I'm a long time reader of SF, and have an almost manic enthusiasm for lists, bibliographies, databases, etc.
In my collecting I've accumulated probably 75% of all SF magazines published between 1970 and 1995, at which point I threw my hands up in surrender. There are still a couple that I subscribe to. I have a lifetime subscription to Locus (one of the smartest things I ever did in the early 80s.) If anyone has need of specific info from any Locus issue of the past 25+ years, just ask. Their book listings are a treasure trove. Of course, now that most of the info is online, the printed magazine has become somewhat moot :( I also have the annual hardcover indexes that the magazine published between 1984 and 1991.
I also created and maintain Michael Bishop's official website, which includes my fastidiously precise and intensely detailed to the point of anal-compulsive bibliography of his work.
These reference books are in my collection. If there's anything that you'd want me to look for, just inquire.
- Donald B. Day. Index to the Science Fiction Magazine 1926-1950
- Erwin S. Strauss. The MIT Science Fiction Society's Index to the S-F Magazine, 1951-1965
- Marshall B. Tymn and Mike Ashley. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines
- New England Science Fiction Association. Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1966-1970
- Donald H. Tuck. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1968, Volume 1: Who's Who, A-L, Volume 2: Who's Who, M-Z , and Volume 3: Miscellaneous
- R. Reginald. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist, 1700-1974, with Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II
- Robert Reginald. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature 1975 - 1991: A Bibliography of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror FIction Books
- Jerry Boyajian & Kenneth R. Johnson. Index to the Science Fiction Magazines, 1977 - 1982 (individual annual volumes)
- Jerry Boyajian & Kenneth R. Johnson. Index to the Semi-Professional Fantasy Magazines, 1983
- William Contento. Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections (1978)
- William Contento. Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, 1977-1983 (1984)
- Mike Ashley and William Contento. The Supernatural Index
- Charles N. Brown and William Contento Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror: 1984 (Published in 1990)
- Charles N. Brown and William Contento Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror 1985 - 1992 (individual annual volumes)
- Daniel J H Levack. PKD: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography (Underwood-Miller, 1981)
- Richard Bilyeu. The Tanelorn Archives (A Michael Moorcock Bibliography) (Pandora's Books, 1981)
- Daniel J H Levack. Amber Dreams: A Roger Zelazny Bibliography (Underwood-Miller, 1983)
- Contento, William. Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections
Online version of the two publications listed above, includes anthologies and collections through 1983. Highly reliable.
- Brown, Charles N. and William Contento. The Locus Index to Science Fiction: 1984-1998
A continuation of Contento's work, but indexes all publications, including magazines. Again, a highly reliable source. There are annual appendices up through 2007, but they have not been integrated into the main database.
A "community of over 13,500 independent booksellers selling 100 million books from around the globe". Just be careful not to depend on only one or two listings in order to verify a publication.
- Fantastic Fiction
A British based database which ties ISBNs into searches at both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, as well as listings on Abebooks.com. It contains some good information but its graphical design leaves a lot to be desired.
A searchable database of "over 1 billion items in more than 10,000 libraries worldwide."
- Update the SFBC wiki page with new club selections, and link it to newly-created publication records. Complete as of 2013-03-16.
- Create pub records for new issues of Locus. Complete as of 2013-03-16.
- Create records for the fiction published on Tor.com: 1) as the content of a webzine publication, 2) as ebooks if downloadable, and 3) as ebooks if available for purchase ("A Tor.com Original" series.) Complete as of 2013-03-16.
- Create records for the webzine Subterranean Online. Complete as of 2013-03-16.
- Search note field for the use of the following: nonstandard forms of LCCN, Locus1 links, OCLC links, etc.
- Search binding field for improper usages.
- Search for improper entries of maps and unambiguated generic titles (introduction, preface, afterword).
- Check for license tags on all uploaded images. Complete through 2013-02-28.
- Verify, add or update listings from Tuck's Encyclopedia of SF&F [Completed A-Chri (99 of 474 pages or 20.89%)]
- Verify, add or update listings from Reginald's Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1700-1974) and Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature 1975 - 1991 (almost 38000 references). [Completed A-Blac (51 of 583 pages, or 8.75%) of Reginald1]
- Add cover images for Locus. [Completed #408 (January 1995) to present.]
- Reconcile Carl Bennett's Ballantine Books Checklist (1953-1976) with ISFDB records
- Create stub records for all issues of Playboy magazine which contain speculative fiction. [Complete through 1980]
- Add missing titles, and update records for Borgo Press (1976-1998) based on information from BP 300, in collaboration with Bill Longley. [Completed A1-A160 (1976 - June 1992)]
- Add all missing data for the Health Knowledge magazines, using Miller/Contento.
- Update and verify all issues of Science Fiction Age in my collection, and use Miller/Contento for the remaining issues. [In progress, complete through 1995]
- Tag title records for those listed in Neil Barron's Anatomy of Wonder's "Core Collection Checklist". [Completed "Science Fiction: From Its Beginnings to 1870" and "The Emergence of the Scientific Romance: 1871-1925"]
- Check all bio wiki pages to determine that there is a header template for each leading back to the author's database summary page. Current through "I".
- Enter contents for Cemetery Dance from issues in my collection and use Miller/Contento for the remaining issues.
- Enter contents and confirm other data for Unknown using Miller/Contento.
- Add cover images for SFBC editions. [Complete through February 1998]
- Enter all titles reprinted by Avon/Equinox in the trade paperback SF Rediscovery series (1974-1977). [Completed 31/May/2007]
- Enter all of the spec-fic titles published by Curtis Books (1969-1970) as listed by Dennis Lien in The Science Fiction Collector #14 (1981). [Completed 4/June/2007]
- Complete entries including contents of the magazine Science Fiction Eye (1987-1997). [#1-#10, #12 and #15 completed. Need #11, #13, and #14.]
- Enter all books published by Laser Books (1975-1977). [Completed 7/June/2007]
- Fix (or create) the EDITOR records for the following magazine years and merge them into their respective series:
- Verify and update all current listings or add new ones for Lancer Books spec-fic publications (1962-1973) (Source: "A Lancer Science Fiction Checklist" by William J. Denholm III in Megavore #10, 1980.) [Completed 10/October/2007]
- Add the eleven issues (and all contents) of Night Cry (off-shoot from The Twilight Zone Magazine) [1984-1987] [Completed 21/October/2007]
- Enter all spec-fic titles published by Gregg Press (1975-1985). [Completed 6/November/2007]
- Add titles reprinted by Garland in the Garland Library of Science Fiction [Completed 18/May/2008]
- Create magazine pages for the following periodicals published by Health Knowledge:
- Famous Science Fiction (9 issues, 1966-1969) [Completed by Swfritter]
- Startling Mystery Stories (18 issues, 1966-1971) [Done 27/June/2008]
- Weird Terror Tales (3 issues, 1969-1970) [Done 27/June/2008]
- Enter all titles in the Classics of Science Fiction reprint series published by Hyperion Press (1974-1976). [Completed 29/June/2008]
- Add titles reprinted by Newcastle Publishing in their Forgotten Fantasy series [Most completed by an unknown editor 9/September/2008]
- Create/update publications of specialty publisher Dark Harvest (1983-1993) [Completed 31/October/2008]
- Create a Wiki page for magazine Last Wave (5 issues, 1983-1986) [Completed 31/October/2008]
- Add missing data for those issues of Vertex in my collection, April 1974 - August 1975. Also update the wiki page. [Completed 1/November/2008]
- Create magazine pages for the following reprint periodicals published by Ultimate Publishing (1966-1975) (or maybe create one page for all of them): [Done 1/November/2008]
- Astounding Stories Yearbook (2 issues, 1970)
- Fantastic Adventures Yearbook (1 issue, 1970)
- Science Fantasy Yearbook (4 issues, 1970-1971)
- Science Fiction Adventures Yearbook (1 issue, 1970)
- Science Fiction Classics Annual (1 issue, 1970)
- The Strangest Stories Ever Told (1 issue, 1970)
- Weird Mystery (4 issues, 1970-1971)
- Space Adventures (6 issues, 1970-1971)
- Strange Fantasy (6 issues, 1969-1970)
- Verify, add or update all editions from The Easton Press' Masterpieces of Science Fiction reprint series. [Done 20/December/2008]
- Index issues of the 1980s mag Fantasy Book [Done 31/December/2008]
- Create a page to list publications in the SFBC 50th Anniversary Collection [Done 31/December/2008]
- Add spec-fic publications of British publisher Robert Hale from info on OCLC [Completed 1-387] [Done 8/January/2009]
- Create a temporary page that links the current Publication Series lists on the ISFDB wiki, and add others as they arise. [Complete 18/January/2009]
- Create a publisher series page for Avon SF Rediscovery. [Done 24/January/2009]
- Add spec-fic publications of British publisher Dennis Dobson from info on OCLC [Completed 1-156] [Done 21/March/2009]
- Add records and contents for all issues of Science Fiction Review (Richard E. Geis fanzine) in my collection: #8-10 (The Alien Critic), #12, #14-56, and #58-61 (last issue). [Completed 3/May/2009]
- Check all pubs showing SFBC as the publisher and change if necessary to designate the original publisher or to "Science Fiction Book Club" if an original publication. [Completed 7/May/2009] (This will have to be checked periodically to make sure that no one has used "SFBC" as a publisher.)
- Create/update publications of The Science Fiction Book Club UK (1953-1974) and Readers Union (1974-1982). [Completed 8/May/2009]
- Update authors data using Reginald's Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II [Completed 8/May/2009]
- Create/update publications of specialty publisher Golden Gryphon Press [All titles up through Fall 2009] [Completed 17/June/2009]
- Create a wiki page for the Planet Stories series published by Paizo. [Completed 21/December/2009]
- Create wiki page for the Science Fiction Book Club, with the following tasks:
- Listings for club selections by year and month [Completed 4/October/2009]
- Links to existing pub records or create new ones when necessary [Completed: 28/December/2009]
- Gutter codes and book IDs when available
- Create a Wiki page for Weirdbook, create stub records for all issues. [Wiki page and stub records created on 2/January/2010]
- Update authors data using Ashley's Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction [Completed 24/January/2010]
- Enter records for the 62 volumes in the Arno Press "Science Fiction" series of reprints edited by Reginald and Menville (1975). [Completed 24/January/2010]
- Enter records for the 69 volumes in the Arno Press "Lost Race and Adult Fantasy" series of reprints edited by Reginald and Menville (1978). [Completed 25/January/2010]
- Check database records for PS Publishing against listings on their website and reconcile or create new pubs [Complete through 2009. Completed 25/January/2010]
- Create/update publications of specialty publisher Donald M. Grant [Completed 25/January/2010]
- Added content and verified all issues of Extrapolation in my collection. Other missing content for other issues available at this website.
- Added missing editor records, cover images and content page numbers for Tomorrow Speculative Fiction.
- Added missing editor records for The New York Review of Science Fiction, and verified all issues in my collection.
- Created records and added contents for all issues of Fantasy Review currently in my collection (#63, 65-103).
- Created and/or verified records for the 63 volumes in the Arno Press "Supernatural and Occult" series of reprints edited by Reginald and Menville (1976). [Completed 4/January/2011]
- Added missing content and verified all issues of Aboriginal Science Fiction magazine, using Miller/Contento for issues not in my collection. [Complete 8/January/2011]
- Used the Locus Books Received listings to add new pub records and updated existing ones. Referenced #1 - #275 (December 1983), missing issues #208-211 and #214. (Listings from 1984 forward are on the Locus website.) [Completed 13/January/2011]
- Added missing content and verify all issues of Interzone in my collection. [Ceded to other editors, will do a second verification if necessary]
- Added missing content, updated and verified all issues of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. [Completed 21/April/2011]
- Index pertinent contents from all issues of Locus (1968 - November 2011). Missing six issues: 208-211, 214 and 485. [Completed 2011-11-22]
- Add cover scans and extended notes to all of The Masterpieces of Science Fiction in my collection. [Completed 2012-02-03]
- Add all pieces published by Sci Fiction (webzine 2000-2005). [Completed 2012-07-24]
- Check all author wiki pages to determine that there is a header template for each leading back to the author's database summary page. [Completed 2013-01-21].
- Find titles in a romance/sf publication series called Dreamspun from Topaz Books. [Completed March 2013]
Pages to Monitor
- The ISFDB page for Michael Bishop:
- Verify all current information
- Add magazine, anthology and fanzine appearances, both fiction and nonfiction
- The ISFDB page for Steven Millhauser:
- Verify all current information
- Add all missing publications of books, stories and essays
Useful Templates and Other Tools
- Link to my verified pubs that don't have a cover image. (Thanks to JLaTondre.)
- Creating a wiki page for a new magazine title template here
- Word count calculator here
- Link to Sourceforge for a Feature Request here.
- Linking to a record on the British Library (BLIC):
- Searching copyright records: https://encrypted.google.com/googlebooks/copyrightsearch.html (pre-1978)
- http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First (1979 and later)
- Creating a feature request: go to this page, click on "Create Ticket" on the left hand side, enter the FR title in the "Title" field at the top of the page, then a description in the big box at the bottom of the page and click "Save".
Responding to wiki postings
To respond to this message, click on the "" link to the right. Enter your response in the dialogue box which opens. Start your message with a colon (:) which separates and indents it from the previous message making it easier to follow the discussion. In successive messages, add another colon to the number in the previous message. End your entry with four tildes (~~~~), which will automatically "sign" and date your message. Then click the "Save page" button. When someone has left a message on your talk page, you will be notified by a highlighted "My Messages" link when you log into the ISFDB. I have placed a "Watch" on your talk page so that I will be notified when you respond. Keep all discussions on the same page on which it began. Do not respond on the other person's talk page.
All submissions to update records must be sourced. You should provide us with the source for the data you're adding or correcting. If you are working from a copy of the book, you should notify us of that fact in the "Note to Moderator" field. If you are not working from a book-in-hand, you should give the secondary source for your data in the "Note" field of the submission. Your contributions to the database are appreciated, but in order to maintain the integrity of the database, it is important that users believe that every effort has been made to ensure the data is as accurate as it can possibly be. I very much appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Removing the frame around Amazon images template
I approved the submission adding [ this record], but you'll notice a white frame to the left and right of the image. This is easily removed: Copy the original URL (enter the original image URL here) and remove all characters between the last dot (.) and the previous one, leaving one dot before the file extension. In this case you'd enter the URL as (enter the fixed URL here). Look at the difference between the two images: [(enter the original image URL here) here] and [(enter the fixed URL here) here]. Pretty neat trick, don't you think. This is pointed out on the help page for image-linking permissions under Amazon's listing. Thanks.
Linking uploaded images to the database record
Thanks for uploading cover images to the ISFDB server. The next step is to link those image files to the records of the books for which these are the covers. As the instructions (step 6) explain:
- Once the file has been uploaded, the image's wiki page will appear. In order to get the URL (address) for the image you just uploaded, left click anywhere on the image and copy the URL from your browser's address window. (Or right click on the image and choose "Copy Image Location".) If you're adding a cover image to a pub record, this is the URL which you would enter into the pub record's "Image URL" field.
So once you have the image's URL, go back to the pub record (it's linked on the image file's wiki page) and then click the "Edit This Pub" link under the Editing Tools menu. This opens up an edit page. Under the Publication Metadata section, there's a field labeled "Image URL:" Enter the URL of the image you uploaded into this field, and then click on the "Submit Data" button at the bottom of the page. Once the submission has been moderated the cover image will be linked to the publication record. Thanks for contributing.
Asking questions in the Note to Moderator field
It's better to ask questions on one of the various community pages, not in the "Note to Moderator" field of a submission. That field's purpose is to provide further information that helps the moderator determine whether to accept the submission. Specific questions about how to edit the database can be asked at Help Desk page, general comments can be made on the Community Portal, or to discuss ISFDB policy and rules go to the Rules and Standards page. You'll get a faster and more thorough response as more editors will see it there than the one moderator who handles your submission. You can even leave a question on the Moderator Noticeboard if you want to get the attention of all moderators who are currently online. Most of us monitor all of these pages so we know when a message has been left on any of them.
Which function to use to add books to the database
A good rule of thumb: don't use any of the "Add New..." functions before you do a search for the title. Here's the path I recommend:
- Is there a title record for the exact title and is it by the same author?
- Yes: Is there a similar pub?
- Yes: Use the "Clone" function.
- No: Use the "Add Publication to This Title" function.
- No: Use the appropriate "Add New..." function.
- Yes: Is there a similar pub?
- We fully understand that it is going to take some time to get used to how things are done here, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the fresh ideas that newcomers bring to the table. When you're adding books from your collection to the database, here are the steps to determine whether you should create a new record or update one that's already in the database.
- Click on the Advanced Search link on the main page, and in the first section ("ISFDB Title Search Form"), search for both title (Term 1) and author (Term 2). Enter them exactly as they are stated on the book's title page, not its cover.
- If the search results in no matching title record, go back to the main page, and click on "Add New Novel" (or "...Collection", or whatever type of book you're entering), and create a new pub record along with a new title record.
- If the search returns a matching title record, go there and look down the list of pubs associated with that title. Check to see if there is one that matches the publisher, ISBN, and price of your copy. (Publishers' name can vary, from pub to pub and even within the same pub, so don't let a variation in the publisher name be the determining factor here.)
- If you find that none of the pub records match your copy in these three criteria, click on "Add Publication to This Title" and create a new pub record.
- If you find a record that matches those three criteria, it's a good chance this is your book...but not always. Click on the pub record and see if the date field and any printing/edition data in the note field matches your copy.
- If the publication date and printing data matches your copy, look over every field of the record and see if there are any discrepancies between your copy and the record.
- If there are differences and the record has not been verified, click on "Edit This Pub" and make the necessary changes.
- If there are differences and the record has been primary verified, click on the verifier's name, which takes you to their user page. Click on the tab "Discussion" to go to their talk page and then leave a message explaining the differences and ask them to recheck their copy. If they're active, they should respond within a couple of days. If they're not active, leave a message on the Moderator's Noticeboard.
- If there are no differences, click on "Verify This Pub" and on the next screen click on the middle bullet of the first open Primary slot.
- Going back to Step 5, if the publication date and printing data do not match your copy, click on "Clone This Pub" and on the next page make all the necessary changes to make the record match your copy.
- I hope this helps. If you need further assistance about whether to edit an existing record or to add a new record, leave a message at the Help Desk.
When entering contents with generic titles (e.g. "Editorial", "Introduction", "Afterword", "Book Reviews", etc.), it is ISFDB standard to parenthetically add the title of the book or magazine in which it appears, e.g. "Introduction" becomes "Introduction (Title of Book)". This creates a unique record and helps keep similarly titled works from being accidentally merged.
Image File Limits
It is ISFDB policy that you upload image files that are not larger than 150K in size and no longer than 600 pixels at the longest side. I'm not sure how the standards were arrived at, but I assume it protects us against litigation if the images we upload could be of such a resolution that they could be used to create pirate copies. You should get a warning if you attempt to upload anything that's greater than the standards, although nothing actually prevents you from doing so. An exception is made in some circumstances, such as images of wraparound cover art. Most scanners (or graphics software) will allow you to set the files to these limits without much trouble.
Email message to new editors
Welcome to the ISFDB and thanks for contributing.
Messages concerning your first set of submissions have been left on your user talk page which need a response. Here is a link to your talk page:
In order to respond to the messages (or to post a message on any ISFDB wiki page), you'll have to be logged-in to the wiki, using the same user name and password which you registered to edit the database.
To respond to a wiki posting, click on the "" link to the right of it. Enter your response in the dialogue box which opens. Start your message with a colon (:) which separates and indents it from the previous message making it easier to follow the discussion. In successive messages, add another colon to the number in the previous message. End your entry with four tildes (~~~~), which will automatically "sign" and date your message. Then click the "Save page" button. When someone has left a message on your talk page, you will be notified by a highlighted "My Messages" link when you log into the ISFDB. A "Watch" has been placed on your talk page so that moderators will be notified when you respond. Keep all discussions on the same page on which it began. Do not respond on the other person's talk page.
If you need further information, DO NOT REPLY to this email, but leave a message on the ISFDB Help Desk at this link: http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/index.php/ISFDB:Help_desk
Thanks again, MHHutchins
Changing a Primary Verified publication record
If you're adding data (other than notes or cover image links), or removing or changing data to a publication record which has been primary verified, you should first discuss it with the editor who verified it. This is standard etiquette for ISFDB editors.
Here are the steps:
- Click on the verifier’s name under the Status column which leads to the editor’s user page.
- Click on the "Discussion" tab which leads to the editor’s talk page.
- Click the "+" sign which opens a new message box. Explain the differences between your copy and the ISFDB record, and ask the editor to re-check their copy. (Giving a link to the publication record helps greatly.) If the editor is active, he/she should respond within a couple of days. If not, leave a message on the Moderator’s Noticeboard.
- If after the discussion, it’s been determined that an edit to the record is necessary, either you or the verifying editor can submit an edit.
- Enter an opening square bracket "[".
- Paste the URL of the wiki page or database record you want to link to.
- After a single space, enter a description of the link.
- End the link with a closing bracket "]".
This is how it's done on all wikis, including the most famous one: Wikipedia. But you can not use wiki markup to link from a database record to another address whether it's in the database or out. That must be done using HTML. If you need further assistance on how to link in the wiki, just ask.
- Right click on the image and a menu should pop up. Depending on the browser you use, there will be an option to copy the image's URL (address). Choose that option.
- In an update to a publication record, go down to the "Image URL:" field, and place your cursor in the blank field. Right click and choose to paste, again the wording may be different based on your browser. You can also use the keyboard and tap the CTRL and V keys at the same time. This will copy the URL of the image in the field.
- Remove all characters between the two dots of the URL. For example if the URL is
- you should remove all the characters between the dots, (leaving one of the dots) and it will look like this:
This should present a clean copy of the image, without the "Look Inside" banner and much larger than the image seen in the Amazon listing. This is what the image looks like with all of the characters. This is what it looks like after removing the characters.
Message to new editors
Thank you for choosing to contribute to the ISFDB as an editor. Adding and updating publication records in the ISFDB is not a simple process. We don't expect all editors to get it right the first time, and we know it may take some time to learn the ins and outs, and all of the tricks. Please be patient with us as we guide you through this process. We will try our best to also be patient, but being human, it may appear that a moderator can be nitpicking, or even overbearing at times. Please be assured that it isn't personal, and we're only trying our best to achieve the quality of data that our users have come to expect. Together we can build a better database. The best piece of advice I can offer is to take some time to read this help page. It has instructions on how to enter each field of a publication record. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to inquire at the help desk. Again, thank you for becoming a vital part of the ISFDB.