User talk:Hayford Peirce/Archives

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Edit away

It's all one and the same database, so edit away, although you may want to read the Help pages first, especially the Getting Started Guide :) Thanks for the kind words and welcome to the project! Ahasuerus 10:57, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)


(edit conflict, so I'll add my welcome to Ahasuerus's): Hayford, glad to see you over here. To answer your question, you edit over at the ISFDB itself, which is here. This wiki supports the ISFDB in that it's a forum for discussion of bibliographic issues, a way to document progress, and a way for the editors to communicate. There's a guide to getting started here, which may help. What it recommends is that you pick a book off your shelves -- any sf or fantasy will do, though I recommend you pick a novel first, since that's the simplest way to get started. Then see if it's in the ISFDB in that exact edition. If it isn't, go ahead and enter it.

There's more to it than that, since we also deal with variant titles, pseudonyms, and so on, but that should make it clearer how things work. When you submit an edit, a moderator will approve it or ask you a question about it if there's some issue with it. There are lots of detailed help files too; the main help page is here.

I hope that helps -- please ask if you have any other questions. There are several other moderators - the other active ones right now are Al von Ruff, Ahasuerus, Marc Kupper. Any of us will be glad to help. Mike Christie (talk) 10:58, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Der Zeitgereiste Bonaparte

Just checking on the two different publications of "Der Zeitgereiste Bonaparte" you entered, which are here and here. They appear to be duplicates except for the date; is that correct? If so, we should delete one of them -- both the publication and the title. If not, then I would expect some difference in the data -- is one a later printing of the other? Mike Christie (talk) 12:15, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

They are German translation of Napoleon Disentimed, right? As per the Help pages, translations of English language Titles go under the main Title, so we can just merge them with Napoleon Disentimed, which will turn them into Publications under it. Also, one of the German language editions has no date (0000-00-00), so I wonder if it was a first/unsuccessful attempt to enter the book? Ahasuerus 12:22, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
I have found your comments on Mike page, so now I see what's going on. Let me fix it real quick :) Ahasuerus 12:26, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
Howdy, Ahasuerus; yes, see my talk page for details. Hayford, I'm going to keep our conversation on my talk page for coherence rather than reply in both places. Mike Christie (talk) 12:27, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Napoleon Disentimed

Hayford, I just approved this new publication entry, but I suspect from the price it should be "hc" for hardcover, not "pb" for paperback -- is that correct? Mike Christie (talk) 13:58, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

$16.95 and published by a small press? I am willing to bet $0.05 that it's a trade paperback (tp) :-) Ahasuerus 14:02, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
Also, when you say that the binding of La Scacchiera del Tempo is "magazine", does it mean digest, pulp or bedsheet? Ahasuerus 14:07, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
(Responding to the message on my Talk page here:) As you probably know, the term "trade" actually means that the book is to be returned to the publisher if it doesn't sell. "Mass market" books, on the other hand, are pulped if they don't sell and only the covers are returned to the publisher to save on s&h. It's possible, although uncommon, for a small size paperback to be a "trade" paperback and be returnable to the publisher. However, this stuff is way too advanced for most ISFDB users since most of them don't care about publishing acrana, they just want to know how big the book is :) That's why we call small US and UK paperbacks (the latter are a bit taller) "pb"s and the oversize ones "tp"s within the ISFDB.
As far as the Italian digest goes, publishing one SF novel per SF "magazine" issue is common practice in Europe, including France and Italy. It used to be popular in the UK as well, but not any more.
Finally, the title of the Russian edition was entered correctly but in all uppercase, so I changed it to mixed case. The publisher's name, "Armada", was misspelled and I had to get the page count and the names of the cover artist/translator from online catalogs, but it wasn't too bad. That's what we are here for! :) Ahasuerus 14:46, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
Well, I think you're a miracle worker! (Of course, today *is* Christmas, isn't it, hehe?) I had a lot of trouble a year or so ago trying to decipher that Russian info from my copy of the book in order to put it into the Wiki article. Glad to see what it's supposed to be -- now, I guess, I can copy that and substitute it in the Wiki article. Thanks again! Hayford Peirce 14:53, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
Just goes to show that some people are good at writing books while other people are good at cataloging them :) Ahasuerus 14:58, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Co-author of Elephants' Graveyard

BTW, was your co-author on Elephants' Graveyard credited as "David Alexander" or "David M. Alexander" in Analog? It looks like there may be some confusion between David Alexander and David M. Alexander and to make matters worse, there may be books by two "David Alexanders" in the ISFDB. Ahasuerus 14:58, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Thanks, I have changed this title to a "pseudonymous entry" in the database. Not much of a pseudonym, admittedly, but still, we want to be as accurate as possible. We even record misspellings of the authors'/editors'/etc names when appropriate.
The reason that the display is currently messed up -- as well as the reason why it shows up twice in your bibliography -- is the same reason that Dinosaur Park is displayed twice. Hopefully, Al will fix it once he is done celebrating :)
By the way, there may be even more "David Alexanders" than we realize: one was active circa 1963 and another seems to be writing men's adventures/thrillers/post-holocaust adventures. Ahasuerus 15:39, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
Oh yes, there are quite a few cases where writers/artists get confused because of similar names. Martin Greenberg and Martin Harry Greenberg are a classic example and sure enough, the ISFDB has over a dozen MHG anthologies that still need to be corrected. There are two David Macks, one a writer and one an artist, who didn't know about each other's existence for quite some time. And then there is Jim Owsley, the comic books guy, who changed his name to "Christopher Priest" in the 1990s and then discovered that the name was already "taken", as it were. The life of a genre bibliographer is anything but boring :) Thankfully, we do have mechanisms for disambiguating these cases within the ISFDB, we just need to find them and understand who wrote what and when. Ahasuerus 15:49, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
According to the Library of Congress Online Catalog, "David Alexander (1907-1973)" published at least 18 mysteries and one non-fiction book between 1951 and 1966. He may or may not be the same person as the author of the 1963 story that we currently have listed in the ISFDB. Then there is another David Alexander who writes about special ops, marines, stealth warfare, etc. He may or may not be the same guy who writes the post-apocalyptic stuff. Then there is another half a dozen David Alexanders who write about theater, horses, the Internet, channel morphology, and God knows what else. Which is an excellent illustration of the perils of having a common name; he should have chosen something rare like "Hayford" at birth :)
I will make a note of this mess in the "Bibliographic Comments" area, thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 16:39, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)
No hurry, take your time. We have been patiently building this database for 11.5 years and we are not going anywhere :-) I just looked "David M. Alexander" up in the OCLC Fiction Finder and it has 4 books listed with the "M" middle initial: The Chocolate Spy, Fane, Death Race (Nomad #2, apparently one of those action-adventure novels), and Bloodstain ("A Marty Land Mystery", #373 in the "Bloodhound mysteries" series). If "your" Dave could clarify whether he is responsible for the adventure series that we have listed: "Nomad", "Phoenix" and "C.A.D.S.", it would really help us sort out who wrote what. Thanks! Ahasuerus 19:44, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Variant titles display bug fixed

I am happy to report that the display bug that caused Dinosaur Park and Elephants' Graveyard to appear twice has been fixed. Al is very good at what he does as you would expect from somebody who used to launch top secret weather baloons (!) for a living :)

Thanks! :) Ahasuerus 21:22, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Your biblio updates

Hayford, I went ahead and updated your ISFDB biblio from various sources. It's not perfect, but it includes series information, non-genre works, collections, more short stories, etc. There is a bug in the software that prevents series data from displaying properly if there are no novels or collections in the series, which is why the Isaiah Howe series is currently not displayed. I am also not quite sure about the publication month for some books, e.g. was With a Bang, and Other Forbidden Delights published in late 2004 or in early 2005? Was there a different title for . . . With the Bathwater when it was first published in 1985? Take a look when you get a chance and tweak it to your heart's content :) Best, Ahasuerus 23:50, 25 Dec 2006 (CST)

Order of co-author names

I see you are trying to change the order of co-author names in some of your stories. Unfortunately, the ISFDB doesn't keep track of the "order" information, so the names will be displayed in a random order, at least for now. Thanks for clarifying the Variant Title issue! Ahasuerus 14:15, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Finder's Fee

As far as Finder's Fee goes, could you please clarify what you are trying to do? Was it originally published as by "David Alexander" and you? If so, we will need to change the data in that Analog issue to reflect how it was published and then create a variant title for it. Thanks! Ahasuerus 14:18, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Untitled and other issues

The Untitled story is most peculiar, but then editors have been known to screw up even worse. Take a look at the Notes fields for Dynamic Science Stories #1 and #2 :)

By the way, the series display issue has been fixed now, so all of your series should appear correctly. The only thing that I am not very happy about is that the abbreviation used for "short fiction" is "SF", which may be confusing.

I have fixed "Best of Breed", so now all three collaborative Analog pieces are displayed correctly. "Best of Breed" is unrelated to the other two, right?

As far as copyright dates go, don't worry about it. We use stated publication dates and not copyright dates, since the latter are often off by a month or more because of the way copyright works. Unfortunately, "stated publication dates" also differ from actual publication dates, especially for paperbacks and magazines, but that's a different can of worms :( Best, Ahasuerus 14:42, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

I am sorry, I wasn't very clear in my note above. When I wrote that the "series display issue has been fixed now", I meant the bug that was preventing series without book length works from appearing correctly. The other issue, i.e. the one that is causing co-author names to appear in an order different from the one entered, can't be addressed at the moment because there is currently nothing in the database that keeps track of co-author order. When the data is filed, the co-author order -- as entered by the editor -- is therefore lost and there is no way to display it.
As it happens, we discussed this issue just a few days ago. To address the problem, we would need to add a special field, "co-author order", to the title record in the database, and then adjust all data entry and display logic accordingly. It's not a trivial proposition and we didn't think it was a high priority, but let me post a note on the Community Portal so that other moderators know that it is a concern and perhaps we could re-arrange our list of priorities. Thanks! Ahasuerus 16:40, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Co-author ordering redux

Yes, that would be devastating indeed! :) I have added your comments to our discussion of Requested Feature 90064, so perhaps it might get done sooner rather than later. Keep in mind, though, that co-author ordering may be changed by publisher/editors on subsequent reprints, so we would have to capture this data for each edition/appearance, and that could get messy :(

Another question about your biblio: I noticed that you changed Aliens from a Novel to a Collection at 8:40am MT. I see the book listed on Amazon, but it has little data aside from a brief excerpt while Locus and the other usual suspects apparently missed it altogether. Do you happen to have the contents handy so that we could update the ISFDB?

And on an unrelated note, you wouldn't happen to be related to Hayford Peirce (1883-1946), the art historian who was active between the wars? Ahasuerus 17:39, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)


Thanks for the table of contents! Two quick questions: Is it "Elephant's Graveyard" in Aliens as opposed to "Elephants' Graveyard" (note the apostrophe's position) in Analog? And was it "High Yield Bondage" in Galaxy and Best SF Stories of the Year 5 in 1975-1976 as opposed to "High-Yield Bondage" (note the hyphen) in Aliens? Thanks, Ahasuerus 20:59, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Dynamic duos and history

Unfortunately, it's possible for the display order to change, especially when you get into foreign reprints and such. That's why I suspect that this feature will keep getting pushed to the end of the queue to optimize the use of our quite limited resources. Oh well, one of these days...

As far as Byzantine history goes, I am not really a fan, but Hayford Peirce Sr.'s name kept coming up as I was running catalog searches at the Library of Congress, UC, etc.

And speaking of history, years ago, when I was studying Communism in general and European Communism in particular, I did a paper on the history of Soviet SF. One of the 1920s novels that I read was a time travel tale about a ca. 1920 Russian engineer who timeslips to the battle of Waterloo and uses his knowledge of all sides' battle plans to help Napoleon win. Quickly establishing himself as the Emperor's trusted assistant and confidant (clearly a trivial thing to do for a complete outsider :-), he embarks on an ambitious program of remaking Napoleon's empire along Enlightenment/socialist lines, promoting Pestalozzi and other luminares of the day, etc. Eventually he gets rid of an increasingly marginalized Napoleon (a little accident at sea) and presides over a happy world government of a vaguely utopian sort.

It was one of the better novels from that period (most of them would have made Ray Cummings gasp) and I wish I still had my notes :( Anyway, the point is that I chuckled when I saw the cover of that Russian translation of your book on Wikipedia :) Ahasuerus 21:43, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

E-mail address

Thanks for doing all the legwork! I have corrected the pachyderms in the ISFDB and at this point the only outstanding issue with your bibliography is "High-Yield Bondage" vs "High Yield Bondage". We'll want to add the page numbers to Aliens at some point, but there is no hurry.

My e-mail address is ahasuerus (commercial at sign goes here) Best, Ahasuerus 23:00, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Oops, forgot to ask about the story that was apparently published as "A Better Mousetrap" in Analog in 1976, but then appeared as "The Better Mousetrap" in With a Bang, and Other Forbidden Delights. Was that a real title change or is our data messed up in some way? Ahasuerus 23:15, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

The Burr in the Garden of Eden

This is quite easy to fix. Let me explain how we do this so that you can fix similar issues in the future :) When you go to your bibliography page, you will find a little Titles link in the "Editing Tools" section of the navigation bar on the left. Once you select it, you will see a long list of all of your works with a checkmark box next to each. It will say "Title Search" at the top and there will be a link to "Help on merging titles" below the title. Scroll down until you find the two occurrences of The Burr in the Garden of Eden and check the boxes to the left of each. (Don't check anything else since there are "variant titles", pseudonymous titles and other monsters there that we don't want to disturb quite yet). Then scroll all the way down to the bottom and select the big "Merge Selected Fecords" button. It will put you on a page that lists any differences (or "conflicts") between the two selected records. In this case the differences will be limited to the series name and the series number. Select the correct button for each conflict and hit "Complete Merge". That should create a "Merge Titles" submission which, once approved, will take care of the problems :) Ahasuerus 17:35, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)

Biblio Wrap-up

Again, thanks for providing the page numbers and the proper hyphenation for the story! Do stories get to go to therapists if they were abused by editors at a young age? :)

I have now incorporated all submitted changes in the ISFDB, so everything should be there. Series names look good; the only reason why the Sam Ferron series had another, slash-delimited, name attached was that Locus listed it that way. I suppose they used the title of the first story when it first came out and never went back to change it.

If you find any problems with your biblio as it currently exists or if you have trouble with merging the two Burrs, please yell. Good luck with entering foreign editions! I am off to work on David (M.) Alexander's works. Best, Ahasuerus 20:43, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)

David M. ALexander

All eligible David (M.) Alexander titles have been cross-checked against various databases and incorporated in the ISFDB with the exception of his two AHMM pieces. At this time we do not support non-speculative fiction (what we call "nongenre") short pieces, although we do list book length works like your Tahiti series. I'll add these two stories to his "Bibliographic Comments" pages, though, so if and when we add support for these types of titles (and we add new features pretty often, the last one being the ability to vote for titles), we will be able to add them to the database painlessly.

By the way, "your" Dave may find it amusing that at least 3 libraries worldwide catalog David Alexander's (the 1950s-1960s mystery guy) Bloodstain: A Marty Land Mystery, published by Boardman in 1962, as written by "David M. Alexander". Impressive work for a 17 year old! :) And then there are at least 7 libraries that list Death Race, book #2 in the "Nomad" post-Holocaust series as written by "David M. Alexander". See what happens when you have a common first and last name? :) Ahasuerus 21:11, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)

Merging the Burrs and other series worries (aka The Burr in the Garden of Eden)

Hi Marc, I see that I've an error in my editing and I'm afraid that you or some order moderator are going to have to fix it. When I was looking at my list of "Novels" I didn't see Burr there, only up above in the Series listing. So I added it. It was only after I clicked the fateful Submit button that I realized that Napoleon Disentimed was *also* missing from the Novels and was up above with the Series. I confess, though, I don't know exactly what your format is here. Are series novels *only* shown under series? In which case, Burr should be removed from the Novels below. But if novels are shown in *both* places, then Burr should be allowed to remain and Napoleon should be added to the Novels list. Sorry for the confusion on my part! Hayford Peirce 16:13, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)

Thanks for taking the time to master the ISFDB interface! One of the problems that we, the moderators, have is that we have gotten so used to it that we don't notice anything that is not intuitive. The proverbial blind eye and all that. That's why we are calling the current phase of ISFDB operations "beta" even though user editing is fully enabled -- we are looking for any awkwardness or other user interface problems that we could address. So anything you can find that non-intuitive or not user-friendly is very useful to us. Please report any suggestions or problems as you progress!
As far as series numbering goes, the simple answer to your question is that some series are not numbered merely because the editor who originally entered the date (which may well have happened years ago) didn't enter any series numbers. Most of the time it's harmless since the software will list series entries chronologically, but it can mess things up for prolific authors who publish more than one book per year. For example, that "other" David Alexander, the one who writes (wrote?) post-holocaust stuff, had 4 books published in the same series in 1987-1988 and four books published in another series in 1992-1993. If we didn't have series numbers for his books, it wouldn't be clear what the reading order should be, which could confuse our users.
The long answer to the question is... well, rather long. There are series where the publication order is not the same as the internal chronological order or where a series branches out into multiple (and sometimes interlocking, like Andre Norton's) subseries. Plus there are prequels, nested subseries and what have you. It can be rather headache-inducing, but thankfully your series are all fairly straightforward, so that's one problem that you don't have to worry about :) Ahasuerus 22:49, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)
P.S. The reason that these ISFDB Wiki pages are better for our purposes than using e-mail is that it ensures that other moderators can see the conversation. That way they can (a) react quickly if something important arises as well as (b) observe the kinds of problems that our editors are experiencing so that we can improve the software. Or so we hope :) Best, Ahasuerus 22:53, 27 Dec 2006 (CST)

German translation of "Iceback Invasion"

Thanks for submitting the German translation of "Iceback Invasion"! I used the submitted data to create a record for the Heyne Science Fiction Magazin 5 anthology, but then I discovered a pretty big hole in our support for foreign language trabslations: while we list translated books as additional Publications (or editions, if you will) under the original English language title, we don't have quite the same level of support for translated short fiction. Currently, the only choice is either to make the German title into a "Variant Title" (which would make it appear on the main page) or to merge the two titles, which would cause the German title to disappear. Grr! Let me discuss this with the programmer and we'll see what we can do about it. Thanks! Ahasuerus 14:38, 28 Dec 2006 (CST)

Sorting out the David Alexander confusion, Part II

That's a very good question! Unfortunately, there are many permutations here that we are still struggling with. There are house names, ghost writers, couples who write as one person (Kuttner/Moore or Binder/Binder), one person writing as a couple (John Wyndham, of all people), just plain coincidences like this one, etc. I have given the 1907-1973 mystery guy a separate "Author name", so he is out of the way now, but the military guy is still there. Let us discuss it on the Community Portal and see what we can do. Thanks! Ahasuerus 16:38, 28 Dec 2006 (CST)

I have raised this issue over onthe Community Portal. Let's see what the other folks have to say and please fell free to jump in :) Ahasuerus 19:56, 28 Dec 2006 (CST)

UK prices

Hayford, just FYI on prices -- you can enter the UK prices using the Windows Character Map to get a £ sign. We typically enter the prices as £0.50 rather than 50p. I've approved it as this sort of thing is easy to fix on subsequent sweeps through the database, but I thought I'd mention it. If you're not familiar with the Character Map, you get to it from the Start menu via Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools. Mike Christie (talk) 14:26, 30 Dec 2006 (CST)

Sorry about the delay on following up on your note, but since I'm here to reply to your note about "Burr", I thought I'd respond on this too. The UK changed currencies on 15 Feb 1971 to the new system; the old pricing was known as L.S.D., and would be listed as 3/6 (for 3 shillings and 6 pence) or £3/5/- (e.g.) for 3 pounds, 5 shillings, and no pence. There were 240 old pence in the pound, but nothing was ever priced that way -- it was always priced in L.S.D. So if you see a price of 50p, you can be certain it's a post-1971 price and should be recorded as £0.50. On some books printed in the year or two before that date you'll actually see both prices. For example, I have a Panther edition of "The Trouble Twisters" by Poul Anderson, printed in 1969, which is priced as "5/- (25p)". They did that to avoid having to reprint the books when the change came. Mike Christie (talk) 12:24, 1 Jan 2007 (CST)


I think the problem here is just that the awards data is left over, and the biblio page is displaying the title because it can find a reference to it. I think this has been reported before; I'll post a note on the Community Portal and ask -- I don't see it in the bug list. As far as I can see you did the deletion perfectly -- the title record is certainly gone. Mike Christie (talk) 12:24, 1 Jan 2007 (CST)

Jonathan Gash

Hayford, I accepted the first edit to the Jonathan Gash titles, and then thought I should check with you. The usual use of the wikipedia field on a title record is to link to a discussion of that particular title -- see e.g. Solar Lottery, which links to an article on that book. There's a link field on the author record that can be used for the author. I don't think it's worth linking each title to the author, but if you want to go to the trouble I don't see a reason not to do it. However I thought I should check to be sure it was what you intended. Mike Christie (talk) 20:18, 2 Jan 2007 (CST)

The title link should link to wikipedia only if there is an Wikipedia article on that particular book. Otherwise it should be left blank. Alvonruff 21:01, 2 Jan 2007 (CST)
Hayford, I just accepted the remaining Gash publication updates but then was going to pop over here to ask about them and see that others already had some thoughts. My questions are:
  1. Are they speculative fiction? It seems like a crime/mystery series and the only “sf” I could detect is that per the series summary “the main character has a preternatural gift of being able to infallibly determine whether any work of art or antique is genuine or not.”
  2. Is the series actually numbered? In looking at the covers I don’t see any numbering but maybe it’s on the spine or elsewhere in the books.
  3. I saw the author links and boilerplate series description on several of the updates you sent through. That’s already been commented on but I’m not sure if you did the new-publications or just left them in. I suspect it would be better if a series could have a notes/description field but for now I have been putting put /description in the series' Bibliographic Comments wiki (Series:Lovejoy).
  4. I noticed the title of book #2 is Gold from Gemini in the USA and Gold By Gemini in the UK but before putting in a variant title let’s see if we should have this series in ISFDB at all. Marc Kupper 01:04, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)


Hayford, Just a heads up in that I approved a couple of your title updates but then had to re-edit them as you had given the dates as 1966 and 1981 rather than 1966-00-00 and 1981-00-00. No problem as I made that mistake a few times myself along with entering yyyy-mm and not yyyy-mm-00. Marc Kupper 17:52, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

Legal names

Just a quick reminder that "legal names" are entered in a "Last, First" format :) Ahasuerus 19:54, 4 Jan 2007 (CST)

Pre tags

Hayford, I noticed you're using a "pre" tag on the title updates that point to the Lovejoy series. I approved two and edited the tag out of one of them; take a look at Gold from Gemini for the "pre" look, and at The Judas Pair for the look without the "pre" tag. Is there a reason for the pre tag? It looks kind of ugly, I think, and the link seems to work fine without it. Mike Christie (talk) 11:53, 5 Jan 2007 (CST)

I've approved them, so you can change them as you see fit; or check with the person who suggested the tag to see what the intent was. I agree they're ugly, but I just wanted to check I wasn't missing something before I approved them. Mike Christie (talk) 12:08, 5 Jan 2007 (CST)
Oops - sorry about that - I had not realized you would copy/paste the entire text including the pre tags. I agree that being able to preview work before submitting to ISFDB would be handy and put that into the feature-request queue a while back. Marc Kupper 00:27, 6 Jan 2007 (CST)

Happy birthday

Just noticed your birthday on the ISFDB front page -- happy birthday! Mike Christie (talk) 10:21, 7 Jan 2007 (CST)

Yep, I'll sing long with Mike on that. -- happy birthday to you! Marc Kupper 14:00, 7 Jan 2007 (CST)

Fair Game

Hayford, I have approved the Fair Game submission, but I was wondering if there was a typo in the Synopsis field, "fiendist" instead of "fiendish"? P.S. And happy belated birthday! :) Ahasuerus 12:52, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Well, we will all get to that point sooner or later (barring some sfnal development), so the only outstanding question is what we will have to show at the end of the "accounting period" :) Ahasuerus 13:09, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Kolymsky Heights

According to online reviews, this 1994 thriller takes place after the Soviet breakup, so shouldn't the Note field say "Russian scientists" instead of "Soviet scientists"? Ahasuerus 14:34, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Thanks! I have moved the updated "Note" from the Publication (edition) level to the Title (book) level and put it in the Synopsis field since it's more of a plot outline than a bibliographic note. Ahasuerus 16:42, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

"Manning Coles"

Your last batch of submissions raised an interesting point re: joint pseudonyms. When a single author uses a pseudonym as his primary "working name", e.g. Cordwainer Smith, we list that pseudonym as his "name" and his real name goes in the "legal name" field. However, with joint pseudonyms, even stable ones, we can't do that because the software would choke on data like "Birthdate: 1891-00-00 and 1899-00-00". Therefore we have to show the joint name as a pseudonym, which can make pages look busy. On the other hand, it helps account for the odd story that one of the co-conspirators committed by himself or herself. Feel free to raise this issue over on the Community Portal if I don't do it myself in the next few hours :)

As far as "Manning Coles" goes, I believe he wrote a number of ghost stories, but most of his output was non-SF. Is that right? And if it is, then are we sure we want to list all of his non-genre work? This may be a good candidate for the recently proposed new Wiki forum where we could discuss how much coverage individual authors should get. Ahasuerus 15:38, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Yup, sounds like a can of worms all right! I will be happy to enter their ghost novels if you want to e-mail the list to me or just post them on my Talk page. I can do some digging as well and cross-check against various sources. Unfortunately, I don't have much time for the ISFDB at the moment, but it will get done sooner or later :)

As a general point of reference, the most important rule is that we always enter Publications exactly the way they were published, including pennames, alternate titles, etc. Any subsequent data manipulation (Variant Titles, pseudonyms, etc) is done at the Title level. The underlying database structure that handles these permutations is currently pretty solid, but there are still quirks in the display logic. Ahasuerus 16:50, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Jonathan Gash binding

Hayford, I just approved a bunch of publication updates where you are updating the notes field. Something I noticed is that many of them have "hb" for the binding. The code should be "hc" for hardcover. Marc Kupper 18:58, 16 Jan 2007 (CST)

Manning Coles

OK, after many delays and some head-scratching, the "Manning Coles/Francis Gaite" saga appears to be approaching a midpoint of sorts. All of their speculative fiction has been entered in the ISFDB, including series information, a "lost city" juvenile and the recent (2000-2001) reprints by Rue Morgue Press.

Interestingly enough, none of the major catalogs (the Library of Congress, OCLC, etc) list any of the editions as published by "Franics GaiteS". Apparently, all pseudonymous UK editions (and some European translations) were as by "Francis Gaite" (no "s"). I wonder where the "Gaites" information comes from and whether it was a fluke or a publisher error of some sort?

As far as their non-SF goes, I am sure we will get to it at some point, but for now the important thing that this test case has revealed is the weakness of our support for collective pseudonyms. If you look up Manning_Coles, you will find "Pseudonym. See: Cyril Henry Coles". It is only when you go to Coles' page that you will discover that the "Manning Coles" titles were collaborations. The reason I had to do it that way is that the "Make This Author a Pseudonym" option doesn't support collective pseudonyms, so I had to pick just one author and Coles, unlike Manning, was the person behind all MC books. We may want to address this software issue in the foreseeable future, although I am not quite sure how to tackle it.

Anyway, thanks for all the detective work! :) Ahasuerus 13:08, 20 Feb 2007 (CST)

Vance's mysteries

Hayford, you are trying to add synopsis snippets to Jack Vance's mysteries, which is very laudable in itself, but they belong under Title (book) and not Publication (edition) records :) The situation is further complicated by the fact that Vance wrote many of these books pseudonymously, so we have 2 titles per book: one under "Jack Vance" and one under the pseudonym that he used.

I have moved the synopsis data to the title records, but I am still working on the The Madman Theory/A Room to Die In collection. Thanks! Ahasuerus 22:43, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Oh, there is much to be said for entering all Title (book) and Publication (edition) level data at the same time. Unfortunately, we had a rather bad experience with "integrated" data entry in the late 1990s, which led to a ton of bad data getting added to the database. Al, our programmer, still shudders whenever the idea is mentioned :) although one could argue that it might be a workable approach if we implemented additional checks and balances. One of these days, perhaps...
Anyway, I finished adding these Vances a few minutes ago and then threw a few first editions in for full measure. Thanks for editing! Ahasuerus 00:25, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Welcome Back!

Glad to see you active again - I can't begin to tell you what's changed as pretty much everything has. Do use the Wiki a lot more than you used to, it's the only way we communicate really. BLongley 19:36, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

As a side note - I've finally acquired some of your books (don't rush to open your next royalty statement - second-hand) and so have finally got used to your surname being counter-intuitive to me. Which must be a small good thing. BLongley 19:36, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

The Vertical Smile

See ISFDB:Community Portal#Richard Condon novel info, I have made db entries based on your info. -DES Talk 19:08, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I have left detailed instructions on how to enter further data at ISFDB:Community Portal#Richard Condon novel info.
Also helpful may be Help:Getting Started, Help:How to update a publication, and Help: How to verify data. Thanks for your contributions. -DES Talk 05:30, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Added cover image. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:09, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

The Menacers

You submitted an update for 106811 in which you change the catalog #/ISBN from "#p3280" to "231-01980-060". A couple of points about this.

  1. If "#p3280" also appears in the book, it should be listed in the notes. (it may have come from a clone of a different edition and never should have been in this pub record at all, but i can't tell.)
  2. 231-01980-060 is not a valid ISBN. For one thing, it has 11 digits. Also 1968 is a bit early for a true ISBN. I suspect this may have been an SBN plus a price code for $0.60. But SBNs were mostly 9 digits, not 8. In any case if this is a number which is not to be interpreted as an ISBN it should be prefixed with #. That is how the software knows not to try to use it as an ISBN. If it is a number with a price code, i would be inclined to leave off the price code in the catalog # field and list it in the notes, but i'm not sure there is a clear rule on that.

FYI, The coronet 1969 edition lists an ISBN of 0340107677. If the number 231-01980 were an SBN with check digit omitted, it would correspond to ISBN 0231019807, however I can find no record of this either. OCLC record #2991079 lists an ISBN of 0340107677 for the Fawcett Gold medal 1968 publication, and also lists "P3280".

I have the submission on hold, pending your response. -DES Talk 17:37, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I wondered about the purported ISBN but decided to put it in anyway. I have the actual book right here in front of me. I cannot find p3280 or anything similar anywhere in the book or on the covers. So that's why I removed it. The number that I put in is on the spine, which reads, from left to right, A Fawcett Gold Medal Book THE MENACERS Donald Hamilton 231-01980-060. I agree with you that the 060 probably refers to the price, $0.60. By the way, on the front cover, in the very upper left, there is the small insignia/icon/whatever of a Gold Medal Book hanging down from the top of the cover. Inside it is: R1989, and then, below that, 60c.
So I guess, if you agree, that I could change #p3280 to #R1989. And do what with the other, longer number? Hayford Peirce 18:52, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to reject your previous submission. You may list either "#R1989" or "#231-01980", but I would suggest the former, in the catalog number/ISBN field. List everything else in notes. Describe where each number is found, much as you did above. You could take a look at OCLC record #2991079 and decide whether to list this in the notes, or create a separate pub record for it. But that is optional. -DES Talk 19:18, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Submission approved, thanks.
By the way, in the notes field, returns and blank lines are ignored. To force a blank line to display you must use HTML tags. The simplest is to use <br> (or <br /> (which stands for break) to force a line break. More complexly, to get a bulleted list, use <ul> (unnumbered list), and start each list item with <li>. If you do this, you must close the list with </ul>. I hope this helps -DES Talk 07:16, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reminder -- I *know* the "br>" business but always forget to use it! Hayford Peirce 18:23, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Welcome back!

Welcome back! :-) Ahasuerus 13:28, 28 December 2018 (EST)

Thanks! It took me a while to figure out that I had to log in again in order to make any comments here! At least I have now put an icon shortcut on my desktop screen that will take me to without having to do a Google search for it. And I've made a note of my User Name and Password on my Password Folder #8. Hopefully, with all of THIS in place, I'll be able to find you more easily and to make some occasional contributions. All the best to everyone here for a great New Year and a wonderful 2019! Hayford Peirce 13:39, 28 December 2018 (EST)
And Happy New Year to you too! Ahasuerus 13:54, 28 December 2018 (EST)

Entering reviews

Hi, I just removed a review from a novel you entered. I could not find any evidence that the review was in the novel. Perhaps this part of our wiki can be a help for you.--Dirk P Broer 05:28, 3 January 2019 (EST)