ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 10

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This archive includes discussions from September - October 2009.

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1 serial + 18 authors = 1 python error

I tried to create one record for the serial Cosmos so that each of the parts can be made into a variant, but the system wouldn't allow 18 authors for one record. Any suggestions on how to do this? MHHutchins 23:59, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Can you provide more details about what you did? In a local copy, I was able to create a novel with 18 authors, so that there's 18 of them may not be the key.... --MartyD 10:21, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
It may have been because I was creating a parent variant from an existing record. Could you try that? Take this record, choose "Make This Title a Variant..." and on the creation page add seventeen entries using the "Add Author" function. Thanks. MHHutchins 13:29, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Here's the error I get:

<type 'exceptions.IndexError'> Python 2.5: /usr/bin/python Wed Sep 2 08:31:17 2009

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

/var/www/cgi-bin/edit/submitmkvar2.cgi in ()
  32         new = titles(db)
  33         new.cgi2obj()
  35         if new.num_authors ==0:

new = <titleClass.titles instance at 0xb770e22c>, new.cgi2obj = <bound method titles.cgi2obj of <titleClass.titles instance at 0xb770e22c>>

/var/www/cgi-bin/edit/ in cgi2obj(self=<titleClass.titles instance at 0xb770e22c>)
 194                 while counter < 100:
 195                         if self.form.has_key('title_author'+str(counter+1)):
 196                                 self.title_authors[self.num_authors] = XMLescape(self.form['title_author'+str(counter+1)].value)
 197                                 self.num_authors += 1
 198                         elif self.form.has_key('review_reviewer1.'+str(counter+1)):

self = <titleClass.titles instance at 0xb770e22c>, self.title_authors = ['Ralph Milne Farley', 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f', 'g', 'h', 'i', 'j', 'k', 'l', 'm', 'n'], self.num_authors = 15, global XMLescape = <function XMLescape at 0xb770cb54>, self.form = FieldStorage(None, None, [MiniFieldStorage('titl...ERIAL'), MiniFieldStorage('title_id', '956071')]), builtin str = <type 'str'>, counter = 15, ].value undefined

<type 'exceptions.IndexError'>: list assignment index out of range

I used letters "a" - "q" instead of authors for this example. I see the report stops at "n", so maybe 15 is the limit. MHHutchins 13:35, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
That's the problem. It works with 15 authors, but not with more. MHHutchins 13:36, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I recall Al mentioning that at one point the limit on the number of authors was 10, but I don't know how it was enforced and whether it was applied consistently in all screens. Ahasuerus 13:42, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I remember that someone, I think Bluesman, said he could do only ten additions at one time. I am unclear as to what exactly, but it begs the question can you do 10 or 15 and then add later? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
It looks like title editing, which is shared by Make This Title a Variant and also Edit Title Data, only allows 15 authors. We should be able to fix that. A workaround, however, seems to be to add a publication with the desired authors. That doesn't have the limitation and gets you a title with as many authors as you please (well, at least 18 of them). You could do that, then make the variant of that title, then delete the pub you just created. Much easier if you're a mod, of course.... All that said, you won't be able to edit that title once it's there, as it won't handle the 18 authors. --MartyD 15:14, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
p.s. I will log a bug for this and fix it. --MartyD 15:17, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Logged as Bug 2849218 and fixed for whenever Ahasuerus includes it in a release. --MartyD 15:45, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
The change looks good -- thank you! -- but I'd like to test it thoroughly since the impact can be fairly significant. Ahasuerus 03:12, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
The fix for this was put up last night. Let me know if you see any further trouble with it. --MartyD 10:33, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Italian series: I Romanzi di Urania / Urania

Books in this series are recorded in different ways:
With the name of the series in the "Publisher" field or as Arnoldo Mondadodori Editore, Mondadori (Italy) and so on.
I'll wish to verify this publications, using the name of the series as publisher and the series number in "Catalog" field. I'll wait for suggestions.--ErnestoVeg 12:25, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

This is a good idea, but there may be a problem or two. I think some of the numbers in this series contains more than just novels, appearing almost like a magazine in a paperback format. Placing content other than novels into a NOVEL type may cause problems. Is there a credited editor for such issues? If so, we could change them to the ANTHOLOGY type. Also, do any of these contain ISBNs? If so, there may be a conflict in placing the issue number in the Catalog #/ISBN field. If not, I'd rather see the actual publisher placed into the publisher field, and "Urania #245" (for example) into the Catalog #/ISBN field. I believe that Mondadori publishes books outside the series and should be credited as the publisher in this series. Another thing (before someone suggests it) these should not not be placed into a title record series because Urania is a publication series. MHHutchins 15:49, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I Romanzi di Urania / Urania don't have a ISBN; from # 1231 they have an explicit ISSN (1994). The series has an editor. Anthology are credited usually to the original editor. Sometime were published Anthologies or Collections never published in English.
The tipical structure shows a NOVEl with some short stories or essays to fit the standard pages. When I had verified some entries, I've not changed the choose of the compiler. If you agree I can modify Italian publications with publisher Mondadori (Italy) and in the Catalog #/ISBN field, Urania o I Romanzi di Urania #nnnn.--ErnestoVeg 19:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
(After edit conflict) I take it that this is a "publication series" not a content series? (See Publication Series for more detail.)
Most such are recorded with the series mentioned in the notes, and a wiki page is used to organize the series as a whole. But in a few cases (such as the "Tor Doubles") the publication series name has appeared in the publisher slot.
Is the series number printed in the books? Is there no other catalog number or ISBN? If so, using the series number as the catalog number seems reasonable to me -- assuming that this is a publication series.
The number was ever printed on the spine and in the copyright page. Now also on the cover. There are not any other number.
In any case, a wiki page seems like a good idea to me. -DES Talk 15:53, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with MHHutchins's comments above. He seems to know more about these publications than I do (which isn't hard) -- my comments are from general principles only. -DES Talk 15:55, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
No problem to made a list of all the 1550 Urania (to date) if I have a page. A little problem with the links. But probably it is possible to made the link atomatically. Some editors report the data from the Tuck. In this case there are other series in the same situation.--ErnestoVeg 19:19, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
If you were to choose one name for the publisher which would you choose? Here's all that appear in the database:
  • Arnoldo Mondadori -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Arnoldo Mondadori Editore -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Grijalbo Mondadori, S.A (a joint venture with a Spanish Publisher until 2000)
  • Mondadori -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Mondadori (Italy)
  • Mondadori (IT) -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Mondadori Editore -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Mondadori, Milan -> Mondadori (Italy)
  • Montena Mondadori (a joint venture with a Spanish Publisher until 2000)
  • Random House Mondadori (a joint venture with a American/English Publisher, in Spain, since 2001)--ErnestoVeg 19:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Should any of these remain a separate publisher? (The last is the only one that looks like a separate publisher.) About the Urania series, as DES suggests, a wiki page may be the best approach. Check out this one (currently in progress) as an example. Thanks. MHHutchins 15:58, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I will change the publishers to "Mondadori (Italy)" and merge the publication records to that one publisher name. Would you like me to set up a Wiki page for the Urania publication series? I could do a few pubs so that you can see how they are listed and linked. MHHutchins 19:55, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Since you've started adding "Urania" to the Catalog #/ISBN field (because there's not an ISBN for these books), we may not need a Wiki publication series page. That field is searchable. Do an ISBN search for "Urania" and you'll see the first five numbers from the series published in 1952. These were created from your website and verified through Tuck. Please check these out to see if they're OK. They are also seen in this publisher search. Thanks. MHHutchins 20:33, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) These entries are listed as novels under Mondadori or Urania Publishers. Would be interesting if you transform in MAGAZINE these entries.

If you agree I can submit all I romanzi di Urania/Urania if you explain me the format that you need or I can send you my database (in Access format) and then you will be able to extract the data yourself.--ErnestoVeg 06:49, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I will convert those pubs above into the magazine format that was used for the earlier issues. Maybe another editor would know whether your database can be extracted for data. (I do not know how this could be done.) If you wish to continue adding further issues of I romanzi di Urania and Urania, you can use the "Add a New Magazine" entry tool (link on the menu of the front page and others), which will bring up the format required for magazine data entry. If you need assistance or have more questions you can ask them on this help page. Thanks. MHHutchins 15:40, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

System display for the Italian lire

There's a problem with how the system displays "Lit.", changing the "L" into the symbol for the British pound. See this example. Is there anyway to get around this? Perhaps we should advice editors to use "Lire" instead of "Lit."? MHHutchins 16:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia suggests the use of "₤", but how could that be easily entered by an editor without copying and pasting (as I had to do)? MHHutchins 16:43, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
This is unicode character 20A4 (hex) (8356 decimal). In MS-Word one can type 20A4 followed by Alt+X and Word will convert this to the unicode character, which can then be copied&pasted. I don't know a quick&easy way to enter a character into a browser edit field given its unicode number. -DES Talk 20:46, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
The easiest way I've found is to use the Windows Character Map, but this symbol isn't included. Or if it is I wasn't able to find it. MHHutchins 22:40, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know off-hand about the Lire symbol, but two I know-off-by-heart how to type directly into the browser field are the English Pound - hold down ALT key & then, on the numeric keypad, type 0163; also copyright symbol - ALT key + 0169. (The symbol appears when you release the ALT key, usually.) (You might need to toggle Num Lock first.)
One way to get others of these codes is to go into Microsoft Word, do Insert Symbol. Locate your symbol & then, down the bottom right of the dialogue box, select ASCII (decimal) from the "from" box [Word 2003 anyway]. The leading zero is needed for English Pound & copyright symbol; I'd guess that if Word shows only 3 digits for the ACSII, add a leading zero.) ...clarkmci/--j_clark 22:47, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Later: The Lire symbol can be found in Word Insert Symbol. It doesn't give an decimal code for it though, and ALT+8356 doesn't work ...clarkmci/--j_clark 22:56, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Windows Character Map has it ("Lira Sign"). It's approximately 3/4 of the way down, shortly after a full line of U and Y with various diacriticals, just before 1/3 2/3 1/8 3/8/ 5/8 7/8 in both Courier New and Arial fonts (I didn't check any others). --MartyD 10:16, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
So It does. i missed it before, because I had character map set to a different text font, which did not include this symbol. -DES Talk 14:57, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

And / &

Quick question: If "and" and "&" create variant titles, and both versions of the title are verified for two different publications (so the title page vs TOC rule of thumb doesn't apply), are the separate spellings kept as variants, or is one chosen over the other? Jonschaper 01:27, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

They should be variants, and the first appearance would be the parent record. For example, "Bed & Breakfast" and "Bed and Breakfast" by Gene Wolfe has appeared in three different verified pubs (all verified by me). The parent is Bed & Breakfast because that was how it was first published. It later appeared in his collection Strange Travelers as Bread and Breakfast. It's been reprinted with that same title in his most recent collection. This may eventually become the "canonical" title (as it appears to be the author's preferred title), and if so, we can easily reverse the variant. MHHutchins 02:59, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Inheritance-- wrong series

I do not believe that the magazine serial "Inheritance" by Robert Wells from the 1973 "Worlds of If"[1] has any relation to the 2002 book childrens series "Inheritence" by Christopher Paloni [2]. The former is placed within the Inheritance series biblography [3] in the database. I do not know how to remove it. Could someone check this, and possibly remove it. JosHil 22:55, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

This situation is a known system bug that will be resolved soon. The system automatically links serials with title records, checking only lexical matches between titles without considering authors. Currently this can't be corrected manually, but within the next week or so (hopefully), this will be fixed. Thanks. MHHutchins 23:23, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
This should be behaving properly now. --MartyD 10:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

John Langdon - Split?

Part of me doubts that the John Langdon who published 2 short stories in 1947 and 1953 is the same John Langdon who did the cover for Dan Brown's Angels and Demons in 2001. Are there any objections to the creation of "John Langdon (Artist)"? Jonschaper 04:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Since the 1947-1953 author was born in 1913, your doubts seem to be well founded :) Ahasuerus 05:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Novel to Collection

The books in this series (including this pub, which is not currently in the series, but should be) have been added as novels, whereas they are really collections (or arguably, omnibus, though I'm leaning towards calling them collections). My chief reason for this post is to ask what is the preferred method for converting a novel to a collection. I was originally thinking that I would edit the publication and convert both the pub and the title (appearing as contents of the novel pub) to collections with one edit. However, I'm thinking it is safest to ask first, to ensure I don't make a mess of the records.

It's safe to change the Pub record and the Title record in one submission since in this case the Title exists in only one Pub. It can get (much) trickier when there is a Novel and a Collection of the same name and when some pubs point to the wrong Title record. Ahasuerus 04:13, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I'll also mention that the fix-ups are presented as their constituent parts more than is usual. e.g. from this book, the fix-up Stormbringer appears with a title page on page 213. It is followed by a two page introduction to "Dead God's Homecoming" which describes the story as a novelette and lists its original appearance in Science Fantasy. There is a one page prologue to the story followed by the story itself on page 218 and which lists "Book One" above the title. The remaining stories are treated similarly (and introduction to the story listing where it first appeared). The table of contents lists both the fix-up and the individual stories. In this instance, should the contents be listed as individual stories, rather than novels. If they should be novels, presumably these would be omnibus rather than collections. This is probably more a question for Rules and Standards, and I'll link to this post there.

Thanks. --Rtrace 04:04, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

"Philip" (vs Phillip) C. Jennings

There are two entries for "Philip" here which I suspect should be entered as "Phillip". Can anyone verify if these are legit variants or not? Jonschaper 01:26, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I haven't seen physical copies, but for what it's worth, the NYRSF's own spreadsheet lists both with the double L. I'd go with that if no primary verifier says different. BLongley 17:38, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good enough evidence for me as well. MHHutchins 17:50, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Fixing mistakes in publication record

I've noticed that the pub record for the Millipede Edition of Some of Your Blood by Sturgeon (SMFRBLDZZQ2006) is in error. Steve Rasnic Tem is listed as an author, but he only wrote the introduction. Can I just edit the pub by removing him as an author? Also, this edition includes a bonus short story by Sturgeon. Does this make it a Collection or Omnibus now? Nowickj 15:50, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you can just remove Tem as Pub author when you add the introduction. And I'd leave it as a Novel with a bonus short story, as it's non-genre. BLongley 20:35, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Cannot create thumbnail

I have attempted to up load a picture to Image:Dune-25ath.jpg, but an error screen comes up saying that it cannot create thumbnail. Do you know why? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JosHil (talkcontribs) .

Our software can only create thumbnails for images that do not exceed certain dimensions. I think 600 pixels is the current limit; I am sure one of our frequent uploaders will correct me if I am misremembering. The upload process did succeed, though, and you can see the results at Media:Dune-25ath.jpg, so you can now link the appropriate publication record to it. Automatically generated thumbnails are nice to have, but their absence doesn't prevent Web browsers from displaying appropriately rescaled images.
On the other hand, very large images are a bad idea for three reasons. First, they take longer to download, so our users have to wait longer for pages to load (although many browsers use various tricks to make the process faster.) Second, they take up more disk space and our image library is already approaching 800Mb, which makes it harder to maintain, back up, etc. Third, very detailed images that approach the quality of the original cover may not be considered "fair use", so we may run into legal problems.
The good news it that the image that you uploaded is only 124Kb in size, so I don't think it should pose any problem. Ahasuerus 01:55, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Ahasuerus is correct that there is a limit of 600 pixels in height for the system to display the image on its wiki page, BUT that doesn't mean you can't upload one that is greater than 600 pixels. If the image is larger, the system can't create the wiki page thumbnail, but you can click on the full resolution link to see the image. It will be thumbnailed despite its size when you add a link to the Wiki image in the publication's ISFDB record. I agree for the same reasons Ahasuerus gives that the limits be adhered to. An uploader is given a warning about file size, but not dimension size. I personally recommend that this warning not be ignored, even though the option to ignore is there. MHHutchins 04:00, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I Romanzi di Urania / I Romanzi del Cosmo

It is not possible to search I Romanzi di Urania as series.
As I Romanzi di Urania, I Romanzi del Cosmo is a series magazine with a catalog number and without ISBN.
If some editor tranforms the two entries below in MAGAZINE, I'll be able to edit them:

Thanks--ErnestoVeg 10:26, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Done, if I understand you correctly. Please check. BLongley 11:01, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Perfect. I've uniformated the entries. Many I Romanzi del Cosmo are listed in Tuck. Thanks.--ErnestoVeg 13:47, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I've held the corrections as they also change a NOVEL used in multiple places into a SERIAL. I think the correct move now is to add the SERIAL, remove the NOVEL, and make the SERIAL a variant, but I haven't looked into that deeply yet so will leave it to another moderator. BLongley 21:06, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
That's the correct procedure, the one I used on converting some of the earlier records for the periodical that were entered as novels but are being changed to magazine records. In the contents area, add the serial record, add an editor record, submit update. Then remove the novel record. Last step: make the serial record a variant of the novel record. MHHutchins 03:46, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Sorry, but I've found others title to convert from NOVEL to SERIAL. I've also forgotten that I Romanzi di Urania magazine starting from #152 changed his name in Urania. I've corrected these entries. Sorry for extra-job.

  • [I giganti di pietra] transform in: I Romanzi di Urania #120, editor Giorgio Monicelli.Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [Addio alla Terra] transform in: Urania #175, editor Giorgio Monicelli. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [Le spirali del tempo] transform in: Urania #179,editor Giorgio Monicelli. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [I figli di Matusalemme] transform in: Urania #262, editor Giorgio Monicelli. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [L'uomo che possedeva il mondo] transform in: Urania #275, editor Non credited. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [B.E.S.T.I.A.] transform in: Urania #457, editor Carlo Fruttero & Franco Lucentini. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)
  • [La spirali del tempo] transform in: Urania #457, editor Carlo Fruttero & Franco Lucentini. Publisher: Mondadori (Italy)

--ErnestoVeg 12:07, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm trying to follow the procedure :-)--ErnestoVeg 13:42, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Golem 100

The Computer Connection is not a variant title of Golem 100 [See]--ErnestoVeg 16:20, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Correct, and it shouldn't be. Unfortunately we haven't got an award editor. BLongley 18:35, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Al was putting finishing touches on an award editor when he became unavailable, but, unfortunately, there are still unresolved (major) bugs which means that we can't activate it yet. At the rate we are going, I hope to know enough about the application to be able to tackle it in a few months, but I may not have a whole lot of free time this fall. Clearly, I need more surgeries :) Ahasuerus 20:14, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

The Humanoids

[The Humanoids] was not automatically linked to Fiction Series and thus, in my opinion, don't appears in the list.--ErnestoVeg 16:27, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

I believe you have to link serials manually now. BLongley 18:37, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
That's right, the new method is described in Help:How to connect serials to titles. Ahasuerus 20:16, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Can you demonstrate with submissions 1224521 and 1224530 please? The edits to the publications look fine (as far as I can tell) apart from the NOVEL to SERIAL conversions. It's getting late, and I don't feel like dealing with multi-step fixing edits at the moment. But I'm too nice to reject them to be redone, especially as I have far less Italian language skill than ErnestoVeg has English. BLongley 21:15, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I'll take a look at them shortly! Ahasuerus 21:26, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, all of Ernesto's submissions have been reviewed and integrated. It occurs to me that they come at a very good time. Now that we have learned how to create new options, "User Preferences" is #3 or 4 on my list of "big" things to do. Once User Preferences becomes a reality, we can add a "language code" to each Title and let our users decide which languages they want to see. Ernesto's submissions provided a treasure trove of examples of the types of permutations that we will have to sort out, e.g. an Italian magazine which publishes translations of English, French and German titles. Something to think about while getting ready to implement User Preferences. Ahasuerus 03:43, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Things are more complicated. Many English title were translated from French translations (i.e. Wandrei, Statten), in the beginning.--ErnestoVeg 12:11, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
We can work around that. All serial records should be linked to the parent title record, regardless of the language of the first publication. If Urania reprinted a novel by Jules Verne, it should be linked to the original French language title. The parent title record for the Wandrei novel is the English language title. Did it appear in French originally, or was the Urania version translated from a French translation? Even so, we would still link it to the original English title record. MHHutchins 18:46, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The Italian edition was translated from French translation. It is correctly linked to English title.--ErnestoVeg 11:01, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, eventually we plan to add a Title level field for "translators", in part to distinguish between different translations, but I think we will want to add a Title level "language code" field first. There are a few outstanding issues that we need to resolve first, but I'll raise the on the Community Portal, a more appropriate place for these types of general discussions. Ahasuerus 19:30, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Well. Now is very expensive to enter information in note, and practically we lost, the foreign title appeared in magazines (that are not searchable).--ErnestoVeg 11:01, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Robert Lory: Dracula Returns and Dracula's Return

"Dracula's Return!" is listed as the first in Robert Lory's The Return of Dracula series here

I noticed the similar title "Dracula Returns!" and managed to find a scan of the cover and references to it as the first of the Return of Dracula series. I also found references to "Dracula's Return!" (no scans) so I don't doubt its existence. It too is mentioned as being first in the series. Is anyone in the position to confirm these are variant titles, or is this enough evidence? Jonschaper 00:48, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

I have a copy of the first printing of the Pinnacle edition of this immortal classic, so I corrected and verified our record. As the Notes field now says: ""Dracula Returns!" on the cover and on the spine but "Dracula Returns" on the title page and on the copyright page."
I don't have the New English Library reprint, but Worldcat confirms that the title was also Dracula Returns and Reginald-1 doesn't list the "Dracula's Return!" version, so it is apparently apocryphal. I went ahead and merged our versions. Ahasuerus 01:19, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
The NEL cover seems to agree. Got to love those crazy Vault of Evil guys at times. BLongley 20:58, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Malformed author name

Found this author "Adri?n Ferrero" that will not display. Search using "Adri". Can't fix it at my end. Thanks.Kraang 02:32, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

The problem was introduced with the addition of Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing. The contents section was using bad Unicode codes, probably due to cutting and pasting from another source which doesn't use the standard Windows alt codes (OCLC?). We had 2 bad Author names and one bad Title record, all fixed now. Ahasuerus 03:36, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Neil Gaiman variants?

Hi, can anyone check if these are actual variants for Gaiman

"The Fairy Reel" vs "The Faery Reel"

and (my favourite)

"Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" vs "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire"

Thanks Jonschaper 05:21, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, they're both true variants. The titles in the Fragile Things collection are the variants. The ones in Gothic and The Faery Reel are the parents. MHHutchins 05:35, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Fleuve Noir

This Publisher is listed in 8 ways:

  • Éditions Fleuve Noir: 1 title
  • Editions Fleuve Noir: 2 titles
  • Fleuve Noir
  • Fleuve Noir, Angoisse: 3 titles
  • Fleuve Noir, Anticipation: 17 titles
  • Fleuve Noir, Lendemains Retrouvés: 1 title
  • Fleuve Noir: Angoisse 1 (France): 1 title
  • Paris: âEditions Fleuve Noir: 4 titre

I think that would be e good thing to uniformate to Fleuve Noir, and report the series name and number in note.--ErnestoVeg 11:54, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the publisher name should only be Fleuve Noir and the series names should be removed and placed in the notes along with the number. I was going to do that for you with a publisher update, but I see you've already changed each of the pub records (which I remember approving this morning). Sorry I didn't notice this earlier, or I could have saved you some time in editing (the series would still have to be placed into the note field.) MHHutchins 05:36, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
There are eight or nine hour gap. When I sleep, you work. :-); no problem.--ErnestoVeg 14:22, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Jeffrey Ford - Variant?

Can anyone check if these are variants:

"The Drowned Life" vs "Drowned Life" Jonschaper 05:05, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

It should be "The Drowned Life". The contents of the collection were taken from OCLC where librarians are apt to leave off leading articles. If you submit a merge of the two records as "The Drowned Life" I'll accept it. MHHutchins 05:31, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Alien Harvest

I think (see for covers at: [fantastifiction]) that all three title novel [Alien Harvest] must be the same: Aliens™: Alien Harvest. The correction is quite complicate because in an entry is indicated as co-author the author of the graphic novel. Seem me strange... --ErnestoVeg 16:41, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

The record that credits Prosser was probably created from a robot that patrols Amazon, who will frequently give author credit to other roles in the creation of the book (artist, editor, even introducer.) I have fixed the pub record giving Sheckley as sole author of the novel, but noted that it's based on a graphic novel by Prosser. As for the three records, there are one each for the US and UK editions, and a higher priced US edition which is probably a reprint. I changed the date of that one to 0000-00-00, indicating an unknown printing date. Thanks. MHHutchins 17:13, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Kendall or Kendal Evans in Spring 88 Absolute Magnitude

Can someone check if Kendall Evans is actually credited as "Kendal" here Thanks Jonschaper 03:48, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Locus lists it with two Ls. --MartyD 10:41, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

"Kandis Elliott" covers for Tomorrow Speculative Fiction

Hi, can someone double check if she is credited as Elliott or Elliot for these two entries Thanks Jonschaper 04:14, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Locus has Elliot with one T for June 1996, November 1996, and February 1997. It does not list an October 1996 issue (which makes sense, as it was bimonthly). This index concurs. --MartyD 10:35, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Speaking of not making sense, I guess November would be the odd month out if June and February are right.... Sigh. --MartyD 10:43, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Elliot or Elliott

Can someone double-check if these entries for "Elton Elliot" (June/July 1969 Galaxy; March 91 Amazing; and Spring 1990 Science Fiction Review) and "Elton T. Elliot" (Sep/Oct 1979 Galaxy) are actually spelled "Elliott". If so, that would eliminate 2 of the variations in Elton T. Elliott's name. Thanks Jonschaper 05:18, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I fixed the SF Review credit, and I have the other three magazines packed away. If the verifiers of each don't respond soon, I'll dig them out and check the spelling. MHHutchins 14:16, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
You might want to place a note on Rkihara and Swfritter's pages in case they miss this one. Thanks. MHHutchins 14:18, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Galaxy, June-July 1979 - Should be "Elton Elliott" rather than "Elton Elliot". Galaxy, September-October 1979 - Should be "Elton T. Elliott" rather than "Elton T. Elliot".--swfritter 00:10, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Amazing, March 1991, should be "Elton Elliott." Corrected entry.--Rkihara 02:11, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

BUM Mondaodri

Series name[BUM Mondaodri] is wrong. I'm not able to edit series. Please correct: Biblioteca Umoristica Mondadori--ErnestoVeg 11:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

That appears to be a publication series. If so we should just delete it entirely. For the purposes of the database, a series is based on the contents of the book (characters, setting, plot) and not by who publishes them or how the publisher markets the books. The one exception is that we also use it for editor records to create magazine series. Is Biblioteca Umoristica Mondadori a magazine series similar to Urania, or would it be similar to the Bantam Spectra Special Editions or the Corgi SF Collector's Library? If the latter, the series should be deleted, and a Wiki page can be created to record the books in the series. The hope the meaning of each kind of series is clear, because I don't know if it's really been sharply defined in the help documentation. There are publication series in the database now, which were set up through the publisher field (for example: Tor Double and Ace SF Special), but these will eventually be changed (to "Tor" and "Ace") once a publication series Wiki page has been created for them. Feel free to use "Biblioteca Umoristica Mondadori" in the publisher field to keep the publications together until a Wiki page is created, or until the database supports publication series. Thanks. MHHutchins 14:12, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
BTW, I updated the series record to "Biblioteca Umoristica Mondadori". Click on the series name from any link in the database and you're carried to the series summary page. In the editing tools menu there's a link "Edit Series" from which you can change the name of the series and/or place it as a subseries of another series. MHHutchins 14:15, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
We do use series to connect sequential anthologies. For example There Will Be War, Full Spectrum, or Sword and Sorceress. These might be called publication series, but not only do we permit them, the display code has a special section for them/ Much the same might be said for series set up to handle recurring magazine columns, such as Brass Tacks. The help probably needs to cover all these cases better. -DES Talk 14:59, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I suspected there would be more exceptions if I thought longer about it. This Italian series looked more like a publication series and not like any of the ways we currently use "series" in the db. If it doesn't do so already, I agree that the help pages need to explain the different ways to use series. The thing that separates these uses is that they're all on the title level, while, by definition, the publication series is on the publication level. I wouldn't call an anthology series a publication series, because it doesn't matter who published them. All three of the major series of the 70s (Orbit, New Dimensions, and Universe) changed publishers in their run. It's the title records that make up the series, not the publication records. The connection from one issue to the other was more like a magazine than, let's say, the Avon SF Rediscovery series, or the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which, for the most part, reprinted titles. One rule of thumb: if a title was published in a series by one publisher but reprinted by another publisher in another series, and you can't place the title record into both, then it's probably a publication level series. That being said, we could probably find an exception if we looked long enough. MHHutchins 19:24, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
There's probably lots of examples where any definition of series breaks down. And many will probably be found on Michael Moorcock's page. (See the two different "The Tale of the Eternal Champion" series for instance.) Or look at how much effort it took to put Star Trek Pocket Books in order when they were republished by Titan. We work around it for now. BLongley 19:37, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Mike above that if different publications of the same title are in different series, or not all in the same series, that would be a publication series. The only cases where I think we might have this in the db is for essay series that represent magazine columns. If such essays are later reprinted, say in a book of collected essays by the author, they might not be in the column series. But such essays are often revised, at least slightly, for republication anyway. -DES Talk 19:53, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
In Italian we have two different words for series: "Collana" (many Italian books have a publisher series name, numbered or unnumbered and after 1976 with or without ISBN) and "Cicli" for series in usual way. As the fans use in special way the publisher series, I've in my database a field for ISBN/Code (before 1976 many publisher used internal code, now only Book Club use internal code) and two field for Publisher Series and for number. Also French and German organize the data by Publisher Series.--ErnestoVeg 13:59, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Ward & Lock & Co.

There are three variant for this editor: Ward & Lock & Co.(most used); Ward & Lock; Ward, Lock. Would be a good thing to uniformate.--ErnestoVeg 18:58, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

There was only one title for each of the variant spellings, and after checking on OCLC, determined they all should be "Ward, Lock & Co.". I let "Ward Lock Educational" stand as is, because it seems to be a separate imprint. There was also a "Ward, Lock & Bowden" in the mid-1890s that I let stand. MHHutchins 20:08, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Shuttle Down by Lee Correy (AKA G. Harry Stine)

Can anyone confirm if Ballentine really did credit this to "Correy" without the "Lee" I find that doubtful. Thanks Jonschaper 05:57, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

That was a stub record that someone let through. There was a more complete record for the same ISBN, so I deleted the stub. That leaves only one credit for "Correy" which I've asked the verifier to double-check. Thanks. MHHutchins 06:24, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Uomini di altri pianeti/Men of Other Planets by Kenneth Heuer

This book was published in I Romanzi di Urania in 15 parts. Can I register it as Men of Other Planets (x Part of 15) as NON FICTION?--ErnestoVeg 11:56, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

No, NONFICTION is reserved for book-length works. Non-fiction contents should be entered as ESSAY type. BLongley 12:22, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks--ErnestoVeg 13:29, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Cawthorn vs Cawthorne

Hi, is anyone able to verify if the cover here is credited to "Cawthorne" or "Cawthorn"? "Cawthorn" would mean one less variant for James Cawthorn. Cheers Jonschaper 03:19, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Visco lists it as "Cawthorn", that's good enough for me for now. BLongley 17:31, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Stepan Chapman variants

Can someone check if Stepan's name is spelled "Stephen" here in the Steampunk anthology? If so, that would make it a variant of this:

I also suspect that "Stephan Chapman" (credited with "The Man Who Built Half of Oz" in the Spring 1996 Science Fiction Eye) is a variant or mispelling: Thanks Jonschaper 01:05, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The OCLC record records the author in the anthology as "Stepan". The only website that doesn't copy our data gives the SF Eye piece as by "Stepan". Go ahead and change both and that'll get rid of one false name and one false variant. Thanks. MHHutchins 06:41, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Suzy McKee Charnas' "A Musical Interlude"

I suspect that this is the same as this and that they should be merged with "excerpt: Chapter 4 of the Vampire Tapestry" being made a note instead of part of the title. Can anyone confirm? Jonschaper 01:07, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I think they should be merged also, but without the (excerpt) as part of the title. That can be placed in the note field of the title record. MHHutchins 06:13, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

John Christopher's "Balance" and "In the Balance"

Does anyone know if these are the same stories? They came out around the same time, the former in a UK mag the latter in a US mag and have similar titles and page length. Jonschaper 01:45, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


Anyone know if "Dr. John Clark" is also "Dr. John D. Clark",%20Ph.D. ? I'd be particularly cautious here since John and Clark are common names. Jonschaper 02:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

This is a tough one. The only piece being in a British magazine makes me suspect it's not the same guy. Perhaps leaving this alone would be for the best. MHHutchins 06:18, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Roy L. Clough vs Roy L. Clough Jr.

Can someone doublecheck if he is actually credited without the "Jr." here If so, the non-"Jr" Clough should be a pseudonym and this publication should be a variant of Thanks Jonschaper 03:05, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

The only source I have for the anthology is Tuck, and he gives the author as "R. L. Clough", as he is apt to abbreviate first names. But he ordinarily would give the "Jr." if it were present. Go ahead and make it a variant of the Jr. title record. MHHutchins 06:23, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I neglected to link to the actual story (just updated the author) with my first edit of the story. Jonschaper 22:39, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Does This Book Exist?

As far as I can tell, "A Dangerous Malice" by D.G. Compton here doesn't exist. There is no publication info. See also Jonschaper 05:54, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't exist as that title. It should be A Dangerous Magic by Frances Lynch. See the OCLC record. I'll use that for the basis of a record of the work, changing the record to the correct title. Good catch. Keep it up the good work. MHHutchins 06:26, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Also look at this Google Books search for Compton credits. MHHutchins 06:29, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I suspect that all of the "Frances Lynch" titles are non-genre, but I'll leave that to someone else to sort out. MHHutchins 06:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Cheers. I'll have to keep those links in mind (I was unable to locate the "magic" title either in a quick search). Is there a page where usefull links like those might be listed? Jonschaper 22:43, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
There is Sources of Bibliographic Information linked from the main Wiki page -- feel free to add to it :) Ahasuerus 23:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Storm Constantine: Variant Title or Merge?

"As it Flows to the Sea" vs "As it Flows to the Sea. . ." Thanks Jonschaper 06:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Locus1 gives the title in Tarot Tales with the ellipsis. If you merge the two, I'll accept the submission. MHHutchins 06:36, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Nouvelles âeditions OPTA

Nouvelles âeditions OPTA would be: Nouvelles Editions OPTA; but in France, is only OPTA (as Edition OPTA).--ErnestoVeg 13:02, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Is "Nouvelles Editions OPTA" a separate imprint of the publisher, or it simply a series (like Fleuve Noir's Anticipation)? If it's an imprint we need to keep them separate, if not we can merge the two publishers. Thanks. MHHutchins 15:16, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

National Geographic

I have a National Geographic magazine (July 1976) that contains a SF short story by Issac Asimov titled "The Next Frontier?). This is the only SF content in this magazine. How should I add this?--JosHil 02:25, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Ah yes, non-genre magazines, one of our favorite bibliographic mini-nightmares! :) There is a Help page that describes how we handle them at Help:Entering non-genre magazines, hopefully it's reasonably clear. Ahasuerus 02:40, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
(after edit conflict)
There's a help page written just for these cases. In a nutshell:
  1. Choose "Add new magazine" from the menu on the home page.
  2. Complete fields for the header from info obtained from the magazine: Title (National Geographic); Editor (this is open to debate, but if there's not a credited Fiction Editor just enter "Editors of National Geographic"); skip Tag field; Year, enter YYYY-MM-DD (if monthly, make the DD=00); Publisher (from the magazine's colophon); Pages (last numbered page, counting forward for any unnumbered page, add 4 if the covers are not included in the page count); Pub Format (leave blank); ISBN/Catalog# (leave blank); Price (from the cover); Artist (leave blank, unless the cover illustrates the spec-fic story).
  3. Complete one content field entry for each piece of spec-fic included in the magazine, also add a content entry for any illustration accompanying the story.
  4. Submit.
Any questions should be answered on the help page. Or ask here. Hope this helps. MHHutchins 02:45, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

James Herbert Brennan

I thought I should survey preferences for the parent name between "Herbie Brennan" and "J. H. Brennan" before I start combining them since there is a fair amount of material under either name. My personal preference is for "Herbie" since that's the name I grew up knowing, and I note his webpage is Jonschaper 05:20, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

We generally use the most commonly used name to minimize the number of "as by" lines on Summary Bibliography pages, but when the ratio is close to 50-50, it's not terribly important, so "Herbie" should be fine. The important thing is to make sure that all books are accessible on the same page. Ahasuerus 00:28, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Since J. H. Brennan has "Maria Palmer" listed as a shared pseudonym, I'll add "Herbie Brennan" to the list of Maria's parent names, change the credits for the parent titles for the two books written by Brennan from J.H. to Herbie, then eventually remove J. H. as one of Maria's pseudonyms. Hopefully that'll go smoothly Jonschaper 01:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
That should work. Just keep in mind that we will also need to move all Series designations from variant titles to their (newly set up) parents. We will also need to blank out the Author level data for the "J. H." record once all "J. J." titles have been set up as VTs of "Herbie". It can get a little messy, but it's good practice :) Ahasuerus 01:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Ben Bova's "Cement"

Can someone check if this is an essay as per here or a short story as per here Thanks Jonschaper 00:01, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

According to Locus1, it's a facetious article, one of those nebulous types that is not supported by the ISFDB. The records should be merged, and personally, I'd go with fiction, but I guess it depends upon what direction you approach it from. MHHutchins 01:19, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
My prejudice is to go by the author's intent, so I lean towards "fiction" (ditto for Asimov's Thiotimoline shorts, Wellen's History of Galactic..., Clifton's "Dread Tomato Addiction", etc) since ultimately they're meant to be taken as creative works of the imagination or parodies. Serious quack articles I'd leave as essays. But I've always been conflicted about works by authors who likely knew they were making things up as they went along but hoped the public would take them as serious (I'm looking at you, "Shaver Mystery") Jonschaper 02:04, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
According to a number of independent reports, Shaver was an honest crank. Palmer, on the other hand, well, that's a whole different can of worms. Ahasuerus 02:10, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
But Palmer's theatrics pretty much doubled (or more) the circulation of "Amazing Stories" until an evil conspiracy forced him out. The continued suppression of Shaver's stories is proof of their truth and not evidence, as many claim, that they were badly written. Living within fairly close proximity of Mt. Shasta has left me in constant dread; expecting eldritch horrors any day. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!!! Ouch! It's not a good idea to bite down when your tongue is in your cheek.--swfritter 14:51, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Identical Variants

For some reason "The Day After Judgement" by James Blish is listed as a variant of "The Day After Judgement" by James Blish here: Would this be because both titles are listed as part of "The Devil's Day" series, and would they merge correctly if I remove the "variant" from the series? Jonschaper 01:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Unless I'm missing what you're pointing to, it looks like the parent is spelled "Judgment" and the variant is "Judgement". Or is there something else? MHHutchins 01:21, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
The series shouldn't be touched. The Devil's Day consists of two novels that were published separately, but is considered as a whole the second part of "After Such Knowledge". In order for the two novels that make up The Devil's Day to become part of the series also, it was made into a sub-series of the main series. MHHutchins 01:25, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Mystery solved. I missed the difference in spelling Jonschaper 01:49, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Aaron Bank

The Aaron Bank in the linked wikipedia page here was 91 when the book was published. Is there a known connection? Jonschaper 04:59, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Based on Amazon's description of the book, it's the same Aaron Bank. It's a WWII-era action/adventure story and it doesn't seem to be particularly speculative except for the "what if the order to capture Hitler (which I was given at the end of WWII in Europe) had not been canceled?". Still, Kirkus calls it a "[p]onderous what-if? epic", so it may contain some elements of secret/alternative history. Ahasuerus 02:34, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Cheers Jonschaper 04:32, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Dating Art Credits

When an independently existing work of art is used for a publication, how should the art be dated? E.g., for Gary Kilworth's 2006 collection here they used Abel Grimmer's 1604 painting "Tower of Babel" -- should the date be 1604 or 2006? Jonschaper 05:47, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I believe it should be the date of its first appearance as a book cover, but I don't know if that's ever been discussed before. If not, it may not be part of the help pages. If you can't find it there, you may want to start a discussion on the Rules and Standards discussion page. MHHutchins 05:56, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I've started a conversation here (as you can see I'm of two minds myself) Jonschaper 06:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Title Merging Concurrent with Other Edts

Last week I attempted to import contents from an existing publication and noticed that several of the stories were missing when the import was approved. I decided not to pester anyone in case it was just a hiccup. Earlier this evening, I noticed that several titles did not appear when cloning this pub was approved to make this new pub. However, I think that I have discovered the culprit: Before I did the clone, I had merged several of the stories (and those that were merged appear to be the missing ones). Looking back at the earlier set of imports, there appears to be a similar situation with merges. Am I right in assuming that I should hold off on submitting either clones or imports (or presumably exports) until any pending merges have been approved? Thanks. ~Ron --Rtrace 05:50, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's best to wait until any merges or edits of contents (actually their title records) have been approved, before making a submission that updates a publication that contains those records. Merges always delete one (or more) of the title records, retaining just the one record. If you edited a title record and merged it with another, it's possible that a moderator may not approve them in that order. I will occasionally work from the bottom of the submission queue in order to avoid conflicts when I know another moderator is approving submissions. If I approve the submission that merges before the submission that edits, the record may no longer exist. I'm still not sure if this caused the problems you experienced with the clone pubs. I would think that this would cause a Python error, in which a submission can't be accepted because it edited a non-existent record. Perhaps the merges dropped the content title records that appeared in the pub record you imported from before the submission was accepted, making those content title records different than those that were there when you made the submission. (That makes me dizzy just trying to explain it.) In other words, it couldn't import records that no longer existed. In even other words, wait until submissions are approved before making submissions that edit the same title records. MHHutchins 06:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I will try to recreate this behavior tonight, but it sounds like a problem with the import approval logic. One would think that it should display an error if the submission contains a Title record which no longer exists in the database (similar to what happens when approving Edit Publication submissions.) Ahasuerus 11:54, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
A little experimenting on my local server helped identify the problem. Just like we suspected, the submission approval process takes the list of Titles in the submission and copies them to the new Publication record without checking to see whether they still exist in the database. The result is that the internal table of contents ("pub_content" for those who are familiar with the database structure) contains references to non-existent Titles. When the pub is displayed, the display process ignore non-existent Titles, which has masked the problem up until now. I will create a Bug report on Sourceforge -- thanks for finding it! Ahasuerus 01:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
FYI, a variation on this was (is) this case where I merged away a title, and while that was pending, I edited the pub where the title going away was recorded and added a page number to its content record. Apparently, after the merge was approved, attempting to view the pub edit submission suffered much heartburn. --MartyD 19:25, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
The big red "ERROR" that moderators see when this happens in Edit Pub was added a while back (beats getting a Python error!), but we need to add the same check to Import Contents. Come to think of it, once we have an audit trail of Title merges, it may be possible to make the approval process smart enough to use the Title record that the submitted Title was merged with. On the other hand, I suppose it can also be dangerous depending on the nature of the merge. Ahasuerus 21:09, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Lene Kaaberbøl vs Lene Kaaberbol

This andøl are listings for the same Danish author. Should the two be merged or made pseudonyms, which should be a parent (not having access to the books I don't know if any show the accent), and (if the accented one is made a parent) should "Kaaberbol" without the accent still be set as the Last Name so it comes up in a search under that spelling? Thanks Jonschaper 01:08, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

According to OCLC, the 2007 "Macmillan UK" edition of Silverhorse used "ø" while all US editions have used "o" so far. The good news is that "ø" is a "well behaved" character in that it doesn't break author links or searches. Unfortunately, our search logic doesn't find "ø" when you search on "o" or vice versa, so the only way to ensure that our users find the author when they do a search on either form of the name is to set up VTs and a pseudonym. Ahasuerus 01:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Personal Book lists?

Hello, Everyone! Just changed out three computers Rt eye, car, and that pesky desk model. Problem is the desk model can not use Access 97 at all. My problem is that I therefore can not keep and update my book lists. After reading horror after horror story about using any Access product and that old forms do not convert well, I desperately need some suggestions. I hate redoing a just shy of 5,000 list from scratch and then finding it incompatible shortly thereafter. So in giving my personal problem some thought it is obvious that I need something less fragile. Personal note, I am a not a techie, so complicated systems are out of depth for me. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:29, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

You may want to look at Open Office. Its free and there is an import function for Access although I don't not for sure that it will import Access 97 databases.--swfritter 15:14, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Very curious. Database for Open Office 2 allowed Access import. I just updated to 3 and it doesn't appear to do so. You might have to export Access 97 to a spreadsheet and then load into an Open Office Database.--swfritter 15:53, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I have been trying Open Office, but it actually does a conversion and does NOT import it to their base OD. I have played with it for three days and it appears it may be more fragile than I would like as I lost things on their side, but not on my Access document. Funny thing though, the first conversion allowed an Access base change, but the rest have not, and I can not get it to repeat any other time. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 19:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Have you looked atLibrarything? If you have listed ISBNs on your own database it should be fairly easy to import your data. Tpi 18:37, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Well Librarything is an idea, but I need something I can work on, to show the problems and things I have found here, not to mention, many of the books are pre ISBN. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 19:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
If you can run your old computer even once more, you should be able to export your access db into a CSV file, or similar text-based format, and then you should be able to import that into almost any DB program you like. -DES Talk 21:59, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I will give that a try! Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 11:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Variant Title in Awards Listing?

If the title of a story is given incorrectly in an awards listing, should it just be corrected/merged or should it be treated as a variant title? Example: this entry vs this entry, with the original awards list here. -Fsfo 23:41, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

We generally don't create variant titles when an award or a nomination misspells the title, so in this case we will want to merge the two titles. When titles are merged, all awards end up associated with the "surviving" titles, so there should be no problem on that front. (There is a full featured award editor on the works, but it's currently on hold.) Ahasuerus 01:03, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Adam Nevill vs Adam L. G. Nevill

Is anyone able to check how Adam is credited for his short story here? This would appear to be his only credit without the middle initials. Thanks Jonschaper 22:58, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

According to OCLC, the story should be credited with initials. I'll change it. Thanks. MHHutchins 23:27, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Python error on a cloning attempt

I'm linking SFBC titles when I realize that there is no record for the SFBC edition of Bradbury's collection The Cat's Pajamas. There's not even a record for the trade edition. There's not a record for any edition. So I create a record for the trade edition without adding contents, thinking I'll go back later and add them. So I go to clone the trade edition to create a SFBC edition, and it creates a Python error that won't allow me to submit the record. So I do a test and add a dummy content record to the trade edition, accept the submission and then go back to the record. This time it allows me to clone it. Could it have something to do with the fact that there were no contents? Why else would it reject my attempt the first time and accept it after I've added a content record? Strange. I've removed the test content record. Your challenge if you choose to accept it: clone this pub. The clock starts . . . NOW! MHHutchins 04:42, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

It happened again when I tried to clone this pub. The only thing they have in common is that they're contentless container pub records (one a collection, the other an anthology). A definite bug, probably caused by the code that checks for content records that are contained in other pub records. MHHutchins 04:53, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Yup, it's a bug all right. I will fix it tonight -- thanks for finding it! Ahasuerus 12:45, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Bug squashed. Also, as I discovered a few days ago, Clone Pub doesn't properly clone pubs with multiple "container" titles that match Publication type (Bug 2873841 on Sourceforge), but that's an anomalous situation, so not a high priority. Ahasuerus 02:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Novel divided into two books + current author is a pseudonym

I planning on filling this author's bibliography. His most famous novel Two Planets is already there. Well, the novel was first published in 1897 as Auf zwei Planeten - divided into two parts and published in two books. How do you handle this? Add two pubs to one title and add something like ... (part one) and ... (part two) to the pub titles. Or just create one pub entry (and add a note that there are two books). In case of the latter: what about the page count - one of the very few things in which two pub entries of the parts would differ. --Phileas 09:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

It was very common for 19th century and earlier novles to be issued in multiple volumes. The multiple volume works of such authors as Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens are normally treated as though they were one novel. If it appears that both parts were published at the same time and met to be sold together then one entry makes sense to me.--swfritter 13:55, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
They appeared at the same time. But I don't know whether they were sold bundled or separate. But they were surely meant to, because one doesn't make sense without the other and there was also kind of a tag-line, that reads literally translated: "A novel in two books". --Phileas 08:29, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Here in an example of a novel in two volumes. The page count could be done this way, which is the way Ace doubles are done. Now that the "pp" does not show up in the page count it looks a little better.--swfritter 11:52, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

There's another thing about this author. Besides his legal name Carl Theodor Victor Kurd Laßwitz his works were first published as Kurd Laßwitz. The alternate writing of the surname Lasswitz was used for several later German editions and ultimately for international edition of course. Currently there's only Lasswitz in the ISFDB. I think it should be Laßwitz with Lasswitz as a pseudonym. How do I handle this correctly? Create an new title - like a German edition of Auf zwei Planeten that was published under the name Laßwitz then make Lasswitz a pseudonym of Laßwitz and complete the author's data of the new Laßwitz entry. Also Two Planets has to be made a variant title of Auf zwei Planeten. Would this be the correct procedure. Thanks for helping. --Phileas 09:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be a mistake to have an author's canonical name include non-Latin characters if there is an alternative. With our current software, searching for such names is at best inconvenient and non-intuitive. I also suspect that, to English-speaking readers at least, this author is much better known as "Lasswitz", and our standard is that the best known name, not the legal name or the first used name, is the canonical name, and that English-speaking users are our primary audience, at least to date. -DES Talk 14:45, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
"ß" (alt-0223) is not as bad as it looks. Here is what I wrote about the differences between "Latin-1" and "Latin-2" characters a few days ago:

In theory, we support all "Alt-Number" characters (to use the Windows terminology) between 192 and 255, i.e.:

  • 0192 À
  • 0193 Á
  • 0194 Â
  • 0195 Ã
  • 0196 Ä
  • 0197 Å
  • 0198 Æ
  • 0199 Ç
  • 0200 È
  • 0201 É
  • 0202 Ê
  • 0203 Ë
  • 0204 Ì
  • 0205 Í
  • 0206 Î
  • 0207 Ï
  • 0208 Ð
  • 0209 Ñ
  • 0210 Ò
  • 0211 Ó
  • 0212 Ô
  • 0213 Õ
  • 0214 Ö
  • 0215 ×
  • 0216 Ø
  • 0217 Ù
  • 0218 Ú
  • 0219 Û
  • 0220 Ü
  • 0221 Ý
  • 0222 Þ
  • 0223 ß
  • 0224 à
  • 0225 á
  • 0226 â
  • 0227 ã
  • 0228 ä
  • 0229 å
  • 0230 æ
  • 0231 ç
  • 0232 è
  • 0233 é
  • 0234 ê
  • 0235 ë
  • 0236 ì
  • 0237 í
  • 0238 î
  • 0239 ï
  • 0240 ð
  • 0241 ñ
  • 0242 ò
  • 0243 ó
  • 0244 ô
  • 0245 õ
  • 0246 ö
  • 0247 ÷
  • 0248 ø
  • 0249 ù
  • 0250 ú
  • 0251 û
  • 0252 ü
  • 0253 ý
  • 0254 þ
  • 0255 ÿ

This means that our software should recognize, say, "é" and display Philip José Farmer's bibliography and any links to it correctly, including letting you search on "jose farmer" without the accent -- which it does. I am not entirely sure what will happen if you try to use something like "÷" or "æ", but we can certainly experiment. Come to think of it, we should probably test it thoroughly and then post a list of "approved characters" under Help.

As far as Latin-2 goes, it supports a number of Polish, Czech and other Central European characters that we can't handle, which is why we have an entry for Stanislaw Lem as opposed to "Stanisław Lem", the way his name is spelled in Polish.

(end quote)

So all Latin-1 characters are generally OK to use unless proven otherwise, but Latin-2 characters cause problems. We'll want to set up VTs and a pseudonym relationships between the two forms of the name, of course.
As far as the canonical name issue goes, if the "ss" form of the name is well known, then it's probably better to use it, but as long as you can search on either form of the name and get to the author's bibliography, we shouldn't have any major issues. It's the broken links and the inability to run meaningful searches that kill Latin-2 for us :( Ahasuerus 16:57, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
See Frank Schätzing for an example of how this can been done. Note that the UK publisher used "ä" while the US publisher changed it to "a". Ahasuerus 17:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we can enter "ß" and have it display properly, unlike Latin-2 characters. But most users won't know how to enter it, indeed won't know to enter it, so I am inclined to think it should rarely be used in a canonical name. Certainly when the "ss" form ("ß" is after all in origin a ligature for "ss", as I understand it, and many modern German names use "ss" in place of "ß") is in common use in the English-language publications, I wouldn't make a name using "ß" the canonical name. -DES Talk 17:25, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
It's more complicated. German spelling was changed a few years back - this is officially. A good amount of "ß" was changed to "ss" indeed. However the "ß" is more complicated, because there are two ways to pronounce it - depending on the emphasis of the preceding vocal it's either pronounced like "s" or "ss". The recent evolutionary steps replaced the "ß" where it's pronounced as "ss". Most uneducated people (and even some newspaper editors) think they can replace any "ß" to "ss" and that's what cause a lot of confusion. However doesn't affect names. Laßwitz's signature clearly shows the "ß" and afaik "Lasswitz" wasn't used before his death. That's why I think it should be "Laßwitz" and "Lasswitz" should be the pseudonym. As I understand it you can get to the author without entering the "ß" as long as there's the pseudonym liked to the author. --Phileas 08:29, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
That is interesting, and i didn't know all of that. It might well suggest that "Laßwitz" would be the proper title for a Wikipedia article about this author. But the prime rule here is that the canonical name is the name by which the author is best known, whether that is the author's preferred name or not, and whether it is the legal name or not. While we haven't explicitly decided the point in the past that I recall, the ISFDB is primarily an English language site, and English-language titles are privileged in some ways. This I think the name by which an author is best known in the English-speaking SF world, and which has been mostly used on English-language publications should be the canonical name.
I wasn't aware of that. Best known is the "ss"-version - even in Germany you'll hardly find "Laßwitz" in today's book stores. I'll set up the "ß"-version as the Pseudonym then. --Phileas 07:39, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
However, you are correct that if the "Lasswitz" version is set up as a pseudonym, anyone searching for it will be directed to the proper page, so a decision to go with "Laßwitz" would not prevent people finding the page. And since we can now easily remove and reset pseudonym assignments, any decision can be changed in future if we so wish. -DES Talk 20:13, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the key question here is whether you can search on the simplified version of the name and still get to the information that you are looking for. In the Frank Schätzing case you can search on Schatzing and get to the right bibliography page in two clicks since we have a pseudonym set up, so I don't think it makes a great deal of difference which one is the canonical name.
One thing to keep in mind is that names with some non-ASCII characters like "é" can be found by searching on their ASCII equivalents, in this case "e", so a search for "Jose Farmer" will find Philip José Farmer. Other characters like "ä" do not work that way, so you can't find "Schatzing" by searching on "Schätzing" or vice versa. We'll need to do additional digging to compile a complete list of substitutions that are currently in place and find out whether we can expand/adjust it. Ahasuerus 17:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Uh...the link for Farmer doesn't work. MHHutchins 21:42, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I seem to recall that our templates do not support accented characters "out of the box", but if you use the unaccented form of the name, i.e. Philip Jose Farmer, it will take you to Farmer's Summary page. Interestingly, the software will display "Jose" at the top of the page, something that we may want to change. Ahasuerus 21:54, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
The {{A}} template does not work in the usual manner for names containing some special characters. This problem is known to exist for names containing commas, parentheses, and apostrophes, and I wouldn't be in the least surprised to learn that it affects accented characters also, or some of them. The only characters I am 100% sure of are a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and space. if a character outside this set is in the name, use the altName parameter. Some accented characters don't seem to work correctly even then. -DES Talk 22:27, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Latin-1 has been confirmed as the character set used by all ISFDB tables. It turns out that in MySQL the default collation sequence for Latin-1 is "latin1_swedish_ci" (yes, Swedish) which helps explain why some accented characters are considered identical for searching purposes and some are not. I'll need to ask Al whether we should try to find a better collation. Converting from Latin-1 to a more comprehensive character set, e.g. UTF, which supports Latin-2, Cyrillic and a few other alphabets, may be desirable, but is unlikely to be easy. Oh well, one step at a time... Ahasuerus 18:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I like the way it was done for Frank Schätzing - that's what I had in mind. Another note that may be useful. I grew up with 7bit Terminals. These days we used "ae" for "ä", "ue" for "ü", "oe" for "ö" and "ss" for "ß". That works pretty well, because "ae", "ue" and "oe" are naturally rare in German spelling - and so mostly indicate a previous substitution. And besides replacing "ä" with "a" makes the word sound completely different, because those two dots are not just an emphasis mark (e.g. unlike é->e). Maybe should be respected in the character mapping. --Phileas 08:29, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

How to enter a collection properly?

I just added a new collection [4] containing many stories that also appear elsewhere - the result is that these stories now have duplicated entries and therefore will have to be merged. This doesn't seem to be the right way to do this, but I couldn't figure out how to do it properly ... Should I use something like 'import content' here? Thanks -Fsfo 14:52, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at the Merge Help. If you have any more questions feel free to ask away.--swfritter 15:05, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
The merge is not the problem - I was just wondering whether there is another way to do this? Thanks -Fsfo 15:27, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
If the contents, or a significant subset of the contents, appears as a group in another publication, Import Contents can help. But if the stories previously appeared in separate publications, using Import Contents to add them would be more painful than waiting for the original submission to be approved and then doing the merges (you'd have to find each pub, import, then remove the imported titles that do not apply). The idea of being able to import specific titles was brought up recently somewhere. That's what you'd need to make life easier. --MartyD 15:50, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
I see - Thanks! Fsfo 15:57, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

BC Dates

Is there a way of entering birth and death dates for someone born BC? Jonschaper 02:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Our database, MySQL, doesn't support BC dates. There is a feature request to do something about it, but unless there is a newer version of MySQL that supports BC dates, there is not much we can do :( Ahasuerus 03:02, 12 October 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone know if "Forty Years of the Damned" by Charles Aiken exists? I assume this is really "Forty Years with Damned" by Charles Aikin as per here Jonschaper 04:49, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

According to OCLC, it does exist with that name and title. But the two are positively the same. Let's do some more research to see which one is correct. Thanks. MHHutchins 05:03, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
According to Reginald1, the author is "Charles Aikin" and the title is Forty Years With the Damned, or , Life Inside the Earth. So it seems both records have something right about them, but neither is correct (that is, if Mr. R. is correct.) I need at least two corroborating secondary sources before choosing which is the true title and author. More research... MHHutchins 05:06, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Looks like I'm the one who created that second record cited, as I've already Reginald-verified it! MHHutchins 05:09, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
The answer to our question in black and white: a contemporaneous listing in Publisher's Weekly. I'll delete the wrong record. MHHutchins 05:11, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Good work! Cheers Jonschaper 02:00, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Poetry Journal

As far as I can tell this poetry journal is only included because one of its contributors (S.D. Tullis) has written sf. All of the other contributors only have entries for their poems in this collection and no other issue of this journal has an entry. Does anyone know if this is an sf themed issue? If not, should there only be an entry for Tullis? Jonschaper 22:56, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I recall another moderator asking the editor who entered this pub the same question, but I can't remember the name of the editor, or if he ever responded to the question. It's likely that most of this is not spec-fic, but until we get a definitive answer, I guess we leave it alone. MHHutchins 03:25, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Here's the original post. It appears that Tullis him/herself was the contributor, and he/she is not aware of the remaining contents' fitness to be in the database. MHHutchins 03:31, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Alan Elms

I suspect Alan Elms is also Alan C. Elms Does anybody know with greater certainty? Jonschaper 04:50, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Not 100% certain, but will 99.9% do. I'll merge the two. Thanks. MHHutchins 21:14, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Irvin Lester & Fletcher Pratt, and Other Questions

Things have obviously changed since I've gone low level, so I need some pointers. I've just entered Amazing Stories, January 1929 and the story The Roger Bacon Formula is credited only to Fletcher Pratt in the collections, while it is credited to Irvin Lester & Fletcher Pratt in the pub. A note on the biblio page for the story avers that it is probably a self-collaboration. I can see that making Irvin Lester a pseudonym of Pratt could cause some strange self-referential things to happen, so what do you think should be done?

I've noticed that in some issues T. O'Conor Sloane has been replaced by Arthur Lynch as the editor of Amazing Stories. Is there a new rule relating to editors, i.e., the real editor vs the managing editor?--Rkihara 05:52, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

A quote from Ashley in "The Time Machines", Lynch "became the new editor-in-chief, but he worked primarily on Radio News. Though his name appears on the masthead of Amazing Stories he was never in practice its editor."--swfritter 13:25, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

How are the containers edited? The one for Amazing Stories, January 1929, seems to incorrectly entered.--Rkihara 05:52, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Use the "Remove Titles From This Pub" function on the pub record, and remove the current record which only credits Pratt. Then edit the pub to add a new content record for the story by both authors. (These submissions could be in any order.) Once the pub record is correctly crediting the story, go to the title record of the newly created story and choose the "Make This Title a Variant..." function. On the edit screen remove the credit for "Irvin Lester". You're creating a record that states that the author is really Fletcher Pratt, and there exists a publication which credited it to "Fletcher Pratt and Irvin Lester". If you go back to the magazine's pub record, the story should read something like "The Roger Bacon Formula by Fletcher Pratt [as by Fletcher Pratt and Irvin Lester]". At this point you can make "Irvin Lester" a pseudonym of Pratt. Actually, you could have made this submission at any point. If you don't Irvin Lester's author page will be a visibly recordless page. Making him a pseudonym will create a link back to Fletcher Pratt's summary page. Now you will have to merge the two title records of the same story that are credited to Pratt alone. Don't merge the one that credits Pratt and Lester. Hope this helps.
I'm not sure what you mean by the second part of your question. I don't think anything has changed about how container records are edited. Every pub record has the "Edit This Pub" link. We've been making chapterbook pub records into container records by adding a chapterbook title record, but that didn't effect how magazine records are edited. MHHutchins 06:52, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
The above works, but you can save the merge step if you copy the title record number of the existing record that credits Pratt alone (the one that is in the pub at the start of the process). Then on the "Make This Title a Variant..." screen you can paste that into the "Parent #" field and click the "Link to existing record" button. This will avoid creating a new parent that will need to be merged. -DES Talk 15:37, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
You're correct. That's the way I would normally do it, working from two open tabs, by copying and pasting the record number. I should have recommended this short-cut, but became caught up in the step-by-step process in describing the purpose of each submission. Thanks. MHHutchins 21:12, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the input everyone.--Rkihara 15:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Giving away books for which I am primary verifier

I intend to give away a few books for which I currently am the primary verifier (this and this). Is it OK if I remove myself as the primary verifier? Should I add myself as primary (transient) verifier while I still hold on to the books, and remove myself again when I finally get rid of them? Herzbube 01:20, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Sure. Just remove your primary verification and do the transient verification. Even after you've given the book away, the transient verification can remain intact. That was the main reason behind creating this type of verification, but it evolved over the years. Because we now have more than one primary verification slot, perhaps it can go back to its original purpose. MHHutchins 16:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm doing similar, after a fortnight of denuding all charity shops within reach of all interesting SF I need the space. If there's a Primary Transient verifier I sometimes invite them directly to take over - there was a period where people used Primary Transient the way we use Primary 2 now, it's not always a sign that they don't really have it anymore. (If anyone did this and wants to review their Primary Transients, I can generate a list for you, just drop me a note on my talk-page.) BLongley 17:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I also suspect we've only lessened the problem, not solved it, as I've seen Quintuply Primary Verified pubs already with the Transient slot filled too. BLongley 17:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
At some point we will allow users to mark pubs as "owned by me" and print various "lists of books/stories I own". It's not hard to do, just requires some free time. Ahasuerus 18:17, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
"Free time" seems to be a theoretical concept most of us don't have. :-/ I really want this feature, and more complex options like "Do I have all the stories in Pub X already?" - but even if we can convert "Primary Verified by me" to "Owned by me" I still have to rework a lot. Ah well, I've revisited my meagre collection a few times over now to add other prices, cover artists, printing number details, cover images, etc: a full fifth or sixth pass is probably due. BLongley 21:47, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I am a bit compulsive when it comes to making lists (phew, glad I finally said that in public :-), therefore such a personalized "I own it" list would be very gratifying. Good to know that this is somewhere on the feature radar. Herzbube 21:58, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
I doubt if any of the editors would be here if they didn't have a bad case of listitis.--swfritter 20:58, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, the most prolific editors, yes. It's capturing the passers-by that really only do want to add a little correction or two I think we're weak on. Maybe we can do something with a "send details to an editor that knows the ropes if you're frightened", but I'd prefer we keep trying to make it easier for new contributors to - well, contribute. BLongley 22:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, feature request 2883592 has been created. I can't do much about it at the moment since I am knee deep in Foreign Language Support, but we'll get to it sooner or later :) Ahasuerus 23:24, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Invisible coverscan

I have uploaded a new coverscan for Retief at Large, but it does't show on the publication listing, and also not on the images wiki page. As far as I can see everything is correct. The link to the picture from the wiki page does work, but the rest doesn't. Any ideas? Thanks, Willem H. 19:25, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

After uploading a cover image, now or replacement, You must still edit the publication record and edit the Image URL field, inserting into it the URL of the image itself, <> in this case. I don't see any such edit in the approval queue, nor in the recent rejects or recent edits, so I can only presume that you didn't make such an edit yet. Until that edit is made and approved, the image sits on the wiki but is not displayed with the pub record. See Help:How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki#Step by Step Procedure, step 6 ("Once the file has been uploaded, the image's wiki page will appear. In order to get the URL (address) for the image you just uploaded, left click anywhere on the image and copy the URL from your browser's address window. (Or right click on the image and choose "Copy Image Location".) If you're adding a cover image to a pub record, this is the URL which you would enter into the pub record's "Image URL" field.") See also Help:How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki#Semi-automated Procedure. You are apparently the fourth editor to be caught by this, see User talk:Kwikfoot‎#Semi-automated cover image uploads. -DES Talk 20:10, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I have replaced a number of existing images with new ones, and in my experience it is not neccesary to replace the existing URL with exactly the same one. In this case, the URL ( was already there. The difference is, that the image doesn't show here and here, and I can't explain this. Willem H. 09:55, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I am seeing the image in both places you link to above. I can see both teh old and new versions of the image in the file history. I thought the URL was not there (in the pub record) when i looked yesterday, but may have been mistaken -- it is surely there now, and I don't see any edits in the applied list that would have changed it.
Could it be that your browser has cached the image-free versions of those pages? Try Clearing your cache. That is Ctrl+F5 for IE and Firefox (this clears the cache and reloads for the displayed page -- there are menu options to clear the entire cache). -DES Talk 15:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
You are correct that when a new version of an image is uploaded, the pub record URL does not need to be edited if the URL has not changed. -DES Talk 15:16, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Ctrl+F5 doesn't work, but if you can see the picture, there's probably something else wrong with my browser. I won't worry about it anymore. Thanks for the advice. Willem H. 18:48, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
It may also be network settings rather than browser settings. Two of the networks that I use exhibit minor quirks when handling images and URLs. Ahasuerus 23:49, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Cloning Perry Rhodan

I tried to enter some UK editions of Perry Rhodan 1 thru 5, but I wasn't allowed to clone an existing entry because these are considered magazines nor was I able to add a publication to existing record for the same reason. So what should I do?Don Erikson 18:19, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I think at the moment such have to be entered as separate magazines, but I'm not quite sure. One of the magazine or one of the Perry Rhodan experts should speak to this. -DES Talk 20:14, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I have a few UK Perry Rhodan titles and entered those as novels, I think. At some point somebody might want to cross-match the UK novels with magazine publications but as far as I'm concerned they aren't closely-related enough to want to clone a magazine. Enter them as Books rather than Magazines, with as many details as you can provide in notes (translator, original copyright dates, etc) and let a polyglot Perry Rhodan enthusiast loose on them. Record what is there, you are not obliged in any way to try and make sense of it (but if you can, please do). I know Perry Rhodan is supposed to be a European SF Icon but it hasn't really made it to the UK in that way. Same as Doctor Who is a British Icon but isn't necessarily a European one. When in doubt, just record. BLongley 22:42, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
To clarify, what I was trying to clone were the Ace editions which appear to be the same in content and page number as the the UK Futura editions I was trying to enter. And there are also some Ace reprints of the earlier ones that also need to be cloned. Don Erikson 14:40, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
In the past, we used ANTHOLOGY to enter "paperback magazines" with more than 1 printing, e.g. Destinies. It's a bit late to redo Perry Rhodan since we already have 100+ pubs on file, but I seem to recall that the editors who worked on it came up with some kind of workaround. Ahasuerus 23:52, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
In checking the British Orbit/Futura reprints are no longer in the American Perry Rhodan Series. They are showing up only as 'novel' for the story titles. Example [5] shows here [6]. This is a change since I last checked. I do/did feel they should be separated because after the first few titles the American series started putting extras into them, which were only occasionally reprinted in the British edition. So in effect, the British edition is an edited reprint of the American. The problem with the 1-5 are that they are actually double novels with I believe one novels' title used as the printing title (1-4) (#5 used a part of the first novel's title) with the other novel hidden in the back of the book. I have no idea who culled the British entries. Bob Hall did have a magazine series talk page he was using to work of off, but being inept I can not find it. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:19, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I remember I was advised to change the title to novel and then clone, but I think I tried three formats and none would allow that. What I did was add a new novel and then merge it with the others. Still, since the few British titles we had are now not showing up as elements of the series. I think that add new novel and then import contents (if possible), then merge the content elements. Hopefully, the editor who changed things is Bob Hall and you can get in contact with him. Maybe, he has thought out the solution to how to display the British series, which BTW is 1-39. Apologies for not being very helpful. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:19, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

short fiction variants -- storylen

When I am entering an anthology where shortfiction has been published under a pseudonym, and the work is not already on file under the canonical name, I typically enter it as published, and then go to the title display for the shortfiction and chose "Make this a variant..." and enter the canonical author name and click "Create new parent record". So far so good. But if (when) I have entered a story length for the story as published it is not picked up by the newly created parent record, which has a blank in the storylen field. One must separately edit the new title record to set the storylen. (I particularly noticed this when entering Glass Onion where every story was published uncredited.) Is this a bug, or a place for a feature request, or is it the desired behavior? -DES Talk 20:39, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if it's desired, but from someone who does a lot of variant making, I find it to be undesirable, and double work. I wonder why the story length can't be copied to the newly created record along with other fields associated with the parent record. MHHutchins 22:08, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
It's a bug or at least "undesirable behavior". Let's create a Bug report and I will fix it this weekend in the next minor patch. Ahasuerus 00:27, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Bug #2884769 New Parents don't pick up storylen created. -DES Talk 15:24, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Also, when editing a title record, it would be nice if there was a pulldown for the valid storylen codes -- possibly the kind of pulldown that also allows typing, since this field can be overloaded for some title types. Ideal might be if the code reacted to the title type in populating the pulldown. Does anyone else think this is a good idea? -DES Talk 20:39, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, a good idea. It took me a long time to get used to the ISFDB's "nt" for novelette and "nv" for novella. I'd become accustomed to the Locus standard abbreviations ("nv" and "na"). If I were bold enough at the time I joined here, I would have argued that "nv" is not such a good idea (novel, novelette and novella could be "nv".) But at least the ISFDB's novelette abbreviation is better than Locus's. With a dropdown menu we wouldn't have to remember any abbreviations. MHHutchins 22:08, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
The "storylen" field needs to be split into at least 4 different fields:
  • sf/ss/nv/nt
  • Omnibus contents
  • Novelization
  • Juvenile
It's not difficult to do, but it requires updating a number of different areas, including the Web API. Ahasuerus 00:27, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
I've created FR #2884777 unload storylen field to document this for future reference. -DES Talk 15:38, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Omnibus VS Anthology

I got a book that is a German edition of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy omnibus. Additionally it contains (as an appendix) An Introduction to Psychohistory by Michael F. Flynn. If I understand the rules correctly this would be an anthology. But personally I still think of it as an omnibus - the appendix being some kind of bonus feature. --Phileas 11:56, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

If I found a pub of an omnibus such as that in English, with an additional essay, I would probably keep it as an OMNIBUS record. I think we have some such already on record. The like between omnibus and anthology is a bit fuzzy anyway. And particularly when it is a much-reprinted title (as this surely is), keeping all pubs under the same title, and thus of the same type, seems worthwhile to me -DES Talk 14:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
A single essay in a collection of novels would not make the book into an anthology. Neither would fifteen essays (q.v.). If you can point out in the rules that would indicate such, it needs to be fixed. Thanks. MHHutchins 16:06, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
When following the link in my first post you'll see that it is not classified a an essay but a short story. That's what confuses me, because... from the Help:Screen:EditPub: If a book of Conan stories contains stories which are all partly or wholly by Robert E. Howard, it is a collection; if one or more of the stories is by Lin Carter or L. Sprague de Camp, not in collaboration with Howard, then the book is an anthology. -- But after all the error probably lies within the title entry I suppose - because it doesn't seem to be a fictional story... but to be honest I'm not so sure about the amount of fiction in that one. -- Phileas 16:46, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Another one of those nebulous fictional essays or "in universe" non-fiction. Even if we choose to list it as shortfiction the omnibus would not be considered an anthology. Consider how many books are published that include excerpts in the back from another author's novel. Every book published by Baen would be an anthology! Thanks. MHHutchins 16:53, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Problem searching titles with apostrophes

I've been linking titles on the SFBC listings to the ISFDB pub record, and about every fourth title that has an apostrophe in the title doesn't come up on a search. For instance I search for the novel Darwin's Children by Greg Bear, and the only titles that come up are two shortfiction titles by other authors. But if I search for "darwin" Bear's title is on the list, BUT it's not in the correct order (alphabetically, a punctuation mark should come before the letters, right?) It must have something to do with a unicode character that resembles an apostrophe. Trouble is, when I try to correct the apostrophe (or character that looks like one), the submission looks like there's been no change in the title, and I'm right back where I started. Is there a way to do a mass search for this "character" and replace it with a true apostrophe? Otherwise, searches here are incomplete. Thanks. MHHutchins 22:10, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Checking the title in question (#23584), I see that the record does indeed contain a Unicode character rather than a regular apostrophe between "Darwin" and "s". Next we need to figure out whether it's:
  1. something that happened at one point in the past, but doesn't happen with new Titles, in which case we just need to change the data, or
  2. something that is still happening with newly added Titles, in which case we need to change the software as well as the data.
Let me see what I can do... Ahasuerus 22:30, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Good news/bad news. The bad news is that we have 325 records with this funky character. The good news is that we haven't had a new one created since Title record #859,147, i.e. 151,000 records ago. Now I am trying to figure out how to convert them without human interaction. Ahasuerus 23:37, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
All affected records were fixed in patch r2009-50 -- please let me know if anything is still outstanding. TIA! Ahasuerus 00:59, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix (said the junkie to his dealer...) MHHutchins 19:35, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
There's a few titles with (ampersand)"quot;" in if you want to look at double quotes next. BLongley 18:52, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Only 7 of them were left. All fixed now. Ahasuerus 01:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Accented titles hunted down and fixed as well. Ahasuerus 02:21, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Will do. We also have 251 titles with HTML-encoded characters, e.g. take a look at Berenicë or The Guiding Nose of Ulfänt Banderōz and then pull them up in Edit Title. I am still trying to figure out whether it's good, bad or just ugly. Ahasuerus 20:48, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Not good. Not ugly. Not really that bad either - there are far more important things to look at. 251 titles out of the umpteen-mumblety-thousands we have isn't bad really. BLongley 22:17, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Since we are currently working on improving our foreign language support, we will likely have many more titles with HTML characters over the next few months, so it's better to be prepared :) Ahasuerus 22:32, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Gordon Grant

I assume the Gordon Grant who did 2 poems in 1980 is different from the one who did artwork in 1915. Unless anyone knows better I'll separate the two: Cheers Jonschaper 23:22, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

It seems likely that these are different people, but it is just possible that the 1980 poems are in fact reprints from long ago. I note that both of them appeared (only) in an anthology that seems to be mostly reprints from the 1960s and 70s. Since one pub is verified, it might be worth asking the verifier if there are any "about the contributors" notes or item intros which would throw light on the matter? -DES Talk 23:31, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Oops, the verifier is no longer active. -DES Talk 23:33, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
The anthology is a mixture (half reprints, half new material). The copyright page is detailed so I'll check it later. Jonschaper 00:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
If you have a copy you may want to add a verification, also. Thanks. -DES Talk 03:10, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
There is no contributors note but the poems are copyrighted 1980. Most of anthology is new material. I strongly believe the 1980 poet is not the 1915 illustrator. MHHutchins 03:35, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. -DES Talk 20:36, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Any objections to making Steve Hickman a pseudonym of Stephen Hickman?

I think Stephen, [7], is the author preferred and Steve [8] the occasional. What say Thee? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:46, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The canonical name is generally set to "the most commonly used within the genre" name rather than the "author preferred" name, unless it's a toss-up, in which case author preferences may influence the decision. Luckily, most of the titles are attributed to "Stephen", so he clearly wins on all counts.
Also, at one point we decided not to create pseudonyms and VTs for artists until we had enough Cover Art and Interior Art records to be sure that the sample is representative. It looks like what we have in Hickman's case is good enough to make an educated decision. Ahasuerus 15:31, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I did not know of the 'hold of'. I just took a look at how long one was comparitively, and thought it was time to recognize the trend. Still, I will await any objections. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 19:20, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The Dragonmasters publication cannot be cloned

This pub cannot be cloned. If I try I get the following message: "Error: This publication is not in a cloneable state." The pub type is NOVEL, which is correct. Ideas? Herzbube 13:29, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that it is a pub type of novel, with a content type of shortfiction. This is exactly what the CHAPTERBOOK type is for, IMO. Anyone object if I convert this to a chapterbook? It will then be cloneable. -DES Talk 14:10, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Since 1008953 has been verified as a chapterbook, I am going to go ahead with the conversion -- it can be undone if anyone objects. -DES Talk 14:15, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, I didn't know about the chapterbook type. Unfortunately, I now have made matters worse... I was impatient and, instead of waiting for the pub to become clone'able, added a new pub - of type NOVEL with a content entry of type SHORTFICTION. The resulting records are not quite what I intended, ahem... Hope I can fix the mess, otherwise I'll call for help :-) Herzbube 20:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
See the recently created Help: How to convert a novel to a "chapterbook". -DES Talk 21:02, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Deleting a cover image

I began uploading missing cover art images from my collection. The first did not work, but I learned and the second one went through. I do not know what I first did wrong. It is "hanging" in limbo. Can I delete it and redo it later? Sfbooks52 —The preceding unsigned comment added by Sfbooks52 (talkcontribs) 12:20, 27 October 2009

I see three scans from you, [9] , [10] and [11]. Presumably it's the last you are concerned with? If so, it's OK to edit the page and add the CID1 template. If there's something really wrong, you can delete the page, but the rest looks OK to me.. BLongley 18:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
However, I suspect you think that because the image links to the publication, that's enough? It isn't - I'm afraid you have to edit the publication and put the URL of the Image (not of the page the image is on, just the image) in the "Image URL:" field. After that's approved, the image will appear against the publication. BLongley 18:51, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I am afraid I may have confused Sfbooks52 by linking the first two scans to their respective publications and then vanishing before I had a chance to leave a welcome message or explain how to link images to pubs :( Ahasuerus 18:56, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, that would explain some of it. Now can someone remind me how to add the "previous unsigned comment" stuff properly? It seems to be needed in this section... ;-) BLongley 20:22, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Use {{unsigned}} or {{unsigned2}}. The latter works with name&timestamp cut&pasted from a history page, the former is best for name only. -DES Talk 20:33, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Unable to Reject Submission

I think I improperly entered a correction and now I get a program error when viewing submission 1253367. I made the correction through another path, and I would like to reject the bad submission, but can't. Can someone remove it for me?--Rkihara 19:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Do a hard reject, a trick to removing bad submissions that can't be rejected in the normal way. Replace "pv_update" with "hardreject" in the URL of the submission: . MHHutchins 19:42, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Tsk tsk, Ron! It's all on the Moderator Help page, you should know these things already! ;-) BLongley 19:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, they do say that your memory is one of the first things to go when you get older 8>).--Rkihara 01:32, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
But I'd leave it a little while we try and find out what was wrong with the submission. Although we can view the submission later (via the dumpxml trick, also shown on that page) the exact error message could be useful too. BLongley 19:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see what the problem is. It was introduced when I implemented the ability to Hard Reject Pub updates for deleted titles from the submission page. I'll fix it tonight and then we should be able to approve the submission. Sorry about the hassle! Ahasuerus 20:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I've already taken care of the submission through another path.--Rkihara 01:32, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
The bug has been fixed and the submission has been rejected just to be on the safe side. Thanks for the patience! Ahasuerus 03:04, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Renaming an image file

I added the artist Bob Foster's signature to the Artist Signature Images, and would like to rename the image to Foster or Foster sig, but I have no idea how to do this. The help page refers to the "Move" button, but that's not there on the images page. So for now Bob Foster's signature is known as "Unknown Signature". Thanks, Willem H. 20:16, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe you can rename a file once it's been uploaded. This was done, I think, to keep links intact (someone could link a pub to it, and another person could come along, change the file name, thus breaking the link.) I think the wiki "move" function works only with pages and redirects viewers to a page that's been renamed. The only thing I could tell you to do is to re-upload the image as a new file. Perhaps DES, our resident wiki expert, can be of more help. MHHutchins 21:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
In the meantime, "REDIRECT" might be useful. Create the page for Bob Foster then put #REDIRECT [[Image:Unknown_Signature.jpg]] on it. I used that sort of thing a lot when we worked on Publisher regularisation without actually wanting to over-ride Verified Publishers too much. BLongley 21:56, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Images can not be moved or renamed. The best solution is to download the iamge and re-upload it to the desired name. I did this with several signature images recently so that images that had been identified had names that reflected the known artists. -DES Talk 04:57, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure why this is, but it was the rule back to when images couldn't be undeleted either. It may be because an image rename/move would require moving both the wiki page and the actual image file, and the image file lives in a subdirectory computed from the image name. But that is just a guess. Anyway, that is the rule, for whatever reasons. -DES Talk 14:50, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I have now re-uploaded this as Image:Bob_Foster-sig.jpg. (Image redirects don't work as well as redirs to ordinary wiki pages do.) -DES Talk 05:17, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I didn't know all this. I'll try it the next time. Willem H. 09:22, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
For more detail, see Help:Renaming (moving) a page. -DES Talk 15:25, 30 October 2009 (UTC)