User talk:ApeMind

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This editor is no longer actively participating and is unlikely to respond to messages left here.

If this user is the sole verifier of a publication record, please:

  • post only notices on the user's talk page concerning the addition of images and notes
  • post inquiries regarding any other changes to the verified record at the Moderator noticeboard

Otherwise, please post notices and inquiries only on the talk pages of the other primary verifiers.


Hello, ApeMind, and welcome to the ISFDB Wiki! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

Please be careful in editing publications that have been primary verified by other editors. See Help:How to verify data#Making changes to verified pubs. But if you have a copy of an unverified publication, verifying it can be quite helpful. See Help:How to verify data for detailed information.

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will insert your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! -DES Talk 21:32, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

13 Great Stories of Science Fiction

Thank you for adding page numbers to 13 Great Stories of Science Fiction. I have approved the edit.

If the publication record is now correct and complete, and you have the actual book at hand, you might want to verify the record.

Again, welcome to the ISFDB. -DES Talk 21:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for adding the introduction to 13 Great Stories of Science Fiction. However, we have a convention that you would not have known of. When a title, usually an essay, has a "generic" name such as "Introduction", "Preface", "Afterword", "Author's note", "Editorial", or the like, we qualify it by putting the title of the book or other publication in which it appears in (parentheses). In this case, I have approved your edit, but changed "Introduction" to "Introduction (13 Great Stories of Science Fiction)".
This is because we don't want many entries on an author's page all with titles like "Introduction", with no easy way to tell them apart or know which introduction is associates with which book. Consider what the essay section of Issac Asimov would look like otherwise.
You can see more about our data entry conventions at Help:Screen:EditPub. But don't worry about them too much at this stage. If you get the data in, a moderator will check formatting conventions and either make the changes or guide you in doing so.
Again, welcome. -DES Talk 21:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks DES! (I wondered for a second where that suffix to the Introduction came from! :-) I'll be sure to add it myself in future.) And I've now verified the publication too. Am now trying to figure out how to upload a cover image.. ApeMind 21:56, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
See Help:How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki. Also useful, Help:Wiki Conventions, although you are following them pretty well so far.
I hope this is just the first of many publications you will enter and verify. Once more, welcome. The links in the "welcome" section above may be useful. -DES Talk 22:38, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Impulse, June 1966

I've rejected your submission to add a record for the June 1966 issue of SF Impulse, as it's already in the database as Impulse, June 1966. Please check this record to see if it matches your copy and make a submission if any changes are necessary. Thanks. MHHutchins 22:39, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that is the same pub - what confused me was that the magazine changed its name from Impulse to SF Impulse between the July and August issues... so the copy I've got wasn't in the series I expected it to be in. Thanks for the due dilligence though! (This is more complex than I thought - I'm learning a lot though.) ApeMind 22:49, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I figured the confusion came from the name change. Magazines records are not currently easy to search for using database search (which is based on editor records, not issue records.) But there is an alternative. The best place to look for magazine issues is the list of links here. Most magazine Wiki pages have a list of issues which link to that issue's database record. And if a magazine changes names, it should be made clear on its Wiki page. Unfortunately, the current page for Impulse isn't as clear as it should be about the name change. When I get a chance I'll try to work on it. In the meantime you can still use the list of issues to get to the database record.
And yes, it can be quite complex. But you should be able to get the hang of it before long. Thanks for contributing. MHHutchins 23:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes, you found a particularly nasty mess there - look at Kyril Bonfiglioli's page. Science Fantasy, Impulse, SF Impulse, then SF Reprise - all sorted in the wrong order, some are magazines but others are magazines rebound into books, editor is miscredited in some otherwise impeccable references... we'll get there, but it's not a starting point I'd recommend! BLongley 20:12, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

A few questions

I'd like to get an impression of how the ISFDB looks to people new to editing it. To that end, here are a few questions. Feel free not to answer if you don't feel like it.

  1. How did you find the ISFDB?
    I'm into science fiction short stories and like to rummage in second hand book shops for old paperback collections. Trouble is, I've read so many I often can't remember whether I've already read one or not from the title, so I was looking for a science fiction short story database that I could use as an aide-memoir. Of course ISFDB doesn't do enough with its synopsis field to help me remember what I've read, but it was by far the most comprehensive db on science fiction I found and I got excited about the depth of the data in it and by the possibility that I could use it to keep information about my short stories. (Actually I was really geekily excited by it :-) In my day job I'm Business Innovation Director for a technology company that specialises in designing and building large web apps -, so it piqued my professional interest as well).
  2. What made you want to start entering data?
    Well partly I wanted to see how it all works, partly I wanted to see if I had anything that no one else has logged yet and partly I wanted to see if I could use the tagging and synopsis features to get it to do some things that I'd like.
  3. How did you find the ISFDB wiki? (In the past, some editors have had trouble finding it.)
    Actually, I don't remember - I think the system left me there when I registered. I do find switching between the two sites a bit confusing though - I expect the links to be in the main nav (i.e. a link to the db front end in the wiki nav and vice versa).
  4. What is your impression of the ISFDB as a whole? What confused you, and what was helpful? What can we improve?
    Well, there were some minor things that confused me when I started adding data such as working out what the differences are between a short story, novelette and a novella, and how to count the number of pages in a paperback that has advertisements in the back (the help seems a bit ambiguous on this one); but then there were a whole heap of impressions about what the ISFDB could be and how it could be improved and developed. I spend a large part of my job working with clients to develop their web strategies and to be honest my impression of the site is that its a complete diamond in the rough - it has some fantastic assets, especially the wealth of data, the processes defined to properly collect and approve it and the evident community of data suppliers and fantastically helpful and responsive moderators (that really impressed me, btw), but there are also some gaps I think. I hope you don't take this as any sort of criticism, because the site is clearly a success, but were the site in my portfolio to develop, off the top of my head (and given that I have 50-odd designers and developers to do the work :-) I would do the following:
    • Strategically: Make the site as friendly to people who like reading speculative fiction as those who like collecting and cataloguing speculative fiction publications.
    • Redesign the visual look and branding.
    • Overhaul the search and make it central to the user experience.
    • Improve the user experience for data entry, such as providing in line help.
    • Look to add value to key object pages, such as author, publication, publisher and story by making them aggregation points for conversation and debate.
    • Add value to the tagging system - especially look to implement a standard taxonomy to enable use cases such as 'I want to see all stories that involve time travel'.
    • Add synopses (preferably both from some authoritative source and user generated) including a spoiler toggle.
    • Look to add user reviews with ratings and comments.
    • Define a linking strategy, e.g. with wikipedia and other resources (inbound and outbound).
    • Define a search engine optimisation strategy.
    • Define a commerical strategy either advertising based or based on affiliate linking or donations or some other model or any combination, and reinvest the revenues.
    • Look for ways to punch the data out to other networks, for instance a facebook app for user reviews and recommendations.
    • Look for other data points to make the experience richer such as trivia, biographical information, character names, locations, etc.
    • Longer term look at the feasibility of providing (or hosting) short story downloads to mobile.
Obviously that's a heck of programme of work, but it's just my thoughts of the direction I would head in if I had the time and resources to do it. Anyway, hope I haven't offended you and I'm more than happy to talk about any of those points or anything else for that matter while I work through my paperback collection to see what more data I can add :-)
Warm regards, Chris D. ApeMind 23:18, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
No, none of that is in the least offensive -- it is quite helpful.
  • Some of those we may not do at all -- I am dubious about "trivia" myself, and we are firmly committed to being a non-profit, non-commercial organization -- I suspect many of our contributors would leave in a heartbeat if we "defined a commercial strategy" -- I know I would.
  • Many of your suggestions sound like good ideas. We are limited by the fact that most of the application was created by a single, volunteer programmer. We now have several volunteer programmers, but probably they don't add up to one full-time-equivalent.
  • Some of those we are actually already doing -- we have thousands of inbound links from Wikipedia, which has three special templates to create such links. We have a field for outbound links for every entity that has a Wikipedia article (authors, titles, publishers, and series). We also link to library (worldcat) records for every publichstion with a valid ISBN, and to several book vendors. We have discussed linking to LibraryThing, but they would charge our users for any significant use, and would require significant development effort to link with.
  • Currently the tagging and rating/voting are very rudimentary -- we clearly need to improve these, although they are not central to our goals.
  • We fully support synopses entered by a user, the problem is getting users to write and enter them. Synopses from other sources have copyright issues, particularly since all our content is released under a creative commons license.
but none of your ideas are at all out of line, and what we have done in the past may not be what we do in the future. Any editor is free to propose ideas -- the Community Portal is the main place for most such ideas to be proposed. Feel free to make suggestions. And thanks a load for your answers so far. -DES Talk 00:17, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh and you might take a look at Development and at the feature list linked there to see what changes are currently planned, and how more can be suggested. -DES Talk 00:21, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback ApeMind. You have some good points. One comment is that Wikipedia editors have been supportive of linking to ISFDB because the license terms are similar. ISFDB is not a commercial enterprise and its data is freely available under Creative Commons. See isfdb name for one of the link templates. I have thought about cross links with other sites. Part of the problem is that ISFDB's focus is speculative fiction meaning a site is not likely to spend a great deal of effort pulling data from, or linking to, ISFDB unless they too have a speculative fiction emphasis. --Marc Kupper|talk 09:48, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but perhaps we might do more with SfSite and and similar genre-specific sites, at least. -DES Talk 15:25, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Our data is partially incorporated by and probably by other sites which haven't notified us yet. At one point offered to send us Author level data for "our" authors, but nothing has come out of it so far. In addition, there have been a few "clone" sites which replicate our data, e.g. (they seem to be off-line at the moment), which even says that some of their data "may have been adapted from the [author's] bibliography at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database."
There is nothing terribly wrong with that except that Google ranks higher than us, so people searching for, say, "Nancy Carrigan bibliography" will find their (often obsolete) version of the data instead of ours. That's a bad thing since we probably lose potential contributors that way. Ahasuerus 20:23, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Looking at other sites that refer to us can lead to a lack of editing too! E.g. here we're accused of not having an Ace SF Double that we obviously do now. I suppose somebody might take on the task of contacting sites that do refer to us, but that's low on the never-ending project list for me. I've been tempted to contact authors whose web-site I've raided for Bibliographies, but I think I'd prefer that to come from a generic ISFDB contact rather than a personal one, I'm not always in the mood for nurse-maiding a new editor. BLongley 20:54, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
As for Google, that seems to offer me the option of promoting or demoting a site or adding comments - not yet tried it, but when we have improved since the data was taken, I'd have no qualms over pushing us up the rankings and down. BLongley 20:54, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You should rank higher if you're a more trusted resource and have more sites linking to you. The other thing that makes a big difference is using good markup and SEO friendly page structures. However, one thing that might be counting against the site is the repetition of key phrases on publication pages - google might be interpreting that as search engine spam... If you'd like I'll ask one of our SEO guys to give the site a quick once over in his spare time to see what could be improved. ApeMind 21:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I for one would be interested, but be aware that there may well be other reasons not to make changes, and even if we do wish to make changes, changes that require coding run into our very limited development resources. So you and your guy shouldn't be offended if suggestions aren't acted on right away. If he does look the site over, any suggestions should probably be posted on the Community Portal. -DES Talk 21:51, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Sure no problem - I have no expectations! Don't be offended if I can't get anyone to give up their lunchbreak for me ;-) ApeMind 21:57, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I am hoping that we can do better on some things, but it is often too easy to become used to things and not realize how they look to someone new to the site. -DES Talk 23:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Image names

I just approved the edit adding Image:0-586-05781-1.jpg to WSTFDNCXQC1985. One thing to note: publishers often reuse the same ISBN for multiple printings, including printings with different covers. So a bare ISBN is not always a safe name for an image, since there may be multiple publication records and images that share the ISBN. Many editors use the publication tag ("WSTFDNCXQC1985" in this case) as the software forces this to be unique. Others use Title-Artist on the assumption that a given artist will not do two different titles for the same book. In any case, thank you for uploading the cover art and linking it to the pub record. There is no problem in this particular case, this is just advice for the future. -DES Talk 00:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Clarke's Rendezvous With Rama

I accepted your submission updating this pub but copied it first. The record originally stated "First Pan printing" and it's possible (and likely) that Pan's first printing had the same ISBN and year as the second (this was a popular title!) In cases where there's a printing statement that doesn't match your copy, it's best to clone that record and change the non-matching data or create a new record instead of overwriting the original one. Unlike American pbs at the time (which changed catalog numbers or ISBNs with almost every printing), the ISBNs of UK pbs were often re-used for reprints. Thanks. MHHutchins 19:43, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, my 5th Pan printing states that that edition was first published in 1974, as apparently does Phileas's 10th printing - mine doesn't mention the dates of the 2nd to 4th, but some publishers will list all prior printings in excruciating detail. ;-) Unfortunately those can't all be trusted, so I personally don't usually create stub entries for the missing printings unless I've really learned the publisher's habits. Maybe the first, those tend to be accurate. But in this case, the 6th Orbit printing mentions that this title was first published in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz in 1975, whereas the Pan book says it was first published by Victor Gollancz in 1973. A surprising discrepancy, considering that both publishers seem to have formatted every page of content identically. But it does demonstrate how a British publisher will retain the same ISBN for years, whereas a new publisher (not new imprint though) will assign a new one even when the typesetting is the same. (Apologies if you knew this already or it's too much detail!) BLongley 20:01, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. My mistake! ApeMind 21:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

The Dragon Masters

Thanks for your new addition, it helps. You've run across one of the longer running disputes on ISFDB though - "When is a Novel not a Novel?" One camp insisted on using the number-of-words definition used by the major awards like the Hugo and Nebula, so some Novels got downgraded to "Novella", which tended to take standalone book-publications with them, which is probably why you added this as a new title - we didn't have a NOVEL of that name. The other camp tended to take books at face value and call it a Novel if the publishers did - whether it was eligible for a Hugo or a Nebula or anything else didn't really matter. (Although one of the Awards at least allows a Novella published stand-alone to be entered for the Novel category, I forget which.) BLongley 20:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Anyway, we have a compromise underway here which means we can use the correct word-count category for contents, but still make it appear as a separate "Book" - "CHAPTERBOOK". I know, we're all a bit unhappy with the implementation (especially the name) but it has saved us from killing each other so far. So your new pub is here, along with this, which I think is the first "Grafton" edition your pub references. (Grafton rarely acknowledged other prior imprints like "Mayflower" or "Panther" properly, but they're gone now and the headaches will subside eventually.) BLongley 20:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Please DO keep editing, and if you have a better plan for oddities like this please do speak up. I'd quite like exceptions to the word-count rule for juvenile novels, and anything published before the awards were instated, but that's just my bias. Feel free to add your own views. BLongley 20:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Ooh, right, CHAPTERBOOK does seem like a pretty nasty work-around, but it's clearly an intractable problem. The worst thing about it in my view is that it now doesn't appear in the search results when searching on "The Dragon Masters" as a title (which is a pretty fatal usability problem), and even if it did no-one but cognoscenti would recognise it under the category CHAPTERBOOK anyway (an almost equally terminal usability problem). I have absolutely no desire to wade into what is clearly an ongoing debate amongst people who have been engaged for far far longer than the scant week I've been here, but it does beg the (probably rhetorical) question: how on earth did the Huga qualify it as a short story in the first place?! :-) ApeMind 21:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Which search are you using that doesn't find it? It appears in the simple search (among 35 entries - I want to remove Cover and Interior art at least from such results, and maybe reviews and essays, but that's another topic). BLongley 21:18, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
As to why the Hugo award called it a "short story", I'm not sure they did - "Short Fiction" covers a multitude of sins, currently divided by Novella, Novelette and Short Story here. We get calls for "Vignette" and "Flash Fiction" occasionally too, but you may have noticed I'm not one of the Lengthists. ;-) BLongley 21:26, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
There's something weird going on with the simple search. Searching on "Dragon Masters" gives the 35 entries you mention, but searching on "The Dragon Masters" (as I did) only returns 18 entries none of which are novel or chapterbook...
I get 35 for each. Are you sure you're using the simple search? And not allowing an extra space on one or other end? The simple search is actually a bit fussier about spaces. BLongley 22:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Yup, you're right, it's an extraneous space. Add a space to either and you get the 18 entries (the ones that do have a space afterwards). ApeMind 22:38, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Re the Hugo - just realised that Wikipedia has it under short stories, but in 1963 the award was actually for "short fiction" in general with no separate prizes for novellas and novelettes. Explains that :-)
Another reason why I'm reluctant to pigeon-hole every title. I'm not against recording such (it might show signs of a significant revision), but if adding or deleting one or two words can shift it from one category to another then I think the categories are too narrow. I'd leave things be unless they're award-nominated/winning, and even then I'm pretty sure we have examples of the same work being nominated or winning in different categories by different award committees. BLongley 22:29, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Fair Use Image Template

I've noticed that you're adding the standard template for images and thought you'd be interesting in learning a shortcut. In place of {{Cover Image Data2 |Id=CRWNFSTRSQ1990 |Title=Crown of Stars }} (64 characters), you could put {{C|CRWNFSTRSQ1990|Crown of Stars}} (35 characters). If the artist is credited for the cover you can use {{C3|tag|artist|title}}. MHHutchins 23:50, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Analog Two

Hi. I have already added catalog number and some notes to this pub that you verified. In addition I would like to get your OK for the following proposed change. I have noticed that the current pub record lists the author of the short story "Junior Achievement" as "William M. Lee". However, in my copy of the book the author is given as "William Lee" (missing middle name initial). Could you please verify if this is also the case in your copy? If our books match, I would then go on and change the pub record so that it lists the author by his name William Lee. In this pub, for instance, the alternative name is already present.

This is (probably) not the most important thing in the world :-) but ISFDB tries to record information as it appears in publications, even though a story title or author name may differ from the canonical title or name. Luckily the database knows how to preserve the link to the canonical title or name, by way of variant titles and alternative names. Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 09:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Crown of Stars

I added some notes to your verified Crown of Stars. Thanks, --Willem H. 11:53, 10 July 2010 (UTC)


I think I have the same edition of this as you and swfritter, but the story "Impostor" is "Imposter" on the start page (although not in ToC and on copyright page). Can you double-check please? BLongley 00:53, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Beasts (John Crowley)

Hi, I added the OCLC number, plus some stuff from the copyright page for this publication.--Dirk P Broer 00:33, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The Best of Arthur C. Clarke

The Best of Arthur C. Clarke 1937-1935 has cover art by Jim Burns. You verified this pub / I'm only adding cover artist credit. Ofearna 07:29, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

The Old Masters

I'd like to change the cover artist for this publication from Van Parker to Jan Parker. His signature is only half visible at the bottom, but that's just enough. Horzel 07:36, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

I added the Canadian price to your verified

I added the Canadian price to your verified [1].Don Erikson 20:35, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

I added the Canadian price to your verified

I added the Canadian price to your verified [2].Don Erikson 21:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Analog Two

Hi. My own copy of your verified is priced 5/-, not 3/6. It does seem to be the 1967 edition, though. Would the second price be a slip of the keyboard ? Thanks. Linguist 10:29, 30 March 2014 (UTC).

You are correct as far as my copy goes - I failed to spot that when verifying to my shame. Mine is clearly stated as "Panther edition published 1967" but could we have an unstated later printing than ApeMind? Prof beard 09:29, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
I think I read somewhere on this site (where ?) that Panther books usually state reprints. IMHO, I think the 1967 Analog Two record started as a clone of Analog One, but the price wasn't corrected. Couldn't the difference in length (218 p. against 169) account for the difference in price ? Linguist 13:13, 31 March 2014 (UTC).
I have also PV'ed the book, but I cannot verify any prices because on my book they have been obscured (probably by the second-hand dealer I bought the book from) and are illegible. When I did my verification, I probably assumed that the price information on the pub record came from ApeMind, the editor who did the first primary verification. Anyway, I agree with Linguist that Panther books usually state reprints (from personal experience, but I don't recall any official source for the information). For instance, this pub record is an extreme example with a large printing history, but also the second printing of "Analog One" can be clearly distinguished from the first printing by the reprint statement. To sum this up: I believe we all have the same book, and if you see 5/- as the price, that's the correct information that should be in the pub record. Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 09:37, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

New Writings in SF 30

Cover artist is incorrect. It is illustrated and credited to Angus McKie in this book. I have amended the record accordingly. --Mavmaramis 10:15, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

West of Eden - duplicate edition?

Hi, I've additionally verified and edited West of Eden, #180877, and noticed that the edition you PV1'd, here, #186645, appeared to be identical apart from the respective 'Publisher' field entries. Do you want to have a look at them before I suggest a 'delete pub' to the moderators? Thanks, Astrodan 11:46, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

I've changed it to the 2nd 1985 printing. Hauck 12:08, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted

I've added in the cover artist Jim Burns for The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted as it was referenced in the 1989 publication of the book (this has a reference to the 1987 hardback). --AndyjMo 20:57, 20 July 2016 (UTC)