ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 25

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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 July - December 2016.

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Expanded archive listing

Two language versions with the same name

Another newbie question :) I need some help figuring out the process in cases like this one: Fenix, V12 #1, 2001? The title listed as Aquila has the same name in English and in Polish and in the magazine, it is the Polish version of the story (translated by Witold Nowakowski)and not the English one as the record here says. So the first step seems clear:

  • Create a new variant for the Polish version of the story (same name, year 2001, Language:Polish) and wait for a moderator to approve it
  • Now what? How do I change the publication to point to the variant and not the original?

I looked at the other versions that also have the same name/different language but I still cannot figure it out. Or am I on the wrong path altogether? Thanks Anniemod 03:37, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

A translation always gets its own variant title record, so the underlying problem in this case is that the publication contains the English title rather than the (yet to be created) Polish variant title. Three submissions will be required to correct the problem:
  1. A "Remove Titles From This Pub" submission which will remove the English title
  2. An "Edit This Pub" submission which will add a new Polish title to the publication
  3. (once the second submission has been approved) A "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" submission which will turn the newly added Polish title into a variant of the English title
Once all three submissions have been approved, everything should be in order. Give it a try! :) Ahasuerus 04:44, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
Yep, the translations needing new variants became clear today while I was connecting some orphan translations. :) It was the first step that I was missing (or was thinking about it in a roundabout way). Thanks for the explanation. I am off to trying that now. Anniemod 04:49, 19 July 2016 (UTC)
And worked as a charm. Thanks for explaining the process. Anniemod 06:58, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Gutter Codes

I know that this has been asked a hundred times, and answered a hundred times, but how does one read a gutter code? My copy of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 30 Year Retrospective has a different gutter code than the ones listed on this site. Mine is K06. MLB 00:19, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Ask and you shall receive -- Gutter code :) Ahasuerus 01:20, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Oh joy. More stuff to learn. Thanks. MLB 01:50, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Wrong direction of variants

Or at least it looks like that to me... Uğursuz Gezegen Galactica I think that the Earliest publication should be the main one with the Turkish and German ones as variants. Any idea how to untangle that? Should I remove the variants alocation from both children and then add the new two? Or is there another way? And if it should stay like that, please let me know. Thanks Anniemod 02:34, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

It looks like the canonical work is this. If you make Uğursuz Gezegen Galactica a variant of that, all of the other variants should get corrected automatically by the system. --MartyD 11:56, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
They do not look the same picture to me? :( Anniemod 14:07, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
Oops, sorry about that. I got a little mixed up between covers and interiorart. Because you want to make the English interiorart record the canonical title, but it is already a variant of the title you want to make a variant of it, you need to do two steps:
  1. Remove the parent from the English title (Make This Title a Variant... then use 0 in the link-to-existing-title section; 0 will break the variant relationship.
  2. Once that is approved, then make the Turkish title a variant of the English title. This will also automatically make the German title that is a variant of the Turkish title into a variant of the English title instead.
If you'd like to give it a try, go ahead. If you'd rather I did it, I will. --MartyD 03:19, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
No worries. :) If you do not mind me trying, I'd like to try - so next time I know I can do it without bothering everyone. So no need to remove it from the other child then - just the one I want to promote up? Good to know.:) Anniemod 03:27, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Step 1 approved. Ahasuerus 04:04, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. And step 2 is in. Anniemod 04:09, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Step 2 approved. The list of VTs and pubs looks right, but if you click "View all covers for The Space Machine" at the bottom of the page, you'll get a mix of different images. I suspect that the display logic uses cover images even if the type of the parent title is INTERIORART. I'll take a look tomorrow... Ahasuerus 04:20, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
[after sleeping on it:] I guess the current logic is technically correct since the page displays "All Covers for [title]". However, for INTERIORART titles, it may not be what the average user expects. I am not sure what, if anything, we can do about this. Ahasuerus 13:52, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Maybe time for a new logic when it is an interior art first? Anniemod 14:37, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Well, the idea behind the page that displays "All Covers for [a title]" is to show all covers for the publications that include a particular title. In this case the title happens to be an INTERIORART title that has also been used as cover art, hence the displayed covers are different. However, the same holds true for other title types like NOVELS, SHORTFICTION, etc. Ahasuerus 13:12, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
To answer your question about needing to remove the parent from the other children: That is not needed. When you make one title a variant of a second title, any other titles having the first title as a parent (any other titles that are variants of the first title) will be modified automatically to become variants of that second title. The extra removal step is only needed if you are swapping roles in an existing relationship between two titles: You cannot make one title a variant of a second title where the second title is currently a variant of the first. --MartyD 12:41, 22 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks - makes sense. I was not sure if it will the automatic conversion or if I will end up with a daisy chain of connections. Anniemod 14:37, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

What to do with Wiki Cleanup and Romanian With s-cedilla or t-sedilla

It's not clear to me what's required with the Wiki cleanup report, and the Romanian titles/pubs with s/t cedillas. Can someone explain this to me or point me in the right direction?--Rkihara 01:59, 24 July 2016 (UTC)01:59, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

As per this discussion, "ş" and "ţ" are valid characters in some languages but not in Romanian. The Romanian alphabet includes similar (but different) characters: "ș" and "ț". Linguist has been working on these cleanup reports (there are 2) on and off, but there is still a fair amount of work to be done. Ahasuerus 03:30, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I guess I'll leave the s/t cedillas. --Rkihara 08:14, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
In any Romanian title or pub, cedilla letters ("ş" and "ţ") should be replaced by comma letters ("ș" and "ț"). It is fairly simple when you have them ready somewhere in a file or on your personal page. Just a bit tedious… Linguist 08:25, 24 July 2016 (UTC).
I tried to edit one using the Romanian keyboard on my computer, then cut and paste from Ahasuerus' post. Neither seemed to work.--Rkihara 16:22, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
As I recall, certain older virtual "Romanian keyboards" didn't handle "ș" and "ț" correctly, which is what caused the problem in the first place. I just used the copy-and-paste method on a couple of records and it worked fine. Could you please try it on a few other records to see if it works? You are using an Apple computer, right? Ahasuerus 17:00, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes,I'm using an iMac. I found another Romanian keyboard and I'll give that a try. I can also try this in Windows emulation.--Rkihara 17:33, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The second keyboard works.--Rkihara 17:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Excellent! :) Ahasuerus 17:56, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I spoke too soon, it works sometimes??? I'm going to switch to Windows and see what happens.--Rkihara 19:02, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I will give you a hand with those as well - tedious is what I need now and then. And we are out of transliterations I can work on Anniemod 23:15, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
And it was very nicely done! :) I have tweaked another language-specific cleanup report to keep our "language crew" busy -- see the announcement on the Community Portal. Ahasuerus 02:41, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
What about the Wiki Cleanup?--Rkihara 08:14, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Originally we used the ISFDB Wiki to enter notes for publications, series, magazines, fanzines, publishers and publication series. There were a few reasons why it was done that way:
  • Series, publisher, magazine, and fanzine records did not have Note fields [added over the last few years]
  • There was no support for publication series [added in 2010]
  • Very long notes like this one pushed the rest of the data to the bottom of the page [{{BREAK}} added last year]
  • Wiki pages made it easier to use complex formatting, create tables, incorporate images and so on [still an issue]
As per above, most of the software issues have been addressed over the last few years, so now we can migrate these notes to the database proper. As we discussed back in March, the reasons for the migration were as follows:
  • The ISFDB database and the ISFDB Wiki are effectively two databases which can (and do) get out of sync over time. As per the summary posted below, more than a third (!) of Wiki-based Publisher pages are now orphans and not visible from the database side.
  • The bidirectional links between the database side and the Wiki side are based on what we used to call "lexical match", i.e. the two names/titles being the same. In our version of the Wiki software, the match doesn't work when certain characters are present, notably accented characters. This has become a bigger problem as our data has expanded to cover non-English works and authors.
  • There is no moderator oversight when editing the Wiki, which often results in incorrectly entered data. For example, consider this publication-specific Wiki page. The data is good, but it is related to the Birthright title rather than to one of its publications.
  • With the exception of ISFDB-hosted images, Wiki-based data is not included in our publicly accessible backups. If something major happens to and its maintainers -- and we all know that many useful Web-based resources have disappeared over the years -- the site can be recreated using the latest backup file. On the other hand, the Wiki data will be gone.
  • Bibliographic data is split between two Web pages, which can prevent our users from getting a full picture.
We have always known about these limitations, but early on we were forced to use the Wiki as a crutch because the core ISFDB software didn't support many features that we wanted. Over the last few years we have implemented many of these features, including Publication Series, an Award Directory, a Publisher Directory, Series/Publisher/etc notes and so on. We have also added built-in cleanup reports which have superseded Wiki-based cleanup projects.
Because of these enhancements we no longer need to use the Wiki as a crutch and can go back to using it for its original purpose, i.e. allowing editors to communicate. Of course, editors will remain free to create and maintain Wiki pages for research purposes, but Wiki pages will no longer be automatically linked based on the notorious "lexical match". Ahasuerus 21:35, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Once the cleanup is finished, I will change the software responsible for displaying publisher/series/publication records not to check for the presence of matching Wiki pages. Editors will still be able to create Wiki pages for complex cases and link them from the "Webpages" field or, for Publication records, from the Note field. The cleanup reports are programmed to ignore any Wiki pages that are linked that way. Ahasuerus 13:41, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
I'll give the Wiki Cleanup a try later. If I get it right each item should disappear from the listing, and if not, I guess it will just remain in the list?--Rkihara 16:26, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
That's right. Once you move a record's data from the Wiki side to the record's Note field and delete the Wiki page, it will disappear from the cleanup report. Also, please note that the Wiki uses "redirects" for Magazines and Fanzines; you will want to delete the redirect pages as well. Ahasuerus 17:03, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

removing birthdate

I have a verified google account for I'm a public figure and I need to hide my birthdate from the google knowledge graph. Or at least have it correct at 1962--(I prefer to remove it). I have tracked down the wrong birthdate to

Summary Bibliography: Caroline Leavitt Author: Caroline Leavitt ISFDB Author Record # 174808; Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, USA; Birthdate: 9 January 1952; Language: English; Biography: ... You've visited this page 3 times. Last visit: 7/25/16

PLEASE can you remove?

Thank you

Your birth year will probably keep reappearing in various references at 1952, since that is the way it is listed in Contemporary Authors. Assuming the month and day are correct, it is too late to hide that, since CA is a widely used reference both in print and online. You can probably get CA to correct your birth year in the online version, and they might remove month and day on request. The info in the print version will probably linger for decades.--Rkihara 19:47, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Waiting for confirmation of requester's identity before making changes. Will correct YOB, and remove month and day, as per past requests.--Rkihara 18:17, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Pseudonyms for authors

I think I am missing a step somewhere - how do you mark a name as a pseudonym so all books show up on the same page? Or with an example - how to make this look like this? Thanks Anniemod 19:45, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

You'll have to go to each title by Jason Tanner then choose the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" link and use the bottom of the screen to change "Jason Tanner" to "Jason A. Tanner" then submit. Hauck 19:54, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
And for the one that does not have a match, I just need to make a new parent with the other author, correct? Anniemod 19:56, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes and for the existing two, you'll have to merge them because you'll have two similar titles by Jason A. Tanner. If the correct title exists, simply use the top of the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" screen and give the titleID of the target. Hauck 19:58, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
So first make them variants, then merge. OK - let's see how many times I can mess that up. Thanks! Anniemod 20:01, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
In fact there are only two possibilities: 1) your "target" title is already in the db then choose "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" and use the top part of the screen (it will link the two existing titles), 2) your "target" title is not present then choose "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" and use the bottom part of the screen (it will create a new title and link it to the sole existing one by the pseudonym). Hauck 20:09, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
So no merging needed after that. Now it is clear. Varianting I am getting good at(I did quite a lot of translations linking last few weeks). :) All set I think. Thanks Anniemod 20:14, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't hurt to run "Check for Duplicates Titles" post-approval. Sometimes the parent exists, but you miss it because it's hidden in a nested series or there is a mess of variants to sort out. Also please note that the author-specific "Duplicate Finder" has additional modes which can help find misspelled duplicates. Ahasuerus 20:23, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Did that as well - even looked at the Aggressive duplicates mode (or whatever the wording was) :) This is what I thought will reconcile them after the authors got pseudonymed but it did not (did not even see them) - so I went for the variants. Which apparently was the correct thing to do - I was just not sure if there isn't an easier way (over at Librarything (where is my main experience with playing with cataloging) aliasing authors leads to everything showing on the main author page but also staying on the aliased pages - I think my mind was expecting something similar and I was not seeing them on the main page - and then I saw the other example and it clicked that I am missing steps and that the system is quite different). Although with the 6 titles overall, not much chance of missing them (on longer pages, that is where I start - not that I had found too many to play with yet). Thanks again. Anniemod 21:46, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Multiple publishers

What is the usual way to deal with the problem of multiple publishers, as in this pub ? I put the second one in the notes, but I was wondering if a "Publisher 2" option would be eventually possible ? Thanks, Linguist 09:59, 3 August 2016 (UTC).

As per this discussion:
  • My current plan is to wrap up transliteration and translator support in the next few months and then revisit ISBNs. The first thing to do will be to change the current ISBN field to an infinitely repeating pair of fields. The first field will be a drop-down list of supported "identifier types" (catalog ID, ISBN, corrected ISBN, ASIN, LCCN, OCLC, BnF ID, etc) and the second field will be a "free text" value. This will help us process multi-ISBN books, self-published books without ISBNs (which Fixer can't handle at the moment), books which have a catalog ID as well as an ISBN (e.g. recent SFBC books) and so on.
  • With that out of the way, we can revisit publishers and see what we can do about them. The first thing that comes to mind is that we will want to allow entering multiple publishers -- think of all the SFBC/[some other publisher] collaborations -- but there will be a number of things that will need to be sorted out before we have a complete design.
Ahasuerus 17:20, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks ! We are looking forward to all these improvement ! Linguist 10:01, 4 August 2016 (UTC).

Uncredited articles by one of two editors

I was entering the contents for Novacious #1, edited by Morojo and Forrest Ackerman. I'm unsure how to handle the credits. The introduction is signed by both of them; the review and the obituary are credited to neither (hence listed as by "uncredited"). They are obviously both by one of the two authors. The review is very much in Morojo's style, with some additional indications it's probably by her; the obituary is quite obviously by Forrest. But in neither case do I have "conclusive evidence". So I could:

  1. Variant each of the essays to both of them, which would surely be crediting them with co-authorship that's not accurate;
  2. Variant neither, leaving them both "uncredited", which means neither essay shows up in the bibliography for either author; or
  3. Variant them to one author as seems likely, with a publication note about the guessing.

Any recommendations? Chavey 05:25, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

My thinking is that it depends on the strength of "additional indications". If it's 90%+ probability, I would go with option 3. Ahasuerus 14:21, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
2) for me, IMHO we're not in the guessing business. Hauck 15:06, 4 August 2016 (UTC)
Maybe 3, with a note explaining your reasoning as above.--Rkihara 15:18, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Jimmy Guieu's Jean Kariven books

According to Black Coat Press, which has been diligently translating French SF for the last 13+ years, this series is a "classic six-volume saga [...] written in 1954 through 1956". However, we list 10 volumes published between 1952 and 1956. Would anyone happen to know if the other 4 books comprise a sub-series, a super-series or a parallel series?

As this series is sometimes given for up to twelve novels here or more modestly for nine, it's likely that the batch published by BCP is a kind of sub-series (a bit like a cycle in Perry Rhodan). As most of these books are unreadable today and have been revised through the ages by the author, we'll have to wait for a real expert in this field (I vaguely remember having read some of them eons ago) to have a definitive answer. See also here probably the best online bibliography of Guieu. Hauck 08:07, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I have added Nolane's bibliography to the author record and reconciled his list of Jean Kariven novels with ours. Ahasuerus 13:10, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Also, our L'homme de l'espace record says that the book won "Grand Prix du Roman de Science-Fiction" for 1954, but there is no associated award record. Is "Grand Prix du Roman de Science-Fiction" part of a supported award or do we need to create a new award type? Ahasuerus 23:29, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

In this case, IIRC and per this book it's just a publicity stunt of publisher that, in the 50s, created its own prices (note that Guieu seemed very fond of such "honors"). Hauck 08:07, 5 August 2016 (UTC)
Ah, one of those! :) Ahasuerus 13:10, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

How to handle this title situation

I am adding a NewPub (Argonaut #11) when, checking for titles, I ran into this title which appears in the pub (without the 'revised' disambiguator obviously). The 1984 date is correct as for original publication date of this title. How do I enter it into the pub I am adding? Do I enter the title as it appears in the pub (unrevised), or is there a correct way to handle this? Syzygy 16:09, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

I would enter the poem as "XLATE" and use 1984 as the title date. I would then change the title date of "XLATE (revised)" to 1990, which appears to be the year when the revised version first appeared. Finally, I would set up the revised title as a variant of the 1984 title -- that's what most of our "(revised)" titles seem to do.
At the moment the software doesn't do a very good job of handling "revised", "abridged", "expanded", etc titles. There are plans to improve this area, perhaps by adding a "disambiguator" field, but nothing definite yet. Ahasuerus 17:44, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
Your explanation helped a lot. Thanks. Syzygy 20:51, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

What to do with "Container Titles in Publications with no Contents"

I've been looking over the cleanup report "Container Titles in Publications with no Contents." I would like confirmation that the task is just to fill in the missing contents. I've also noticed the collection by Borges, "A Universal History of Iniquity," is quite a mess. Pubs are conflated with titles, so there are collections of collections. It's not helped by the fact that "The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory," is a collection by the first title with added stories, with a second title added to distinguish it from the first.--Rkihara 17:29, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes basically it's this ("filling" the publication with contents, usually via the "Import content" tools). AFAIC, I tend to ignore this report as I think that entering the content of a book, without having it is a perilous exercise as some collections have seen their contents change with time. Hauck 17:37, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree that we should be careful with this report. In certain cases it's 99% safe to import contents from a similar pub, mostly when we have multiple near-identical printings by the same publisher with the same page count, but in many cases it's better to leave "empty" pubs alone. Ahasuerus 17:54, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll leave them alone. What about fixing the Borges? Seems pretty complicated in that we have collections within collections, recursively. Any suggestions about how to proceed? They show up in this report as the logic reports them as having "no contents." I'm guessing there are probably other collections exhibiting the same problems?--Rkihara 18:15, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
With collections in collections, I usually switch to OMNIBUS. Hauck 18:21, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Me too. Ahasuerus 18:25, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that Titles are misidentified as Collections.--Rkihara 18:43, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Let me make sure that I understand the problem correctly. I am looking at Collected Fictions, an omnibus publication which supposedly contains 8 collections. One of them, In Praise of Darkness, is only 14 pages long, which made me wonder if it may be a translation of the poem of the same title rather than the eponymous collection. However, an online version of the collection is quite short, so I suppose it's possible that it could fit on just 14 pages, especially if it was abridged. Certainly the poem is too short to take up 14 pages. Ahasuerus 19:17, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
That's what bothers me. The page counts seem off to me for that to be an Omnibus. I used to own hard covers of The Book of Sand, and the Aleph..., and they were much longer than the 79 pages and 108 pages implied. The stories bearing those titles were much shorter, though. Maybe if the text was really compressed? If it does turn out to be an Omnibus containing abridged collections, it would be better to list it as an entirely new collection?--Rkihara 20:33, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I found the contents of the Penguin "Collected Fictions" and it does match up with the individual collections that I checked it against. Sorry about the fuss.--Rkihara 20:48, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Not a problem, things happen. Some decades ago I had a hardcover edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works which was compact enough to fit in a large pocket. I could barely read it even though my eyes were much better back then. Ahasuerus 21:40, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

Interior art titles

If you have a cover repro of a magazine or book within either a publication or an essay, can you use the title of the reproduced book cover (or the title & date of the reproduced magazine cover) as that interior art title with "(cover)" after it, or must you use either a caption, if it exists, or, barring that, the title of the work in which it appears (with disambiguation if necessary)? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 15:00, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for the very belated answer. I have often used the title as shown on the cover reproduction, since it is in fact a title and as such usable. Stonecreek 16:01, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, thanks - that helps. Doug / Vornoff 06:56, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Reluctant URL

Could anyone tell me why this URL doesn't work when entered into the author image field ? I am confronted with an "invalid characters" warning each time. Thanks, Linguist 09:32, 17 August 2016 (UTC).

It looks like some check is broken. I retyped just
in it, and got the same complaint. --MartyD 10:53, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
I'll take a look... Ahasuerus 13:46, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
The URL that it was complaining about was not the author image URL but rather the URL of the English Wikipedia article. You could tell by identifying the field where the cursor was placed post-error. The reason the software didn't like the Wikipedia URL was that it contained a "ü", which is not allowed in URLs. Non-ASCII characters are technically illegal in URLs although most browsers will handle them correctly. I have changed the "ü" in the offending URL to the correct value (%C3%BC) and added the author image URL.
Going forward, I'll need to check browser behavior. If all modern browsers support accented characters in URLs, then we may want to adjust our checks accordingly. Ahasuerus 14:09, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
All modern browsers support Unicode characters in URLs. You can read a little about it here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:19, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look. As an aside, "modern browsers" are, unfortunately, a moving target. For example, we fully supported Lynx back in the day, but now we require JavaScript if you want to edit our data. Lynx, which is still a "modern" (as in "supported") browser, doesn't support JavaScript. Ahasuerus 19:24, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
OK, FR 921 has been created. Thanks for the pointers! Ahasuerus 18:37, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for fixing this. What would we do without you ? Linguist 14:15, 17 August 2016 (UTC).
That's a very good question and one that I ponder increasingly often as I get older. Hopefully someone else would step up to the plate, just like I did when Al became unavailable in 2008-2009. After all, our data and the software are publicly available, so all the prerequisites are there. Perhaps I could adjust my will to set up a foundation to pay for the next generation of developers, but that would change the nature of the project, so we would have to consider the implications. Ahasuerus 16:44, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

How to submit an award for a publication series

If a whole publication series, e.g. Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, is nominated for an award, how to I submit this? Do I simply make three submissions, one for each title in the publication series and add some infos in the note field? Jens Hitspacebar 21:05, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Actually, it's a regular series rather than a publication series. Unfortunately, the answer is the same for both types of series: at this time there is no way to associate awards directly with publication series, regular series, publishers (see this FR) or even authors (see this FR.) Our software supports just two types of awards: "title-based" and "not title-based". Title-based awards are explicitly linked to title records. Non-title awards are unstructured "free text" not linked to any other records in the database. When the software displays them, it checks if there is an author with a matching name on file, but that's as far as it goes.
Sometimes a series has appeared as an omnibus, in which case we can link related award records to the omnibus title, e.g. see how Foundation's awards have been handled. In this case an omnibus edition appeared in 2014 and was apparently handled as a single novel by the World Fantasy folks (their pages are down at the moment, but Google's cache confirms our data.) For this reason I would recommend linking this award to the omnibus record. Ahasuerus 21:29, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Argh, the Southern Reach Trilogy is a title series of course :) Understood, regarding the omnibus, but what if there's no omnibus for a series (yet)? There's another title series I want to enter to get an award nomination and which doesn't exist at all here right now, but it'd consist of three titles of the series only and no omnibus. Hitspacebar 21:41, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Ok, just re-read the Add Award help and found it: it's Other awards in this case. Hitspacebar 21:48, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
That's right. The only way to handle a series without a title is to use the "Add Untitled Award" option found under "New Data". If the mouse-over Help bubbles do not help, please don't hesitate to ask here! Ahasuerus 21:54, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Adding awards for categories "Best translation" and "Best foreign language work" - use parent or variant title?

Before I start adding awards for "Best translation" and "Best foreign language work" to the Kurd Laßwitz Prize I want to make sure I choose the correct title record. Question is: do I use the parent (original language) title or the variant (translated) title. Examples:

  • "Best translation into German": The translation (the effort done by the translator) of China Miéville's Railsea won the award. I'd use the German variant Das Gleismeer for the award record because the award is for the translation, not for the work itself. It wouldn't make sense to link the award the to English title.
  • "Best foreign-language work (with first German-language publication in the award year)": Neal Stephenson's Seveneves won the award. I'm not sure here: should I use the German variant title Amalthea for the award record or the parent? I tend to use the parent title because the award is for the work itself, not for the translation.

Jens Hitspacebar 21:14, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

The software will let you do it either way and will display awards given to VTs appropriately (on author pages, stats pages, etc.)
I believe your proposed approach matches what has been done for other awards given to translated works, e.g. see "Best Translated Long Story" under "Seiun Award". Ahasuerus 22:05, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
I just realized I probably made an error in reasoning regarding bullet point one: the award is for the effort done by the translator. Isn't the creation of the award record based on the German title record wrong because the award then linked to the author? However, the award is not for the author but for the translator . Shouldn't I better create an untitled award, using the translator as author and something like Translation of China Miéville's Railsea as title? Hitspacebar 08:12, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Oh, right. Sorry, I am still under the weather and not thinking straight. Your reasoning is right on target. If an award was given to a work's translator, the only way for us to make it appear on the translator's award list (rather than the author's) is to create an untitled award just like you described.
As an aside, I am trying to account for this functionality in the design document for translator support. It's one of the things that is making it rather hairy. Ahasuerus 17:58, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
Though I'm going to have to go through all of those and change the titles to the Japanese ones, and the authors to the Japanese version of their names. :D ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 22:50, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
The "Best Translated Long Story" "Seiun Award" looks to me like one given for the author's original work (published in Japanese translation), not the translation (the effort done by the translator). If that's the case bullet point 2 from my initial post above would apply and the current state of these award records seems correct. I reworded the bullet points above a bit to make them more precise. Jens Hitspacebar 08:12, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
It is for the best translated work, and is therefore given to the translated work, not the original. That's what needs to be fixed on it, because I originally attached it to the original work once I figure out what it was. This was an error. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:30, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
I'afraid that I have to think that in fact the best translator is awarded; thus IMHO the award shouldn't be linked to a work (original or not). Christian Stonecreek 15:58, 30 August 2016 (UTC)
It's given to the translated work, but until we have a field for translators, we can't include them in the award. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:30, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

what's this pub number or date?

Hi I got a publication with a number line on the left side, and on the right side of the same line "1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 5/0" What are those supposed to represent? The page also says "first printing February 2001" but I can't figure how that /0 correlates. thanks. gzuckier 04:33, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Those likely represent the year. 1/0 ... 5/0 probably represents 2001 - 2005, with the lowest one remaining being the date of this printing. You could look for another publication from the same publisher, but published in 2000 or 2002 and see if the number line is recorded. I'd expect an initial 0/0 for one in 2000 and an initial 2/0 for one published in 2002. Another, similar representation I've seen is "1 2 3 4 5/0". --MartyD 13:54, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

boxed sets

hi, how do we handle boxed sets? i'm thinking in particular of a pair of harry potter spinoffs, is the paperback version but i have a hardcover version; each of the two books that make it up as well as the set itself have different isbn numbers. thanks. gzuckier 04:56, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

We treat these as an Omnibus. If you search for titles containing "boxed set", you will find many examples, although it's not necessary to include "boxed set" in the title if the set is uniquely titled. Did you see this? It looks like someone took some liberties with the title there (which we can fix). Basically, the set should be entered as an omnibus, with its ISBN used. If the contained books have their own ISBNs, you could include that information in the pub notes and also enter them as separate publications to get those ISBNs recorded where search-by-ISBN will find them. If the two boxed sets have the same title, then they're just two different publications of the same title (with different "bindings", using the binding of the contained books). If they have different titles, but the same books, then we'd make one title a variant of the other. --MartyD 14:08, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Trying to find Wladimir Ruibin's Cyrillic name, but no success

I've tried to find information about the Cyrillic name of Wladimir Ruibin, author of the translated Die Erde ruft, in order to create a parent author record, but to no avail. According to, the transliterated Russian title of Die Erde ruft is Semlja sawjot, which reverse-transliterates to either Семля савёт or Семлйа саwйот. Wladimir Ruibin would become Wладимир Руибин, but I only found a composer with a name like this. I googled, duckduckgoed and searched so far. Can anyone help with other data sources? Jens Hitspacebar 16:49, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Once you realize that the Cyrillic letter "з"/"З" is transliterated as "s"/"S" in German, everything falls into place: Владимир Рыбин, "Земля зовет" (1974) :) Ahasuerus 17:02, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Great! Thanks a lot. Hitspacebar 17:14, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Anthology includes audio titles

This is a first for me - I have a new anthology to enter - that's no problem - but it includes two titles on CDs as part of the publication (very much physically part of the book - slotted into bound pouches). Neither of the two audio titles is catalogued on here as yet by the way. How do I treat this? Thanks Prof Prof beard 10:06, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Using copious notes! :-) Here's my suggestion: Record them in the anthology as SHORTFICTION (or whatever; if SHORTFICTION, keep the length unspecified) and give page numbers appropriate to wherever the pouches are. Use the titles as given. Describe the situation in the pub notes. Once that's in place, add a note to each title about its appearance as an audio work. In the future, if someone runs across a print version of one of the works, we can then try to figure out whether/how we want to represent the difference in format. --MartyD 19:42, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I've added audio books on CD with printed essays in the booklet (e.g. [1] and [2]). It's sort of the flip side of what you're describing. In my case, since they were audiobooks, I listed the CD tracks first, and the booklet after. If the audio in yours is fiction, I see no reason not to give it a length if it can be determined. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 01:25, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Transliteration from English to Another Language and Back Again

I've been thinking, how do we handle transliteration to another language and back again? For instance, Isaac Asimov, who becomes アイザック・アシモフ in Japanese, transliterates back into English as Aisakku Ashimofu. Should we enter the original English name? Should the Family Name be Asimov or Ashimofu in this case?--Rkihara 01:54, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

It should be listed as a pseudonym, which should be enough. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:39, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Yup, it's a pseudonym. Since that page has a link to the original English name, I don't think it needs anything else. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:42, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
The fields are for transliteration, not translation/fixing the name. Also... if I am looking for an author, I may not know how to spell their English name and then I will look for it as I had heard it being called through the years. Some of the French ones for example are a real pain if you do not know how to spell them (and for some of them it takes a while to find it if I am looking for it based on an old memory). The pseudonym link will lead to the actual writer but we should be able to find it based on the form someone would use. Just my 2 cents Anniemod 03:09, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, actually I was trying to figure out what to do about several edits I've put on hold, where something like that was done. The canonical family name was being changed to the transliterated.--Rkihara 03:11, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Actually when I submitted the edits, the family name was the non-latin one. Then someone edited them with my edits still in the queue to the Canonical names - leaving my edits to be from canonical:) If the canonical ones were in place, I would have asked here what we want to do. As they were non-Latin, I went for how I understand the rule for that. Up to you how you want to close these - I still think that having them indexed under the name people would look for them won't harm anything and has a better chance of people finding things Anniemod 03:20, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Anniemod's reasoning. Ahasuerus 03:33, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
It seems to me that to go from English to a foreign transliteration, then transliterating back to English, will make the name unrecognizable. The example I cited, Aisakku (Ashimofu), would not be recognizable to anyone from Japan, unless they reverse transliterated it to Katakana. A lot of English speakers wouldn't get it and other would have to stare at it for a while. Since the family name is for sorting, maybe it's not a big deal. I'll wait for a few more opinions.--Rkihara 03:44, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Let's consider one of the submissions. At least one Russian translation of a novel by the French author F. Richard-Bessière has credited him as "Ришар Бессьер", i.e. "Rishar Bess'yer". I think it stands to reason that we would want this pseudonym to appear in the Author Directory under "Bess'yer" rather than under "Richard-Bessière". Ahasuerus 04:05, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I do not know about Japanese (cannot read it at all so you may be right there) but with the Cyrillic languages, a direct replacement is something someone would look for. For example Asimov. It is spelled Азимов in Bulgarian and if I do not know better, I would look for Azimov in a list of names... Or take the French: Michel Houellebecq is spelled Мишел Уелбек in Bulgarian. I would look under Uelbek or something like that if I had never seen his name spelled with Latin letters. And it won't be there under the author directory (search will find it based on the transliteration but it won't be where I would look for it in the list). Anniemod 04:30, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
I think the way I expressed myself is causing some confusion. I'm disputing edits to the "Family Name." If this is used for sorting then it seems to me it adds more complication. The double transliteration thing was my mind wandering away from the point I was trying to make, and I think we've gone down the wrong path by focusing on it. I do understand and agree with your point about how you would search.--Rkihara 04:46, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Let's use Anniemod's "Asimov/Azimov" example to make sure that we are on the same page. All that a "naive" Bulgarian/Russian/Ukrainian/etc user knows about this author is that his last name is spelled "Азимов" or "Азімов" in Bulgarian/Russian/Ukrainian/etc books. Since our Author Directory is currently limited to the 26 characters of the English alphabet (plus apostrophes and such), the user assumes that the directory presumably lists "Азимов" under a transliterated version of his last name. Would you say that the user expects to find him under "Asimov" or under "Azimov"? Ahasuerus 14:27, 15 September 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I'll approve the submissions.--Rkihara 15:48, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Transliterations not Showing

Suddenly transliterations are not showing on the author pages. Did I toggle something?--Rkihara 17:26, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

See ISFDB:Community Portal#Transliteration changes. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:33, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, that's it! It caught me by surprise. Thanks!--Rkihara 17:54, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
Depending on your browser, you may need to do a full page reload to get the mouse-over bubbles to appear. In most browsers the shortcut is Control-F5. Ahasuerus 17:35, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

HTML bug?

Hello, in this publicationyou can see in the notes between the line "Additional Pages" and "Data Source" an empty line, in e. g. Dreamweaver there is no empty Line, what is wrong? I won't have this empty line.--Wolfram.winkler 08:16, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I've displaced one as per this example, see Nested Lists. Hauck 08:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello Hauck, thanks for your answer, but hereis no further and it looks ok.--Wolfram.winkler 11:29, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
IMHO, in this case the superfluous line is present but at the end of the Note Field (see the differnces between the two dispalys). Hauck 12:26, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
But in your example I can delete the and there is no difference between the both results, the same result shows Dreamweaver?--Wolfram.winkler 05:50, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
The extra line at the end of the note in Farlander - Der Pfad des Kriegers is not caused by HTML. The reason is the style sheet that is used for the notes field. Style sheets (CSS) are not HTML. They describe the look of the page. I don't know about Dreamweaver, but if you use it to test your HTML code locally on your computer you won't get an exact representation of the HTML if you don't also include all CSS files needed by the web site (which is for the ISFDB). Every note here has the CSS class "notes" which has the property "white-space: pre-wrap;", which means, among others, that spaces and newlines are preservered and displayed the way they have been entered (for a longer explanation see here (English) and here (German). I you want to avoid the extra line at the end you can try to make sure the the last characters of the note are with no newline behind (I haven't tested it but it might work). Jens Hitspacebar 08:15, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello Hauck, now I've understand what you mean, in Germany we say: "Wer lesen kann ist klar im Vorteil". Displace of the seems to work, but not here.
Does it matter whether the tags are in the same line or in a new Line?
Hello Jens, it doesn't work, the last characters are --Wolfram.winkler 06:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
It is inserting a space between the of the last element of the sublist and the that closes it. Make sure that the starts at the beginning of the line (the lineand it will be all set. The lines do not matter but spaces between tags can be a problem in some cases like this one (depending on rendering) Anniemod 07:41, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello Anni, thanks for the hint, I've corrected the tags and it is OK. Just a little declaration: I've generate a templation in Microsoft Word and there I complete the data of the current book, with indents (tabs) of the sublist like here, Nested HTML Lists.
Then copy and paste in the ISFDB notes field. But ISFDB dont't accept this formatting, but there remains some spaces and I think that's the error.--Wolfram.winkler 06:34, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Word is hiding issues with bad HTML -- it renders the same way as IE/Edge and neither of them renders properly and based on the standards. Proper browsers do what you tell them to - and assume that you know what you are doing in your code. I had found that if you use the strict standards, everything works properly everywhere :) Anniemod 15:40, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello Annie, the problem is, that I cannot test my code before it is public. Helpful would be a playground as in Wikipedia. But I think this little bit of code I can manage--Wolfram.winkler 08:38, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

cover upload

I have uploaded two covers, but they not displayed in the publication. What I have done wrong? [3] [4] --Henna 11:21, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Likely nothing wrong, but it seems that you haven't completed the task. See this help page (semi-automated procedure): After uploading, the image's wiki page will appear. In order to get the URL (address) for the image you just uploaded, left click anywhere on the image and copy the URL from your browser's address window. (Or right click on the image and choose "Copy Image Location".) Go back to the publication record, click the "Edit This Pub" link under the Editing Tools menu, and enter the URL you just copied into the "Image URL" field. Then submit for moderator approval. I've done that for you with Die Menagerie von Babel, would you like it to do for the other image? Stonecreek 12:11, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
A by-thought: why is it that you don't give the cover artists in the publication record? Stonecreek 12:13, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I'm stupid, in a half year I forgot the last step to upload a cover. I will fill the cover artist field from now on. Thanks for your help. Henna 19:19, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Well, half-a-year is quite a long time to forget something one isn't used to do! Stonecreek 09:43, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Identical titles

I need some help understanding how to untangle two titles: and They contain the same publications and are identical in any other way I can see. I went for merging them but the merge is giving a warning about having the publications listed twice in the new work if I proceed. What is the correct way to deal with that? Merge anyway and then remove the duplicate publications? Remove publications from one of them and then delete the title? Something else? Thanks! PS: The second one appeared after it was rescued from being added under a wrong title... Anniemod 07:21, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Probably a type change that went wrong. I've done the following in this case: 1) removed the extra OMNIBUS title in both publications, 2) that left one OMNIBUS title without publication, that I've deleted (it could also have been merged), 3) imported the now missing first novel via "Import Contents" (bottom screen with titleID 2063753). Hauck 08:47, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation and for fixing it. Anniemod 08:53, 2 October 2016 (UTC)


Please look here. In the notes you can read "Cover design: Nele Schütz Design, using a foto by shutterstock/fototehnik (stated on copyright page)". The word "fototehnik" is unknown, it should be called "fototechnik". Is it a typo from the publisher?--Wolfram.winkler 11:26, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

That's how it is spelled on Heyne's website of the book. Click on "Blick ins Buch" next to the cover image there and navigate to the copyright page. Usually, the word behind "shutterstock/" is the username at, and if the user chose to be called "fototehnik" then that's the correct way he or she has to be stated. If you want to check if such a user exists at Shutterstock you can do that by using and append the username: I just did that, but there's neither a user "fototehnik" nor "fototechnik" at Shutterstock. Maybe the account was deleted. Therefore "fototehnik" can be a typo or it can be correct. Since we usually enter data the way they are stated in the book I think it should stay as it is. I made a submission which added some information to the note. Jens Hitspacebar 15:57, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Hello Jens, you are right, I've seen the name in the "Blick ins Buch" too, but I know several publisher with wrong entries like ISBN 0-000-00000-0 or wrong original title, I don't believe all, what is written by publisher. Helpful would be a request to the publisher, may be.--Wolfram.winkler 06:13, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Make variant series

Hello, this series Königin der Orks (as omnibus with three titles) Author Morgan Howell (pseudonym of Will Hubbell) belongs to the series Queen of the orks. How can I make it variant? When I try to make it as variant there occure an error: Parent title does not exist.--Wolfram.winkler 06:35, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

You cannot variant the series, you need to variant the individual works. Variant each of the 3 individual German titles to their English equivalents (using the existing title IDs). For the omnibus itself - variant to a new Title with Will Hubbell as an author (so it gets off the pseudonym page). And edit the German omnibus record to add the series to it and add /1-3 for storylen. (see here for example how an omnibus is added to a series). That should do it. And one of the moderators will stop by and correct me if I missed a step :) Anniemod 06:49, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Now I've tried this but I don't believe that it is ok. I've tried it before your answer, I will delete it.--Wolfram.winkler 07:00, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Weird display in an author

Sidney Gowing looks as an author with no works even though they have a serialization with Edgar Jepson. How can the serialization show up on the first page as well? Is there a missing variant somewhere or is that one of the oddities in the display? Thanks! Anniemod 19:47, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

The only titles that Sidney Gowing is currently associated with are variants. Variant titles are not displayed on Summary pages except as variants or serializations of canonical titles.
Apparently, the standalone version of The Moon Gods appeared as by Edgar Jepson alone while the 1932 serialization was attributed to both Jepson and Gowing. The FictionMags Index calls the 1932 Blue Book version a "possible reprint of 1930 Herbert Jenkins novel credited to Jepson alone".
I suggest that we turn the 1930 novel into a variant of a new The Moon Gods title by Jepson and Gowing. The serial variants will be automatically re-pointed to the new canonical title and everything will look OK. Ahasuerus 21:38, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Sounds good. And the explanation makes sense - it just did look a bit weird:) Anniemod 21:49, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 22:21, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

nonfiction status of zombies?

In re "The Zombie Survival Guide", I note that it is typed as nonfiction; I'm not sure this is totally accurate. The book contains chapters on various weapons, but also chapters on the "virus", zombie behavior and physical attributes, etc. Would this be like historical fiction or something? Nobody's verified any of the publications yet. Thanks.gzuckier 07:33, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

There have been requests to add a new title type for "fictitious/fictionalized essays", but the software hasn't been updated yet. For now, we use ESSAY/NONFICTION when the text is more like non-fiction and SHORTFICTION/NOVEL when the text is more like fiction. When in doubt, flip a coin and add notes :-) Ahasuerus 14:15, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Mixed up series

Pendragon seems to have acquired books from various series. As far as I can say, only D. J. MacHale's books and the Pendragon: Before the War books belong here - the rest need new names for the series. In this case, is it just enough to change the series in the books that do not belong to add a new prefix/postfix to disambiguate them or is there something else that needs to be done? And in this case do the series that has the proper description win (MacHale's) or the one that was written first? Thanks! Anniemod 04:28, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Author/editor names are usually used as disambiguators, e.g. Blood of Kings (Jill Williamson) vs. Blood of Kings (John Michael Curlovich) or Analog Anthologies (Campbell) vs. Analog Anthologies (Bova) vs. Analog Anthologies (Schmidt).
In more complicated cases pretty much anything can serve as a disambiguator, e.g. Andromeda (anthologies) vs. Andromeda (Canada) vs. Andromeda (Hoyle & Elliot) vs. Andromeda (Perry Rhodan).
In this case the root of the problem appears to be the use of "The Travelers" to describe both a "Pendragon" sub-series and a Patricia Briggs super-series. If we change the parent series of Sianim and Raven Duology to "The Travelers (Patricia Briggs)", it will solve the immediate problem. We may also want to change the name of the Pendragon sub-series to "The Travelers (Pendragon)" to make things more clear. Ahasuerus 14:29, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
The two Lowder books also do not belong in the series but I think I can get that dealt with as well based on the explanation. Thanks! Anniemod 14:41, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
I think I got them all cleared - as soon as the submissions get approved. I was overthinking it again... Anniemod 14:52, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Approved and tweaked. Thanks! Ahasuerus 15:11, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if we do not need a report for series with multiple authors. There will be a lot of false positives that can be ignored but it will probably find at least a few more like that one (which I kinda stumbled upon while fixing a wrongly merged publication). Anniemod 15:15, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
<sounds of numbers being crunched> Of the 23,402 series that we had on file as of Saturday morning, 18,979 were single-author while 4,423 were multi-author. A cleanup report displaying 4,423 series is probably manageable, but it would take a while to process everything. Are you volunteering? :-)
Well, with the transliterations out of the way (mostly), why not? :) As long as there is an "ignore" option so the valid ones can drop out (and not getting readded unless if someone adds a new author into the mix) and there is an alphabetical order (or something) so it is easy to tell the moderators which ones are safe to be ignored. :) Anniemod 16:01, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Also, there is a Feature request to "Warn moderator if adding a new author to a Series", which may be useful going forward. Ahasuerus 15:50, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, that will at least catch them early enough :) Anniemod 16:01, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
OK, FR 939 has been created. It may take me some time to get to it since I am still playing catch-up after spending late August and most of September out sick.
If you are looking for other housekeeping tasks to work on in the meantime, I recommend the "Wiki Cleanup" reports. They were created to facilitate migrating Wiki-based notes to the database proper earlier this year, but I haven't had the time to work on them.
If you decide to work on them, here are some things to keep in mind:
  • At the moment, Wiki-based notes are linked to the database based on series/publisher/etc names. Linking does not work for names with Unicode characters.
  • The contents of simple Wiki-based pages like this one or this one should be entered into the database proper. Once your submission has been approved, the Wiki page should be deleted.
  • Wiki-based issue grids are no longer needed because the software has been upgraded to generate them automatically. For example, compare this Wiki-based grid with this automatically generated grid.
  • The contents of extensive Wiki-based pages like this one can be handled in one of two ways:
    • You can enter the formatted text (using HTML formatting) to the database and use {{BREAK}}. As Help explains: "If you enter {{BREAK}} anywhere in the text, everything after {{BREAK}} will be displayed on a separate page, which will be linked from the series page."
    • You can add the URL of the Wiki page to the series/publisher/etc record. The cleanup reports ignore Wiki-based pages if they are linked via the "Web page" field. Publication records do not have a "Web page" field, so you will need to add an HTML link in the Note field; the corresponding cleanup report will know to ignore Wiki paged linked via Publication notes.
  • Once all Wiki-based pages for a record type (series, publisher, etc) have been migrated to the database, please let me know and I will remove the "lexical match" link from the relevant ISFDB page.
Ahasuerus 16:34, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
I had been staying away from the wiki cleanup for the most part because of not being sure what exactly we are doing (Despite reading some instructions more than once). I will see what I can tackle there together with chipping at the pub/title mismatch report. Stupid question - how do you delete wiki pages? Anniemod 17:02, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
There should be a "Delete" tab at the top of each Wiki page. It should appear between the "History" tab and the "Move" tab. If you don't see it, then I'll need to review Wiki security settings. Ahasuerus 18:29, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I was wondering where it was hiding. I had seen it on other wikis but could not locate it here. The only tabs I see here after the first are: Discussion Edit History Move Watch (except when + also appears but that is a special case). No delete anywhere in the list. Anniemod 18:40, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Checking Wiki settings, I see that only moderators can delete pages. I could lift this restriction, but then we would have to review the Deletion log on a regular basis. On the other hand, the current settings make it hard to work on Wiki-related cleanup reports. Let me think about this... Ahasuerus 19:21, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
That explains part of my confusion and why the instructions did not make much sense. How about moving the pages inder /Unused or /ToBeDeleted or something like that (move is an allowed operation for everyone as it seems) and then having a moderator just deleting them from under there? Anniemod 19:48, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
I think it may work. Alternatively, you could add "Moderator notes" to your submissions asking to delete the linked Wiki page once the approving moderator has confirmed that all data has been moved successfully. If the moderator doesn't notice the note and/or fails to delete the Wiki page, it will remain in the body of the cleanup report and will be caught during subsequent passes. Ahasuerus 21:39, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
I would rather take one more look at the page before it gets deleted after the approval (more sets of eyes, less likely to miss data) - just to make sure nothing got left behind... Although for simple pages, just asking it to be deleted in the message should work. I will start playing with those reports tonight.Anniemod 21:59, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
(outdent) Regarding the suggestion to move obsolete wiki pages to a new name: I would recommend against this and instead suggest that a template be used. Moving a wiki page creates a redirect from the old name to the new name. That results in two pages that need to be deleted. A template would be easier as a user could apply it to the page and the page would be put into a 'recommended deletion' category. That also makes it easier to find them. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:13, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
An excellent idea! Ahasuerus 12:17, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I created two new templates:
Template:Deletion candidate - a generic deletion request where the user can provide the rationale
Template:Page transferred - a deletion request where the rationale is specific to this case
They both add the tagged page to Category:Deletion candidates. There probably was a way to combine these with a template parameters, but I went with the easy way out. If anybody has recommendations to improve them, please go ahead and change them as you see fit. I've deleted the pages (and redirects) Anniemod had moved to "ToBeDeleted:" names. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:00, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 14:12, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Great. Thanks! I did a few with a move and saw the redirect and was meaning to come and ask if there is a better way. Will see what I can do with the cleanup this week with the new template thingie. Now let me go figure out how to apply a template on existing page :) Anniemod 20:57, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

table of contents

It appears to me that if the table of contents for a publication has only one entry, it does not appear on the page even if there is a page number, but if there are > 1 entry the contents appear. Am I correct in this assumption? Thanks. gzuckier 03:51, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

That's right. As I recall, some years ago we went back and forth on this issue. We can certainly change the software behavior if we feel that the presence of a page number should warrant the title's appearance on the page. Ahasuerus 13:01, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
thanksgzuckier 04:36, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

is this sf? Seems to me it is, but since it's absent from the database i thought i'd ask. gzuckier 03:05, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Borderline at best, but why not? Hauck 07:21, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Deleting Talk Page Comments

I've spent an hour or more trying to find a Help topic, or other such guidance, on deleting (not splitting or moving) editor comments, from Talk pages. Can someone help direct me?
--Chrisgherr 10:46, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

The "edit" option on top of it then select then delete? Hauck 13:39, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, please note that our Help only covers database editing. We have no documentation explaining how to edit Wiki pages because we use generic MediaWiki software. Wikipedia and many other Wikis use the same software, although the exact version and the installed extensions vary from site to site. Some of them have pages explaining how to edit Wiki pages, e.g. this Wikipedia page.
In addition, I would advise new editors against changing the formatting of other editors' comments. It usually takes time to learn various nuances and understand why things were formatted in a certain way. Ahasuerus 16:00, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
May I say ... it's incredibly frustrating having one's questions either ignored, or fundamentally misunderstood! I posed two questions on Rules and Standards, which have yet to be answered -- and furthermore, appear to have been intentionally altered, by other editors! Here ... My question has been misunderstood!
It seemed well posed to me, with sufficient clarity -- but apparently not. I said above that I'd been looking for a specific Help topic -- and could I be directed to it? In lieu of directions, I'm offered instructions -- which I worry will not be sufficient! I am game, however, so I'll post this, and see where the instructions lead me.
Possibly, while I follow up on Hauck's advice, someone could direct me to the appropriate Help topic?
--Chrisgherr 18:28, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
It may be conceivable that such a Help Topic just simply doesn't exist. As Ahasuerus said, deleting or altering other users' contributions without their consent is not a good idea. As for your questions, the "de facto" rule takes precedence over the written (aeons ago) one as our help (alas) is just completely out of date. Our limited moderator workforce just hasn't the time to do this (I suppose that you just simply don't realise how many hours of moderating and related chores are needed every day to keep the show running). For the root of your questions, IMHO it's just that a HTML copy (or a set of photocopies or a photoreproduction) of a magazine is simply itself NOT a MAGAZINE, that's why, to distinguish such publication from the "original", such items treated as ANTHOLOGIES.Hauck 18:41, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree with you, that such a topic doesn't exist. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with what Ahasuerus has said about this. I tend to believe that he would possibly be even more opposed to deletions, than we may imagine. You say "as for (my) questions," and so on, and I'm sure you're referring to two questions I raised in Rules and Standards. I wish you'd answered them there, since I've noticed there're others with an interest in them. I myself strongly disagree with the notion that the de facto rule takes precedence. In this I'm what's known as a "strict constructionalist," i.e. we should abide by what's written, unless and until it's amended.
With respect to what is a magazine -- you already know, from my R&S section, that we are diametrically opposed on this. I believe that if the reprinted text itself, i.e. the contents are identical to those of the first publication, then the newer publication remains what the original publication was -- a magazine; e.g. the case of a 1930 Astounding first publication, first printing, which is then reprinted in some later year, decade, century, or even millennium, remains a magazine.
--Chrisgherr 15:30, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I've more to say ... But I'll think more on it.
No, a magazine doesn't stay a magazine just because its contents are reprinted: you also have to take into account the role of the publisher (who stays the same, at least for a period of time) and of the publication schedule (quite often monthly, bi-monthly or quartally). Cut off from these regulations (i.e. taken out of its period of time and published by another hand), it becomes in fact an anthology. Stonecreek 14:19, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

To Chrisgherr, I'm warning you. If you edit just once more my words (even if they're not enough english for you), I'm going to block you for 1 day for starters. Hauck 19:08, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
To Hauck, I'm addressing you. If you continue to threaten me for my good conduct, as proscribed by the ISFDB Wiki Conventions, here, I'll continue to complain, as I've already done, on the ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard.
I hope that our two paired direct addresses, to each other; look as funny to us, as they must look to everyone else! In truth, I'm sure that you spoke hastily, and would never act so rashly as you suggested; with your workload, you must (like I) sometimes wish for a "redo" button!
--Chrisgherr 12:59, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
This is not constructive. Please note that non-constructive comments may be removed and administrative action may be taken. We are here to improve the database. As ISFDB:Policy states, "Anything that helps make the ISFDB a more useful and more reliable bibliographic tool is encouraged. Anything that hinders this process is discouraged. ... Behavior that is otherwise non-constructive or disruptive will be dealt with on a case by case basis." Ahasuerus 13:15, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Well said
--Chrisgherr 15:22, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Der lange Weg nach Santa Cruz

I want add a childrens book that won the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis in 1996 (Michael Ende: Der lange Weg nach Santa Cruz)[5][6]. The book is published in 1992 and contains only the title story. Two questions:

  • How to add such book? A collection with one Story?
  • Nominate the story was a mistake of the award commission?

Thanks Henna 16:56, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

Publications like this (containing one work of fiction shorter than a novel) are entered as a so-called CHAPBOOK. Use the "Add New Chapbook" link, enter the publication's title there as usual and also add a title entry of the same name for the story it contains. Example: Die Spieluhr. See Template:PublicationFields:PubType for more details.
As for the KLP nomination: why do you think that it was a mistake? If that's because of the difference of the year of first publication (1992) and award year (1996): they probably didn't know that it had been first released in 1992 already, because The KLP website (and the KLP documents I have access to) only refer to Die Zauberschule und andere Geschichten from 1994 but not to the release from 1992 (Die Zauberschule und andere Geschichten was probably a very late 1994 release because the award was given for releases from 1995).
Jens Hitspacebar 18:06, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Hello Jens, thanks for explanation and the example for the first point. To the second point, exactly that was my question. The story is the same as in the collection, add the award to this story? Thanks again Henna 18:59, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you add the award to the title record of the story. That's because KLP short fiction award is usually given for the work of short fiction and not for the collection, anthology or chapbook it was published in. It's different of course if a whole publication is awarded, for example Ted Chiang's collection Die Hölle ist die Abwesenheit Gottes. But that's not the case here and would be a different award category anyway. Jens Hitspacebar 19:27, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
You have now entered an untitled award for Der lange Weg nach Santa Cruz. However, untitled awards are only for awards which don't have a title record in our database, for example the awards for the KLP categories Bester Film and Bestes Hörspiel. For titles like this story you first have enter the story, wait until the record for the story exists in the database, then go to the title's page and click on "Add an Award to This Title". This would automatically link the story and the award (and make the award appear on the title's page, see this story as an example). You now have to correct the data and make an extra submission: go to the award record you have created, click on "Link Award" there and enter the title ID of the Der lange Weg nach Santa Cruz story in the "Title #" field. Jens Hitspacebar 20:23, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
Hello Jens, thanks for your support. Now everything is fine. I choose the wrong link, than I notice my mistake and wont correct them, thereby I duplicate the award entry ... Thanks again Henna 13:34, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

can't overwrite image

hi i uploaded the wrong cover for ( and when i try to upload the correct file, the old one stays, no matter if i check overwrite, or ignore warnings, etc. No error messages other than "overwriting old file, OK?" Can't see how to delete old file, eithetr. Help? thanks. gzuckier 18:03, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

Try refreshing your browser (F5 usually). Hauck 18:04, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
h yes. thanks. gzuckier 18:37, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
You can also view the file itself (using the example above, this page, not this one) and force a refresh there. That makes it so the correct image shows up in the future. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:23, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

wrong authors name

Hello, I added two authors with wrong names.

How to change the names? Thanks Henna 14:29, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

You either need a moderator to change them or you can edit the only titles that they have and fix them there (which will create new entries for them and as the ones that now exist will not have any titles attached, they will disappear). Anniemod 15:47, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. Henna 16:14, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Done for the first one, the second already existed. Hauck 16:23, 15 November 2016 (UTC)


There are two different collections with the same title. Is this correct? Thanks Henna 14:53, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

They should be separated, shouldn't they?. Both seem to have been selected exclusively for their respective publishers. So they shouldn't even be varianted! (?What's your opinion?) Stonecreek 15:32, 18 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure, I think different text, different titles in the db. Is this a unique problem? I expected there is a rule for such problems. Henna 19:22, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Piper and Piper (Germany)

Hello, what is the difference between Piper and Piper (Germany)? In both lists are German titles.--Wolfram.winkler 08:37, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

As the note in the record for Piper says: "Children's Imprint of Pan (now Pan MacMillan)". If there are publications which have been published by the German publisher Piper and have "Piper" as publisher they should be changed to "Piper (Germany"). After a quick look at the records it seems like all publications with a date of 2007 and newer have to be changed. Jens Hitspacebar 09:10, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
They likely were allowed in by a moderator who didn't know that there are two different publishers. I'll change those I can make out. Many thanks for finding those! Christian Stonecreek 09:22, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, actually some of them even had to be deleted as the data from amazon seemed to be contaminated. Stonecreek 09:40, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your information. I don't have seen the note.--Wolfram.winkler 10:35, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

"Add Cover" feature

I see that this site has an "Add Cover" feature on the book pages. What is this and how does one use it? MLB 02:08, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

As per this Help template:
  • Add Cover - If there is more than one COVERART record associated with this publication, use this button to create an additional record. This typically happens when dealing with "dos-a-dos" books.
Ahasuerus 02:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

cover credits

credit in book says
Jacket design by Igor Stanovsky
Jacket photo © Travel and Places/Alamy (gravestone);
So who gets credit? thanks. gzuckier 17:33, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Noone or the one credited for the photo. See cover art explanation on the Jacket designer question -- last sentences in the "Artist" paragraph. Anniemod 17:49, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. gzuckier 18:22, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

copyright page has different name than title page for interiorartist

Where interior art credited to Randy Broecker on title page and authors' bio page, but Randy Broeker on copyright page, what name to put in contents? Most of his work is under Broecker, but there are a couple of others where he is credited as Broeker in the database. Thanks. gzuckier 19:10, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

I would go with the title page and add a note for the difference. Copyright pages often give real names even when the pseudonym is credited officially on the title page (and this is the wish of the artist/author). Anniemod 19:12, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
OK, thanks. i suspect this poor guy is the lucky recipient of sloppy copyright applications by some particular publisher. gzuckier 19:25, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Won't be the fist time :) Anniemod 19:35, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

variant or independent work?

For "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction" by H. P. Lovecraft:
Originally published in "Amateur Correspondent" #1, May-June 1937 and "Supramundane Stories" #2, Spring 1938, according to Acknowledgments in "H. P. Lovecraft's Book of the Supernatural: Classic Tales of the Macabre".
According to Stephen Jones' "Introduction: Supernatural Horror in Literature" in the same book, this began as "Supernatural Horror in Literature", a "lightly revised version" was serialized in The Fantasy Fan between 1933-1935 but left incomplete when the magazine ceased publication; and the version left unfinished at his death in 1937 published posthumously in The Outsider and Others
Does that last version count as an independent entry, due to the "lightly revised", or is it just a variant? I haven't got the original version to look at, just the "lightly revised" one. Thanks. gzuckier 19:10, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Revised versions are variants anyway in ISFDB - especially light revisions (we variant even things like abridgements, translations and so on and they are probably even more different than these cases) -- that's one reason to make a variant. So I would do a variant with all the information from above in the title notes so it is clear why it is a variant. You need a lot bigger differences to end up with a separate work under the current rules.Anniemod 19:16, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
ok, thanks. i had started out with the opposite thought, but worked my way around to this way of thinking by the time i had entered the request. gzuckier 19:24, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
That's one of the things that bothers me the most around here - in my mind we need separation between varianting because of a name change (author or title) and content change (non-translation related - these at least are visible because of the appended language). But such does not exist yet - so variants is the way to go. You may want to add (revised) in the title record to differentiate them? Anniemod 19:37, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
We DO NOT variant for content changes (excluding translations). Variants are for the same work under different titles. If the work is considered the same and it is the same title, it is merged. If the work is considered the same and it is a different title, it is varianted. If the work is different, then it should be two different title records. The issue is that there is no easily quantifiable way of measuring how much a work has to be changed to be considered a different work. Opinions on a particular work can be vary. Serializations & books published in parts are considered the same work so they are varianted. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:06, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Abridgements are varianted - or so I had been told more than once when I asked. And that is a major change in content. Anniemod 20:50, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
Or cases like this one Science Fiction & Fantasy Awards. Or this: A Princess of Mars (abridged). Or all cases of split novels where a half-novel is a variant of the full novel. If we really never variant revisions and text changes, a lot of titles such as this one need to be unvarianted... Or am I misunderstaning what you are saying?Anniemod 02:34, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
An abridgement is a major content change. One should not be made a variant of the unabridged version under the current rules, in my opinion. I believe we rationalize using variants for split novels as being akin to the splitting that occurs with serials -- taken together, the split pieces still equal the whole. --MartyD 03:01, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Maybe time to start a discussion and hash out the exact rules? Sounds like practice and rules diverge (again) :) Just search for (abridged) - a lot of them are variants... I still think that split novels should be called serials (even when an entry is 300/500 pages) but apparently I am the only one that thinks so. Otherwise it does look like we are varianting half a novel to the whole. :) Anniemod 03:16, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
I am still mulling over my "disambiguator field" proposal. I hope to post something in the next few days. Ahasuerus 04:38, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

(unindent) I've also always been told that a content change needed to be "major" to qualify for variant status, but as JLaTondre indicates this a very subjective criterion. And even if you categorically say that all abridgements should qualify, then you're just shifting that judgement call to the publisher or whoever else gave it that label. I usually document lesser changes that don't qualify for variant status as a note in the title record, for example A Short, Sharp Shock and The Blind Geometer. Albinoflea 16:58, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

two different dust jackets

Hello, this book have two different dust jackets [7][8]. What should I do? Thanks Henna 18:01, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Just some thoughts here. Is one of them a dust jacket and the other the book without one or are they alternative covers (and someone can have only one of them)? If it is the first case, the dust jacket wins I would think. If there are really two legitimate covers, I wonder if something like the treatment of dos-a-dos covers cannot be utilized (see here for an example - you will need to create the combined image outside of ISFDB and then upload that) combined with an explanation in the Notes of the specifics)? Anniemod 07:01, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Insel did this for a time, at least for some editions. You could just note it, as in this example, or you could even provide a link to the different dustjacket image in the notes. Third, you could combine the two images into one as suggested by Anniemod and give a hint in the notes on it.
A side thought: As far as I know this book also should belong into the same publication series as Lokaltermin as published by Insel. If so, could you please add it? Stonecreek 07:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks all of you for your help! Henna 11:53, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
FYI, some publishers use up to 4 different covers on some of their books. Ahasuerus 13:40, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Why? Do you have an example? Regards Henna 17:58, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
To quote VJBooks:
  • Although it doesn't happen very often, publishers will print two different book jackets for the same book. One is not necessarily more valuable (or collectible) than the other. It is simply a marketing moment to promote the book, and does little more than lend confusion to the collector market. ... on Terry Brooks' novels for Star Wars there are four different jackets showing the characters. In 1975 Robert Ludlum, writing as Michael Sheppard, released a book called the Road to Gandolfo. The publisher, Dial Press, could not decide on which of the three jacket designs to use so shipped it with all three.
If there is one thing about publishing that I have learned while working on this project since the mid-1990s, it's that every time you think you have covered every possible permutation, some publisher will come up with a new wrinkle :-) Ahasuerus 19:03, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Crazy. Thanks for the examples and explanations. Henna 19:36, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, the speciality with Insel (analogous to the example of Dial Press) was that the two dustjackets were used for one and the same copy: one was the inner dustjacket, the other one (featuring actual artwork) the outer. So, the happy owner of the book could choose which cover to show in his library. I don't know if this was used exclusively for the works of Lem. Stonecreek 21:04, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Contento-Miller verifications

I'm in the process of doing a bunch of verifications from the online Miller, Contento, Stephensen-Payne index to "Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazines". I'm adding some issues, some covers, some data, and a bunch of contents, since the index includes, at least, all of the fiction contents in a ton of magazines. This would seem to qualify as a "Miller/Contento" verification, but the reference page we have on that verification sounds as if it's only for verifications against the paper or CD version of the database, and not the online one (even though the online one should be 8 years more up-to-date). Or, I could interpret that reference page as saying that you've verified stuff against the "full database", such as with the link above, and not just against the Locus Checklist information, which is much less detailed. So, am I doing "Miller/Contento" verifications? Chavey 20:57, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Number Line

Is there an isfdb help page on how to read number lines and what about them is important to include? I am confused about how to use these. (In particular I am trying to primary(transient) verify the Bluestreak edition on Joanna Russ's "The Female Man" and my copy has a different number line than the one quoted from OCLC, and I don't know what to do.) Thanks Amoeba of horror 08:18, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

I've always found this useful. Basically you find the smallest number (careful for very small numbers in years like 01 02 and so on) and this is your printing. If "1" is present, it is the first prining. If you see "3 4 5 6 7" or "7 6 5 4 3", or something like that - it is third printing. If you are not sure - post it here - someone will help decipher it. If you really have a different printing, then you should clone the existing publication and create a new one with the new line :) Anniemod 08:26, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

How to title a cartoon

In the magazine "Science Fiction Chronicle", I've run across a cartoon. The column-and-a-half width image has a line above it to separate it from the text. The title above the image is "Ian Gunn's Corner", in the magazine's typeface. Below the image is the caption "THESE MIXED MARRIAGES NEVER WORK", in the cartoon's typeface. The artist, James Gunn has many credits for interior art, most of them titled "Cartoon: ...". There is no mention of the title in the table of contents. The same problem occurs two issues later (intervening one is unavailable). The artist died around the time of this later issue. I expect it was intended as a regular feature. My question is regarding the title of the cartoon. Do I go with "Ian Gunn's Corner" and Note the caption, or with "Cartoon: These Mixed Marriages Never Work" and Note the byline (I think a series is a bit much)? Other options are "Ian Gunn's Corner (Science Fiction Chronicle #197)" as is done for regular features, or "Ian Gunn's Corner: These Mixed Marriages Never Work". Doug H 15:43, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

From Content Help:Screen:NewPub:Information:Regular Titles:Entry Type:INTERIORART:Rules for including artwork
The title should be "Cartoon: " followed by the caption, in the original case, between quotation marks. If there is no caption the words "no caption" should be used without quotation marks. See Dream World, February 1957 for examples.
Albinoflea 15:56, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
There's also the small matter of the ambiguous part of the Help: the phrase "in the original case". A strict interpretation would mean if a caption is in all-caps then the record should also be in all-caps (Cartoon: "THESE MIXED MARRIAGES NEVER WORK"), however many editors (including myself) interpret this to mean uncapitalised lower case (Cartoon: "These mixed marriages never work"). All-caps to me looks a) unwieldy, b) unnecessary, and c) like screaming caps, especially on long captions. YMMV. PeteYoung 17:48, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Dracula - the play

I was trying to match up a review of "DRACULA: OR THE UNDEAD", by Bram Stoker, to the title record. After a bit of searching I found a publication titled "Dracula or the Un-Dead: Play in Prologue and Five Acts" with the same ISBN. The concern is that the publication is of the title "Dracula", the novel. The play contains different text and was in fact registered and performed before the novel was released. The reviewed publication claims to be the first publication of the play. The story can be found here.

Should the play be a different title? There is also a tp version. Neither publication title appears on the list of variant titles. Doug H 20:02, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

I'd vote for unmerging those and leaving them as a separate entry (with proper notes on why they are different). Not having a "PLAY/SCREENPLAY" content type makes it harder to keep them separate :) Anniemod 20:13, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I wonder if there is a feature request for adding "Script" as a content type? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
There have been multiple discussion re: implementing additional title types and publication types starting with this one. I'd like to do the following two things before we have another discussion:
  • Clean up the "story length" field as per FR 163
  • Consolidate all title and publication types in one place. At the moment the software handles them on an ad hoc basis. We need to clean up the software before we add more complexity to it.
And yes, scripts are handled as separate unrelated titles. Ahasuerus 21:52, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
For the record I like the linked proposal above (thanks for linking it - I was about to ask for Section titles and if there are plans for it (need it for some Bulgarian books I am about to add). But I agree that you need the software to be streamlined before that. I hope it is on a short list of things to be done soon-ish? :) Anniemod 23:08, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It depends on what happens with Fixer. [The rest of the discussion has been moved to the Community Portal.] Ahasuerus 01:51, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

(unindent) But the play is the thing. The play is called Dracula or the Undead (based on an image). The book is called Dracula: or The Undead with a subtitle of A Play in Prologue and Five Acts. There are two publications by the same publisher - one HC, on TP. There a cover image for the HC which states that the book is edited and annotated by Sylvia Starshine. The review claims this is the first time the play has appeared in print.

Is the publication type NOVEL, title "Dracula : Or the Un-Dead: A Play in Prologue and Five Acts" and date of 1999-10-00 with a Regular Titles a single entry with the same title, type and date? Or would it be better to go with two "regular Titles" content records of "Dracula or The Undead" by Bram Stoker and "Dracula or The Undead (annotation)" by Sylvia's name. Would that still leave the first as a novel and the second as ESSAY? The second publication would have the same content. Sources give the publication different titles Dracula or The Undead (Amazon, directtextbook) or Dracula: or the UN-Dead: A Play in Prologue and Five Acts (Fantastic Fiction). I'm inclined to follow FF and rename the existing Dracula or the Un-Dead (a play) publication to the same name as the HC publication (I'll have to add the word A to the title) and then merge them without varianting title names.

Sadly, like the story, it doesn't just end there. There is another ISFDB title Dracula: or The Un-Dead: Prologue which was included in an anthology. Does that mean the prologue is separate content from the play (and a different first publication date (May for anthology vs. October for play)? And another Dracula: or The Un-Dead: The House in Piccadilly in a different anthology with notes indicating it is part of the play. Will any of these require changes/varianting? Doug H 16:16, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Some thoughts:
* The prologue and so on are not the same as the whole play so I would leave them alone (they are like excerpts from novels)
* The play itself, lacking a better type for now, I would make a novel if it is long enough or one of the short fiction types otherwise (see Hamlet for an example and add a note not to merge
* The essay I would add to the appropriate publication as an essay (so that "novel" will have contents of a novel and an essay (we have a lot of these around because of Introductions and what's not) or if it ends up being a novella or shorter - then a chapbook with the short fiction and an essay component.
As for the title - whatever you prefer I guess. Anniemod 21:00, 2 December 2016 (UTC)


I've a publication that has two different ISBNs - one for U.S.A. and one for Canada. I'm assuming I put the Canadian one in the notes, which means it will not be searchable by ISBN. Doug H 03:31, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

That's right. I expect to make the ISBN field "infinitely repeatable" at some point next year, but for now the Notes field is the only option. Ahasuerus 04:07, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

How to enter a review of multiple books?

One of the magazines I am adding have a section for reviews where they review a few books at the same time. Should I enter that as an essay under the section name or as 3 (in this case) reviews set on the same page and add a note in the publications and inside of the three reviews that they are actually a single review? Thanks! Anniemod 03:52, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Ooh ooh, I think I know this one. The section goes in the "Regular Titles", and each review goes in the "Reviews", unless they're reviewing non-eligible works based on the Rules of Acquisition, in which case they would (at your discretion) go into the "Regular Titles" section prefixed with "Review of ...". Unless I'm misinterpreting your request. Doug H 17:29, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Just to make sure we are on the same page - the section does not contain 3 separate reviews but a single essay that incorporates the reviews of the 3 books (and some more things based on their similarities). I am kinda leaning to what you are explaining but want to make sure that it is what you mean as well. Anniemod 20:06, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Same page. As long as the references to the 3 books are reviews and not background / comparison. Doug H 20:48, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! As I said, I was already leaning there anyway so thanks for the confirmation. Anniemod 20:56, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
It's fairly common for a single essay/review column to review multiple books. For an example of how we usually handle these cases, see Space Science Fiction, July 1953, which contains one ESSAY and six REVIEW titles by George O. Smith. Ahasuerus 21:02, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, it is common. But somehow that is the first time I am finding one of those that noone else had entered so had to stop and think on how. :) Thanks! Anniemod 21:05, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Who to list as Editor of a magazine

I've been entering Science Fiction Chronicle issues and have run across a change in credits that has left me wondering how to fill in the Author field for the editor. For 200 issues it was "Editor & Publisher: Andrew I. Porter", who got credit for both. Issue #214 had "Publisher: Warren Lapine, News Editor: Andrew I. Porter" and the editorial is signed Andrew I. Porter. But in it he claims "I'm not really the editor of SFC any more: Warren Lapine is.". Same credits for issue #215. I don't have #216, but #217 now has "Publisher and Editor in Chief: Warren Lapine, News Editor: Andrew I. Porter" with Andrew still signing the editorials. This continues until Issue #229 when the magazine title changes to Chronicle and the news editor changes to John R. Douglas who signs the editorials.

I'm guessing the editor and publisher is Warren Lapine from #217 on, but don't know what to put for editor in the transition. Doug H 17:23, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

uncredited (as it is not mentioned in the editorial box itself) and then notes to explain who it is and varianting the year record into one with the actual editor as it is known but uncredited (I am pretty sure I read something along these lines somewhere in the help recently - let me see if I can find it) Anniemod 20:09, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Just what I need. Yet another rabbit hole. I'm steering clear of magazines after this run is over. Doug H 20:57, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

(unindent for related topic) The publication page has "Publisher: Warren Lapine", ... "Science Fiction Chronicle is published monthly by DNA Publications, Inc." So is the publisher Lapine or DNA? Earlier issues had "Editor and Publisher: Andrew I. Porter", ... "Science Fiction Chronicle including S.F. Weekly and Starship.Algol. Published monthly at PO Box ...." and Porter had been listed as editor and publisher. Doug H 01:17, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

I emailed Andy to ask his opinion on who we should list as the editor for these issues. He keeps a pretty tight inventory on the fanzines he's published, and he and I have talked about getting all his stuff entered. I'll let you know when I hear back. (I'll see him again in May, but I'm confident I'll hear from him well before then.) Chavey 07:14, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Andy wrote back, in part, that Warren Lapine "bought SFC from me in 2000, and I was editor until 2002, when he fired me (by fax!) and named John Douglas editor." (He had a few other comments to make about W.L.) So from 2000 to 2002 (Andrew didn't give precise issue numbers), it's Lapine as publisher and Porter as editor. I'm guessing that John Douglas will be officially listed on the first issue in which he's the formal editor, and it should be Andy up to that point, but if you find that apparent transition issue, I can verify with Andy. If Andy is officially listed as "News Editor", I'd go ahead and list him as the editor. If he's not officially listed as such, then (as Anniemod says), it should be listed as "uncredited", but that should then be varianted to a title rec that lists Andy as the "uncredited". Chavey 16:22, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Porter is listed as news editor in issue #227 (Aug 2002), and Douglas in #229 (Oct 2002), and he opens "I'm the new News Editor for Chronicle". He adds "Andy Porter has left, the name of the magazine has changed slightly - but the news goes on and DNA Publications and I plan to keep delivering ...". I can make notes in various places (e.g. wiki page) but #228 is the only possible transition issue. So - DNA Publications is not the publisher? Doug H 15:55, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd say it is! (and Douglas is editor on behalf of it). Stonecreek 16:18, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

duplicate pub?

I think Stephen King's Night Shift ISBN 0385129912 are both the same pub and should be merged? thanks. gzuckier 18:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

There seems to be minutes differences (e.g. your copy has a price and the other not, perhps yours has anumber line) that may point to different publications (Animebill's is perhaps an ARC or a kind of presentation copy). Hauck 18:59, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Publication Date

I have a publication of an existing title which has "First Revised Edition 2007" on the publisher page with a numberline ending in "1". I presume this is a reprint because the back page has "Made in USA / Charleston, SC / 03 December 2016". Can this manufacturing date be interpreted as the publishing date, or would it be an unknown "0000-00-00" date? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 20:04, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

Does it have a long number somewhere around this date line (before it maybe)? A lot of publishers are using POD technologies so they would manufacture a limited number of copies (and they will get a date like that at the back page), then do some more. I do not think that these are printings in the way we are using the term here (or pure PODs will end up with a separate variant for each copy)... So really depends on what that date signifies - the notation does look like a POD one so I would go for 0000-00-00 with a note that the PV1 copy has this date and so on... Anniemod 20:11, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
It's an Altus Press POD. Only lines on the publisher page is the numberline 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. So, is what you're saying that if someone were to come up with and enter the actual 2007 first edition (with presumably no date on back page), every subsequent 'printing' would be entered as a different pub with the date as "0000-00-00" and a note? Thinking about what you said, what if I entered mine as the 2007 date and left a note as to the manufacturing date which could be added on to by others if such others were entered later. Seems like that would cut down on unnecessary clutterage in the pub list but still be true to the idea of the way we think of printing. Or am I missing something, as I can do? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 20:43, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
It seems like this is an area where cataloguing needs to catch up to current technology. Within the scope of what the ISFDB can do today and existing precedents, I would be inclined to treat this as a sort of facsimile reprint. So I would record it with the date of manufacture as the printing date, with notes describing that it's a POD copy of the 2007 1st edition. That technique would also give us some visibility into what sort of clutter we might run into. I could imagine us having another format, e.g., "pod", where we record the base and in the notes we record manufacture dates seen as you describe. --MartyD 11:43, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
That would be... interesting for POD publishers. I wonder if we should start a discussion on exactly how we want to handle cases of pure POD publishers (I think I have a few books like that). Maybe when I find in which box they are hiding :) Anniemod 23:27, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Can't add pseudonym with grave accent character

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I can't get my head around what's wrong (or right?) here: I just wanted to change the author of this cover art record from "Stephan Martiniere" to "Stephan Martinière" (note that the grave accented "e" is the only difference), because that's how the cover artist is spelt in the pub. There's no "Stephan Martinière" record right now so this would be a new pseudonym. However, after posting the form the submission record lists the previous value of the author name as the new one (though the colour of the diff suggests that there was a data change). A previous and already approved submission which I had made before for the the whole publication record included the same cover artist name change but had the same problem. The author is not changed and the "Stephan Martinière" record is not created. Jens Hitspacebar 22:35, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Known issue... See here for some details. Anniemod 22:51, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks! Jens Hitspacebar 22:58, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
And yes - this changed color is very very annoying - it seems like it likes the change you are making but nothing happens. Trying to set the author for Cold Bridge (Normal E at the start of the name) almost drove me to the wall one evening until I figured out there is an issue - and then this thread explained what was happening :) Which reminds me to submit a note into the record for the spelling of the author name... Anniemod 23:48, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Publisher mistake?

Hi, when I verified the new ebook of Cast in Shadow I entered the publisher as "Harlequin Nocturne." That's how it appears on title page. Now that I have looked at the publisher information more closely, I am wondering if perhaps I should have entered it with Publisher: Harlequin and Publication Series: Nocturne. This appears to be the standard procedure in ISFDB. Should I change this publication? BungalowBarbara 01:48, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

We currently treat "Harlequin Nocturne" as a publication series, which is similar to Harlequin Intrigue, Harlequin Blaze, etc. One could argue that we are not very consistent in our treatment of this publisher because we handle Harlequin Teen as a separate imprint. On the other hand some Harlequin Nocturnes have numbers assigned to them. We wouldn't be able to capture them if we handled Nocturne as an imprint.
If we ever decide to reorganize Harlequin and its multitudinous imprints, we'll have do it across the board. For now I have changed "Cast in Shadow" to follow the current standard. Ahasuerus 02:33, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you! BungalowBarbara 02:35, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Artist's Signature

I will soon download a cover soon, and I would like to identify this artist's [9] signature. I've seen it before, but . . . MLB 05:01, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Possibly Chris Baker, aka. Fangorn? PeteYoung 09:03, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Jack Faragasso. We already have his signature in the Artist Signature Images. --Willem 19:16, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you both for your help. MLB 23:00, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

author vs illustrator

Re this title: the cover says "text by brian sibley images by John Howe", but the page says "Authors: Brian Sibley , John Howe". Should he be removed from authors and put as author of interiorart? thanks.
on a related matter, would this title be likely to be the same? The cover is different, but does also say "text by brian sibley images by John Howe".
thanks. gzuckier 03:12, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

This really seems to be an art book essentially, so the artist should be credited as the interior text suggests. Stonecreek 05:08, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
ok, thanks. gzuckier 16:36, 16 December 2016 (UTC)


This wouldn't be within the scope of this db, would it? Thanks. gzuckier 04:26, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

I don't know that it would be. It seems more a listing of places said to be haunted. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:38, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Non-fiction about the supernatural, UFOs, etc is generally outside of the scope of the project. Ahasuerus 14:46, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
that's what i thought. thanks. gzuckier 16:36, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

many artists

This title, which is very heavily illustrated, lists on the copyright page 4 names for illustration concepts, 6 names for illustration production, and 5 names for graphics. Not sure to list all? none? some? thanks. gzuckier 05:32, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

We do not credit for graphics, so you can limit yourself to the illustrations. There's always "various". But in this case, I think you could let the cover artwork be your guide. There, the credit is "Silvia Bigolin (pencils and inks) and Christian Aliprandi (color)". Among the Illustrations production list members, two people are annotated that same way. I suggest you credit the interiorart only to those two and provide the complete list (plus annotations) in the notes. --MartyD 11:45, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
sounds good. thanks. gzuckier 16:35, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Jack Faragasso's artwork: a question

The cover artwork for the Manor edition of The Coming of the Strangers is the same as the artwork for The Changeling the only trouble is that this artwork is given as the artwork for the cover of another edition of The Coming of the Strangers which has completely different artwork, so for me to variate one of the other wouldn’t I have to separate these two different pieces of artwork for The Coming of the Strangers first? I hope I’m making myself clear, because now my head hurts. 09:38, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Exactly, first unmerge the two supposed covers for The Coming of the Strangers, then variant the one that is reused. In order to save you time, I've taken the necessary steps. Hauck 09:59, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. MLB 19:46, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Title vs publication error

I recently added Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, November 1983 I want to add it as a publication to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine - 1983 but I can't seem to fix it. There is an option for unmerging titles but not one for combining them. Help would be appreciated.--Auric 22:51, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Merge is a bit fun sometimes. You need to get the two titles on the same page so you can request You have two ways:
* Go to the Editor page and see if they pop on one page when you select "Show all titles". As there will be a lot here, that may be... weird or impossible.
* Use Advanced Search. This search here will get them in a position to merge. When you merge, make sure you select the yearly record as the name to keep and you are all set)
Good luck. Annie 23:52, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
The first option was, in this case, manageable. I've done the merge. On a related topic, I've changed the interviews credit to "uncredited". Hauck 10:45, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Sources of Bibliographic Information

On the web page: Under subtitle: International Croatian: SF&F bibliografija SFera - links to 6 publication series-specific lists

there is a link to SF page SF&F bibliografija that was created by me and my colleague Boban Knezevic in Belgrade, Serbia. It contains information about stories and novels that were published in former Yugoslavia in both Serbian and Croatian language, as well as some information about stories and novels published in Serbian and Croatian after disintegration of Yugoslavia to separate states. So I propose that instead of „Croatian“ you put „Croatian and Serbian“, like you did for „Czech and Slovak“.

Done. Hauck 10:40, 28 December 2016 (UTC)


is this fair game? It's done up as first person fiction. Not sure if religious novels count as our subject material. gzuckier 02:01, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

No. Hauck 08:25, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
thanks. (I guess i'll scrap my project re all printings of the new and old testaments, then).gzuckier 20:50, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
In teaching an SF course on Apocalyptic Literature, my co-teacher and I began with Revelations. However, I still don't think that religious works belong in here (although we have certainly included several from non-current religions). Chavey 21:20, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
I am reasonably sure that we all agree that religious texts presented as non-fiction are "out" unless the author is above the threshold. I think we also agree that religious fantasy (presented as fantasy, e.g. see this list) is "in". It's the books in the gray area between the two, e.g. novels which contain vaguely described revelations, that can be problematic. Ahasuerus 23:46, 31 December 2016 (UTC)