User talk:Elsbernd

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Hello, Elsbernd, 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! -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:09, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Singularity Station

I have your edit to create a variant for Singularity Station on hold. I believe you are attempting to create a German variant titled Erstarrt in der Zeit? That is not what your edit is accomplishing. Instead, it is creating a German title that is the same as the English title. The transliterated field is not a translation. It is a transliteration (conversion of non-Latin to Romanized script).

The easiest way to enter a new novel translation is to use the "Add New Novel" option and enter the details of the publication. This would then create a new title record with the correct language information that can then be varianted to the original work.

Please check out the help links provided above. If you have any questions (ISFDB:Help desk is a good resource for asking). Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:09, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

I have rejected the edit since there has not be a response. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:13, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Page numbers


Although rarely, the contents page and the actual book disagree on what page a story starts on. Our policy is to use the number of the page the story is -- and to note any discrepancies in the notes. If we do not have the book, we go by the contents page only of course but with a book in hand, both should be checked. As you had been filling in page numbers based on the contents page only on books you have, this is just heads up to verify that as well and add any needed changes and notes if some of them do not match. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions. Annie 17:51, 23 January 2021 (EST)

Spectrum III

About this update - we can obviously see the cover but not the title page of the book. Do you own the book? If you do, is it exactly the same printing - all dates and prices matching? IF not, can you share where you are seeing the title page? Thanks! In books like this one where we have active verifiers, the policy is to also check with them before updating - I will do it now but you can do it yourself as well. Annie 13:46, 4 February 2021 (EST)

The editor who has the book confirmed that the book title page indeed uses "III" and not "3" (the front cover and spine show "3"). If your book uses 3, then you have a different edition and you can add it as a separate one. So I will reject the change. Let me know if you have any questions. Annie 15:00, 4 February 2021 (EST)
Yes, I own the book and it is the correct edition; but you're correct, the title page shows 'Spectrum III' as the correct title. Sorry for the confusion. I'm still at the beinning of my learning curve. elsbernd 04:51, 6 February 2021 (EST)
That's ok - that is why we triple check. :) Titles can show up in 4 or 5 different places in a book: Cover, Spine, Title page, Contents Page and on top of each page - and they can all be different. We always want the one from the title page when we have access to it. That is why this one uses "III" in its title even though the cover and spine says 3. :)
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and have fun! Annie 05:01, 6 February 2021 (EST)
Well then: I got the book ISBN 0-552-10161-3, "Corgi Edition reprinted 1977", which thas 3 entries in ISFDB. The one with the correct year has wrong page numbers (correct would be 223), no cover. Should I change that entry, or should I try to create a new entry. elsbernd 05:12, 6 February 2021 (EST)
So you have the 1977 edition. Yep - absolutely, edit it and correct it. See how there are no Primary Verifiers (see the 1976 one for a comparison? This means that noone that has the book had worked on the record. And if you look at the note, it was added because we knew it exists from the 1980 edition. So fix it (fix the pages, add price and cover, add notes (for example the printing statement from the copyright page) and then verify it so we know it had been updated from the book itself :)
This is the main difference between verified and not verified books - a lot of the non-verified books are just stubs like this one. If you have the exact year/printing/publisher, you just update it. If we miss your printing/year, then you add a new one. Hope this makes sense. Annie 05:20, 6 February 2021 (EST)

The Second Astounding Science Fiction Anthology

I approved the changes you made here but reversed the publisher change. I just update the old publisher info to make it clearer that we use the record for both the independent publisher and then for it as an imprint. Feel free to add a note on how exactly the publisher is credited in the book as part of the notes. The publisher field is one of the ones we semi-standardize - making it possible for the books to show up on publishers' pages and not have 100 versions per publisher. Let me know if you have any questions/concerns. Thanks! Annie 15:36, 8 February 2021 (EST)

Well yes, It makes sense to standardize the publishers list. The Copyright Page states "Four Square Books are published by The New English Library Limited from Barnard's Inn, Holborn. London ECI" And well, I catalog my books personally with Book Collector; and there I try to distinguish the publisher companies/imprints and buyout by other publishers. Therfore I noted New English Library.
So no problem at all.
Question: Should I note that the title of the book on the spine is written as "THE 2nd. ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION ANTHOLOGY"? In caps or correctly written as "The 2nd. ..."?
In the notes - yes. When the cover, title page and spine differ in any way, we explain that in notes. Annie 09:21, 9 February 2021 (EST)

King Solomon's Mines

Regarding this submission: Your previous clone is here. Your note on this submission says "I got this edition; Second try to clone." Are you saying the first attempt was an error? If so you should instead edit the first version. Let me know what you meant. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:59, 14 February 2021 (EST)

No, the first one wasn't an error. I'm learning how to submit/clone books. I hadn't found my submission on the "My Recent Edit Lists" nor there was a sign on the submission page, that the submission was successful. I thought, the submission wasn't correct/successful, because the duplicate Catalog-ID was mentioned. And I overlooked the "My Pending Edits" List. My fault.
Note, after approving, I would like to upload the corresponding cover, since Annie told me to do this that way. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Elsbernd (talkcontribs) .
Sorry, I'm still confused:
  • When you say that you couldn't find your submission, it makes it sound like you submitted a second submission by mistake.
  • But your comment on after approving makes it sound like you expect the second to be approved even though we already have one.
Do you have two different printings of this pub? Or only one? Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:26, 14 February 2021 (EST)
* Well, I submitted the Edition, but was confused by the fact, that I couldn't find my submission in the list of My Recent Edits.
* I thought, that the reason for this was the Message from the submission page, that the Catalog-ID was already in the DB.
* So, I talked re-submitted the same book again. Annie told me, that duplicate Catalog-IDs are not unusual.
* So you got two submission of the same book. You could reject one of them. Depends on you.
* Note: my confusion was increased by the fact, that there is no note about on an HTML-Page, that this submission is on it's way. There is only a page, that tells the differences and highlights problems.
* Sorry for the confusion. elsbernd 13:06, 17 February 2021 (EST)
Here is your publication. Please verify it and add a cover if you can. The other one has been deleted. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:37, 18 February 2021 (EST)
Just managed to upload an image of the cover to the book. Question: Is it possible to upload a back cover of the book, and how can this be displayed. The back cover of book is an extension of the image of the front cover (and has notes "Published by Penguin Books")
With a dust jacket, it's easy as you can take off the jacket and take an image of the whole thing. For a pb like this, you can use an image editing program to combine both images into one and replace the current image with that. That has the benefit of displaying both images. Otherwise, you can manually upload to Image:KNGSLMNSMC1961-back.jpg (or a similar name) and link to it in the pub notes. Just be sure to add a license template manually (you can copy from the current image page). -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:46, 22 February 2021 (EST)
Just managed to upload the back cover and put a link into the Pub Note-Section. elsbernd 10:23, 23 February 2021 (EST)

Strange Relations


I left an explanation in my rejection note here but the basic rule is that we standardize a bit so when you are not sure, look at the rest of the books from the same year from this publisher. All of the covers with the K have the space so unless you want to update all the books we have, we use no space. :) I added a note on the publisher page as well. If we decide to fix the space issue, we can change that easily :) As long as we document and we are at least semi-consistent, it works either way. Annie 20:05, 21 March 2021 (EDT)

Prices in pence

When you have UK books priced in pence, the price needs to be recorded in pounds. See the help page: "In the 1970s, many British books cost less than a pound and so would be priced in pence alone, e.g. 25p. These should be regularized like dollars and cents, e.g. 25p should be entered as £0.25 and 95p as £0.95.". I fixed Countdown. :) Annie 04:14, 22 March 2021 (EDT)

Edit: J. G. Ballard Kriegsfieber (ISBN 9783924959418)

I just edited Kriegsfieber Limited Edition of publisher Edition Phantasia, Bellheim. Added Page Numbers; tried to correct wrong title "Antworten auf einen Fragebogen", real title "Antworten eines Verhörs"

Die vergessene Marsstadt

Sorry, but you changed erroneously the DNB link no.: now it refers to Gesänge des Computers and not to the other - intended - half of the collection, Die vergessene Marsstadt. I'll change it back. I also did find it confusing that it's a republication but under a different title - but that's why there's a note of that kind in the DNB entry. Christian Stonecreek 09:08, 20 June 2022 (EDT

Sorry to be late, I was ill for some weeks. But you're right. While cleaning up my own DB for "Gesänge des Computers" (MvS), I encountered two versions of the Ullstein editions (#31044). Since I own almost all of the TB, I should have searched severall boxes, which is currently not possible. In normal cases, I edit only books on my table. I'll be more observant.
A note: It should be possible to have a look at the differences between the DB-Entry and the Submissions, before they will be submitted to the moderator. This could prevent spelling errors, and other mistakes. Currently, to my limitted knowledge, Submit(ting) Data transfers them directly to the moderator, without further checking. Maybe I should contact Ahauserus for this request.
Now I'm somewhat late, I think. It really seems the error ocurred with the republication by Ullstein under a different title (previously it was "Gesänge des Computers Teil 2"). Things like these do happen accidentally.
I have a remark for the recently added printing of Star Songs of an Old Primate. There's still the note 'Printing not stated', while the printing seems to be in fact stated ("Second Printing: February 1979"). Could you please check / correct this?
It seemed, that I accidently cloned the first printing or alike, can't remember. And didn't remove the 'Printing not stated' note. Corrected. elsbernd (talk) 09:05, 13 April 2023 (EDT)
And please do sign your comments and remarks with the obligatory four tildes (that is four times '~'): this way it's documented who is writing (and when). Christian Stonecreek 06:10, 31 August 2022 (EDT)
I'm still learning :-) elsbernd (talk) 09:05, 13 April 2023 (EDT)

Dates of introductions

In this submission, you asked, "Can the date of the introduction be edited?". Yes, but the date for an introduction is the date when it was published rather than when it was written. It's fine to include a note (as you did) indicating the date of the introduction, though. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:43, 15 November 2022 (EST)

Mindbridge - Haldeman

Hi Klaus, to continue here from Dirk's page about this title. I have just submitted my 1977 printing and I'll link you too it when it is approved. I suggest you delay until you see that and then submit yours. We can sort out the printing sequence afterwards. Does that seem good to you? Kev. --BanjoKev (talk) 21:35, 23 February 2023 (EST)

Yes, this sounds resonable. I'm not an expert in adding new publications, so I usaually change/add data to an existing one. Since I onwn all those publication, I could provide missing imaages and alike. --elsbernd (talk) 22:48, 23 February 2023 (EST)
Ok, I'll let you know. Kev. --BanjoKev (talk) 03:02, 24 February 2023 (EST)
Hello Klaus, letting you know that I have now finished my 1977 printing. Let me know if you have any questions. Kev. --BanjoKev (talk) 16:49, 3 March 2023 (EST)
Thank you for finishing the entry.elsbernd (talk) 07:08, 1 April 2023 (EDT)

Names and accents

Hi. I accepted your submission that added Kobo Abé to the list of transliterations for c安部公房, and I saw your note about wanting to change the credit from Kobo Abe to Kobo Abé on The Woman in the Dunes. That will not work. The software will find the unaccented "Kobo Abe" author record and will match the accented form you enter to it, effectively losing the accent. There's an explanation here. --MartyD (talk) 11:27, 4 March 2023 (EST)

Thank you for the link and clarifying this issue. elsbernd (talk) 07:01, 1 April 2023 (EDT)

The Art of Richard Powers

Hello Eisbernd, I am holding this edit, that wants to add the separate chapters of the book as individual essays, add "Chapter x: " to the titles and also add the "Bibliography and Acknowledgements" (page 127) and "Index of Works" (page 128) as essays. A few remarks:

  • Normally, the NONFICTION title represents the text by the editor. However, I can support having the chapters as separate essays (different authors, an interview). "Chapter x: " is i.m.o. not part of the title, and should not be included. Also "standard" titles should be disambiguated by parenthetically appending the container title to the title of the essay (see the helptext, final bullet). so it should be "Bibliography and Acknowledgements (The Art of Richard Powers)" and "Index of Works (The Art of Richard Powers)"
  • Your suggestion to add the sub-chapters in Chapter Two: these should not be entered as separate essays, but can be mentioned in the notes.
  • You credit "Index of Works" to "Editor". We only do that, if the item is credited this way in the book. This is not the case, so it should be credited to Jane Frank.
  • We have a rule/good habit to discuss changes like this with active primary verifiers before submitting the edit. Please remember this. I have asked the other active PV (Mavmaramis) to share his opinion here.

Thanks, --Willem (talk) 16:24, 10 June 2023 (EDT)

I think you've done an excellent job explaining the situation. Don't really see the need to add or indeed the logic of adding 'chapters' to non-fiction content (even if the chapters are seperately named) unless written by different hands which isn't the case here. It hasn't been done in most other instances of one author penning non fictional content. IMO it's overkill.--Mavmaramis (talk) 16:49, 10 June 2023 (EDT)
Sorry for the late reply; had problems to solve. I'm still on a learning curve. Since changes of a verified book always have to be controlled by a moderator, I submitted my suggestions, and you could reject them, if you have another opinion. Should I cancel the submission and try a new one, or would you like to apply accepted changes by yourself? --elsbernd (talk) 22:38, 7 August 2023 (EDT)
Thanks for responding! I accepted the edit and made the necessary changes. Does it look ok now? --Willem (talk) 15:59, 9 August 2023 (EDT)
Well, yes. I'll try to contact the moderators in the future, if I would like to submit "bigger" changes. Mostly, I added books to my database and make a reference to the entry in ISFDB. Sometimes I stumble on missing information like covers, pub notes, missing/generated ISBN and alike (as beeing added to other publications) and added them to the pub notes; Leaving a note to the moderator, that I owned the book and added some info. I learned that changing content titles is a little bit more difficult. Thanks for clarifying this and beeing patient. --elsbernd (talk) 22:11, 16 August 2023 (EDT)

If you have a working version of this script, can you share it? Thanks Tom (talk) 21:30, 2 January 2024 (EST)

Well, I downloaded it on march 2023. The script I used doesn't work any more. But I'll have a look at it. Please stay tuned. elsbernd (talk) 09:05, 20 January 2024 (EST)
I just run the script on a working environment. gdown seemed not to work on my system. But an Solaris/Linux System like Ubuntu within Windows (from Microsoft Store) with installed pip, gdown and subversion will work. How would you like to get the script. I just tried it. Maybe I could upload it. But I think I have to ask Ahasuerus first.elsbernd (talk) 10:42, 20 January 2024 (EST)
I couldn't get gdown to download it on my Ubuntu system, but I don't think I was passing the right options. You can post it on your user page . Tom (talk) 20:15, 21 January 2024 (EST)
This is the download script I modified from [1]. Main modification: the regex for getting the filenames out of the html-links. To run it successfully, one needs a working subversion (
apt install subversion
and a working gdown (python: perhaps you should install it via
pip install gdown
first) If you store the script in, please call it like
to store the data in a folder named
Took me some time to get gdown working correctly on my system, but your changes are working for me now. Thanks! Tom (talk) 17:48, 4 February 2024 (EST)
Entry removed elsbernd (talk) 11:05, 8 April 2024 (EDT)

# This scipt downloads the latest database backup file and all cover image backups listed on the ISFDB
# downloads page as well as the latest source code from the source code repository.

# You can optionally ignore certain downloads, see code below or call this script using the
# "-h" option for more info.

# The script is currently not able to resume interrupted downloads. It also isn't able to detect
# if an already downloaded file is the same version as the one on the backup server,
# i.e. that it simply downloads the latest database backup and the cover image backups again.

# The files to download are identified by examining the downloads page in the ISFDB wiki
# and extracting the Google Drive ID of these files from it.


  echo "$(basename "$0") [OPTIONS] DOWNLOAD_DIRECTORY"
  echo "Valid options are:"
  echo "  -c | --ignore-covers : ignore cover files"
  echo "  -d | --ignore-database : ignore database file"
  echo "  -s | --ignore-sources : ignore source code"
  echo "  -h | --help : this message"


while [ "$1" != "" ]; do
    case $1 in
        -s | --ignore-sources )    ignore_sources=true;;
        -d | --ignore-database )   ignore_database=true;;
        -c | --ignore-covers )     ignore_covers=true;;
        -h | --help )              usage
        -* )                       echo "Unkown option $1"
                                   exit 1;;
        *)                         download_dir="$1";;

if [ -n "$download_dir" ]; then
  # If user specified a relative path, turn it into an absolute path
  case "$download_dir" in
    /*) ;;
     *) download_dir="$(pwd)/$download_dir" ;;
  mkdir -p "$download_dir"
  if [ ! -w "$download_dir" ]; then
    echo "ERROR: Backup directory '$download_dir' couldn't be created or is not writeable!"
    exit 1
  echo "ERROR: No backup directory provided!"
  exit 1


mkdir -p "$sources_dir"
mkdir -p "$database_dir"
mkdir -p "$covers_dir"



echo "******************************************"
echo "        Get and check download page"
echo "******************************************"
if [ -e "$download_page" ]; then
  # Download the page only if it has been changed since the last download (using timestamp
  # comparison):
  curl_cmd="curl -z $download_page -o $download_page $download_page_url"
  curl_cmd="curl -o $download_page $download_page_url"
if ! $($curl_cmd) ; then
  echo "IFSDB download page $download_page_url could not be downloaded. Did the URL change probably?"
  exit 1

if [ -z $ignore_sources ]; then
  echo "******************************************"
  echo "     Check out or update source code"
  echo "******************************************"
  if [ -z $(which svn) ] ; then
    errors="${errors}\n'svn' executable not found. If you want the source code you have to install the package"
    errors="${errors}\nwhich contains 'svn' or use the option '-s' to get rid of this message."
    if [ -e "$sources_dir/$sources_module_name/" ]; then
      cd  "$sources_dir/$sources_module_name"
      if ! svn update ; then
        errors="${errors}\nCould not update sources from SVN"
      cd "$sources_dir"
      echo "No working copy found. An initial checkout of the complete source code will now be attempted."
      echo "If nothing seems to happen it is probably waiting for a password to be entered, in which case pressing RETURN should suffice."
      if ! svn checkout svn:// "$sources_module_name" ; then
        errors="${errors}\nCould not check out sources from SVN."
  echo "Ignoring source code"

if ([ -z $ignore_database ] || [ -z $ignore_covers ]) && [ -z $(which gdown) ]; then
  errors="${errors}\ngdown is required to download the backup files from Google Drive but could not be found."
  errors="${errors}\nIt's a Python library which can usually be installed from the Python Package Index (PyPI) repository:"
  errors="${errors}\n  pip install gdown"
  errors="${errors}\nIf that doesn't work check out"

if [ -z $ignore_database ]; then
  if $can_download; then
    echo "******************************************"
    echo "           Get latest database"
    echo "******************************************"
    # Expected structure: all links below <a name="Database_Backups"> are database backups, and
    # only use the second link (in the table column with the newer MySQL-Version)
    # database_id=$(cat "$download_page" | sed '1,/id="Database_Backups">/d' | grep https | sed -n '2s/.*id=\([^"]*\).*/\1/p')
    database_id=$(cat "$download_page" | sed '1,/id="Database_Backups">/d' | grep https | sed -n '1s/.*file\/d\/\(.*\)\/view.*/\1/p')
    if [ -n "$database_id" ]; then
      echo "Trying to download database file with id $database_id"
      cd "$database_dir"
      gdown "$database_id"
      # The gdown version 4.6.6 used to develop this script always returns 0, therefore no exit code checking
      errors="${errors}\nFailed to identify latest database backup file on the ISFDB wiki page."
      errors="${errors}\nEither the format of the whole page or of the download links on it has changed."
  echo "Ignoring database"

if [ -z $ignore_covers ]; then
  if $can_download; then
    echo "******************************************"
    echo "            Get latest covers"
    echo "******************************************"
    cd "$covers_dir"
    # Expected structure: all links between <a name="Image_Backups"> and <a name="Database_Backups"> are cover image backups
    cat "$download_page" | sed -n '/id="Image_Backups">/,$p' | sed -n '/id="Database_Backups">/q;p' | grep https | sed -n 's/.*file\/d\/\(.*\)\/view.*/\1/p' > "$covers_file"
    while read -r covers_id
      echo "Trying to download cover image file with id $covers_id"
      gdown "$covers_id"
      # The gdown version 3.8.3 used to develop this script always returns 0, therefore no exit code checking
    done < "$covers_file"
    rm "$covers_file"
  echo "Ignoring covers"

if [ -n "$errors" ]; then
  echo "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  echo "     THERE WERE ERRORS"
  echo "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  printf "%b\n" "$errors\n"
  echo "Done."