2022-12-16: On indefinite hiatus. Feel free to make changes to my (relatively few) PVs without needing to check with me.
I am currently (June/July 2021) in the interminable process of moving out of London. I'm not actually finally moving out until the end of July, but given the amount of stuff I've accumulated over the past ~20 years, there's a mountain of pain to deal with. (Most of the books have already been shifted, albeit into storage.) This means that my contributions and presence on ISFDB will be intermittent for at least the next month, probably longer as I get sorted out at the new place.
2021-08-13 Update: I now have a barebones PC set up at my new place, although it's probably going to be at least a week or two before I have a dev environment from which I can make submissions again...
I grew up in the north of England, but have spent most of the past 20+ years in London. As a kid, pretty much all of my SF-reading was courtesy of my local libraries, which meant that I read an awful lot of part-two-in-a-series books, and only recently have gotten round to reading their first installments.
I dropped out of reading SF in the early/mid 1990s, due to a combination of finding other interests, and not being particularly enthralled by a lot of of the most heralded books and writers of that era. In the past 3 or 4 years, I've rediscovered written SF, and have been catching up on loads of stuff that I previously missed out on, as well as newer works.
I don't generally engage in "real world" fandom, but I have SFnal presences on Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia and Goodreads.
Me and ISFDB
I have a number of SF-related personal projects in various stages of completion or abandonment, many of which use a local copy of the ISFDB.
Ones that actually got to a state that I felt brave enough to expose to the rest of the world can be found here.
Some bits and pieces from works-in-progress can be found in my Twitter feed.
Some of the code I use to interrogate the database can be found on GitHub. All of this has - as of time of writing - been written without looking at the proper ISFDB code, so doubtless there are lots of stupid errors and misconceptions as to how the database is designed. The code certainly isn't going to win any awards for quality, given that much of it is the result of blundering hacking around post midnight.
Most of my edits to ISFDB are minor data fixes or additions in order to support these personal projects.
My subpages on this Wiki
(The list below is almost certainly incomplete - a complete list try Special:Prefixindex/User:ErsatzCulture or this.)
- User:ErsatzCulture/DevelopmentNotes - how I have my local developer environment set up, notes about the code/database/etc
- User:ErsatzCulture/Tagging - some work-in-progress tools and reports about tagging in ISFDB
- User:ErsatzCulture/SQLQueries - useful (?) SQL queries
- User:ErsatzCulture/ExperimentalTestingFramework - work-in-progress
- Filling in the first ~8 years of The Kitschies nominees & finalists.
- Filling in and tidying up award details, especially British awards. (This is somewhat out of self interest, as the cleaner the award data is, the better my personal projects that make use of it will work.)
- Another personal project might cause torrents of trivial edits to author pages; these will be links to Wikipedia pages and/or Twitter accounts, so that I can pick up biographical data that isn't stored in ISFDB.
- Improving coverage of British books, as Fixer isn't doing too well with Amazon UK these days. Most critically this is for books that haven't (yet) been published in the US, but more commonly it'll be missing UK publications (especially ebooks) of known titles. This involves some semi-automated tools I'm working on which work off ISBNs and ASINs, so I may well end up doing a lot of minor edits that are just adding those IDs to existing publication records, so they no longer clog up my reports - apologies in advance to any mods processing the submission queue if/when I dump a bunch of these on you.
- Three-months-after-the-fact 2020 New Year Resolution: do one PV and filling in of missing details (mostly copypasting copyright page) per day. Current status as of 2020-03-30 (Day 89): 16 PVs so far this year. (Note to self: I did 11 in 2019, so subtract that from whatever the My PVs page says is the overall total.) 2021-01-07 update: Well, this resolution was an abject failure, I don't think I even achieved 50% of the 1-per-day target :-(
- Based on [this tor.com blog post](https://www.tor.com/2020/04/03/sff-books-that-are-hard-to-track-down-in-north-america/), I dug out some code I wrote ages ago - but failed to ever commit to my repo on GitHub, ooops - and tidied it up to produce some barebones HTML reports that show all the SF&F titles published in the UK between 1970 and 2020 that seemingly never got released in the US. Let me know if there's any interest in tidying this up, fixing the (likely many) bugs, etc. Theoretically it should be able to work for Canadian, Australian, etc pubs, but that depends on the price having the correct prefix (C$, A$, etc), which I'm unsure about how well followed that might be.
EDIT: Here's an improved-but-still-not-production-quality revision at a slightly different URL: https://sf.ersatzculture.com/temp/index.html