ahasuerus 20:59, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
So, for the nonce, learn more try less? I have seen links in the notes but did not look at how the HTML was formatted. I'll pay close attention next time I see one. Thanks! ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:09, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
You are also welcome to take a look at User:Kpulliam/Temps where I keep several 'templates' that I cut and paste. They should give you a general idea of some simple html. Kevin 23:04, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Edward E. Smith?

A search for "Skylark Three (Part 1 of 3)" finds two title records, apparently identical except that one is a variant of the other (#113602 & #193255). (Or am I missing something?) I haven't looked in detail at parts 2 & 3, but I'm guessing that they're in the same situation; a search for "Skylark Three" shows two entries for each, both by a non-doctoral Smith.
At a guess, one was originally "Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.", which is what the magazine showed; & then someone changed that to plain "Edward E. Smith" in one record somewhere. (Or am I missing something here?)
Is there any way to fix this short of deleting title from pub & adding a new one, making that a variant, breaking the existing variant relationship, & deleting the (newly orphaned) title? Of course, that would only fix up this one pub (or the three pubs if I do all installments), not any other titles which were by Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. before this happened.
Am I missing something (he says hopefully)? -- Dave (davecat) 20:48, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

A variant of an identical title is obviously a problem, but what are you aiming for? You can just adjust the 3 variant titles back to "Edward E. Smith, Ph.D." if that's what you want. But all I can see is the cover credits, no indication of the "correct" author, and I can't tell if that's what you want to do. If it's really "Edward E. Smith" inside then we'd want to make sure that version is in the publication, and delete the variants. So it could be as simple as three title updates, or three merges NOT retaining the variant link. (I think - but I'm tired and won't try anything like this myself just yet.) BLongley 21:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
According to Day the serial was credited to "Edward E. Smith, Ph.D." so that's the way they should appear in the magazines. All that needs to be done is edit the magazines and changed the author to the Ph.D. version.--swfritter 22:18, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. It was definitely "Edward E. Smith, Ph.D." in the magazines (or at least the first installment.) I kind of thought that changing the author's name in the title was like changing a title in a pub - that it would change the author's name everywhere. (My guess was that this was what had happened.) Since you say not, I'll make a note to do it when I have a bit more time. -- Dave (davecat) 19:00, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
You can also change the variant title directly. In this case, when you change the title in the pub you are actually modifying the variant title record. If the canonical/title author was listed in the pub it would change that title.--swfritter 21:15, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, done. My confusion was partly due to the analogy with changing a title from the pub & all the warnings surrounding that, & partly from the fact that it's not straightforward to tell which title is the one listed in the pub. Or maybe it should have been, but I wasn't quick enough to figure it out; the pub said it was by Edward E. Smith [as by Edward E. Smith], but each title listed the pub. That's surely the way we want it to list, but in this case it confused me. The "as by" should have told me that the variant was the record in the pub. Again, thanks. -- Dave (davecat) 22:22, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
The warning is still relevant - whether you edit the magazine and change the content record, or edit the title direct, you ARE affecting ALL publications that contain that record. This is not a problem when there IS only ONE use of that record though. It can be tricky (as you've seen already) to tell though. :-/ BLongley 00:56, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Being able to tell what effect an edit like this will have is probably the major hurdle to overcome before "self-approval" moderator status (which we've been granting to reliable editors that know their limits). There are many other problems that a moderator can cause when they start approving things beyond their knowledge, or that ISFDB doesn't flag as a potential problem. For instance, editors get Big Yellow Warning signs on some merge attempts - but Moderators will get no such warning when approving such. I don't think there's a single moderator that is competent to approve ALL types of edit - even the founder and programmer isn't up to date with all the bugs and the workarounds we're using in the meantime. We are very much relying on each other's competence, and self-limitations, and agreements on standards. This is not perfect - for instance, today I've had to undo a situation caused by three approvals from two fellow-moderators of well-intentioned edits by one editor. Each step looked logical, and I'd be hard-pressed to explain exactly when the problem should have been caught. By moderator or by software. OK, I think the software will take longer to update, but moderator education is lacking a bit too. I know I don't know what the Magazine standards are now, or what the conventions for SFBC books are, so I leave those alone. I do try and warn everybody about the major bugs - Chapterbooks for instance - but even then I get surprised by things that DO work. The submission queue may get long when we don't have the right specialist Mod available, and I apologise if people are thinking "Bill is approving all those other edits, why isn't he doing MINE?" But I recognise my limits (mostly - I do like to experiment, and I am supposed to be an IT expert in my day-job) and if we all do (Editors and Mods alike) we'll muddle through this. We have done through the last couple of years at least. BLongley 00:56, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Original Story - ebook only publication - Adding to a Series

My understanding of the current state of chapbook support means that it is not currently possible to enter a chapbook as the only publication of a work, and to enter that work as part of a series (since editing the title record converts it to an Anthology)? Or am I confused? Kevin 21:57, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

A true Chapterbook entry can be submitted and approved, but cannot be edited while keeping it as a chapterbook, as chapterbook is no longer an allowed content entry type and will get converted to an Anthology, often unwittingly. But if you recognise that the content entry is going to changed anyway, you can keep publication and title types in step and at least make sure that it's findable again. Some people are using the Shortfiction content type with chapterbook publication type, which seems to work with single content titles of the same name as the encompassing title - but I wouldn't recommend it. (You can't add introductions, interiorart, etc.) I'd recommend Novel for now, unless it naturally is a collection or anthology. You can edit those into a series at least. But please try to keep title and publication type matched, it makes it so much easier all round for now. BLongley 22:15, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
What do you recommend for this work? Down on the Farm Kevin 23:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
I recommend leaving it completely alone and using it as an example of how Chapterbooks can work! :-) See the author page for Charles Stross. They get their own little section between "Collections" and "Nonfiction". Unfortunately, as it's unpaginated, nobody can tell how long it really is. :-/ BLongley 19:04, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I just read it here. I was only trying to guess what series you wanted to put it in, but got a bit engrossed. The "Laundry" series I assume? I think I'll be buying the others. And not just because I have fond memories of IBM mainframes. (The 1402 is before my time, I started on 3033s and helped migrate to 4381s.) Very English though (nationality, not language) and I can see it having a high confusion quotient. If you want to add it to the series, just make it a Novel for now (suitable for single-content titles published alone, IMO, however short) or a single content Collection (allows you to put a length category on the contents, which pleases the lengthists). I think it's worth promoting a bit, but I like Tech/Demonology mixtures anyway. And laughing at Sybil Serpents/Civil Servants is a good British pastime. BLongley 21:21, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
As shown, that's exactly how I've been indexing individual short fiction items published as ebooks. The new problem with this one is because it's a new work that doesn't appear elsewhere so there is no other title record to hold the series data (and work length). I started to put in a dummy second record of a single work Anthology...but I'm not sure where I'm going with it yet. I want to see what kind of warnings I get when I try to merge the titles of the short fiction and the chapbook... but keep the CHAPBOOK pub... letting the work length and series data merge into the original Chapbook. Then remove the merged work from the dummy Anth. and then delete the dummy anthology. Kevin 02:59, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
No warnings appeard on the editor side when I attempted this merge. So we'll see if this displays as desired. Kevin 03:04, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Not bad, it's joined the right series. But no indication of length that I can see. BLongley 18:51, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually the length is there, but its not being displayed. If you edit the title the length is already filled in. (sigh) IN the end It's better than nothing, but we also lost the nice Chapbook listing on Stross's Bibliography. I also notice that while I did manage to shoehorn it into a series, the [SF] identifier isn't appearing so it looks like a novel in the series. But I guess I can't complain, my two objectives in listing it were achieved. It's Listed, and its in the right series. Everything else is display / storage semantics that don't impact the fact that the data is in the system. Kevin 04:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

How to enter Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur?

I have a book, ISBN 0-451-62567-6, that has this title page:

Le Morte d'Arthur
King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table
A Brilliant Prose Rendition by KEITH BAINES

The preface (by Baines) says "The edition on which this rendering of Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur is based.... The purpose of this book is to provide a concise and lucid rendering of Le Morte d'Arthur in modern idiom.... My procedure throughout has been to retell each tale 'in my own words'...."

Should this be entered as Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur by Baines, as Le Morte d'Arthur by Malory and Baines, or as Le Morte d'Arthur by Malory and note it's a Baines "translation"?

--MartyD 12:49, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello MartyD. I am butter fingered about these things, but the printings of all the "Le Morte D'Arthur" are "builds" of the original work. I believe ISFDB uses the author in this type of case, not the editor/compiler/magician/translator. So, the author field is Sir Thomas Malory.
All the available printings are some kind of translation, As for crediting the translation, first state it as they do in the 'notes field'. I have been told several times that translators are not supported in the format. Personally, I wonder if we included all the "extras" of publications if the form could be filled out.
Here I believe, is your start point. [12]. Do an add publication there. Correct the title to read as your edition states it.
I just re-submitted my entry and it may look a little clearer after it is accepted or edited by a moderator to meet the DB's needs. Enjoy yourself, as the reworkings of publications are challenging. Notice mine has a variant title. Sorry, if this is confusing, but the mods should correct me. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 21:24, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
That's not a book, that's a Can of Worms. ;-) As the title page is so non-standard, we'll have to break some rules. "Author exactly as stated"? Not clear - "Malory" or "Keith Baines". Title? 'Le Morte d'Arthur' or 'King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table'. Again, not clear. For a book several centuries old we get some leeway, I think. I'd put it under the "Sir Thomas Malory" title with notes for "Keith Baines" - but only as "Keith Baines" doesn't seem that notable here already. BLongley 22:10, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
My edition has a Bibliograph with this. "1962, Baines, Keith, Le Morte D'Arthur, Translated into modern idiom, with an introduction by Robert Graves, London, Harrap". Do you think this is the core of your book? I read the start and it was a change in wording, but not real content. The question thus becomes did "Signet" artistically change the titling? or did the editor of my addition short change the title? What is shown in my book is technically a re-translations which still means it is Malory's work. Agreed, it is a 'big can of worms'. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
At least it wasn't a simple question. I will follow the suggestion to use Malory as the author and just note Baines. Yes, the bibliograph info matches my book. It has the intro by Graves (also credited on both cover and title page). FWIW, the preface mentions this is based on the "Winchester Ms." edited by Eugene Vinaver and published by Oxford in 1947 and 1954, as distinguished from the "Caxon Ms." 'known popularly through the Everyman edition, differing as it does in both content and layout.' This is copyright 1962 by Keith Baines with 1st printing listed as July, 1962 (mine's 14th, alas). Thanks for the help. --MartyD 00:47, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I need more help with this. See this title. In entering LMRTDRTHRN0000 and adding its content, I tried to make the content title be Le Morte d'Arthur as well. I added it as content, then went back and made that title a variant of Le Morte Darthur. But I can't remove the Le Morte Darthur content, and as you can see the LMRTDRTHRN0000 entry appears twice (with the same link) under that title. I wish there were a way to submit an explanation with an entry to be able to tell whichever moderator looks at it what I'm trying to do.... Anyway, can someone tell me what I've screwed up and suggest how best to fix it? Thanks. --MartyD 11:14, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you did - did you "Add publication to this title" and then also add details of the title you wanted to use in contents too, or something like that? But I think I've fixed it, have another look. BLongley 18:45, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I did. (And thank you for fixing it!) I thought I was not supposed to edit the content title directly because that would change the title everywhere, which of course I did not want. Was that a mistaken understanding? I thought I could add my actual title, make it a variant, then remove the now-parent-but-undesired title from the content list. So how should I have gone about achieving what you finally made, which is what I wanted? --MartyD 04:19, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
If you'd used "New Novel" rather than "Add publication to this title" then you'd have just your desired title in the publication, and that could be made a variant. "Add publication to this title" created a Novel with the undesired title in, then you added the correct one, so ended up with two unnecessarily. BLongley 18:34, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Got it. Thanks for the explanation and the help. --MartyD 20:52, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Need to delete bogus artist (author)

In editing a cloned pub, I mistakenly pasted the URL for the cover image into the Artist field. I submitted the pub with that in it, and the addition got approved. Going back to verify, I noticed the mistake, which I have corrected in the pub, but it also made this author entry. I see no way to delete it. Help? --MartyD 03:05, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

If all records attributed to an author/artist/editor is deleted (or changed as in this case) then the name will be automatically deleted from the database. When you click on the link above, you get the message that no such name exists in the database, which means your correction fixed the problem. MHHutchins 04:13, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense, and very handy. Thanks. --MartyD 11:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)