ISFDB talk:Data Consistency/Pseudonyms With Titles

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This page is for discussing issues that arisae as part of the project for makign all titles attributed to pseudonyms varients of titles atributed to cannonical name, insofar as possible.

Many of these discussions were moved here from ISFDB:Community Portal after they became too long and too specific for that page. ASome limnited refactoring has been done in the process. -DES Talk 13:54, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't fix artists now

I would strongly suggest not fixing up many of the artists until we have the capacity to reverse pseudonym assignments and have verified their credits. A particular case is Emsh - as I make my way through the 50's and 60's stuff I am constantly having to change the wrongly attributed Ed Emshwiller art to the actual credit Emsh, the name with which he was overwhelmingly credited. If it's decided that the artist's real name should be used, making the assumption that he was credited with it at least a few times, that would be fine with me but that is not the current policy. As long as all credits for an individual end up in the same place it is not a big deal to me.--swfritter 17:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh yes, artists are still in a state of flux, so we can't always tell which way the eventual pseudonym association will go. Sorry, I should have mentioned this important caveat in the original post! Ahasuerus 18:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Artwork at least is easier to fix the name on, as it's rarely merged and you can update singletons easily. The Add/Remove for fiction contents is a pain especially when the page and content length is stated and the date isn't the default for the pub... I may make a feature request for that, it should be easy to put a button beside each entry to clone it to a new content section and mark the current entry as needing deletion. Actually, it's probably easy to do that as a Firefox extension, maybe plain javascript: but it would be nicer to have a list of known variants to replace a content entry with and that needs Al. BLongley 19:04, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, I digress - can I at least ask people to check whether the reason for the lack of variants is because people feel the variation is the wrong way round, and if so pipe up and say so? It's easier to fix BEFORE clean-up. BLongley 19:04, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Collier Young

Collier Young is in the database as a pseudonym of Robert Bloch, but the person who wrote this foreword was the real producer of the TV series which was the basis for the story adaptations in this collection. I know we can't break a pseudonym, but how about changing the author of this piece to "Collier Young [2]", or something along that line? MHHutchins 02:45, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Hm, we don't have any other titles for "Collier Young", so I assume somebody entered this pseudonym from a.k.a. site. Oh well, as you say, we can't undo or even change pseudonyms at the moment, so "Collier Young [2]" seems to be the lesser of the available evils. Ahasuerus 04:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Cannonical co-authored with pesudonym

Here is an odd but not unique case: Sleight of Hand is a novel listed as being co-authored by an author and her pseudonym. (I once saw a copy of Police Your Planet shown as co-authored by Lester del Rey and Erik Van Lhin, and there was recently a work published as by both Evan hunter and Ed McBain.) Given the desire not to have titles listed under pseud that are not listed as variants, what should be done in this case that achieves that goal while preserving the useful info that both "authors" are listed in the publication (assuming that they in fact are, i haven't seen a copy of this). -DES Talk 20:36, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I know Police Your Planet, I have a copy! Those are simple, credit both. "Writing As" is a bit more complex - again, there was a discussion about it (with John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes as an example I think? Maybe this title). I am hopeless at Wiki-Search, so feel free to go find it! BLongley 21:24, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I've recently set a title as by the "writing as" pseudonym with the not-so-secret-identity as the parent variant. I'm not sure that's right, but didn't really care as nobody else here seems to care about the Vampire-Shaggers anyway. Is this worth a separate standards discussion? I can re-re-re-check the Wyndham books at least. BLongley
The problem is, how can a credit for both be entered (which i agree is the correct thing to do) without leaving a non-variant credit in the pseudonym's bibliography (which Ahasuerus says above we should not do, and the avoidance of which is the whole point of ISFDB:Data Consistency/Pseudonyms With Titles, as I understand it)? -DES Talk 21:37, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
As for "writing as", I have just been entering the publication under the pseudonym, and than using "make this title a variant" to create a 'new parent" entry under the canonical name (assuming that the work was not also published under the canonical name) Is there a reason to create a special "X writing as Y" entry? -DES Talk 21:37, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Originally, we had support for Variant Title relationships, but there was no support for a separate "pseudonym" relationship. As it turned out, it was a problem since a title marked as a "variant title" attributed to another Author is no longer displayed on the pseudonymous author's biblio page. So once you have set up all "Lewis Padgett" titles as variants of Kuttner's and/or Moore's stories, you ended up with a blank page for "Lewis Padgett", which wasn't particularly useful. Once we realized that, we added a many-to-many "pseudonym" relationship so that now the Lewis Padgett page helpfully tells you that it's a pseudonym and where to go to find the "Lewis Padgett" stories. The reason it's a "many-to-many" relationship is that not only can a single author use many pseudonyms, but multiple authors can also use the same pseudonym, either because it's a joint pseudonym like Padgett or Jonathan Wylie or because it's a house name like Victor Appleton or Alexander Blade.
There are a couple of caveats here. The first one is that the bolded pseudonym line is only displayed when there are no non-Variant Titles currently attributed to the Author record. Since we currently have two non-Variant Titles attributed to Alexander Blade, the Blade bibliography doesn't show the pseudonym line. However, it still shows the "Used As Alternate Name By:" line at the top of the page. The rationale here is that an Author may be responsible for his or her own Titles while still being used as a pseudonym by somebody else, e.g. V. C. Andrews, who is currently set up as a pseudonym for Andrew Neiderman, which is displayed at the top of her summary page. (As an aside, most post-1986 titles currently attributed to Andrews should be changed to pseudonymous Neiderman titles, but that's a different story). In "Alexander Blade"'s case, we need to create VTs for the two Titles that are currently attributed to "him" and then the pseudonym line will appear.
One thing that has been outstanding over the years is that there is no way to see all titles published "as by" a certain pseudonymous Author, be it a house name like Alexander Blade or a ghosting situation like V. C. Andrews. We will probably want to create a Web page for "pseudonym bibliographies" at some point.
Another caveat is that there is no way to delete a pseudonym at this point. This is a major pain for two reasons. First, we all make mistakes from time to time and while we can undo an erroneous Variant Title relationship quite easily, there is no way to undo an erroneous Pseudonym relationship. Thus, Alexander Blade is currently set up as a pseudonym for "Henry S. Lewis" and "Henry S. Lewis" is set up as a pseudonym for Alexander Blade. Similarly, we can't change the fact that "Robert Heinlein" is set up as a pseudonym for "Robert A. Heinlein" twice, etc, etc :(
The second reason why this is a pain is that it makes it impossible to flip-flop pseudonym relationships cleanly if we decide that, e.g., "D. R. Bensen" is a better canonical name than "Donald R. Bensen". We can easily break the existing variant title relationships and relink the titles the other way, but we can't get rid of the current Pseudonym relationship at this point.
Hope this clarifies these messy issues and answers the three questions that you had. Perhaps we should add something along these line to Help? Ahasuerus 03:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, although this does help me understand the overall situation, it leaves some specific questions I had unclear, at least in my mind. Specifically:
Police Your Planet was apparently fixed earlier today as it no longer appears on Erik Van Lhin's summary page. Generally, when dealing with a bona fide self-collaboration, i.e. a book/story attributed to two separate authors with no indication that they are actually the same person, we first enter it "as is", which creates a record attributed to both authors. We then make this Title record into a Variant Title attributed to the real author, e.g. Police Your Planet (1975 revision) by Lester del Rey and Erik Van Lhin is currently set up as a variant title of Police Your Planet by Lester del Rey. Finally, we make the "fake" Author record into a pseudonym the way Erik Van Lhin is currently set up. Overall, it is very similar to the regular variant title/pseudonym creation process. Ahasuerus 04:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Is there any reason to create a pseudonym of the form "John Jones Writing as Sam Smith", as was apparently done with this pub? Or did I misunderstand what Bill Longley was saying above?
This is similar to Sleight of Hand and any number of Nora Roberts/J. D. Robb books. To quote Help:Screen:MakeVariant:
Pseudonyms. If you know that a particular author's name is a pseudonym, leave it as the pseudonym rather than changing it to the real name. The only exception is when a reprint shows both the original and subsequent names. For example, Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Starr" books were originally published under the pseudonym of Paul French, but were later reprinted with the cover giving both names: "by Isaac Asimov, writing as Paul French". In these cases you can simply give "Isaac Asimov" as the author.
Admittedly, these cases are not always as clearcut as the Asimov/French example, e.g. quite a few pseudonymously published Gothic novels have the real author's name on the copyright page, but that's the general idea. After all, the main reason to record pseudonyms is to enable our users to enter the name of an author and discover that it is a pseudonym, which doesn't make much sense when the book discloses who the real author is on the cover. Ahasuerus 04:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
  • When a name is both a canonical name for one individual, and a pesud for another (as with V._C._Andrews), do i correctly understand that there is no need to make all the titles listed under it variants?
I am not sure I understand the question correctly, so perhaps I am stating the obvious, but we don't want to create variant titles for the books that V. C. Andrews actually wrote herself. We do want to create variant titles for the books that Neiderman wrote as "V. C. Andrews", though. Ahasuerus 04:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
In short I am after specific "what do I do in response to an enter on the Data Consistency/Pseudonyms With Titles page?" answers. Thanks. -DES Talk 23:05, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
HTH! :-) Ahasuerus 04:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, yes those answers are quite helpful. -DES Talk 11:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Variant of variant? (Alexander Beliaev)

Now another question. When a title that you would make a variant is itself already the parent of a variant, how should one proceed? For example "Hoity-Toity" by Alexander Belayev is already a variant (as by A._Belayev, but the canonical name is Alexander_Beliaev (with an "i" rather than a "y"). What should be done in such cases? -DES Talk 11:33, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Chained variants are a bad idea, but, unfortunately, our software isn't sophisticated enough to catch them at creation time. We have an SQL script, which we run from time to time. Once the script finds these problem titles, we just break the Variant Title relationship (using the "0" technique) and re-link them correctly. Ahasuerus 16:08, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I think I wasn't quite clear. In this case a chained variant does not now exist, but if I were to make the title attributed to the pseud a variant, that would create a chained variant. (That is what I meant by "the title that you would make a variant" -- subjunctive mode.) But your comment also gave the answer: break the existing variant relationship with the 0 technique, and once that edit is approved than point both variants at the proper parent. Have I understood this correctly? -DES Talk 16:36, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes, that would take care of the immediate problem, but upon more careful review Beli(y)aev looks messier than I realized :( Most English language titles have been apparently published as by "Alexander Belayev", but the canonical name, also used by Wikipedia, is "Alexander Beliaev". To make matters worse, "A. Belayev" is currently set up as a pseudonym of a pseudonym. On top of that, according to OCLC (record 5671849), The Struggle in Space was actually published as by "Aleksandr Beliayev" and How Man Learned to Fly (record 17136882) was published as by "A. Belyayev". Eek! Let me see if I can massage this maze of transliterations later tonight... Ahasuerus 17:40, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, I have cleaned up Alexander Beliaev -- aka Alexander Belyaev, Alexander Belayev, Aleksandr Beliayev, A. Beliaev, A. Belayev and A. Belyayev -- to the best of my ability. Since he wrote in Russian, the original Russian titles are supposed to be used as the canonical titles (as per our Help), so I first had to create them based on secondary biblio sources. I think I found all of them with one exception ("How Man Learned to Fly"), although some dates still need to be massaged and, of course, we don't display Series information unless there is a book length Title in the series :-( Boy, this is exhausting! Ahasuerus 06:08, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Things are looking up wrt Beliaev's partially translated series Professor Wagner's Inventions. I have found a reprint collection (Perm, 1988) of the 9 Wagner stories in one of my sub-collections (have I ever mentioned that I wrote a paper on the history of Russian SF some decades ago?) with a very nice bibliography in the back. I'll enter it tomorrow. Ahasuerus 01:38, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

V. C. Andrews

V. C. Andrews is the canonical name of Cleo Virginia Andrews. It is also the name used when her continuator (I hate to use the term "ghost writer" in the case of an author of horror) after her death, under contract with her estate. Obviously we should not list the titles she wrote under Andrew Neiderman. I'm not sure just what, if anything, should be done about this instance. -DES Talk 22:31, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Donald R. Bensen

I think that perhaps "D. R. Bensen" should be the cannonical name, as the majority of his SF in the "Donald R. Bensen" listing is "as by D. R. Bensen". -DES Talk 01:46, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

John D. Clark

Here is another oddity in variant land. Under Dr._John_D._Clark, we have two essays: listed as "The Fluorine Planet" and The Silicone World. Both exist in two and only two publications, the Ace Uller Uprising and the 2006 Project Gutenberg ebook created from the Ace pb. But in the original publication of The Petrified Planet there is only a single "introduction" listed, and I can verify that in both the Ace pb and the PG ebook (I have both) the two titles listed are the two sections of the introductory essay. However, the Ace is verified, and not by me. (There are times when it would be handy to support divisions within a single title, but probably too few for the work it would cause).

What should I do here? Edit the pubs of Uller Uprising to remove the two essays and replace them with a single "introduction", possibly noting the sections in title-level notes? Ask Bill Longley who verified the Ace for his views? Something else? Advice, please. -DES Talk 02:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I should be able to verify the 1952 omnibus tomorrow night, which may answer a few of these questions :) Ahasuerus 03:17, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Asking the verifier is always good, I'll take this as asking. The two sections work as two separate essays for me, one for Uller and one for Niflheim, and the pub already has a proper Introduction. But yes, these two titles do have an overall heading of "Introduction" that could be used. It's copyright-dated as 1952 and 1983 which might mislead people into thinking that they were written at different times, but I think that both sections were written 1952 and both renewed 1983. If Ahasuerus has the Twayne edition then that should answer the question "Is it the introduction to Uller Uprising alone, or the introduction to the Omnibus?" I think what I was thinking last year was that using the two essay titles would avoid the problem of a Pub-Specific suffix to "Introduction" appearing in two differently titled pubs. (I'm not a big fan of Variant Titles for Introductions, as they're usually really the same, and it's only our interference that separated them in the first place.) BLongley 18:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there's one other oddity. Clark's Wikipedia page suggests the essay in Startling Stories, December 1952 is an excerpt from Clark's introduction ("The Silicone World") - if the split matches the one in the 1983 book then that would be another reason to keep them separate. (And to sort out the Fletcher Pratt pseudonym situation.) BLongley 18:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
"The Silicon World" in Startling is credited to Fletcher Pratt and the blurb states that they are his notes. It has two sections - the first with five numbered subsections and the second, titled "The Flourine Planet", has eight numbered subsections.--swfritter 19:19, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Just checked out the Project Gutenberg title and it is same material. I guess Fletcher Pratt will now become a pseudonym of D. John Clark. Or we can just document in notes.--swfritter 19:29, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I Haven't read the Twayne edition, but the John F. Carr intro to the ace editions says of it: "Probably the most surprising and interesting thing about the Twayne edition is the essay that forms the introduction to that volume, and is reprinted here." I also recall the review of the Twane edition in In Search of Wonder which said that the gimmick was supposed to be that all three works were to be set in the worlds described by John D. Clark, but only Piper's story made significant use of this setting.
The two parts of the essay are separable, but they do work together -- they have a parallel structure, and both are describing rather unusual environments for life, by Earth standards. I see your point that having the same "Introduction" be attached to two different works is awkward. While we could assign a combined title (say "The Silicon World and The Flourine Planet") perhaps that would be a mistake. But if they are to be treated as two works in the Ace edition, then they should be in the Twayne (assuming, pending verification, that the content is the same).
As to the Pratt connection, I don't know what is going on with that. I think I recall that Pratt worked with Twayne at one point -- he certainly contributed to Witches Three which was another "Twayne Triplet" -- and perhaps he was somehow involved with the project. But that is mere speculation on my part. Arrgh! -DES Talk 19:55, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like Ahasuerus has a busy night tomorrow! Possibly just correcting typos here - for the record, they're "Silicone" and "Fluorine" in my edition and if they really ARE "Silicon" and "Flourine" elsewhere that needs recording. I took the liberty of correcting the typo of my own name though. BLongley 20:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Heh, Heh, Heh. Sorry, those were just typos as I was copying the names. (I would have double checked or done a cut&past had this been the DB itself. -DES Talk 21:15, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, swfritter introduced the variants I commented on, although I think it WAS you that typoed my name. No big deal though, I've had worse: I once turned up for a new job with a P45 (official UK government document with previous employment tax details on) that said my surname was "Lonely". :-( Spill-Chucking software rarely helps with names but can be fun to play with - take a fresh installation of your favourite document editor with default dictionary, run the company email directory through it, and go tell people what the company thinks they really should be called, it's a good ice-breaker. I once had team-mates called "Annex Cameroon" and "Surrender Sardinia". Even people with names that escape correction can join in, use a thesaurus instead - "Bob Sharp" now has a fear of apples with embedded razor blades. ;-) BLongley 22:43, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Make sure I get credit for the D. John reference.--swfritter 22:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) OK, I am working with my collection tonight and I have copies of The Petrified Planet, Startling Stories December 1952 and the Ace edition of Uller Uprising side by side. The three texts are very similar, but not quite identical. The Startling Stories version (signed by Pratt) omits at least two paragraphs, alters the contents of the first paragraph and slightly changes various numbers (distances, temperature, etc). The Ace version reverts to the original Clark text, but changes capitalization ("earth" vs. "Earth") and punctuation (semicolon vs. full stop) on a few occasions. It also adds a few linking words throughout to make the style appear less "telegraphic".

As far as the Pratt connection is concerned, Clute/Nicholls state that Pratt had come up with the idea of original SF "triplets" (cf. Thorne Smith's early 30s reprint triplets) and was the anonymous editor behind The Petrified Planet.

I think the best way to handle this mess is to have one canonical "Introduction" title by John D. Clark and two variant titles, "Introduction" by "Dr. John D. Clark" and "The Silicone World" by "Fletcher Pratt". We could then create one big Note under the canonical title explaining its torturous history. Ahasuerus 01:26, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Fine by me. BLongley 17:50, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

T. Davis Bunn

This is part of a pseudonym chain. T._Davis_Bunn is listed as a pseudonym of Thomas_Locke, while Davis Bunn is listed as a pseudonym of T. Davis Bunn. I suppose this makes Thomas Locke the canonical name, but the omnibus of the 4 novels published separately under the Locke name was published under the T. Davis Bunn name. First Search lists over 150 books authored or co-authored under the T. Davis Bunn name (most of them apparently historical or legal fiction, but I found and added two near-future SF novels) and only 41 under the Locke name, including the ones we have on file. If we could break pseudonym relationships, I think there would be a case for making "T. Davis Bunn" the canonical name here. -DES Talk 16:38, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

R. R. Fehrenbach

The only work attributed to this pesud is "Remember the Alamo!". We list 6 publications of Analog 1 which contain this story. Three are verified, and all three attribute the story to "T. R. Fehrenbach" (the cannonical name). Two are tuck-verified, and list "R. R. Fehrenbach" as the author. One is unverified, and lists "T. R. Fehrenbach". Also, Analog Anthology, which is Tuck-verified, lists "R. R. Fehrenbach". In addition, The Great SF Stories #23 (which is verified) and Analog (Dec 1961) (which is primary and Contento-verified) both list "R. R. Fehrenbach". I guess this is enough evidence that the form " R. R. Fehrenbach" actually appeared in print? Perhaps as a typo in the origianl Analog propagated thereafter? -DES Talk 15:03, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

That implies R.R. changed to T.R. then back over the years - not impossible, but I think that's enough to make me ask for a double-check on the verified R.R.s. I've rechecked mine and it's T.R. everywhere, even on front and back cover. (Although I did spot mine is actually a No-Jr Campbell, fixed now.) BLongley 17:47, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think that the man's name is and has always been "T. R." I suspect that "R. R." was a typo or copy editing erro in the inital Analog publication of this story, and some reprints have echoed that error, while othrs have corrected it. There is a note in the story's title record which says "Apparently the 1st publication in Analog was as by "R. R. Fehrenbach" and following ones were corrected to T. R." which is much the same thing. as to his real name, see the folowing links:
particualrly the last one, the interview, where the Analog story is mentioned, but an alternate name is not. At first I thought that "R. R." was an error in our data, now I think it is an accurate record of an error in the publication. -DES Talk 18:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I've no problem with "T. R", but the note implies that the original "R. R." error was corrected - yet after correction in the 1960s we have it reappearing in the 1970s. (Did you spot that there's TWO "R. R." records for that title currently? The other was verified in the 1970s. ) Did all those Anthology Editors go back to the original publication and repeat the error, or did our ISFDB Editors miss a one letter difference when verifying? It's simple to ask, and the note can be updated to say which pubs continued the error. BLongley 19:43, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that at least some of them went back to the original, having multiple ISFDB verifiers make the same one-letter error is too improbable for me. Once an error is in print it can and will be propagated, and who knows which edition an anthology editor had handy. And if the error made it into Tuck (as it apparently did) lost of later uses could have derived from that source. All that said, there is no harm and possibly some good in asking verifiers to re-check, and asking for verification of those publications not yet verified. As to the two R.R records, i have submitted (but approval has not yet occurred) a merge. -DES Talk 21:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Avram Davidson

Avram_Davidson was one of the authors who wrote as Ellery_Queen, not the other way around. Unless there is somehtign i don't know, this is a case of a backwards Pseudonym relationship. -DES Talk 19:42, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

At least we've got it forwards too:
 Used As Alternate Name By: Ellery Queen , Ellery Queen
 Used These Alternate Names: Ellery Queen 

BLongley 19:46, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Charles Davidson

Charles_Davidson is liated as a pesud of Charles_Stross, but I find no mention of this on Stross's web site, nor in either of the online sources for Pseudonyms, nor in his Wikipedia article, nor in anything that a google search on "Charles Stross" returns. Can anyone provide a source for this? -DES Talk 22:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Cite to Vector provided on the verificatioms page, and duly noted. -DES Talk 03:59, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

P. F. Costello

"Strange but True" by P. F. Costello was published in Fantastic Adventures, May 1941; while "Strange but True" by William P. McGivern was published in Amazing Stories, June 1941. P._F._Costello is listed as a pesud of William_P._McGivern. Before marking the former as a varient of the latter, I would like a check. It seems odd to me that the same essay would be published in two different magaziens a month apart, but then it also seems odd that two different essays with the same title would be. Perhaps this was some sort of roving column? In any case, can anyone check if these are really the same essay, or what? -DES Talk 22:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)