User talk:Astromath

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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:

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Hello, Astromath, 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:

Note: Image uploading isn't entirely automated. You're uploading the files to the wiki which will then have to be linked to the database by editing the publication record.

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! --MartyD 00:39, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

proposed edit to 2001: A Space Odyssey

Hi, and welcome. I have a question about your proposed edit to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 23rd printing of the Signet / New American Library edition. Did you really mean to edit that edition, or were you trying to enter another edition by cloning this one? If you tell me a little more about what you're trying to do and what your source of information is, I'll be very happy to help. Thanks! --MartyD 00:53, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

p.s. You can reply to this by clicking on the "edit" at the top right of this section. You can indent your reply by starting the text with a colon (":") -- each colon indents another level. "Sign" with four tildes ("~~~~") or by using the second button from the right at the top of the editor window. --MartyD 00:53, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I was supplying missing information from the copy that I have. In fact several of the edits I have/will make are from copies of books that I already have. For example, I have the Ravenloft Baroness of Blood and the publisher listed in it is Wizards of the Coast, not TSR. --Astromath 02:11, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I will have some more feedback for you about this. But I have to run to work, and I also need to dig up my copy, so it won't come until tonight (+12 hours). Stay tuned, and thanks in advance for the contributions. --MartyD 10:55, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
So I have this book (you'll see I verified the record you edited), and now I have two questions for you: Where do you get the ISBN 0451062302? On my copy, there is no ISBN. The only SBN-like number incorporates the catalog number: 451-W6230-150. And where did you get the date? On my copy, the only dates are the 1968 copyright and the "First Printing, July, 1968" statement above the number line "23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31" (showing it's the 23rd printing of that July 1968 edition, but providing no date for the 23rd printing). If yours does not have the same SBN, it may be a different printing.... Thanks. --MartyD 00:06, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Baroness of Blood

I have the submission you made changing the publisher from TSR to Wizards of the Coast on hold. The original publication was released in 1995. Wizards did not purchase TSR until 1997. Is there a printing line on the copyright page? And does all the other information [price especially] match? Thanks. ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

On all the books that I'm replacing TSR with Wizards of the Coast, TSR does not appear anywhere on the copyright page. They have Wizards of the Coast, Renton, WA. Otherwise, everything else matches. --Astromath 16:03, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Is there a number line? Or multiple copyright dates? ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:28, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Darn, the book is boxed back up. I don't think there was a number line, and there was definitely only 1 copyright date. If you want me to, I'll try to find it again and scan that page for you to see. --Astromath 17:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
What I'm thinking is that Wizards re-released many books after buying TSR. Both Locus and OCLC have listings for this pub with TSR as the copyright holder. Wizards phased that out eventually, dropping any mention of TSR by the end of 1997. Check [this] article out. Wizards may not have been diligent is maintaining or using a number line to help place the printing, but it's not possible for the original printing to have them as the publisher two years before they bought the company. Even if the copyright page of your copy doesn't mention TSR, that doesn't make it a 1995 printing. Publishers who are less than diligent about noting things like this are a bibliographic nightmare. Anyway, I don't think the record should be overwritten. A new record with notes to explain the difference is a much more accurate way to go, and keeps the legitimate first printing record intact. ~Bill, --Bluesman 18:25, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Lost Years Saga

The note you wanted to add to the particular printing of Flag Full of Stars already exists in the title record of the publication, though not in exactly the same form. If a note applies to a publication in general, that's where it should go. Individual records for different editions/printings should only have notes specific to them. Unfortunately, at the moment, the database software does not support having a title appear in two different series at the same time. Among the many numbered Star Trek series there are sub-series that we can only note for now. Some day! Thanks for editing! ~Bill, --Bluesman 18:52, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Ghost Walker

Though the cover has the hyphen, the title page does not, and we always use the title page data. The list of Help pages at the top of your talk page covers the basics of the editing process and explains what gets used and what doesn't. Some of that is not always self-evident, either! But it is consistent for the most part. Thanks for editing! ~Bill, --Bluesman 19:05, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad

I'm holding your edit to this publication. Has TSR only on the title page and as the copyright statement on the copyright page. There are statements that the book is distributed worldwide by Wizards of the Coast and a statement that TSR is a subsidiary of WotC. The WotC addresses are given. The spine and back cover only mention TSR. My first question is whether we both have the same edition. Does yours match the points above? If so, mine also has a full number line. If we both have the same edition, I'm inclined to leave it as TSR. However, if you feel strongly, we could go with "TSR/Wizards of the Coast". Given the title page, I think keeping TSR in the publisher is important. If we have different editions, you can clone my copy and change the record as necessary. Let me know how your copy compares. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:40, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

You're right. I actually have 2 copies for some reason. It is copyrighted by TSR, but published by Wizards of the Coast (see bottom of copyright page, bottom left). My guess is that it was written when TSR owned the copyright, but it was published after WotC bought out TSR, therefore my edit. I guess we could go for TSR/WotC instead of a complete edit to WotC. I figure if it was actually published by TSR, then it would have the TSR address instead of the WotC address. --Astromath 13:09, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll go ahead and reject your original edit. You can then resubmit it with the imprint/parent publisher. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 13:16, 23 May 2010 (UTC)


Accepted the submission for [this], but we do not have permission to link directly to that website to display the image. For sites we do have permission to deep-link, see [this] page. There is also a form there for obtaining such permission if you want to try! I downloaded the image to my computer and reloaded it to the record and changed the note. The image is not of the printing in the record as the price on the cover shown is $3.50. Artwork is the same. I'll have a look and see if I can find the correct image with the right price. ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:20, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Found a good one and replaced the incorrect one. First printing still has the "Timescape" logo on the front cover. ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:27, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok. Looks like I need to update the image in my own database then. I have Readerware which autocatalogs from the internet. I did not check to see if the image matched the book I have. Thx. Go ahead and update the publisher so that matches as well. --Astromath 16:31, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

To Ride Pegasus

Made mistake on publisher. It should be "Del Rey / Ballantine", not just "Ballantine". --Astromath 16:44, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


Approved the two submissions regarding [Star Trek Quiz Book] title and new pub record, but had to re-edit the title record. Many of the date fields you will encounter must have a complete date entered or the software sees it as incomplete and reverts it to all zeroes. In this case you entered only 1977 when you should have entered 1977-00-00. I did add in the month of your printing so it now reads 1977-06-00, assuming it's a first printing [don't recall ever seeing this blockbuster printed more than once ;-) ]. Some of the date fields don't cause this zeroing if the date is not complete, but I don't know why the software differs from one to another. It's safest just to enter the whole date each time. ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:59, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok. Didn't know. That's what I get for assuming. Mistakes made, lesson learned. --Astromath 19:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
You should see some of the doozies I made when I first got here!!! My first archived talk page it a thorough "How-Not-To" bible!! ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:26, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

The Crystal Shard

There is already a [Jan. '88] pub record, just with a different price. Does yours have a number line? If it does and the lowest number is 1 then the existing record could simply be up-dated, though $4.95 in 1988 seems a little high. It's why I ask. ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:24, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

This is the number line: 9 8 7 6 --Astromath 21:19, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Then it should be entered as an undated sixth printing. ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Same thing with [Streams of Silver] which has an obvious wrong price, but your submission has $4.95 and Locus has the price as $3.95. ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:46, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

This is the number line: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 --Astromath 21:19, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Then it should be entered as an undated third printing. ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Number lines rule, pre-empting a "First Printing" statement. Some publishers give the printing date of each printing, which is nice, keeps the records in order. I'll accept both submissions and change the dates with a note about the number line. Thanks for checking. ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I never new what the number lines were used for. --Astromath 23:36, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Line Breaks in notes

Just an FYI: a carriage return/return on your keyboard does not work if the intent is to start a new line inside the notes and have it display that way in the record. Only an html 'break' is recognized by the software. This can be accomplished in different ways/styles, the simplest being <br> either at the end of one line or the beginning of the next. I noticed on a couple of your edits that you had typed them in that way but without the html break they end up reading as one long line. I added the break so they will display the way you typed them. You've probably seen a few different ways notes are done. Just open up the edit window on a few and you'll see how the html codes get them to look like that. Some, like indents, italics, bold require closure, so be careful or they display in very funny ways sometimes!! The learning curve here is steep at first but it looks like you'll be around for awhile, so have fun and ask questions! ~Bill, --Bluesman 20:36, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm a little familiar with html code from when I was updating records on a Yu-Gi-Oh TCG wiki. I even managed to modify page code also, but that took a couple of days for me to learn how the page worked and interacted with the other pages. I might not be able to create code, but I can modify something that's already there. --Astromath 04:31, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Rim World Series

Hi! The series now needs to be linked to the main Rim World series. On the A. Bertram Chandler[1] page click on the series "The Saga of Commodore John Grimes (Ace Double Set)" then in Editing Tools click "Edit Series" in the "Parent" box type "Rim World" and submit.Kraang 01:28, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Done --Astromath 02:30, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Moonshae Trilogy

In the merge submissions, each is dropping the series number - 1, 2, 3 - was this intentional? If accepted the three will display by date only and the Omnibus addendum (O/1,2,3) won't be accurate. At the moment the numbers indicate the order of the trilogy. ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:16, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Oops. Sorry. Wasn't sure about the dropping of the series numbers. My mistake. --Astromath 15:33, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
No problem. I'll accept them as submitted and add the numbers back in. ~Bill, --Bluesman 15:35, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Uploading Images

You've got the process right, except for the last step. The URL you put into the Maztica book record was for the page that displayed the image and all the related data. No image will display beside the record with it. What you want to do is either click on the image which will cause it to display in a page with nothing else on it and use that URL or just right-click on the image and copy it onto your clipboard and then paste it into the field. In any case the image was still there in the Upload Log so I copied it into the record. Nearly everybody misses this the first time. Cheers! ~Bill, --Bluesman 16:17, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Still having problems? First question, are you using images in your computer or at another site? Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

2001 edit, revisited

Hi. I think my questions above got lost. For your proposed edits to 2001: A Space Odyssey, where did you get the ISBN 0451062302? On my copy, there is no ISBN. The only SBN-like number incorporates the catalog number: 451-W6230-150. And where did you get the date? On my copy, the only dates are the 1968 copyright and the "First Printing, July, 1968" statement above the number line "23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31" (showing it's the 23rd printing of that July 1968 edition, but providing no date for the 23rd printing). It seems very likely that your copy is undated, too. If yours does not have the same SBN, it may be a different printing altogether. Thanks, --MartyD 09:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Darn. I've got it boxed back up again. It'll take me some time to find it. Once I do, I'll give you the info I have. --Astromath 12:58, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Myst: Book of D'ni

Myst: The Book of D’ni (with David Wingrove) (Hyperion 0-7868-8942-X, Nov ’98 [Oct ’98], $6.99, 466pp, pb) [Myst] Reprint (Hyperion 1997) fantasy novelization based on the computer game. Copyrighted by Cyan, Inc. - from Locus1, so you could update the new pub record and cite Locus1 as the source. Still leave the existing note as is regarding there being no publication date in the book. [This] is the link to Locus1. A good site for information. ~Bill, --Bluesman 21:10, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I always wondered what the references under verification status was for. At least one of them is cleared up. Is there a link to explain the rest? --Astromath 01:28, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Try this. BLongley 15:38, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The Tower of Zanid

Your proposed new edition is priced far too high to be a 1963 edition - 95c would put it more like 1976. Is there a printing date code (Month-Year) on the last page of text? Currently I suspect your copy is actually this one. BLongley 15:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Date code on last page is 1-76. --Astromath 16:37, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, date adjusted. BLongley 18:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Night of the Eye cover

Is this image the right cover for Night of the Eye? --MartyD 01:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes. That's the cover I have. --Astromath 01:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem with those Amazon LZZZZZZZ links is that they "float" along with the printings, so if a later printing of the same ISBN is issued with a new cover, the link that may have been to the correct cover originally suddenly is to something else. That may well have happened here. Anyway, I added the image above to it. Thanks. --MartyD 01:49, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I think I've finally got the hang of cover uploading. What to do is copy the Amazon image to your hard drive, then upload it to isfdb. That bypasses linking the image to Amazon (or any other "changable" site. --Astromath 03:03, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, on Amazon, there's usually a different link that is not floating. You can usually find it by searching for the ISBN. See the Amazon section of ISFDB:Image_linking_permissions#List_of_sites_granting_permission for some tips on how to work with Amazon images. You just want to avoid the LZZZZZZZZ links -- those are the ones that float. --MartyD 16:42, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Copying images from Amazon

It is unnecessary to copy images from Amazon onto the ISFDB server. A link would suffice, saving space on our server. If you have a better image than Amazon's, it would be OK to upload it. In this case, it's not a very good image. It looks like you copied Amazon's thumbnail, when this one (also on Amazon) is a larger and clearer image. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I was just trying to find a way around Amazon's floating links. --Astromath 15:28, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Catalog numbers -> ISBNs

I've accepted the submissions which replaced the catalog numbers with ISBNs, but I went back and added the catalog numbers in the note field. In these cases were the ISBNs derived from the catalog numbers or were they actually stated in the pubs themselves? Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:38, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

When there is, what I consider, an incomplete ISBN on the spine (just lacking the checksum digit), the first thing I check is the copyright page. Sometimes it has the complete number. If not, I use an ISBN checker found here: to find the checksum digit. 99 times out of 100, the number that comes up is a valid ISBN that can be searched for on the net. For books with a letter instead of a number, sometimes (not always) the letter can be replaced with a 0 and the ISBN can be found that way. --Astromath 15:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I know I rejected at least one submission of a derived ISBN that included replacing a letter with a zero. While some people may do that and may then use the result as an ISBN, a person searching by the number printed on the book would never find it. This is in contrast with ISBNs derived from SBN-like catalog numbers simply missing the leading zero and the trailing check digit. With those, the number printed on the book is a subset of the derived ISBN, and searching by that printed number would match the full ISBN. Just one man's opinion. --MartyD 16:52, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, I did say that replacing the letter will not always work. :) --Astromath 17:19, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
My concern is that you're removing a valid catalog number when an ISBN is not present, and not recording that fact in the note field. This would (and does) lead to another editor submitting a record for the same book, only with the catalog number, thus creating two records for one publication. Mhhutchins 18:56, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Cartmill's Space Scavengers

I'm holding the submission that removes the 1975 date of this pub, leaving it undated. When there is a secondary source of a date, you can give that date in the pub's date field, then place a note in the note field that the given date is not stated in the pub itself, giving the source of the date. In this case, OCLC gives the date as 1975. This date is also consistent with other pubs with close ISBNs from the same publisher. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:58, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok, no prob. I tried to find a publication date on the web. All I could find is a copyright date no matter where I looked. --Astromath 15:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I approved the submission, changed the date back to 1975, and noted the source for the date. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:59, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Trantorian Empire series

Hi. You modified Pebble in the Sky to be #3 in the "Trantorian Empire" series with a note that this number came from Locus, but now I have another submission that would assign the same number (with the same explanation) to The Currents of Space. I'm guessing only one of these is correct, but which one? I've placed this latter submission on hold. Thanks. --MartyD 00:53, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The one for Pebble in the Sky should be #1. When I did the first edit, I made a mistake and didn't know how to cancel and redo. I know now. shows it to be the "first" and I misread it to be the "third". Maybe I need new glasses. The Currents of Space is to be #3. Sorry for the confusion. --Astromath 04:27, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I approved the Currents of Space change and also modified Pebble in the Sky to be #1. --MartyD 09:55, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Library of Congress Catalog Numbers

Hi. In your changes to Dragonlance: The Covenant of the Forge, I see you entered the control/catalog number from the Library of Congress. Since you're willing to take the trouble to record them in the notes, see Help:How_to_create_a_link_to_a_US_Library_of_Congress_(Loc)_record for a "standard" way to label the number and provide the lccn permalink. You do not have to do this, I only mention it in case doing it appeals to you. --MartyD 01:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Also a reminder that the Library of Congress Card Catalog Number (LCCCN) is now referred to as the Library of Congress Control Number or LCCN, when linking to the record on the LoC website. Mhhutchins 01:33, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I wasn't trying to link the LCCNs (I didn't realize they could be linked). As far as the abbreviation is concerned, I was abbreviating it the way I saw it in the books. Now, I know better. I'm still learning the process of editing and creating. So, thanks for all of your help. --Astromath 04:31, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I edited it to be a link, so you can see what that technique looks like. --MartyD 09:58, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I see what you mean. Ok, I'll try to link them, but only to the extent that they are actually in the LCC. Some LCCNs seem to belong to more than one book and/or reassigned. --Astromath 17:18, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, sometimes they are incorrect. In that case, we document the incorrect one (stating that it is incorrect), but definitely do not link it. If you are so inclined you can try to figure out the proper number and note that (and provide a link to it), but sometimes that proves to be difficult, too. Fun fun fun. --MartyD 18:27, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I just cloned Centaur Aisle and used the linking method to Let me know if that was right. --Astromath 18:37, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Perfect! --MartyD 20:07, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

War of the Gods

You submitted a revision to the note for War of the Gods to change "Assumed 1st printing." to "1st printing confirmed by 2nd printing." I approved this but then revised the record so it has both the old note and the one you submitted. I'm thinking that'll be clearer to someone looking at the record down the road as they'll see that the printing is not stated and that a secondary source (the second printing) does state this one is the first printing. --Marc Kupper|talk 20:53, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Way Station

I'm holding your submission to add a new publication to Simak's Way Station. I think we already have this publication in the database here. The only difference is the publisher. If you follow the OCLC/Worldcat link, you'll see that Manor Books is right (McFadden is probably a leftover from a cloning operation). You should probably edit the existing pub (change the publisher and add notes). These were the notes for your edit:

A Manor Book.....1973
First printing...November, 1964
Second printing.....April, 1969
Third printing.....August, 1973
Derived ISBN from number on spine is invalid
Title on cover appears to be one word, but the title page separates it into two words.
By the way, the cover artist for the existing pub is now Richard Powers, this should be the cover of your pub, could be Powers, but if the book sais nothing, add a note. --Willem H. 20:00, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't sure if was a leftover from a cloning operation. That's why I cloned it. And, yes, that's the cover. Ok, I'll edit the original. --Astromath 00:41, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I accepted the submission to update the pub, but I'm not sure what you mean by "Derived ISBN" as there is no ISBN either in the catalog #/ISBN field or the notes field. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the edit. There's one more thing though. We don't have permission to link to images on the University of Minnesota Libraries website, so I copied the scan to ISFDB here. Thanks, --Willem H. 06:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
What I mean by derived is taking the number on the spine and adding a check digit. If there are any letters in the number on the spine, replace them with the number 0, then add a check digit. If the resulting "derived" ISBN can be searched for, I place it in the ISBN field, otherwise I note that it is not valid. --Astromath 13:09, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I understand that. What we mean, is the good habit to mention the numbers that are on the pub in the notefield (and where they are located) if they don't fit in the catalog #/ISBN field (or if there are different sets of numbers on the pub). See this for an example of how to deal with this. All is explained here. --Willem H. 13:42, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

[unindent] Still doesn't answer my original question. My definition of "derived" is "I've created a working valid ISBN from the series of numbers that are printed on this book." Otherwise an ISBN has not been derived. Perhaps you should say "An attempt to create an ISBN from the catalog number on the spine is not a valid ISBN." Maybe I'm just being semantically challenging. But adding a check digit to a series of numbers doesn't make it a "derived ISBN" unless it is a valid, working ISBN. Sorry. Mhhutchins 18:37, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I guess that's where we differ. My definition for "derived" or "inferred" is that an ISBN is created from the numbers on the spine that look like an SBN/ISBN whether it is a working number or not. My notes only say that an attempt was made and if the number was valid, I put it in the ISBN as a "true" ISBN, and if not valid, the attempt is recorded in the notes as being invalid. If you want me to only add the note if the derived ISBN actually works and to leave the note of when it does not work to avoid confusion, the ok. It's just the way my mind is wired. If I see a note saying that a derived ISBN is not valid, then, for me, that says it all (especially if the ISBN/Catalog field is a non-ISBN number). Oh, well. It's not the first time my Asperger Syndrom got me in trouble. --Astromath 20:18, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
If your attempt to create an ISBN from the catalog number wasn't achieved, you have not derived an ISBN. You should only make a note if you placed a working valid ISBN in the catalog#/ISBN field. You should also record in the note field the actual catalog number printed on the book, explaining that the ISBN is not stated (according to the entry standards that Willem linked to above "If you entered a value that was not exactly as stated in the publication, then please add a comment about this in the Note field.") If you were unable to find a working valid ISBN based on the catalog number, there is no reason to note that. Thanks for contributing. If you have the publication please consider doing a primary verification of it. This would help any future editors with any questions concerning the pub. Again, thanks. Mhhutchins 03:13, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I have frequently done notes similar to what Astromath did but I also document the ISBN that was derived. The current publication note is a bit mysterious as it does not say what number was derived nor what is meant by "invalid." For example, I could have "The ISBN 0-552-95270-2 could be derived from the catalog number. A Google search finds that this number is not being used as an ISBN." --Marc Kupper|talk 10:23, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I like that. Your way is better than mine. I'll remember this. Thx. --Astromath 15:01, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

edit to Flint the King

Hi. Your proposed edit to Flint the King would change a verified 3rd printing to a 2nd printing (per the number line you provided in the notes). Sorry, but I had to reject it. Maybe you meant to clone the 3rd printing but accidentally edited it directly? If not, allow me to suggest cloning it! :-) Here are the notes you supplied, so you can copy them:

First Printing: May 1990<br />
LCCN: 89-51895 (not listed in LC online catalog)<br />
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

Thanks, --MartyD 00:39, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

I think you may be right. I meant to clone it and hit the wrong link and didn't notice. I'll try it again. Thx --Astromath 12:05, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Marked Cards

I accepted the update of this record, but there's trouble with the pagination. Each record should only have one page on which the story begins. If the story is split up into several parts, you can create records for each part. You should enter the titles as they appear on each part's title page. Here's an example of how another mosaic novel was entered. If you choose not to create records for each part, simply give the page number on which the first part begins. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:32, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Same with this pub. Mhhutchins 23:33, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok. I'll try to do better. Fortunately those are the only mosaics I have. --Astromath 23:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
They're a mess to deal with, because there's really no standard on how to enter them. Luckily for us both they're not that common! Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Then I put forth a suggestion, in addition to NOVEL, COLLECTION, etc., add MOSAIC. The word MOSAIC will trigger a routine that allows multiple page numbers for a chapter mosaic title. --Astromath 15:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Childhood's End

I'm holding your submission to edit this pub. Your edit would change a verified pub from the "First Special Printing" to the "Thirty-first Printing". It would be better to clone the pub, so both would be in the database. These are the notes you added:

LCCN: 53-10419
First Printing: August, 1953
Thirty-first Printing: June, 1975
First Special Printing: November, 1974

First Canadian Printing: March, 1964
Second Canadian Printing: October, 1972

Thanks, --Willem H. 06:03, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

I edited the pub instead of cloning it because the original note said that the First Special Printing made it the thirty-second printing. That cannot happen unless the thirty-first printing occured before November 1974, which it did not. I believe the original note was an error and the original submitter simply overlooked the date of the thirty-first printing. It would have been better if the publisher put a blank line between Thrity-first Printing and First Special Printing to avoid this type of confusion. Of course, the book could be wrong, as well, and the Thirty-first Printing could be June 1974 instead of 1975. I don't have the resources to check this. --Astromath 12:54, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
That's not really the point. Your own notes confirm that there was a Special Printing dated November 1974, so it should stay in the database, no matter what the notes say. To avoid confusion, you could add a note to this pub about your 31st printing (and maybe leave a message on Holmesd's talkpage), but there's no reason to overwrite an existing printing. --Willem H. 13:31, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok. I'll clone it. But I still believe that the one he has and the one I have are identical in every way (except for the worn marks from reading). --Astromath 14:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Approved. Thanks, --Willem H. 14:59, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

The Ghost King

To whoever is reviewing my recent edit, the cover image of the book I have can be found here: --Astromath 22:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Did you intend to edit or Clone? The submission came though as a Clone which would mean two records of the same pub. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:24, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I intended to clone because the cover images are different. --Astromath 22:25, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
The original image probably came from Amazon and would have been pre-publication, not necessarily the one the book actually ended up with. Even if the record had been verified, the image might have been added later from an incorrect source [I've done that and after checking with the Verifier searched and found a correct image]. In checking the two, the only difference is the lettering, not the artwork. Updating the current record in this case would be better, but since it isn't verified I'll accept your submission and delete the other record. No extra work on your part needed. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:35, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm also cloning the other 2 volumes because I have the 4th edition of The Orc King (by number line) and the 2nd edition of The Pirate King (by number line).--Astromath 22:42, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


I accepted the submission to add this record to the database, but removed the August 2003 publication date which referred to the first printing. I replaced it with 0000-00-00 which displays the date as "unknown". Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:41, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Uploading images

Concerning this image file: Do not do a direct upload using the "Upload File" link on the wiki pages. You'll see that there is no license tag added to the image (required for copyright reasons!); there is a generic, non-unique file name (one you assigned); there is no link back to the publication record. All of this would have been done automatically if you had used the following semi-automated method of uploading images to the ISFDB wiki:

  • Go to the publication record and click the link "Upload cover scan" (or "Upload New Cover Scan" if you want to replace the current image.)
  • Follow the directions on the screen. Once the image is uploaded click on it to get its complete URL.
  • Go back to the publication record, click on "Edit This Pub" and enter the URL in the "Image URL" field.

All of this is explained in more detail here. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask here. I will delete the first file you uploaded after you've had a chance to read this and re-uploaded it using the above method. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:03, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

I did use the "How to" to upload what I did. I needed to upload an image into a cloned pub but couldn't find any link to do that. I was doing this at the same time I was cloning the pub so I could add the link to the image field. Should I wait next time until it gets accepted? Astromath 23:33, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
In the future, wait until there is a publication record in the database. You can't do the semi-automated method without a publication record to initiate the process. Mhhutchins 00:06, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
P.S. The "How to" instructions, though detailed, is rather confusing.--Astromath 23:33, 9 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they can be confusing if you're forced to use the direct upload procedure from the wiki link. That's why I suggest you use the semi-automated procedure from the publication link which I outline above. If you need further assistance, let me know. Mhhutchins 00:06, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
I see you've been able to upload the image correctly and linked it to the pub record. Good job. One more point: this image upload wasn't necessary, because there was already an image for the first printing, and the images are identical (same cover art, same cover text, same publisher, same price, same catalog number). Check out this image with the one you uploaded. It's a good practice to look at earlier printings to see if there is already a image file already in the database. If there is you can clone the record and make the changes that apply to your printing. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:28, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
The images are not identical. The publisher logo just to the left of the letter "A" in Anne is different. Looks like they changed logos between printings.--Astromath 00:34, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
That may very well be. But the difference is so minor that a note in the pub record might have saved much time and effort. That's your call as the verifier of the record. Some editors are more detail oriented than others. Thanks for your efforts. Mhhutchins 01:17, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Image limits

Files uploaded to the ISFDB server should be no more than 600 pixels along their longest dimension, and no more than 150K in size. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:46, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

I thought I was keeping within those limits. Was there one that exceeded? I was especially careful about the size limit. I might not have been careful about the pixel limit.--Astromath 05:10, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
It was this file that came to my attention. You will get a warning if you exceed the file size, but there is no automatic warning for exceeding the dimension limits. Just something to keep in mind. Most image software can reduce the size without doing much damage to the quality of the image. We have these limits to maintain our claim for fair use of the image. Once the files start exceeding these self-imposed limits, we could open ourselves up to charges of copyright infringement (some high quality files could be used to create bootleg dustjackets, I suppose.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:21, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
Ok. No prob. I'll try to do as you say. Just give me a heads up if I don't and I'll reupload the resized image.--Astromath 15:34, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Help Desk

You have been posting messages on the talk page of the Help Desk. That page is for discussions about the Help desk. Requests for help should be posted on the Help desk itself. Please bookmark that page for future reference. Thanks. 15:30, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Ah. Ok. Didn't know there was a difference.--Astromath 22:25, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Get Off the Unicorn

I have a submission that wants to remove the Amazon cover image linked to this record because it "Contains watermark that advertises internet store". I can see the copyright notice, but not the store's name. (I believe this copyright statement is visible on most Amazon images.) You should discuss this with the primary verifier of the record. In fact, it's ISFDB etiquette to have the discussion before making a submission that removes data from a primary-verified record. Or you can scan the cover of your copy and upload the file to the ISFDB server. I'll reject the submission and you can decide which course to take. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:41, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

When did Amazon start doing this? The image should be identical to the primary verifier's copy. There is no watermark on my copy. One other question: what's the policy on watermarks? Should they be allowed or not? If they should not be allowed, then the Amazon images are now useless. In the meantime, I'll shoot off an inquiry to Chavey about that particular title. Maybe he can upload an un-watermarked image.
P.S. Since I could not read the watermark, I assumed that it was an internet store's watermark.--Astromath 02:52, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
It's not. It was the typical Amazon notice: "Copyrighted Material". We have no problem with linking to Amazon images with this notice as part of the image. We would discourage someone uploading an image to the ISFDB server which has the dealer's name on it. I don't recall ever seeing one, but if I did, I'd quickly remove it from the server. Since the submission, Chavey has linked another Amazon image to the record. I didn't see a problem with the original image, which is why I rejected the submission to remove it from the record. If you object to Amazon's notice feel free to replace it with a scan of your copy's cover. Otherwise, just leave Amazon's image linked to the ISFDB record. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:51, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

The White Dragon

Is your copy a stated 24th printing and does it have a stated publication date of March 1990? If so, I'll accept the submission to update this record. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:44, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes and yes.--Astromath 02:36, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I ask because you didn't give a source for the change of date. Thanks. Submission accepted. Mhhutchins 02:42, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Sorry about that. I usually try to give reasons, but I must of missed that one.--Astromath 02:43, 12 December 2012 (UTC)


I've edited this record to change "LCCCN" to "LCCN" which is the ISFDB standard designation for the Library of Congress Control Number (both before and after that became its official name.) You also have the option of linking the number to the record on the LoC website. Here are instructions if you want to do that. Mhhutchins 03:56, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Ok. There's several edits I've done that uses LCCCN. Per your instructions, I'll use LCCN from now on. As far as linking, I did that when I was on this site a couple years ago. A lot of times, even at the LoC's site, the number cannot be found. Astromath 04:21, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
That will happen occasionally. But in my experience more than 90% link to a valid LoC record. Of course, when there is no LoC record, you shouldn't create a link that goes nowhere. Mhhutchins 16:27, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying I gave up, but sometimes I'm just plain lazy (to be honest). Astromath 04:21, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
There's no requirement that it be linked. It's entirely voluntary. There's relatively few mandatory editing requirements. Mhhutchins 16:27, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Other times, some things really irk me because they don't look right (e.g. watermarks on Amazon images; if the watermark is not on the physcial pub, then it should not appear on the image in isfdb). --Astromath 04:21, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
That's the price we pay for freely linking to their images. I don't see a problem with a tiny copyright notice that's quite innocuous, IMO. Its purpose is to give a decent representation of the book's cover. I object to the linking (or uploading) of poor-quality images. Mhhutchins 16:27, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
True that. I hate poor-quality images myself and try to either find a better one on the net or use a scan from my collection.--Astromath 21:38, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Galaxy 666

Are the letters "ISBN" printed on the spine of this publication, or are you saying that the ISBN is "0*8439*00529*095" and printed on the spine? That appears to be an early attempt to create an ISBN-like number, but it's not really one. It's the publisher code, plus its catalog number and the price. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:18, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

I put down exactly what it is on the spine. I know it is not a legal ISBN. That's why I put in the notes instead of the ISBN field. I believe it was something that should be noted. I used stars to represent the large sized bullets that are between the sets of numbers. My guess it is a number the publisher used before ISBNs were standardized. You can even Google that "fake" ISBN to find that book. I repeat, it is not a legal ISBN, just a number used by the publisher before ISBNs were standardized. Maybe I should have added to the note that it is not a legal ISBN. The last three digits represent the price.--Astromath 21:36, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
It would be a good idea to note that it is a failed attempt by the publisher to create an ISBN. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:29, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
BTW, you can create bullets by entering the ALT code 7. This is done by holding down the ALT key and entering "7" from the number pad. It will look like this: • Mhhutchins 23:32, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Thx for the shortcut. I hope I'll remember how to do it later. (Or come back here for a reminder. ☺ )--Astromath 00:55, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

The Road to Ehvenor

Re: The Road to Ehvenor, I have expanded "451-LE5191" in the Notes field to read "Publisher's code 451-LE5191 on the cover." Ahasuerus 21:59, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Ok. No prob. I was wondering how to word it. Thx.--Astromath 22:56, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

2nd Printing of Star Wars

I have to question your change to my verified copy of Star Wars. The previous scan was from my own copy which doesn't match the scan that you uploaded. The chief difference is that my copy has "Now A Spectacular Science-Fantasy Adventure From Twentieth Century Fox!" in the yellow band across the bottom right corner. My copy has the printing history up to "Second Printing: June 1977" and both the back cover and the copyright page indicate that it was manufactured in the US, as opposed to Canada. If the printing and country data match your copy, then I think one of us has a mislabeled printing and we should probably enter yours as a separate edition with notes on both publications stating that we can't determine which is the actual 2nd printing. I'm going to leave a note on the other verifiers page to have them check which cover and printing data they have. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 13:32, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

This is what I have on the copyright page of my copy:
A Del Rey Book
Published by Ballantine Books
Copyright © 1976 by The Star Wars Corporation
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Ballantine Books of Canada, Ltd., Toronto, Canada.
ISBN 0-345-26079-1
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Edition: December 1976
Second Printing: June 1977
Cover art by John Berkey, supplied by Twentieth Century-Fox
Photographs for special insert furnished by
Twentieth Century-Fox
Please do compare it to yours. It could very well be that you're right.--Astromath 15:03, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

The New UFO Sightings

UFO books presented as non-fiction are generally out of scope for ISFDB, but there are a few exceptions:

  • As per our Rules of Acquisition, "Otherwise ineligible books (but not comics, games, manga or films) reviewed in SF magazines" are "in". Since quite a few UFO books were reviewed in SF magazine in the 1950s-1970s, we have a number of UFO titles on file.
  • As per the same Rules of Acquisition, "Works (both fiction and non-fiction) which are not related to speculative fiction, but were produced by authors who have otherwise published works either of or about speculative fiction over a certain threshold" are "in". As the Rules say, this "certain threshold" is "hard to define, but ... [t]he goal here is to avoid cataloging everything ever published by James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Louis Stevenson, Honoré de Balzac and other popular authors. Instead, we want to catalog their speculative fiction works only". Thus Brad Steiger's non-fiction about UFOs and other "mysterious phenomena" may be included because he also published a number of SF books.
  • Works about speculative fiction. This is another possible way for books about UFOs to be included, e.g. a book about UFOlogy with a big section dealing with Raymond A. Palmer would be included because Palmer was a major SF editor and his work in the SF field was closely related to his work on UFOs, Richard S. Shaver, and so on.
  • Finally, we may list a book about UFOs if it is presented in a way that makes it hard to tell whether it's fiction or non-fiction. It's generally better to err on the side of caution in borderline cases and explain the nature of the book in Title notes.

Based on the above, I am not sure that The New UFO Sightings is eligible for inclusion. One of the authors, David Graham, published an SF novel in 1979, but that doesn't put him over the "certain threshold" mentioned in Rules. I can't think of any other rule that would let the book in, but then I am not particularly knowledgeable about the field. Are there any other connections that I may be missing? TIA. Ahasuerus 02:11, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

The biggest reason that I included this title is that isfdb has every UFO pub I own except this one. I really have no other reason. To me it is a glaring omission. I won't get into whether or not UFOs are fiction or nonfiction. That's a topic best discussed elsewhere. The book itself clearly labels it as nonfiction on the spine. If this book fails to be included, so be it. It'll still be included in my personal database on my laptop. I'm not an expert on UFOs, but from what I've read there's no hard evidence either way about their existence, just a lot of circumstantial evidence that cannot be proven and therefore speculative.
P.S. Personal opinion: every book on UFOs should be included because of their speculative nature.--Astromath 02:40, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
As SF bibliographers, we are generally not concerned with the accuracy of the claims made in the books that we catalog :-) The key question that we usually ask in order to decide whether a text is "in" or "out" is whether it is presented as fiction. If the author presents his treatise on angels/telepathy/UFO/time travel/etc as a novel, then it's "in", but if he claims that it is non-fiction, then it's "out".
Consequently, there are many books of "speculative science" that we do not list since they are not presented as fiction, although there are some borderline cases which make our lives difficult. To use the aforementioned Palmer and Shaver as an example, some of Shaver's early stories in Amazing were presented in a deliberately ambiguous way along the lines of "Truth or fiction? You decide!" Thankfully, these cases are not too terribly common. Ahasuerus 03:07, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I guess whether or not to include UFOs is a matter of opinion and interpretation of the rules. Since you're the one that codified the rules, I will have to go with what you say. I just can't give you enough evidence to show that the book in question should be included other than many other nonfiction UFO titles are included in isfdb (e.g. Project Blue Book, The Truth About Flying Saucers, Flying Saucers Uncensored, etc.)--Astromath 03:29, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but the reason that they were included is that they were either reviewed in an SF magazine (three times in the case of The Truth About Flying Saucers and two times in the case of Flying Saucers Uncensored) or the author (Brad Steiger in the case of Project Blue Book) had a significant number of SF books to his credit.
Having said that, it's possible to change the Rules of Acquisition, which has happened a number of times since 2006. They have been expanded to include fanzines, e-books without ISBNs and at least some e-zines, so although it doesn't happen very often, it does happen. There is a special Wiki page for these types of discussions, Rules and standards discussions, if you want to start one. All decisions are made by consensus, so it takes a particularly persuasive argument to change the Rules, but no single person has the right to veto changes. Ahasuerus 03:46, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I don't know if my arguements will be persuasive, though. But, I'll try it.
I just thought of something that might convince you. The foreward was written by Brad Steiger.--Astromath 03:51, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Well, it was a good try, but no cigar this time :-) so I have rejected the submission. Ahasuerus 02:09, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
No prob. It still will be in my own personal database on my laptop. Out of my whole collection of speculative fiction (& nonfiction), this book is the only one you don't have. You have absolutely everything else.--Astromath 02:21, 27 December 2012 (UTC)


I have approved the addition of the six contents titles to this publication and merged them with their pre-existing counterparts. I also updated Notes to indicate that "[t]itles of individual stories are preceded with "Part I", "Part II", etc."

I don't know if you have run into them yet, but there are two handy menu options to "Export Content" and "Import Content". They are described in Help:Screen:ExportContent and Help:Screen:ImportContent respectively, but they are fairly self-explanatory. When you use one of these options, the contents of one pub is copied to another pub. Best of all, you don't need to merge any titles (although you can add new ones during the export/import process), which can save, oh, approximately 3.8 gazillion man-hours in the long run :-) Ahasuerus 04:37, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I didn't know about the pre-existing counterparts. I also did not know about the exporting and importing of the contents. I'll try to remember next time.--Astromath 04:54, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I did the same with the titles and notes in Foundation and Empire and likewise merged. One additional note: All other occurrences of "Prologue" (and there were many) had this as an ESSAY instead of as SHORTFICTION, so I took that classification in the merge. You're welcome to debate with the verifiers of other editions if you disagree. --MartyD 11:26, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
And likewise, Second Foundation. --MartyD 12:22, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
And I have answered your questions about Export/Import on my Talk page. Ahasuerus 19:55, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Berserker introduction

Hi. Two comments/questions: Is Introduction really shortfiction and a short story, or might it be an essay? Independent of that, I think it would be good to add " (Berserker)" to disambiguate it from other introductions. --MartyD 02:41, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

To tell you the truth, it is one of those that can go either way. It seems to be an essay taken from the point of view of a historian from the future talking about today's events (as of the publishing date, that is). Personally, I would call it a shortstory, but it really is an essay from the future historian's point of view.--Astromath 03:48, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Notifying all the PVs

Hello, when you're making changes to publications with multiple primary verifiers, the usage is to notify every one (according to their individual preferences). I know that it's sometimes a bit time-consuming but in some cases (e.g. your edit of Hogan's _Giant's Star_), the first primary verifier is no longer active and will probably never see your notification. Thanks. Hauck 18:34, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Ok. I've only been notifying secondary verifiers based upon the primary's wishes at the top of their discussion pages. At least when they leave wishes, that is. I'll start doing it from now on.--Astromath 18:49, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

LCCN for Total Eclipse

Is the LCCN stated in this publication? If not, the note should state that as it is assumed that when an LCCN is added to a publication record that it is actually stated in the pub itself. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:06, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes. It is on the copyright page.--Astromath 17:52, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:13, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

Changes to verified records notification

Please do not create new postings with subject headings to notify me of changes to records which I have verified. Click on the [edit] link of the first subject of the notification page and add your message at the bottom of the list. Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:21, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Ok.--Astromath 12:58, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Deleting content

To answer your question (about _The Compleat Enchanter_), you can use the link "Remove Titles From This Pub" (on the left part of the screen when wiewing the publication, in "Editing Tools") to delete the extraneous preface. Hauck 15:45, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Never saw that. I was looking for something that said "delete" or "deleting" rather than "removing". I also did not associate the word "titles" with meaning chapter titles in the content. I just learned something new.--Astromath 16:05, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

DAW Collectors

The correct ISFDB title for the DAW book collectors publication series is DAW Collectors. I have updated your recent submissions to reflect this. If you are uncertain about a series or publication series title, you can search for them via the "Search the database" box on the left of the page rather than asking the moderator to fix it for you. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:28, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Thx. At the time I was editing, I couldn't search for it. That's why I added that note.--Astromath 16:40, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Primary Verification

I've noticed you're updating many records, along with adding cover images, but that you're not doing primary verifications of these records. Is there any particular reason for not doing so? Mhhutchins 21:03, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Would "I don't feel comfortable doing that" be a good reason?--Astromath 21:06, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Without a clearer explanation, no. What makes you feel uncomfortable about confirming that the information you're adding to the database is valid? Mhhutchins 01:51, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Berkley's printing designation system

When Berkley reprints a work, they keep the statement of the original printing date, and below it will indicate the number of the printing. In some cases, they will give the new printing date, but not often. In the case of this printing, it's not likely that it was published in 1975. In September of that year Berkley published a new edition of the work (anticipating the January 1976 publication of Children of Dune) and started over in their numbering of its printings. (Here is the record for the first printing, priced at $1.50.) The 21st printing priced at $1.75 would have been at least a few years later. I'll hold the submission, but without any further evidence, I'd have to reject it, or if you agree with my explanation, you can cancel the submission. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:09, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

I was also having trouble finding an official source other than "bookstore" sources. I had found 1972 for the 21st printing. I also found 1987 for the 21st printing, but that was not Berkley. I just thought the way they did it was their version of a "number line". I do seem to recall multiple printings for one date before. That may not be the case here as you said. I'll just go and cancel it myself. (I wonder if I wrote the publisher, would I get an accurate date? Maybe, maybe not.)--Astromath 01:27, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I seriously doubt they've kept such records, especially after several corporate takeovers. There may have been a 21st printing in 1972, because the first Berkley printing was in June 1970. But like I said, in 1975 they published a new edition with new cover art by DiFate, and the printing started back at 1. This is a bane of bibliographers. In this case, it's best to keep the publication date as "unknown" until further secondary evidence comes along. Mhhutchins 01:36, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Title field of pub records vs. title field of title records

I've noticed that you're changing the title fields of several publications, in particular removing the series data. There may be slight differences between how publications are titled and how works are titled. It's perfectly OK for an editor/primary verifier to include series data in publication title if that data is taken directly from a book's title page. It's actually encouraged, even if it may differ from how the work is titled in its title record. In that record, we lean toward the more basic title (the canonical title) which usually doesn't include series data. For example this book is titled Wild Cards II: Aces High in its publication record, (as it is on the book's title page) and Aces High in its title record. It is not mandatory for these two fields to match exactly, as long as the publication record accurately reflects the book's title page. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:55, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't think "Wild Cards II" is truely part of the actual title. --Astromath 00:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
You're correct in that it's not part of the title of the work, but it is part of the title of the publication (I have the book in front of me and Wild Cards II is part of the title used on the title page). Mhhutchins 01:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I base my reasoning on all the volumes that precede and postcede that volume. That is the only volume that those words actually appear on the title page. Because all the other volumes omit those words on the title page, that makes that particular volume an anomaly. It is because of that anomaly that I don't think "Wild Cards II" is part of the title. If it was supposed to be part of the title, then all the other volumes should have it too, but they don't. --Astromath 00:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
How other books in the series were published isn't relevant when it comes to determining the title of this one edition of the work. It only becomes slightly more relevant when determining the title of the work, i.e. the canonical title. Mhhutchins 01:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I hope you can follow my line of reasoning. :) --Astromath 00:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Hopefully I've been able to explain the difference between the title of a publication and the title of a work. If they were the same then they'd be no need to have a title field in the publication record, because we could have designed the software to automatically default to the title of the work, regardless of how the publication is titled. Mhhutchins 01:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
I guess my question is how do you determine if a series title on the title page is actually part of the pub title on the title page? It seems to me to be a matter of opinion. To me it is absolutely clear that "Wild Cards II" is not part of the title on the title page. To you it is. Since you are a moderator, you have the final say. I don't mean you any ill-will in saying that because somebody must have the final say. Realistically, it is just the way things are. We'll just have to agree that we disagree on this one. (P.S. I'm really glad I'm not a moderator, because I'd really mess things up. ;) )--Astromath 02:39, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
In the grand scheme of things, what's recorded in the title field of a publication record is one of the least important aspects of the entire record, as long as the record has been placed under the proper title record. The title field of the title record is the only title which is seen on an author's summary page, and is the only title searchable when using the simple search for titles (the simple search doesn't search for publication titles.) There are several reasons why the two titles do not have to be exact. One example: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The canonical title is American Gods and that's what someone would search for. But there is value in the fact that you can enter a publication as American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition. That value would be lost if we required that the title of the publication matches the title of the work. There may be disagreements about the "true" title of a publication, but there can be no argument about what the title of the work is. Moderators leave it up to the primary verifiers to come to some agreement in disputes about a publication title. This is another reason to do a primary verification of a record; without being a verifier, an editor has no or very little position in determining how the publication should be recorded in the database. Mhhutchins 03:12, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
In other words, if I'm the primary verifier, I set the precident for that particular pub. Astromath 03:23, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
Not true. You're only confirming that at the time you verified the record the information it provided was valid to the extent that is given in the record. Nothing more, nothing less. As you've dealt with other records which have been primary verified by other editors, you're aware that people make mistakes occasionally. No one is beating them over the head when that happens. Just look at the archives of my talk page, and you'll see that I've been questioned dozens of times about records which I have primary verified. And in many cases, I've been incorrect, and I've appreciated that the editors brought this to my attention. Without verifying those records, I'd never known that the data was incorrect, or that I may have repeated the same error in other records. You never stop learning. I've been here for six years and almost every week I learn something new that I never knew before. You shouldn't think that verifying a record sets it in stone, never to be changed. That's not going to happen. It only informs users that a human being has taken the time to look over the record and honestly feels that the publication exists and that the data is valid. There are thousands of records in the db that were generated by a computer and are without verification. When you make an honest attempt to update such a record but then fail to do a primary verification of it, this record is considered not one iota better than any one of thousands that were computer-generated. And that's a pity. The effort to "clean up" the record goes unknown and unappreciated. Mhhutchins 16:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
That's a very scary thought and makes me all the more not want to be a verifier. If, when editing, I get overruled, then I get overruled.--Astromath 03:23, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
If you have a copy of the book, no other editor and no moderator can "overrule" your editing. We can point out the standards, but we can't change the data that is only apparent to the editor holding the book. There may be disagreements about how this data is handled, but no one can overrule facts.
I hoped I've allayed your concerns about the "sanctity" of primary verification. There shouldn't be anything scary about working on the ISFDB. After all, none of us have to be here. We do it because of our love for the genre. Mhhutchins 16:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

The Cataclysm

I accepted your submission yesterday to change the author credit of this title to "uncredited" and have been waiting for you to make the author credit of the two publication records match the title record. (Otherwise the mismatch generates an error in the script which moderators run to determine if the author credit of title records don't match the author credit of its publication records.) One of the pubs has been primary verified, so you'll need to contact the active editor (Rtrace) before making a change. I have changed the non-verifed pub record to "uncredited". Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:44, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Just now notifed Rtrace to have him change the author to "uncredited" Thx.--Astromath 02:27, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Notifications for Dragoondelight

As the notification message at the top of his talk page states, only post notices if you're adding images or notes and he's the sole verifier. Otherwise you should post only on the other verifiers' talk pages. If there are no other verifiers, post notices on the Moderator's Noticeboard. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:33, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

I was told by Hauck one thing (see above). Now, I'm told something else. I'm going to assume that your guidence takes precidence because of the verifier wishes you pointed out. It's soooo confusing at times who to notify and who not to. There's got to be an easier way like adding a star (*) beside a verifier's name to indicate that he's no longer on the board or something along those lines.--Astromath 23:45, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
That would simplify a complex situation to the point where it would have no true value. If you re-read Hauck's message, it clearly states "notify every one (according to their individual preferences)". That would be indicated in the message at the top of the editor's talk page. If there is no notification preference, leave a message for every change.
I've brought this to your attention to save you some time and trouble. If you follow the instructions in the message, you should have no problem. Each message is different, so it will be confusing at first. Just get into the habit of reading the messages and you should be fine. If you ever start verifying records you'll understand the importance of providing a notification preference. Mhhutchins 01:28, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
Thx for the info. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be on this site, though. I was here a couple of years ago when the first time I cataloged my collection. I've got about 7-8 more boxes of books left to catalog (I lost my prior catalog due to hard drive failure and never backed it up, shame on me :( ). Then I'll probably on here sporadically. I'm using this site to import most of the pertinent info. I use Readerware for my laptop database.--Astromath 01:43, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Interior Art Titles

I have approved your changes to Emperor of Ansalon and Lord Toede. However, I had to modify the interior art titles you added.

  • If artwork is untitled, but associated to a specific work, it should be titled with the name of the work. I have changed these from "Interior Art" to the name of their respective publications.
  • Also, if this is the first appearance of the artwork, it should have the same date (including month) as the publication. I have updated the dates to include the month from the publication.

Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:18, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Ok. I wasn't sure. At least until I started examining other records after my submissions. By then I thought it was a little late to go back and changd them. I figured somebody would let me know of my mistake. Thx.--Astromath 15:57, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
If you had done primary verifications of the records you'd updated, it would be a lot easier to go back and check on them. There's a link to "My Primary Verifications" for all logged-in users. Mhhutchins 06:29, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

The Best of TREK

I have your submission to update this record. Your "Note to Moderator" was full of concerns about the submission, but that's not the best place to record them. If you have any questions or concerns about updating or creating a record, it's best to ask first at the Help Desk. This could save you much time and effort. There is no direct way for a moderator to respond to a submission, other than to "Hold", "Accept", or "Reject" it.

Now to your concerns: The page numbering of the works on unnumbered pages is incorrect. The system can't handle the format "[xxx.x]", and only works in whole numbers. It's better just to leave the field blank. About the credit of "[Various]" , you've created a new author by this name. It's best to enter the credit as just "various" (no brackets). About the other credit of "[Trek Staff]", if the work is credited to "Trek Staff" enter just that without brackets. If it's not credited at all, it should be entered as "uncredited".

I'm going to accept the submission, and ask you to address the concerns above. Because of all of the contents you added, I didn't want to reject it and have you go through the effort of entering the contents again. But in the future when you have questions please ask first. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:05, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Thx. I'll fix it now. I hope I've addressed all concerns.--Astromath 17:21, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Looks good. A question: are the three essays which have "interview" in the titles (pages 25, 89 & 177) actually interviews or better described as essays? Mhhutchins 18:15, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
The first on with Walter Koenig is actualy a three part series. First part is an essay by Walter Koenig, the second part is a Q&A question at a convention, and the third part is the actual interview. Each part has a subtitle: First one is subtitled "Koenig on Star Trek" by Walter Koenig; second one is subtitled "Focus on Walter Koenig" by uncredited, and last one is subtitled "An Interview with Walter Koenig" by uncredited.
The second interview with James Doohan is a double article. First is subtitled "First Interview with James Doohan" by uncredited and the second is subtitled "Second Interview with James Doohan" by G. B. Love
The last interview with Grace Lee Whitney is an actual interview by uncredited.--Astromath 18:25, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
The first one can be left intact, with an explanation in the note field of the title record. The last two should be deleted and replaced by three content records using the INTERVIEW type (at the bottom of the entry form under "Interviews Found in this Publication"). The Doohan piece will have two separate records, the first credited to "uncredited" and the second credited to G. B. Love. The Whitney interview would also be credited to "uncredited". Unfortunately, you can not easily convert an ESSAY type to an INTERVIEW type, so they have to be removed, and then the title record should be deleted. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Mhhutchins 18:38, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Fixed (I think). Thx.--Astromath 18:55, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Just deleted the stray content titles.--Astromath 19:32, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

The Best of TREK 4

It's not been verified, so I can only assume you were the editor who added the contents to this record (another reason to do primary verifications: it allows other editors the opportunity to ask questions to the one who entered the data.). If you didn't, please pardon the question. The piece on page 147 seems to be a group title for the ten articles that follow. The ISFDB doesn't handle group titles well, so it's best just to add a note to the "Note" field, e.g. The ten articles on pages 147-171 have a group title "Short Treks", and then remove and delete the content record. (It was the "author" name of "[Various, see below]" that brought this to my attention. Sorry that it wasn't caught during the moderation process.)

Also, the credit for the content on page 60 implies that it is a collaboration among the twelve authors. Are their contributions individually credited or was this a true "roundtable" discussion which was transcribed for publication? I see that in The Best of TREK a similar piece is credited to "various", and in The Best of TREK 3, it's credited as an eight-author collaboration. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Fixed (I think)--Astromath 18:41, 3 January 2013 (UTC). Thx.

Letters to Star Trek

You should disambiguate the generic titles in this record, and confirm that the foreword is spelled "Forward". Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:08, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

It is indeed pselled "Foreword". Sorry for the confusion. I'm not sure what you meant by "disambiguate" but I'm guessing of adding "(Letters to Star Trek)" after the generic titles. If I'm wrong, please correct me like you have been doing.--Astromath 01:25, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
You're correct. To disambiguate a title means that you've made it unique. We do that by parenthetically adding the name of the publication to such generic titles as "Introduction" "Afterword", "Author's Notes", "Acknowledgements", etc. Imagine what the page of an author like Isaac Asimov would look like with one hundred records titled "Introduction", and you'll see why we do this. If an introduction has a unique title, of course, there's no need to disambiguate it. Mhhutchins 01:43, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

The Making of Star Trek

Can you confirm that the date of this record is correctly given? It doesn't match the note field. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:10, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry about that. I knew I was forgetting something. Fixed.--Astromath 01:26, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

An attempt at ordering of co-author credit... futile. The system automatically orders them based on the author's acceptance into the database. In this pub record, David Wingrove is author 223 and Rand Miller is 2836. That can't be changed. Mhhutchins 04:07, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Blast. That is problematic for this pub. It literally says on the title page "Rand Miller" over "with David Wingrove" in smaller letters.--Astromath 04:10, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree it would be nice to be able to order co-author credit. Especially since the ISFDB mantra is "record exactly as stated in the publication." I believe there's a request to update the software that would allow the editor to do this. Hope it's sooner than later, but I'm not holding my breath. Mhhutchins 04:15, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Would it be better to delete the secondary author and note it in the notes?--Astromath 04:18, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I changed my mind. Instead of deleting, just note it that Rand Miller is the primary author.--Astromath 04:30, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Page Numbers

When counting unnumbered pages to determine page numbers, we utilize a "[#]" convention to indicate that the page number was from counting and not printed. Based on the moderator notes in your submission for The Soulforge, I have added brackets to the page numbers. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:19, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

I knew about the brackets, but I could never remember how to use them. Thx.--Astromath 02:53, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Disambiguating generic titles

I corrected the title of the introduction in three of the Best of TREK® books by adding the title of the work parenthetically to the title of the introduction. This is the ISFDB standard. I can't be sure it was you who entered these contents, especially since you don't do primary verifications of records which you update. This also means any editor can come along and edit records which you've created without your ever knowing they'd done it, and the moderator would have to accept the change without question. Mhhutchins 19:35, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Thx. I knew I forgot something.--Astromath 00:50, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Author's Note (2010: Odyssey Two)

Sorry, but I had to reject your submission regarding that title. The noted date at the end is the date when it is was written (or even more accurate: when it was authorized). We do record the date when a title was first published. (Same holds for the other two changes for Clarke titles). You may add a note to the titles, though. Thanks, Stonecreek 10:06, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Bantam double of Doc Savage titles

I accepted your submission to change the title of this publication, after having checked the OCLC record. In the future, please give the source for your data in the record's note field. Mhhutchins 22:19, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Ok. Thx.--Astromath 05:04, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Doctor Who publication series

A borderline case, but it's the only way to differentiate this US series from the UK printings. I would suggest adding it back to this record. Mhhutchins 00:38, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

And this one. Mhhutchins 00:40, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

The main reason I deleted the Pub Series is that the first 5 Pinnacle pubs did not have that field filled in. I also looked at the definition of Pub Series and, to me, just being a completely different publisher does not meet the definition. Since Pinnacle is not part of Target, I would leave that field blank. If Pinnacle was part of Target, I would have no problem of adding those fields. It would be better if the Pinnacle series be separated from the Target series completely. I believe there is a feature request in the works to allow a pub to belong to more than one series but no timeline for implementation. For now, I'm using the notes field. I suppose another solution would be to rename the series title from "Target Novelizations" to "Target and Pinnacle Novelizations", then the Pub Series field could be used. I have no idea how much trouble that would cause.--Astromath 01:02, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
You're right that currently a title can only be in one title series, and in situations like this when one publisher's series differs from another for the same title, that we can fall back on the publication series designation. It's precisely because Pinnacle and Target are separate publishers that the Pinnacle releases can be considered a publication series. This is one publisher's decision to publish and number them without regard to another publisher's numbering. The numbers given by Pinnacle are based solely on the order of publication and have nothing to do with the content, which is usually the basis for assigning a number in a title series (e.g. Dune Messiah is the second book of the Dune series so it's designated as "2" in the title series, and no matter how many publishers publish it, the title will always be the second book in the series. That rationale can't be used for the numbering of the Pinnacle Doctor Who books.)
Changing the name of the title series to "Target and Pinnacle Novelizations" wouldn't make sense if only 10 titles out 156 were published by Pinnacle, and with different numbering at that. These are your verified records, and without some definitive rule to point you toward I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong. But don't be surprised if you get approached by another editor who wants to enter them in the publication series. Mhhutchins 01:43, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I just remembered. You don't do primary verifications, so there's nothing that will prevent another editor from placing these records into a publication series. Mhhutchins 01:49, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
My barometer for Pub Series is the DAW novels. It is my belief that is the most perfect example of how a Pub Series should be used. But you are right that there might be enough leeway about the Pinnacle Doctor Who novels. I suppose we could come up with a compromise and use the following: Pub Series: "Pinnacle Doctor Who Novelization"; Pub Number: X, where X is the number of the series. I can go back and add that to the earlier ones, including those that have already been verified. Once the feature request becomes a reality (one of these years), we can go back and re-edit them.--Astromath 02:42, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Sounds like a reasonable solution, but I would suggest that you edit the name of the current series which will avoid having to update every publication record and the deletion of the old series. Mhhutchins 03:39, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I didn't even know that could be done! Thx!--Astromath 12:21, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to remove "(US)" from the series name as it's unnecessary. Mhhutchins 17:03, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok. I only added it as an afterthought anyway. Thx.--Astromath 01:48, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Big Black Mark

Is this record of the third printing possibly the same as your copy? Mhhutchins 16:11, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

You're right. It is. I did not see that one when I cloned it. I'll cancel my submission. Thx.--Astromath 16:16, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Farmer's The Dark Design

The first printing was in July 1978. The record for your sixth printing should be undated. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:29, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Oops. You're right. Fixed.--Astromath 23:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


I'm holding the submission to update this record. Are you certain that the date you're changing it to is for this paperback printing and not the hardcover edition? Both Amazon and Locus give this paperback printing date as July 2012. Mhhutchins 00:35, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

The same situation with Charon's Claw. This is a pretty recent printing, and not likely published in 2011. Please determine if the stated publication date is for the paperback and not the hardcover edition. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Also, any excerpts from forthcoming books should be entered as "Title of Work (excerpt)", not "..(preview)". And the length should be left blank, not "short story". Mhhutchins 00:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I've rejected the submissions, but added the excerpts per ISFDB standards, and corrected the page count. Please go back and add notes, and if you believe the dates given in the record are incorrect give the source for your data. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:58, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

The pub date comes from the copyright page of the paperback. The paperback is not clear if the pub date is for the hardcover or not. As far as the "preview" is concerned, I knew there was a different word to use but couldn't remember it. "Excerpt" is definitely a better word to use.--Astromath 14:22, 27 March 2013 (UTC)