User talk:ErsatzCulture

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Otherwere, again

I was reviewing your edit to the R.A. Salvatore story and noticed that Sharewere says it's "by" Shariann N. Lewitt as a variant of the same story by Shariann Lewitt BUT... there's no "N" anywhere on the copyright page, the ToC or at the story first page. How to fix this as a merge instead of a variant? Susan O'Fearna 00:49, 20 August 2022 (EDT)

I think the most basic thing to do is to "Remove Titles From This Pub" the story by "Shariann N. Lewitt" and then "Import Content" the story by "Shariann Lewitt" (and adding the 195 page number to it). That in turn I think will automatically remove the no longer needed Shariann N. Lewitt variant of the story, and in turn the "Shariann N. Lewitt" pseudonym will go, as that seems to be the only title associated with it.
Quite probably, just doing a merge on the two "Sharewere"s will accomplish the same end result in one rather than two steps, but I don't think I've ever done that with titles where one is a variant of the other, so personally I'd opt for the remove/import steps, just to avoid tempting fate doing something different for the first time. (Maybe someone else with more experience will see this convo and chip in?) I'm happy to do those two steps myself, given I have self-approver rights, and so I can do them at the same time, and not run the risk of having the data in an inconsistent state for more than a minute or so.
BTW, I'm mildly curious where "Shariann N. Lewitt" came from in the first place - it seems to date from a 2007 edit by an editor long gone - but I guess that'll be a mystery lost to time... ErsatzCulture 08:54, 20 August 2022 (EDT)

The Employees

Just heads up as you worked on this one: based on what I am seeing in the book I was holding and all other versions, the subtitle belongs up on the title here so I updated that (and added a note on the exact length and so on). Annie 17:24, 3 September 2022 (EDT)

No worries, thanks for letting me know.
Although you messaging about this prompted me to look at my accumulated data on this, and there's something weird going on with the UK ebook. At the time I submitted the original UK tp GR had an ASIN that Amazon UK didn't know about. I have data scraped from Amazon UK in Feb 2022 from the New Directions US ebook (which matches the pub you and Fixer added around the same time), but now Amazon UK has an ebook from the same publisher as the UK tp?!? But Amazon UK now no longer lists the UK tp, and Kobo still doesn't have any ebook, so seems I'm no closer to knowing if that has an ISBN. Sigh, will try to sort that out in the next couple of days.... ErsatzCulture 15:46, 4 September 2022 (EDT)
The US hardcover has the isbn and LCCn of the ebook (plus its own values) so the US ebook checks out everywhere. I will see if I can get it from my library to do another check on it anyway. As for the UK ebook - the publisher site shows the isbn as the UK ones which means that either they shared thus making tracking by isbn a nightmare (which would explain why it keeps sending you to the Tp or why an isbn link leads to the ebook now somewhere) or did not add an isbn to the ebook at all. Or their site is just crap. But at least it shows that there is an ebook and it has a price. And when I look at Amazon UK Fronten isbn it shows me the tp (just fyi) - not available for purchase and so on but it shows the tp under the isbn. :) Annie 18:22, 4 September 2022 (EDT)


Hi! I don't know if you have seen my application for self-moderating. Would you mind to leave a comment? Christian Stonecreek (talk) 06:59, 25 September 2022 (EDT)

Hi Christian, I'm afraid I don't feel able to make an informed comment, as I only have self-approver privileges myself, so I don't have any visibility on the edits you've been making. (I skim through the "Recent Edits" list every day or so, and click on the ones that look relevant to my interests, but I don't think any of your recent submissions matched my personal tastes... ;-)
That said, I will make the observation that some of the edits you've made in the past to my submissions have annoyed me. A big one was User_talk:Stonecreek#Ministry_for_the_Future_title_.26_pub_dates, but I remember when I was a very new editor back in 2019, and you made edits to a couple of my submissions/PVs [1] [2] without any sort of message on my talk page to explain what I'd done wrong and/or why you'd made those changes. (You did add a comment re. the second one a couple of days after making your edit, which I had some issues with, as I don't think the Baxter book had "officially" been announced as the first in a series at that time - even though I agree that it certainly looked that way - but because I was a new editor, I wasn't going to argue with a moderator.)
The main reason I very quickly gave up contributing to Wikipedia - other than making very minor/quick corrections and additions - is that I got fed up with seemingly-long established Wikipedia editors coming in and making things (IMHO) worse and/or deleting my contributions, without any attempt to communicate about why I'd done things the way I did, or how I might improve something they thought was deficient. I switched over to ISFDB because I thought that contributions would be judged on quality rather than submitter, and I was a bit dismayed when some of my early ones were changed for little-to-no-reason, and with no explanation. (I have no idea what the addition of "New edition" to the note to the John Birmingham book is supposed to mean, and some of the changes in wording seem slightly awkward to my native-speaker ears, albeit the meaning is still clear, so I have never reverted things.)
Hopefully you no longer make changes like those/in that manner, but as I haven't looked at your recent edits, I don't know, so I'm afraid I won't comment on that talk item. Based on what I am aware of, my inclination would in any case be to neither add approval nor disapproval, but leave it to the consensus of other editors/moderators/admins. ErsatzCulture (talk) 08:48, 25 September 2022 (EDT)

DAW books

Hello John,

When adding the UK editions of books where the US publisher is DAW in the next few months, can you please check the dates on the DAW books and ping me if you see anything odd? I have it on my calendar to check them in the weeks of publication but after the move from one corporate owner to another, there had been a lot of shuffling of dates (in both directions from what I can see) so on the "two sets of eyes are better than one" principle, just heads up. I've marked the more suspicious ones with the watchPrePub but some seem stable (until they are not) and I would rather not mark them all or delay adding them. Thanks! Annie (talk) 15:03, 10 October 2022 (EDT)

Sure, no problem. I started a new job last week last week, so I probably won't have as much time to submit stuff as in the past, but will try to keep up with new adult UK pubs, and maybe let stuff like missing old ebooks and juveniles slide a bit. ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:52, 10 October 2022 (EDT)
Good luck with the new job. :) Annie (talk) 21:03, 10 October 2022 (EDT)
Possibly relevant Reddit thread (the meat is in linked Twitter comments). It doesn't sound like this affects any pubs that are yet in the database though. ErsatzCulture (talk) 13:46, 2 November 2022 (EDT)
It was inevitable. But as we do not add more than 60 days out (90 per the rules but I rarely have a book on 60+ added except for some reprints and things Fixer thinks are reprints which may get in a few days earlier) and that means books are more or less already at the printer or late stages of their preparation by the time we add so they may get delayed and/or shuffled a bit but they should not be cancelled for the most part. But yes - I am keeping an eye on DAW books at the moment a bit more than for the other major US publishers. Annie (talk) 14:33, 2 November 2022 (EDT)

Capitalization rules

Please make sure that when you self-approve, you follow our capitalization rules. I've updated a few in the last few months but figured I should mention something about it when I found another one today. For example here, "with" was capitalized on the title and both editions you added. As you do not have a moderator approving to check and fix these, you are expected to. Thanks! :) Annie (talk) 14:11, 20 October 2022 (EDT)

On a separate note - now that the book is out, I really do not see any indication that it is actually speculative. Any objection to deleting it? Annie (talk) 14:14, 20 October 2022 (EDT)
Ah, sorry about that. Do you have any recollection of other titles/words I screwed up on? Without checking the help page, I would have assumed "With" was by the rules. (As an aside, I had this open in another tab, and thought that might be contra the rules, but I was a bit surprised to see that "This" is correct.) ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:18, 20 October 2022 (EDT)
Not really - I do not keep notes on that but I know I had had to correct a few when Fixer comes after you do the initial NewPub (that's how I found this one - it had been happening more in the last months because of the delays in Fixer's processing as we discussed earlier) so I figured I should gently remind you to actually look at the help page and consult it until you have the list by heart and by rote (it is a very short list after all - a/an/the, and/or, at/to, for/from, in/on, by/of/with is how I group them in my head and it helps me). If I have to guess, it is a preposition somewhere which came capitalized and you left it in place (or something like "under" or "without" or "out" (used as a preposition) or something like that - I know I always need to check some of these twice if I had not added any books for a few days :). That's the less glamorous part of being a self-approver - you should be checking the help page if you had not internalized the rule for a specific thing. We all miss things but at least trying to check the guide when you see a small word you do not use often helps. Or when you do something different from what you do daily. It is not the end of the world and there are much bigger things one can screw up but... :) Annie (talk) 20:07, 20 October 2022 (EDT)
Re. "the less glamorous part" - there's glamour involved in contributing to ISFDB? ;-) Reminds me of the recent-ish post on FB from an author, asking who/where they could pay ISFDB to ensure their work was included here...
Well, that sounded better than "now that you can self-approve, on top of doing everything else, you also need to do all this as well". ;) Annie (talk) 17:55, 21 October 2022 (EDT)
Just to show you're not completely wasting your breath [3], [4]... ErsatzCulture (talk) 18:50, 21 October 2022 (EDT)
Re. this title's eligibility, I don't know any more than when I submitted it. (It's definitely not a book that I personally have any interest in whatsoever ;-) All I can say is: it has 44 shelvings as "Fantasy" on GR (vs 967 for "Romance", so you can definitely argue that's not meaningful); it's from a genre imprint; it uses a different author alias from other stuff this person has put out, possibly implying different names for SFnal vs non-SFnal work. FWIW, it got covered in a "Most anticipated SFF" roundup with the comment "This isn’t a speculative novel upon first glance, instead it falls into my favorite category of fiction: weird shit." ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:18, 20 October 2022 (EDT)
I will add the US edition but will leave the warning in place then. I hate these "not really ours but maybe ours" books. Annie (talk) 20:07, 20 October 2022 (EDT)
Yeah. I'm slightly of the opinion that if a non-genre title gets some coverage in genre spaces, then there's an unwritten obligation to have it here, just so that people don't think the omission is through ignorance/omission rather than being deliberate. (Stuff like Interior Chinatown and Velvet was the Night, that gets mentioned in genre awards, despite the respective authors saying those books have no genre content.) If that's really the case though, then it probably should be more officially discussed and codified... ErsatzCulture (talk) 17:35, 21 October 2022 (EDT)
What the author wants to call a book (speculative or not, novella or novel) is kinda irrelevant - they can protest as much as they want but if they have a talking ghost in a story that is 38.5K words, it is a novella and it is ours even if they call it a novel and not speculative).
It is an old conversation - the "borderline, sound like ours but are not" not being recorded makes sense for what the DB is but then we keep getting some of them over and over based on descriptions. On the other hand opening the ROA for them opens the door for a lot of ambiguity and just as with books reviewed in our magazines, I don't think someone mentioning/reviewing it somewhere should make it eligible. Plus there are the notes on the author pages - we can always utilize them in such cases without adding non-genre books to the DB. On the other hand, we are technically inclusive so when not sure, we add it and add notes and I think this is enough. But allowing non-speculative works which are KNOWN not to be speculative because they were reviewed as if they were or mentioned in awards is a bad idea IMO - awards nominations and people nominating books may not even have the same definitions as we do for example... so we stick to our definitions. Annie (talk) 17:55, 21 October 2022 (EDT)

The Citadel of Forgotten Myths

I was looking at your note here and the preview of the book over on and I cannot see anything indicating that this is a fix-up novel (the 3 parts have titles which do not look like any of the pre-existing ones - and there are 3, not 2 of them). Would you have that review handy somewhere? Annie (talk) 18:06, 30 November 2022 (EST)

From first 2 paras of the topmost GR review: Beginning with two previously released novellas, now revised to string Moonglum and Elric's escapades in search of the history of Elric's ancestry on the underside of their egg-shaped world to the quest to find their way home once again. / The first two books pull the action and pacing from the original 60's Science Fantasy magazine releases. Whether it's a fixup novel or a collection wasn't clear to me - and the complexity of all the Moorcock series isn't something I care to try to make sense of ;-) - but I opted for the latter. It did cross my mind to post on Community Portal in case there are any other editors more clued up on his work than me, but decided against it. FWIW, there's no preview yet on Amazon UK, but please make any changes you see fit based on what are showing you. ErsatzCulture (talk) 19:29, 30 November 2022 (EST)
Per a quick Twitter search, in this YT video interview (link points at the right place) Moorcock says it's "based on 2 short stories he wrote". Don't have inclination to watch it all to see if he clarifies more than that... ErsatzCulture (talk) 19:36, 30 November 2022 (EST)
“Based on” is different from “made up from”. It will be a collection only if the novellas are there with (almost) no changes and even that review reads as if there was enough revisions to make that a novel. I’d say we should treat it as a novel. Annie (talk) 21:24, 30 November 2022 (EST)
I've added some more notes and a watchPrePub on the US book for now - we shall see how things look next week. I think it should be a novel but let's give it some time. Annie (talk) 13:50, 1 December 2022 (EST)
No worries. BTW, in a similar vein - namely, questionable format of a new entry in an old fantasy series - I treated the REH reprint short story in this as "bonus material", similar to the previews in lots of Orbit pubs, rather than something which would turn it from a novel into an omnibus or collection. Please correct me/it if that's the wrong interpretation of the rules; I did have a quick search on the wiki, but couldn't find anything obviously relevant, and the closest similar pub I could think of is also categorized as a novel. ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:27, 1 December 2022 (EST)
One story added to a novel publication does not make it a collection/anthology (unless it is supposed to be a collection/anthology basically - if both get equal billing like this one for example, it is obviously meant as a collection (you need 2 full length thingies for an omnibus)). I'd call the REH one a novel as well if I am adding it. Annie (talk) 17:03, 1 December 2022 (EST)