ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 12

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This archive includes discussions from January - August 2012.

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Color coding submissions live

The latest patch implements some of the ideas discussed earlier this month. At the moment the logic used by the software is as follows:

  1. Only the "Submission" field is currently color-coded (it seemed too busy otherwise)
  2. Your own submissions are blue
  3. Submissions created by other moderators are yellow
  4. Submissions created by editors with fewer than 20 Wiki edits are gold

The first three seem fairly self-explanatory, but if I picked particularly ugly colors, please let me know and I'll change them.

The reason that the "gold" logic uses the number of Wiki responses rather than the number of submissions is that some editors never find the Wiki, so you can have an editor with 500+ submissions whose work still requires additional TLC. It is trivial to change the threshold from 20 to some other value if it's determined to be too high or too low.

I also tried color-coding bot submissions, but the page looked brighter than a Christmas tree, so I took it out, at least for now. Let's see how the current setup works and then we can decide if we want to add colors for bots.

In addition, the logic that displays the "Subject" column was fixed to display Unicode characters correctly. Happy New Year, folks! Ahasuerus 07:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

I like the changes. I don't think that Fixer needs to be color-coded -- we're very used to seeing those entries, and know what we have to do about them. However, I think that the yellow for moderators and the gold for "young" editors are too much alike. When I went to the queue now, I thought BLongley was someone who needed TLC. (Of course that may be true, but probably not for his submissions :-) Chavey 16:46, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the yellow and gold are too similar, and I think it's confused Bluesman too. BLongley 22:00, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
What would be a good color to use for new editors then? Here is a sample chart for reference purposes. Ahasuerus 23:24, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Traditionally, someone who is new at something is referred to as being "green". Chavey 02:42, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I can change gold to green, but which hex value should I use? Remember, I am color-blind, so if I pick one, it may turn out to be brown or worse :-) Ahasuerus 04:13, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
00FF00 would be fine by me. If "green" is the right choice - I remember "jaune" being applied to novice police officers. Or is that why we got yellow/gold in the first place? BLongley 05:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I used red first (as in "caution!"), but it seemed too intense. Then I noticed that we were already using "gold" for certain types of verifications, so I re-used it. But green should work just fine, I will implement it tomorrow along with the Add VT to Chapterbook fix. Ahasuerus 06:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd suggest 00FF33 as the green, 00CCFF for the blue, and FFCC33 for the gold. Below is a snapshot of what these colors would look like on the screen. In each case, I've surrounded the "highlighted" submission by the two alternating "default" bars, so those who want can see what they would look in comparison to lines around them. For comparison, at the very bottom is the current "too gray" blue color. Chavey 06:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


There are four "ISFDB wide" colors currently defined in the software:
COLOR_GOLD   = "#FFD700"
COLOR_GREY   = '#E4E4E4'
They are being used by the Series Grid page and the Pub Edit page, so if we change them, it will also affect other pages. Of course, we could use separate versions of "yellow" and "blue" for this page, but then the software would be harder to maintain. If we do need multiple versions of, say, blue, then we may want to call it COLOR_DARK_BLUE or some such. Ahasuerus 06:36, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

(unindent) Contributions by new editors should be appearing in green now. I don't see much difference between 00FF33 and yellow, but then I am not the best judge of these things. Ahasuerus 03:08, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

The green is very clear to me. The blue for my own submissions still isn't. BLongley 13:11, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
The yellow is a little hard on my eyes, how about #FFFACD ?--Rkihara 18:47, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, we can certainly do that, but it will change the color coding of all cells in the Series Grid view of magazines. Is that OK? Ahasuerus 02:12, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't know they were linked. What will this do to the color coding of the Grid view? My main objection to "Yellow" is that it's too bright to my eyes and something darker and less saturated would feel less harsh.--Rkihara 19:01, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
If I've got it right, it would change OldGold.jpg to OldGold2.jpg. Certainly less harsh, but bordering on the insipid for me. BLongley 23:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
The current version of gold does look a little harsh to me, but I'll go along with whatever our colo(u)r-enabled editors decide. Ahasuerus 06:30, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
It seems that Image uploads count toward the total Wiki Edits, can these be excluded? I ask because RUSSWOTHE‎ has lots of Images but has a bare handful of communicative Wiki edits. BLongley 20:06, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Hm, I am afraid that wouldn't be easy to do. The Wiki software keeps a count in the database and it doesn't distinguish between different types of edits. I guess I could change the logic to look at each edit manually, but it could affect performance. Ahasuerus 02:04, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

(Unindent) Another colouring that could be useful - updates to a pub that has been verified by another moderator. I tend to leave those to the moderator(s) concerned. BLongley 23:58, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Fixer: A short Avon run

While waiting for Fixer to finish his latest downloads, I decided to submit a few publisher-specific ISBNs from Fixer's reserves. First, I picked Balzer+Bray, which yielded two legitimate YA novels. I then picked Avon, but almost everything was a paranormal romance, so I aborted the run. Oh well, we'd have to process them at some point anyway, but it's not what I had hoped for... Ahasuerus 06:41, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Gone insane, back later

I'm only half-kidding. :-( BLongley 02:40, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit fed-up with moderating Fixer submissions, can't wait till the code-change backlog is caught up a bit, am frustrated with my Speaker-to-LJ role, and will probably be a bit weird for a while. For instance, today I pretended to be Dutch and added a lot of Meulenhoff titles. (I do try and put myself in the shoes of other editors at times, when there are too few of them in that area of expertise to complain themselves.) BLongley 02:40, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Remember, I don't object to other people approving my submissions (saves me some time) and I would appreciate comments on how badly I did (I gave up on apparent Omnibuses and Collections and Anthologies, but I may have messed-up on plain Novels). BLongley 02:40, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

More details later, but my hovercraft is full of eels. BLongley 02:40, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Careful there, some of those eels may be Boojums!
On the positive side, Fixer is a content beast tonight since he finished downloading all French, German, Italian and Spanish ISBNs a few hours ago and I am now free to work on the Python side. I am reviewing the unmerge change and beginning to (gingerly) experiment with it. It makes me a bit nervous, so it will need more than its share of test cases. Ahasuerus 05:27, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Understandable - the last change didn't turn out too well. But we need this sorted before I dare submit 'ummerge foreign title', which will be a big time-saver. BLongley 17:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
In other news, Firefox 9 apparently has a problem with our version of the Wiki software, so you may notice that the navigation bar on the left now appears at the bottom of the page. And so it goes... Ahasuerus 05:27, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I've just accidentally upgraded to Firefox 9, and you're right, it does look weird. Can we find a Wikimedia expert? BLongley 01:40, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I went to some talk pages at Wikipedia, and they don't have the same problem with Firefox 9 that we're having. Presumably, we need to do a comparison of our navigator bar code with what they're using. Chavey 05:45, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
We are using a much older version of the MediaWiki software, which probably explains the difference. It would be nice to upgrade (it would also help us fight bits and improve performance), but I know little about the Wiki software. I probably need to start by installing a local version of the software. Ahasuerus 16:15, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Can you even get the version we're on? Or are you planning to copy it from the live server? BLongley 20:21, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Bill, I missed your question when it was posted. I am not sure whether our version can be readily found on the Web, but the problem resolved itself in Firefox 10, which became available a few hours ago. Ahasuerus 21:51, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I saw your "dutch batch" but hesitated to do something with them as I have only the faintest idea of what novels (or else) they really are (even if the Vances on top seem quite clear). Go sane ! Hauck 06:12, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a few are really baffling, and Worldcat seems pretty poor at giving the English titles. Fortunately the new European Library links seem to work well with Dutch titles, so once a pub is in it's easy to double-check. BLongley 17:25, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I saw your submissions hanging in the queue yesterday, but I normally don't mess with other mod's submissions, so I started on another series. I'll approve all of them, and do the varianting etc. later. I believe you did one omnibus ("De domeinen van Koryphon" should be "Eeuwige Blauwe Domeinen") and one collection ("Roos van het zand"), the rest looks good. For Dutch publications I follow the "regularized case" rules, so I'll have to change most title records. On the bright side, any help is welcome, I'm doing the Dutch pubs the slow way, it will probably take two years to add my book collection, and more for the titles I don't have. Don't go sane, stay Dutch, and remember eels taste good, especially smoked. --Willem H. 08:08, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about the case: we haven't really established the rules for anything apart from English so I've been leaving them Worldcat style. If you can update the help for Dutch capitalisation rules I may improve. BLongley 17:25, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
As I've been entering Galician, Ladino, and other unusual language submissions, I've been going by the rules as we apply them to English titles: If the word translates to "and", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", "with", and "to", I leave the WorldCat lowercase in place, but otherwise the word gets capitalized. I know that may mean a certain level of English-chauvinism, but I've assumed that some level of that was acceptable. We know that we disagree with WorldCat on English capitalization, so I've assumed there's no reason to go with them on other titles. I'd rather standardize on the English norm capitalization conventions than worry about what the capitalization rules are in the 94 different languages that we support. Chavey 17:54, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I have always been in favor of "one rule for all", and this includes capitalization. I have no idea what the rules are in other countries, so I leave that to the editors, but the German Perry Rhodans (and one or two French books) I entered so far are capitalized according to the ISFDB standard. I know sometimes Stoncreek changes a few, but then, he's German and I'm not. --Willem H. 21:00, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Google Translate suggests "en", "de", "a", "een", "voor", "van", "in", "on", "door", "at", "van", "met" and "op" match the English exception list, does that look right? BLongley 21:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Almost. I think it should be "en", "de", "het", "een", "voor", "van", "in", "op", "door", "bij", "van", "met" and "naar". "of" and "from" both translate as "van". --Willem H. 21:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll try and remember that. But I've moved on from Dutch and today am trying Portuguese. BTW, Rudam seems to want to change "Der Letzte Astronaut" to "Der letzte Astronaut" so I suspect that the German rules are a bit different. BLongley 19:10, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure Rudam is right, and he acts according to the German rules. We'll soon have two German mods, and that's a good thing. I'll post on the community portal about Portugese publishing (the little I know about it). --Willem H. 19:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
The Portuguese seems to have spread into Brazilian, and our "Other Sites" links aren't helping a lot. :-/ I'm putting that experiment on hold and may try something different tomorrow. Maybe Italian. BLongley 20:25, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
BTW, the mention of "two German mods soon" reminds me that I only haven't proposed the second as I'm waiting for the first to confirm that the second is as good as I think he is. Two or more mods per "supported" language would be a great help to the rest of us. BLongley 20:30, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Editor Oops

I was quite a ways into a large list of content entries on a pub edit when I accidently hit Screen Refresh. Oops! No more data entries. Back to square one. Just wondering if there is a way to recover, or if it is permissible, to submit a partial edit and wait for Moderator approval to continue on, as not to lose entered data fields. Syzygy 20:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

No way to recover that I know of. Partial edits are fine, that's standard practice for more than a few of us when entering a long list of entries.--Rkihara 22:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Partial edits are fine - you can leave a note to the mod that more will be coming, if you like. "Recovering stuff" really rather depends on what your browser does. I tend to submit an intermediate edit before using the "Add" buttons as those entries are most likely to get lost. BLongley 00:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Small language suggestion

In my virtual Brazilian travels, I've done a lot of "Make Variant" edits. Usually, the title I'm making them a variant of has no language set. When the canonical title is NOT English, it seemed wise to correct that while "Edit This Title" was a quick option - but I think that it would also help if we explicitly set "English" rather than rely on that as a default. As Mods get the easy option, please consider clicking "Edit This Title", then "Submit Data", "Moderate submission" and "Approve". (If it is English, of course. Other default languages are still on the not-yet-implemented software changes list.) BLongley 12:11, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Fixer: March 2012

Fixer has completed the first pass. Ahasuerus 06:48, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Second pass (plus some February stragglers) completed. Ahasuerus 05:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
And I thought the "Hollywood Comics" titles were off-putting enough. :-( BLongley 05:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Chacun à son goût or "to each his own goat" :-) I thought that it was Fixer's crowning achievement -- identifying important books (the founding texts of the genre!) that we might have otherwise missed. Ahasuerus 17:01, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Please don't tell us that Bonnie Vanak (Mills & Boon Nocturne) is going to be a good example of future submissions. I can cope with a little adjustment of title, or author, or publisher/imprint, or fill in a binding: even if I'm not actually forced to add warning tags like "Paranormal" or "Fantasy" Romance. But submissions like these make me think it wasn't worth updating Fixer to cope with Amazon data. :-( BLongley 05:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, as you said a couple of years ago, we will eventually want all SF ISBNs, it's just a question of prioritization. That said, over the last 4 or 5 months Fixer's logic has been changed to be more iterative. Here is how it currently works.
Every couple of weeks Fixer queries Amazon to find "forthcoming" and recently added SF books. (This is the previously mentioned labor intensive part of the new process.) Fixer then adds the identified ISBNs and their basic attributes (publication date, title, author(s), binding, etc) to one of its internal queues which includes all ISBNs that Fixer suspects should be in ISFDB but are not. Here is what this queue currently looks like for the last 12 years, grouped by year/month:
      Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec
2000  603   310   353   381   364   391   376   415   618   594   367   406
2001  662   321   505   387   396   478   383   544   605   627   386   346
2002  522   383   541   487   481   399   406   448   623   625   394   424
2003  736   321   472   415   420   530   567   491   751   538   448   461
2004  473   298   376   395   336   464   393   547   556   490   395   331
2005  489   299   359   438   458   581   423   493   651   654   478   387
2006  758   466   491   433   535   640   572   650   599   693   662   440
2007  986   617   722   710   683   857   622   710   857   806   623   720
2008  970   655   706   986   958   785   725   1711  948   879   692   663
2009  994   754   939   1374  817   988   772   930   1069  841   165   401
2010  367   117   162   192   199   241   279   481   250   311   458   993
2011  309   382   713   1067  871   876   535   826   1     32    227   444
2012  208   15    90    379   219   139   110   67    31    12    3
(Please note that, based on prior experience, 20%+ of these ISBNs will be rejected prior to submission and another 20%+ will be auto-suspended by Fixer, so we are not missing as many ISBNs as it may appear.)
The "sweet spot" is usually about 2 months prior to publication. At that point all major publishers have submitted their data to Amazon and the publication date is not very likely to change. On the other hand, two months out is too early for vanity and POD publishers to send their wares to Amazon, so the queue is self-prioritized, as it were. That's when the "first pass" is run about and the main reason why it contains few books by minor publishers.
Of course, we also want books by small presses that specialize in SF and that's where subsequent passes come into play. Fixer maintains a list of "popular publishers", i.e. publishers that have contributed more than 25 ISBNs to ISFDB. During the second and third passes, Fixer uses this list to find recent ISBNs by "popular publishers" and submit them. They are often less interesting than the ISBNs found during the first pass, which is why you are noticing more marginal items like the paranormal romance that you linked above. (The actual logic is more complex, but that's the gist of it.)
By the time the third pass is done, it's usually time to do another download from Amazon and the cycle starts again. If there is a gap between cycles, I do something else like the previously discussed Hollywood Comics run or I submit selected recently published books by "less popular publishers". BTW, the submission process doesn't take long, it's the download process that is regrettably time consuming because of the changes that Amazon implemented last year. Ahasuerus 17:01, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I quite enjoyed the "Armchair Fiction" submissions in the last run. I can't afford to buy any of their titles, but it's nice to see some "classic" shorter SF being reprinted at last. BLongley 21:37, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they are doing a good job. In the meantime, Fixer has submitted the rest of his catch for January-February. Nothing terribly exciting, but at least it's mercifully short. There are some other "low interest" ISBNs from October-November 2011 in the queue as well. Ahasuerus 02:09, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
We'll see a lot more of Armchair Fiction I think. I've been in touch with Greg Luce there about a couple of errors, and apparently, despite being just a three-man operation, they already have the next eight years titles planned! BLongley 14:56, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Hollywood Comics

While waiting for the next Amazon download, Fixer submitted a bunch of Hollywood Comics books. Please keep in mind that (almost) all of them are translations of French novels, so we will want to find the French originals and create VTs. Ahasuerus 09:01, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Actually, these are usually Black Coat Press titles. Which does mean details are easy to find, the bad news is that the publisher needs changing to the imprint. And that there are several anthologies to enter contents for, probably with some new authors to find details for... ah well, at least they don't publish Daisy Meadows. BLongley 23:13, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
True. I thought that Hollywood Comics/Black Coat Press was a good match for our current forays into multilingual support. Ahasuerus 03:39, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
All Hollywood Comics books have been submitted. Ahasuerus 04:34, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I have a soft spot for "Black Coat Press" as they do seem to be giving Brian Stableford a lot of work, and he gave ME a lot of work with his kind donation of many, many lots of zines. Which I still haven't finished yet. (Does anyone want a box or so of stuff I haven't got round to yet?) BLongley 21:45, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Removing data

What do we do when someone who may (or may not) be the author wants us to remove birthdate information, as in this submission? Mhhutchins 23:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure the Wikipedia does not allow people to censor or delete their biographies, so likewise I would reject it unless the date is shown to be erroneous. Whoever entered the birthdate probably did so from a publicly available source, so I doubt that privacy concerns enter into this. If this person is the author, she's shoveling sand against the sea.--Rkihara 03:18, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of Wikipedia, the article on this author has also been amended to remove her birthdate, even though the month (not date and year) was kept so that we know the connection between the author and the chief protagonist of her novels. Also look at the author bio on Barnes & Noble's website. I will reject the submission and offer an explanation on the editor's talk page. Mhhutchins 04:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
The editor made another attempt to remove this data. I've put the new attempt on hold. I wonder if she should be blocked from editing as this appears to be her only reason for being on the ISFDB?--Rkihara 17:51, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
She sent me an email yesterday (I was the moderator that rejected the original submission) in which she says:
I don't know how the information got out there, possibly through an in-house author questionnaire that B&N accidentally received, but B&N has removed the requested information as it greatly compromises my personal security in terms of identity theft, as I'm using my real name. I'm tracking down each source individually, and I agree -- it's fruitless if all respond as you have. But my mistake in not taking a pen name for my fiction should not compromise the safety of my family. The removal of my exact birthday in no way compromises the entry. Please reconsider.
I've not responded to the email. Perhaps she believes that all authors should use pen names in order to protect their families? Mhhutchins 18:19, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we should have a policy discussion about this? I've been working author data intensively for well over a year and I have noticed that a lot of author's birthdates and birth places have been expunged from sites. In a lot of cases I managed to get the data from cached pages, so I still think it's not possible to expunge the data once it's out. Taking a pen name doesn't really help either, since they're usually open secrets. I also take a lot of data from Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, in which case the data is in print. I have to say that the amount of personal data in these references is scary.--Rkihara 18:52, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Just checked B&N, the birthdate is still listed.--Rkihara 18:53, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'd say she possibly made a mistake to use her real name if she'd intended to stay anonymous. But I can't think of a danger of her security, only of possible unwelcome birthday presents. Another matter would be if we'd publish her postal address, but we don't (and consciously, I think). Stonecreek 20:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
As birthdate is rarely bibliographically useful except for disambiguation, I'd respect her wishes in this case. I choose not to make my birthdate public here, although people have obviously tracked it down. BLongley 22:54, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Discussion moved to Rules and Standards.

Janusz A. Zajdel Award

User:Zoltar has asked the following question:

  • I'd like to submit all winners of the most important Polish SF&F Award: Zajdel. Could somebody generate it for me?

Ahasuerus 07:50, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the question is. I submitted software changes to allow for new awards over six months ago - FR 3317609? BLongley 23:49, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't thinking straight. I have been working most nights until 5-7am lately and my brain is fried. Well, more fried than usual... Ahasuerus 04:56, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Ramble House submitted

Ramble House has been submitted. Some of their titles are not SF, so please be careful when approving iffy looking titles. Ahasuerus 03:22, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

The prince of SciFI

Sorry to ask again, but shouldn't a page like this be deleted (not to mention this one). Hauck 18:50, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

I was wondering about this myself. It looks too much like self-promotion. There is mention of a Dutch award (the Silver Grand 1st Class) I've never heard of, and other things that look unlikely. Searching gives only Kindle results (some are categorised SF, but all look like gay fiction) and the editor didn't respond to Michael's question. I'd vote for deleting. --Willem H. 19:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I asked around and got no corroboration, just some abuse from Verawat. BLongley 21:20, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be best to delete the Wiki pages, copy their contents to this user's Talk page and invite him/her to submit any missing SF works using the regular ISFDB interface. Ahasuerus 21:48, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Done. Hauck 17:46, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Glad to see some of our newer mods are learning to be harsh, and are not afraid of Thai curses! ;-) BLongley 20:48, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Moving Wiki lists to the editor's Talk page is not all that harsh since it can be easily moved back with a few clicks. Deleting non-genre titles and pubs from the database because the author is below our famous (if nebulously defined) "certain threshold" is fairly harsh -- some authors were rather upset back in the ISFDB-1 days, but we survived :-) Ahasuerus 22:06, 3 February 2012 (UTC) has been submitted. Amazon occasionally uses the copyright date rather than the publication date for books, so if you see anything predating 1999, it's probably wrong. Ahasuerus 09:19, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Merge or Delete?

Foundation's Edge 224593 and 268167 look to be the same. Both are Verified. Is there a merge field? --Teddybear 19:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Publication records can't be merged, only updated or deleted. Mhhutchins 16:00, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I took a look at both pub.s and I'd have to say 'No' to your request, just because both of them are verified. One publication is verified with a statement of the first edition, the other is verified with the statement of not having a statement of first printing (it is only assumed to be the 1st). What's to do? You could ask the verifiers to take a second look at their verified pub.s and try to make a reassessment. It's our policy that all changes of this gravity are to be discussed with the primary verifiers before any editor can change the publications in question. Stonecreek 21:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
The notes left by both verifiers are not mutually exclusive. Both say there is no printing number. One mentions the first edition statement, but that doesn't mean it's not present on the other. These could very well be the same publication. As Stonecreek suggests, leave a message on the talk pages for BLongley and Hauck asking them to hash out any differences. Mhhutchins 16:00, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Fixer 2012-02-08

A short cleanup run which covers the (relative) highlights from the last 6 months.

BTW, Fixer keeps finding Dr. Who e-books from BBC Digital. They are a major publisher and their records are usually complete, so I let them through even though e-books are normally auto-suspended. Ahasuerus 07:26, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Fixer: Borgo Press

Fixer has submitted an experimental batch of Borgo Press publications. Please be extra careful with them since a number of their ISBNs are known to be vaporware due to various reorganizations. Ahasuerus 11:33, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Variant coverart?

See the proposed MakeVariants I have on hold. I couldn't find this in the Help or in any R&S discussions.... Do we want to have coverart used on two or more completely different, unrelated publications be variants of one another? I somehow thought we didn't do this, but now I'm not so sure. Thanks. --MartyD 17:50, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

We, or at least I, have been doing it for some time. There have been a few discussions about it, but I can never find anything searching the wiki, so I can't say when or where. Something about "pelmanism" was brought to the table, and I had no idea what that meant without googling it. Still don't know what a card game has to do with using the same artwork for different purposes. Mhhutchins 23:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I think I introduced the term "pelmanism" as the game involves matching stuff to a previous memory. I believe "Concentration" or "Pairs" might be a more familiar term, I just liked the word. BLongley 23:31, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I know it as "Memory". --Dirk P Broer 21:07, 24 February 2012 (UTC) (aka Pelman man)
Now I get it. Where I grew up we called it "Concentration". Mhhutchins 23:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Found this discussion of a few months back. Mhhutchins 23:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I also do it, and in fact have been doing something similar today for some Peter Jones covers. (I bought "Solar Wind" last week.) I find it very useful at times, for instance when one use is credited and another isn't. I think we need variants rather than merges or we'd end up with art books with dozens of apparent covers. But we could do with making this clearer in help. And maybe I need to look at INTERIORART variants of COVERART too - I did add software improvements for views of the covers for some merges and variants but think they might be useful for interiors as well. BLongley 23:31, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I am holding "Cover: Le réseau de Patagonie" as I think those should merged. But if people want to talk about such for a bit, we can wait. BLongley 23:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, those two should have been merged, not varianted. I wonder why the editor chose to do it that way. Mhhutchins 23:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I certainly have no objection to using variants. I just wanted to make sure that's what is "supposed" to be done. Thanks for the help. --MartyD 01:37, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Tom Allen's death slightly exaggerated

Did anybody enter this note? Locus must have played a joke or something, because according to wikipedia and the SFE this is a pseudonym of Tom Shippey. Stonecreek 19:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

The note was entered by Chavey, but I wonder if there was another "Tom Allen" out there?.. Ahasuerus 20:09, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
IMDb comes up with this Tom Allen, died in 1988-09-30. --Dirk P Broer 12:48, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
The Locus link with those birth and death dates is at Tom Allen. There are other places where Locus links from Tom Allen to Tom Shippey, with the same birth date as us, so clearly Locus believes these are two separate people. (Aside: While I put those dates in for Tom Allen, I doubt that I linked that Tom Allen to Tom Shippey. I suspect someone else did that in "cleaning up" the pseudonyms list.) This Tom Allen is listed by Locus as the author of Tales from the Darkside, Volume I. This books seems to be in a quite different sub-genre than the other books we have listed by Tom Allen Shippey. Based on "as by" name and SF sub-genre, it would seem possible that the only other item in the Tom Shippey bibliography that's also by this Tom Allen is Introduction (The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh). This is also quite consistent with Dirk's link that has this "Tom Allen" (their "Tom Allen #11") as the writer of "Tales from the Darkside" and as a "Creative Consultant" on "Monsters: My Zombie Lover". I don't see anything else on the Tom Shippey list that looks as if it belongs to the "Darkside" Tom Allen. Chavey 15:57, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to all three of you! Since I was the one who vt'd the titles by the other Tom Allen as well as the two stories by 'Shippey Allen' I'll un-vt them and name the Tom Allen who died in 1988 as 'Tom Allen (1938-1988)'. Thank you again for clearing things! Stonecreek 10:26, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I placed the Shippey stories under the correct Tom Allen (without 1938-1988). --Dirk P Broer 21:32, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Didn't notice they were remigrated. Stonecreek 08:45, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Bob Franklin

We now appear to have two Bob Franklin's as well, a 1965 born person can not have published in a 1970 issue of 'New Worlds'. --Dirk P Broer 16:42, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I ran with your submission, but readjusted the author of the 1970 New Worlds story to Bob Franklin with no disambiguating dates, and restored his birthplace to the author data. Hope this was correct. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:44, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I hope to receive additional data about the elder Bob Franklin from David Langford. --Dirk P Broer 10:14, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I received a mail with "Bob Franklin, UK fan in the 1960s whose one published sf story was 'Cinnabar Balloon Tautology' (March 1970 New Worlds), died on 22 February. Chris Priest remembers him as '... an old friend of mine from the 1960s. He was close to me and Graham Hall, and was on the fringes of the New Worlds group" (also in Ansible, March 2012). I also found out that it is the 'Australian' Bob Franklin that was born in Hillingdon, London in 1965.--Dirk P Broer 17:35, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Clean-up script finding mismatching authors (Stanislaw Lem)

Will moderator(s) who remember(s) accepting the submissions for Stanislaw Lem pub records please take a look at the results of this clean-up script? Mhhutchins 20:25, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

And this one as well. I think all of these were already in the database, but are now in error because someone has chosen to change Stanislaw Lem into a pseudonym of Stanisław Lem. Who's going to variant the remaining records? Maybe the moderator who accepted the submission? I don't have to tell you where I stand in the matter. Mhhutchins 20:27, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
This was a project of Ahasuerus and Zoltar (see here. I approved a number of these edits, the Stanislaw Lem page should be further cleaned up soon. I corrected the interviews and a number of pubs (Dutch and English) Most are translations that need a new container title, varianted to the Polish original under Stanisław Lem. Will look again later. --Willem H. 21:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
That was a fairly involved project because of the number of titles/pubs and because the letter "ł" is used only in some countries. There are still mismatched pubs and a couple dozen titles under the wrong name, but we are getting there. Hopefully everything will be cleaned up by the end of the week. Ahasuerus 01:02, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Done! Ahasuerus 17:25, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Jack Williamson

His "Mazeway" is a sequel to "Lifeburst". They are not shown as a series in his bibliography. Thanks.--Teddybear 20:58, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Easily fixed. Edit each of their title records, adding the series name in the designated field. Is their an official name for the series? Mhhutchins 21:33, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Not sure what to call this. Only two books.
Here is a review of "Mazeway": PUBLISHERS WEEKLY says: "At the end of Lifeburst, Quin Dain had saved the solar system from the Seeker Mother-Queen, and thus earned probationary status for humans in the Galactic Council residing in Sol's Oort Cloud. Now his son Benn must prove to the Council that humans can rise above their lowly, aggressive origins and earn full membership status. Complications arise when Benn's sponsor's clone brother dies, apparently at the hands of membership-seeking aliens with whom Benn must compete. But this book has none of the complexities of plot or character present in the prequel. Found a webpage calling "Mazeway" Eldren 2.--Teddybear 22:34, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
A number of sites call the series "Eldren", so we might as well use it. We can also change it later if other sources provide a better name. Ahasuerus 22:50, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Hauptmann (in this pub) also uses "Eldren" as the series' title. Hauck 10:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Foreign language editions

I am starting to add/check my italian books, and I have a question about Galassia #21: is there a reason to classify in Contents the War of the Wing-Men as a serial or was it an Ernesto decision about it ? Since the content refer to a Serial, then the conventions (complete novel, content date as the magazine date) to this type apply. After all, in his Catalogo, Galassia #21 contains the translation of the Ace edition War of the Wing-Men, which is reported as a novel. I am surely going to add in Notes that the Author in the magazine is cited as "Paul Anderson" ... --Pips55 23:23, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Any "novel-length work" which is published in a periodical is considered a serial, even if it was published entirely in one issue. So a "novel-length work" published in a magazine is entered as a SERIAL type, and a "novel-length work" published in book form is entered as a NOVEL type. Then the record of the serial is made into a variant of the novel's title record. (I've added the quotes to emphasis how the single word "novel" is used with two meanings here on the ISFDB.) If you look at the record that Ernesto entered (most of his work here was under my direction, so I have to take the blame or credit), you'll see that "Lo Stormo e la Flotta (Complete Novel)" is given as a variant of War of the Wing-Men 1958. Mhhutchins 04:14, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I'll stick to the procedure you detailed. Another question, about collection and magazines: I was adding Galassia #101 (May 1969) as a new magazine, but then I noticed that it seems there is a higher level in the hierarchy (Collection), which should link all Galassia 1969 issues. Where can I find details about the way to proceed, before making a mess and upsetting moderators ? --Pips55 20:30, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
For the first one (here, there is no "Galassia - 1969" yet), edit the Title to reflect the year (it will now no longer match the publication's title) and also to add to to the "Galassia" series. I also change the Title's date from that of the specific issue (say it was 1969-05-00) to have only the year: 1969-00-00. To add more issues to that year, once the publication submission has been accepted, you merge its title with the one for that year. See Help:How_to_link_a_magazine_to_its_wiki_page_and_add_it_to_a_magazine_series. There is also some more detailed working-with-magazines information in Help:Entering_non-genre_magazines (although some of this only applies to non-genre magazines). Don't be afraid to try it. Your submissions will be moderated, so you can't make a mess unless a moderator helps you to do so. :-) And no one will be upset; we like to see editors try to do new things, especially when they ask questions if they don't understand something. --MartyD 11:16, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
When Marty says "the Title" he's referring to the editor title record, not the title of the publication. These editor title records are automatically created by the system at the same time that a pub record is generated. There is a roundabout way to create editor records, but it's too complicated and not necessary for what you want to accomplish here. Don't worry about editing and/or merging these editor records until you've entered an entire year's worth of issues. Once you've done that we'll walk you through the steps (or you can read the instructions I just left another editor. Just adjust for editor and magazine title.) Mhhutchins 22:00, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Rat Tales

I just added Rat Tales [which after I add a cover scan a mod might want to Change to The Moscow Moffia Presents Rat Tales -- yes Moffia is spelled right] edited by Smith Gustafson, which was a one-time pseudonym of Jon Gustafson and Dean Wesley Smith and now I see it as already existing without the correct information under Jon Gustafson.

How do I fix this? Ofearna 20:51, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

The 1994 publication was edited by and credited solely to Jon Gustafson. It's not the same book that you entered. There's only a few stories in common between them. I've noted this in each title record's note field to prevent someone from inadvertently merging the two records. When I get a chance, I'll add the contents of the 1994 version. Mhhutchins 21:38, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Brian Froud's Faerielands

Originally there were supposed to be 4 books in the Brian Froud's FaerieLands seies. The last 2 were released, but without the Brian Froud input. So, they would *not* go under Brian Froud (I'm sure) but should they be "note"d as of that series? BTW, the two books I'm referring to are Terri Windling's The Wood Wife and Midori Snyder's Hannah's Garden. Ofearna 04:18, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

There's no problem with adding a note to each of their title records, but not to the pub records. You can add basically anything relevant about the title to the title record's note field. Mhhutchins 04:54, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Berlin by Charles de Lint

in the author Charles de Lint Duplication Finder Berlin doesn't come up? Ofearna 06:40, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

There is no duplicate. It looks like the moderator who handled your Quicksilver & Shadow submission found the duplicate and did the merge. For future duplicate hunting reference: You can use "Show All Titles" to see everything. The duplicate finder does not report duplicates where one title is set up as a variant of something else. You can also use Advanced Search and in the top part of that enter a Title and an Author -- those search results also give you a way to merge. --MartyD 10:47, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Macfadden Books

Should the three versions be combined? Macfadden, Macfadden Books and Macfadden-Bartell have the same publishing years and the same numbering i.e. 50-xxx, 60-xxx and 75-xxx. Thanks.--Teddybear 21:36, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I would be in favor of combining the first two, but not Macfadden-Bartell. Wikipedia says:
"In 1961, the Bartell Broadcasting Corporation bought a controlling share in Macfadden and merged with the company, forming Macfadden/Bartell.
That means that it is a different company. Of course they would have inherited the numbering and inventory from the company that they bought up, but they're still a different company, and we should keep that information. Chavey 06:20, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Darrah here. We seem to have several other cases where a publisher has two entries that should also be merged: "Ace" / "Ace Books", "Berkley" / "Berkley Books", "Pocket" / "Pocket Books". I would prefer to keep the "Books" as part of the title, because sometimes we'll have cases like "Bantam Books" and "Bantam Press" which are different entities. Mhhutchins 15:58, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
When you look at the grids for all three Macfaddens, all entries are for after 1961 when they became Macfadden/Bartell. Just found out the prefix numbers 35, 50, 75,etc refer to the price.--Teddybear 16:08, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I think the confusion may be caused by some editors entering the publisher name "Macfadden-Bartel" while others used the imprint "Macfadden" or "Macfadden Books". I'll do more research and ask the verifiers if they can come to some compromise on the way the publisher should be credited. Mhhutchins 16:36, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Permabound Books

I have a number of Permabound Books, and associated variables (paperbacks turned into hardcovers) and these all seem to have been ex-library books. They often have the same information as the regular paperbacks, the same covers, except they are often missing prices and other assorted information, and they have "perma-bound" stamped across the book's cover. Would I give the same information as the paperback, list it as a hardcover, and give a note saying that it is a paperback sized hardcover and an ex-library Perma-bound book? I have had several Ace Doubles like this. MLB 17:34, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

These are not new editions, and I personally would not create new records for them. If I had one of these books, I would verify the record for the paperback edition, and note that the verified copy is one that was bound for library use. This has never been discussed, as far as I know. So there might be a need for a more thorough discussion on the Rules & Standards page. Mhhutchins 17:58, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I've seen a few of these that have the curious wrinkle of having different ISBNs than their paperback analogues, which would seem to introduce another layer of confusion. Albinoflea 04:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Promotion Books

How do I list promotional books when they often have the same information as the Hardcover or paperback that they are promoting. MLB 17:34, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

If you mean advance reading copies (for reviewers), the rules disallow them in the database. If you mean free copies of books that are given away at conventions and bookstores, and they have the same data as the commercial edition, they should not be entered into the database...unless it is a book that gathers excerpts from forthcoming publications. I've seen records for these already in the db. Mhhutchins 18:02, 17 March 2012 (UTC)


I did read what Help:Screen:EditPub#PubType the help says. I'm seeking opinions about bending that a little for this submission and making it a 2-work CHAPTERBOOK. I'm happy to suggest Collection + pamphlet, although I still don't know how it's bound, so no need to get violent or anything. :-) Thanks. --MartyD 23:05, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Two stories would make it COLLECTION type. It's my understanding that the reason for creating CHAPTERBOOK as a separate type was for the stand-alone publication of a single work of shortfiction of less than novel-length. Otherwise we could have spread the definition of COLLECTION to also include a publication with only one shortfiction record. So inversely, we shouldn't extend the definition of CHAPTERBOOK to include more than one shortfiction record. Mhhutchins 01:57, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, makes sense. This one's just a little odd because its total length is so short. A chapbook collection.... --MartyD 02:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
A quick check found 3 Collections (listed as such) of 12 pages or less: Floodwater, by Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt; Gehenna, by Conrad Aiken; and On the Shores of Eternity, by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. I suggest the style adopted for Floodwater, where the editor listed it as a Collection, and added a Note "Chapbook style publication". Chavey 03:30, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

"Challenging Destiny" #11

I rarely make submissions which contain reviews, so I'm hoping someone else will moderate the one I just submitted, from "Challenging Destiny" #11. The ToC included an essay on "The Life and Works of Judith Merril", but that essay also included reviews of 5 of her books (3 collections, 1 novel, 1 anthology). I hope I have added those reviews correctly, but request verification from someone else. Chavey 22:22, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Done. It looks good, and luckily, all the titles matched EXACTLY so that the system automatically linked them to the proper title records. Many times they don't (it only takes a single different character), and the editor (or moderator) has to link them manually. Mhhutchins 22:31, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'll admit that I went to each title entry and copied the name from there so that they would match :-). Although I did then verify that the reviewer had spelled it that way. (If they spell it slightly different, do we correct their error, or create a variant?) Chavey 22:51, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
We correct it to match the title and author as credited in the original publication (not the review's publication). If the publication is a variant title and/or a pseudonym, we use that. If either one doesn't match, we make the correction and note it in the review record's note field, a la Review gives the author's name as Ursula LeGuin. or Review misspells the title as "The Right Hand of Darkness". Mhhutchins 22:57, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Yvonne Jocks

Here's the text from the "talk" page and my question: Buried Secrets by Evelyn Vaughn

Is only showing up under Von Jocks, and it shouldn't! Help? Yes, Von Jocks is Evelyn Vaughn and Yvonne Jocks, but Buried Secrets should show up with the other 4 Evelyn Vaughn books, shouldn't it? I don't know why it's "variant" ing. Buried SecretsOfearna 06:24, 5 April 2012 (UTC) Actually, it's the other 4 that shouldn't appear - they need varianting back to the canonical author. BLongley 10:40, 5 April 2012 (UTC) There were quite a few things that needed to be done with these titles, probably too much for a new editor to handle, so I went ahead and moved things around to set everything up. Ahasuerus 16:42, 5 April 2012 (UTC) Again, this message should have been left on the Moderator Noticeboard, not its Talk page. Mhhutchins 12:57, 5 April 2012 (UTC) To your question: someone had previously determined "Von Jocks" is the canonical name. It appears to be a toss-up between the three names she uses. If you feel it should be one of the others, it's going to take a little work to straighten out all of the records. Mhhutchins 13:03, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

OK... my question: Her name is Yvonne A. Jocks (though she doesn't use the initial for writing). She writes mostly her novels as Evelyn Vaughn (pun intended E. Vaughn = her first name) and does her short story writing and anthology editing as Von (Yvonne) Jocks. So: how should she be set up? Ofearna 18:11, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Jude Deveraux & Johanna Lindsey

There are a few books by each author here... should there ONLY be the SpecFic books here or since they wrote some SpecFic should all their books be here?

JD shows Forever Trilogy 1 Forever... & 2 Forever and Always -- should I add book 3?

        A Knight in Shining Armor (Time Travel)
        Holly  (NOT SpecFic)
        1 The Summerhouse (2001) & 2 Return to Summerhouse (2008) -- these 2 are vaguely what if books
        Legend (1996)  (1996) 
        An Angel for Emily (1998) --  she finds an Angel on the street, so it belongs here
        Lasting Impressions (2006) -- is titled Carolina Isle -- no SF at all -- should it be gone?
        Someone to Love (2007) -- the "haunting" isn't central to the story at all
        Moonlight in the Morning (2011) -- part of another series, but NOT SpecFic

JL shows Warrior's Woman & Heart of a Warrior, which are books 1 & 3 of a "trilogy" of futuristic romance. She also wrote one time travel romance. Should only those 4 be here?

Please advise. Ofearna 22:03, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Create records for publications which you are certain are spec-fic. Leave the others alone until it's determined whether either author exceeds the threshold for inclusion in the db of their non-genre works. Our policy for inclusion is here. Mhhutchins 21:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Review of Ship Breaker

Hello Bill!

Just a quick query. On my Author page it says I wrote a review of "Ship Breaker" by Paolo Bacigalupi for Soundproof Escape Pod #8. This has been added in error and I'm not sure how to get rid of it. Maybe you could help me out?

Best Wishes,

Joanne Hall

Hello, I changed the review's author to "uncredited", hope it suits you. Hauck 19:42, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

SFBC editions and ISBNs

Over the past few days I've noticed a great number of records for SFBC printings which have been changed to give the ISBN of the trade editions. It is ISFDB standard to record the SFBC ID number in the ISBN/Catalog # field of SFBC printings of other publishers' editions. The ISBN of the trade edition is often retained on the copyright page of the SFBC printing, but that number should not be recorded in the ISFDB record. This Help page explains how records for SFBC printings should be created. Someone has been changing the current records in the db to add the ISBNs printed in the books, and moderators have been accepting them. In cases where the SFBC ID number is not known, I've been recording the SFBC catalog number (from the hardcopy catalogs distributed to SFBC members and used on These catalog numbers can be removed from the ISBN/Catalog # field to be replaced by the SFBC ID number which is printed on the back of the dustjackets, but under no circumstances should the ISBN of the trade edition be entered into the ISBN/Catalog # field of SFBC printings. Here is a list of SFBC-assigned ISBN ranges which are acceptable to be entered into the field, giving the years in which the books were published:

  • 1-56865-XXX-X (1989-1999)
  • 0-7394-XXXX-X (1999-2008)
  • 1-58288-XXX-X (2003-2008)
  • 978-1-60751-XXX-X (2008-2009)
  • 978-1-61523-XXX-X (2009-2010)
  • 978-1-61664-XXX-X (2010)
  • 978-1-61129-XXX-X (2010-2011)
  • 978-1-61793-XXX-X (2011-2012)
  • 978-1-62090-XXX-X (2012- )

These ISBN ranges are for exclusive SFBC publications and are not used for any trade publications. No record for a book showing the publisher as "X / SFBC" should have any ISBN that is not listed above. If you're moderating a submission to change the ISBN/Catalog # field of an SFBC printing, please provide this information to the submitter, along with the link explaining how SFBC printings are handled. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:20, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

If you could post a list of 3-5 pubs that have been changed, I can try to find their history in the submission table. Ahasuerus 05:09, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I first noticed it with some St. Martin's Press pubs, so I've started at the beginning of "XXXX / SFBC" publishers looking for them. I'm up through the "H"s and have been changing them as I find them. Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

(unindent) First, a disclaimer. Unfortunately, this type of research is both time-consuming and inconclusive because we only capture the body of each submission and not a snapshot of the data before and after the change.

That said, I poked around earlier today and here is what I see in the submission table for these pubs:

Pitch Dark by Steven Sidor:

   <Subject>Pitch Dark</Subject>
   <Title>Pitch Dark</Title>
   <Publisher>St. Martin’s Griffin / SFBC</Publisher>
   <Image>[image URL]</Image>
   <Note>First hardcover edition.<br>
SFBC catalog #13-322904.<br>
Info from the SFBC June 2011 catalog.</Note>
     <Author>Steven Sidor</Author>
 <cTitle>Pitch Dark</cTitle>
 <cAuthors>Steven Sidor</cAuthors>

This was a New Pub submission and the trade edition had been entered a minute earlier, so this was probably a clone of the trade edition pub.

This looks like my error. I may have failed to change the ISBN to the catalog number when I cloned it for the SFBC printing. Mhhutchins 16:18, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

As far as Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy goes, it was originally entered by Bill Longley (correctly), then the ISBN value was changed by Ofearna‎. The latter submission contained other useful information, so it was approved by Michael, who immediately changed the Catalog/ISBN field again and updated Notes. I am not sure how it got reverted yet again.

Perhaps Ofearna noticed that I'd reverted it and made a later submission to change it back? Mhhutchins 16:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I see that she's made another submission to change it back. I'll handle the submission if you will leave a message on her talk page, along with a link to the SFBC entry standards. There was a message I left a few weeks ago but never got any response. She may be more be likely to listen to another moderator. I'm not having any luck at all. Mhhutchins 20:14, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll give it a shot once I am feeling better. Ahasuerus 06:51, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

The third example, Memory, had its Catalog/ISBN field changed by Kpulliam on 2011-10-23. There is not enough data to determine what happened with the fourth example, Robopocalypse - the original Clone Pub operation by Michael looks right and the only other relevant edit that I see in the submission table didn't touch the ISBN.

I guess the only thing that this exercise suggests is that we may want to leave a message on Kevin's Talk page to remind him of the data entry rules as they pertain to SFBC pubs. Ahasuerus 05:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for going to all this trouble. I'm hoping most moderators will read this and be more cautious when it comes to submissions that change the ISBN/Catalog # field for SFBC printings. I'll leave a note on Kevin's page, just in case he becomes more active in the future. I'll continue going through the second half of the publishers and make any necessary corrections. Thanks again for your efforts. Mhhutchins 16:16, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Graphic Novels

Should "GRAPHIC NOVEL" be added to Pub Type? It's not always clear a publication is a graphic novel when only NOVEL is shown, i.e. "V for Vendetta" or "Watchmen".--Teddybear 13:36, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Discussion moved to the Rules and standards discussions page. Ahasuerus 06:41, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I have several graphic novels that may qualify for inclusion to the DB. For example, Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Incal" in three tp volumes, illustrated by Mobius, which has been described as having a claim to be "the best comic book" ever written as per Jodorowsky's wikipedia page. Also published by Epic are several tps of SF written and illustrated by Mobius. Please advise if I should proceed. Thanks.--Teddybear 19:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

At present, we do not normally include Graphic Novels in the ISFDB, and encourage them to be entered into instead. If you would like to participate in a conversation to change that policy, you should go to the Graphic Novels in 2012 discussion topic on the "Rules and Standards" board. Chavey 19:33, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Kirill Bulychev -> Kir Bulychev

Hi, all! I will be doing the change of canonical name for this author, moving from "Kirill" to "Kir" Bulychev. Please be patient with my edits:) Cheers, P-Brane 04:41, 17 April 2012 (UTC).

Are you absolutely certain that this is the proper way to handle his name? Most of the records in the database show "Kirill" as the credited author. Mhhutchins 05:18, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I am absolutely certain that it is not the proper way to handle his name - the proper way is, of course, "Кир Булычев" - but it is still a big improvement. Though I notice that this guy has got a stroke in his "l"! Cheers, P-Brane 05:36, 17 April 2012 (UTC).
According to this site, "He began writing science fiction and fantasy in 1965. He took the pseudonym Kirill Bulychev, which on some book jackets was abbreviated as “Kir. Bulychev.” The author eventually dropped the period, and became just Kir, as he is widely known today." This version is confirmed by this scan of his first fiction book (1968) which reads "Kirill Bulychev". His next book appeared as by "Kir. Bulychev" and pretty much everything after that was as by "Kir Bulychev". His English translators/publishers were either unaware of the change or thought that "Kirill" would look better, so they used "Kirill" even in the 1980s, long after the change.
If we are going to add his other titles (and there are dozens upon dozens of them), we presumably want to use "Kir Bulychev" or else we will have to create an awful lot of VTs. Ahasuerus 06:43, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 06:11, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Peadar O'Guilin to Peadar Ò Guilin

I'm not sure how to change author's name from Peadar O'Guilin to Peadar Ò Guilin. There is only one story under the first spelling. The name with the grave over the O is correct. Thanks.--Teddybear 19:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

I've talked to Peadar about this before - he's quite aware that organisations (even his employers!) don't deal very well with it. There's an outstanding software change that should allow him and several hundred other apostrophed authors into the Author Directory, but that doesn't cover surnames with a space as the second character - and I suspect only the 26 "Normal" letters will work there anyway. We will get round to it eventually, but for now I'd say just make sure the legal name is right. BLongley 13:38, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Harmonizing Italian publications pricing

At the end of this discussion on the Community Portal, it was remarked that there are a number of Italian pubs that have an inconsistent way of recording Italian price in Lire ("Lit." instead of "Lit"). I obtained a list (there were 69 of them) and started harmonizing the currency notation, but then noticed that they were verified pubs (by Ernesto) so I thought I should ask before changing them. Is it Ok ? --Pips55 23:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Yes, go ahead. I do not think Ernesto would have objected. --MartyD 00:08, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Italian site with covers

I have found this site which holds an extensive collection of covers of Italian publications, similar size of those in but with (slightly) better quality. I was wondering if I could contact them to ask for permission to hot-link their images (using the ISFDB request for permission). --Pips55 22:25, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Please do! Ahasuerus 23:20, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
We already have permission to link to Mondourania. Have you checked out their images? Mhhutchins 00:00, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I know Mondourania; the site I suggested have a huge collection of covers not limited to Urania. Navigation to non-Urania publications is not straightforward, but you can have an idea here, the starting page devoted to Cosmo Oro series (which I am at the moment working on). --Pips55 13:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
The software has been updated to credit Urania Mania. Ahasuerus 07:10, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Make Variant approval bug fixed

A few changes have been made to the "Make Variant Title" moderator approval screen. It should no longer mangle Unicode characters in the title field when the editor submits a new canonical title. Also, the page header says "Title Change submission" rather than "Make Variant Submission". There were some other changes to the way dates and such are handled, but nothing that should be visible to editors. While working on this issue, I uncovered another unfortunate problem with the way the software handles Title dates (as opposed to Publication dates), so I am working on that now. Ahasuerus 04:06, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Linda Nagata

"The Nanotech Succession" trilogy is comprised of 1."The Bohr Maker", 2."Deception Well" and 3."Vast". There is also a prequel "Tech-Heaven". All four books have now been published as an E-book Omnibus under that title, Ebook Edition: Mythic Island Press LLC, February 2012, ISBN# 978-1-937197-06-3. Right now none are related in the DB. Can someone correct this, not sure how you handle a prequel.--Teddybear 18:59, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

The Help screen on Working with Series talks about the mechanics of setting series and series numbers, but doesn't have anything to say about how you establish numbering if the books themselves aren't numbered. My initial guess was that we don't use numbering if they aren't explicit in the books themselves, but that doesn't seem to hold true. If I use the Darkover Series as a model, where the books weren't numbered, I see that they have all been assigned a number that corresponds to the chronological ordering of the events in the books. (Is this a "policy"?) I tentatively put the Nagata books into a series with the three main books numbered, and the prequel unnumbered. (The prequel, I might note, says nothing about it being in the same universe as Linda's previously published "The Bohr Maker".) But if the Darkover series is a precedent, then instead of numbering them (1-3) and (unnumbered), should they be numbered (1-4)? And wouldn't that result in having to re-number series everytime someone goes back and adds, say, a new Star Wars book that fits in the middle of some series chronology? Chavey 06:47, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
There have been discussions about alternative numbering schemes using publication order, internal chronology, "recommended order", etc, but no consensus has been reached so far. The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that we shouldn't be assigning numbers if the books/stories are set in the same universe but are not directly related.
As far as prequels go, there are a few common approaches. If the prequel starts a new series -- let's call it series B to distinguish it from the original series, which we will call series A -- then you can create a new series for it and either turn B into a sub-series of A or turn them both into sub-series of a new superseries. If the prequel is a standalone, you can put it in the main series and leave it numberless. Alternatively, you can create a new superseries, e.g. "Nanotech Succession Universe", make "The Nanotech Succession" into a sub-series of "Nanotech Succession Universe" and put the prequel directly into the superseries. Lots of choices, but no standard that I know of. Ahasuerus 07:12, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I put it in the main series, and left in numberless, which is one of your options, so I'll leave it as is. Thanks for the background discussion. Chavey 08:18, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Sheri S. Tepper

The "Marjorie Westriding" trilogy is called "The Arbai Trilogy" by Wikipedia. Should this be changed? I don't remember if she appears in book 2 or 3. Also Wikipedia has "Plague of Angels" as a series, with "The Waters Rising" as the second book. Thanks.--Teddybear 01:26, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Check out the listing on the author's website. If she as the author doesn't consider the books are a series, I don't think we should either, despite what the "experts" at Wikipedia may believe. Of course, authors can make mistakes too. Mhhutchins 02:41, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I meant to say that ISFDB calls it the "Marjorie Westriding" trilogy. I know books 2 and 3 are definitely related, as they refer to Hobbs Land gods. But there is no mention of Marjorie Westriding in those books. If you Google "The Arbai Trilogy", there are lots of sites that refer to the three books that way. I originally went the her website too and was surprised she didn't list them as a trilogy.--Teddybear 13:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
It looks like the author is not actively involved in her website. The book list is compiled by "admin" and comments and questions are forwarded to her by "admin". The site also does not list the "Ettison" duology as listed in the ISFDB.--Teddybear 13:10, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that's not uncommon -- many authors either outsource their Web sites to relatives/friends/publishers/fans/etc or stop updating them after a while. And then [warning: pet peeve incoming] there are authors who update their Web pages regularly, but neglect to provide even the most basic bibliographic information about their books...
Anyway, our standards for series names are fairly lax. If a series is known by more than one name, we concatenate them using slashes as delimiters, e.g. Hungry City Chronicles / Mortal Engines Quartet. Ahasuerus 17:36, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Two Christopher Fowlers

Yesterday I received an email by david Langford, stating "Dirk, This came up on a mailing list I read. The Christopher Fowler who used to edit =Vector= for the BSFA (and is now married to Pat Cadigan) is a different person from Christopher Fowler the horror and thriller author. ISFDB credits the better-known Fowler with many =Vector= editorials and reviews, most or all of which are likely to be by the other one. All best wishes: David David Langford SFE site SFE blog". This can easily be verified by looking up Pat Cadigan on wikipedia: " She emigrated to England with her son Rob Fenner in 1996, where she is married to her third husband, Christopher Fowler (not to be confused with the author of the same name)." Furthermore, Chris1 mentions Chris2 here.--Dirk P Broer 08:40, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

OK, I'll move the Vector author. Do you know if we can change the "Black Static" and "The Third Alternative" essayists? BLongley 13:08, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Legal name format

Can the moderator(s) who is/are entering legal names as [first name] [middle name] [last name] please use the proscribed format [last name], [first name] [middle name]? I encounter this ever more frequently. Thanks in advance.--Dirk P Broer 08:45, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I think you might mean "prescribed" rather than "proscribed" - the latter means "prohibited". There don't appear to be a huge number of problem names, about 100: I've just fixed a few where the comma was entered as a period. BLongley 12:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Interiorart titling and occasional crediting in pending submissions

I would try to deal with the pending magazine/fanzine submissions, but I'm not sure what to do about the odd interiorart titles and credits: which to fix myself because they "can't" be allowed in, which to allow in but ask the editor to fix, which to comment on without insisting on a change, and which to accept without comment. Other than that, I'm good. :-) I was hoping someone who knows more than I do would take a shot at them, but if anyone's able and willing to give me a little guidance, I'm happy to handle the actual clean-up and communication. Drop me a note. Thanks. --MartyD 13:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

My advice: don't worry about "quarto: Uncommon binding" - it's not that uncommon. Ask for "various artists" to be changed. Watch for any new entries being created in the Authors directory, there might be a typo (like "Bryon L. Roark"). If it all goes flawlessly you're doing something wrong, but you won't learn if I do it for you. I think Bob and Mike are not getting on, and I'm not a fan of the author concerned, hence the wait. If you like, go ahead and approve, fix, and communicate, and post the resulting pub records for checking. I'd say there is nobody here that can guarantee 100% approval, just go ahead and do the best you can, and ask for help on the oddities. It's better than having nobody working on submissions. BLongley 14:12, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer, Marty. I was a bit anxious, as I still don't know exactly what 'quarto' does mean. Stonecreek 15:57, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
"Quarto" is a publication that is approximately 8 1/2 x 11 inches (the standard US paper size). 99% of the time they are saddle stapled. They're made by folding a 17 x 11 inch sheet to create four pages, so the page count should always come to a multiple of 4. (Originally, each leaf of a quarto publication represents one fourth the size of the original sheet. Thus the name. I suppose it now means that the one sheet becomes four pages.) I picked it up from the Locus database, who uses it extensively.
And the reason I'm not handling the submissions: I think other moderators should have the pleasure of dealing with the editor. I was being selfish not to share. Mhhutchins 16:07, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

James Hilton

Someone has changed the name of the very popular author of Lost Horizon to James Hilton (1900-1954), because we have a single story published in 2010 by an obscure author with the same name, who goes by "Jim Hilton" on his website. I personally feel this is not the right thing to do, but am willing to listen to an argument supporting the case to change it. Mhhutchins 17:46, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

That someone also "forgot" to change the author of all publications of Lost Horizon. It's not only wrong (i.m.o.), but also badly done. --Willem H. 19:56, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
That's how I discovered the change. They're all on the clean-up script for publications with authors that don't match the title records (along with an Italian translation of the title.) Mhhutchins 20:03, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Of course. That means it can't have happened more than a few days ago, because I checked the clean-up scripts last week. Probably this edit and this one. --Willem H. 20:23, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
And it's a pity that the change was made for a story that is not only obscure, but is so badly written that it's laughable. Here's the first sentence (from the Amazon Look-Inside):

When she first walked in the bar, Adrian's eyes had followed her from the doorway all the way across the crowded Newcastle pub.

How did something so ungrammatical ever get published? If I ever get to Newcastle, remind me to stay away from pubs with strolling eyes! Mhhutchins 21:13, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I went to his website to read the story, just to get a break. The first thing I noticed was that the web page title bar is "Introdicing Gemma Nye" (sic). As I began to read, I noticed an impressive absence of commas. Then I finally found 2 in one sentence, the second of which was:

...and now he nearly made a fool, out of himself ...

Yes, you certainly did. Looks like he's been taking advantage of the editorial skills of PublishAmerica :-) Chavey 21:53, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
"That someone" has a name, and also wouldn't mind if someone said something to him directly when he does something so egregious that everyone on the wiki feels the need to weigh in. Dwarzel 22:29, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
And "this someone" would have left a message on your talk page, if I had been the one who handled the original submissions. Unfortunately, I don't have the means to check past submissions. And I'm not going to go down the list of thousands of "Recent Integrations" in order to find the ones that brought about this change. The reason I posted this on the Moderator Noticeboard was so that the moderator who handled it can respond. If I had known the names of the editor and moderator who submitted and accepted the change, I would not have made this a public issue. I apologize if this has caused any embarrassment. Mhhutchins 23:07, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Willem: "That someone also 'forgot' to change the author of all publications of Lost Horizon." Well, that someone did no such thing. As far as that someone recalls, it never occurred to him that changing the author of the title wouldn't also change the author of the publications. "Logical" =/= "true". That someone sees that now, and is suitably chastened.
As for the duelling Messrs. Hilton, that someone's thinking was thus: Hilton-sub1 is alive, young(ish), and likely to produce future work eligible for inclusion in the database. Hilton-prime exhibits none of these qualities. "That someone" figured that, since Hilton-sub1's entry is likely to change while Hilton-prime's entry is likely to remain relatively static, Hilton-prime could better withstand having a less-intuitive canonical name. If Hilton-prime should suddenly begin producing new work, "that someone" will happily buy all the mods a round of drinks in the venue of their choice. (In fairness, it could just as easily have been done the other way, as well; this editor has nothing invested in either James Hilton, but was simply trying to disambiguate the name. It's just a little surprising to see that much venom directed toward a change that was, after all, approved by somebody.)
"That someone" actually had a final question about the change he made, but will hold that in abeyance (along with his changing of the author of the Lost Horizon publications, which he now understands he should have done), in anticipation of someone changing it back (or asking him to) and scolding him on his user page, which he is certain must be imminent, since it bothered everyone to such a serious degree...Dwarzel 22:29, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
This was not intended to be the attack you plainly feel it to be, and for that I apologize. 99.99% of the users who search for "James Hilton" on the ISFDB will have done so because of Lost Horizon. That's the only point I was trying to make. And if we're making fun of anyone, it's the awful "writer" who knows so little about the field that he would use the name of someone so popular. Imagine someone legally named Stephen King who attempts to publish a work under his real name. Mhhutchins
I would like to emphasize the point made by Michael above. All of us have made the type of error you made (often with Mike to point out our errors :-). My snide comment above, about making a fool of himself, was certainly not directed at you -- but rather at the poor writing of this particular James Hilton. I also apologize if you felt it was aimed at you. Chavey 00:20, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I am fairly certain that I have added dates to both well known and obscure authors who share a name in the past following the advice from this help page. I don't have a real problem if we decide that one author "owns" the unadorned name, but that help page is pretty unequivocal that both authors should get parenthesis. If we want to change the policy, we should probably update the help pages. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 00:46, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
That may be the stated policy, but it's not the de facto standard. Even the example it uses (Robert Frazier) is incorrect. I see no reason why a popular author's name should be disambiguated. Mhhutchins 01:10, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
I was the "someone" who accepted the changes. I assumed a change to the other James Hilton would be forthcoming, as I thought we added date qualifications to all of them once we find the need for disambiguation (per Ron's point above). I just hadn't logged back in yet to check. And I was waiting on the pubs to see what the other "someone" would do without being prompted. I admit to not having put any time into investigating the relative merits of James and Jim Hilton in terms of their contributions to the literary world or their abilities to write; this seemed a purely mechanical ISFDB thing to me. Sorry if that thinking was incorrect. Truth be told, "James Hilton" means absolutely nothing to me, and I would have no way to know whether he's enough "above a certain threshold" to merit carrying "the" un-disambiguated form of the name. So if we're not following the help, I guess I'll recuse myself from future submissions involving credits to people I don't recognize. Apologies for the angst and uproar. --MartyD 01:29, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

[unindent] I really don't see the "angst and uproar" (see, I can use quotes, too.) Again, if I'd known the parties involved I would have gone directly to them. I used the word "someone" because I didn't know who did it. There was nothing ulterior about the use of the word. I wish you'd all just get over it and re-read exactly what I said: I personally feel this is not the right thing to do, but am willing to listen to an argument supporting the case to change it. Nothing about that implies that the change was against any ISFDB policy. Otherwise, I would have said "This is wrong" and just changed it back. And I've never been one to equivocate when it comes to making my feelings known.

Mhhutchins 02:42, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about my use of quotes; there was no intent behind that. I didn't mean angst and uproar on your part. You asked a straightforward question that has a simple answer: I accepted the change(s). The disambiguation follows what's stated in the help, and it was -- prior to this discussion -- my understanding of ISFDB disambiguation practice. That the discussion (which I consider a bit of an uproar) left the editor feeling called out is not your doing or fault. It is too bad, however, and I managed to let him down by being unaware of considerations outside of what I thought to be policy. --MartyD 03:30, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Written communications have significant built-in limitations when it comes to emotions and attitudes. As Albert Mehrabian famously calculated some 40 years ago, "Total Liking = (7% Verbal Liking) + (38% Vocal Liking) + (55% Facial Liking)". So in the case of Wiki communications we are basically deprived of over 90% of the information that humans typically use to judge emotions. (Not to mention that bibliographically inclined people are not always the most emotionally attuned folks around :-) Ahasuerus 06:04, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, much of my original complaint, or at least the driving force behind it, evaporates now that I understand that the original poster didn't actually know to whom he was referring. I assumed this information was closer to hand for mods than it apparently is. The rest--well, most of the rest--is simply a difference of opinion (not even that, actually, as I really don't give a rat's fat behind about anyone named James Hilton, I was just trying to help), and perhaps a failure on my part to pay close enough attention to written policy, or to simply ask someone. I was a little troubled (since we're all baring our souls here) by the second poster's use of sarcasm quotes around the word "forgot", the use of which suggests malice on my part, as though my incomplete work on the Lost Horizon pubs wasn't just a mistake but some sort of deliberate attempt to introduce erroneous entries into the database. Maybe that isn't the case, but there are few other interpretations. In any case, you guys might not have got the perfect editor when you got me, but I don't think you've fared all that badly. If I were more trouble around here than I'm worth, I assume somebody would just come out and say so.
In future, I'll be more careful. We live, and learn. (Which was why I was annoyed--from the outside, it just looks like a joke that everybody's in on except me, the one person who actually needs to know about his mistake so he doesn't repeat it.)Dwarzel 03:46, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
My use of quotes certainly wasn't meant sarcastic. Blame it on my imperfect English, I had no idea it could be understood that way. My apologies for this, I was a bit agitated because one of my verifications suddenly pointed to another author without me knowing about it. --Willem H. 06:45, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
It's very nice of you to clarify that. Think nothing further of it.Dwarzel 08:14, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

[unindent] I started Rules_and_standards_discussions#Disambiguating_authors_having_the_same_name so we can decide what to do in general and what to do about Mr. Hilton in particular. As it stands, it's easy enough to restore the author record that was modified and to put disamiguation only on the other one. --MartyD 11:30, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

For now I've made James Hilton {1969-) for the younger, current James Hilton and have put the other James Hilton back to his original, undated form, pending the outcome of the discussion. We can always rename him if we decide to stick with the current help's procedure. --MartyD 16:08, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Holladayrcn7489: New editor or spammer?

His talk page looks like he's introducing himself, but there is a link to a commercial website, and no edits (yet). How do we deal with this? --Willem H. 13:03, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Talk nicely to him and point out we're here to contribute, not advertise. BLongley 13:29, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I am 98.3% sure that it's a spam attack, but might as well err on the side of caution and follow Bill's suggestion. I would also remove the advertising link -- spammers often try to use our Talk pages to host links to spam sites so that they could later link to the compromised Talk page. Ahasuerus 14:44, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. Let's see what he does. --Willem H. 15:09, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I've blocked and deleted quite the same spammer. Hauck 06:08, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Deleting one of the 'Gli amaranto' copies

Following this discussion, I propose to delete this copy of Gli amaranto, which is verified but in an old format for foreign titles (I feel uncomfortable about losing Ernesto verificaton ...).--Pips55 17:35, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Don't worry about that. As long as the record that survives is the more complete one with the better data. Mhhutchins 17:54, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Urania magazine contents

I am planning to work on Urania Italian magazine, I have got a few of them and I would start verifying. A question: for many years, in the magazine it was present a regular section of comic strips, for instance by Johnny Hart or Brand Parker, that I was thinking to deal with as cartoons and listing them as artwork, but I noticed that, apparently, they are not present in the records in ISFDB; are they considered not relevant, or their exclusion was decided on the base of some discussion I could not find ? --Pips55 20:45, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

According to ISFDB Policy, comic books are not allowed into the database, so this may have prejudiced those who were entering magazines that included comic strips. Under "What to Include" in the contents section of the main help page, you are allowed to add cartoons as interiorart records. But there's nothing specifically stated about comic strips, which are not really cartoons, being as much fiction as they are art. Look at how I handled a comic strip by John Kessel and Terry Lee in this issue of Galileo. If you're not comfortable with that approach, you can simply record the comic strip info in the note field and not create a content record. Or you can start a discussion on the Rules and Standards page about if and how comic strips should be entered into the db. Mhhutchins 21:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

George Brown, Class Clown

FYI, Nancy Krulik's "George Brown, Class Clown" books are actually SF. The burps that the protagonist has problems with are magical, so... Ahasuerus 02:31, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Fiona Richmond's Galactic Girl

I recently found a copy of Fiona Richmond's 1980 porn title Galactic Girl on the science fiction shelves at my local Oxfam. Very likely ghostwritten, it's porn SF with the emphasis on the porn and the SF coming a very distant second. What's the ISFDb policy on works such as this? In or out? PeteYoung 06:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't think there is an official policy. The Rules of Acquisition don't mention erotica. I would say in. --Willem H. 07:56, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree. There's a long, and infamous, tradition of SF porn. (One of these days I'm going to go through that site and reconcile its listings with the ISFDB.) Mhhutchins 17:57, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, crossovers like SF/porn, SF/romance, SF/western, etc are in. We have a fair number of time travel western romances and other mongrels. Ahasuerus 18:02, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

2001 - A Space Oddity

I've come across an unusual publication entitled '2001 - A Space Oddity' (ISBN 0 9536236 1 0), a charity publication published in 2000 by Staples the office superstore in the UK, which I'd like to add but I'm also uncertain about the content that ought to be entered, or if it deserves to be entered at all. It consists of 100 'short short' stories by pre-teen children, entered into a story competition on the theme of '2001 - A Space Oddity'. But also included are shorts by Patrick Moore, Raymond Briggs and Jane Asher, plus plenty of professional quality interior artwork that's all credited.

It's one of those peripheral publications, obviously, so my inclination is to include stories by the 'names' (certainly Patrick Moore and Raymond Briggs), perhaps the two Forewords (one by that overlooked SF luminary Esther Rantzen and the interior artwork, however I fear that to also add the 100 untitled entries by the schoolchildren (one by an entire class of 27 kids) might push the entire database into meltdown. Harsh as it seems, I'd be inclined to relegate all 100 kids to the Note. Suggestions?

This also prompts me to ask, what's the lower-end reader age limit for books entered here? Or is that another grey area? PeteYoung 07:27, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

As far as it is sf, I'd say it belongs into the database. You might not want to add all 100 of them, though - considering the amount of work (and in the case of the school class it may be in fact better to only include the name of the class or even 'various').
For the lower-end reader age limit: as far as I know it IS a grey area (personally, I'd single out fairy tales for the very young and picture books), but if this is in the vein of science fiction for young readers with an emphasis of their view on the future, I'd say those shorties belong to the ISFDB. Stonecreek 13:28, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
My impression on the lower age level has generally been that picture books are out (see "Graphic Novels"), but that honest books, even aimed at the Elementary School level, are in. Subject to restrictions about banning books that are just "talking animals", and certain other specific categories. Chavey 03:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
The vast majority of picture books, which are generally aimed at the 0-4/5 age group, are "out". The vast majority of books for "intermediate readers", i.e the 7/8-10/12 age group (also called "chapter books", a term which we currently abuse atrociously), are "in". "Early reader books" aimed at kids between 4/5 and 7/8 are the gray area -- some of them are "talking animals" stories and are "out", others are "in", but there is no single criterion. Ahasuerus 04:22, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Development server and Fixer

The development server lost its power supply this morning, so I am in the process of rectifying the situation. The next backup file won't be uploaded until the server has been resurrected. Ahasuerus 22:53, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

The development server is back in business. Unfortunately I hurt my back moving servers around (they are surprisingly heavy) and now I am trying to recover. Always something... Ahasuerus 05:34, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Not so surprisingly, considering all the data they handle ;-). But bad jokes aside, knowing how much backs can ache: I hope the pain will dwindle soon as possible. Get better! (and thanks for taking the effort!) Stonecreek 13:25, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, doing better already. Some of the drugs available these days are quite potent... Ahasuerus 02:47, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
P.S. I should probably clarify that I don't have physical access to the main "live" server, which is located in a data center at a "secure undisclosed location". I own a few servers that I use for ISFDB development/testing. At any given point in time there is only one "development server", the rest are used for other perfidious purposes and are cannibalized for spare parts as needed. Ahasuerus 02:53, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Fixer - June 2012

Fixer has finished submitting all major publishers (or at least the ones that Fixer thinks of as "major") for July-August 2012. Fixer's next fishing expedition for forthcoming ISBNs is scheduled for the end of the month, so he will be dormant for a bit, limiting his activities to occasionally submitting older books that we missed the first time around. The current batch is for "Delacorte Books for Young Readers". Moderate away at your leisure! Ahasuerus 04:31, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

It seems someone decided "Delacorte Books for Young Readers" wasn't an imprint worth preserving. Can whoever it was tell us what they changed them all to? BLongley 07:25, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I did. Do a "look inside" on any of the books that Fixer picks up with this imprint and there is no indication of the name. Look at any OCLC record and you won't see this "publisher" either. Every book I've ever looked at gives the publisher as "Delacorte Press". I think that DBFYR is used by the marketing side of the publisher, while the actual books never give that in their name. So I've been changing every book that Fixer adds with DBFYR to the correct publisher name, not knowing if it can be programmed to do it automatically. It would be nice if it could. Mhhutchins 14:35, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Fixer could indeed fix Amazon/publisher preferences that we don't want to maintain. But only Ahasuerus can control that particular bot. If we can prevail on him to do some alterations, I'd like "OUP Oxford" to be automatically converted too. BLongley 19:13, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Fixer was adjusted to change "OUP Oxford" to "Oxford University Press" last week -- there is a post about it somewhere on the Community Portal or the Help Desk. Delacorte Press was tweaked a few minutes ago, so it shouldn't be a problem any more. Ahasuerus 19:51, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
BTW, titles which Amazon (thus Fixer) give as "Delacorte Books for Young Readers" have an interior credit (on the title page) as "Delacorte Press", and the copyright page states "Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc." The "adult" titles state "Delacorte Press" on the title page, but "Delacorte Press is an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc." So it appears their is an "in-house" separation in the marketing of the titles, but all are published as by "Delacorte Press". Any editor who does a primary verification of any of these juvenile titles would simply give the publisher in the ISFDB record as "Delacorte Press" with no indication whatsoever of "Delacorte Books for Young Readers". Mhhutchins 14:52, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if this sounded like a complaint. I'm fine with more regularisation of publishers, it's just that I didn't know what to convert them to. When dealing with Fixer runs, it's often easier to allow them all in then do a publisher merge. BLongley 19:13, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't taken to be a complaint, just a request for an explanation. I wish more moderators would be concerned about Fixer submissions. After being one of the few moderators who handled them, I backed off for several months which I hope allowed others to the "opportunity" to work with them. I only deal with them now when they've sat in the queue for a couple of days or if I'm particularly bored... Mhhutchins 20:14, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I think if Ahasuerus did the stats, you and I would be the top two moderators of Fixer runs. I don't particularly like them myself, and wish them on other moderators. BLongley 20:19, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
A few dozen obscure books from Fixer's sub-basement have been submitted, which should take care of the bulk of the summer ISBNs. Fixer will start acquiring the next batch shortly. Ahasuerus 03:26, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Earlier today Fixer found numerous May ISBNs which were not available the first time around (including some pubs from major publishers.) All non-vanity pubs (and probably a few vanity ones) have been submitted. Ahasuerus 00:19, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Changing contents to a verified pub

I've left a message on NeilP's talk page stating a change I'd like to make to his verified pub, the SFBC's edition of Wyndham's The Outward Urge changing the title of the book's additional story to its variant as it appears in the book. However it would seem he (and I'm assuming he's a he) has been inactive for some time. Go ahead or wait a couple of weeks? PeteYoung 07:11, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Given that he's not been on the wiki for over a year and a half, I wouldn't wait. BLongley 11:34, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

While I'm on this subject: to remove a title and replace it with a variant (or some similar kind of edit) of course entails using the Remove Title facility, which I always feel uncomfortable using because there is no dialogue box in which I can tell a Moderator what I'm doing and why. I'd be more comfortable when I'm able to say what my next step(s) will be, thereby giving a reason for the edit. Surely without such a 'Note to Moderator' a Mod is having to second-guess an Editor's intentions. a) Is this doable, and b) has this been discussed before? PeteYoung 07:11, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

a) It's definitely doable. b) it might have been discussed, but I didn't get around to adding the feature to this particular process before Ahasuerus pleaded with me to stop coding till he could catch up. I think in the long run we should have it on all submission types, it seems to be one of my most appreciated improvements. BLongley 11:34, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it's appreciated. But I wish it were more clear how to use the "Note to Moderator" field. I'm constantly being asked questions in submissions which should have been asked before the submissions were made, questions I can't conveniently answer. Or having vital information entered into the field which is immediately wiped out upon acceptance, data which I have to re-create and enter into the Note field in a subsequent submission. If other moderators aren't seeing this, then they're not handling many submissions from new editors. Mhhutchins 14:04, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I certainly see the problems it's introduced - the only more misused field is "Publication Series" I think. Maybe the help needs improvement (although people only seem to read that once and miss future changes), but I'm leaning toward more explanatory notes on the submission pages. "Note to Moderator:" could have an explanation that it's only for notes about that one submission, "Year:" could have an explanation of it being needed in YYYY-MM-DD format, "Pub Format:" could mention the most common hc/tp/pb abbreviations etc. The pages would look more "busy" but might improve submissions. The other downside is that we might need code changes whenever we change a rule or guideline - not that we ever do that very quickly. BLongley 14:19, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

ISBN numbers for older books

I noticed some book sites like Amazon and ABE have ISBN's for books that did not have them when originally published. These are books with the original date of publishing, i.e. the 1960's. Do we add them to the DB if the book only shows a catalog number in the DB? For example [here]--Teddybear 13:26, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

No. If you're not working from a book-in-hand, do not use a secondary source as unreliable as Amazon for the ISBN. ISBNs didn't exist before the late 60s in the UK and well into the 70s in the US. If the book has a stated SBN from which you can derive an ISBN without much manipulation, you can enter that ISBN, but note the SBN as the source. (Berkley/Putnam used SBNs at least until 1979. Look at this record.) Another example: if an Ace paperback has catalog number "441 12345 075" on it's spine, you can derive an ISBN from this number by adding a zero at the beginning, removing the price code digits, and determining its checksum digit. I personally oppose this method, but it's been used in some cases in order to link the ISFDB record to other online databases (such as Amazon and Abebooks). I don't find much value in such manipulation of the data. Some websites need these derived ISBNs in order to sell books. The ISFDB doesn't. Mhhutchins 13:55, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
I find derived ISBNs to be useful for research when they link into Worldcat/OCLC or "Deutsche Nationalbibliothek" or "European Library". The sales sites are of much less value and I mistrust most of them, and can't even read some of them! So long as the true catalog(ue) number is recorded I don't mind too much whether it's in that field or notes. BLongley 14:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
99.99% of the time, derived ISBNs don't link to library databases, because the entry standards for those dbs don't allow such data to be entered. You have to manually create an HTML link in the ISFDB record's note field in order for it to link to the library's record. For example, the record for this 1970 Ace paperback which has a derived ISBN. Mhhutchins 14:55, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a country difference. I'd never try and rework an American catalog number including price. But you can work on some UK pubs from the 1960s and convert even a five digit number into an ISBN usefully - but I would not recommend such for beginners. And certainly not if it's not going to lead anywhere. BLongley 15:14, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

About Two Pulp Artists

The first is about Jayem Wilcox ( If you go here: you will find out that this artist's legal name is James Milton Wilcox, and that he's also known as J. M. Wilcox and Jim Wilcox. So shouldn't his legal name be listed on the Jayem Wilcox page, and which name should be the canonical name? I just listed an entry as James Milton Wilcox on this site, was I wrong about this? MLB 13:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

James Milton Wilcox may be his legal name, but it's not his canonical name. Feel free to update the author data for Jayem Wilcox to add his legal name. There are no entries for "James Milton Wilcox" as of this writing (it may still be in the queue). If that's the way he's credited in the publication, we can make "James Milton Wilcox" into a pseudonym of Jayem Wilcox. Sounds strange but that's the standard. Mhhutchins 15:04, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The second artist is a bit more problematical. The artist's legal name is Marco Enrico Marchioni, who was active in the pulps during the thirties and fourties, and by comparing signitures here:, this artist has pages on the isfdb site as Mark Marchioni (, M. Marchioni (, and Marchioni ( Shouldn't these pages be combined, as having three pages for the same artist could be confusing, and leaves the information a little too scattered.

I hope this doesn't cause too much trouble. MLB 13:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

We first determine which one should be the canonical name, and make the others into pseudonyms. Next we make variants of all of the pseudonymous records for records with the canonical name. That's how authors (and artists) pages are "combined". It appears that the credits are equally split between "Marchioni" and "M. Marchioni". The problem with this is that the credits as given are probably based on the shortened credit stated in the magazines. I truly dislike the ISFDB policy concerning art records credited this way. I feel that if "Marchioni" is known to be Mark Marchioni, then there's no reason not to credit it that way in the record. It wasn't the artist's choice that the publisher chose to acknowledge only his last name. Alas, that rubs against the ISFDB policy of recording credit exactly as given. We're left with having to variant thousands of records, and cluttering the artists' summary pages. It's too late to change the policy now. Mhhutchins 15:04, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
BTW, when you post a new topic on any Wiki page, you should use the plus tab (+) at the top to start it. Editing the entire page to add a new post may cause a conflict and doesn't display the new topic correctly under the "Recent Changes" page. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:08, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Fixer - July 2012

Sorry, folks, Fixer got a little carried away. He ran off to grab a bunch of ISBNs from some SF review sites and bit off more than he could chew. He will go and sit in the corner (quietly) for a bit now... Ahasuerus 06:31, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Horror Stories

I was working on an entry for an issue of Horror Stories when my cat decided to dance on my keyboard. Twice. If this entry is okayed, I will finish it. Sorry. MLB 09:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Un-merging Urania #1430

Urania #1430 received a wrong publication date (2001-12-30) while, according to and MondoUrania, it should be (2002-01-02). I was going to un-merge it from the Urania-2001 EDITOR record, but I noticed that there is no space to signal my intentions to the Moderator. Can I proceed ? --Pips55 21:54, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

To save some time, I'll go ahead and do it, and making the corrections to merge it with the 2002 issues. Mhhutchins 22:14, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Done. Mhhutchins 22:18, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks --Pips55 22:39, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Odd cover credit on The Separation

User:P-Brane found that The Separation has a cover credit to "" and he proposes to make that a pesud of Sidonie Beresford-Browne. I think it would be better to change the credit, with a proper note, but I would appreciate advice before proceeding. I have the submission on hold. -DES Talk 13:14, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm strongly against crediting companies and websites as artists, they mess up the author directory and the "Author" created has meaningless birth dates and places etc. I'd be happy to change this to the human. BLongley 14:00, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
It does have 2 primary verifiers, do we need to get them to agree first? Or just notify them? and after the edit is made, reject the sub or allow User:P-Brane to cancel it? -DES Talk 15:04, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I think Willem should be asked, Thomas is fairly inactive now I think. BLongley 15:16, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Bill about crediting companies and websites, except when there's a collective behind it and the individual artist(s) is/are unknown. I changed the credit for The Separation and added a note. P-Brane's submission can be rejected/canceled since the "Author" doesn't exist anymore. Thanks! --Willem H. 08:15, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Ellora’s Cave Publishing -- publisher name change?

This seems to be largely a publisher of Paranormal Romance, often borderline erotica, but pretty clearly SF. I Just approved a Fixer submission for one such pub. I would like, in accordance with our usual practice, to change the publisher name from "Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc." to "Ellora’s Cave Publishing", but is that going to cause problems going forward, particularly with future Fixer submissions? -DES Talk 16:18, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

I think Fixer can be programmed to "fix" a publisher's name, but in the long run, it's up to moderators to make sure publishers' names are normalized. Anytime I get a warning that it's a new publisher, I check to see if there's a similar one already in the database. In most cases, "Ltd." is dropped from the name, but there are some in the database. Mhhutchins 17:59, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Only borderline erotica? I don't research those books as deeply as some other Fixer submissions just because I get embarrassed. We probably need more female and/or non-heterosexual Mods.... BLongley 21:14, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Handle it the same way you get rid of other traces of porn on your computer. Just delete your history. But don't click on the Amazon link. It'll stay in your Amazon views and you'll have to clear your browsing history there too! Mhhutchins 22:40, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I said "seems" based on two or three submissions, perhaps others are hotter. But then, my standard for "erotica" is fairly high -- say Tropic of Cancer or Lady Chatterley's Lover or Fanny Hill. -DES Talk 22:24, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
I take it then there is no objection to normalizing in this case? -DES Talk 22:24, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
No problem with me. Before I saw your last post here I'd already changed "Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc." to "Ellora's Cave" and merged the two publishers. Mhhutchins 22:37, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

(unindent) Their specialty is "erotic romance", i.e. explicit romance (as opposed to pure pornography with little romance), but please note that not all of their books are SF -- there are some westerns, historicals and other non-SF volumes. Most of the time Fixer filters the non-SF stuff out, but once in a while they make it past his defenses.

Any time I moderate a Fixer submisision, I check the synopsis on amazon, and any other sites which I can find a record on, to try to confirm that it is in fact SF -DES Talk 23:45, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, appreciate the extra effort! Ahasuerus 03:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
- I never trust the amazon categories which I think are what drive Fixer, -DES Talk 23:45, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
It's complicated. The Amazon API has changed multiple times since November 2008 and Fixer had to change to accommodate Amazon's changes. At the moment the main source of information is Amazon's lists of forthcoming and recently released SF books. They are based on Amazon's internal genre information, which is not always the same as what appears in the externally displayed lists of subjects and categories. Unfortunately, Amazon's categories are not perfect, e.g. Kailin Gow's "The Quantum Games" was missed by Fixer because it has no categorization information. For these and other reasons Fixer also checks other sites for ISBNs and then cross-checks the publication data against Amazon. It all goes into a grand database of ISBNs, publication data, sources, etc and then I run extracts based on date, publisher, author and so on. Ahasuerus 03:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
although lately fewer non-SF seem to be in the Fixer submissions. -DES Talk 23:45, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
The process used to be more automated, but it resulted in too many false positives and moderator overload. With the rise of POD, vanity publishers etc, I have to do a significant amount of manual culling before submission or else we would quickly drown -- Jules Verne alone has had 400+ (!) reprints in 2012, most of them by homegrown publishers specializing in cannibalizing public domain books and Gutenberg. Ahasuerus 03:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I often add a tag to indicate the general nature of the SF content, also, or a synopsis edited from the publisher's one. -DES Talk 23:45, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Also, I have set up a rule within Fixer to change "Ellora's Cave [random words]" to "Ellora's Cave". If there are any other pseudopublishers in addition to "Tor Books" (aka "Tor"), "OUP Oxford" (aka "Oxford University Press"), "DP" (aka "Dorchester Publishing") and "Delacorte Books for Young readers" (aka "Delacorte Press"), please let me know. Ahasuerus 23:25, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

Fixer is submitting "Wordsworth Editions Ltd." i at least one case, while we have "Wordsworth Editions" on file. I also note that "Wordsworth Classics" apparently a pub series of this publisher, appears as a publisher in some records, but I don't know if they came through Fixer. -DES Talk 06:37, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, fixed. I also explained to Fixer that "NAL Trade" and "Berkley Trade" are really just "NAL" and "Berkley" in disguise. Ahasuerus 21:37, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
NAL might be one of the names we'd do better to expand on. "A search for NAL found 193 matches". :-/ And the English equivalent: "A search for NEL found 51 matches". BLongley 21:45, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Not all of them are disguises. There is (or was) a true imprint called Avon Trade. It even has its own logo (a shopping bag). But every time I look, someone has merged the pubs with Avon. Do an Amazon look-inside and check the back covers if the title page isn't given. Mhhutchins 00:08, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Oops, I believe I was the latest offender! Sorry about that! Ahasuerus 01:16, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Fixer has been changed to turn "DAW Hardcover" to "DAW". Ahasuerus 00:38, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Please make it "DAW Books". Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:16, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Done. Ahasuerus 02:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
"Candlewick" to "Candlewick Press" too please. BLongley 14:40, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Done! Ahasuerus 19:46, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Dramatization of Under the Black Ensign

I have on hold submission #1926366 which is for a dramatization of Under the Black Ensign, a NONGENRE work by L. Ron Hubbard. It was my view, supported by Rules and standards discussions/Archive/Archive08#Radio dramatization of Siodmak's Donovan's Brain and Rules and standards discussions/Archive/Archive06#Entering Reviews of items that are not 'Books' or 'Magazines' (and other wiki discussions) that acted-out dramatizations, even of genre works, are OUT, just as videos are, but the RoA doesn't explicitly say this. Before I reject this submission, I want to make sure I haven't overlooked something and that the general consensus agrees with me on this. Any views? -DES Talk 02:12, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

My impression was that if a dramatization was published in print format, then we would include it, just as we would include a published play or musical. And if that script was published (in print form), and then an audio form of it also existed, then we would probably include that audio dramatization. But if the play, musical, reading, etc. has never been published, but only exists in audio or video format, then it is not appropriate for inclusion. This interpretation is being fairly lenient, even for material that would otherwise be "In". For example, a Linked-In discussion topic recently generated hundreds of suggestions for songs that qualified as science fiction. Imagine that someone wrote a book that collected the lyrics of those songs; we would probably include it. Would we then feel obligated to include all of the "audio" forms of those lyrics? Certainly not! Chavey 02:51, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
My impression is that a script would be included if it has been published, but that an audio dramatization per se would never be included, no matter whether the script (or underlying work of fiction) had been published or not, just as we don't include film versions, even ones that are faithful adaptations of published SF novels. IMO a dramatization with cast members for different roles is different than a reading by a single narrator. -DES Talk 03:01, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
I have been under the impression that readings are in, although now I can't find anything in the RoA that says so, while dramatizations are out (whether video or audio). Without having access to the CD, the "fully acted out play" portion of the description makes me think this is in the dramatization-based-on-a-work camp and so should be out. --MartyD 10:23, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Any further comments? In particular, is there anyone who thinks that I should NOT reject this submission? -DES Talk 03:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the rules are pretty clear: only audio recordings of readings are eligible for the database. Allowing dramatizations is the thin edge of the wedge. Mhhutchins 04:54, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
What's unusual is that it's listed as "unabridged" which doesn't make sense for a dramatization. There's nothing in the Amazon listing about this being a dramatization, and they list it as an audiobook. But the submission's notes make it clearly a dramatization (cast, direction, sound effects, etc.) And the fact that it's a nongenre story makes me feel better about rejecting the submission. Mhhutchins 04:56, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

(unindent) i have rejected the submission. -DES Talk 18:33, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

More non-'audiobook' candidates for deletion

Further to the discussion immediately above, and raised here for input from other editors/moderators, re. the non-inclusion of audio dramatisations I see there are around 25-30 Big Finish Audio Dramas in the list of Doctor Who Audiobooks that really don't belong in the database. They sneaked in possibly because Amazon incorrectly describes the Big Finish series as Audiobooks (eg. here) when in fact they're not, they're original audio dramatisations with no previous written counterpart. I own most of them so I know about which I speak, and I didn't originate these entries.

The BBC Audiobooks in that list should more than likely stay because they are narrations of previously written stories, but it's the Big Finish ones that really need to go. The database does have a useful reference work for these titles, The New Audio Adventures: The Inside Story, but IMHO the audio CD dramatisations themselves are not appropriate for inclusion.

If no other editor has adverse concerns/comments I'll commence the pruning in a few days. PeteYoung 18:12, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I have no objection to the dramatizations being deleted from the db. Mhhutchins 18:15, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I seem to recall one of them having a later dead-tree edition, but have no objections to the CDs going. BLongley 18:29, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I strongly endorse the deletion of these dramatizations. -DES Talk 18:32, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Bill, you may be thinking of Shada. If so, that was the lost Douglas Adams BBC script that was adapted for the Big Finish audio (not currently listed here), and just recently expanded into the novel which has its own Audiobook: that one is eligible for inclusion, I believe. Of course, there may be others I'm not aware of. PeteYoung 18:54, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Not Shada, I'm aware of that. The one niggling at the back of my mind was a Colin Baker one I think. BLongley 19:23, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Fixer: The Adventure of the Bottom of the Barrel

Fixer's algorithm has been tweaked ever so slightly and a new tier has been added to his selection logic. Here is the rough order in which each month's catch is now processed:

  • major genre publishers
  • major non-genre publishers some of whose output is (often YA) SF
  • small presses (they tend to submit their data to Amazon later, so they have to go after the big boys)
  • finally, books by obscure publishers whose authors are already in ISFDB

Note that this is of necessity an iterative process because of stragglers and Amazon's quirks. The addition of the fourth tier will add perhaps another 100+ ISBNs per month, some of them more worthwhile than others (the first batch includes Burroughs and Pratchett as well as "Bewitching Desires, Volume 2".) We will likely revisit the issue once we have a better idea of the cost-benefit ratio. Ahasuerus 05:07, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Greener Than You Think

User is not active any more so I'm supposed to post here also. Adding cover image and price to SFJuggler 04:43, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the notification. I'll accept the submission when you're ready. Mhhutchins 04:46, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Adding a Magazine to a Magazine Series if There is Only One Issue Per Year

OK, granted I'm a bit rusty, but I just want to clarify the instructions for creating magazine series, for the particular case of Territories: The Slipstream Journal for which I've just entered 2 issues.

Galactic Central only lists four issues; 2 for 1992, and 1 each for 1993 and 1994. I've entered and only have issues #2 and #3. To put these into a series, the instructions say I'd start by merging editor records, but it doesn't make sense to merge a single item. So I'm assuming I can go to the editor title record for an issue, change the title to Territories: The Slipstream Journal - 1993 and add Territories: The Slipstream Journal as the series... is that correct? Albinoflea 05:33, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that'll work. BLongley 08:48, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
With only four issues, it is not necessary to merge the editor records into annual records. That's only done to keep editors' summary pages from being overloaded with individual editor records for each issue. Sometimes people assume incorrectly that all editor records should be merged into annual groupings. So you don't have to change the titles of the four editor records of this fanzine. Just add the series title to all four of them. That's all you need to group them into a series and create an magazine issue grid. Mhhutchins 13:49, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Great, I've made the changes and everything appears to be working properly.
Should I go ahead and enter place holder records for the other two issues that are listed in Galactic Central (and which have cover art) even though I don't have personal copies? Albinoflea 18:27, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Sure. Just be sure to record the source for your data, and indicate that it's a placeholder until a primary verifier comes along. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:08, 30 July 2012 (UTC)


In case anyone's keeping an eye on me.... I'm going to fix up all of those %(^*$& Tashi books Fixed submitted. I figured I'd approve them all then work through the whole mess, but it'll take me a little while (and I'm out of time this morning). --MartyD 10:41, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, I didn't feel like tackling them myself. BLongley 12:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

NONGENRE help....

This is a pure moderator mechanics question; I don't mean to start an R&S debate.... I was looking at a queued submission that is trying to use NONGENRE for some stories in an anthology, and I found Help:Screen:EditPub#EntryType's NONGENRE bullet, which is pretty much telling people to use it for short fiction (the whole example/discussion pertains to works in a collection). Ironically, its specific example of a non-SF story, Everybody Knows Joe, is captured as SHORTFICTION. Anyway, I thought NONGENRE is for novel-length works, and non-ESSAY shorter non-genre works are out. Am I confused, or is this help entry just completely wrong at the moment? --MartyD 11:14, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

I posed much the same question in R&S and Michael gave a fairly definitive answer there. My question is the ante penultimate comment in the topic, with the response following. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:00, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Gosh, how embarassing... Such a tiny discussion, too. Guess I'll go fix that help when I get a chance. I was "sure" that NONGENRE implied novel-length; the help came as a complete surprise. --MartyD 13:11, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Odd pub update behavior

I accepted a publication update to Robert E. Howard's Complete Conan of Cimmeria: Volume 1. The pub had duplicate titles in it, and the editor had gone and given page numbers to some and "dele" for the page numbers of the duplicates to be removed. After I accepted the edit, viewing the pub shows one instance of each title, all (but one) with "dele" as the page number, and none with the supplied page numbers from the original edit. Remove Titles from this Publication and editing the publication both show all of the titles. Can anyone explain what happened with the page numbers? And am I safe in removing all but one of each of the duplicated titles? --MartyD 23:40, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure exactly sure what happened, but in general multiple instances of the same Title record in the same pub is not something that the software currently supports. I think it should be OK to delete the duplicates, but you may want to try it with just one Title record first to see what happens. Ahasuerus 02:07, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Odd behaviour when entering series numbers

Not my odd behaviour, I hasten to add. I've experienced repeated frustration today when trying to add an entry to a series and giving it a series number. Repeated edits just aren't taking. Sometimes a browser refresh might make the edit appear as it should, maybe ten seconds or a minute or two later, but most times it doesn't show at all. Occasionally I've tried doing the edit again in case it had disappeared into the ether – the 'series' and # dialogue boxes are indeed empty again, but after submitting the edit they appear already under the left-hand column, with no changes registering in the right-hand column. Most other editorial functions seem to be OK, so I'm wondering if this is a problem with what information the server is issuing to browsers or if the problem resides in my browser itself (Safari 5.1.7). Is anyone else experiencing anything similar? PeteYoung 05:33, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, connecting reviews to titles: edits aren't taking. As an example, I've tried connecting this review to this title, twice. The review appears listed beneath the title, but the pub listing still isn't showing a linked title, at least on my browser. What do others see? PeteYoung 05:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The pub listing shows a link to the book's title record in my browser (Google Chrome). Are you backtracking to the page, or reentering the page? You may have to refresh your cache. If that doesn't work, there may be some compatibility problems with the ISFDB software and Safari. Mhhutchins 06:42, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it displays the link now, much later, as well as the previous series number edits. So I'm presuming that unless you saw this message the moment I posted it you wouldn't see the same, as a sufficient amount of unknown time would have elapsed for the edit to appear properly. I also experienced a delay of several minutes when creating two pseudonyms more than an hour ago, at which point I decided to leave things alone as there seemed to be some interference with the site either registering or displaying certain types of edits. Those have now appeared, and I just tried another series edit and it worked and displayed fine instantly, so hopefully this was a short-lived glitch. Thanks very much for taking the time to look, though. PeteYoung 07:32, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I noticed that the server was unusually slow last night for a couple of hours around 12-2am ET. The host could have been doing some updates. Mhhutchins 16:11, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Server overload may have been an issue last night, but what Peter is describing sounds a bit too unusual to be caused by performance problems on the server side. Did you try using a different browser to see if it may help? Safari was known to have some problems with ISFDB in the past, so that would be the first thing to check. Ahasuerus 21:46, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Not a different browser, but I didn't mention that I also briefly looked on my wife's laptop (using Safari 5.0.6) and the problem was visible there too. So possibly either a Safari issue or a host update thing (or even as Michael suggests, a cache thing), but either way things look OK now. It's not a glitch I'd experienced before, so thanks for the feedback. PeteYoung 01:17, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Random House/Random House UK

Just noticed Amazon entries for 2011/2012 show some US prices in Random House UK and some UK prices in Random House. Is this a glitch?--Teddybear 13:59, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I think it depends upon which server Fixer took the data. will have prices in pounds regardless of the country in which the book was published. When a moderator sees submissions that are "cross-priced" like this, it's a good idea to check both Amazons. Occasionally I've found that these pubs are indicated as imports so that explains why a book published in one country is available in another one and priced with that country's currency. Mhhutchins 16:09, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Fixer's not perfect - but neither are our editors. One entry yesterday was an addition of a book priced "£5.11" with data-source listed as Amazon UK. That rings my alarm bells, no UK book would have that on the cover. After approving it and fixing it with the Amazon US price (a more reasonable "$7.99") I discovered we already had that edition and had to delete the duplicate. BLongley 16:34, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I can see how that price would appear. If you go a $7.99 price would appear today as 5.06 pound sterling if you change prices on their website from US to UK.--Teddybear 19:42, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
This record makes absolutely no sense. Why would Random House, parent to the US publisher of the title (Knopf), publish a trade paperback for the UK, when hardcover and tp editions were published by Doubleday UK (another Random House division) in the same month? Mhhutchins 17:05, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Same situation with this publication. There are actual copies of this one being sold on, and mostly from dealers in Germany. Since the title was published in the UK by another publisher (Simon & Schuster), it's not likely that Random House was allowed to sell it there, but possibly for the rest of Europe. I propose that we remove the price from records like these because it's not likely they're the ones actually stated in the books themselves. Mhhutchins 17:17, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I can't think of a general rule for spotting odd prices. But if a price on one website ends in .95 or .99, and the other doesn't, then the other one is probably wrong. But Library editions seem to have all sorts of odd pricing. (For other, read Amazon UK or Amazon US, Fixer hasn't yet got round to Canadian, German or French sites yet. And Japanese will be beyond our current abilities.) I guess the "feeling" can only come with experience. BLongley 20:07, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof algorithm for determining where a particular book was published. As User:Fixer says:
  • [...] Next, Fixer tries to determine which store's data to use. For example, if says that the publisher is "Baen" and Amazon UK says that the publisher is "Unknown", then chances are that Fixer should use the US record to create the ISFDB submission. Ideally, this would be an automated process, but there are many cases when both records look plausible, e.g. the respective prices may be $17.99 and £11.99, and it requires manual intervention. Hopefully, the automated identification process will get better over time as Fixer learns which publishers are "US only" and which ones are "UK only". Any publishers that are active on both side of the Atlantic, e.g. Orbit, will still need to be handled manually.
Every month I have to make this decision about 700-900 ISBNs and in the past I often had to do it at 2am, half-asleep. Hopefully I will be able to do at least a marginally better job now that I am retired. Ahasuerus 21:58, 31 August 2012 (UTC)