ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 17

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This is an archive page for the Help Desk. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from May - October 2012.

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Expanded archive listing

Anthologies with Comics

The Steampunk! anthology contains two stories (Seven Days Beset by Demons and Finishing School) that are comics (or graphic short stories if you prefer). On their own, they would not be illegible for inclusion in the ISFDB, but as they are part of a genre anthology, how should they be handled? Included as interior artwork (similar to how magazine cartoons are handled)? Deleted and just mentioned in the note field? Other? -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:25, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry it took so long for you to get a response. But looking at the record, it seems to be OK. There's really no standard about to handle such situations, and their being so rare, the way they've been entered here doesn't do much harm to the db's integrity. Mhhutchins 14:49, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Interviews Buried in Texts

I know that I did this wrong, but how do you list an untitled interview that is buried in a column or an article? Do you list the title of the article/column, then the issue of the magazine, and then go down to the interview field and put in the same information and then the interviewee's name? MLB 13:02, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Again, sorry for missing this question.
You can create a new content record under the interview section of a pub's entry form. If the bulk of the article is the interview, there's no need to have two content records: the interview record should be sufficient. If the piece is evenly balanced between an essay and an interview, it's OK to have two content records for the same piece. Please give me a link to the publication and I'll see how it was handled and be able to give further advice. (It's always a good idea to link the pub record for discussions on the wiki.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't do much in the way of links because I suck at them. I'm pretty much self-taught when it comes to computers and their mysterious ways. This question came up when I was doing the entry's for the last two issues of the magazine Cemetery Dance, since I can't do links well, this url should take you there:, and I think that I'm going to have to go back and do some clean-up here. Bob Morrish buries a lot of stuff in his columns, reviews, news, and interviews. I go through his column paragraph-by-paragraph. I owe this to him, he is an ex-editor, I'm on this site because of him. His interviews are usually about two columns long. Which reminds me, I'd like to ask the verifier of some of those issues, and we know who that is, about adding some content to some of those entries sometime, but I don't want to antagonize him further. MLB 10:42, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Just leave a message on the talk page of the verifier, whomever that may be, and let him know about any changes you'd like to make. If he's like me, he hasn't read every article in every issue, and he would be open to suggestions. Take some time to read other messages left on his page by other editors. You'll see that he's made many mistakes. When an editor's made 200,000 submissions, and if 99% of those are correct, the odds are that he's made more errors than anyone. About linking, the simplest way: between two squared brackets ("[" and "]") enter the URL of the page you wish to link to, then leave a space before adding a description of the page. So, picking a pub at random from the front page of upcoming releases, let's say you want to link to the pub record for Jack Glass. You'd enter [ Jack Glass] in the message that you're writing, which would look like this: Jack Glass, when displayed. Mhhutchins 14:55, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
However, for links in the wiki to records in the ISFDB, we have several predefined Linking templates. The most commonly used of these are {{A}} to link to an author bibliography, {{T}} to link to a title record, and {{P}} to link to a pub record. All of these take a record number, the author link can take an author name instead. The link above can be given as {{P|388364||name=Jack Glass}}, which displays as Jack Glass. This is, for me at least, a lot easier to remember and to enter. (Note: the square bracket method above is wiki-specific markup, and will work only on wiki pages.) -DES Talk 16:18, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
For links in actual ISFDB records, see Using HTML in Note Fields. -DES Talk 16:18, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Does the template method work anywhere other than the wiki? Mhhutchins 16:34, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Variant Books

I have a copy of The World's Greatest Ghost Stories that is edited by Richard Dalby. This is a later version of his Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories but my copy of The World's Greatest Ghost Stories is missing the last ten stories of Mammoth. Do I list my copy as a variant of Mammoth and then mention in the Note field the missing stories, or do I list this as a completely different anthology and then mention in the Note field that these are nearly similiar anthologies. Except for dropping the last ten stories, The World's Greatest Ghost Stories is identical to the Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories in the stories, authors, and even in the stories order of publication. Am I making this too complicated? MLB 13:27, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Since the titles are different, I would leave them separate. A variant title plus variant contents says "different book" to me. But you should enter just the shell (no contents), then import its contents from Mammoth, then do a "Remove titles from this publication" once that has been approved to get rid of the 10 you don't want (a handy trick is on the import to use "del" as the page number for the ones you don't want -- then they're easy to see on the remove). That will avoid a lot of typing to get the contents in and subsequent merging of those titles. --MartyD 11:45, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
It's always a judgement call as to how different titles have to be to be considered separate, and some of the recent language improvements have muddied the waters when a book is published in separate sections elsewhere, or mostly translated bar a few titles where the international copyrights aren't available. Marty's advice is good for minimising the effort involved in similar publications though. BLongley 14:06, 10 May 2012 (UTC)


These two pubs Gli amaranto Gli amaranto are evidently the same: is there a way to reconcile the duplication ? --Pips55 22:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

No. One will have to be deleted. Mhhutchins 23:41, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories

I own this book and I was wondering . . . this anthology contains several stories from authors like Fredric Brown, Lester Dent, C. M. Kornbluth and a couple of others that are known for their speculative fiction. Should I list this book and just these authors, as I know that you make exceptions for authors known for their speculative fiction. Or, should I just not bother at all with anything in the book? I can do either. MLB 20:56, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I'd say we want all the contents from authors "above the threshold". And I think those three are. Who are the "couple of others"? BLongley 21:37, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Ray Cummings, John D. MacDonald, Hank Searls and Hugh B. Cave. MLB 17:31, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I have another question dealing with crime fiction on this site. I recently listed a Robert Silverberg collection as NONGENRE and I listed it as a Hard Case book (actually, it's a Hard Case Crime book, but I'll fix that). I've seen other Hard Case books listed as Titan being the publisher, but that is not what is on the title page, it's just Hard Case Crime. Also, Hard Case Crime was originally published as a Dorchester imprint, as was Love Spell. Yet Love Spell isn't listed as Love Spell / Dorchester, so shouldn't Hard Case Crime just be listed as the publisher, as it has migrated through two publishers, and not Hard Case Crime / Titan or as Titan with Hard Case Crime as a publisher series? I listed mine as Hard Case as the publisher with the series number in the Note field. So how should these books be listed? As Hard Case Crime or as Titans or Dorchesters? I know that I'm putting this in a confusing manner, so excuse me for this. MLB 17:42, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I can't find any books published by "Hard Case Crime / Titan", only "Hard Case" and "Hard Case Crime". I was able to find three books published by Titan in a "Hard Case Crime" publication series, and one title (two editions) published by Subterranean Press giving "Hard Case Crime Book" as the publication series. We have to determine if there are true connections between all of them or if different publishers used the same name for either an imprint or publication series. Then we have to figure out if it's an imprint, a publisher or a publication series. Since none of them are spec-fic, and there are not many of them, I don't think we should waste much time worrying about them. Do some research and report your findings here. Mhhutchins 19:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Here's what I know. Hard Case Crime was founded by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips, and was published by Dorchester, much like the Love Spell and Shomi lines were. When Dorchester had its problems, Ardai took it to, or it was bought by Titan Books, which is U.K. based. Ardai is still the editor of the series. The lowdown on what books were published by Hard Case Crime can be found here at this site: along with cover images. The list includes all the Titan and Dorchester Books, but I saw nothing on the list from Suterranean Press, although I can't rule it out, their site is a mess, at least what I saw (a listing of all their books in alphabetic order, if you don't know what you're looking for good luck finding it). Whatever, I imagine if Charles Ardai is still involved, and he is over at Titan, then the imprint might be creater owned. I have no idea what their numbering means. I have collected these and I know there are not 100 + books in the series. Maybe they restarted their numbering at 100 when Titan took over, and I don't know if the hardcovers are included in the numbering system and if they'll keep their number, if they have one, when they go into paperback. As this imprint has now seen two publishers, maybe three if you count Subterranean, it might be best to list them all as Hard Case Crime so that they can all be referenced together, with the parent publisher, whoever it is at the moment, in the Note field. You decide, you know how bad I am at these details. I have a complete set up to their suspension by Dorchester, and if you want I can do the Robert Bloch, Christa Faust and David Schow books, which aren't listed. I hope this helps, and maybe I gave you too much information. MLB 23:00, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

[unindent] I've done as much as I can to straighten it out. Hard Case Crime at various times in its history was a publication series and a publisher. I don't think the title published by Subterranean should be entered into the series, but in the long run, it really doesn't matter. None of these are spec-fic and are only in the ISFDB through association. Mhhutchins 00:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Italian Prices

There are 100 Italian pubs with currency indicated as 'Lit.' instead of the standard 'Lit'. If some wizard with the magic wand removes the annoying punctuation mark, I will check for other (hopefully) less frequent non standard pricing (currency before price, decimal use, etc). Thanks --Pips55 21:10, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

The Magic Spell is:
update pubs p
set p.pub_price = substr(p.pub_price,1,length(p.pub_price)-1)
where p.pub_price like '%Lit.'
but only Ahasuerus can cast it on the live database. BLongley 21:33, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Adding 'Content' - "About the Author"

When adding an "About the Author" title to the 'Content' section of a publication, in the 'Author1' field, should I use the author of the book or the author of that particular content (even if unknown?)? --Ling 02:52, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

You should only create a record for it if it is of either substantial length or quality. If there is no credited author, you should enter "uncredited" in the Author1 field. The record should also be disambiguated by parenthetically adding the subject author to the title, e.g.: "About the Author (Isaac Asimov)". If it's only a paragraph or two and does not add anything to an author's biography that would otherwise be unknown or unusual, then creating a record for it is unnecessary. Mhhutchins 04:39, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I'd already added this to my edit of this publication: White Tiger. I will submit an edit to change the 'Author1' field to "uncredited". I was following the help guide (looked for more but couldn't find any) but it was too general for what I was looking for and so I was getting confused. The current title is "About the Author (White Tiger)". Should I change this to "About the Author (Kylie Chan)"? --Ling 05:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you should, even though there's no stated policy on how to handle such biographical material. In a list of 100 "About the Author" records, I think it would be more important to know the name of the subject author rather than the book it was published in, even though in most cases we disambiguate by the title of the book. Because there's no set policy, others may disagree with this sentiment. Mhhutchins 05:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Roger, wilco. Editing now. Thanks again! ^_^ --Ling 05:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Indiana Jones

Well, I did it again. I guess that I should have created a whole new record, but I found some Scholastic versions of the novelizations of the first three movies. These were done by different authors than those done for the adult version audience. The records that I entered are Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom by Suzanne Weyn, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark by Ryder Windham and Indiana Jones and the Lost Crusade by Ryder Windham. Unfortunately, I cloned, when I should have created. So, can I fix this, or do I have to do these entries all over again as new pubs? MLB 18:21, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

The moderator who accepted the submission didn't see what you'd done either. I'll unmerge the pub records from the title records which will automatically create new title records. In the future, make sure that the title and author fields match exactly before you use either the "Add Publication to This Title" or "Clone This Pub" functions. Mhhutchins 18:45, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Nascita del superuomo - I Romanzi di Urania #62

This is new for me. The pub is the Italian translation of a fix-up novel, with component stories cited singularly. Two of the three stories, 'The Fabulous Idiot' and 'Morality' are present in ISFDB only in the Italian pub, so I cannot variant them against anything. If I change the titles, I presume they will also change automatically in the title record of the novel, with ugly results. Should I edit the title data of the novel, to keep the original titles ? --Pips55 21:48, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

NOVEL type records should not have SHORTFICTION contents (except when excerpts from other novels are printed in the back). Same thing applies for fix-up novels as well. The SHORTFICTION contents (of More Than Human) should be removed from the Italian magazine. And you should add a SERIAL record for "Nascita del superuomo (Complete Novel)". Mhhutchins 00:19, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

The Man Who Found Zero & The Black Cat

I recently entered the anthology The Man Who Found Zero edited by Gene Christie onto this site, and it is a collection of short fantastic and science fiction stories from the magazine The Black Cat. My problem is that I found several discrepencies. On this site there is a story listed as "A Mental Mishchance" by Thomas F. Anderson, while The Man Who Found Zero lists a story called "A Mental Mischance" by Anderson. Are these the same story? I would go with Gene Christie on this but I wouldn't bet on it. The same is true with the story "The Cross of Fire" by Bert Leston & Edward Ward which also appears in Christie's anthology, but which might be the story "The Caves of Fire" that appears on this site, both of which are supposed to appear in the same issue of The Black Cat. This site also lists a story called "A Man and the Mermaid" while Christie reprints a story "A Man and a Mermaid" and both are by W. George Gribble, both stories seeme to have appeared in the same issue. My question is which stories are the right stories, Christie's reprinted stories, or this site's? Did Christie get things right, or did somebody copy the titles rightly/wrongly from the original source, or are all of these different stories? Can somebody correct this?

There is also an obit of Jack London reprinted in Christie's anthology, and the obit claims that the magazine The Black Cat reprinted London's "A Thousand Deaths" that had originally appeared in the May 1899 issue was now being reprinted in the January 1917 issue. I don't see that reprinting listed on this site. Does anybody have access to the magazine or information on the magazine to see if they did reprint this story, and to clear up the other issues that I have brought up? MLB 00:36, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Just about everything in the ISFDB is typed in by people, so there's always a chance of transcription errors and typos. The place to start is the verifiers, if there are any. For example, if we look at A Mental Mishchance, we see its magazine publication is unverified, but the note there says the data came from Bleiler's Science Fiction: The Early Years, and if we look at the title's summary page, we see there's a link to that review, and there, the sole publication has been verified by three active people: Swfritter, Hauck, and Rtrace. I would post a question on User_talk:Swfritter and drop a note on the other verifier's talk pages referring them to that question and see what they say. In this case, it's likely a misspelling, but you never know. In the absence of verifiers, Google is a handy resource. If you can't find a relatively authoritative source one way or the other, try posting a question on ISFDB:Verification requests and see if anyone can help you. --MartyD 10:35, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll save you the trouble. It was a typo and I've corrected it. I'll leave a note on the other verifiers of Bleiler. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:54, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I've corrected the other two stories based on a Google Books scan of both stories in issues of The Black Cat. They've also been merged with the records from The Man Who Found Zero. Mhhutchins 13:34, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The others stories from the anthology have all been merged. I had to correct the spelling of "Ethal Watts Mumford" to Ethel, "Frederic Van Rensalear Dey" to Frederic Van Rensselaer Dey, "Lon Arnold" to Ion Arnold, but let me know if that's the way the stories are credited in the anthology. I've also created a record for the issue of The Black Cat which reprinted London's "A Thousand Deaths". All of this was sourced by using Google. Mhhutchins 14:05, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I use Google a lot. I just didn't think--I guess I assumed that The Black Cat materials were on an academic site. Never assume because, well, we know how that goes. For some reason my computer won't let me send any e-mail to the Black Dog site (?) to find out the story behind the Ion/Lon Arnold question. My book says Lon, the Google Books scan says Ion. Sooner or later I'll get to the bottom of this question. MLB 18:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Classic artworks and INTERIORART

I have a question about the use of INTERIORART with respect to existing paintings. When a magazine or anthology includes a piece of interior art that does not illustrate a story, but does stand alone and is titled, I've been including the piece in the contents under its title. The help--if I remember right--doesn't really say to do this, but doesn’t exactly say not to, either. At any rate, no one's called me on it.

I'm about to enter an anthology called A Chamber of Horrors, ed. John Hadfield. (There are two other pubs of this title, both incomplete; mine will be complete and verified.) Interspersed between the literary contents are full page reproductions of famous paintings, all appropriately titled and credited. These do not illustrate particular stories or poems.

I see that most major painters have entries in the database, but every one I can find who has INTERIORART listed, has it entered in the capacity of illustrating a particular story. For example, Pablo Picasso has a single INTERIORART credit: an illustration of Michael Swanwick's story "The Man Who Met Picasso" in Omni magazine in 1982.

Now, my anthology has an illustration by Picasso as well. Page 56 is a full reproduction of his 1937 painting La femme qui pleure. It does not illustrate a story. How would you enter this? Would you enter it? If you did, would you title it, and would you date it 1937 or leave the date alone, since the anthology is its earliest known "publication"? If it was left to me, I'd title it and use the date of composition (I'm willing to put in the work for the various illustrations in this anthology), but I figured I'd better ask. There are too many contents in this book for me to enter them all and then have to redo or undo it.

Any input? Dwarzel 21:10, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Multiple cover artists and foto credits

Quite often now the publishers use (and credit) more than one person to design cover. This is a good example: fotography by Tyler Stalman for Getty Images, and overall design by Julyan Bayes. What (and how) goes into "cover artist" field in such case? Should it be: a) three separate artists: Tyler Stalman, Getty Images, and Julyan Bayes; b) only artist but not designer: Tyler Stalman; c) artist and copyright holder separately: Tyler Stalman and Getty Images, or d) artist and copyright holder together: Tyler Stalman/Getty Images? I have come across all four cases in the database, including multiple instances of (d), for exapmple this. Btw, the very same cover is credited only Tony Sweet here, making it difficult to merge. Any suggestions on the way such credits should be dealt with? Cheers, P-Brane 03:15, 21 May 2012 (UTC).

R is for Rocket

This is my first try at using this feature so I hope I get it right. I'm from Traverse City, Mi. so we should be in the same time zone. I have a copy of "R is for Rocket" by Ray Bradbury. The Bantam Pathfinder Edition (FP164) @ 50c. This is the information given on the copyright page. Printing History: Doubleday edition published October 1962 2nd printing -- November 1962 3rd printing -- December 1962 4th printing -- May 1963 5th printing -- September 1964 Bantam edition published March 1965 2nd printing -- May 1965 Bantam Pathfinder edition published September 1966. I would take this to be the 3rd printing. 4th printing. Published simultaneously in the United Stated and Canada. If this is a 4th printing and not the 3rd there is no date given. My question is; should I do an edit and make an entry for a 4th edition with the little information that I have. Should I also do edits for all the Doubleday printings, or are these things that you do? --RUSSWOTHE 15:01, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

The above was posted on my user page, and I think it more properly belongs here. Sorry that I didn't notice it for nearly a week. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 11:49, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
And my answer: It sounds to me like you probably have the 3rd printing. However, if your statement of "4th printing. Published simultaneously in the United Stated and Canada." indicates that you are seeing that on the copyright page, then you definitely have the 4th. You'll note that the printing date for both those printings was taken from printing histories in later Bantam printings. Please do update either of those publication records with any information you can add. After you've done that, you can verify the publication as the primary verifier.
You can also add publication records for the missing Doubleday printings. We have the 1st printing, and you can clone that publication to create the 2nd through 5th printings.--Ron ~ RtraceTalk 11:49, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Added a missing Nebula Award

I'm not sure how it happened, but the 2011 Nebula Award for short story failed to show "Ponies" by Kij Johnson as a co-winner (with a Harlan Ellison story). All of the nominees were listed but not this winner. I usually don't pay any attention to the awards part of the database, but someone just added a record for her forthcoming collection that includes this story. So I went to her website to get the original publication info to add to the title record, and saw that it had actually won the Nebula! Mhhutchins 00:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Few of us use the Award editing tools due to their sheer user-viciousness - I have to relearn the methods each time a major set of awards are presented. So there will be errors and omissions for some time yet, although some improvements are in the pipeline. BLongley 16:15, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Urban Fantasy Collections

I am curious about the way that certain anthologies are listed on this site. A good example the anthology The Other Side which is here: is Why are all the authors listed as editors not just as the contributors? Shouldn't these anthologies just have uncredited as the editor? I have a lot of these, and I would like to know the rules as to why these books are listed this way. It just seems very cumbersome to list up to six authors as the editors when they aren't credited this way. MLB 18:33, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree, but then other ISFDB editors felt we should list the authors if they're credited on the title page and an editor isn't. We know they're not the editors, but we can't program some anthologies to display them as authors while the vast majority display the responsible party as the editor. I personally don't collect such books (they seem to proliferate in the paranormal romance genre), but if I had one that credited more than four authors on the title page, I'd credit the editor as "uncredited". That's just me, but I'm not likely to find myself in that boat any time soon. Maybe some other editors will have an opinion that they can back up with a more logical reason. Mhhutchins 20:14, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Some of the Fixer submissions have had at least twice that number of Editor/Authors. When it goes that far I can normally find the true editor though. Four seems to be a reasonable cut-off point. BTW, IME, it's Paranormal Romance Anthologies that seem to have a few famous names and a friend trying to get a publishing credit toward SFWA or RWA membership. BLongley 16:12, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
By the way, has anyone asked SFWA if we at ISFDB qualify under their Affiliate Member or Institutional Member rules? As someone that has never been to the USA and has no current plans to go I'm not especially interested for myself, but the amount of work we do for the genre surely qualifies some of us at least. BLongley 16:12, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
As I read their rules we would probably qualify as an Institutional Member, but it would cost us $100/yr and we'd need to get three Active Members (professional authors) to sign on to our application. -DES Talk 02:46, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure I could find three active members via the ISFDB Livejournal account - 244 of the 953 friends are mutual. The question is whether the benefits are worth it. BLongley 11:03, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
So far as I can see we could get a copy of the member directory (at the cost of printing and mailing) which might help with author info); we (or one of us) could subscribe to the Bulletin (at an additional cost) which might well be interesting but I'm not sure if it would be directly relevant to the ISFDB's activities; and we could get access to various electronic discussion fora. The last might be the most valuable, and asking authors for clarifications about their works, and perhaps letting some of them know about our existence and activities. Perhaps I should copy or move this discussion to the community portal for wider visibility? -DES Talk 15:56, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
It's probably worth a move, so that people can decide whether it's worth pursuing. I can probably provide the sponsors, if someone (or several) can provide the funds. We have one possible sponsor already. BLongley 21:46, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Moved, or more exactly, copied to ISFDB:Community Portal#SFWA membership for the ISFDB?. -DES Talk 22:34, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Adding an award

I added the Robert A. Heinlein Award to the awards page. How do I add award pages for it or is that a code/database change? Dana Carson 07:00, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

New Awards require software changes, then entry by a Moderator. The good news is that this change has already been coded, FR 3317609 Allow for new Award Types, the bad news is that we've been waiting for it to be tested and implemented for almost a year. :-( BLongley 11:57, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I know, I know :( I have been working overtime on making arrangements for my retirement for the last month or so. If everything pans out, I should be able to give a two week notice next week and then development will speed up again. Fingers crossed... Ahasuerus 05:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
It might be possible to fudge it in as another Baltimore Science Fiction Society Award like the Compton Crook Award in the meantime, I'll look into that. BLongley 11:57, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The kludge works for now but it really is a separate award. The Crook is voted on by BSFS members at large, the Heinlein is a committee that is mostly not BSFS. Balticon just is Yoji Kondo's local major con and BSFS volunteered to do the logistics and such. Dana Carson 01:08, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for entering the data for the award and making the grid. Dana Carson 01:10, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
No problem, I'm happy to work on simple awards. When the software features go in it should be fairly easy to adjust those few. I think Darrah intends to do much more award work when it's possible. BLongley 12:35, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
That would be a reasonable assumption :-) I should be doing more awards now, but I have a few other ISFDB projects right now that are keeping me busy. So I don't personally mind if they take a bit longer, but I'll probably be jumping at these new awards shortly after they become available. Chavey 04:40, 15 June 2012 (UTC)


I'm assuming the answer is "no", but does the database support any Chinese characters? I have a short story in an anthology whose entire title is "水", and I was wondering how to handle it.

Anyone? Dwarzel 01:05, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I've created this pub for japan shortstory. BarDenis 17:56, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
See this discussion Rules_and_standards_discussions#Unicode_titles - Kevin 19:37, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Two Questions About Two Publications

I recently posted, and it was okayed, a chapterbook Friends In Need by Jim Razzi, I then added a cover image, and when I went to look at it, there was a tag for the book, but the record has disappeared. What happened, was it something that I did? If the book was rejected for this site, why a tag for the book? Do I have to do this record all over again? MLB 17:55, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

This record was deleted, probably because the image you added suggested this was a movie, and movies are not allowed in the database. Can you re-submit the chapterbook (maybe with a note that this is the written version). --Willem H. 06:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
That book seems to me to be awfully close to this exclusion "Animal books for very young children, i.e. books for preschoolers which depict simple scenes from animal life featuring anthropomorphized animals" I'm trying to figure out (other than pictures from a movie about a talking dinosaur) what exactly is speculative here. Is there any text or plot? Kevin 02:24, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Question two: I posted a record for the chapterbook The Flying Flea, Callie, and Me by Carol Wallace and Bill Wallace and now there are two of them. Do I delete one? They're both identical. What did I do wrong? MLB 17:55, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

This one is a bit harder to explain. The pub contained two chapterbook records, so it showed twice on the author's bibliography. I changed one of these to shortfiction and corrected the dates. It should look good now, but I suggest you read the helptext before adding other chapterbooks, specially Content records should be used to record the shortfiction, and any essay or interior art, just as with an anthology or collection. --Willem H. 06:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Some misattributed work

I'm John Barnes; I created an account to get a couple of new pieces of data into ISFDB (specifically a self-published novel and that I'm blogging again but at a different site). I noticed your bibliography for me includes three pieces of interior art in an Ace book from 1981. Those are not my work, but I have a very common name, so I'm guessing it was another person with my name. (I'm also not the great soccer player, authority on Ada, wildlife cinematographer, etc etc etc). There doesn't seem to be a "John Barnes, artist" in your database anywhere, so whoever this other guy was I guess he didn't make much of an impression. Can we create a "that other John Barnes" and move the interior art attributions over to him somehow?

Done for the three pieces of artwork included in _Proteus_. You can verify here what's attributed to the "John Barnes (Artist)". Don't hesitate to note eventual errors. Hauck 05:19, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
John, Thanks much for taking the time to let us know. This comes up too often with common names, and we frequently find ourselves with another name distinction to sort out, so we certainly appreciate it when someone helps us keep our names straight! Chavey 04:47, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
And thank you for the new pieces as well. We try to cover everything in our range, but we are bound to miss the one or other important work. Stonecreek 17:05, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

The White Fox Chronicles

I have several questions about [The White Fox Chronicles].

Question #1: I have access to several printings of this book and in each I see the numberline on the copyright page and underneath that I see the initials QPB. The printings that I've seen are hardcovers, but does QPB mean that this book was originally published as a quality paperback? And does that mean that these are special hardcovers issued for the library market?

Question #2: Again, I have access to the first printing (library), the second (own) and both seem identical. This site and Amazon shows the fourth printing, again, identical. So, if the first, second, and fourth printings are identical, should I create a third printing for this site and leave it for somebody else to verify? MLB 10:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

My first attempt at a hyperlink, hope I got it right. MLB 10:40, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, it took so long to answer your question, but I was just coming back from vacation when you posted it, and must have missed it. (That doesn't explain why other editors missed it. Maybe they just didn't know how to help.)
Question #1: publishers print all kind of arcane codes in their books, and occasionally someone will be able to figure it out, especially if enough editions from the same publisher can be compared. I don't think "QPB" means "quality paperback", especially in a hardcover edition from an hardcover publisher. (Delacorte's paperbacks are published by another division owned by the same company.) This code could be one for the press on which the book was printed, or it may some kind of dating system. You can record the code in the notes, and if we get enough of them a pattern may fall into place (that's how we deciphered Doubleday's gutter code system.)
Question #2: I don't recommend this. It's possible, but highly unlikely, that there wasn't a third printing, and it adds little value to the database to create a record for such a printing when the information is there for at least three other printings. The only time I do this is when there's a printing history in a later printing that gives a specific date for each of the earlier printings. This gives us more data and helps to place the other printings chronologically. Mhhutchins 14:23, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Listing interviews

I just entered the first book I've done that had an interview in it. So I went to the help page to look up how I should handle an interview. The first paragraph reads:

Unlike review columns, interviews are generally not entered separately in 
the content records. The only exception is if a content record exists for 
multiple interviews, in which case it is indexed as an ESSAY type.

I've read those two sentences several times, and I have no idea what they mean. Does that mean I shouldn't list that interview as a separate content item in the book? (There isn't a "content record ... for multiple interviews", because it's just a single interview with the author. So it certainly doesn't qualify for "the only exception".) If so, what do I do with it? Just add a note that it's in there, but not put it in the contents? And how did we get so bloody many interviews in the system if that paragraph is actual policy? Chavey 22:36, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

The wording leaves much (and I mean MUCH) to be desired, but the underlying idea is that there are four distinct sections in the Publication Editor:
  • Publication Metadata - used to enter the pub title, authors, publisher, page count, date, etc
  • "Content" - used to enter all Title records except Reviews and Interviews
  • Reviews - used to enter Reviews
  • Interviews - used to enter Interviews
So the basic rule is that reviews go in the Reviews section, interviews go in the Interviews section and everything else goes in the (ambiguously named) "Content" section.
To go back to the Help page that you quoted, the first sentence is a reference to the opening sentence of the Reviews section of the same Help page (which appears earlier.) It reads "Review columns (or individual reviews within a volume of critical essays) are entered as ESSAY types in the general content record, but you should also record the books reviewed, and who reviewed them, in this [i.e. "Reviews"] section." It's poorly worded because it can be misunderstood to mean that you need to enter each review twice, one as a Review and another time as an Essay. We may want to reword it to make it clear that only framing essays, e.g. "Books received this month and why they all sucked", should be entered as ESSAYs while individual reviews are only entered in the Reviews section.
The second sentence that you quoted simply states that the "framing essay" rule also applies to interviews -- if there is a "framing essay" that encompasses multiple interviews, e.g. an account of how the interviews were taken at a con, then it should be entered as an ESSAY in the Content section while the actual interviews should be entered in the Interviews section. Ahasuerus 06:23, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Searching for no page count

The Advanced search gives you the ability to search for books with a specified page count. Is there any way to search for books that have no listed page count? Chavey 04:47, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Not at present, and at over 19,000 pubs it wouldn't be wise to query that way. I think at some point we want to add "IS NULL" and "IS NOT NULL" options to advanced search, but I've got to incorporate Ahasuerus' latest changes before I look at that. BLongley 11:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
If anybody wants to work on these, drop me a line and I'll give you a project page. Half of them have Catalog numbers so might be findable on OCLC/Worldcat or another of our main linked sites. BLongley 22:16, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that a catalog record with a blank page count field is often indicative of a canceled pub. Apparently some publishers send a bare bones record to libraries and online stores very early in the game. If the pub is canceled between the time the bare bones record is created and the time it is fleshed out, you end up with a "ghost" record which may linger in OCLC/Amazon/etc for years. In theory publishers are supposed to notify libraries about cancellations and libraries are supposed to update their records (there is a special "canceled" field in the standard), but much of the time it never happens. Ahasuerus 22:30, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
And we do tend to vary on our uses of the page-count field for ebooks and audiobooks - some are "0" pages to stop the bibliographic warnings, others are truly blank. Darrah, if this is something you want to investigate I could post, say, 500 ISBN-13ed pubs for you to look at? BLongley 22:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
What I was planning on doing was exactly what you said in your second comment: If there was an ISBN, and there was no page count, then I would use WorldCat links to see how many page counts I could fill in. (Recognizing that it won't be all of them.) So if you have a way to generate lists of such books, I'd be glad to work on such a list -- e.g. in a project page. Chavey 23:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, ISFDB:Page Count Clean Up created. As you can see we start with some very odd ISBN-13s - I think someone is putting Google Books IDs in there. BLongley 11:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I did the first 100 or so, to get a feel for the project. There are a whole lot of other records there that look like bad ISBN numbers, i.e. all of those that started with 29400. None of those linked to actual OCLC records, except for a few that linked to books other than the one in the publication record. There were also a whole bunch of ebooks with ISBN's and no page counts. (Can you do the select so as to eliminate those?) I wasn't sure how to handle them, then So it seems that some publishers are throwing print ISBN's into their ebooks. I went ahead and dutifully linked to those OCLC records, and marked the pub records as being verified against WorldCat, but it felt wrong. Oddly enough, some of the records grabbed by your search already had page numbers (unless someone else filled those in before I got to them). Can you do a select that removes those pubs where the first character of p.pub_isbn = '#'? That would get rid of the Google book numbers, and possible some other non-ISBN catalog numbers. Chavey 03:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Revised search results posted. This will include some you've already worked on, but if you know how far you got in the first list you can continue from that point. BLongley 12:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Hm, let's see what we have here. <crunch, crunch, crunch>. If we ignore pubs without proper ISBNs, e-books, and audio books, then the 19,000 pubs mentioned by Bill shrink to 7,405, a somewhat more manageable number. Moreover, although OCLC doesn't let you check page numbers programmatically unless you subscribe to their service, it may be possible to partially automate the process by looking things up on OpenLibrary. For example, checking ISBN 0859979466 (see, we find "number_of_pages: 216". Unfortunately, it appears to be the exception rather than the rule and most of their records are as page-count-deficient as ours :-( Ahasuerus 02:44, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

(Unindent) Discussion moved to Page Count Clean Up Project page. Chavey 15:49, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Anyone ready for another batch? BLongley 21:48, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Facsimile Reprints

I have a question about the reprintings of novels in facsimile pulp reprints. I believe that if a novel reprinted in a book or anthology it is listed as a "novel", and when it is printed in a magazine it is listed as "Complete Novel) - serial". However, on this site the facsimile magazine reprints are listed under the "anthology" field, so why must these reprintings of novels be listed as "(Complete Novel) - serial" when in an anthology this wouldn't be so. Is it because these are facsimile magazine reprints? I have been having problems with this. MLB 20:53, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I personally can't figure out why reprints of magazines are entered as anthologies. This happened without discussion, or if it did, it was under the radar, and not on any of the main discussion pages (or I just missed it entirely). I suppose that the reason why the novels published in these facsimile reprints remain as serials is because they're exactly identical to the original publication record, and makes it easier to merge them into one record, rather than making them into another variant. Mhhutchins 21:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The way Magazines are handled is still a mystery to me. You can't clone them, so reprints in other countries are a pain (although better now that we can import contents). I suspect the bindings of the Anthologies are a bit better than the originals hence they're treated more like a book - but it's really not my area. BLongley 22:21, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
BTW, when you start a topic on any wiki page you should click on the plus tab ("+") at the top of the page. It looks like you do a page edit ("Edit" link) instead of creating a new topic ("+" link). Or you're not entering the topic title in the first field of the subject/headline box. This let's other editors know on the Recent Changes page that you've added a new topic and what the subject of the message is. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

VT doesn't show up in author's bibliography

I'm confused. I entered a "simplified" version of A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne and Donald M. McFarlan. McFarlan did another simplified version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The latter shows up in his bibliography, but "Journey" doesn't. I know I spelled it right, since if I go to "Journey" and click McFarlan's name, I get to that bibliography; but don't see that book. Since this may be an effect of the French/English language difference, I'll mention that I have all languages turned on in my preferences. Chavey 02:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

The "simplified" version by Jules Verne and Donald M. McFarlan is a VT and VTs do not appear on Summary pages unless their canonical title is eligible for inclusion as well. In this case the canonical title is by Verne alone, so the VT appears on Verne's page, but not on McFarlan's. It's an irritating "feature" since it makes it hard to handle "adapted" works, but the only workaround that I know of is to enter the adapted version as a separate canonical title and then create a series. Ahasuerus 03:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
As you may recall, I started looking into translator support last year and made some good progress. Would people be happy to use that to cover abridgements/simplifications as well? (I know some people think we've stretched variants too far already.) BLongley 11:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I think that translators and adapters are enough alike that this would be a good pairing. It is true that we sometimes push particular features too far, and use them for things they were never intended for. But my wife is a database specialist, and that happens in every sophisticated database. ("We need to store this date, but they don't provide a field for it. Let's put it here!") It does mean that we sometimes need to push more into the Help screens than was originally put there :-) Chavey 13:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
"Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" is already a long enough phrase and doesn't cover Magazine Serialisations or Translations. "Relate this title to another" might be the way forward but then the special case of Reviews comes in. I've an idea of where we want to go, but ideally I wouldn't start from here! BLongley 16:49, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding support for translators, adapters and other "roles" like "editors of single author collections" is on the horizon, but it's a very big can of worms and we need to clean up our code before we can tackle it. At the moment, the software implements some object oriented concepts, but it does it poorly and inconsistently. We need to improve it and make it behave consistently before we add additional complexities. The approximate order of changes is: (1) clean up multilingual support; (2) clean up awards; (3) update the code to be OO throughout; (4) bigger and better things. Ahasuerus 02:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
That seems to me to be an appropriate prioritization. Chavey 03:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I broke the VT link, and now things show up properly in McFarlan's bibliography. I created a Chapterbook series for Journey to the Center of the Earth. Since the original Verne novel is already in a title series, I didn't want to expand this beyond the various Chapterbook simplifications, but that would seem to be a reasonable compromise organization. Chavey 13:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

How to enter an ASIN?

Hi, I want to enter an ebook that's listed on Amazon, & though it doesn't seem to have an ISBN, & has an ASIN for it, specifically "ASIN: B006985LOC". I've just checked the Rules of Acquisition re ebooks, so I know it's an "In". Although there's now a paper edition (following year), I want to put the ebook & contents in to get the dates, so they match their Awards years. Is there a conventional way to enter the ASIN value in the ISBN/Catalog# field? Thanks ... --clarkmci / j_clark 02:29, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

This discussion has come up several times over the past few years and, although it may not have been codified, the conclusion has been almost always that the ASIN not be entered into the ISBN/Catalog # field. Some have argued that this is a catalog number, while the strongest voice (probably mine) was that this is a merchant-originated number, in this case, Amazon's unique identifier, and as such, is not the publisher's (or manufacturer's) catalog number. Amazon created the ASIN for pre-ISBN publications and it has expanded its use for ebooks without ISBNs, and millions of other non-book products. It's sole purpose is to sell the product. In most cases, this number is not stated in or on the product (book, ebook or toaster). Some ISFDB editors somehow believe that a record with a blank field is incomplete. The ISFDB software designers even give warnings for blank fields which add to this belief. In reality, there's no crime in leaving the ISBN/Catalog # field blank. If you want to give a merchant's identifier in the Note field, feel free to do so. But I don't think it's the ISFDB's duty to help Amazon sell its products. Mhhutchins 05:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
For e-books, Amazon's has been known to show just the ASIN even when the book has an ISBN. For this reason I put the ASIN in Notes. In the long run we need to add a new multiply occurring field for "External IDs" -- like OCLC #, LCCN, and ASIN -- but it won't happen overnight. Ahasuerus 10:15, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
While we're on the subject, I don't think Google Book IDs or Barnes and Noble IDs belong in the field either. BLongley 11:04, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree. We should treat all merchants the same, not just the underdogs like Amazon. Mhhutchins 13:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I strongly support these last two comments. The "Catalog number" should be something that is on the book or is on a formal catalog from the publisher (which can include ads in other books by that publisher). Numbers assigned by third-party entities, including ASIN, LCCN, OCLC, Reginald #, or my local library's card catalog number should not go there; they go in the Notes field if anywhere. Chavey 22:39, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
ISFDB:Policy#Rules of Acquisition says "e-books with a unique identifier such as an ISBN, ASIN, EAN, or catalog number (note: software support added in mid-2006, non-ISBN identifiers allowed in March 2011)." Template:PublicationFields:ISBN does not mention "non-ISBN identifiers." What is the "software support" added in mid-2006? I added an ebook and tried just the ASIN. There's a moderator warning for new-pub but not edit-pub. I also tried #B003RISNRE, "ASIN B003RISNRE," and "Amazon B003RISNRE." None of them caused the record to link to
In the past I would have agreed with Mhhutchins' comments. However, Amazon is now a "publisher" in the fullest sense of the word. True, it's a vanity publisher but still, it's a publisher. They have a dead-tree imprint called "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform"[1] The CreateSpace publications I've seen use standard ISBNs and the ASIN is used for ebook publications. If you plug a CreateSpace ISBN into book selling sites other than Amazon you get "not found" or "out of stock" and so in a sense these are unique to Amazon. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
That's because no dealer other than Amazon sells books published by CreateSpace. Yet there are many CreateSpace books that have an ISBN. (CreateSpace authors have to either purchase ISBNs personally from Bowker, or pay Amazon extra to get an ISBN.) Should we forego entering the ISBN into the ISBN field, just because Amazon has also assigned it an ASIN? Just as we deal with other publishers that have both, we record the catalog number in the note field when there is an ISBN present. In the above discussion, my objection was to entering Amazon's ASIN into the ISBN field of titles published by other publishers. The fact that Amazon publishes books never came up. If a CreateSpace publication has no ISBN, I see no problem with entering the ASIN into the ISBN field with the standard "#" to indicate a publisher's catalog number.
As Ahasuerus pointed out, even though Amazon lists only the ASIN for ebooks, this is no proof that an ISBN hasn't been assigned. I've been entering the series of short story ebooks from Tor (A Original), and finding the ISBNs listed on the Barnes & Noble website, but not on Amazon, who only lists the ASIN. If I had not further research, I would have come to the conclusion that these don't have ISBNs. That's the problem with one dealer having so much dominance in the market. We begin to think theirs is the only way things are done. (BTW, no one has updated the Rules of Acquisition, because, as usual, such discussions come to a dead end.) Mhhutchins 20:31, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I have run into this problem over and over again -- even when you can see the ISBN via Look Inside, Amazon will not list it on the "product page" and won't report it via the query mechanism used by Fixer.
As to whether Amazon is a vanity publisher, that's not a simple question to answer. They own 47North, which publishes books by the likes of Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and Dave Duncan. In addition, CreateSpace occasionally publishes classic reprints like this Kuttner and this Howard. They are also a self-publishing platform for established authors like Lawrence Watt-Evance and Core Doctorow.
Anyway, there is FR 3127708 to add support for "external identifiers" like ASINs, OCLC numbers, LCCNs, etc. It should make linking to other sites much easier and also allow Fixer to find and submit books that he is currently unable to process. Ahasuerus 20:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Pagination of J. G. Ballard's Harper Perennial editions

I'd like to begin indexing the dozen-or-so Ballard editions that Harper Perennial (UK) have been releasing since 2008 (eg. The Unlimited Dream Company - there are hardly any others in the database at present). There will be a problem with pagination, though: each edition has a "P.S." section at the rear which contains essays and interviews which ought to be indexed, however the page numbering simply begins again in Arabic numerals. Hence the edition for The Atrocity Exhibition (not in the database at present) would have a Page listing of "viii+184+22"... not a problem in itself, but when it comes to display of the contents the P.S. section's page numbering would then become mixed with the stories in the collection – not ideal. As a solution I could list the P.S. section's pages in brackets (eg. "[22]") with a Note explaining that the pages are in fact numbered, but can anyone point me to a pub listing where this problem has been encountered before and a better solution found? Thanks. PeteYoung 02:09, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

There was a publication with a PS section entered about a month or so ago, and the editor had the same problem. I think he gave the page numbers of the PS section contents as "PS 1" but couldn't swear to it. In any case, it was rather inelegant, and still didn't sort correctly. This is a software display problem, and since there is no standard (that I'm aware of), I can only suggest that you experiment, Keep trying until you get something that does an adequate job of separating the sections and is visually appealing. That's going to be tough considering the software limitations. Mhhutchins 02:26, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
For now as a first attempt I've added High-Rise, but while bracketed numbers and Roman numerals are the only other formats allowable I've stuck to the tools available that don't give formatting error messages, and bracketed the P.S. pages only in the Contents (NOT in the Pages box), with a brief Note explaining how this separates the two sections. I think it looks OK, apart from the fact that the extra Contents come before the novel instead of after, where they ought to be (again, I've referred to this in the Note). What do you think?
It's obviously a small problem, but it might also be worth adding something to the 'Edit Title' Help to address this type of publication when it appears - until parentheses or chevrons (for example) are also allowed, which might give us a little more flexibility. But then I know nothing about Coding. PeteYoung 04:51, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I suspect we'll never sort the software out - it's bad enough coping with Roman Numerals. And if we did, think how much rework of page numbers would be required.... :-( BLongley 07:30, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Allen K's Inhuman Magazine

I have a complete run of this publication, but I'm unsure as how to list it. It's been around for a while, and is it a magazine, or an anthology? You can't subscribe to it (I think), and it only comes out roughly once a year, although it has skipped years, between issues. Four years between #3 and #4 for instance. So, do I list it as an annual magazine, or just as an anthology? Amazon published a rather harsh review of the third issue, and more information about this anthology/magazine can be found here: MLB 07:45, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

If they call it a Magazine, I'm fine with that. If they go through several printings of an issue, then it's best to call it an Anthology so we can detail each printing. BLongley 08:48, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
When I was younger, they used to call things like this "Bookzines" but that catagory just ain't here. I guess I'll call it a magazine, but if it's a print on demand magazine we'll never know if it is reprinted. Every printing should be numbered, but then, nobody is asking me. MLB 13:34, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
If it calls itself a magazine, then that's what we go with. BTW, are you using the plus [+] tab to create a new topic on a wiki page or do you use the "Edit" tab? Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:08, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Publication without "Title Reference"

I have changed [this pub] from "novel" to "collection", but in this process it lost "Title Reference" (and [this is] Bibliography without Publications). What can I do? BarDenis 19:39, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Add a content record of the COLLECTION type with the same title and author as in the metadata at the heading of the record. The system will automatically make this the title record if they all match. (The title record is labeled "Title Reference" in the display of the publication record.) You will then have to merge this newly created title record with the title record without pubs. Mhhutchins 20:31, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Where the Wild Things Are - Chapterbook or doomed forever to be a Novel?

I've added a new pub of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, however I encountered a couple of problems. First, seeing the title incorrectly listed as NOVEL, I made what I thought would be a simple (and obvious) correction to SHORTFICTION (even spread over 40 or so pages with illustrations, it's barely 20 sentences long). I then tried to Clone from another pub that had the title and interior artwork already included as Contents, however I would get a message saying "This publication is not in a cloneable state", with "Unable to determine the parent title of this publication", and a number of possible reasons why. My switching of the title type had messed with something. I switched it back to NOVEL and was then able to make the Clone edit. I then edited the new pub and listed it as a CHAPTERBOOK, with the Title already listed in the Contents (as I have left it now until my question gets clarified), but I see that if I were to then try to Clone this pub as it is (as a Chapterbook) I then get an identical message.

If someone could lead me through this and why an edit from NOVEL to SHORTFICTION prevents a further Pub Edit (and why in this instance an editor could not then clone a publication listed as Chapterbook), I'd appreciate it. I know it's a learning curve and I half-suspect it's something obvious I'm missing about Title Records or Chapterbooks. Thanks. PeteYoung 04:40, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

When you change a Novel to a Chapterbook you need to have two contents at least in it, one of SHORTFICTION type and one of CHAPTERBOOK type (which will match the publication title). If you have just been changing the publication type to CHAPTERBOOK and content to SHORTFICTION then the system is confused by a CHAPTERBOOK pub with no CHAPTERBOOK content, hence "Unable to determine the parent title of this publication". You'll need to add the second record manually, and maybe merge a few of them afterwards. BLongley 10:48, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
All done now. Although I'm still not sure why just changing NOVEL to SHORTFICTION before any edit to CHAPTERBOOK prevented me from cloning a Pub. I'm sure I'll come across this again sometime in the future, but meanwhile, thanks. PeteYoung 12:12, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, if you only changed the content first, then it would be confused by a NOVEL with no NOVEL content. There needs to be a title and content match to make it a valid record. Sometimes you need to go through a mismatch step, but in the end a NOVEL needs a NOVEL content, a CHAPTERBOOK needs a CHAPTERBOOK content etc. I see this a lot in Fixer submissions where you are not allowed to change an ANTHOLOGY content and publication in one go - sometimes the system works against itself. BLongley 14:27, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
All becomes clear now. Cheers! PeteYoung 00:24, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation of publishers (Dragonfly Press)

Dragonfly Press looks like it is actually two different small presses. Two books, one in 1991, one in 2011, one priced in dollars one in pounds. Should this be disambiguated the way an author would be? Say Dragonfly Press(US) and Dragonfly Press(UK)? Dana Carson 07:26, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

That is a reasonable way to handle it, yes. -DES Talk 02:53, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Yup, we have 70 publishers currently disambiguated with "(US)" or "(UK)". I had to teach Fixer not to auto-assign countries to their ISBNs. Ahasuerus 03:26, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
OK. Updated. Dana Carson 07:26, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Changing Publisher's name

Hi! The publishers for Nebula SF are currently given as Crownpoint Publications Ltd.; Glasgow and Peter Hamilton; Glasgow. In line with the current standard I'd like to get rid of semicolon, space and city name. Is there a clever way of doing it rather than editing each of 41 pubs? Cheers, P-Brane 00:48, 13 July 2012 (UTC).

A moderator can do it, without having to be clever. I'll go ahead and make the changes you suggest. Mhhutchins 01:55, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I've changed both of them but, come to think of it, you may have been able to do it yourself. Go to the publisher page and see if there's a link to "Edit This Publisher". If not, that means only a moderator can do it. I'm so used to doing things around here that I forget that non-moderators might not be able to do the same thing. Mhhutchins 02:01, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Just an idea: Display 'Moderator-only options' in a different color.--Dirk P Broer 07:50, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! It seems that only mod can do it - I don't see the link to "Edit This Publisher". Cheers, P-Brane 02:22, 13 July 2012 (UTC).
It's not quite Mods-only - the link is just not shown for non-mods. And if someone can figure out the workaround, they probably deserve to be a Mod! BLongley 11:11, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Nah, it's too easy. Go to and replace #### with your favourite publisher id. Cheers, P-Brane 12:20, 13 July 2012 (UTC).
That was easy! Now you have to figure out how to approve the submission. Mhhutchins 15:22, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps that should be the question on the "Are you ready to mod?" test then! Which reminds me, the mod qualifications page is probably a bit out of date now - it's very English-orientated, and I for one want to stop Modding in languages I can't understand. BLongley 21:56, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
If it's a simple submission I'll work on it, but if it's in a different alphabet, I leave it in the queue. Mhhutchins 22:31, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

How to import the new database?

I downloaded the latest version of mysql isfdb backup, and I am getting an error trying to load it using the "source" command. I am using the latest MySQL 5.5.25a-winx64.

I can successfully load the old isfdb backup from Jan 2011.

The error I am getting is

ERROR 1146 table xxxx doesn't exists

and so on for all the tables.

Is it because the isfdb moved to new format?

Regards, Qshadow.

Hm, let me see... Ahasuerus 22:26, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Could you please try this native 5.5 version and see if it works for you? The one that was uploaded yesterday tries to be mysql-4.0 compatible, which may introduce other issues. Ahasuerus 23:21, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, this last one works fine. Is it necessary to create backups mysql 4.0 compatible? Qshadow
We did have problems with the new format, and those of us working on the software should ideally have the same version as the live server. When the live server gets upgraded is another matter.... BLongley 19:17, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
So, what version should I download? Is 5.0 or 5.2 ok maybe? Qshadow
The live server is running 5.0.45. The development server is running 5.5.17 (because I couldn't get 5.0.45 to run under Windows 7.) The only difference that I have found so far is that 5.5 uses indices more effectively, so some "clever" optimizations that work on the development server do not work on the live server. Eventually, I'd like to upgrade the MySQL software on the live server to 5.5, but I need to learn more about MySQL administration before I risk it. Ahasuerus 20:32, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok, so if I have Win7 only, and I want to use one of the latest backups, what can I do? If there is nothing I can do on my side (except maybe to downgrade to WinXP), can you please create at least one 5.5 compatible backup? (I think it is also a good thing to have at least one such backup per half a year just in case). Qshadow

How to? Merging publishers

Hi! How does one merge publishers? I'd like these 4 (1, 2, 3, 4) to become one. In fact, there are two more incarnations: 5 6. Thanks, P-Brane 03:13, 19 July 2012 (UTC). P.S. Do not tell me it's a mod test:)

Only mods can merge publishers, but we can only merge them if they are identical. Editors can change the publisher's field on each of the pubs, but depending on how many records there are, that could take some time. I'll do some research to see if these should be merged. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:52, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
Mods can also do mass changes of the publisher field, but are generally very cautious about doing so, particularly if some of the pubs have been primary verified. -DES Talk 13:24, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

New Stats page

Hi All, I have started a small project to analyze ISFDB growth through the years, maybe some of you familiar with similar project to analyze Wikipedia growth, Modelling_Wikipedia Growth.

The results can be seen at Stats_by_Year#Database_Growth. Based on the graphs we can now predict how many entries we will have in the future, and maybe even when the ISFDB will be finished (of course for this we need approximation of total number of SF titles and authors ever written).

Qshadow 15:07, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Interesting graphs! I especially like the one for titles entered each day; although your conclusion that there are only two possible reasons why the growth in that number has leveled is quite unscientific and the statistics can't really support the statement. Now, if we could only get those pesky authors to stop writing SF, it would be so much easier to "finish" the database. (That's a goal that no one here has ever considered...or at least I haven't!) Mhhutchins 17:09, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you that it is possible that there are additional reasons, I just listed the reasons i have thought of. I am not sure I understand why do you think that the reasons I gave are "unscientific" and the statistics doesn't support them. Can you please explain it? Qshadow 18:12, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Since you asked...let's start with the statement: "There can be two reason[s] for [this]:" This is a very simplistic conclusion, because there are many reasons why the titles/day may have leveled off. Among the factors, one of the most important is that most of the submissions for new titles come from a software program called Fixer. The designer (Ahasuerus) has placed controls, let's call it a clutch, on the program that only allows a certain number of submissions to be placed into the moderator queue at any given time. It was designed, and Ahasuerus can better explain it, to release a small portion of the thousands of titles that are sitting in its queue, based on a set of priorities: allowing all of the "big" titles (by well-known authors and publishers) to come through and filling up the remaining portion of its "daily allowance" with smaller titles, and retaining all the rest, until such a time when the ISFDB submission queue has been cleared. Out of the dozen or so moderators, very few us actually handle these submissions. Perhaps if more moderators were doing so, Fixer would release more submissions for new titles from its personal queue with the result that the daily average for new titles might rise. We both know that if the ISFDB can record 350 new titles a day, we're pretty much covering 99% of "the good stuff" being published, even if there are 1000 titles per day being published. In that 350 new titles, there is plenty of dross, and at least half of which is either self-published, or from new publishers. It's not my goal, and I'm not speaking for anyone else here, that the ISFDB have 100% coverage. Mainly, because it's impossible. Consider this: Locus listed only 2140 new book titles in all of 2011. The ISFDB, according to your figures, added 134000 new titles in the past 12 months. That has to include shortfiction, essay, magazine, cover art and interiorart records. (I'd like to see the numbers for new titles of book publication types: novel, collection, anthology, nonfiction, etc.)
Now to your conclusions:
#1: The DB is almost complete and only new titles written in the last years are being added and this number is ~350 titles per day.
Setting aside book titles for a moment, we're constantly updating older publication records with contents, including shortfiction, essay, interviews, interiorart records, etc. Some of these are new titles, i.e. were not previously in the database, but for older work that was yet to be entered into the database. So unless the statistics for the number of new title records can be correlated with the date of the title record, this conclusion is false.
#2: The DB is not complete, but there is some bottleneck (not enough moderators? no new submitters?) that prevents further growth.
This one has a measure of truth (referring to the Fixer submissions that I mention above), but you would have to prove that the sf field is growing at a rate more than the number of titles being entered into the ISFDB. In fact, we could be entering 99% of all new titles, and the ISFDB entry rate could remain constant, even if the number of new titles is growing. Or even worse, the number of new titles being published could be decreasing, yet because we're entering older titles along with new ones, the ISFDB entry rate remains constant. As a moderator who has handled to date more than a quarter million submissions over the past five years, I can tell you that the number of new titles being entered by new editors has become increasingly smaller as the years have progressed. The vast majority of new editors are updating existing records. Even though I'd love to see new editors join us, I don't see that an increase in the number of editors has any correlation with the number of new titles. Your speculation about new moderators affecting the figure may be closer to the truth, if Ahasuerus is able to release the thousands of titles that are currently in Fixer's queue, and if those new moderators would actually handle them (we can hardly get old moderators to handle them!) Mhhutchins 19:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for interesting information, actually as you also noted your information supports my second possibility, and I was able to find that some bottleneck exist through statistics alone, and even guessed that the reason is "not enough moderators". Anyway I have a new info now, so better we discuss it. Qshadow 21:00, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
In any case I am preparing now new set of statistics that will show the number of (Authors, Titles, Awards, etc...) in the DB, but only for Titles that where written before 1990. The year 1990 was chosen arbitrary. I wanted to take year old enough that no new titles being written or published in the years that we have statistics samples (2006-2012). If we see that number of titles before 1990 was growing rapidly until some point and then almost stopped growing, it means that most of the titles before 1990 (and known to us) have been entered to ISFDB. Of course it can never stop completely, there will be always some forgotten titles added. If on the other hand we do not see it's growth stopping but just leveling on some X titles/day, this would mean that we are far from completing. Qshadow 18:12, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I look forward to seeing the new set of statistics. Drawing conclusions from them can be rather tricky though. Mhhutchins 19:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Please if you have access to the older MySQL, convert for me the backup from 2012-01-07 to newer format. I would like to release new data without the hole in the samples that we have now. If you can't I will ask Ahasuerus (if he doesn't read this post already). In the meantime I will update the statistics page with a preview of what is coming. Qshadow 21:00, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of the database on my hard drive, and have no idea what MySQL really is. I can only assume it's a software program but that just shows how illiterate I am when it comes to software. I'm sure Ahasuerus will know what you're talking about and will be able to help you. He stays alert and is pretty much aware of all pertinent posts on the wiki so he'll be sure to read this. Mhhutchins 22:21, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I have a request, in order to make the stats more correct I need a sample from 2012-01-07, it is on our download page, but I can't use it since it is incompatible with MySQL 5.5. Can someone please convert it to 5.5? If not we will have missing point in 2012 as you can see on all the graphs. Qshadow 18:12, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I posted new charts, without the missing sample (Ahasuerus says it is tricky to convert, but I still hope he will make it ;). Waiting for comments. Qshadow 12:24, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Missing Link

I think this site is fantastic, but I don't have a clue about how to edit on it. I'd like to report a missing link: Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall Two" page is not linked to Isaac Asimov's main publications page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Macevanscb (talkcontribs) .

It's there, but under Nightfall and Other Stories - the UK paperback split the collection into two volumes. BLongley 12:21, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Because they have different titles, each of their title records should be made into variant titles of the original, just as we do for the title records of a serialization. I'll do that, and then both volumes will appear on Asimov's summary page. Mhhutchins 13:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Stories and Storytellers

I seem to keep doing something wrong. When I enter story collections and anthologies I always seem to have to go back and merge the dublicate titles, thereby wasting everybodies time. Mine to do this, and the moderators to check and okay the edits. I was going to do this here with [Stories and Storytellers[2]] but, I decided to let it go and let somebody look at it and see what I'm doing wrong. MLB 19:11, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

The system doesn't merge content titles automatically. It's a manual operation. If you create new records for titles that are already in the database, it is not incumbent upon you to merge the duplicate title records, would be very nice. But many times you can save everyone some time and effort by following this question path:
  • Is there a title record for the exact title and is it by the same author?
    • Yes: Is there a similar pub?
      • Yes: Use the "Clone" function.
      • No: Use the "Add Publication to This Title" function.
    • No: Use the appropriate "Add New..." function.
If you're entering an anthology or collection that has no similar publication record in the database, you can't help but enter title records for duplicate titles unless it's an anthology or collection of original work. Just consider the merging of content records as part of the entire process and that's the method used to add a publication to the database. There is no need to apologize to moderators for having to make submissions to merge title records...that's part of the process, too. There's no way around it.
I have to also ask you again to please use the plus tab method to create new topics on a wiki page. That's the only way for the topic of the message to appear on the recent changes page. That is the page most moderators first check in order to see if new topics have been posted. If you're using the plus tab to add new topics, then I'm missing something, and there's a problem we have to fix. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:21, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
BTW, I've gone ahead and merged the duplicate content titles in Stories and Storytellers. Mhhutchins 20:34, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we need an "Import Title[s] [by number] into a Pub" option... Ahasuerus 01:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Books by E.C. Tubb

I am searching for books by E.C.Tubb . I am especially interested in books after Dumarest Of Terra. Title Suymbol Of Terra book #30. Printed Sep. 1984. I am a writer my self with 20 published works on Amazon. Melvin C. Duncan

Go to, type "Tubb" into the search box at the left on that page, and click on "Go". That'll bring up a list of people named Tubb. You'll find E. C. Tubb listed there, and clicking on that link will bring you to: his bibliographic summary, from which you can get to more detailed information about any of the works that interest you. There are more sophisticated ways to search, using the "Advanced Search" option in that same search area. --MartyD 16:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Boxed Sets

Just doesn't seem to be anything in the Help pages about them. I've entered maybe three [all as Omnibus editions with notes], but those at least had a separate ISBN/Title. Now I have one with nothing but the author's name and a five-digit catalog # on the spine. There's no real way to tell if the four books in the boxed set were even those originally issued in the slip-case! No series ties them together and the slip-case's artwork is unrelated to the books [one was used on a completely different work by the author and the back 'cover' piece seems to be original]. All four are later printing Ace editions. Any ideas? --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

There's this bit:
Boxed sets. A boxed set will typically contain books that have their own ISBNs. In such cases the boxed set is not of interest, as it is only a form of packaging; a note can be made in note field for the books contained in the boxed set, but the boxed set itself does not need a separate entity. If a boxed set or other packaging format does not have separately identifiable publications, however, then the whole package is an omnibus, anthology, or collection, as appropriate. Albinoflea 07:13, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Where did you find this?? As yet we have no policy/direction for such and it would be nice if this was a little more accessible [I did look!!] --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:13, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It's in "Help:New Pub", under Publication Type. It's the 8th item in the list shown there. Chavey 03:11, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, what Chavey said. :) Sorry I missed this comment earlier. Albinoflea 03:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I entered a few boxed sets as separate entries (see Peake and Moorcock) type omnibus, with notes referring to the books inside (and v.v). Perhaps this helps? --Willem H. 08:37, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
I've done a couple, too, much in the same fashion [but only if the set had a separate ISBN]. It's certainly not a pressing issue, but the Help should deal with them in SOME way. The one I have, re this post, will NOT get into the DB [just no data that's beyond the four books included], but the possibly unique art on the back of the slipcase may be of interest ... --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:13, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Alternate Endings

I've got an edit on hold for to add a separate SHORTFICTION title for a alternate ending to a story. The story, "The Vultures of Whapeton" appearing in Robert E. Howard's Treasures of Tartary has a footnote on the title page: "Both endings to this story are presented her, just as it was originally published in Smashing Novels.—Editor". Following the story there is an Editor's Note of three paragraphs followed by the heading "The second ending follows." The alternate ending is less than 2 pages long. (An additional Editor's Note follows the second ending). The editor who submitted the edit added a new SHORTFICTION item titled "The Vultures of Wahpeton (alternative ending)". Do we have a policy for or against adding separate titles for alternate endings? If so, how should they be titled? If not, should we have separate title records for the various forms of the story itself. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 01:42, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

If the original story ends, and then the alternate ending is presented with a new title page (and is probably listed in the TOC that way), I see no problem with creating a new content record. I've seen this done several times already in the database. But (and it's a big BUT), if the alternate ending is presented as part of the story without its own title page (as you describe the publication here), I don't think a new content record should be created. The verifier can note that "This version of the story contains both the original and alternate endings". The record will have to be merged with all other printings that have the same title and the same author credit. We don't variant based on changes in text. (If we did, every publication of a Harlan Ellison story would have its own title record!) Mhhutchins 02:14, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
BTW, this title record is very screwed up. It's a variant of itself. Mhhutchins 02:22, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
That was a bit of a mess. I've cleaned up the title, but there is also this this title. I'm not clear on whether this title is supposed to represent the story with the ending or just the ending. If it's just then ending, I wouldn't expect those fanzines to give it the title of the full story, thus needing the parenthetical disambiguation. I'm going to reject the edits I'm holding and direct Biomassbob to this discussion to take a look at the other title.
As an aside, have we started putting volume and issue numbers as part a magazine/fanzine titles? I thought the practice was to use date. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the policy hasn't changed. I tried to convince the editor that it's not the standard, hit a brick wall, and just gave up. Mhhutchins 14:44, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

M. Z. Bradley's "Falcons of Narabedla", German edition

I'm trying to figure out how to enter this. Marion Zimmer Bradley published a 100 page novella version of "Falcons of Narabedla" in 1957, which then becomes a 127 page "novel" when published as an Ace Double in 1964, and then as a 150 page standalone book in 1979. I have no idea if it went through any revisions between these three incarnations. In 1959 a 253 page German translation is published. The picture of that book associated with a current auction certainly makes it look like a full-sized novel (scroll down for the full-size picture). So do I list it as a novel, e.g. as a VT of the 1964 English novel, or call it a really big chapbook and make its contents a VT of the 1957 novella? Both approaches feel wrong to me. Chavey 06:03, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

If I read this page correctly, the auction has the original title wrong. This should have been The Door Through Space. The German edition was translated from the manuscript that later became half of the Ace Double, and was expanded from Bird of Prey, where the German title came from. The dimensions of the book (18.5 x 12.5) and the illustrations could account for the number of pages. There is also the statement that this is Bradley's first published book worldwide. --Willem H. 13:06, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, that helps explain a lot. Although it does seem unusual that the expanded version of Door Through Space was translated and published in German before it managed to get published in English. But at least the dates for Door Through Space make that much more plausible then with Falcons of Narabedla. Chavey 22:12, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It happens from time to time. I recall that back in the 1990s Charles Sheffield's Convergence was first published in Belarus (!) because Sheffield was having issues with his US publisher (I think he ended up transitioning from Del Rey to Baen.) Ahasuerus 23:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

First stab at fanzines

I'm entering the fanzines "Janus" and "Aurora" (the latter being a continuation of the former). This is my first real attempt at doing fanzines (and I haven't done any magazines), so while I'm self-moderating my submissions, I hope another moderator will look at them and see if I've made errors. So far, I've entered issues #1 and #24, which were the natural ones for me to enter :-), and I'm hoping someone will look at both my overall top level page for Janus/ Aurora and those two specific issues. I also have some specific questions that I couldn't easily find answers to. Have I erred on any of the following assumptions?

  • If a poem is included with no title, I have entered it as if the first line of the poem was the title. (Is that right?)
  • For letters to the editor, I've included all those where the author already exists in the ISFDB, with a note that other letter writers have not been included. Should I further limit content items to writers who have been published outside of fanzines? To those above some "threshold"? Should I list the names of other letter writers in the notes?
  • For interior art, I separated the art (and photos) associate with individual stories and essays. That leaves several pieces of art that stand alone for the other contents, have no title or caption, and have no way to distinguish them from each other. For now, I simply listed a single content item for an issue and included all such "standalone" art pieces there. How should such art be entered?
  • When an essay is about a well-known author, and discusses (not just mentions) various books by that author, does each book in that essay get listed as a review? That's the impression I get from Help:NewPub Reviews, but I want to make sure before I add the couple of dozen such books discussed in this way in issue #24.

Thanks, Chavey 07:07, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

What you did looks pretty good to me. A couple of opinions/comments:
  • On the Wiki page, you don't need the manually constructed grid anymore. Put the editor records into an "Aurora" series, and you'll get a dynamic grid to which you can link. It's an extra hop for people, but it cuts down on maintenance effort and data entry mistakes. You may, of course, get strong opposing viewpoints to this suggestion. :-)
  • For untitled poems, using the first line is something someone suggested to me when I was working on the Poe stuff. But I think you should then include quotes and an elipsis. "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves..." Quoting looks to be a common practice; elipses common but not as widespread. I also used the first lines parenthetically, with elipses, to disambiguate among poems with identical titles, FWIW.
  • I can't offer an educated opinion about the letters. I have seen other fanzines include them all. If you aren't including them all, I suggest making the notes explain why the omissions (or why the inclusions). They seem like clutter, but I imagine they could prove useful to someone trying to research a person or trying to disambiguate a name. The other thing is, limiting based on who's already in the database is a little abritrary: Perhaps another person will be added tomorrow, and then there's no way to know to add that person's letter. Listing some in the notes seems neither here nor there.
  • For the artwork, techniques used for book publications still apply. You use the title of that issue, just as you would for art in a book. If you want to track the pieces separately, add "[2]", "[3]", etc., to the subsequent ones. You might want to do that if the pieces are significant or by different artists. If the art is by one person, sprinkled throughout the issue, and none of it is of any special significance, a single interiorart entry is appropriate.
  • I'm not a review authority, but I would consider a discussion of an author's works different from a review, and I would not treat the essay you describe as one or more reviews, unless it's really working through each of them and reviewing/criticizing them. If you had a (book) biography of an author that discussed various works, you wouldn't treat that as reviewing them.
Hope this helps. --MartyD 10:55, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Other problems with the first issue:.
  1. The title field: month should be completely spelled out, regardless of how it's given in the publication.
  2. The date field: date should be 1975-09-00 to reflect the month given in the title field. The contents should also have the same date (unless they're reprints.)
  3. The cover art field: were both artists credited for the single cover?
  4. The review of "Dahlgren" [sic]: if the review misspells the book's title, you have to manually link the review record to the correct title record. (If the review misspells the book's author, you have to correct the misspelling, note it in the review record, and then link the review record to the book's title record.)
  5. As Marty notes, you should create individual records for significant artwork that is not associated with a work of fiction or essay, and title it the same as the issue which it "illustrates". You only have to disambiguate with numbering if an artist has more than one of these pieces in the same issue.
  6. Final step, enter the editor records into a series in order to create a magazine grid. (I don't waste time creating a wiki table, but that's your prerogative.) See this help page. Mhhutchins 17:28, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Response to your questions:
  • Untitled poems: I concur with Marty.
  • Letters: It's up to the ISFDB editor. You can include all of them, none of them, or some of them, using your own criteria.
  • Unassociated artwork: I concur with Marty, but think disambiguating numbers should only be used when there are more than one work by the same artist. It's OK, in my opinion, to have the same titled work (the issue's title) if the artists are not the same.
  • Essays containing discussions of a single or several works: In some cases, in addition to creating an ESSAY record, I will also add a record for the "review" of the individual work. Otherwise there's no database connection between the essay and the works under discussion. It's up to the ISFDB editor to make that decision. Mhhutchins 17:53, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

I just posted a listing of Jasper Fforde's novel Something Rotten, and I listed the interior illustrations. Unfortunately, I couldn't credit them or date them. If somebody has a first edition they can tell me if these are original to the SFBC edition or if they are in all the printings, so I can change the date.

Also, as they are uncredited, did Fforde do all the illustrations and cartoons? If so, I can change the credit from "uncredited" to "Jasper Forde". Nosey minds want to know. MLB 16:23, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Your entry for the illustrations are correct. They're not credited in your copy, so that's the way they should be entered. Someone with an earlier Viking edition (not just a book club edition, since they're identical) can confirm the dates. I'd bet the same illustrations appeared in both 2004 Viking and Hodder & Stoughton editions. Leave messages on the talk pages of the verifiers of this edition and this one to see if their copies have the illustrations. Mhhutchins 18:04, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Did a little research, and according to the author's website: "four adverts at the rear, six illustrations by Maggy Roberts and a frontispiece". I would have to assume that means Maggy Roberts did not do the adverts and the frontispiece. Otherwise it's oddly worded. You can credit the six illustrations to Roberts, sourcing the author's website. Mhhutchins 18:04, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
My Hodder & Stoughton 2005 edition attributes all the artwork to Maggy and Stewart Roberts in a Credits page just before the four adverts. --Pips55 20:25, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you all for the information, the entry will be re-written to incorporate all it. MLB 14:41, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
If the illustrations go all the way back to the 2005 edition that Pips55 sites, then they are probably original to the volume, and I will date them as so. If they are not in the first printing then the dates can always be changed. MLB 15:13, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Bilingual editions of a single work of short fiction

I'm thinking specifically of Carlos Fuentes' Aura, which I'm about to add as bilingual edition with both Spanish and English versions of the novelette in the same pub. My question is: Chapterbook or Collection? It's either considered as a single work, hence Chapterbook, or it's two works - Spanish and the English variant - hence Collection. I'm inclined towards Collection, but the NewPub Help Page isn't particularly helpful on this occasion. Can anyone point to some precedents? PeteYoung 19:02, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

If there are two versions of a work in one publication (and I believe a translation is a different version), each has a separate content record. Thus, having two records of fiction in one publication, the record should be typed as a COLLECTION. Mhhutchins 19:29, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Done, but that turned out to be far more complex an operation than I was expecting. First I (obviously) had to make the English title (1965) a variant of the 1962 Spanish original, then created a new collection here and expected to manually merge the titles, however to begin with nothing I entered appeared listed on Fuentes' biblio page. Only after deletions, an import and adding content again (the Spanish title) did the collection actually appear. Not quite sure what I learned here, other than perseverance furthers. :) PeteYoung 12:32, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
What you encountered is a bug in the display of translated titles which have the same name as the original story. Until that's been fixed, it's not going to display correctly on the summary page, although the title record displays the correct credit. (There was a dangling title record for "Aura" which I deleted.) Mhhutchins 17:07, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

The Shining Reader by Anthony Magistrale

I just updated this entry here Holding the text in my hand I found much to change. However, my question is this. I know that an editor is not supposed to enter the contents of a non-fiction work, however, as this is an anthology, and that it contains fifteen different essays on Stephen King's The Shining by fifteen different authors, should I list the authors and the titles of their articles, or just leave it as it is? Are the rules of non-fiction anthologies different than the rules pertaining to non-fiction works by a single author? MLB 07:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Non-fiction which is about speculative fiction should always be entered. When a non-fiction book is written by a single author, we do not include the chapters as separate content items. However, when a non-fiction book has speculative fiction relevant essays by multiple authors, it is appropriate to include those individual essays and authors as separate content items. As one example, see Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. If we don't include separate essays, then we will have missed the contributions by most of those authors, and missing the fact that person X has written something spec-fic significant in publication Y is something we want to avoid. Chavey 12:46, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, please include individual essays as separate content records, as Darrah instructs. Otherwise, the casual user would have to assume that the entire book was written by Magistrale. But keep in mind, that if it were written entirely by Magistrale, it would not be necessary to create content records for chapters unless there is evidence that each "chapter" had been previously published as a separate essay. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:18, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. MLB 08:02, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

L. A. G. Strong's "Fantasia" (1957) is "Breakdown"

Hi all. I've just created an account and never contributed before. I see that "Fantasia" has:

Note: Dutch translation. Original title unknown. Story is about a man called Maurice, and his relations with Muriel and Vera.

This is the classic story "Breakdown." Please, how do I link the two? Thanks! - Fiona

Thanks for the information! This was one of the few Dutch translations I couldn't connect to an original. Linking the two is explained here. In short, you display the title record of Breakdown, take the last digits of the URL in your browser (in this case 1029458). This is the title id. Then you display the title record of Fantasia, select "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" from the editing tools on the left and enter the title id in the "parent #" field. Hit the "Link to Existing Parent" button, and wait for a moderator to approve your submission. --Willem H. 07:31, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Terrific! Now I feel as though I'm taking away something you wanted to do. I should probably have started by making a simpler edit, but this was the first one I felt fairly strongly about. Thanks so much!
Now, am I responsible for deleting the info in the Note other than "Dutch translation," or does a moderator do that? Again, thanks!
[The rest of you can ignore this... Many years ago, I started trying to teach myself Dutch. Not to speak, just to read, since I figured with a lifetime of English and 5 years of German it would make sense. It's a beautiful language. An Internet buddy, Wim, from Maastricht slept on my couch for a week and helped with pronunciations, though he said he had a different accent than Amsterdam. I asked him if "Gasthuis" meant haunted house. :) He got the joke, because we both like fantastic fiction.]
(And why does my UserName show up in red?) --FionaKelleghan
You took nothing away from me. Deleting the note is easy, just edit the title record and remove the text. Hope to see many more edits from you!
Glad you like my language. I live in the northern part of The Netherlands. Over here we have another, totally different accent (every region has it's own, the Frisians even have their own language).
Your name shows up in red because you're new here. After a few hundred edits it turns blue. --Willem H. 07:54, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
A user name shows up in red if there is nothing on the user's home page. If you add even one character to it, the name will appear in blue. Or at least it looks like blue to this color-blind contributor :) Ahasuerus 12:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXVIII

I want to enter the one page biographies for each of the authors and of the illustrators of this anthology. These preceed each story but are uncredited. Should I give credit to the editor (K. D. Wentworth) or should I enter them as "uncredited"? There is no copyright notice for any of these materials. MLB 17:52, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

If these aren't individually titled and treated as separate essays (having their own title page), I see no reason for creating content records for them. You can easily record in the note field that each story has an introduction, presumably by the editor, something that most anthologies have without being treated as individual content records. Sometimes I think we go too far when it comes to recording the minutest details of a publication. (And if you've seen my verified pubs you've seen the extremes to which I've gone, but even I have my limits.)
But since there are no specific rules (that I'm aware of) that prohibit the entering of such information, you should assume that the editor is responsible for all uncredited material. Just mention that the credit is an assumption in the note field. The trickiest part is determining how to title the pieces. Since having a title is the criterion I use to determine if a separate record is necessary, I don't how you're going to title the introductions if they don't have one. Mhhutchins 23:46, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Series 'reboot'

I am working on the Millemondi publication series. After the first 45 pubs, the series 'rebooted', restarting the numeration from 1, changing the publication frequency to 4 issues per year (and after 9 numbers, the pub format changed again...). Italian sources call the new series, ehr, 'Millemondi new series' (Mondourania) or 'Millemondi trimestrale' (Uraniamania), while goes on happily with the new numbers, without making a difference between the series. The series name is unchanged in the copyright pages, Editor is the same and also the graphic format is the same as the 'old' series (at least for the first 9 numbers). I am not sure I should start a new series (I do not know how the software would react to duplicate series numbers): any advice ? --Pips55 20:39, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Create a new series and then put both old and new series under a super-series. BLongley 21:08, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is a publication series and our software doesn't support nested publication series at this time :-( Ahasuerus 23:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
We'll get round to it I'm sure. We need it for things like SF Masterworks, which have gone into a second series. BLongley 08:41, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I have created FR 3566805 to "Allow nested publication series". Although I don't think it would be as hard to implement as nested title series, it would still be non-trivial. Ahasuerus 00:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
As far as duplicate series numbers go, they won't cause problems for the software, but I suspect that keeping all pubs within the same publication series may confuse some users, so I would recommend creating a separate pub series. Ahasuerus 23:53, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest that you create a new publication series (e.g. "Millimondi (new)"), then add "Publication Series notes" for each series that links to the other one. (This is a workaround for the inability to do nested publication series.) Chavey 04:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you all for the suggestions. Since the main difference in the series is the publication frequency, I will start a new pub series ("Millemondi (quarterly)"), adding notes. --Pips55 20:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The Treasure Chest series by Ann Hood

I have a question regarding the artwork inside this series of books. On the inside front covers of each book there is a blueprint for the first floor of the Elm Medona house, in detail. On the inside back covers of all the books there is a blueprint for the second floor of the Elm Medonna house. Now I have listed these illustrations in the second book (Little Lion) as "Little Lion (blueprint)" and "Little Lion (blueprint) [2]". For the third book Jewel of the East I have listed the same blueprints as, "Jewel of the East (blueprint)" and "Jewel of the East (blueprint) [2]". However, my question is this: These blueprints are identical and they are titled. Should I change the illustration's title to Elm Medona: First Floor and Elm Medona: Second Floor in each of the book's listings, because they are reprinted from book to book so as to not give the impression that they are different works? I know how it is done on this site, but giving the same illustrations different titles with each book seems to be giving out the wrong information. I also know that I'm also posing this question in a somewhat confusing manner, so excuse me. I'm not including any links as I think this is more of a question dealing with protocol. MLB 02:22, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Does the blueprint have a title that is printed directly on it? Like "Elm Medona: First Floor"? If so, feel free to change the title and merge with any record that is identical. Mhhutchins 02:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Conan the Magnificent

I have a question dealing with this book as listed here: I own this, but I'm confused. How can the numberline say this is a first printing while the copyright page also states this is a fourth printing and then gives the date of this fourth printing? How can it be both? I'd like to enter some more data and then verify, but . . . MLB 02:28, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

It's an unverified record, and it's an unsourced one. So feel free to change it anyway you like since you have a copy of it. Make sure the following fields are identical to your copy: Title, Author, Date, Binding, and Price. It doesn't matter if any of the other fields don't match. Update the pub to match your copy, remove any superfluous (or bad) notes, and then do a primary verification of the record. BTW, the note is correct: this is the first printing of the fourth edition. (Do the "Look-Inside" on Amazon.) There's nothing that says each edition can't have a first printing. Mhhutchins 02:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And yet, if there is a second printing of the fourth edition doesn't this make the fourth edition then the fifth edition? MLB 16:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
No. I think you're confusing the differences between "edition" and "printing". An edition is when a publisher first publishes the text, usually having to create a new plate from which to strike the copies. If they make changes in the original "plate", such as changing the size or style of font, or make textual corrections, it's considered a new edition. (With today's technology that can just mean something as simple as creating a new PDF based on a Word file, instead of manually resetting the type.) A printing is just when the edition is physically made into a book (ebooks are a different matter). An edition can go through several printings. An edition can also be published by another publisher, and yet technically be the same edition, althoug the new publisher will most likely call it a new edition. Or the binding can be changed: most paperbacks that have the same page count as the earlier hardcover edition should technically be considered the same edition.
These days the term "first edition" is used so willy-nilly by publishers that it has lost its original meaning. Anytime a new publisher prints an edition of a work, even though it has been published before, they can call it the "first edition" because it's their first edition, but not the first edition.
I don't know why Tor considers this printing to be a new edition, much less the fourth one, because it appears to be identical to the first edition. But we record what's said in the book itself. Does your copy's copyright page differ from the one on Amazon's Look-Inside feature? Mhhutchins 18:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
No. MLB 18:26, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Japan edition

I want to add japan edition of The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (with contents). What should be in Japanese, what should be in English? Maybe something should be in romaji? BarDenis 19:12, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

A reasonable model is this Russian edition of the Arabian Nights. The title of the book is transliterated into a Western script. The Notes then begin with the title in the original Russian characters. All the rest of the record is in English. (An English translation of the title is, of course, unnecessary, since that's happening through the "Variant Title" mechanism.) Chavey 20:24, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Another approach is to include the transliteration parenthetically, for example see this bibliography. This has the advantage of allowing title search to work with either the transliteration or the original characters. I thought there was a fairly recent discussion of this, but I can't find it, and I don't remember the conclusion (if any). --MartyD 15:42, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I think these are not good models. In Russian edition there are a lot of errors, but Sakyo Komatsu bibliography consist only from translation.
For example:
Title: In Japanese: SF百科図鑑, Romaji: SF hyakka zukan, English: The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
Authors: In Japanese: ブライアン・アッシュ, Romaji: Buraian Asshu, English: Brian Ash
Publisher: In Japanese: サンリオ, Romaji: Sanrio
Any suggestions? BarDenis 18:07, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
The English is irrelevant, that's handled by making the book a variant of the English. So I suggested Romaji in the title and Japanese in the Notes. Marty suggested putting both in the title with the Romaji in parentheses. Why do you say these aren't good suggestions? What other alternatives might there be? Chavey 05:47, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
The conclusion of the discussion mentioned by Marty was that we wanted to add a new field for the transliterated (or "romanized", as librarians call it) version of each Title. Of course, the field will be blank for Latin-based titles. We will also want to adjust the Search logic to check both fields so that searching on either "SF百科図鑑" or "SF hyakka zukan" would yield the same results. At the rate we are going, it will take us at least a few months to implement this feature, but it's certainly doable.
In the meantime the majority opinion seemed to be that we should use original titles when known and put transliterated/romanized versions in Notes. Ahasuerus 07:38, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Bear in mind that not all developers (particularly me) are au fait with foreign alphabets, so it all falls down on the shoulders of the few that can cope with it. If we had a few Japanese specialists I could understand a change in priorities, but at present we don't have many problem submissions. BLongley 10:20, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm no good at entering foreign alphabets, but I'm really good at copying and pasting from WorldCat. And the folks entering those records appear to know how to enter such languages, although BarDenis seems to be claiming that there are "a lot of errors" in that particular Russian entry from WorldCat. Chavey 14:34, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't copy and paste anything my computer doesn't display right: I can never be sure something won't be lost in the process. When it comes to little squares of hex codes, as the above examples give me, I bail out. BLongley 18:39, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, about errors in Russian entry. First it is publisher, second - title in Russian, third - edition in catalog: UW Madison. Denis 18:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
The record in question is a pretty good illustration of the perils inherent in copying and pasting from OCLC. Their publisher field says "Pechatany pri Imperatorskom Moskovskom Universiteti︠e︡", which means "Printed at [sic] the Imperial Moscow University". Russian uses "cases" (a major headache) which affect endings and the nominative case will be "Imperatorskii Moskovskii Universitet" rather than "Imperatorskom Moskovskom Universitetie" -- note that unlike OCLC we generally do not use diacritics. If you are comfortable with the Cyrillic alphabet, you can use "reverse transliteration" and enter the original version instead, in this case "Императорский Московский Университет". However, reverse transliteration can be tricky when dealing with older texts because Russian spelling was changed in 1917-1918. And so it goes... Ahasuerus 20:16, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Return to question. What about Author? Denis 18:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
At the moment, names are always transliterated. Ahasuerus 20:16, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Publication record should be
Title: SF百科図鑑 In notes: SF hyakka zukan
Authors: Buraian Asshu
Publisher: サンリオ In notes: Sanrio
Is it correct? Denis 08:21, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks about right! Ahasuerus 03:17, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Pubs with unnumbered pages

I am working on several pubs without page numbers. I put the page numbers for each content item in [brackets], but then when I view the pub, the contents do not appear in page order; as near as I can tell, they are in order of entry. Is there any way to get the contents for such pubs in page order other than entering them that way? It seems to me it would be better to leave the brackets off the page numbers in the case of pubs with no page numbers (as opposed to pubs where SOME pages are not numbered). It seems to me that a similar problem exists with page numbers that combine a letter and number, with the letter in front, like A21 or C12. Viewing the pub, pages with the letters appear before pure numbers; perhaps this is an artifact of wanting Roman numerals before Arabic numbers. But usually letter/number combinations indicate appendix page numbers and would be better at the end of a content list. Bob 15:43, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Ideally, at the time of the database's creation, there would have been a field in which the transcriber could enter the order of the items, which would have no relation to the page number field. The publication record would display the contents based on this numbering without displaying the actual numbers. But I don't see this ever happening, considering the task of upgrading tens of thousands of records. I don't write software, but it seems there could be some tweaking of the current ordering, which doesn't regard brackets or letters (except for roman numerals) and displays them in no particular order (that I'm aware of). Mhhutchins 16:09, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
There could indeed be some tweaking, but as you point out there will never be a guaranteed way to convert page numbers into sequence numbers. Removing [] when considering numerical order should be possible though. BLongley 18:36, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
That might be a useful proposition: with pubs where NO pages are numbered, do away with the brackets and record the fact that pages are unnumbered in the Note. Because in my experience trying to work around the problem doesn't seem to help, either: today I entered all contents in strict page order for this pub, and it still looks a mess. PeteYoung 18:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
That may be the best resolution, even if it winds up not being temporary. Removing the brackets will at least place these in order So make it explicit in the note field that the work is not paginated. Of course, this solution won't help when it comes to books with lettered pages, and books that have both paginated and unpaginated contents. Mhhutchins 21:23, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
There are precedents for dummy page numbers, e.g. Ace Doubles where one side is numbered in Arabic and the other in Roman numerals, ebooks with no actual pagination, boxed sets where the series order is used to put them in the right order, etc. So long as the notes explain the workaround used I'm OK with all of these. BLongley 09:35, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
The trouble is the workarounds sometimes don't work. In one record it looks OK, but in another record where the exact same method is used, the contents are jumbled. Or one day the contents are displayed in order, and the next day, they're a mess. I think that's caused by subsequent updates. Mhhutchins 15:39, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

David Martin page - multiple David Martins

Hi, I'm after some help on separating multiple people on the David Martin page - names in order to disambiguate, plus sorting out who owns what:

On looking for a particular book I've acquired by "David Martin" in order to see if it's by the "Australian" David Martin, I noticed that the Aust'n has been separated out (to David Martin (Aust.)), but I think there are at least 3 people in the plain David Martin page [3] which has author data referring to David Ralph Martin who was primarily known as a Dr Who screenwriter.

- There is a Dr Who title on that page,

However, there is also on that page

- lots of art work, plus

- 2 novels, one of which - Love Me to Death vt Tap, Tap - is, based on a Google search, by David Lozell Martin. The other "Bring Me Children", from Amazon Look Inside, is also by David Lozell Martin.

- a short story

- a poem.

There is also a Dave Martin page in ISFDB with a Dr Who title.

The David Lozell Martin novels I can deal with as pseudonyms.

The Dr Who Dave/David Martin (David Ralph Martin) - perhaps make him Dave Martin?

The artist: Does anyone know more? Nothing in what I've seen about Dr Who Dave indicates art. As illustrators, I've found a David L. Martin on wiki [here](sketchy details), a David J. Martin [here] & several more possibilities. Should all the artwork just go to a new person called David Martin (artist)?

The short story? (it's in a US anthology)

The poem? (Although the Aust'n David Martin was primarily known as a poet, it's a US title published by "Harford Poetry Society").

Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 02:35, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Typical for such a common name. Unless there's something more definitive to go on, it's going to be hard to separate the fiction. I would suggest pulling out all of the art records and change the credit to "David Martin (artist)". That would be a good start. We can't change the Dr. Who novel credit to "Dave" unless it's credited that way in the actual publication. If we could have done that, it would have been a lesser problem to begin with. This is going to throw another curve: there's another Dr. Who novel by Martin, that's currently in the system (incorrectly) credited to "Dave Martin". I'll correct that. Mhhutchins 17:39, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I've removed the two horror novels, making them variants of the author's real name, David Lozell Martin, under which he'd written another novel. That leaves the two Dr. Who novels. Mhhutchins 17:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Artwork all done to "David Martin (artist)". About the David Lozell Martin psuedonym: It doesn't seem to be behaving properly. Should it be "David Martin (US)" or something? 'cos if you click on the pseudonym under David Lozell Martin, it goes to Dr Who David - is this what you expect? (My head's going in circles on this!) Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 00:12, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I didn't create a pseudonym, nor a disambiguating alternate name. The works are published as by "David Martin", which, in my opinion, should be treated as we would a "housename", meaning several authors have used the name. We only variant the title records, not change the credits on the pub records. I don't think the current system of disambiguating names works that well, but I guess that's a matter for the Rules & Standards page. I'll abandon any further work, and allow you to continue separating the titles of works published under this name. Mhhutchins 01:19, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, I see. --clarkmci / j_clark 04:05, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Heather Webber/Heather Blake

I recently (well, tonight) discovered that these two authors are the same. Problem: which name should be the canonical name? Webber is an established name, the legal name, and a name that has a Wiki page, and has a paranormal romance series on ISFDB, on the other hand, Blake seems like a name that will have more material to list. Blake already has one series (Wishcraft) and another on the way (she needs to stop mainlining her Dr. Peppers, see her website). While Webber has a Wiki page, Webber and Blake both have websites.

See: (for Webber) (for Blake)

Why do authors do this? Now I'm dizzy, confused, and my head hurts. Too much thinking, and it's all Webber's fault, I mean, Blake's fault, I mean, I mean. . . I'm logging off, I need to lie down for a while. I picked a bad century to stop drinking. MLB 12:45, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Slightly tilted more toward Webber, IMHO, for two reasons: it's the legal name, and it currently has more titles. Mhhutchins 17:32, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. As to why certain authors do this, well, they primarily try to avoid confusing their readers and shelving clerks. The idea is that many readers associate author names with genres ("A. A. Smith = urban fantasy" vs. "Z. Z. Doe = paranormal romance") and would be confused if the same name was associated with books in multiple genres. I know it may seem unlikely and even offensive, but I have read enough Amazon reviews to confirm that there is a non-trivial number of readers who are disappointed when they buy a book by a familiar author and find that "it's the wrong genre!" Ahasuerus 07:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Dean Ellis artwork for CRYPTOZOIC

The Avon edition of CRYPTOZOIC by Brian Aldiss (V2295 -- 75 cents) has a cover by Don Ivan Punchatz.

But the third printing has cover art that looks very much like the work of Dean Ellis, even though the copyright page has not been altered to show this, and still reads, "Cover illustration by Don Punchatz."

Would it be possible to add this information to the page here: ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mark Fuller Dillon (talkcontribs) .

Until there is a reliable secondary source that the cover art credit is incorrect, we have to go with what's stated in the book. Do you have a copy of either the first or second Avon printing and can verify that it credits Punchatz? If so, I can update the third printing to note the possibility of a misprint since the art is not the same. This happens more often than you'd think. (Don't forget to sign your wiki postings.) Mhhutchins 14:33, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Here is a scan of the earlier Avon printing, with the Punchatz "dp" signature visible on the lower right hand side (just below the figure carrying the globe):
Mark Fuller Dillon
I've updated the note in the third printing record, but have not changed the credit. It is ISFDB policy to record actual credit until a reliable secondary source proves otherwise. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. (BTW, you "sign" a posting by entering four tildes (~~~~) which adds your user name and dates the message.) Mhhutchins 19:01, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the update... and for the technical advice. As you can tell, I'm very new to this!

Mark Fuller Dillon 19:22, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Foregn characters returned as corrupted in database queries

Hi, I have this problem since the first time i had used ISFDB, but now I decided to try and solve it once and for all. In all my queries foreign characters look like this:

either as &# and number combination

837846 Wyprawa pierwsza A, czyli Elektryba&# 322;t Trurla  (remove the space between &# and 322 to get what i have in my txt file, if i remove space here you will actually see the real polish l character).

or as wrong foreign character (in my case it is russian maybe because i had it installed on my machine)

7412 Robur-le-Conqurйrant

I installed the Windows 7 MySQL 5.5 with utf8 as default (I also tried latin1 with exactly the same result. in fact the result queries are binary identical in both cases).

Please help, Qshadow 12:48, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

I have some new information, I printed the character set and collation from the command line and made a simple query to print the problematic title from cmd. Here is my print screen: UTF8 problem.jpg

Qshadow 14:43, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

When I do SHOW TABLE STATUS; i get latin1_swedish_ci as collation for all the ISFDB tables, why is this? shouldn't it be utf8? Qshadow 18:27, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, if the version of MySQL that was available when ISFDB 2.0 was created in 2005 had fully supported Unicode, we would have probably used UTF-8 from the start. But it didn't and we used Latin-1 (aka ISO-8859-1) and the Swedish collation (the MySQL default for Latin-1) instead. It's a pain because it means that non-Latin characters have to be stored as "# & 3 2 2 ;", which messes up searches. Now that MySQL 5.5 supports 4 byte UTF-8 (and UTF-16 and UTF-32) we can migrate to UTF-8 and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done, but it's definitely on the horizon. Ahasuerus 23:31, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
So are you saying that what I get is normal and not my mistake but a limitation of current version? Qshadow 00:42, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly! Ahasuerus 00:46, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, now I can stop installing and reinstalling everything on my machine ;) Qshadow 11:54, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing an award

Hi folks,

I won the Compton Crook Award for Fire in the Mist in 1992. This is correctly noted in Awards, but does not show up on my bibliography page.

I did not win, nor was I ever nominated for, the Philip K. Dick award. This is incorrectly noted on my bibliography page.

How do I correct these errors?

Thanks, Holly Lisle —The preceding unsigned comment was added by HollyLisle (talkcontribs) .

Those PKD Award errors were user-generated. A user mistakenly added a "tag" to the title as a winner and then as a nominee. Unfortunately, there is no way that I'm aware of to remove tags short of deleting the pub records, the title record, and then entering them all back again, resetting all of the award links, review links, series data, etc. In other words, a headache.
The Compton Crook Award appears (like all other editable awards) only on the title record of the work, not on the author's bibliography page. What you're seeing on that page are the "tags" that users have added to your titles, mistakenly or not. This tag system works in most cases, but when it doesn't, it's a mess. Maybe someone with a greater knowledge of the software knows a better way to correct or delete bad tags.
Feel free to tag the title record as a Crook Award winner by clicking on the "or manage tags" link in the title record's header. But be careful not to make a mistake, because it can't be corrected. :) Mhhutchins 17:32, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Ray Bradbury "Pendulum" vs "The Pendulum"

Is these two really separate works or what?

  • 65395 The Pendulum (1939) shortstory by Ray Bradbury
  • 65394 Pendulum (1941) shortstory by Ray Bradbury and Henry Hasse

Can't find anywhere what is the difference between two stories. Regards, Qshadow 18:27, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, they are two different works. They were both reprinted in this anthology. Mhhutchins 23:23, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, I found the anthology you mentioned and read the works, actually the second work (with Hasse) is an expanded and better version of the first one. Qshadow 13:29, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
We don't variant based on text. If it had been the same story, we would create variants. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:27, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Best Books list from "Anatomy of Wonder" by Neil Barron

I have just finished going over the list of all the recommended books in "Chapter 16: Listings, Best Books" from "Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction, Fifth Edition" by Neil Barron. And we have all the titles mentioned there except the ColossusTrilogy by Dennis Jones. Please add this if you can. Qshadow 21:20, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

It's already in the database, under the author's canonical name D. J. Jones. You can search for titles as well as author names. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:18, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I made Dennis Jones a ps of D. J. Jones. I hope it is correct. Qshadow 00:08, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Although Neil Barron may have referred to D. F. Jones as "Dennis Jones", I am unaware of any D. F. Jones works that actually appeared as by "Dennis Jones". The Dennis Jones whose 4 novels we have on file was born in Canada in 1945, so he is presumably a different person since D. F. Jones was born in the UK in 1915 and died in 1918, two years before Dennis Jones's first SF work appeared. Since they are two different people and since they never published anything using the same byline, we don't want to establish a pseudonym relationship between them. Unfortunately, there is also [ D. F. Jones (US)" -- his first name is David, but he writes as "D. F. Jones", so we had to disambiguate the two records. Ahasuerus 00:46, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Oops, sorry. Qshadow 10:49, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I found two more books from "Anatomy of Wonder" best list that I can't find in ISFDB:
  • John Gloag "To-morrow's Yesterday"
  • John Gloag "Winter's Youth"
These are the last from the list, please help located them. Qshadow 10:54, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
They're in the db now. Did you know you can also create and update db records? There's a lot of information online. Just do a little research and then note your sources in the records. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:21, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for adding them. Yes, I know that I can do it alone, but I am not that good at (I make lot's of mistakes somehow) and frankly I like more to help with letting the community know what is missing and let others add the titles. It is a very consuming work actually, I am going over all the titles in "Anatomy of Wonder" and comparing them one by one to ISFDB. Right now I finished with the "Best list" chapter and starting to go over the actual history chapters one by one. Maybe I should open a new project page and post my list of missing titles there? Qshadow 23:11, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Circular reference in "The Collected Short Fiction of Robert Sheckley"

For example in The Collected Short Fiction of Robert Sheckley: Book One if you press on the first publication you will start the infinate loop and never get to the actual contents. Qshadow 21:35, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

The first record is for the the five-volume set. Click on the second record (for the hardcover edition) and the third record (for the softcover edition) to get the records for the single volume which contains the contents. Mhhutchins 22:23, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I am afraid my automatic script will not be able to understand which is a real publication and which one is the start of the loop. Is it supposed to be so? Qshadow 00:10, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Just to make sure that I understand correctly: Are you saying that when you access this record your browser never displays the actual contents? This is not the behavior that I am seeing, so I am wondering if it may be something that is specific to your copy of the database. Ahasuerus 00:49, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
I think he wants to see the contents of the collection displayed on the publication record (OMNIBUS-typed) that was created for the five-volume set. Instead, the user currently sees only the links to the title records for the five collections which make up the set. Someone would have to import the contents of all five collections to that publication record to see the contents. A user clicking on any five of those content title records is carried to the title record for the single volume collection. Only by clicking on the link to the publication record titled "Book One" etc. will the user get to a publication record that displays the story contents. If you click on the publication record The Collected Short Fiction of Robert Sheckley without the "Book" number will you be carried back to the original OMNIBUS title record. This happens in all cases when an OMNIBUS contains a COLLECTION, and the only way to get around it is to add the contents of each of the collections. For example: this omnibus of two Bradbury collections contains the title record for both of the collections along with title records for each of their contents. Ideally the contents would be nested so that only the two collection title records would be displayed and then clicking on either one would further display its contents. Until then, we have to add all of the story contents to the OMNIBUS publication record. I'll do this to the Sheckley omnibus, but will wait until you've had a chance to look it over to understand what Qshadow is talking about. Mhhutchins 01:49, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I see! Yes, we'll need to import the contents of the five volumes into the omnibus pub to make them visible.
YES! This is what i meant. Qshadow 10:51, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
As far as the "nesting" approach goes, I am trying to think of the best way to modify the software so that "clicking on either [title record] would further display its contents". All titles are currently equal within a publication and there is no way to determine that short fiction record X is associated with collection record Y rather than with collection record Z. We could add a new field that would support this type of relationship, but this information would have to be maintained manually, so it would be a time consuming process and probably not an improvement compared to performing 5 import operations. Ahasuerus 02:13, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

"Anatomy of Wonder" by Neil Barron: missing titles from chapters 1 & 2

I have just finished going over the first two chapters of "Anatomy of Wonder" called

1. The Emergence of Science Fiction, 1516–1914 by Brian Stableford
2. Science Fiction Between the Wars: 1915–1939 by Brian Stableford

Here is a list of all titles mentioned there as a milestones in history of SF but apparently missing from ISFDB.

!!!Please use a new project page ISFDB:Anatomy of Wonder Missing Titles for any updates.

1638	John Wilkins	        The Discovery of a World in the Moone
1660	Athanasius Kircher	Iter Exstaticum Coeleste (Ecstatic Journey)
1758	Emanuel Swedenborg	Of Earths
1765	Marie-Anne De Roumier-Robert	Lord Seaton's Voyages to Seven Planets
1768	Louis-Sיbastien Mercier	Philosophical Dreams And Visions
1781	Restif De La Bretonne	The Discovery of Australia by a Flying-Man
1805	Cousine De Grainville	The Last Man
1836	Louis Geoffroy	        The Apocryphal Napoleon
1849	Robert Hunt	        Panthea
1856	Lucretia Hale	        The Spider's Eye
1860	Hubert Le Hon	        7860 A.D.
1864	Xavier Saintine	        Astronomical Excursions
1864	Xavier Saintine	        Another Visit! Another Planet!
1864	Camille Flammarion	Real and Imaginary Worlds
1864	Chrysostom Trueman	The History of a Voyage to the Moon
1869	Mary Putnam Jacobi	A Martyr to Science
1874	Andrew Blair	        Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century
1893	Laird Clowes	        The Great Peril
1912	Paul Scheerbart 	Astral Novellas
1921	Claude Farrere	        Tales of the Afterlife and Other Worlds
1921	Garet Garrett   	The Blue Wound
1921	Theodore Varlet & Octave Joncquel	The Martian Epic (1&2)
1924	Alfred Doblin	        Berge, Meere Und Giganten
1924	Osbert Sitwell  	Triple Fugue
1925	Hector Bywater  	The Great Pacific War
1926	Charles Vivian  	Star Dust
1926	Shaw Desmond    	Ragnarok
1928	Eimar O'Duffy   	The Spacious Adventures of the Man in the Street
1929	John Desmond Bernal	The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
1931	John Hargrave   	The Imitation Man
1932	Harold Nicolson  	Public Faces
1933	Fedor Kaul      	Contagion to This World
1935	Claude Houghton 	This Was Ivor Trent
1936	Joseph O'Neill  	Day of Wrath
1937	Andre Maurois   	The Thought-Reading Machine

Regards, Qshadow 19:22, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Excellent! Thanks for all the hard work! Ahasuerus 01:52, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
To create a new project page, just type a URL in your browser's address window in the form: followed by the name of the project, such as Anatomy_of_Wonder_Missing_Titles. You'll get a message that no such page exists, but you get the option of creating one. Click on the "Edit This Page" link, and an edit window will open. Start entering your data in the window then save the page. Next move is to link the new page to the projects page. Mhhutchins 05:07, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Done: ISFDB:Anatomy of Wonder Missing Titles. Qshadow 10:47, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I am going to try and add a few titles from the list, but it would help me to know where can i find a list of sources for all the information that I will need to enter. Here is what I know of:
Please point me to a good list of sources or add here. Also please suggest the order of preference from best sources to less prefered. Qshadow 16:21, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I just found it. Sources_of_Bibliographic_Information Qshadow 16:34, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Choosing correct title for "Earths in the Universe" by Emanuel Swedenborg without going crazy

I am trying to add entry for 1758 "Earths in the Universe" by Emanuel Swedenborg I am going crazy because of the title

  • In wikipedia it is called "Earths in the Universe"
  • In it is called "The Earths in Our Solar System Which are called Planets and the Earths in the Starry Heaven, and Their Inhabitants; Also the Spirits and Angels There From Things Heard and Seen"
  • In OCLC it is called "Concerning the earths in our solar system, which are called planets and concerning the earths in the starry heaven; together with an account of their inhabitants ... "
  • OCLC has also half-title which is "Concerning the earths in the universe."

So what should I put there? Qshadow 14:35, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

You could try the "look inside" feature of the photographic reprint on Looks loke it's an 1875 translation of the 1758 Latin original. --Willem H. 15:23, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but looks inside shows me "The Earths In The Universe" on the first real photographed page, while the title by Amazon is much larger: "The Earths In The Universe And Their Inhabitants: Also, Their Spirits And Angels, From What Has Been Heard And Seen" Qshadow 15:50, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
You should always use the title as given on the publication's title page, not the cover or "the first real photographed page" of the Amazon look inside. In this case, you'd use the longer title. All of this is moot, because it's my understanding that you're creating a title record and not a publication record for missing "Anatomy of Wonder" titles. Just enter the title as Barron gives it, and then later you (or another editor) can worry about how the various publications are titled when (or if) they ever create a publication record. BTW this appears to be the first English publication, and it has a much longer title. When (or if) someone ever gets around to entering the publications, there's going to be many variant titles, so it's too early to worry about the parent title, which will most likely be in Latin! Mhhutchins 18:04, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I can't add the title as it appears in Barron, because it looks like it is a mistake, there is no such thing as "Of Earths" as he gives it, maybe he meant "Concerning the Earths"... Anyway I think I am going to ask for a favor, can you please add the first 6-7 titles (John Wilkins was already added)? because they are most difficult to add being so old and non standard. Qshadow 18:26, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
So do you not plan to follow the shortcut that I gave you on your talk page about adding titles to the database? I thought you didn't want to go through the trouble of adding publication records. It's either one way or the other. There's nothing in-between. I'll do what you asked as a favor. Mhhutchins 19:00, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
It's done. All of the titles in the listing of the previous message are now in the database. It would be a good idea to go through each add a note as I suggested on your talk page. Mhhutchins 19:40, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
You could find this book online there. And title of this book is "De telluribus in mundo nostro solari, quæ vocantur planetæ: et de telluribus in coelo astrifero: deque illarum incolis; tum de spiritibus & angelis ibi; ex auditis & visis." Denis 18:29, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

The World Inside by Robert Silverberg

an Open comment to anyone with knowledge: I seem to have the copy "reprinted after 1987" as per last Publication note (by Dragoondelight) - "02393" bottom right back cover, no gutter code; BUT no "2393" on bottom back inside flap, no "Book Club edition" anywhere; AND on copyright page (listing only copyrights and printer) at the bottom there is ISBN 0-385-03621-3. Everything else the same - publisher, pages, etc. So I want to check whether it's the same as Dragoondelight verification (I assume), or do I create another entry for this (since so far we seem to have several different printings clumped together here...). Viter 06:46, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

The post-1987 SFBC reprintings of previously published titles moved the SFBC ID number from the back inside flap to the back cover and added a "0". They also deleted the "BOOK CLUB EDITION" statement on the front flap entirely. What makes your copy different is the ISBN. As far as my research has been able to determine, SFBC reprints of other publishers' editions didn't retain the original ISBN on the copyright pages until circa 1993. But the original Doubleday trade edition The World Inside never had a publisher's ISBN. I suspect that some titles were retroactively assigned ISBNs when they were reprinted. I can't say that Dragoondelight's copy is the same printing as yours. (Just because he doesn't mention an ISBN doesn't mean it's not there, otherwise that would be the only difference between your copies.) It's almost certain that your copy was printed after 1987. Because your copy actually has an ISBN, it would be better to clone the current record to create a new one. Be sure to describe the book as much as possible in the Note field. Remember to zero out the date. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:18, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Wow. Great. Thank You! I'll do that today Viter 10:08, 1 November 2012 (UTC)